In July of 2017, the Red Dwarf Facebook page revealed that the sci-fi sitcom is expected to start broadcasting in Autumn of 2017. This time, it will be its 11th and 12th series, following up on the 9th and 10th series that were broadcast in 2012 and 2016. However, while this is bound to be exciting news for Red Dwarf‘s dedicated fandom, it is also bound to confuse a lot of people who have never heard of the British sci-fi sitcom.
What Is Red Dwarf?
Red Dwarf is a British sci-fi sitcom that started broadcasting in 1988. Its initial run lasted until 1993 but was followed by a second run that started in 1997 and continued until 1999. However, this was not the end of the franchise, seeing as how there was a three-episode special in April of 2009 that paved the path for Series 10 and 11.
While the name of the franchise can refer to a particular kind of star that is famous for falling within the cooler and smaller part of the main sequence, it is used within the franchise to refer to the mining ship on which much of its narrative happens. Primarily, Red Dwarf is centered around Dave Lister, who was the lowest-ranking member of the Red Dwarf until an incident killed the others.
Unfortunately for him, the mining ship’s AI decided to keep him in suspended animation until the risen radiation levels from the incident had returned to normal, with the result that he wakes up millions and millions of years into the future where he is the last human in the universe. Other characters in Red Dwarf range from a hologram of Lister’s passed bunk-mate to the last member of a humanoid feline species descended from Lister’s pregnant cat, who was safe in the cargo hold at the time of the incident.
Overall, Red Dwarf is interesting in that its humor is reliant on the interactions between the characters. In fact, the earlier series used a classic Odd Couple-style setup with two contrasting characters who nonetheless had to co-habit, which should be recognizable to most people within no more than a short period of time. Furthermore, Red Dwarf‘s characters are interesting in that they are not particularly admirable but still relatively likable people, which was meant to serve as a breath of fresh air in the context of the fearless cast members found on other sci-fi TV shows of its time. Finally, Red Dwarf liked to use its sci-fi elements as setup for its particular sense of humor, though over the course of the series, it has seen more and more use of those same elements.
What Can We Expect from Series 11 and 12 of Red Dwarf?
Series 10 met with a positive response, so it seems safe to say that interested individuals can expect something worth watching from season 11 as well. Should it prove successful enough, it also seems safe to say that the franchise as a whole will continue to inspire spin-offs, with the exception of the Red Dwarf movie that was talked about more than a decade ago but ended up having bits and pieces of its script incorporated into Series 10.