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Dimension Jump 97 (Inquisitor issue 11)

It's very difficult to know where to start with an event like Dimension Jump. I'll start by thanking the BTL : Steev, Sean, Bev, Caroline, Rory and Dave who did a wonderful job in putting the whole thing together and making it such a success. As there was so much happened over the course of that one weekend, It's impossible for me to retell it all here so I'll just touch on some of the more memorable points for me.

The most amazing thing was having every cast member in attendance over the weekend. Chris Barrie made his convention debut and was excellent. Rather than being overwhelmed by the experience of being questioned by a few hundred Red Dwarf fans he was remarkebly calm and funny. He has a strong stage presence and was a delight to watch and listen to. He even promised he'll come back again.

Chloe Annett was the only cast member I hadn't met before. My first impresssion was predictably Wow, She Is Gorgeous!! I'd always thought she was attractive on telly but in the flesh she's stunning, as I think the entire male population would agree. For her Q+A session she joined Danny on stage, who already had the audience in the palm of his hand with his cheeky sense of humour and silly antics. This was good as they were funny together and it saved the new girl from being interrogated on her own. She was very relaxed, and the audience, I think overall, were won over by her. Hopefully she enjoyed the experience too and will attend future conventions.

The other guests Craig, Robert, Danny, Norman, Hattie and Doug I'd seen before but still enjoyed listening to and meeting. They all did their question and answer sessions individually or paired off. Often it was the pairings that were most entertaining as they all interacted together brilliantly. All the sessions were both humourous and informative as we'd listen to behind the scenes stories and given hints of things to come. Craig and Robert both Read extracts from their new books. Norman preferred extracts from his stand up show which was great. That man is incredibly funny! Doug treated us to a preview of the extended Tikka To Ride and gave us a glimpse of what the new Red Dwarf will look like. This includes going back to revamp segments from all the original series which will be released on video.

My favourite guest has always been Hattie Hayridge. I find her very approachable and most friendly. It was a pleasure as always to spend time talking with her. Other than the guests other events over the weekend included the fancy dress ceremony (good fun), Disco Dave's Saturday night Disco (Brilliant!), raffles, competitions, the Auction and loads of socialising with a wide range of friendly and interesting people, mostly under the influence of the old fermented vegetable produce. I'll just say a quick hello to Dave(Pinhead), Mel, Alison, Peter(Twood), Steve and all the other wonderful people I know or met, I'll see you again next year. Thanks again to everyone involved in any way with making Dimension Jump '97 the huge success that it was. My only criticisms were that the Hotel was and that the number of attendees is getting too big. Perhaps a limit of 500 people would be an idea for future conventions. I'm sure there's lots else I should be including, but you really had to be there rather than just hearing it from me. Well done to all the N.I.R.D.A. members who made it over, lets see if even more of us can make it next year. Roll On '98....

Dimension Jump 98

Dimension Jump '98 was my 5th Red Dwarf convention and by now I thought they couldn't get any better. Well I was wrong. This years easily matched and in some ways bettered anything that had gone before. Best of all was having ALL cast members in attendance; Craig, Chris, Robert, Danny, Hattie, Norman and Chloe. From the guest list only Ed Bye and Doug Naylor couldn't make it . I'll try and keep the following report brief.

Friday night was mainly the welcoming ceremony which was fun as always, then off to the bar to meet old friends and make new ones.Saturday was action packed.The first guest was the wonderful Hattie Hayridge who received a very warm response. Actually over the weekend I managed to talk with Hattie on several occasions. She's always been my favourite cast member due to her friendly and approachable manner. She particularly enjoyed meeting my three year old daughter called Holly and even asked to have her picture taken with her! In fact bringing a young child to the convention turned out to be great as many of the other cast members took time to talk to her.

Hattie was followed by Norman Lovett, who had brought along his two beautiful children.It was Normans birthday and he was presented with a Birthday cake and a card . He was very laid back and amusing. Later that night we we're also treated to his stand up show. Next was Craig Charles, he too introduced us to his 11 month old daughter who nearly stole the show. The other guests that day were Chris Barrie and Danny John Jules. All the guests participated in Question and Answer sessions, which were very entertaining and the audience loved it.The cast looked very at ease and seemed to be enjoying themselves.

