Show Wars: Bodyswapping: "Bodyswap" vs. "Carpet Diem"

Welcome to SHOW WARS!

Special thanks to the Logo Design tool for, y’know, existing.

In this new segment, I will be comparing two episodes from two different shows (or maybe two different seasons of the same show) with a similar theme or plot device, and seeing who executes it better. What better way to introduce the segment by comparing two episodes from (what I consider) the two greatest TV shows of all time?

It has to be a huge, strange coincidence that I discovered Red Dwarf and Gravity Falls around the same time. I first began watching YouTube clips of Red Dwarf around June of 2012, although I didn’t declare it a potential “favorite show” until Christmas (“Better Than Life” and it’s cruelly hysterical ending sealed the deal for me). Gravity Falls caught my eye in July of that year; “The Inconveniencing” was running for the first time. I was instantly hooked.

As such, these two shows get the first installment of “Show Wars”, with a rather conventional sci-fi plot being our first example.

The concept of Body-swapping is nothing new. Star Trek: The Original Series did it in its series finale, “The Turnabout Intruder”. (Said episode is considered one of the worst of the original series). It’s just that Red Dwarf and Gravity Falls add their own twists and humor to it to make it funny, relatable, or both.

Therefore, after the jump, in the ring today… it’s “Bodyswap” and “Carpet Diem”! Continue reading


Red Dwarf Reviews: Series III Wrap Up.

With Red Dwarf Series III out of the way, I might as well reveal that this is my favorite series to watch.

Granted, this is not the series of the highest quality (Series V was better by a thin margin), but this series is still brilliant from one end to the other.

This series managed to redefine what Red Dwarf was. The slow pacing and sitcom-y format of the first two series are both diminished in this series. It feels more like a science-fiction show, albeit with every cliche played for laughs or criticized.

And yet, the character development given to each of the characters is brilliant. This is the first series to reveal that Lister was orphaned at a young age, that Rimmer’s mother was just as off-calibre as his dad, that Kryten is a complete and utter suck-up, that the Cat can fly Starbug, and so much more!

The plots get a lot more interesting compared to series I and II. Backwards, much like it’s episodic predecessor, “Parallel Universe”, analyses the concept of dimensions, except time travel is involved. It’s sort of like a reverse parallel universe. “Marooned” does a BRILLIANT job at the “bottle episode” cliche, with humor and sobering moments all around. “Polymorph” is a brilliant send-up of Alien, with every character bouncing off each other once affected by the polymorph. “Bodyswap” just shows how the writers can make you feel bad for Rimmer one episode, and make you want to kick him the next. “Timeslides” is another interesting take on time travel, with something as common as a darkroom (more common at the time of the episode’s airtime) being used as a life-changing device. And “The Last Day” takes a brilliant look at religion and devotion to beliefs, offending none but sparing nobody.

If there was a defining flaw in this series, it was mainly that Holly was reduced to more of a gag character, in favor of Kryten. Kryten comes into his own within a few episodes, but Holly is still hilarious. (And to answer the question, I have no preference over which Holly is better). Other flaws include screwy logic in the episodes, but then again, Red Dwarf tends to skim the MST3K Mantra.

Overall, a brilliant series that was a sign of things to come.

Score: 8.75

Red Dwarf Reviews, Series III, Episode 6: "The Last Day".

Airdate: 19 December, 1989

Some say that he’s gone insane looking for his predecessor, and that he has no desire to watch Top Gear. All we know is, HE’S CALLED HUDZEN 10!

Synopsis (Spoilers): Lister receives a post pod from Kryten’s manufacturers, informing him that Kryten’s built in expiry date is almost here and that Kryten will undergo shutdown within 24 hours. Lister is stunned, but Kryten takes the news well. Kryten declares that, because he has lived a life free of vices and lived in servitude, he is going up to Silicon Heaven. Lister not only does not believe in a Silicon Heaven (although Rimmer tells him to respect Kryten’s beliefs), but Lister is angry over the fact that Kryten is being turned off just to sell more models. Lister decides to throw Kryten a party that he will never forget, and the gang share very weird secrets.

