RED DWARF Frequently Asked Questions List (FAQ)

Archive-name: tv/red_dwarf-faq
Posting-Frequency: every 14 days
Last-modified: 1997/10/06
Version: 5.26
Copyright: (C) 1993-1997 Patrick M. Berry

              Red Dwarf Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List

               Maintained by Patrick M. Berry (
                           Updated 6 October 1997

Welcome! This is the FAQ List for, the newsgroup dedicated
to discussion of the British science-fiction comedy TV series Red Dwarf.

What's new

Changes since 4 September:

   * Added a note to the "Rimmer Song" lyrics for those who don't know who
     Yul Brynner was (suggested by Johnny Monkey).
   * Updated the URL for Denis Cage's Food and Drink Guide.
   * Corrected spelling of Chris Eigeman (thanks to Amy Morrison for
     pointing out the error).
   * Converted all the cast lists to tables.
   * Added IRC information for Dalnet (lifted from the Primer; thanks, Raz)
   * Added "What happened to Rimmer?"

Where to find the latest FAQ List

You can obtain the current FAQ List by several methods:

World Wide Web: The HTML version (which is updated continually) resides at

Usenet: A plain-text version is created from the HTML on the first of each
month. The current plain-text version is posted every 14 days to, alt.answers, and news.answers.

FAQ archive: The most recently posted plain-text version is archived at:

E-mail: You can request a copy of the archived version by e-mail. Send a
message to with the following as the body of the

send /pub/usenet/news.answers/tv/red_dwarf-faq

Please don't ask me to mail you the FAQ List. You should have no trouble
obtaining it from one of the sources listed above, and I don't have time to
mail a copy to everyone who wants one.


Compilation Copyright © 1993-1997 by Patrick M. Berry. Copies of this
document may be transmitted by electronic mail or posted to Usenet
newsgroups. This document may not be mirrored or archived on World Wide Web
sites (except for those that automatically archive postings in the
*.answers newsgroups), or published in any permanent form (such as books,
magazines, or CD-ROMs) without the express written permission of the
copyright holder.

This FAQ List was originally created by Michael J. Montoure and Renee Ann
Byrd Montoure.


The questions

What is
What is Red Dwarf?
Did Red Dwarf start on radio?
Is there an American version of Red Dwarf?
Who is Grant Naylor?
What does "smeg" mean?
What does "LEVEL NIVELO" mean?
What is "vindaloo"?
What are the other foods mentioned on the show?
Aren't there a lot of inconsistencies in Red Dwarf?
How did Holly become female? Why did Kryten change?
What happened to the Red Dwarf and Holly?
What's the title of the last episode of Series 2?
What are they really saying in "Backwards?"
What's in canister 1121?
Who played Baby Lister in "Ouroboros"?
What are the Space Corps Directives?
Are there aliens in Red Dwarf?
What are the lyrics of the theme song?
What are the lyrics of "Tongue Tied"?
What are the lyrics of "The Rimmer Song"?
Will there be a Series 8?
What's new in Series 7?
What happened to Rimmer?
Where can I see Red Dwarf in the United States?
Where can I get videotapes of Red Dwarf?
What are the "Smeg Ups" and "Smeg Outs" tapes?
Where can I get other Red Dwarf merchandise?
Is there an episode guide for Red Dwarf?
What other Red Dwarf documents are available online?
Where can I write to the cast and crew of the show?
Was Craig Charles arrested for rape?
Are there books about Red Dwarf?
Are there Red Dwarf fan clubs?
Are there IRC channels for Red Dwarf fans?
Are there Red Dwarf mailing lists?
Are there Red Dwarf magazines?
Has Red Dwarf won any awards?
What other roles have Red Dwarf actors played?
Would anyone like any toast?


What is is a Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion of Red
Dwarf. There is a Web page for readers of the newsgroup at

Warning: Read the Primer before posting to the newsgroup!
The Primer explains how the newsgroup works and provides some informal
rules. Everyone who posts to is assumed to be familiar
with the Primer, and people who don't bother to read it tend to get yelled
at. So take a few moments to look it over.


What is Red Dwarf?

Red Dwarf is a British TV show that has been airing on the BBC since 1988.
It's a half-hour science fiction comedy that tells the story of the last
living human being and his nonhuman companions in the distant future. The
premise of the show is best summed up in the opening narration (by Holly,
the ship's computer) used in the first series:

     This is an S.O.S. distress call from the mining ship Red Dwarf.
     The crew are dead, killed by a radiation leak. The only survivors
     are Dave Lister, who was in suspended animation during the
     disaster, and his pregnant cat, who was safely sealed in the
     hold. Revived three million years later, Lister's only companions
     are a life-form who evolved from his cat, and Arnold Rimmer, a
     hologram simulation of one of the dead crew.

Accompanied by the Cat, Rimmer, Holly, and an android named Kryten, Lister
pursues his dream of returning to Earth and settling down with his
long-lost girlfriend. Along the way, he encounters parallel universes, time
warps, genetic mutants, holes in space, and a moon shaped like Felicity
Kendal's bottom.

The regular cast of the series is:

 Dave Lister   Craig Charles
 Arnold Rimmer Chris Barrie

 Holly         Norman Lovett (series 1, 2, 8)
               Hattie Hayridge (series 3-5)
 The Cat       Danny John-Jules
 Kryten        Robert Llewellyn (Series 3-8)

(Another regular character, played by Chloe Annett, is added in Series 7,
but giving away that character's name here would spoil one of the episodes
for some viewers. See "What's new in Series 7?".)

