Red Dwarf was a show that aired from 1988 to 1999 on BBC in eight series. The show followed Dave Lister (Craig Charles) who was a technician on a mining spaceship called Red Dwarf. Following a radiation leak, everyone on board was killed except for Lister because he was in suspended animation at the time. The on-board computer Holly kept him in suspended animation until the radiation levels died down. This took three million years and Lister was the last human alive.
However he’s not the only thing alive on the ship. His cat was also in suspended animation while pregnant and over the time spent in suspended animation a creature known as The Cat (Danny John-Jules) evolved into a humanoid that likes to sleep, eat, and is only concerned about its appearance. Then there’s Arnold Judas Rimmer (Chris Barrie) who was Lister’s bunkmate and immediate superior who Holly resurrected as a hologram to keep Lister company. However they weren’t friends and to call Rimmer anal-retentive and detail obsessed is being kind; he's also cowardly, arrogant, and rude and Lister takes great pleasure in torturing him. Since the show didn’t have a large budget, Rimmer is a “solid hologram” and the only difference between him and Lister is the letter “H” in the middle of his forehead to signify hologram. Eventually a service mechanoid named Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) joins the crew in series three.
While the show was inspired by the movie Blade Runner it was a spoof of science fiction among other genres and during its eight seasons gathered a large cult following and attracted fans including Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation) who initially thought it was a rip-off of TNG until he started watching it and loved it. After the show's eighth series ended, the producers tried for several years to get series nine commissioned but the BBC wasn’t interested, even though the series ended with a cliffhanger. Then there were talks of a movie to wrap things up, but instead the three-part special Red Dwarf: Back to Earth was commissioned.