The next morning, Kryten comes to, and realizes that he can not turn himself off. However, he also learns that the new model, Hudzen 10, is on his way, and that if Kryten does not activate his own turn-off disc, Hudzen must terminate Kryten. The Boys from the Dwarf decide to gang up against Hudzen, who has gone crazy looking for Kryten. Kryten manages to defeat Hudzen using a lie involving Silicon Heaven.

Review: This episode is actually my third favorite from the third series (beaten out by the hysterical “Polymorph” and the tear jerking “Marooned”). This is a TV episode that manages to combine social commentary alongside wonderful humor. (I’ll get to another TV episode that does NOT do social commentary well later). Silicon Heaven and it’s criticism by Lister could be considered a bit of jab at the religious, but through it all, Kryten retains his faith in Silicon Heaven. Indeed, the message comes off as “believe whatever you want, as long as it does not result in your death”, or “you don’t have to be a fundamentalist to have faith, and cutting loose is not a bad thing”. Keep in mind, Red Dwarf criticizes the entirety of humanity, and it criticizes the behaviors of all sorts of humans, so being somewhat offended once is ordinary for the viewer.

This episode also excels in Character Development. We learn that Lister never knew his mother, and that he was orphaned. We learn that Rimmer’s mother, described a mere three episodes prior as “very prim, very proper, almost austere”, actually had affairs. This episode also shows an integral part of Kryten’s persona, and why he is the only character to (barring his series II debut) not want to anger Rimmer. (Although, this does lead to my one complaint about the episode: if Kryten rebelled against Rimmer in “Kryten”, isn’t he already damned by his standards for rebellion against humans?”)

And the episode is just hysterical. Rimmer revealing his first kiss? Hysterical. Hell, the entire party is brilliant. Oh, and Rimmer’s view on Kryten’s 24 hour notice? “That’s more than most of us get. All most of us get is ‘Mind that bus.’ ‘What Bus?’ Splat.”

Overall, a wonderful note to end the game-changing series III on.

Favorite Scene: The party. Every part of it is hysterical.

Score: 9

Red Dwarf Review, Series III, Episode 5: "Timeslides"

Airdate: 12 December 1989

Synopsis: Kryten discovers that the development fluid on Red Dwarf can bring pictures to life, and can cause the crew to walk in the images. After changing the events of an attempted assassination of Hitler, Lister realizes that they have a time machine, and decides to change events to prevent himself from going on Red Dwarf. Using the Tension Sheet invented by Rimmer’s old classmate (Fred “Thicky” Holden), Lister goes back to an old concert that occurred when he was in a band, Smeg and the Heads. Lister manages to change events to convince young Lister to invent the Tension Sheet.

However, due to Lister not entering Red Dwarf, the Cat was not brought aboard, and Kryten was never rescued. Therefore, Rimmer is all alone with Holly. Holly finds a TV special on Lister’s new life as an uber-rich rockstar and inventor. (To clarify, he moved his HOUSE to get away from the neighbors, brought Buckingham Palace and had it ground down to line his drive, and brought three million copies of his song to send it to number 1.) Rimmer wants none of it, because, well, he’s a smeghead. Rimmer tries to bring Lister back, but fails to do so. Therefore, he goes back to try and get his younger self to invent the tension sheet while in boarding school. Not spoiling what happens here, but you can all take a lucky guess.

Review: I have to say, this is the weakest episode of the entire season. Still a good episode, but some things just don’t line up. How come in one scene, Rimmer can’t move outside the confines of the photograph, yet in another scene, Rimmer suddenly pops up outside of the photographic barriers (although another photograph may have been used off screen). Also, how does Rimmer still remain a hologram when Lister doesn’t join Red Dwarf? Remember, Rimmer was brought back specifically to keep Lister company.

However, ignore those complaints (easy: rule of funny), and you have a fun episode. The scene with “Sham Glam” Lister is hysterical. The episode contains many funny scenes (such as Lister going back in time to Hitler’s assassination attempt). This episode also reveals that Lister can and IS sick of being trapped on a spaceship three million years in the future, which is some good character development. Plus, Rimmer’s jerkass behavior in this episode is hilariously cruel.

