Series XII is now fully underway and as such the amount of Red Dwarf related news is much higher than normal. So with so many stories to cover each week, let’s look back over the reviews, the promotions and everything else that we haven’t had a chance to cover in the rush to look at the latest episodes of Series XII.
So let’s look through all the big Red Dwarf stories of the last seven days in this week’s roundup.
In case you missed it: reviews, ratings, podcasts and more
Before we get any further, with so much happening in the Red Dwarf world, here’s a quick round-up of all of our recent coverage of Series XII
Written review: Cured – Andrew’s extended review of the Series XII opener.
The Garbage Podcast: Cured Review – Alex and James are joined by Joey from The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club for a new edition of our site’s podcast to discuss everything about Cured in the first of our Series XII review shows.
Ratings: Cured – James takes a look at the overnight ratings for Cured and how they compare to Series XI.
Written review: Siliconia – James takes an in-depth look at the second episode of Series XII.
Watch Siliconia online
While we don’t intend on recapping this every week, given there are still some people who aren’t aware of the various means to watch Series XI, here’s a quick reminder of how you can watch Siliconia.
- The UKTV app
IOS users can download the app from app store, and it’s also available to Android users via the Google Play store. Once the app is downloaded, you’ll need to register an account free of charge before you can watch the episode.
- The UKTV Play website
The website allows you to watch the episode directly from your internet browser here. As with the app, you’ll need to sign up free of charge to watch via this method.
Sky+ customers can also download on-demand via your Sky box or the Sky Go app. For anyone with a Sky + HD subscription, you’ll also have the option to download in HD instead of SD.
If you don’t have access to any of these, or indeed you are just waiting for the TV broadcast, the episode airs next Thursday on Dave at 9PM on October 19th.
Please note that all of these methods only apply to UK residents.
Series XII: DVD release date and cover?
While we obviously all keep an eye out for official announcements, when it comes to DVDs, our first indications normally come from the BBFC and Amazon. While we still wait to see anything from the former, the later appears to have delivered in traditional fashion, having listed the Series XII DVD with a release date of November 20th and a mockup of the cover.
Being the Monday following the airing of Skipper on Dave, it seems a reasonably safe bet that the release date is accurate, but whether this is indeed the final cover has been much more up for debate.
While it’s likely the final cover will be slightly refined as with past editions, we rather suspect that this will indeed be the final image used. For both Series X and XI, the initial image that appeared proved to be essentially what the final design was, and we see no reason that this won’t likely be the same on this occasion.
Whats more, while Series X and XI used their main promo shots for the cover, the main shot for XII of the crew in a rejigged bunk room hasn’t really been use in promotions in the same way that those images were. You only have to look to the posters up on billboards and public transport to see that the images being used are different, so in this sense the use of the ‘everyone’s Kryten’ image isn’t that surprising, especially if the thought is to avoid having three consecutive series’ DVD covers represented by a generic image of the cast.
To have the series represented with an image specific to one episode may please or disappoint you depending on your attachment to Siliconia or indeed the way the VHSs followed this practise previously. However, it’s hard to deny that it’s an image that provoked a lot of discussion among both hard-core and casual fans, so we can see why it would be used here.
We’ll lightly spice our collective hats in preparation of eating them if we are wrong, but at this point we’d be surprised if the final product deviates much from this image.
Cured & Siliconia: The reviews are in
Because of the UKTV Play preview one week prior to the airing on Dave, it means that we are now getting reviews for Cured at the same time that reviews for Siliconia are still rolling in. Consequently, here are the Cured reviews as well as the first of the Siliconia ones that have come in.
You’ll find a notable quote from each review and a link in the name of the source it’s from to read it in full:
‘If Cured is anything to go by, Red Dwarf XII has really seized upon whatever little room you think there’d be for it to be different from its back-to-back predecessor. The pacing is much better than most of last year’s episodes and it’s an entertaining bit of whataboutery that revisits the comedic obsession with Hitler more brazenly than ever before, and largely gets away with it. Even with its minor flaws, no episode that has a sight gag as good as that left-leaning Starbug landing could ever be all bad…’
‘Cured’ is comfort telly at its finest. It’s the characters you know, behaving in exactly the way you’d expect.
As a result, watching these new episodes of Red Dwarf is a bit like ordering a takeaway curry. You know exactly what you want from it and it delivers. It might not be good for you, but damn, it’s enjoyable.
‘While Twentica was a solid opener for Series XI, Series XII one-ups it with Cured, an opening episode filled with plenty of genuine laughs and solid character development. Between this and last series’ Can of Worms, we’re digging greatly into the Cat’s core character and given the promise that we’ll see more about his race this series, I’m very much looking forward to what the next five weeks have in store for us back aboard the Dwarf!’
‘Most of the funniest moments involve Gage’s rather camp performance as Hitler – who incidentally has now appeared in Red Dwarf three times, having featured in Series III episode “Timeslides” and Series IV episode “Meltdown”. Hawkins is also good as Messalina, although it does say something about the historical influence of her character in that she is the only evil figure who requires an explanation as to who she is – one that Cat can see in a positive light. So far, a decent start for Series XII, and hopefully more funny stuff will be on the way.’
‘There are some lovely moments from writer Doug Naylor here as the plot pans out and things are not quite what they seem. Some of the gags are a bit obvious – you can see a Rupert Murdoch swipe light years off – but other touches are neat and imaginative, particularly when the crew get into a sticky patch and are confronted by their own worst fears. ‘
‘You’ve got Cat playing Poker, Hitler dying during a game of golf, Lister jamming on guitar with the Fuhrer, Cat trying his hardest to ward off Valeria, and we discover Starbug can only turn left. It’s great to see Red Dwarfback on the screen and I hope Doug Naylor is currently scripting Red Dwarf XIII as I type.’