Red Dwarf is also a series of novels based on the TV show. The novels
greatly expand on, and are greatly different from, the show. Many of the
same ideas appear in the novels, but these ideas are put together in new
and interesting ways. Four novels have been published so far:

Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
by Grant Naylor
ISBN 0-14-012437-3
Penguin, 1989

Red Dwarf: Better Than Life
by Grant Naylor
ISBN 0-14-012438-1
Penguin, 1990

Red Dwarf: Last Human
by Doug Naylor
ISBN 0-67-085255-4
Penguin, 1995

Red Dwarf: Backwards
by Robert Grant
ISBN 0-670-84574-4
Penguin, 1996

The first two novels have been reprinted in a single volume:

Red Dwarf Omnibus
by Grant Naylor
ISBN 0-14-017466-4
Penguin, 1991

This combined rerelease also contains the script for "Dave Hollins, Space
Cadet" (one of the Son of Cliché sketches that started it all), a
reproduction of the beer mat on which the idea for Red Dwarf was allegedly
first written, and the original script for "The End" (the first episode of
the series).


Did Red Dwarf start on radio?

Not exactly. Rob Grant and Doug Naylor wrote the short-lived radio series
Son of Cliché (broadcast in two six-episode runs on BBC Radio 4 in 1984).
In an ongoing series of sketches, a space cadet named Dave Hollins was
trapped alone on a spaceship with a slightly senile computer called HAB.
(The voice of HAB was provided by Chris Barrie, the actor who plays Rimmer
in Red Dwarf.) Many of the ideas and jokes from these sketches were later
incorporated into Red Dwarf, but there is no direct connection.

The script for one of the "Dave Hollins, Space Cadet" sketches is included
in the Red Dwarf Omnibus.

Audio book versions of the Red Dwarf novels exist, and one of them
(Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, read by Chris Barrie) has been aired on
BBC radio. Sound effects were added and the recording was divided into
parts for broadcast, but the show was otherwise identical to the audio
book. The result is available for purchase as Infinity Welcomes Careful
Drivers: The Radio Show.


Is there an American version of Red Dwarf?

No, not really. The NBC network expressed interest in an American version
of the show and two pilots were made by Universal, but no series was ever

The first pilot was written by Linwood Boomer and filmed on 22 January 1992
at Universal City Studios in Los Angeles. The cast included the following

 Dave Lister          Craig Bierko
 Arnold Rimmer        Chris Eigeman
 Holly                Jane Leeves
 The Cat              Hinton Battle
 Kryten               Robert Llewellyn
 Kristine Kochanski   Elizabeth Morehead
 First Officer Munson Michael Heintzman
 Captain Tau          Lorraine Toussaint

Grant Naylor served as technical consultants. Robert Llewellyn (from the
BBC cast) reprised his role as Kryten. (Some fans may also recognise Jane
Leeves from the American comedies Murphy Brown and Frasier. Law & Order
fans may remember Lorraine Toussaint as public defender Shambala Greene.)
The plot was a retelling of "The End", with some elements of "Future
Echoes" thrown in for good measure. Some surprising and odd changes were
made: for example, Lister was transformed into a clean-cut and well-dressed
Caucasian, and the H on Rimmer's forehead was replaced with a silver
marble. (You can see a transcription of the first pilot at

After this version was rejected, Grant Naylor filmed a second pilot with
the following cast:

 Dave Lister   Craig Bierko
 Arnold Rimmer Anthony Fuscle
 Holly         Jane Leeves
 The Cat       Terry Farrell
 Kryten        Robert Llewellyn

The second pilot was not a complete episode, but rather a promo that
combined scenes from the first pilot, bits from the BBC series, and newly
filmed segments spotlighting the new cast members. This pilot fixed some
problems (such as restoring Rimmer's H), but had more odd changes, such as
a female Cat. (Terry Farrell went on to play Jadzia Dax on Star Trek: Deep
Space Nine.) The second pilot was also rejected, and the proposed series
was shelved indefinitely.

[Does anyone know who wrote the second pilot, or when and where it was
filmed? -- PMB]

Neither pilot has ever been aired or released on videocassette, but bootleg
copies can be found at science fiction conventions.

A redesigned Kryten suit (of somewhat better quality than the old BBC
version) was made for the U.S. pilots by Joseph Kerezman and Mike Moore of
JK2 Costumers. After the pilots were rejected, the BBC created a new Kryten
suit (based on the U.S. one) for Series 6.

Some U.S. fans observed that the series Homeboys in Outer Space (UPN,
1996-97) imitated Red Dwarf in a number of superficial ways.


Who is Grant Naylor?

"Grant Naylor" is the collective name used by the creative team of Rob
Grant and Doug Naylor, who created Red Dwarf, wrote and produced Series 1
through 6, and wrote (individually or as a team) all of the Red Dwarf

In 1996, Rob Grant resigned as coproducer and cowriter of the show. When
asked why, he told the Radio Times, "We wrote the pilot for the series in
1983 . . . It's been a long time and it's taken up a lot of time . . . I
thought, 'Enough's enough; I want more than just Red Dwarf on my
tombstone.'" Grant plans to write additional Red Dwarf novels and may also
be involved in the Red Dwarf movie tentatively planned to follow Series 8.

The "About the Author" note in the Red Dwarf novels has this to say about
the creator(s) of the series:

     Grant Naylor is a gestalt entity occupying two bodies, one of
     which lives in north London, the other in south London. The
     product of a horribly botched genetic-engineering experiment,
     which took place in Manchester in the late fifties, they try to
     eke out two existences with only one mind. They attended the same
     school and the same university, but, for tax reasons, have
     completely different wives.

