Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Thoughts on Rob Grant

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  • #201164
    Millions
    Participant

    All this positivity surrounding Red Dwarf, especially in the last couple of weeks, got me thinking a little……….

    I really feel for Rob Grant. Watching the debacles of Series 7, 8 and 9 must have been, in a strange way at least, quite reassuring for him. He was the talent. He brought ‘the funny.’

    So Series 7, 8 and 9 must, for him, have been the equivalent of having a girl break up with you, and then having a sneaky look at her profile on Facebook a few months later, to find she’s put on a load of weight since the split and is miserable and unfulfilled. It must have felt pretty good.

    BUT…..

    Then what happened? The Strangerers series?!? It was a dog. A couple of novels – not bad, but not great either. Interestingly, the official line from Rob and Doug on the split was that Rob wanted to pursue other things. So if this is true, why is one of his novels an almost blatant rip-off of Red Dwarf – guys lost in space, etc……..?

    And now what is he doing? Stand up comedy in some run-down, shabby bars, I believe. Teaching writing classes? Really?!?!?

    I really feel for the guy. Surely he must, at some points at least, regret the way things have turned out? Surely he has had some ideas percolating in his head over the last 15 years which would benefit the show?

    So what I would like to see is this : Rob and Doug obviously don’t want to work together any more. But they don’t have to. Give Rob an episode from series 11 to write. Just one episode where what he says goes. He created this show we love so much. He deserves that much, surely?????

    What do you think?

    #201165
    locusceruleus
    Participant

    Rob’s never said anything (to my knowledge at least) to imply that he’d take schadenfreude in critical lambasting of new Dwarf, so I think it’s unfair to assume that’s the case. As Rob co-created the property, I’d imagine in an ideal world he’d like to see it do well without him while he pursues other avenues. Professionally or in the realm of TV, Rob’s other work hasn’t been as successful as RD, but does that necessarily mean he feels unfulfilled? As co-creator of a long-running and internationally successful show I imagine he’s financially sound for the foreseeable future and no longer has the stress of production to shoulder. Perhaps he likes doing standup for small crowds? Stranger things have happened, and I certainly doubt he HAS to be doing it.

    As to Rob writing a show in an upcoming series, while I’d be intrigued to see what he’d come up with, I expect Rob’s view of what RD should be has diverged at least partly from what Doug has developed the show into. I get the impression that story-arc wise, Doug has a long-term plan, so slotting in a Rob story would require imposing restrictions – perhaps unfair circumstances for a co-creator to work under?

    Put it this way, given the apparent warmth between Rob and Doug on the Bodysnatcher stuff, I’d be surprised if the door hasn’t been left open at least as far as ‘if you feel like writing one give me a call’. The only conclusion I can come to is that Rob doesn’t want to, doesn’t feel able to, or sees RD as Doug’s thing now. In any case, fair enough.

    #201166
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    I don’t think you should be sympathising with Rob for the simple reason that you’ve got no idea of the reason he left.

    #201170
    Ridley
    Participant

    See, I thought with RDX’s apparent goodness we’d have to start blaming Paul Alexander for stuff we didn’t like. ;)

    I don’t think you should be sympathising with Rob for the simple reason that you’ve got no idea of the reason he left.

    Wanting to do something is else is the reason given on Comedy Connections.

    #201175
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    And “It became impossible for us to work together” is the reason he gave in Cappsy’s interview that you linked to.

    It’s unlikely we’ll ever know the exact circumstances of his departures, so it seems a bit daft to speculate on how he’s been feeling about it at different points in the past 15 years.

    >And now what is he doing? Stand up comedy in some run-down, shabby bars, I believe. Teaching writing classes? Really?!?!?

    Feeling sympathy towards him because he doesn’t meet your estimations of what he should be doing with his career right now is fucking pathetic. Who do you think you are? The Inquisitor?

    #201183
    Carlito
    Participant

    I can’t imagine a scenario where Rob Grant would be denied the opportunity to return to Red Dwarf if he so desired. But then, I am not Grant/Naylor, and neither are you. It is not our place to judge them; I wonder why you do?

    #201184
    si
    Participant

    Some kind of collaboration for the 25th Anniversary would be great, but not too likely. Anyhoo, moving on…

    #201185
    Ridley
    Participant

    And “It became impossible for us to work together” is the reason he gave in Cappsy’s interview that you linked to.

    What d’you think I am – Marvo the Memory Man?

    #201186
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    Some kind of collaboration for the 25th Anniversary would be great, but not too likely. Anyhoo, moving on…

    The Bodysnatcher collaboration was really encouraging, but I think if he was ever going to return properly it would’ve been for Back to Earth, considering that was originally a 20th anniversary special.

