In Space no one can hear you Smeg
A Sci-fi comedy series which still remains classic. Takes all the silliness of real SF to it’s advantage and doesn’t hold back. Set aboard a mining ship called ‘Red Dwarf’, Dave Lister is the last surviving Human, who doesn’t represent humanities best features yet does hold some moral standards, unlike his cremates Arnold Rimmer, a Hologram who puts too much value on himself even though he is already dead. The series also features an evolved Cat that has serious vanity issues and a mechanoid called Kryten who is the brains of the group but lacking common sense when it comes to human matters and usually has an abundance of guilt.
It borrows a few things from some of the great Sci-fi movies such as Alien and Dark Star. It makes the characters ordinary guys on a ships. Guys who don’t really belong there but to them it’s a job. There’s a kind of bleak reality that underscores the series. The last man in the universe who never had any ambition to start with, whose best friend is a man whom he hates. For the first six series it was an all male show making it a very blokes show with boyish humor, like Men behaving badly in space or closer still to a show like Porridge with Rimmer and Lister’s conversation bordering on philosophical debate like all great sci-fi. With Season III the show took on a new look and became more action orientated with characters being able to leave the ship, the introduction of bazookoids and the crew’s first encounter with Aliens (technically all Aliens are evolved creatures from Earth). Still, even with the action orientated Alien of the week episodes the character’s mostly remain themselves throughout each series. Even Dave Lister, a man with no responsibilities still won’t shoot an unarmed Alien in the back, even if the Alien is a crazed killing machine. Makes me think how far the likes of the recent Star Trek movie has fallen when it blasts the smeg out of Alien enemies no longer able to defend themselves.
While it was a very male based show until series VII it didn’t stop it from having a large fanbase of men and women though and it crossed over to America with the success that only a few great British shows can receive.
The show that started over 20 years ago and has built up a cult fan base of which I am proud to be part of. Over the years the series has changed it’s production writing team, actors have left and returned. In the series they lost the ship for a while and spent time flying around in a smaller ship called Starbug. But it’s always been about taking the mick out of Sci-fi and being a good comedy show.
Unfortunately between series the show has been off air for long amounts of time. There was 3 years between series VI and VII. The longest gap was almost 9 years while the production team tried to get a movie off the ground. It almost seemed like ‘Red Dwarf’ was never coming back until the news was announced that the show would be returning for a 3 part special called ‘Back to Earth’. With the success of that a full series (series x) has been commissioned, filmed and set to be shown in September 2012. I adore this show, long may it reign as the king of sci-fi comedy.
Favorite Quote: “This is crazy! Why are we talking about going to bed with Wilma Flintstone….she’ll never leave Fred and we know it. “ – Lister