     The first body is called Rob Grant, the second Doug Naylor. Among
     other things, they spent three years in the mid-eighties as head
     writers of Spitting Image; wrote Radio Four's award-winning
     series Son of Cliche; penned the lyrics to a number one single;
     and created and wrote Red Dwarf for BBC television.

     They have made a living variously by being ice-cream salesmen,
     shoe-shop assistants and by attempting to sell dodgy
     life-assurance policies to close friends. They also spent almost
     two years on the night shift loading paper into computer printers
     at a mail-order factory in Ardwick. They can still taste the
     cheese 'n' onion toasties.

     Their favourite colour is orange.

Grant Naylor's number one single was "The Chicken Song," a Spitting Image
spinoff. Philip Pope composed the music and produced the record, which was
released in 1986 by Virgin Records.


What does "smeg" mean?

It's a word made up by Grant Naylor for the characters to use as an
all-purpose profanity. Some fans have theorised that it was derived from
"smegma" (a particularly unpleasant bodily secretion), but Rob and Doug
deny this. In the interview on the CD included with the Six of the Best box
set, they state that "we wanted to invent a futuristic curse word which had
the right sort of consonant and vowel arrangement to make it sound like a
genuine . . . curse word." A detailed list of "smeg" references in the show
is available at


What does "LEVEL NIVELO" mean?

Red Dwarf is a bilingual ship, with English and Esperanto as the two
official languages. "Nivelo" is the Esperanto word for "level". The signs
in the corridors of the ship simply indicate (in both languages) what level
you're on.

Esperanto is a real language, developed in the the 1880s by Polish
ophthalmologist L.L. Zamenhof. The episode "Kryten" establishes that
Lister, Holly, and Kryten all speak at least some Esperanto. Rimmer doesn't
seem to have mastered the language yet; he's shown trying to learn it from
a videotape without much success.

The name "Esperanto" means "one who hopes," a fact that is alluded to in
"Back to Reality." (It's a blatant clue, innit?)


What is "vindaloo"?

A very, very hot Indian curry dish that happens to be Lister's favorite
food. Vindaloo can contain almost any sort of meat, so there are references
to "mutton vindaloo," "chicken vindaloo," etc., in various episodes of the


What are the other foods mentioned on the show?

Denis Cage has compiled the Red Dwarf Food and Drink Guide, an extensive
guide to every dish and beverage mentioned on the show or in the novels.
You can find the Guide at

Aren't there a lot of inconsistencies in Red Dwarf?

Many viewers have noticed that the details don't always match between one
episode and another. The subject even comes up on the "Smeg Ups" tape when
Kryten reads the Most Asked Questions About Red Dwarf, most of which have
to do with one inconsistency or another. Annette McIntosh and Damone have
compiled an exhaustive list of inconsistencies and contradictions within
the TV series. This document is called the Red Dwarf Plot Inconsistencies
Project (PIP) and can be found at:

Annette McIntosh maintains a similar document, the Red Dwarf Book Plot
Inconsistencies Project (BPIP), which lists inconsistencies within the
series of Red Dwarf novels:


How did Holly become female? Why did Kryten change?

The original actor to play Holly, Norman Lovett, left the series after a
dispute over his salary. In an interview with Red Dwarf Smegazine (issue 9,
November 1992), Lovett said that he asked to be paid the same as the other
actors on the series, but his request was turned down. Hattie Hayridge had
appeared in "Parallel Universe" as Hilly, Holly's female counterpart. "When
Norman said he wasn't doing another series, I auditioned," she recalls. The
character of Holly kept the same name and personality despite the

Kryten's original actor, David Ross, wasn't available to commit to a series
when Grant Naylor decided to make Kryten a continuing character, so he was
replaced by Robert Llewellyn. (Ross later returned in "White Hole" as the
new voice of Talkie Toaster.) There were also several changes in the show's
look between Series Two and Three, including changes in costumes, sets, and
miniatures, particularly the addition of the Starbug and its hangar bay.

Most of these changes are more or less explained by the following words
that scroll rapidly up the screen at the beginning of "Backwards":

     Three million years in the future, Dave Lister, the last human
     being alive, discovers he is pregnant after a liaison with his
     female self in a parallel universe. His pregnancy concludes with
     the successful delivery of twin boys, Jim and Bexley. However,
     because the boys were conceived in another universe, with
     different physical laws, they suffer from highly accelerated
     growth rates and are both eighteen years old within three days of
     being born. In order to save their lives, Lister returns them to
     the universe of their origin, where they are reunited with their
     father (a woman), and are able to lead comparatively normal
     lives. Well, as normal as you can be if you've been born in a
     parallel universe and your father's a woman and your mother's a
     man and you're eighteen years old three days after your birth.
     Shortly afterward, Kryten, the service mechanoid, who had left
     the ship after being rescued from his own crashed vessel, the
     Nova 5, is found in pieces after his space bike crashed into an
     asteroid. Lister rebuilds the 'noid, but is unable to recapture
     his former personality. Meanwhile, Holly, the increasingly
     erratic computer, performs a head sex change operation on
     himself. He bases his new face on Hilly, a female computer with
     whom he'd once fallen madly in love.

It is possible to read all this, if you have a VCR with good freeze-frame
capabilities. Try it.


What happened to the Red Dwarf and Holly?

Throughout Series 6 and 7, the characters travel aboard Starbug; the Red
Dwarf (and Holly) don't appear at all. This tends to confuse viewers who
missed the explanation in "Psirens".

