Red Dwarf, the wonderfully funny British science fiction television show, is about to be resurrected for a new two-part episode by the British television channel Dave. The digital cable channel is already home to much loved favorites like Red Dwarf, Coupling, The Catherine Tate Show, The Young Ones and many, many others. This new episode is original programming that will air in the UK on April 10, 2009. It will include the two-part episode as well as two other specials, including a making of video.
Red Dwarf: Back To Earth is written and directed by the co-creator of the original Red Dwarf, Doug Naylor. It will not only continue the story of Dave Lister and his wacky group of companions, but it will reunite the original cast members, including Craig Charles (Lister), Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Robert Llewellyn(Kryten) and Danny John-Jules (Cat). The story will take our ragged band back to Earth, an aspect never fully explored in the original series. Lister was always trying but never quite made it back home, except in his mind.
For those of you who don’t remember, or haven’t had the delightful privilege of watching an episode of Red Dwarf, it was a campy science fiction/comedy show that aired from 1988 to 1999 in Great Britain. It featured the adventures of Dave Lister, literally the last human in the universe, trapped aboard the mining ship Red Dwarf. An accident lands him in suspended animation, while a radiation leak kills everyone else on board. He remains there for three million years until the shipboard computer decides it’s safe to awaken him. Lister, formerly a lazy, low-ranking technician who liked nothing better than to have a beer and a smoke with his buddies, soon realizes that he’s not alone on the ship. First, he discovers Cat, a vain catlike human that evolved over the millenium from Lister’s former pet cat Frankenstein. To assist him, the ship’s computer resurrects a hologram of his former roommate, the smug, over-bearing Arnold Rimmer. Finally, he encounters Kryten, a slightly neurotic robotic servant. Together, this motley group limp their way across the universe as Lister tries to find a way back home. The hilarious humor that ensues from their adventures is British comedy at it’s best and as a result the show has developed a near cult-like following.
I realize that to those of us not living in the UK, this may sound like bittersweet news but rest assured that this special episode and it’s extras should make their way to DVD shortly after airing. As for myself, I will be anxiously awaiting it.