RED DWARF
   UK tv series (1988-). A Paul Jackson Production for BBC North West; from Series IV Paul Jackson Productions have not been credited. Prod Ed Bye, Rob Grant, Doug Naylor. Dir Bye. Written Grant, Naylor. Starring Craig Charles as Lister, Chris Barrie as Rimmer, Danny John-Jules as Cat, Robert Llewellyn (season III onward) as Kryten, Norman Lovett (Seasons 1 and 2) and Hattie Hayridge (season III onward) as Holly. Six seasons (given Roman numerals from season III onwards, as in Red Dwarf III) of 6 30min episodes each (to 1994). Possibly current but in suspension. Colour.
   Probably the best blend of humour and sf on tv since The HITCH HIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY , RD, a true situation comedy, rapidly became a cult success. RedDwarf is a very large, very dirty spaceship with only one crew member, a definitively working-class Liverpudlian, Lister, who has been in suspended animation for millions of years. Also present are a tyrannical but self-pitying hologram, Rimmer, who outranks Lister, a vain humanoid called Cat, descended from Lister's pet cat, an angst-ridden computer calledHolly and, later, an ANDROID trained to serve, the admirable Kryten. Miracles of sf evocation - time travel, black holes, alternate realities and other such tropes - are performed with considerable wit and style on, one might deduce from the deliberate tackiness of the whole endeavour, a tiny budget. At its radical fringes, UK tv of the 1980s specialized in comedy emphasizing vulgarity, despair, entropy, stupidity and lack of hygiene, and the people behind RD have impeccable pedigrees in this field: executive prod Paul Jackson had made the nicely revolting The Young Ones and Filthy, Rich and Catflap, and Grant and Naylor had been head writers for the politically satirical puppet series Spitting Image. Spin-off books as by Grant NAYLOR (Grant and Naylor) are Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers * (1989) and Better than Life * (1990).
   PN

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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