Announcing the Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters

You heard. Over on Twitter, there’s a format pioneered by TV’s Richard Osman – amongst many others – whereby the best thing in a certain category is determined by a series of polls, in a tournament structure roughly mirroring that of the FIFA World Cup. By this method, we’ve discovered democratically-elected favourites in the fields of crisps (Frazzles in 2012, Pickled Onion Monster Munch in 2016), chocolate (Dairy Milk), Christmas films (Home Alone) and, thanks to TOS’s Seb Patrick, movie trilogies (Toy Story). We thought it was time for Red Dwarf to get in on the action.

We considered doing it for episodes, but we figured that the 30th anniversary poll is only a year away, so instead we’re revisiting a topic that we previously covered in a High & Low article. Yes folks, @ganymedetitan is proud to host the Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters, starting Sunday 5th February at round about lunchtime!

Polls will take place on a daily basis until The Final on Tuesday 14th. Each poll will be open for 24 hours, so we’ll know the ultimate winner on Wednesday 15th February, appropriately enough. We’ll start off with eight groups of four over the first two days, with the top two characters from each group progressing to the Round of 16. This will be a series of two-way knock-outs, leading to the quarter-finals, semi-finals, third place play-off and The Final. It’s the World Cup, basically.

But who will compete for this prestigious prize? Well, the top eight characters from our old High & Low article have all been seeded, meaning that they’ll all be kept separate in the group stage. The remaining 24 places are taken by: the other two from that top ten; other characters that were shortlisted for the High list; a smattering from Series XI; and any leftovers who are considered to be a major character in the episode in which they appear, regardless of any personal opinions on their quality. The old eligibility rules still apply: guests who later became regulars are allowed (ie. Kryten and Kochanski), but no alternate personalities or suchlike played by any of the main cast.

The draw was conducted in the presence of an independent adjudicator (my brother-in-law) at G&T Towers last weekend, and it looks like this:

Group B is already being referred to as the “Group of Death” by some pundits. Meanwhile, the rest of the wallchart currently looks like this:

Isn’t this just terribly exciting? Yes. Yes, it is. So join us over on @ganymedetitan, and the hashtag #RDWC to join in the fun, look at the pretty graphics we’ve made, retweet, vote and campaign for your favourite Red Dwarf guest character of all time. Hurrah!

(NB. I’ve just discovered that the hashtag is already in use by a small number of accounts dedicated to the cultivation of cannabis. Ah well, I’ve already done the graphics now, and there’s probably a decent sized crossover of these demographics.)

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55 Responses to Announcing the Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters

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  1. Exxxxxxxxxxtrodinary.

    Professor Mamet, Captain Tow & Dr Hilderguard Lanstrom all need better coaches thats some heavy weight non qualifiers. & Yvonne Mcgruder exchanges her peep hole bra with the other teams at match end and still can’t get a look in. Listers Gelf bride is crying again and so is the justice computer cus of the pressure of penalties and Mr Flibble is very cross he can’t escape being a deranged arm extension so has been disqualified over the “hand of rim” incident.

    Were the young Rimmers considered alternate of main cast?

    This could all of been very different, Clearly you are as bad as FIFA. ;-)

  2. Hm. Gone through the fixtures with my own answers, and somehow don’t really agree with my final result. Not quite sure how I’ve managed to do that.

  3. A – 4 of 27
    B – Talkie Toaster
    C – Elvis Presley
    D – Howard Rimmer
    E – The Inquizitor
    F – Kryten (Ross)
    G – Hogue The rouge
    H – Queeg

  4. Presumably Pythagoras was disqualified due to an obviously unfair advantage while triangulating the trajectory of penalty kicks.

  5. Have there been a lot of votes yet? I’ve gone for the current leader of group B, but my other choices are in the bottom two of their respective groups. Not much separating the bottom three of A, though.

  6. 4 of 27
    Caligula
    Andy
    Howard Rimmer (though I almost voted Camille)

  7. I voted:
    Jesus
    Caligula
    Epideme
    Captain Herring

    I’m far too disappointed in the predictability of the results. Especially Group B. Ah well.

  8. All of the voting is down to personal opinion of course, but it strikes me that the leaders in groups A-D *may* be be getting a lot of votes just based on them being from the BBC era that people perhaps have more warm, fuzzy memories of, rather than by virtue of being better/funnier characters. Nostalgia, man, it ain’t what it used to be.