Favorite Scene: A few. I actually can’t choose, so I’ll list them.

  • First off, Rimmer learns about the circumstances of Listers Tension-Sheet Timeline death. He died aged 98 in a plane crash. Why a plane crash? He was making love to his 14th wife and lost control of the plane. Rimmer asks for photos of Lister’s new timeline. Thinking that Rimmer is talking about the plane crash, Holly gives a “What the Smeg” look.
  • Second off, Lister’s song. Simply put, “Om”. It’s quite creative, actually. The fact that, in an alternate timeline, Lister made it so “Om” went to the top of the charts is also hilarious.
  • Last, but not least, Rimmer explains why he is going to rescue Lister from wealth and fame. “It’s my duty. My duty as a complete and utter bastard!”

Not-So-Fun Fact: Graham Chapman, from Monty Python, was originally selected to play the TV host Blaize from the scene featuring the Lifestyles of the Disgustingly Rich and Famous. However, he died before filming began. (To add more irony, he died on the 20th anniversary of Python). Ruby Wax, a comedienne and the wife of Red Dwarf director Ed Bye, played Blaize instead.

Score: 7.5

Red Dwarf Review, Series III, Episode 4: "Bodyswap"

Airdate: 5 December 1989

Lister’s uniform on Chris Barrie’s body. The fans went crazy.

Synopsis: A series of events involving a rogue skutter and Lister’s desire for food leads to Lister accidentally triggering self-destruct via a vending machine. Only a senior officer can deactivate the self-destruct, and all of them are dead (Holly failed to update her database). Kryten recommends a mind-swap with a senior officer, so that the computer can recognize his/her voice. Ultimately, the self-destruct turns out to be a ruse, but it gives Rimmer an idea. Under the pretense of getting Lister back in shape, the two propose (and undergo) a bodyswap. However, Rimmer abuses Lister’s body by drinking, eating, and smoking beyond belief. The end result is that Lister puts on quite a bit of weight. Lister quickly gets fed up with it and forces Rimmer (who trashed Lister’s body even further) to change back.

However, Rimmer, already in heaven with the food that has been eaten, is not willing to give up so easily. In the middle of the night, Rimmer steals Lister’s body and takes off on Starbug, with a ton of junk food in tow, “promising” to be back in a month… maybe six weeks. Rimmer also declares that if Lister gains ground, Rimmer will commit “suicide”. The chase ends when Lister and Co. back off in a desolate planet, distracting Rimmer (via his gloating) and causing him to crash. Rimmer and Lister switch back again, with Lister banged up and forced on a diet. Rimmer then kidnaps the Cat’s body to try and get THAT body in shape (read, binge out).

Review: In my last post, “Top 5 Lowest Arnold Rimmer Moments”, hijacking Lister’s body ranked in at #2 (only getting beaten out by Rimmer’s final interaction with his brother in “Trojan”). It deserves it. In fact, after closer analysis, I could make a good argument that this should have been the #1 moment of jerkassery. Rimmer at least was bullied by his brothers, which could explain why he was a jerkass to Howard at the end of “Trojan”, although it FAR from mitigates his jerkassery in that episode. Here, Rimmer acts like a slimeball to Lister, who has been relatively civil to Rimmer for the past two series. One could argue that is was revenge for Lister destroying Rimmer’s chest and indirectly burning his wooden soldiers in “Marooned”, but Lister felt bad for those events happening. Rimmer feels no remorse for a single action in this episode. At all.

On one hand, you feel for Rimmer. The poor smeghead has not eaten nor touched in years, so you expect him to go on a binge once he gets a body. However, once Rimmer steals Lister’s body and puts the gun to Lister’s head, all sympathy for him goes out the window. In fact, in that moment, Rimmer manages to switch firmly from Anti-Hero to villain. He actually manages to rival Bender from Futurama in terms of selfish insanity.

Hell, when the Cat (read, the character that DEFINES vanity) considers this deranged, you know your character is damn near low. Speaking of The Cat, his character (starting with “Backwards”, but I forgot to mention that there) starts to develop somewhat, with him gaining a friendship with Lister, and being a damn good Starbug pilot.

