The real reasons behind Rob and Doug's breakup

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    The reasons behind Rob and Doug’s breakup have long been debated within the Red Dwarf community. The fact that it has never been truly explained has led to great speculation in a wide variety of forms. I would, however, like to summarise what we know so far.

    Doug Naylor stated in the Red Dwarf Series 7 documentary: “If anybody knows the reason, give me a ring”, suggesting that he himself was never fully informed as to the reasons behind the breakup. Additionally, he went onto add that during the production of a GNP series “The 10 Percenters”, which was broadcast between April 1994 to September 1996, Rob Grant was asked to rewrite some scripts that he had produced by ITV, but refused and left. Doug Naylor was then tasked with the responsibility of re-writing these scripts, which he later described as an “interesting time”.

    At the British Comedy Awards ceremony in December 1994, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor appear together (although they don’t speak to each other), with Craig Charles in between them. Rob states “I don’t know what we’re doing right this year, but we hope to do it again next year”, suggesting that at this time, the breakup was still yet to be permanent. At the end of his speech however, he quickly walks off the set while Doug Naylor is at the back, being cradled by Danny John-Jules. By September 1996 however, the breakup seemed to be permanent with the incorporation of Rob Grant’s company, the aptly titled “Taken for Granted Productions” (a subtle swipe?).

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    In Robert Llewellyn’s “Carpool” dated 4 October 2010, Rob bluntly states: “It was basically musical differences between me and Doug. That was it”. Robert (Llewellyn) then asks “lots of people ask if you still get on with Doug now, which you do” and Rob replies “er- yeah, we see each other from time to time”. I find it hard to believe however that a writing partnership that had worked well for almost 20 years (prior to 1995) would just split over “musical differences”.

    Rob told the BBC in 2004 (as part of Comedy Connections) referring to Red Dwarf “I just felt, I’d had enough of that and wanted to do something else”, yet there was nothing stopping Doug and Rob working on new material, so why would that be a reason to break up a good writing partnership? Paul Jackson later adds that he didn’t know the reason why the partnership failed and he didn’t know anybody else that did. Whatever it was must have been a closely guarded secret.

    Therefore, with Doug’s keen interest in continuing Red Dwarf, one might suggest that it was Rob who decided that either he could no longer work with Doug for unknown reasons. People have suggested that Rob had some kind of mental breakdown that prevented him from working with Doug, but surely if that were the case then they would have ‘taken a break’ and then got back together later on? Even if that had been the case, I am quite sure that Doug would have supported Rob back to work, so it can’t be something along those lines. Again, in the Series 7 commentary, Robert Llewellyn stated: “I’d be in their offices and Rob would walk in with lawyers. I’d attempt to lipread what they were saying. (He jokes) I want all the money. You can’t have it.” So perhaps it was something financially related? This would corroborate with Rob setting up his own company around this time.

    Clearly by 2007 however, whatever had happened between them was history as Rob Grant had returned to work on the Bodysnatcher DVD. Recording DVD commentaries with Doug, taking part in the documentary and even working with him on tightening up a long lost script, many would have thought that the two writers had finally put aside their differences. So why did Rob not return for Back to Earth, Series X and Series XI/II? We have reason to believe that Doug has asked Rob if he would like to return for each series, so why hasn’t he?

    Whatever the reason is, we will probably never know. But we can speculate, and I hope that one day the two greatest comedy writers of all time will get back together and make magic happen, once again.



    People have suggested that Rob had some kind of mental breakdown that prevented him from working with Doug

    [citation needed]



    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    Oh, shut the fuck up, Jawscvmcdia, you tedious twat.


    International Debris

    How do you pronounce Jawscvmcdia, anyway?



    Read in the nude and etc.


    Phobos And Deimos

    Is Doug Naylor Jawscvmcdia?

    Ganymedenders will return… right now.

    No, he’s not.



    How do you pronounce Jawscvmcdia, anyway?



    Ben Paddon

    Doot-doo, da-doo-doo.



    One of them came in the room to find the other wanking over the long lost footage of ‘naked Kryten’, then promptly walked back out, never to return.



    The Beatles split up. The Smiths split up. Charles and Diana got divorced. This is life. These things happen. It has approx. eff all to do with us; and who even gives two shovels of sugar about it anymore??


    Seb Patrick

    Why do people never get this obsessed about Linehan and Mathews deciding to work individually?

    Why do people feel like they’re owed an explanation? Where does that entitlement come from? Doesn’t the creator’s obligation to the fans begin and end with their work?

    Why do people not accept the multiple explanations they’ve been given as being lots of contributory factors to a nuanced whole, instead dismissing them as falsehoods because they sometimes differ?

    Why do you keep creating such antagonistic threads? I mean, I literally knew this was you as soon as I saw the title in the sidebar.


    Adam Bailey

    It’s clearly not something they want to publicly air, so discussing it is pointless and not really any of our business.



