Oh, Robert Llewellyn. You are a one man gun-jumping machine. This time, he’s turned up on the annoyingly-capitalised radio station talkSPORT, primarily to promote the forthcoming Fully Charged live shows. G&T regular Stephen Abootman was listening, and has very helpfully clipped up the part of the conversation that turned to our favourite show. Upon being asked by either Hawksbee or Jacobs whether he was “gonna do some more Red Dwarf“, Robert replied:
We are. We start Series XIII, which I can’t believe will be nearly 32 years since we started, which is quite daunting. So we’re all getting on a bit, but you know, we have such fun doing it. We’ve been working together recently and it is… I think none of us would do it any more if we didn’t get on, ’cause it’s such a difficult show to make. If you make a show that’s science-fiction, where everyone’s got loads of make-up on and props and difficult things, everything goes wrong. Mainly me and my brain not remembering what I’m supposed to say.
Previously on G&TV, we brought you an archival treat starring Chris Barrie. This month, we bring you the results of a YouTube search for a different member of the Red Dwarf cast; from September 1992, it’s The Reconstructed Heart, an illustrated lecture by Robert Llewellyn. It was broadcast on Channel 4 in the same month that it became Robert’s first published book.
Fans of Gogglebox, the popular television programme in which cameras capture the reactions of ordinary people as they watch TV, may be interested in We Have Been Watching, which is the same. Except that instead of ordinary people, this UKTV Original features comedians and sitcom stars, and their viewing material consists of classic comedy clips, old and new. The show started with a Christmas special late last year, and has since embarked on a full series, which is currently airing on Wednesday nights. Among the regulars are two elderly gentlemen named Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn – truly the Bill & Josef of the cast.
Anyway, each episode tends to feature at least one of the regulars watching the show that they’re best known for, and according to this tweet from Gold, tonight’s the night for Red Dwarf. No official word on which episode they’ll be watching, but if it’s from Series X or XI, this is probably the closest we’ll get to a cast commentary. So we’ll be tuning in tonight at 8pm on Gold, and if you’re doing so too, then this is the place for your comments.
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…
It’s truly commendable how the hundreds of eager Red Dwarf fans who attend audience recordings every week manage to keep the show’s secrets safe, in compliance with their hero Doug Naylor’s wishes. The same cannot be said for the cast. In another tweet-that-may-soon-be-deleted, Robert Llewellyn has provided a picture of the cast and crew watching today’s rocket launch on the set:
It doesn’t take much guessing to figure out which particular set this is, particularly in conjunction with this tweet from Ed Moore. Frustratingly for us fans, but probably much to the relief of the production, it doesn’t show a great deal of detail, what with it being taken from an angle that’s unlikely to be used too often on-screen. But those are some lovely panels and instruments, eh?
Not sure about the product placement of that iPad, though – seems totally out of place in my opinion.
…until Red Dwarf has its next studio audience recording, but a) nobody seems to give a shit about our Friday morning posts this time round, and b) quite a bit of interesting news has emerged in the last couple of days. Rest assured that our set report will be arriving on Saturday, hopefully a little earlier in the day than normal and possibly done slightly differently to normal. But in the meantime, an intriguing nugget has emerged from Robert Llewellyn’s latest Periscope (link only valid until Thursday morning, disposable media fans):
They’re on air next year. We spoke to someone from UKTV last night, so… the sort of September-ish of 2016, and then January-ish of 2017.
Oh, Robert Llewellyn. You are a one man gun-jumping machine. Of course, we’re all of us – production and fans alike – 99% sure that an eleventh series will happen. Doug wants to do it, the cast wants to do it and UKTV want to do it – Doug said as much at Dimension Jump back in May. But it’s at this point that we feel the need to clarify that nothing has been made official yet. And as usual, it’s a leaky cast member that’s made us clarify this.
Yes, this is clearly just a plug for a project that a couple of the G&T staff and many of our friends are involved in. If that offends you, look away now.
Still here? Good. Because we want you to go and download A Brief History of Time Travel, a radio-sit-com-but-on-the-internet, written by James Hunt and reddwarf.co.uk’s Seb Patrick. Starring Joanna Elliot, Jon Shaw, Henry Imbert and G&T’s very own Ian Symes, who is easily the best one in it. Furthermore, also on the credits are sound designer Danny Stephenson from G&T/Sweden, regular guest star Xander Newsome from off of Gazpacho Soup, and the extra special guest star, across all six episodes, is one Robert Llewellyn. He was in that old sitcom with the big spaceship and he had a funny head.
It’s available to buy now. I know that “paying for stuff” and “the internet” are often strange bedfellows, but this is worth it. It’s a completely independent venture (and how many audio sitcoms can you name that weren’t made by the BBC?), that’s been run to a professional standard throughout, and if we want independent voices to get themselves heard, this is exactly the type of project that deserves our support. Plus, it’s cheap as fuck. You can get the full series of 6x 30-40 minute episodes for £7, or you can get the complete package with a shedload of extras for £11. This includes a 20-odd minute audio spin-off for each episode (with deleted scenes, ramblings from the writers and interviews with the cast) and a massive 400-page book that’s packed with just about every single scrap of detail you could possibly want from the series.
Basically, we don’t ask you for much. But all of us at G&T really want this to be a success, so if you want to make us happy, you’ll go and give A Brief History Of Time Travel a try.
So, starting on the 4th August, YouTube will be launching Geek Week, spotlighting all manner of geeky things including, most notably, a one-off new episode of Knightmare which is sure to be good.
More pertinently for us, however, is that Kryten is to be unceremoniously ripped from the Red Dwarf universe and “will act as a daily host pointing viewers to new videos”. As far as I can tell there’s no word on who will be writing Kryten’s dialogue, but I imagine it will cover topics such as cleaning, cleaning and cleaning.
The whole thing is being produced by ChannelFlip, who have also been responsible Our Bobby’s web series Carpool and The MoWer.
EDIT: So this has all started now, and Kryten’s daily introduction videos have actually turned out to be quite good, as has Geek Week itself. As revealed in Seb’s big TOS on Friday these videos are written by Robert Llewellyn (The Joeys, The Corner House, Beyond a Joke) and directed (and presumably also co-written) by Doug Naylor (Pushing Up Daisies, Over to Bill, Beyond a Joke).
SFX’s relationship with Red Dwarf has been up and down over the years, but in recent years they’ve been treating the show very well, devoting a good amount of space to preview Back To Earth (not to mention the special cover created for the show). The November edition (November? You stupid fuckers) carries a substantial four page interview with Chris, Craig and Robert and it’s really very pleasant indeed. Edited highlights follow, but I also encourage you to buy the mag when it’s released on Wednesday, if for no other reason than to keep SFX’s lawyers off my substantial arse.