Red Dwarf: Back To Earth
Fully a decade after the conclusion of Series VIII, Red Dwarf returned to screens in the UK - with a new channel, appropriately named Dave.
Writer Doug Naylor took to the director's chair for Back to Earth, eschewing the familiar studio audience in favour of a single camera production. The shoot took the crew to Manchester, Red Dwarf's first home, for a one-day shoot on the interior and exterior sets of Coronation Street - a shoot that would be observed by a snooping paparazzi photographer and splashed across the tabloids in the days that followed.
Returning to Shepperton Studios for a further thirteen days of filming, the incredibly tight shoot relied on very few 'live action' sets. Budget constraints which had forced the loss of a studio audience had similarly impacted on constructing - while new designer Mark Harris made the most of his brand new bunkroom, a great many areas aboard Red Dwarf were built in the viral arena and composited into greenscreen shots of the actors.
Vis-FX supervisor Mike Seymour brought in a team of effects designers from across the globe via his FXPHD company. Animators and artists worked the world over, connected via the internet, to deliver the 250+ effects shots required for the final show.
Arriving to record-breaking audiences - the biggest ever number for a commissioned show on digital TV, even brushing aside the likes of BBC3's Torchwood - the boys may have taken their time coming back, but it was certainly worth the wait.
Shoot dates: January 31st, Feb 16th to 27th and March 6th to 8th, 2009.