When is the Red Dwarf feature-length special on TV? What’s it about?

The long-running sci-fi sitcom is returning to screens after a two-year absence

Red Dwarf 13 special image (UKTV)

Two years since the last series wrapped up, a brand new feature-length Red Dwarf special has been announced for broadcast on Dave.

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The special arrives, for now at least, in place of the 13th series fans had been expecting,

Red Dwarf follows the antics of a group of misfits who live on a mining spaceship and originally aired on BBC Two back in 1988.

Here’s everything we know about the upcoming special so far…

When is the Red Dwarf special on TV?

The 90-minute episode – titled Red Dwarf: The Promised Land – will air sometime in April 2020 – stay tuned for a confirmed broadcast date and time.

Filming on the special got underway in early November 2019.

Is there a trailer for the Red Dwarf special?

Yes – RadioTimes.com exclusively debuted a teaser trailer for The Promised Land on 10th March 2020 – and it’s a surprisingly moody affair. Brace for impact…

What is the Red Dwarf 2020 special about?

According to a synopsis on the official Red Dwarf website, the TV movie will see “the posse meet three cat clerics (Tom Bennett, Mandeep Dhillon, Lucy Pearman) who worship Lister as their God. Lister vows to help them as they’re being hunted by Rodon, the ruthless feral cat leader (Ray Fearon) who has vowed to wipe out all cats who worship anyone but him.”

A first-look poster for The Promised Land also hints at a transformative storyline for Rimmer (Chris Barrie), who’s seen clad in some sort of superhero-style muscle suit.

Red Dwarf: The Promised Land poster
Red Dwarf: The Promised Land poster
UKTV

In a statement, series lead actor Craig Charles said: “I can’t wait to discuss Robert [Llewellyn]’s prostate problems, Chris Barrie’s hip replacement and have a proper look at Danny [John-Jules]’s new dentures whilst they marvel at the agelessness of the Charles physique. I will surely require the services of a chiropractor after dragging these doddering misfits through what promises to be our most epic adventure yet.”

Series writer/director Doug Naylor added: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity of making more Red Dwarf. UKTV has been a never-ending source of support and encouragement since we first started working together ten years ago. Can’t wait to start shooting a format that I don’t think has ever been done before. Smoke me a kipper, we’re back and not just for breakfast.”

Who’s in the cast of the Red Dwarf special?

The entirety of the main cast are reprising their roles for this special, including Craig Charles as slacker Dave Lister, Chris Barrie as Rimmer, Danny John-Jules as the Cat, and Robert Llewellyn as the service mechanoid Kryten.

Norman Lovett will also return as senile supercomputer Holly, last seen in series 12 finale ‘Skipper’ having been absent from the show since its eighth series (aired in 1999).

Joining the regulars will be Ray Fearon (Coronation Street), Tom Bennett (PhoneShop), Mandeep Dhillon (After Life) and  comedian Lucy Pearman.

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Behind the camera, Doug Naylor is taking on directing duties, a safe pair of hands given that he co-created the show and has helmed every series since the 2009 revival Back to Earth.