Broadcast Now have published an article about the new series of Red Dwarf but it is this section that is most interesting:
“Most of the ideas are fresh but for the last episode I borrow things from the very early drafts of the film and explain what happened after the conclusion of series eight. That final episode also features a spectacular dogfight. Well, spectacular for Red Dwarf.”
The Movie, proposed to be a reboot of the show in the same style as the novels, would have featured a new form of simulants as the villain as shown by the plot of the film revealed in 2003. Our knowledge of the original draft of the film comes from the movie flyer below, which was sent around distributers and eventually found its way online:
Among other information such as descriptions of the charecters and the show’s history, the flyer also roughly detailed the plot of the film. It was as follows:
RED DWARF THE MOVIE is set in the distant future where Homo Sapienoids – a fearsome combination of flesh and machine – have taken over the solar system and almost wiped out the human race. The only survivors are the crews of long-haul space freighters that left Earth before the conflict began. The Sapienoids send forth fleets of Death Ships to hunt them down.
Will Episode 6, titled ‘The Beginning’, see the gang fighting off hoards of simulants? It would seem there is a strong chance that they will appear. In the recently released trailer, we noticed a character that looked remarkably like a simulant between Rimmer and Lister. You can see him in the shot below:
Speculation on this draft of the film was always that the first half followed a sort of expansion of the Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers opening, followed by a second half that dealt with the Sapienoid plot. Will this TV adaptation cover elements of both halves or deal mainly with the latter half? Doug does mention a ‘spectacular dog fight’ which would seem to suggest the latter half, and the first half has of course already been covered to some extent by the TV series after all. And then there is of course the big question on all hard core fans lips; if we are seeing the movie and simulants are involved, does this mean an appearance from Richard O’Callaghan as ‘Hoagie the Roguey’ is on the cards?
There are certainly a lot of interesting things to take from this, and speculation on what has been adapted from the script will doubtless be rife. Episode 6 received a hugely positive reaction after filming, and if it is heavily lifted from the original screenplay then there is every chance we will find that we really did miss out on something brilliant. Furthermore, when Doug is finally getting to release something of the film in some form, does this have mean that the interesting choice of title marks an endpoint for the show, or instead a return to the backstory as the film would once have done? One thing’s for certain; it’s going to be a lot of fun finding out.