Saturday, 29 September 2007

The Void You Occupied in the BBC2 Schedule Will Be Allocated to a Show That Was Never Given the Gift of Air-time.

I just read this poorly-written news entry on It makes three main points, which I shall summarise here in a less sanctimonious way:
  • Miramax would have been happy to make a Red Dwarf film some time ago if Doug Naylor had agreed to use a brand new cast, which he didn't.
  • The BBC have opted not to bother with a ninth series and aren't interested in TV rights to the film.
  • There's interest in a stage show based on the movie script.
As a long-time Red Dwarf fan, the news that the BBC don't want to make any more of it makes me very happy. If this seems odd to you, it won't soon: the sixth series wasn't as good as the three before it, the seventh wasn't as good as the sixth, and the eighth wasn't as good as Property Ladder. It wasn't even Red DwarfRed Dwarf is a clever sci-fi comedy about the last human trapped in outer space with a dead man, a cat, and sometimes a robot, whereas Red Dwarf VIII was a ridiculous The IT Crowd-style nonsense show set in the brig of a fully populated spaceship. (I like The IT Crowd, but it's not what Red Dwarf is for.)

Of course, as has been pointed out to me today, the opinions of fans often shouldn't be considered when they disagree with those of the programme makers, but I respond to that by pointing out that when BBC Wiltshire asked Rob Grant (co-creator of Red Dwarf and co-writer of the first six series) what he thought of the eighth, he said that he hadn't watched it because the seventh was so bad. He said it "wasn't what [he] set out to do and ... nothing to do with [him]".

If the BBC change their minds and commission Red Dwarf IX, I won't watch it. Unless Rob Grant comes back and they all start work on Red Dwarf VII, I have no confidence at all that any future Red Dwarf will be at all worthwhile. That the BBC have chosen not to spend my licence fee making it can only be good news.

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