- Series X
With less than two weeks to go to the new series we’ve seen a whole host of new clips and photos this week as well as a variety of different press coverage. First of all then, the clips. The first clip features Rimmer and Lister in the Drive Room discussing breasts. Just a quick one liner really, but I quite like the punch line. Playing on the idea of Rimmer being deeply inexperienced when it comes to female anatomy calls to mind similar discussion sin episodes like Marooned, though as previously stated this is just the briefest snippet of a much longer scene. Thanks to Ally on the Offical Forum for capturing the clip and uplaoding it.
This second clip features Rimmer and Lister in the Drive Room when Kryten enters with news only to be shot down by Rimmer.
This third clip features some nice interplay between Rimmer and Lister that perfectly captures the relationship between the two characters with a strong feeling of classic Red Dwarf.
As well as new clips, Dave also posted a new episode of their weekly podcast featuring an interview with Chris Barrie. The podcast can be found here. Listen in for Chris Barrie’s impression of Craig Charles. The Official Site meanwhile has updated with high quality wallpapers of some recently released images as well as the wallpapers for your phone using the cast publicity shots that were released last week. Dave have also posted 6 new pictures of Rimmer. One can clearly be identified from the third episode, ‘Lemons’, owing to the fruit being on the table along with an assortment of nails. Click the pictures to enlarge.
Reviews of Trojan have continued to come in over on Ain’t It Cool News, Cult Hub, Cult Box, Digital Spy and one at Den of Geek, the later of which is particularly thorough and echoes many of the sentiments of those that saw the episode being recorded. In print, the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine due out this week will also feature a full page article on the new Series. It’s available in shops now at a price of £4.99 and you can see a photo of the article from Simon Bromley below: The Radio Times have also run an interview with Doug Naylor where he talks candidly about the move from the BBC to Dave, Back to Earth and Series X. Doug’s huge enthusiasm is great to see, and you can tell there is a real pride in what has been achieved with the new series, perfectly encapsulated by Doug’s answer to what three words summed up the series; ‘I can give you four. Back. To. Its. Best.’
Digital Spy have been updating with some hugely spoiler laden articles. First up there are a selection of promotional pictures from Trojan. Due to the spoiler within the photos we won’t put the full selection on here, but you can find them by clicking on the shot below:
Digital Spy have also published a full breakdown of the series with individual episode synopses. These feature some huge spoilers and we advise that many of you may wish to avoid this information. The British Comedy Guide have also updated their information for Fathers and Suns, listing Rebecca Blackstone as appearing as Pree. You can find Ganymede & Titan’s comments on her casting here, and I have to say I quite agree with them as I thought she was fantastic at the recording.
Finally, a few little details about the DVD release have come to light this week. First up, now that it has been passed by the BBFC we now know that there will feature 12 minutes and 13 seconds worth of Smeg Ups. We have also heard from Doug and Andrew Ellardthat the DVD will have reversible covers, allowing you to have it match the rest of your DVDs or stand alone. With the show being so close to airing there will doubtless be another flood of Series X news updates next week, so be sure to check the site regularly.
- Craig Charles & Bill Pearson Confirmed For Dimension Jump XVII
The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club has announced another two guests for next year’s Dimension Jump; Craig Charles and Bill Pearson. They will join the lineup that already contains Chris Barrie, Robert Llewellyn and Tony Hawks and more guests will be announced in the run up to the event. Registration for the event is £65 for current fan club members, and £80 for non-members. There are also special rates available to attendees for hotel rooms, and you can find details of how to book them, links to register and more general information on the Dimension Jump website.
- ‘The Man In The Rubber Mask’ Update
For those of you that have subscribed to the ‘Man in The Rubber Mask’ updates, the latest chapter is now available to download. It covers the time spent trying to get the Red Dwarf movie off the ground and contains some revelations about not only how close it was to being made and how it was going to be done that that may surprise you. If you haven’t already, you can download the audio book and subscribe to all further updates by making a one off subscription here for £4.99 for what will eventually amount to over 10 hours of audio. The full book will also be released in a Kindle/E-book edition once Series X has aired.