    #201189
    bossk
    Participant

    I read a book ‘Incompetence’ and get your point about it being hardly anything fresh or different from our mighty Red Dwarf. I did understand he wanted to do his own thing – eventually when his ‘Backwards’ came out I remember going to a signing. Wasn’t that many there (in Glasgow) and I saw him leave shortly after – he wore one of those fedora hat things which frankly, anyone wearing something like that really worries me for some reason? Anyway it was a long time ago. I’ve been meaning to re-read both Rob’s ‘Backwards’ and Doug’s ‘Last Human’ as I can’t really remember half the differences and try figure out what elements or Red Dwarf that Rob particularly brought to the table? Was it the more Sc-Fi or science plot ideas? the metaphysical conundrums? etc. Although half those books re-used the stuff already in the TV episodes so I don’t know!? It’s all a shame really.

    When you’re hot, you’re hot!

    #201191
    bossk
    Participant

    Aww, yes my library has ‘Incompetence’ and I’ve just saved it. Look forward to reading it. They also have ‘Fat’. They also have ‘The illustrated VIII scripts’ err, I’ll give that one a miss.

    #201192
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    Fat is a very good book (probably his best). Also, I’d actually recommend the VIII Script Book, if only for Doug’s introductions.

    #201193
    JamesTC
    Participant

    I still haven’t gotten around to reading Fat or Colony. I got a hardback copy of Fat from Poundland a few months ago.

    #201194
    Ridley
    Participant

    Colony’s not so far removed from Red Dwarf.

    #201196
    Millions
    Participant

    So if the possible reasons for Rob leaving, mentioned by various people above , are :-

    1) He can’t write with Doug any more ;
    2) He wants to do other things.

    Letting him write an episode of his own solves both problems. One episode isn’t exactly going to take over his life and interfere with all his other commitments, is it?

    #201197
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    What if he doesn’t want to?

    #201198
    Ridley
    Participant

    Holding his family hostage will solve that problem. Simples!

    #201199
    pfm
    Participant

    The thread title ‘Thoughts on Rob Grant’ has just had me laughing for a good five minutes. :P

    #201200
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    I like Rob Grant.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

    #201203
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    >Letting him write an episode of his own solves both problems. One episode isn’t exactly going to take over his life and interfere with all his other commitments, is it?

    Why not go the whole hog and stand outside his house yelling through his letterbox until he decides to rejoin Grant Naylor productions? You might get further than a forum thread.

    Fact of the matter is that most Red Dwarf fans would love to see him come back. I’ve been less than thrilled with Doug’s solo output (jury still out on RDX but looking promising) but it really doesn’t look Rob wants to. So..um..that’s it. I don’t mind talking about the split and think it’s very interesting, but coming up with different ways that Rob could write for the series again which satisfy his requirements ***which we are not privy to due to his differing explanations on why he left*** is kinda pointless.

    A new novel, on the other hand…

    #201217
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Rob Grant hasn’t been involved in Red Dwarf for nineteen years. He’s never going to be involved in Red Dwarf again. Shut up about Rob Grant.

    #201219
    Millions
    Participant

    Nineteen years? So what? What’s your point? An irrelevant post, devoid of either significance or humour. Be gone with you.

    #201220
    si
    Participant

    An irrelevant post, devoid of either significance or humour. Be gone with you.

    Yes, be gone with you, creator-of-the-site-we-are-currently-posting-on.

    Though I agree that this thread is more than a little irrelevant 25 episodes and almost twenty years on from the split…

    #201221
    Phil
    Participant

    Hey guys, I’m just popping in to relay a message from Ian. He said he’s gone now, and won’t be bothering you anymore. Then he asked me for some rope and a stool, but I don’t think that’s related to the message.

    #201222
    JamesTC
    Participant

    Rob Grant is no longer interested in the writing work Red Dwarf used to provide.

    #201225
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Be gone with you.

    This is almost as good as when ToungeTied called for me to be banned.

    #201227
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    This is almost as good as when ToungeTied called for me to be banned.

    To be fair, he had a point.

    #201230
    bossk
    Participant

    I’m pretty sure he was wearing cowboy boots and those cowboy outfit style tie string things?

    I was wearing a cute little black number with peach trim and gold spangles BTW.

    #201253
    Millions
    Participant

    Haha, I didn’t know this was your site…… oops.

    At least you’re not so precious about it that you don’t mind folk disagreeing with you.

    #201272

    I disagree about that.

    #201273
    Pecospete666
    Participant

    Hey! leave the Gay Cow Boys out of this!

