Eleven months ago, I took a train down to Shepperton, and made my way to the Grant Naylor Productions office to discuss the terms of my taking over the job of running the official Red Dwarf website. A couple of weeks later, one of my first news updates on the site was the announcement of how fans could get tickets to see the brand new Series X being recorded. In mid-December, I was sitting with 299 excited others watching one of those very recordings. In January, I had to repeatedly pinch myself as I walked around the set on a pre-record day (I was on Red Dwarf. On the actual ship! See the rather-appallingly-taken picture at left, which I finally feel safe enough to share now that everyone’s seen the sets and we’re all about to see the actual episodes) And now, finally, after what’s at times seemed like a never-ending wait, the new series is upon us. Episode one of Red Dwarf X, “Trojan”, airs for the first time on Dave at 9pm.
I’ve already written about my opinion on the series in general based on my experiences of having seen a number of the episodes recorded – an opinion that’s only been strengthened by, last night, watching “Trojan” at the Prince Charles Cinema in London. It’s come together absolutely beautifully – it’s funny, of course, as funny as it was seeing it “live” (indeed, one scene in particular plays out magnificently as a direct result of that live recording, with one of the most brilliant examples of a cast riding laughter and timing their deliveries to perfection); but it also looks incredible, with some truly stunning model-based outer space sequences that, just as in the show’s “classic” years, complement the sitcom material perfectly.
Having been a fan of this show for over twenty years, it’s still quite unbelievable that we’ve got a new, full series of it. And, more impressively, that said full series is so great. It’s obviously difficult to talk in detail about a lot of the reasons why that is, but it’s at least possible to vaguely hint at a few things. So for a bit of fun, here are a few cryptic teasers. I will neither confirm or deny any guesses anybody might have as to what they mean, however, so you might as well keep them to yourselves, and then just be smug afterwards if you got any of them right:
1. T f a c w h n b s o s s 1989.
2. D D c m t t t R D c p S.
3. W f t R t a u o I a m h f a.
4. A c c H, w w o g t a i t m, i a i T B.
5. A a w a i S VI p a s – b d – c i E.
6. T f l o t s i a c t t v f e.
Enjoy the series. I think it’s brilliant, and I think you’ll think so too.