Rimmer also receives no repercussions for being a slime ball. Instead, Lister is put on a minuscule diet, and is forced to deal with his injuries.

Otherwise, this seems like an open-and-shut review. The episode is, for the most part, quite funny, and overall, pretty enjoyable. It’s not the best of the season. One could argue why a mind swap could give people different voices, but I argue that it is not important, and it is still fun to see Chris Barrie and Craig Charles doing actions that normally the other would do.

Oh, and fun maths fact. Rimmer apparently made Lister gain “two stone” in about a week. For those that have no knowledge of British weight slang, that is about 28 pounds, or 12.7 Kilos. That’s… impressively bad.

The episode is not the most memorable of the series (much like “Timeslides”), but still, with Red Dwarf III being as good as it is, it’s still good enough for an 8, a great score.

Favorite Scene: Holly comes up with three solutions to self-destruct accidentally being launched. They are…

  1. Sit there and get blown up;
  2. Stand there and get blown up, and;
  3. Jump up and down, shout at her for not thinking of anything, then get blown up.

Rating: 8.

Red Dwarf Review, Series III, Episode 3: "Polymorph"

Airdate: 28 November 1989

Synopsis (Spoilers): A shapeshifting alien lands on Red Dwarf, with the ability to change into anything to, to quote Kryten, “suit its terrain and deceive its enemies.” This polymorph, however, sucks out negative emotions. Why? Also quoting Kryten, “IT’S INSANE!”

It’s another normal day on the ship. Lister is making food with medical utensils, and Kryten accidentally insults Rimmer’s “prim, proper, almost austere” mother. The day is altered when the Polymorph, initially disguised as a sausage, attacks Lister, turns into various objects, culminating into a 12-foot monster, and manages to suck out Lister’s fear.

With Lister all too willing to take on the Polymorph, the others decide to attack the monster and flee the ship. The Cat, fleeing from heat-seeking missiles (which are trapped in another room), has his vanity sucked out by the Polymorph disguised as an ego-stroking female. Kryten’s guilt is sucked out by the Polymorph disguised as Rimmer. Rimmer’s anger is sucked out when the alien is disguised as his mother, who proceeded to sleep with Lister and brag about it to Rimmer.

The malformed Red Dwarf crew hold a meeting to try and go against the Polymorph.

  • Rimmer suggests attacking the Polymorph with a major leaflet campaign and various fundraisers.
  • Lister suggests taking on the Polymorph, with consequences that include his death.
  • The Cat, reduced to a bum and without a lick of fashion, does not care, calling all the ideas good, while he says that he is a big fat nobody.
  • Kryten wants the idea to include everybody else dying.

The crew take down the Polymorph in the cargo bays (thanks to the heat-seeking missiles fired earlier), and the crew are returned to normal.

Review: How this episode got past the censors is beyond me. This episode had the infamous “shrinking boxers” scene which caused the studio audience to laugh so much, Chris Barrie had to wait 10 minutes to deliver his line. Take THAT, Sammy Davis Jr. kissing Archie Bunker. Another scene that made this episode raunchier then normal was the scene where an anger-free Rimmer suggests various names for their organization, and one acronym is a bit… weird. (Rimmer even says the acronym. I’ll just say that the word would never get past censors today.) To a lesser extent, there is Rimmer’s “mother” who brags about her quick tryst with Lister. She briefly mentions “alphabetti spaghetti”.

That does not mean that the episode is bad at all. Rather, this episode is one of the best in the show for a reason. It is just hysterical. The Polymorph as a villain is well developed, especially for a one-shot villain. The character is also the first alien-esque character in the show. To avert the cliche of aliens, Grant Naylor used the term GELF, with Holly even calling it “man made”.

The episode also shows why Red Dwarf mostly (but not always) can get away with cop outs and stupid decisions that other shows can’t get away with. In Red Dwarf, we expect nothing from this crew. The bar is so low, that we expect them to flee, and take the easiest way out possible. The decisions they make fit in brilliantly with their characters. We know Rimmer’s character, and his first instinct is to abandon the situation, a complete contradiction to his desire to lead.

