I’ve been watching Red Dwarf for some days now. RD is more than just another British science fiction television show. It is a sci-fi sitcom, a science fiction situation comedy that are actually quite rare.
In Doctor Who, the Doctor (usually) gets to decide when and where to go. Any place in time and space. The Red Dwarf just sort of drifts back to Earth at the speed of light, or just a bit faster. They do occasionally travel in time and even get back to Earth for a while. But travelling is not the point in Red Dwarf as such.
2. Humour, including the laugh track.
Yes, RD is a sitcom. It’s supposed to make you laugh. In my opinion, a sci-fi sitcom is almost impossible to become successful. But Red Dwarf is an exception to this rule. Is Doctor Who funny and hilarious? At times, yes, but it can also be damn scary.
3. The number of the people on board.
In DW, it’s usually two, the Doctor and his companion. In RD, it’s five, Lister, Cat, Rimmer the Hologram, Kryten the Android and the ship’s computer, Holly. Why more people on RD? Well, a sitcom with only two people must be harder to make and it is quite rare to do that. Bottom is one of the very few exceptions.
Hmm, Bottom and Doctor Who combined? That would be really weird, wouldn’t it.
Well, these are the first three differences I could find in half an hour or so. In the end, they are very different shows. But there are a lot of similarities, too. To begin with, they’re British (obviously), which makes them, well, British. A bit wittier and less polished than North American science fiction television shows.
But in the end, if you’re a DW fan, you may like RD or not. And vice versa. But you can give it a try.
I’m still on the seventh RD series on Netflix, so I don’t know how good the brand new tenth series is. They say it’s good, though. Good.
By the way, I wish there were more Nordic/Scandinavian science fiction tv shows. Äkta människor (Real Humans), a Swedish show, is one of the very few great shows. Obviously, the British tv people are starting to make a new ÄM version. It could be good but I have my doubts.
- Red Dwarf Pulls In 1.46 Million Viewers For Triumphant Return (contactmusic.com)
- Britgeek Says RED DWARF X ‘is a most welcome return to form’!! (aintitcool.com)
- Red Dwarf X, Dave, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- Red Dwarf makes return to screens (contactmusic.com)
- Red Dwarf go back in time (thesun.co.uk)