Series XI News: DVD Cover & Special Features Revealed

Unintentional announcements are something we’ve become all too familiar with in covering Red Dwarf. That’s exactly what we had today, with the details of the DVD art for Series XI revealed as well as all of the special features listed on the back of it. 

It followed a quite amusing series of events involving a Cat-less, seemingly fan-made cover being used to advertise the Region 1 version of the Series XI DVD on several US online stores. This then also ended up getting used by the BBC Store and caused a minor Twitter storm.

After a few jokey tweets to Danny John  Jules to say that it wasn’t genuine and they hadn’t just opted not to put him on the cover, Doug Naylor took to Twitter to clarify what the cover will be, providing the actual Region 1 cover in the process:

Aside from Danny John-Jules’s face being crudely scribbled over to play along with the joke, this does appear to be what we can expect on shelves, and is in line with the Series X cover which used the primary promo image from the series.

But what we are really interested in from this cover is what it says on the back. The bonus features are listed and contain usual suspects of Deleted Scenes and Smeg Ups. “Behind the Scenes” can be assumed to be a stand in title for the documentary that is being headed by Nathan Cubitt, who previously headed the Series X documentary “We’re Smegged”.

Unlike with the Series X DVD we are also treated to Trailers, Model Shots and Visual Effects. These are a welcomed inclusion. Being released relatively close to the series ending, it was always a worry that trailers would not be included. The trailers on the previous releases, whilst not always comprehensive, had enough that were great in adding context to the original broadcast of the episodes. Raw Model Shots and Visual Effects were always an interesting insight into the production, sorely missed from the Series X DVD.

One feature that is missing which many had hoped for is commentaries but don’t fret yet…

Could this solution be a podcast with commentaries with Doug and perhaps other members of the production team/cast? This has been the case for other DVD releases before, including Lab Rats and the re-release of Father Ted, where the new commentaries were made available as podcasts to save those that had already forked out for the DVDs previously from buying them again.

That’s not to say that this will definitely be what we’ll get. Other options include video commentaries via YouTube, or at the least likely end of the spectrum, CDs with them on as has been the case for various classic Doctor Who serials recently via the WhoTalk releases from Fantom Films. Ultimately though, we’d be surprised if either of these options were followed, and commentaries as downloads seem far more likely.

Whatever the solution, we are all crossing our fingers for another Doug Naylor commentary following his commentary on the Back to Earth Director’s Cut.

We also have confirmation that the cover will be reversible as with the Series X DVD, though only in the UK. The Series X Blu-Ray didn’t feature a reversible cover of course, so we’d presume that this will follow suit. The reversible over does mean that in theory we won’t end up with the photo-of-a-cast-member-to-sum-up-the-series on the spine being a photo of Danny John Jules’ hand as seen in Doug’s picture.

That said, given that Series X used Jesus as a focal point of an episode from that series, and given that this series features an episode about The Cat’s virginity, a picture of his hand may have been all too apt…

In terms of the cover we can see however, it does it’s job rather nicely. The cast promo shot looks all the better for opting to use the second version with the updated Kryten photo, and combined with the classic sans serif font it gives the whole front cover a nice striking image that both makes it stand out and also evokes a certain retro look that brings the late 80s/ early 90s to mind.

The return to the sans serif font also means that the spine works much better than with Series X and it’s tiny writing. It’s bold and instantly recognisable, exactly as it should be, and frankly it looks great. We eagerly await the reveal of the alternate cover so that we can agonise of which to use, before just buying two to save making the choice.


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