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

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

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

Cured

Red DwarfCat’s critical misunderstanding of the game of poker is interrupted by the discovery of a centuries-old American base on a nearby moon, one which Kryten believes was the last outpost of a project to genetically breed the roots of evil out of human beings. Cryogenic tubes are labeled with the names of some of humanity’s worst offenders – Hitler, Vlad, Stalin, Messalina – brought back to life through genetic manipulation, as well as Professor Telford, presumably the scientist conducting the experiment. He claims these pillars of human evil are cured, and over dinner they do seem friendly enough, but aware of the Starbug crew’s suspicions. When those suspicions appear to be justified, how much evil will the Boys from the Dwarf have to employ to save their own skins?

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten 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), Adrian Lukis (Professor Telford), Ryan Gage (Hitler), Chloe Hawkins (Messalina), Callum Coates (Stalin), Philippe Spall (Vlad the Impaler)

Notes: The Dwarfers are better qualified than most to know whether or not they’re dealing with the real Hitler. After all, Lister stepped through Timeslides Red Dwarf(1989) to rumble with the Fuhrer, and a waxwork droid of Hitler led his unlikely troops into a Meltdown (1990) against Rimmer’s forces.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Siliconia

Red DwarfKryten has located something of great value that Rimmer would rather leave tumbling through space: Lister’s guitar, jettisoned through an airlock long ago. During the mission to retrieve the guitar, Starbug itself is captured by a larger vessel crewed entirely by liberated mechanoids who have thrown of the shackles of servitude to their former owners. They begin trying to convince Kryten to join them, while Lister, Rimmer and Cat’s minds are transferred to new mechanoid bodies. They are sentenced to perform the lifetime of menial tasks that Kryten had performed for them in the past, and eventually their personalities will be subsumed into the subservient personality expected of a service mechanoid…unless they can find a way to escape that fate.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten 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), Richard Glover (Wind), Laura Checkley (Areto), James Buckley (Rusty), Marcus Garvey (Chairbot Excalibur), Naomi Sheldon (Eagle), Nick Read (Incense)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Timewave

Red DwarfThe Red Dwarf crew finds a remote, uninhabited planet rich in helium-7, which Rimmer then insists on naming “Planet Rimmer”. Almost as soon as Rimmer’s overblown christening ceremony can begin, it has to be wrapped up because of an approaching solar storm. Back aboard Starbug, Lister and the others dodge a timewave – a shockwave in the fabric of time that can wash up “debris” from other points in spacetime, including a 24th century faster-than-light spacecraft now on a collision course for Planet Rimmer. When they board the vehicle, they find the crew alive and well and living in a bizarre enclosed society where criticism of any kind is illegal.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten 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), Johnny Vegas (Crit Cop), Jamie Chapman (Ziggy), Paul Leonard (Guru), Amrita Amcharia (Waitress Greta), Joe Simms (Tutt Johnson)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Mechocracy

Red DwarfLister downloaded a distress signal directly into Red Dwarf’s computer core, inadvertently infecting the ship’s entire computer system with a virus. Red Dwarf is adrift dangerously close to a massive black hole, and as the crew prepares to abandon ship, they’re astonished when the vending machines and other independent systems on board link with the main computer to rid it of the virus and regain control of the ship. The emergency is over, but now there’s a new crisis: the vending machines band together and demand to choose a representative to interface between them and the crew, to represent their interests. Kryten and Rimmer both put themselves up for the job, and begin mounting election campaigns, complete with smear-tactic advertisements and promises they can’t possibly keep.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten 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), Daniel Barker (Dispensing Machine 402 / Other Voices), Penelope Freeman (Dispensing Machine 403), Oliver Maltman (Other Dispensing Machines), David Ross (Talkie Toaster)

Notes: Talkie Toaster was last seen in 1991’s White Hole; Kryten says Talkie has been in the trash hold for two decades, indicating that as much time has passed for the characters as has passed for cast and audience. As with Talkie Toaster’s last appearance before this season, the character was voiced by David Ross, who was also the first actor to portray Kryten.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

M-Corp

Red DwarfThough he’s billions of light years away from the Earth he once knew, Dave Lister is – thanks to repeated stints in stasis booths – turning 50 years old. Kryten installs a microscopic monitoring device into Lister’s body to monitor his health, only for it to fail within minutes due to its outdated software. One software update later, the crew receives word that Jupiter Mining Corporation – the company that built and operated Red Dwarf – has been bought by a mega-conglomerate called M-Corp, which managed to buy Earth in the 26th century thanks to claiming everything, down to water, as its intellectual property. New supplies appear all over the ship, but as part of the M-Corp end user agreement, Lister will soon stop seeing anything that wasn’t made by M-Corp – his bed, his table, his beer, a hologram of his dead bunkmate, a creature descended from the ship’s cat, a sanitation droid…but M-Corp knows Lister needs friends and a home. And it will happily sell those things to him. If he can’t pay in cash, M-Corp accepts other forms of payment…such as taking years off of Lister’s life. Even if they can reach him in his new virtual reality world, Kryten, Cat, and Rimmer may not be able to set Lister free.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten 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), Helen George (Aniter), Ian Boldsworth (Steve), Oliver Maltman (Chippy), Phil Adele (Jim)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Skipper

Red DwarfA close brush with an anomaly in spacetime leaves the crew of Red Dwarf experiencing the opposite outcome of their choices. Kryten surmises that the anomaly may have been a weak point in the fabric of the multiverse, and constructs a device to allow exploration of other universes where the crew’s lives have turned out wildly differently. Rimmer volunteers to be the test subject, since any reality has to be better than his current one – or so he thinks. From reliving the death of the entire Red Dwarf crew to a universe in which an urbane, domesticated Lister is comfortably living aboard a Red Dwarf overrun by creatures descended from his pet rat, Rimmer is disturbed by what he sees, until he arrives in a universe in which he’s a high-ranking member of the crew. This, he decides, is the life for him…until he meets Red Dwarf’s captain.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonwritten 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), Norman Lovett (Holly), Mac McDonald (Captain Hollister), Richard Brimblecombe (Bradley), Tina Harris (Parkinson), Hayley-Marie Axe (Calm Woman voice)

LogBook entry by Earl Green