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Well then. Dave’s daily coded message treasure hunt has concluded with… the first four minutes and forty seconds of The Promised Land. If you can’t wait a further six days to see around 5% of the feature length special, here it is:

It’s certainly an excellent preview – timed just right to provide an almost standalone prequel to the main feature, without giving anything away about how our heroes get involved in the plot. From the snippet of the theme tune that we hear at the end, it seems like this could be a pretitles sequence in the finished episode, and it’s certainly structured that way.

We’ve decided to hold back any in-depth analysis from us for the forthcoming live DwarfCast and review. In the meantime, please keep any specific discussion of this video’s contents to this comment thread, lest you spoil it for those who are abstaining.

55 comments on “The Previewed Land

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  • The first two proper gags were actually quite funny, but still not going to get my hopes up for this too much. Rather be surprised than disappointed.

  • It was hard to decide whether to watch this. For about two seconds.

    Really good start, I thought – several laughs and I like the blend of the slightly more cinematic style (that gorgeous opening) with the more traditional sitcom feel. It works better than I expected.

    Also, leaving the regulars out of this preview feels like a good decision. It ends at just the right place for a good teaser.

    Can’t wait for the whole thing.

  • Very nice indeed.

    I don’t know what you call that crap British acting style. Micky on Doctor Who. Kill Crazy on RD-VIII. It’s a bit CBeebies or something. BUT! It wasn’t too prominent. Rodon was good. The ships were gorgeous. The gags were good enough for me. Loved the dear-stalkers and ear cigarettes. Got a shiver when we saw the page from the Holy Book.

    Nice, nice, nice. Thumbs up.

  • Looks nice at the very least which is a good foundation. A few VIII/Dave style head shaker daft jokes, and the villains don’t seem too menacing (gold standard: Denis Lill and Elizabeth Hickling in Gunmen imo) but we’ll see what the rest is like.

    Red Dwarf seems to have grown a lump on the top unless I’m being thick. Looks like the bridge is back.

  • it looks like a movie to certain degree.

    2 of he cat jokes could have been done a little more subtle and I think it would have been funnier. But it is what it is.

  • Slightly surprised the last Morse code message wasn’t holly today.

    That’s a pre credits kind of a scene. Happy to have watched it. Given there is another 85 minutes to enjoy. It feels like a prequel almost to see the scene seperate. It will be useful in setting the story ahead for fans that haven’t seen waiting for god recently. It sets up the cats different factions. Nicely. Enjoyed it. It’s not hilarious, it felt like series I meets vii or viii so not as good yet as the best of the recent dave stuff but could be better than the dave episodes I don’t like much. It’s going to be great for over all universe mythos. I will probably watch it aprehensively with that in mind and enjoy the ride, knowing the aging cast especially Bobby cant carry on for many more of this now. I like the unrushed feeling settling into this. Based on reviews I’ve read this could be a bit padded out at 90 minutes. If that is the case maybe 50 minutes is the ideal dwarf length to avoid those rushed endings like officer rimmer and not end up like back in the red. Still 32 years and a feature length special. So happy this shows lived so long , the cigarette in ear copying made me feel smiley and proud like the cat priests are fanboys.

  • the villains don’t seem too menacing (gold standard: Denis Lill and Elizabeth Hickling in Gunmen imo)

    Tied with Maggie Steed in Quarantine.

  • Slightly surprised the last Morse code message wasn’t holly today.

    Not sure whether we can talk about information that’s come out as a result of reviews, but some of the details revealed about Holly make me wonder whether there’s a risk of giving too much away about him in advance.

  • I think it could be an interesting balance between the cinematic and the sit-com. If the majority of the show is to be like the first 5 minutes I think it would be better without the laughter track.

  • Its believed by many that its the audience that makes the show. personally i don’t think that was the issue with BTE.

  • Slightly surprised the last Morse code message wasn’t holly today

    Some of the details revealed about Holly make me wonder whether there’s a risk of giving too much away about him in advance.

    Yeah, I read something that made me do whatever the reading equivalent of a double take is.

  • > I like the blend of the slightly more cinematic style (that gorgeous opening) with the more traditional sitcom feel. It works better than I expected.