Briefly, what happened is this: Lister parked the Red Dwarf in orbit around
a planetoid, and then forgot which planetoid it was. "They're all the same,
those little blue-green planetoids. Blue-green and planetoidy."
Subsequently, Red Dwarf was stolen "by persons or lifeforms unknown."
Starbug followed the ship's vapor trail for over 200 years, with Lister and
the Cat in deep sleep and Rimmer switched off to conserve power. At the
first opportunity to actually catch up with Red Dwarf, Kryten revived the
others, and the saga continued . . .

(In "Nanarchy," the situation is revealed to be somewhat more complicated
than what's described above, but never mind.)

The real reason for the change was to eliminate Holly from the show.
According to Hattie Hayridge, the parts for Holly and the Cat had both been
getting smaller and smaller. Grant Naylor decided to drop one of the
characters and expand the other. It was easier to drop Holly because many
of her lines could be given to Kryten instead.


What's the title of the last episode of Series 2?

"Parallel Universe," according to the Radio Times and the BBC videotape. No
title was given in the episode, which began with a musical number instead
of the usual titles sequence. The title does appear on screen in the BBC
videotape (and is on the label as well).


What are they really saying in "Backwards"?

Most of the reversed dialogue in the episode "Backwards" is pretty much
either what the subtitles say it is or what you'd expect from context; some
of it actually appears to be random noise. There are two notable
exceptions, however.

When Lister and the Cat steal a bicycle, its owner yells after them, "You
scoundrels! Return my bike immediately!" -- at least, according to the
subtitles. What he actually says, however, is, "Oi! Hey! Oi, you robbing
bastards, that's our tandem!"

Later, when the stage manager comes in to yell at Rimmer and Kryten, he
appears to be blaming them for starting the fight. Here's what he actually

     You are a stupid, square-headed, bald git, aren't you? I ain't
     pointing at you, I'm pointing at you. But I'm not actually
     addressing you, I'm addressing the one prat in the country who's
     bothered to get hold of this recording, turn it round, and
     actually work out the rubbish that I'm saying. What a poor, sad
     life he's got! . . . Frankly, your act's crap. Anyway, anybody
     could have done it. I hate the lot of you. Bollocks to you!


What's in canister 1121?

According to the Red Dwarf Quiz Book, it's the remains of Kristine
Kochanski. When Lister comes back to life on the backwards Earth, he
discovers that he's married to an elderly version of Kochanski. Presumably,
treating the canister with gamma and X rays was part of Holly's plan for
restoring her to life along with Lister. (If none of this makes any sense
to you, you haven't read the ending of the novel Better Than Life.)

The original script for "The End" included a scene (cut from the final
version) in which Lister placed the powdered remains of each crewmember in
a separate canister and ejected them all into space (and this is done with
George McIntyre's remains in the aired version). It's reasonable to
conclude that Lister did this, although nothing is said about it in either
the episode or the novel. The number of canisters floating in space
("something in the region of ten thousand") is consistent with the size of
the crew given in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers ("eleven thousand, one
hundred and sixty-nine").


Who played Baby Lister in "Ouroboros"?

Alexander John-Jules, Danny's nephew. When asked about this, Danny said:
"When we saw the baby who was supposed to be playing Lister, we all
realised that he was too dark to be a believable Lister, so I said 'My
nephew looks a lot like Lister,' and that's how he got the job."


What are the Space Corps Directives?

Charles Daniels has collected all of the SCDs, Rimmer Directives, and All
Nations Agreements into a comprehensive list:


Are there aliens in Red Dwarf?

No. One of the premises of the show is that life never evolved anywhere in
the universe except on Earth. All of the creatures encountered by Red
Dwarf's crew -- GELFs, simulants, space weevils, polymorphs, you name it --
are descended from life forms that originated on Earth. For an in-depth
discussion of this issue, refer to Annette Mcintosh's No Aliens FAQ at:


What are the lyrics of the theme song?

The theme song was composed by Howard Goodall and sung by Jenna Russell.
The words are:

     It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere
     I'm all alone, more or less
     Let me fly far away from here
     Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun

     I want to lie shipwrecked and comatose
     Drinking fresh mango juice
     Goldfish shoals nibbling at my toes
     Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun
     Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun

There has been much debate over the "goldfish" line -- it isn't sung very
clearly, and some fans think they hear "Goldfish are nibbling." But Kryten
recites the lyrics in the "Smeg Ups" video, and they are as listed above.
(A "shoal" is a school of fish.)

An "extended mix" version of the song has been released on several
soundtrack compilation CDs:

   * Between the Lines, a collection of BBC themes
   * The Cult Files, a collection of science fiction themes
   * Stellar Themes, which has been given away as a subscription premium
     for the magazine Sci-Fi Universe

The extended version includes two extra verses written by percussionist Ian
Hu (who apparently is not connected with Red Dwarf). The additional verses
are as follows:

     I'll pack my bags and head into hyperspace
     Velocity at time-warp speed
     Spend my days in ultraviolet rays
     Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun

     We're locked on course straight through the universe
     You and me, and the galaxy
     Reached this stage, the hyperdrive's engaged
     Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun
     Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun

What are the lyrics of "Tongue Tied"?

