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Queeg (Red Dwarf)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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.


After Red Dwarf survives an impact from an asteroid, and Dave Lister narrowly avoids being killed repairing the damage it did to the Hologram Simulation Suite, he, Arnold Rimmer and Cat question how safe they are with the assistance of the ship's computer, Holly. His lack of intelligence, despite the fact he is supposed to have an IQ of 6,000, and as his increasing mistakes soon irritate them. In response, the pair find Holly's computer screens being accommodated by a mysterious face they haven't seen before. The face identifies itself as Queeg 500 (Charles Augins), the ship's back-up computer,[3] and announces that it is retiring Holly for his gross negligence leading to the endangerment of the ship's personnel. As a result, Queeg assumes control and demotes Holly to the ship's night watchman.[4]

While the group are pleased at the intelligence and efficiency of the new computer, they soon regret the change when Rimmer is made to wake up early and do exercises, while Lister and Cat are forced to clean the ship in order to acquire any food. Finally understanding how lenient Holly was towards them, the group beg him to return. Holly agrees and issues a challenge to Queeg, leading both to compete in a game of chess to determine who runs Red Dwarf and who is erased. Queeg wins easily and announces Holly will be erased. Lister, Rimmer and Cat prepare themselves for Holly's erasure and Queeg's rule. However, to their surprise and exasperation, Holly reveals himself to have been Queeg all along, having played a prank on the group so that they could learn to appreciate what they have.[4]


Craig Charles carrying out his own stunt for the episode
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

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 song Holly begins to sing as he is erased is "Goodbye to Love" by The Carpenters from their 1972 album A Song for You.


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 came in 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". Retrieved 24 January 2008.
  2. ^ " — Queeg summary". 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". Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Red Dwarf Series II Effects". 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.CS1 maint: location (link)
  8. ^ "Red Dwarf Series II Casting". Archived from the original on 6 October 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  9. ^ "Red Dwarf Series II Music". 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.CS1 maint: location (link)
  12. ^ Readers survey results, Red Dwarf Smegazine, p. 27., issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  13. ^ "Remasters of the Universe". Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  14. ^ "Red Dwarf Series I Remastering". 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

This page was last edited on 30 April 2021, at 22:32
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