Red Dwarf VII – tape 2353

This tape opens with the end of Gardener’s World and a discussion about a roof garden in London. “What about the safety aspect of small children up on a roof?” asks the interviewer.

After this, there’s a trailer for Two Fat Ladies Comedy Cook-In and a trailer for Bruce Robinson’s Jennifer Eight.

Then we have the last episode is the series for Red Dwarf VII. Nanarchy starts of in slightly depressing mode, following on from the previous episode, as Dave Lister has had an arm removed.

It’s a strange episode, as it spends more than half its running time with Lister trying to come to terms with his missing limb. The plot doesn’t seem to kick in until quite late, when they find a planetoid that appears to be made up of eft-over bits of the missing Red Dwarf, and they discover a long-lost friend.

Holly's Back

It’s genuinely lovely to see Norman Lovett back as Holly – I’d forgotten about that, just as I’d forgotten that this series lacked Chris Barrie, leading me to wonder why he was absent for so long. Chloe Annett’s faux-Kochanski doesn’t really suffice as a replacement as she’s just too normal.

The plot, when it finally kicks in, involves the realisation that the Red Dwarf they’ve been chasing all series is actually a swarm of nanobots who escaped from Kryten (around the time they encountered the Despair Squid, continuity fans) who have disassembled the ship, left most of it as a planetoid, and were exploring Lister’s underwear basket. They use the nanobots to regrow Lister’s arm, which doesn’t go quite to plan.

Lister's new body

The episode ends with the return of the Red Dwarf, but fluffs it with a fairly weak gag. In fact, the whole last scene, featuring only Danny John Jules’s Cat almost feels like a hasty addendum, after they realised that they hadn’t made good on the promise of returning the ship. I somehow felt the return of the ship should have been a slightly more significant scene, and should have involved all the regulars.

BBC Genome: BBC Two England, 7 March 1997 21.00

After this, recording switches to the end of an episode of The Simpsons on Sky One.

Then we have a whole episode of the Simpsons – Mountain of Madness in which the workers at the nuclear power plant

Then, recording switches, and we have en episode of Film 96 where Barry Norman reviews the following films:

Ralph Fiennes joins Barry in the studio to talk about his work on The English Patient.

Ralph Feinnes

And Tom Brook talks to Shirley Maclaine about The Evening Star.

Shirley Maclaine

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 10 March 1997 23.10

Following this, there’s a trailer for Hamish Macbeth. Then there’s just a snatch of a Marlon Brando movie before recording stops.  Underneath there’s part of an episode of Early Edition. That continues for a while, then that recording stops and underneath there’s some Newsnight looking at the election hopes of Scotland. Then there’s a story about civil war in Zaire – a country which no longer exists, having become the Democratic Republic of Congo. The tape finally stops during this programme.

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