It’s not often that a series about the aftermath of a large-scale death not only lasts long without zombies, but reaches 12 seasons in less than 30 years. Yet for followers of the British cable series Red Dwarf, the four main characters have not only done this, but continue to be topical in the future.
After smuggling a cat on board the space mining ship, Dave Lister is punished by being put into stasis. Meanwhile, the entire ship is harmed, killing everybody, including Lister’s roommate, Rimmer, who comes back as the ship’s hologram. Awaking centuries later, Lister finds not only Rimmer’s annoying hologram, but also that the cat he smuggled on board evolved and created a new cat/human species.
The crew grew as they met others in their journey around space, including Kryten, a mechanoid bathroom cleaner, an alternate-dimension version of Lister’s girlfriend, and even a successful version of Rimmer.
Then came the TV movie, Back to Earth, in 2009 and things took a turn for the worse. Not only were many popular characters suddenly dead, but the entire movie was a rip-off of Blade Runner. It seemed Red Dwarf was dead until 2012 when, out of nowhere, the series came back with season 10. The movie, now known as series 9, was ignored, and the crew set about on new missions without Kochanski and no clue as to her whereabouts.
With 3 seasons following the movie, things have changed a bit though. While the series attempts to keep up with its original style of humor, perhaps this comedy does not fit in the 2010s. With four “men” in the ship, it feels as if the humor is for younger male viewers verses all audiences as was seen in seasons 6-8.
If you have seen Red Dwarf before, catching up on the more recent seasons means remembering how the writing was in the 90s. If you have never seen it, I recommend checking it out from the beginning. Red Dwarf can be found in its entirety on BritBox’s streaming service.