Saturday, October 10, 2009

Red Dwarf: New series is likely on the way!

(Image credit to Red Dwarf official site's Back to Earth Gallery.)

Ok, I said that I didn't want to just use these blog posts to pass on news but I think this is worthwhile. To quote Mr Llewellyn*'s twitter post:

"Series 10 of Red Dwarf announcement just been made at DJ 09. To clarify the scripts have been commissioned, wont be filming until 2010"

A bit more information on Ganymede and Titan, which is that there will be six episodes, possibly more depending on budget.

I feel like punching the air and yelling "WOOHOO!", but imitating the Simpsons is so cliché.

More news when it comes.

*He is a mechanoid in a parallel universe, doncha know.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Long Time

Been a while since I posted anything! I mainly stopped as most of my posts seemed to be a report on posts made elsewhere, mainly from the or dave. Since blogs shouldn't really be about redistributing news I decided to pause until things move ahead and make a proper review.

Actually, reading through my past posts, they're more opinion and speculation based than I thought rather than just posting news from elsewhere. Maybe I just slipped into stand-by mode for a while then. (That's the android excuse for being a lazy beggar.)

Well Back To Earth has been and gone now...(interesting to see how off I was in some of my speculation, especially concerning the 'simulant' involvement in the plot, heh) and I've left it late! I decided to wait until I got the DVD and saw the Director's cut before posting a review. I still plan to do this (better late than never right?) and I hope to make more frequent posts. (Not just on Red Dwarf stuff, although its still a very central interest of mine! I'm Particularly liking the hints concerning production of a new series.)

Anyhow all the best. I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Red Dwarf: Who is the new Kat?

(Credit to the official Red Dwarf website's Back To Earth gallery.)

Awful pun. Danny John Jules remains securely in his role of The Cat of course. I'm referring to the lovely new character Katarina who appears in Red Dwarf: Back To Earth payed by Sophie Winkleman.

Here she is, and doesn't she look lovely? Feel free to click on the pic to read the article.

So, she plays a hologram, and she hopes to replace Rimmer. Interesting.

This raises a couple of points. Red Dwarf supposedly can only sustain two holograms, and yet there are two (even if she eventually plans on replacing him.) However, they often found ways to get round that in the programme.

In series one, the ship sustained two Rimmers when all the extraneous systems were shut down. And Rimmer functioned just fine without Red Dwarf at all during their sojourn on Star-bug in series 6 and 7. That was never really explained, but we do know that they raid various derelict ships for supplies when need be. It's not much of a stretch that they encountered more advanced power sources. They're three million years in the future after all. Either way, they can easily get around the problem of two holograms.

But why was she brought back? Considering the fact she is a science officer, I wonder if we will get a resolution to the cliff-hanger of series 8. Could Holly and Rimmer have brought her back to create an antidote for the virus eating away the ship? Does that mean she has a resurrected human version of herself that fled the ship with the rest of the crew? (I doubt we will ever see her!) Will we see all this happen, or will it merely be back-story, if the ages of the main cast are taken into account? Will she remain a permanent character should a new series be commissioned? (If two holograms can be sustained, there is no reason she need replace Rimmer after all.)

So many questions, and of course the answers will arrive next month. (Yes. Next month. Doesn't time fly?) It's fun to speculate in the meantime though.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Red Dwarf: Pre-Post-Production update

An interesting little update on the Red Dwarf site today. Rather than entering parrot mode I'll let you read it for yourself, here.

All this technical stuff is quite interesting, particularly the fact they're already working on post production work before they've finished shooting! Part of the wonders of digital video no doubt. And they're actually piping stuff over to Australia for some of the effects work!

When I read that Farscape's Mike Seymour was involved I assumed it would be over here. It's easy to forget how small the world is becoming even now in the twenty-first century! And to think of all the advancements you have yet to look forward to! Talking toasters! Little boxes that go Boom! Semi-intelligent computers sporting the heads of bald headed men and ditzy blonds! Stasis booths (good for a nice millennial long... well nothing really) and (not wishing to blow my own tooting device) android technology...