During the day there was also the auction where lots of fans parted with amazingly large sums of money for various items ranging from a Kryten mask to signed pics. Later the autograph queue was massive but thankfully I was quite near the front and it was worth the wait to meet all the cast again.

On Saturday evening we were treated to a special guest in the form of Clayton Mark 'Elvis' in Meltdown. He was joined on the floor by the cast to sing old Elvis numbers and dance. It was a remarkable moment. The atmosphere was electric, truly one of those rare moments that you'll always treasure. They were then presented with a huge 10th Anniversary cake which they cut together and made a toast to the next 10 years! This was followed by the fancy dress, with it's usually high standard and finally the Disco where several hundred drunken dwarfers boogied the night away.

Sunday morning started with Robert Llewellyn who was then joined onstage by the gorgeous Chloe Annett. They both received a huge applause and were very interesting. Unfortunately for various reasons the convention came to an end soon after this early on the Sunday. Although there was a little confusion as to what was happening it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the whole weekend which was a roaring success. Sadly it seems that Dimension Jump may be taking a break next year but all being well it'll all be happening again in 2000.

Dimension Jump XI - By Jonathan Capps 15 June 2004

Dimension Jump is the (almost) annual convention organised by The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club and staged at a glamourous and bustling English city. This year… Bedford . Well, it had a bank and a traffic cone, what more could you ask for?

Before I begin my report I will say to you that the convention was remarkable. Having only been to DJX before this, I do not have much to compare it to but this weekend certainly knocked the socks off last year. And that's no mean feat. So, here we have the highlights of Dimension Jump XI.

Friday
It's the first night and everyone is buzzing with excitement about the up-and-coming weekend. After our traditional welcome from the fan club we got straight in with the Quiz. Instead of the traditional Boys v. Girls of past years, we were split into Pub Quiz style teams and asked to answer 100 questions from a slide show. The quiz was conducted by the ever excellent Christopher Brown and the questions were quite good, if we ignore some factual errors in the questions. Team H, known as ‘We Love Ellard' won. AND WE DIDN'T CHEAT BEFORE YOU START! It was a shame they couldn't do the Music Round, though.

Later in the evening Chris was signing as usual but before that there was some serious interrogation for me to do. Having never spoken to Andrew Ellard in the past I went up to him and joined in the already thronging mass of 4 people. Talk was already on DVD's and, after I introduced myself as the trouble maker from The White Hole, conversation flowed as much as the beer (John Hoare bought him one pint). I was glad to get a chance to justify my past slurs on his writing in ‘Life in Lame' and also to have a good old session of telling each other how wrong we are about Series VII and VIII. The DVD's were discussed at length and it was good to be able to fire all the questions I had at someone who wanted to answer them!

Saturday
HANG OVER! It hurt, let me tell you, but nothing could have been a better tonic (apart form perhaps a box of Fizzy Good) than what came next: A double bill of Chris Barrie and Robert Llewellyn.

In a weekend of exclusives and revelations the Q&A session with Chris Barrie was unremarkable on that front. However, he was funny, interesting and a pleasure to listen to, as always. He revealed that the only good sit-com he'd seen recently was ‘The Office' but I'll let that one pass. This time. As well as some fine impressions of the cast, his thoughts on working with Angelina Jolie were discussed, as was his reaction to Craig Charles acting like a moron in ‘Celebrities Disfigured'. He remained diplomatic in his comments and only really criticised the program makers for failing to make the point they wanted to make, properly. They portrayed Craig's alter-ego as a raving mentalist, not as a normal man with horrible scarring and the delicate social situations he may find himself in. Well done Channel 4.

