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The A-Z of Red Dwarf




The A (for Ace) to Z (for zero-gravity football) of everything Dwarf so that you’ll be prepared in case of a Swirley Thing Alert.

Ace. This is the nickname Rimmer desperately wanted as a child, but sadly, he got stuck with Bonehead instead.

Android. Also known as a mechanoid, these robotic creatures were created to serve and believed that once their time ran out they would go to “Silicon Heaven.” Lister considered it his mission to deprogram and corrupt the mechanoid Kryten.

Artificial Reality. The technology that allowed the crew to visit other “worlds,” such as Jane Austen World, without ever leaving the ship.

AWOOGA. The sound made by the ship’s alarm (or by Holly) when there’s an emergency.

Bob. Lister’s favorite skutter.

Bonjella, Princess Beryl. Damsel in distress saved by superhero “Ace” Rimmer.

Bullet, Jake. Mechanoid detective developed by Cybernautics who tried to come off as tough and macho but actually worked in traffic control. Took on the character of Kryten during the Red Dwarf Total Immersion Video Game.


Camille. A pleasure gelf who captured Kryten’s heart, even though she was in reality a big green blob.

Captain’s Table. The place where Rimmer desperately wanted a permanent seat because it meant honor and prestige. However, his one chance at this turned into a disaster. (See Gazpacho soup.)

Cassandra. A computer version of the Psychic Friend’s Network that could predict the future with startling accuracy.

Cloister the Stupid. A man deified by the Cat People, who thought he would lead them to the Promised Land. However, seeing as Cloister was actually Lister, it’s no surprise this never happened.

Crapola, Inc. Makers of such wonderful products as Talkie Toaster. Howdy doodly doo!

Curry. Indian food much beloved by Lister in any number of odd varieties.

Deathday. Anniversary celebrated by Holograms instead of birthdays.

Despair Squid. The product of an experiment, this creature emitted venom that caused extreme melancholy and, in some cases, even suicide.

Dibbley, Duane. The unstylish, buck – toothed Duke of Dork who became the ultra-stylish diva Cat during the Red Dwarf Total Immersion Game. Duane made a couple of “return visits,” much to Cat’s chagrin.

Epideme. A wacky, charismatic virus that tried to kill Lister. Kochanski, however, was there to save the day.

Esperanto. A language Rimmer worked diligently to master only to find it came much easier to Lister.

Fiji. The island where Lister dreamed of settling with Kochanski. His plans called for marital bliss and raising animals, but alas, it was not to be.

Flibble, Mr. Puppet who became Rimmer’s right hand “penguin” and evil sidekick when Rimmer lost his sanity thanks to the Hologram virus.

Future Echoes. Time glitches that allowed the crew to see future events, such as Cat breaking a tooth and Lister having an artificial limb.

Gazpacho Soup Day. The date Rimmer suffered his biggest humiliation. Invited to dine at the Captain’s table for the first time, he sent his gazpacho soup back to be warmed up, not realizing it was actually supposed to be served cold. Rimmer blamed the fallout from this episode for his failure to be promoted.

Gelfs. Short for “genetically engineered life forms,” these creatures came in a variety of shapes and sizes. The crew came across a number of them (including Camille and Emohawk) and the result was usually bad news.

Groinal Socket. One of Kryten’s handiest features, this allowed him to hook up the vacuum cleaner or whisk up some eggs for a tasty omelet.

Inquisitor, The. A simulant that traveled the universe judging whether people had lived up to their potential and lived a worthwhile existence. If they hadn’t, the Inquisitor had the power to erase them from history. Understandably, the Dwarfers did not look forward to facing him when their time came.

Jupiter Mining Corporation. The company to which Red Dwarf belonged.


Kinitawowi: A tribe of Gelfs who were actually rather friendly and didn’t skin you alive as a greeting. Not the most attractive creatures, however, as Lister found out when he was forced to marry one.

Lanstrom, Hildegarde. Once prominent doctor who became a victim of the holovirus and tried to kill the crew.