I do wish that they had taken on Rimmer’s ego, but that can be mostly excused, as they took on the Cat’s vanity. Other then that, this episode is brilliant.

Favorite Scene: Do I have to choose? The meeting scene is probably the best of the long, long list.

Score: 9.5

Red Dwarf Review, Series III, Episode 2: "Marooned"

Airdate: 21 November 1989

A smeghead and a slob. Trapped on an icy planet. Oh, boy.

Synopsis: Holly steers Red Dwarf into a black hole field, causing the crew to have to temporarily flee. Rimmer and Lister wind up taking Starbug, where Rimmer regales Lister about the former’s interests in the military and his previous life as Alexander the Great’s chief… eunuch. While the two are talking, Starbug is struck by a meteor, and crash lands on an ice planet. They have little hope of being found, low food, and no warmth. Rimmer can “live” because he is a hologram, but Lister can only hope for survival. The two wind up talking to each other and learning more about each other.

When it comes time to burn stuff for warmth, Lister is reluctant to let go of his Les Paul guitar, and Rimmer his military figurines. Lister, without Rimmer noticing, cuts a guitar-shaped hole out of Rimmer’s treasure chest. Thinking that it is Lister’s Les Paul, Rimmer decides to sacrifice his military figurines. Lister feels guilty that he made Rimmer burn something that meant so much to him, as the trunk provided the last link to Rimmer of his estranged father.

Kryten and the Cat find the two, and manages to bring them back. Holly then tells Rimmer that there was no black hole field; it was just five pieces of grit. Rimmer then realizes that Lister cut a hole out of his chest.

Review: A good Red Dwarf episode, for the most part, contains tons of laughs and constant comedy, alongside character development. While “Marooned” also contains this, there is also something else in this episode.

This episode (until series VII) is the most dramedy-focused episode in the history of the show, and some parts can bring you to tears.

It’s literally just Lister and Rimmer talking with each other for the most part. It’s an example of a “locked in a freezer” episode (a common TV cliche) that manages to pull off the aforementioned cliche well. The development Lister and Rimmer get is incredible. From the most minute details to great backstory reveal, it is quite rare to get the development in a comedy that Lister and Rimmer get.

In terms of tearjerker-ness, watching Rimmer burn something that meant so much to him, and then realizing why it meant so much to him, is among the most depressing things ever put in a sitcom. In my opinion, it is depressing almost to the level of Fry’s dog (prepares for flamers).

And Lister… god. He manages to be such a hilarious, and yet depressing, jerkass simultaneously. And yet he still feels bad for it. The look on Rimmer face when he finds out what Lister is done can only be described as pure anger. Put yourself in Rimmer’s shoes for a second. When he learns that Lister cut out a piece of his treasure chest, it goes beyond typical anger. Lister callously (yet, unbeknownst to Rimmer, unknowingly) ignored Rimmer’s feelings about his father just to save his own guitar which he can’t play for smeg.

And yet this episode is still hilarious. Lister and Rimmer talking about their first encounters with other women? Funny. Lister and Rimmer burning literature (not out of hatred, but for necessity)? Hilarious (especially when they have to say tootle-pipski to Shakespeare). The reveal about the grit on the screen? Hysterical.

This episode is just brilliant. It is one of the best in Red Dwarf‘s history. It ranked second on the Ganymede and Titan Silver Survey earlier this year, and it deserves it.

Favorite Scene: Do I have to choose? It has to be learning what the solders meant for Rimmer. It is, quite possibly, the most moving moment in the history of the show.

A VERY Close second place? Rimmer quotes Richard III

“Now….. something something something something.”

Score: 9.5

Red Dwarf Review, Series III, Episode 1, "Backwards"

Airdate: 14 November. 1989


Nodnol ni tca ydemoc tseb eht!


