Rather alarmingly, there are just five days to go until Red Dwarf XII is released on DVD and Bluray. Pre-orders could start arriving as early as this weekend, and it’s been less than a week since the covers were officially unveiled on TOS. These included the intriguing detail that we’d be seeing over 140 minutes of extras on the discs, but we’re not yet sure exactly what they are. Thankfully, the long-held tradition of details being released as a by-product of the UK’s home video classification laws has continued – Red Dwarf XII and its extras are now listed on the BBFC website.
As indicated by TOS’s cover images, the set will be a 12 certificate, with the first four episodes given this rating, and the last two lowered to PG. I’m always amused to see the content of Dwarf episodes broken down in this way. Apparently, the chanting of the word “MILF” constitutes “moderate innuendo”, and Mechocracy got its rating due to an archive still of Kryten raising his middle finger. Those who have seen Skipper already will know which bits are referred to by the tags “mild bad language, comic threat and infrequent mild sex references”, and it’s interesting that this is one of the lower-rated episodes of the series – those moments might have caused a much higher certificate in the 80s and 90s.
But anyway, the real meat of the matter is the details on the extras. These are split in to two packages, marked Disc 1 and Disc 2, but they’ve surely been labelled the wrong way round – according to this, the first disc will contain 113m 57s of extras in addition to the episodes, while the second disc will just have 33m 39s of extras and nothing else. Either way, let’s take a look at what we’re getting in the larger of the two portions:
- RED DWARF XII [THE 28 YEARS LATER AFFAIR: THE MAKING OF RED DWARF XII]
- RED DWARF XII [DELETED SCENES]
- RED DWARF XII [SMEG UPS]
- RED DWARF XII [SPEED OF DARK MASTER]
- RED DWARF XII [LIGHTING RED DWARF THEN AND NOW]
- RED DWARF XII [A FONT TO THE SENSES]
First of all – hooray, there’s an individual title for the main behind the scenes feature again! But boo, it’s only 55 minutes long, a mere three minutes longer than the XI doc, which felt far too short. Meanwhile, the deleted scenes are even more measly than they were last time – six minutes shorter, when we were rather hoping that some of the stuff that was omitted from the XI release might turn up here. The two Smeg Ups features are of near identical length, which suggests we’re in for another tightly-cut package.
However, on the plus side, look at those extra features! “Speed of Dark Master” at 17:37? 23 minutes worth of “Lighting Red Dwarf Then And Now”? And is “A Font To The Senses” three minutes and 50 seconds on fonts? I do hope so. It seems like we’re getting some supplementary extra features alongside the main documentary this time, which will hopefully fill some of the gaps and boost the overall package to the same comprehensive quality we came to expect after the first ten series releases. There’s even more on the other disc:
- RED DWARF XII [NEW MODEL ARMY]
- RED DWARF XII [FLYING BY WIREFRAME]
- RED DWARF XII [IN SPACE THEY CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM]
- RED DWARF XII [THE SANDS OF STUNTBUG]
These lot all seem to be focussed on special-effects, but the fact that they’ve all got individual titles leads me to hope that they’re more substantial than just the raw footage we saw on the XI release, again helping to make up for the main doc’s shorter running time. This is all a lot more than I was realistically expecting, and it’s certainly made next Monday’s release a lot more exciting.