Red Dwarf: The "History" of the series

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Red Dwarf: The "History" of the series

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:50 pm

Red Dwarf:

The shopw started out life as a radio sketch  called "Dave Hollins: Space Cadet" a series of five sketches that aired in the BBC Radio 4 series Son of Cliché, produced by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor in 1984.The popular BBC sci-fiction comedy television show Red Dwarf was based on these radio sketches.

The sketches of the radio show was centered around Dave Hollins (voiced by Nick Wilton), a hapless space traveler that is marooned in space far from earth. His only steady companion is the computer Hab (voiced by Chris Barrie). Grant and Naylor chose to use the Dave Hollins: Space Cadet sketches as a base for a television show after watching the 1974 film Dark Star, they changed some elements from the sketches, and the 7 trillion year figure was first changed to 7 billion years and then to 3 million and the characters of Arnold Rimmer and the Cat were created. The name Dave Hollins was changed to Dave Lister when a football player called Dave Hollins became well-known, and Hab was replaced by Holly. One of the voice actors from Son of Cliché, Chris Barrie went on to portray Arnold Rimmer in the Red Dwarf TV series.

"Trivia: Episodes of Dave Hollins can be found on the 2 disc Red Dwarf DVD sets starting with series 5 and ending with series 8."



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 for low-ranking technician Dave Lister, who is in suspended animation at the time, and his pregnant cat, Frankenstein, who is safely sealed in the cargo hold. Following the accident, the ship's computer Holly keeps Lister in stasis until the background radiation dies down – a process that takes three million years. Lister therefore emerges as the last human being in the universe – but not alone on-board the ship. His former bunkmate and immediate superior Arnold Judas Rimmer 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 main dramatic thrust of the early series is Lister's desire to return home to Earth, although the crew's ownership of an unlimited time-space travel drive in series seven was to later negate this intention. As their journey begins, the not-so-intrepid crew encounters such phenomena as time distortions, faster-than-light travel, mutant diseases and strange lifeforms that had developed in the intervening millions of years. During the second series, the group encounter the service mechanoid Kryten, rescuing him from a long-since crashed vessel. Initially, Kryten only appeared in one episode of series two, but by the beginning of series three he had become a regular character. At the end of series five, Red Dwarf itself is stolen by persons unknown, forcing the crew to travel in the smaller Starbug craft for two series, with the side-effect that they lose contact with Holly. In series seven, Rimmer departs the crew to take up the role of his alter ego from a parallel universe, Ace Rimmer, whose name has become a long-standing legend and a legacy passed down from dimension to dimension. Shortly afterwards, the crew encounters a parallel version of themselves from a universe in which Kristine Kochanski, Lister's long-term love interest, had been put into stasis at the time of the leak and so became the last remaining human. A complicated series of events leaves Kochanski stranded in "our" universe, where she is forced to join the crew. At the end of series seven, we learn that Kryten's service nanobots, which had abandoned him years earlier, were behind the theft of the Red Dwarf at the end of series five.

At the beginning of the eighth series, Kryten's nanobots reconstruct the Red Dwarf, which they had broken down into its constituent atoms. In the process, the entire crew of the ship – including a pre-accident Rimmer – are resurrected, but the Starbug crew find themselves sentenced to two years in the ship's brig (at first, for crashing a Starbug and bringing onboard Kryten and Cat as stowaways, but later for using information from the confidential files).[23] The series ends with a metal-eating virus loose on Red Dwarf. The entire resurrected crew evacuates save the original dwarfers. In the cliffhanger ending, Rimmer is left stranded alone to face Death (and promptly knees him in the groin and flees).

Nine years later, the four are once more the only beings on the ship. Rimmer is again a hologram, Holly is offline, and Lister is mourning Kochanski, lost to him out of an airlock some time previously. A chance to get back to Earth through a dimension warp presents itself; although it is not quite what it appears to be, it gives Lister new hope when he learns that Kochanski is still alive after all.


Cast of Red Dwarf:

Dave Lister:

Played by Craig Charles from 1988 to present, is a genial Liverpudlian and self-described bum. He was the lowest-ranking crew member on the ship before the accident. He has a long-standing desire to return to Earth and start a farm and/or diner on Fiji (which is under three feet of water following a volcanic eruption), but is left impossibly far away by the accident, which renders him the last (known) surviving member of the human race. He deeply enjoys Indian food, especially chicken vindaloo, which is a recurring theme in the series.

