Complete Guide

Casting

Chloë Annett had auditioned for the second series of The 10%ers, and while she hadn't been right for the role eventually taken by Emma Cunniffe, she was kept in mind when the hunt for a new Kochanski began. (It was felt that Clare Grogan was more of a 'presenter' now, and perhaps wasn't right to play the part as a regular character. Ironically, Kochanski's inclusion had been likely to happen even if Chris had not left - the movie, it was felt, was more likely go ahead with a main female character in the mix.)

Already intimidated by the strong cast of comic actors, Chloë likened the stress of her line-learning to O-level revision. On her first day, the actress arrived on the Ouroboros set sporting the results of a hair-dye job gone badly wrong - the chestnut colouring had made her hair rather thick and utterly unmanageable.

For the guest cast for series VII, no discipline was left unused. Lee Harvey Oswald had no scripted dialogue and a great deal of physical performance - so was ideally suited for Toby Aspin, whose experience extended to dance and mime as well as straight acting. American actor Michael Shannon, meanwhile, had an affinity with JFK which didn't end with the physical resemblance - he recently wrote and performed 'JFK on JFK', a one-man play based on the life and times of the murdered president.

On the German front (no pun intended), Ken Morley reminded casting director Linda Glover of Gert Frobe in Goldfinger. Kai Maurer and Stephen Grothgar were both genuine German performers whose on-screen chemistry delighted the team during their brief appearance (repeated and parodied during the show's tenth anniversary TV special).

Selecting parts which would be good for 'name' actors, the team picked the medieval King and scheming Simulant as being particularly suitable. Don Henderson had actually contacted the show to say he was a big fan and ask if there was a part for him. Already ill with throat cancer, he died shortly after the episode was broadcast. Meanwhile Brian Cox actually had to play the King (again, no pun intended) twice - the sequence had to be re-shot due to bad weather.

Elsewhere Sarah Alexander - who would go on to be a rising star of British comedy in shows such as Smack the Pony and Coupling - tried on a French accent, a gaggle of girls slipped on the corsets for Jane Austen World, and Nicky Leatherbarrow scared everyone in the canteen assaying the late Caroline Carmen's decaying corpse.

Well-known voice artist Gary Martin stole the show as talking virus Epideme. Gary had been recommended for the role by Danny John-Jules, his friend of many years standing. Gary had been with Danny when he was about to audition for the role of the Cat in the mid-eighties - and had even suggested the possibility of a James Brown-style accent! (Gary has since worked with Paul Alexander on a Judge Dredd radio adaptation.)

Uncredited (and often thankless) appearances included the role of Eric White's body for Mike Reardon, Mark Kennedy and Warren Leo's work as GELFs in Duct Soup and Jeremy King as the simulant's GELF sidekick. Terry Fisher employed his impressive physique to play Lister's beefed-up body.

But the cast of Red Dwarf VII would not be complete without the return of a much-loved face. The shape of the series had forced his return to wait until the final episode - despite attempts to get him back sooner - but Norman Lovett finally returned to the role of Holly almost a decade after he left.