Music Maker

Goodall Boy - by Andrew Ellard

7 May, 2004

As the Red Dwarf DVDs grow increasingly inventive - packed with extras to inform and entertain - it has become apparent that one man's contribution to the show has, in particular, been hugely neglected. That man is Howard Goodall. His contribution - the music.

Music Maker

The Red Dwarf theme, sung over the closing credits by Jenna Russell, has had many incarnations - from 2001-style space opera to rock guitar instrumental, from Elvis and Hammond-organ versions to two Western-style editions for Gunmen of the Apocalypse. Plus instrumental stings beyond number.

Throughout the history of Dwarf, Howard's themes have played a key role in the identity of the show. Which is all well and good, I hear you say, but why are we bringing this up now?

Well, on the morning of Tuesday, March 9th we took a small crew down to Howard's studio in London to film his recollections on working on the sci-fi sitcom. From top to toe - composing the original theme to the heroic return and departure of Ace Rimmer - Howard reminisced about his work, illustrating the discussion with a little help from his trusty keyboard.

There are a couple of treats in store, too, for the dedicated fan, as Howard reveals previously-unseen (or un-heard) material. His original demo for Tongue Tied is a fascinating listen, and was one of several items unearthed from the impressive Goodall vault.

Music Maker

Original score sheets and notebooks abounded - everything from the Androids theme to Tikka to Ride's climactic assassination scene in their original scrawl. We also snatched a glimpse of the original lyric sheet for Red Dwarf (the actual name of the theme, usually referred to as 'Fun, Fun, Fun in the Sun, Sun, Sun'), which includes three additional verses that were never recorded...until now.

Aside from belting out the 'lost verses', Howard sang several other times - and the eagle-eared will immediately recognise his vocal stylings from Red Dwarf episodes such as Blue (singing the Munchkin song for Chris Barrie) and Queeg, in which he performed the High Noon theme.

This featurette is planned to appear on the Series VI DVD, due out in February of 2005. Never has a date seemed so far away.

More DVD Details will follow soon...

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