All Dressed Up

Hats Off to Holly - by Andrew Ellard

2 June, 2006

One peculiar joy of Holly is the costume - or, rather, the lack of it. When he or she gets a bit of an outfit, it's always good for a laugh.

All Dressed Up

People spot the difference instantly, and react to it. Whether it be dark glasses (Parallel Universe), a fishing hat (Dimension Jump), comedy nose-and-specs (Me2) or an ice pack (The Last Day), Holly's head can be transformed by the simplest of props.

Well, you can see the pictures. You get what we did.

When every game of Beat the Geek will contain almost 50 questions per player - and thus almost 50 'right' or 'wrong' Holly statements - well, you need a lot of material to avoid too much duplication. From that stemmed the office discussion - how can we spice this puppy up a little?

With hats. Obviously.

All Dressed Up

A great big box of glasses, props, hats and wigs was taken down to the studio for the filming days and we tried a bit of everything. Half the items called back to specific episodes (the aforementioned fishing hat, a tiara, etc.), the other half... well, we just thought they were funny. Seriously, when your producer tells you she has a jester's hat at home, how do you pass that up?

It does something to the on-set atmosphere when you have Norman Lovett in a Sherlock Holmes get-up, or Hattie Hayridge with a red nose in the middle of her face. It maintains the energy. It gets a laugh.

All Dressed Up

Special lines were written to go with the (I hesitate to call them) 'outfits' - a few puns or references got everybody's creative juices flowing a little more. More lines were, again, episode call-backs... but some of the best come from totally off-the-wall places. Hattie as a sea captain, or Norman doing 'dark-and-dangerous' in a fedora.

Seriously, Norman in a jester's hat... okay, it's a bit daft. But the delivery! If it's possible, Lovett actually went even deader-pan. The clash of styles - silly versus misanthropic - just plain works.

In particular, though, Hattie dived headfirst into bringing the 'high', 'low' and 'genius' versions of Holly back in front of the camera. What a lump-in-the-throat moment it was to hear her say "strike a light!" with her hair slicked back! (As in White Hole.) Or to witness the good and evil versions once again. (As in Demons & Angels.) Let me tell you, the Low Holly causes chills like liquid nitrogen.

All Dressed Up

The DVD quiz system plucks all the answer responses randomly from this huge bin of choices. These costume shots are just a few of the stacks of clips in there - you may not see one in your entire game, or you might see several on the trot.

Either way, we hope it'll raise a smile when, just as you're expecting to see the regular Holly again, Norman appears in 3D glasses. Or Hattie shows up in a pink bowler hat.

But the best one is not pictured here, and is likely to be rare when you play the game. Keep trying, though, it'll be worth it.

All Dressed Up

It's Norman's Holly... in a Hattie wig, concerned about how his image has corrupted.

And it's hilarious.

More DVD Details will follow soon...

Red Dwarf: Beat the Geek will be released on DVD in the Autumn/Winter of 2006.

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