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  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Grant and Naylor originally imagined Lister as 41 years old and white: in their words, like an "English version of Christopher Lloyd as Reverend Jim on Taxi." When they sent the script to Craig Charles (23 years old at the time and mixed-race), asking if he thought the part of the Cat was racist, he said it wasn't and also asked to audition for Lister. He got the part.
    • Similiarly, Rimmer was originally envisaged as being 61 years old and being played like an "English Dan Aykroyd".
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  • Acting for Two: Each of the cast plays alternate versions of themselves at one point. Robert Llewellyn takes the cake, though, also playing Jim Reaper (Diva Droid's head of marketing who calls Kryten ugly), Bongo (Ace Rimmer's CO), and the Data Doctor (who is used to reset Kryten to his factory settings). Presumably he also shares the likeness of John Warburton, who never appeared on-screen but was apparently used as the template for the Series 4000 mechanoids.
  • Amateur Cast: The original cast had all appeared on TV and/or film before, but none of them were "proper actors": Chris Barrie was an impressionist and voice actor, Craig Charles was a poet, Danny John-Jules was a dancer, and Norman Lovett was a stand-up comedian. Likewise, Hattie Hayridge was also a stand-up comedian before joining the cast in Series III; however, Robert Llewellyn and Chloë Annett (who joined the cast in Series III and VII respectively) were both "legit" actors.
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  • Breakaway Pop Hit: The song "Tongue Tied" from (from the Series II episode "Parallel Universe") was so popular amongst fans that it was released as a single (complete with remixes) in order to coincide with Series 6, several years (and four series) after the episode aired. This is especially impressive because the show never spawned an actual soundtrack album. The episode is one of the most popular of Series II largely because of this song.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • In the commentary for the second episode, Chris Barrie mentions that he originally auditioned for both Rimmer and Lister, and preferred Lister. Imagine that for a moment. "Bodyswap", in fact, gives us a taste of how he would have played it.
    • Norman Lovett originally auditioned for the part of Rimmer. Instead, they changed Holly to a male and offered him the part.
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    • David Gillespie auditioned for the part of Lister but ended up in the recurring role of Selby.
    • Eddie Bagayawa, who played Captain Kadri in "Samsara", originally auditioned for the role of Jim Green in the same episode but lost out to Dan Tetsell. He was offered the part of Kadri as a consolation.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Rimmer's impressions and parroting while he malfunctions in "Queeg". Chris Barrie is a trained impersonator who had already starred in Spitting Image. Chris Barrie's lip synching and mannerisms when playing the other characters are also far more convincing than the other actors' in "Bodyswap".
    • Danny John-Jules is a trained dancer, and dance sequences for Cat appear in several episodes. He also got to sing in a dream sequence. The song, "Tongue Tied", became a respectable hit and was on the Top 20 in the UK. He also works in some juggling, rollerskating and gymnastics in various episodes.
    • That cool instrumental Kryten is playing air guitar to in "Timeslides"? Craig Charles wrote it. He also wrote and sang the song that plays in the same episode as Lister arrives at his mansion.
  • Channel Hop: Originally broadcast on The BBC, it fell by the wayside after series VIII. After repeats on Dave became hugely popular, the "Back to Earth" special was created and on the back of that series X came to be.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • In this 1993 interview with Starbust Magazine, Chris Barrie was highly critical of Series VI. Though, as the article states in a post-script clarification, with the interview being published - and likely held - in 1993, the fact that Chris Barrie was actively filming for both Series VI of Red Dwarf and Series 4 of The Brittas Empire could have led to exhaustion and burnout at the time. Especially considering Series VI was the only time Red Dwarf won an award; scoring an International Emmy for "Gunmen Of The Apocalypse". However, this was still an issue by the time Series VII was filmed in 1996, with Barrie wishing to leave the series and only appearing in half the episodes that series — although Barrie enjoyed working on VII so much that he quickly agreed to return for VIII, and has since said he regrets not appearing in the second half of VII.
    • Craig Charles and Danny John-Jules don't do much to hide their disdain for Series VII (outside of the first two episodes) during the DVD commentaries, and by the closing scenes of "Nanarchy", it's quite clear that both men don't really want to be there any more.
    • Doug Naylor has admitted that the Remastered series was a failure and probably should not have been done, perhaps best summed up by his DVD commentary on Polymorph Remastered:
      Naylor [of the new ending in the Remastered version]: My memory was that the rework was funnier... but that clearly isn't.
