The G&T Christmas Message 2019 featured image

Hang on, I'm writing the G&T Christmas Message for the first time in 13 years? I guess I'd better do some Christmas song references. So: I'm giving Santa a Pikachu this Christmas, I just can’t wait till I am sitting on the bog, and... erm, I got nothing.

Danny, Robert and Doug on the set for the Red Dwarf SpecialMoving swiftly on, then. The last 12 months have been rather surprising in that things have actually happened in the land of Dwarf this year, unlike the mildly disappointing 30th anniversary. Not fast, get there in the end, etc. The biggest news was obviously the Red Dwarf Special, from Danny tweeting a picture of the readthrough, followed a week later by its erm, the official announcement. It perhaps seems unfair to talk about the production of the show never running smoothly - it's not like there are fansites examining the minutiae of Still Open All Hours audience recordings - but there was a distinct air of familiarity when one of the two audience recordings was postponed until next year. Well it probably is déjà vu, it sounds like it. Luckily, the other recording went off fine - bar Norman Lovett having a cold - and 2020 will hopefully see the second recording rescheduled. If not, at least we can look forward to Chris Barrie shooting linking footage vaguely in-character in 13 years time.

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Red Dwarf Special - Set Report (Byte 1) featured image

At least some of an episode of Red Dwarf has been recorded in front of a studio audience for the first time in nearly four years. G&T were there.

There were many things that made it unique. The first time that they'd deliberately set out to only shoot half of an episode in one audience night, and yet it will convert to the highest amount of screen time covered in a single session since Back In The Red in 1998. The fact that we were supposed to be watching the second part last night, but circumstances conspired to make this the first part, which also means that this will become the first individual episode to have its filming split roughly equally across two different calendar years. And that's not even to mention that this is a completely new format for Red Dwarf, the first time ever that - on broadcast, at least - a story that lasts longer than half an hour will be told in one uninterrupted go. But there was so much that was reassuringly familiar.

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…since Red Dwarf had a studio audience recording. Well, they’re back at it from 6pm tonight. And it’s undoubtedly the biggest, most important thing happening in the UK right now.

We noticed when looking back at some old “it’s been x days” posts that this is a pretty similar gap to the one between X and XI’s studio dates, coming in at just nine days shorter. What is unique, however, is that this will be the first time that only part of an episode is being shot in a single audience session, barring oddities like Dear Dave‘s incompleteness, or the extra dates to pick up material for The End and Back In The Red. This Friday 13th date was initially supposed to be the concluding session for the Special of course, until the original first date was pushed back until the new year. We’d assume that tonight’s audience will see what will roughly amount to the first half of the final episode in order, although they might need to mix it up for whatever reason, and the percentages might change depending on the proportion of pre-recorded and live scenes.

Either way, we’ll have a spy in the audience, and so we’ll let you know everything our recently updated Spoiler Policy allows us to with one of our patented set reports over the weekend. We expect there’ll be some action on social media and TOS today too, so keep an eye out.

Bad news, everyone. Ticket holders for the Red Dwarf Special recording scheduled for Friday 6th December have received the following message from Doug Naylor, via ticketing company Lost In TV:

Oh smeg!
We’re so sorry to have to do this, but due to one of our cast members suffering from illness, we’re going to have to reschedule your live audience recording of the Red Dwarf Special.

There are so many elements to coordinate when filming a complicated show like Red Dwarf that it’s extremely difficult to pick up lost filming days within a schedule. I know many of you will be disappointed, but we hope that you can all join us at a later date.

We are currently awaiting confirmation of the rescheduled date – although we can say this is likely to be in January 2020. As soon as we have news we will be in touch to arrange your replacement tickets. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused and we look forward to seeing you at the studio soon.

Yours Sincerely,
Doug Naylor

Oh smeg indeed, matey. This must be extremely frustrating for all concerned, and disruptive for fans who would have already booked travel/accommodation/time off work. The delay could also have a knock-on effect on the broadcast date, and will require more praying to the gods of cast availability, especially if the recording on the 13th also ends up getting pushed back. But that’s not really the important thing here – whichever of the cast members it is that’s ill, please get well soon.

We must say, this whack-a-mole game of spotting details about the Red Dwarf Special is proving to be rather fun. There was a time when major production decisions were revealed slowly and calculatedly in co-ordinated releases, but now you just have to wait for someone to chuck it all on social media, probably not realising that analysing the contents of their otherwise benign posts is incredibly interesting to the hardest of hardcore fans like us. Let's enjoy it while it lasts and take a look at the short video posted by Danny John-Jules this morning. It's of him, Chris and Robert strolling through Pinewood and chatting about the filming they've just completed. But Chris is in full costume and Robert is in full make-up.

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Yes folks, after a break of two years and eight months since the Series XII shoot wrapped, Red Dwarf is back in production once more. That’s as of pretty much right now, according to a tweet from a freshly-shaved Robert Llewellyn, who confusingly continues to refer to the special as Series XIII:

In fact, this post should appear at the exact moment that rehearsal starts on the first scene. The cast will get ready afterwards, while the rest of the crew set up. That’s according to a note on the call sheet, as tweeted by Linda Glover:

Fingers crossed that it is indeed a fantastic shoot – break several legs, guys. And of course, there’s bound to be a fair few further updates from cast and crew on social media over the coming days and weeks ahead of December’s studio dates, so please help us keep on top of them all by using the comments on this post as a repository for anything interesting you’ve spotted.

Today, a readthrough is taking place for the forthcoming Red Dwarf special. Dave have already tweeted a photo of the front page of the script, and now Baby Cow Productions have posted a lovely little cast photo on Instagram. The guys are all there, there’s Danny, Craig, Chris, Robert and… oh wait…

We were already aware that Norman’s presence in the special was a possibility after Richard Naylor responded in the affirmative to a question about plans to involve Holly, but I guess this confirms it. Norman Lovett will appear for a second consecutive episode of Red Dwarf.

Thanks to Joey Newsome for the heads-up.

After the merest Morse-based mumblings on Thursday afternoon, the news we've all been waiting for dropped in the very early hours of Friday morning. It's quite late at night and we've got work in the morning, so here's the short version: NEW FEATURE LENGTH SPECIAL! THREE-PART RETROSPECTIVE DOCUMENTARY! LIVE AUDIENCE! RECORDING IN DECEMBER! AIRING NEXT YEAR! TOS, of course, has some finer details, and here are our initial bleary-eyed thoughts...

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There has been an increased amount of rumblings about the possibility of new Red Dwarf recently, and as usual we've been kind of ignoring it until something more concrete came along. Most notably, Robert tweeted in a reply to someone the other week that "we start making Red Dwarf XIII in November", which seemed a little too tight a turnaround to be true. But once again following the usual pattern of these things, a cast member has now posted something that reveals perhaps a little more than they intended, and we can't ignore it any more. The cast member on this occasion is Danny, who has shared a snap of the other three at what appears to be a readthrough of something...

...and that sheet of paper on the table is very intriguing indeed if you blow it up and rotate it 90 degrees counter-clockwise...

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