June 2003 News Archive
Tie Me Merchandise Down, Sport! (Updated)
We apologise to Australians everywhere. However, we bring good news. The Red Dwarf Shop Australia has now opened! Contained within are some lovely pieces of merchandise, although, like all pieces these days, they are plastered with a pencil-shaped version of the ship. Their clothing is very smart however - I would be proud to walk around in either the Polo Shirt or the long-sleeved T-shirt. Another piece of good merchandise-related news - the mobile phone logos are now ready to download! I recommend #400120 and #400124. Not #400129, however. That can fuck off. They've also got rid of the nasty fixed width problem in the Arcade section, which is good news all round.
Onto G&T news, you've probably already noticed the excellent search facility on the navigation bar. Google has now indexed 69, count 'em, G&T documents, and they're fully searchable. Newer documents aren't currently included; we have to wait for Google to get up to speed. Shouldn't take too long however, Google are lovely. A few fun stats: 25 pages contain the word 'smeg', 10 contain the word 'fuck', only one contains the word 'cunt' and a whopping 65 contain the phrase 'Red Dwarf'. There are two documents that are not yet indexed by Google. seeing as we've only just uploaded them. Firstly, there's an examination of the ending to Series VI. We love this ending to bits, and we jumped at the chance to discuss anything and everything related to it. There's also a review of the Official Companion, which contains a fantastic amount of pedantry. This is something we intend to do for all of the books, and we're shitting ourselves at the prospect of searching for mistakes in every single edition of the Programme Guide...
A couple of little points to finish off with - SmegWeb is now officially dead. It really is the end of an era, even though all we've lost is a notice saying that the site would not be returning in the near future. We would also like to draw your attention to this. It is the final, conclusive piece of proof that Jon Tickle should have won Big Brother. Jon Tickle - Chosen by God. Adored by women. Once met Craig Charles.
UPDATE 30/6/03: The Better Dead Than Smeg article has had an update, to add some information and to clarify the questions about the ending shown on Smeg Ups. We would welcome your theories, if you have any. Or even the truth, if anyone who knows is reading. Next content update on Wednesday.
Fly! Fly! Fly!
Bring me that Red Dwarf news... erm... and her... slippers. Ahem. Our winged news monkeys have been extremely busy today; although after calling them that, I doubt they ever will be again. First off, we have details of the Memorabilia Fair, held on the 26th and 27th of July at the NEC Birmingham. Guests include Chris Barrie, Craig Charles (Saturday only), Hattie Hayridge, and Ian Symes. Perhaps it's an opportunity for one of you to quiz them about the movie; although the reply will probably range from "I'm sorry, I can't tell you anything about that" on Saturday morning, to "Fuck the fuck off" on Sunday afternoon.
Secondly, friend of the website Karl Eisenhauer has come up with some interesting news about Winchester Films, who are involved in producing the Red Dwarf movie. The outlook for them is either positive, or negative, depending on who you believe; but what is certain is that they certainly haven't done well last financial year - they racked up a pre-tax loss of £11.2m, with a turnover of £5.1m. Ouch. Another little piece of news from Karl - Gerard Naprous is handling a chariot race in Chester; and he happens to be the guy who did all the horse handling for Gunmen of the Apocalypse (and, indeed, Phoenix Nights). Excellent.
Moving onto non-Dwarf news - specifically, Scrapheap Challenge news. Robert has just informed everyone on his Guestbook about the new series coming in September (for UK viewers; people in the US will have to wait until early 2004, when it airs as Junkyard Wars). There will be 16 episodes; 12 regular shows that are promised to be "amazing, dangerous and often frighteningly loud", and 4 Scrappy Races, which features "5 teams and their insanely weird, but road going vehicles". He plans to update his site soon with further details, so keep a look out for that.
Meanwhile, I think we've done enough work for ourselves today to blatantly crib from the excellent The Red Dwarf Zone. Firstly, they point out that you couldn't actually order the Red Dwarf logos for your mobile phone when we posted the link, as the logo numbers for download were not yet on the site. Numbers have in fact been added now, but the phone number to order them doesn't. Gah. No doubt it'll be launched in the next few days. Next, as usual, they have a coup - they've noticed that Intro 2, the band which had Norm and Craig in their video for Clear, are doing a song for an upcoming film. The Red Dwarf movie, perhaps? Head over to RDZ and decide for yourself...