"Parallel Universe" begins with a musical number that turns out to be a
dream experienced by the Cat. The studio audience's laughter makes the
lyrics a little hard to understand, but here's what they appear to be:

The Cat:                                       Lister and Rimmer:

When I saw you for the first time             (first time)
My knees began to quiver                      (quiver)
And I got a funny feeling                     (feeling)
In my kidneys and my liver                    (digestive system baby)

My hands they started shakin'                 (shakin')
My heart began a-thumpin'                     (boom boom boom)
My breakfast left my body                     (huey huey huey)
It all really tells me something

Girl you make me tongue tied                  (tongue tied)
Tongue tied, whenever you are near me         (near me)
Tied tongue                                   (tied tongue)
Tied tongue                                   (tied tongue)
Whenever you're in town

I saw you 'cross the dance floor              (dancin')
I thought of birds and bees                   (reproductive system baby)
And when I tried to speak to ya               (talk talk)
My tongue unraveled to my knees               (flippety-flippety-flop)

I tried to say I love you                     (love you)
But it came out kind of wrong, girl           (wrong girl)
It sounded like "Nunubididoo"                 (tongue tied)
Nuh mur nuh murh ni nong nurl

'Cause you make me tongue tied                (tongue tied)
Tongue tied, whenever you are near me         (near me)
Be-dobby-durgle                               (dobby-durgle)
Tongue tied                                   (tongue tied)
Whenever you're around

Oh I'm beggin' on my knees
Sweet, sweet darling, listen please
Understand me when I say

I'm trying to say nungy-nangy                 (nangy-nungy)
Ningy-nongy, why can't I tell you clearly     (clearly)
Be-dobby-durgle                               (dobby-durgle)
Durgle-dobby                                  (durgle-dobby)
Whenever you're around                        (around)
Whenever you're around                        (around)

In the fall of 1993, "Tongue Tied" was released as a single in England and
rose to #17 on the CIN Official UK Singles Chart. The artist was listed
simply as "The Cat." A music video of "Tongue Tied" was reportedly shown on
the Top of the Pops show in England and on MTV in the States. Copies of the
video (and a half-hour program on the making of the video) are available
from John McElroy. An alternative version of the video can be found on the
"Smeg Outs" videotape.


What are the lyrics of "The Rimmer Song"?

The song from The Rimmer Experience at the end of "Blue" has the following

     If you're in trouble, he will save the day
     He's brave and he's fearless, come what may
     Without him, the mission would go astray
     He's Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer

     Without him, life would be much grimmer
     He's handsome, trim, and no one's slimmer
     He will never need a Zimmer
     He's Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer

     More reliable than a garden Strimmer
     He's never been mistaken for Yul Brynner
     He's not bald and his head doesn't glimmer

     Master of the wit and the repartee
     His command of space directives is uncanny
     How come he's such a genius? Don't ask me
     Ask Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer

     He's also a fantastic swimmer
     And if you play your cards right, then he just might come round
     for dinner

"Zimmer" is short for Zimmerframe, a walking frame for elderly or disabled
people. It's mentioned in "Emohawk: Polymorph II" when Lister emphasises
the slowness of Starbug by saying "Kryten, the Eastbourne Zimmerframe relay
team could easily outrun us."

"Strimmer" is U.K. slang for a weed trimmer that uses a spinning length of
monofilament line. (In the U.S., it would be called a "weed eater" or "weed

Yul Brynner was the actor best known for playing King Mongkut of Siam in
The King and I, a role for which he shaved his head.


Will there be a Series 8?

Yes, another series is already planned. Here is what's known about it at

   * The eighth series will begin filming in February 1998, and will air on
     BBC2 the following fall.
   * Like Series 7, it will have eight episodes.
   * Chris Barrie will return for all of Series 8.
   * Chloe Annett will also return.
   * Norman Lovett will return as Holly.
   * Some portions of Series 8 will be filmed with a live audience.

Following Series 8, the plan is to begin making Red Dwarf feature films at
the rate of about one per year. (This was stated by Craig Charles and
Robert Llewellyn during an interview on a Seattle PBS station.) The first
movie reportedly has a budget of 20 million pounds.

There is also talk of a Red Dwarf special (possibly a collection of
outtakes like the "Smeg Ups" and "Smeg Outs" tapes) sometime in 1997. Issue
87 of TV Zone reported that the special would be released on videocassette
on November 3, but this seems doubtful since the special has not even been
filmed yet.


What's new in Series 7?

Series 7 is different from previous Red Dwarf series in several ways:

   * It consists of eight episodes instead of the usual six.
   * As indicated above, writers other than Rob Grant and Doug Naylor were
     used for the first time.
   * It was filmed on closed sets, with no studio audience. The episodes
     were later screened for an audience to record a laugh-track.
   * Rimmer is in only four of the episodes (see "What happened to
   * Guest actors include Brian Cox, Don Henderson, Ken Morley, Sarah
     Alexander, and Michael J. Shannon.

The following items are spoilers for Series 7, so they are ROT13 encoded to
prevent people from reading them by accident.

   * Gur punenpgref fgneg bhg qrnq (qhr gb gur raqvat bs "Bhg bs Gvzr") naq
     "gurve yvsrfglyrf jvyy vzcebir gurernsgre."
   * Xevfgvar Xbpunafxv (cynlrq ol Puybr Naargg) wbvaf gur fubj nf n
     erthyne punenpgre va "Bhebobebf." Guvf Xevfgvar pbzrf sebz n cnenyyry
   * Va "Ananepul," Fgneoht svanyyl pngpurf hc jvgu Erq Qjnes naq Abezna
     Ybirgg ergheaf nf Ubyyl.

If you don't know what ROT13 is, go to news.announce.newusers and read
"Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Usenet." Look for the topic
"How do I decrypt jokes in rec.humor?" You may also want to look up ROT13
in the New Hacker's Dictionary:

A Web-based ROT13 decoder can be found at

What happened to Rimmer?

During the filming of Series 7, a schedule conflicts between Craig Charles
and Chris Barrie made it impossible to film more than four episodes with
both of them. Since Lister is the central character of the show, the
decision was made to do four episodes without Rimmer. Rimmer appears as
usual in "Tikka to Ride," departs in "Stoke Me a Clipper," and appears in
"Ouroboros" and "Blue" only in flashbacks or virtual reality simulations.
However, he is not permanently gone! In Series 8, Rimmer will appear in all
eight episodes. Exactly how his return will be explained remains to be


Where can I see Red Dwarf in the United States?

