Vo-Coded Message

Howard Goodall's secret theme tune vocals discovered!

28 October, 2016

It's an impressive and heartwarming thing when we learn that there are still new things to discover in classic Red Dwarf. Such was the case this last week, when one fan noticed a secret little detail in one of the most commonly-encountered pieces of Dwarf lore - a detail that the majority of fans had somehow never managed to notice all these years.

Vo-Coded Message

It was over on the fan forum of Ganymede & Titan that a user named Darrell shared his discovery: after acutely listening to the show's opening theme tune, he noticed something he'd never spotted before. As you know, the opening theme that's been used since 1989's Series III onwards is an upbeat instrumental version of the main closing song, with added guitar solo. But did you know that it's not entirely instrumental? That it actually has... vocals?

The vocals in question first appear around the thirteen second mark of the track, and they feature composer Howard Goodall - heavily distorted through a vocoder to the extent of sounding almost entirely like an instrument - singing the words "Red Dwarf" four times. No, really. The Red Dwarf theme tune has actually contained the words "Red Dwarf!" ever since Series III, and most of us - even here at GNP - had never noticed until now.

Oh, and just in case you thought it was all just unverifiable speculation, Howard himself chimed in on Twitter to confirm that his "hidden message" had lain dormant for 27 years:

This startling discovery was picked up and breathlessly reported by outlets including Mental Floss and Digital Spy, showing that even nearly three decades after airing, and even while there are brand new episodes that everyone's busy getting excited about, Red Dwarf still has the capacity to surprise.

And that's why we love it.

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