G&TV Halloween Special featured image

This month's G&TV contains scenes which are unsuitable for younger viewers and people of a nervous disposition. You have been warned.

Well, it doesn't really, but then neither does Polymorph, so it's fair game. Anyway, when we noticed that the latest edition of this feature would coincide roughly with a notable date in the calendar, we decided to run with the theme. The Red Dwarf cast and crew haven't had a great deal of crossover with the horror genre over the years, other than a couple of notable and obvious exceptions, which we'll come to. We couldn't find much in terms of full-length programmes that are not commercially available (and so therefore we feel comfortable linking to off-air recordings of them on YouTube), which is the usual remit for G&TV. So instead, we present a thrilling compendium of terror, with four short clips relating to each of our main cast members, which fit the theme with varying degrees of contrivance.

Read more →

One of the many, many good things about Rob Grant, Paul Jackson and Ed Bye's regular Sunday afternoon quarantine commentaries is that their meandering conversations about comedy and their careers can sometimes dredge up intriguing lesser-known projects from the past. When Arthur Smith was a guest on the Backwards commentary, he mentioned one of his old Edinburgh shows, Arthur Smith Sings Andy Williams, which also featured fellow Backwards guest and perennial fifth Dwarfer Tony Hawks.

A truncated TV version was produced by Granada in 1993, which commenter Stilianidiadidatees suggested would make a good candidate for G&TV. Don't say we never give you anything. It's on YouTube, and it's pretty great.

Read more →

Prompted by a question from listener Si Bromley, our most recent edition of Waffle Men, as featured on the DwarfCast commentary for Samsara, included a discussion on the not-fondly-remembered Chris Barrie sitcom A Prince Among Men. Having grown tired of playing comedy prats like Arnold Rimmer and Gordon Brittas, Chris teamed up with The Brittas Empire producer and director Mike Stephens to bring us Gary Prince, a comedy prat who differed from his previous comedy prats by lacking any charm, depth or originality.

Gary was a retired footballer turned entrepreneur, and also a self-centered egotist, who spent his time annoying his German wife Lisel, belittling his loyal staff, insulting his closest friends and making terrible business decisions. The show ran for two series on BBC One, the first one and a half of which were shown in prime time during the week, before the last few episodes were quietly relegated to Sunday afternoons. It was not very good. See for yourself, here's the first episode:

Read more →

G&TV logoYou can say what you like about the deadly global pandemic currently ruling our lives, but at least the little red spikey boi has opened up access to many public events that have been forced to move to a streaming model this year. The result is I've seen two San Diego Comic-Con panels live where I would've previously seen none. Firstly, the lovely Bill and Ted Face the Music panel on Saturday and then on Sunday Red Dwarf had what we believe is its first ever SDCC panel to promote the launch of The Promised Land on BritBox and in attendance were Doug Naylor, Craig Charles, Chris Barrie and Robert Llewellyn.

Read more →

G&TV logoIt's a tricky thing trying to launch a new TV vehicle around a particular actor or comic. Sometimes you have bags of acting and comedic talent wasted on a dreadful script and sometimes the talent have an on-screen personality akin to sand paper being rubbed violently all over your brain, and make jokes so terrible by today's standards that fan sites 20+ years later have to quickly change their article plans because they don't have the brain power to handle it correctly.

No risk of that with our Norman, however, as this month we take a look at his I, Lovett-esque contribution to BSB Galaxy's The Last Laugh series, information on which is quite thin on the ground but we can definitely assume the channel offered rehearsal facilities in Edinburgh.

Read more →

G&TV logoConsidering Saturday Live is basically the primordial soup from which most of the 90s British comedy establishment first emerged, it should be no real surprise that many members of Dwarf royalty got if not their first, then certainly a good chunk of, their early TV exposure from the show. In fact, Chris Barrie's episode as host in the first series is what kicked off G&TV to begin with. By the second series Ben Elton was on permanent hosting duties and by the third it had moved to Friday nights and added a 'Night' to the title, because why not. It's in this series that Hattie Hayridge got what must've been her first TV appearance.

