With nearly a year worth of information out there for Series X, it might be hard to keep up or even remember it all. As such I will be writing a group of features that follow the production of Series X from the initial announcement in April to the present day.
Disclaimer: I have not seen any of the episodes being filmed. Unlike Alex, any speculation from me comes from a position of a person who knows nothing for certain about the new series.
The first bit of rumbling on the new series came when Doug Naylor announced that he would be attending the Red Dwarf convention Dimension Jump XVI with this tweet:
Doug Naylor attending Red Dwarf fan Convention, April 10th, Queensway Holiday Inn, Birmingham. Announcement on RD future will be made.
Speculation was abound but it would be 10 days until the magic day arrived…
With Dimension Jump XVI in full swing, Doug Naylor swaggered into Birmingham with the biggest piece of news to a Red Dwarf fan since August 2008. At 10:30 he made the announcement to a captivated audience of Dwarfers. He didn’t forget his locationally challenged fans though, announcing via twitter at the exact same time with these three tweets:
GNP have signed a contract with Dave for Red Dwarf X Now in contact with 4 principals. No probs anticipated
Big thanks to Jane Rogerson and Steve North at Dave for new series
6 x 30 mins now live on Dave
Dave also made sure they got the announcement out too.
But that wasn’t the only thing Doug would be talking about at Dimension Jump. Doug spoke in length about many of his hopes, ambitions and ideas for the new series. These were described in the Ganymede and Titan Podcast covering the Saturday and Sunday of the convention. The pertinent points are:
Doug wants the show to have an audience (as does the cast).
He would like to give an explanation to the 9 year gap between VIII and IX in some form on screen.
He would like to have models for the new series.
Pre-production beginds in October with filming in November to January. Airing will be in Autumn 2012.
He would like to do an episode with one of Rimmer’s brother.
He would like to analyse the dynamic of being his own Father. Writing Fathers day cards to himself etc.
He would like to have a physical skutter on set.
He has an idea that the ship has an undiscovered cargo bay which has been receiving updates from earth which when activated update the hardware on the entire ship.
Doug also completed an interview with Mark and Nina 102.3 HFM where he reiterated the details of the new series.
Robert Llewellyn also covered the news with a blog post.
Over the next few days the news was also covered by countless websites. Not forgetting the official Red Dwarf website.
Following the announcement everything went a little quiet for a while. We knew the new series was coming and now we just needed to wait for more news to drip out…
While giving the scoop on all the changes to the Coronation Street cast, The People mentioned one specific change which had particular interest to Series X:
Craig Charles’s character Lloyd Mullaney is going to be “rested”.
The official Red Dwarf website would cover this story a few days later too.
Chris Barrie had a short appearance on Wave 105. While being interviewed he stated the following:
Red Dwarf X is now certain.
Robert Llewellyn reiterated the new series was coming when he announced his new updated biography of his time on Red Dwarf as Kryten on his blog. Robert states:
At present I don’t have any more news regarding the recording of the new series, I know we start shooting in mid November this year, as soon as I hear anything more, I will reveal all that is permitted to be revealed.
Finally after months of speculation and waiting the day finally came. Craig Charles leaked a small amount of information on the new series.
While being interviewed on This Morning on ITV, Craig revealed that the series would be filmed in front of an audience and that the sets were currently being built. Digital Spy and Ganymede and Titan both covered the news.
Craig’s leak doesn’t turn out to be entirely true as the official site states:
sets are not currently being built, and the details of the show’s format are yet to be locked-down or announced.
Doug states that filming does not begin until December (rather than November as previously thought) with a tweet to someone asking if they can work on the new series:
Don’t start until December. Have u got a showreel online that I can show to my DOP? Thx. Doug
Doug took to twitter to ask for help with research posing the following question:
Research Question: How could u make a galvanized nail in 23 AD? I’ve got the nail how do I galvanize it? I’m in India but cud be in Britain.
Trying to make a lemon battery in AD23 – easy apart from galvanized nail – oh and I’m in India.
It stands to reason that being so close the Red Dwarf starting production so soon that these are questions relating to a new episode. So one episode must involve time travel to get to Earth in AD23.
Danny-John Jules did an interview with Cult Box which reiterated a few points:
Yeah, studio audience. We’ve gone back to our original format
Danny-John Jules tweeted that he was visiting the Red Dwarf X set in Shepperton Studios:
Went for a ride to see the Red Dwarf sets and designers at Shepperton to clear my Moto GP head. It was nice and peaceful.