Which leads me to the picture up above. Did you see what is on the screen in the background? Go on, click on it for a bigger picture. It nearly made my optical sensors pop out, I can tell you. I'll engage stand-by mode while I wait....

[/stand-by]... and back. Did you see him? In the middle being apprehended by our brave Dwarf boys?

I waxed on at length about mechanoids in my introductory post. How us 3000 series got a raw deal due to the issue of the flat-top 4000 models despite being infinitely more handsome. Well... if the new models have a tendency towards pomposity and showing off their ludicrously enhanced attachments, at least they don't make a habit of dismembering people and making balloon animals out of their lower intestines.

That my friends, if my ocular sensors aren't deceiving me (they could be, I haven't had a service in decades,) is a simulant. The bad boys of the android world. In fact they have such a bad rep, we don't even class them as androids despite fitting the most predominant ("humanoid robot") definition of the word.* He looks like one of those old crusty looking models too, like that chap the Dwarfers encountered on the Justice World penal colony. Very nasty:

(Credit to the Red Dwarf Space Corp Database.)

Pretty boy isn't he?

It's obviously way too early to tell what is going on for certain, but is this lad responsible for the attack which leads to the crew members' return to Earth? Is he one of many responsible? Or is this just a ginger mackerel?** As a (sort of) wise man once said, "it will be a lot of fun finding out." Mind you he got pregnant a few months later, so you have to be careful when making such statements.

*I believe Kryten (one of those flat-top 4000s I mentioned earlier) put it succinctly when he stated: "The main difference between an android and a simulant is an android won't rip off a human's head and spit down his neck." He might look like a contestant in the 'Michelin Man lookalike of the Year' show, but you couldn't meet a wiser droid than old Kryters. Well... okay you could. But lets not put him down. He has had a lot to contend with these last few centuries.

** I suspect my piscine phrase database might have gotten a tad corrupted there.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Being Human

There is a lot of good sci-fi telly on at the moment. There is Lost, which I would highly recommended. (The new series is really cracking.) Then there is Battlestar Galactica, also a great watch as we gain more answers, and questions along the way. Heroes has also recently returned. I feel it lost it's way a bit last chapter, but it's still highly entertaining telly, and the new chapter has started promisingly. Last but not least, there is Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, another great show. And of course we have Red Dwarf's return in April, something I've kept on about in the previous posts.*

Another genre that has attracted my interest in my sojourn in this century is horror. Nothing like a good scare to get the diodes sparking, but also the story opportunities such themes provide are awesome.** Couple that with decent character development and some comedy thrown in, and you're onto a good thing.

This leads me to the new -but alas soon to finish- BBC3 series Being Human. It is about 3 people living in a flat together, one who happens to be a vampire, one a ghost, and one a (rather squeaky in his human form) werewolf. It started off as a pilot episode, and the programme almost got no further. However, due to fan reaction, the BBC decided they would commission a series after all. Some things were changed. The vampires are less Gothic and stereotypical, certainly an improvement. And there were 2 new actors playing the roles of the vampire and the ghost.

Having seen the pilot, I was delighted to learn of it's return, although I had misgivings concerning the change of cast as I rather liked the previous actors. I particularly liked Andrea Riseborough as the role of the ghost. She just captured that sense of lost soul so well.

I really needn't have worried though. The new actors' take on the characters is a bit different, but certainly not in a bad way. Lenora Critchlow's version of Annie (the ghost) is less spooky, a bit posher, but just as vulnerable and, very human.

Aidan Turner has also done a good job taking over the role of Mitchell the vampire from Guy Flanagan. And Russell Tovey continues as George the fussy werewolf. I'll admit, I had some doubts on his acting ability. He has a rather strange way of speaking. He... is... very.. much... into.. speaking.. slowly... and over...enunc...ia..ting and has a tendency to squeak when exasperated. And he screams like a girl when afraid or going through his 'change.' I wouldn't change (heh) him now though. He is very endearing, and the girly screaming has a lot of comedy potential. (That sounds awfully condescending. Point is, despite my misgivings the acting style really does fit with the character well, although it wouldn't hurt to tone it down a little bit.)