    #201274
    anniescribe
    Participant

    As a professional writer and an adult, I am aghast to think there could be people sitting around talking about how sad my life has become based on the career choices I have made. I don’t know Rob obviously, but I’d almost bet he’d have the same reaction. Every writing workplace I’ve left over the past 19 years has been for reasons I have not changed my mind about, and I wouldn’t go back to any of them – and some were good. But I still wouldn’t even for more money.

    Also, there’d be no RDX without Doug. He’s certainly got to take his lumps like any other artist, but he has kept things going for us to like, dislike, and talk about. I think we all appreciate that.

    #201275
    pfm
    Participant

    The fact that Rob’s name will always grace any Red Dwarf episode ever made (and rightly so) IMO makes it more difficult for people to forget about his involvement with the show. Any new fans, for instance, are bound to wonder who he is and why he’s not writing for the show anymore, so the same questions are always gonna crop up from time to time.

    Rob and Doug’s joint interview/commentaries on the Bodysnatcher set were enough for me to stop feeling in any way peeved about the split. While it was not necessarily the main aim of Rob’s involvement with that set, it was still brilliant to see two professionals, who, I’m sure, everyone here respect a great deal, let us know that they had obviously put the past to bed and that what is…is…end of!

    Slating Rob or Doug for anything they’ve done post-split, after all they have given us, is, frankly, tantamount to idiocy of the highest degree.

    #201276
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    I loved the Strangerers. Less so dark ages. But he got to make 2 more TV series that were different after Dwarf when Doug got to make 2 more Dwarf series. Until now that is.

    You could say he made the braver decision to branch out and break new ground. Pioneering original comedy on SKY TV a move before it’s time maybe. And a series of books. While I dont rate them, i have enjoyed reading through them once i think. Compare his CV to others ever writing TV comedy and you’ll see he rates up there, and made some level in novels which many dont.

    I doubt he’s been asked about writing the show ever again. Unless Doug either wanted to joint write something but stay in control of the over all series. Or if he took the idea of letting an episode be set in an alternative time line.

    #201277
    Carlito
    Participant

    I enjoyed the Strangerers (in a completely different way to Dwarf) and thought Colony was a good fun book that I’ve read a couple of times. I would love to see a movie adaptation of Colony but it doesn’t really seem all that practical and would surely require a preposterous budget.

    #201278
    Carlito
    Participant

    Dark Ages was fucking atrocious though.

    #201279
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    I love Incompetence. I’ve been slowly picking away at writing a screenplay adaptation of it for a while now. So far the only bit I’ve adapted are pages 62 to 70, after which I got rather hot and had to have a long lie down.

    #201280
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    #201283
    MANI506
    Participant

    I’m definitely going to re read Colony because of this thread.

    Is there a ‘created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor’ credit on every episode since Rob left? I don’t remember one being there for BTE. If not, why not?!

    I could just put the DVD on but thought I’d ask here.

    #201284
    Mr-Stabby
    Participant

    If you watch Rob’s recent Carpool with BobbyLlew, it’s clear that he doesn’t seem bitter about the show. He still openly talks about the good times he had making the show. It’s not like he’s Norman. When Robert occasionally mentions post-Grant Dwarf, he doesn’t suddenly puke up in disgust. Though he does say he hasn’t watched any of the newer ones, and makes the ‘It would be like watching your old girlfriend have sex’ type comparison :-D

    The thing is, we always assume that people will have the same reactions to events that we do. If it were me, i’d be bitter that Dwarf carried on successfully without me. But Rob might not honestly care or have a different opinion. Lets not forget they re-wrote Bodysnatcher together recently for the Bodysnatcher set, so both Doug and Rob seem ok to be writing with each other again. I imagine Doug at least thought about approaching Rob for Series X. From the little i’ve seen and heard of Rob, i would imagine he would have said no to Series X if asked.

    #201293
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Is there a ‘created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor’ credit on every episode since Rob left? I don’t remember one being there for BTE. If not, why not?!

    #201314
    Phil
    Participant

    They’re all making the same faces I made while watching it.

    #201315
    Millions
    Participant

    No one is interested in hearing about your ‘sex-face’ , Phil….. perfectly dignified as I’m sure it is.

    #201322
    Mr-Stabby
    Participant

    Is it perhaps deliberate that the Rob Grant credit in BtE appears on a shot of the Smeg-ups :D

    #201330
    MANI506
    Participant

    Thanks Seb! Sorry I was too lazy to just check the DVD.

    Doug has always said that the door’s open for Rob to return and I think it’s likely that he will because The Bodysnatcher Collection demonstrated that they’re still getting on fine, as far as I can tell Series X has re-established the classic III-VI status quo and I don’t need a third reason because the first two were so great.

    #201336
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    If Rob would’ve returned I think he would’ve done it by now.