    This. Pitched it very nicely I think. Good performances all-round although is it me or does Al Roberts struggle with the word ‘teachings’, possibly due to the false teeth? Looks good and I like the gags but I hope there aren’t *too* many more along the lines of ‘they’re just like cats lol!’ And Rodon is comical by virtue of his swagger but I expect he’ll get more sinister. I hope he does.

  • The more I think about it, the more I don’t mind an episode about the Cats being more silly than serious as they’ve always been a slightly silly part of the show’s story. That opening visual gag with the ships and the cat face shouldn’t work but absolutely does.

  • Really The Cat should be more sillier than these other cats. the Cat should be a joke to the other cats in many ways. oddly thats the idea the identity within script was going for. and really the dwarfers should be the worst of the worst.

    Its actually an idea i think Holoship got right. when the universe is a joke… the dwarfers don’t stand out.

  • Great to see how good the opening shot looks. On the night I seem to remember it was done in wireframe as a work-in-progress.

  • Worth stating that all of that was in a pre-record, so the actors aren’t reacting to a studio audience. Got to admit that I wasn’t convinced with this stuff on the night.

    I wasn’t convinced by the idea of the face pre-effects. Seeing it finished hasn’t changed my mind. A little bit too silly.

  • > Its actually an idea i think Holoship got right. when the universe is a joke… the dwarfers don’t stand out.

    Not sure what you’re citing Holoship as an example of here, because the crew of the Enlightenment are ridiculous, a bit cartoonish even. Or is that your point?

  • > Its actually an idea i think Holoship got right. when the universe is a joke… the dwarfers don’t stand out.

    Not sure what you’re citing Holoship as an example of here, because the crew of the Enlightenment are ridiculous, a bit cartoonish even. Or is that your point?

    I don’t think they are cartoonish at all. you had one of the members appearing on starbug and talking down about how not very good the dwarfers are as a crew. Rimmer also doesn’t seem to stand much chance of joining the Holoship and even when he talks about his life on Red Dwarf. its not particularly impressive compared to the Holoship.

    There is also the replacement crew that appear and don’t seem that fond of staying a hologram because it means staying with Lister, Kryten and Cat.

    Now if the Holoship was full of silly and comical characters.. i don’t think that would really work for the overall intention.

  • i liked this a lot, apart from the opening shot with the camera panning out to show the fleet in the shape of a cat face…maybe that would have worked if it was a slightly more menacing-looking cat face, but it looks so gormless and silly that it just stands out. aside from that though i really liked this, can’t wait to see the full thing next thursday! also, is this the first time since The Inquisitor the opening scene of a Red Dwarf story doesn’t contain any of the main characters? that was quite cool

  • also, is this the first time since The Inquisitor the opening scene of a Red Dwarf story doesn’t contain any of the main characters?

    Depends whether you count Ace in Stoke Me A Clipper (main actor, not main character), Baby Lister in Ouroboros (main character, not main actor), or Young Rimmer in The Beginning (ditto). I take your point though, I do like the structure that those standalone opening scenes give in all these episodes, and now The Promised Land.

  • ‘I’ll set a course for the ship of our birth…’ suggests they could have gone back to Red Dwarf at any time?? A bit nuts, if true!

    Personally I liked this opening, text intro included. There are PLENTY of people who have never seen The End or know anything about the creation of the cat race, so it was well worth having this refresher in there.

  • It was just kinda always easier to assume once they left they wouldn’t know how to get back.

    Although the cats seem to be fairly ahead technology-wise.

  • Well, that was great. I’ve been speculating like mad on plot details/characters etc – but I’m not going to share my thoughts here in case I inadvertently end up being right and accidentally post spoilers.

    It’s going to be a very long week.

  • > Now if the Holoship was full of silly and comical characters.. i don’t think that would really work for the overall intention.

