Red Dwarf–the Doctor Who connections

Apropos of nothing, I’ve been looking from time to time at what connections to Doctor Who can be found in other popular TV shows. As I mentioned recently, there is a lot of obvious overlap between the fandoms of Doctor Who and that of Red Dwarf. At least, I assume as much given that they are both British and science fiction TV.

(Daily Doctor Who #148)

Certainly, they were both being celebrated at the last big Doctor Who convention I attended–Visions in Chicago, back in 1993, where the guests included the likes of Danny John-Jules and Peter Davison. And I was a fan of both shows–although I trailed off of enjoying Red Dwarf in the 8th season where it just became too gross to enjoy, and I never really went back again.

Anyway, Red Dwarf does not have the kind of overlap with Doctor Who that something like Blake’s 7 did, and as far as I know none of the main characters of either show ever appeared on the opposite show. But there must be something, right? We’ll go through Red Dwarf episode by episode to find out…

The End (1.1)

• Mark Williams plays Petersen in this episode, and two others in the first two seasons of the show.

He appeared in two episodes of Doctor Who–in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Power of Three, both from 2012 with the Eleventh Doctor, where he played Brian Williams, the father of companion Rory Williams.

• Peter Wragg did visual effects for Red Dwarf from the beginning for about 45 episodes. He is also credited with visual effects work on Doctor Who in the eras of the Fifth and Sixth Doctors.

Waiting for God (1.4)

• Noah Coleman plays a Cat Priest. He was General Smythe way back in The War Games (1969), the Second Doctor’s last story.

Confidence and Paranoia (1.5)

• Lee Cornes (Paranoia) played the Trickster in Kinda (1982), a Fifth Doctor story.

• Craig Ferguson (Confidence) never appeared on Doctor Who, but he has hosted thousands of episodes of his own talk show, where he once attempted to do this skit (which didn’t air because of rights issues, but has happily found a home on Youtube):

Better Than Life (2.2)

• The nigh-ubiquitous John Abineri appears! He was actually one of the guests at Visions ’93, mainly representing the show Robin of Sherwood, where he played Herne the Hunter. In Doctor Who he appeared in four serials: Fury from the Deep (1968) with the Second Doctor, The Ambassadors of Death (1970) with the Third Doctor, Death to the Daleks (1974) also with the Third Doctor, and The Power of Kroll (1978-1979) with the Fourth Doctor. He was also in Blake’s 7, which we looked at a while ago. Here, he plays Rimmer’s father.

Parallel Universe (2.6)

• Angela Bruce plays Deb Lister, the alternate universe gender-swapped version of the main character Dave Lister. She was Brigadier Bambera (a gender-swapped successor to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) in Battlefield (1989) with the Seventh Doctor.

Backwards (3.1)

• Starting with this episode, for most of the rest of the series, Howard Burden was a costume designer on Red Dwarf. He did the same role for two seasons of Doctor Who, from 2012-2014.

Polymorph (3.3)

• Frances Barber plays Genny–she was Madame Kovarian for seven episodes of Doctor Who during the sixth series (2011), starting in Day of the Moon and running through The Wedding of River Song. So far, she’s definitely the most significant Doctor Who actor to have made an appearance on Red Dwarf.

Meltdown (4.6)

• Martin Friend (Einstein) played an alien scientist on The Android Invasion (1975) with the Fourth Doctor.

Holoship (5.1)

• Don Warrington plays Commander Binks. He was the President in Rise of the Cybermen (2006) with the Tenth Doctor.

He also plays the police commissioner in Death in Paradise alongside Danny John-Jules.

• Simon Day, aka Simon Paisley Day plays Commander Navarro. He appears twice in modern Doctor Who–in The End of the World (2005) as the Steward, alongside the Ninth Doctor, and in Face the Raven (2015) as Rump, alongside the Twelfth Doctor.

Gunmen of the Apocalypse (6.3)

• Dennis Lill plays Death / Simulant Captain. He appeared in Doctor Who twice–in Image of the Fendahl (1977) with the Fourth Doctor and The Awakening (1984) with the Fifth Doctor.

• Dinny Powell (Famine) did some uncredited acting and stunt work on Doctor Who in the Third and Fourth Doctors’ eras.