Red Dwarf is seen on public television stations across the country. If your
local PBS station doesn't show it, write to them, and convince your friends
to write to them, until they do! Series 1-7 are available for purchase by
PBS member stations.

If you don't know whether Red Dwarf is currently being shown in your area,
check the listings in TV Guide or your local newspaper. To find out whether
your local PBS station is planning to carry Red Dwarf in the future,
contact them directly. Use the PBS Web site at
to see whether your station has an e-mail address, or call them on the


Where can I get videotapes of Red Dwarf?

The alt.comedy.british FAQ List includes an excellent list of mail-order
dealers who will ship British comedy videotapes to overseas customers.
Refer to

Videotapes of Series 1 through 6 are available at video stores in the U.S.
and throughout the British Commonwealth. A video of "Tongue-Tied" (the song
from "Parallel Universe," re-staged and expanded) also exists. Issue 87 of
TV Zone reported that Series 7 would be released on video on October 6, but
published dates for video releases have been wrong in the past.

In the U.S., the videos can be found at Suncoast and Media Play stores.
They have also been seen at Tower Records and Borders. Series 1-6 and
"Smeg-Outs" are available from Science Fiction Continuum (see their Web
site at

In Australia, all episodes are available from ABC stores (along with RD
books and audio books).

In the Netherlands, you can get them from W.H. Smith stores.

In Sweden, Series 1-6 are available from the following sources:

Stora Nygatan 45
111 27 Stockholm
Telephone: 08/21 50 52.
Fax: 08/24 77 30.

The Uppsala English Bookshop
Svartbacksgatan 30
Tel. 018 - 100 510

[Let me know about availability in other countries and I'll add the
information here. -- PMB]


What are the "Smeg Ups" and "Smeg Outs" tapes?

"Red Dwarf Smeg Ups" is a 51-minute videotape (available from the same
sources as the series videotapes) containing bloopers from Series 5 and 6,
with commentary from Robert Llewellyn as Kryten. The tape also includes the
unused ending from "Out of Time" and a sort of FAQ list in which Kryten
attempts to answer the ten most asked questions about the show. "Red Dwarf
Smeg Outs" is a similar collection of material from earlier seasons. ("Smeg
Outs" is not yet available in the U.S., but according to one report, Fox
Video will release it by Christmas 1997. It has been offered as a pledge
drive premium by at least one PBS member station.)

Note: Due to a nationwide change in British telephone codes, the phone
numbers given in "Smeg Ups" for ordering merchandise are incorrect. One of
the addresses has also changed since "Smeg Ups" was recorded. For the
correct information, see "Where can I get other Red Dwarf merchandise?".


Where can I get other Red Dwarf merchandise?

According to the "Smeg Ups" video, you can get jackets, T-shirt, hats,
mugs, birthday cards, posters, and calendars from:

Distribution Network Company
Park House
12 Deer Park Road
SW19 3TU
Telephone: 0181 543 1231

and badges from:

Alchemy Carta Ltd
The Alembic
Hazel Drive
LE 3 2JE
Telephone: 01533 824824
Fax: 01533 825202

(Note: The address for Distribution Network Company, and the phone numbers
for Distribution Network Company and Alchemy Carta, are given incorrectly
in the "Smeg Ups" video.)

You can order lots of stuff (books, books on tape, T-shirts, baseball caps,
Smegazine back issues, NTSC videotapes, etc.) from John McElroy. For a
catalogue, send US$1.00 to:

John McElroy
2401 Fox Plaza
1390 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102 USA

RD books and tapes can be ordered through the Bookpages web site:

Most of the Red Dwarf-related books can be ordered from:

Star Tech
Box 456
Dunlap, TN 37327

Books related to the series can be ordered from Bolen Books in Canada. Send
email to or visit their Web site at

In Australia, RD merchandise such as T-shirts, shorts, and mugs is
available from:

Plato's Records
10 Station Street
Frankston VIC 3199
Phone (03) 9781 5977
Fax (03) 9781 2645

Merchandise is also available from some of the fan clubs. The Official Red
Dwarf Fan Club has its own line of merchandise. The New Zealand-based fan
club Zed Shift operates a mail-order service for members living in New

Other sources of Red Dwarf memorabilia are listed in the book The Making of
Red Dwarf.


Is there an episode guide for Red Dwarf?

The Red Dwarf Programme Guide contains an extensive episode guide for the
series. If you're looking for an electronic guide, Otto Heuer maintains (or
used to maintain, it's somewhat out of date) a good one at:

To get you started, here's a quick list (created by Dale Clayton):

  Series 1 - 1988                      Series 2 - 1988

  1 The End....................15 Feb   7 Kryten.................... 6 Sep
  2 Future Echoes..............22 Feb   8 Better Than Life..........13 Sep
  3 Balance of Power...........29 Feb   9 Thanks for the Memory.....20 Sep
  4 Waiting For God............ 7 Mar  10 Stasis Leak...............27 Sep
  5 Confidence & Paranoia......14 Mar  11 Queeg..................... 4 Oct
  6 Me^^2......................21 Mar  12 Parallel Universe.........11 Oct

  Series 3 - 1989                      Series 4 - 1991

  13 Backwards.................14 Nov  19 Camille...................14 Feb
  14 Marooned..................21 Nov  20 D.N.A.....................21 Feb
  15 Polymorph.................28 Nov  21 Justice...................28 Feb
  16 Bodyswap.................. 5 Dec  22 White Hole.................7 Mar
  17 Timeslides................12 Dec  23 Dimension Jump............14 Mar
  18 The Last Day..............19 Dec  24 Meltdown..................21 Feb

