So, here’s a question. Lines such as these:
LISTER: Lolita. Is it OK if I burn Lolita?
RIMMER: Save page sixty-one… that bit.
LISTER: That’s disgusting. [Tears page off and keeps it.]
RIMMER: You only play Wimbledon cos you’re having it off with that jailbait ball girl.
LISTER: Is another total lie. She’s not jailbait, she’s seventeen.
Would these lines still make it into Red Dwarf if it was being written today?
Now, stuff about paedophilia isn’t exempt from comedy now, obviously – but it tends to more the edgier kind. For better or for worse – or, rather, for better and for worse, depending on the proportion of the reaction – people are rather more sensitive about the subject these days. Red Dwarf isn’t an edgy show in that way, and nor was it ever meant to be.
It’s not that I object to either piece of material – I’m just interested if it would have been included today. Although now I actually think about it, saving a page of Lolita to have a wank over – and let’s not forget that in the book the girl is 12, not 14 as in Kubrick’s film – does seem rather dodgy…