    The Enlightenment crew are comical though, certainly in that they have a risible worldview. Lister’s description of them as “a bunch of arrogant, pompous, emotionally-weird, stuck-up megalomaniacs” is correct, the point being that they represent flawed aspects of Rimmer’s character writ large. I do think they’re silly in less subtle ways as well though, like how stand-offish they are, the over-the-top suaveness of the captain, even down to their names and uniforms. So there’s more going on there than with the cats in this preview, but they’re both sets of silly characters, just silly in different ways, I’d argue. Hopefully these new characters will turn out to have more depth in the rest of the special.

  • I suppose it depends on how subtle they are. the Holoship were played fairly subtle. arrogant at times. but subtle. if they are played like say ziggy… thats not subtle.

  • Really The Cat should be more sillier than these other cats. the Cat should be a joke to the other cats in many ways

    I think The Cat’s been ‘stupidified’ constantly since series VI. to be honest. He was still cool in IV & V, but could be a bit dim at times.
    In series VI, he became more of an idiot than cool. By series VIII, he was a complete buffoon. That’s eased up a bit, but he isn’t the cool character we were introduced to in series one. I suppose that must be what comes of hanging around with monkeys.

  • >the Holoship were played fairly subtle. arrogant at times. but subtle

    >I don’t think they are cartoonish at all

    u mad bro

  • Don’t forget the world’s lumpiest Russian accent. About as subtle as a chainsaw to the genitals.

  • >the Holoship were played fairly subtle. arrogant at times. but subtle

    >I don’t think they are cartoonish at all
    u mad bro

    I wouldn’t say that was cartoony either. and if thats the best example. well its hardly Zapp Brangan is it?

    The acting was still mostly subtle. when there was an opening for a laugh yeah sure. but for the most part they played it straight and Rimmer was still the one that was meant to stand out as abit of a joke in comparison.

    Another example is Ace Rimmer. do you wanna say he is cartoonish? i guess you could if you wanna use that above as an example. but he was actually played fairly straight as a character by Chris.

    The moment the dwarfers are judging others for being odd. is the moment i think the show has lost the plot abit. this isn’t star trek finding strange new worlds. this is by concept the last human being alive… and he just happens to be a not great example of the human race.

  • I just think it’s the shame that the very first shot of Rodon has compositing issues because of the shallow depth of field putting parts of his hair out of focus. You get some really nasty artifacting around the edges of where his hair is blurry and it looks really cheap compared to everything else, especially coming right off the heels of that really nice opening CGI. It stood out to me like a sore thumb immediately and seems like the kind of issue that could have been very easily avoided.

    Then again it wouldn’t be Red Dwarf without questionable bluescreening.

    I mean I overall liked it but my opinions have already been covered by others multiple times. Cat face was funny, laser pointer was a bit obvious, orchestral score kicks ass. Deeply unoriginal, my thoughts. That’s why I went for complaining about the thing nobody else would even notice.

    Oh, and it seems like they actually figured out how to light the Red Dwarf model after botching the miniature shoot so badly for XI / XII. Glad to see Red Dwarf itself actually looking decent again.

  • > I wouldn’t say that was cartoony either. and if thats the best example. well its hardly Zapp Brangan is it?

    I’ll concede he’s not as cartoony as an actual cartoon character.

  • Oh, and it seems like they actually figured out how to light the Red Dwarf model after botching the miniature shoot so badly for XI / XII. Glad to see Red Dwarf itself actually looking decent again.

    I belieeeeeeve that shot is taken from the Series X model shoot. The realisation that I spotted this has, quite frankly, provoked a sense of deep existential despair.

  • The deeper despair should come from the fact that Series X with its clusterfuck of a production and no money _still_ managed to do the models better than XI / XII. I’m happy with them using Series X shots of Red Dwarf, I just don’t want to see that goddamn bigature shot that opens like 80% of the episodes in the past two series.

  • That’s why I went for complaining about the thing nobody else would even notice.

    I think those dodgy elements in that first shot of Rodon are definitely noticeable, they just didn’t bother me.

  • The reason it bothered me was because it’s the first live-action shot of the entire special and it’s got an obvious effects failure that they hold on for a pretty long time. If it had been a random shot in the middle it wouldn’t have stood out so much.