  Series 5 - 1992                      Series 6 - 1993

  25 Holoship..................20 Feb  31 Psirens................... 7 Oct
  26 The Inquisitor............27 Feb  32 Legion....................14 Oct
  27 Terrorform................ 5 Mar  33 Gunmen of the Apocalypse..21 Oct
  28 Quarantine................12 Mar  34 Emohawk: Polymorph II.....28 Oct
  29 Demons and Angels.........19 Mar  35 Rimmerworld............... 4 Nov
  30 Back To Reality...........26 Mar  36 Out of Time...............11 Nov

  Series 7 - 1997

  37 Tikka to Ride.............17 Jan
  38 Stoke Me A Clipper........24 Jan
  39 OUROBOROS.................31 Jan
  40 Duct Soup................. 7 Feb
  41 Blue......................14 Feb
  42 Beyond a Joke.............21 Feb
  43 Epideme...................28 Feb
  44 Nanarchy.................. 7 Mar


What other Red Dwarf documents are available online?

A great many, including lists of TV stations airing the show, other roles
played by Red Dwarf actors, the Space Corps Directives, and a comprehensive
timeline. The Guide to Documents (maintained by Annette
McIntosh) lists them all, with directions for finding the latest version on
the Internet. The Documents Guide is posted to every
Tuesday. You can also email and ask for a copy.


Where can I write to the cast and crew of the show?

The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club will forward mail to the cast and crew.
They do not open the mail if a covering letter explains what it is and asks
for it to be forwarded.

Robert Llewellyn has a Web page at His e-mail address is


Was Craig Charles arrested for rape?

Yes, but he was cleared of all charges. Charles was arrested in July 1994
when his ex-girlfriend filed rape charges against him. He was tried during
February and March of 1995, and acquitted due to lack of evidence.


Are there books about Red Dwarf?

Numerous Red Dwarf reference works are available:

The Official Red Dwarf Companion
by Bruce Dessau
ISBN 1-85286-456-7
Titan, 1992

This thin little book (95 pages) has a lot of wasted space, but some
interesting quotes and information and some wonderful color photos
throughout. If you're looking for in-depth, solid information about the
show, this isn't where you'll find it; but if you want a nice, light read,
a collector's item, and an attractive coffee-table book, this is it.
Available in England and at conventions in the U.S.

Red Dwarf Programme Guide
by Chris Howarth and Steve Lyons
ISBN 0-86-369682-1
Virgin, 1995

"Everything you never wanted to know about the smash smega-series." An
in-depth collection (about 230 pages) of information about Series 1-6. It
includes sections on History, The Characters, The Programmes, The Index,
The Creators (cast and production crew), and The Spin-offs. The Index, by
far the largest section of the book, is a lexicon of almost everything
mentioned to during the series, from "A to Z of Red Dwarf, The" to "Zoom

Note: This book contains an incorrect address for the Official Red Dwarf
Fan Club.

Red Dwarf--Primordial Soup: The Least Worst Scripts
by Grant Naylor
ISBN 0-14-017886-4
Penguin, 1993

This book contains the complete scripts for "Polymorph," "Marooned,"
"Dimension Jump," "Justice," "Back to Reality," and "Psirens." Not
published in the U.S., but available from John McElroy and other
distributors of imported books.

Red Dwarf: Son of Soup
by Grant Naylor
ISBN 0-14-025363-7
Penguin, 1996

A sequel to Primordial Soup, containing scripts for "Gunmen of the
Apocalypse," "Holoship," "Camille," "Backwards," "Kryten," and "Me^2," with
introductions by Rob Grant.

The Man in the Rubber Mask
by Robert Llewellyn
ISBN 0-14-023575-2
Penguin, 1994

Describes Llewellyn's involvement in Red Dwarf from the beginning of Series
3 through the filming of the American pilots. Plenty of anecdotes and
stories, and lots of trivia. The section on the American pilots is
especially revealing, and gives some plausible reasons why the whole
project fell through.

The Making of Red Dwarf
by Joe Nazzaro
ISBN 0-14-023206-0
Penguin, 1994

A rather slender book with lots of colour photographs. Focuses on the
making of "Gunmen Of The Apocalypse". The book goes into a fair amount of
detail, but nothing that couldn't have been gleaned from a half-dozen back
issues of the now-defunct Smegazine. The book's main strength is the added
material: some great photos, fragments of the original "Gunmen" script
(mostly stage directions, but also one unfilmed scene) and storyboards used
in the filming. The back of the book contains information on how you can
purchase Red Dwarf paraphernalia such as t-shirts, baseball caps, and
models of Starbug and Kryten.

Red Dwarf Quiz Book
by Nicky Hooks and Sharon Burnett
ISBN 0-14-023662-7
Penguin, 1994

Red Dwarf trivia and brain-teasers. Contains questions such as "What was
referred to as a small off-duty Czechoslovakian traffic warden?",
crosswords, word searches, "who said . . .", information about the cast,
and photos. After a while, though, you have to wonder about the mind of
someone who can come up with questions such as "What follows the leaflet
campaign?" or "What was in canister 1121?"

