Finally! Red Dwarf movie IS happening | Feature-length special for Dave

Finally! Red Dwarf movie IS happening

Feature-length special for Dave

The long-awaited Red Dwarf movie is finally happening.

TV channel Dave has commissioned a two-hour feature-length special to air next year.

But unlike most movies, this will be shot in front of a live studio audience.

Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewellyn will return as Lister, Rimmer, The Cat and Kryten, in a story written and directed by series co-creator Doug Naylor.

Charles said, ‘I’m really excited to get back on board with the boys from the Dwarf. I can’t wait to discuss Robert’s prostate problems, Chris Barrie’s hip replacement and have a proper look at Danny’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.’

Just two years ago, Charles had poured cold water on the idea of a movie, saying the show probbaly worked best as a half-hour sitcom.

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."

The special will be filmed on location and at Pinewood in front of a live studio audience. Audience tickets will be available from midday today here.

Naylor has been attempting to make a feature-length version of Red Dwarf since the end of the eighth series in 1999. At the time wrote a script in which a race of cyborgs called Homo sapienoids  had taken over the solar system and were wiping out the human race. Spaceships that tried to escape Earth were hunted down until only one remained... Red Dwarf.

However Naylor could not secure financing at the project faltered, much to his frustration – as he has explained at fan conventions.

To coincide with the new film, Dave has also commissioned a series of three hour-long documentaries to tell the 30-year story of the hit comedy.

 The Red Dwarf retrospectives will include rare and un-broadcast material, as well as new interviews with cast and crew.

 UKTV’s head of scripted programmes, Pete Thornton said: ‘Our relationship with Red Dwarf has been incredibly fruitful and satisfying so far and it’s been a real pleasure to see the cast and crew fully committed and seemingly enjoying themselves more than ever in the run-up to this latest production.

‘We’ve been talking to Doug and the team about how to take Red Dwarf forward and the special clearly offers us an exciting next step. It’s going to be a proper event in the history of the series – and with the show having now passed its 30th birthday, what better time to take a proper look back at its history via our retrospectives.’

Luke Hales, Dave channel director, added: ‘I am a huge, life-long fan of Red Dwarf and I still re-watch it and re-read the books regularly to this day. So it goes without saying that it gives me huge pleasure to be a part of the team this time around. 

‘The episodes we’ve made for the channel so far have been brilliant, and what a way to welcome it back with a feature-length special and three-part look back at the show’s history. '

Since Dave revived with the Back To Earth special in 2009, there have been three further full series. The most recent, series XII, aired in 2017. A total of 1.3million viewers watched the first episode of that 12th series, but the audience slipped to 968,000 by the last episode.

The sci-fi comedy originally ran on the BBC from 1988 to 1999, so the 30th anniversary was actually in February last year.

Production credits

Two-hour special

Written and directed by: Doug Naylor
Made by: Baby Cow
Produced by: Richard Naylor
Executive producer: Christine Langan


Made by: North One
Produced by: Richard Ward
Series producer: Chris Hill
Executive producer: John Quinn


Commissioned by: Pete Thornton, UKTV head of scripted
Ordered by: Richard Watsham, director of commissioning, and Steve North, genre general manager, comedy and entertainment.

Published: 18 Oct 2019

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