Lister, Rimmer, Kryten, and the Cat are back on form with the return of Red Dwarf on Dave tonight.
Richard TrenholmFormer Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere -- but space is warming up with the return of everybody's favourite smegheads: the crew of Red Dwarf.
Last human Dave Lister, holographic vending machine repairman Arnold Rimmer, style-obsessed feline the Cat and rubber-headed mechanoid Kryten warp back to our screens in Red Dwarf X on Dave tonight.
Gone are Kochanski and the rest of the resurrected crew and the Corrie cross-overs of latter series. The boys are back to the classic formula: Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat travelling through space on the mining ship Red Dwarf, bumbling from one smeg-up to the next, battling their own dysfunctions and inadequacies as often as they must square up to rogue simulants, insane computers and other space-faring sociopaths.
In tonight's opening episode, Trojan, the boys from the Dwarf stumble across an advanced ship, where Rimmer encounters an adversary from his past -- and in the process confronts his own neuroses.
The new series is filled with jokes that only Red Dwarf can pull off -- a cocktail of character-driven gags and contemporary jokes about mooses driving cars and customer-service hotlines, mixed with sci-fi high-concept humour such as quantum rods, hologram malware and Lister dealing with the time-twisting consequences of being his own dad.
Chris Barry, Danny John-Jules, Craig Charles and friend of CNET UK Robert Lewellyn are all clearly having a great time, and the effects are much improved too. I'd like to see the crew make it off the ship more as the series progresses, and I could do without the slightly intrusive laugh track on every other line, but series X is still more fun than smearing Pot Noodle on a mechanoid's nipple nuts.
Red Dwarf returns to our screens tonight on Dave at 9pm, on Sky channel 111, Virgin 128 or Freeview 12. Smoke me a kipper in the comments, or join us for breakfast on our Facebook page.