Ooh look, a new regular feature. Let’s see how long we keep this one up. Once a month or so, we’ll be providing some interesting or obscure Red Dwarf-related viewing, usually something involving the cast and/or crew that we’ve found buried somewhere on YouTube. First up, in authentic slightly-glitchy-VHS quality, an edition of Saturday Live from 15th February 1986 – precisely two years before The End aired – co-produced by Paul Jackson and guest-hosted by Chris Barrie.
Rumours of a Bluray release for the BBC years of Red Dwarf have been swirling for a while. I think we’ve discussed it as an aside on a DwarfCast or two, but we’ve held off from front-paging the news until there was something a little more concrete to report, mainly because the forum was doing a sterling job of logging various developments. Today, however, Doug tweeted:
In the Blu-Ray suite working on Red Dwarf III. It’s looking nice. The Up-Rez is nice, the noise reduction is nice, the grade is nice. It just looks nice period. #RedDwarf30#October.
— Doug Naylor (@DougRDNaylor) March 1, 2018
To celebrate Red Dwarf’s 30th anniversary, we took the airwaves (and indeed to the booze) to have a bit of a party. In a rambling, meandering and slightly shambolic show weighing in at well over two hours long, the entire G&T team – Cappsy, John, Tanya, Danny and Ian – plus special guest Jo Sharples, gathered to discuss the Pearl Poll results in very fine detail, reveal how our own preferences stack up to the general consensus, attempt our first live episode commentary on The End, and open the show up to the listeners in a chaotic phone-in free-for-all, which touched on subjects such as the Smegazines, the differences between the solo novels, Red Dwarf USA, and one hundred duck-sized Norman Lovetts.
Ladies and gentlemen, on the occasion of Red Dwarf‘s thirtieth anniversary, we invite you to join us, if you dare, in a journey through the Top 73 episodes of all time, as voted for by YOU. This is the biggest such poll we’ve ever undertaken, both in terms of the amount of episodes it covers, and the number of people who took part. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who submitted their rankings. In return, our gift to you on this special day is several thousand words of analysis to go alongside the full results. Get comfortable.
How will Series XI and XII, still so fresh in people’s minds, compare to the older episodes? Will Series X have maintained its good performance from 2013, or has the novelty worn off? Can Series VII or VIII finally improve their reputations? Is there such a thing as “the bubble” any more now that the number of episodes made after Rob left outnumbers those made before? It’s finally time to find out.
You heard. We’re now into the week of Red Dwarf‘s thirtieth anniversary, and it’s about time we disclosed our full plans to mark the event. Clear your diaries for Thursday, because we’ve got lots of lovely treats in store, and hopefully you’ll want to join us. The morning will see the long-awaited results of our Pearl Poll published – the ideal start to your anniversary day – before we congregate for a very special LIVE DwarfCast in the evening. It’ll be a jam-packed show, and here’s how it’ll go down:
8:30pm – Now! Something Something Something Music – We start with an extended musical warm-up, featuring specially selected hits from right across the last three decades.
9:00pm – Poll To Poll – The show proper kicks off with an in-depth discussion of the Pearl Poll results, including a look at the G&T team’s combined rankings.
9:30pm – The End Commentary – Our first ever live episode commentary! We’ll be watching and talking over the broadcast version from 1988, not the Original Assembly or Re-Mastered or Japanese edition. If all goes to plan, you’ll be able to sync up with us and watch at the same time, so get your copy of the episode ready beforehand.
10:00pm – Ganymede & Titan Unplanned – In which you, the listeners, set the agenda. We want you to provide the talking points, which can be anything even vaguely Red Dwarf related from the last thirty years, preferably things that we don’t talk about very often. There are many ways to get involved – you can leave a comment on this post, you can tweet us @ganymedetitan, and you can join us in the Spreaker chat on the night.
But most excitingly, this section of the show will be a phone-in free-for-all. Anyone can call up and say what they like to us via Skype – just add ‘ianiansymes’ between now and Thursday night, and listen to the show for instructions on when to call. This will go on until we run out of callers/topics, or fall off air, whichever comes first.
So, start suggesting topics, dust off your Series 1 DVD, add us on Skype and remember to head over to our Spreaker page at 8:30pm on Thursday, ready for the chat to begin at 9pm. We hope as many of you as possible will join us, to help give Red Dwarf the celebration it deserves.
UPDATE: The Pearl Poll is now closed! A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part – the response has exceeded our expectations. Look out for the results on Thursday 15th February…
Where does the time go? The Pearl Poll launched back in the dim distant past of 2017, and yet here we are – only a week away from the cut-off point for entries. We’ve had a fantastic response so far – and a huge thank you to you all – but we know that there are still dozens of G&T regulars, along with other stalwarts from elsewhere in the fandom, who are yet to send us their rankings. So this is your gentle reminder that THE PEARL POLL CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT ON THE 1ST OF FEBRUARY. You’ve essentially got seven days left to get your episodes in order, and take part in our most comprehensive survey yet.
So you lot crack on with your lists, while we continue to prep for our 30th anniversary extravaganza. If we’ve seemed a little quiet so far this year, it’s because we’re busy putting everything together for the big day, which will feature thousands of words, multiple graphs, video, music and of course a Live DwarfCast. You might want to set aside some time on Thursday 15th February, because we’ll have plenty to keep you occupied.
Well, blimey. A massive thank you to bloodteller on our forum, who points out that an early cut of the first American pilot has turned up on Youtube.
This can’t be the first time this has done the rounds, as bloodteller also helpfully linked to this ancient document from 1994, which details the differences between the two edits. But it’s new to me, and I’ll wager to the majority here. I imagine a full write up will follow at some point when we’re not busy polling you all.
It will hardly have escaped anyone’s attention that 2018 is Red Dwarf‘s 30th anniversary year. Five years on from the Silver Survey, our attempt to canvas the opinions of as many fans as possible to create the ultimate ranking of every episode ever, it’s time to do it all again. How will Series XI and XII compare to their many and varied predecessors? Has opinion on the then-recent Back To Earth and Series X changed in the intervening years? Is the Series 1-VI bubble still a thing, now that those 36 episodes are outnumbered for the first time? Will there ever be a survey in which Back To Reality and Pete (Part Two) aren’t top and bottom?
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new record. Series XII was released on shiny disc just four days after the last episode was broadcast on TV, which in any normal circumstances would make you worry that the release would be a rush job. But due to the back-to-back filming of both the last two series and their accompanying behind-the-scenes shoots, the lead time on this package is the longest they’ve ever had.
The Series XI release set the bar pretty low for its counterpart. While the extras it featured maintained the levels of quality and entertainment value we’ve come to expect, it fell short of telling as comprehensive a story as any of its predecessors, and the significantly lower than average running time left us feeling a little short-changed.
Will the Series XII release seek to address those shortcomings, or are we in for more of the same? Let’s rip open the (sadly stickerless) cellophane and find out.