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Red Dwarf

This article concerns Red Dwarf, the television series. For the stellar classification, see red dwarf.


Red Dwarf is a British science fiction sitcom ("Britcom" in the U.S.), originally written by Rob Grant[?] and Doug Naylor[?]. It parodies most (if not all) of the sub-genres of science fiction. The first series aired on BBC2 in 1988. Seven further series have so far been produced, and a film is currently in production. The idea was originally developed from sketches introduced on a 1984 BBC Radio 4 show called "Son of Cliché".

In the show, the Red Dwarf is a gigantic spaceship, belonging to the Jupiter Mining Corporation, which, following a nuclear disaster on board, is left to drift through deep space. Three million years later, after the radiation has dropped to a safe level, the only surviving crew member is reanimated from stasis, and is completely unaware that any time has passed, until he is forced to face reality.

This is the slob anti-hero David Lister (played by Craig Charles). He enjoys the company of a hologrammatic simulation of deceased crew member Arnold J. Rimmer (Chris Barrie), and the Cat (Danny John-Jules[?]). The Cat is no ordinary cat, but a member of the species Felix sapiens, descended from a domestic cat which Lister had smuggled onto the ship three million years earlier, and which has now become humanoid whilst retaining a cat-like interest in fish and a heightened sense of smell, and having evolved the proverbial obsession of house cats with grooming to a uniquely feline sense of fashion and color coordination. The other principal character is Holly, the ship's artificially intelligent computer (played, for the first two series, by Norman Lovett[?] and later by Hattie Hayridge[?]), who runs most of the ships systems despite suffering from computer senility. Later on, they are joined by the servile android Kryten (most famously played by Robert Llewellyn[?], but played by David Ross in his first episode) whom Lister encourages to break his programming.

A pilot episode for an American version was produced for NBC in 1992, though never broadcast. The show was essentially the same, substituting American actors for the British. A notable exception was Robert Llewellyn, who reprised his role as Kryten. Another notable difference was that it was considered by many not to be funny. Additionally, the franchise has expanded to include four novels, written by the show's producers, Doug Naylor and Robert Grant. Grant and Naylor wrote the first six series together, before Grant left in 1996 leaving Naylor to write the next two with a series of new and less well-known writers.

A planned Red Dwarf: The Movie has been delayed from its original schedule. According to the official website is expected to be released in December 2003.

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