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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It’s been nearly three years since we launched our Complete Guide To Almost Everything, the G&T equivalent of an old-fashioned episode guide but with loads of extra, obscure stuff included too. Since then, there have been two more series of Red Dwarf broadcast, along with the accompanying Bluray/DVD extras, so it’s about bloody time we got our fingers out and updated it. Presenting:
RED DWARF: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO ALMOST EVERYTHING (REVISED EDITION)
Changes to this version are as follows:
- Entries added for Series XI & XII
- New section – Other Appearances, covering minor appearances from the characters in other shows or online exclusives
- DVD Extras updated with details for XI & XII
- Silver Survey rankings replaced with Pearl Poll rankings throughout
- “Elsewhere on G&T” links updated with content published since the first edition
- New banner
As ever, do get in touch if you have any corrections or additions – you can either comment here or on the article itself.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new record. Series XII was released on shiny disc just four days after the last episode was broadcast on TV, which in any normal circumstances would make you worry that the release would be a rush job. But due to the back-to-back filming of both the last two series and their accompanying behind-the-scenes shoots, the lead time on this package is the longest they’ve ever had.
The Series XI release set the bar pretty low for its counterpart. While the extras it featured maintained the levels of quality and entertainment value we’ve come to expect, it fell short of telling as comprehensive a story as any of its predecessors, and the significantly lower than average running time left us feeling a little short-changed.
Will the Series XII release seek to address those shortcomings, or are we in for more of the same? Let’s rip open the (sadly stickerless) cellophane and find out.
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A few days ago the Red Dwarf XII mobile game was released. This time round the episodic format has been replace with a more open free to play model giving you a handful of endlessly repeatable mini-games that give you points to unlock one of a tonne of playable characters. This weekend I sat down to have a first play of the game, and I have recorded this momentous occasion for your viewing ‘pleasure’.
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It’s been just over fifteen years since we all trundled down to Woolworths or Virgin Megastore to purchase the first ever Red Dwarf DVD, and today’s the day that those of us who still crave physical media pick up the latest installment from our doormats. Well, that’s if you weren’t one of the lucky ones who have already received their pre-orders, which started happening as early as last Thursday. The rest of us have had to make do with the methadone-like preview on TOS, which promises a more in-depth look behind the scenes in the featurettes, and a main documentary that focuses on the scripts and actors.
Whenever it is that you finally have your Bluray and/or DVD in your grubby mitts, this is the thread to discuss all the delights within, as you await our trademark excessively detailed review within the next week or so.
Last Friday morning – a mere twelve hours after Skipper had landed on UKTV Play – a DwarfCast splinter group consisting of Ian Symes, Danny Stephenson and Jo Sharples descended on returning guest star Mac McDonald’s house, and he foolishly decided to let us in, for the second time in as many years. Later that night, we played you a brief snippet during the Live DwarfCast, but our conversation was long and rambling, so here’s the full-length uncut version.
Our rambling chat touched upon all manner of Skipper-related topics, such as last-minute script amendments, the similarities between Mac and Hollister, the benefits of budget constraints, Doug’s approach as a director and what happened to Hollister after Series VIII. We also touched upon such diverse topics as lost luggage, being cast in Batman, Donald Trump, pornography, moustaches and tales from the rehearsals of the Red Dwarf Movie.
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The following article is intended for those watching at Dave pace.
UKTV Play viewers should keep the comments spoiler-free until broadcast. More info.
Hello there, Dave viewers. The time has come. After tonight, you won’t be Dave viewers any more, and the other lot won’t be UKTV Play viewers – we’ll all be one glorious whole again. The final episode of Series XII airs at 9pm tonight on Dave, after which we can finally retire the longest-serving Spoiler Policy in Red Dwarf history. But until that moment comes, this is the thread for non-spoilery discussion of Skipper, and we’d ask that anyone who’s seen the episode already should please be careful not to give anything away until it’s been on the telly.
When we’re finally all on the same page again, you might want to catch up on the Play-paced discussion thread, or listen to the epic and somewhat emotional final Live DwarfCast of the series, or read the in-depth written review of the episode, provided by yours truly. But save some room for pudding, because after the episode airs tonight, we’ll be releasing a bonus DwarfCast containing an Xtended interview with a member of the Skipper guest cast.
Take one last look at that Spoiler Policy graphic, folks. *salutes*
Rather alarmingly, there are just five days to go until Red Dwarf XII is released on DVD and Bluray. Pre-orders could start arriving as early as this weekend, and it’s been less than a week since the covers were officially unveiled on TOS. These included the intriguing detail that we’d be seeing over 140 minutes of extras on the discs, but we’re not yet sure exactly what they are. Thankfully, the long-held tradition of details being released as a by-product of the UK’s home video classification laws has continued – Red Dwarf XII and its extras are now listed on the BBFC website.
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The following article is intended for those watching at UKTV Play
Dave viewers be warned that the content and comments could contain spoilers. More info.
For the third time since Red Dwarf‘s revival, I find myself sitting down to review a series finale, and pondering the very nature of what a series finale ought to entail. The Beginning went for an emotional resolution, leaving the characters very much in a place where they can be picked up again, but providing a satisfying full stop to their adventures if the worst came to the worst. Can of Worms didn’t have to do that, and indeed it wasn’t initially designed to be the final episode; it was placed at the end presumably because it was deemed to be one of the strongest, with an attention-grabbing premise to raise expectations.
Skipper aims to tick both of those boxes, and yet in many ways it’s like no Red Dwarf finale that’s been before. While it shares with Back To Reality the threat of a fundamental change to the show’s formula, it packs so many big and varied ideas into its running time that it feels more along the lines of a Doctor Who finale – throwing handfuls of elements from the history of the series together, jumbling them all up and turning everything up to 11. It super-serves the hardcore fans and hooks in the casual and lapsed ones with a much-publicised returning guest star, then hits them all with surprise after surprise when it gets underway.
Such a unique episode of Red Dwarf needs to be tackled in a different way. The story can be split into three distinct stages, both in terms of the progression of the plot and the journey of the main character. So let’s deal with those stages one by one.
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