Reviving the crew meant retrieving the original actors. Mac McDonald - who would become such an important part of the season - was initially unlikely to be available to reprise the role of Hollister, but thankfully found time in his schedule. Similarly, Paul Bradley and David Gillespie returned (albeit for only one scene) as Lister's drinking buddies. Unfortunately Mark Williams, who had become a massive success since joining The Fast Show, was unavailable to play Petersen once more, and a hectic schedule meant Robert Bathurst similarly had to miss out.
From specialist casting agencies 'Ugly' and 'G2', casting director Linda Glover was able to find a huge number of walk on performers to play the bizarre prison inmates and Dwarf crew. But new major roles also had to be cast. Andy Taylor, who had had a small role in The 10%ers, was called in to play Dr McClaren, the ship's psychiatrist, and Graham McTavish landed the role of Ackerman after scaring Linda half to death in his audition!
Older and younger traffic controllers (the elder being a last minute addition) were found in Jeillo Edwards and Cold Feet and former Hollyoaks actress Yasmin Bannerman, and young Kochanski and Cat actors Holly Earl (recently seen in the BT 'ET' ads) and Perri Michael made the most of their parts - although Holly had trouble pronouncing 'Vimto'. But the coup of the series was Geraldine McEwan. The famous actress even asked the posse for autographs for her grandson!
Doug Naylor had asked for Ricky Grover to play Baxter because of his fantastic history in comedy, and Jake Wood, a rapidly rising actor on stage and screen, caused hilarity as Kill Crazy. Tony Slattery - who had played an android in the Red Dwarf soap of the same name ten years previously - took on Rimmer as the voice of the vending machine, sitting behind the unit and speaking his lines live on set.
At one recording, the crew had spotted a man with over a hundred and fifty facial piercings. John Lynch was snapped up for an additional insert as Tank inmate Nigel. (Although his voice was dubbed.) Ian Masters completed the cast as the eccentric Birdman - who, rather unfortunately, had to do two takes of being covered in dino-snot.