    • Naylor also never much cared for the original design of the Red Dwarf itself, feeling that it looked too bulky and boxy. He therefore had it redesigned to a much sleeker and more elongated shape for the Remastered seasons, which was retained for Series VIII. For the Dave seasons, they adopted designs somewhere in-between the original and Remastered/Series VIII designs, switching from a modified version of the CGI model (Back To Earth) to a modified version of the unused physical model.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode:
    • Chris Barrie's favorite episode was "Dimension Jump", followed by "Marooned". He actually regards Marooned as the best episode, but he loves Dimension Jump more because it was such fun to do.
    • Craig Charles also named "Marooned" as one of his favourites, noting that it would work as a stage play.
    • Robert Llewellyn's favourite episode was "Krytie TV".
    • Norman Lovett's favourite episode was "Queeg", one of the few Holly-centric episodes.
  • Deleted Scene: Loads of them. Many of them were trimmed for pacing and some others were cut because the effects they had were very unconvincing. They appear as extras on the DVD box sets.
  • Development Hell:
    • The doomed movie has a complicated history, mostly revolving around budget problems. It came very close to entering production in 2001, to the point where shooting schedules had been worked out and costume tests were being done, but a last-minute yanking of the budget brought the project to a standstill. Several restarts would be attempted over the course of 7 or 8 years, but ultimately nothing would come of it; when the television series (which had ended due to Doug Naylor's desire to focus on making the film) restarted various parts of the film's script was cannibalised for episodes (most notably "The Beginning", which borrows much of the film's set-up, but a notorious set piece made its way into "Lemons").
    • The series itself was originally supposed to be filmed and aired in 1987, but was delayed by an electricians' strike.
    • The American version never got past the two pilots made. NBC wanted to create their own version but couldn't capture the spirit of the series.
  • Doing It for the Art: Back to Earth, despite its small budget, looks quite impressive for a TV production. This is because several members of the production team actually worked for free; the CG Skutter seen in part 1 was done entirely by one person for no pay, simply because he loved the show so much.
  • DVD Commentary:
    • Every single episode (except for Series X) gets a DVD commentary track from the entire cast for that whole series. The exception is Series V, which Craig Charles couldn't show up to the commentary recording for due to being ill — so instead the other actors all imitate him and mercilessly make fun of him while he's not there. Series V and VI also include a fan commentary on the most popular episode of each series. The one for "Back to Reality" had someone from the studio sitting in to make sure the fans didn't just quote the entire episode as it happened.
    • Series VII also features Chris Barrie commenting on episodes he doesn't appear in (his character left in episode 2 but appeared in flashbacks in two more episodes after that) and for one episode he basically complains how boring it is, and the rest of the cast agree.
    • Older than DVD! A VHS boxset containing one episode from each of the first six series was released, that came with an audio CD containing creator commentaries on each of the episodes.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Chloe Annett had her long light brown hair cut short and dyed dark brown so that she'd look more like her predecessor Clare Grogan when she took the role in Series VII. In Series VIII, she had her own natural hair (despite the fact that the series premiere took place a matter of minutes after the previous series' finale - the change in appearance was never commented on).
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • If Craig Charles looks genuinely shocked when handed a picture of Kryten's genitalia in "D.N.A.", it's because he was handed a Polaroid of some actual bloke's penis, which he hadn't been informed was going to happen beforehand.
    • Craig Charles had the flu during the filming of "Fathers and Suns". The heavy sweating and generally ill look during Lister's video rant to himself was genuine.
  • Fan Film: Quite a few were made. A couple of them even appear as extras on the series VII boxset.
    • The VII special feature took the form of a fan film contest, with a montage of the entries before the full winning films.
  • Fan Nickname: The second American pilot episode is nicknamed "White Dwarf" due to having no black characters.
  • Hostility on the Set: Craig Charles and Chris Barrie didn't get on initially. Craig Charles noted that it actually worked for the dynamic between Rimmer and Lister, although the tension between the two meant that the writers stopped doing the two-hander scenes set in the bunkroom that were a staple of the early series.
  • I Am Not Spock: Craig Charles insists that he's nothing like Lister. While he does enjoy the odd curry, he doesn't drink lager, preferring vodka.
