Fathers and Suns

Red DwarfRimmer discovers a habit of Lister’s that, even among his other eccentric habits that spring from being the last human being alive, ranks up there as “really strange”: every Father’s Day, Lister writes a card to his father (who, years ago, thanks to a time paradox, he discovered was really himself), gets roaring drunk and forgets that he wrote it. Kryten then delivers the card a year later, and it’s a heartwarming surprise. Rimmer decides to throw a new variable into this strange-but-well-oiled-routine by pointing out that Lister’s father hasn’t really been there for him. Lister takes steps to mend his relationship with his father, quickly discovering that it won’t be easy. In the meantime, Rimmer and Kryten prepare to put a piece of equipment from the derelict Space Corps ship to use: a new ship’s computer called Pree. With her ability to predict the crew’s actions and decisions, Pree could be a major asset, if she doesn’t decide to do away with the crew first – another relationship that requires major work.

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), Rebbecca Blackstone (Pree), Kerry Shale (Medi-Bot / Taiwan Tony)

Notes: This is the first Red Dwarf X episode to refer back to specific episodes of previous seasons. Lister being his own father was established in the Red Dwarf VII episode Ouroboros, while Rimmer and Kryten’s hunt for a new ship’s computer reflects Back To Earth‘s mention that Holly has ceased to function altogether. Lister (trying to must his best father-to-son pep talk) urges Lister to “find Krissie,” so presumably the hunt for Kochanski (last glimpsed at the end of Back To Earth is still on, though Lister seems unusually unmotivated to find her. The scene in which Lister gets back aboard confirms the long-standing tech point (from novels and fan-written materials) that the large, shuttlecock-shaped appendage on the front of Red Dwarf is a ramscoop (a real hypothetical space engine that gathers and utilizes interstellar hydrogen like an air-breathing airplane engine). Like Queeg before her, Pree is uninstalled; sometimes, no computer is better than a computer that’s out to kill you.

LogBook entry by Earl Green