In lieu of anything new on here for a bit, I thought I’d point towards a few articles I’ve written over on Ganymede & Titan – the Red Dwarf fansite described by none other than Norman Lovett as a “sad little site for people who haven’t got anything better to do”. Our latest series of articles is called High & Low, and is basically BuzzFeed but better.
My three articles are about the best and worst:
So, y’know. Click on those. Or just listen to Shampoo instead, I’m not bothered.
In September 2005, me and a group of friends set up a site called Noise to Signal. Its initial inspiration was pretty much “Ganymede & Titan, but talking about other media things other than Red Dwarf“. We had so many plans for it. It was going to “rock”, as I believe the kids all say.
In December 2009, it closed. And once it closed, I never got round to converting it to a static website, as I’m a lazy shit. Eventually the inevitable happened: a couple of months ago, I got a complaint from my hosting company that someone had hacked it and was using it to send spam emails, so I was forced to take it offline. Today – after some appropriate nudging – I finally got round to fixing it, and the site is now back online.
Of all the projects I’ve been involved in, Noise to Signal is the one which always makes me feel a little sad. The site never reached its true potential. There were some great writers, posting some brilliant articles – and after shaky start and an early revamp, the design of the site really worked well. (I’m especially proud of that final design, now preserved as the archive.) But the site never quite… flew.
The question is why, of course, and I can only speak for myself. I came to the conclusion that the problem with NTS was that the remit was just too wide, and the tone inconsistent. By trying to cover everything, we ended up covering nothing well – there was very little consistency in the output. This would have been mitigated somewhat if we’d had a large quantity of output, but apart from a few busy months, we never quite reached critical mass. (I take a large amount of responsibility for that, especially in the site’s later years – I just plain didn’t write enough, and often didn’t write what I promised.)
Ganymede & Titan always had a tone. NTS never quite found one.
To be brutally honest, despite my regrets about NTS, I’m far happier doing my own site now. Dirty Feed is far less ambitious than Noise to Signal ever was, and is never updated enough, but it certainly is more consistent in tone. And whilst I wouldn’t want to overstate the amount of drama behind-the-scenes on NTS – though there was a particularly thrilling midnight change of server and account block – there was inevitably some, and it could grow tiring. I like having to answer to nobody but myself.
Occasionally, one of us has the idea to do something with the site again – most recently, I brought up the idea of resurrecting the site as a group podcast. But every time, we realise we don’t have enough time to do the site justice. And the part of the spirit of the site lives on, as individual projects: here on Dirty Feed, on Seb and James’s Alternate Cover, on Tanya’s Gypsy Creams, on Phil’s Noiseless Chatter, and on Unlimited Rice Pudding.
I’m proud of the archive we left behind. It’s not all gold, but there’s some lovely stuff buried away in there. So if you get the time, have a peek through the site’s archives – and the final article, The Best of NTS, has links to some of the stuff we were happiest with.
Maybe it never worked quite the way we wanted it to. But I hope we left something behind that was worthwhile.
It’s been a bit of a quiet time recently on Dirty Feed, as I’ve been busy… doing something very complicated. In the meantime (if you haven’t already) check out my review of Lemons, the third episode of Red Dwarf X – which serves as a handy sequel to this Dirty Feed post from last year. Bearing in mind how I felt about the first two episodes this series, it was a pleasant surprise that I rather enjoyed this one. SPOILERS.
I’ll also be taking part in LIVE DWARFCASTS immediately after Episodes 5 and 6 analysing the fuck out of the show, on from 10pm on Thursday 1st and 8th November. A link to the STREAM will appear on the front page of Ganymede and Titan and on the site’s Twitter feed shortly before broadcast; previous episodes happily not featuring me can be downloaded here.
I do hope my squealing fangirls will be in attendance.
Last Friday saw the last Red Dwarf X audience recording. And last Saturday saw the last Red Dwarf X Ganymede & Titan audience recording report. I’ve been part of the site since 2003, and whilst I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, as Alex Picton-Dinch would say, I do think these are some of the best things we’ve ever published, and worth a link here. If only because it’s fairly difficult to make them boring.
[Read more →]
The second episode of Red Dwarf X was recorded on 23rd December at Shepperton Studios, with a studio audience. I wrote this about it.
Apologies for the writing being even more sub-standard than usual. Look, it’s Christmas Eve, you’re lucky to be getting it at all. Now piss off.
“What is the point……really?” – david barnes, DwarfCast iTunes review
So, Red Dwarf X is starting the first of six audience recordings this Friday. And I can’t resist plugging the latest DwarfCast from Ganymede & Titan that I’m “proud” to be part of, talking about our hopes and expectations for the new series, alongside a healthy dose of ignorance.
We’ve been doing these for over five years now, and they’ve grown from being crap, to not being that crap but still quite crap. Give us a try if you’re at all interested in the upcoming series, though.
Look, mum, I did an interview!
Nic Farey, founder of The Official Red Dwarf Fanclub, and ex-team member Maxine Lehmann, discuss early Red Dwarf fandom – something I’ve always been fascinated by. Even if you’re not a hardcore Dwarf fan, though, there’s some interesting stuff there about the nature of fandom before most people had the internet.
Also: it contains my favourite answer to any interview question I’ve ever asked…