There is a Red Dwarf AA Advert [SLYT]
July 11, 2019 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Remember the TV show Red Dwarf? Well the AA [Auto Recovery Service] hopes you do! That's it. I have no idea why Red Dwarf [ A relatively obscure, British, scifi sitcom - which is now over 30 years old ] is being used to sell a car recovery service but... Well it's a thing that's happened.

Enjoy?
posted by Faintdreams (63 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's a glorious thing. I really have no words, just a tear.

Thanks you for this.
posted by bonehead at 1:02 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Red Dwarf may be old, but it never truly went away -- Series XIII is in production as we speak. So it's not that shocking that somebody did a tie-in.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:04 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


Truly the best of the web.

Although, do we really consider Red Dwarf to be 'relatively obscure'? Really?
posted by hanov3r at 1:05 PM on July 11 [25 favorites]


Hey, Red Dwarf was great.

Ooh, the wrinkles though... And I’m older than these guys...
posted by Segundus at 1:06 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Yeah, binge the entire series. 30 years in 72 episodes, it's a little rough to see.
posted by Horkus at 1:17 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


The commercial is definitely better than both US Red Dwarf pilots, so hey.

The best part of Red Dwarf USA was Jane Leeves as Holly. Not even Terry Farrell as The Cat in the second pilot could save the rest.
posted by SansPoint at 1:31 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I remember the quality rather fell off a cliff around the time Kochanski replaced Rimmer, which would place it at the start of the seventh series and after the end of Grant Naylor (according to the wiki). Is any of the later stuff worth a look?
posted by StephenB at 1:33 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Metafillter: This is our crime. This is also our punishment.
posted by zaixfeep at 1:37 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


Is any of the later stuff worth a look?
Individual scenes yes in my opinion. They did a thing in the most recent series (Rimmer is also back) where math and science was banned, and they visited a speakeasy and nailed equations as sexual innuendo. IE they basically dunked on what the Big Bang Theory tries to do. Also the original Kochanski was the lead singer for Altered Images. She ruled.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:41 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Wait, they're still making Red Dwarf? Good God. I don't know whether to be impressed or appalled.

Obligatory 'Why not both?', I know, I know...
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:44 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


CP Grogan was the best Kochanski, for certain.

Also, Mark "Arthur Weasley" Williams played Lister's friend Olaf in the first few episodes of season one.
posted by hanov3r at 2:17 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Relatively obscure?

One of the most popular UK comedies of all time. New series next year I believe.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:22 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Yeah, the 7th and 8th series were... Eh. I mean, they explored some interesting things, but the whole "let's do Red Dwarf without the Dwarf" was sort of a misstep that they never quite recovered from.

10-12 have been all right. Not hilarious, not super memorable, but not awful either. A pleasant diversion, and not _quite_ yet flogging the dead horse into a fine pink mist.
posted by Kyol at 2:27 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


relatively obscure

It's times like this I feel like I've accidentally stumbled into the wrong dimension or something.

Aside from its popularity in the UK, it was also reliably on one of our PBS affiliates for years, and it's a huge part of how I wound up a sci-fi fan. I think I watched Red Dwarf more reliably than I watched Next Generation, and more total times, though I have yet to see any of the new seasons and I really should.

Actually, funny thing, but I was just thinking that they all look quite good for as long as it's been. The main problem is that Rimmer's H doesn't seem to be quite cooperating with the lines on Barrie's forehead, which otherwise I would not object to.
posted by Sequence at 2:50 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


relatively obscure

Yeah, super popular here in Canada too. Watched them on the closest PBS affiliate and thought it was enjoyable (first few seasons, at least), but my non-PBS watching, non-Anglophile, non-sci-fi loving sister went bonkers over the series and is a massive fan with more than one cat named after RD characters over the last 25+ years.
posted by acroyear at 2:59 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Red Dwarf may be old, but it never truly went away -- Series XIII is in production as we speak. So it's not that shocking that somebody did a tie-in.

Plus, the series was long demoted from a broadcast channel to a bog-standard satellite station and none of the core cast seem to have much else going on in their careers at the moment. That must make the fond-memories-among-target-market versus how-cheap-can we-get-them equation quite attractive for advertisers.