    Interesting to see that G&T’s predicted “group of death” is proving to be anything but, with Talkie Toaster taking the biggest lead out of any of the first four groups, whilst Group C is as tight as a rat’s arse with a Starbug up it.

    Also – most votes for Group B, least votes for Group A. Why? Fuck knows.

    (If anyone cares, I went with Kochanski, Butler, Elvis and Howard.)

  9. G&T Admin

    I think the variation is voting numbers is down to the varying strength of each set of characters – people are more likely to vote if they care about a particular character, and skip it if they’ve got no strong feelings either way. But overall the numbers are way better than I was expecting; I’d have been happy just to scrape into triple figures.

    You’re right that it’s been a strong showing for the BBC characters – only two from the Dave era are through to the knockout stages so far, with four biting the dust. Snacky is the only XI character left in the competition, and he’s facing stiff competition in Group G.

    The final four groups are now live, btw. Go vote!

  10. FWIW, I voted Butler in Group B and think he was robbed. I have to google who the fuck “Andy” was, mind. That was shameful, I know. In my head, he’s simply Tim Spall.

    Bloody Red Dwarf fans.

  11. Well, the ones I voted for in Groups A-D are all through. My picks for G (Legion) and H (Queeg) are currently runaway leaders, and while Nirvanah Crane is neck and neck with Kryten mk1 in Group F, poor Pree is languishing in third place in Group E. Unbelievable.

  12. In the first four groups I voted for one winner (Talkie) and three last placers (joint last in group C, voted for The Dog)! I’ve only voted for Kryten in E-G so far. Confidence vs The Inquisitor is like daddy or chips, Legion vs Snacky even more so!

  13. I meant “E-H” of course. I’m greatly amused that one of tomorrow’s matches is a talking toaster vs Jesus, even though it’s not *the* Jesus.

    Ah bollocks man I thought I’d narrowed E down to two but I really haven’t. IT’S TOO HARD!

  14. It was nice to be able to choose a couple of post-VI characters this time: Pree and Snacky both got my vote.

  15. I voted for Butler in Group B. Him being completely decimated is surprising. Pree not getting through is too.

  16. My votes went to three winners and one runner up (Confidence) in E-H. Really very glad that Snacky scraped through even though he’s gonna be annihilated by Queeg.

  17. I think everyone’s going to be annihilated by Queeg, to be honest. Queeg for champ.

  18. G&T Admin

    Snacky and Hogey were neck and neck for ages in that group, but plucky old Snacky made it through as XI’s only representative in the knockout stage… only to, as noted, be drawn against Queeg. So assuming that a miracle does not occur, the last hopes of the Dave era lie with Jesus and Howard Rimmer, both of whom are in Round of 16 action today.

  19. Butler NOO! He’s begone!

  20. G&T Admin

    With the sad business earlier, I neglected to post about the latest results here. But the last four Round of 16 ties are taking place right now, and we know how the first two quarter finals will line up:

    These kick off on Thursday lunchtime.

  21. G&T Admin

    I’M CROSS ABOUT BINKS

  22. Kochanski v Howard Rimmer in *both* of them?

  23. G&T Admin

    I initially posted the same one twice by mistake, but it’s showing up properly for me on three different devices now, so I’d recommend a hard refresh. Fnaar.

    Anyway, the last four Round of 16 ties passed by without incident, but by Christ they’ve set up some interesting Quarter Finals. Surely the most tantalising tie of the tournament so far has to be Kryten (David Ross) vs Queeg. This is like Germany coming up against Argentina – one of the favourites WILL be going home!

    Meanwhile, two equally exciting polls have just launched. I think we’re at the stage now where it’s getting harder and harder to predict the outcome. It’s anyone’s tournament from here!

  24. TOASTER WILL DESTROY

  25. I’m at a point now where I’m thinking I’d vote for Nirvanah Crane without hesitation over Talkie Toaster or Camille, having voted elsewhere in her previous two appearances. (Bad) luck of the draw, I guess.

  26. I have spectacularly failed to vote in most of these rounds. I feel like I’ve let democracy down.

  27. First Brexit, then the US election… now Snacky?

    Fuck you all.

    Putting my weight behind Legion. And since he’s amalgamation of the four main characters, anyone who doesn’t is a traitor, frankly. So there.

  28. G&T Admin

    I’ve just realised that all four of tomorrow’s quarter finalists appear in episodes that were named after them. And that if [Talkie] Toaster and Kryten both get through, there’ll be a David Ross-off in the semi-final.