Finally, take a look at Big Blake, a Dwarf site that was recommended to us by Greg. Not a huge amount there, but there's a nice section with some screengrabs of various appearances of the Dwarf cast on other shows, and apparantly there will be more stuff on it soon. Good luck; the more regularly-updated fansites, the better. Although Greg himself can piss off, because he's off to watch Dwarf on a huge fuck-off plasma tv. Wah.
Don't worry; we'll grow out of it soon. Today, we have news of a rather interesting little project. The being known at Kry10 has suggested a rather good idea - setting up some form of chatroom dedicated to playing the Red Dwarf Roleplaying Game. If you're interested, contact him at email@example.com. And if you have any Red Dwarf stuff you want to promote, or have seen any news we haven't spotted, send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, on the official site, the Red Dwarf mobile game Simulantsí Revenge appears to be still "Coming Soon", despite it being past Monday 23rd June; the alleged launch date. The logo for it is still greyed out, and if you read the Instructions, and click on the Logos or Games links (which are supposed to give you a page telling you how to download the items on your phone), it gives you nothing - the links are currently dead. No doubt this is just a minor delay, however. Neither Ian or I have got access to a funky enough phone to play the game, so when it does arrive, if anyone wants to send us in a review (even if it's just a short one) we'd be eternally grateful.
As for site news, we've taken down the Schedule section. We failed utterly. It was always out of date, and took far too much of our time that would be better spent doing other things on the site. However, you will have noticed above that we've added a little bit telling you the next UK showing of Dwarf; we'll keep that up to date, promise. And we'll tell you in the main news articles if we've spotted anything interesting coming up. Don't miss the complete run of Series 2, starting Thursday 26th - yes, I know you all have the DVDs, but any excuse, eh? Content update later in the week; and we'll update you before then if Simulantsí Revenge goes live.
UPDATE: Simulantsí Revenge is now up; and we should have a review of it in the next few days. Don't forget the cool Logos as well - they look great fun, but again, some of them use the Re-mastered version of the ship, which is just awful. I'm getting seriously pissed off that nearly all mechandise includes this; it's really, really, really bad, and it's just not in the spirit of the original shows. Why change something that was so beautiful into the current monstrosity? Admittedly, the budget problems of VIII forced them to use the CGI version of the ship, but that doesn't mean it has to be plastered all over merchandise...
Ian's Newsround - Playing With Yourself
Yes, another childish headline. Not quite as bad as Thursday's, though. We're obviously maturing. But not to the extent that we are not extremely excited about little games and toys with official Red Dwarf licenses coming out. Course, there have always been unofficial games on the internet; most of which originated on Planet Smeg, home of such classics as Planet Pool and the Graphical Adventure Game. There are also a few role playing games (not just sporting simulations), such as Joseph Stanko's take on Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, and Michael Dodson's RPG - a classic in five parts. But let's face it - although the fan's efforts were good, they never had any sort of slick, accomplished feel you'd associate with an official product. The only offering of this sort was the Polymorph Game, which was the flagship of the official site shortly after the relaunch. Unfortunately though, it was bollocks. Therefore, there has not yet been a game that matches the originality and dedication of the early efforts, with the high production values afforded by holding a license. Hopefully, the official site's new Arcade section will plug the gap.
From Monday, fans will be able to download Simulant's Revenge, previewed right, to their phones. Well, fans with decent fucking phones will be able to anyway. Rich bastards. Fear not - there will also be a number of online games, for the more technologically challenged of us. We hope Midget Blues will be a dancing simulation, similar to PaRappa the Rapper. Rogue Skutters and GELF Space are likely to be generic shoot-em-ups and flight sims respectively, but lets hope they're more varied that the 'shoot 60 of these to progress' style of the Polymorph Game. 6000 and Falling is clearly to do with Holly's IQ, but we're baffled as to how it will be turned into a game. Moon Rescue will presumably be saving people on a moon, rather than saving an actual satellite from danger, and Grav-Pool speaks for itself. I love a good pool game though - and hopefully this one won't be filtered on my college network. Also in the Arcade section will be logos and ringtones, but I've already got my Gunmen ringtone, so I'm fine.