- The Red Dwarf Introcast
A new episode of The Red Dwarf Introcast. This episode sees Heath, Angela, and Shane taking a look at Stasis Leak. The episode is available to download and you can find them on the podcast’s website and is also available on iTunes.
- Series X
With Series X just a few weeks away the wheels of the publicity machine for the series are really starting to turn rapidly, and this week there is an awful lot to cover. Early this week the UKTV showcase was held giving the press a first look at Trojan. As a consequence of this and press releases being sent out, a flood of pictures and reviews have started to make their way online. First of all, we have a variety of pictures from the screening including the costume display, the audience getting ready and the USB sticks handed out to the press.
Next up, we have a variety of publicity shots. Some of these should be familiar as they were used for the official poster, but there are some lovely new shots that really show off the new costumes well. Most interestingly of all, we have a picture of the Drive Room set redressed as a diffferent cockpit (for a clue as to which, see Andrew Ellard’s comment that it’s ‘a particularly BLUE set‘). It’s an impressive redress job that manages to make the set different enough while using the similarities to give a consistency of look between the Dwarf and its minor ships.
With the press now free to start reviewing the episodes they have seen, reaction to the series has started to appear online. Here’s a smattering of the positive reactions that have appeared on Twitter:
@gregoryhudson Just seen the first episode of Red Dwarf X – very VERY funny – fantastic to see the crew back!
@diytv Chuffed to say that Red Dwarf is back to its best.
@CarlitoRemo Have seen the 1st episode and the boys are back!
@DeanPerry Red Dwarf X starts 4th October on Dave at 9pm – it’s superb
@Coops_tv Watched Red Dwarf X at the UKTV showcase yesterday. I larfed @grant_williams Just watched Red Dwarf X Ep1. Show defo back to glory days of Series 5&6.
Full reviews of Trojan have also appeared online and you can find links to them below. All of these obviously come with spoiler warnings, so read at your own risk if you want to go in totally unspoiled.
Richard Naylor has also started a blog on which he intends to answer Red Dwarf X questions in more depth, whilst giving thoughts and info on it & other shows he is linked with. The first post is an interesting and quite funny report of the press screening at the UKTV showcase this week. It’s well worth a read and will surely be worth keeping an eye on in the future. Richard also accompanied the blog with this new picture of Rimmer in the sleeping quarters set:
The British Comedy Guide has updated their listing for Trojan with a synopsis and, most interestingly, a cast list. It is highly important if you are looking not to be spoiled that you do not read on any further. [Highlight for spoilers] The list provides us with the names of the two main guest actors; Mark Dexter as Howard Rimmer and Susan Earl as Sim Crawford, as well as also telling us that that Lucy Newman-Williams and Bryan Bounds are playing All Droid Shopping Channel presenters. The piece is accompanied by two new pictures featuring a shot taken on the set from the publicity photos earlier this week and a picture of the two Rimmer brothers in a brand new uniform, and revealing that like his brother, Howard is now a hologram.[Spoilers End]
Dave have changed their release schedule for Series X previews slightly, so that now Fridays see the release of new pictures while Saturdays see a brand new clip. This Friday’s pictures featured the Cat, and can be viewed below. Friday also saw a new episode of the Dave Weekly Podcast uploaded with Danny John Jules as the special guest following on from Robert last week. You can listen to the podcast here and next week’s episode will feature Chris Barrie.
Saturday’s Series VI marathon has given us the code ‘ASTRONAVS’, which could be used here to unlock a clip of Rimmer and Lister going through the contents of a post pod that should instantly make people think of a similar scene in Series II.
As well as the codes, the advert breaks also featured various new bumpers and an extension of the trailer that has been around for several weeks. Now replacing the ‘oh look a bit of poppadum’ line is a clip of Lister in full spacesuit floating past a window and asking Kryten to let him in as he has forgotten his key. You can see some screenshots from this new section below:
The model shot bumpers from last week have now been replaced by several different ones, each featuring a differnt member of the cast. You can view a picture from each one below along with a low resolution video compilation of all 4:
Along with these TV trailers, three online retailers have uploaded specially filmed promotional trailers for the DVD of the new Series. While Amazon surprising doesn’t (yet) feature any specially filmed material, Play have a nice clip with Cat chasing the light from a laser pen, HMV have Cat doing a piece to camera and Zavvi have a short clip with Lister Rimmer and Cat, followed by a short clip of Blue Midget flying out of an explosion that looks absolutely fantastic. You can view all three below:
Promotion for the show is also starting to appear in print with magazines like VIZ and SFX featuring full page ads, as can be seen in the following pictures.
