Red Dwarf XII Episode 1 recording report – A big start!!

Published 2016/01/31 by Dr. Dannii Cohen

CRIbjz0WEAAh8HiSeries XI is barely in the can but already the production of season XII is in full swing. It started officially on January the 20th with several long cold night shoots on the coldest days of the year. Obviously not the healthiest thing to do and the lovely Chris Barrie must have fallen victim to the icy temperatures as he was quite unwell over the week and had to miss several pre-shoots.

Here to tell us all about this weeks live recordings are Tim Shaw, Doctor/Donna and Richard Gladstone – thank you all!!

Tim Shaw

Was this one of the episodes Doug and Robert mentioned (Everyone’s Kryten or Cat falls in love?)

I would first of all like to thank you for giving me the most difficult question first. This episode was a humdinger of an episode for spoilers, so I’m not going to be able to go into much detail. I can say however that this was one of the episodes that had been previously mentioned by Doug. It was one that I was looking forward to seeing and I feel very lucky that I got to see it being filmed. It was much more exciting and interesting than I was expecting.

What episode can you most compare it to?

I can’t compare it to one episode in particular. It had a mix of The Last Day, Camille, DNA, The Inquisitor and Meltdown. On the whole, it felt like an episode that would sit quite comfortably in Series III or IV, but with a Series X sort of feel.

It also had elements that were unique to this episode and all I can say is, this is familiar and new territory at the same time, and it was very exciting to see. Red Dwarf fans are in for a real treat when this episode is broadcast.

Any stand out performances (from the cast)

Robert Llewellyn had the most memorable performance in this episode. He’s had years to find as many ways as possible to emote behind a rubber mask, and even now, he can still come up with new and hilarious facial expressions. Craig, Chris and Danny also had some great moments throughout the episode, and in a lot of this episode, they were together as an ensemble. I must give special mention to their performance in the final scene. It was filmed several times, and each time got a bigger and bigger response from the audience. They even added a little improv in the final take and it ended the episode on a high.

Any special guest stars or guest performances?

This episode featured a number of guest actors. I recognised one of them from another, quite well known sitcom and it was a surprise to see this individual, but also great to see them in Red Dwarf.

The guest performances themselves were quite stand out, and on par with the cast. I think some of them will go down as classics in Red Dwarf history in time to come.

Any interesting smeg ups/technical problems?

Technically, the production was very smooth. The crew went from scene to scene very quickly, and there wasn’t much waiting between takes or scenes. I remember when I went to the see The Beginning, it was fraught with production problems, and we spent most of the night waiting for the next take or the next scene. The warm up man had to work very hard that night.

This time we had an even mix of warm up man (the wonderful Ray Peacock) and scenes being filmed. We also had some pre-recorded VT shown to us, one of which was quite lengthy, but was very important in terms of the episode. For uncompleted model shots, they used footage from well known sci-fi movies and also showed us storyboards with Robert narrating over the top. Ray Peacock quipped that he wish they could do a whole episode in front of an audience with just storyboards and narration!

Smeg ups wise, we were treated to our first one in less than a minute into the first take. Chris was the culprit, as he was when I went to see The Beginning. After screwing up his line, he walked up to the camera and stuck his tongue out. It was brilliant. We had some smeg ups from Robert too, and he pulled his old Spare Head 3-esque gurn, much to the delight of the audience.

We also had our fair share of fluffs from Craig and Danny, and again, they played to the cameras and the audience. One thing I noted straight away, the cast looked deadly serious before a take, but once ‘action’ was shouted and they smegged up, they relaxed and looked like they were having fun. Chris even treated us to a bit of Kenneth Williams at one point!

I think there’ll be plenty of good smegs ups that’ll make it to the DVD.

Doug told us at the beginning that they were unable to show a very small part of the episode because Chris had been ill during the week. However, he also noted that Chris was better and ready for the recording.

If he was still feeling ill, he didn’t show it. His performance was what we’d normally expect, he was full of energy and delivered some quite difficult lines with gusto (apart from the smeg ups of course, but he wasn’t the only one). If no one had mentioned he’d been ill, I wouldn’t have noticed.

Anything that caught your attention?

The guest cast were outstanding. They really brought the episode to life and brought new depth and dimensions to Red Dwarf not previously seen. They came in quite early on in the episode and unexpectedly too. Also, one of their first lines got a huge laugh from the audience and became a running joke for the rest of the episode.

The important parts of VT they showed also left me surprised and extremely excited. I knew what we were witnessing was something never seen before on Red Dwarf and I felt privileged to be one of the first people to see it.

There were also two guest sets. One was a regular set that had been redressed for the episode. They filmed some action on this set, which pleased me as that’s where I was sitting. The other guest set was on the other side of the studio and was specially built for the episode. It was sideways on to the audience, so I could still see some of the action. For anything I couldn’t see, we had screens to look at. I found myself flicking between the action on the set and the action on the screens.

As a whole, the episode was extremely solid and easy to follow. I went home with many memorable quotes still in my head. If the episode can do that when I’ve only seen it once, then it’s done a good job.

Will there be many special effects?

This was quite an action packed episode in places, so there will be model shots. As I said, most of them weren’t complete, and so they substituted them with footage from well known sci-fi films. We did get to see one model shot at the beginning of the night on VT. It looked a little unfinished, but got a big laugh from the audience and I can’t wait to see it in the final broadcast. We also had the pleasure of some pyrotechnics, so we got some basic special effects on set.

Richard Gladstone

Was this one of the episodes Doug and Robert mentioned (Everyone’s Kryten or Cat falls in love?)

Yes indeed. It had to do with Kryten and was done very well!

What episode can you most compare it to?

Most Kryten episodes in a way. But far bigger and with a twist!!

Any stand out performances (from the cast)

Danny is always great!!

Any special guest stars or guest performances?

A very big and surprising one!!

Any interesting smeg ups/technical problems?

Danny was great and so was the warm up guy who had a lot to do in-between long waits.

Poor Chris was ill, he’d been unwell most of the week apparently, so they couldn’t do some of the scenes. He fluffed his lines a lot, but you can forgive him for that. He did do his Kenneth Williams, so all was good.

Anything that caught your attention?

It looked really expensive and different from X!!

Will there be many special effects?

Yep, there will be lots!! They had some unfinished examples that will look amazing finished!!

Doctor/Donna

Was this one of the episodes Doug and Robert mentioned (Everyone’s Kryten or Cat falls in love?)

It was about Kryten but really not what you’d expect …

What episode can you most compare it to?

Not really one Camille maybe, but different.

Any stand out performances (from the cast)

It was a real cast thing with the boys as a whole mostly. Big on backstory too.

Any special guest stars or guest performances?

That guy from that thing that many people know!!!!!

Any interesting smeg ups/technical problems?

No technical problems – though they had a few last minute rebuilds.

Chris Barrie lost his lines a lot but was funny with it. They said he’d been unwell over the week, but he didn’t show it in his performance. Did look a bit tired, especially near the end, don’t think he was fully recovered yet, poor thing. He did well.

Anything that caught your attention?

It looked really big compared to X, and very different. There was a musical thing and a few past references.

Will there be many special effects?

There are going to be, they said.

One comment on “Red Dwarf XII Episode 1 recording report – A big start!!

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