  29. G&T Admin

    Well, the last of the Dave-era characters is out, after Howard Rimmer was defeated by Kochanski (CP Grogan). [Talkie] Toaster is also through to the semis, having comfortably beaten Camille. But as for the remaining two quarter finals, which have just launched, anything can happen…

  30. Because I’ve nothing better to do while I’m on the bus to work, I’ve been watching the polls so far. The Inquisitor v Legion is a right old ding dong.

  31. Most people voting based on episode(s) as a whole rather than character, do you think?

  32. I suspect so, plus fondness for BBC-era shows that have lived longer in the memory. I’m kind of amazed how Queeg is basically just obliterating everyone in his path, and I suspect it’s because of a memorable punchline that wasn’t even delivered by Charles Augins. Or maybe people just genuinely love the Queeg character that much, who knows.

    I feel kind of the same about Kochanski, who doesn’t really say anything particularly funny or have any memorable lines or scenes (except perhaps the ones that actually being delivered by Claire as Rimmer as Kochanski), but is in enough episodes and is enough of a driving force for Lister’s own motivations that she becomes a significant figure despite the relative insignificance of her character’s performances. At least, that’s why *I* voted her ahead of the much funnier Jesus, old hypocrite that I am.

    I must say also that The Inquisitor vs. Legion is the first vote I’m having to abstain from, as I love both characters and the episodes they’re responsible for just about equally, and I couldn’t bare to vote against either of them. Either way, one of *my* guys is going to the semis, so I’m content to just let that one play out before I mope about it later when I suddenly realise the wrong one won.

    I suppose I should vote for Legion as my nostalgia leans me towards VI more than V, but I was also surprised to learn once that The Inquisitor wasn’t highly regarded in some quarters as anything more than a “grower” rather than a stand-out episode. Consequently, I became a bit of a defender for him – It’s funny how differing opinions from different corners of the fandom can leave lasting impressions like that, as I was expecting him to be voted out early only to happily find out that he’s actually more popular than some people were giving him credit for.

  33. G&T Admin

    There’s only one character from the QFs who I feel is over-performing, and no prizes for guessing that it’s the one in the bottom five of my High & Low. For that particular character, I think it’s a case of the version of the character in people’s heads being far better than the actual execution. The idea of Kochanski is great, but we should be voting on CP Grogan’s portrayal. Which is shit.

    Not remotely surprised by Queeg’s dominance. I’d have thought some of his games would have been closer, but I think you’re doing a great disservice to Charles Augins there, Captain Bollocks.

    But yes, I think nostalgia and familiarity plays a part in how the BBC era performed in comparison to the Dave era. I genuinely think that some of the very best guest performances of all time have come in the last few years, but many of the older ones are much more integral to their episodes, had more screen time on average, and were delivering material that is now iconic. I hope that people will eventually look back on the likes of Harmony, Pree, 4 of 27 and Hogey in the same way, but it may take time.

  34. > The idea of Kochanski is great, but we should be voting on CP Grogan’s portrayal.

    But it’s the Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters, not Guest Star Performances, and obviously there’s more to any character than the way he/she/it’s played. There’s the writing, the character design even (I mean Snacky *looks* hilarious), and, yes, the idea of the character, whether it be an interesting sci-fi concept like The Inquisitor, or the joke of the Dog being the Cat’s parallel universe equivalent when he, and the audience, are expecting a female. I don’t say this to stick up for Kochanski – I haven’t voted for her at any stage – but I have been taking factors other than the performances into account when casting my votes.

  35. G&T Admin

    That’s an entirely fair point and I completely agree – I worded my post badly, in that it’s not *just* the performance that’s shit about this version of Kochanski.

    Nevertheless, she’s currently in semi-final action against Legion, who pipped The Inquisitor by 51% to 49%! This clash is incredibly close as well – the lead has been swinging back and forth constantly for the first ten minutes, and is exactly 50-50 as I write this. With, of course, a long long way to go. These semis are one per day, so we’ll have to wait for tomorrow to see the unstoppable kitchen appliance meet the immovable fake computer.

  36. The Inquisitor has been judged unworthy. Cheg on! You am a twart.

    Hoping for a Legion Vs Queeg final. It’s basically the 4 of them vs Holly, which is Norman’s opinion of the past 25 years.

