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Sunday
Jan082012

Stand by for a smeg-asm

Back in the distant 1990’s taking part in the creation of a Red Dwarf series was utterly engrossing. It meant 10 weeks when nothing other than scripts, lines, blocking, camera angles, timing, beats, moves, stunts and constant cast banter entered my boil-in-the-bag-brain.

It’s very hard, if not impossible to deal with any other information when you’re up to your rubber neck in all that 6 days a week.

Now of course we have access to constant data inputs from mobiles, Twitters, Google+’s, blogs, Facebooks, and everything else.

Interestingly the news is still not getting through to me.

Oh, but this is just a poncy actor spouting off like a luvvie.

Well, I’d like to point out that I have lived in the ‘real world.’ I’ve worked as a tree surgeon, been a shoemaker, worked on a dairy farm milking cows, a factory chicken farm ‘thinning out the birds’, done washing up in a restaurant, been a cyclist courier and a nude model for proper artists who do drawing and painting.

I know what hard work is like and I’ve never shied away from it. However when I’d finished slaughtering chickens, milking cows or lopping the branches off trees my life was pretty much my own. I was in touch with the state of the world, current affairs, the news, swings in public opinion, the changing face of society yadda yadda.

With a bonkers sit-com like Red Dwarf, when we go home at the end of the day, that’s when we start the really hard work. We are working to such a tight deadline that there truly isn’t enough time in the day to do everything. It is our job as the actors to ‘get off the book.’ i.e. know all our lines, and there are a lot of them, in a very short period of time.

At the start of each week I find myself sitting in some dark corner of the studio, head in hands, confident that this week, this week I am truly going to let the side down.

I am happy, even dare I say it, proud to report that once again, we got through it. Oh, we all fluffed plenty of lines, even the demon king of line learning, Mr Craig Charles stuffed up some Naylor-esque tongue-twisters, but in the end we got the show in the can. Or hard drive, cans are for film. 

So, this morning, I discover that the poor people of Syria are still suffering, Tony Blair keeps getting richer and Cameron has put his foot in it with his Tourettes jibe. Oh yeah, and Dianne Abbot had a bit of a twitter fitter.

All that (except for Ms Abbot) had escaped me until this morning. To be honest, not being aware of the daily news churn makes you appreciate how ephemeral it all is. I firmly believe we do need to know all this nonsense, but when it passes you by for a few weeks it’s no great loss.

Anyway, essentially I just wanted to say that I now feel confident in predicting that the new series of Red Dwarf is going to be every bit as good as anything we have ever done in the past, if not better.

It’s turning out to be classic Dwarf, brilliant scripts, amazing sets, wonderful cameo roles, fantastic plots that tie into real scientific theories and ideas.

I predict series X could possibly cause a worldwide smeg- asm. 

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Reader Comments (7)

I'm a big fan of Red Dwarf in Australia, but was born and spent my first decade of life in England. Countless rainy weekends were spent in marathons of the six series that existed then. Hearing all this banter that the new series is back to that quality is making me feel homesick in a way I haven't felt in fifteen years and I wish I could be there to see one of the live performances.

Please say we will get a Carpool episode out of driving to the set for the filming of one of these new episodes!

January 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

I was lucky enough to go to a filming before christmas and i have to echo the sentiments the Red Dwarf X really is back on form! It was funny, witty, well written and like the cast - has aged very well! :-) lots of love to all you guys! Xxxx

January 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNickie

Just keep Chloe Annett as far away from the set as you can.

January 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Random thought - not that I'd ever wish ill on RD but I really wonder what you'd be writing if you felt that the series was completely off the rails and going to be a disaster. Sorry Bob - that's the sort of random crap my brain brings up at times like this. This is weird stereo - reading you blog and I've got your carpool with Richard Noble running next to it. :)

January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

I have loved Red Dwarf since seeing the episode where Kryters takes out the cast on 'Jane Auston world'. I had just finished watching 'Are you Being Served' I remember it because I was literlly on the floor laughing! As I never got an upbring in London, somehow watching these shows made me feel that just for an hour, or two, I could block out the horrors of my life, and step into a world where noone would look at me wierd because of what I watch. Or people were laughing with me instead of at me. I'm so glad the show is back and hopes it gets a longer run. BBC had better give it a long run, or I'm take Kryten's blow tube and blow a few 'special' blow darts their way!! BTW, I also think the world is ready for it's smegasim! And I agree with Dave, keep ms. annett as far away as you can from the set!

January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Glad to see you're still finding the time to post these updates on your blog Robert. I really enjoy reading them.

I would also like to second Adam's request of a Carpool episode involving a couple of you dwarfers driving to the set, but I guess that's probably a bit much to ask as it seems you all have your hands full at the moment.

Greetings from The Netherlands.

January 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHarm

I also attended the filming of one of these and there really are some great moments (though I still wish Rob Grant and Doug would make the sexy comedy magic together again). Really looking forward to seeing the finished article. highlight of the evening was our blog host's in-character ad-libbing between scenes. Hilarious and charming. Such an indispensable asset to the show.

January 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob

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