Dimension Jump XX

by Seb Patrick

Friday Night

In decades past, the opening ceremony at Dimension Jump simply meant the team members popping onstage to welcome everybody to the event and introduce themselves. But over the past few years, they've become more and more elaborate, with fully-scripted performances onstage that directly interact with video inserts.

2018's intro proves to be the most complex yet, as our hosts Alex, Carrie, Shelley and Joey give us a brilliantly M-Corp -themed show that also includes a bespoke BBC2 continuity announcement... and a live video reveal of several of the weekend's guests that hadn't previously been trailed. The excitement in the room is palpable, with eardrum-shattering whoops and cheers at each announcement. There's even time for a Cured -style "SELFIE!" with the entire assembled crowd.

What's more, we get our first selection from a magnificent set of videos that will play throughout the weekend, as famous faces from Red Dwarf's past and present send special messages wishing everyone a happy anniversary event:

With introductions out of the way, the first order of business is to that long-standing tradition: the Friday Night pub quiz. This year it's the turn of Chris Barrie to host, the star having turned up the night before he's due to do his customary Q&A and autograph sessions.

As always, it's a fiendishly difficult quiz that separates the hardcore fans from the really hardcore fans (it's not like there are any casuals here this weekend), with some answers being found in surprising places...

There's then an unusual change to the normal running order, as part of the Costume Competition is shifted to Friday evening. Due to the sheer number of people entering the contest (all of whom have pre-registered well in advance), the "Groups" category step forward to be judged tonight, while all the individuals will follow the next day.

It's a strong initial set of entrants, with an excellent rendition of Series XI's Rimmer Monster deserving bonus points for actually managing to get up onstage - but the win can only go to Jon-Paul Kryten Breen (yes, that is his legal middle name, by the way) and Richard Webb as a brilliantly-realised Blue Midget and Duane Dibbley.

And then, of course, it's time for Friday night to end with karaoke - hosted, once again, by the incomparable Dave Benson Phillips. Mac McDonald gets things underway with an unforgettable rendition of "Great Balls of Fire", and there's also a special customised, Red Dwarf-themed version of "We Didn't Start the Fire" thrown into the mix, alongside all the usual standards you'd expect to hear.

As ever, it goes on late, and it goes on loud. But there's not much time to snooze, before we dive headlong into a jam-packed Saturday...