Red Dwarf is a British comedy franchise which primarily comprises ten series (including a ninth mini-series named Back To Earth) of a television science fiction sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1993 and from 1997 to 1999 and on Dave in 2009 and from 2012, gaining a cult following. Red Dwarf is the parent show to Blue Dwarf.
Origins and rise to fameEdit
The series was created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, who also wrote the first six series. The show originated from a recurring sketch, Dave Hollins: Space Cadet part of the mid-1980s BBC Radio 4 comedy show Son of Cliché, also scripted by Grant and Naylor. In addition to the television episodes, there are four bestselling novels, two pilot episodes for an American version of the show, a radio version produced for BBC Radio 7, tie-in books, magazines and other merchandise.
On the mining ship Red Dwarf, professional slob Dave Lister (Craig Charles) works as a technician with his immediate superior and bunkmate, the officious Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie). 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 (Clare Grogan), 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' (Danny John-Jules).
After a year or so of drifting back through space, beginning the three million year journey home, the crew encounter Kryten (Robert Llewellyn- originally portrayed by David Ross) - 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 (Norman Lovett) to female (Hattie Hayridge) (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 (Chloe Annett) 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...