Classic TV: Red Dwarf III (1989)
Despite its unusual premise, the first two series of the BBC sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf were ratings successes. The second season built incrementally on the success of the first, developing its characters, strengthening its writing and exploring some of the possibilities of its setting.
But the series' peak years began with the arrival of the new-look Red Dwarf III in 1989, Red Dwarf's first season to be a numbered sequel. At the time, it must have come as a shock to its regular audience. The titles were different, the theme music was different, the sets were different, the look was different and even the characters were different.Lister (Craig Charles), Rimmer (Chris Barrie) and Cat (Danny John-Jules) were all present, but a new character had now joined the crew. This was a different version of Kryten, the android butler from the first episode of series two. David Ross, the actor who played the part in that episode, was not available, so this new version of the character was played by Robert Llewellyn.
|Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), Cat (Danny John-Jules), Lister (Craig Charles)|
& Rimmer (Chris Barrie), with Holly (Hattie Hayridge) on the monitor
Llewellyn's Kryten not only looked different but sounded different, thanks to his being given an American accent, for no obvious reason. Kryten was still a bit fussy, but this version had less of the English butler affectations of the original. The character would quickly become a central part of the Red Dwarf crew and would increasingly take over the expository role previously performed by the ship's computer Holly.
|"Starbug" in action|
|Lister in "Bodyswap"|
|Rimmer is reluctant to give up Lister's body in "Bodyswap"|