Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum What if Rob and Doug never split up?

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  • #216320
    Jawscvmcdia
    Blocked

    What if, say in a parallel universe somewhere, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor continued to work together after 1995. What would Red Dwarf after Series VI been like with Rob’s input? What other projects could Grant Naylor have done, had they not split up?

    Also, does anyone know the true reason as to why the writing partnership ended? In an episode of Robert Llewellyn’s Carpool, dated 4 October 2010, Rob Grant states that it was ‘musical differences’ that ended the partnership, but earlier on he had suggested that it was because he wanted to work on projects other than Red Dwarf.

    So many questions…

    #216321
    Jawscvmcdia
    Blocked

    Also, because Rob Grant also technically holds the copyright to Red Dwarf, could he produce his own Red Dwarf television series (in much the same way Doug has)?

    #216325

    Doug has never suggested over the years that it was acrimonious but I recall an interview (maybe in the documentaries?) that Rob wanted to end the writing partnership even before Red Dwarf first aired, then around Series IV & V and finally, he walked around 1996 after tidying up any business around post-Series VI video releases such as Smeg Ups and the books. His heart wasn’t in collaborating over the final two novels, suggested they write alternate chapters but that quickly fell apart and that’s why they became solo endeavours.

    I get the impression that Rob felt Red Dwarf had served its purpose and that it would quietly end, especially during the ’93 to ’97 break but just like post-Waters Pink Floyd, the band got back together without him and why not. In his Carpool episode, Rob admits he had to get pished to watch Series VII and it seemed obvious the show and the idea still meant a lot to him but it was too far down the road at that point to conceivably go back to it. Bodysnatcher was a lovely way to celebrate the Rob & Doug years.

    #216327
    Dax101
    Participant

    Personally it think it was the success of the show that split them up, i think the show had become so big at that point with winning awards and going to america that the writers were really on a high around that time so egos started to kick in abit.

    Even doug was going through movie fever at that time, series 7 and 8 felt like testers for the potential movie project.

    As for what would have happened if they never split… it is probably not worth thinking about.

    #216330
    (deleted)
    Participant

    Doug would never have carried on if it wasn’t for Charles Armitage pushing him relentlessly. He also never wanted to write on his own, and asked Rob back for VII, VIII and presumably BTE and X if not last year’s block as well. Rob’s been keeping a low profile of late, I expect for the sake of an easy life. It’s nobody’s ego trip.

    Every time either one of them talks about it they seem like they’re one step away from tears. They both regret it and both acknowledge it as unavoidable. I’m just glad they’re on good terms personally. If they were like Idle & Innes are now it would be too much to cope with.

    For what it’s worth my impression is that Rob came very close to returning to Red Dwarf about ten years ago but second-guessed himself and decided not to.

    And if they hadn’t split up? I am adamant that it would have ended after VI, cliffhanger or not. The endgame was V and the US show – VI was just an extended licking of wounds (with an unhappy and fraught production in spots) and that would have been it. Now it would be a discounted DVD box set with reasonable sales behind it, a few out of print paperbacks and a intermittent Facebook group.

    What they should do is a Son of Cliche reunion special like Absolutely and Radio Active did. Reset the equilibrium of the universe through the healing power of Nick Wilton.

    #216335
    Taiwan Tony
    Participant

    Here lies Rob Grant.
    Red Dwarf.

    #216336
    (deleted)
    Participant

    When the split happened their active projects were The 10%ers, The Last Human, and The Oo-Ee-Oo Dimension. In the settlement Doug got the former, Rob got the latter, and they both got the book option (and as I strongly suspect a certain amount each of the existing work). As conceived (and as realised in Doug’s version) Last Human is clearly supposed to be a full stop at the end of Dwarf and I honestly think that would have been it.

    And, y’know, we always say it but they’re not “solo books” really, are they. There are books with Terry Pratchett or George RR Martin’s names on where they wrote less than Rob did of Last Human or Doug did of Backwards.

    #216341
    A Bailey
    Participant

    If (and that’s a big if) the show was still going I think it would be darker, but otherwise it’s hard to speculate.

    Wish we could get a final series with them both writing though, they were a great partnership.

    #216354
    Taiwan Tony
    Participant

    They both have another book option each, don’t they.

    #216355
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Even doug was going through movie fever at that time, series 7 and 8 felt like testers for the potential movie project.

    Assuming the intro to the Red Dwarf VIII script book isn’t entirely fictitious, Doug got Ed Bye back on board by telling him it was an opportunity to set for a potential movie shoot.

    #216356
    Dax101
    Participant

    Rob has mentioned the idea of writing a new red dwarf novel a couple of times but that was last mentioned quite a few years ago now.

    Sadly while i could be wrong i doubt Doug has asked rob to come back at all, even though the bodysnatchers collection has shown they still get along pretty well it really comes down to whether doug prefers to write alone now.

    #216357
    (deleted)
    Participant

    In the VIII book he specifically says he asked him to come back for both VII and VIII, and given that Rob returned to GNP for a few little gigs in 2007 I find it unlikely that Doug didn’t broach it for BtE. Likewise the Son Of Cliche reunion piss-up was around the time that X was brewing. They’re still business partners and they’re still friends, the open option to return will still be there.

