Raiding The Archive

Hidden Treasures - by Andrew Ellard

18 June, 2004

As editing on the Red Dwarf V and VI DVDs cracks on, it's worth remembering some of the bits and pieces that will form an integral part of the releases yet haven't undergone much in the way of post-production - the archive material.

Series V for example will feature a half-hour collection of behind-the-scenes vis-FX footage by model-maker (and crasher) Mike Tucker. This remarkable look at the creation of the SSS Esperanto, Despair Squid, Self-Loathing Beast, Holoship and others has been part of Mike's live presentation for a few years now, and has consistently wowed audiences.

Raiding The Archive

Series V also features Craig Charles as Lister in the best ever episode introduction. Screened before Back to Reality for Christmas 1995, the choice was based on a viewer vote, and Craig climbed back into the costume for this one-off, one-minute intro.

As for Series VI, once again the FX boys have come up trumps and we have a short collection of silent, black and white 8mm footage recorded by Nick Kool showing how those guys continued to crash Starbug without wrecking the model. We also have some on-screen graphics from SVC (the company who created Series VI's amazing video effects).

But the coolest archive extra might just be the discovery of some 'Making Of' tapes. Back in 1993, there were plans for a making-of video to come out alongside Series VI. A small crew began the work on the first day of filming... and never came back. The project was cancelled before it was really begun - nobody had yet been interviewed, and filming hadn't even begun in the studio - but we have the best of that raw footage available. It's a rare chance to see cast and crew at work on location during the filming of Psirens.

Raiding The Archive

Raw footage is par for the course, though - once again we'll be adding original FX footage to the disc, giving fans a chance to get a new perspective on the show's model shots. These being the series they are, the collection is far more substantial this time. Including - yes, okay - a lot of crashes.

All this, plus eight trailers (four per series) - retrieved from VHS tapes when the BBC archive came up near-empty. Did we mention that these are going to be the best Dwarf DVD releases so far? We did? Good - because they are. No question.

More DVD Details will follow soon...

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