The BBC had no interest in reviving Red Dwarf – even though it attracted audiences of up to eight million, co-creator Doug Naylor has revealed.
He has revived the series for six episodes for Dave, following the three-part Back To Earth special in 2009 – but said he would rather the show return to its original home.
‘BBC Two is where the whole thing started and obviously we want to get the biggest possible audience we can,’ he said in a Radio Times interview. ‘But no, the BBC hasn't approached us.
‘The last one we did with them was series eight, which got eight million and was the most successful series we've ever done. And then we wanted to do a film, which took so long not to get anywhere. think I did 35 rewrites of the script.
'Then we stepped off the TV merry-go-round and once you’re off, it’s hard to get back on.’
But he said he ‘totally understood’ the decision to make space it he schedules for newer talent, and channel controllers ‘who say, “We don't want you old farts back again, although we enjoyed you while you were here. And quite honestly, we don't know if the people who used to watch your show will still watch.”
‘But I think Back To Earth proved that the Red Dwarf fanbase is still there.’
Last year, Red Dwarf star Danny John-Jules claimed the series had been ‘ignored’ by the BBC, who ‘never really pushed’ the show.
Red Dwarf X starts on Dave on Thursday October 4. Click here to read Chortle’s verdict on episode one, or watch a preview below:
And the BBC's commercial arm is certainly behind the revival – releasing episodes as downloads the day after they air on Dave, and the DVD once the series has ended. Click here to preorder for £14.
The DVD description gives some hint at lots from this series, beyond the first episode on which the crew board an abandoned ship, to hear an SOS distress call from one of Rimmer's old nemesis.
Other plots include Lister grappling with the problem of being his own father and getting involved in a love triangle with snack dispensers; while Kryten and Cat become quantum entangled – forcing them to do everything in unison. The posse also find themselves marooned in 23 AD where they rescue a famous historical figure…
And in show six, The Beginning, the boys are surrounded by a Simulant War Cruiser and its fleet of attack ships. 'Armed with only two forks and a pencil sharpener, the Dwarfers begin to wonder whether this is the beginning of the end,' goes the blurb 'Only one man can save them. Unfortunately that man is Arnold J Rimmer.'