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  • #2384
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    I found myself wondering recently whether or not I’d read Red Dwarf novels written by new writers that were set within the television continuity, kind of like the Doctor Who novels, or the Star Wars Expanded Universe stuff. And I decided that yes, I probably would read it. But I’m now much more curious about how you lot feel about it.

    What if Series IX were a series of novels instead? What if new novels set between existing television episodes were written? What if someone wrote a novel filling the gap between series II and III, and it wasn’t shit? How would we feel about that? Good Idea/Bad Idea?

    #81164
    TheLeen
    Participant

    I’d definitely read them.

    #81166
    Mr Flibble
    Participant

    I’d prefer it to “stay in the family” personally, as from what I’ve seen only Rob and Doug are really capable of writing Red Dwarf.

    Perhaps adding to the TV series would be different. A novel between 2 and III would be good, but I think it’d have to be “Dad” derived for me to be happy.

    I think with the novels existing, you’d have to be very careful to go and have TV Series novels and non-TV Series novels.

    #81169
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Anything not written by Rob and Doug feels like fan-fiction. I’d probably read a RD novel not written by them, but only so I could have a moan when it invariably turned out to be a pile of poo.

    #81170
    TheLeen
    Participant

    I actually feel more comfortable with TV-series based novels than non-TV series-based ones. I don’t care who writes them (as long as it isn’t Marie Birch).

    #81176
    Andrew
    Participant

    The way Rob and Doug managed the Dwarf universe, the lone voice has become too important. It’s incredibly hard to deal with Dwarf written by anyone else (and I speak as someone who has, kinda, done it). Like many British shows, eventually the voice and the show are inseparably linked. You can just ‘tell’ if it feels like the real thing or not. It’s one of the reasons VII and VIII upset some people – how CAN a show sound the same with a change in the writing line-up?

    I really can’t abide spin-off novels. Workaday writing for the most part, and with a constant ‘we don’t really count’ vibe because the canon can’t be affected. After attempts with things like Star Wars, Buffy and Quantum Leap I’ve yet to find anything that does more than flatly exploit a fictional universe.

    #81180
    Baz
    Participant

    As one who is currently writing my own Red Dwarf shared universe fan-fic I have to concur with the above. It’s very difficult to write something that is not a clone, reiterating old plots and old jokes (I actually have a mcguffin that explains similar plot lines as it happens, but still). I can’t write as Doug and Rob write, I can’t manage to be as funny or, frankly, as vicious or nihilistic, so I don’t try. My stuff is more space opera with funny bits and occasional pathos than sci-fi sitcom.

    My plot lines hang on the Red Dwarf universe (the TV version). It is fun taking my own concepts and seeing how they resolve given that a certain amount of pre-existing material has to be taken account of. Some things I’ve changed, my cast’s ship very quickly picks up a tachyon drive that gives it enough of an FLT capacity to make a “planet of the week” story arc possible, but not enough to just zip home, for example. I have possibly more of a hard science background than Rob or Doug, so my stories reflect my own knowledge, they’re not as “silly”. However my four main characters are still a human, a hologram, an evolved animal and an android, and they are on a JMC ship with an AI because I wanted to keep the “feel” of the original series (the mcguffin explains this too), and because I was using the Red Dwarf RPG to generate the initial set-up and characters.

    Trek or Who manage quite well with different authors, but Dwarf has more than a content or a continuity to handle, it has a certain style and it will be very difficult to get someone else to perfectly replicate that without it seeming fake or forced. It might be possible to accept that a book might be a certain author’s “take” on Red Dwarf, but I don’t know how acceptable that would be to the fanbase. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing it.

    #81181
    TheLeen
    Participant

    > My stuff is more space opera with funny bits and occasional pathos than sci-fi sitcom.

