Twentica

Red DwarfA chance run-in with a particularly nasty breed of simulants called exponoids becomes a momentary hostage crisis. Lister has to trade a piece of arcane time travel technology – which has been propping up Starbug’s pool table – to get Rimmer back. But once armed with time travel, the exponoids go back in time to rewrite human history, outlawing any post-steam-powered technology and forbidding scientific research. Great scientific minds are either locked up, or simply never come into being. Kryten and Rimmer run the risk of being discovered. A dying man hands some kind of electronic component to Lister and tells him to take it to the hostess of a local speakeasy; there, Lister and the others find that science and technology still happen here, but in secret…and Lister has been given a piece of a weapon that could set history straight.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Kevin Eldon (4 of 27), Lucie Pohl (Harmony), David Sterne (Einstein Bob), Sam Douglas (Bouncer), Rebecca Blackstone (Big Bang Beryl), Kyle James (Nearly Dead Guy), Suanne Braun (Cpt. Dorothy McCutcheon), David Menkin (Lt. Clarence O’Neal), Alexis Dubus (3 of 63)

Notes: Kevin Eldon was one of the regular cast members of BBC2’s sci-fi comedy Hyperdrive, a show which many saw as the BBC’s attempt to recapture the Red Dwarf audience at a time when Red Dwarf had been out of production for several years. He also voiced a character in the Doctor Who radio project Death Comes To Time.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Samsara

Red DwarfAn escape pod bearing human remains alerts Lister and the others to the presence of an Earth ship, the S.S. Samsara, which crashed into the ocean of a nearby planet. Starbug is dispatched to investigate, finding that the Samsara was testing a new engine, the Karma Drive, deriving its energy from its crew’s treatment of one another. But two people who were aboard the Samsara, old flames who were each now married to other people, threw the Karma Drive out of balance by reigniting their relationship…and then tried to reprogram the Karma Drive so they could continue doing so. Even though they are long dead, their inept reprogramming is a very real danger to the crew of Red Dwarf.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Dan Tetsell (Green), Maggie Service (Barker), Eddie Bagayawa (Captain Tom Kadri)

Notes: The word “samsara” originates from the Sanskrit language, referring to a cycle of life, death, and reincarnation, and is related to the concept of karma, hence its connection to this episode’s Red DwarfKarma Drive. The Karma Drive uses technology derived from Justice World, a space station encountered in the fourth season episode Justice (1989). Red Dwarf once again features a former Hyperdrive cast member; Maggie Service was the unseen voice of the HMS Camden Lock’s ever-cheerful on-board intercom announcer in that series.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Give & Take

Red DwarfAn abandoned space station is discovered in the path of an oncoming asteroid storm, leaving the Red Dwarf crew mere hours to salvage any useful advanced technology from it. Kryten and Rimmer find what they believe to be the station’s highly sophisticated medibot, and ask it to return to Red Dwarf with them. Lister and Cat, in the meantime, have stumbled across the real medibot, now insane after millennia of isolation, and it proceeds to anesthetize them and steal Lister’s kidney. As Kryten is a mechanoid and Rimmer’s made of light, the only possible donor to replace Lister’s kidney is Cat. But Cat doesn’t feel like being an organ donor, and the robot rescued from the space station finally admits that it’s a snack machine incapable of performing medical procedures.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Mark Quartley (Snacky voice), Tobias Wilson (Snacky body), Oliver Mason (Asciepus voice), Jami Reid Quarrell (Asciepus body), Daniel Barker (Lift)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Officer Rimmer

Red DwarfA Space Corps deep space exploration vehicle is found tumbling through space, a short distance away from an asteroid belt that will almost certainly destroy it. As the Red Dwarf crew approaches aboard Starbug, an automated system aboard the Space Corps ship begins bio-printing a crew, except that there’s a bit of a paper jam. As the ship drifts into the asteroid field, Rimmer panics and fires a missile, which saves the ship almost by accident, and earns Rimmer a field promotion to officer from the bio-printed commander of the rescued ship. Rimmer wastes no time in instituting a class system, reserving officer perks entirely for himself, including access to the bio-printer, which he uses to create a crew of fellow Rimmers.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Stephen Critchlow (Captain Herring), Penelope Freeman (Lifts / Gosh Lady), Daniel Barker (Croquet Commentator)

Notes: Guest star Stephen Critchlow has also appeared in Doctor Who audio dramas, including The Nowhere Place (opposite Colin Baker as the sixth Doctor) and The Lady Of Mercia (opposite Peter Davison as the fifth Doctor).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Krysis

Red DwarfA bout of forgetfulness triggers a mid-life crisis for Kryten, who has been online for three million years and change. He tries to outfit himself with a newer, more aerodynamic casing that has everything but go-faster stripes, to no avail. Lister has a solution: seek out a mechanoid-equipped ship launched at roughly the same time as the ship on which Kryten was found, and go see how that mechanoid is doing. He hopes to show Kryten that he has evolved well beyond his original programming. But when they find a suitable derelict ship and meet its mechanoid, Butler, it’s clear that he, too, has evolved since the demise of the crew he once served, and his become a brilliant polymath (whereas Kryten is still serving Lister meals). This does little to ease Kryten’s crisis.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Dominic Coleman (Butler), Robert Nairne (Gelf Chief), Daniel Barker (The Universe)

Notes: The Nova 5 – and Kryten himself (then played by David Ross) – were encountered back in season two’s premiere, Kryten (1988).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Can Of Worms

Red DwarfAboard Starbug, Lister and the others find a promising derelict ship on the edge of a black hole. But when Rimmer warns that it could be a trap set by Gelf Vampires who feast on the blood of virgins, Cat is suddenly less enthusiastic about the salvage operation. Lister decides to board the ship, with Cat and Kryten in tow, and they disable a mercenary mechanoid and free his sole surviving prisoner, who seems to be a female Cat. Once she is brought back aboard Red Dwarf, and expresses more than a passing interest in Cat, Kryten discovers only too late that their new crewmate is not what she appears to be, and Cat could pay the price.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Bentley Klau (Mercenoid), Dominique Moore (Ankita), Daniel Barker (Alien Natural History Presenter), Maria Yarjah (Cat Lady 1), Shanice Stewart-Jones (Cat Lady 2)

Red DwarfNotes: Much like the last episode of season two (Parallel Universe, 1988), Can Of Worms concerns a pregnant male member of the Red Dwarf crew. Polymorphs were previously encountered in Polymorph (1989) and Emohawk: Polymorph II (1993).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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