You Stupid Ugly Goit

ED BYE: Rob and Doug and I made the decision that it’d be better to see Norman rather than just hear him, because he’s got a great lugubrious face.
NORMAN LOVETT: Initially the money was low because it was a voiceover, so they can get away with paying you peanuts for that.
ROB GRANT: Norman had been banging on from the start saying “Get my face on-screen, that’s the money…
NORMAN LOVETT: So I kept moaning and whinging about this. I said “Why have I got to do a voiceover in a TV show? Why can’t you see this face, and why can’t this computer called Holly look like this bloke here?” By the time we’d recorded the third episode of the first series, it had been agreed that we would see Holly, and we’d go and reshoot some of the bits for the first and second and third episodes…

The Beginning, Series 1 documentary, The Bodysnatcher Collection

The above story – in endless slight variations – has gone down in Red Dwarf lore. Norm whinged right at the start of Series 1 that Holly should be in-vision, the powers that be eventually agreed, and they went back and did some reshoots to add his FACE to the early episodes. (The real horror arises when you consider that due to the electrician’s strike, where Series 1 was entirely rehearsed but never actually recorded, Norm was probably on his ninth week of moaning about this, rather than the third. Try not to let that shrivel your soul too much.)

However, what hasn’t been done is going back to examine those early episodes in detail, to see exactly how those reshoots worked. And when you do, you spot a few interesting details which haven’t been widely talked about.

Let’s take a look. Doing this takes a certain amount of extrapolation; without access to the proper production paperwork, we have to do a bit of stretching and join some dots along the way. But I think the below makes sense. Obviously, to get any kind of idea of how this worked, we have to take the episodes in production order rather than broadcast order.

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High & Low: Holly Scenes

Behold! Former G&T regular feature High & Low, in which we compile both the top ten and the bottom five of a particular Red Dwarf topic, is back, just three years and ten months after the last one. That’s about average for a second-class fansite. We’re no longer attempting to make it a monthly occurrence, but we fancied bringing back the format as an option to use from time to time. And as we not only promised back in 2015 that the next edition would be Holly Scenes, but even went to the trouble of getting Hattie Hayridge herself to pick one of the entries, we’d better finally crack on with it…

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Red Dwarf’s worst kept secret emerges further from the bag

It was always going to be difficult to keep secrets quiet when there’s a year-and-a-half gap between an audience recording and an episode being broadcast. The fans who attended those Series XII recordings have done their part admirably, with very little – if any – information leaked on forums or social media. The same can’t be said for those involved in the show, however, as we’ve previously detailed. And today, something that’s been mentioned a handful of times prior to now if you know where to look on Twitter and Facebook has finally reached a mainstream comedy website, and we feel that there’s very little point in us continuing to ignore it.

Yes, Chortle are reporting – and this is your last chance to stop readingĀ if you don’t want to see something that you probably already know – that…

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“My name is Dr. Lovett… and this is my Asylum”

Oooh. I’ve heard about Asylum before – mentioned on the Spaced DVD, it’s the first time Pegg/Wright/Stevenson all worked together, and one of the characters was part of the inspiration for Brian – but I didn’t know that the brilliant David Devant and his Spirit Wife were the resident “house band”, nor that the proprietor of the titular asylum was none other than… Norman Lovett. Anyway, in the absence of any sort of DVD release, some kind soul has stuck the whole thing online. Haven’t actually had a chance to see if it’s any good yet, but it certainly seems worth a gander…

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