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Red Dwarf episode
"Demons and Angels"
Demons and Angels (Red Dwarf).jpg
The "Low" versions of the Red Dwarf crew
Episode № 5
Airdate March 19, 1992
Writer(s) Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
Director Juliet May, Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
Guest star(s) none
Series V
February 20 – March 26, 1992
  1. "Holoship"
  2. "The Inquisitor"
  3. "Terrorform"
  4. "Quarantine"
  5. "Demons and Angels"
  6. "Back to Reality"
List of all Red Dwarf episodes...

"Demons and Angels" is the fifth episode of science fiction sit-com Red Dwarf Series V [1] and the twenty ninth in the series run.[2 ] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 19 March 1992. [3] Written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor,[4 ] the episode was the first to be filmed with new director Juliet May.[5] The episode has the regular Red Dwarf crew meet their 'high' and 'low' versions.



Kryten has created a Triplicator, derived from the Matter Paddle, which he hopes will solve any supply problems that might arise on Red Dwarf. It can create two copies of anything placed within its field, but the prototype machine soon manifests several flaws. Firstly, the copies have a lifespan of exactly one hour. Secondly, while one copy exhibits all the best qualities of its original, the other has all the worst. Finally, when Kryten tries to reverse the procedure, Red Dwarf begins to explode, although this is explained by the mistake Kryten made by reversing the field of the beam, capturing the rest of Red Dwarf. The resulting drain of energy was too much for Red Dwarf and it explodes.

Lister, Cat, Kryten and Rimmer escape in Starbug, where they discover that the Triplicator has generated two copies of the ship. Kryten proposes to restore Red Dwarf by using the Triplicator on board to amalgamate the two copies. Starbug lands on the first ship and the crew is greeted by alternative versions of themselves embodying the best parts of their personalities. These are the spiritualistic 'highs', who spend their time philosophising, reading poetry and trying to improve their minds.

However, the 'low' ship, which holds the other half of the Triplicator components Kryten needs to restore Red Dwarf, represent the evil parts of their vessel, with a sadistic and glitchy Kryten, an ugly and violent cowboy Lister, an aggressive cannabalistic Cat and a sexually domineering Rimmer. They capture Lister and implant him with a device enabling them to dictate his actions by remote control. He is made to attack his shipmates and the ensuing violence is only stemmed when Lister is chloroformed by Kryten. Having seen off the danger, they collect the Triplicator and reverse-the-reversal, bringing the situation back to the point before Red Dwarf blew up in the first place. Lister accidentally reimplants the device, and the Cat, stealing the controls, requests it remain there for a week, much to Lister's horror.


"Demons and Angels", which had the working title "High and Low",[6] was the first episode from Series V to be filmed. Following the departure of Ed Bye, who had directed all the previous four series' episodes, Juliet May was brought in as the new director.[5]

Grant and Naylor commented that the script was a tricky episode to shoot. Several scenes had to be re-shot and going back to re-shoot caused no end of stress as they re-wrote and directed the episode with limited studio time. Scenes were re-written there and then and given to the cast to block out in one take.[7 ]

For this series the Red Dwarf model was rebuilt from the original version which had fallen apart over the years. The ship explosion was filmed using pyrotechnics and shooting the cameras at three thousand frames a second. From a few seconds of explosions the crew got around 20 seconds' worth of film footage.[8]

To achieve the High and Low versions interacting with the regular Red Dwarf crew, old techniques of split screens were the order of the day. Doubles for the cast were used, but a large number of shots were created with the by-now traditional locked-off camera and split screen. Craig Charles did his bluescreen scenes to roll on the floor in front of himself; the video effects crew added a holowhip.[9 ]


The episode was originally broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 19 March 1992 in the 9:00pm evening time slot, [3] and received a mixed response from viewers,[10 ] one review of the episode stating that the script "probably looked like a great idea on paper, but it bombs badly in translation."[11 ]


  1. ^ "British Sitcom Guide - Red Dwarf - Series 5". Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  2. ^ " - Demons and Angels summary". Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  3. ^ a b "BBC - Programme Catalogue - RED DWARF V - DEMONS AND ANGELS". BBC. Retrieved 2007-12-12.  
  4. ^ "Demons and Angels cast and crew". Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  5. ^ a b Series V Preview, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 1, March 1992,Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603
  6. ^ Howarths, Chris; Steve Lyons (1993). Red Dwarf Programme Guide. Section 1: The History: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-86369-682-1.  
  7. ^ Grant and Naylor Look Back, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 11, January 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603
  8. ^ Interview: Peter Wragg, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 8, October 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603
  9. ^ "Red Dwarf Series V Effects". Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  10. ^ Red Dwarf Smegazine: Survey Results, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  11. ^ "Series V review by Gavrielle". Retrieved 2008-01-29.  

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