On the 2nd August we lost our friend Seb Patrick. Please allow us a period of radio silence as we come to terms with what's happened. Goodbye, Seb, we'll miss you.

We're raising funds in his memory to help his family in any way we can. If you're able to spare anything, it would be greatly appreciated.

A brief but happy news story for you – we now have a TX date for Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years, the three-part documentary series produced by North One for UKTV. Having heard the first rumblings of the publicity juggernaut a few weeks back, Dave has tweeted this morning to confirm that it will air on Thursday 6th August. That’s presumably just the first episode, like – no word yet on whether it will be weekly, daily or some other schedule, or indeed whether all or any of it will be available on UKTV Play in advance of broadcast. We’ll figure out the plans for our coverage of this coverage of the show when we have those details.

Also tucked away in that tweet is a new, much much improved title card for the series. When we joked in our previous article that they had time for another crack at the logo, we didn’t expect they actually would, so fair play. This is very much based on the look for The Promised Land, with its weather-beaten aesthetic and same sub-heading font, and it makes sense for Red Dwarf to have a consistent branding style. The powers that be clearly agree, given that both Dave and UKTV Play liked our tweet of the above meme…

UPDATE (17/07/20): Today’s TOS update answers pretty much everything that was as yet unanswered about these docs. The three episodes will air weekly on subsequent Thursdays from the 6th-20th August, and will appear on UKTV Play after broadcast. For the avoidance of doubt, all the interviews are brand new, and we’re promised “newly dug-up archive material”, which is implied to go beyond what’s featured on the DVDs. Exciting!

We also have titles for all three episodes: The Boys from the Dwarf, In Studio Space No-One Can Hear You Scream and Playing Pool With Planets. Weird to dedicate a third of the series to one brief scene from White Hole, but hey.

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As Doug Naylor teased this morning, there has been some NEWS coming out of GNP towers today, in the form of more details about the previously teased TV documentary, now titled Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years. It will be airing exclusively on Dave (obvs) this August, which gives them plenty of time to have a bit of an extra crack at that logo.

Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years is THE definitive celebration of the most successful sci-fi sitcom of all time. Over three hour-long episodes we go on an epic journey through space and time to chart the history of Lister the lonely space-bum, Rimmer the failed hero, Kryten the spaceship-cleaning mechanoid and Cat, the vainest non-human ever to be trapped in space, through the eyes of co-creator, writer and director Doug Naylor, the cast, the crew, and celebrity fans.

I’ll not lie… at the moment, this sounds like it could very easily be a collection of all the best bits from the DVD extras, re-told and re-packaged. The mention of Doug seems to sadly exclude the inclusion Rob Grant (which would be odd given how visible he is in the Dwarf world these days) but I guess he could be categorised as ‘crew’? North One certainly have a good track record and I’m sure these docs will be well put together and worthwhile, but I’m left wondering what they will offer for the likes of people reading this. We shall see, and I’m very prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Having said that I’m certainly delighted that the show is getting such a sizable and prominent series of docs, and three hours of extra Dwarf is something I’ll never sniff at.

This is the first time a documentary has been made about Red Dwarf for television since the BBC’s Comedy Connections episode in 2004; and before that, the Red Dwarf Night documentaries of 1998.

*The Making of Back to Earth has left the chat*

In other, meta, news; G&T’s server will be undergoing some maintenance at some point Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd June, so if during this time you see an error then please don’t panic.

Last night, Dave started advertising a "live Twitter commentary" for their Tuesday night showing of Quarantine, featuring Doug Naylor, the cast and surprise guests. We assumed this would be a text-based tweetalong, and would have made a much bigger deal out of it had we realised it was in fact a full video-conferencing-based broadcast along the lines of Rob, Paul and Ed's efforts. Mind you, it's probably best we didn't. The last time UKTV did a Red Dwarf related live stream was Vindalunar. This was its spiritual successor.

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The dusting off of the old "Newsround" format from G&T's earliest days is a sure sign that a new broadcast is just around the corner; indeed, there are now only nine days to go until The Promised Land airs on Dave - that's Thursday 9th April at 9pm, as if you didn't already know. I think it's fair to assume that it won't be premiering on UKTV Play a week in advance this time, as that would be the day after tomorrow, and you'd think they'd have mentioned it by now if that was the case. An eminently sensible decision given the one-off nature of this outing, and with linear television audiences being boosted by the current situation, one that could lead to great results. There's certainly no shortage of press and social media coverage, as we'll dive into now...

