Friday’s Red Dwarf X update has landed, and this week we’ve been treated to a *gorgeous* panoramic view of the new bunk room set.
Ain’t she a beauty? There’s a whole heap to pick apart here, so let’s DO THIS.
The sets for Series X are the work of production designer Michael Ralph and they’ve been one of the more highly praised aspects of the new series by fans who attended recordings. The bunk room is obviously the centrepiece of a whole suite of new sets, including the Red Dwarf drive room, [REDACTED], the [REDEACTED] [REDACTED] and of course the [REDACTED] [REDACTED] from episode [REDACTED] that [REDACTED].
I really, really liked the bunkroom from Back to Earth, but I absolutely *adore* this one. The bright white officer’s quarters have had a good run, but it was definitely time for a visual refresh, and here we have a bunk room that’s equal parts new and instantly recognisable, matching as it does the various bowels of the ship we’ve seen over the years but styled in a way that’s quite unlike bunkrooms that have come before it.
On the left we see the main entrance, which is connected to a corridor that separates this and the drive room set. Unlike previous series, the action is able to move seamlessly between the bunk room and the corridor and this feature is used very effectively in a number of scenes. It’s worth reiterating how confident Doug’s directing is this series, and the sets have certainly allowed him to do some interesting things.
The various keyboards and monitors scattered around Red Dwarf and Starbug in previous series are one of the few things that can date any one episode visually (coming as they do from fairly recent technology), and the monitors here are very clearly modern home appliances. In fact I think the large TV is exactly the same as the one we have at home. One thing we *don’t* have at home, however, are upside-down keyboards. The looping graphics on the screens are various lines of code displayed in variously impractical ways, all accompanied by a distracting swirling pattern in the background. It would be a miracle if any actual work was done on those consoles.
The bunk beds themselves are a little less prominent than they’ve been in the past, but the fine attention to detail remains. Lister has a picture of Hannah, his gran, a Mugs Murphy card, a tiny London Jets shirt, a picture of him meeting Jim Bexley-Speed and GNP have also been kind enough to lend him some publicity shots of Kochanski. The picture in the top left is puzzling me a bit, but if I was to guess I’d say it was a picture of the Tongue Tied scene from Parallel Universe. On Rimmer’s bunk we have the newspaper clipping “Arnie Does it Best” and “ARNOLD: LIVING LEGEND” and I’m willing to bet there’s a revision timetable somewhere in there. The art department clearly had a lot of fun here.
The sofa is a little unusual as it seems odd that Rimmer would allow such a hiddeous thing in his sleeping quarters as it’s something you;d be more likely to see in Lister’s quarters from Legion. The steering wheel controller shows that Lister is currently going through a bit of a retro phase with his choice of computer games (and monitors by the look of the CRT suspended from the ceiling), especially considering there’s about fifty AR machines kicking around the ship.
Tucked away on the right hand side of the set we’ve got a nice cameo from Lennon and McCartney (although I never once spotted them during recordings) and what appears to be a food and drink preparation area (it appears that way because it in fact *is* a food and drink preparation area).
After two weeks of photo updates coming from Dave, it seems next week we’ll be getting another trailer, which is very exciting, but not as exciting as the sudden realisation that series X will most likely be airing next fucking month. Quite where the time has gone is something I’m not keen to think about too much, but when the reward for the ever quickening journey towards your own inevitable death is a new series of Red Dwarf, well… it’s not so bad, is it?