Red Dwarf: Series X
The record-breaking viewing figures achieved by the Back to Earth special in 2009 were as exciting to fans everywhere as they were to the new broadcaster Dave. Surely this meant the commission of a full series was an inevitability?
Television is rarely as simple as we hope, however, and it would take a further two years before the dream of a new Red Dwarf series became a reality. Although attendees of fan club convention Dimension Jump in October 2009 had been told that discussions were underway about a new series, it wasn't until the next convention in April 2011 that Doug Naylor was able to get up on stage and announce to the assembled throng that six new episodes would be broadcast by Dave in late 2012.
Although Back to Earth was still very firmly considered a "special", it was nevertheless termed as the ninth batch of episodes, neatly allowing the new series to be designated Red Dwarf X - a commercially appealing name as well as the signifier of a brand new and exciting era.
The 2009 specials had stripped the series back to the four main characters of Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten - but in many other ways had proven unconventional and experimental. Right from the off, however, the remit for RDX was for a "classic"-style series - back on the ship, heavy on both character comedy and big, clever ideas, and ideally with model shots and a studio audience involved.
Shot in the main at Shepperton Studios between December 2011 and February 2012, Series X - despite a number of budgetary and production hiccups - achieved these goals with aplomb, debuting in October 2012 to strong ratings and huge critical acclaim. Red Dwarf was back - and this time, with new sets, a fresh status quo for the characters and a renewed vigour, it felt like it was very much here to stay.