File un­der must-watch… Your guide to the small screen’s hottest view­ing red dwarf They smoked us a kip­per and they’re back for break­fast!

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Contents -

West­world! Dare­devil! Out­cast! Preacher! Shows with morethan-one-word ti­tles too!

Hav­ing suc­cess­fully ne­go­ti­ated a couple of lengthy hia­tuses and the move to a new chan­nel, Rim­mer, Lis­ter, Kry­ten and the Cat are rid­ing high on the wave of 2012’s ex­cel­lent se­ries X, and back for not one but two new six-part se­ries on Dave. The 12 episodes that’ll be shared be­tween Red Dwarf XI (due in 2016) and Red Dwarf XII (2017) are shoot­ing ei­ther side of Christ­mas.

“There was an ar­gu­ment from UKTV that things would be cheaper if we did 12 be­cause costs and things could be spread across both se­ries,” ex­plains writer, di­rec­tor and Red Dwarf co-cre­ator Doug Nay­lor, speak­ing to SFX mere days be­fore the first live stu­dio record­ing in mid-Novem­ber. “I found my­self say­ing yes, okay, there is time to do that, but then when you’ve writ­ten seven or eight you go, ‘Oh my god, why didn’t I say it had to be six!’”

Nay­lor says the new se­ries episodes will pick up soon af­ter se­ries X left off, but won’t get too hung up on se­ri­al­i­sa­tion. “They’re all self­con­tained episodes. There are [over­all] story things but not a real arc be­cause we don’t know yet which will be the six episodes that go out in XI and which will go out in XII.”

So are there any dan­gling plot threads from the pre­vi­ous 10 se­ries that the new episodes will pick up? “There are var­i­ous things, but you’ve got to be care­ful that you’re not just ap­peal­ing to the die-hards,” Nay­lor says. “There were ar­eas we looked at very hard and thought, ‘God, you’re go­ing to have to spend half the show ex­plain­ing the back­story be­fore you can get on with the com­edy,’ so we’ve tried not to do that, so it’s ac­ces­si­ble to both hard­core fans and more ca­sual view­ers as well.”

But surely the rev­e­la­tion that Rim­mer’s dad was ac­tu­ally the gar­dener must have changed things slightly?

“It’s made no dif­fer­ence to him what­so­ever,” Nay­lor laughs, “aside from him feel­ing slightly con­fused for a bit. But then re­mark­ably he just re­turns to ex­actly who he was be­fore.

“In a sit­com you don’t want the char­ac­ters to ma­ture, you don’t want them to learn any­thing, be­cause when you have growth, it gen­er­ally means they’re not as funny be­cause they’re usu­ally fun­ni­est when they’re at their most flawed. Most sit­coms don’t sur­vive as many se­ries as we’ve done and I think one of the rea­sons is we haven’t al­lowed the char­ac­ters to ma­ture much. Be­cause they’re still hugely emo­tion­ally dam­aged, we’ve man­aged to sur­vive!” Richard Ed­wards

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