    • An amusing anecdote from an interview (in a canteen) where he claimed to be nothing like Lister: He proceeded to squirt a blob of ketchup directly onto the table top, then swipe a chip from Danny John-Jules's plate, dip it in the ketchup and eat it. Which couldn't be more like Lister.
  • Inspiration for the Work: The creators drew inspiration from the more realistic crop of science-fiction films of the 1970s, such as Silent Running, Dark Star and especially Alien.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The Remastered episodes were packaged together into a new DVD box-set called the Bodysnatcher Collection, but sold abysmally, with fans and professional reviewers alike saying that the episodes were a massive mistake and should have just been forgotten about (overlooking the fact that the set was intended as a "mop-up" release allowing them to do things they'd wanted to do for the series releases but couldn't due to lack of time and money, including feature-length documentaries on the first two series and an adaptation of the unproduced Series I episode "Bodysnatcher"). Which then resulted in a very real case of Be Careful What You Wish For, as the unsold stock was destroyed in a warehouse fire, and the poor sales of the initial run meant there was no reason for another one to be ordered. As a result, the Bodysnatcher Collection commands ridiculously high prices online, with sealed copies often selling for prices in the hundreds of pounds. Ironically, the VHS releases of Remastered can be picked up second-hand for virtually nothing, though that obviously comes with the caveats of inferior picture quality and missing all the extra features of the DVDs.
  • McLeaned: Norman Lovett left due to behind-the-scenes issues.
  • Missing Episode: In the early '90s, a test pilot written by Linwood Boomer was produced by NBC for American audiences. According to some sources, it was received well by the audience, but the studio execs weren't satisfied, so Grant and Naylor were brought on board to try to fix it. The final product never aired, but it's been bootlegged ever since.
  • Name's the Same: "Lemons" has the Dwarfers travel to the past and end up meeting a traveller named Jesus during the years little was chronicled about him...but then it turns out Jesus was a common name back then...
  • No Budget:
    • Dwarf is no stranger to this, but the most significant example is Back to Earth. The concept grew from short clips celebrating the show's 20th anniversary, to a two-part story accompanied by a live episode, to a full-fledged three-part production filmed in HD; unfortunately, the budget did not. The only saving grace was that advancements in technology allowed them to do a lot more with their meagre budget than they would have been able to a decade or two previously. The ill-fated movie also went through several rewrites based on wildly fluctuating budgets.
    • Even Series III, with its vastly improved sets and costumes, didn't have a budget that was much bigger than the earlier seasons, but it was spent more wisely, especially with set designer Mel Bibby's ingenious ways of making impressive improvised sets.
  • No Stunt Double: Craig Charles made a point of doing all his own stunts. His co-stars joke that he's Made of Iron thanks to all the bumps he's taken over the years.
  • Old Shame: Everybody involved in the production of the Remastered episodes regrets making them, and Doug Naylor has admitted he probably should have resisted doing them at the time (they were done because he was looking to sell the show internationally to help with funding for the Red Dwarf movie, but the first series were considered by BBC Worldwide to be too dated).
  • The Other Darrin: Several:
    • Holly, the ship's computer and most notable example, was played by Norman Lovett for Series I-II and was replaced by Hattie Hayridge for Series III-V before being Put on a Bus in Series VI. When the character returned for Series VIII (and the Series VII finale), Holly was once again played by Norman Lovett.
    • Kryten, the mechanoid, was a one-off character in Series II played by David Ross. When he became a regular in Series III, Ross was unavailable and Robert Llewellyn replaced him for the rest of the show's run.
    • Talkie Toaster (Exactly What It Says on the Tin) was voiced by John Lenahan in Series I and II (although his scenes were cut for the latter.) When the character resurfaced briefly in a Series IV episode ("White Hole"), not only was he voiced by David Ross (the original Kryten) but the original prop had been replaced as well.
    • Kristine Kochanski was a guest character in Series I, II and VI, and played by Clare Grogan. When the character became a main character in Series VII, Grogan was unavailable and Chloë Annett replaced her.
    • Rimmer's father was played by John Abineri in "Better Than Life". After Abineri's death, in "The Beginning", he was played by Simon Treves.
    • Adolf Hitler first appeared in "Timeslides" by way of stock footage, complete with a Credits Gag announcing him as "Tonight's Guest Star". Kenneth Hadley played him in "Meltdown" and Ryan Gage played him in "Cured". This is justified in that, on both occasions, it's a droid of Hitler.