    #201338
    MANI506
    Participant

    Just taking a moment to imagine series XI written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor…

    You’re right Ben, probably won’t happen!

    #201345
    pfm
    Participant

    If Robbie Williams can rejoin Take That…

    #201346
    JamesTC
    Participant

    I don’t think Take That would want Rob Grant.

    #201361
    Jimboid
    Participant

    Bodysnatcher wasn’t very good imho, so don’t think that a Rob / Doug reunion would necessarily be the boon it once seemed.

    Does anyone know if Doug solo wrote all of Series X? Are there any other guest / contributing writers?

    It’s a shame that the guest writers in 7 didn’t work. RD strikes me as the sort of show that could benefit from a larger writing team, providing that they all really truly get the show and the characters.

    #201368
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    As far as I’m aware every episode is written by Doug and script edited by Andrew.

    #201453
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    They could form a cross over group with his novel and call themselves Take Fat.

    #201481
    pfm
    Participant

    > Bodysnatcher wasn’t very good imho, so don’t think that a Rob / Doug reunion would necessarily be the boon it once seemed.

    I thought it was alright considering it was spruced up old script, performed by Chris with storyboards, and would have made for a better episode than Waiting For God or Balance Of Power if it had been done in 1988.

    #201485
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Bodysnatcher would’ve been great if it’d been a Series I story we got in the show’s first year, but releasing it in 2008 means it gets compared to the rest of the show’s run… which means it has to hold up against Back to Reality, Gunmen of the Apocalypse, et al. That the script was cannibalized for other Series I episodes doesn’t exactly do it any favours, either.

    Personally, I think it had the potential to be one of the better stories of Series I. It’s a pity we never got to see it produced.

    #201491
    John Hoare
    Participant

    I love Bodysnatcher with every fibre of my being. Need to do a proper review of it, actually – the site doesn’t really have one. (Mind you, it doesn’t have a Back To Earth review either!)

    I did do this podcast on it, though. Nothing here that people don’t already know in there – but I wanted to try and get it out there to a wider audience.

    #201494
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    What did we think of “Identity Within”, or whatever the unproduced Series VII story was called? I remember liking it if only because it was a Cat story, and we’ve had precious few of those, but I think I only watched it the once.

    #201496
    John Hoare
    Participant

    It’s odd. Rating both Bodysnatcher and Identity Within in terms of the actual quality of the shows is peverse, really – a bit like rating deleted scenes on how good they are. It’s not really the point – the point is how interesting they are, as a glimpse into Dwarf that could have been. In that respect, they both succeed superbly.

    Oddly, though, Bodysnatcher does go beyond that for me – into a fantastic episode of Red Dwarf. I didn’t actually expect that. Identity Within… doesn’t, shall we say. But that’s the luck of what comes out of the dusty drawer.

    #201543
    Jimboid
    Participant

    Identity Within is fucking awful in my opinion.

    You’re right, Ben…it is difficult and probably unfair to judge Bodysnatcher against the rest of the series…but just going from the script – it pales in comparison next to the rest of Series 1. Just my tuppence worth. Differing opinions made de world go round.

    Looking back, it’s a fascinating little insight into a lost corner of Dwarf. Naming the whole boxset after it was a little on the eccentric side, though.

    #201643
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    But that’s the luck of what comes out of the dusty drawer.

    You have very, dusty, drawers…

    #201692
    Tarka Dal
    Participant

    Wait a minute I thought Rob left because he sha…

    #201715
    pfm
    Participant

    *passes Jimboid a spliff*

    #201718
    locusceruleus
    Participant

    Naming the whole boxset after it was a little on the eccentric side, though.

    I like to think that’s so fans can gladly display it on their DVD shelves with the spine facing outward. Had it just been titled ‘Red Dwarf Remastered – The DVD Boxset’…

    #201719
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Well, that. Exactly that.

    #201720
    John Hoare
    Participant

    I believe the reason given at the time was that it also referred to the “grave-robbing the archives” nature of the boxset. You may or may not buy that.

    To be honest, I love Bodysnatcher so much I’m pleased it got pride of place. I remember thinking that it would probably be an interesting curio, but I was looking forward to the other stuff on the disc more – the documentaries especially. I was astounded at how much I loved it.

    #201760
    MANI506
    Participant

    Identity Within is something I rewatched again recently and it does get better with each watch I find. Nothing hilarious happens but it’s a fascinating curio and a pretty decent story as well.

    Bodysnatcher is such a lovely thing to have considering all we’d heard about it for years was one or two throwaway comments in old Rob and Doug interviews. The real joy of the Bodysnatcher Collection though is having Rob and Doug back together again for hopefully not the last time.

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