High & Low: Deleted Scenes

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Let’s be perfectly clear. Generally, when talking about deleted scenes – whatever the given TV show or film – the quality of the scenes themselves doesn’t actually matter. When I pop in a DVD, I don’t care how good they are. It’s how interesting they are which makes them entertaining. A scene can be absolutely appalling, deservedly cut… and still be one of the best extras of the lot.

This perhaps doubly-holds for Red Dwarf. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are with deleted scenes being included on the DVD releases; you only have to check your shelves to see which other sitcoms from 1988 include such things for the proof of that. (Mind you, sadly these days, budget cuts across DVD ranges mean we’re lucky to get them for a sitcom made today.)

Still, we’ve talked about deleted scenes in this way endlessly in our DVD reviews. We can afford to try something a little different. This then, isn’t a list of the most interesting deleted scenes for Dwarf. Let’s go for the actual best. Which scenes deserved to be included in the final episodes, if it wasn’t for the tyranny of time constraints? Which would have made them better? Which could have been fondly-remembered moments, which were cruelly left on the cutting room floor?

A rule: anything which ended up making it into a later version of the show – either Remastered, Xtended, or the Back To Earth Director’s Cut – was automatically excluded. They’ve had their moment of glory. I’ve also – reluctantly – excluded any of Bodysnatcher, Dad, or any of the other script extracts which never made it in front of the cameras.

10. VIII Original Ending

Only The Good…

Rimmer being a dick to Captain Hollister through the porthole Ah, the original ending to Only The Good… The virus is destroyed, the crew dance the conga, and Rimmer doesn’t let Hollister and the rest of the crew back on board. Far better than what we ended up with, yeah?

Well… it scrapes into this list at Number 10. Yes, it’s better that what we ended up with – and anything which means the caption “THE END… THE SMEG IT IS” isn’t broadcast definitely improves the whole of British television by precisely 1023%. On the other hand, the original ending is rather better at tying up loose ends than actually being funny, and if you think too hard about Rimmer leaving the stranded Red Dwarf crew to die, it starts getting rather unpleasant.

Besides, the broadcast ending to VIII – whilst terrible – also lead to one of the funniest jokes in the whole of Red Dwarf X – the aborted explanation in The Beginning. So let’s have a compromise. It would definitely have been best if this original ending was used… but only between the years 1999 – 2012.

9. Double-Rimmer Cinema

Me²

Cinema scene from Me2 Here’s one that I frankly admit is as much to do with my ANUS as anything else. Famously, in the broadcast version of Me², the wrong Rimmer actually appears to be selected for deletion – the cut section, featuring our original Rimmer getting up and standing right next to the cinema screen, fixes this.

However, the fact that he then goes on to say the immortal lines “Go on, Orson! Go for it, there’s a good bloke. He’s giving exactly the same performance as he did in Carry On Camping.” means it’s thoroughly deserving of a place in this list.

I wonder whether any thought was given to including this section in the Remastered version? After all, at other points, Remastered goes out of its way to correct continuity errors…

8. I don’t like you

Out of Time

Kryten and Rimmer preparing to go into deep sleep There are so many little exchanges hidden away in Red Dwarf‘s deleted scenes which are ludicrous amounts of fun. Cat in Emohawk asking “You want to know what I think?”, and the rest of the crew yelling “No!” Or Lister telling Kryten in Demons & Angels “I can’t breathe Kryten, I can’t see!”, and Kryten replying with “Oh… of course. I keep forgetting you need to do those things sir.” Or Holly in the same episode, apologising after she can’t find the words ‘cargo bay doors’ in her lexicon: “I’m very furry.”

To stand for all of them, then, I’m including this little exchange in Out of Time, as the crew prepare to go into deep sleep:

RIMMER: Kryten… if for any reason we don’t pull through this, I want you to know: I don’t like you and I never have.
KRYTEN: Thank you, sir. That confirms everything.

