G&TV Special: Smegheads In Seattle

G&TV logoHere’s an incredible find that was first brought to our attention by Tom Selway on Twitter at the start of August, just a few days after it surfaced on YouTube. We immediately sprung in to action, opening our to-do list and pencilling it in for September’s G&TV. Which would have been fine if things like TORDFC’s newsletter and reddwarf.co.uk didn’t exist, both of which have featured it in the meantime. Nevertheless, it’s well worth sharing in case those two passed any of you by, as it’s not every day you get to see a fully-fledged broadcast programme all about Red Dwarf. Before Comedy Connections and The Making of Back To Earth, but after Red Dwarf Night, there was Smegheads in Seattle.

Produced and broadcast by KCTS, a local PBS affiliate serving Seattle and Tacoma in Washington, it features Craig Charles and Danny John-Jules on a visit to the eponymous city in May 1998. It’s a compilation of material from various sources: one main interview by KCTS’s Ken Vincent, another interview with Danny solo, viewer Q&As from two separate pledge drives for the station, at least two different convention appearances, plus a couple of specially-shot sections, which we’ll come to. After it initially aired, it did the rounds as a bootleg VHS for a while, along with another show from the same station, Swirly Thing Alert, but then disappeared and slipped from the memory, until now.

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The Boys Are Back In Town

Well, then. We’ve been fairly cynical about the prospect of new Red Dwarf happening any time soon. Everything went very quiet for a very long time, and it seemed like once again, circumstances had somehow conspired to kill off any momentum and put the show back into the past tense again. We refused to get excited a couple of months ago when the cast went for a curry together, given that it’s not too unusual for a group of people who’ve known each other for thirty odd years to meet up for a bite to eat, but Danny John-Jules has tweeted a picture today, and…

Yep, it seems like something is happening. All four cast members present and correct (I’d recognise Robert’s bald patch anywhere), in what looks suspiciously like a production company meeting room, with bits of paper in front of them. Doug’s even there, although he doesn’t look massively thrilled about it. Now, this isn’t necessarily Series XIII. There’s still been no official announcement about that, despite what less reputable sites like Den of Geek or Digital Spy will tell you. It could be something to do with the long-proposed live show. It could be a meeting about future merch or something. It could just be them going for a coffee in the world’s worst-decorated Cafe Nero, and we’re reading too much into it. But finally, things are starting to look a little more positive…

The G&T Christmas Message 2018

It’s 3pm on the 25th December, and that can only mean one thing – the whole family gathering around for that old Christmas tradition of reading the Ganymede & Titan round-up of what’s happened in the world of Red Dwarf over the preceding twelve months. While 2018 was certainly a special year for the show in terms of its numerical significance, it was also the first year in four where no brand new episodes were either recorded, transmitted or both. As such, a quieter year for us, and so we’re eschewing the month-by-month format to instead give an overview of the big news and events that occurred, and a festive selection box of some of our own least shit features that we posted when there were no big news and events to keep us occupied.

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G&TV: Hidden Talents of the Rich and Famous

So far on G&TV, the archival treats have included old projects from Chris Barrie, Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn, so we thought we ought to complete the set. And it’s ultra-topical too, as news of Danny’s forthcoming stint on Strictly has resulted in several tedious tabloid articles pretending that his background as a dancer is some sort of newly-unearthed secret.

Celebrities doing things you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to do is a constant source of fascination for the British public, and it was in this spirit that LWT produced the Ian Wright-fronted Hidden Talents of the Rich and Famous at around the turn of the century. A spin-off from the former footballer’s chat show, Friday Night’s All Wright, it gave television personalities the chance to showcase skills they don’t get to display in their day jobs, and one such participant was Danny John-Jules. We can’t find the full episode – or indeed much information about the show in general – but Danny’s five minute performance is preserved on Youtube:

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Strictly Cat Dancing

What d’you mean you’re dancing the cha-cha-cha? Yes, appearing on The One Show today, it was confirmed that Danny John-Jules will be a contestant in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing. We’ve heard rumours that his dance partner is going to be a CGI Blue Midget.

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Back to Live, back to reality?

Thanks to Thomas Evans in our forum, and Jeannette via email, for alerting us to this report in the ever brilliant Daily Express. It’s all based on this interview from ScififantasyNetwork, where Danny confirms the live show idea that Doug floated at Dimension Jump last May. There’s no new information here, but it’s nice to know that it’s still on the table. Personally, I find myself skeptical about the prospect of this idea ever getting off the ground, purely due to the logistics of finding a time where all four of them are available to tour the country, but where it would be a better idea to do this than film a new series. I don’t think we’re any closer to it happening just because Danny has mentioned it, but fingers crossed.

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“An enormous amount of Krytens”

Those with slightly longer memories will recall that, at DJ last year, Doug mentioned that he was planning an episode where “everyone was Kryten” causing much excitement/hand-wringing/wailing and gnashing of teeth (delete as appropriate) from fandom. Now, in an interview conducted at MCM Liverpool, two chaps by the name of Robert Llewellyn and Danny John-Jules have pretty much confirmed that this episode exists. There’s no going back now…

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Tucker’s Luck

bazookoidI bring great news. Yesterday, Richard Naylor tweeted a couple of pictures showing bazookoid props in various stages of construction. This in itself was good news, considering how brilliant the props looked, and how close to the classic design aesthetic from the early days they seemed. Today, we know why the props are so good. They were made by The Model Unit.

Yes, Mike Tucker’s company today posted three bazookoid pictures to their Facebook page – one the same as Richard’s, and two new ones. They accompanying caption reads:

These photos might give some hint as to the nature of our current project…

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Dimension Jump guests, anyone?

It barely seems any time since last year’s most excellent DJ and now things are ramping up for XVI, which will be held once again at Birmingham City Centre Holiday Inn, from the 23rd to the 25th of July. So, you want confirmed guests? Well, you’ve got them so quit whining.

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