What really gets our juices flowing, however, is the Starbug Playset, more photos of which are available from the Product Enterprise Ltd site. It was announced on the official site some time ago, but fuck me - it's beautiful. It's 21cm long, features sound bites from the series, is extremely detailed, and comes with a 'launching probe' and 'pop-up hologram', along with models of Rimmer, Lister, Cat and Kryten. One can't help but notice the lack of Kochanski - could it be that Product Enterprise are Series VI fans? The 'Bug seems to be that specific design - the one in VII had a smaller cockpit viewscreen. The interior does feature a vidscreen with Holly on though, noticeably Norman's Holly rather than Hattie's. Another piece of merchandise lacking acknowledgment of her. A minor niggle, but the playset is still possibly the best piece of merchandise ever, certainly much nicer than the forthcoming Corgi models, although they are still work-in-progress.
To all those who voted for Jon to be evicted - I hope you are ashamed of yourselves. You are no longer welcome to read this site. We mean it. Fuck off.
Yes, the headlines keep on getting more and more childish here at G&T! We've given the Parallel Universe section a bit of a re-jig. Now we're categorising each entry by the individual cast member, rather than having a big list. As the section grows, the old version gets more and more silly, so change was inevitable. Not the type to rest on our laurels, we've also added a few new reviews:
- Crime Traveller II - the latest Chloe Annett DVD
- Chris Barrie's Motoring Wheel Nuts - a big pile of poo
- Craig Charles's Stand-Up Videos - two reviews for the price of one
- Rude For A Reason - featurring Hattie Hayridge. For about three minutes.
We've also put the old mini-reviews onto individual pages, again to avoid confusion. In other news, a special mention must go to Jonathan Capps for his excellent Wild Assumptions articles. His website, The White Hole, is really coming along now.
Pinkle Squirmy PIP PAP plop
Another new article for G&T today - Continuity Announcement not only follows our tradition of having a really dodgy title, but is also our usual blend of fact and opinion guaranteed to piss someone off somewhere. If you think we're talking our usual bollocks, why not get in touch to tell us why; or even write an opposing article?
In a minor update, we've included the Epilogue found in 2nd edition copies of Robert Llewellyn's The Man In The Rubber Mask. I didn't know about this until Ian mentioned it, as I only have a first edition; so no doubt it'll be news to some of you lot, as well. Also, the Model Behaviour article has had an interesting footnote added to it; perhaps our fears are unfounded? Let's hope so. Another content update Thursday.
Ian's Newsround - Look Who's Talking Too
Further proof that the Series III and IV DVDs will be the best things ever, even though we'd have been more than happy with the standard set by I and II. But GNP aren't the type to rest on their laurels, and they've ensured that quality will improve further by securing some great behind-the-scenes names for interviews. As well as the previous interviewees, including Sir Peter Wragg (FUCKING YES!), top workaholic Andrew Ellard has now asked questions to Howard Burden, Andrea Finch (aka Pennell), Gordon Kennedy and Tony Hawks, as well as finally getting Danny John-Jules and Craig Charles to sit still for half an hour. The article also mentions that somewhere on one of the DVDs there will be a tribute to dead genius Mel Bibby, pictured right. A little montage of his finest triumphs, with his photo and dates at the end, would be perfect.
The official site also brings us more great news - Series II is going to be repeated on the channel of the same number! So, don't forget to tune into BBC TWO on Thursday, 26th June, at the ridiculously late time of 11:50pm. The official site has also updated its Image Bank section with some shots from Series III, which had previously been conspicuous by their absence.
Finally, Teenwolf from the NOT BBC forums provides this: "A uni friend of mine attended a book launch at Penguin on June 9th and who should be there but Robert Llewellyn. After the launch, he told my pal he was attending a meeting about the Red Dwarf movie, but refused to give any more details on the project, aside from saying there'd be location filming in Australia." Confirmation that some location work for the movie, as well as just the studio stuff, will be shot down under, there.
