Well, this has certainly given me a rod-on.
A twenty second teaser for the as-yet-untitled Red Dwarf Special has been released. And when teasers and trailers for new Red Dwarf get released, we like to go through them shot-by-shot in far more detail than is strictly necessary. This time we have but six proper shots to be getting on with, in a trailer that’s effects-heavy and somewhat serious and dramatic in tone, hinting that the Special will have high stakes and grand scale. And lots of BIG SPACESHIPS.
Indeed, we open with Starbug flying towards what is certainly a very big and very impressive spaceship, with sky blue lights puncturing a chunky and imposing design. During this, we hear Rimmer saying: “You don’t need me. I’m not sure you ever did.” Alright, Marvin.
Then we see a big old corridor, on the interior of an unknown ship. This also has sky blue lighting, which may or may not suggest a link to the previous shot. This isn’t me being coy; I went to both recordings but we didn’t see any effects shots, so I’m genuinely not sure what the exterior of this place is supposed to look like. Here, a much more positive Lister says: “Guys, if we’re going to get through this, we need to stick together.” That stupid, chirpy optimism. That inane, winsome grin.
MORE SPACESHIPS. FOUR OF THEM! All clearly part of the same fleet, but with some variations in the design; the two on the top appear identical, but the lower two are different from both those and each other. But there’s that blue light again. Meanwhile, Kryten says “we have to… find a new ship”, but there’s what seems to be a rather noticeable edit in the middle, suggesting either that parts of two different sentences have been welded together for the purposes of the teaser, or at least that a longer Kryten line has been truncated to fit.
Next, it’s your man Rodon, in a virtually identical shot to the first photo we saw of him, except moving. It’s also a little closer, allowing us to have a better bit of a nosey at his costume and claws.
The penultimate shot is of the Starbug cockpit in a state of red alert, as the crew deal with a medium sized explosion taking place in the middle of the room. In contrast to the rest of the teaser, it’s considerably less blue than when we last saw it, and you can see that some of the panels have moved around or been replaced, yet it’s still unmistakably the same place. At this point, the snippets of dialogue start to come faster and more frantically; we hear Lister refusing to surrender and Rimmer bracing for impact, both within a couple of seconds.
The dialogue concludes with Cat shouting “incoming fire”, and there most certainly is. Curious that Cat is only given two words in the first teaser for a feature length episode centered around his species, but this is here to show off an epic action effects shot, with a tiny-looking Starbug wobbling its way around an attack from one of those blue-tinted ships. There’s something very notable about this shot, but only if you’re looking out for it, so as per our spoiler policy, it’s up to people who didn’t attend the recordings to speculate, and those who did to keep schtum.
Finally, we’re treated to a nice long look at a lovely new logo variant. The same fundamental design as Series III, IV, XI and XII, but with more depth and a grungy, scuffed and tatty texture. I like it a lot, and the best thing is that the bottom-right of the W and the top-left of the A have been restored, no longer cut off by the ellipse as they frustratingly were on the previous iteration. Thank you for listening, whoever’s decision that was.
And so we end with the still relatively vague tagline “coming soon”, which in TV land is usually code for “probably around a month away as an absolute minimum”. That feels about right considering that Easter has been previously established a semi-official estimate, and that’s pretty much exactly a month away. If so, we’d expect the date to be confirmed in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime we’re now only six days away from the title being revealed, according to this tweet from Doug. Fingers crossed for more pictures and a longer trailer soon too – we’ve got the taste for this now. It’s been a long two-and-a-half years…