The crew of Starbug fire their rockets in preparation to return to the Crimson short one, only to discover (between series) that it’s been nicked. Danny John-Jules is currently appearing in Carmen Jones at the Old Vic. That’s not strictly important, but it’s true, and pointing it and similar situations out is something that Equity used to make the BBC do until the mid nineties or so. It’s another video from James Smith, everyone! The last BBC junction in the collection, it’s the 26th of March, 1992 and Jenna Russell sings out Back To Reality, and with it series V of Red Dwarf. Your announcer is Roseanne Macmillan, I think, and I think she also voices the trailers live. They used to do that in them days.
BUT. THAT’S NOT ALL? NO. Because we’re then treated to a hungover Kryten from the Last Day, but instead of his own human visage appearing on the screen behind him to announce his replacement, in a scene with really disturbing Freudian implications, it’s an expertly CSO-d on advert for the all-new Red Dwarf VHS range, consisting so far of series II and III. Series I came out a year later, having been held back because at this time, every one (including Grant Naylor) erronously thought it was crap.
Then: a mad BBC2 trailer sting! By the end of the year they’d become overwhelmed by the personality of the bladed 2 itself. This package slightly recalls the one from spring and summer 1989 in its explicitly Surrealist aesthetic, with even more Dali-esque landscapes and a touch of Magritte in the figures and Breton in the bits-and-pieces faces. It must have taken ages to put together. And all this to promote the last full series of Harry Enfield’s Television Programme. This was the version on BBC2 with Martin Clunes as a member of the repertory company. After the next Christmas special, it took a year off before re-emerging on 1 as Harry Enfield and Chums.
Next on 2: The Nicholas Craig Masterclass, a series of spoof lectures delivered by Nigel Planer in-character as the titular ponce, giving drama workshop acting lessons on everything from presenting cookery shows (as seen here) to the weather forecast. Probably quite funny. That’s in forty minutes, after I’m not sure what because the recording cuts out in the middle of the Copper Cutout ident. Probably 40 Minutes.
I was there and remember it well. I was 11 and hadn’t seen The Young Ones so the Nigel Planer thing wouldn’t have appealed to me, but I had seen series 1 of Harry Enfield (Dr Doolittle was mah favourite sketch) and taped all of series 2 (to this day I call Saturday Jaturday because of the Chomonoly Warner football sketch). My friend had Red Dwarf III Byte One and partially inspired by this advert I rushed out and bought Red Dwarf II Byte Two mostly because Parallel Universe had been missing from a series 2 off air I had borrowed from another school chum.