Why are sci-fi fans so obsessive? Essentially a sit-com, the fact that Red Dwarf
is set in space, and has joyfully parodied virtually every aspect of the science fiction genre has led to its achieving cult status. This is never more apparent in Smeg Ups and Smeg Outs
than when Robert Lewellyn, presenting "in character" as toilet-servicing droid Kryten, tetchily reads through lists of the questions most asked by fans, and they all turn out to be pedantic observations querying the slightest inconsistencies in the show's script. Elsewhere, the success of this video rests on how many times you will be amused by seeing a member of the (admittedly very likeable) Red Dwarf
cast fluff their lines and then look at the camera and grin or swear. The clips are funniest when they last long enough to allow the cast--Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John Jules, Lewellyn, Norman Lovett and Hattie Hyridge--to show their individual personalities rather than just that, like all actors, they occasionally forget their lines. Barrie is an excellent impressionist and it is difficult not to like the perpetually cheeky Charles, but at times it can feel like a rather long and repetitive episode of Auntie's Bloomers
. One can't help but think that the videos would have benefited from some proper interviews from the cast, and creators Doug Naylor and Rob Grant, to break up the "smeg outs". Nevertheless, the wealth of out-takes from familiar episodes, deleted scenes (an alternative ending for Series 6, and a poker scene from Series 3 in which Kryten removes and bets his own head), footage from the Red Dwarf convention (proof again of the series' status as a sort of British Star Trek
) and a full version of the song Tongue Tied
make this a must for all Red Dwarf fans. --Paul Philpott
Comedy double bill. In 'Red Dwarf: Smeg Ups', sanitation Mechanoid Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) presents a compilation of out-takes from the popular BBC2 television series. The footage includes the un-transmitted ending for the final episode of Series 6, a selection of 'bloopers' by the crew of Red Dwarf, and the answers to the ten most-asked questions about the series. In 'Smeg Outs', Kryten is joined by Lister (Craig Charles) as he presents another selection of bloopers, this time from the first three seasons, plus an extended mix of the 'Red Dwarf' single, 'Tongue Tied'.