Complete Guide

Writing

A decision was taken during the writing of series V that would alter the course of the show forever. With the show becoming more involved in its stronger and stronger storylines, Rob and Doug elected to tone down the overt humour of the show in order to try out some more complex, more intense stories.

To facilitate this, Starbug was given a great deal more focus than ever before. Holly and the Cat's roles were reduced, and Rimmer was given a version of a tangible body not once, but twice. Lister's lazy, slobby traits were reduced in favour of stoking up the action - leaving Kryten to provide a great deal of the complex exposition material.

The first script completed was Back to Reality. The script was almost like an extended practical joke. Rob and Doug had inserted comments into the stage directions - "Are you worried yet guys?" - as the characters were revealed to be hallucinations. Moments cut from the episode include a Space Corps directive reference from Kryten, and Rimmer desperately trying to reinvent Billy Doyle's past.

For the second series on the trot, the writers elected to lead the series with a love story based around one of the regular main characters. Holoship's straightforward, Rimmer-based tale - it was hoped - would bring in new viewers in much the same way as Camille had done.

Quarantine's simplistic set-up (which, as before and since, made the more costly episodes possible) came from a far more complex episode idea. Originally the crew were all going to acquire psi-powers and put them to use. The cost of the effects this would have involved boggles the mind! Another mooted idea involved a mirror, showing Holly as a person sat looking into a camera - life imitating TV production.