  • The Other Marty: Alfred Molina was originally cast in the role of Rimmer, but Word of God says that he wanted to make too many changes to the character for the writers' liking.
  • Out of Order: The series has a loose enough continuity that this wouldn't typically be a problem, until you get to Series VI - it follows on from the Series V finale "Back to Reality" (which was the first episode of Series V on the American VHS release). Recurring villains, cast changes, Continuity Nods and multi-part stories (all rare in the early series) mean there's a specific order to later series. They're very rarely aired in order.
    • Series I's "Future Echoes" aired earlier than intended. It was originally intended as the fourth episode, but was moved to second, in part because they needed a replacement after the originally-planned episode, "Bodysnatcher", was scrapped without ever being filmed, and also because it was felt that the sci-fi elements would help the show attract viewers and allow it to go on longer (the BBC was reluctant to take on the show for more than one series). The consensus by both the makers and fans is that this was a good move.
    • Series II's first episode "Kryten" was intended as the fourth episode, with the remaining episodes in the series corresponding to the filming order aside from "Queeg", which was made sixth. Though "Kryten" was intended as a one-off episode, the titular character was revived for Series III. As the last episode "Parallel Universe" is the only one with any actual continuity (the introduction of the character Hilly replacing Holly), it is entirely possible to watch "Kryten" as the penultimate episode of that series, and assume Kryten is being reprogrammed during "Parallel Universe". Interestingly, though it was filmed third, "Statis Leak" is the only one of the series to use flashbacks to the original Red Dwarf in the manner of the first series - suggesting that it itself might have been a candidate for first episode at some point.
    • Series IV aired completely out of order. The original planned order was "Meltdown", "Justice", "Camille", "White Hole" "Dimension Jump" and "DNA". However, "Meltdown"'s parody of war was considered insensitive at the time of the Gulf War. As a result, it was punted to the back-end of the series. "Camille" was moved to the first episode due to the popularity of Kryten, and "DNA" was moved to the second because of good responses from fans (it is still one of the most popular episodes). "Justice" was moved to the third episode, and "White Hole" and "Dimension Jump" remained the fourth and fifth episodes as originally planned. Reruns of the series broadcast the episodes in the original intended order, but VHS and DVD used the original broadcast order.
    • Series V aired quite close to its intended order, with one exception; "Demons and Angels" was intended to be the season premiere, but after it turned out that not one of the split-screen shots used to depict the main characters with their good and evil counterparts was usable, it was moved to being the second-last episode in order to allow time for reshoots. Turned Up to Eleven on the VHS release of the season, which bore absolutely no resemblance to the intended or actual airing orders, as both "Back to Reality" and "Quarantine" were incredibly well-received by fans, and the BBC decided to have one headline a tape each, and allocated the other episodes to each tape seemingly at random.
    • Series VI also aired very similarly to how it was intended to, but "Rimmerworld" and "Emohawk: Polymorph II" were swapped around at the last minute, as Grant Naylor felt it was a more logical running order due to the opening of "Rimmerworld" following on well from that of "Emohawk", and the ending of the episode working as a nice tease for the future Lister being reduced to a Brain in a Jar in the season finale, "Out of Time".
  • Paying Their Dues: Of the four original main characters, only one was played by an experienced actor. Craig Charles (Lister) was a poet, Danny John-Jules (The Cat) was a dancer, and Norman Lovett (Holly) was a stand-up comic. Even Chris Barrie (Rimmer), although he had acting experience by the time the series started, was originally an impressionist.
  • The Pete Best: Kryten first appeared in a one-off appearance in Season 2 where he was played by David Ross. The character proved popular and opened up more storytelling possibilities, so Grant and Naylor decided to bring him back as a regular — Ross was unable to take the role due to scheduling commitments, however, so he was replaced by Robert Llewellyn (with a Hand Wave about how his appearance and personality was now different). Llewellyn proceeded to make the part his own, and even write some episodes.
  • Playing Against Type: Ace was specifically created so Chris Barrie could play someone who wasn't a "git."
  • Prop Recycling:
    • The badge Rimmer wears as part of his hologramatic uniform from Series III onwards was originally a capbadge worn by the Golgofrinchian captain in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
    • The tank Kryten uses in "Beyond A Joke" is the same one from Goldeneye.
  • Quote Source: This series provides the page quote for:
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Derailed by large hiatus at peak of UK popularity.