What have we here? A new article? We really do spoil you. This one is about Smeg Ups, in all their various incarnations, and is well worth a read. Especially if you don't like them, as you're completely wrong. Bloody "almost amusing" my arse. Howarth and Lyons should be shot.
There's also a plethora of minor site updates. The ATVRD section has had a spring clean; posts there have picked up a bit recently, so why not pop along and have a chat? The Links page has had yet another overhaul too, and the DVD and Movie FAQ has had another update.
On the news front, www.reddwarf.co.uk has had it's usual Friday update - Ian'll be here with his Newsround tomorrow, and we'll have a further content update on Sunday. And yet again, RDZ notice something interesting; www.normanlovett.co.uk is now resolving; with a message that says it'll launch at the end of June. If it's anything like Robert's site, we're in for a treat.
First up, a bit of a scoop for G&T due to friend of the website Karl Eisenhauer. He noticed the thread "grav pool" on the Talkin' Smeg! messageboard, where the mysterious being known only as kate posted a message. To quote:
Hi, could anyone tell me what grav pool looks like and how it is played?
Also could you tell me what a seeding pod is and what it looks like??
Images for these will be very helpful, i work for the company making the red dwarf games that can be downloaded to your mobile phone.
Now, obviously, we cannot confirm that this is true, but there have been past rumblings about such a game before. Let's hope it comes to fruition. It sounds great, although if it's true, it's odd that they would have to resort to a message board to get the info they need. Mind you, who better to help with the games than the fans?
Next, it's time for us to shake our sweaty little fists at The Red Dwarf Zone again. Their irritatingly up-to-date JMC News section details two new items at the The Red Dwarf Shop UK - limited edition trading card sets. There are two albums; Blue Midget and Red Dwarf. Costing £89.99 each, only 250 will be made. The 63 cards in each set are the same designs released in the standard set last year, only produced on a chrome board, but they also come with a Blue Midget or Red Dwarf silver plated collectors card (as applicable), and a factory set autograph card. It also comes in a special embossed leather album with silk lining. They are released 31st July, but you can pre-order yours now. I advise that you do, if you want to be sure of getting them...
Finally, take a look at Cappsy's site, The White Hole - it now has a quite excellent Downloads page, covering everything from the various incarnations of the theme song, to a few mixes, to both US Pilots. The webspace and bandwidth required for those makes me, frankly, wet. And we can all be glad there's finally another fansite out there doing great stuff.
Revenge of the Hamster
Today on G&T, the first in a series of documents, detailing every minute difference between the original series and the re-mastered edition. We've spent hours compiling the one for The End, which holds the record for number of changes. Be grateful. We've also cobbled together a few reviews for Waiting For God. Thanks again to the excellently named Curtis Threadgold, who will soon be our tour guide for the Red Dwarf locations in Manchester. Hooray!
Or, rather, not much new stuff, but various little site additions to make your world that bit more pleasant. They are:
- A new desktop background, Name, in the Downloads, section. It shows the Red Dwarf marking on the side of the ship. Hooray!
- A vastly revised Schedule page. One that isn't hugely fucking out of date, for instance.
- A new version of the DVD & Movie FAQ, including the Series III and IV Deleted Scenes info.
- An expanded Links page. The White Hole has an excellent new feature called Notable Mentions, detailing mentions of Dwarf on other TV shows.
Meanwhile, you can read Ian's account of the Aigburth Arms visit on this forum thread. He can seriously fuck right the fuck off.
Ian's Newsround - Deleted Scenes!
Yes, folks - it's that time of year again. Even though this has only happened once before, the feeling is unmistakable. We've got our first teasers as to the deleted scenes for Series III and IV, thanks to top workaholic Andrew Ellard's news report. It's a feeling of excitement, intrigue and sheer bafflement. Amongst the things we can look forward to are a rant from Cat about how many pointless games he could be playing, more stuff from Mellie, some interesting-sounding stuff with 'Kochanski' Camille, and "huge swathes" from Bodyswap. Also promised is a continuity fixing sequence from Backwards, but given that so much of the episode is illogical, that doesn't really narrow it down. The most intriguing scene, though, is an exterior sequence from Justice, in which the location looks "so much like a park in London" on-screen. The Series IV Production page of Time Hole reveals that the sequence will be in Justice World's ornamental gardens, and will feature Lister being shat on. Excellent.
