Red Dwarf was a hugely successful SF sitcom, airing on the BBC in six seasons from 1988 to 1993 and returning for two more seasons in 1997 and 1999. After a lengthy period trying to get a feature film version commissioned, co-creator Doug Naylor wrote a three-episode mini-series (which has now effectively been retconned as the ninth season) in 2009 for the British cable channel Dave. Although critically panned, the mini-series got very high ratings, smashing all previous records for the channel. Dave subsequently commissioned a six-episode full season, shot in December-January 2011-12 and due for airing in the autumn.
Will it be any good? The omens are not great. Red Dwarf was dealt a serious blow when co-creator and co-writer Rob Grant left the series following the filming of the sixth season. It never really recovered from it. The seventh and eighth season had a few decent moments, but overall were pale shadows of their former selves (despite relatively big budgets and use of CGI, which some fans suggested may have contributed to the problems). The Back to Earth mini-series was even worse still.
However, for this new season there are some signs of hope. Limited funds mean that they have to make more use of the classic format of the four guys hanging out on the ship and getting into weird scrapes. They are also acknowledging the ageing of the characters rather than ignoring it, which is good, and the actors seem to have retained their old chemistry.