Red Dwarf

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Red Dwarf
Premiere February 15, 1988
Airs On hiatus
Creator Rob Grant,
Doug Naylor
Network BBC Two (seasons 1-8)
Dave (seasons 9-)
Style 30-minute sci-fi comedy
Company Grant Naylor Productions,
British Broadcasting Corporation
Seasons 11
Episodes 67 (through season 11)
Status Renewed through season 12
Origin UK

Red Dwarf is a comedy/science fiction series created by writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. It first appeared on BBC Two in 1988 and reappeared in 1999, 2009, and 2012.

The series, set three million years in the future, followed the motley crew of the 22nd century mining ship Red Dwarf, lost in deep space. Dave Lister, a lowly technician, was sent into suspended animation for illegally smuggling aboard a cat. The rest of the crew were wiped out by a radiation leak shortly afterwards. He is held in stasis until radiation levels are safe for him to emerge.

When he is finally released, three million years later, he finds that he is the last human being alive. His regular companions include Holly, the ship's super-genius computer, who is now suffering from computer senility, Arnold Rimmer, a hologram simulation of his dead bunkmate, a creature who evolved from Lister's cat, Frankenstein, and from season three onward, Kryten, a sanitation robot eager to break his programming and live more like a human.

Over the course of its eight seasons, the setting and situation of the series has changed a number of times; in season six, Red Dwarf itself was "lost" by Lister, who left it around a planet described as "blue green and planetoidy". This left the crew stranded aboard the small transport craft Starbug. In season seven, after the behind-the-scenes departure of co-creator Rob Grant, other writers were allowed to contribute for the first time, including one script by Kryten actor Robert Llewellyn. During this controversial season, Rimmer left (due to actor Chris Barrie having other commitments) and a new character was added, Kristine Kochanski, the parallel-universe double of Lister's former girlfriend. Season eight brought the most (and most controversial) changes yet: Red Dwarf was recovered; the crew, including a non-hologrammatic Rimmer, were brought back from the dead; and Lister and friends found themselves locked in the ship's prison, for unlawful piloting of Starbug.

The final episode, "Only The Good," ended on a major cliffhanger, which as of this writing looks like it may never be resolved. Doug Naylor has written a script for a Red Dwarf movie, to feature the original cast, and has spent the last several years trying to raise funding to produce it. In the meantime, the cast have all moved on to other projects.

In 1992, the American network NBC produced a pilot for an American remake of Red Dwarf. Of the original cast, only Robert Llewellyn reprised his role as Kryten. When NBC requested changes, Grant and Naylor produced a fifteen minute show reel, now featuring a female cat, featuring scenes from the UK version reshot with the American cast. Neither the pilot nor the show reel ever aired, though bootleg copies can be found at conventions or on the internet.



Actor Character Duration
Billed Cast
Craig Charles Dave Lister 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Chris Barrie Arnold J. Rimmer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Danny John-Jules The Cat 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Robert Llewellyn Kryten 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Norman Lovett Holly 1 2 7 8
Hattie Hayridge   3 4 5
Claire Grogan Kristine Kochanski 1 2
Chloe Annett   7 8
Mac McDonald Captain Frank Hollister 1 2 8
Graham McTavish Warden Ackerman 8
Sophie Winkleman Katerina 9


Season Premiere Finale #
Season One February 15, 1988 March 21, 1988 6
Season Two September 6, 1988 October 11, 1988 6
Season Three November 14, 1989 December 19, 1989 6
Season Four February 14, 1991 March 21, 1991 6
Season Five February 20, 1992 March 26, 1992 6
Season Six October 7, 1993 November 11, 1993 6
Season Seven January 17, 1997 March 7, 1997 8
Season Eight February 18, 1999 April 5, 1999 8
Season Nine: Back to Earth April 10, 2009 April 12, 2009 3
Season Ten October 4, 2012 November 8, 2012 6
Season Eleven September 22, 2016 October 27, 2016 6
Season Twelve 2017 6


Title Network Airdate
Smeg Outs BBC Two 1994
The Red Dwarf A-Z BBC Two February 14, 1998
Can't Smeg Won't Smeg BBC Two February 14, 1998
Smeg Ups BBC Two February 14, 1998
Universe Challenge BBC Two 1998


  • At a Glance: Additional information about the series
  • Food: The culinary side of Red Dwarf.
  • Inhabitants: A list of creatures (human and non-human) in the series.
  • Institutions: A list of organizations in the series.
  • Locations and Places: A list of known locations in the Red Dwarf universe.
  • Technology: Technology that populates the series, including ships and weaponry.
  • Terminology: A short summary of language use and a glossary of special words.
  • Trivia: A collection of interesting trivia about the series.

DVD and Blu-ray Releases


Title Release Date #
Season Sets: Region 1
Series 1 November 4, 2002 2

Series 2 February 10, 2003 2

Series 3 November 3, 2003 2

Series 4 February 16, 2004 2

Series 5 November 8, 2004 2

Series 6 February 21, 2005 2

Series 7 November 7, 2005 3

Series 8 March 27, 2006 3

Back to Earth: The Director's Cut
Season Nine
October 6, 2009 2



Title Release Date #
Season Sets: Region A
Back to Earth: The Director's Cut
Season Nine
October 6, 2009 2


External Sites