Other good news from the official site - Mr. Flibble is back from his holiday, and he's brought Robert Llewellyn along as a souvenir! It's a great interview, all about WomanWizard, which I still urge people to buy - see the review for details. Robert also gives further details about his next DVD, which will include two pieces of software - iSpin and iSci. Sounds fantastic. Finally on the official site this week, details about Norman Lovett's forthcoming appearances. Everyone go and see him - he's fantastic. Once again, we've got this review of his act. Yes, G&T can help you organise your life.
As for site updates today, the Episodes section has been bolstered by stuff about Waiting For God. We've got the Scene Summary and the Supporting Characters guide. The reviews will be up soon, as will the capsule. As you can probably imagine, a capsule takes a long time to compile, with shitloads of different sources being plundered. This is why we've only done three of the buggers so far. The next update will be on Sunday.
Oh, and in case you're wondering why my newsround is a day early this week - I'm going to the real and actual Aigburth Arms tomorow, with some friend of the website Karl Eisenhauer, the excellently named Curtis Threadgold, some other buddies and Snip. Yes, I am going to play pool on the hallowed table. I may even order a Cinzano Bianco. Oh, one last thing - Jon Tickle to win BB4. Make it happen.
Some Sodding News
News! Thanks to Austin Ross, who pointed out to us this Cult 100 article on the BBC Cult site. TV Zone has just concluded a three-month poll to find out the best 100 cult shows of all time. The full listing is in this month's issue (#164), but the top twenty is there in the report; and Red Dwarf comes in at number 14. Charmed would appear to be ahead, which is an abomination, but never mind - it's a perfectly respectable position.
On site news, I finally broke our "update every day" policy after 37 days. Damn. Still, it was getting increasingly harder to do, and frankly the quality was deteriorating somewhat, to the point where I accidentally slag off other sites in order to fill a news item. Ahem. So, it'll be less frequent in the future, although there will definitely be something every 2-3 days - and every day, if there is news to report. Anyway, today's update is an article about the book Best of the Britcoms, giving the entry for Red Dwarf, and a review of the book. Ian's Newsround is due tomorrow.
No Sodding News
Still a news drought, I'm afraid. Back In The Red have posted what they say is the "first, well.. er.... kinda look at Chris Barrie in the latest Lara Croft adventure", and given a link to a picture - a picture that The Red Dwarf Zone mentioned ages ago. Still, the difficult to spell Matt Drzymala has reminded us that Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life is due out in the UK on 22nd August. No doubt the film will have it's knoc... oh, fuck it.
After two days of launching new sections, it's a relatively quiet day here at G&T - just some brief info on the entry in the Penguin TV Companion about Red Dwarf. Expect a review of the book to be added soon. A more substantial update tomorrow.
Just one update today to the site. The Schedule section has been added, giving details of Red Dwarf related broadcasts for TV and Radio for the next few days. Similar to the Dwarf Tracker on the official site; but that only gives Red Dwarf schedule details. We aim to give details on programmes that members of the cast are involved in as well. We intend to cover cable/digital channels; but for the UK only I'm afraid. Sorry to our worldwide readers, but we just don't have the time for anything else. We'll do our best to keep this section as updated and complete as possible, but we'll obviously miss things from time to time; it's certainly incomplete as it stands at the moment, but there will be daily updates. It'll soon get up to speed.
Oh, and if you don't get the title of this news update, believe me - it's not worth it.
Yes, I'm back rather earlier than expected - my net access difficulties have all been sorted. Which means regular updates for the site - and rather better regular updates than the last few days, thank fuck. Finally, and despite an earlier news item claiming this had been launched (ahem), The Brittas Empire section is now online. Contained within is the existing Episode Guide, and the new DVD FAQ - containing all the latest information on the DVDs. Expect it to be updated regularly. More Brittas stuff to follow soon, including an in-depth review of the DVDs when they are released.
And last month's news/updates items have been archived in the May 2003 section. More updates tomorrow, on some actual Dwarf stuff. Yay! And let's hope some news appears at some point...