XI/ XII News: Oh, The Magic Camera Company? Well, why didn’t you say? [UPDATE: The Model Unit also confirmed as returning!]

Things have been fairly quiet on the XI/XII front for a couple of months now, barring vague of hand comments from the cast about episode plots that Doug already alluded to last year and a non committal comment from Danny that the Red Dwarf live show is still a possibility. Today however, we got our first piece of solid news in a little while.

For those of our readers that follow us on Twitter, you will have seen us earlier today linking to the Twitter account for Cult SFX, who have been tweeting pictures of a variety of visual effects from Series II, and which if you haven’t checked out, we would highly recommend doing here.

In response to this however, we have this tweet from Richard Naylor giving us our first real news worthy update on production since the wrap on studio filming:

A couple of interesting points here. Firstly, we know that the show is in post production currently, but this is really the first we’ve heard about the model shoots since Richard’s photo of the massive model of the Dwarf’s nose cone, and as such gives us a bit more of an idea of where things are at with the production. If compared to Series X, this is a slightly later start to the model shoot, with the second more successful mounting for that series starting on April 2nd 2012, but given we are only in mid May we are still dealing in a fairly similar time frame, and given that this time we are dealing with two series back to back, by all accounts it appears that the production is facing far less problems this time around.

More interestingly though perhaps is the detail on who the model makers are this time around. The Magic Camera Company might not be a name immediately familiar to fans, but is one that comes with a resume of work that includes productions such as Harry Potter, Pan, Edge of Tomorrow, and less prestigiously, Jeremy Clarkson’s Greatest Raid of All Time. However, for the those of you that have watched the raw fx footage on th DVDs, you might remember it for the following reason:


Yes, the company has dealt with Red Dwarf before, and in quite a substantial way. Setup by the late Derek Medding, the company were responsible for a whole variety of effects work on the show. This started with the making the original Red Dwarf model from the BBC’s plans, and would later involve various bits of work farmed out by Peter Wragg, building and filming models for Series II, including the building of  Blue Midget and the motion control work in episodes such as Kryten. Ties to the show can even be found in Series VII, with the harpoon sequence in Ouroboros being shot on the the company’s blue screen stage.

With other ties to the shows past in these new series such as Kerry Waddell once again returning but this time as a producer for Baby Cow, this marks a nice little tie back to the shows history, even though of course we are dealing with a whole new team of people in the organisation there.

With this news, we assumed that we could probably rule out The Model Unit’s involvement beyond making the Bazookoids shown in the pictures they uploaded to Facebook last year. However, having published this article under that assumption, we then received this tweet from Richard Naylor:

So not only do we have the MCC (as we are going to start referring to them to avoid repeated use of the copy and paste function) returning to the fold, we also have The Model Unit back in a proper capacity for the first time since Series VII. With two highly experienced organisations on board for the shoot, there seems to be a concerted effort to get the very best model shoot possible, and after the chaos of the Series X shoot this is a blessed relief.

With regards to the two models that the MCC are making, we initially assumed that this likely entailed the previously seen nose cone bigature and a Starbug and as we know from We’re Smegged, the production had to borrow a Starbug from Mike Tucker for Series X. With the involvement of Mike now confirmed as well for the second half of the shoot however, this is far from being a certainty. Whatever the divide however, the combination of the two organisations should provide fantastic results.

Following the audience recordings, we were all hugely excited about some of the best Red Dwarf scripts we’ve seen in years and some hugely enjoyable episodes. Now with the news that the model work is potentially everything we hoped for at the outset, we couldn’t be more excited to see Series XI hit our screens later on this year.