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Waiting for God (Red Dwarf)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Waiting for God"
Red Dwarf episode
Episode no.Series 1
Episode 4
Directed byEd Bye
Written byRob Grant & Doug Naylor
Original air date7 March 1988
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Balance of Power"
Next →
"Confidence and Paranoia"
List of Red Dwarf episodes

"Waiting For God" is the fourth episode from science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf series one.[1] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 7 March 1988.[2] The episode's theme is religion: atheist Rimmer succumbs to a passionate belief in a superrace of aliens with the technology to give him a new body, while Lister reflects on his role as god of the Cat people.

Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Ed Bye,[3] the episode was considered to be one of the weakest from the first series.[4] The episode was re-mastered, along with the rest of the first three series, in 1998, to bring the episodes up to a standard suitable for international broadcast.[5]


Holly (Norman Lovett) tracks an unidentified object near to Red Dwarf and brings it aboard. When Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie) sees it, he quickly believes it to be a stasis capsule carrying a dormant member of an alien race that can give him a new body. However, when he leaves it in the observation room and awaits it being cleared of quarantine, Dave Lister (Craig Charles) makes a closer inspection and finds it to be one of the ships' jettisoned garbage pods. When Holly admits to him that he didn't say anything about this to Rimmer as a joke, Lister decides to keep quiet as well.[6] While leaving Rimmer to carry out fruitless examinations of the pod, Lister becomes curious about Cat (Danny John-Jules) and his sudden disappearances for "investigating", and decides to learn more about his people.

Lister learns the Cat race lived their lives according to five sacred religious laws (of which Lister himself would have broken four of them because of his lifestyle), and that Cat's race destroyed itself in holy wars over minor details of their heaven "Fuchal" (based on a misunderstanding of Lister's future plans on Fiji). When Cat disappears again, Lister follows him to the ship's cargo hold, whereupon he discovers Cat has been attending to one other survivor - an elderly and blind cat priest. Learning that he is dying, Lister overhears him questioning his faith to his race's god "Cloister", and asks Cat to burn his priest's hat. Lister opts to prevent this and convinces the priest he lived an admirable life and will soon reach "Fuchal", causing the priest to be joyous on his final day before he dies.[7] Returning to the upper decks, Lister joins Rimmer to examine the pod's contents after its quarantine period is over. When Rimmer begins to see garbage and doubts what he originally thought, he finally deduces angrily what he was investigating over the episode's closing credits.[7]


Written by co-creators, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by series regular Ed Bye,[3] the episode features the first real appearance of the skutters.[clarification needed] They were considered unreliable props because they would frequently go out of control. It was thought that nearby taxi radio signals were interfering with the remote control signals.[8]

Noel Coleman starred as the Cat Priest and John Lenahan returned to voice the Toaster.[3]

Cultural references


The episode was originally broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 7 March 1988 in the 9:00pm evening time slot.[2] Although the pilot episode "The End" drew in over five million viewers, viewing figures declined as the series progressed.[10] The episode was considered to be one of the weakest from the first series by Red Dwarf Smegazine readers — it came in 27th place with 0.4% of the votes.[4][clarification needed]


The remastering of Series I to III was carried out during the late 1990s.[11] Changes throughout the series included replacement of the opening credits,[12] giving the picture a colour grade and filmising,[13] computer generated special effects of Red Dwarf[14] and many more visual and audio enhancements.[14]

Changes specific to "Waiting For God" include new music to accompany the Cat's early scenes, echo added to the pod quarantine scenes, continuity error of Rimmer's folded arms corrected, Cat religion artwork added to Holly's explanation of the Cat race, some lines removed and certain scenes tightened up, shots of Lister with donut and golden sausage removed and new ashes canister leaving Red Dwarf inserted.[15]

See also


  1. ^ "British Sitcom Guide — Red Dwarf — Series 1". Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  2. ^ a b "BBC Programme Catalogue RED DWARF — WAITING FOR GOD". BBC. Retrieved 5 December 2007.
  3. ^ a b c "Red Dwarf Waiting for God (1988) Full cast and crew". Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  4. ^ a b Episode Survey Results, Red Dwarf Smegazine, p. 27, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  5. ^ "Sci-Fi-London Film Festival — The Bodysnatcher Collection". Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  6. ^ Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 48.
  7. ^ a b Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 49.
  8. ^ Red Dwarf series 1 guide: episode four: Waiting For God, Red Dwarf Smegazine, volume 2 issue 4, August 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  9. ^ "Red Dwarf movie connections". Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  10. ^ Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 8-9.
  11. ^ "Remasters of the Universe". Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  12. ^ "Red Dwarf Series I Remastering". Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  13. ^ Remastering Crew (2007). The End Re-Mastered DVD Commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.CS1 maint: location (link)
  14. ^ a b Remastering Crew (2007). 'Re-Dwarf' Documentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.CS1 maint: location (link)
  15. ^ Remastering Crew (2007). Balance of Power Re-Mastered text commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.CS1 maint: location (link)
  16. ^ Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 206.


External links

This page was last edited on 1 May 2021, at 14:29
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