New episodes of the sci-fi comedy – which originally ran on BBC Two between 1988 and 1999 – will air exclusively on Dave from Thursday, October 4.
“Of course, BBC2 is where the whole thing started and obviously we want to get the biggest possible audience we can,” Naylor told the Radio Times. “But no, the BBC hasn’t approached us [about a revival].
“The last one we did with them was series eight, which got eight million and was the most successful series we’ve ever done. And then we wanted to do a film, which took so long not to get anywhere!”
Naylor explained that the long-mooted Red Dwarf feature film meant that the sitcom “stepped off the TV merry-go-round”.
“Once you’re off, it’s hard to get back on,” he said. “I totally understand the channel controllers who want to encourage the next generation and who say, ‘We don’t want you old farts back again, although we enjoyed you while you were here. And quite honestly, we don’t know if the people who used to watch your show will still watch’. But I think [Dave’s first 2009 mini-series] Back to Earth proved that the Red Dwarf fanbase is still there.”
Last year, Red Dwarf star Danny John-Jules (Cat) claimed that the series had been “ignored” by the BBC throughout its original run.
“The BBC never really pushed Red Dwarf as one of their flagship shows, even though it was so successful,” said the actor. “We never had a pat on the back from anyone.”