    • Also completely changed the course of Series VIII. Originally, it was going to end with a two-parter, culminating in the crew finally returning to Earth but obliterating civilisation as they arrive. However, circumstances meant the hour-long series opener had to become a three-parter, another episode had to become a two-parter and the series had to finish on a cliffhanger.
    • "Meltdown" was intended to be the opening episode of Series IV. However it was moved to the sixth and last episode because of concerns that viewers would consider it insensitive due to the Gulf War. If hostilities had continued, it might not have been shown at all.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Craig Charles's younger brother Emile plays Lister's 17-year-old younger self in "Timeslides".
    • Robert Llewellyn's wife Judy Pascoe plays the titular love interest's mechanoid form in "Camille".
    • Alexander John-Jules (Danny's nephew) as Baby Lister in "Ouroboros".
    • Ed Bye's wife Ruby Wax as Blaze Falconburger in "Timeslides".
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • In the first episode of Series VI, "Psirens", Lister admits essentially losing Red Dwarf due to not being able to remember which planetoid he has parked it in orbit of. As a result, the 4 of them are confined to the by far smaller scouting vessel Starbug. This was partly down to Grant Naylor wanted to write out Holly as the character had become redundant.
    • Blue Midget becomes the regular mode of transport, rather than Starbug, in Series X despite the fact the Midget had been phased out after Series II. The series didn't have the time or budget to make a Starbug set they felt was good enough - it was so iconic they felt they should do it properly, or not at all.
  • Recursive Adaptation:
    • The novels Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and Better Than Life had some plots used for episodes of the TV show, notably in "White Hole". The book also explains a lot of what happened before most of the crew were killed, and some of it was adapted into Series 8. Something of a subversion in that the book is often inconsistent with the show's plot, but this was done deliberately (it is inconsistent in show too). The other books Backwards and Last Human had some features put into the show too, but none as much as the first two books.
    • Red Dwarf started as a sketch on the radio show, Son Of Cliche. There were later Red Dwarf radio shows based on the first two novels.
  • Recycled Script:
  • Recycled Set: For series X, the same set was modified to create the marketplace, the Trojan's bridge and the Simulants' council room. The Blue Midget set seen in "Entangled" and "The Beginning" is a redressed version of the Red Dwarf driveroom set.
    • Several episodes in XI and XII have the regular "Science Room" set redressed; the Lady Be Good club in "Twentica" is one such example, although it's such a total overhaul you probably wouldn't know unless told.
  • Referenced by...: As a popular cult classic sci-fi show, It has received a good dose of Shout Outs. See the sub-page.
  • Role Reprise: Robert Llewellyn was the only actor who came back to play themselves in the American remake.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The song Lister and Hitler sing in "Cured" was originally meant to be "Africa" by Toto. When the record company found out that Hitler was involved they refused to license it, and several other companies also rejected alternative songs. They settled with "The Happy Wanderer" as it's not in copyright.
  • Screwed by the Network: Inverted with one of their PBS clients. KTEH 54 in California had a deal with BBC that essentially stated that they could air whatever got sent to them... and thanks to a clerical oversight, they got sent all of season 8 ahead of the BBC air date. While they would have been well within their rights to declare the international premier of season 8 on their station, they instead waited until after BBC had aired their episodes - a move that resulted in Craig Charles flying down to do several pledge drives for them. Which, in turn, led to numerous pledges just to hear Craig call them a smeghead on the air.
  • Technology Marches On: Lampshaded in Back to Earth when Kryten and Lister discuss how 21st century DVDs were later replaced by "superior" technology — video tapes — because those were too large to lose, whereas it was scientifically proven that humans are incapable of putting DVDs back into their box... neatly explaining why the early series has the characters using VHS tapes despite the series being set in the future.
  • Throw It In!: The time Lister ate the cigarette to intimidate a hologram wasn't scripted. Craig Charles admits that he's still not sure why he did it. (Don't eat cigarettes. It's much more immediately fatal than smoking them.)
    From The Smeg Ups: "I don't know why I fucking ate that cigarette!"
  • Too Soon: The running order of Series IV was changed because of the Gulf War.
  • Troubled Production:
    • Series I was held up for six months by industrial action at The BBC. They also had so much trouble finding studio audiences that co-creator Doug Naylor had to go around pubs near the studio to recruit audience members. The recording of the first episode went so badly that they had to do it again at the end of the series with a reworked script.
