UPDATE: Now, before we get on to analysing that lovely little teaser, let’s pick through the other details that were released today.
Firstly, confirmation, if confirmation be need be, that rather than premiering on Dave as previously billed, each episode will once again be debuted on UKTV Play. You know our feelings on this matter, but equally we know that we’re fighting a losing battle. I’m sad that Back To Earth and Series X will likely forever remain the only times I ever took part in that beautiful communal viewing experience, but for UKTV, it’s a chance to boost their still-relatively-new catch-up service considerably, at very little tangible cost to the linear broadcast. So we’ve come to accept it and adapt to it, but now there’s an extra little twist with the news that each episode will appear on UKTV Play on a Thursday, not the Friday like it was for episodes 2-6 of Series XI.
Sigh. At least when it was the day after the previous episode was broadcast, there was a clear delineation – the few remaining Dave-pacers could have the rest of the night to register their opinions and catch up with the discussion, before everyone else moved on the next day. Now the Dave broadcasts are going to be even more of an anti-climax. From the second each episode finishes, it will no longer be the latest episode. And that’s assuming the best case scenario, which is that the next episode goes live at 9:40pm. The alternative – that the episode drops in the morning, like it did for XI – would be absolutely ridiculous. The forums and hashtags would be swamped with discussion about “next week’s” episode before “this week’s” goes to air. Please, UKTV, if you’re reading. We promise to not bang on about it if you at least wait until after TX to debut the next episode.
Moving on, the TOS article also contains four lovely new photos, only three of which appear in SFX, which does however contain one picture which wasn’t posted on TOS. Allow us to lazily repeat ourselves:
- Around the sleeping quarters table, Lister and Rimmer eye Cat suspiciously as they play cards, while Kryten watches on, wearing an apron and using a wooden spoon.
- In some sort of corridor or landing bay or something, the four of them with heavy chains attached to their necks. (Although one bonus detail that I didn’t notice due to the pic being printed over the fold: either Johnny Vegas or one of his pink police colleagues is standing behind them.)
- In what looks like a guest set, Lister and Kryten either stuffing Rimmer into a big metal crate, or rescuing Rimmer from a big metal crate, while Cat watches on, wearing a towel round his neck.
The all-new picture was taken in what would certainly seem to be Starbug’s mid-section, judging by the green hue. Cat’s filing his nails, Rimmer’s nailing his files, Lister’s reading a magazine with a headline that looks like the bottom half of our logo, and Kryten’s doing fuck all, although he did presumably provide the uneaten sausage sandwich on the table. I like the metal JMC mugs.
Just one thing before the
disco teaser trailer, the classic t-shirt that had previously been teased on Twitter turned out to be the Smoke Me A Kipper t-shirt, which is now available to order from the Red Dwarf Shop. I make this at least the fourth pressing of this particular design. The Shop doesn’t show you the back, but I’m going to assume it doesn’t feature the tour date-esque list of dimensions Ace has visited, as appeared on the original.
And so without further ado, please accept this gift of nine screengrabs with some words underneath them:
The teaser starts with a familiar looking nameplate shot, and features throughout an extremely slow piano version of the theme tune, which gives it a hauntingly melancholic feel. On paper, that’s not the best approach for the joyous return of a largely-upbeat comedy show, but it really works.
Then an all new effects shot – it looks like a model to me, so if it’s CGI then it’s very good CGI – of something (Starbug?) travelling up a tractor beam into a big space station or sutin. It reminds me of the end credits of seminal CBBC sci-fi/baking mash-up Pie In The Sky, and that can only be a good thing.
Then we have some sort of mechanoid, raising his arms aloft, seemingly to a crowd, like the gladiator that Jesus once mistook Kryten for. Time was, if you saw a shot of a mechanoid in a trailer, you knew which character it was, but this is clearly from The One Where Everyone’s Kryten, and so it could therefore be anyone. It’s clearly not Robert, but if it’s one of the other regulars than my money’s on Craig, but it could equally be a guest or an extra.
This is possibly the most intriguing shot of the teaser. It’s Chris Barrie rising to attention, except he’s crashed his Bentley and forgotten to put his wig on. That scar on his face looks like it’s in the shape of an R (hat tip: Darrell), which surely can’t be a coincidence. It’s somewhat disturbing and quite possibly 007-influenced, as is…
…Lister hog-tied to an automatic castration machine. “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr Lister, I expect you to have your knob lasered off.” It’s as yet unconfirmed as to whether the automatic castration machine will then fax said appendage to Canada.
While all this is going on, we start to hear the words of Rimmer asking where and when he is. Well, he appears to be in the past, or at the very least in another dimension, presumably having skipped there. Oh man, despite him being twice the man he was in 1987, Chris just looks so right in that uniform. It’s a great recreation of a classic design, although the corridor is not so faithful a recreation. This is understandable, as it’s much cheaper and quicker to redress and relight an existing set than build a new one, and it matters not, as those changes to the colour palette do a great job of invoking the atmosphere of the early series.
Holly then answers Rimmer’s questions, and it’s a shame that this reveal of Holly’s presence couldn’t have been held back until the night, but unavoidable given how he’s been telling everyone who’ll listen for a year and a half. It’s an obvious but amusing gag, and it’s undoubtedly Holly-esque. We don’t see him in vision for very long, but I’d tentatively say that Norman looks better in motion than he does in the still that was released. I’m relatively optimistic that this could be really good.
And finally, another ship shot, with caption, hashtag and logos for show, channel and sponsor. However, the logo on screen is different from the one that’s being used elsewhere. The W is cut off below the ellipse, and the A cut off above it. This looks rubbish. It would be odd if the logo used online and on merchandise was different to how it appears in the show, so hopefully this variation won’t spread to the episodes themselves.
The first official glimpses of footage from a new series are always exciting, and they’re always followed pretty soon after by more. If last year is anything to go by, we can look forward to a much longer trailer before too long, then some shorter variants, then some extracts from scenes. I’ve got a lot more screengrabs to make in the coming weeks.