[Clare Grogan was also great in this episode of Father Ted, by the way.]
posted by Paul Slade at 3:02 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


It's a shame I can't watch Father Ted anymore without feeling deeply depressed at the thought of Graham Linehan...
posted by howfar at 3:03 PM on July 11 [20 favorites]


Yankee here, thanks to PBS broadcasts, I had the entire run from Series I to VIII on DVD. I haven't seen Series XI or XII yet, but I enjoyed what I saw of X.

Personally, they need to bring Holly back. Either male or female. He had a cameo in one of the Series XII episodes, doing a variant of the "Everybody's dead, Dave" bit, but it's not enough.
posted by SansPoint at 3:17 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I don't know how many episodes of Death in Paradise I watched before recognizing Danny John-Jules as Officer Myers. Cat! How did I not see sooner that Dwayne Meyers was Duane Dibbly?
posted by Ranucci at 3:21 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


(altogether now ...)

It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere
I'm all alone, more or less ...
posted by carter at 3:34 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


If you don't have at least one threadbare Red Dwarf T-shirt in your drawers can you even say you are an actual PBS fan? Same can be said for Blackadder. PLEDGE DRIVE TIME!
posted by Keith Talent at 3:50 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


They still got it.
posted by runehog at 3:53 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


It's a shame I can't watch Father Ted anymore without feeling deeply depressed

about how talented Arthur Matthews is to have written it on his own, right?
posted by ambrosen at 4:04 PM on July 11 [13 favorites]


I tell the kitties "everybody's dead, Dave" when they expect me to bring an entertaining bug back to life.
posted by kitten magic at 4:26 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


I’m having kind of a crap day with a confluence of unhappy events and this really cheered me up. Thanks!
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:27 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I just found a Guardian article about the making of Red Dwarf and... uh...
Alan Rickman and Alfred Molina liked the script so we considered casting them as Rimmer and Lister. Rickman wanted to be Lister because he thought playing Rimmer would be too easy.
Can I go live in that particular section of the multiverse?
posted by hanov3r at 4:32 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Also, Mark "Arthur Weasley" Williams played Lister's friend Olaf in the first few episodes of season one.

And in our house it is mandatory to shout "PETERSOOON!" whenever he appears on screen in any other role.
posted by andraste at 4:34 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I also think of the Red Dwarf theme song every time I hear KISS's version of "God Gave Rock 'n Roll To You", from the Bill & Ted 2 soundtrack, because there's a guitar progression that comes right out of the beginning of the closing credits.
posted by hanov3r at 4:39 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


I was actually reminiscing the other day about the number of everyday sayings my partner and I have that come from Red Dwarf. They include, but are not limited to:

- exclaiming "Good crispies, man!" when food is especially tasty.
- crooning "I'm going to eat you little fishie, I'm going to eat you little fishie" when fish is on the menu.
- imitating Rimmer's desperately-trying-not-to-breathe "I can't smell anything" when someone farts
- "Man, I could smell you if you was on Mars!" every time one of the cats turns its nose up at something
- "We are talking jape of the decade" when something is funny. Or when it's not.
posted by andraste at 4:43 PM on July 11 [13 favorites]


AAAAAAAAA rgh! I can't believe I'm the first person to point out that the AA isn't just an auto recovery service; that it started out as the Automobile Association founded in 1905 as a charitable organization "to help motorists avoid speed traps" and "by 1906 had erected thousands of roadside danger and warning signs, and managed road signage until the early 1930s".

As a kid I remember ads from The AA about their roadside assistance and the slogan "a very nice man", along with "but I know a man who does" which, like many things in the 1980s, was decidedly sexist.

Anyway, there's a whole non-Red Dwarf side to this post!
posted by danhon at 4:51 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Ranucci, you're not alone. Did not pick up on it until I read your comment and now my mind is seriously blown.
posted by arha at 4:56 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Also!

1) Gosh, doesn't Rimmer look a lot older.

