2017 - The Year In Dwarf

Looking back over the last XII months.

22 December, 2017

And so, another year passes - another year in which we've had a brand new series of Red Dwarf to enjoy, but if you thought Series XII was the only thing going on in our world in 2017, well, you'd be mistaken. There was plenty going on in the first half of the year, too, as we continued the aftermath of Series XI before getting ready for the build-up to the new series in the summer. Plus there was a fan club convention, new merchandise, all manner of external cast and crew projects... and plenty more besides.

Join us, then, as we take our latest trip through the Year in Dwarf...

January

We started the year looking back at Series XI - with a fiendish quiz designed to test your knowledge of all those Christmas-present DVD and Blu-ray sets. There was also the welcome news that Series XI had helped UKTV to a record ratings year in 2016, and a fantastic double win at the British Comedy Guide awards. And the eleventh series made a welcome debut in Australia, to boot.

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - January

But Series XI wasn't the only series we were looking back on in January, as this month we also celebrated the twentieth anniversary of Series VII with a retrospective article.

February

February saw an unexpected and sad piece of news, as we learned of the passing away of Grant Naylor Productions co-founder and Red Dwarf X executive producer Charles Armitage. Charles' contributions to the show over the last three decades were numerous, and he will be sorely missed.

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - February

March

It was all about the cast's jobs on the side in March, with Craig Charles being announced as the new host of The Gadget Show  (his first series aired in June, and a further series has been filmed for airing in 2018) and Robert Llewellyn launching a crowdfunding bid to publish his newest autobiography, Some Old Bloke. The book has now hit its funding target, and we look forward to its publication!

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - March

March also gave one lucky fan the opportunity to own an incredibly rare Starbug replica - courtesy of a special Comic Relief auction. The model, produced by Voxeljet as an exact replica of the "Stuntbug" ships used to crash in Series XI and XII, was bought by Andrew Hrysicos for a whopping £4,383!

April

April saw the biggest event in the Red Dwarf calendar - well, alright, it would be the biggest event in a calendar that didn't also include a new series - the nineteenth Dimension Jump convention, hosted by the Official Red Dwarf Fan Club! We were there, along with around 400 fellow fans, and a superb slate of special guests - and you can read about the whole thing in our lengthy report!

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - April

May

May was a welcome chance to take a breather before we kicked in with the Series XII publicity machine - but we did find the time to ask for your views on what sort of t-shirts you'd like to see produced in future. We received a huge range of very helpful suggestions, and as you may already have seen, this helped to inform the creation of a "classic shirts" recreation range that was rolled out over the autumn.

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - May

There was also good news for fans in the US, who had been starved of seeing the show on a subscription streaming service of late - as all existing series of the show were made available on the new Britbox platform. And later in the year, Series XII would actually go live on the service on a day-and-date basis!

June

Just in time for the twelfth series making its bow, we updated the site with a massive dose of behind-the-scenes information about the eleventh - with a whole set of new chapters in our peerless Complete Guide.

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - June

Meanwhile, Robert Llewellyn hosted a BBC documentary about his pet subject of renewable energy, and we were delighted to see former "Fifth Dwarfer" Tony Hawks honoured with an MBE for his extensive charitable works.

Oh, and a familiar-sounding phrase in an episode of Doctor Who - time dilation - prompted us to look at other examples of sci-fi concepts that were used in Red Dwarf prior to other famous movies and TV shows...

July

Not much happened in July.

Well, we broke the internet with the first photo from Series XII, even making it into national newspapers in the process.

So that was nice.

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - July

August

Unsurprisingly, throughout August the Red Dwarf XII news drops continued. We revealed the six episodes' titles in an unusual way, and then the following week gave you the official synopsis, as well as confirming that the series would air in October.

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - August

And to whet the anticipation even further, we stuck that amazing "Four Krytens" photo on a t-shirt...

September

The month prior to Series XII's debut was, of course, jam-packed with news - with tidbits and photos dropping on social media on a weekly basis. Early in the month we announced a range of special guest stars set to appear in the series, and followed that up with the exclusive confirmation that Norman Lovett would be returning as Holly  (although we didn't say at the time in which episode!)

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - September

A teaser trailer followed before a full trailer reveal on 22nd October. You had to be watching on Dave to get the true trailer experience, however - licensing issues meant that the online version couldn't include Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" the way the TV version did, in Thor:Ragnarok-referencing fashion.

The Fan Club were busy in September, too - announcing that next year's anniversary-celebrating Dimension Jump XX would be taking place in October. They put the tickets on sale and then promptly... sold out of them. Faster than ever before. We have a feeling it's going to be an epic weekend.

October

The final week before Red Dwarf XII landed was a pretty busy one - with posters around the country, including one outside Clapham Junction on Europe's longest advertising board! We also celebrated the launch of the series with a one-of-a-kind, one-day-only Leopard lager promotion!

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - October

And then, of course, on 12th October... Cured was broadcast, kicking off the twelfth series in style. The following day, we learned that the show had been longlisted at the National Television Awards  (we're eagerly waiting to see if we make it into the shortlist in January) and PosterSpy launched their Design Brief competition. And in case you'd missed all the new merchandise that had landed in recent weeks, we gave you a handy roundup.

November

As Series XII ran into November, we justifiably switched on Smug Mode to have a look at some of the ratings news and positive reviews. Plus, of course, it would soon be time for the Red Dwarf XII DVD and Blu-ray - released earlier than any Red Dwarf set before - and a brand new Red Dwarf XII mobile game landed, playable completely for free!

2017 - The Year In Dwarf - November

December

And so we're at December, and blimey, hasn't it come around quickly? We've never had such a sustained three-year period of activity before - from the two-series announcement in 2015, through filming, post-production, broadcast, post-production (again) and broadcast (again), things have barely ever let up. And while there may not be another new series coming in 2018, there's still the small matter of a thirtieth anniversary - so be prepared for all kinds of exciting developments in the coming months...

From everyone at Grant Naylor Productions and Red Dwarf, have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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