American Beauty

USA Cover Art - by Andrew Ellard

28 November, 2003

The release of Red Dwarf in the States is always a slightly different beast from its UK launch, and in no better place is this reflected than the cover designs.

While the content of the discs for Series III and IV is identical to its British and Australian counterparts, there have been tweaks to the design that will be gracing shelves from February 3rd, 2004. (That's almost two weeks ahead of the likely UK date!) The images make these changes obvious - they're far heavier on character imagery, the logo's bigger, and Hattie's Holly on the UK spine for III has been swapped for Cat, who will be gracing our Series V.

American Beauty spoke to home video Marketing Manager Paul Augustine, who oversees these changes - a man who is keeping Red Dwarf's audience appeal in mind. "Red Dwarf in the U.S. is what we refer to as a cult phenomenon. Simply put, we have a smaller base of fans than, say, Star Wars, but our fans are extremely devoted. This should actually bode quite well for the coming movie as the core audience will likely increase with the enhanced visibility of the franchise."

American Beauty

But a devoted fanbase is just the beginning, and BBC Americas is wisely aiming to bring newcomers to Dwarf with the DVD releases - which means making sure the covers give a flavour of what they're getting for their hard-earned. "We like to play up the characters on our cover as I believe our North American audiences really identify with them. We also like to get across the humour of the program in the cover to attract new viewers to the program who may not be familiar with it. It's a big country!"

American Beauty

Those who picked up the Region 1 releases of Series I and II will be aware that Trading Cards were included as an extra-special bonus. With Rittenhouse's Red Dwarf deal now ending, this may be the only way these particular cards continue - and in that respect, the new USA releases bring good news. "For each of the first two series on DVD, we created a unique 4-card Red Dwarf limited edition trading card set which was included in the first 30,000 DVDs sold, and we are happy to say that tradition will continue with series III and IV. Be sure to buy your DVDs early or the trading cards will be gone!"

Watch for a full interview with the BBC Americas DVD team coming soon to

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