• Stephen Marcus (Bear Strangler McGee) was a jailer in The Shakespeare Code (2007) alongside the Tenth Doctor.

Emohawk: Polymorph II (6.4)

• Hugh Quarshie (voice of the Computer) was Solomon in the Daleks of Manhattan two-parter from 2007, with the Tenth Doctor.

• Steven Wickham (Gelf Bride) made a couple of uncredited appearances in Doctor Who in 1984–in the Fifth Doctor’s last story, The Caves of Androzani; and the Sixth Doctors first story, The Twin Dilemma. He later appeared in another Red Dwarf episode as well (Entangled–10.4)

Stoke Me a Clipper (7.2)

• Brian Cox plays the King.

He was the voice of the Elder Ood in The End of Time part 1 (2009), but more prominently played Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman in the docudrama movie An Adventure in Space and Time (2013)

Beyond a Joke (7.6)

• Don Henderson was the Rogue Simulant. He appeared in Delta and the Bannerman (1987) alongside the Seventh Doctor.

Back in the Red part 2 (8.2)

• Sue Kelvin (Second Woman Officer) was in Partners in Crime (2008) with the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who.

• Geoffrey Beevers (Doctor) played the Master, of all people, back in Keeper of Traken (1981) with the Fourth Doctor. And I didn’t know this until now, but he was also had a small part in The Ambassadors of Death with the Third Doctor, all the way back in 1970.

Back in the Red part 3 (8.3)

• Yasmin Bannerman (First Ground Controller) was Jabe in The End of the World (2005) with the Ninth Doctor.

Pete part 1 (8.6)

• Holly Earl (Young Kochanski) was Lily Arwell in The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (2011) with the Eleventh Doctor.

Only the Good… (8.8)

• David Verrey (Big Meat) was in the Ninth Doctor two-parter Aliens of London / World War III (2005)

Trojan (10.1)

• Mark Dexter played Rimmer’s brother Howard.

He appeared in two Doctor Who stories–Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead (2008) with the Tenth Doctor and Spyfall Part Two (2020) with the Thirteenth Doctor.

• Lucy Newman-Williams (All-Droid Jayne) was in The Magician’s Apprentice (2015) with the Twelfth Doctor.

Father & Suns (10.2)

• Kerry Shale (Medi-Bot / Taiwan Tony) appeared in Day of the Moon (2011) with the Eleventh Doctor.

Entangled (10.4)

• Emma Campbell-Jones (TV Character) was in The Wedding of River Song (2011) with the Eleventh Doctor, and also was the Eighth Doctor’s almost-companion in the minisode Night of the Doctor (2013), which also featured a brief appearance by the War Doctor.

The Beginning (10.6)

• Gary Cady (Dominator Zlurth) was in the Sixth Doctor adventure Mark of the Rani (1985)

Twentica (11.1)

• Kevin Eldon (4 of 27) was in It Takes You Away (2018) with the Thirteenth Doctor.

Samsara (11.2)

• Maggie Service (Barker) was in Deep Breath (2014) with the Twelfth Doctor.

Give & Take (11.3)

• Jami Reid-Quarrel played the body of Asclepius.

He has played several monsters in Doctor Who in 2015, with the Twelfth Doctor–he was Colony Sarff in The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar; the Veil in Heaven Sent; and a Cloister Wraith in Hell Bent.

Can of Worms (11.6)

• Bentley Kalu (Mercenoid) was in The Angels Take Manhattan (2012) with the Eleventh Doctor.

Siliconia (12.2)

• James Buckley (Rusty) was in the lamentable Orphan 55 with the Thirteenth Doctor.

M-Corp (12.5)

• Ian Boldsworth (Steve) was in Blink (2007) with the Tenth Doctor.

The Promised Land (13.1)

• Mandeep Dhillon (Sister Luna) was in Knock, Knock (2017) with the Twelfth Doctor.

And that’s it! There’s a few familiar faces in there–largely for the revived series of Doctor Who, not surprisingly because of the years Red Dwarf has been in production. The biggest surprises for me were discovering that Geoffrey Beevers was in this, as well as Frances Barber.

Until next time.

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