Norman Lovett returns, Series XII is given an airdate, a long demanded piece of merchandise is released, SFX feature the new series on the cover of the next issue and the dates for Dimension Jump XX are confirmed.
All in all, it’s proved to be something of a heavy news week.
Most of the stories were released separately over the course of Friday, so let’s address each of them in the rough order they were announced.
Norman Lovett to return as Holly is Series XII
While perhaps not the most surprising news, it has finally been confirmed that Norman Lovett with be returning to the Series in the role of Holly for the first time in 18 years. While it has been our policy to not report on it until now, the proverbial cat has been out of the bag for sometime on this one. Various sites and other sources (including Norman himself) have been taking openly about his involvement, so while normally we might bemoan a story surprise being spoiled by the needs or marketing, in this instance it seems pointless to bemoan a reveal that was taken out of the hands of the production.
Notably, this will mark the return of the character to just one episode rather than the full series, as elaborated on by Doug over on The Official Site:
“Yes, it’s true,” says writer/director Doug Naylor. “Holly, played by Norman Lovett, guest stars in one of the new shows in Red Dwarf XII. But which show remains a secret!”
To analyse the picture for a moment, where on the Dwarf this shot is taken also remains unknown. The wall panels and colour are not far removed from the science room as seen in Series XI. We would assume however that this shot is taken elsewhere as it doesn’t seem to quite match up and the colour scheme seems to fall more on the grey side than the blue. For reference, compare to this shot from Series XI:
As for Norman himself, we’ll avoid the usual ‘man surprises by looking older after 18 years’ that is bound to already be boring many of you. The two points that are of note however are the makeup and the lighting. In Series VIII, Norman’s hair was dyed to make his look more consistent with how he appeared in the first two series. This new shot shows that he has again undergone a similar process, and while it’s difficult to tell from just one photo, it looks like he seems to have developed larger sideburns.
The main other visual difference however is in the lighting. If Holly looks a little strange to you in the new shot, we’d wager that this is the main reason why. While previously we’ve always seem the character under fairly warm lighting, this is our first time seeing him under the colder blue lighting that has already been a staple of Seres XI. If you aren’t sure what we mean here, take a look at this comparison.
How things will look beyond this one photo, or indeed what the extent or purpose of the appearance is remains to be seen, though the distinctly Series I looking photo of Rimmer released the other week would likely seem to be linked here.
But the news of Norman’s appearance was also combined with another announcement…
Series XII to start Thursday 12th October
— Red Dwarf (@RedDwarfHQ) September 8, 2017
Yes, at last we have a confirmation that Series XII will air from October 12th. It’s one of those exciting mile stone in the run up to a new series, and also means that teasers and trailers are now on the not too distant horizon.
Whether the episodes will be released early on UKTV Play remains to be seen, though we’ll be keeping an eye out for any details on that front and we’ll be sure to update on this site accordingly.
First ever official London Jets t-shirt now available
— Red Dwarf (@RedDwarfHQ) September 8, 2017
Moving from the series itself to it’s merchandise, Friday also saw the reveal of the next t-shirt from the official store, and this time it was an already very familiar design. The London Jets t-shirts worn by Lister back in Series I are a well loved design, and even in Series XI the logo could still be seen on a miniature t-shirt in Lister’s bunk. Given the amount of knock offs of the design that have been released unofficially over the years, we have been saying for a very long time that GNP should be making these available officially, so we’re delighted to see that they are at last.
As with the Series XI t-shirts released last year, the t-shirt features the series logo on the sleeve, linking it in to XII. What remains to be seen is whether this link is due to it appearing in the bunk, being re-worn in the series, or whether its just an older design being revived as a result of the requested suggestion from The Official Site a while back, and has just ended up being branded as XII along with all the other designs being released.
The t-shirt is available now from the official store for £20 (+P&P) and can be found here.
Red Dwarf XII in SFX
— UKTV Press Office (@UktvPress) September 8, 2017
As with Series XI, Red Dwarf is once again gracing the cover of SFX magazine. The issue, which will be out on September 13th, features Doug talking about the new series and will doubtless be worth picking up to immerse yourself in the pre-series hype.
On a side note, it’s quite interesting that a new series of Star Trek is out this month, and yet Red Dwarf is the cover image. We’re not sure if that says something great about Red Dwarf or rather damning of Star Trek Discovery, but it’s an interesting state of affairs to say the least.
Dimension Jump XX dates confirmed
— Dimension Jump (@TORDFC_DJ) September 8, 2017
Last but not least, we also have the confirmation that Dimension Jump XX, the Official Red Dwarf Fan Club’s 20th convention, will be taking place October 5th-7th 2018. It only seems fitting that there should be a Dimension Jump on the year of the show’s 30th anniversary, and post Series XII we’re sure there will be a lot to talk about.
Guests and events will be announced closer to the time, but passes go on sale on Friday 13th October at dimensionjump.info, and given the event’s popularity we’d expect it to sell out once again, so don’t miss your chance to go.