The story is set on the interplanetary mining ship Red Dwarf. Lister and Rimmer are the Odd Couple in Space, total opposites and completely at odds with each other. The background characters among the crew include Lister's friend Peterson (Mark Williams ) and the woman of Lister's dreams, Christine Kochanski ( Clare Grogan ).
Lister broke quarantine by bringing his pet cat onto the ship. His punishment is 18 months in stasis, frozen in time ...
The ep starts with an emergency broadcast by Holly, who gives a recap of the story so far.
The ship is approaching lightspeed. And when it breaks the light barrier, the crew see flashes of things that are about to happen! Rimmer claims he saw Lister's death ...
There are a couple of scenes which foreshadow later episodes. Rimmer tells Lister You can't whack Death on the head!. More importantly, they discover that somehow, Lister will have two sons ... even though there are no women on the ship!
Rimmer is the highest-ranking officer on the ship, even though he is dead. Also, he has hidden Lister's cigarette supply, so he can force Lister to comply with orders. He makes Lister inventory the ship's stores. Even though the cats have been living there for three million years, there is still enough left for the next few centuries.
Lister wants Rimmer to swop disks and let Lister date Kochanski's hologram. Rimmer, terrified he will not be switched on again, refuses. Lister decides to get promoted above Rimmer - by taking the exam to become the ship's chef!
Holly detects a UFO on long-range sensors. Rimmer thinks it is part of an alien civilisation. He wants them to clone him a new body.
Lister learns how to read the Cat language. He borrows the Cat bible, which contains the legend of Cloister the Stupid. Unfortunately, like all religions it caused terrible Holy Wars! We discover the fate of the Cat civilisation.
Lister goes through Kochanski's stuff in the Officers' Quarters. However, they have not been decontaminated yet. Lister contracts mutant pneumonia ...
Lister's hallucinations come to life. Two men appear - his Confidence and Paranoia. Rimmer complains, of course. Is Rimmer going to save the day, for once?
Rimmer and his duplicate move in together. Their relationship parallels the previous ep - they start up boosting each others' Confidence, but end up more like Paranoia!
Lister watches Rimmer's death video. His last words were Gespacco Soup ...
Holly detects a crashed ship. It is run by a robot butler named Kryten, who is obsessed with a TV soap opera named Androids (a parody of Australian show Neighbours). There are three female officers aboard ...
Rimmer takes advantage of the opportunity to have his own personal butler. Lister trys to help Kryten break his programming and become rebellious ...
Holly detects a pod approaching the ship. It is the mail delivery! Everything is three million years out of date, but it does not matter! One of the items is a next-generation VR game named Better Than Life!
Rimmer's background is explored. His relationship with his parents, which made him the person he became, is shown.
Holly's pen-pal, with an IQ of 8000, seems every bit as dozy as Holly does after three million years of senility!
The crew wake up, but they have no memory of the last few days. Someone has wiped their memories. Rimmer assumes it is aliens! They have to retrieve the ship's black box in order to solve the mystery.
Lister uses the ship's onboard memory-machine. The moral of the story is that no good deed goes unpunished.
It is not just the credits and ship's external shots that have been updated. Holly's broadcast was originally about a moon the shape of Felicity Kendal's bottom: now he compares it to Marilyn Monroe's bottom!
Lister spends his time going through everyone else's stuff. Kochanski has a photo of her getting married to Lister, and Rimmer's diary tells them where to find a stasis leak that will let them travel back in time (and space!) ...
We get to see more of Hollister and Peterson. The Cat meets women, for the first time in his life. There is a spare stasis pod aboard the ship ... Lister wants to save Kochanski, but Rimmer wants to save himself! Unfortunately the crew are having a fancy-dress party, and Rimmer thinks he has been dosed with hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Lister learns a lot about his personal future. This sets up foreshadowing for events in five years time ...
Lister accidentally resets Holly's settings. He awakens the ship's backup A.I., Queeg. The good news is, the new A.I. is actually good at his job - unlike the senile Holly. The bad news is, he has the name of a character from Mutiny on the Bounty and the personality of the Drill Instructor from An Officer And A Gentleman.