2) Nice with the not casting a very-nice-white-man.
posted by danhon at 4:56 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


BabyWedged May have received a “smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast” onesie from a friend who truly knew me.
posted by WedgedPiano at 5:20 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


This is a delightful post, thank you for making it. I wonder if (and doubt that) my bf has seen it.
posted by PMdixon at 6:01 PM on July 11


So Dave isn't the last human, he's just the last human not bound to servitude with AA?
posted by ckape at 8:04 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


The only way this could have been better is if the AA person was Ace Rimmer.
posted by maxwelton at 8:09 PM on July 11 [12 favorites]


Or, perhaps more apt, Spanners Lister.
posted by juliebug at 8:11 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Mr. Flibble is very cross.
posted by jzb at 8:37 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


This pleases me greatly.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:13 PM on July 11


none of the core cast seem to have much else going on in their careers at the moment.

Well, Robert Llewellyn has a reasonably successful car-related web series these days (after his previous one was totally ripped off by Seinfeld...).
posted by pompomtom at 11:46 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


The 1989 episode Backwards stands at the very pinnacle of sci-fi comedy.
posted by fairmettle at 11:48 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Had to re-watch Confidence & Paranoia recently to see a very pre-Late Late Show Craig Ferguson play a blustery American embodiment of Lister's confidence.

The first three seasons were recorded at the old BBC studios just around the corner from me in Manchester. They've since been demolished and are being replaced by student flats, but I think the location deserves a blue plaque as the birthplace of the series.
posted by sudasana at 11:52 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


none of the core cast seem to have much else going on in their careers at the moment.

Sounds like somebody needs to know about the Craig Charles funk and soul show.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:04 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


Can a fan remind me if they ever explained how in one season Holly had a male avatar and then switched to female in the next season? Maybe I missed an episode, but I think they did that without any comment.

I was a baby then and I just thought the computer isn't human and doesn't really have a gender. Or a face. It has an interface, and that could look like anything. I wanted to mention this here while we were discussing how all of these new AI assistants have default female voices, like Siri, Alexa and Google Home. I wanted to say it was Red Dwarf that busted the illusion of gendered tech in my mind when I was a kid.

I said nothing though because I couldn't remember if they ever did explain it. I like to think that they didn't.
posted by adept256 at 12:45 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


I recall at least one episode where male Holly and female Holly were both in it...don't I?

Backwards was amazing.
posted by maxwelton at 12:57 AM on July 12


I recall at least one episode where male Holly and female Holly were both in it...don't I?
In the episode Parallel Universe, the crew encounter a duplicate Red Dwarf in another dimension, where the crew are female and women are the dominant gender. The two Hollies meet on the computer and it's implied that they 'get together' in some way.
posted by winterhill at 1:16 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


I think one of the greatest innovations of the series was the invention of a plausible swearword which made the dialogue seem so much more natural. In situations that would make Picard speechless the RD crew could rely on an emphatic SMEG!
posted by adept256 at 1:27 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


> Can a fan remind me if they ever explained how in one season Holly had a male avatar and then switched to female in the next season?

It was 'explained' in some rapidly scrolling text at the start of series 3. (Managing to get in a dig at 21st century canon obsessed internet fandom a decade or so before it was a thing.)

To quote;

"Meanwhile, Holly, the increasingly erratic Red Dwarf computer, performs a head-sex change operation on himself. He bases his new face on Hilly, a female computer with whom he’d once fallen madly in love.
posted by Luddite at 1:33 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


As someone with a relevant username, I feel the need to comment here :)

I have a love/hate relationship with everything Red Dwarf has done since the Back to Earth "revival" in 2009. On the one hand, it's not up to snuff with the original 6 series (nevermind series 7 and 8 which were generally a drop in quality already). But some of the newer scenes are brilliant and I admire the cast and Doug Naylor for sticking with it. They're going to keep making Red Dwarf for as long as the cast is physically able and I applaud them for doing it.

Can a fan remind me if they ever explained how in one season Holly had a male avatar and then switched to female in the next season?

The in-universe explanation has already been given, but out-of-universe it was because they moved production and Norman Lovett refused to travel for filming. They had to replace him with somebody, and Hattie Hayridge was available, which helped for a relatively seamless transition. Although in general, Red Dwarf writers have never cared much for continuity (usually to the show's benefit).

