The announcement that a special will be made is concerning. The last time a 90-minute "special" was commissioned, indeed the only other time, we got Back To Earth. That was split into three episodes despite clearly being formulated as a single story. There are actually two 90-minute stories in Red Dwarf, and both in my view are a disappointment. The first was Back in the Red, and the second being Back to Earth. If that's not enough, Pete a two-parter was also a disappointment. Back in the Red is actually really good, it's just that it was spread too thin. As for Pete, it needed to be edited to 30 minutes, one episode. This series to-date has had zero success with episodes longer than 30 minutes. That's not surprising, sitcoms only work at the 20-30 minute length. There is no successful sitcom that runs at 45 minutes+. Comedy-action yes, like Leathal Weapon, sitcoms no. Noah Charney explains very well why this is the case - 30 minutes is not long enough to tell a complete story. If you have a complete story it's no longer a sitcom, you've got a comedy drama (or something else). "The whole story has to be on fast-forward,' so simplification is key." They follow a highly structured formula, very basic simple stuff. Good sitcoms are trimmed of all extraneous fat. The fun is in the simple plots, and the subplots that seem very unlikely to be related but are anyway, that we know are going to be resolved, but before they are the characters will fight tooth and nail to subvert them. If you don't follow the sitcom formula your show is a disaster. It's really as simple as that. One of my favourite sitcom episodes ever, Black Books S01E01 "Cooking the Books" follows the formula to a T (see the Noah Charney article and also Dan Richter's one for a proper description of the sitcom formula). The main story in Cooking the Books is that Bernard needs to do his taxes, but he doesn't want to. Story B is that Manny is wound up and stressed out by work, and Story C is that Fran has a new product in that she doesn't know what it is. All of those are resolved in the third act. Notably all three of them take their problems to extreme lengths leading to chaos and disorder before they're resolved. This is what makes it funny. This is what makes it a sitcom. It's also what makes it much funnier than S01E02 which didn't really have any clear sub-plots and really follows a single plot. Let's describe another great sitcom episode shall we - Red Dwarf S10E01 Trojan. The main plot that carries the episode forward is that Howard Rimmer of the Columbus 3 needs rescuing. The sub-plots are that Lister and Cat want to order Stirmasters, and that Rimmer is teeming with resentment. As with all great sitcom episodes all three story plots are resolved in the third act. The introductions of each story plot, as well as their advancements, provides opportunity for comedy. In Act 2, Lister is on hold, but he and the cat are determined to get their Stirmasters. That scene I felt was a bit of a missed opportunity for a proper comedic scene. Rimmer has delayed rescuing Howard while he makes a futile effort to pass his astronavs that only serve to make his resentment worse. This provides the opportunity for the scene where all three of the other dwarfers are able to answer the lateral thinking question Rimmer is stuck on, while he doesn't know they all knew the answer by chance driving his resentment to breaking point. Great use of comedy. They then precede to dress up as officers in the space corps to rescue Howard. Again this provides ample opportunity for further comedy as their ridiculous charade plays out. Howard's rescue goes awry because he unwittingly brings a hostile stimulant on-board, and Act 2 ends when he has a resentment attack. Act 3 is short and winds everything up. Lister makes a desperate attempt to answer the phone, Howard saves Arnold from the simulant, the Cat uses the resentment file to kill the simulant, Howard repents making Arnold resentful again, and Lister uses the simulant as a Stirmaster to stir his coffee in the end. So Red Dwarf at 90 minutes simply cannot feel like Red Dwarf because it must be taken out of the sitcom format and made into comedy drama or something else. That's not nay-saying, that's just facts. We just want a simple sitcom, follow the formula make 3x 22-30 minute episodes and we'd all be happy. Make a 90-minute feature and I fear at best we'll get Back in the Red, at worst we'll get Back to Earth.