Red Dwarf

Starring Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn, Norman Lovett, et al.

Written by Rob Grant, Doug Naylor, et al.

Directed by Various

Genre: Sci-Fi / Comedy

Released: 1988 - Present

Rated: Varies between episodes.

IMDb link:

If you're from England – which I believe the majority of Cheers readers are – then there's no doubt that you've heard of Red Dwarf. Even down here in Australia it's almost impossible not to have heard of the show. As for people's awareness of it in other places around the world, well, I have no idea about that. But one thing is certain: if you've never seen Red Dwarf, then you're missing out.

Created in 1988, Red Dwarf is a BBC science-fiction comedy that follows in the footsteps of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, with its irreverent, sharp-witted humour and often revolutionary sci-fi concepts.

Dave Lister is a low-level repairman aboard the massive starship Red Dwarf. His immediate superior (and bunkmate) Arnold Rimmer is an officious, anally-retentive jerk who's constantly putting Lister on report.

Lister spends his days avoiding work as much as possible and dreaming of buying a farm on Fiji. All this is put in jeopardy, however, when he's discovered to have smuggled a cat onboard, and is sent into stasis as punishment.

When Lister awakes, he discovers that the entire crew is dead, and that he's been in stasis for over three million years. The ship's computer, Holly, decides to bring back one of Lister's crewmates to keep Lister company. The only problem is that Holly decides to bring back Rimmer, who's just as rigid and bureaucratic as ever, despite the minor setback of being dead.

Though it tended to rely on gross-out humour a bit more than Hitchhiker's ever did, Red Dwarf was still an absolutely brilliant comedy that offered great satirical insight not just into British culture, but into everything from science-fiction concepts to the absurdities of religion.

It was a fantastic show – and, in fact, continues to be. Though there hasn't been a new series produced in a number of years now, it's still listed by the BBC as being in production. Whether that will come in the form of a new season or the long-discussed big screen version, who knows. But if you've yet to see it, I suggest you take the time and catch up with Red Dwarf. You're a smeghead if you don't.