Red Dwarf returns to the (smaller) screen

A new Red Dwarf Christmas special will be screened this Christmas — on your mobile.

Fans of sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf can already relive the series by watching exclusively created ‘mobisodes’ of the show on their mobile phone thanks to a service from international mobile entertainment company Pitch that launched back in October.

Now the show, rated “Top Science Fiction and Fantasy Show of all time” by the Radio Times back in October, is returning for a new animated Christmas special – but only for users of the Red Dwarf mobile service.

The subscription service, which costs £3 a week, enables subscribers to receive a brand new Red Dwarf animated ‘mobisode’ and access a new social network allowing them to utilise all the functionality of social networking whilst on the move. Fans can chat, upload and rate their pictures and videos.

Subscribers can also choose six enhanced mobile features for their phone each week as part of the Red Dwarf service, including specially created ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers and videos.

Animated episodes made up from classic moments in the show have been released on a weekly basis since October.

“Pitch Entertainment has created amazing, ground breaking technology that gives our fans the chance to access and enjoy Red Dwarf whilst on the move,” explained Charles Armitage at Red Dwarf. The weekly animated ‘mobisodes’, the social networking functionality and the exclusive content will enhance the Red Dwarf experience for everyone.”

Back in November, Pitch executive director Martin Bowley described the company’s Red Dwarf licensing deal as the most important of his career.

Based in London’s Covent Garden, Pitch Entertainment Group (www.pitch.mobi) employs 60 staff and is predicting that its new “mobisodes” venture will help lift turnover from £12m to £20m in 2008, while profits are forecast to grow from £500,000 to £1m.

Red Dwarf has a massive following which is all over the world,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “We could see how that could be leveraged if we could find a way to make mobile phone episodes, or “mobisodes.”

The revenue share based licensing deal has seen Pitch make 24 “mobisodes” of the animated series just 25 seconds long, coming up with the miniscripts itself and organising the production.

As well as the UK, Pitch is available to mobile users in 13 territories such as Malaysia and Singapore, as well as across Europe, with plans to launch a new territory every month over the next year. The Red Dwarf site also offers fans the chance to interact via a dedicated social network as well as download the animations.

“Established fans can access new episodes, interact with each other and share their passions for Red Dwarf,” feels Bowley, who also argues the new service will enable a new generation of fans will also be able to discover Red Dwarf for the first time. “This is the future of entertainment.” he declared.

• Subscribers in the UK can receive the brand new Red Dwarf ‘mobisode’ each week by visiting www.red-dwarf.mobi or text RD1 to 87000.

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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