    I, personally, wouldn’t mind reading some random-ish, fictional uiniverse-exploiting novel…

    #81184
    Andrew
    Participant

    > After attempts with things like Star Wars, Buffy and Quantum Leap I?ve yet to find anything that does more than flatly exploit a fictional universe.

    Certain near-canon exceptions to this, I suppose – the Buffy 8 comics (and, arguably, the Origin, too), etc. And ‘badly written’ doesn’t really apply those away-from-the-saga stand-alone things written by Espenson et. al.

    So, okay, too far. But you know what I meant…

    #81202
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    I always wanted to write a story about what actually happened “on the Oregon with the rabbits” – new characters, new location, new dynamic, same universe. I even wrote an outline once, a long time ago. I wonder if I could fish it out?

    Also of note: A very, very early version of Jump Leads #2 was based on an idea I’d had for an episode of Red Dwarf some years ago. It was very different then, of course, and had a completely different resolution from the one that appeared in the comic. It was also set in a parallel Universe where Holly’s IQ had been restored without the detrimental impact on her lifespan, and was intended to be part of a daisy-chain of stories depicting the return to Earth. It was also set in a library, as I recall. The New Who team keep stealing the ideas I decide not to use…

    #81214
    Ridley
    Participant

    Well, I think the official site could benefit from short fiction or more webstrips as a means for providing new material rather than long story arcs. It’d be nice to have some insight on elements in the show, like an unseen Canaries mission or Lister being pregnant but I wouldn’t want an entire Oswald Blenkinsop novel. Even though I would buy it because it was Red Dwarf.

    There’s interesting continuity outside of Grant Naylor living on the website. Shame there isn’t, as far as I know, a Red Dwarf equivalent of Star Wars’ Holocron.

    Certain near-canon exceptions to this, I suppose

    Not sure what you mean with “near-canon” in that regard Mr. Ellard. You seem to be suggesting Buffy Season 8 doesn’t count because it isn’t a TV series. Not that I’ve read it, I just know it’s intended to follow on and Whedon has a hand in it.

    Does Naylor have an opinion on Prelude to Nanarchy? …that you can tell us.

    #81215
    performingmonkey
    Participant

    You can’t really have an opinion on around five lines of new material.

    #81216
    Andrew
    Participant

    > I wouldn?t want an entire Oswald Blenkinsop novel

    Fuck me – has THAT become canon?! (It’s Kill Crazy’s real name, for those who missed the Toaster piece. I had to Google to find out!)

    > You seem to be suggesting Buffy Season 8 doesn?t count because it isn?t a TV series.

    Not me – Joss Whedon, m’laddo. He’s specifically stated that while this IS the ‘eighth series’, more or less, should he get more TV shows or specials, he wouldn’t feel bound by the comic in the writing of that. Which is to say, it’s semi-official, near-canon. A new special wouldn’t be aligned to to it.

    > Does Naylor have an opinion on Prelude to Nanarchy? ?that you can tell us.

    I’ve never asked. Do people HERE have an opinion?

    #81219
    TheLeen
    Participant

    I have.

    I WANT MORE DWARF. I don’t care about the details as long as it’s funny and I don’t need my mobile phone to see, hear, read, feel, taste, or smell it.

    #81221
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Prelude raises questions for me, but as they were questions originally raised by Nanarchy itself (namely, didn’t Kryten have an auto-repair unit in Psirens?) I’m not put off by it. I’d count it, personally – and I was going to back when I was working on my Red Dwarf Reference Guide (which has more or less fizzled because nobody was interested – it was going to be a DrWhoGuide.com style episode guide).

    #81223
    Paul Muller
    Participant

    “I have.

    I WANT MORE DWARF. I don?t care about the details as long as it?s funny and I don?t need my mobile phone to see, hear, read, feel, taste, or smell it.”

    Right on, sis : )

    #81225
    ChrisM
    Participant

    Also, what happened with that Pan-dimensional liquid beast from the Mogadon cluster?