SFX’s new issue (out on Wednesday) also features a 4 page feature on the new series. Ganymede and Titan have some of the highlights on their site, and you can find them by clicking on the photo from Simon Bromley below:
Finally, as well as appearing in magazines, the Series X poster have been sighted out in the wild at various stations. Various people have been tweeting pictures of them, and you can find some of them below. According to Doug the posters in railway stations including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Edinburgh as well as 16 London Underground stations
- Ganymede & Titan Articles
Ganymede and update 3 new articles of interest First up, to tie in with the current weekend marathons on Dave, John Hoare has compiled a wonderfully anal list of edits Dave have made to the shows. The first two articles cover Series VII and VIII with the rest to follow at a later date. Its well worth a read if for no other reason than to ponder the dichotomy that John raises early on: “how can a channel care so much aboutRed Dwarf to commission a new series, and yet give its repeats so little respect?”
G&T also celebrated their tenth anniversary this week, and as such have updated with an article detailing the history of the site. It’s a story of legal action, wars of words and a mole at the heart of the British Secret Service whose duplicitous actions led to the downfall of friends and enemies against a Cold War backdrop. Or maybe that’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? Yes, my mistake, it’s that one. Still, their story has a full-blown flame war with a minor television personality and lots of swearing, so maybe give that a read after le Carré. Anyway, happy 10th anniversary G&T. Perhaps you can lend us fifteen quid to buy you a birthday card?
- The Red Dwarf Introcast
A new episode of The Red Dwarf Introcast covering Thanks for the Memory has been released. If you are unfamiliar with the podcast of the concept, it follows in the format of other introcasts by having 4 people watching Red Dwarf and then talking about it; two of whom haven’t seen any of it previously. The episode is available to download and you can find them on the podcast’s website and is also available on iTunes.
With Red Dwarf X coming up quick and fast in the next 6 months I thought it might be a useful to look at the ratings for ‘Back to Earth’ as well as Dave as a whole to see if a ballpark figure for success can be found for the new series.
First we’ll take a look at the figures for the ‘Back to Earth’ weekend and then follow it up with some contextualisation of the figures by looking at other high performing Dave airings and other Dave commissions.
All consolidated figures (Live+ 7 days of recording) are from the BARB. All overnight figures (Live+ same day recording) are from various news sources.
Night 1: 10/04/2009
‘Back to Earth’ Episode 1 broke records with that rating not just for Dave but for all of digital TV. The figure for Episode 1 put it as the highest rating scripted digital TV commission in British history. It has since been beaten by the behemoth of The Inbetweeners back in 2010.
The first three Red Dwarf episodes aired that night enter the top 10 for Dave’s history in viewing figures. ‘Tikka to Ride’ is also way above average.
At 1,089,000, the repeat of ‘Gunmen of the Apocalypse’ is the second highest rating airing in Dave history up to that day. Pretty impressive for a 16 year old programme.
Being a commercial station, Dave will be more concerned with the overnights than the final consolidated figure. Both are relevant in measuring the success of a programme but advertisers are more worried about the people who watch it on airing so they know people aren’t skipping the adverts. Without the time-shifted viewers we still see a mind-blowingly good figure.
Night 2: 11/04/2009
Episode 2 held on at an impressive 1.2m viewers. Still above and beyond what would have been expected of the programme. The figure for both the consolidated and overnight are even more impressive when you consider the show clashed for a good 15 minutes with Britain’s Got Talent which was viewed by over 11m people.
The clash with Britain’s Got Talent may explain why from just the consolidated figure above we see a 40% drop off between Episode 1 and 2 yet when all of the weekend figures are added up it was just 25% less people overall viewing from Episode 1 to 2.
The Smeg Ups special achieved an incredibly impressive figure of 652k. This puts it in the top 5 of Dave airings of any programme up to that day.