Lister, Jim and Bexley. Lister’s twin sons, who were conceived in the female-dominated parallel universe.

London Jets. Lister’s favorite zero -gravity football team. His favorite player was Jim Bexley Speed, hence the names given to his twins.

McGruder, Yvonne. The woman of Rimmer’s dreams and the only one to have actually slept with him. In the episode Better Than Life, a fantasy showed Rimmer and McGruder married with seven children.

McIntyre, George. Flight coordinator aboard Red Dwarf and all-round wacky guy who had “See Ya Later, Alligator” played at his funeral.

Madge. Female companion to Bob the skutter.


Mind Swap. Process during which a person’s mind is emptied and another personality is allowed to take over.

Nanobots. Miniscule robots that had the ability to break objects down into their smallest components and then reconstruct them.

Nipple Nuts. Another one of Kryten’s handy features. These were used pick up radio stations and regulate his body temperature. Most important, though, they were referred to in his immortal phrase, “Spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska.”

Outland Revenue. The British version of the IRS, who came after Rimmer to collect his back-taxes.

Petersen, Olaf. Red Dwarf crew member who was Lister’s good friend and drinking buddy.

Psirens. Gelfs who would entice gullible space travelers to their death.

Psy-Moon. A “planetoid” that would arrange its landscape according to a person’s psyche. Rimmer’s psy-moon proved to be very interesting.

Queeg 500. The back-up computer that took over when Holly started becoming senile. However, turned out that Queeg was actually Holly in disguise, proving that he could still kick butt.

Reverse Brothers. When Rimmer and Kryten became trapped on “Backwards Earth,” they found success as a cabaret act that actually did things like drink down a glass of water.

Skutters. Red Dwarf’s cute little service robots. They liked to make obscene gestures and were big fans of John Wayne.

Smeg. All purpose expletive favored by the crew. Variants included the adjective “smegging” and the ever popular insult “smeg head.”


Stasis. When someone, like Lister, was placed in stasis, time was basically “frozen” and the person placed in suspended animation.

Talkie Toaster. Over enthusiastic appliance especially hated by Lister.

White Hole. The opposite of a black hole, this object spewed matter back into the universe. When the crew encountered one, the whole for no match for billiards wizard Lister.

Wilson, Reggie. A wizard on the Hammond organ and one of Rimmer’s musical favorites.

Zero-Gravity Football. Lister’s favorite sport.



Kick-Ass TV Heroines: Xena – Warrior Princess




Xena Warrior Princess

What was not to love about Xena? As Lucy Lawless says: “Xena is a bad-ass, kick-ass, pre-Mycenaean girl.” Evildoers, clearly, must stand down, but not only bad guys (and girls) have Xena-phobia. Even heroes quake when she swings her broadsword.

Originally created as a syndicated complement to Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena pretty much kicked Herc to the curb. It was like when the Bionic Woman made us lose interest in the Six Million Dollar Man–only more so.

Unlike Lindsay Wagner’s early half-woman, half-machine, Xena wasn’t prone to frailty. Nor did she need robot parts. In fact, the Warrior Princess never lost. If she’s down, it’s not for long.

Plus, she was in touch with the dark side: This big-boned bruiser had definite moments of blood lust, as well as lust of some other varieties. Garbed in a leather miniskirt and armed with her trademark razor-edged, boomerang-action chakram, we watched Xena single-leggedly kick down entire platoons of Roman soldiers.

Sure, there were murmurings about Xena and her softer female sidekick, Gabrielle (actress Renée O’Connor). So what if they liked to conserve bathwater by doubling up? And what’s wrong with close friends frenching once in a while?

Then again, maybe it was true–and there’s anything wrong with that.

Actress: Lucy Lawless
Show: Xena: Warrior Princess
Character: Xena

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Classic TV Revisited: McMillan And Wife




McMillan And Wife

Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James, McMillan and Wife was a super cute crime-solving saga from the 1970s made for the NBC’s Mystery Movie series.

Who were they?
Hubby was the debonair San Francisco police commissioner Stewart McMillan.