Red Dwarf enters a Parallel Universe. The alternative crew are the female counterparts of the Dwarfies - and alt-Lister is Angela Bruce!
This is reviewed in our special supplement!
After Season 2, the show was privatized by PJP. The foreshadowing and arc from the previous Seasons was set aside, and a super-fast exposition scroll (only readable if you video it and watch in slo-mo) inserted at the start of this ep to explain what happened after the end of Season 2.
Kryten was rescued after he crashed the space-bike, and rebuilt to look like Robert Lewellyn. Rimmer takes him for a flying test in one of the shuttles, Starbug One. They go through a time hole, and end up on Earth circa 1993. However, this is in the future, after the Big Crunch ... where time goes backwards!
Holly has everyone evacuate the ship to avoid a cluster of black holes. Rimmer and Lister, along with their most prized possessions, are on Starbug One. Naturally, it crashes and they are left stranded ...
This goes back to the basic concept of the show - The Odd Couple in Space! Rimmer, easily the most complex and human of the characters, is developed and explored as a person. His most prized possessions must be burned to keep Lister alive. Although why Rimmer needs paper books (when Holly already has digital copies of every book ever written) is never explained.
The ship is invaded by a shapeshifting creature that reads a victim's surface thoughts, embodies their greatest fear or desire, and feeds off their negative emotions. It targets the neurotic and unstable ...
Lister loses his fear, Rimmer his anger, Kryten his guilt and the Cat his cool. This is easily the best episode ever, a masterful combination of excellent performances and wonderful writing.
The new version has a different epilogue, which gives closure rather than leaving it open-ended.
A skutter goes haywire and sabotabes the ship. Rimmer actually shows the ability to save the day, athough Lister's stupidity gets in the way.
Rimmer discovers that hologram technology allows him to swap brain-patterns with one of the others. He talks Lister into doing the body-swap, so each lives a few weeks in the other's body. Unfortunately, Rimmer becomes addicted to tactile sensation.
Kryten's photographic developing fluid (yes, they do not use digital cameras!) has the ability to turn photographs into time portals to whenever they were taken. The crew can go back and visit past events, although they cannot go outside the borders of the photo. They go back to visit guest stars Adolf Hitler (as himself) and the young Dave Lister (Craig Charles' younger brother!). Kryten even suggests going to Dallas in November 1963 and changing history ...
Another Mail Pod arrives. This one was intended for Kryten's original ship, but somehow it goes to him on Red Dwarf instead. It contains a message to let him know he is now obsolete, and must decomission himself. Lister and the others throw him a party, to let him know how important his life is.
Unfortunately, Kryten's replacement is on his way. Hudson (Gordon Kennedy - Robin Hood 2006 ) is a massive Terminator type. Not exactly what you would want if you need your domestic chores done. And for some reason he has a pump-action shotgun!
This episode was originally screened on BBC2 around Valentine's day. Lister teaches Kryten about lying and rebellion, which leads the robot to disobey Rimmer and search a crashed ship for survivors. He discovers a female mechanoid, but when she is taken back to the ship each of the crew sees her as his perfect woman.
Kryten falls in love with the female mechanoid. As with the next Season's romance-based episode, Holoship, there are many references to Casablanca.
The Dwarf crew discover a strange ship of unknown design, floating dead in space. They board it, and discover a machine that can alter something's genetic structure. Thanks to the Cat's ineptitude, Kryten's dream of becoming human comes true!
The climax of this episode is a hilarious Aliens rip-off, that climaxes with a fight against a Curry Monster!
Lister is suffering from a hilarious case of Space Mumps. The crew take aboard a cryogenic survival pod ejected from a space ship. It was a prison ship where the prisoners rioted - the pod contains either a beautiful woman or a psychotic cyborg!
The only option is to take the pod to a penal space station. However, to enter the station (now uninhabited and run by an AI) they must submit to a mind probe. This detects any criminal activity they might have committed, which is bad news for one of them!
Kryten repairs Talky the Toaster, last seen several years ago. The Toaster does not sound like Tony Hawks any more - probably due to the accident involving Lister, the Toaster and a sledgehammer!
Kryten tries to boost Holly's IQ and reverse her senility. However, as always things go badly wrong. The ship ends up with no power and failing life support, headed straight into a White Hole. Can Lister save the day by playing space-snooker?
