TV - Red Dwarf: The Immortal Series

Red Dwarf

The Defective Inspector swaps the computer screen for the TV screen and waxes lyrical about why we should be excited about new Red Dwarf...

Friday 13th has been synonymous with bad luck, just look at all those terrible movies… But no longer! As of this Friday 13th, Red Dwarf XI/XII has started rolling the camera for its back to back filming reading its release in 2016/17. Robert Llewellyn has been tweeting like a frantic schoolgirl during prom posting things like this.

Honestly, I am ALMOST as excited as he is.

Why am I sharing this? Here at /Garbage-File we praise the underdog and cheer for the little guy. Red Dwarf was one of the littlest guys out there back in the late 80s early 90s and has somehow stumbled on immortality. Rob Grant and Doug Naylor gave birth to the ultimate on again off again series having 10 seasons over the span of 28 years which is downright miraculous. In honour of this undying concept with classic British appeal I wanted to share with you 5 interesting facts to make you as excited as I am about the future.


5. What happened to Dave Hollins?

The stronger Red Dwarf fan will already know that it all began with Doug Naylor and Rob Grant’s production “Dave Hollins: Space Cadet” on BBC Radio 4. What I love about this fact is its no so much the origins of it, but that it was destined to be a one off sketch shoved inside of “Son of Cliché”. Even better this sketch included Chris Barrie who we’d later appreciate as the smeg-head Rimmer. After seeing potential it was expanded into the Red Dwarf we know and love today. So what happened to Dave Hollins? Technically he creatively evolved into Dave Lister, Craig Charles’ character. However in the sketch… he died. Yes Dave, even Dave is dead Dave.


4. Kryten, the robotic paradox.

Kryten’s character is completely overflowing with factoids, many of which explaining how he shouldn’t exist. The biggest point made was that both creators agreed on day one that there would be no aliens or robots in their production. We’ll ignore for now the many, many, MANY aliens and robots in the series it was remarkable they kept the character long term. Apparently it all occurred due to David Ross’ portrayal of Kryten back in the earliest days captivating fans and then ironically David Ross never reprised the role throwing the oddly shaped head to Llewellyn and enforcing a strangely compelling bad Canadian accent. It also allowed David Ross to return as a new robot who is NOT a one-dimensional, bread-obsessed electrical appliance. Whatever happened Kryten shouldn’t exist, but I am VERY glad he does.


3. A TV show was not enough!

It’s odd to say that even in its infancy Red Dwarf was going well off the scale of normality. It’s off the wall comedy seemed to strike a chord to television audiences so the natural progression was to try other mediums. Since the series has technically already touched radio there was a rather simple next step in the 90s… A Smegazine. This magazine was a short lived 23-issuer however it allows alter egos to obtain new light including Dwayne Dibbly, Ace Rimmer and even Jake Bullet. But want to know what really takes the cake for this magazine? Mr Flibble did more than just cameo in the paperback. In traditionally insane fashion he decided ‘The King of the Potato People’ was a naughty boy, got very cross and brutally murdered him. In fairness, we WERE warned about Mr Flibble.

Doc Newton

2. Phwoaarr: The lost episode.

It’s weird to think there was anything Red Dwarf couldn’t get away with, considering there has been some questionable content throughout its history Phwoaarr was considered a step too far. During series VIII (When Starbug returns to Red Dwarf only to be arrested fairly swiftly and later thrown into the ‘Canaries’) there was meant to be an event where a strange perfume is uncovered when investigating a derelict spaceship. The bottled scent was meant to be a powerful aphrodisiac, so powerful it caused everyone to pass out into a fleshy mound from porking too vigorously without consideration for food, warmth or… Life really. The weird thing is this concept was reborn as a love potion in the same series but apparently an entire episodes devoted to sex was just TOO much. All the better really, I didn’t want consider Rimmer having sex for 2 separate episodes.

1. How it should have ended.

Okay let me be upfront, there were 2 lost episodes. The first I already explained while the second was simply named “Earth” and was meant to be the finale for Series VIII and the entire TV series franchise. Initially the creators wanted to work on Red Dwarf: The Movie and felt they needed to wrap it up to make a good baseline script. Luckily this never happened as the movie was never picked up by a studio, but even worse the episode was too damned depressing!

The true storyline is a bit of a mystery as it wasn’t really finished and thus the whole script is a matter of speculation. What we do know is Red Dwarf returns to Earth out of desperation and low supplies with less than a stellar feeling about it. The entire planet is now a tourist trap due to the landmarks remaining intact however it has no methods or means of holding a mammoth ship like Red Dwarf without destroying the landmarks themselves. Eventually Red Dwarf is forced to land due to a lack of fuel, everyone in the ship dies (apart from the main cast) and nuclear winter is forced on Earth killing everyone on the planet. Even Pixar would pass on that level of sadness…

And that’s it people! Red Dwarf has survived for almost 30 years and it intends to keep going despite murderous penguin plushies, null hypothesis robots, waffle loving sentient machines and questionably lewd sex-sacrifice. I am looking forward to 2016 for many reasons, but Red Dwarf XI is definitely one of them!

Images - Red Dwarf fan wiki Tongue Tied.

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