I know it’s an obvious gag. But Barrie delivers it superbly, and Kryten’s calm reaction is hilarious. In many ways, despite the flashier entries elsewhere in this rundown… it’s moments like this which are the real joy of these deleted scenes. Stupid gags, but arising from character… which catch you entirely unawares and leave you in a fit of giggles. When you’ve watched each episode of Red Dwarf far too many times over the years, that’s something to treasure.

7. Cat/Toaster Duet

Kryten

Cat singing into microphone The Cat, Talkie Toaster and the Skutters form a band, in a delightfully odd little scene. Cue lots of squealing from Cat, and then an admonishment from him to Talkie for coming in at the wrong point: “You’re making the whole thing sound stupid!”

OK, so the tag line is a bit weak – Rimmer saying the signal they’ve picked up is “probably someone from another planet complaining about the music” – but aside from that, this is a lovely little scene, with no obvious reason why it was deemed unsuitable. (Strangely, the decision was seemingly made quite early on, too – Talkie’s lines were never recorded.) It’s also a rare showpiece scene for Danny John-Jules, which makes it a double shame it didn’t make it into the final show.

6. Rimmer/Nirvanah

Holoship

Nirvanah dragging Rimmer along so she can fuck him Well, it was inevitable that Holoship would end up here somewhere. Famously overrunning by a full ten minutes, huge swathes of material ended up not being used. I personally enjoy Matthew Marsh’s intentionally ludicrous performance as Hercule Platini; arguably some of his line readings would be too distracting if used in the episode itself (“So what you seem to be implying Mr. Navarro is that the wormhole may very well be COMPACTED!“), but they’re great fun to see for their own sake. And there’s a beautiful scene sadly removed where Rimmer leaves the bridge… only to accidentally walk straight back in through another door.

But for my money, the extended material with Nirvanah dragging Rimmer off to have sex, and the subsequent post-coital chit-chat, is the part of the episode which suffers most from the deletion of material. It’s not one single line or moment – although Nirvanah’s naughty expression as she does the aforementioned dragging is a highlight – it’s simply that by allowing the scene to breathe, I feel the relationship far more than in the broadcast version. Lingering looks and all.

5. Rimmer’s Medical

Rimmerworld

Rimmer's Medical from Rimmerworld I get the idea this might be a rather left-field choice, but what the hell – revisiting all the deleted scenes for this article, I’ve become really rather fond of it.

RIMMER: In our family, we were taught to be winners. Four boys, and every morning: three breakfasts. You learned PDQ that losers don’t eat. I’ve still got the fork marks in the back of my neck to prove it.
KRYTEN: You sure it’s your own childhood you’re remembering, sir? You’re not getting confused with Charles Manson: The Early Years?
RIMMER: Scoff if you like Kryten, but three out of those four Rimmer boys went on to become the creme-de-la-creme of the Space Corps.
KRYTEN: And the fourth?
RIMMER: Sadly, that turned out to be me. Still, 75% hit rate, you can’t knock it.
KRYTEN: Hmmmm. But isn’t it true, sir, that in one way or another all your brothers went insane? That they destroyed the craft they were commanding and killed the entire crews?
RIMMER: That’s a bit personal, isn’t it?

I am ludicrously fond of the Charles Manson gag, and it’s surprising that it gets precisely no audience reaction whatsoever. Meanwhile, the fate of Rimmer’s brothers is genuinely horrific, and thus plays into one of my favourite tropes: horrific things, done with a light touch, and done in front of a studio audience. Rimmer’s understated reaction of “That’s a bit personal, isn’t it?” is perfect.

4. Crew Funeral

The End

Funeral scene from The End One of the few times I completely disagree with the accompanying DVD caption, which describes it as “a total disaster on every level”. Whilst it’s very much not perfect, there is plenty to like about this scene; indeed, it won me over from the start as Lister’s pathetically short eulogies for each member of the crew is interrupted by Rimmer: “You going to take this long over everyone?”