Arnold Judas Rimmer Bsc Ssc aka Ace " Stoke me a kipper":

Played by Chris Barrie, Rimmer gave his title as offer Rimmer Bsc Ssc meaning ("Bronze swimming certificate" and "Silver swimming certificate") but in fact was the second-lowest ranking member of the crew while they were all alive. Rimmer was and is a fussy, bureaucratic, neurotic coward who, by failing to replace a drive plate properly, is responsible for the Red Dwarf cadmium II accident that kills the entire crew (including himself). Nevertheless, Holly chose him to be the ship's one available hologram because he considered him the person most likely to keep Lister sane. From the Series III episode "Timeslides" onwards, the timeline of the crew is adjusted and Rimmer's death is newly attributed to a moment in which he hits a cardboard box filled with explosives. During Series VII, Rimmer leaves the dimension shared by his crewmates to become the new Ace Rimmer. Along with the Red Dwarf ship and its crew, Rimmer is resurrected at the start of Series VIII by nanobots. He comes face to face with Death at the end of the series, whom he kicks in the groin. From the Back to Earth specials onwards, he is once again a hologram.

The Cat aka Dwayne Dibbley:

Played by Danny John-Jules, is a humanoid creature who evolved from the offspring of Lister's smuggled pet cat Frankenstein. Cat is concerned with little other than sleeping, eating and fawning over his appearance, and tends not to socialise with other members of the crew. He becomes more influenced by his human companions over time, and begins to resemble a stylish, self-centred human. It is later revealed that, unlike his human companions, he has a "cool" sounding pulse, six nipples and colour-coordinated internal organs.


Full name Kryten 2X4B-523P and was initially actor David Ross is series 2 episode 1 "Kryten", then in full by actor (played by Robert Llewellyn from series III onwards) was rescued by the crew from the crashed spaceship Nova 5 in series II, upon which he had continued to serve the ship's crew despite their having been dead for thousands or even millions of years. Kryten is a Service Mechanoid and when first encountered by the crew, he was bound by his "behavioural protocols", but Lister gradually encouraged him to break his programming and think for himself. His change in appearance between the two actors is explained away by an accident involving Lister's space bike and Lister having to repair him.

Hilly & Holly:

The ship's computer, (played by Norman Lovett during series I, II, VII and VIII and Hattie Hayridge (Hilliy) in series III to V). Holly has a functional IQ of 6000, although this is severely depleted by the three million years of runtime and lack of repairs. Holly is left alone after the radiation accident that kills Rimmer and the rest of the crew except for Lister and the Cat. The computer had developed "computer senility" before the radiation accident, rendering it functionally inert. The change in appearance for series III is explained by Holly having changed his face to resemble that of a computer from a parallel universe "with whom he'd once fallen madly in love"

Kristine Kochanski:


Originally portrayed by pop singer come actress Clare Grogan throughout the series until actress Chloë Annett took on the role from series VII was initially a Red Dwarf navigation officer whom Lister had a crush on (later retroactively altered to be his ex-girlfriend) and whose memory he had cherished ever since.

In one episode, the crew happens upon an alternative dimension where Kochanski survived the Red Dwarf cadmium II accident. She joins Lister and the crew after the link to her own dimension collapses. By the first episode of the Red Dwarf: Back to Earth specials, Lister believes her dead, but it is later revealed that Kryten (the sole witness to her "death") had lied to Lister. Kochanski had instead fled the ship in a Blue Midget when it became clear Lister's complete lack of self-respect and indulgence on excesses was slowly killing him, which greatly depressed her. Lister is advised by fans of the television series to find her in "the next series" and to make amends.


Creators Doug Naylor:

Grant Naylor was the collective name used by writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor for their collaborative work, particularly 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 Cliché and its sequel Son Of Cliché, 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, was best known for the creation of the cult science-fiction comedy series, Red Dwarf. (Rob Grant appeared uncredited in the third series episode "Backwards" (1989), as a man who 'un-smoked' a cigarette). 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.[citation needed] 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, eight, nine and ten of Red Dwarf by himself, sometimes in collaboration with other writers, particularly on series seven. In 1999 and 2000, Rob Grant independently wrote two television series, Dark Ages and The Strangerers, and script edited the series Stressed Eric. In the past few years he has written four solo books and is rumoured to be working on an animated series entitled Cruel Aliens.

Since the end of the eighth series of Red Dwarf in 1999, Grant Naylor Productions under Doug Naylor attempted to make a feature length movie version of the show. However, it proved impossible to find sufficient funding. Instead a new three-part TV miniseries Red Dwarf: Back to Earth was created and shown on channel Dave over the Easter weekend in April 2009. Since then Grant Naylor Productions have created a tenth series Red Dwarf X, broadcast in 2012.

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