Norman or Hattie?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by MichaelJRimmer, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. MichaelJRimmer

    MichaelJRimmer Second Technician

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    I have watched Red Dwarf Series I-VIII, just finished VIII today. I happen to prefer the Norman Lovett version of Holly. It was his deadpan humor. Like the NORWEB Federation. Like how Lister went "Are you serious?!?!?!" and Holly went (in the Groucho glasses) "April Fools." "But its not April!" "I know" The scene in Demons and Angels with "Abandon shop this is not a daffodil" is my only moment where I liked Hattie Hayridge's Holly. I missed Norman from season III to season VIII. Thye needed to show him more.
     
  2. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Norman was wonderful in series 1 and 2; his deadpan delivery perfectly complemented Holly's eccentric personality. In series 7 and 8 most of Holly's lines were too weak for even Norman to make them funny. I re-watched part of Krytie TV the other day, and it was a depressing experience to see Norman having to deliver such feeble jokes.

    As for Hattie, I never liked her from the moment that I sat down and watched my first Red Dwarf episode, Backwards, way back in 1990, and I remain baffled by her apparent popularity among the fans. I can only bring to mind one Hattie line that I liked: 'This is not a drill. This is a drill.' But even that would have been much funnier if Norman had delivered it.
     
  3. Nicko1

    Nicko1 First Technician

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    I agree that Norman's version of the character was much funnier. I didn't dislike Hattie but I also didn't find her funny.

    In Series VIII Norman did have 2 or 3 good lines but he was treated like a battery powered sex aid. Turned on to do a couple of jokes and then turned off again...
     
  4. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I too prefered Norm in the role, although i do like Hattie's version too. But for me personally Norm nailed the character perfectly.

    I agree with Bluey though regarding Holly's part in the later series. Although i would also put that down to the lack of use of that character. I understand why is must have been difficult to fit him in to the plots, but it was a shame to see him so underused non the less.

    Having said that, personally, the fan in me still enjoys seeing him in series 8...when we actually do occasionally see him.

    I may be wrong here, but i can't help but wonder whether the fact that Hattie is such a nice lady (as far as i can tell, i don't know her personally), she's great with the fans and extremely supportive of the show and conventions (even after being replaced by Norm) has a small part to do with the fans love of her in the role.

    Not to mention the sour feeling some of the hardcore fans have towards Norm, and i do understand and empathize with that by the way (although personally i can't help but love the (admittedly slightly grumpy/moany at times) dude personally though :-) )

    But as i said, i may be way off the mark with that. I could just be a matter of personal taste, nothing more. But Norms still the best dude for the gig, for me personally anyway.
     
  5. MichaelJRimmer

    MichaelJRimmer Second Technician

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    I'm happy to see that some people agree with me. Regarding Series 8, I liked when he told Lister that he could get out of the sentence by getting trans-species surgery to turn into a dog. Then showing him a picture of a dog. I also like in Back in the Red when he said that his plans have gone "tits up".
     
  6. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Running through the series again (for the trillionth time), I've been struck, more so than ever before, by how much I not only miss Lovett, but how much I dislike Hayridge's version.
     
  7. magnusgreel

    magnusgreel First Technician

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    Lovett was the perfect Holly, but all this strikes me as a bit of a negative over-reaction to the fact that H Hayridge wasn't quite as good. She did fine. I think the tone of the show changed with the third series, and Holly just wasn't being written the same way. In I and II, Holly was a character we got to know pretty thoroughly. From III on, Holly was more functional, delivering the needed information in a similar deadpan, but she stayed in the background, and wasn't a full character along with the others.

    There were funny moments and lines, though, because the show didn't stop being funny. I think the scene with 12,000 IQ floating-head Holly and the toaster is classic...
     
  8. Diet_coke

    Diet_coke Science Officer

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    A big preference for Norman, however I thought Hattie was alright. Id have been happy with either of the two taking the role of holly up for future series, I think the show would really benefit from that, I think not having holly for series x was perhaps a bit careless
     
  9. Ant the Dragon

    Ant the Dragon Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Hattie had more crap lines - mainly because Rob and Doug are totally incapable of writing for female characters. That said, I think Hattie was brilliant in White Hole and think she did it better than Norman would have done. It's a shame we never got to see more of what she could do because she clearly loved working on the show without the insecurities Norman had about needing a laugh every ten seconds.

