NOTE: This was also written for a job application!
Red Dwarf makes its way back to our screens on the 10th of April, and although we’ve had to wait nearly a decade for a new show, the crew have made these last few days a little easier for us with an impressive haul of hints and preview material.
Cast interviews reveal that the three-part show, titled Back to Earth, will feature the four core characters landing on earth during the early part of the 21st century. Confronted with the earth of our present day, we can but imagine the full extent of our brave heroes’ reactions, although preview material reveals that Kryten attempts communication with street corner postboxes and Rimmer finds himself captivated by our collection of authentic 21st century telegraph poles.
We’ve heard that Kochanski is dead and Holly is drying out his memory drives after Lister left a bath running for several years, so sadly no Lovett or Hayridge, but new cast member Sophia Winkleman will be there to soften the blow. Cast in the role of Rimmer’s nemesis, she will be playing the gorgeous Katerina Bartikovsky, a hologram who outranks our pitiful 2nd Technician by far. And let us not forget that another fan favourite has been confirmed to return – the Starbug, or is it the Carbug? Chris Barrie can be seen performing a spookily convincing Jeremy Clarkson impression here.
The programme’s official site boasts that production values are higher than the show has ever seen, and showcases sets created by Mark Harris, who has worked as a designer on Bond films Quantum of Solace, Die Another Day and The World is Not Enough. The Red Dwarf studio audience is gone, and some filming has been taking place on the set of Coronation Street. With Craig Charles claiming in an interview that he will be ‘playing quite a few characters [in Back to Earth], some of them I've already played on television,” it is no great leap of logic to wonder whether the smegheads will be meeting Corrie’s Lloyd Mullaney.
TV channel Dave hosts Back to Earth related rewards on its website, but be prepared to go hunting for them! A curry-stained postcard from Lister contains instructions for his lost crewmates on 21st century earth, which, if followed, will direct you through hologram-studying character Bob Giles’s hacked research site and allow you to access Back to Earth preview scenes, games and messages from the characters. Highlights include Rimmer’s opinions on reality TV and Kryten’s curry order. We’d better have that vindaloo hot and waiting.
To quote Lister’s promise in the very first Red Dwarf episode, “Look out, Earth - The slime’s coming home!”
Red Dwarf: Back to Earth will be airing on the Dave channel over the bank holiday weekend:
Friday, April 10th: Part One
Saturday, April 11th: Part Two
Sunday, April 12th: Part Three