Fans of deep space wackiness, robots, amazing absurdity, and a creature descended from the common house cat, have a lot to be grateful today. Once thought long dead, the venerable British sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf is coming back to life one more time. Co-creator Doug Naylor has signed on to write an eleventh season, one which is already scheduled to shoot later this year.
Announced during a panel at the recent Scarborough, England science fiction convention, series eleven of Red Dwarf is currently slated to go into production in October of this year. This could mean we’ll see new episodes as early as soon as the fall of 2015. Initially that sounds like a long wait, but considering how long we’ve waited before, that’s nothing.
Red Dwarf began in 1988, and when series eight wrapped up in 1999, most fans assumed that we’d seen the last of it. A full decade of silence elapsed between those episodes and Back to Earth, a three-episode mini-series that…was less than stellar. After that misstep, we, again, figured that was it for the Boys from the Dwarf, and when we heard news that they were going to produce a full tenth season, we were skeptical. However, Red Dwarf X as the season is known, was a pleasant surprise to everyone. First, the story takes place exactly where it should, in deep, deep space, and it captures the look, feel, humor, and charm of the classic episodes.
For the uninitiated, Red Dwarf is the story of Dave Lister (Craig Charles). Through a series of unfortunate events he is the last living human in the known universe, and is stranded on a mining ship lost three million years in deep space. His only companions are the hologramatic recreation of his former bunkmate, a twit named Arnold Judas Rimmer (Chris Barrie); Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), a neurotic maintenance droid with a head that looks like a pencil eraser; and Cat (Danny John-Jules), a vain, ditzy humanoid that evolved from Lister’s cat Frankenstein. There’s also a time-addled computer, who has gender reassignment surgery part of the way through the series. The crew has all sorts of crazy adventures, meet all manner of space creatures, robots, and half-mad killer cyborgs, and even travel through time on occasion.
Red Dwarf is hands down my favorite television show of all time. Nothing else even comes close. The series is exactly as nuts, ridiculous, and fun as it sounds, and especially given how good the tenth series was, I can’t wait for the chance to watch new episodes. This is the best news I’ve heard all day.