    • While Series IV in general wasn't overly problematic, two episodes caused troubles during filming. The first was "White Hole", where director Ed Bye fell ill and was hastily replaced by the show's executive producer, Paul Jackson, who soon came into conflict with Danny John-Jules after the latter was late to set, with Jackson later frequently chewing him out for flubbing lines during the shoot. The second troublesome episode was "Meltdown", which had problems with terrible weather at their location (which forced the withdrawal of the original Gandhi actor after he came down with a cold), which also happened to be on the flight path to Heathrow airport, forcing filming to be stopped whenever a plane flew overhead. Then, the outbreak of the Gulf War caused the BBC to move it back to the end of the season.
    • Series V suffered from the departure of long-standing director Ed Bye. His replacement, Juliet May, soon proved to be totally out of her element on the show, resulting in the intended season premiere "Demons and Angels" having to be punted back to being the penultimate episode when it turned out that not one of the complicated split-screen shots required to show the crew's "high" and "low" forms was usable. As the season wore on it quickly became apparent that the cast had lost any respect they had for May, resulting in creator Rob Grant and Doug Naylor cutting their losses, firing May and directing the remainder of the season themselves.
    • The abortive Red Dwarf USA pilot suffered from friction between Grant Naylor and the American creative team, the latter of whom quickly adopted a The Complainer Is Always Wrong stance and shut their British counterparts out of the writing process. Not to be deterred, Grant and Naylor rewrote the pilot script themselves, and the cast and director much preferred their script, but the American producers insisted on going ahead with the original version, which proved a bomb. Not to be deterred, Grant and Naylor managed to shoot a second pilot, a glorified promo reel with No Budget... which got an even worse reception than the first pilot, and killed the whole thing completely.
    • Grant and Naylor returned to the UK fully intending to write and direct Series VI themselves, with full creative control, only for the BBC to pour cold water on that dream by giving them just four months to write and film the whole series, forcing them to hire another new director (who, fortunately, proved up to the job this time). The rushed schedule forced a much bigger reliance on Running Gags than in previous years, and resulted in the season finale, "Out of Time" being written as it was being shot, with the script being typed directly onto autocues for the cast to read from. To boot, Grant and Naylor then had second thoughts about the original ending to the series and decided to turn it into a cliffhanger; as it was much too late to recall the cast, they had to improvise the cliffhanger in the edit suite using what had already been filmed.
    • Series VII had a lot of trouble just getting to the point where they could even make it. Craig Charles was imprisoned due to a (eventually proven false) rape allegation, while Chris Barrie decided that he wanted to leave the show to focus on his own sitcom, The Brittas Empire (eventually just starring in two episodes of Series VII, with cameos in two more). More seriously however, the strain of Red Dwarf USA and Series VI had caused the Grant Naylor writing partnership to collapse, leaving Doug Naylor to write the show alongside a bunch of new writers whose work always required extensive retooling. This time the troublesome creative process proved obvious on-screen, with Series VII being a ratings hit, but near-universally considered the show's worst season by some distance.
    • Series VIII was planned to start with an hour-long special, "Back in the Red", which ended up turning into a three-part story when the budget ran out and it was the only way to make the requisite number of episodes; a lot of the third part is just padding to bulk the thing out. "Pete" was also originally a one-part story before it had to become a two-parter for similar reasons. Then the season finale came along. Doug Naylor initially wrote a ludicrously over-ambitious episode that would have seen Red Dwarf finally return to Earth, which couldn't be afforded largely because they had blown the budget on a CGI dinosaur for "Pete", before hastily writing the actual season-ending episode, "Only The Good..." Filming of that episode went well, albeit with Naylor having to pay for an all-important model out of his own pocket due to the budget having completely run out. But then Naylor decided to ditch the original ending (which clearly set up a Series IX) in favour of a more open-ended conclusion that would allow him to end the TV series and do a Continuity Reboot with the planned Red Dwarf: The Movie, while still doing Series IX if he wanted to. This resulted in the episode's eventual ending being something they thought of only minutes before shooting, with no idea how they were going to resolve it. There are four different endings to that series: two which were filmed but unused, one which was going to be filmed but cancelled so late that the cast were actually in costume ready to shoot it, and the ultimately used ending which replaced the cancelled ending at the last minute, and required the director to step in to play one of the parts using a costume nicked from another series.
