Well, there really is quite a bit to take in here. The official social media accounts have all, in one way or another, revealed the Dave *broadcast* date for Twentica to be Thursday, 22nd September at 9pm, placing it roughly around the same time as most people’s best guesses. We are all certainly very pleased that UKTV were considerate enough to fit things into our Series X DwarfCast schedule so neatly. This will presumably put Series XI among the illustrious company of 31 previous episodes to premiere on a Thursday. Wednesday remains as the only day of the week to not hold that particular honour.
However, the very first thing you’ll notice from the video above a great long model shot of Red Dwarf itself, to the tune of a classic piece of interstitial music. I’m no expert (as if that isn’t plainly obvious after years of me writing this shit) but I believe that shot is motion control, and it feels very nice as a result. The ship itself has obviously gone through some CG trickery to put the Dave logo on there, but even so there’s something slightly odd and disconnected about how it looks against the backdrop. That said, as an indication of the quality of model shots in the series proper, I am very happy with this.
Let’s go back to the broadcast date, though. As well as giving us the 22nd September, the end card of the video mentions a Preview on the 15th, a whole 7 days earlier. Are we talking about some sort of clip collection to whet the appetite? Or are UKTV really going to give the exclusive premiere of a whole episode to their online service 7 days before TV broadcast? As if so, is this for Twentica only or for the entire series? Online exclusives are certainly not unprecedented as it’s now very common for digital channels to funnel fans to their catch-up services to watch shows first, but if this was the strategy with Red Dwarf I couldn’t help but think this would be doing a huge disservice to the show. There’s no denying that watching habits are moving more and more to time-shifted services, and that’s great, but to cannibalise your broadcast audience for what should be a big event all focused on your channel would be a huge shame. Not to the mention the fact that our currently soundly asleep founder and Live DwarfCast producer would have an absolute heart attack at the implications for our post-broadcast offerings.
So, there you have it, you can catch Twentica on the 22nd or possibly the 15th of September or, I dunno, just fucking watch it at one of the thousand different previews for all I care.
EDIT: Doug Naylor has confirmed that the *entire* series will premiere one week early on UKTV Play. Blimey.