The Man in the Rubber Mask by Robert Llewellyn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Man in the Rubber Mask chronicles Robert Llewellyn's career, from a struggling stage actor to a struggling actor playing Kryten on Red Dwarf.
Red Dwarf is one of my top ten favorite shows of all time and I'm on series 3 of my latest re-watch. One of Robert Llewellyn's novels popped up in my recommendations so I decided to read this instead.
While Kryten isn't my favorite character on Red Dwarf, I do feel his addition to the crew in the beginning of the third series was what took the show to the next level for me. While reading the book, I had Kryten's voice in my head.
The Man in the Rubber Mask talks about Robert's early days as a stage actor and comedian but most of the book focuses on Red Dwarf, and rightly so. Although he's had success with Scrapheap Challenge/Junkyard Wars, Red Dwarf will go down as the work he's most remembered for.
The behind the scenes stories of working on Red Dwarf were pretty entertaining, though the makeup process to transform Robert into Kryten sounds like torture. Llewelyn's comedic timing makes the book a joy to read. The failed American version of Red Dwarf sounds like it would have been a train wreck and I'm glad it wasn't picked up.
Like a lot of biographies, it felt a little thin. I could have used more entertaining anecdotes from the making of Red Dwarf. For a huge Red Dwarf fan, this is a fun read. I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone who wasn't a fan of the show, though. Three out of five stars.
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