    And isn’t it worrying that I remember what an off-screen beasty in a throw away comment was called?

    #81228
    Andrew
    Participant

    > didn?t Kryten have an auto-repair unit in Psirens?

    A system, yes – but who says that system isn’t nanobotic?

    Still, Red Dwarf and continuity…

    Sure, it could be canon or not; and sure, it’s more Dwarf. But did you LIKE it?!

    #81230
    ChrisM
    Participant

    I liked it.

    #81233
    Baz
    Participant

    If Kryten has auto-repair, how come Lister had to repair him in “Terrorform”? And is mentioned repairing him in the scroll-up in “Backwards”? And…

    >Still, Red Dwarf and continuity…

    Ah. Yes. That.

    Prelude was ok, a nice little bonus, just didn’t particularly like the style of it. Still, better than I could do.

    Animated Dwarf… Well, anyone seen this Dr Who toon, “The Infinity Quest”? Made by Firestep (former Cosgrove Hall people apparently, now acquired by Impossible Pictures). Not seen it myself, only stills and the odd clip. Might be a good choice for a Dwarf animation, what do the more informed members of this esteemed forum think?

    #81236
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    >> didn?t Kryten have an auto-repair unit in Psirens?

    >A system, yes – but who says that system isn?t nanobotic?

    But the nanobots have already scampered before Psirens…

    #81237
    TheLeen
    Participant

    > If Kryten has auto-repair, how come Lister had to repair him in ?Terrorform?? And is mentioned repairing him in the scroll-up in ?Backwards?? And?

    Obviously it was his repair unit that was broken. Duh.

    #81241
    Dave
    Participant

    >Obviously it was his repair unit that was broken. Duh.

    “Damn, now the damage report machine’s exploded”

    #81244
    TheLeen
    Participant

    … exactly.

    #81249
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    The animation in The Infinity Quest wasn’t, let’s be honest, great. It was good, certainly, but not great. If you’ve seen the animated reconstructions of episodes 1 and 4 of Troughton story “The Invasion” then you already have an idea of what to expect.

    #81262
    Dave
    Participant

    My father’s only comment after watching a three minute chunk of Infinite Quest was:

    “He sounds just like himself”

    #81263
    John Hoare
    Participant

    The animation in The Infinity Quest wasn?t, let?s be honest, great. It was good, certainly, but not great. If you?ve seen the animated reconstructions of episodes 1 and 4 of Troughton story ?The Invasion? then you already have an idea of what to expect.

    I wasn’t keen on the animation for The Infinite Quest at all. And I have a great deal of respect for Cosgrove Hall and ex-Cosgrove Hall people, but I just think it looks cheap and nasty. The animation for The Doctor and Martha in particular is not good at all.

    The thing is, The Invasion animation works fine. It’s not the best animation in the world – although I think it’s generally a lot better than The Infinite Quest – but then it manages to do a specific thing: fill in the gaps in a story. And the fact it was released on DVD (although not originally commissioned for DVD release, oddly enough – it was originally meant for BBCi) gives you certain expectations as to the quality of the release. It works brilliantly in what it sets out to do.

    The Infinite Quest, on the other hand, comes with higher expectations – to be a quality piece of original animation. And held to those standards, I don’t think it succeeds. It looks cheap and tacky. Limited animation can work brilliantly, if done well and in the right style – but this doesn’t manage it at all.

    I really miss Totally Doctor Who this year, though. That was a great show – one of the best shows CBBC have made for ages. A real old-school kind of show, in a lot of ways – and the title sequence brilliantly evokes what it set out to do – be a live action Doctor Who annual.

    #81268
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    I wasn?t keen on the animation for The Infinite Quest at all. And I have a great deal of respect for Cosgrove Hall and ex-Cosgrove Hall people, but I just think it looks cheap and nasty. The animation for The Doctor and Martha in particular is not good at all.

