When word began to circulate a few years ago that a new season of Red Dwarf was in the works, it was welcome news, despite being taken with a grain of salt. After all, the last proper series came out in 1999, and in the decade plus the only thing we’d had to sate our appetites was Back to Earth, which was, how to put this delicately, not good. So we approached this new season with cautious optimism, and when Red Dwarf X hit last year, weren’t we all pumped to find that it was awesome. The six-episode run looks, feels, sounds, and tastes like the Red Dwarf we all know and love. Sure, the cast may be a little more run down, but the show still features the same cheesy effects, the same slovenly comic timing, and the same spot on chemistry that makes the show so fantastic. And scarcely a year later—trust me, that’s like lightning when it comes to Red Dwarf—we have news that an eleventh series may be on the way.
This, too, should be taken for what it, nothing more than rumor at this point. As of the last update, writer and overall man in charge Doug Naylor insists that nothing has been officially approved. But hell, I’ll take the possibility of more Red Dwarf over no chance any old day of the week. And I would so much rather speculate on this matter than another fucking Star Wars casting rumor.
For those of you who don’t know, Red Dwarf is a British sci-fi sitcom about the last human alive, the hologramatic recreation of his dead bunk mate, a neurotic maintenance droid, and a man descended from cats, and their adventures on a mining ship lost three million years in deep space. It is precisely as bat shit crazy and fun as that sounds.
Here’s what we have so far about new episodes. Robert Llewellyn, who we all know and love as the droid Kryten, let it slip that he and his fellow cast mates—Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, and Chris Barrie—would all be back for some deep space wackiness, and that a new series, the eleventh, would drop sometime in 2014. That’s like nothing for a fan base already acclimated to waiting multiple years between all-too-brief seasons, and definitely good reason to get excited.
That’s where the speculation began, and we all know how that sort of thing can spin out of control seemingly in a matter of moment. When the rumors got back to Naylor, he took to every ADHD sufferers favorite social media platform, Twitter, and unleashed the following message:
Getting tweets claiming Red Dwarf XI is commissioned. Not true. Not yet.
— Doug Naylor (@DougRDNaylor) October 21, 2013
On the surface, that’s disheartening, and probably indicates that we’re not going to get Red Dwarf XI in 2014. There is, however, a really big but to all of this. Why don’t you go ahead and take a second to read the final two words again. “Not yet” implies that though a new series may not currently have the green light, such a thing is not outside the realm of possibility. Perhaps a negotiation, or some other similarly vague business term is already in progress, sounds like it might be. “Not yet” means maybe, “Not yet” means hope. And that’s enough for me.
It makes a great deal of sense that this could happen, too. Dave, the network that airs the series in the UK scored its two highest ratings ever with Back to Earth and Red Dwarf X, so you might be forgiven for thinking they’d like to get on that horse and ride for a third time.
No matter what happens, the more we find out, the more we’ll pass along to you. Keep your fingers crossed, smeg heads.