    It’s because it’s such an unique and isolated thing to ever have happened in comedy though.

    Well except Linehan and Mathews.

    And Marshall and Renwick.

    And Idle and Innes.

    And Cleese and Chapman.

    And Cook and Moore.

    And Lee and Herring.

    And Smith and Jones.

    And Adam and Joe.


    Phobos And Deimos

    My friend’s initials are JMC.


    International Debris

    I think the ongoing nature of Red Dwarf is possibly why people are more inclined to speculate. If they’d finished the show at Out of Time and then gone on and done separate things it might not get so much attention, but the return of the show without Rob means the split seems more obvious. Particularly given the quality drop after Rob left.
    Also, Red Dwarf has a certain kind of nerdy fanbase which obsesses about these things in a way that the works of those other writers don’t quite have.

    I’d love to have a straight forward explanation that suddenly makes it all click into place, but that’s not going to happen. These things are complex, and based on subjective responses to creativity and interpersonal relationships, they can’t be summed up in a simple sentence. I’m sure there were probably key moments which added to the split, but they’re almost certainly personal things that don’t need to be aired in public.



    jawscvmedia opened the forum to start a new thread, only to discover a tactfully deployed subpeona. he had finally been served.


    Phobos And Deimos

    The Naylor Parable.



    upon recieving the subpeona, jawscvmedia was brought to the grand court of naylor, in which it was revealed to jawscvmedia that rob grant actually never left red dwarf, but instead was simply left on starbug during the conclusion of out of time, unfortunately resultant in him being blown into a thousand really small bits by richard griffiths rimmer.


    Seb Patrick



    Is Rob Grant the vampire?


    Ben Paddon

    Can we pull the dirt over the top of this one?


    Plastic Percy

    Rob was bored of Red Dwarf and Doug wasn’t. I think that’s about it, really.



    Yeah, but do you have SCREENCAPS AND SQUARES to back it up?



    They had a row while watching Strike It Lucky – after the first half with the contestants, Rob wanted to get on with writing but Doug wanted to watch part 2 with the game. “You’ve seen the good bit now, come on, you’ll be wanting to watch Soldier Soldier and World In Action then and we’ll get nothing done,” he was reported to have said. They haven’t spoken since – the Bodysnatcher project was achieved using puppetry, archive demo tapes and TV funnyman Kevin McNally.



    Rob probably wasn’t bored of red dwarf since he did write backwards soon after and that was a pretty long novel, maybe the longest of the 4, but I have always imagined the writers egos were quite high after the shows continued success by 1994.


    Pete Part Three

    Rob never actually left, he’s simply been an uncredited writer since 1997. The reason for this is to fuel 20 years of pointless conjecture and conspiracy theories.

    Well, it’s a laugh, isn’t it?



    Rob probably wasn’t bored of red dwarf since he did write backwards soon after and that was a pretty long novel

    Yeah, but solo-writing a novel at your own leisure is not at all the same experience as co-producing a TV series under massive budgetary and time restrictions. It’s like cooking yourself dinner as opposed to operating a busy restaurant.



    Thats not getting bored of Red Dwarf though per say.

    We know Rob and Doug were writing the 3rd novel when they split as doug has said in interviews that rob wanted to write by himself so they tried to do it in a way where they could each write a part of the book solo but that didn’t work out very well and i assume things just went down hill from there.


    Phobos And Deimos

    Maybe we should just ask him.



    Three series of the dark blue tunic is more than enough. I say they play color/costume combo again and give Rimmer a dark green quilted jacket for Series XIII.

    Come on, we all know that’s a more interesting subject matter than the well-trodden Rob/Doug split.


    International Debris

    We’ve had grey, green, red, blue and yellow, I reckon orange or pinky purple for XII.



    Blue is the hard light costume colour, well unless you are howard Rimmer in which case you can where whatever you like because hard light was clearly invented not long after lister went into stasis. (i guess)



    If blue is the hard light costume colour, then that means that the soft light costume colour is ‘green or red or the clothes you died in or a cycling outfit or someone else’s admiral uniform or a grey T-shirt with a slogan on or a military general’s outfit or the uniform of a ship you wish to join’. That’s quite some system.


    International Debris

    Hard light Future Rimmer is yellow in Out of Time.



    Or we could have purple like when he went softlight in Entangled.

    Don’t make me crack out the screencaps and the eyedropper to show you; it’s purple and nowhere close to the normal red some clearly colorblind people have insisted to me that it is.



    I thought it was not quite as bad as the red but worse than the blue. Sort of a mauve.



    Well if we do get a XIII and XIV filmed back to back, I hope a change in Rimmer’s costume happens, either in style or in colour, or even both.



    I’d love to see an entirely new costume this time. If it still goes with solid colors, III/IV green or V/VI red would suit it fine. Hell, the alternate blue Red Dwarf uniform from Ouroborus would be pretty awesome but I know that’d never happen. Again, return of the quilted jacket but in dark green would be cool, but they established in preproduction of BtE it made him look too “big” now.