    At no point have I ever got the impression that Doug wouldn’t welcome Rob back, nor that Rob is 100% closed to the idea. He must be getting itchy feet to return to comedy though – he moonlights creatively for Absolutely Productions now that Jack Docherty’s gone and does a lot of workshop stuff. A few more books would be nice, he was getting into a groove and Fat was one of the best things he’s ever put his name to.

    #216370
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Here’s my prediction, Robert Llewellyn will finally, very politely, tell Doug “Fuck this for a load of old bollocks” when he’s 65 and Doug is writing an episode where Kryten’s head is affected by an incredibly localised spacial anomaly and is inflated to 3 times it’s normal size, and Doug wants to do it practically by making Bobby wear a 6 kilo latex monstrosity for 5 hours.

    Doug will then promise to make the next one the last one, and he’ll reach out to Rob.

    Rob and Doug will sit in the pub like the old days and throw ideas around and finally agree – they will write a final series of Red Dwarf together – 3 hour long episodes and tie it up nicely for the current format.

    Over the next three weeks, Rob and Doug will get through 50 litres of vodka and 80 kilos of crisps, as they pen the final three epic episodes of Red Dwarf.

    2020 – Red Dwarf XV – written and created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor

    A three hour arc where Kryten’s Head is affected by an incredibly localised space time expansion and is not only six times the size, but due to the chronological anomaly, it’s Kryten’s from the past, so he’ll have to have to film every scene 10 times in various giant Kryten masks from the last thirty-odd years of Dwarf.

    It’s going to happen, mark my words.

    #216371
    Moonlight
    Participant

    Judging from how Series VI was relying increasingly on weak running gags like the Space Corps Directives and Cat’s “Deader thans”, I bet you in the alternate universe where they didn’t split up, Series VIII is also regarded as very comedically lacking.

    But I don’t think the storytelling would have ever taken such a massive nosedive as it did between VII and VIII. We’d have none of that “HEY, WE NEED A CURE FOR THIS VIRUS SO LET’S GO WALK INTO THE FUCKING MIRROR, BECAUSE EVERYTHING IN THE MIRROR IS OPPOSITE IN AN INCONSISTENT AND NONSENSICAL WAY, USING A PORTAL DEVICE THAT JUST SUDDENLY EXISTS WITH NO REASONABLE EXPLANATION AND THEN RIMMER KICKS THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION OF DEATH IN THE BALLS.”

    And that was still better than whatever the fuck Back in the Red Part 3 and Pete Part 2 were supposed to be.

    #216375
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    While I’m less than enamoured with Post-Rob Dwarf, there were ominous signs as early as the late eighties. Doug discussed on the DVDs (Bodysnatcher) about how Rob wasn’t overly keen on brushing up the Series 1 scripts during the strike, and was considering moving on to other projects.

    #216376

    Yeah, that’s why although I love Series VI, I find it difficult to decipher where they wanted to try out running gags and where the writing perhaps wasn’t being attended to 100%.

    You can see they were starting to do a few drafts but not obsessively re-write up to and into the recording or endlessly banter over the theme, dynamics and overall structure of the plot.

    Then again, Out of Time was written on the hoof and turned out to be one of the best episodes out so I don’t know what to believe.

    A Rob & Doug Series VII might’ve, MIGHT’VE had a right clunker or two but it would’ve been the case as with Parallel Universe, plenty of woofers but the overall story idea is a tad thin and bolted on.

    #216385
    Dax101
    Participant

    2 minds are better than one so a Series 7 with Rob and Doug could only have been better than what we got.

    Sometimes i can never shake off the feeling that Red Dwarf after Rob left is very much like Diet Red Dwarf, it doesn’t quite have the same kick as Rob and Doug Co-written Dwarf

    #216393
    NoFro
    Participant

    But it is healthier.

    I think it’s always better for there to be a second writer. Unless that writer is Paul Alexander.

    I don’t know much about TV production but would having a new production company potentially help with the scripts? Would producers at Baby Cow, well versed in producing comedy as they should be, review scripts and give notes on character/pacing/clarity etc.?

    #216403
    cwickham
    Participant

    ISTR reading in a recent interview with Doug that Richard Naylor has some creative input, and obviously Andrew Ellard does too.

    #216411

    I hope Andrew Ellard-ly contributed a single word.

    #216415
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    I think that Red Dwarf having two friends from an early age writers helped in the conversational humour. Lister and Rimmer’s conversations sounded more like conversations rather than jokes which were fettled to fit in a conversation-esque structure, I reckon having 2 people and bouncing lines off each other organically, as the characters helped with this.

    Of course, I wasn’t there and am probably talking rubbish.

    #216429

    I think you could be right, certainly a lot of what could be considered classic-style scenes in VIII – XI (bunk room / ensemble discussion) have felt a bit like standup routines out together than natural conversation.

    #216606
    DennisDonutBoy
    Participant

    http://www.yourmovemagazine.com/red-dwarf-xi-co-creator-discusses-new-series-time-liverpool/20432

    “You’ve spoken at length about the breakdown of your partnership with Rob. If he had a dramatic change of heart and wanted to return to ‘Red Dwarf’ would you be up for working with him again?”

    Doug: “That’s not for me to say because he was very much the one who wanted to go off and do other things, and he did – he did ‘The Strangerers’ and ‘Dark Ages’ as well as his novels. He wanted to work on his own and has certainly never called me and said he wants to write more – I don’t think he would want to, but never say never.”

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