Read more →

G&TV logoAs we continue to cogitate on The Promised Land, let's cleanse our palates with our monthly dip in to the archives of vaguely Red Dwarf related things from the past. Here's a particularly obscure one, discovered by Jim Lynn of the always excellent VHiStory blog, the guy who dug up the original 1988 continuity for Series 1 a few years ago. On the end of a tape of Babylon 5 episodes, he found Beam Me Up, Scotty!, a one-off Channel 4 magazine programme about sci-fi, filmed at the 53rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow in August 1995, and presented by Craig Charles.

In it, Craig introduces self-contained segments on a variety of connected topics, such as "filk music", cosplay before it was called 'cosplay', Klingon theatre, a somewhat nauseating section on sci-fi erotica and the sexual fantasies of its proponents, an extremely low-energy discussion of the British comics scene with some very morose people who are now very famous writers and artists, and Craig interviewing Terry Pratchett, best known for his appearance on the Red Dwarf A-Z. Jim's blog entry has the who's who of all the interviewees, and of course the full programme itself:

Read more →

G&TV logoA little over a week ago, Rob Grant decided he wanted to do something to cheer up all the Red Dwarf fans who had suddenly found themselves confined to their own personal Bay 47. The idea was to recapture the magic that formed the conclusion to the most recent Dimension Jump, whereby he was joined by Paul Jackson and Ed Bye to do a live commentary on The End. It made sense, therefore, that the reunited trio would do Future Echoes next, and so they took to Zoom last Sunday afternoon, and broadcast their thoughts to around a hundred webinar viewers. As well as sharing their tips for lockdown survival, we were treated to in-depth details about how the complicated show was put together with analogue technology, the story of how Tracey Ullman was partly responsible for the word "smeg" being used in the show, and even surprise cameo appearances from two former Red Dwarf guest stars. And now the whole thing is available on YouTube for everyone to enjoy.

Read more →

G&TV Special: The Strangerers featured image

G&TV logoThe 15th of February is a date forever etched into the history books of both science-fiction and comedy. It's the anniversary of one of Britain's most beloved sitcoms, from a writing lineage that includes Spitting Image and Son of Cliché, and with a cast featuring the likes of Mark Williams, Jack Docherty, Sarah Alexander, Ricky Grover and Morwenna Banks. Yes, Rob Grant's The Strangerers debuted on Tuesday 15th February 2000, twenty years ago today.

Made by Absolutely Productions for Sky One, it was much-hyped as the channel's first foray into original comedy commissioning, but it's fair to say that it didn't quite make the same impact as Rob's previous sci-fi sitcom. It was never released on video or DVD, and has never been repeated since its original broadcast. But luckily, it's all on YouTube (albeit in off-air VHS quality, with the credits cut off and irritatingly in the wrong bastard aspect ratio), so let's all give it an anniversary airing and see if it's worth reappraising.

Read more →

G&TV logoFollowing the sad news that the brilliant Nicholas Parsons has passed away at the grand old age of 96, I saw a tweet summarising the various short-lived attempts to bring his seminal Just A Minute to television. Despite it obviously being a BBC show, there were two series produced by Carlton for ITV in the mid-90s, and just one glimpse of that garish, neon-adorned set triggered a vivid childhood memory of watching an episode starring none other than Craig Charles. I looked it up and it turns out that memory is indeed accurate; he appeared once, alongside team captain and fellow Dwarf alumnus Tony Slattery, on 21st July 1995.

And that episode is... seemingly not online anywhere. Bah. Still, a handful of editions are on YouTube, including one from the first series that features not only the aforementioned Slattery, but also one time pub manager Arthur Smith, alongside a very young Graham Norton and Ann Bryson. Sod it, two guest stars is enough of a Red Dwarf connection to justify us featuring this, in tribute to its wonderful chairman.

Read more →