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With the two year anniversary of Red Dwarf XII rapidly approaching, it's time to tidy up a few remaining bits of business here on G&T. Our retrospective DwarfCasts are already in the can and will be published before too long. But before those, there's one thing which I'm sure you'd all hoped I'd forgotten about. Yes, it's time for that sodding ad breaks article again.

A quick reminder of why I do these. When I first wrote this piece on Red Dwarf X's ad break placement, I did it because I was annoyed. It felt like Dwarf hasn't even tried to adapt to being on commercial television, and its ad breaks were placed and presented in a most begrudging manner. However, this was almost entirely rectified with Red Dwarf XI, which did a pretty damn good job.

Seeing as Red Dwarf XII was made in tandem with XI, surely the same is true this time round? Let's take a look.

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Just a quick one, this, but we felt it certainly warrants more attention than premature nonsense about Series XIII on account of the fact that it actually exists. Dave, readying itself for it’s change to its position in the digital EPG, has once again given Red Dwarf a prominent place in its marketing by getting some familiar lads involved. It’s always lovely seeing The Model Unit and their work getting some attention, and you can’t get much better than this beautiful Starbug model that’s put in decades of work at this point.

It seems a trailer is being shot here rather than it just being wheeled out for a public appearance, so we’re looking forward to what comes out of of Wednesday’s shoot, especially considering the move is happening very soon. Give us a shout when you see it pop-up, will ya?

EDIT: Mike Tucker’s been in touch to point out that despite our wonderful and thorough journalistic standards, we’v e missed the fact that this trail already went out during Taskmaster on Wednesday. Er, whoops.

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Back in 2016, I took a look at the placing of ad breaks in Red Dwarf X, and how so many of them were a wasted opportunity to use the opportunity for a cliffhanger to its maximum effect. (I highly suggest you read that piece before this one if you haven't done so; otherwise, this article will come across as entirely ridiculous rather than just mostly ridiculous.)

With publicity for Red Dwarf XII about to kick off properly, it's time to tie up one last loose thread from Red Dwarf XI. How did XI fare when it came to ad breaks? Did they seem like an afterthought, like much of X? Or was the chance taken to actually do something with them - to add a lovely punctuation point to the episode, and make viewers want to come back after the break?

I'll be honest... the answer surprised me. Let's take a look.

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UPDATE (08/09/2016): More merchandise details announced!

There are now just fifteen days to go until Red Dwarf XI starts on Dave, and a mere eight days until it premieres online. As we put the finishing touches to our plan of how to deal with all this (there's a spreadsheet, with upwards of four pages), there are enough small pieces of news knocking about to warrant dusting off this old strand, for the first time in four years. The snippets of new information are coming quicker than we can front page them, so do keep an eye on our Twitter and our forum to keep up to date. But if you've missed anything so far this week, it's hopefully all here.

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It can not have escaped your attention that UKTV plans to premiere each episode of the forthcoming Red Dwarf XI on their on-demand service, UKTV Play, one week ahead of their television broadcast on Dave. This puts us in a somewhat tricky situation in terms of our coverage. We had planned on doing pretty much exactly what we did last time - an "instant reaction" DwarfCast almost immediately after each episode, broadcast live on the internet, with a tidier version in the usual feeds the following day, followed by a written review over the weekend.

This isn't so straightforward when not everyone's going to be watching at the same time. This move has made it a hell of a lot harder to be part of a communal shared experience, but we're determined to make it work. That's where you come in. We'd like to know more about how you're intending to consume this series, and your preferences for how we go about things. To that end, here are a series of polls; the results of which we'll take on board, but won't be legally binding or anything. Annoyingly, we'd like to request that those of you from outside the UK abstain from taking part in this vote; it's the people who have a choice as to how they watch the series that will be most affected by our decisions.

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Yes, we've stuck to something for two weeks in a row. Here's the second of our Series X commentaries, which predictably enough covers Fathers & Suns. John, Danny, Ian and TORDFC's Jo Sharples return to discuss such matters as how much help Lister got in creating his video, how this is the show's third Holly-centric episode, Alf Garnett, and a hidden cock and balls. Oh, and racism. Let's see if this room full of white people can sort out that thorny problem once and for all.

As well as that, we bring you an excessively angry one-man rant about UKTV's decision to premiere Red Dwarf XI episodes online a week before broadcast, and how this is going to play merry havoc with our content plan, along with the rest of the news from the last seven days.

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