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.


  1. I had no idea Rimmer was so built. When on the show did he take his shirt off?

  2. I saw the episode on youtube. Did the premise change? They rescue two crew members from a damaged vessel, and one is Rimmer's brother. No one finds this surprising, even though all humans have been dead for 3,000,000 years.

  3. I had a problem with that also. As far as I could figure out, the damaged vessel is from 3,000,000 years ago also, but it's rather an incredible coincidence that no one comments on.

  4. Oh that Rimmer and Lister kissing scene is my favourite on scene kiss ever! It is so beautiful and the build up to the kiss was amazing! Until that moment when Rimmer beamed back into Starbug I did not see the potenial romance with those two at all. I love the new series Rimmer and Lister are like an old married couple. They get on so well now.

    Series 5 Holoship and Terraform is where you see shirtless Rimmer and Series 8 in Pete we get to see naked and bald Rimmer and Lister.

  5. Series 10 was somewhat heterosexist, all about the search for Kochanski.


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