Queeg (Red Dwarf)

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"Queeg"
Red Dwarf episode
Queeg 2.jpg
Queeg is a backup computer which replaces Holly
Episode no. Series 2
Episode 5
Directed by Ed Bye
Written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
Original air date 4 October 1988 (1988-10-04)
Guest actors

Charles Augins as Queeg

Series 2 episodes
6 September – 11 October 1988
  1. "Kryten"
  2. "Better Than Life"
  3. "Thanks for the Memory"
  4. "Stasis Leak"
  5. "Queeg"
  6. "Parallel Universe"
List of all Red Dwarf episodes

"Queeg" is the fifth episode of science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf series two[1] and the eleventh in the series run.[2] It premiered on the British television channel BBC2 on 4 October 1988. Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Ed Bye, the plot features a backup computer named Queeg that replaces Holly. The episode was remastered, along with the rest of the first three series, in 1998.

Plot[edit]

Holly (Norman Lovett) addresses the crew but forgets what he was going to say. Soon after the whole ship shakes under a tremendous impact. Holly now remembers that he had meant to warn the crew that the ship was about to be hit by a meteor. Rimmer's (Chris Barrie) legs start going walkabout on their own and Holly asks Lister (Craig Charles) to go down to the Hologram Simulation Suite to repair the damage. However, following Holly's advice, Lister connects the wrong cables and causes an explosion which makes him fly over the consoles.

Holly's increasing mistakes start to irritate the crew. After all he's supposed to have an IQ of 6,000. Then a mysterious face appears on the monitor screen where Holly's face is usually seen.[3] Rimmer thinks it's aliens, but he introduces himself as Queeg 500, the Red Dwarf back-up computer. According to Queeg he is to replace Holly for gross negligence leading to the endangerment of personnel, and assumes control of the ship demoting Holly to night watchman.[4]

The crew are initially pleased at the intelligence and efficiency of the new computer, however the next morning Queeg forces Rimmer out of bed early to do exercises. While Lister originally enjoys watching Rimmer getting worked to exhaustion he gets a nasty shock when he and the Cat are put to work scrubbing the ship, as Queeg refuses to give them any food otherwise. Finally understanding just how lenient Holly was towards them, the crew beg Holly to return and he challenges Queeg to a game of skill (Queeg chooses chess) to determine which of them will run Red Dwarf and which one will be erased. Queeg wins easily, and declares that Holly is to be wiped immediately from the ship's systems. Holly says his goodbyes to Lister, Rimmer, the Cat and slowly disappears from the screen. However moments later, Holly returns, and explains, to the crew's extreme surprise and exasperation, that he was Queeg all the time and it was all merely an elaborate prank, and that they should appreciate what they have.[4]

Production[edit]

Craig Charles carrying out his own stunt for the episode.

The script was nearing completion when the writers were having problems thinking of a satisfactory ending. Eventually Rob Grant came up with the 2001: A Space Odyssey spoof of Holly singing as he gets erased.[5]

Quickly earning himself a reputation for doing his own stunts, Craig Charles flew over a console table in the aftermath of a huge explosion. His reasoning behind doing the stunts was that as a Scouser he could be dropped on his head with no problems.[6] To achieve the effect of flying up and over the exploding console, Charles bounced off a small trampoline — that was out of shot — and this was matched up to the earlier establishing shot.[7]

Charles Augins was brought in to choreograph the Tongue Tied sequence for the next episode "Parallel Universe", but the writers were so impressed that they offered him the role of Queeg as well.[8]

Cultural references[edit]

Holly sings "Goodbye to Love" as he gets erased. Earlier, the theme tune from High Noon plays as he goes off to face his showdown with Queeg.[9][10]

Holly references the London football club Tottenham Hotspur, "A load of tottenham, that is. A steaming pile of hotspur", when he replies to Queeg's accusations. Among the game of death choices that Holly proposes are draughts, poker, Subbuteo, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, Cluedo and noughts and crosses before finally accepting Queeg's choice of chess.

Queeg is named after Captain Queeg from The Caine Mutiny, but Holly's "This is mutiny, Mr Queeg" quote is from Mutiny on the Bounty.[5]

Reception[edit]

The episode was originally broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 4 October 1988 in the 9:00 pm evening slot.[11] Norman Lovett, who played Holly, stated, in the Series II documentary "It's Cold Outside", that the episode was one of his favourites.[12] It also came 9th place in a Red Dwarf Smegazine readers' poll with 4.4% of the overall votes.[13]

Remastering[edit]

The remastering of Series I to III was carried out during the late 1990s.[14] Changes throughout the series included replacement of the opening credits,[15] giving the picture a colour grade and filmising,[16] computer generated special effects of Red Dwarf[17] and many more visual and audio enhancements.[17] Changes made specific to "Queeg" include sound effects on the meteor impact have been enhanced. Video and sound effects have been added to the original live-action footage of Rimmer's hologramatic form malfunctioning.[18]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "British Sitcom Guide — Red Dwarf — Series 2". www.sitcom.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  2. ^ "TV.com — Queeg summary". www.tv.com. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  3. ^ Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 57.
  4. ^ a b Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 58.
  5. ^ a b "Red Dwarf Series II Writing". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  6. ^ "Red Dwarf Series II Effects". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-01-07. [dead link]
  7. ^ Charles, Craig (2007). It's Cold Outside documentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC. 
  8. ^ "Red Dwarf Series II Casting". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-01-07. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Queeg movie connections". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  10. ^ "Red Dwarf Series II Music". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-01-07. [dead link]
  11. ^ "BBC Programme Catalogue — RED DWARF — QUEEG". BBC. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  12. ^ Lovett, Norman (2007). It's Cold Outside documentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC. 
  13. ^ Readers survey results, Red Dwarf Smegazine, p. 27., issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  14. ^ "Remasters of the Universe". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  15. ^ "Red Dwarf Series I Remastering". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  16. ^ Remastering Crew (2007). The End Re-Mastered DVD Commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset Red disc: BBC. 
  17. ^ a b Remastering Crew (2007). 'Re-Dwarf' Documentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset Red disc: BBC. 
  18. ^ Remastering Crew (2007). Queeg text commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset, Blue disc: BBC. 

References[edit]

Howarth, Chris; Steve Lyons (1993). Red Dwarf Programme Guide. Virgin Books. ISBN 0-86369-682-1. 

External links[edit]