  37. >But it’s the Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters, not Guest Star Performances

    Yeah, so then we’re still voting on her portrayal, because this doesn’t include Chloe era Kochanski or the book context. If you’re including those, then it’s not a level playing field, because most of the other characters don’t have that additional context.

    Come on, she’s utter crap, how she’s got this far into the competition is baffling.
    GET OUT THE BELT WHILE YOU CAN! :-/

  38. > this doesn’t include Chloe era Kochanski or the book context. If you’re including those, then it’s not a level playing field

    I agree, and I wouldn’t consider those things in my assessment of Kochanski as played by CP Grogan. I wasn’t defending that character, or Grogan’s portrayal, just pointing out that there’s more to *any* character than the performance. I agree with pretty much everything Ian says about Kochanski in the High & Low article.

    > how she’s got this far into the competition is baffling

    It certainly is a head scratcher. I think maybe a lot of more casual fans *are* thinking about the Chloe version as well.

  39. Or it could be she is just more popular out in the wild than she is here at G&T towers. Personally speaking I do feel CP Grogan gets a bit of an unfair flack in some quarters because she has a strong accent, much like how Craig did when his accent was more pronounced. Which may be part of the reason why I think they played well together, at least in the first two seasons.

  40. I really like the original Kochanski, never had any issue with how she was played. She seems a pretty good fit for Lister. She appears just enough to work as an unattainable desire – mostly off-screen references, with a handful of actual scenes so we have an idea of who it is Lister is pining for.

    I also fancy Clare Grogan.

  41. G&T Admin

    Well, the people have spoken and LEGION has made it through to the final! Never more than a couple of percentage points in it throughout the tie; the lead kept swapping for most of Saturday, but Legion got a grip of it in the evening and clung on til the end.

    Kochanski (CP Grogan) will compete for a bronze medal on Monday, while Legion will surely be the underdog once more in Tuesday’s final, as he meets the winner of the semi-final between [Talkie] Toaster and Queeg, second and first respectively in the High & Low article that started this whole shebang. AND IT’S LIVE.

  42. Since we’re on the subject of whether or not some of us are/should be choosing to vote for characters based on an actor’s portrayal of them, isn’t it rather odd that we’re voting for the gestalt entity that is John Lenahan AND David Ross and their somewhat differing takes on Talkie Toaster?

    As for Queeg, I realise the blatant clue is in the microdot of the ‘i’ in the wording “no alternate personalities played by any of the main cast”, rendering him an alternate character played by a guest actor, but it’s interesting to see how far he’s progressed given that he doesn’t actually exist and is just a practical joke being played by Holly. A bit meta perhaps, but it’s technically Charles Augins as Holly as Queeg. I suppose the further argument is that Queeg is a character in his own right, as created by Holly.

    Either way, I full expect an internal investigation to be held by the Fédération Internationale de Ganymede & Titan Association regarding the matter, which shall yield a verdict of “We’re not corrupt, honest!”, followed by an expansion to 48 characters by the time the next tournament rolls around.

  43. I’m not surprised that Talkie Toaster is doing so well but I am of the opinion that he is shite. John Lenahan’s version got some decent laughs out of me but man do I find the opening toaster scenes of White Hole an absolutely shite start to an otherwise perfect episode.

    I’m similarly disappointed by the performance of the Dave era guest stars, as I agree with Ian that we’ve seen some of the strongest guest characters and performances in the last 8 years.

  44. You hate the toaster? Why?
    I dont understand? What causes this conclusion?

    He’s literally the best thing since sliced bread.

    Why do you find it to be Shite Hole?

  45. Well, I think that’s cleared the air. I don’t know about you but I certainly feel better. And thank you for your contributions, gentlemen. See you at next week’s morale meeting. Marvellous!

  46. G&T Admin

    Regardless of this, I can report that [Talkie] Toaster did indeed beat Queeg in the semi-final, setting up a final clash with Legion. Meanwhile, the third place play off is now underway, between Kochanski (CP Grogan) and Queeg…

  47. “Would anyone like any votes?”

    HAHA. Do you see?

  48. I don’t get it.

    Which is why I hate Valentine’s Day.

  49. There’s not a fucking chance Legion is winning this.

    Honestly, I think it’d be better if we did a league rather than a knock-out competition.

  50. Yeah but Legion was defeated by being knocked out, kinda, so its fitting!

  51. G&T Admin

    TOASTER WINS.

    FATALITY.

    Full write-up, with stats, coming this weekend.

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