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Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf
Star(s)
Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn, Norman Lovett, Hatty Hayridge
Creator(s)
Rob Grant and Doug Naylor (as Grant Naylor)
Country of origin
UK
Original channel
BBC Two
Genre(s)
Science fiction, sitcom
Years on air
1988-present
No. of seasons
8 (as of Dec 2011)
No. of episodes
55 (as of Dec 2011)

Red Dwarf is a UK science-fiction comedy show created by Grant Naylor (aka Rob Grant and Doug Naylor) for the BBC. It ran for eight seasons from 1988 to 1999; a three-episode miniseries, Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (classed by some as the ninth season), screened in 2009. Another season is currently planned for 2012.

Series summaryEdit

Dave Lister (Craig Charles) is a lazy, grubby mechanic on the deep space mining ship Red Dwarf. As punishment for bringing a pregnant cat on-board the ship (and releasing it into the ducts rather than letting it be put down), he is placed in cryogenic stasis. Unfortunately shortly after this happens, his colleague - cowardly, self-loathing Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie) - screws up some radiation shielding and accidentally kills all humans on-board, including himself. The ship's computer, Holly (Norman Lovett, later played by Hattie Hayridge), leaves Lister in cryo-stasis until the radiation has died down to a safe level - some three million years later.

Lister wakes to discover that Red Dwarf is hundreds of thousands of light-years away from Earth, and that he is very probably the last human. To stop him from going insane, Holly reanimates Rimmer as a hologram, correctly calculating their their antagonistic relationship will distract Lister from the bleakness of his existence. The duo are joined by Cat (Danny John-Jules), the last of a species of humanoid cats that evolved from Lister's pet over the last three million years. After two seasons they were joined by Kryten, a neurotic, OCD android, and - much later - Kristine Kochanski (initially Clare Grogan; later Chloe Anette), an alternate-universe version of Lister's long-dead girlfriend.

While the early episodes play out like a university student comedy in space, complete with slobbish environments and petty arguing, later episodes explore more science-fictional elements and introduce Gelfs, genetically engineered life-forms that have populated the universe with their creators, the humans, long gone (the Red Dwarf crew never encounter any alien life and, indeed, believe that it does not exist).

Westphall connections in Red DwarfEdit

  • In "Demons and Angels", the Tardis from Doctor Who can be seen in Red Dwarf's docking bay as Starbug takes off. It was added by FX man Mike Tucker, who is a fan of the show.
  • In "Psirens", the crew fly over a planet full of spaceship debris. Among the crashed ships are an Eagle ship from Space: 1999, a Weyland-Yutaniship from Aliens (Weyland-Yutani being in several Westphall shows), and a Klingon Bird of Prey from Star Trek.

Spin-offsEdit

  • Red Dwarf: Back to Earth was a three-part 2009 miniseries that caught up with the Red Dwarf crew. It is regarded by some fans as a ninth season of the show, despite its short length.

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