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

WARNING: This material was originally written a while ago, so there will be some errors, and might not reflect current articles.


What is Red Dwarf? Where can I see RED DWARF in the United States? Where can I get videotapes of RED DWARF?
Where can I get other RED DWARF merchandise? Is there an episode guide for RED DWARF? Did RED DWARF start on radio?
Is there an American version of RED DWARF? Who is Grant Naylor? Where can I write to the cast and crew of the show?
What does "smeg" mean? What are the lyrics to the theme song? What does "LEVEL NIVELO" mean?
What are some of the foods mentioned on the show? Why is Holly now a woman? How did Kryten change? What happened to the Red Dwarf and Holly?
What's the "lost" ending to "Out of Time"? Will there be a Series Seven? Was Craig Charles arrested for rape?
What's the title of the last episode of Series Two? What are the lyrics to "Tongue Tied"? What are they really saying in "Backwards?"
Who is Gordon Bennett? How many times has Rimmer had sex? How many people were in Red Dwarf's crew?
How can Rimmer leave the ship? How did the Polymorph touch Rimmer? How many times has Starbug crashed?
Didn't Lister have his appendix out twice? What's in canister 1121? Are there books about RED DWARF?
Are there RED DWARF fan clubs? Where can I find online information about RED DWARF? Should I post RED DWARF graphic images or sounds?
Are there RED DWARF magazines? Is there a RED DWARF computer game? Has RED DWARF won any awards?
What are the Space Corps Directives?
HOW TO FIND THE LATEST VERSION OF THIS LIST The current version of this list is posted every 14 days to, alt.answers, and news.answers. You can access it at any time by the following methods:

(Look under R for RED DWARF.)

You can also request the FAQ List by email from the FAQ archives at MIT. Send a message to with the following as the body of the message:

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

If you can't get a copy by any of the methods described above, email Pat Berry @ (pat@berry.Cary.NC.US) and he'll send you a copy.

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! All six series are available for purchase by PBS member stations.

If you don't know when (or if) your local PBS station shows RED DWARF, check your local listings or call the station and ask. Please don't post the question to; that will send it all over the planet, annoying people who don't know or care about your local station's programming. Besides, the other methods are faster.

Where can I get videotapes of RED DWARF?

Videotapes of Series 1 through 7 are available at video stores in the throughout the British Commonwealth and in the U.S.

In Australia, all episodes are available from ABC stores (along with books, T-shirts, and other RD merchandise).

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

In Sweden, Series 1-7 and the Smeg-Ups tape are available from:

SF-Bokhandeln Stora Nygatan 45 111 27 Stockholm. Telephone: 08/21 50 52. Fax: 08/24 77 30. E-mail: WWW:

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

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:

"Red Dwarf Smeg-Ups," a collection of outtakes from the series, was

released on video in the fall of 1994. At this writing, it is

apparently available only in the U.K. and Australia.

Where can I get other RED DWARF merchandise?

You can order RED DWARF stuff (books, books on tape, T-shirts, baseball caps, SMEGAZINE back issues, NTSC videotapes, etc.) from John McElroy. For a free catalogue, write to:

JOHN MCELROY 2401 Fox Plaza 1390 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102 USA T-shirts, greeting cards, and other items can be ordered by mail from: Distribution Network 12 Deerpark Road London SW19 3TU UK Telephone: 0181-543-1231 Most of the RED DWARF-related books can be ordered from: Star Tech Box 456 Dunlap, TN 37327 USA

Merchandise is also available from some of the fan clubs (see "Are there RED DWARF fan clubs?"). The Official RED DWARF Fan Club (U.K.) has its own line of merchandise. The New Zealand-based fan club Zed Shift operates a mail-order service for members living in New Zealand.

Other sources of RED DWARF memorabilia are listed in the book THE MAKING OF RED DWARF (see "Are there books about RED DWARF?").

Is there an episode guide for RED DWARF?

The RED DWARF PROGRAMME GUIDE (see "Are there books about RED DWARF?") contains an extensive episode guide for the series. If you're looking for an electronic guide, Otto Heuer maintains a very good one, available by anonymous ftp:

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

Did RED DWARF start on radio?

Not exactly. Rob Grant and Doug Naylor wrote the short-lived radio series SON OF CLICHE (broadcast for two six-episode seasons 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 (see "What is RED DWARF?").

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 produced.

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 actors:

Dave Lister.................................Craig Bierko Arnold Rimmer.............................Chris Eigelman Holly........................................Jane Leeves Kryten..................................Robert Llewellyn The Cat....................................Hinton Battle Christine 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 recognize Jane Leeves from the American comedies MURPHY BROWN and FRAZIER. LAW AND 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.

After rejecting this version, NBC commissioned a second pilot with the following cast:

Lister......................................Craig Bierko Rimmer....................................Anthony Fuscle Holly........................................Jane Leeves Kryten..................................Robert Llewellyn Cat........................................Terry Farrell

The second pilot was not a complete episode, but rather a promo that combined scenes from the first pilot 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 casting a woman as the 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 of the first pilot can be found at science fiction conventions. (The second pilot does not seem to have fallen into the hands of bootleggers.)