    As people, you may have gathered, I rate Hattie much higher than Norman and always feel sorry for her because the cast (with the exception of Robert and Chloe) tend to totally ignore her at conventions when she is talking, and the cast commentary is boarder line rude.

    Really they should have just got rid of the character after series 2.
     
  10. magnusgreel

    magnusgreel First Technician

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    Her Holly though wasn't a female or a male character... she was just a computer that took on a female face and voice as an avatar. They could have written her in roughly the same way as the first Holly.
     
  11. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    if i remember right Rob and Doug said they were worried about making hattie the dumb blonde character by giving her normans holly type lines so they played it as safe as they could
     
  12. Hollo_Marx

    Hollo_Marx Catering Officer

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    I like both Norman and Hattie as Holly. I do think that the character suffered from the introduction of Kryten. Whole episodes had revolved around Holly in the past (Queeg), but once Kryten came on board, Holly became more of a supporting character, and the lines and scenarios just weren't really there for Hattie to work with.
     
  13. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    It could be argued that she would have been more successful if she HAD shared some of those feelings.

    I think it`s a fair bet that if Norman had stayed with the show that he wouldn`t have just let the character`s role become reduced until it became obsolete. Whatever people think of Norman, he fought to make the character an on screen role which benefited the show greatly even after he left...
     
  14. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Norman was right when he argued to be a head on a screen but that probably was more vanity on his behalf and not a creative decision on behalf of making the best show possible, and then of course he left after series 2 because he didn't wanna come to rehearsals and the producers didn't like it.

    Doug has said norman didn't like doing exposition he just wanted holly to do jokes and thats pretty much what we got for series 8 and for the most part it was bad so what norman wants might not be whats good for the show and feeding his ego probably won't make it a better show.

    then well Norman got the hump because he wasn't in back to earth and has pretty much has said he would return only if it was for a one off holly episode... which is unbelievable when you think about it, while hattie i think she just appreciated just being apart of it
     
  15. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    Norman. Although when Hattie took over the role Holly was being somewhat marginalised due to Kryten I feel.
     
  16. Sammy Psycho

    Sammy Psycho Deck Sergeant

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    That had to be one of the worst lines ever written for Hattie, it was blooming awful. Norman was my favourite but Hattie had some great lines and delivered them perfectly.
     
  17. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Worst? I thought it was brilliant and very much in keeping with Holly's eccentric nature. Like I said though, it would have been a million times funnier had Norman said it.
     
  18. magnusgreel

    magnusgreel First Technician

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    Thanks for that. In that case, they shouldn't have hired HH. Imagine hiring an actor you were afraid to write for... Nothing against Hattie. It just seems ridiculous to hire someone you're going to be "writing on eggshells" for. I suppose it's to their credit that they were concerned about that. It's a ship of (loveable) "losers" though, no character was ever going to come off as brilliant...
     
  19. Claire_C

    Claire_C Third Technician

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    I'm sorry, but if they really said that then it's a load of tot, as Lister would say. They didn't write on eggshells for Craig or Danny. If they were really concerned about that, what was stopping them asking a woman if she thought the writing was sexist and then changing it if necessary as they did by changing Cat's character from a cleaner to a priest in "Dimension Jump"?

    I never looked at Hattie as a "dumb blonde" type - I looked at her as a funny character who happened to be blonde and female. It didn't define her any more than Norman's baldness defined his Holly.

    As for who's better, they're both good, but I've always marginally preferred Hattie and now that I know more about the actors I prefer her even more. I think her acting is underrated - just watch how she makes an impression as Mellie with literally about a minute of screen time. It's not her fault the role of Holly was reduced and when she had decent lines she made the most of them.

    This isn't aimed at anyone who's posted in this thread; it's just something that's bothered me for a while.
     
  20. Stephen

    Stephen Console Officer

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    I had a very pleasant chat with Norman Lovett about non-league football a few DJ's back. Lovely fella to talk to when he's not in a huge crowded room full of adoring fans.
     

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