The Dwarf is visited by a super-pilot from another dimension. His name ... Ace Rimmer!
The irony of this show is that while the good version of Lister is recognisably the same character, Alt-Rimmer is entirely the opposite of his usual self. However, if Rimmer (now apparently a big fan of hammond organ music) were to fulfill his potential he would be the greatest hero in the Universe!
Rimmer's boring hobby of the week is the board-game Risk.
This episode introduces a couple of technological innovations, Kryten's teleporter and Rimmer's light bee. The matter transporter was built on the research labs on Zed deck - so the tech is contemporary with Lister and Rimmer! In Kryten's hands it has a range of 500k Light Years (the length of five galaxies!).
They land on a world populated by wax-droid replicas of famous people from the 20th Century and earlier. Rimmer and Kryten end up among the Heroes, who are lacking in leadership. Lister and the Cat are captured by the Villains, and interrogated by Caligula (Tony Hawks).
The most evil figures in human history are waging a war of genocide against a handful of celebrity types (including Einstein and Marilyn Munroe). Will Rimmer fulfill his potential, and become more like Ace? Since he cannot physically touch anything, he must limit himself to being a General. But with his skill at the game of Risk ... Luckily, Rimmer thinks he is a strategic genius and commands them to launch a last-ditch suicide attack on the evil-doers. But if he did not, Evil would have triumphed and the good guys would have all died anyway!!!
Lister is particularly damning of Rimmer's First World War strategy. However, he does not actually have a plan of his own. But his anti-War rhetoric is quite poiginant, especially fifteen years on.
This is reviewed in our special supplement!
The Dwarf encounters a ship that has no discernable mass. It is a Holographic ship, crewed by holograms of the best crew in the Fleet. Rimmer wants to join their crew. The Holograms send their own representative to assess the Dwarfies ...
The core of the ep is Rimmer's relationship with Nirvana Crane ( Jane Horrocks ). This is yet another Casablanca reference.
A time-travelling robot can change the fabric of space-time by replacing people who failed to fulfill their potential. He travels to Red Dwarf to Judge the crew, including the Last Human, Dave Lister ...
Starbug is destroyed, and Kryten sends off a distress signal. After mild confusion, Lister and the Cat come to the rescue. It turns out that the guys are trapped on a Psi-Moon that has mapped itself to represent Rimmer's subconscious.
Finally we get the chance to see Rimmer in a more sympathetic light. Unfortunately there is very little character development. Let's face it, Chris Barrie later dropped out of the show because of the way his character was treated, and it is little wonder.
The Dwarfies board a derelict, where they discover scientific research items. The scientists had isolated certain viruses, including Luck.
Unfortunately, Rimmer takes it upon himself to lock the others in quarantine. Worse still, nobody knows who has been infected ...
Kryten builds a matter duplicator. It divides items into two copies - one with all the best properties, one with all the worst. Then the field reverses itself, causing the entire ship to explode ...
The Dwarfies try to salvage a derelict, but get attacked by the Despair Squid.
They wake up in cryo-pods, and are told that they spent the previous few years in a total immersion video game.
Rimmer wakes up from Stasis aboard Starbug One. He has total amnesia, and Kryten gives him (and new viewers) an update. Red Dwarf was hijacked by persons unknown, and the crew have been in hot pursuit aboard Starbug for 200 years! Kryten has decided to reactivate the crew because they have almost caught the ship again. Starbug, if piloted by the cat, can take a shortcut through an asteroid belt ...
The asteroid belt is inhabited by the Psirens - GELFs who (like the Polymorph) can read thoughts and project mental images. Although the effect is psychological, even artificial life forms like Rimmer and Kryten can be fooled by it. The Psirens take on the forms of crew members, and Kryten's designer ( Jenny Agutter ). There is even a reappearance of Kochanski ( Clare Grogan ). Could she have survived, or is it a trick?
The Dwarfies arrive at a space station where Space Corps scientists developed new technologies. They are greeted by the Station's sole inhabitant, a strange creature named Legion. He removes Lister's appendix (which was previously removed on Earth) and gives Rimmer a Hard Light Drive.