    Red Dwarf visually changes so much it just feels wrong to me for Rimmer’s costume to stay the same for 18 episodes straight.



    Blue is Rimmers hard light colour, it helps tell apart when he can touch things and when he can’t.



    Although given that there are few restrictions on when he can use hard light, it doesn’t really seem that necessary to stick to just one hard-light colour.

    Besides, wasn’t yellow future-Rimmer in Out Of Time hard light too?



    Can’t be arsed to read this whole discussion, but has anyone mention the fact that Ace was a hard light hologram in Stoke Me A Clipper, and wasn’t dressed in a Space Corp uniform at all, be it blue, red, green, yellow, purple, lilac, puce, tangerine, or anything.


    International Debris

    Just to mention, for the third time, that Out of Time future-Rimmer was yellow and hard-light.

    Let’s be honest, the important question is: what did Rimmer do with the car stickers when they arrived on Thursday?



    It may just be that they’ve agreed upon this as it may sometimes be more comfortable to go about in softlight sometimes.

    Let’s be honest, the important question is: what did Rimmer do with the car stickers when they arrived on Thursday?

    I’ll bet there’s some on the back of the car sofa.



    Come to think of it, why are hardlight holograms clothed at all? They could just wear real clothes.


    International Debris

    Where does food go when a hard light hologram eats? Do they have a working digestive system too?



    If they’re a proper simulation with exact edges everywhere they belong, then it’d get ground up and come out the other end a pile of moist dust, I suppose.



    How about if a real person eats hard-light hologrammatic food?

    It would presumably be virtually indestructible, so it would have to be something small, like peas.


    Jason aka Smeg4Brains

    When Rimmer removes his light bee in Legion shouldn’t some half-digested mimosian food drop to the floor?



    Is Ace Rimmer’s wig part of his hologram? It doesn’t really explain how it can be passed on from one Ace to the next.

    Is it a real wig that’s just being worn by a hard-light hologram? Or is it a hologrammatic wig with its own individual light bee?



    If the Smegazine was still going, that wig would have had its own strip spanning a dozen issues.



    > a hologrammatic wig with its own individual light bee

    Sort of a toupbee, you mean? Oh come on, it’s nearly Christmas!



    Perhaps his the extra energy required to run in hardlight mode is acquired through the light bee taking in the mushy powder his digestive system would produce, the bee’s placement is sensible enough to catch it in the later stages of its journey.



    Sort of a toupbee, you mean? Oh come on, it’s nearly Christmas!

    Most bees make honey, but this one makes a syrup!



    I always wondered: when Rimmer switches off his own light bee in Legion…where does it go? Likewise in Gunmen. He gets shot in the mid-section, then he comes to in the cockpit. Where’s his light bee?



    Does it not just fall on the floor both times?


    International Debris

    I never really got the whole ‘turning himself off’ bit in Legion anyway. Does it mean he can just put his hand through his own hardlight skin?
    You certainly don’t see the light bee fall to the floor (or just… exist) in that scene.






    But why did you bump three separate threads at once though?


    Stephen Abootman

    Why ‘bump?’ Has some new information come out? Did Rob leave after Doug combined 3 seperate jokes into 1 and subsequently refused to explain why?


    Pete Part Three


    Oh, do piss off.



    What a cunny wee fella.


    Ben Saunders

    1) Rob Grant wanted to leave
    2) Rob Grant left



    1) Opinion
    2) Opinion
    3) Opinion




    1) Opinion
    2) Opinion
    3) Opinion



    International Debris

    Looks like it’s time for a new joke, everyone.


    Ben Saunders

    We should try combining three old jokes into one to create a whole new superjoke.


    Paul Muller

    When is Chloe Annett’s foaming cloche going to update the Blue Midget page?



    EPILOGUE: The second joke after the “combining three separate opinions into one” one, which was much less intelligent than the first, stowed away in the “I’ve finally figured out why…” thread – where it died of old age many years later.



    HARRIOTT: We like a butter cloche, don’t we?



    Can’t cloche won’t cloche.


    Rival Schools

    Didn’t Rob have a breakdown of sorts after Series VI?


    Taiwan Tony

    He wrote Dark Ages. So yes.


    Rival Schools

    I might have to watch that one, it looks quite good, IN THEORY.


    Ben Saunders

    The Strangerers was shite but I think he did Dark Ages after that so maybe it’s better, I didn’t care enough to find out


    International Debris

    It’s worse.


    Paul Muller

    I remember thinking it was quite funny at the time. But then again, I was twelve…


    Ben Saunders

    I’ve always wondered how people would react if Rob Grant returned to Red Dwarf, and it was shite. That would throw a real spanner in the works.


    Rival Schools

    You mean, more shite.



    Oh, hey, welcome back.


    Rival Schools

    I’m here to avenge the BBC.

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