Red Dwarf: Back To Earth episode 1 premiered on Dave last night with Craig, Danny, Robert and Chris back in their roles. Sadly there was no Norman Lovett or Hattie Hayridge, however the episode introduced Sophie Winkleman as Katerina, a high-ranking holographic officer set on outranking Rimmer. This episode was enjoyable although the wit and humour is not on a par with anything in the first two series. Initially I also thought the gleaming new sets took away some of the charm of earlier episodes - and I wondered if the series might be taken too seriously. However one diving bell, one giant purple latex squid tentacle and several delightfully hammed-up performances later I was reassured that this was a comedy. There's also some good comedy chemistry between Barrie and Winkleman. It was also cool to see the Scutters back in the frame too - these robots appeared frequently in the early episodes but were only rarely seen after this due to technical difficulties in operating them on set.
This is the opener for a weekend of sci-fi across the UK channels - tonight there are the second episodes of Red Dwarf (Dave) and Primeval (ITV) while over on the BBC Doctor Who teams up with Bionic Woman actress Michelle Ryan in Planet of the Dead.