New specials? Proper information? After all the rumours? Oh smeg yes.
As announced by Robert Llewellyn for Grant Naylor Productions this week at the UKTV seasonal press launch, the project is a short series of brand new specials to celebrate the 21st birthday of Red Dwarf.
Doug Naylor will be masterminding the four half-hour instalments, and the regular cast will all be reprising their iconic roles. They are being made by GNP for UKTV's free-to-air channel, Dave - our new best friends!
Red Dwarf repeats on Dave - including an anniversary weekend run - have picked up remarkable numbers since the channel was reborn on Freeview, and it's becoming clear to all concerned that the show is picking a new, third generation audience. With the usual involvement from Red Dwarf partners BBC Worldwide, you can also expect international broadcasts to follow (and, we'd imagine, a top-quality DVD release in the fullness of time).
"It's very new news to me - I really only fully heard the details yesterday," Robert told comedian/host Michael McIntyre. "We're doing four new shows with the original cast. Two of them are going to be, like, proper episodes of Red Dwarf. One of them is so exciting I've been asked not to say anything about that because other people will steal the idea - and it is a great idea, quite challenging for us as performers. And the other one is a kind of behind-the-scenes-y... the truth. There's been so many rumours and gossip about Red Dwarf, about whether there's going to be a movie and whether we all get on, all those things... The downside for me, which is just dawning on me now, is I've got to do the 'rubber' thing again, which I haven't done for ten years."
The shows will broadcast sometime in 2009 and, if successful, could pave the way for further Red Dwarf TV projects. Thanks to movie and broadcaster wrangles, Grant Naylor haven't been in a position to produce new Red Dwarf since Series VIII went out to audiences of over eight million in 1999. This exciting development suggests a new and shiny future for everyone's favourite sci-fi comedy.
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The Boys from the Dwarf are back!