And so, after 1 hour 20 minutes of ‘Chris Barrie's Comedy Hangover Remedy ©' Robert bounded onto the stage with his customary vim and vigour. The fact that he had had only 4 hours sleep the night before (snap) and that he's been spending weeks and weeks filming Scrapheap didn't seem to quash his usual energy and delighted the whole audience with his anecdotes of Sat-Nav Systems and stories from the Scrapheap. I asked Rob about his project ‘iSpin' (which was mentioned at the time of his ‘WomanWizard' release) but unfortunately this is on hold for now. No political satires Llewellyn style just yet, then. A question from Paul Gannon about Llew.TV's ‘Happy Farmer' sparked a story or two about the local farmers around Robert and their curmudgeonly and drunken antics. Fantastic.

After some showings of various videos and the Red Dwarf Olympics (which I'm afraid I can tell you nothing about as I didn't watch or take part) it was time for Danny John-Jules to take the stage. He was brilliant as always and told the most fantastic anecdote about Story Makers involving obscene outtakes with the puppets. Good news for DVD fans, Story Makers series I is likely to be released soon. Imagine that!

Oh, and Danny John-Jules' girlfriend crashed his Jaguar S-Type into a wall. The wall was utterly obliterated but the car seemed relatively unscathed. Mr John-Jules was reported to be “angry”. I have a brick.

More drink and videos were consumed and watched until the evening entertainment begun. John Lenehan (Talkie Toaster circa Series I) delivered his usual brand of comedy and magic (better than Paul Daniels) after a rather impressive fancy dress show, presented by the even more impressive Hattie Haydrige. It was won by a fantastic bazookoid and thankfully no nakedness was to be seen.

Sunday
Hattie Haydrige and Shend were the next stars to be thrust under the critical eye of the unforgiving and brutal collection of Red Dwarf fans. Despite the reputation of DJ audiences to challenge the cast with probing and interesting questions that delve deep into their troubled brains, we decided to give Hattie a Shend a break and talk about other things instead. I asked a question about Hattie's best heckle and I think Shend spoke about Heartbeat. That's all I can remember, really.

The ever excellent Mike Tucker was next to face the challenge of entertaining a room full of fans, and he did this with aplomb. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we didn't get to the see the Special Effect video from last year as it will be appearing (with full commentary) on the Series V DVD. Instead Mike treated us to a port folio video montage of all his best work, spanning his time in Dr Who, Red Dwarf and numerous documentary films, one of which was a very impressive looking one about hurricanes, in which Mike obliterated quarter size miniature sets with wind and water. What came next was a real treat as Mike took us through some slides (he was loading the projection carrousel for 24 hours!). Pictures of (mainly Red Dwarf related) models were shown with Mike talking us through how some effects were achieved and the creative process behind creating such sets and models.

Incidentally, I spoke to Mike at his signing about the possibility of seeing his slides on a future DVD but I was disappointed to find out this will not happen. However, the pant moistening news is that Mike is planning a book and intends to include most of the pictures shown, in there. There's an article in that and I'm working on it. I promise.

The final victim to be subjected to the ravenous information wolves, that were the DJ audience, was DVD Producer and Director Andrew Ellard. Despite most people knowing who he was, no questions were asked of the up and coming DVD's and so his knowledge went largely untapped. Doug Naylor's email was read out by Mr. Ellard.  Doug was expecting to meet with financiers to continue talks started in Cannes and possibly even signing contracts that would allow the green lighting of the production. Crikey.

As if fresh movie news wasn't enough, Andrew then showed the crowd a fully edited preview of the ‘Emohawk: Polymorph II' segment from the forthcoming Series VI DVD. It was exactly what we come to expect from the documentaries, i.e. it was utterly brilliant, informative and funny in one effortless breath. Definite highlights include anecdotes from the guy who played Lister's Gelf bride and two lovely little clips from the rushes, used brilliantly to punctuate stories told by the assembled cast. I have big, big hopes for the Series V and VI DVD's and it looks like the interviews are going to deliver, as expected.

And so, save for a few videos and a signing session, DJ was over. In terms of sheer Red Dwarf exclusiveness it was perfect, in terms of the company I kept whilst at DJ it was perfect and in terms of the attitude of the cast, crew and Fan Club it was perfect. All in all a 100% successful trip!

Special Thanks to Jonathon Capps for his kind permission in reproducing this review. The full version can be viewed at The White Hole.


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