Queeg (Red Dwarf)

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Red Dwarf episode
Queeg 2.jpg
Queeg is a backup computer which replaces Holly
Episode no.Series 2
Episode 5
Directed byEd Bye
Written byRob Grant & Doug Naylor
Original air date4 October 1988 (1988-10-04)
Guest appearance(s)

Charles Augins as Queeg

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Stasis Leak"
Next →
"Parallel Universe"
List of 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.


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 an asteroid. 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 and the Cat, and slowly disappears from the screen. However, Holly returns moments later and explains, to the crew's extreme surprise and exasperation, that he was Queeg all the time, and that it was all merely an elaborate prank, to demonstrate that they should appreciate what they have.[4]


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]

The theme tune from High Noon plays as Holly goes off to face his showdown with Queeg.[9]

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]


The episode was originally broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 4 October 1988 in the 9:00 pm evening slot.[10] Norman Lovett, who played Holly, stated, in the Series II documentary "It's Cold Outside", that the episode was one of his favourites.[11] It also came 9th place in a Red Dwarf Smegazine readers' poll with 4.4% of the overall votes.[12]


The remastering of Series I to III was carried out during the late 1990s.[13] Changes throughout the series included replacement of the opening credits,[14] giving the picture a colour grade and filmising,[15] computer generated special effects of Red Dwarf[16] and many more visual and audio enhancements.[16] 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.[17]


  1. ^ "British Sitcom Guide — Red Dwarf — Series 2". www.sitcom.co.uk. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
  2. ^ "TV.com — Queeg summary". www.tv.com. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
  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. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Red Dwarf Series II Effects". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 October 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  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. Archived from the original on 6 October 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  9. ^ "Red Dwarf Series II Music". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 October 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  10. ^ "BBC Programme Catalogue — RED DWARF — QUEEG". BBC. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
  11. ^ Lovett, Norman (2007). It's Cold Outside documentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.
  12. ^ Readers survey results, Red Dwarf Smegazine, p. 27., issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  13. ^ "Remasters of the Universe". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  14. ^ "Red Dwarf Series I Remastering". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  15. ^ Remastering Crew (2007). The End Re-Mastered DVD Commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset Red disc: BBC.
  16. ^ a b Remastering Crew (2007). 'Re-Dwarf' Documentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset Red disc: BBC.
  17. ^ Remastering Crew (2007). Queeg text commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset, Blue disc: BBC.


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

External links[edit]