Series XII News: Four new preview pictures

Another Friday has rolled around and a fresh load of Series XII teaser pictures have fallen off the back of the proverbial Official Site lorry, as well as a confirmation that the Edinburgh screening tickets are now on sale.

But it’s the pictures you all want to know more about right now isn’t it. So lets stop all of this fannying about and get to it shall we?

 

While it doesn’t betray too many details, the first picture that was revealed does show that much as with Series XI, we are probably in store for a series with a bit more action again. Whether it be by misfortune or cruel intent, it’s always nice to see the crew facing some danger, as since Series III it’s always been something of a mainstay of the show.

It’s also a situation we haven’t seen used in this way in the show before, despite it being one that has certainly cropped up in other shows. The ‘slowing-drowning-behind-a-glass-window-in-a-small-space-filling-with-water’ motif certainly puts us instantly in mind of the Doctor Who story Battlefield where the same effect nearly managed to kill Sophie Aldred.

And could this be from the same episode as the next picture given the bolt design around the window? Riveting stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.

EDIT: Since our initial post, we’ve had one further bit of info on the pictures from Richard Naylor confirming they are in fact all from different episodes:

 

Well. This is an unexpected one. Here we have Rimmer back in his familiar Series I-II costume, backed a suspiciously Series I-II looking background and donning his Series I-II H. If I didn’t know better, I’d say we can almost certainly expect a return to Series VIII.

Terrifying joke possibilities aside, there is a notable difference for us to expand on. Yes, the patch sizes are all wrong. Oh, and he seems to have a lot more of them than he used to. As his rank badges reveal, Rimmer is a Navigation Officer here, meaning that it seems he will finally get to fulfil his life dream that was recently achieved last series. It also implies that this isn’t a flashback, which given the fact that Chris Barrie is clearly around three decades older than he was in Series I-II makes the continuity pedants in us happy.

So. Time Travel? Dimension Skid? Timeslides. Mid life crisis (again)? And if any of these, why has Rimmer’s H returned to the old design?

The implications of this are rather intriguing it has to be said. Costume aside, the set we see here is very clearly not a pre existing one, and the shape appears to be an enlarged version of the window in the I-II bunk room. Coupled with the costume, it certainly appears that we have a bit of playing to nostalgia to look forward too. At a time when Doctor Who will be having a Christmas special featuring it’s first Doctor, it seems seems entirely appropriate for Red Dwarf to be doing the same, especially as we sit on the cusp of the 30th anniversary year next year.

While it might not be surprising in a nostalgic way as the last picture is, the third picture to be revealed of an aged Lister is perhaps the second biggest talking point in the batch. Of course, it not the first time we’ve seen an elderly Lister like this, with Future Echoes presenting a different version with a robotic arm in just the second episode of the first series. What’s on display here however is lightyears ahead of that, with what would appear to be some great makeup from Millennium FX.

The look certainly brings to mind the elderly Lister the crew find on Garbage World in the Better Than Life novel, though clearly the setting here is very different. With the stark white look, our first assumption would be that this would be some kind of medical facility, but the crates behind Lister with what looks like beer cans and the guitar seem to suggest otherwise. So is this a ship? Are we seeing a Lister from the future as with the future version of the crew in Out of Time? Again, as with the first photo, it suggests an intriguing element of danger to the episode.

The final picture seems to give us a look at some of the other 30 mechanoids that Doug mentioned last week from the ‘everyone is Kryten’ episode. As with Butler in Series XI, there appears to be a conscious effort to differentiate the rest of the mechs from Kryten by using the older black colour scheme, though in this case you would imagine that they almost certainly will have had to cast new suits rather than just using old ones again.

For the masks meanwhile, it does appear that while the main cast had newly casted moulds for their masks, these guest actors have all been given the mould of Robert’s face, giving some strange results as with the mech on the bottom left. That’s not to say this is bad however, and n fact if what we are being presented with is a series of older models, then this actually becomes a slightly amusing feature, not to mention one that would obviously be necessitated by the budget.

The setting appears to be some kind of bar, with oil on draught as any enterprise wishing to get into The Good Mechanoid Pub Guide would require. It has something of a Star Trek feel to the run down walls, and while very obviously a set, this adds to the charm.

With the other mechs acting as waiters or polishing Kryten, we may be getting our first insight into the episode’s plot. Do mechanoids have an inbuilt desire to serve a superior model? And is the one on the bottom right sporting a beret and sunglasses suggesting that we have a robotic beat poet or the intergalactic version of Allo Allo? How of course this plays into the rest of the Red Dwarf crew becoming Krytenized remains to be seen, be perhaps we are seeing various other people that have befallen the same fate to fall into subjugation by the small rouge one’s own bog bot. All hail king Kryten!

And that’s all for this week’s update. Some fascinating stuff once again that’s sure to keep us intrigued over the coming weeks building up to the trailer and the eventual airing of the episodes. We’ll be bringing you more news and analysis as we get it.