Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum The Unmade Episodes Thread

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    So, I’m blind. Dunno whose idea it was to put the new topic section all the way at the bottom where no sane bugger would think to look, but whatever, I’m here now.

    Anyway, enough about that. I thought I’d make a thread all about those stories that never got a chance to be made –  the unproduced episodes, the scripts that never made it. I looked around for a thread like that, but if there is one here, I couldn’t find it.

    Without further ado, here’s a quick rundown of all the above that I’m currently aware of (not going into too much detail because everybody already knows about the three from The Bodysnatcher Collection, and there’s not really enough information available on the rest) –

    Bodysnatcher (S1) – Rimmer decides to build a new body for himself and Lister is tricked into loading up a second, hologrammatic Lister. Hijinks ensue. Released as part of The Bodysnatcher Collection as a series of storyboards with linking narration by Chris Barrie.

    Mugs (S2?) – Cartoon character Mugs Murphy, last seen being mistaken for Orson Welles in Me2, somehow escapes into the real world to cause havoc on Red Dwarf. Never brought past very, very early planning stages apparently, and I’m not even convinced this was seriously considered as the only evidence I’ve seen of it is supposedly Craig once mentioned it. That said though, it does occur to me now that the mutated developing fluid from Timeslides sounds like it might have initially been devised with that concept in mind.

    I put it down as Series 2 because his first appearance was the final episode as Series 1.

    Dad (S3) – Continuing from the cliffhanger ending of S2 finale Parallel Universe, Dave Lister gives birth, Holly swaps heads and Kryten rejoins the crew. Notably differs from the version of events recounted in the opening crawl of Backwards, which is something some people (sad, lonely people) seem to forget. Released as part of The Bodysnatcher Collection as a series of storyboards with linking narration by Chris Barrie.

    Garbage World (S4?) – Something akin to the namesake section of the book Better Than Life, which sees the boys make it back to what remains of Earth – a three million year old garbage heap inhabited by giant cockroaches. Ed spoke about this one on the Red Dwarf Quarantine podcast with Rob as the only time he ever vetoed an effects shot as unfilmable.

    I put it down as Series 4 on the basis that that’s where White Hole ended up, and that was also adapted from the book.

    Identity Within (S7) – Cat has a condition – if he does not get laid within the next few days, he will die. The crew are forced to land on a colony of Brefwino – cat-eating GELFs – to find and free a mate for Cat. Released as part of The Bodysnatcher Collection as a series of storyboards with linking narration by Chris Barrie. Elements of the story appear in later episodes Can of Worms (unfortunately) and The Promised Land. At least two drafts of the script have been reviewed by this very site.

    Phwoaarr (S8) – Lister is tricked into enlisting the posse into the Canaries, Floor 13’s resident suicide squad. Investigating a derelict spacecraft where the crew were experimenting with pheromones, people start getting the irresistible urge to bone each other brainless. Lister discovers Rimmer and Kochanski giving it rizz and attempts to kill him in a rage. Paul Alexander submitted this script as the ‘Episode 2’ but Doug rejected it, though apparently recycled the idea of Lister killing Rimmer for bedding Kochanski as a part of the plot for its replacement, Cassandra. We’re still not quite sure what made this episode less acceptable than the highly questionable sexual antics seen elsewhere in that series (see: literally any other episode of Series VIII, except Cassandra and possibly Pete).

    Earth (S8) – Red Dwarf returns to Earth, crashing into a whole load of major landmarks, and the boys spend the rest of their lives filling out insurance forms. This was the original planned ending of the series on the understanding that the planned film series would act as a continuity reboot. Presumably cancelled for budgetary reasons, and replaced with the episode that to this day nobody’s quite sure what the correct resolution is.

    Untitled (S10) – As far as I’m aware we know literally nothing about this episode other than it was scrapped because it was too big and would’ve cost too much, which I think is what led to the creation of The Beginning.

    And there you have it, that’s all I got. I’m sure you smeggers can fill in all the blanks. Any important details I missed? Maybe there’s more concepts and scripts someone knows about? I dunno. Guess we’ll see?


    You might find this article interesting as it covers some of these:

    The Lost Episodes

    As well as the ones you mention, there’s also the “Red Dwarf Unplugged” semi-improvised episode that was going to be made alongside Back To Earth.

    And, of course, the movie.


    Thanks for the link, I hadn’t seen that. Most intriguing.

    Ah yes, Unplugged. I’d forgotten the name of that. Probably wouldn’t have added it even if I had remembered, as from what I recall it would’ve largely been composed of re-enacting old sketches. At least, I think that was what it was. Unless it was another go at improv.


    Identity Within is a Series VII DVD extra. It’s not on The Bodysnatcher Collection.


    Am I right in thinking there was a planned X episode set in a circus or something? And the final two episodes of the series would have been very different, reintroducing Kochanski and probably resolving – or at least expanding on – the Lister bettering himself and learning robotics plot that fed through the first part of the series. It’s kind of a shame that the moment Irene turns up, the arc of X just disappears altogether.


    The fabled circus episode came from the interview segments in We’re Smegged about not being able to afford both location shooting and a studio audience. Someone, Charles Armitage I think or it might be Doug himself, mentions a circus but I think he just comes up with it off the top of his head as an example of a setting that would be expensive to do, not something that was going to be in one of those scrapped episodes.


    Yeah it was an exaggerated example of a location they couldn’t get … I guess rather than naming the actual locations to give away any hint of what might have been in those episodes.


    I’m sure I recall mention in an interview about a possible Christmas special at one point? Didn’t Bill Pearson talk about repurposing a model that was intended for it for Series X?


    Bill was trying to get a Christmas special made himself I think … he built the model and did a a little spec on the idea of doing something for Christmas that obvs never went anywhere.  Then he repurposed the modle for the annihilator in The Beginning

    I want to say that clips of that model Bill shot back then exist somewhere but I wouldn’t know where to find them if they do.


    Oh look, Gazpacho Soup have some info on it

    Bill Pearson’s Red Dwarf Xmas


    Ah yes, that was it!


    There was supposedly an idea that the guys would go into the computer and interact with a fourth wall breaking version of Holly that was actually a full-bodied person wearing a black polo neck sitting in front of a screen or something, but I don’t know the source or whether it was seriously considered.


    Thankfully I think Doug’s “gay ray” episode idea never got very far…


    The polo neck thing sounds a bit like the storyline for an early draft of Quarantine where the virus affected everyone and gave them all different powers. I read about it in the DVD booklet.

    One could probably write a book based on the ideas Rob Grant’s and Doug Naylor’s fertile imaginations came up with that were almost used on Red Dwarf.  Quarantine provides a particularly entertaining ‘what if?’ game for the inclined – as, at one point, the show was to feature each of the crew gaining their own psi-power.

    The limitless possibilities boggle the mind.  Lister using pyrokinesis to flame-grill his own burgers.  The Cat, using mind-control to make everyone worship him.  Kryten levitating laundry back to the cupboard.  Oh, and Rimmer able to predict the future…and realising  he really isn’t going to be promoted – ever. Or something like that.

    In one rejected concept, the crew would have been shown inside Holly, finding – of all things – a woman sitting behind a mirror, talking into a camera.


    What’s the “gay ray” episode idea?


    What’s the “gay ray” episode idea?

    They get shot with a ray gun that turns them all gay.


    But why would making everyone way cooler be a funny episode?


    Special guest star: Bent Bob.


    Good lord. I hope that wasn’t seriously considered, I highly doubt any writer ever attached to the show could carry that particular concept off.

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