Figures for the rest of the day are not available because only the top 10 for each week is publicly available.
Night 3: 12/04/2009
Episode 3 held on to nearly all of the audience that entertained Episode 2. In fact Episode 3 achieved a higher overnight figure which would probably mean Episode 3 was more successful in the eye’s of advertisers. The larger drop seen on the Dave Ja Vu airing can probably be attributed to more people being able to view Episode 3 when it aired as opposed to Episode 2 were a large amount of people would have watched the Dave Ja Vu airing once Britain’s Got Talent had ended.
The making of reached an impressive 575k, making it the highest rating Dave commission not including the ‘Back to Earth’ episodes themselves.
Night 4: 13/04/2009
Overnight figures for separate airings are not available.
The consolidated figure for all three ‘Back to Earth’ episodes are incredibly impressive for a repeat. Through the night the figure raised indicating that more and more people were catching up on the episode they missed. This rise through the night was echoed with the Dave Ja Vu airing.
The making of repeated incredibly well, better than most of Dave’s original commissions would premiere.
Entire Night Overnight Figures
The above table shows the overnights (the most important figure for advertisers) for each episode across the four airings on the two nights they each aired.
Episode 1 gathered a large majority from it’s first airing whereas the second episode gathered a good portion from the 3 later airings.
Across the 8 airings, all three episodes broke 2 million viewers in overnights.
Final figures issued by the official site show that the three episodes eventually received 4 million, 3 million and 2.9 million respectively. This means that broadly they all time-shifted around 0.8 million viewers.
Dave’s Rating Performance
From 2007-2009, a regular figure for a top 10 show on Dave is somewhere between 300k-400k.
The above is all of the times in which a programme on Dave broke 600k (which would seem to be a rare barrier to break for the channel). Once the ‘Back to Earth’ weekend had completed, the list had changed dramatically.
The ‘Back to Earth’ weekend has added a mammoth 7 figures to the list of airings to achieve above 600k and it did it across just 4 days.
The above table is the highest ratings for Dave up to this point. 8 more showings have been added to the list since after ‘Back to Earth’ aired, 4 of which are for popular import Suits. Since 2009 it is clear that viewership of Dave has diminished slightly, 2010 saw no show pass the 600k mark.
Dave’s Original Commissions
Dave is pushing more and more into original programming. Commissioning new Red Dwarf back in 2008 was part of that push. Over the years they have commissioned many shows, predominantly studio based or stand-up shows to match their repeat output.
The above table shows all available figures for Dave commissions not including Red Dwarf. Most of these commissions fall around average to below average viewing for programming on the channel but presumably the savings in the long-run for repeats and possible international sale for programming can recoup losses.
It is clear to see how much better performing the ‘Back to Earth’ commission was than any other previous commission or any commission since. Even the airing of the ‘Back to Earth’ Directors Cut in June 2011 achieved an above average figure for a Dave commission.
So with all of these figures for ‘Back to Earth’ and overall figures for Dave, What can be expected for Series X? What would it take for Red Dwarf to get a Series XI?
Red Dwarf comes with a large amount of DVD sales, download sales and international sales which will cover much of the extra revenue needed to cover the extra cost of Red Dwarf over other Dave commissions but it will still need to achieve a higher figure than your usual panel show.
An overnight of 1m for all episodes across the four airings would be a fantastic and realistic figure. A consolidated figure around that of ‘Back to Earth’ Episode 3 would also be a fantastic and realistic figure.
Drop-off between episodes may be greater as the series go on but it will presumably find a low point as ‘Back to Earth’ seemed to when it shown little drop-off between Episode 2 and 3. With the series having to air over 6 weeks rather than 3 days the drop-off may be greater between episodes. Suits begun at nearly 800k viewers but is currently hovering just under 600k viewers.
Dave will also look at the long-term benefit of commissioning additional episodes of Red Dwarf. Series X will add an extra 6 episodes to the rotation and can air on Dave with any other episode from the first 8 series (all being able to air in a 40 minute timeslot). The more episodes over time that Dave commission, the less episodes have to be repeated and the fresher they can be to the audience which would lead to higher viewing figures for Red Dwarf repeats.