Camille (Red Dwarf)
|Red Dwarf episode|
|Episode no.||Series 4
|Directed by||Ed Bye|
|Written by||Rob Grant & Doug Naylor|
|Original air date||14 February 1991|
"Camille" is the first episode of science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf Series IV, and the nineteenth episode in the series run. It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 14 February 1991. The episode was planned to be shown third, but was moved forward in the schedule to be shown on Valentine's Day. Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Ed Bye. The episode, a parody of the film Casablanca, sees Kryten rescue and fall in love with an android who appears to be the same model as himself.
Lister's lessons in lying, cheating and all-round rebellion initially seem to be having an effect on Kryten, but Kryten is unable to repeat the lie in the presence of others (in the form of the Cat). The lessons are cut short when Kryten obediently takes Rimmer asteroid-spotting in Starbug. When they receive a distress call from a doomed ship Lister's insubordination training allows Kryten to go and search for survivors despite Rimmer's order to keep a safe distance away. On the ship he finds Camille, who appears to be a female counterpart of Kryten. It is "advanced mutual compatibility at first sight".
Kryten and Camille board Starbug and make their way back to Red Dwarf. When Rimmer sees Camille he doesn't see her as a mechanoid but as a female hologram. Lister sees her as the last human female alive. When Rimmer asks Camille, in Lister's presence, if she would like him to talk her through his collection of photographs of twentieth-century telegraph poles he seems to get a different answer from what Lister hears. This makes Lister suspicious so he questions Camille about it and she concedes "that they would have found out eventually". She's a pleasure GELF - a Genetically Engineered Life Form - who appears to each individual as the object of their desire.
When the Cat hears about this he goes to see Camille and finds that his perfect companion is none other than himself. Initially Kryten is hurt, but after Camille reveals that she's actually a slimy green blob with tentacles, he then thinks they can make a go of it. But when Camille's husband Hector turns up, Kryten uses all Lister's teachings, plus plenty of inspiration from the movie Casablanca, and tells her she'll regret it if she stays, then stoically waves goodbye. Lister notes that Kryten lied in order to get her to leave, and Kryten confirms this and tells Lister, that as he's responsible for all this, he's "a total smeghead. Lister couldn't be happier that Kryten's able to insult him, and the two walk off as Lister notes that this could be the start of a beautiful friendship...
For Series IV, recording of the show moved from the studios in Manchester to Shepperton Studios due to the old studio undergoing refurbishment. Shepperton turned out to be blessing to the show as it allowed for use of the sets for rehearsals in addition to recording. Production starting with Series IV also permanently shifted to Grant Naylor Productions.
The droid version of the GELF was played by Judy Pascoe, Robert Llewellyn's then girlfriend (they have since married). Robert has often joked how he used to complain to Judy about the amount of make-up he had to endure, and yet when Judy wore it she had no complaints. She also provided the voice of the blob Camille, which was controlled from inside by effects artist Mike Tucker.
The initial plan was for Camille to appear as Kristine Kochanski in Lister's eyes; while this later changed, Suzanne Rhatigan was still credited as "Kochanski Camille". Like Pascoe and Llewellyn, Rhatigan and Craig Charles were in a relationship at the time of the recording. The Hologram Camille was played by Francesca Folan. Rupert Bates voiced the Hector Blob.
This episode was not originally planned to be aired first, but was moved forward when "Meltdown" was held back due to the ongoing hostilities in the Gulf War. It was decided to move this episode up to the first in the run due to the fact that it seemed an appropriate one to air on Valentine's Day.
Casablanca, Lister's favourite film, was used for the main plot of the episode and is mentioned and referenced throughout. Kryten and Camille even watch the film in the episode. When Lister explains to Kryten why it is necessary to lie he mentions examples of Humphrey Bogart in the final scene of Casablanca and Nelson's "I see no ships." The ending of Casablanca is also parodied in the Kryten and Camille farewell scene.
Lister watches a vid recording of the television show Tales of the Riverbank: The Next Generation, a parody of the Tales of the Riverbank show and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Lister compares the main character Hammy Hamster the rodent equivalent of Marlon Brando. The television show St. Elsewhere is named by Lister as a tongue-in-cheek defense of his credentials to be ship's surgeon ("I've seen every episode"). His Spider-Man costume is also mentioned.
Steve McQueen and the film The Blob are referenced by Lister after Kryten takes the true form of Camille to dinner. Kryten refers to the actor Karl Malden as an example of a human less attractive than Camille in her blob-like form.
The episode was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 14 February 1991 in the 9:00pm evening time slot, although it was originally planned to be shown as the third episode of Series IV as shown in the repeat runs in both 1992 and 1994. The series' transmission order was changed as it was felt more appropriate to run the episode on Valentine's Day and so it went out first. Further changes to the series' running order came about because of the outbreak of the Gulf War and the subject matter of some of the other episodes, notably "Dimension Jump" featuring the war-hero Ace Rimmer and the anti-war-themed "Meltdown". The episode received a mixed response from fans.
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