Dave Hollins: Space Cadet was a series of sketches on the BBC Radio 4 series Son of Cliché, produced by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. The main characters were Dave Hollins (voiced by Nick Wilton) and the computer Hab (voiced by Chris Barrie). The popular sci-fi/comedy television show Red Dwarf was based on these radio sketches, and it was originally inspired by the film Dark Star.
The first sketch was the only one to appear in first series of Son of Cliché, and was apparently intended to be a one-off sketch only. Hab wasn't in this sketch, and Dave was on a different ship to the one he is on in the others (Psion IV, rather than Melissa V). In this sketch Dave meets some weird aliens and ends up being killed at the end by decapitation (apparently, exchanging heads for an hour is a polite greeting for these aliens).
The other four sketches were in the second series, with a new ship, Dave somehow alive once more and with the computer Hab. In these sketches Dave is 7,000,000,000,000 years from Earth (or 300 years, as it was changed to later on), having placed himself in suspended animation when the rest of the crew were devoured by a chameleonic monster (presumably similar to the Red Dwarf Polymorph) during a seemingly routine UAC mining expedition to Titan. In the fourth sketch Dave does make it back to Earth, but leaves again after he finds that fruit flies are now the dominant species (over beetles and P.E. teachers).
When Grant and Naylor started planning to make a TV series based on one of the sketches from Son of Cliché they chose to base it on "Dave Hollins: Space Cadet" (having considered the other recurring sketches "Freshers", "Asso - Spanish Detective" and "Captain Invisible and the See-Thru Kid"). Of course they altered it to make it more television-friendly: the 7,000,000,000,000-year figure was at first changed to 7,000,000,000 and then to 3,000,000, and the characters of Arnold Rimmer and Cat were created. 'Hab' was replaced by 'Holly' and Dave Hollins's surname changed to Lister when a football player called Dave Hollins became well-known. Many of the sketches were recycled in Red Dwarf.
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