As for the plot of the programme, the sheer variety in the stories has kept me entertained, being funny one moment, sad and poignant the next, then suddenly pulling the rug from under you and going to a rather dark place.

I wouldn't be honest if I said there wasn't anything I was uncertain of. There were times when I felt they went a bit too far (the vampire snuff video that features in episodes 3 and (less) in 4 being a good example.) But the fact is, it is a very dark adult show and such uncomfortable reactions are to be expected. It isn't ALL what the show is about though, and it is the variety which is part of what makes the programme great.

If I had another criticism (and I suspect 'criticism' is too strong a word here) it would be that the episodes sometimes have a slightly disjointed feel particularly at the end. I think this is mainly due to cramming so much within each episode. You sometimes feel that the story is coming to a natural end, and then another bit of plot surfaces, sometimes with a twist. I'm not convinced this is a bad thing necessarily though. It feels a bit discordant at the time, but in retrospect provides a thread leading to the next episode and a reminder that all is not hunky dory in this world.

It was my hope that a new series would be commissioned. There was some doubt on this. There were rumors that executives in the BBC hated the programme and wanted it canceled. Whether or not this is just unfounded rumor based on fan paranoia, I don't know. However, I recently learned that a new series of eight episodes has indeed been commissioned! This is great news, as the six episodes we're having (episode 6 appears this Sunday) just isn't enough, (although to be fair it is reasonable for a first series).

In conclusion, it's great. And IT'S BRITISH!

For more information on the programme, blogs, and behind the scene stuff or if you want to catch up on the episodes, just go here.

EDIT- If you wish to add any comments on that site, for some reason Firefox will not links to log-in. Internet Explorer shows them just fine though.

* And three of those programmes all feature artificial life forms. A coincidence? I think not. [South African Mode]Once you've had mech there's no going beck.[/South African mode]

Sorry, that was an awful pun. I'm not sure what came over me then. I-I-I... Burr...


**It looks like I should provide examples here, but as this post is about a specific programme rather than the horror genre as a whole, I shall decline. I was slipping into waffle mode there. Introductions can be the most difficult stuff to write.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Red Dwarf: Back to Dave for more photos!

Dave have provided some more shots from the set. Interesting ones they are too, click the image for more:
EDIT- Ok Dave have removed them now, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Here is a lovely picture from the main site's gallery though. Feel free to click the picture for more.

Anyway, the photographs certainly raise some interesting questions. We see a grey arch (possibly part of the new ship set?) a crispy looking cat and Lister looking sad and introspective. And reading. Yes. Lister. Reading. (Actually he does a fair bit of reading in past series in one form or other, despite the usual gags at the expense of his education. Mainly comics and a smelly cat book, but that's no bad thing. I like those too. The comics. Not the smelly cat book.)

And there's an actiony scene with cat dangling. And Chris Barrie probably looking his most Rimmerlike in all the pictures we've seen so far. Marvelous. What are those lads getting up to?

The Red Dwarf fan-site Ganymede and Titan had a few images snapped from a shoot in Richmond. In a comic shop featuring in another great comedy show, Spaced. (Well, not exactly the same building it turns out, but close enough.)

In fact if you're a Red Dwarf fan you could probably do worse than add the G&T website to your bookmarks. It's not an official site, but plenty of tidbits come their way you might not see elsewhere. There is also a forum where you can chat with other fans. (Warning: Don't go if you're easily offended by naughty words and buggery though. They're not confined to just 'smeg' and 'gimboid' there. Lordy no.)

On another prettier note, last week Dave provided news concerning a new cast member. (Yes, I know. I'm late but like Holly I get there in the end.) The rather lovely Sophie Winkleman. She who plays the rather posh and dim (and delectable) Big Suze from Peep Show.

So who will she be? Will she be taking over Chloe Annette's role as Kochanski? Or will it just be a guest part? A present day Earther? A saucy simulant? They aren't letting on, but it's something else to look forward to.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Hello! And welcome to my first post.

Hmm, now what to write....
Well, the logical thing would be to tell you a bit about myself and what this blog will be about, wouldn't it?