‘Siliconia is a real fan-pleaser, with a lot of ambitious ideas and a lot of laughs. On top of that, it’s the best looking episode of Red Dwarf ever made, by a clear light-year. But most of all, it presents a really fun challenge for Barrie et al, giving them the same make-up treatment that Llewellyn has endured for decades and then letting them rip. Naylor’s reach may sometimes exceed his grasp, but gosh, that’s some reach…’
‘…This is yet another strong episode of Red Dwarf, with a handful of classic moments and one of the best concepts of the series’ entire run. Yet more reasons for Dwarfers to rejoice and new fans to come aboard the Small Rouge One and find out what they’ve been missing.’
Leopard Lager launched (and this time, not into space)
— Red Dwarf (@RedDwarfHQ) October 12, 2017
The sheer amount of Red Dwarf news that comes at the start of a new series means we have to pick and choose slightly what we can cover in time. This was exactly such an occasion, with Red Dwarf’s fictional brand of JMC approved lager becoming a limited time only reality. Launched on Wednesday in London at an event attended by Doug Naylor, tokens were then made available in copies of The Mirror on Thursday and fans were then able to trade these in at participated pubs for a free bottle or pint of the special release lager.
— UKTV Press Office (@UKTVPress) October 11, 2017
We’ve seen some unusual promotional campaigns for the series in the past (Vindalunar, anyone?) but this was quite a nice one that was a little more widely open to fans by being in a larger variety of locations than say the Berkley Square promotion for Back to Earth.
While the larger comes in bottles rather than cans (though we wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these crop up as props in future series), they still make for rather nice collectible items and look to be appropriately in world. And while the promotion only ran for one day, we’re advised that if you didn’t get a chance to get one at the time, you may still be able to buy one from the participating pubs if they still have stock left. Once it’s gone it’s gone though, so don’t hang around!
First official Mugs Murphy t-shirt released:
— Red Dwarf (@RedDwarfHQ) October 12, 2017
Also lost amid the new flow this week is another new T-shirt released on The Official Store. As with the London Jets t-shirt released a few weeks ago, we have the first official release of a classic design, this time in the guise of a Mugs Murphy t-shirt.
Once again it’s a design that is long overdue for a release through official channels, and as a never-ending series of knockoff t-shirts have proved, there has been no shortage of demand for it. In world t-shirts from the show are always hugely welcome to us, and sometimes actually preferable to the typical style of a publicity shot and a caption.
The t-shirt is available now from the official store for £20 (+P&P) and can be found here.
New show from Rob Grant: The Quanderhorn Xperimentations
— Chortle Comedy (@chortle) October 11, 2017
It seems a shame for us to only be covering this at the end of this article, but as with the previous story, it’s oe that’s been slightly hidden amid the constant stream of Red Dwarf stories. But nonetheless this is big news for fans, with Rob’s first project since his last novel in 2006. The story itself had already been hinted at a few weeks back, but proper confirmation came this week in a press release from the BBC, which stated:
The Quanderhorn Xperimentations is a new six-part series from Rob Grant, Red Dwarf co-creator, and Andrew Marshall, 2point4 Children and The Burkiss Way creator, which promises adventure, thrills, romance, and mind-warping technology.
It’s 1952. Permanently. Reality is trapped in a time loop by Professor Darius Quanderhorn’s bizarre Xperimentations His rag-tag team face threats and terrors beyond human understanding on a daily basis, together with their own neuroses. Martian invasions, giant space lasers, shape-shifting troglodytes and living feral underwear are all part of a day’s work for the Quanderteam: Dr. Gemini Janussen has clockwork-driven emotions, Guuuurk the Magnificent is a Martian hostage who fancies himself a gentleman cad, Troy, the professor’s “son”, who is part human, part insect, all idiot, and Brian Nylon, who has completely forgotten that he is the unit’s Test Pilot. In fact, he has completely forgotten who he is at all, but what he is finding out is beginning to disturb him.
Meanwhile, as the Professor ploughs ahead with his dangerous and sinister creations, oblivious to the consequences, his arch-nemesis, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, has begun to resent the public adulation of this reckless genius and would like to shut down his operation for good. But dare he do that, and risk unleashing the terrible secret lurking in Quanderhorn’s cellar?
Rob Grant and Andrew Marshall say: “For far too long, the facts about Professor Quanderhorn have been kept from the public. We felt it was high time to expose them. The facts, not the public. They can expose themselves.”
There’s a fair bit to take in here, but a 1950s fulled sci-fi setting is something that Rob obviously has an affinity with as seen in The Strangerers. We on this site are also big fans of radio sitcoms, and we haven’t really had a full-fledged sic-fi comedy of this nature in Radio 4’s Nebulous, so this distinctly Quatermass sounding concept is something that sits well with us.
And on top of the announcement of the show, the press release goes on to detail the first piece of promotion for the show at MCM London, which Rob will be attending:
In celebration of the new commissions, Radio 4 will make its first outing at MCM London Comic Con this autumn, with a Hitchhiker’s panel, comprised of stalwarts Simon Jones, John Lloyd and Dirk Maggs, on Saturday 28th October, and a panel with sci-fi and comedy masterminds Andrew Marshall, Rob Grant and The Quanderhorn Xperimentations’ producer Gordon Kennedy on Sunday 29th October.
With the show airing next year, we’ll obviously be covering it in full with Series XII of Red Dwarf having finished. We’ll bring you more as we hear it, but we are very pleased to see Rob back working on a new project and greatly look forward to listening to the show!