When there are differences in opinion no “major – and I mean major – leaflet campaign,” is going to get you anywhere. That is why Doug Naylor has now initiated a High Court action against Rob Grant his former friend and co-scriptwriter according to The Daily Mail.
You don’t need an “IQ of 6,000 PE teachers” to recall that this is not the first time this writing-duo have had their differences. Between Red Dwarf’s sixth and seventh season the pair split, with Rob Grant stating he was tired of the relationship they had and wished to pursue other projects. The seventh season and eighth season finally went ahead regardless of some tubulance and Naylor was brought back by Dave in 2008.
The High Court claim also names Grant Naylor Productions as a company that exploited their services as scriptwriters. Noel Gay Television is also mentioned within the High Court action. The action seems to have spurred from last March, which saw Naylor being removed from the board of Grant Naylor Productions after their Extraordinary General Meeting.
“I want to make sure that I get back the rights to allow me to keep making Red Dwarf, the show I have been writing single-handedly for more than 20 years.”Doug Naylor on his removal as director
The action is not primarily a monetary claim, although £160k is being claimed for alleged unpaid invoices. It is levied towards the fact that, after the removal of himself as director, the company have informed UKTV that Naylor had resigned and that all Red Dwarf rights had been retained. Naylor is denying these statements which could be “a load of Tottenham […] a steaming pile of Hotspur”. Naylor was already in dicscussion with UKTV prior to his removal as director and stated that it “would have resulted in UKTV commissioning two further Red Dwarf specials”.
Grant Naylor Productions have refused to comment on this issue, and I have reached out to Doug Naylor in an attempt to get further information but this has been ignored also.
The news is not the best for fans of the iconic British show, with a power-struggle over rights it could delay or put in jeapardy the entire future of the hit sit-com. Perhaps we all need a sit down with a “dry white wine and Perrier,” while it all blows over. As for Naylor, when the court case procedings start lets hope he packs sensibly – “thermos, sandwiches, corn plasters, telephone money, dandruff brush, animal footprint chart, and one triple thick condom… you never know!”