From, of all places, The Telegraph:
So yeah, thanks for that, The Telegraph. When you decided to leak the picture all of G&T were either at work or fast asleep. Never-the-less, see our (or rather my) belated thoughts after the jump, as I mercilessly rip ownership of this placeholder post from John for my own nefarious purposes.
I have mixed feelings. As you may have gathered from the Tweets last night, there are certain founder members of G&T that don’t like it at all but as always opinions are not matching up fully. Let’s do a layer by layer analysis of what we’ve got here:
THE CREATURE KNOWN AS CAT: I think this might be the first time a costume of his has actually crossed the line into hideous. Like, to the point where I can’t believe even the cat thinks this is fashionable, although I guess old age can do strange things to your sense of taste. Other than that, it seems his hair in this picture at least doesn’t match up with the early reports of it being pube-like. He basically looks like The Cat, and with Danny John-Jules’ freaky non-aging trick he looks like The Cat has looked for many years now.
BIG MAN: We’ve got some tweaks to the tunic here, but basically this is Dave-era Rimmer in a nutshell. Anyone caught saying the word wig will be reported to the police and fined five pounds.
LISTY, LISTY, WISTY, LISTER: Again, not much change in the costume department (conceptually at least), but we do know from the set reports that the jacket is changed to a largish extent, and is possibly even a new piece entirely. His hair is also quite different, going back to a more marked step with more voluminous curls on top. What’s also notable here is that he’s also holding Mike Tucker’s big bazooka. The lucky man.
TITAN: Oh, what a surprise, Kryten’s look is controversial. Among my INNER CIRCLE I’ve heard vastly different opinions on him. Some say he looks nothing like he does in the episodes, other say he basically looks the same, some say he looks shit, some say he looks fine. I definitely think he looks fine to good, and very close to what was on the monitors during the episode I saw recorded. The most important detail is the mask and I think the main advantage it has over X is that it’s been executed properly. In X you could see what they were going for but it almost looked saggy and ill fitting at times, often with a nose and mouth area that looked frankly bizarre. In this picture it looks to fit perfectly, but the look itself feels like a bit of a departure probably because there’s an almost uncanny amount of freedom of expression around the eyebrow area. However, this is the case for every single series. There are no two sets series that have any sort of consistency in the finer details, and what I see here is a new take on the mask, executed well, and likely to grow on people far more than its predecessor ever did. The suit is a similar situation; it’s always going to change between series and it will always be weird to adjust to, but in this picture at least it looks closer to the correct colour than it has in years, and the chest monitor is big and lovely. Kryten gets a pass from me.
So, in general, I think the characters are looking good, but the publicity image as a whole feels inexpert and messy. We’ve already seen how nice the new Starbug looks, and we know how great the refurbished Dwarf looks as well, so it’s impressive that this picture does them so little justice. They don’t feel part of the image, more slapped on afterthoughts with little to no work done on integrating them into backdrop. I’ve also never been much of a fan of later Dwarf’s love of those nebula heavy starfields, and here it just contributes to far too much visual noise when the centre of attention should be on the great cast shot.
As with X’s heavily processed publicity shot, expect to see this absolutely everywhere in the coming months, including on your DVD shelf later in the year. As with a lot of the publicity stuff that comes out of the UKTV, it would’ve benefited from a decent amount of extra polish, but what actually matters is the core characters and I honestly think they’re all somewhere on a scale from Fine to Great.