Synopsis (Spoilers): A super-speedy prologue explains what happened between series II and III.
  • Lister gave birth to twin boys, Jim and Bexley. However, because they were conceived in a different universe, they are 18 years old within 3 days of their birth. Realizing that they would only last a fortnight, Jim and Bexley went back to their universe of origin to live a normal life… at least, as normal as possible.
  • Kryten was found crashed on a planet. Lister was able to repair him, but his rebellious personality was reset. Also, he now sports a Canadian accent. Nevertheless, he is now a permanent member of the crew.
  • Holly had fallen so far in love with Hilly from the Parallel Universe that he gave himself a head sex change operation, becoming a long-haired, youthful blonde female, yet still a bit peculiar.
  • And now the saga continuums.
  • Red Dwarf III. The Same Generation. Nearly.

Rimmer takes Kryten on a flight test in Starbug. During the flight test, Rimmer and Kryten happen to come across an elusive time hole. They wind up landing on Earth, circa 1993… but running backwards. Cars drive backward, food is uneaten, robbers suck bullets out of cops and force banks to accept money, tables are dirtied, etc. Holly explains that this is due to the “big crunch”, with the universe shrinking. With Starbug wrecked, the two must find a job in Nodnol until the others find them. They take up a job as “Srehtorb Esrever Lanoitasnes Eht”, or, in frontwards, “The Sensational Reverse Brothers.”

Lister and the Cat, meanwhile, take another Starbug and manage to pass through the time hole. Lister arrives on earth with a sore back, cracked ribs, and a black eye. After seeing a sign for “Srehtorb Esrever Lanoitasnes Eht” and a sign for “Nodnol, 871 Selim”, the two come to the only logical conclusion… they must be in Bulgaria! After getting confused as to why bikes are in reverse, they get a ride to downtown Nodnol and wind up at a bar where Rimmer and Kryten are performing. They eventually realize that they ARE in a backward world, and try to get Rimmer and Kryten to come back. However, Rimmer and Kryten argue that life is much better in this universe, as death does not come and crime (to them) does not exist. Lister argues that, in this universe, Santa Claus is a robber and puberty occurs backwards.

Their conversation is interrupted when the two are told that they are fired for a fight, which did not happen. As Kryten and Rimmer try and defend themselves, Lister and the Cat manage to get themselves in a fight… the one that Kryten and Rimmer got sacked for. Lister declares a “barroom tidy”, and Lister’s body is returned to normal as the bar is cleaned up. Kryten and Rimmer decide to abandon their act and return back to the Dwarf.

Review: This is the first episode to use the new style for Red Dwarf. I will keep this brief. This episode makes no sense. At all. Why would Kryten and Rimmer get fired and then do a last show? The timeline in this episode makes no sense!

However, that does not stop it from being funny. Red Dwarf IS a comedy, after all. There is tons of comedy gold in this episode, such as the bike scene, the diner scene, the “Red Dwarf Shuffle”, and the barroom tidy. UN-RUMBLE! The characters are well done, and Kryten gets some slight character development, in his meekness being similar to the one in “Kryten”. However, Kryten is now treated as an equal to his new companions. His development does not kick in until “Polymorph”, but it is a step in the right direction.

This episode is the birth of the more energetic Red Dwarf, and it is pretty damn good!

Oh, and the first conversation of the new and improved Red Dwarf? Lister and the Cat debate the attractiveness of Wilma Flinstone.

Favorite Scene: The Bar-room tidy!

Score: 8.5

Red Dwarf Review: Series III Preview

Small warning: this might be a bit long.

Part I: A Change Will Do You Good
TV shows often go through creative changes from season to season. From the differing ideals between Simpsons showrunners (compare the Oakley/Weinstein Era to the Scully Era), to the difference between Enterprise Seasons 2 and 3, shows often get retooled slightly to fix problems and attract viewers.

What happened between Red Dwarf II and III was less of a retool and more of a total smegging rebuild. Grant Naylor basically took the characters, the title, the setting, and the basic plot, and that is it. In all essence, Series III is a FAR different animal compared to series II, and would be the series all future ones are based off of (except for the Back to Earth mini-series).

Physical Changes

For the least radical change, we have to analyze the costumes and sets. The color of the sets of the first two series were primarily grey, and the end result was dull. From this series on, the color of the sets gets varied. Mel Bibby (Alien) was the driving force behind the set upgrades. Thanks to Howard Burden, the costumes were also changed:

Rimmer’s costume gained more color and class;

Well, as classy as a smeghead of his caliber can be.

