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The Last Human - Doug Naylor

Last Human by Doug Naylor, there are a few twists and turns starting with Lister on his way to a Gelf penal colony for crimes he's innocent of, and after doing a DIY Perry Mason he recives 18 years in the penal facility known as Cyberia. When he arrives, there's the prison govenor - a truly hideous Gelf that literally makes all the new prisoners sick upon seeing him! If there should be any attempt to escape the prisoner in question must face a fate even worse than death- they must sleep with the Govenor! Anyway, as the book progresses Lister meets the rest of the crew with the addition of Kochanski. In places the story is based on Psirens, Emohawk and Camille (in the book known as a Symbi-morph!), DNA, Quarantine(corrupt clones of a professor) and Back To Reality (water scene of Esperanto, though in the book it's called the Mayflower). Kochanski is given more to do in the book in the DNA and luck virus parts, while it's Rimmer who suffers the degrading clone change(not Lister-as in DNA) and Kochanski has to deal with Krytens "Double Polaroid" which is much funnier. Also look out for these interesting little morsals, including the by now famous Rimmer/McGruder incident, Lister meeting up with a red haired 6 ft space corps marine, a meeting of minds when Rimmer confronts something from his past Or is it his future!? and Lister finds a photo of an alternate Kochanski having a laugh with a friend or a lover! As for the end of the story, all I can say is watch out for a few surprises and shocks throughout the entire book!.........

Reviewed by Andy Barr. Taken from The Inquisitor Issue 2

Craig Charles - The Log

Craig Charles, The Log; is advertised as A Chronicle of Survival in the Hostile Universe that is Life and A Dwarfers Guide To Everything. Charles writes this guidebook to life on Earth as ih he were like Lister, the last human in the Universe. Giving tips on how to go about life and advice on every conceivable situation. How valuable this advice is is arguable. But it's comedic value(?) is indisputable.

Obviously now I have to give examples of these Gems. Craig says Don't under any circumstancees, put your head in anything labelled Head Remover. He also says Don't buy a used car from anyone called Big Vinnie, or try riding a bike with your right hand on the left handgrip. He especially says Don't threaten an American policeman with a machine-gun water pisol for a laugh.

 A detailed history of the Human race is also included, sometimes including events which are due to happen in the future such as the 6 month fashion trend in 2210 which will require every-one to discard clothing in favour of a genetically induced hairy fleece which can be made to cover the whole body" Unfortunately (I think) this fad was destined to fail quite soon after it's arrival. When everyone realised it looked completely Gross, (although it retained a certain popularity in Greece and Italy where no-one noticed the difference). O.K. It's a good book, as i've already said but is it justified? Charles writes the book as himself, yet makes constant reference to Red Dwarf, Starbug and the future as if he were Lister. As well as this, he appears in numerous photographs in the book as Dave Lister in leathers and Deerstalker. Even the selling point A Dwarfers Guide To Everything; plays on the theme of the series. Are Charles and Co-Writer Russell Bell, just playing on 6-odd-million Red Dwarf fans in this country alone as a large potential audience, in order to make a fast buck? And perhaps a fast few bucks, because The Log will set you back £6.99 for just over 200 pages which are mainly cartoon illustrations, photographs, large print and white space. I'll let you make up your own mind. There's a balance between the quality of the book, the price and whether or not you think it's an un-necessary spin off. Maybe a deciding factor would be me telling you that it also includes a recipe for a smeggies favourite snack food, Sugar Puff sandwiches!

Reviewed by Rob Buriss, Taken from The Inquisitor Issue 13

Thin He Was and Filthy Haired - reviewer unknown

I have to admit, when I first spotted this in my local bookshop, I only bought it because I'd read and loved The Man In The Rubber Mask. After a gap of a measley four months, I finally found time to sit down and read it. Only a few pages in I knew it was going to be nothing like Rubber Mask. Basically It's Rob's own account of his life between 1972 and 1973. It begins with 16 year old Rob already having left home and moved into a squat with various other hippies, anarchists, misfits and basically anyone with alternative views on life and reality. Long Haired, thin and painfully shy Rob the Cartoonist , as he is to become known,dreams of living in a commune and of building a huge geodesic dome. It recounts a wild year of illegal substances, strange people, revolutionary ideas, law breaking and sexual awakening. For the major part of the story Rob seems to float from one place to another meeting weird and wonderful people, who each in turn influence and alter his beliefs. I loved the To live outside the law you must be honest quote even though from personal experience I know it's complete bu*!s*^t. At the start he seemed to be easily influenced by just about anyone, but as time progressed, he begins to develop a more firm set of ideals. By the end of the story with his arrest, the reasons for which I won't reveal, things have already begun to fall apart. His girlfriend has flown to New Mexico and his dog Cabbage is heavily pregnant. I have to say after reading the first couple of chapters I was a tad dissapointed that it didn't have me rolling with laughter, but that said, once i'd read the first four or five chapters I found I Was keen to discover what happened next. I certainly wouldn't describe it as a rollercoaster of a book, but it still has it's moments and it is still genuinely funny. I do still prefer The Man In The Rubber Mask which was fast moving and very very funny but I enjoyed Thin He Was far more than The Reconstructed Heart Rob's other book, and would certainly recommend it to my friends. If you're a Red Dwarf fan though, I should warn you that you will find absolutely no reference to the small rouge one, so if that's your only interest in it you'll be wasting your money. As a closing remark I have to say, he's certainly lived an interesting life, compared to my 16th and 17th year, which up till now I thought were pretty eye opening and radical, but seem somewhat tame by comparison.......

