Just as we were all getting over the first teaser, news emerged today that a special preview would air on Dave during Taskmaster, foreshadowing the handover of the “most popular show on Dave” mantle, due to take place in just over three weeks’ time. The “preview” terminology left us a little unsure what to expect, but we’re definitely in full-blown trailer territory here – forty seconds long, loads of previously unseen clips, a classic rock soundtrack and even a specially-created graphics package in the middle.
Having aired once more during another Dave original, Porters, the trailer then turned up online, albeit in optimised-for-social-media format, with subtitles and big chunky borders to make it square. Worse still, there’s a fairly substantial change to the soundtrack, which we’ll come to later.
There’s no sign of a nice official 16:9 version yet, so the screengrabs below are taken from a slightly inferior-quality TV rip. (UPDATE: UKTV have uploaded a lovely high-quality YouTube version. All screengrabs have therefore been upgraded.) Let’s take our customary closer look…
The trailer opens with the slowed-down piano version of the theme that accompanied the initial teaser. The first shot is similar too, except here it seems to be a longer version of the same model shot, but with quick fades to and from black a couple of times to punch in on the nameplate, in time to the first three notes of the theme tune. Lovely stuff.
This is then followed by Starbug in the landing bay! As we were informed by the Series XI DVD, this is a shot they initially attempted for that series but then abandoned, so it’s great that it’s seen the light of day this time round.
Meanwhile, inside Starbug, Lister proceeds starting her up (he definitely says “starting”, despite what the subtitles on the social media version say), by…
…giving the console a little punch, causing it to light up. This also cues the unmistakable riff of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song, which plays for the remainder of the trailer and is an inspired choice, driving a fast pace and setting an upbeat tone. It’s such a shame that in the online version, it’s replaced by a pale library imitation, as so much of the mood is dictated by the music. It’s understandable though – any commercial music is expensive and difficult to clear for online use. The broadcast version must be considered the definitive edition of this trailer.
Anyway, back in the landing bay, Starbug takes off…
…with Cat shouting “here we go” as they speed away from Red Dwarf…
…and towards some sort of moon or asteroid. You can see here that Starbug has one of its back lights missing, which is something we first saw on a storyboard, back in February 2016. We therefore know that it’s from the episode recorded third, which all current evidence indicates will be the first to air.
We then cut to what certainly looks like Sunbury Pump House, or a very close approximation. Those green pipes are the giveaway. Two mechanoids are fighting it out in the middle of the Justice Zone, and on closer inspection…
…we see that one of them is the Listerbot, wielding a mop. I’m pretty sure that’s Lister anyway – it still doesn’t look much like Craig, but it does look like the Craig droid in this picture, although much less pale on screen. It’s at this point, in the broadcast version at least, that one of Danny’s “yooooowwwwww”s is mixed with Robert Plant’s. This is a fantastic touch, and kudos to Paul Muller for spotting it.
We then see Rimmer dissolving away, which seems to happen at least once in most of the Dave era trailers. This time, he spirals into his light bee, before we cut to:
Little bios for each of the crew! This is something that – in this form at least – is being used for the first time in an official Dwarf trailer, as far as I recall. It’s a good idea; for the casual audience, the fact that it’s the same four people they remember from the olden days is one of the main draws, so it’s nice to take a moment to re-establish them all. Each of them is presented in the form of a short clip from the series, with accompanying graphics and voiceover.
And yes, of course we’re going to pick apart the captions. “Dave Lister ‘Cinzano Bianco'”? That’s not how nicknames work. I’d have preferred “David
David Lister” anyway, and would have accepted “Human (Barely)” as the species.
Well, I wouldn’t say “correcting people” is something Kryten likes doing. It’s just something he has to do quite a bit, and he often feels guilty about it. And I simply don’t understand Kryten’s full name being “Additional”. His full name is Kryten 2X4B-523P, as everyone with even a passing interest in Red Dwarf knows, with the obvious exception of Robert Llewellyn himself when he was writing Beyond A Joke. Unless the “Additional” thing is a reference to something from XII, I’m baffled.
The Cat seems to have less information than anyone else, which reflects either the more enigmatic aspect of his character, or a lack of research from whoever put the captions together. Does he “like” mice, though? I thought that cats and mice were notoriously antagonistic towards each other, unless Tom & Jerry and Itchy & Scratchy are lying to us.
So close to perfection. The choice of insults are great because they’re not necessarily the obvious ones, and I like the bluntness of his “status”. The name could do with some initials after it, but they’re not essential. The glaring, obvious, schoolboy error, though? It’s “Zed Shift”, not “Z Watch”. I put my foot through the television and I’ll be sending Dave the bill.
Back to the action, and it’s an earlier moment from a shot that was featured in the teaser, with the big scary ship turning its tractor beam on to ensnare Starbug.
Then our first glimpse of Chris Barrie’s Rimmerbot in action, and unsurprisingly, his rubberised face is just as distinctive and excellent when it’s moving. This shot confirms that it’s some sort of conversion machine that turns the crew into Krytens, and furthermore that it appears to be based on a salon hairdryer.
Then there’s some transmat action, with Rimmer and Cat beaming down to join Kryten. The clinical white location that we’ve seen elsewhere, coupled with the big “M”-shaped logos everywhere, certainly seem to point towards which episode this is.
Then a moment that you can’t help grinning at – the “Boys From The Dwarf” hand gesture, for the first time since Demons & Angels. And Rimmer seems just as uncomfortable with it now as he was then. It’s such an iconic moment from the original series, despite it only appearing a handful of times, and it’s a callback designed simply to please long term fans.
Then the exact same shot of Rimmer/Blofeld/Dr Evil from the teaser, before…
…Lister and Cat on a
greenscreen gas moon, wearing very Space: 1999-esque helmets. I love the use of the ancient JMC mountains logo on the spacesuits.
Rimmer has decided to name this gas moon “Rimmer”, and he looks very smug as he does so.
Lister responds with the full Rimmer salute, before pointing out how Rimmer is full of gas. An obvious joke, but just look at that beautiful flag!
The trailer ends with multiple coloured wireframes of the logo cascading on to screen to form, in the TV trailer, the version of the logo that we saw on the teaser, with bits of the W and A cut off. But as Craig Walker pointed out on Twitter, this isn’t the case for the online version (pictured above), which has the logo appearing as normal and also has “coming soon” replaced with the actual TX date.
I love this trailer, and the reaction I’ve seen online has been almost entirely positive too. It’s a bit of a shame that there aren’t more jokes in there, but really, it’s all about the mood that it sets, and it makes the forthcoming series look fun, exciting and varied. Besides, there are presumably more variants of this trailer on the way, so it could well be that more funny stuff is being lined up for later use. Remain vigilant, people.