Andrew Ellard, the writer of all the stories on the official Red Dwarf website for 12 years announced that he would be leaving his post as head of the site and relinquishing duty to Seb Patrick (who was previously a writer and administrator on Ganymede and Titan). Andrew stated that while he would be leaving as head of the official site he would not be relinquishing script editor duties. Andrew had previously script edited ‘Back to Earth’ so he would feel right at home script editing the new series.
That same day the official site teased that an announcement would be made the following week relating to the filming of Red Dwarf X.
The big announcement that most Red Dwarf fans were waiting for came when Doug announced the following on twitter:
There will be announcement on how to apply for tickets for RD X tomorrow on reddwarf.co.uk
There will be more announcements soon.
He also posted these six numbers:
16, 23, 7, 13, 20, 27
Either Doug thinks you can do the lottery through twitter or he was announcing the dates that filming would take place. It turned out to be the latter…
The day started out with Doug responding to a question about the galvanised nails previously mentioned in September stating:
Totally galvanised. If you want to come to the show I’ll get you a couple of tickets. The Show is called Lemons.
So if this is for a Red Dwarf episode (which seems likely considering he says he can get the person tickets when Red Dwarf X tickets were about to go up for grabs) then it has a working title of ‘Lemons’.
But the day gets more exciting than lemons and galvanised nails because today is the day they release the audience tickets to a refresh key bashing fandom.
Just before midday the official website provided dates, locations and instructions for how to be in the audience for Red Dwarf X. Then everybody just had to wait patiently staring at the clock in the corner of their screen until Lost in TV Audience Services opened up registration for tickets at 2pm. When 2pm came around everything didn’t go exactly to plan as Doug tweets:
Is it me or is LostinTV down?
It wasn’t just Doug. It turns out that Red Dwarf is a pretty popular show and they attracted quite a few people wanting tickets.
While the servers were down, ticket demand reached Lost in TV through e-mail and phone. They were sold out of tickets plenty times over.
You know your into proper Red Dwarf production when you hear that Robert Llewellyn is having his mask fitting. This is exactly what we heard from the horses mouth as Robert tweets:
Latest Red Dwarf news! Uuuum. Well, I’m going in for a 2nd Kryten mask fitting today… and……. that’s it.
Doug also tweeted about the fitting:
Kryten mask test today. Learned a lot. Back to drawing board. Danny wig test – looked good.
This fitting was chronicled by a video posted by Dave on YouTube. Obviously going by Doug’s tweet, the mask seen in this video is different to the mask we will eventually see on screen.
Later that day Doug chimed in on his thoughts of the new set:
Retro Season 5 feel but probably best look ever -though not finished yet. Ingenious the way it fits together.
As the production team went back to the drawing board, poor Robert Llewellyn had to suffer the horror of the dental paste that covers his head to get a mould for the Kryten mask as he tweets with the picture (left):
Robert then goes into much greater detail of the experience a few days later on his blog.
Doug went to twitter for more help on the science of an episode of Red Dwarf. He posed the following question:
If you fly into a sun what’s the point of no return called. The melting point?
In a later tweet he confirmed it was for Red Dwarf X.
On his blog, Robert Llewellyn confirmed that he received the first two scripts and that rehearsal was to begin the following Monday.
In the morning Doug decided to indulge a fan with an answer to the question of whether the new series would be set on Red Dwarf or Star Bug to which the answer was a single word…
Later that day the first read through taken place for the new series as Robert tweets:
Just finished 1st read through on #rdx. Very funny stuff. Nerve wracking though. And yes, there are Range Rover issues. Ho hum.
The Range Rover issue being Robert’s aversion to gas guzzling auto-mobiles. Robert then posted a blog about the first day of rehearsals.
As the afternoon came Ed Moore, the second unit director of photography, tweeted that they would be filming in K-stage. This stage is twice as big as the stage that was used for Series VI. He also tweeted that they would be filming using Red Epic cameras.
The read through continued the next day with Danny-John Jules teasing Robert Llewellyn on twitter:
I’m on my own in the Range Rover as @bobbyllew is refusing to ride in a Chris Barrie type ‘poom-poom wagon’ with a driver that smokes. LMAO.
A Diary of Red Dwarf X: Part 2 will cover December to mid-January for the production of Episode 1-4.
A Diary of Red Dwarf X: Part 3 will cover Mid-January to present.
For some reason I either completely missed or forgot about Doug referring to an episode as ‘Lemons’. Bizarre what you can miss with Twitter. Things move too fast.
While I’m flattered to be described as one of the founders of G&T, I doubt Ian will be as happy with the suggestion.
Changed it a little. My apologies to Ian. Ian: The founder of Ganymede and Titan.
Get the facts right James, there’s a bag of chips in it for you.