About Red Dwarf

Red Dwarf was created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, the radio and TV comedy writers behind Son of Cliché and Spitting Image. It was based on a series of radio sketches they had written called 'Dave Hollins - Space Cadet' about a man stranded on a space ship, alone except for his computer.

First broadcast in 1988, Red Dwarf is a half-hour science-fiction sit-com. The original eleven-year run on BBC2 totalled eight series and 52 episodes. In 2009, the show was brought back for a three-part special by UK digital broadcaster Dave, and a full tenth series of six more episodes was broadcast in 2012. It stars Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Chloë Annett (as Kochanski), Norman Lovett and Hattie Hayridge (both playing Holly).

Red Dwarf cast and crew: front row, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor (co-creators and writes), back row, Robert Llewellyn as Kryten, Danny John-Jules as Cat, Craig Charles as Lister and Chris Barrie as Rimmer

On the mining ship Red Dwarf, professional slob Dave Lister works as a technician with his immediate superior and bunkmate, the officious Arnold Rimmer. To say that Rimmer and Lister don't get on would be like saying that high doses of radiation aren't entirely good for you.

Quite a coincidence, then, that a radiation leak picks this moment to wipe out Red Dwarf's crew.

Having smuggled his pregnant pet cat onto the ship, Lister is imprisoned in stasis - suspended animation - and so has no idea that his crew-mates, including love interest Kristine Kochanski, are being blasted into sherbet.

Lister is woken three million years later. Holly, the ship's computer, redirected the ship out of the solar system as soon as the accident happened, and then had to wait for the radiation to reach a safe background level.

To keep Lister company Holly resurrects Rimmer as a hologram. He can't touch anything, but he's as irritating as ever.

To everyone's surprise the team is soon joined by a humanoid animal evolved from Lister's pet cat. The shallow, self-involved creature is cleverly named 'Cat'.

After a year or so of drifting back through space, beginning the three million year journey home, the crew encounter Kryten - a servile mechanoid who thinks the phrase Cleanliness is next to godliness understates the importance of cleanliness.

In the following years Holly changes his gender from male to female (and back again), the crew misplace Red Dwarf and spend some time stranded on the small transport vehicle Starbug, Rimmer leaves to become an inter-dimensional space hero, a version of Kochanski appears from another dimension and, eventually, the entire crew of Red Dwarf are resurrected by nanobots.

And if you think that sounds complicated, just be glad we didn't get started on all the time-travel stuff that goes on...

Further Reading

Red Dwarf on Wikipedia

Red Dwarf X

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