But it’s Rimmer’s eulogy for himself which takes centre-stage, as he describes his hobby of elbow-titting:

RIMMER: That’s where you brush your elbow against a woman’s breast and pretend it was an accident. Now, Arnie did this to Lovell, and she punched him on the shoulder and said ‘Drop dead, creep’! And Arnie, Arnie poured an entire jug of custard over her head and ran away. What a guy. What a guy. What a sportsman.

The way Barrie delivers “What a guy. What a sportsman” makes this one of my favourite Rimmer moments of the entire first series.

Maybe the rest of the scene isn’t quite as good, and Cat’s introduction works better in the final version of the episode – although even then, there’s amusement to be had with Holly’s line about having “evolved into the life form you now see jiggling one of my terminals”. But I really wish the funeral section had made it into the final episode… in some form, at least.

3. Kryten’s Asshole

Polymorph

Kryten calling Cat an ASSHOLE because it's funny

More guilt-free Kryten? I’ll take every last scrap, please.

CAT: Hey, come on, you asshole! Move it!

KRYTEN: According to my database, an asshole is a small puckered opening concealed in the rear region of the human torso, known as: the bottom. Quite frankly, my behaviour, and the behaviour of this small puckered opening, have very little in common, in that my behaviour is neither small, puckered, nor an ingenious way of evacuating bodily waste. Your statement is, therefore, a total non-sequitur, which – I rather fancy – makes YOU the asshole. Asshole!

CAT: That’s right! That’s right! I’m an asshole!

I don’t think there’s a sitcom in the world which wouldn’t benefit from the addition of that little exchange. Stick it in an episode of As Time Goes By.

2. What a guy…

Dimension Jump

Mellie in Dimension Jump Poor Hattie. Despite a sterling effort from her, as is well-documented, the addition of Kryten meant that Holly’s role got more and more reduced as Red Dwarf went on – cumulating in her being written out entirely for Series VI. A huge shame… but entirely understandable.

But then there’s this. Her alter-ego Mellie’s “What a guy!” line. Delivered absolutely perfectly. And every single one of the crew’s alter egos get to say it… apart from her. When Hattie’s role as Holly gets such a raw deal anyway, to cut out this moment seems particularly perverse.

Life sucks. But luckily, deleted scenes on DVDs can help it suck less. Just by a fraction.

1. “…and that’s basically the gag!”

Back To Reality

With Back to Reality definitely being the best episode of Red Dwarf ever ever ever, maybe it’s only fitting that it also had the best scene which ended up on the cutting room floor. Cut from the beginning of the episode, Rimmer’s attempted joke-telling has very little to do with the rest of the episode, either plot-wise or thematically… but if only an extra minute could have been found in the episode’s running time. It would surely be as fondly-remembered as the rest of the episode.

Here at G&T we’ve got a policy of not sticking extras WHICH YOU SHOULD FUCKING PAY FOR online… but hey, seeing as this article is in effect one huge advert as to why you should buy the DVDs, we can probably afford to break the rule just this once.

But enough of me writing nice things about Red Dwarf. It feels far too unnatural. Let’s get back to what I do best: pointlessly being unpleasant about things that really don’t matter. Which scenes deserve to have not only been cut, but pissed on by Ian Levine, shat on by Philip Morris, and then the result being force-fed to the pair of them?

5. Original Shower Scenes

Stasis Leak

Shower scene not in Stasis Leak Look, I love the sets in Series 1 and 2. I think they’re great. I will have long and tedious arguments with anyone who disagrees with me… even if that person is Doug Naylor. But even I have to admit that the original version of the two shower sequences in Stasis Leak pushes me to beyond breaking point. Pathetic dribble of water into the pathetic shower tray and all. The dreadful flesh-coloured pants the extra is wearing is the fetid icing on the cake. (See the Series 2 documentary It’d Cold Outside on The Bodysnatcher Collection DVD set for more hilarity about this.)

