In another sign of the total destruction of the nerd closet, the word’s out that there’s a new series of Red Dwarf in the pipeline for 2012. I have nearly fond memories of how my local PBS affiliate would end the night’s programming with an episode or two, long after the totebag-buyers had gone to bed. I was typically stumbling in from some kind of chemical simulation of putting one’s brain in a rock tumbler (extreme Northeast winter temperatures + the finest high gravity malt liquors + early Rammstein) and trying to piece together what was happening with the cat-man in the smoking jacket and the chubby dreaded British guy from the last five minutes of the show as a good way of bringing my brainwaves back to safe levels of bafflement.
While I always assumed it was a laugh track, apparently these were shot before a live studio audience. Like the Cosby Show! Trying to keep that tradition alive in the 2012 version, however, it hitting some snags. Martin Anderson at Shadowlocked reports:
Llewellyn notes, not necessarily without an air of trepidation, that the 2012 Red Dwarf is seriously considering shooting in front of a live studio audience, which hasn’t happened for the show since 1998. And, as the actor points out, does anyone remember 1998? The pre-Twitter years…?
The fear among the producers now is that it’s impossible to imagine an audience of around 400 people at the recording of a TV show like Red Dwarf, where nobody does a bit of a hint on Twitter, or sneaks a picture on Facebook or posts a bit of badly shot video on YouTube.
Perhaps the only solution is to do the show live, as the BBC did with David Tennant and The Quatermass Experiment 4 years back…? Otherwise the only reasonable solution is to confiscate the audience members’ phones and execute them straight after the performance, which may put a dent in the show’s comedy stylings.
While executions might rile the fanbase, confiscating the camera-bearing devices sounds prudent enough. Might I suggest things be taken a step further? Why not strip the audience down to producer-provided Red Dwarf briefs and pasties? Any uncomfortability can be overcome with free liquor and the skimpy undergarments can later be sold on eBay to those fanboys who couldn’t get tickets and terrible perverts alike. Actors reap an added bonus of a reduction of stage fright through that time-tested method of picturing the audience in their underwear, no imagination required.
Here’s hoping being the one who came up with this spoiler crushing innovation secures me VIP passes to all tapings and a nice tight pair of Red Dwarf briefs. Make mine with gold trim.