|Place of Origin||Earth|
|Appearances||Full List of Appearances|
|Alter Egos||Hab, Queeg 500, Hilly, Mellie, Rebuilt Holly, High Holly, Low Holly|
|Actor||Norman Lovett / Hattie Hayridge|
— Holly (RD: Future Echoes)
The character is played by Norman Lovett in Series I and II. Following a "head sex change" to look like his parallel universe alter ego Hilly in "Backwards", Holly is played by Hattie Hayridge in Series III–V. Holly does not appear in Series VI, but reappears in the final episode of Series VII as the original male version, which continued into Series VIII.
He does not appear again in Back to Earth or Series X, with him stated in the former to be down due to water damage. The crew briefly try to replace him with another computer called Pree in "Fathers & Suns", placing Holly's future in the show in further question (even though Pree turns out to be a failure).
Holly is an "intelligent" computer. Holly's user interface appears on ship screens as a disembodied human head on a black background, and can also be downloaded into a watch worn by Lister. In Series I his face appears pixelated, but this idea was dropped in Series II. As a male, Holly appears to be approximately 50 years old and has receding brown hair. He was completely bald by Series VIII.
After meeting his female counterpart, Hilly, he fell so madly in love with her that he had a "computer sex change" and based his new face on hers. As a female, Holly appears to be approximately 30 years old and has shoulder-length blonde hair and red lipstick.
The upgraded male version of Holly appears to be 60 years old with receding grey hair and a bald patch to match his IQ.
Holly is the ship's Tenth Generation AI holographic computer. After releasing Dave Lister from stasis in "The End", Holly told him that the crew have been wiped out by a radiation leak and that he had spent three million years in stasis.
Holly prides himself on the fact he had an IQ of 6,000 (apparently the same IQ as 6,000 PE teachers or 12,000 car park attendants), but after three million years by himself, he had become computer senile, or as Holly put it, "a bit peculiar", so that now, he only has an IQ of 68. The crew often ridicule Holly on his senility, but Holly often comes out on top. He often plays practical jokes on the crew, such as fooling Lister into thinking that "NORWEB Federation" space fighters were after him and wanted £180 billion in arrears for leaving his bathroom light on three million years ago, as well as wanting to arrest him for "Crimes against Humanity" as he had left some German sausages alone in his apartment for three million years and they now covered a large proportion of the Earth's surface.
This love of practical jokes culminated in his generating an alternate personality, "Queeg", and passing him off as the ship's backup computer which was seizing control of the ship. The prank was also Holly's way to teach the crew to "appreciate what [they've] got, because basically, I'm fantastic."
Holly was friends with another computer called Gordon, who had an IQ of 8,000 and was an Eleventh Generation AI hologrammatic computer. He and Gordon were playing a long-distance chess game, Holly only recieved the first move 3,000,000 years later in the episode 'Better Than Life' Series II. Gordon resembled Holly, had the same manner, and he seemed to be at least as senile.
Holly runs most of the Red Dwarf systems, although in several episodes such as "Quarantine", Holly is shown to not have complete control of Red Dwarf, and in Holly's absence in Series VI and VII, a computer is mentioned by the crew, and is seen to control autopilot, possibly a non-AI computer designed as a back-up should Holly go senile or mad (the Series X opener "Trojan" refers to a JMC on-board computer). Among Holly's systems are the service droids known as skutters, which clean, perform engineering tasks, and function as Rimmer's hands since he couldn't touch anything non-holographic until he was converted to "hard light" in second episode of Series VI "Legion".
While on his own for three million years, Holly invented "Hol Rock", where he decimalised music (having ten notes instead of eight — although he admits that this would result in "piano keyboards being the width of a zebra crossing, and women being banned from playing the cello"), and wrote an A-Z guide of the universe. He proclaims that Kevin Keegan wrote the worst book ever ("Football, It's a Funny Old Game"). He is proud of the fact that he can do moon impressions just by lowering his face on the screen. He often greets the crew with "All right dudes!" Indeed, when he was recovered after many episodes of absence the first thing he said to the surprised Lister is "All right dudes", marking his triumphant return.
He hates being on a watch, especially on Lister's wrist, and particularly when Lister's hand goes in his pocket. One of the more worrying aspects of Holly's senility is that he has developed a blind spot for the number 7. When he invents the "Holly Hop Drive", he claims that one mistake in his 13 billion calculations and they would be blown up. He then misses the seven in his countdown, possibly the cause of the error that sent them to the parallel universe.
Holly was lost for some time, along with the ship, which had been stolen by Kryten's nanobots. He was found on a planet made of junk from Red Dwarf, having reverted to his male form, and was downloaded into Lister's Holly-watch (see "RD: Nanarchy" and "Prelude to Nanarchy"). When the nanos rebuilt the ship, there were two Hollys: the original, who generally remains in the watch, and a rebuilt version who had not suffered the effects of three million years alone. The non-senile version only appeared in one episode, "Back In the Red, Part III", and was distinguished by having an enormous forehead shaped like an egg to reflect his superior IQ. Despite his other self's intellect, the original Holly was able to remain active on Lister's watch, occasionally trying to help out by offering suggestions for how Lister could shorten his sentence.
Between Series VIII and Back to Earth, Holly was rendered offline due to water damage after Lister flooded his databanks due to him leaving a bath running for nine years without turning it off. Although the crew have attempted to activate a new computer to replace him, the resulting computer- Pree- proved to be a failure, prompting them to remain operating without a computer. Whether Holly will return in any form in the future remains to be seen.
- "Oi. What's happening, dudes?" (RD: Better Than Life)
- "He's dead, Dave. Everybody is dead. Everybody — is — dead — Dave." (RD: The End)
- "I should never have let him out in the first place." (RD: The End)
- "Six? That's a poor IQ for a glass of water!" (RD: Queeg)
- "We have enough food to last thirty thousand years, but we've only got one After Eight mint left. And everyone's too polite to take it." (RD: Me)
- "Gordon Bennett, it's lucky he's not a gynaecologist." (RD: Thanks For the Memory)
- "Prawn takes horsie." (RD: Queeg)
- Rimmer: "Why do we have to have you as the ship's computer? We'd be better off with a bucket full of sheep slop running things."
- Holly: "If you've got a complaint, just come straight out with it. Don't hide behind innuendo and hyperbole." (RD: Confidence and Paranoia)
- "Emergency, emergency, there is an emergency going on." (RD: Me)