Nov 11, 2016

Four Flamboyant Guys Roaming the Galaxy: "Red Dwarf"

Red Dwarf is the second-funniest science fiction series of all time, after Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  There have been 11 seasons since it premiered in 1988, plus a feature film and an avalanche of guidebooks, novelizations, and merchandise.

The premise: Dave Lister (Craig Charles), a lower-level employee on the interplanetary mining ship Red Dwarf, is put into stasis as punishment for bringing a cat on board.  But there's a nuclear accident, so the ship computer leaves him in stasis until it's safe to come out -- 3,000,000 years later.  He's now the last human being left in the universe, all alone except for three companions:

Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie), a holographic replica of his insufferably priggish bunkmate.

Cat (Danny John-Jules), a self-absorbed, fashion-obsessed humanoid cat (evolved from the one Lister brought on board).

The self-effacing, servile mechanoid Kryten (Robert Llewellyn).

Four distinct personalities, thrown together by chance, alone in the universe -- more or less.

As they zap through time and space, fight mind-controllng monsters, explore alternate dimensions, face mechanical and medical emergencies, they learn to work together as a team.

Each develops beyond his "programming,"  Lister into an unexpected leader, Kryten into a passive-aggressive counselor, the Cat into a skilled navigator, and Rimmer into a hero (sort of).

Aside from being riotously funny, there are more than enough gay subtexts in Red Dwarf :

1. Four guys zapping through time and space, rarely mentioning girls.
2. A significant beefcake factor.
3. The Cat's gay-coded flamboyance.
4. Kryton's gay-coded flamboyance.
5. The homoerotic subtext between Lister and Rimmer.
6. The homoerotic subtext between Lister and Cat.

All of the cast are gay allies.  Chris Barrie has played gay characters.  Danny John-Jules participated in the "Say My Name" project,  to raise awareness of black gay people in Britain.

 In 2012, Craig Charles appeared with his fellow Coronation Street stars at the Manchester Gay Pride Parade.