The End

Red DwarfThe Beginning: It’s an abysmally average day about the Red Dwarf, a mining ship of the Jupiter Mining Corporation. The two lowest-ranking members of Red Dwarf’s crew, second technician Arnold J. Rimmer and third technician David Lister, are – as one gets the impression is common – unable to agree on anything. Lister’s laid-back lifestyle and his refusal to deal with or, for that matter, acknowledge the existence of any problem unless his life depends on it irritates Rimmer, who sees himself as prime officer material despite his chronic inability to pass the ship’s navigation exams. As Rimmer undertakes the nav exam one more time (only to realize that he once again knows nothing about the subject), Lister opens a ventilation duct in their quarters to let his pet cat Frankenstein out. The cat in question later becomes something of a point of contention between Lister and Captain Hollister, who calls Lister to his office and demands custody of the unauthorized and unquarantined animal. When Lister refuses, he is sentenced to make the rest of Red Dwarf’s journey in suspended animation without pay.

He is awakened from his time in stasis by the ship’s computer, Holly, who, moments after Lister rejoins the world of the living, breaks the news to him that the rest of that world has apparently vacated Red Dwarf – an improperly repaired drive plate (improperly repaired, naturally, by Rimmer) released deadly cadmium-2 radiation into the ship’s habitable areas, killing all aboard except Lister, who was sealed safely in stasis, and his cat, who was safely sealed in a cargo bay. Holly then comforts Lister by revealing that this tragedy happened a long time ago – three million years, to be exact. As if that’s not enough, Rimmer has been revived as a hologram, unable to touch anything, but fully capable of getting on Lister’s nerves. And the generations of kittens born to Lister’s cat have evolved into a humanoid form of cat, with the outward appearance of a human being but the vanity and attitude of a tomcat on the make; one such creature, who winds up with the highly original name of Cat, is “adopted” by Lister. Having had enough surprises for one day, Lister orders Holly to set a course to Fiji.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Norman Lovett (Holly)

Order the DVDswritten by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
directed by Ed Bye
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: Robert Bathurst (Todhunter), Paul Bradley (Chen), David Gillespie (Selby), Mac McDonald (Captain Hollister), Robert McCulley (McIntyre), Mark Williams (Petersen), C.P. Grogan (Kochanski)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Future Echoes

Red DwarfThings That Will Have Been Happening: Lister is preparing to go back into stasis, hoping to be alive and well after a few million years more when Red Dwarf should arrive back at Earth. Lister is also trying unsuccessfully to get Cat to join him in suspended animation, but is having a hard time convincing Cat to leave most of his wardrobe behind. In the meantime, Rimmer – by insulting Holly when asking for a holographic crew cut – sports a dashing and rakish beehive ‘do from Earth’s 1950s, and is outraged at the others’ plan to leave him behind while they sleep through the aeon or so it will take the ship to return home. Shortly after Lister argues with his artificially intelligent Toaster over which of them is a better singer, the ship lurches wildly as it breaks the light barrier once more to make its way home. Lister continues shaving when he notices that the Lister in the mirror isn’t doing the same things at the same time he himself is. (Confused yet?) Holly claims that, since Red Dwarf is traveling faster than light, events that are about to happen are catching up with the crew before they actually do happen. The Toaster backs this theory up, so it must be true, and everyone goes on about their merry way, though the echoes of future events get stranger and stranger, from Cat breaking his tooth to Lister finding a Polaroid (though luckily not a double Polaroid) of himself holding two babies. Then Rimmer witnesses a future event which casts a bit of gloom on the proceedings – Lister’s death while making emergency repairs in the drive room.

Order the DVDswritten by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
directed by Ed Bye
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: John Lenahan (Talkie Toaster), Tony Hawks (Dispensing Machine)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Balance Of Power

Red DwarfCurrent Pecking Order: Lister tires of Rimmer’s plan to catalog all the irradiated haggises aboard Red Dwarf and decides instead to take the day off. Lister complains to Holly that instead of Rimmer, the hologram of Kristine Kochanski, a navigator who Lister had a crush on, should have been brought back. Lister goes to Rimmer with the very attractive proposition that Rimmer could be shut down for a while so Lister can spend time with Kochanski. (It’s attractive for Lister, anyway.) Rimmer naturally refuses, so Lister resorts to desperate measures to take a computer course and become the ship’s chef, therefore outranking Rimmer. Holly tries once more to dissuade Rimmer from insulting him by replacing one of Rimmer’s holographic arms with that of Olaf Petersen, a dimwitted Dane and old friend of Lister’s. Rimmer is also getting a little desperate, and so he tries to get Lister to give up the chef’s exam by walking in the guise of Kochanski’s hologram. Even that backfires when Lister sees through Rimmer – well, more so than usual, anyway!