If anyone wants to talk Red Dwarf -- and especially if you used to hang out in atvrd -- drop me a memail. (Or look for ossiangrr on reddit where I post a little too much on r/reddwarf)
posted by jozxyqk at 2:34 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


To this day whenever a family member promises me a surprise, I'll open my eyes expectantly, hesitate, and then ask:

"...six fish?"
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:18 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


all these voice enabled Internet of Things virtual assistants are all just going to regress to being Talkie Toaster aren't they?
posted by davros42 at 10:21 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


"All six of my nipples are tingling with delight!"

I know from experience that this line delivered to the wrong crowd at the wrong time will kill all conversation flat dead in a crowded bar. "Wait, what the fuck did you just say!?" and then I have to explain Red Dwarf to millenials and that I don't actually have six nipples.
posted by loquacious at 10:45 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


The Cat got an advert all of his own.

Why can I remember twenty year old adverts, but need a run up and three attempts to call my family by their right names?
posted by Eleven at 11:57 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Red Dwarf re: obscurity is kind of weird, because (in my corner of the US at least) it kind of looms huge for people who were into it at an impressionable age, and doesn't even ping the radar for people who weren't. It lives in a similar space to Dr Who before Eccleston, where you kind of hear about it peripherally as an active nerd, but when you actually go to watch it, it opens up like a puzzle box and you realize it's this WHOLE THING.

I think the way that fan communities and media consumption work on the internet, there's a lot less of that kind of thing anymore. You don't get passed VHS tapes and burned DVDs of episodes from the kids in your computer club, you just hear a thing's good and find out who's streaming it, or find a torrent if it's a deeper cut. It's probably for the best but it's definitely a different experience, and it's extended the consumerist vibe of the mainstream to things that used to at least *feel* sorta underground.

And that was when I remembered that I was waxing sentimental over an ad for a tow company. So that's where I'm at.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 1:06 PM on July 12 [8 favorites]


There needs to be a major Red Dwarf revival so that those outside my immediate family and close friends understand why I will say "too slow chicken marengo" on a semi-regular basis.
posted by drnick at 3:57 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Whenever fish is on the menu, I can’t help saying “tonight’s fish is trout a la creme. Enjoy your meal!” over and over.
posted by hanov3r at 4:02 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


hanov3r: "I will!"
posted by SansPoint at 4:11 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I tried to introduce someone to watching Red Dwarf and his reaction was that Cat is a racist caricature.
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 9:59 PM on July 12


Pastor of Muppets: Has this person ever had an actual pet cat?
posted by SansPoint at 3:55 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


The mister saw it this morning and I'm so glad it was posted here on the blue. Still relevant in our UK household and a fun ad.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 4:12 AM on July 13


I tried to introduce someone to watching Red Dwarf and his reaction was that Cat is a racist caricature.

At 4:32 in this video, here's Danny John-Jules describing how he created the Cat. His own inspirations were James Brown + Little Richard + Richard Pryor.
I don't know if this would change your friend's mind.

(Side note: That full "Tongue Tied '93" video is a really bizarre piece of Red Dwarf history and worth a watch from start to finish; just search for Tongue Tied 93 Part 1)
posted by jozxyqk at 5:42 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


Pastor of Muppets: so this is actually part of the origin story of Red Dwarf!

Grant and Naylor had made this character, and were looking for a rainbow cast. But they knew they were just two white guys in the BBC, and worried they'd stumbled into a Huggy Bear kind of caricature while trying to avoid it. They needed an expert on this, and so they knew just the person to go to within the BBC.

There was this avant-garde poet in the early 80s who become something of a fixture in certain corners of the beeb. He did these biting poems live about race in the UK, including one where he held a red cricket ball and started talking about the striking of bats and the running and only after the blood red dye had rubbed off the ball all over his cricket whites did you realise he was talking about a race riot.

So they took the script to this guy, and asked: "Is this character racist? Should we change anything?" and he said "No, this is totally not racist. It's great! Only one thing: I want to play Lister."

And that's how Craig Charles got that part.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 7:55 AM on July 13 [11 favorites]


Thanks for that! Said friend did not have a cat, being allergic, and I had shut the show off with a stammered apology rather than try to defend a 'racist' show. Said friend was also white as it happens. I think he also had trouble with understanding Lister's accent and was looking for an excuse to give up anyway... His loss!
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 8:13 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


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