Guest Blogger JJ Benson here reporting back on what was probably the coolest night of my year so far! Andy (my friend and camera man for the evening) and I got to meet and chat with the cast of Red Dwarf, one of our favourite TV shows. We were in a central London location for the brilliant press launch of the new three-part series. It will air on Dave this Easter; fans will be treated to the first batch of new episodes in 10 years. Red Dwarf: Back To Earth reunites human Dave Lister (Craig Charles), hologram Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie), feline evolved Cat (Danny John-Jules) and sanitation mechanoid Kryten (Robert Llewellyn).
If you don’t know your holoships from your Talkie Toasters, here’s a refresher of the series: it was about the hapless crew of the mining spaceship Red Dwarf. Set three million years in the future, it focussed on their attempts to return to Earth. It’s impossible to sum up years of craziness in a couple of sentences, but if you can catch any of the old episodes, you just might see why people were, and remain, obsessed with this show. In the Dave episodes, the remaining crew finally discover a way to return to Earth. However in true Dwarf fashion things don’t exactly go to plan.
The new episodes are written and directed by co-creator Doug Naylor. The show first aired on BBC2 back in February 1988, but took a three-year hiatus between series six and seven. Now let’s cut to the chase: is Red Dwarf: Return To Earth any good? Answer: Yes! I enjoyed it and felt that it worked within the world of Red Dwarf, though it is remarkably different. As Doug Naylor told us, they were pushing up the levels of quality in this one with better sets, camera technology and CGI. And it did look a lot better than those wobbly sets from the early days (although that kind of added to its charm).
The series really is more of a film and deserves to be seen in one sitting. Luckily, we got to view it in one unadulterated showing, but for those watching it on TV, it will be broken up into pieces and that may spoil the experience.
This was pretty much a big celebration and the night lived up to the hype with loads of press and stars mingling together. Everyone associated with this programme are just fantastic. They made time to talk to us (we even had a chat with Doug Naylor’s wife!) and – a real highlight for me – we ate duck rolls with Terry Pratchett. What a legend!
OK, I have to go to bed now as I have just got in from the after-party. The Red Dwarf team are right up there for the award of nicest people in the world – the only downside was that Craig Charles, who plays Dave Lister, was not there. He was busy filming Coronation Street but he did record a message for us all. We filmed the event for MSN so check back here for our video and you can get a flavour of a really memorable night.
Guest Bloggers JJ & Andy
Red Dwarf: Back To Earth airs on Dave – Friday April 10 at 9pm, Saturday April 11 at 9pm, Sunday April 12 at 9pm
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