Order the DVDswritten by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
directed by Ed Bye
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: Rupert Bates (Trout a la Creme/Chef), Paul Bradley (Chen), David Gillespie (Selby), Mark Williams (Petersen), C.P. Grogan (Kochanski)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Waiting For God

Red DwarfLet Us Pray: When Holly spots an unidentified pod floating through space, Rimmer hopes he’s found aliens with the technology to return a hologram to physical form. Lister, in the meantime, is learning how to read cat writing with the aid of Cat’s dictionary, written entirely in smells. Lister advances far enough in the cat language to move on to their Holy Book, which tells the story of Cloister the Stupid, who was frozen in time so that the cat race could live. Lister quickly recognizes from the pictures in this book that he is Cloister, who was sentenced to stasis when he refused to reveal the whereabouts of his unquarantined cat. Lister tries to convince Cat that he is the cat equivalent of God, though for some reason Cat isn’t impressed. Upon the arrival of the mysterious pod, Rimmer decides to embark on an all-out investigation of its origins. Lister quickly discovers that it’s one of Red Dwarf’s own garbage pods, but doesn’t tell this to Rimmer right away or, for that matter, at all. Holly has also been hard at work deciphering Cat’s Bible for Lister, and it reveals that the cat race took all too seriously Lister’s humble desire to go to Fiji and open a donut stand – the cats made this goal their own, with the exception of the colors on the little cardboard hats. Factions who believed the hats should be one color or another divided and took up arms, and most of Cat’s ancestors died in terribly holy wars, with the exception of an ark full of cats which escaped. As Rimmer continues theorizing about his discovery of “Quagaar warriors,” Lister tries to find Cat so he can apologize for being God. In the end, Rimmer sees it is a garbage pod, says it is a smegging garbage pod, and yea, it is a garbage pod, amen.

Order the DVDswritten by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
directed by Ed Bye
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cats: Noel Coleman (Cat Priest), John Lenahan (Talkie Toaster)

Notes: Lots of smeggy little tidbits in this story for those who are interested: at the time of this episode, 18 weeks had passed since Lister had come out of stasis; Cat’s parents were a cripple and an idiot (and his father ate his own feet), and the last of the cats aside from the Cat we know and…well, know, is seen here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Confidence & Paranoia

Red DwarfPrognosis: Having gone to the senior officers’ quarters to visit Kochanski’s cabin, Lister has unknowingly wandered into a quarantined area and caught a disease which was pneumonia 3,000,000 years ago, but is much worse now. Not only does the mutated strain leave its victims susceptible to hallucination, but it can also make those hallucinations real, and it does – when Lister imagines the two personas of his own confidence and paranoia. Rimmer tries to convince Lister that the two new arrivals are nothing but trouble, but when Lister’s confidence treats him like king of the hill, and his paranoia irritates the smeg out of Rimmer, how could it get any better than this?

Order the DVDswritten by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
directed by Ed Bye
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: Lee Cornes (Paranoia), Craig Ferguson (Confidence)

Red DwarfNotes: Yes, that is future late night talk show host Craig Ferguson, trying to woo Lister to his doom. At this very early stage in his career, Ferguson was a rising comedy star in the UK, and he would have his first shot at writing and performing his own solo material for TV only two years after this Red Dwarf episode aired. Ferguson has recently made it his mission to expose American viewers to Doctor Who, inviting stars Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston on his show. The only appearance by a Red Dwarf star on his show has been Hattie “Holly v2.0” Hayridge, in 2009.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Me2

Red DwarfIn Stereo Where Available, Baby: It could only get better, Rimmer decides, by tricking Lister into activating a second hologram which he thinks will be Kochanski, but is instead a backup copy of Rimmer himself. It’s love at first sight for Rimmer, who moves into the next room with his duplicate. But all isn’t well – Rimmer’s ambition gets the best of him, as does Rimmer’s amibiton. In the meantime, Cat leaves a present in Rimmer’s closet for future archaeologists to puzzle over, while Lister watches a video of Rimmer’s death and discovers the deadly secret of gazpacho soup, a mystery Rimmer took with him to the grave. But since Rimmer unfortunately didn’t stay there long, Lister will do anything to find out why his dying words were “gazpacho soup.”

Order the DVDswritten by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
directed by Ed Bye
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: Mac McDonald (Captain Hollister)

LogBook entry by Earl Green