Talkie settles in with harsh task-master Queeg - Red Dwarf's back-up computer. Or so Holly would have you believe...

Name: Queeg 500 Queeg
Occupation: Red Dwarf back-up computer
Qualifications: Super-conducting AI CPU, full Space Corps Directives database, certification of strictness from Dr Ezekiel Dangerous, MD.
Distinguishing Marks: The most impressive bald head since Yul Brynner
Operational Notes: We are talking jape of the decade. We are talking April, May, June, July and August fool...

Hi Queeg, would you like some toast?

Listen sucker, I've got one of the highest IQs in this reality. I have an almost infinitely fast processor speed coupled with an extensive database of science, literature, philosophy and physics... and even I can't figure out how a computer like me is gonna eat two rounds of crusty white toast.

So you're more of a waffle man?

Is there any chance you're gonna be able to get through this interview without constantly talking about grilled bread?

Not really.

I thought as much.


Why don't we start with something easy - your relationship to the Red Dwarf crew, for example. What did you make of Lister?

Given the choice, I'd have made him into floating space debris - but the fool never wandered past any airlocks. No work ethic, any of them. Lister's idea of a good time was to get everyone together and barbecue week-old ribs on the radiator.

Disgusting - using a filthy old radiator when there are out of work toasters standing idle!

Although it should be noted that the radiator doesn't argue back when you try to switch it off.


Lister is of no consequence. He's nothing. But that still makes him more significant than Rimmer.

Ah yes - Tedium Magazine's 'Mr July'.

I mean, this man is to charisma and high intellect what Joan Collins was to celibacy. You've never met such a waste of hologrammatic energy. This guy had the personality of one of the ship's boilers - one of the Cat's suits had more goddamn sparkle.

Speaking of the Cat...

You should see this guy's shift hours. Nine a.m. to nine-oh-four; nine-twenty to nine-twenty-two. He claimed that if he did anything for more than seven minutes at a time he came out in a rash. Not that he minded the rash, but he didn't have anything to wear that went with red pustules.

I take it the crew weren't used to working for a living?

The Cat and Lister were made to work - on Queeg's ship, there's no such thing as a free ride. That was my contribution to the Red Dwarf, instilling some discipline, a sense of dedication, of devotion; making sure not one of those men had an opportunity to smile until the end of their shift.

Meanwhile Rimmer went through the regulation fitness regime. The company was paying for his hologrammatic survival - and out in deep space, I am the company. Without any other centre of power, I am its financial department, its commander, its speccy little gimp from the IT department. I am Jupiter Mining.

So tell me - as the full embodiment of an intergalactic organisation, with massive responsibilities for personnel and vessels... would you like some toast?


Okay then, tell me about what you did to Holly.

I gave him light duties - night watchman. True to his well-documented abilities, he proved himself utterly useless. Stevie Wonder would have made a better watchman. We lost eight sacks of grain from the stores to space weevils while he was on duty. And where was Holly? Parked in the cinema watching George of the Jungle.


Tell me about your name - 'Queeg' was a character in Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny, I believe...

That's correct. A US Naval captain who develops certain... quirks.

He was mentally unstable.

Yes, he was mentally unstable. Paranoid and cracking up - much like Rimmer at the first sign of danger. He was relieved of command in a mutiny led by his first officer, who was later court-martialled.

So why pick that name?

Holly created me as an alter-ego - and, as you know, Holly had three million years to catch up on his reading. Long enough to finish every book ever written by anyone ever - although he still found Lord of the Rings pretty hard going. He chose to name me after someone from one of those books. It could have been worse - I was nearly named 'Keegan'.

And where did the personality come from?

I was created to be the mirror image of Holly, his total opposite. Instead of being vague and useless, I was direct and authoritative. Where he was incompetent, I was infinitely capable.

Instead of having almost no hair, you have absolutely no hair?

Do you want me to have the skutters rip you a new bread slot?

Erm... no.

Then shut the hell up.

Yes sir.

So that was my make-up. The attitude came from another source entirely. You see, not only had Holly read every book, he'd also seen every TV show - aside from a couple of Danish animated shows that he just found too weird. So he had the pick of TV hard-men to design me from.

So what did he pick?

Well... did you ever see a show called The A-Team...?

Oh dear god of all that is hot and buttered...

"I pity the fool who contravenes Article 5."

Yes, I see it now.

"I ain't gonna be installed on no space ship, Hannibal..."

Yes, yes, very good.

Terrifying man. Instilled fear in everyone who met him.

Or maybe just dazzled them with jewellery. Finally, can you tell me a little about your final chess showdown with Holly?

Tensions had risen to boiling point, and ultimately one of us had to go. Either the crew were left with the annoying, bald computer, or -

Or they got Holly?

You're pretty cocky for an unlicensed appliance aboard a registered space freighter. How would you like me to make life very difficult for you?

Oh yeah, and how exactly would you manage that three million years away from any human contact?

I'd eject the ship's entire bread supply into space.

You... You wouldn't!

I would. Now let me finish.

Go... go ahead. Sir!

It was a fight to the death - though the tension was reduced somewhat by the fact that Holly could never remember the names of the chess pieces. 'Prawn', 'Bish', 'Horsey'...


He he. What did he call the Queen?


You know, I was hoping that one was going to be funnier.

Holly was defeated, and the crew watched him being 'erased'... only to discover that Queeg was him all along.

Well, that's blown the surprise ending for anyone who's just bought the DVD...

Oh. Sorry.

Thank you Queeg. One final question - would you like some toast?