‘Twas the night before XI-mas…

It’s Christmas Eve, and unless you happen to reside in the fictional town of Bedford Falls, Christmas will be upon us in the morning. While 2016 has been a year with more than it’s fair share of upsets, one good thing to have come from it is Series XI and the great reaction it’s had from fans and critics alike. 

And it’s not just been the series itself that we’ve had to cheer us. We’ve also had the first full official merchandise range in years, a mobile game, an area based on the show in Lego Dimensions and of course all the extra content that the Series XI DVD brought us. Whatever else you may feel about the year, it’s certainly been a good year to be a fan of Red Dwarf.

And because of that, we certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see Red Dwarf feature in many of our reader’s Christmas Day. Whether giving or receiving from the new merch range, spending the day in your Series XI Christmas Sweatshirt (our review of which is now available), or just defacing the Christmas cake with a crashed Starbug, there may well be a bit of the small rouge one in your season of goodwill to all men except Arnold Rimmer.

But the one thing we don’t have to enjoy on the day itself is a Red Dwarf Christmas special. Aside from a passing reference to a prior Christmas with the Pan-Dimensional Liquid Beast from the Megaton Cluster and Santa’s appearance in Meltdown, Red Dwarf has never had a Christmas special in the traditional sense. And especially when UKTV has dedicated Gold to showing many of the great Christmas specials over the years, it’s a great shame that we don’t have a Red Dwarf Christmas special that can be trotted out every year for us to enjoy again and again.

And yes, if you haven’t guessed where this is going yet, we’re re-packaging an article from last year like an unwanted gift that you pass onto someone else like some sort of festive virus.

But while there may not have been a proper festive TV special, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been Christmas related things in the wider Red Dwarf world. So while we can’t provide you with a Christmas episode to watch, we can take on a Jacob Marley-like role to bring you three festive videos on Christmas Eve to get you in the mood for the big day.

First up is the least official of the list, with the fan created Red Dwarf Animated special, Mistletoe and Whine. A two hander bunk scene between Rimmer and Lister, this fan creation has a strong air of melancholy to it, and is a surprisingly good attempt to try and capture the direction a Christmas special for the show could take.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjlutPwxxNc]
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhLuQ-YTbFQ]

The second Christmas video is model man Bill Pearson’s pitch video for a proposed Red Dwarf Christmas special. The models made for this wouldn’t be forgotten however, and come Series X, one of them was reused as a Simulant death ship. To accompany it, you can find Bill’s script, concept drawings and model shots here, and the video can be viewed below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYif-KzhjVA]

Last of all we turn to the third and final video in this tenuous Christmas Carol themed post, which means that by association, it should be a video that offers a grim vision of the future and has a look that makes you think of death. Step right up, Red Christmas; the closest Red Dwarf has ever come to having a Christmas Special. Featuring Chris and Robert on vocal duties, this short mobile based vignette was in 2007 the closest thing to a new episode of the show. Dark days indeed.

Long since made unavailable, the mobisode has perhaps unsurprisingly turned up on YouTube, and while we wouldn’t normally ever condone linking to official material uploaded there, we make a small exception in this case due to the out of print nature.

The videos can be viewed below, and are frankly best accompanied by Ganymede & Titan’s scathing review from the time, which can be found here.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdtRvJNONgM]
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anq2ZLU5tdw]

And with that, Christmas is now just around the corner and in backwards dimensions the big fat git is sneaking down the chimney to steal all the kids favourite toys. 2017 is sure to be every bit as big a year for the show as this year has been, and we hope you’ll continue to join us through the year for our coverage of Series XII as well as our Series V podcast commentaries, features, reviews and more.

From Alex, James and Andrew, we hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and we offer our most heartfelt thanks to all of our readers and listeners that keep us going, and of course to Grant Naylor Productions, Baby Cow, UKTV and all the cast and crew continuing to bring us new episodes of the show to talk about. It’s the best early Christmas present we could wish for.

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