Regardless or not of the feelings of a man who dislikes the show he's angry he wasn't hired to be in, the 'Why Holly isn't in it" line always baffled me. Since, y'know, all three reasons were true: Yep. They're like TV producers who, when faced with an economic casting problem, explain a character's absence within the narrative. "The male Holly came back in Series VII because 1. It was affordable, 2. The Red Dwarf ship setting for the next series would allow the scripts to have him nearby, 3. The nanobots restored his core programme along with the ship." Nobody's struggling to reconcile the idea that those three can all be possible at the same time. Still, what about number 2? Well, that's just the way it went - once it was clear that nearly two-thirds of the story was going to take place on 'Earth', it becomes a lot easier to not have Holly in it. (Backwards and Meltdown are good indicators of how that kind of story goes.) But when Norman 'left' the project it was only two eps - Holly could have been a definite presence for half of ep one and the climax of ep two even if he'd never left the ship.