With just a mere seven days to air on Dave in the UK (that’s 168 hours or 10,080 minutes depending on how you are counting down), David Brown from Radio Times sat down recently with the cast of Red Dwarf X in a tell-all exclusive. They talked about getting the band back together after some 13 years since the last series (FYI, I don’t recognize the 2009 Red Dwarf: Back to Earth series in the mix), the challenges of recapturing the energy for a series that premiered some 24 years ago, the importance of having a studio audience this time around and how this new set of programs are really ‘old-school’.
Danny John-Jules said: “We loved the old 1970s sitcoms like Rising Damp and Porridge, those are the comedies that floated our boats. We used to have conversations about them all the time. We didn’t talk about modern shows, we were much more old school. The influence from Fawlty Towers and Steptoe and Son is there – that was where the vibe of Red Dwarf really came from. It’s taking on that old style of sitcom that you don’t see much of today.”
Craig Charles remembered the early days of Red Dwarf and the fact that it wasn’t really that fond of a memory given the initial critics’ review of the series. Charles quoted word for word from a damning early critique: “I can remember the first review in City Limits. ‘This is the voyage of the Starship Red Dwarf. Its mission – to boldly go where many sitcoms have gone before: up its own arsehole. Very at home in this part of the television anatomy is Craig Charles. Where is he from? A distant planet called Rent a Liverpudlian or was he spontaneously generated by a TV screen? No matter – Charles and this series are heading for a sticky end.’ Believe me, the pain is etched on my soul.”
Both Charles and John-Jules agreed that a crossover with an unnamed Traveling Time Lord would be really cool. “I think it’d be great if, for one scene, we could be beaming somewhere and suddenly we’d be on the Tardis with the Doctor,” says Charles. “ Then we could shake our heads, say ‘nah’ and just beam back out again.” John-Jules added: “I think Doug should write in one of the old Doctors. Sylvester McCoy or someone. And then we could have an episode with one of those guys in it. It would be funny.”
Charles concluded his time with Radio Times by saying “There’s some great stories in this one. In fact, the only things that can spoil it are the four actors involved.” After seeing the first two episodes, I don’t think he has too much to worry about.
P.S. Anyone know the origin of the lines in earlier Red Dwarf episodes that refer to people as being complete Gwenlans?