Creator Doug Naylor has hinted more episodes of the long-running sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf will happen, but wasn’t clear on whether it would be more specials or an entire season.
While there is no official confirmation of Red Dwarf being recommissioned by UKTV for Dave, SyFy reports Naylor told them: “There are still so many areas we can explore. Everyone wants to do more. UKTV wants to do more. I’m working on a couple of things right now, and hopefully, when we come on the other side of [the COVID-19 pandemic], we’ll start shooting it. The appetite is there so we’d like to keep going.”
At a Comic-Con@Home live panel with cast members Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister) and Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), the panel host Kyle Anderson asked Naylor if he had a favourite character to write for.
“The truth is it wouldn’t have lasted [if I’d written primarily for one character]” he said. “They’d have left. You have to be able to write a part for each of them, you know. And you wouldn’t be able to do that if you thought, ‘Oof, this person. There’s nothing left in the tank. There’s no new stories.’ But it just seems there’s an infinite amount of things we can do and always has done, so there’s a wonderful opportunity to explore all kinds of things.”
Barrie recently told RadioTimes.com he’d love to do more feature-length specials.
“When you do a special, it’s equivalent to three half-hours, whereas when you’re doing a series, it’s six half-hours and that does take it out of you,” he said.
“The shorter shoot time at the moment would suit me, so yeah, a special I think is preferable, and get to do a nice longer story again so you can explore more.”
The panel was convened to publicise the launch of the feature-length movie, Red Dwarf: The Promised Land, on streaming platform BritBox, which is available in the US.
Naylor revealed that the movie had been completed weeks before the lockdown, but agreed that it had a surprisingly upbeat feel to it considering Red Dwarf’s absurdist humour is revolved around the crew being lost in space.
He explained how the premise of Red Dwarf: The Promised Land came about. “What would happen if we revisited the cats and they thought Lister is a god?” he wondered. “And what effect what that have on Lister? He wouldn’t be able to tolerate that. He’d fall apart. What would happen to Rimmer because Rimmer’s got no story there? …And you start to piece the thing together. That’s the kind of process.”
Naylor said Red Dwarf: The Promised Land was released at just the right time for a lockdown audience in the UK – it set a new record audience for Dave of two million viewers across all platforms – and he added: “Hopefully, people in the States will take it in the way that the folks in the UK did.”