Warning: Spoilers ahead. Do not cross without prior knowledge of series.
Red Dwarf had now entered its final series. Ed Bye stayed on, so did Doug Naylor and the main cast. Returning to the cast were Chris Barrie, Mac McDonald, Norman Lovett and other minor cast members. Doug wrote the scripts himself this time around.
The Red Dwarf itself had been resurrected, but the model hadn't. It was blown up some 7 years previous in Series 5, so archive footage was used at the end of Series 7, and CGI was used throughout Series 8. This was explained away as "the ship now being constructed according to its original design plans". This worked out well for Japanese RD crew members, because there was a karaoke bar on C Deck.
Another thing explained away was the line at the end of Series 7 made by The Cat, which was "Seems even bigger than I remember." Lister had a bodybuilder's frame at the time, and when his body returned to normal, the crew (well, mainly Lister) figured out that it was part of the nanobots' molecular process - and then Red Dwarf started shrinking around them.
This was the start of the episode "Back In The Red", which was intended as an hour-long episode, but eventually became three parts. The crew - the one we all know and love - crash Starbug in the hangar, and Lister is arrested for stealing Starbug, kidnapping Kochanski and having Kryten and the Cat on board as stowaways. Lister's only chance is to escape and find the nanobots, which have scarpered.
It cleared Lister of all the charges, but the trial picked up something else, and Lister, Cat, Kryten, Kochanski and even the newly-rebuilt Rimmer are chucked into the brig, affectionately named The Tank. It had a population of 400, and the ones with heaps of piercings and tattoos seemed to be the nicest ones.
In "Cassandra", Lister signs the five of them up for the Canaries, believing it to be the prison choir. However, it is a group of prisoners who go on suicide missions. This becomes a running theme throughout the series. On their first mission, the crew encounter Cassandra (named after the Greek bearer of bad news) and she tells their fortunes: the Canaries will all be dead except Rimmer, who will be dead in 20 minutes.
In "Krytie TV", Kryten has been classified as a woman due to lack of genitalia and is forced to be "tortured" by watching all the women showering. Some of the more unscrupulous male inmates reprogram Kryten to sneak a camera into the ladies' showers and send it live to the prison theatre.
"Pete" was again intended to be an hour-long episode, but it was again split up. Rimmer and Lister wind up in the captain's office again and again, each time in worse trouble, such as spiking a basketball team's orange juices with 'Boing' - the equivalent of Viagra. Series 8's jokes were noticeably more risqué than before. This gave it a classification of M15+ or equivalent.
The worst trouble for the Dwarfers was de-evolving "Birdman's" - another inmate - sparrow, Pete, into a dinosaur. The good thing was that Kryten was now becoming a man, having manufactured a penis called Archie. He was a man only because he had no control over it.
"Only The Good..." is the final episode so far. Lister plays a prank on Kryten, and Kryten does a slightly more harmful prank on Lister and Rimmer. The five Dwarfers have to escape, but they discover a microbe that is destroying the ship.
***Spoiler of last episode***
Rimmer goes across to a mirror universe, where black acidic microbes become white alkalinic cures, where King Kong is captured by Fay Wray, where the Cat is intelligent, and where weasels become captains. Upon getting the formula for the alkaline and returning to the original universe, however, Rimmer finds the ship on fire and in ruins, and Death standing above him. However, only the good die young, and Rimmer escapes Him by kicking Him in the groin. Is this the end?!?
That's it for Red Dwarf so far. Click here if you missed something from Series 7.