“Despite some last-minute shooting by Rob and Doug after the wrap party, Demons & Angels was felt to be the weakest show of the series by Rob and Doug, and so was placed 5th – the traditional place for what you think is your worst episode. (Despite D&A being great.) Nobody cares if you’ve got a duff ep if you’ve had four great ones before it, and end the series with a blinder.”
Over the years on here, we’ve often idly mentioned the idea that the worst episode of any given comedy show should be put in the fifth episode slot out of six. In fact, we’ve mentioned it so much that it’s almost become a truism, a cliché… and yet we’ve never really examined where it came from, or actually looked at whether it applies to Red Dwarf in any concrete way.
Hello. I am John Hoare, and I am going to take a look at whether this actually applies to Red Dwarf in any concrete way.
It’s the end! No, wait, the opposite of that. It’s The Beginning, as we draw our coverage of Series X to a close, just in time for the coverage of Series XI to begin. Join Jonathan Capps (via Skype), Tanya Jones, Danny Stephenson, Ian Symes and the Fan Club’s Jo Sharples as we discuss such burning issues as how many of the Rimmer brothers are illegitimate, what Arnold’s dying words actually were, including whether or not he even said “gazpacho soup” in the first place, and our feelings on Series X as a whole, with the benefit of nearly four years of thinking time.
Plus, we bring you a round-up of all the major Red Dwarf XI news that didn’t make it to the front page of G&T in the last week, and the long-awaited announcement of how exactly we’ll be covering the new series, bearing in mind that the release schedule for each episode is a confusing, divisive mess. Listen to the DwarfCast for far too much detail about our reasoning, but the short version is this:
Live DwarfCasts at broadcast pace. Written material at online pace. Discussion threads for both. Everyone gets some coverage asap after they’ve watched it, and nobody has to miss out on anything they can’t catch up on. Let’s make the TV broadcast the big event, and treat the online releases as an optional preview.
Rejoice as we finally reach everyone’s favourite episode of Series X, Dear Dave. Your intrepid team – Tanya Jones, Danny Stephenson, Ian Symes and TORDFC’s Jo Sharples – tackle such topics as the nature of the JMC on-board computer, the best burial place for a shit episode, Alphonse Areola, and a potential spin-off series for Asso: Spanish Detective. Oh, and sexism. Let’s see if this shitty little (mostly) boys’ club can sort out that thorny problem once and for all.
But before all that, a round-up of the latest Red Dwarf XI news, and all the details you need to get your hands of one of five pairs of tickets to Dave’s exclusive fan screening of the first two episodes. Yes, you have to listen to the actual DwarfCast in order to get the instructions, but don’t worry, it’s quite near the start.
There is to be a screening of both Twentica and Samsara, taking place on 22nd September (ie. the day the series launches on the telly) at London’s fashionable Prince Charles Cinema, which was also the venue for the Series X premiere nearly four years ago. The organisers have very kindly got in touch with us to provide more details, along with five pairs of tickets to give away exclusively to registered G&T users. Hurrah! Here’s the blurb:
Having kept any and all moving footage from Red Dwarf XI closely under wraps for around three quarters of a year, the policy since last Friday seems to be to chuck a new bit out every other day. Following on from the teaser, the full trailer, the variant trailer and the ‘scents of humour’ promo, an ad break between two editions of Mock The Week on Dave on Tuesday night saw the first spotting of yet another variant, with not only different dialogue, but a different montage too:
By a remarkable coincidence, our run of Series X commentaries continues with Entangled. Join Cappsy, Ian, John, Tanya and TORDFC’s Jo Sharples as we discuss such topics as Chris Barrie’s status as an attractive man, a particularly obscure Doctor Dwarf moment, burnt tea, whether it’s better to kill a chimp or a woman, and shoving spoons up one’s arse. Plus, considering this was recorded months ago, some remarkably prescient comments about the release schedule of trailers, and Britain’s relationship with the European Union.
But wait! There’s more. At the end of a particularly busy week of Red Dwarf XI news, Ian and Danny provide a fairly waffley round-up of all the little bits we’ve noticed, including a deeper look at the shots from the teaser that didn’t make it into the full trailer.
Following yesterday’s trailer-for-a-trailer, the full thing has arrived – premiering in the middle of a repeat of Parallel Universe on Dave. Interestingly, there’s a few shots from the teaser that aren’t in the trailer, most notably the crashed ship that may or may not be the Nova 5, or at least another ship from the same fleet. But what do we have in this forty second bundle of joy? Watch it on Youtube below, then read our shot-by-shot analysis.
Our countdown to the launch of Series XI – whichever of the two launch dates you choose to acknowledge – continues as we present our commentary for the third episode of Series X, Lemons. Recorded a few weeks after the last two commentaries, join Jonathan Capps, John Hoare, Tanya Jones, Ian Symes and TORDFC’s Jo Sharples as we propose an alternative ending to the Shakespeare running gag, have a remarkably prescient discussion about the option to watch Red Dwarf on UKTV Play (despite recording this in May), debate the canonical status of Still Open All Hours, speculate about Doug Naylor’s arse, and attempt to establish whether or not Jesus Christ really existed. Let’s see if this room full of atheists can sort out that thorny problem once and for all.
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.
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.