Announcement Aftermath

Unpicking last week's massive news.

25 October, 2019

Well, that got you all excited, didn't it? After all the teasing and speculation, and a long bout of patient waiting, we were delighted to finally announce last week - with a special one-off midnight update, to boot! - that in 2020, Red Dwarf will be returning with a feature-length special and a series of new documentaries on Dave.

Announcement Aftermath

The reaction of the internet to the news was... well, everything we'd hoped, frankly, with an outpouring of excitement and #RedDwarf itself becoming a trending topic in the UK for the first time since the 30th anniversary last year!

In the giddy, immediate aftermath of the announcement, there has been all sorts of discussion and speculation about what the special will entail - and even some misreporting here and there by various news outlets - so just for clarity, here's what we can state definitively about the special so far.

First off, it is a special, not a "movie". This isn't an attempt at remounting Red Dwarf: The Movie, and nor does "feature-length" mean the special will take the form of a movie. It's still Red Dwarf, and it's being shot in the usual Red Dwarf method of a combination of live audience filming and location shooting. It's longer than usual, and we've no doubt the story might be a little bigger and more, well, special to account for that. But it's not a movie.

If you're wondering why you've seen a couple of different figures floating around for the length of the special, meanwhile, that's because it's airing on Dave, where ad breaks mean the slot for the show is longer than its actual duration. For the avoidance of doubt, this is a 90-minute special airing in a 120-minute slot. So when you see it on TV, it'll take two hours to get to the end - but when you buy it on shiny disc afterwards, it'll only be an hour and a half.

As to what to call it yet - well, it's a bit too early to say. For now, it's just "the Red Dwarf special". We're not calling it Red Dwarf XIII at this point, and what we'd say is just wait and see for further news on how to refer to it in the greater scheme of things!

We're also going to be maddeningly unspecific about exactly when in 2020 it'll air - but you know that if we could have told you exactly when it'll be, we already would have done! Again, keep your eyes peeled, and as soon as we can give you an idea, we will. But it will be next year.

And as for the content of it... well, look, whatever you might see in tweets and photos and anything else related to production as things kick into gear, you can speculate about all you want. But for the moment, all we can definitively confirm is that Craig, Chris, Robert and Danny are starring in the special, and Doug is writing and directing it. Anything else is not officially confirmed until you hear it from us.

Of course, a lucky select group of fans will get to find out exactly what's going on when the audience filming happens in December - and once again, we'd ask that the fans who do find themselves at the recordings adhere to the no-spoiler policy that has been in place ever since audience filming came back in 2011. Red Dwarf fans have been astonishingly brilliant at keeping things under their hats in this era of social media, and we really hope we'll see that continue this time around.

The anticipation for new Red Dwarf is high in the aftermath of the most recent Dave series having continued to attract high ratings, along with critical notices such as:

  • "Staggeringly ambitious... the best-looking episode of Red Dwarf ever made." - Den of Geek.
  • "Bigger, bolder, better than ever." - The Week.
  • "...just as funny as they were when the show started nearly 30 years ago." - Daily Star.
  • "This bonkers sci-fi show has improved with age... brilliantly mad." - Daily Mirror.
  • "Red Dwarf the sitcom is, like Red Dwarf the spaceship, creaky, old, underpowered and more or less indestructible" - The Guardian.
  • "Hilarious as its golden days..." - Metro.
  • "Thought provoking." - Times.

So we know you'll be hungry for the usual drip-feed of information, and we're as excited as you for it to get started...

Red Dwarf returns to Dave in 2020!

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