Mr Flibble Talks To... Parallel Universe
In the far reaches of a quite, quite different reality - which is to say, Los Angeles - a version of Red Dwarf was made for US TV. Chris Eigeman was first choice for the American Rimmer. Small wonder, given his impressive work in independent cinema. Mr Flibble stopped by to swap on-set anecdotes.
8 December, 2000
Chris Eigeman
Mr Flibble's right hand provided by
Andrew Ellard

How did you find working with the science-fiction angle - the effects and so on? There was some blue-screen...

You just try to give it the best go you can. I do believe that stuff gets easier the more you do it. When you're in school and you take drama classes, there's always those parts of the class where you have to pretend you're a fish (laughs) and you're in the ocean and you discover a sunken ship and you have to explore the ship as a fish. And I always hated that stuff. I thought, 'This is ridiculous, I'm never going to need this. I'm never going to have to pretend I'm a fish underwater. And if a job came up where I would have to do that, I just wouldn't take the job.' (Laughs)

But actually I should have paid attention. Because really that's the same thing as the blue-screen stuff. You're looking at something and screaming at something that doesn't exist. It can be just hysterically embarrassing. You can just feel such a fool for screaming at stuff that doesn't exist. But you get over it, and it gets easier. At least, I hope it gets easier! (Laughs) But I'm not surprised that George Lucas has not called me for any of the Star Wars episodes - let's put it that way! (Laughs) It's not a phone call I'm waiting for...

You also did The Outer Limits, another bit of SF...

That was another case of screaming at things that don't exist. It was an episode where a building takes over. I remember getting the script, and the script was a little 'Harrison Ford' - running around, jumping through things and saving women. I had to dive down an elevator shaft! I was like, 'I could get killed - but this could be a lot of fun!'

It's something that I don't get to do a lot. Very few scripts come my way with this element of derring-do. So I get to Canada, and then I get the new script, where suddenly I'm not so much Harrison Ford and a little bit Noel Coward-ish! I was like, 'Wait a minute! There's a little bit of bait-and-switch going on here! What happened to me diving through the elevator shaft?' 'Yeah - very expensive. We just thought we'd have you whistling on the sidewalk...' (Laughs)