2012 - The Year In Dwarf (Part Two)

Red Dwarf X rounds off the year.

28 December, 2012

In part one of our 2012 retrospective, we looked at what was going on in Red Dwarf land from January through to June - so now let's take up the baton and race into the second half of the year, and the small matter of a certain tenth series making its broadcast debut...

2012 - The Year In Dwarf (Part Two)

In July, eager fans were finally given the thing they'd been waiting for almost since the moment Series X began shooting: the first footage from the series, courtesy of a minute-long trailer that premiered online but would also spend the coming months in constant rotation on Dave. Containing dialogue sections from Dear Dave, Entangled and Fathers and Suns, the trailer also took in quick cuts from Trojan and even the top secret The Beginning - with Lemons being the only episode not represented. The teaser went down a storm, and kicked off an upward surge of anticipation.

July also saw the long-awaited announcement of the next Dimension Jump convention, run by the Official Red Dwarf Fan Club. Since moving to Birmingham in 2009, DJ had seen two of the most successful events in its two-decade history - with the event in April 2011 seeing the official public announcement of Red Dwarf X by Doug Naylor - and so the next event, which will take place in May 2013, is similarly eagerly awaited.

More information about Red Dwarf X began to filter out in August, with three of the most fan-requested facts being made public. Firstly, an official publicity photograph showed the brand-new sleeping quarters set in all its glory. Although the first promo pic of the crew in the drive room had given away the fact that red was the predominant feature of Michael Ralph's design, here it could be seen to its fullest extent - and we pored over it in punishing detail here on the site.

2012 - The Year In Dwarf (Part Two)

In addition, via the slightly unusual method of allowing Robert Llewellyn to post them on his blog, the six episode titles of Series X were revealed. Some of these had already been pieced together by fans - whether noticing the working titles on script copies during recording, or in the case of "Lemons" recalling an offhanded tweet made by Doug while still writing the episode almost a year previously! Yet some of the titles were entirely new and unexpected - and the choice of "The Beginning" for ep six kept fans' tongues wagging right up until broadcast...

Finally, right at the end of the month, an unusual publicity stunt by Dave saw the broadcast date of Series X announced. Tweets using the hashtag #vindalunar (vindaloo... lunar... get it?) were used to "fuel" a weather balloon that was eventually launched into space - carrying a "care package" for Lister of a Leopard lager and chicken vindaloo, but also displaying the broadcast date of 04.10.12. After some initial scepticism over the stunt, it has to be said that seeing one of Red Dwarf's most fabled props floating high above the Earth in low orbit was a pretty spectacular sight...

2012 - The Year In Dwarf (Part Two)

With the date thus announced, publicity ramped up big-time in September. In the first campaign of its kind that the show has ever had, huge posters advertising Red Dwarf X were seen in train stations and other prime locations across the country. Fans across Twitter and the forums excitedly shared their snaps of the gigantic visages of Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten peering out at them across platforms - with perhaps the most memorable and distinctive poster being the gigantic one at London's Waterloo station (the very station from which many fans had made the journey out to Shepperton to see the shows recorded the previous winter).

2012 - The Year In Dwarf (Part Two)

Dave, meanwhile, started an epic countdown to the new series by broadcasting every single episode of the original eight series - in reverse order - over successive weekends starting this month. There was also time for an excellent bit of fan creativity to make its way out into the wild - courtesy of a wonderful celebration video on YouTube called "Noise From The Dwarf", which paired dialogue snippets from the show into rhyming couplets and set the whole thing to music. It sounds weird, we know, but just watch it and you'll see what we mean.

At the end of the month, just as anticipation for the series was reaching fever pitch, we dropped the first information on the cover art and bonus features for the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray releases - although it would be a few weeks before we'd later reveal the hidden twist that was the DVD's reversible cover.

2012 - The Year In Dwarf (Part Two)

In October... well, not much happened at all, really.

Oh, alright, we can't even keep the joke up for very long. Yes, October saw the long-awaited premiere of Red Dwarf X - and quite literally so, in that the night before its television broadcast, "Trojan" was seen by a very lucky audience of a couple of hundred people in a gala premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema, in London. As well as an assemblage of invited celebs, seats were offered online to 150 lucky fans - and snapped up almost as quickly as it took to type out the booking site's URL on Twitter!

The episode went down a storm at the premiere night, and did so on an even wider scale the following evening. Attracting overnight figures of 1.46 million - a figure that would later rise to a near-unfathomable 2.09 million viewers when timeshifted recordings were factored in -and causing the hashtags #RedDwarfX and #moose to trend throughout the night on Twitter, Trojan also attracted near-universal critical and public acclaim.

2012 - The Year In Dwarf (Part Two)

Indeed, this trend for great reviews continued throughout the series and into the DVD release - where the "We're Smegged" documentary was singled out for particular praise - as catalogued on this very site following broadcast of the last episode in November. As well as the DVD and Blu-ray hitting shops, another Red Dwarf-themed item was the brand new two-track single released by Howard Goodall onto iTunes, as he performed new "Piano Fantasy" versions of both the main theme tune, and fan-favourite ditty "Tongue Tied".

As we hurtled towards Christmas this December, our friends down in Australia just managed to sneak their DVD release out in time for the peak shopping season, although fans based in the USA are having to wait until the new-year-blues-busting Region 1 release on January 8th.

2012 - The Year In Dwarf (Part Two)

And so ends one of the most frantic, action-packed, successful, crazy, brilliant years that Red Dwarf has ever had. Phew. We're just about ready for a nice break, now. A nice quiet 2013, with no huge festivities or events. What? What's that? Did someone mention Silver Anniversary...?

Thank you to all Red Dwarf fans for your support and enthusiasm throughout 2012, and we hope you have a very happy new year. See you in 2013!

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