Grant Naylor was the collective name used by writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor for their collaborative work, including the television series Red Dwarf. Grant and Naylor themselves called this pseudonym a “gestalt entity” (i.e. something which is greater than the sum of its parts).
The collaboration began in the mid-1980s when the duo co-wrote BBC Radio 4 programmes such as ClichÃ© and its sequel Son of ClichÃ©, and television programmes such as Spitting Image, The 10 Percenters, and various Jasper Carrott projects. The pair are also credited with writing the lyrics to “The Chicken Song” and a number of other musical parodies for the British satirical television show, Spitting Image.
The “Grant Naylor” collaboration, as it had become known, created the cult science-fiction comedy series, Red Dwarf. Later episodes of Red Dwarf were made by a company named after this pseudonym, Grant Naylor Productions.
In the mid-1990s, after the success of Series VI of Red Dwarf, the “Grant Naylor” collaboration ended, leaving Naylor with all the writing duties for the show. When Doug Naylor was apparently left with control of Red Dwarf, Rob Grant cited creative differences as the reason for his departure. His main reason however, he said, was that he “wished to have more on his ‘tombstone’ than Red Dwarf.”
Doug Naylor went on to write series seven to twelve of Red Dwarf by himself, sometimes in collaboration with other writers, particularly on series seven.
The main setting of the series is the eponymous mining spaceship Red Dwarf, which is 6 miles (9.7 km) long, 4 miles (6.4 km) tall, and 3 miles (4.8 km) wide and is operated by the Jupiter Mining Corporation. In the first episode set sometime in the late 22nd century, an on-board radiation leak of cadmium II kills everyone except lowest-ranking technician Dave Lister, who is in suspended animation at the time, and his pregnant cat, Frankenstein, who is safe in the cargo hold. Following the accident, the ship’s computer Holly keeps Lister in stasis until the radiation levels return to normal â€“ a process that takes three million years. Lister therefore emerges as the last human being in the universe â€“ but not alone on-board the ship. His former bunkmate and immediate superior Arnold Judas Rimmer (a character plagued by failure) is resurrected by Holly as a hologram to keep Lister sane. At the same time, a creature known only as Cat is the last member on board of Felis sapiens, a race of humanoid felines that evolved in the ship’s hold from Lister’s cat, Frankenstein, and her kittens during the 3 million years that Lister was in stasis.
The books in suggested reading order:
Better than Life