High & Low: Back To Earth

Back in 2008, when Red Dwarf turned twenty, it was very much a former television programme. The last new series had finished almost a decade earlier, fans had finally accepted that the long-proposed Movie was never going to happen, the regular DVD releases had come, gone and done a lap of honour with The Bodysnatcher Collection, Dimension Jump attendance had fallen off a cliff, and while there were still regular updates from The Official Site and the odd dribble of merch every now and then, the general feeling was that Red Dwarf was a show that should be talked about in the past tense. And that was sort of ok. We’d come to terms with it, although we were all more than a little worried about what the fan community would look like at the next milestone anniversary without any fresh stimulus to keep us going.

But when Red Dwarf hit 25 in 2013 and 30 in 2018, the landscape could barely have been more different, thanks to what happened towards the end of that twentieth anniversary year.

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Red Dwarf: The Complete Guide To Almost Everything

Do you remember a time, a few years either side of the turn of the century, when the internet was mostly comprised of auto-playing midi files and non-HD porn? Back then, if you searched Yahoo, or Alta Vista, or Lycos, you could find tonnes of Geocities-hosted web pages for each and every one of your favourite TV shows, which invariably featured the same handful of low-res jpegs, lists of quotes, episode guides and those ubiquitous auto-playing midi files. Then blogging came along, and we all realised that we could just write about our opinions on our favourite shows, rather than trying to provide a comprehensive mine of information, given that new-fangled things like Google and Wikipedia could do that much better.

So things like episode guides disappeared from fansites. Not entirely, but they were no longer an essential component. It was only recently that we realised that G&T had nothing even resembling such a guide – not even a list of episodes anywhere. When we started, in 2002, we launched an ambitious project of producing detailed “capsules” for every episode, but, well, you can see how that went. We got to thinking that it might be fun to try and write an episode guide now, and see where it ended up. As it turns out, it kind of got out of hand…

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“You might think that, I couldn’t possibly comment”

This week’s TOS update features an interview with the channel head of Dave, Steve North. As you might expect, the majority of it is Steve mutually backslapping about Red Dwarf – both as a property in general (he clearly knows his stuff, talking about series VIII viewing figures and the like) and the success it’s had on Dave. But you’re still going to want to read it. Trust me.

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Back to the Podium for Back to Earth?

Well, YOU try thinking of snappy titles, then. Anyway, Back to Earth has been shortlisted for the MediaGuardian award for Best Non-Terrestrial Programme; an interesting and no doubt shortly-to-be-outdated category, especially as two of the other shows on the list, Being Human and The Inbetweeners, are being repeated on the respective terrestrial channels.

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Red Dwarf Site That Isn’t G&T Publishes Lengthy In-Depth Article

Lovely stuff. Not my words, the words of Shakin’ Stevens. But also my words.

Yes, Andrew Ellard’s done his thing over at TOS and given us a nicely comprehensive article about the making of Back to Earth. And even if you’ve already pored over every nugget of info the various doccos and commentaries on the DVDs have to offer, there are still a few important points that jump out…

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