Red Dwarf X Roundup
Shooting resumes, media take notice...
6 January, 2012
Having been on hiatus for the Christmas break, production on Red Dwarf X has resumed this week, with the remaining four episodes shooting throughout January. But the break has also given the mainstream media a chance to catch up with all things Dwarf, as both Wired.com and The Huffington Post have posted lengthy reports from their correspondents at the two December recordings.
Writing in his Geek Dad column at Wired, Nathan Barry recounts his experience hopefully applying for tickets, and arriving to be met by "the largest gathering of geeks I've seen in a long time", before going on to discuss the first episode recording itself.
"One of the biggest risks," he says, "with having the live studio audience is that it really shows the quality of the material. The gags have to be perfect – especially as they'll often be shot more than once, whether it's for a different camera angle or because of a technical problem or fluffed line. I found myself properly LOLing even on the 3rd or 4th take, so I think they'll pass the test."
Nathan also enjoyed the demeanour of the cast between takes. "Kryten never seemed to break character, always referring to 'Mr Lister, Sir' even when the cameras weren't rolling and giving us little commentaries on what was happening. The Cat was shuffle dancing his way around the sets and Chris Barrie kept dropping into his perfect Kenneth Williams impression at any given moment, usually after fluffing his lines."
Over at The Huffington Post, meanwhile, Bob Pickett attended the second week's filming, and also enjoyed the antics of the cast. "The moment that had me and everyone else cheering, was when Danny John-Jules took a peek at a newspaper he was holding, spotted an item about a fisherman, turned to us and said one word: 'FISH!' - cue huge cheer and torrent of laughter!"
Yes, yes, we know the cast are hilarious. But what about the episode itself? "Don't worry, this is classic Red Dwarf. Seriously funny interplay between the characters, a series of seemingly disconnected ideas and events appear, only to come together into an hysterical conclusion." Bob also found time to praise the new sets: "There it is, the familiar Red Dwarf, but moved with the times so as to show it has been ten years since the last 'proper' series. I still break into a huge smile as I recall my wife's words: 'It's like being 15 years old again!'"
The Huff have also found time to look back at classic Red Dwarf during their coverage of the new series, and an article by Marc Patterson, titled Does Red Dwarf Still Have The X Factor?, quizzed Andrew Ellard and Rob Grant on their favourite episodes (Bodyswap and "torn between Back to Reality and Legion" respectively, if you're interested).
Elsewhere, the new series has popped onto the radar of BBC News, with entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba flagging it up as "one to watch" in a 2012 preview piece. "After more than three years sci-fi favourite Red Dwarf makes a long-awaited return," he writes – although if we're honest, only waiting three years for new episodes feels to us like bliss compared with the break before Back to Earth! Newspapers The Guardian and The Sun have also followed suit in declaring Red Dwarf among their picks of the later part of the year.
That's the press covered, then – but what have the fans been making of the filming so far? Some (admirably spoiler-free!) reactions have been rolling in on our Forum and elsewhere. Forum user RedDwarffan2982 described the second recorded episode as "probably in my top ten episodes already", while on Facebook, more succinct reactions included "Awesome!" and "Bang back on form!!" Fan site Ganymede & Titan has also posted reports on both recordings, with the conclusion that "it's the funniest and most satisfying Dwarf we've seen for a very long time. If it's any indication of the direction that Red Dwarf X will take, we're going to be a very happy fanbase by this time next year."
It's all sounding rather excellent, isn't it? Filming of Red Dwarf X continues before live audiences at Shepperton Studios on the 7th, 13th, 20th and 27th January. If you have a ticket for any of these dates but can no longer attend, please contact Lost in TVas soon as possible so that the seat can be assigned to the waiting list!
Red Dwarf X will be broadcast on Dave later in 2012.