Johnny Vegas is joining Red Dwarf – as a policeman in a futuristic dystopia.
The star of Benidorm and Still Open All Hours will appear in one episode of the new series, which returns to Dave in October, revolving around a society where criticism is illegal.
Of course in the age of widespread and easily-triggered online offence the theme is clearly one that is designed to resonate here on earth in 2017.
“It’s a critique of free speech and political correctness and all those things where you can’t say this, or you shouldn’t be saying that… and people getting offended at the tiniest little thing,” said actor Robert Llewellyn who plays Kryten.
Written and directed by Doug Naylor once again, the new series follows last year’s successful eleventh run which welcomed back the original cast of Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat) and Llewellyn as the lovable droid Kryten.
The six new episodes have all been recorded in front of a live studio audience and plotlines include the other Dwarfers discovering just how it feels to be Kryten when they’re arrested by the Mechanoid Intergalactic Liberation Front, and the gang encountering a station where the crew have developed a cure for evil.
In other episodes: when all the machines on Red Dwarf go on strike, Rimmer and Kryten hold a Presidential election; the Cat faces an identity crisis like never before when he discovers he needs glasses; and Rimmer decides to leave Red Dwarf in search of a parallel universe where he isn’t such a massive loser.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.