"Meltdown" was originally planned to be the first episode of Series IV of Red Dwarf. However, the militaristic tone of this episode - and in particular Dave Lister's strident anti-war speech near the end of the episode - meant it fell foul of the BBC censors. The original planned transmission date (Feb 14 1991) coincided with the outbreak of "Operation Desert Storm" - the Gulf War...and the BBC felt that an "anti-war" episode of Red Dwarf would be inappropriate for a country at war with Iraq.
When the crew of Starbug have to decide which of the two "Dave Listers" aboard is the real thing, they line both up for a test of their guitar playing ability. One "Dave Lister" plays a blistering, dazzling, guitar solo; the other plays dreadfully. The rest of the crew immediately know that the one that played the guitar brilliantly is the 'fake'. (Dave Lister only THINKS he can play guitar well - in fact he's hopeless at it.). The hands that we see playing the 'brilliant' guitar solo belong to "Roxy Music" guitarist Phil Manzanera. (Grant Naylor had originally wanted to get 'Queen' guitarist Brian May to play the solo, but he wasn't available).
In this episode only, the part of Kryten was played by David Ross. It was only later, during the writing of the scripts for Series III, that the decision was made to make Kryten a regular member of the cast. As David Ross wasn't available, the part went to Robert Llewelyn, who has played Kryten ever since.
In Greek mythology, the God Apollo fell in love with Cassandra and gave her the gift of telling the future. Despite this, she refused to return her love to him, so Apollo declared no-one would believe Cassandra's prophecies. In this episode, Cassandra is a computer who predicts the future and Rimmer does not believe her.
The episode "Tikka To Ride" was released on video as an "X-tended" version with a different ending to the one broadcast on TV. In the revised ending, Lister gets his supplies of curry and lager, and they are loaded aboard Starburg. But Rimmer tricks Lister into operating a switch that splits off the rear section of Staburg - casting Lister and his curries into space
The scene where Rimmer comes face to face with the Grim Reaper was a last minute change/addition to the script. Because it was done at the last minute, there was no time to cast an actor for the part (nor any money to pay one). The part of Death was played in this episode by producer/director Ed Bye.
There is a scene in this episode where Starbug flies up a rat's backside. In the original script it wasn't a rat at all, but Frankenstein, Lister's pet cat and mother to all of the Cat People. However, for technical and budgetary reasons, it proved quicker and cheaper to use GCI (Computer-Generated Imaging) to create a rat rather than a cat.
While the blowing snow in "Marooned" was made of soap flakes, the snowball thrown around by Lister and the Cat in "Timeslides" was made of sorbet.
In the episode 'Backwards', Kryten and Rimmer are fired by the nightclub owner for the fight. However, the man is not really saying anything about a fight. The reversed translation is actually like this: "You are a stupid square headed bald git aren't you. I'm pointing at you, but I'm not actually addressing you. I'm addressing the one prat in the entire country who's bothered to get hold of this recording, turn it round and actually work out the rubbish that I'm saying. What a poor sad life he's got. Your act's crap, anyway I hate the lot of you."
Rob Grant and Doug Naylor originally tried to get Brian May to film the guitar solo scene, but he was unavailable. However, Anita Dobson (May's wife) asked if there was a part for her, and she was given the part of Captain Tau. The writers have since said if they'd known she was interested they would have written her something more substantial.