Naturally, it is all too good to be true ...
Starbug falls foul of some vicious Rogue Simulants. The Dwarfies end up getting their ship upgraded, but they also get a dose of the Apocalypse Virus in their central computer. Their only chance is for Kryten to infect himself with the virus, analyse it and create an antivirus program. Naturally, the others have to help him by using a VR game as an interface. Kryten's subconscious looks like a poorly-shot Western film.
This is an award-winning episode of the show. However, you would be hard-pressed to say why. It over-uses SPFX, which were passable at the time but have not gotten better with age. The older episodes which relied on wit and humour were far superior.
The Dwarfies are desperate for a new Oxygen unit, so they trade with some Gelfs. Unfortunately the Gelfs want Lister to marry the Chief's daughter (Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriot!).
After Lister double-crosses the Gelfs, the Chief sends his per Emohawk to kill the Dwarfies. It is a Polymorph, and sucks its victims emotions. Naturally, this is a great excuse for the return of a couple of fan favourites - Ace Rimmer and Dwayne Dibbley!
The Dwarfies try to salvage some gear from a wrecked cyborg ship. Of note, Kryten still has the teleportation device from Season 5.
Rimmer ends up stranded on a planet. He seeds it with terraforming gear, and creates human clones ... of himself!
Rimmer and the others are feeling the strain of being trapped together in Starbug in deep space. Things get more interesting when they run into a subspace pocket of unreality.
This is the end of the series, so there is a cliffhanger.
The crew are still on Starbug, but now they have enlarged sets - apparently a spacial distortion side-effect.
Lister wants to use time-travel to get himself a Tikka curry. He secretly installs Kryten's spare head, which has no guilt chip.
They time-travel to 22 Nov 1963 (to get the US Audience!). After all, this was made in 1996 when the film JFK was still in the public mind.
This is an extra-length episode, packed full of Rimmer goodness. It starts with Ace Rimmer on a typical mission of daring-do!
Ace Rimmer arrives on Starbug again. He has a request - he is dying, and Arnie Rimmer must take his place!
The Dwarfies investigate a rip in the fabric of space-time. They meet their opposite numbers from an alternate universe. Unfortunately, Lister's Wife (Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott) is still after him ...
The Alternate Dwarf does not include a Rimmer (though he appears in the flashback). Instead they have Kristine Kochanski (who now looks like Chloe Annett ) ... and she ends up accidentally trapped with the regular crew!
The climax reveals the identity of Lister's parents. Ignoring, of course, the facts that nobody cared who Lister's parents were, or indeed the fact that the solution offered is completely and utterly nonsensical!
The crew are trying to adjust to their new circumstances. Kryten is incredibly jealous of Kochanski, and engineers a plot against her.
The crew get trapped in the ship's air vents. Lister is claustrophobic, and Starbug's autopilot is flying straight into disaster ...
Lister finds himself missing Rimmer. This goes to unbelievable proportions, until Kryten takes drastic measures.
The Dwarfies investigate a crashed ship. Aboard is a frozen woman, a Jupiter Mining Corp employee. They take her back to Starbug, just like the guys did in The Thing ...
Lister gets infected with an intelligent virus. Whoever bio-engineered it must have given it a personality based on Talkie the Toaster! It will kill him within hours, and the best he can hope for is just losing an arm!
Finally - a new series! This episode is the start of a Season-long 6-episode arc, probably the first time this has ever happened on UK TV. It starts with Lister and Rimmer (RL Rimmer, NOT a hologram!) in a prison cell together, then goes into a flashback that takes off exactly where the previous Season ended.
Not only have the nanites repaired the ship, they have resurrected the crew as well. However, the Captain has no way of knowing what has happened, so he has Lister arrested for joyriding and crashing a Starbug, and smuggling two stowaways (Kryten and the Cat) aboard. Their only hope is ... yes, you've guessed it - Arnold J. Ace Rimmer!
Continued next week - and eagerly awaited!
The Dwarfies are put on trial. They decide to escape, disguised as the Dwayne Dibbley family.
The Dwarfies continue their escape plan. However, it seems they are not in reality. The Cat is much smarted than usual. Oh, and they are made of plasticene!
