Finally this week in an autumn full of reunions and remakes we have another returning sitcom which has been running on and off for almost thirty years. I'm talking of course about Red Dwarf which returned to Dave after four years away for its eleventh series. Whilst I can't claim to be the biggest fan of Red Dwarf I did enjoy it in its early years on the BBC and also found the last series on Dave to be a real return to form. Therefore I was rather anticipating the start of series eleven however I have to say I was pretty disappointed by the results. It does appear that this time round the cast and creator Doug Naylor have a lot more money to play with which resulted in plenty of elaborate costumes, sets and special effects. However I found that these elements were exaggerated in favour of any of the wit or simple storytelling that provided the charm in series ten. The basic plot saw the crew of Starbug follow a gang of Simulants to Planet Earth of the 1950s in which all technology had been outlawed. The style of the world in which the quartet found themselves was similar to that of 1920s prohibition America with science and technology being outlawed to underground speakeasy-style clubs. A lot of the humour came with a visit to one of these clubs and a meeting with scientist/hooker Harmony de Gautier whose list of what she'll do for money was a gag-filled piece which didn't raise a chuckle from me at all. In fact I found myself sitting stony-faced throughout the piece which I found to be predictable, rushed and quite anticlimactic as the end came very suddenly. On the plus side I found the chemistry between Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Robert Llewellyn and Danny John-Jules to be as spot on as ever. In fact I did appreciate the fact that they were on screen together for the majority of the episode and the early scene which reintroduced us to the characters was probably one of this instalment's best. However the opener of Red Dwarf XI couldn't help feeling like a cast reunion party where the actors looked to be having more fun than I did watching it. This is a shame as Red Dwarf can be a tremendously funny programme when it wants to be however judging by this first episode it looks like this new show will be one just for the fans who'll stick with the show regardless. But for casual viewers like myself there was nothing really to grab on to and I'm in two minds whether I'll stick with the rest of series eleven of a show which has lost a lot of what made the 2012 series on Dave so fun to watch.
That's your lot for now, remember to follow me on Twitter @mattstvbites for more reviews and I'll see you next time.