|'Back To Earth'
by Doug Naylor
Entering the portal, Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten emerge in Twenty-First Century London, in the middle of the electrical department of a large shop. Their surprise quickly turns to confusion when they see a trailer playing on the television screens: a trailer for a new series of a show called ‘Red Dwarf’… Exploring their surroundings, much to the amusement of passing shoppers, Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten find the store’s video section, where they learn that in this dimension they are merely characters on a television programme; furthermore, a preview box for a forthcoming DVD reveals that they will die after their final adventure, ‘Back to Earth’… Deciding to track down the actors playing their parts, the Red Dwarf gang follow the plot on the DVD box; using money found down the back of the store’s sofas, they take the bus to the comic shop ‘They Walk Among Us’, where they elicit the help of the store’s owner, who provides a lead to the company that made the show’s prosthetics, ‘Nose World’, run by a man named Swallow. Finding a handy picture of Swallow and the ‘Red Dwarf’ cast, Rimmer uses complex photo manipulation to discern the company’s address – ignoring Kryten’s observation that they could have just looked them up in the phone book. Taking the bus with his mates, Lister meets two children, fans of ‘Red Dwarf’, who tell him their theory that Kochanski is still alive, and not killed in an airlock accident after all; as Lister listens with mounting depression, the kids explain that Kryten lied to spare Lister his feelings after Kochanski dumped him and flew off in Blue Midget. Arriving outside ‘Nose World’, Rimmer comes face to face with Katarina, who has managed to track her crew down; hearing that Katarina is still planning on deactivating him, Rimmer promptly shoves his senior officer in front of a passing car. Entering the building, Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten then meet Swallow, a crazed ‘Red Dwarf’ fan dressed in costumes stolen from the show. Under duress, Swallow gives them the address of the “Big Boss”, and allows them the use of a car he stole from the President of the ‘Red Dwarf’ Fan Club: a Smartcar customised to look like Starbug One. The boys set off, soon arriving on the set of ‘Coronation Street’…
Chris Barrie (Arnold J. Rimmer), Craig Charles (Dave Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Sophie Winkleman (Katarina Bartikovski), Tom Andrews (Salesman), Karen Admiral (Woman), Jon Glover (Man), Jeremy Swift (Noddy), Julian Ryder (Bus Driver), Charlie Kenyon (Boy on the Bus), Nina Southworth (Girl on the Bus), Richard Woo (Swallow)
Directed by Doug Naylor
Produced by Jo Howard and Helen Norman
11th April 2009 @ 9:00 pm
*Featuring Dave Lister, Arnold Rimmer, Cat and Kryten
*Part two of a three part story
*Time-placing: according to the DVD of 'Back to Earth' that Lister finds in the John Lewis store (the Kingston-Upon-Thames branch, where I bought my television!), this story takes place after 'Season 9' - a season we've never seen!