In just a few short weeks the new season premiere of the legendary Red Dwarf will be hitting our screens on The Dave Channel (on October 4th to be precise).
Will I be tuning in? You bet I will. I’ve been a hardcore Red Dwarf fan for years now. Here’s a pic of me and my brother meeting the cast at a convention:
And here’s another (Excuse the quality – I don’t have it digital so have just snapped the shot of it in the frame on my bookcase):
Here is a photo of my signed DVD box sets – the season one being an especial pride and joy as it also includes Rob Grant’s signature on there, which is known to be a rare autograph to acquire. (I attended a small, intimate Q&A with him in Manchester’s Waterstones on Deansgate upon the release of his solo novel ‘Incompetence’; a very, VERY funny book. It was the first autograph I acquired on my Season One box set and each and every cast member noted how elusive Rob Grant was to pin down for an autograph when they observed his already on the sleeve.)
So as you can see my Red Dwarf fan credentials are firmly established and, as you can imagine, I’ve got a lot invested in this new season. I keep having to stop myself and slow down my sense of anticipation for fear of experiencing a The Dark Knight Rises effect again. I have to stay grounded; even a hardcore Dwarf-lover like myself will readily admit I sit in the camp that feels something started to wane after season six and this could go either way. I’ll be tuning in for sure – but I’m desperately trying to contain my anticipation.
Why do I feel this way? Well, mostly, I think the show had a great loss with the departure of Rob Grant. This possibly was the catalyst for some narrative decisions (such as; Kochanski’s return, the resurrection of the crew, the disappearance of ‘our’ Rimmer and arrival of a resurrected replacement, and the “Back To Earth” crazy meta-referential storyline) that lost the show some of the flavour and style I loved so much and were extremely unpopular with me. Watching ‘Back to Earth’ for the first time was, to me, somewhat akin to watching the nails get hammered in to a dearly beloved relative’s coffin. Slowly.
So, if that’s how I feel then why do I have to control my excitement? Surely my aforementioned sense of anticipation is already in check. I’ll tell you why – It’s because of this teaser trailer:
This teaser has given me hope. It implies a return to the classic Dwarf set up of 4 moronic gimboids in a spaceship. It also seems to have a firm presence of the core premises of the show that made it work in the beginning; Lister the last man in the universe, jokes at the expense of Rimmer, humorous interactions between the four main characters, a big spicy kebab and slobbiness abound. It hints at some good, old Skool, Dwarf-style slapstick in there. Lister is wearing his battered leather jacket. In just under 1 minute it shows me everything I’d want from a tenth season of the show.
Of course, it is just that, just 1 minutes worth of teaser footage. I must not forget that this is only 1 minute of what will be approx 2 hours of telly. A lot can go wrong. And I keep reminding myself it’s being produced by Dave, which, let’s be honest, doesn’t have the same history and pedigree for creative output as the BBC ( Who I suspect would have had something to say about ‘Back to Earth’ had the script been put in front of them for development!)
So I’ll tune in on the 4th October and pray until then that the teaser truly does indicate a return to what made it once great, all the while attempting to manage my expectations and desires. If nothing else; hopefully it will ret con ‘Back to Earth’ out of canon!