Final Menus

Deluxe Go Super - by Andrew Ellard

27 January, 2006

Oh. Wow. Check out the images. These are the menus for Red Dwarf VIII on DVD and they are, as you'd expect, absolutely knock-out.

Final Menus

Created by the team at Deluxe Digital, all screens are based on elements of the TV series set. The main menu lurks in the elevator, emerging onto a corridor and up to the captain's office for episode and scene selections, with the bonus menu located within the prison on Floor 13. And if you hunt extra-hard, you may just locate The Tank's ground-floor communal area.

The process began back in the early months of 2005. GNP provided a series of rough storyboards showing each location and transition, mapping out where each set of options would belong.

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To the sounds of the Red Dwarf theme tune, the opening montage sees Starbug crashing through the enlarged-but-shrinking mothership, finally crashing in the cargo bay in a ball of fire. At that point we transition to the lift descending. So far, all footage is taken from the show's FX reels.

Then we dissolve to the interior of lift, to the all-new menu stuff. Panning from a window to the main controls, the options are presented on a monitor as Holly mumbles at you. (And with three discs this time, the guys had to work extra-hard to create three separate Holly segments, each of which told their own miniature story.)

Final Menus

On discs one and two you can then take the lift to the captain's office. The doors open and we walk down a corridor - passing a tumbling collection of potatoes - and take a left into the office. This insanely detailed digital set (watch for the rotating star-map globe and self-peeling potatoes!) offers the choice of shows from Hollister's rack of files. Select one, and the file plops open on his desk.

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On disc three the lift will take you to the dreaded Floor 13, where a skutter will lead you over the extending gantry to the prison tower containing Rimmer and Lister's cell.

In particular it is this location that took our breath away during testing. The Tank is huge, and nothing short of stunning. Watch out for the security camera angle of the skutter rolling down the gangway.

It has become traditional for all eight series to have the bonus menu located in Rimmer and Lister's bunkroom, and the level of accuracy this time will blow you away. As the test images show, the set was literally built on Mel Bibby's original set designs.

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Again stick with tradition, objects from the series are scattered around representing the various extras. As with Series V onwards, that menu is split over two screens with two angles of the room shown. You'll see plenty of familiar icons here - from Pete's dinosaur egg and the basketball outfits to the time wand and Duane's mop-head wig.

(There are also plenty of extraneous details lurking around. On Lister's food tray is the whiskey glass from Cassandra, there's a harpoon and gun leant against the wall, and in the background you can make out Kryten's Have A Fantastic Period banner!)

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Unlike previous releases - where the virtual sets were re-dressed and re-lit for re-use (I for II, III for IV and V, VI for VII) - the Series VIII menus are making their one and only appearance here, and Deluxe's team have gone several million extra miles to make them unbelievably sexy. No clues, but the Easter Eggs alone show a dedication above and beyond the call of Space Corps duty. Guys, we salute you.

Finally - and this is something you won't appreciate until you have the disks in your own players - the user interface has been given a bit of a polish. Highlighting an episode or an extra in their respective menus brings up a semi-transparent layer detailing the contents. ("Back In The Red Part 1", "Smeg Ups".) It's a slightly new look for this very new set of menus - and you'll be able to enjoy it for yourselves on March 27th.

More DVD Details will follow soon...

The upcoming Red Dwarf DVD releases are as follows:

Region Location Series Date RD Shop Link
2 UK/Europe VII OUT NOW! Click Here
1 America VII OUT NOW! Click Here
4 Australasia VII OUT NOW! Click Here
2 UK/Europe VIII March 27, 2006 Click Here
1 America VIII May 2, 2006 Click Here
4 Australasia VIII April 6, 2006 Click Here

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