    • After Red Dwarf: The Movie died in Development Hell, the eventual Series IX took the form of a three-part miniseries called "Back to Earth." Unfortunately, they only had the budget for a two-part miniseries; it was originally supposed to be accompanied by a standalone special named "Red Dwarf Unplugged," where the cast would have performed classic Red Dwarf sketches before a live audience, but during a run-through it was realized that the special simply didn't work on any level whatsoever. Since Grant Naylor was still under contract to provide three episodes however, they had to stretch their minimal budget out in any way they could.
    • Series X had a myriad of problems which began from two things. Firstly, Chris Barrie and Craig Charles flat-out refused to return unless every episode was shot before a live audience. This wasn't a problem back when the BBC were still making the show, as they handled that in-house, but Grant Naylor had to hire an external agency to do provide the audience at considerable expense, which in turn caused nearly all the season's location scenes to be scrapped. Secondly, the season's intended producer, Jo Howard (who had worked on the show in various capacities since Series III, and produced "Back to Earth") was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, which claimed her life not long afterwards. She was hastily replaced by Doug Naylor's son Richard, who did an admirable job given the circumstances, but made several beginner's mistakes which caused filming to be incredibly rushed. Thirdly, the cancellation of all the location filming meant that the originally planned episodes 5 & 6 were now unusable despite having been written; both had to be thrown out, and replacements were being written whilst the other four were being filmed. Only half of the new episode 5, "Dear Dave", could be filmed in front of an audience because that was all that had been written, and they had to go back later, film new material on greenscreen and splice it together. (The new episode 6 managed to avoid similar problems by cannibalising the script for the abandoned movie.) On top of all this, there was a camera problem that required substantial re-editing on the first episode of the season, something not helped when all the rushes went missing.
    • Series XI and XII were filmed back-to-back, and generally went smoothly (thanks to another production company being brought in to take some of the pressure off Doug Naylor), with XI being a rare example of an entire series of the show being produced completely free of incident (barring a fire alarm going off midway through the live audience recording for "Samsara"). The first recorded episode of XII, "Siliconia", didn't fare so well, with the prosthetics the regular cast were required to wear for the episode making Chris Barrie ill, meaning some of the scenes meant to be filmed on location had to be cancelled. Robert Llewellyn also came down sick during the filming of "Timewave", and the knock-on effect was that the date in which the finale was filmed in front of the studio audience had to be moved to accommodate the missing scenes from the earlier episodes (and even then they were not able to pick up all of the missing scenes, which resulted in some plotting issues with the broadcast episodes).
  • Unfinished Episode:
    • The originally-planned second episode "Bodysnatcher" involved Rimmer stealing Lister's organs in an attempt to build himself a new body. When the filming of the series was delayed, the writers looked at the scripts again, decided "Bodysnatcher" was the weakest and scrapped it (replacing it with Me2), though the episode does contain one plot point which would impact later episodes (it's in "Bodysnatcher" that Rimmer hides the rest of the crew's personality discs). Some other plot elements and jokes were recycled in later episodes as well. A storyboard voiced by Chris Barrie appears as an extra on the Bodysnatcher Collection boxset.
    • Series III was to begin with Lister going through pregnancy and giving birth, only to have to abandon the twins in their home universe. The episode ("Dad") was discarded for several reasons; among them, the script came off misogynistic, Grant-Naylor found the idea of a "comedy pregnancy" unfitting for the series, and it just wasn't funny enough. Thus Series III opened with the high-speed Opening Scroll to explain the cast changes.
    • To address the fact that the programme had never really had an episode that focused on the Cat, an episode titled "Identity Within" was written for Series VII which would have inflicted the Cat with a disease that could only be cured by sex and the crew was meant to visit a slave auction at a GELF colony to try and acquire a mate for the Cat. The episode was eventually cut due to budget problems, so in the end there was never really an episode that featured Cat as the main character. This idea is being used for the finale of Series XI.
    • An unproduced Series VIII episode entitled "Phwoaarr" would've had the crew encounter powerful pheromones that ultimately cause people to succumb to Death by Sex. The episode was scrapped because it was too lewd, and because the pheromones were too similar to the sexual-magnetism virus; the concept of Rimmer having sex with Kochanski was transferred to the episode "Cassandra". "Krytie TV" was made instead.
    • There was, at one point, a Christmas Special in development, which never made it off the ground. Bill Pearson built a single model for it, which was recycled as the Simulant Death Ship in "The Beginning".
