My worries increased when I visited the Shepperton Studios back in January for recording of the final episode of this new series. You can read about my disappointment here. And yet, even through that deflating experience there was a glimmer of hope. The little I got to see of the episode that had been pre-recorded alluded to a return to the Red Dwarf I knew and loved.
9pm came and I tuned to Dave, the awkwardly titled channel. Rumour has it the station is named after the mining ship, Red Dwarf's last remaining human crew member, Dave Lister. Accompanying him on his journey back to earth are his superior, the hologram, Arnold J Rimmer, a lifeform evolved from the ships cat, The Cat and the mechanoid, Kryton.
The show kicked off as if it had never been off air. No clunky introduction for newcomers, no re-telling of past events just a swisher looking set. And why should they re-visit the past? The show is on near infinite repeat anyway. If you're inclined to watch the new series, the chances are it's because you've enjoyed past episodes that still hold up today.
Much of this opening episode, Trojan, takes place aboard an abandoned vessel being towed by Red Dwarf in a ruse to make it appear functional. Rimmer takes the lead and suffers from acute jealousy when he's reunited with his successful brother, Howard. The Cat and Lister are sucked into shopping channel hell in a sub plot that runs almost the entire episode. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the ships computer, Holly, is not present. However a preview of the next episode alludes to an upgraded system.
Trojan eased my fears. I needn't have worried at all. The humour is just as silly as it ever was. Danny John-Jules was more charming as The Cat than I ever remember him being and the episode bore all the hallmarks of a classic from back in the day.
A return to form then for Red Dwarf!
Each episode of Red Dwarf X is available to view at joindave.co.uk the week after airing (Probably only from the U.K)