There’s also a really weird bit of blocking where Lister makes his “agoraphobics society” joke; he pulls the shower curtain across very awkwardly, and due to the camera position it doesn’t really sell that he’s shut the other person out. Either there’s a shot missing, or it’s yet another reason for the reshoot…

4. Rape

Back in the Red – Part 2

Rimmer and Lister discusses viruses The original version of Lister’s escape from his holding cell, which was actually shot in the recreation of the Series 1 bunkroom. It benefits from the non-inclusion of the lines “The movers and the shakers? You’re going to supper with some removal men and a group of people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease?”, as any programme in the entire history of television would. Unfortunately, it also includes this little exchange:

RIMMER: Sexual magnetism. This could totally solve my whole problem with the universe.
LISTER: What, you’re gonna use them?
RIMMER: Is Paris a kind of plaster? You bet I am.
LISTER: You had no right going through my things, Rimmer. And it is morally inexcusable to use a sexual magnetism virus that I was saving to use on Krissie the next time I got her drunk.

Let’s just quote that last bit again, shall we?

LISTER: You had no right going through my things, Rimmer. And it is morally inexcusable to use a sexual magnetism virus that I was saving to use on Krissie the next time I got her drunk.

Oh dear.

LISTER: You had no right going through my things, Rimmer. And it is morally inexcusable to use a sexual magnetism virus that I was saving to use on Krissie the next time I got her drunk.

It’s perhaps important to note what the script is doing here. It isn’t actually commending Lister’s actions. Indeed, the whole joke is the gap between Lister saying Rimmer’s actions are morally inexcusable whilst saying something morally inexcusable himself.

Unfortunately… that doesn’t stop the fact that it’s portraying Lister as a big old rapist. True, the broadcast episode does that perfectly well in the lift sequence – “I don’t know what got into me / “Well, nothing, sadly” – but the addition of “next time I got her drunk” turns this into far more of a more reality-based date rape scenario.

Vile.

3. “I’ll smoke him a smegging kipper…”

Dimension Jump

Kippers falling on Rimmer An especially interesting one, this. Most of these deleted scenes were removed from the show seamlessly, for good or for ill. But there’s always been something weird about the end of Dimension Jump. Sure, the final closing crawl is amusing enough, but Arnie’s plan to cover Ace in kippers just fizzles out. Exceedingly anticlimactic.

Sadly, what’s revealed here makes it obvious why the planned ending was cut. Rimmer himself being covered in kippers looks awkward in the extreme, and makes no sense as he’s a hologram. The accompanying caption says that the shot was planned to freeze before the kippers hit Rimmer, but that clearly wouldn’t solve anything either. Not only would it still look awkward, but it would also still set the audience thinking about whether the kippers would fall through Rimmer or not, which is very much Not The Point Of The Scene.

Really, you have to wonder why Rob and Doug didn’t come up with an entirely different final scene. No matter how you edit it – including in the final broadcast version – it doesn’t work at all.

Wait, no, that explains everything.

2. “Well, let’s go!”

White Hole

The So What Is It scene from White Hole From a deletion which still left a hole in the finished episode, to one that saved one of the best scenes in the whole of Red Dwarf. The “So what is it?” scene from White Hole is extraordinary: blending comedy and a neat SF idea in a way that very, very few programmes ever manage.

This rather unfortunate addition to the end of the scene sucks, however. Lister leaping off the side to say “Well, let’s go!”… before leaping back on. Then leaping off to say “Well, let’s go!”, before… you get the idea. The scene as broadcast relies on clever editing to pull the joke off; having the cast clumsily and awkwardly repeat their movements in an infuriatingly inaccurate manner is just appalling. (And unfortunately, brings to mind similar issues with portraying the Time Wand in Pete.)

It is sad to lose Rimmer’s extra line about Holly’s computer slug, though: “An IQ of 12,000, and that’s all she gives us? David Cassidy’s Greatest Hits?

1. New Gordon

Better Than Life Remastered

New Gordon from Better Than Life Remastered Poor old Remastered. Having only just recovered from my last article, it finally pokes its head up to get some fresh air, just to receive the award for worst deleted scene too. Can’t it ever catch a break?

