Science fiction sitcom based in space. The crew aboard the damaged mining spaceship Red Dwarf are doomed to drift in space for the rest of eternity
- Red Dwarf X; Red Dwarf XI
- 1988 - 2012 (Dave / BBC Two)
- 61 (10 series)
- Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn, Norman Lovett, Hattie Hayridge, Chloë Annett, Clare Grogan, Mac McDonald, Graham McTavish, Sophie Winkleman
- Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
- Grant Naylor Productions
& British Broadcasting Corporation
Following a catastrophic leak of radiation aboard mining space ship Red Dwarf, technician Dave Lister finds himself as the last living human. Having been held in a form of suspended animation known as stasis at the time of the leak he was shielded from its fatal effects whilst all of his colleagues were turned into piles of dust.
Now, some 3 million years later with background radiation at a safe level, the ship's computer Holly has revived him in readiness for the long journey home. However, Dave's not quite alone: his arch-nemesis and workmate, Rimmer, survives as a Hologram; as does a descendant of Lister's own pet cat, called Cat; and Kryten, an emotionless android.
Red Dwarf follows their adventures across the universe as they attempt to get back to Earth and discover whether Lister really is the last surviving human being.
Series 10: The brand new series, written and directed by Doug Naylor, begins with the Dwarfers' mining ship still creaking though the wastelands of unchartered deep space.
In the new series Lister grapples with the problem of being his own father, gets involved in a love triangle with snack dispensers 23 and 34, while Kryten and Cat become quantum entangled forcing them to do everything in unison. Rimmer and the posse also find themselves marooned in 23 AD where they rescue a famous historical figure with a beard.
Our Review: Red Dwarf was, for many years, BBC Two's biggest comedy hit. The sitcom still has a massive fan base and has been much-praised for managing to create laughs from the sci-fi genre (an area in which it is noticeably difficult to successfully operate within comically).
The show has certainly benefited from the ability to suspend reality, allowing for funny situations to be created which are not normally possible in a sitcom (e.g. time travel, mad robots and morphing into other people... just a few of the storylines).
Red Dwarf does have its critics: the early series had woeful special effects; and, as the series progressed, the storylines did become more muddled and confusing. Series 8 is widely regarded, even by fans of the show, as being very poor.
Following the end of the show in 1999, there were attempts to make a Red Dwarf film - but this never materialised. However, much to everyone's shock in 2009, digital channel Dave announced it was going to pay for some new episodes to be made.
The resultant three specials played out over the Easter weekend in 2009, and were a massive ratings success for the small channel. The general consensus was that these new episodes were beautifully filmed, but the comic material contained within them was lacking.
The ratings were enough to secure another order though, and the much hyped Red Dwarf X arrives in October. Notably it's back to basics this series, with the action filmed in front of a live studio audience and much of the action and dialogue just involving the four main characters. It looks like they're onto a winner, as whilst the new series can't match the hype, it is funny.