Red Dwarf Space Corps Survival Manual
by Paul Alexander
ISBN 0-7493-2374-4
Mandarin, 1996

A survival guide for Space Corps officers, written by fictional Marine
Colonel Mike "Mad Dog" O'Hagan (who served with the Space Corps Special
Service Really Really Brave Division). Has sections on finding food and
water, setting traps and snares, appointing a leader, survival psychology,
first aid, and even surviving death. Includes numerous marginal notes and
comments scribbled by the Lister, Rimmer, Kryten, and the Cat, a survival
questionnaire filled out by each crewmember, and a flicker-book animation
(of an arm being amputated) in a corner of the pages. Pictures from Series
7 appears as snapshots "taped" into the book. Quite funny, if a little
fixated on cannibalism (or, as Col. O'Hagan prefers to call it,
"recipe-based respect for the dead"). 112 pages.

Red Dwarf Log No. 1996
by Paul Alexander
ISBN 0-434-00370-0
William Heineman Ltd, 1995

A 1996 diary with a few extras. Computerised entries by the four
crewmembers and Holly are scattered through the pages, along with recipes,
Space Corps book excerpts, and other assorted items. Several new Space
Corps Directives appear for the first time in this book.


Are there Red Dwarf fan clubs?

Yes, there are several. Here's a list:

Official Red Dwarf Fan Club

This club won the 1994 Cult TV award for Best U.K. Fan Club. It's based in
England, but has addresses in several other countries (and also has a Web
site at Membership includes four issues of
the club magazine Better Than Life, a badge, and a membership card.
Membership rates (per year) are as follows:

    UK/BFPO:  10.00 Sterling
     Europe:  10.00 Sterling equivalent
        USA:  US$20.00
  Australia:  A$36.00
 New Zealand: A$42.00

Cash or cheques in your local currency are accepted, but take weeks rather
than days to clear. If you prefer to send an International Money Order, the
equivalent rates are shown above. Write to:

       UK/BFPO & Europe:  Jupiter Mining Corporation
                          40 Pitford Road
                          RG5 4QF
            US & Canada:  Jupiter Mining Company
                          P.O. Box 13097
                          Coyote, CA 95013
 Australia & New Zealand: Tom Marwede
                          PO Box 1044
                          Bundoora 3083

Note: The address listed in the Red Dwarf Programme Guide is incorrect.

Zed Shift

PO Box 10104
New Zealand

Zed Shift publishes a quarterly fanzine (Garbage Pod), operates a
mail-order service for New Zealand members, and holds the occasional
meeting. Members receive four issues of Garbage Pod, a guide to Red Dwarf,
a membership card, and a hologram H. The cost of one year's membership is:

  New Zealand:  NZ$15
    Australia:  NZ$20
 Anywhere else: NZ$25

For a registration form, send an SAE or IRC.

Better Than Life

Sylvia Pranga
Isolde-Kurz-Str. 145 (36)
W-4400 Munster-Nienberge

This club publishes a newsletter (mostly in German) called Talkie Toaster

Related clubs

Some Red Dwarf cast members have their own fan clubs:

Official Craig Charles Fan Club
P.O. Box 10972
SE11 5ZE

Danny John-Jules Fan Club
EM & M. Gilbert
73A Cressex Road
High Wycombe
HP12 4PS


Are there IRC channels for Red Dwarf fans?

Of course! In fact, there are Red Dwarf-related channels on several IRC

Dalnet: Regular get-togethers for Red Dwarf fans are held Sunday nights at
20:30 GMT and many other times during the week on the #atvrd channel.

EFNet: Regular get-togethers at the same time as those on Dalnet (Sunday
nights at 20:30 GMT and at other times during the week) on the #starbug

Undernet: Adam Jewell (who goes by "Krosis" on IRC) helps to run a #starbug
channel with another guy who goes by "Humanless". There are no set times as
of yet; email Krosis at or Humanless at for more info on when they usually meet. This is a permanent
"registered" channel, and anyone is welcome to drop in at any time.


Are there Red Dwarf mailing lists?

Two Red Dwarf mailing lists are known to exist, one moderated and one

Moderated list: Run by To join, send her a note asking
to be added to the list. Digests are sent out once a day. The moderator
also sends out Red Dwarf sounds and chatlogs on request. A Web page for the
moderated list can be found at

Unmoderated list: Distributed by the list server. To subscribe,
send email to LISTPROC@LISTS.PIPEX.COM with the following text as the body
of the message:

subscribe reddwarf Your Name


Are there Red Dwarf magazines?

Red Dwarf Smegazine, the official magazine for the series, ceased
publication with Volume 2 Issue 9 (January 1994). Some back issues are
available from John McElroy and Star Tech.

The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club publishes a quarterly magazine called
Better Than Life. See "Are there Red Dwarf fan clubs?"

Newsletters or fanzines (unofficial, fan-written magazines) are published
by some Red Dwarf fan clubs and by individual fans. Refer to the Red Dwarf
Fanzine List at


Has Red Dwarf won any awards?

At the 1994 International Emmy Awards, the Red Dwarf episode "Gunmen of the
Apocalypse," tied with Absolutely Fabulous (Series 2: "Hospital") in the
Popular Arts category. The International Emmys are awarded by the
International Council of the National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences. Red
Dwarf was also nominated for International Emmys in 1987, 1989, and 1992.

In 1991, Series 3 won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
award for "Best British Comedy."

At the 1994 British Comedy Awards, Red Dwarf won Best BBC Situation Comedy.

At Eastercon 1989 and 1992, Red Dwarf received the Best Dramatic
Presentation award. At the Cult TV 1994 convention, awards were presented
to Grant Naylor (Best Writers) and Red Dwarf (Best Show).


What other roles have Red Dwarf actors played?

Too many to list here. For a comprehensive list, refer to the Red Dwarf
Quietly Asked Questions List at


Would anyone like any toast?



End of Red Dwarf Frequently Asked Questions List (FAQ)