Still, there is a reason. For all the stuff that doesn’t quite work in Red Dwarf‘s deleted scenes, it’s usually at least possible to see what they were aiming at, and why it was shot. Here, there seems to be no logical reason behind it at all. It’s not that the new performance by Phil Philmar is especially bad – although the extra lines don’t add anything – it’s just the original by Gordon Salkilld is so amusing that you wonder why anyone would think getting a new actor in ten years later was in any way worth doing whatsoever. The idea that anyone would think the performance is worth replacing I find utterly incomprehensible.

And that’s your lot for this High & Low. Join us next time, when Ian Symes will be going through the best and worst Holly scenes. Feel free to give your suggestions below. I think that bit where he turns his shiny bald head into a big moon is best.

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13 Responses to High & Low: Deleted Scenes

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  1. Another very good High and Low, John. Barely remember some of these tbh, really ought to give the DVD extras another look.

    Best Holly scene? End of Queeg. Also really like his reaction to Kryten polishing his screen in Kryten, black holes/specks of grit, fainting in Dimemsion Jump and warning Lister about the tarantula in Terrorform.

  2. Just remembered the scene with Talkie Toaster in White Hole, and I think my favourite single Holly line is “And then they did a jigsaw?” From series VIII I especially dislike the Nostilomo and theory of relativity, and if we’re including remastered then “Yes, God?” can fuck off.

  3. An interesting article. The Series VIII deleted scene about rap music and politicians was lucky to escape however.

    The best Holly lines should all be from Norman in the first two series. The Norweb gag, the dogs milk, Queeg etc. Hattie`s Holly was infinitely weaker.

    The worst Holly moments should all come from Series VII, VIII and the remastered however. The theory of relativity in particular.

  4. G&T Admin

    An interesting article. The Series VIII deleted scene about rap music and politicians was lucky to escape however.

    That was very definitely On The Potential List. Absolutely appalling. I perhaps wonder if I should have included it after all. My argument is one of respective quality: as I’m not so keen on VII/VIII as broadcast, then any deleted material has less capacity to drag the episodes down, regardless of how shit it is. So one entry for the Low section seemed all that was reasonable.

    (For the record, the two other things which nearly made it to the Low list were the unused Holly intros from Series III, and the park scene from Justice. The last one got away with it mainly because of Cat saying “That’s a big bird.”)

  5. G&T Admin

    Another very good High and Low, John. Barely remember some of these tbh, really ought to give the DVD extras another look.

    Thanks clem!

    It’s odd, really – I don’t think the deleted scenes have really been watched and talked about enough, myself included. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting them for this article. Well worth rewatching.

  6. Favourite Holly scenes:
    Holly/Hilly, Parallel Universe (“I’m in there.”)
    Holly/Talkie Toaster, White Hole (“No I would not like a crumpet!”)
    Holly/crew, Queeg (“Or is it the yellow cable?”)

    Worst? I’m not keen on a lot of Norm’s later scenes. After the obvious pleasant surprise of his return in Nanarchy, it seems he hasn’t quite gotten back into the character. And in that particular episode, he seems a bit too clever.

    So there. I’m sure I’ll think of other stuff.

  7. I apologise in advance.

  8. One of my favourite Holly moments is his “alright dudes” in Nanarchy. It feels so right, like he’s not been away – those few seconds feel more Dwarf than anything in the rest of the series. Obviously that’s all destroyed by the time of his “alright, dude” in the following episode.

  9. G&T Admin

    Ridley – that pic might make the top ten.

  10. The deleted scenes were the first thing I used to go for with each DVD release. They served as an excellent appetiser for the documentaries. Hopefully not too long before we hear about series XI, but in the meantime these articles are excellent!

  11. I think the obvious best Holly moment is “They’re all dead, Dave”. Clear winner there.

  12. Worst Holly moment? Conehead Holly, Back in the Red 3.

  13. Best Holly moment – night watch man from Queeg.

    Worst Holly moment – theory of relativity.

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