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Cast Commentary Corrections

First published 18th January 2003. Last updated 23rd April 2003.

"We've probably already been corrected a billion times by people watching this, which is fair enough." - Chris Barrie

As part of our ongoing mission to be as geeky and obsessive as possible about a light-hearted sit-com, this page proves that the cast of Red Dwarf are utter fools who know less about the show than Gareth Gwenlan. Here is a list of factual mistakes that have crept in the commentaries on the DVDs so far.

Series I

The End

Charles: And then the bucket fell out of the dispenser and it lands on me toe!

Not only does Craig mix the past and present tense in the same sentence, he was actually referring to a scene in Future Echoes.

Charles: I think the viewing figure was only 500,000 for this initial episode.

Engage Geek Mode: The End received the highest viewing figure for the entire first series, and the second highest for BBC2 that week, with 4.8 million, which is still quite good for Monday night BBC2. In fact, the first episode of The Office only got around 2 million, and that is an alleged overnight success (admittedly, within a rather different televisual climate).

Charles: The viewing figure ended up at something like 8.9 million for the last series.

Series Eight peaked at just over 8 million viewers. The highest rated episode was Series VII's Stoke Me a Clipper with 8.2 million.

Charles: After the first episode, we never did that special effect with you being walked through.

Lister walked through Rimmer on his way to the chef's exam in Balance of Power.

Balance of Power

Charles: Where's [Petersen] from?
John-Jules: Sweden.

Petersen is Danish. Rimmer says so later in this episode.


Barrie: Where's your bucket of paint?

Lister has his paint in a tank on his back.

John-Jules: There was actually four Rimmers.

We'll ignore the awful grammar, and merely point out that Thanks For The Memory only had three Rimmers, the past Rimmer (alive), the present Rimmer (dead) and the future Rimmer (moustachioed).

Series II


Charles: What's that book I'm reading? I'm reading a kid's sort of children's book.

Lister is reading a cardboard-cover book, with a picture of Spot on the cover and the title Play with Ben. This title has clearly been added, and is a reference to a Rimmer line from earlier on in the episode: "We're not talking about books where the main character is a dog called Ben."

Charles: We got there by Queeg in this series.

This quote refers to Holly's portable monitor, which was in fact first seen in Better Than Life, but this is in the game Better Than Life. In reality, it is first seen in the opening scene of Thanks for the Memory. Neither of these episodes are Queeg.

Charles: "I've only been gone ten minutes!"

Craig completely misquotes this line, despite only hearing it some fifteen seconds previously. The actual line is, of course, "I was only away two minutes."

Charles: He [David Ross] was doing the second series of Boys From The Blackstuff, or something.

David Ross was not in the second series of Boys From The Blackstuff, because there wasn't a second series of Boys From The Blackstuff. He was unavaliable for Series III because he was appearing in A Flea in Her Ear at the Old Vic.

Better Than Life

Lovett: Rob Grant knows nothing.

Clearly, he does.

Charles: Remember Tim Spall in Better Than Life? No, what was it? Back to the Future?

He corrects this later, but it was such a stupid thing to say we just had to mention it.

Charles: The Observation Deck.
Charles: The Observation Bubble.
Barrie: The Observation Tower.

Unfortunately, not one of the cast manage to get the name of the Observation Dome correct, despite it being written on the set.

Charles: What's her [McGruder's] name, Chris?
Lovett: Joanna.
John-Jules: Annabel.

They don't discover that her name is Judy Hawkins untill they read it in the closing credits.

Charles: Looks like we could only afford to pay five.

Craig's cynicism is unfounded, as there are in fact the full complement of seven children. Or perhaps he hasn't learnt to count that far yet.

John-Jules: He looks a bit like...
Charles: The guy who played War.
Barrie: Denis Lill.

Ron Pember does look like Denis Lill, but he played Brother Death, and not War.

John-Jules: This is Rocket's days, innit?
Barrie: No, this is pre-Rocket.

In some ways, they are both right. But in many other ways, they are both wrong. Rocket is credited in this episode as OB Cameraman, and as the scene they are referring to is an interior, it wouldn't have been shot by Rocket.

Charles: Is Timeslides in this series?


Thanks For The Memory

Charles: What's that [the theme tune lyrics] got to do with anything?

Well, it's quite simple, Craig. They're about Lister's dream of having a farm on Fiji.

Charles: Mike Agnew, what was he, the floor manager?

Technically, Mike Agnew was the Production Manager on Series II and III.

Charles: Did we film this first?

No, Better Than Life was shot first, with Thanks For The Memory second.

Charles: A place [Hologram Simulation Suite] we've never been again.

Not strictly true, as the suite was revisited in Queeg. However, not only was the set vastly altered and redressed to show damage, but the big bank of monitors at the back was replaced with a few crappy TV sets, presumably as the former set had bad blue screen problems.

Charles: IV and V became kind of, erm, traditional sit-coms. There was a gag about, y'know, a Kryten gag about the shape of his head, there was always a Space Corps Directive. It became sort of formulaic.

Craig is wrong. The recurring Space Corps Directive jokes didn't start until Series VI, with only the concept of Directives being used in the Series V episode Quarantine. There were a few jokes about Kryten's head, but there certainly wasn't one in each episode, and even if there was, a few running jokes does not make a series formulaic. Interestingly, the formulaic criticism is often levelled at Series VI, which Craig does not cite in his analysis.

Charles: It's got a bit of sad music now.

Craig is referring to the Observation Dome (not Bubble) scene, and his incorrect belief that the scene in Better Than Life didn't have any incidental music behind it. Well, it did. In fact, it's the same piece of music you hear now.

Stasis Leak

Charles: We cram... three Cats into one scene.

No, there's only ever one Cat on-screen at any given time.

John-Jules: We had a few Stasis Leaks in the Midland, didn't we?

What does that mean, Danny?

John-Jules: Isn't that the shirt I had on in the last episode?

It is in fact an entirely different cute little black number, with completely different multi-coloured patterns.

John-Jules: There's something missing. 'Out!' Where's 'out'?

There is no line deleted here, Danny just misremembers the scene, so he thinks the line comes later than it actually does.

Parallel Universe

Charles: "Dancefloor."

Craig is singing along to Tongue Tied and he gets the words wrong. He actually means 'dancing'.

Lovett: There is a teabag under Red Dwarf.

The teabag that Norman continually refers to is just a satellite dish. It's as if he's deliberately getting it wrong as a joke. Cuh!

Barrie: Do I feel a "what happened has happened would be happening"?
Charles: Is that here?

No, it's in Future Echoes, Series I.

More in November...