EP104 – Doug Naylor – Writer of Red Dwarf – How to get your sitcom made.

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EP104 – Doug Naylor – Writer of Red Dwarf – How to get your sitcom made.


Total run time: 1 hour 27 mins 16 secs.

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About this episode…

Doug Naylor (@DougRDNaylor) is the creator and writer for the TV sitcom Red Dwarf. The show is often described as having a cult following and we got into if he thinks that’s a fair label, how it was bringing back the show after 10 years off the air and why he moved channels from BBC to Dave and more!

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Red Dwarf…

  • I saw an interview with you and Robert about fueling Red Dwarf and the research you put into to making some of the things in the show accurate… was that important to you? [0 mins 0 secs]
  • Is realism a thing that matters to you? [0 mins 0 secs]
    • Do you think shows benefit from realism?
  • There were 10 years between the original run of Red Dwarf and Dave taking it over, did you ever think that it was of its time and it would be hard to bring it back with all the technology leaps that had happened? [6 mins]
  • What’s it like being known for a cult show? [9 mins]
  • I imagine it’s a little like being typecast as an actor? [11 mins]
  • How long did it take to get the script seen and commissioned? [13 mins]
  • How many scripts did you write before you sold your first one? [27 mins]
  • Advice on casting and writing for the performer not just the character. [34 mins]
  • How Red Dwarf moved channel and how that impacted the show. [40 mins]
  • How did you view the reboot? [1 hour 3 mins]
  • Do you find that being known for a cult show limits where else you can write? Like are you asked to write for any sitcoms or is it a plus point to be asked to write for space shows for example?
  • How do you keep track of the universe? Do you have big boards up in your house where you keep track of the characters etc. [1 hour 8 mins]
  • How do you write an episode of TV? [1 hour 11 mins]
  • Doug Naylor: They’re doing live shows, but little is known about the details. So mining for specifics could be a big story! Plus, although it’s assumed, the next Dave series hasn’t been officially confirmed, so if he says he’s definitely doing it, that’s a headline! [1 hour 6 mins]
  • This transfer was done right in the middle of the original run of shows, how did it come about were you hoping for a US transfer? [1 hour 2 mins]

Writing / social media…

  • The show has always has had a die hard fan base for a number of years, how has social media made it easier for you to connect with them? [1 hour 5 mins]
  • Why did you guys split? [49 mins]
  • You started writing the show with Rob Grant and there was a split in that team and you wrote series 7 alone and have carried that on, what was it like writing solo a project that you’d been working on for years together? [52 mins]
  • When you look at the episodes you wrote on your own and in the partnership can you feel a difference either for better or worse in them? [53 mins]
  • How do you know when something is funny on paper and something is funny outloud? [1 hour 15 secs]


Everything else…

  • What are the best books on comedy, writing, stand up etc you’ve read? [1 hour 14 mins]
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made and how did you get over it? [1 hour 16 mins]








Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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