Series XII News: DVD covers revealed

With Skipper having gone up on UKTV Play last night, many of you will doubtless now be turning your attention to the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release.

As you may recall from a few weeks back, Amazon put up the listings for both for November 20th, along with a cover featuring the promo shot of the crew after they’ve been turned into mechs. Given the short turn around time, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone to find that both of these details have now been confirmed by The Official Site.

We’ve talked previously about our thoughts on the main cover image, but the series being represented by one episode isn’t a new idea as the video tapes and DVDs like Series V have shown us previously. Whether you like this or not may well come down to how much you like Siliconia, but there’s little disputing that of all the promo images released, this was the one that seemed to get the most attention outside of the hardcore viewers.

Given that the previous two series also used reasonably generic group shots of the crew, it’s not that surprising to see things shaken up a bit here. We’re still not keen on the tiny logo on the spine that we got with the last two series as well, but we suppose that at least it’s consistent. Besides which, if we’re honest, it’s not the cover we’ll be using anyway.

Yes, once again we have a reversible cover as with the last two series, which allows this new DVD to be visually in keeping with all the other DVDs apart from Back to Earth which sticks out, the prick. With the new bunk room and Starbug cockpit having been already used, the Science Room was always the obvious contender for this reverse sleeve, and it does the job rather nicely here. The light blue tone does mean that this will be the first DVD to run with a very similar colour to the DVD prior, unless you don’t include the Back to Earth release, which leaves VIII and X rather close in palette. It’s also the first to use all four of the main cast on the reversable sleeve rather than just Rimmer and Lister.

The other element similar to another DVD is the cast shot on the spine, which this time features the publicity shot of Norman Lovett as Holly. Norman’s Holly has of course previously already appeared on the spine of Series II, and the pedants in us would therefore probably have prefered the template of the X and XI DVDs was followed by featuring one of the new guest stars. Then again, Norman and Hattie have also both appeared on the spine of Beat the Geek so we can’t get that annoyed about it.

The actual content of the DVD has yet to be confirmed, but what we can see from the cover is that it boasts over 140 minutes of extras. While it’s still not the 3-4 hours that we enjoyed with the Series III-VIII DVDs, it’s more than the 90 minutes of the Series XI DVD and slightly less than the 150 minutes of the Series X DVD.

While we enjoyed the features on the XI DVD, we did rather feel that a lot of material that should have been there wasn’t included, with missing deleted scenes, smeg ups and a shorter documentary than we normally get. Hopefully the increased run time of the XII DVD will fix some of these issues, even if things like commentaries will presumably be left by the wayside again.

Outside of the special features, it also seems that unlike with Series X and XI there won’t be a Blu-ray steelbook release this time around, which is rather a shame. We still hope that there may be one released at a later date as happened with Series X, if only to have a nice complete looking set on the shelf.

We’ll look through this in more detail as the contents are properly revealed, and of course we’ll be reviewing the DVD and all the special features in ball aching detail in the coming weeks.