We finally get to see how Rimmer and the others ended up in the brig.
As an excuse to get the Dwarfies out of the Brig the writers have Lister volunteer them for the CANARIES - which stands for Convict Army, Nearly All Retarded, Inadequate Expendable Sheepshaggers.
Almost as good an acronym as CLITORIS! :)
Kryten is reprogrammed as a one-robot TV station - and sets himself up as a pay-per-view Jeremy Beadle for his fellow convicts. He gets to take showers with the female inmates ...
Rimmer and Lister are assigned KP duties - Kitchen punishment, peeling thousands of spuds. They cheat, and it backfires. They end up in the Hole with crazy bird-man Kevin Eldon.
Kryten, the Cat and Kochanski discover a time-dilation device. They plan to use it to speed up the next few years, so their prison sentences will pass in an instant.
A ravenous T-Rex is running around the lower decks of the mining vessel.
Their secret weapon against the T-Rex - vindaloo!
As a special treat, BBC2 gave us the final episode. Rimmer achieves his dream of captaining the ship, and meets his nemesis - a vending machine voiced by Tony Slattery!
The cliffhanger ending (reminiscent of the Season 5 ending) explains why the episode is so entitled - and gives us ample hope that Arnold Judas Rimmer will NOT die young!
This is referred to as Season Ten - they have skipped Season Nine, and used it as an excuse for the lack of continuity.
Kochanski and Holly are both gone, as are the rest of the resurrected crew. Rimmer is a hard-light hologram again, and they are on the Red Dwarf instead of Starbug.
The Dwarfies find themselves in London, Earth, circa 2009 CE. This means that productions costs are low (compared with the green-screen stuff in the previous episode), but it leads on to an incredible plot twist. Red Dwarf is fictional. Yes, the characters discover they are fictional, and set out to meet their creators.
The Dwarfies continue the Blade Runner parody as they track down the man who created their TV series. Lister gets some closure with Kochanski, of sorts. And the ending is ... oddly apt.
The gang are all back where they used to be, about a quarter of a century ago. Lister, Rimmer (a Hologram again), the Cat and Kryten. They are aboard Red Dwarf, though Holly (in either form) is missing from the line-up. Lister and the Cat pass the time watching the Android shopping network. They decide to buy a Stirmaster, but Lister's phone call gets put on hold. He will not let the phone out of his sight until he gets through.
The crew discover a Derelict spaceship, and decide to explore it. Rimmer intercepts a distress call. It is from another hologram - his elder brother! Rimmer decides to pass his AstroNav exams in record time, so he can become an officer. Will the rest of the crew help him pass himself off as Captain of the ship, so he can impress his brother?
Lister celebrates father's day again. Unfortunately, he is his own father (see Red Dwarf [Season 7, Episode 3] Ouroboros ), so he has to write the card himself and then get so drunk he forgets that he wrote it. Unfortunately, he also feels the need to encourage himself to better himself.
Rimmer and Kryten install a new AI on the ship, to replace Holly. Yes, both versions of Holly are now gone. The new version is very attractive, but anyone who remembers Queeg knows this will not end well.
The end hinges on Lister becoming a hero and saving the day.
The team build a Swedish DIY flat-pack kit. Of course, there are bits left over. And the machine malfunctions, sending them to England in AD 23. To get back to Red Dwarf they need to use the remote control. Unfortunately, Lister left the 8-volt battery on the ship. Rimmer knows how to make a battery. However, they have to walk all the way to India to get some Lemons.
The Dwarfies bump into a famous face along the way.
Rimmer becomes obsessed with Health & Safety, and tries to force the slobbish Lister into completing a series of forms the size of a phone directory.
Lister gambles with the BEGGs, a group of garbage-eating GELFs. He loses - after betting Starbug (and Rimmer).
Kryten and the Cat get contaminated with a coincidence effect, with hilarious (and useful) result.
Lister gets depressed because the human race is extinct. Worse, the ship's vending machines have female personalities that become obsessive about him.
Rimmer's letter-writing campaign to get himself awarded a medal backfires. He is accused of dereliction of duty, and threatened with demotion to the same rank as Lister. Kryten suggests bribing the Med-computer for a sick note. However, this means collecting all the spare toilet paper on the ship and returning it to stores. Unfortunately, the Cat needs to go bathroom.