  • A few ropey CGI parts are something I’m willing to overlook, as with the camera moving fast to the right when the cat people take off on their ship, like it’s an old 50’s movie trying to give off the impression a car is accelerating super fast. Not sure why that was a decided upon shot.

    I have noticed that some reviews or previews in the papers/magazines are giving away a few extra plot points that could be a bit more spoilery than people would like, so just be on the safe side, maybe avoid them and just watch the show on Thursday.

  • Yeah, most of the reviews are fine in and of themselves, but the cumulative effect of reading a dozen or so small hints across several of them adds up to quite a lot being given away.

  • Oh, and it seems like they actually figured out how to light the Red Dwarf model after botching the miniature shoot so badly for XI / XII. Glad to see Red Dwarf itself actually looking decent again.

    I belieeeeeeve that shot is taken from the Series X model shoot. The realisation that I spotted this has, quite frankly, provoked a sense of deep existential despair.

    The bridge bit on top, as featured constantly in Remastered, was that there in X, is it there now or am I seeing things? Definitely not on XI/XII promo stuff that I can see.

    Also pretty sure it was sold on eBay about 18 months ago so it would make sense if these shots were from 2011/12

  • Slightly disappointed we didn’t get to see a Cat hanging, where the executioner solemnly pulls the lever and is immediately mesmerised by the dangly thing on a string

  • Anyone else notice that they’ve added a bit more to the Series 1 music cue at the end. It’s subtle but it really makes that cue work just that little bit better for me :)

  • Any idea on when this will become available on UKTV play yet?
    I don’t watch regular TV so will be waiting for it to go online.
    I know TOS says “shortly afterwards” the 9pm broadcast time but how long is “shortly afterwards”? Half an hour, 2 hours, 3?
    Be nice if they could post an official time so I won’t be sat here refreshing UKTV every few minutes 🤔🤣

  • In the past, if I’ve watched Dave live online, but, say, missed part of the programme, it’s been available within half an hour, ten-fifteen minutes even.

  • I did wince at the blue-screening ’round rodon’s hair, but i thought the formation of the cat ships was hilarious. much funnier if it’s a silly face than if it’s a ‘menacing’ face – the whole point of the joke is that these guys want to look tough when actually, without their realising it even, they look stupid. i thought the whole clip was very great, made me laugh out loud using my actual voice, which red dwarf hasn’t done for decades. really excited about this

    also – agree 1000% about the cat being a total buffoon from series VI onwards. it’s danny’s fault for falling love with the reaction that duane dibbley got from the live audience – what we have now is at least 30% dibbley, all the time. I just wish someone would sit him down with a DVD of series V and say ‘like THAT, danny’

  • Ha. Loved that. Funny, well acted and good looking. On the evidence of the intro, the guest cast are fab.

  • Be nice to have an official update as to when this will be available on UKTV. I know they say “shortly afterwards” but be great to not sit here refreshing the page every few mins ✌️

  • I think it could be an interesting balance between the cinematic and the sit-com. If the majority of the show is to be like the first 5 minutes I think it would be better without the laughter track.

    I’ve always preferred RD shot in front if a Studio audience with a genuine laughter track but for once I’d agree. I think it all comes down to how it was filmed. I didn’t attend any of the studio recordings but from what I gather a vast majority of this wasn’t shot in front of an audience.

    If ever I watch series VII I quite enjoy watching the extended versions without the laughter track as it makes it feel more movie like and gives the episodes a chance to breath.

    Whilst I hate to moan, after watching this it does seem like they could have turned the laughter track volume down a peg or two as it’s a bit OTT. And in agreement with previous comments I am rather dubious about the cat race seeming abit CBBC rather than dark and menacing.

    Regardless either way. I am very much looking forward to this with you all in Thursday and hope it turns out true new venture for the Red Dwarf Crew 😊😊

  • My only gripe with the fleet formation visual gag is the the hindmost ship, making up the kitty nose and mouth… just isn’t a believable spaceship shape. Something more like the Enterprise could have worked perfectly.

    I like the general idea that the Cats think they look really hard and furnished but actually look somewhat daft and a bit cute. It’s very feline.

  • I can’t quite believe this is going to be on tomorrow night. Feels like it’s really crept up on us.

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