Lister now sports a laddish leather jacket;

This jacket was supposed to contain Wilma Flinstone stitched on the back, but it would have been a legal nightmare. “Backwards” would feature Lister and the Cat discussing if Wilma is attractive.

…the Cat gets a much more wild fashion sense;

This is just ONE of the Cat’s Costumes. He wore 15 over the course of the series.

And Kryten (explained below on why he is listed here)  went from a butler’s costume to a more android-esque look.

Getting a bit more wild, the setting of the episodes got even more varied. “Backwards” takes place almost exclusively on an Earth (albeit one in reverse), “Bodyswap” and “Polymorph” contained scenes that took place in the science wing, “Polymorph” contains an exploration of the cargo bay, etc.

In terms of physical changes, however, the cast was arguably the biggest change of them all. Kryten had proven to be such a popular character that he was brought back as a regular character. However, Dave Ross was not available, so they instead brought in Robert Llewellyn. Llewellyn made the character his own, improvising a Canadian accent to differentiate his portrayal from Ross’s Kryten.

Likewise, Norman Lovett (Holly) had purchased a new home in Edinburgh. Traveling between his home in Edinburgh, London (BBC Offices), and Manchester (primary filming location), proved to be a bit too much for him, and he walked out. The character was recast by Hattie Hayridge, who played Hilly in “Parallel Universe.”

Hattie Hayridge as Holly


The writing of this show also got knocked up a notch. 

The first two series were very leisurely in terms of pace, with a more sitcom-esque feel. Series III picked up the pace quite a bit. The writing was MUCH tighter, with very little filler material in between. Also, the show’s style shifted from a sitcom IN SPACE, to a science-fiction show that also happened to be a comedy.

The series also introduced alien-esque life forms called “Genetically Engineered Life Forms”, or GELFs. Unlike aliens (which Grant Naylor considered cliche), these creatures were man made. Oh, humanity, you!

The main trio seemed to change slightly from Series II. Lister is virtually the same, although “Marooned” indicates that he might not be the nice guy we all thought he was. Likewise, Rimmer became slightly less of a Jerkass with this series, and even gains moments of altruism. However, when Rimmer acts like a jerk, he is a HUGE one. “Bodyswap”, in my opinion, contains amongst the lowest Rimmer moments (I might assemble a list in the future consisting of the lowest Rimmer moments available). The Cat becomes more of a comic relief as time goes on, but in this series, he gets some slight character development in terms of piloting stuff.

Kryten’s character is virtually reset from the end of his series II appearance. He is back to his old “meek robot” persona. However, he is treated much more like an equal by Rimmer, and slowly gets to develop into a mother type character by the end of the series. Kryten also began taking over as the provider of exposition.

On the opposite end, Holly seemed to have a reduced role. With Kryten taking over as the exposition provider, Holly’s character was reduced to more of a comic relief… which was already provided by the Cat. This was not a good situation for the character that, just two episodes prior, was kicking bottom.

Part II: Episode Previews:

Backwards: During Kryten’s test flight in Starbug, Kryten and Rimmer fly through a time hole, and wind up in an Earth where everything goes backwards. They wind up forming an act, The Sensational Reverse Brothers!

Marooned: Rimmer and Lister are forced to abandon Red Dwarf, and a series of events leads to the two stranded on an ice planet, relying on each other for survival.

Polymorph: A shape-shifting GELF winds up on Red Dwarf, sucking out certain negative emotions from the crew members.

Bodyswap: Lister wants to get in shape, so he swaps minds with Rimmer, who promises to get him in shape. However, Rimmer does not follow up on his end of the deal, and it leads to holding a body hostage.

Timeslides: Picture development fluid (remember that) manages to bring pictures to life, and create a time machine. Lister uses it to try and change it so that he does not wind up on Red Dwarf, and leads a successful life… much to the chagrin of Rimmer.

The Last Day: Kryten gets a message that states he has 24 hours to deactivation. Lister wants Kryten to party on his last night. This goes against Kryten’s beliefs… as he believes in Silicon Heaven.