    Agreed, I expected a lot more of Cosgrove Hall – heck, Scream of the Shalka looked better, even.

    (but I’ve got something of a soft spot for Shalka anyway – I remember being so excited by it as “new” Who back in ’03!)

    #81269
    Andrew
    Participant

    >>> didn?t Kryten have an auto-repair unit in Psirens?

    >>A system, yes – but who says that system isn?t nanobotic?

    >But the nanobots have already scampered before Psirens?

    Good point. So Kryten’s EXPECTING it to be there, but hasn’t activated it yet. Which makes the period after Psirens the time Kryten discovers the nanos are missing…

    #81276
    TheLeen
    Participant

    > The Infinity Quest – Totally Doctor Who – Cosgrove Hall – Scream of the Shalka

    I am watching Who now and I still have no clue what the fuck you people are talking about half the time!!!1

    #81279
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    The Infinite Quest is an animated special done around the time of the third series. It was originally in short segments broadcast on Totally Doctor Who. It’s not very good.

    Totally Doctor Who is a companion show aimed at kids, it ran through the second and third series. It would be on in the week leading up to the show, and featured guests, competitions, features, that kind of thing. Think Confidential (which you must have seen on the DVDs, right?) but for kids.

    Cosgrove Hall are a famous and distinguised British animation company. They did Danger Mouse and Count Duckula and lots of other classic things. They’ve also done the animation for a lot of Who projects, including the “recreation” of a Second Doctor story for a DVD, plus some online webcasts including Scream of the Shalka.

    Scream of the Shalka was an online animated webcast from late 2003. It was written by Paul Cornell, and starred Richard E. Grant as the Ninth Doctor. At the time, it was fully intended that Grant would be the “official” Doctor, as there looked like being no plans to bring back the series at any point. Only, shortly after it happened, the new series was announced by the BBC completely out of the blue (one hand not knowing what the other was doing – the online department were making Shalka without knowing what was afoot on the production side), so REG’s Doctor is now relegated to “unofficial” status. It was pretty good, though. It also featured Derek Jacobi as a certain baddie… but you don’t know who this baddie is yet, so I don’t want to spoil anything about him.

    And guys, since this isn’t the Who spoiler thread, we shouldn’t mention any stuff past what Marleen has seen, something I realised as I started to mention Jacobi. I know it sounds fairly overprotective, but I’ve really enjoyed this whole “get Marleen into Who” thing, so let’s not spoil it ;-)

    #81281
    Andrew
    Participant

    > ?get Marleen into Who?

    I read this my own way. It made me happy.

    But yes, I agree. It’s too much fun to spoil.

    #81282
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Back on-topic a moment… the odd thing about the Dwarf universe is that, to me, it feels fragile. I don’t quite know why that is, but some shows feel like they can stretch in all directions and do lots of different things, and be done by lots of different people. Dwarf doesn’t quite feel like that to me. True, it stretches so far (compare The End, Out of Time, and IWCD, which are quite different) – but I think the tone is all too easy to get wrong. (Which is back to old VII/VIII territory as much as anything else, I guess.)

    I’d be intrigued to see stuff written by other writers in the same universe, and maybe it could work – but I would need convincing. And I don’t quite know why the universe feels as fragile as it does.

    #81283
    Ridley
    Participant

    And I don?t quite know why the universe feels as fragile as it does.

    Because it’s also a sit-com?

    Fuck me – has THAT become canon?! (It?s Kill Crazy?s real name, for those who missed the Toaster piece. I had to Google to find out!)

    That would be the interesting continuity outside of Grant Naylor living on the website. ;)

    #81284
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Because it?s also a sit-com?

    That’s part of it, but I’m not sure it’s the whole story. Thinking about it some more, it just feels like there’s a lot of pitfalls to the show.

