Those of you that listened to the recent Dwarfcast interview with Bill Pearson may well have been intrigued by Bill comments that the Annihilator model was created for a proposed Red Dwarf Christmas special. Well, seeing as this work would go on to play a small part in the recent Series X and Christmas is on the way, Bill felt that is seemed like a good time to shed a bit more light on the story as a Christmas treat for the fans. Thanks to a variety of materials he has provided us with, we can now bring you the full details of the work that was done and some things that many Red Dwarf fans are unlikely to have ever seen before.
The special (which was apparently written with the idea of beng ‘panto-like’ in mind,) was penned by Bill himself for fun, and long time fan club members may be familiar with it under it’s working title of ‘Dropship Project’ from when it was feature in an edited form in issue 33 of Better Than Life in 2000. To pitch the idea, Bill also created a few models and props too as a way of demonstrating what the final show might look like. While it was never taken further than this stage, the work put into creating the models would later be hugely helpful, providing as it did a ready ‘on-shelf’ model to use for the Annihilators in The Beginning.
So by way of documenting the origins of a small part of Red Dwarf X, we have gathered together the original full length script, the edited version as it appeared in Better Than Life and a pictures of the models and their design sketches. Perhaps most excitingly of all however, we also have Bill’s original pitch video featuring a breakdown of the story, some footage of the models in action and a basic camera test to illustrate how parts of the show may have looked.
You can find Bill’s full and unedited script here.
Here is the edited version of the script as it appeared in issue 33 of Better Than Life and Bill’s pitch video:
And finally, we have a collection of some model shots and some design sketches: