So, Red Dwarf is getting a new series. They’ll be recording six new episodes in November for broadcast in February 2012. Hhm. I’m not sure whether this is good news or bad news for me. I really enjoyed Red Dwarf towards the middle of its run. The writing was really clever and the way they wove one of the episodes around a genuine event was pure genius. I still laugh out loud at the despair squid episode. Red Dwarf also had that absolute classic line - ‘Of course - Lager! The only thing that can kill a vindaloo!’ At least I think that was the line. Apologies if I’ve got it wrong.
Unfortunately, the writing partnership dissolved and Doug Naylor carried on writing solo. (I’m not sure what happened to Rob Grant. They didn’t dwell too heavily on that in the feature they did.) That was when the show started to go downhill a bit for me. I thought some of the humour got a bit predictable and silly and I only watched it half heartedly. Soon after, Red Dwarf disappeared from our screens and I thought that was the end of it. Then, several years later and completely out of the blue, they announced that three new special episodes had been commissioned by Dave.
Now I was really looking forward to seeing Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Robert Llewellyn and Danny John Jules reunited as Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat. I thought (mistakenly) that it would be the Red Dwarf that I loved: surreal, humorous, intelligent, slapstick sci-fi. What I actually got was more akin to self indulgent fan fiction. The end had me cringing – especially where they inserted the 'writer' into the script. I just hope that this new series goes back to basics and doesn’t fall into the gimmick trap. I want it to wow me with what made it great originally – strong characters and great writing.
Okay Red Dwarf, you’ve got one last chance from me.