Reviewer Unknown, Taken from The Inquisitor Issue 9

Chris Barrie - Motoring Wheel Nuts

Yes, we all know how fanatical Mr Barrie is about his old bangers but does he manage to pass any of that interest onto us through this video? From the top, let it be said, that I think that everything that Chris Barrie does is brilliant. So, if there seems to be a slightly biased slant to this review I apologise in advance. However, there are different levels of brilliance- Gordon Brittas providing the 10 marker and the worryingly cringeworthy Mickie Scott (White Goods)providing the 1 marker. It's produced and devised by Mike Brittas Empire Stephens, and the basic gist is that there is a big car rally being held by Sir Marmalase Lovetuesday at his stately home and various people turn up with their cars. (Basically Chris Barrie in a large variety of disguises). And henceforth the rally begins with the car owner stereotypes being played out- Roger Roadrage in his Ford Probe, the wonderfully irritating Vic Beresford in his Van Den Plas 1100, and the hippy couple in their Morris Traveller- affectinately named Nobby. Other characters include Vince the Beatnik (who has a surprising secret identity) and Nigel Smith, who will probably be the favourite of most female CB fans- he looks gorgeous in the suit he's wearing....and he is the character who is caught with his Keks down! The best bits are probably the black and white film exerts where Chris does what he does best- voice overs. There are some funny bits during the vid, but it won't have you rolling with laughter. It is a very pleasant way to spend an hour though. The cars are spectacular, including Chris Barries own E-type Jag convertible. In conclusion - not the best thing CB has ever done, but fun nonetheless - if nothing else it demonstrates Cris' incredible versatility - and Vic Beresford deserves his own series!!  Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by Tracy Hocking, Taken from The Inquisitor Issue4.

Craig Charles - Live On Earth

It was with great anticipation that I sat down to watch this video, a live recording from The Duke Of York Theatre, London, and I was not dissapointed. Even the music in the opening scenes was brilliant. Complete with dreads and designer bollox suit he looked decidedly calm, cool and classy, a force to be reckoned with. The set too was very impressive with newspaper headlines complemented by minimalist use of lighting and props.

Without giving too much away his material was both real and surreal, emotional and cold, but alway's funny. He covered a wide range of topics such as love, sex, smoking, sex, poems, sex, jail, sex, fashion, sex, food, sex, relationships, sex, the police and more sex! Could it be that this is an area that interests him? As I write this i'm eating a vegetarian sausage roll which only reminds me of his rantings on the subject. As for ordering a pizza, it'll never be the same again.

Being a smoker I was most impressed with his views on the matter. I am the King of smo he say's, I am the Smo-king... and if cigarettes are bad for you why does every pack have a silver lining?! Excellent.

I would find it hard to imagine how anyone could not find the gutsy, imaginative world of Craig Charles funny. He even succeeds in making great use of his experiences in jail. He is a unique personality and one to be enjoyed. Am I going a bit overboard with the praises? Okay, I'll calm down. For those who missed him live this video is a treasure. If you did see him you'll want to relive it. To ensure I wasn't alone in my opinions the rest of our Local Group checked this video out at our last meeting and surprise surprise, it was a big hit.  My Rating 9/10

Reviewed by Daryl Ball. Taken from The Inquisitor Issue 3

Captain Butler - Reviewed by Marie Birch

I have thoroughly enjoyed Craig Charles very own independent comedy series of Captain Butler, on Channel four.

Captain Butler, is very different to Dave Lister, and apart from that, I do prefer his dress sense! They are very much alike in the sense of having the same amount of charm but Butler comes across, as being very cowardly and very crafty, which he certainly needs, to prove to his crew, that he is really brave, when they all end up, in very sticky situations!

Butler shares the same traits as Long John Silver of Treasure Island, Captain Hook from Peter Pan, a bit of Captain Bligh of Mutiny of The Bounty fame, and Captain Pugwash, himself, naturally! I thought that Craig seemed very convincing, when he pretended to be a Spaniard and a Frenchman, alongside his crew, so that they could scare Nelson, off the ship.

With regard to Robert Llewellyn, playing Nelson, I really thought that their double act, worked extremely well, as usual, and how different his character was to Kryten's, and the way he depicted Nelson, as a Nancy boy type of Public School Admiral, was really funny, and I really do think that Craig and Robert, should work together, when they are not on Red Dwarf, as I think, that without a doubt, that those two are a team!

I think, that the crew supported Craig very well. Especially the Boswain with his - "I remember the days - Cap'ain!". Cliff the black Pirate was a very clever character, with his references to the way, his people had been treated as slaves, and how he feels, that he must owe his life to them, because he has sought his liberation. The naive young Lord Roger Crumsby (originally Lord Roger Boothsby) is a very good supporting character, who really reminds me of the naive Sir Percy in "The Black Adder" and "Blackadder: Series II", and how he thinks, that Butler is praising him to the skies all the time, when in fact, it's quite obvious, to everyone concerned, that he is tormenting him, dreadfully! And as for Adeel Kumar, the mad Indian Chef, he’s so comical, that he reminds me of one of the students in Mind Your Language.  I really liked the sets, and I certainly thought, that there was more than enough of them, for a comedy series like that. The ships deck, and Butler's cabin, were my favourite sets, along with the harbour in the background on the episode - "Kidnapped", and I thought the Cell, the Courtroom, and the Square, where Butler escaped from his *hanging*, fitted in very well. It was a shame, that they didn’t have an episode for the mutiny, where Butler, was drunk in the Tavern, but they can always have an episode, at a later date, for that, when they do another series. Not only that, I also think it would be good, for Butler to fall romantically in love with a female pirate, who cons him, into thinking she is in love with him, only to take his ship over, with other, harder pirates, she knows - i.e, Blackbeard and Bluebeard! All in all, I think Captain Butler is a very high production of the very best quality for Craig Charles, and I certainly cannot wait for the next series!

yup, another review on it's way...

 



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