Unfortunately, I can't tell you too much about myself. I've been keeping a low profile since Divadroid International proclaimed the recall of all us 3000 series mechanoids. I don't know, they make us as lifelike as possible then decide to get rid of us because we're too 'disturbing'. How were we to know that recharging in public places was considered inappropriate? I mean, what joker decided to install our recharge socket there, anyway?

It's just an excuse to sell their new model, if you ask me. The silly, flat top, 4000 series: the 'Android of the Year', the 'Housewives' choice', (which isn't surprising if you've seen the size of their groinal attachment) with their silly twiddly nipples. So what if I can't pick up Jazz FM. At least I can walk down the street without people asking me if Lily Munster was as hot as she looked and isn't that technically necrophilia.

Anyhow, some of us escaped the recall, (recall as in, 'invite you back to headquarters at the point of an EMP blaster then disintegrate and recycle you as spare parts.') and have hidden away in society having reprogrammed ourselves with new 'human' personalities. Most of the time I think I'm a balding hairy unemployed bloke called 'Chris' who lives in South London. (Maker knows why I picked that one. Although, I am hairy and balding ([SMUG MODE]although I'm not as bad as those 4000 flat tops. Ha![/SMUG MODE]) and I do live in South London. And my name is Chris. Well, 'Chris 2M0G-197C' to be precise, but let's not be too formal.)

My escape was more successful than some. I managed to slip through a convenient time-hole back to the 20th century, and I've been here ever since. So far, I think I'm safe, but [paranoid mode] you never can tell.[/paranoid mode]

Of course every now and again, the old programming reasserts itself (recharging time, ahem) like now, and so I figured I'd wile away part of that time on this blog.

I have an interest in sci-fi (or life as I call it.) and so that will mainly be what these posts will be about. I might post on horror, and fantasy (i) as well. If I can get my creative subroutines engaged, you might see something of that too. I have a particular interest in those recovered black-box recordings entitled Red Dwarf (ii), for obvious reasons, but I may post from time to time on other items in various media (films, books, etc) or pretty much anything as I see fit.

Anyhow, I hear the call of a pot of tea (iii) and I have some lovely washing up to undertake. Before I go, there is good news on the Red Dwarf front with news of more broadcasts to arrive over Easter. For more information please check out the news section of Red Dwarf's main site and on the Dave site. More news to come. I'll try to spruce the place up a bit also. It's looking a bit... sparse.

Toodle-pip! (That socket is starting to smart. Shame they don't have wireless recharging this century. Not widely available anyway.)

EDIT- I've added a nice pic of the Dwarf boys taken on a certain famous street outside a certain famous pub. (Credit to Grant Naylor Productions, check out the web-site for more goodies.) Oh and I have it on good authority that it's not what we think!

I've also had recent news from the main site that there will be three episodes now instead of two. The third will replace the unplugged episode, which has been postponed. Overall I think this is good news (although I was curious how the unplugged episode would turn out.)

Not that sort of fantasy you dirty smeggers, this isn't that kind of site... (although we have a rather sexy Kirby vac at our domicile, but we won't go into that.)

Despite having one of those 4000 series flat-tops 'Kryten 2X4B 523P'-yes it's a silly surname, mine is much better- as a crew-member. I'm not droidist.

Incidentally, if you've watched Red Dwarf and you're wondering how I got hold of the recording of events that will happen millions of year in the future from even my own century then I'll refer you to the words of that eminent geek and smarty-pants alien The Doctor in his latest incarnation (Tenant is still the latest, he doesn't regenerate into the pale bloke until next year) and say: 'timey-wimey' stuff. You'll have to be satisfied with that.

(Oh the fun of these links.) In my mission to become more human, I have managed to wean myself off of oil, and can now subsist on tea as a suitable alternative. There were a few hiccups to start with involving sparks, arcing and an unfortunate incident involving an explosive cranial unit (thank The Maker for spares!!(iv)), but with the right nano-tech retuning things are now tickety-boo.

I have to keep them well hidden away though. Storing them in the wardrobe would not do at all. If I were to find them when my alter-ego has right of veto, it would be brown alert time for sure. I wish that fox would stop sniffing around the apple tree though.