G&TV Special: Holly on Tomorrow's World featured image

The latest edition of our now officially sporadic archive telly feature is something truly special for once: a rare in-character appearance by one of the boys from the Dwarf on a different programme, unseen for over twenty years.

On Wednesday 3rd March 1999 (the day before the seminal Back In The Red (Part Three) first aired), Norman Lovett popped up as Holly on Tomorrow's World, the BBC's flagship technology programme that ran from 1965 to 2003, to discuss AI with host Philippa Forrester. He was there to launch their Turing Test experiment, to see if chatbots could convincingly pass as human. He returned two weeks later for the show's annual Megalab live event, briefly cameoing in character before appearing as himself to take part in the test, alongside Sir Terry Pratchett and Jaye Griffiths from off of Bugs.

Never repeated, and not included on the Series VIII DVD for whatever reason, this has been one of the rarest and most elusive pieces of Red Dwarf ephemera - it was even mentioned in a forum thread about unattainable Dwarf-related media as recently as two weeks ago. But now, just over 22 years later, here are the relevant moments from both episodes.

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DwarfCast 131 - Timewave Commentary featured image
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Over Ganymede & Titan's long and illustrious life we have seen many milestones. 3 years long service. 6 years long service. 9 years long service. 12 years long service. 15 years long service... 18 years long service. But today we mark the day we officially commentate on the last truly shit episode of Red Dwarf (so far). Its loomed large over us for months as we approached but three heroes have arrived and slew the great beast, probably with some amusingly juxtapositioned song playing in the background.

So now, we present to you the defeated corpse... of Timewave.

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DwarfCast 130 - Book Club #9: Last Human (Part Two) featured image
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[Insert Holly line relevant to a delayed thing eventually happening here]

Yes, it's finally here! Danny, Ian and Cappsy once again put on their best dust jackets, turn on their pink study lamps and somehow defy the laws of gravity to bring you another DwarfCast Book Club! This time around we're putting the chapter Time Fork to bed (but not before marrying it first) as the crew unwittingly murder hundreds in order to free a dangerous psychopath, and Anton Chekhov becomes the sixth Dwarfer.

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DwarfCast 129 - Purple Alert: Gloop, Hop and Legality featured image
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Well, I suppose we better talk about what's been going on shouldn't we? As you no doubt know, the world of Red Dwarf has been a busy old place this February with both good and bad news, so we've gathered an emergency council to discuss the recent GNP turmoil, the Fan Club's inaugural (and triumphant) Holly Hop event and Rob Grant's new script, Into the Gloop.

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Today’s TOS update is an exciting one, featuring as it does both a rare interview with Rob Grant, plus a PDF copy of his Into The Gloop script, giving non-Holly Hop attendees an opportunity to experience the co-creator’s first Dwarfy material since the mid-90s. Now that it’s out there officially, we’ll get to work on a proper review, but in the meantime it’s well worth reading the accompanying interview, as Rob discusses working with Paul Jackson and Ed Bye, tailoring the script for the cast of fans, and – most intriguingly – his desire to do more.

Indeed, it’s one question in particular that’s raised our eyebrows, regarding future Dwarf projects. Rob essentially gives an answer similar to his statement at Holly Hop, but with one additional detail:

There are lots of ideas on the table – a stage show, a movie, a new series, spin-offs. Last week we were told of an approach to do an American version again. We’d love to do any and all of them. We want RD flying out of our buttskis. We want to take the diminutive scarlet one on another trip to the stars. Watch this space.

Lol. Of course, just because there’s been an approach, it doesn’t mean it’ll happen. I’m sure lots of people start conversations about working on Dwarf-related stuff all the time, but we never hear about them. There’s no reason to believe that this has more chance of coming to fruition than if I was to “approach” GNP with an idea to make a Red Dwarf breakfast cereal. But just imagine if this is the ultimate outcome of everything that’s been said over the last few weeks. A new Red Dwarf USA for the 2020s.

Excuse me while I have a humiliating panic attack under the scanner table.

DwarfCast 127 - Book Club #8: Last Human (Part One) featured image
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In accordance with the Seventh Law of Schurfjhsdkjhsvmsdjksbvbmmmmm and of course staying within the restrictions laid out by the Turlslkdfcnekelhhffkghffgfkkfkkkkfkfkkfkfkkff Code, the DwarfCast Book Club returns as we decapitate Doug Naylor's Last Human and inspect it in gristly detail. So, join Cappsy, Danny and Ian as they delve into the omnizone shambles, show you their appendectomy scars and publicly copulate in a marketplace.

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Today was the first day of Holly Hop, and despite the presence of Rob Grant and Paul Jackson, two of the three remaining directors of Grant Naylor Productions, we really didn't expect this week's rather shocking news to be mentioned, especially considering the Fan Club team politely requested of attendees that it wasn't brought up during Q&As throughout the day.

However, it was clear from very early on in their appearance, as they prepared to commentate on White Hole alongside their usual cohort Ed Bye, that the pair wanted to address the topic. So they both did, and then some. Here is an exact, verbatim transcript of what they said, starting with Rob Grant:

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By rights, Dimension Jump XXI should have been and gone last May, roughly a year and a half after the previous event. Plan B was to do it this very weekend, but obviously that can’t happen either, so instead the Fan Club have put together the next best thing – Holly Hop, a virtual con you can attend from the comfort of your own living room. And it’s quite the weekend in prospect. Barrie! Llewellyn! Lovett! Hayridge! McDonald! Dexter! Hawks! Clark! Grant! Bye! Jackson! Quizzes and videos and stuff! And of course, a live table read of a brand new Red Dwarf script written by Rob Grant!

There will be much to discuss, so do so here, if you like. The two day event starts at 10:30am today (Saturday), and tickets are still available at a ridiculously cheap price for this amount of entertainment. Let’s face it, there are multiple reasons we all need a nice distraction right now, and this should be just the thing.

This is probably the most unpleasant news story we've had to cover in the more than eighteen years this site has been going. Not least because it involves linking to the Daily Mail, who today report that Doug Naylor is suing Rob Grant and Grant Naylor Productions, following Doug's removal from the board of the company last year. To save you from clicking onto that shithole, the relevant parts of the article are below, and below that is our initial reaction.

[Doug Naylor] has just initiated a dramatic High Court action against his former co-scriptwriter and one-time best friend, Rob Grant.

The claim also names Grant Naylor Productions, the company which he and Grant established 30 years ago ‘to exploit their services as scriptwriters’.

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