    • A Comic Relief special featuring Red Dwarf and the Daleks was once attempted, but the producers couldn't get the rights to the monsters. On the A-Z of Red Dwarf feature from the 10th anniversary special that also appeared as an extra one of the DVDs, the Daleks do appear stating that they don't watch Red Dwarf. One of them does admit that the red alert bulb gag was funny and the other shoots him for it.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • The first two series are instantly recognisable as '80s British sitcoms because of their low production values, their focus on a limited range of sets, the comedy mostly being based around two characters arguing, and the fact that there are barely any influences from American comedy. Subverted in that Series III, made in 1989, clearly reverses all of these, and led to the series becoming far more popular.
    • Series I, II and III all have a lot of references to 1980s pop culture, which nowadays seem somewhat out of place in the futuristic setting. Starting with Series IV, they toned this down a lot.
    • "Krytie TV" is a pretty specific parody of the prank TV shows that were around in the mid-late 1990s.
  • What Could Have Been: Has its own page.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Tongue Tied Red Dwarf Wiki, and another Red Dwarf Wiki.
  • Word of God:
    • In a weekly podcast for the TV channel Dave, Doug Naylor explains that Rimmer was brought back as a hologram to keep Lister sane, and as a result his holo-computer makes it so he ages at the same rate as Lister. This neatly paves over the issue of how Rimmer both doesn't age a day during his six hundred years on Rimmerworld but still ages at the same rate as Chris Barrie.
    • Kryten's name is taken from the play The Admirable Crichton (pronounced same).
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants:
    • The Season VI finale "Out of Time" was extremely rushed, and in fact, on the night it was filmed before the live audience it still wasn't entirely complete, meaning the writers had to type the script directly onto autocues for the cast.
    • Writer Doug Naylor repeatedly dithered over what the ending to Series VIII should be, having had to scrap his originally planned finale as the budget had run out. The ending they went with was so rushed the director had to step in to play a part using a costume nicked from another series; this replaced another ending which the cast was purportedly in costume, ready to film when it was scrapped.
    • Series X had all six scripts written and ready to go... but then the production found out they wouldn't be able to do any location filming (it being a choice between that and having a live audience for the studio records). Episodes 5 & 6 couldn't go ahead without the location filming, and they were both scrapped and had to be replaced with new episodes, written whilst the other four were being filmed. Only half of the new episode 5, "Dear Dave", was able to be filmed in front of an audience because that was all that had been written, and they had to go back later, shoot new scenes with greenscreen and splice it all together. At the time the cast was being interviewed for the making-of documentary for the DVD, they still weren't sure if they were going to be able to film everything.
      • To compound this, the ending of episode 4 required a chimp, who would be played by an actor in a costume. Nobody realised that there were limits on how many hours he could work inside the chimp suit until the day of filming, meaning the original ending had to be thrown out and a new one written more or less on the spot.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Tony Hawks, who plays the in-game guide to Better than Life later appears in "Backwards", introducing the Sensational Reverse Brothers. He had also previously been the voice of the vending machines in the first series and later played Caligula in the fourth. The cast referred to him as "The Fifth Dwarfer" during the first two series. The show also contains a deliberate example; between Series II and III, the change in actor for Holly is explained away as him having fallen in love with his mirror universe counterpart Hilly, to the extent that he decided he wanted to become her - hence Hattie Hayridge playing both characters.
    • Robert Llewellyn, in addition to Kryten, played Jim Reaper, a sales executive for Diva Droid; Bongo, Ace's commanding officer; Able, a zoned-out mechanoid; and the Data Doctor, a computer program used to reset Kryten's personality.
    • As an example of You Sound Familiar, in the episode "White Hole" Talkie Toaster was voiced by David Ross, who was the original actor for Kryten.
    • The BEGG chief in the Series X episode "Entangled" is played by the same man who played Lister's GELF bride in the Series VI episode "Emohawk: Polymorph II".
    • Richard O'Callaghan played The Creator in "Back to Earth" and Hogey The Roguey in "The Beginning".
    • Rebecca Blackstone played Pree in "Fathers and Suns" and returned as Big Bang Beryl in "XITwentica Twentica".
    • Denis Lill was both the Simulant Captain and Death in "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", which makes sense, since the Simulant Captain would have been the one to create the Armageddon virus and his role as the episode's Big Bad would have been etched into Kryten's mind for the Battle in the Centre of the Mind that his psyche interprets as a western.

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