We get a flashback to Rimmer's days in the Academy. Typically, he shows himself to be a spineless twit. The fact that his father is the Tutor makes things even worse for him.
The Dwarfies are attacked by Rogue Simulants. Their only hope is their military strategist - Arnold Judas Rimmer. Rimmer is not afraid of dying, because he already died. He claims he had dignified last words, but fans remember the Gesacco Soup incident in Red Dwarf [Season 1, Episode 6] Me2 . Wow, yet ANOTHER continuity glitch? In all fairness, the original Rimmer Hologram is the last Ace Rimmer, while this Rimmer is presumably the Hologram of the Rimmer cloned by the nanites in Season Seven.
The crew are on Starbug when they encounter a Rogue Simulant ship commanded by Kevin Eldon ( Hyperdrive ). He offers to trade a hostage for a cargo that they scavenged earlier. Unfortunately he has a secret plan ... to go back in time and change the past.
The crew no longer seem to have the capacity for time travel, last seen in Red Dwarf [Season X, Episode 3] Lemons . Thankfully, this storyline is an extended homage to Star Trek: First Contact so they follow the villains' slipstream and arrive back in the Twentieth Century.
The Nineteen Fifties have been reduced to a parody of the Twenties, with science illegal and scientists running a speakeasy akin to the one in Harrison Bergeron . Can the Dwarfies save the world?
The Dwarfies go to investigate a crashed starship. It turns out to use a Karma drive, an updated version of the Justice World tech used in Red Dwarf [Season 4, Episode 3] Justice . It is intended to reward moral behaviour and punish immoral behaviour. However, as Rimmer points out this is all relative.
The ship's crew are all long dead, their skeletons arranged in a variety of sexual positions. The Cat must still be a virgin - despite being shallow and obsessed with sex, he assumes they were all playing Twister!
We get a series of flashbacks to the crew's final days. The morality field was indeed linked to the cause of their destruction. However, can the Dwarfies manage to get out alive? After all, they can hardly get along at the best of times. If they tell the truth they will hurt each others' feelings, which some might consider is immoral, but the alternative is to tell lies (which is also immoral).
The Dwarfies investigate a highly-advanced medical space station. Lister falls foul of an insane medical droid, and wakes up with his kidneys missing. The good news is, Rimmer and Kryten have recruited a hi-tech droid. The bad news is ... they did not read the name on his back.
The team try to turn a stasis booth into a time-travel machine. This makes sense, because it is the same basic technology. A pity nobody thought of doing this before.
Red Dwarf encounters a 24th-Century exploration vessel. It has the equivalent of force-field technology in Star Trek: TNG , which is basically a combination three-in-one printer. The holodeck is a photocopier, the teleporter is a fax machine and the replicator is a printer. This version is a caricature of the Replicator, and looks like a massive desk-top laser-printer the size of a small car. The ship prints out a copy of the Captain from its Hard Drive, and he ends up promoting Rimmer to Officer rank.
Last week, Rimmer tried to bribe an elevator's male-voiced AI with the offer of a transfer to the elite Officers' deck. Now it turns out that the elevators all have female voices, and there is no elite officers' deck. Well, now that Rimmer has been promoted to Officer he decides to create one.
Rimmer also wants to print out a new crew for the ship. This is actually a good idea, because the ship needs hundreds of experts while the current crew is a handful of mismatched and uneducated idiots. Unfortunately Lister goes all Socialist and opposes the idea of conscripting a new crew.
Rimmer's only option is to make an entire crew of himself! Anyone who remembers the last time this happened in Red Dwarf [Season 6, Episode 5] Rimmerworld will be able to tell you that this is not a good idea. Luckily the episode manages to make things go wrong in a completely new and original way!
Kryten has a mid-life crisis. Well, he is half-way through his six million year life expectancy. It seems a bit wasteful that his replacement, Hudson, was sent out millions of years early in Red Dwarf [Season 3, Episode 6] The Last Day.
The team take a detour to meet one of Kryten's predecessors. They plan to show Kryten how he is so much better off than his ancestor. After all, the difference should be the same as between Kryten and Hudson.