And wifey?
Sally was a foxy, rather scatterbrained dame with a knack for finding corpses.

Worked down the morgue did she?
Hardly. Sally’s finds were usually in some glitzy mansion which the couple were frequenting for a weekend cocktail party. She also had a habit of getting her life threatened or being kidnapped.

Who was in it?
Tragic Hollywood star Rock Hudson no less. He took on Stewart McMillan in his first TV role, after years as a matinee idol with movies such as Giant.

Fans of the lantern-jawed star were dismayed when he went public about having Aids. He had long kept his homosexuality secret. He carried on working in ’80s glam drama Dynasty, but make-up could not disguise the deterioration of this once-statuesque man. He died in 1985, aged 59.

What about Sally?
That role fell to raven-locked Susan Saint James. The Ali MacGraw lookalike was previously in shows such as Alias Smith And Jones and The Name of the Game.

Other characters
A vital ingredient to McMillan And Wife was sharp-tongued housekeeper Mildred, played by Nancy Walker. Somebody needed to keep the place tidy while they gallivanted about solving crime.

Famous guest stars?
Kim Basinger

The couple’s conception?
Like Hart To Hart, the idea was borrowed from Dashiell Hammett’s Thin Man books of the ’30s.

Gritty crime drama?
Hardly. These were cosy whodunnit cases, where the brutality of murder was never portrayed. The show was more about the interplay between McMillan and Sally.

Had viewers arrested?
Certainly in the US. It was the fifth highest-rated show in 1972 and 1973.

Fate of the golden couple?
Susan Saint James quit in 1976 over a contractual dispute. Nancy Walker also packed away her duster as housekeeper Mildred.

The dame’s exit was a fatal blow?
Certainly for the character of Sally – she was killed off in a plane crash. But Rock soldiered on with new assistant Sgt Steve DiMaggio (Richard Gilliland). The show became McMillan.

A winner?
Audiences dwindled and the plug was pulled.

Distinguishing features?
Cosy pillow talk, cocktail parties, Rock Hudson, pyjamas and numerous corpses.

Do say
Let’s go to bed. Turn the light out, darling.

Don’t say
Must you eat toast in bed, darling. Apologies, but I’ve got terrible flatulence. Separate bedrooms.

Not to be confused with
My Wife Next Door, Harold Macmillan, The Merry Wives Of Windsor and Mr And Mrs.

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Classic TV Revisited: The Royal




The Royal

The Royal was an ITV drama commission and was inspired by its sister programme Heartbeat.

The lowdown: This nostalgic family drama is set in the swinging 1960s and centres on the staff of a cottage hospital in Yorkshire. Newly qualified doctor David Cheriton (Julian Ovenden) is determined to make a difference to the world and arrives at St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital in Elinsby full of big ideas. But he clashes with the hospital’s secretary TJ Middleditch (Ian Carmichael) who is determined to run things his way. Then there is the Matron (Wendy Craig) who rules her nurses with a rod of iron and tries in vain to stop them being distracted by the handsome arrival.

Memorable moments: Watch out for former Heartbeat favourite Bill Maynard who crosses dramas and continents as Claude Jeremiah Greengrass. Greengrass has returned from a Caribbean holiday with a mystery illness but that doesn’t stop him trying to earn a fast buck. It doesn’t take long before Claude attracts Matron’s ire.

Trivia: The Royal is a family affair for real life husband and wife Robert Daws (Ormerod) and Amy Robbins (Weatherill). No fewer than seven members of their clan have appeared in the series including their daughters and stepson.

Michelle Hardwick, who played receptionist Lizzie, says her favourite moment in the whole series didn’t come on screen but in the actors’ green room. She says: “I was sitting in there with Wendy Craig and Honor Blackman and we were having a lovely conversation. I sat back and thought ‘Wow, this is great, I can’t wait to tell my gran’.”

A modern day set version called The Royal Today aired 7 January – 14 March 2008.

First broadcast: 2003

Starred: Wendy Craig, Ian Carmichael, Michael Starke, Robert Daws and Julian Ovenden

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