    It’s very easy to turn Lister into a curry-loving idiot, and nothing else. It’s very easy to get Cat to do nothing but bad clothes jokes. And it’s very easy to get the SF wrong. It needs a relatively serious SF plot that’s not a spoof… but at the same time, it needs to give the characters room to be funny, and do proper character work. It’s a tough balancing act, and incredibly difficult to write.

    #81300
    TheLeen
    Participant

    I think the Red Dwarf RPG didn’t break the RD universe, and it was written by fans, wasn’t it? I think?

    #81302
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Ah, now, I admit I’ve never read that!

    Here’s the Flibble interview with the creators. So: professional RPG people, but also Dwarf fans, by the look of it.

    #81307
    Dave
    Participant

    I bought that even though I had no intention of playing it and was very impressed.

    Except for the Rabbits, Mice, Rats & Iguanas. And the golf.

    #81308
    Baz
    Participant

    I found it very good as well, the mechanics are simple (and suit the setting) and the quality of the product is excellent. The inclusion of other animal species is understandable, they can’t have aliens, so they stretch a point and have these (they could have legitimately done canaries/sparrows and squirrels as well).

    Playing “alone in a godless universe” aka series 1 or 2 Red Dwarf is not really going to be that much fun for your average roleplayer, you need things to shoot.

    It’s suitably silly as well, mutated pizza monsters with the face of William Shatner for example (one random product of the monster generator they provide).

    #81351
    Dave
    Participant

    I suppose the ‘Expansion’ of the universe that began with the books went its farthest with the Smegazine comics. Ace Rimmer, Duane Dibbley, Jake Bullet, Flibble & Trixie LaBouche all getting their own strips took Dwarf surprising places, but were also all written by people other than Grant Naylor & Birch. It’s been a long time since I’ve read them but they seemed faithful at the time. I would love to see a graphic novel collecting them together.

    #81366
    Ridley
    Participant

    “Just the Comics”

    #97132
    Ridley
    Participant

    What if Series IX were a series of novels instead?

    More appealing now?

    #97133
    TheLeen
    Participant

    I WANT MORE DWARF. I don?t care about the details as long as it?s funny and I don?t need my mobile phone to see, hear, read, feel, taste, or smell it.

    Behold my wish powers.

    #97135
    Mnoooah
    Participant

    All Hail TheLeen. Can you wish us a movie?

    #97141
    TheLeen
    Participant

    I can wish for a movie edit of BtE to be contained in the DVD set.

    #97145
    Mnoooah
    Participant

    Fair Enough.

    #97146
    TheLeen
    Participant

    Okay then.

    #97981
    TheLeen
    Participant

    You’re welcome.

    :D

    #97984
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    But it hasn’t happened yet, has it? It has ‘will have going to have happened’ happened, but hasn’t actually ‘happened’ happened, yet, hactually…

    #97985
    Mnoooah
    Participant

    Yea, The Leen is powerful!

    #97998
    hummingbird
    Participant

    I nominate The Leen for … just about everything.

    #98001
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    One day I might finish that Red Dwarf story I was writing at the time I started this thread.

    heigh ho.

    #98204
    Ridley
    Participant

    Can’t you just adapt it for Jump Leads?

    #98209
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    I’m considering it.

    #98211
    Phil1034
    Participant

    The ‘Star Trek: New Frontier’ novels by Peter David are the best spin-off/tie-in fiction novels I’ve ever read. Of course part of the reason they’re any good is that they aren’t about any established TV characters, only bit players in the series proper (Shelby, Lefler) so maybe they don’t count.

    #98212
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Back when the Fan-Film contest was announced, I started writing a story about the rabbit incident aboard the Oregon. I was quite pleased with it, but then I ended up not filming it because I didn’t have the time, money, or resources.

    Bit of a bugger, that.

    It’s not a story I can easily transition over to Jump Leads, unfortunately, so I may find myself sitting on that script forever.

    Oh well. I’ve decided to adapt my other story (the one I mentioned earlier in this thread), which is what I’m doing right now.

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