Dad (Red Dwarf)

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"Dad" is the title of a so-called "lost episode" of the British science fiction comedy television series, Red Dwarf. The planned first episode of the show's third series, Dad was never filmed or even fully scripted: writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor abandoned it halfway through writing it. Instead, the basic events of the episode (which would have explained various changes to the show's setting, e.g. what happened with Lister's pregnancy, why former guest character Kryten had reappeared and become a regular member of the cast and what had happened to him, and why Holly's image had changed from a male to a female) were written into a pre-title Star Wars-eque scroll sequence of the episode Backwards, which became the new Series III premiere. Jokes from the script were also worked into other episodes: for example, Lister's revealing that he was abandoned at birth and Rimmer's subsequent speculation that Lister was the product of brother-sister incest was written into the episode The Last Day.

An extract of the unfinished script of Dad was included on the DVD release Red Dwarf: The Bodysnatcher Collection alongside several other such extracts. In the same style as the eponymous "lost episode" Bodysnatcher, the extract of Dad was animated in a storyboard style as the script itself was read by lead actor Chris Barrie (who, being a skilled impressionist, supplied the voices of all the characters).

A lost episode[edit]

"Dad" would have been the opening episode to the third series of the show. In plot, it was to be a direct continuation of the preceding episode, "Parallel Universe", the final episode of the second series. In that last episode, Lister had slept with a female version of himself in a parallel dimension, before finding out that he was pregnant, as in that particular dimension it is the men who bear children.

The following "Dad" episode was to cover a number of points in the show, but was to primarily deal with Lister's pregnancy. The idea was ultimately rejected by the show's writers and producers, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, who felt that the script was not as funny as previous episodes. In The Red Dwarf Programme Guide, Chris Howarth and Steve Lyons write that another reason "Dad" was rejected was because it was possibly sexist.

The released script extract shows that "Dad" would not have followed the pre-credits sequence of "Backwards" to the letter. For example, Lister would not have been pregnant with twins: instead he would give birth to a single son. Also, apparently Lister would have rebuilt Kryten while "heavily pregnant", and not "shortly afterwards" as the pre-title "Backwards" scroll suggests. Additionally, unless male Holly actor Norman Lovett was to make a guest appearance in the episode it's likely that Holly would have first appeared as a female at the very beginning of the episode.

The pre-title sequence of "Backwards"[edit]

Some of the events were referenced in the pre-title sequence of the episode "Backwards". The text explains the changes that were made going from series two to three; however, the scrolling was intentionally sped up faster than viewers could actually read for the purposes of comedy.

References[edit]