With Red Dwarf X just around the corner, anxious fans like myself have been treated to a teaser trailer courtesy of Dave. But what does this measly one minute of footage tell us and have us aficionados cause to be worried following the LAST two outings – the steaming pile of smeg otherwise known as season eight and the Back to Earth episodes?
On watching the trailer, the first thing that comes to mind is how old the cast have become. Of course, there’s nothing that can be done about this – people age – but Kryten in particular looks like he’s one mechancial service away from being written off. Also, his Series 4000 mechanoid body suit looks like it’s had an overhaul, with the droid’s facial features look slightly different than in earlier episodes.
Sadly there’s no sign of Holly, but this is no surprise following actor Norman Lovett’s row with the production team in 2009, after he was told to keep his schedule clear during the filming of Back to Earth, but subsequently not told that he wasn’t required. Whether Hattie Hayridge will make a return is yet to be discovered.
It’s clear that series will be based back on the Jupiter Mining Corporation vessel Red Dwarf, known affectionatly to its crew as a ‘big red trash can with three million miles on the clock’. The Blue Midget craft (oft-seen in very early series) features in the trailer, but there’s no sign yet of Starbug, nor thankfully, the rest of the ship’s crew brought back to life by Kryten’s nanobots in the disastrous series eight. Kochanski is also nowhere in sight (all together now: hallelujah!)
Yet what has made a welcome return is the laughter track that was sadly absent in the crimson one’s last outing. The producers made a decision early on to film the new series for the most part in front of a live audience and this should add a lot of weight to the gags. Composer Howard Goodall, who wrote the music for the show from its beginning until series VII, has also been brought back.
But what else can we learn from a trailer shorter than the hemline on a pair of Rimmer’s trousers? Well for starters the jokes seem on-form and genuinely amusing. The feedback from audience screenings has also been to the most part very good, but time will tell whether or not this run of six episodes written by Doug Naylor will turn out to be considered a return to form, with long-term fans no doubt aware of the decline of the series since co-writer Rob Grant left after series six.
It appears that we are going to be treated to plenty of calamity, explosions and also references to earlier episodes, with Lister (who gave birth to two boys) opening a card with the word ‘Dad’ written on the front of it, and a piece of poppadum inside.
The dread-locked self-confessed ‘space bum’ is still depressed and lonely, and ‘florence nightendroid’ Kryten can’t help but make matters ten times worse. It’s no surprise that Rimmer is again reviled by the rest of the crew, and in particular by the Cat, the character back at his best spinning about screaming ‘oowwwwlllllll’.
Whatever happens, it’s great to see Red Dwarf back on our screens again. Here’s hoping to more space corp directives, killer shami kebabs, Dwayne Dibleys and the return of Mr Flibble.
RED DWARF Series 10 comes to Dave in September