Series XI News: ‘You ripped up and ate the cast photograph’

Things are starting to pick up news wise, and today’s has been the most notable with the release of the first official cast photo from Series XI. More on that in a moment, but first, let’s quickly round up the smaller stories of the week.

Firstly, The Edinburgh International Television Festival has announced a screening of Twentica followed by a talk from Doug for August 24th, complete with all the embargos you would expect from such a screening prior to the series airing on TV. The festival itself is an annual and well respected event that some of you may be familiar with for it’s keynote address; The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture. For the unfamiliar, here is last year’s excellent speech as delivered by Armando Iannucci.

Other Red Dwarf news this week includes a new erotic parody, of which perhaps the less said the better. We do note that this edition, titled Infinity Welcomes Sexy Drivers, is only Byte I however. We therefore wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the last we hear of this, presumably with upcoming titles such as Thanks for the Mammery, Dimension Hump and Back to Realititties.

More edifyingly, have also listed the DVD for Series XI with a release date of November 8th. We wouldn’t read too much into this yet as there is always the possibility of the US release being a week or two later than the UK. However, if it’s a more or less simultaneous release and it follows the same basis of being released slightly over a week after the last episode of the series as with Series X, then it’d suggest we are looking at a the series airing in the second half of September.

But enough of this tosh, let’s look at the main feature; the first official cast photo for Series XI, which appears to have been released early by The Telegraph in a move sure to piss off GNP, UKTV and Baby Cow. Here though is yeah higher resolution and logo resplendent version from the official Red Dwarf Twitter account:

It’s… Busy.

Ok there are certainly some issues with that picture. The background is a little too vivid, the Dwarf and Starbug are badly comped in and in the wrong hue, there’s a bizarre bubble effect that adds nothing, and somehow they’ve managed to get a photo of Kryten that is pretty removed from how he actually came across looking at the recordings.

But that’s the *picture*. Let’s find what the positives are in what it actually contains.

Firstly, while the photo of Kryten is and odd one, you can certainly see from it how the nose on his mask has been altered and looks a lot better now. The suit is different as we discussed in our set reports at the time, but personally I can’t say it’s something that bothered me at the recordings or bothers me now. There’s no escaping the fact that the hands look strangely inflated, but again, they didn’t come across this way at the recordings.

The Cat’s hair is more muted than his high-as-a-cliff-top do in Series X. It actually looks bigger than it is here in the photo due to the angle, put the flatter style suits much better. You can also see the bigger eyebrows we mentioned in our early set reports, but as with Kryten’s suit, it’s just a slight series-to-series change and is fine. His costume meanwhile is very much in the style of his ones in Series X, and you’ll either like it or you won’t. Personally, I don’t think it’s out of place and is certainly less garish than say his outfit in Fathers and Suns.

Both Rimmer and Lister meanwhile look exactly as they should, and the bazookoids are also seen painted and complete for the first time here and looking exactly right. And isn’t it nice to see Starbug back on promo materials? Apparently now with legs the bend back in flight again as was the case with the CGI model.

It’s important to remember that this is just a promotional picture, while also remembering that the one for Sereis X was also badly composited and in no way a reflection on the shows themselves. It won’t be the promo image that’ll be what we remember after airing, it’ll be the episodes.