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While changes as a TV series progresses in normal, there seems to have been an inordinate amount of change between Red Dwarf's season 2 and 3. To list a few:

  • The title sequence changed from the 2001-esque sequence to a more generic sitcomish sequence (boo!)
  • The whole plotline with the alternate universe pregnancy was completely dropped and hand waved away.
  • Kryten becomes a regular cast member.
  • Holly undergoes a sex change.
  • A new Red Dwarf logo is introduced.
  • Much higher production values overall.

So what happened in between seasons 2 & 3 that sparked so much change? Getting a higher budget due to success explains some of it, but not all.

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A lot of this was due to the network realising how well the show was working and providing a bigger budget (higher production values, change in intro sequence).

They dropped the previous pregnancy plotline now that they had the budget to write more ambitious plots.

They needed an additional crew member to allow these to work for the script dynamic and also, as they were going into more of a sci fi direction, they needed an information source which could explain new cultures and technologies to the crew (and therefore the audience).

Holly's sex change was caused by the previous actor being unhappy with the commute involved as he had to drive for hours to get to the studio.

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When a show is a hit new creative people get involved, actors get big heads and make demands on the producers. But mostly the tension that probably manifested in the writing team. Where one of the writer left in 1988. After season 4 the writing was never the same.

Oh, as to Holly...

The original actor to play Holly, Norman Lovett, left the series after a dispute over his salary. In an interview with Red Dwarf Smegazine (issue 9, November 1992), Lovett said that he asked to be paid the same as the other actors on the series, but his request was turned down. Hattie Hayridge had appeared in "Parallel Universe" as Hilly, Holly's female counterpart. "When Norman said he wasn't doing another series, I auditioned," she recalls. The character of Holly kept the same name and personality despite the recasting.

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/tv/red-dwarf/faq/

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