It begins twenty-four-and-a-bit years ago. Tuesday 19th May, 1992. BBC2 are repeating the fourth series of a sci-fi sitcom called Red Dwarf. I’ve heard vague mutterings about Red Dwarf from classmates at primary school, and from my cousin. But back in 1991, it was on at 9pm, and I wasn’t allowed to stay up to watch it. This time, however, the repeat run is on at 8.30. On Tuesday evenings at 8.30, my mum is out at night school, and in the preceding months my dad has been letting me stay up with him to watch A Question of Sport. But the then-popular quiz show has finished its run, so our shared TV-watching timeslot needs something new to fill it – and the Brittas Empire repeats that we’ll later enjoy are themselves a good few weeks away from starting.
Hence, Red Dwarf.