Background Information

Series IV's New Look - by Andrew Ellard

29 August, 2003

After much debate and speculation on the Red Dwarf Webboard, here is the development artwork for the Series IV DVD. Surprised?

Background Information

Original plans back in the early part of 2002 - and doesn't that feel like three million years ago! - were to run three different colours in a loop. Dwarf red, Midget blue and Starbug green. This had a certain twisted logic to it, as Series VII would have ended up red (being the series where Red Dwarf is finally located) and Series VIII would have been blue (for the dancing Midget)... although it annoyingly pegged Series V as blue as well. Which never quite fit.

More importantly, Doug has been very keen to make sure that each series DVD has its own identity; be part of a set, but also stand on its own. "Each series should be a different colour," he said, and so we began brainstorming.

Background Information

But with the image of Lister painting on the back cover - something we wanted to keep for the sake of unity, and because the shot of Craig half-turned inside his bulky space suit, lit from inside the helmet, is pretty cool - we wanted to follow the logic as best we could. He'd done the show's three main ships; what was Lister painting this time?

Naturally, we looked at the ships from Series IV first. Camille? You never get much of a look at her vessel. DNA? There is the golden pod, but it's not as 'iconic' as we'd have liked. Justice? Justice World won't look much like itself one we've zoomed close-in on the hull. White Hole and Meltdown are shipless, and Ace's ship in Dimension Jump is red - which we've already smegging used!

The artwork gives away the choice that was made in the end - the sleeping quarters. Mel Bibby's amazing bunkroom set. Voted by almost every cast and crew member as their favourite Dwarf set, it's also one of the more iconic. It's a piece of design that conjures up memories of the show.

Background Information

The artwork was created, once again, by Chris Veale, the CGI whizz who rendered stunning effects shots for Series VIII, as well as the last three Red Dwarf DVD covers. And while some small artistic licence had to be taken with the shape of the room to achieve the desired shot, the level of detail is pretty amazing - right down to Rimmer's swimming certificates.

With a pale background colour, though, a decision had to be taken on the RD logo. The silver foil look of Series I to III might work, but may also look far too pale. Right now, as you can see, the concept has the logo in colour. This is one of several options at this point, and shouldn't be seen as final - I have to admit that the idea of a red foil ellipse with silver foil lettering is appealing to us right now.

We'll bring you the final artwork - for this and for Series III - as soon as it's ready. Both versions currently 'out there' are only work-ups, with real backgrounds but temp versions of the detail. These will be the photos used, but their exact placement and colouring will happen later. Text and logos are still to be finalised (both images have '90 minutes' for bonus material, a leftover from I and II, whereas the truth for these two releases is around the three hour mark.)

Background Information

The matching Dwarf logo on the spine will continue, and this time it's Kryten's turn as spine character. And while you could argue that Lister's painting image doesn't fully fit the scale and logic, the design was always intended to be figurative, not literal. He isn't to scale on the covers on Series I, II and III either... and, well, someone's gotta paint over the space mump stains.

The real question is - what the hell colour are we going to use next time?

More DVD Details will follow soon...

You can pre-order Series III and IV right now from the Red Dwarf Shop.

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