Science fiction and comedy are two genres that are hard to marry. In fact, up until the late ‘80s, many would argue that this had only been successfully accomplished by The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. All of that changed in 1988, when the BBC launched the first successful sci-fi sitcom, Red Dwarf.
Created by Doug Naylor and Rob Grant, Red Dwarf was a minimalist one-camera sitcom focusing on the exploits of the last living human being, Dave Lister, who wakes up on board the mining ship Red Dwarf three million years after being put into cryogenic status as punishment for smuggling a cat aboard.
The show was fully character-driven, with sci-fi backdrops and concepts used as plot devices. Of course, the show couldn’t just focus on a single character, so Lister was given company in the form of a hologram of his deceased bunkmate Arnold Rimmer, the ship’s computer Holly, and The Cat, a self-obsessed humanoid cat that had evolved from the one Lister smuggled on Red Dwarf. Shortly after their adventures begin, the crew runs into Kryton, an android who joins them on their aimless quests through space.
The show immediately found an audience and was a hit for six seasons, providing endless laughs and adding the word “smeg” to popular lexicon. Red Dwarf then sadly sputtered to halt for a variety of reasons to the dismay of its fans all over the world.
However, popular demand was high and the boys from the Dwarf found themselves back on the BBC for two more series in the late ‘90s before being on hiatus for another decade. In 2009 the special short series “Back To Earth” premiered, and it was evident that the love for the show had only grown. Another series followed three years later. Last year saw the release of the eleventh series of the popular show and this year will bring us a twelfth.
To celebrate the long storied history of this classic sci-fi comedy and the impending series 12, let’s take a look at some of members of the Red Dwarf fandom who have adorned their bodies with tattoos in homage to this wonderfully entertaining franchise. Whether it be a portrait of Lister or Kryton, Red Dwarf’s transport ship Starbug, or the ship itself, there’s no more hardcore manner of cementing one’s self as a die hard Dwarf fan than with a tattoo.
These tattoos really speak to the young nerd in all of us and leave us eagerly awaiting the new season. Until then, in the words of Ace Rimmer, “Stoke me a clipper, skipper. I’ll be back for breakfast.”