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 JK Costuming. When the pilots were rejected, the BBC created a new Kryten suit (based on the U.S. one) for Series Six.

Who is Grant Naylor?

The "About the Author" note in the RED DWARF novels (see "What is RED DWARF?") 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.

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

The Official RED DWARF Fan Club (UK) (see "Are there RED DWARF fan clubs?") 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.

What does "smeg" mean?

The characters in the show use it as an all-purpose profanity. Apparently derived from "smegma," the term for a particularly unpleasant bodily secretion, the slang term "smeg" was reportedly in use in England before the show premiered, although not commonly. Grant Naylor presumably adopted this little-known bit of Scouse profanity as a blanket replacement for all other swearing, to keep them out of trouble with the BBC and to poke fun at the long-standing convention in science-fiction of inventing futuristic slang.

Subject: What are the lyrics to the theme song?

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 is not sung very clearly, and some fans think it is simply "Goldfish *are* nibbling." However, in the "Smeg-Ups" tape (see "Where can I get videotapes of RED DWARF?"), Robert Llewellyn recites the theme song lyrics, and they are as listed above. (A "shoal" is a school of fish.)

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

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 is shown trying -- and failing -- to learn Esperanto from a videotape.

The name "Esperanto" means "one who hopes," a fact that is alluded to in "Back to Reality."

What are some of the foods mentioned on the show?

"Vindaloo," the most frequently mentioned food item on the show, is a very, very hot Indian curry dish. Most Indian restaurants have them on the menu. They can contain almost any variety of meat, thus Lister's references to "mutton vindaloo," "chicken vindaloo," etc.

"Madras sauce" is another standard curry sauce, less hot than vindaloo.

"Poppadoms," another Indian food item, are thin lentil-flour wafers resembling tortillas, deep-fried until crisp.

A "shami kebab" is an appetizer served in Indian restaurants. It consists of finely ground meat and lots of spices, grilled over a flame. The meat is a mixture of pork and either goat (in more authentic restaurants) or beef (in less authentic ones). You typically get two shami kebabs with a salad side dish. Shami kebabs are sometimes prepared and served in an egg coating, similar to an omelette.

"Chutney" is a fruit piccalilli (pickled relish), often eaten with cold meat.

"Gazpacho soup" is a Spanish tomato-and-cucumber cold soup which often includes garlic, olive oil, and bread. It's common in Spain and in upscale American restaurants.

A "pot noodle" is an instant noodle product marketed in the U.K. by Golden Wonder, a snack food company. It's a plastic container with pre-cooked dried noodles and flavorings inside. To prepare it, you open the container, pour in boiling water, wait a few moments, and eat it.

A "kipper" is a herring, cured by splitting, salting, and smoking. Kippers are eaten as a breakfast food in some parts of the U.K.

A "Topic Bar" is a candy bar sold in the U.K., consisting of fondant and hazelnuts covered with chocolate. (This is what Lister means in "Marooned" when he says "Don't mention Topics, they're food.") One ad campaign for the Topic Bar used the slogan "A hazelnut in every bite." Thus, in "Stasis Leak", Rimmer complains, "Everything always goes wrong for me. I'm probably the only person in the world to buy a Topic Bar without a single hazelnut in it."

"Taramasalata" is a Greek appetizer consisting of a light paste of fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, and moistened bread crumbs or mashed potatoes.

"Bhindi bhaji" is a vegetable dish made with okra.

"Tarka dhall" is a mild curry dish based on lentils.

Why is Holly now a woman? How 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 recasting.

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, using a VCR with good freeze-frame capabilities. Try it.

What happened to the Red Dwarf and Holly?

Throughout Series Six, 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 . . .

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.

At a convention in January 1996, Doug Naylor anounced that *both* Lovett and Hayridge will be signed for Series Seven.

What's the "lost" ending to "Out of Time"?

The "Red Dwarf Smeg-Ups" videotape includes an ending for "Out of Time" that was filmed, but never used. describes the ending as follows:

"Rimmer blows up the time drive. Seconds later, a laser cannon blast blows up one of the Starbugs, while a second one is seen flying in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

In the next scene, Kryten is carrying a pitcher of yellow liquid into Starbug's hold while Rimmer, Lister and Cat are seated around the table with wine glasses in front of them. Kryten explains that they were never killed because Rimmer's actions in blowing up the time drive caused their future selves to cease to exist and notes that Rimmer had in fact saved the day. Rimmer grins broadly and tells Kryten that it was nothing and not to mention it while Lister claps him on the shoulder. Kryten then pours the 'homemade magaritas' into all four glasses and passes on better news: they are now a mere six hours behind Red Dwarf and that there is no doubt in his mind that they'll be able to catch up.

Kryten proposes a toast 'to the present' and all four click glasses and take a drink. Lister, wearing a foam mustache, makes a horrible face and exclaims that they aren't drinking magaritas