Series XI News: “Bollocking damn and jumbo (Star)buggers”

Fridays have for a long time been the day we expect to see breaking news thanks to The Official Site’s regular Friday updates. However, as well as this and occasional updates from the cast (such as Danny’s tweet and Bobby’s periscope revealing that the cast are currently in the midst of ADR,) we’re also becoming all to familiar with the RDHQ, Dave, UKTV and Baby Cow Twitter feeds also providing us with some highly exciting teases for the new series.

Today was no exception, with various accounts offering up this picture:

With a slightly better look at the new ‘bug than the previously realised picture afforded, it of course calls for some tedious breaking down of the small differences with this model compared to prior ones! Hooray! For those of you not slipping into a coma at the prospect however, here’s a pictorial comparison with some of the different versions.


(Clockwise: Series V model, Series VII CGI model, Series XI model, Series X model)

The differences between each may be subtle, CGI aside, but here are some of the main elements we’ve spotted with this new take:

  • The landing struts have a new shape, with the thin pipe gaining extra joints which, in world, we would reason is to cushion landings better. The feet also appear to be smaller and at least some of the bottom half of the landing struts now appear to be black.
  • The ships name appears in a much larger font on the ship’s rear section.
  • The dishes on the top of the rear section are laid out differently to any prior model, and are also a different shape.
  • The ships fins appear to be smaller and more compact.
  • The red trim around the front section of the ship is no longer present. The 1 from the top of the ship has also gone, as shown in the previously released crash picture.
  • The paneling all around the ship is slightly changed, with the front section especially showing more lines delineating different sections than appeared previously. The cockpit window meanwhile continues to maintain the version returned to in X rather than the one used in VII and VIII.

Turning for a second the the model supporting the Starbug Model meanwhile, this post from The Model Unit shed a little light on matters, stating:

“First glimpse of the landing pad miniature that we built for the up and coming series of ‘Red Dwarf’ airing this September on Dave. (Starbug model by the Magic Camera Co)”

There’s a few things to note here. Firstly, this now confirms that the Starbug is indeed the second of the two models that Richard Naylor previously stated has been built by The Magic Camera Company. This is perhaps also gives us a little more of an insight into what The Model Unit’s involvement has been in this series, with a model set supporting the ship. It also appears that one The Model Unit regular isn’t so taken with the new Starbug design, with Peter Tyler commenting:

“In my opinion Alan Marshall’s original Starbug was spot on from day one. It photographed from any angle beautifully. This new one has lost something and is not as elegant.”

For our 2 cents, there are definite difference as listed above, but we wouldn’t like to make any judgements too early o, though we have to say that to us, the model looks fine. With just 2 photos to go off, we’d like to see the the model in action first as this will be the real testing of it. The size of the text and the landing struts were the main elements that gave us pause for thought, but they aren’t necessarily bad, just different. Starbug’s interior has changed multiple times, and it’s exterior has never remained constant, so a further change here isn’t any real bother to us. Of course, had we worked first hand filming Starbug models on many occasions, we’d probably feel more strongly about any changes too, but for us as fans, there’s certainly nothing on display that gives us any cause for concern.

Turning back to the Model Unit’s model, we aren’t *definitely* saying that this is the Red Dwarf hanger bay, but, well, look at these examples from prior series:


What’s far more interesting however is the fact that while the above hanger bays were complete model sets, this new image shows a combination of model and blue screen. It perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise however, and it’s certainly no uncommon to combine models with CGI backgrounds or matte paintings. It could well be a way of expanding the potential expanse of the miniature sets in the budget and time frame allowed by the production. We await to see the results with great interest.