Red Dwarf

Kryten - S2-E1

Question: When Holly is saying about how he has changed music he says that because of the 2 new notes he's made instruments would be bigger. "Triangles will have four sides. Piano keyboards the length of zebra crossings. Course, women will have to be banned from playing the cello." I don't understand the joke about the cello part. Could someone please tell me what he means?

Chosen answer: The cello is a large four-stringed instrument, which, when it is played, stands vertically on the floor between the player's legs (assuming they are seated). If it is to grow as large as the other instuments mentioned will, it would require a rather unseemly lack of femininity to be able to encompass it with the legs.

Rooster of Doom

Meltdown - S4-E6

Question: When Kryten and Rimmer were doing the roster of their ranks, Why did Kryten skip the old woman in the black dress with the white shoulder sash between Dali Lama and Mr. Noel Coward?

Chosen answer: It's Queen Victoria, someone any Englishman would recognize, and needed no introduction.

Backwards - S3-E1

Question: What caused Kryten to change appearance?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: In-universe, after leaving Red Dwarf after his first appearance, Kryten managed to crash Lister's space-bike into an asteroid. Lister found his remains and decided to rebuild him, however, due to the high level of damage and Lister's questionable repair skills, he was unable to recreate Kryten exactly, leading to changes in appearance, personality and accent. In reality, the original actor wasn't available, coupled with presumably practical concerns about one-off makeup as opposed to makeup for a regular cast member, so some visual changes were made.

Tailkinker

Season 1 generally

Question: During the first season, Lister is adamant and quite determined about getting back to Earth, so why after a few episodes does he give up?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: He never strictly gives up, he just realises the practicalities of the situation, that it took Red Dwarf three million years to get to where it is, so it would take the same length of time to return. While he originally plans to go back into stasis for the long journey, the "future echoes" that he sees while travelling at light speed convince him that he should stay active on board the ship instead and look for alternative ways to get back, something that influences the plot of several subsequent episodes.

Tailkinker

Show generally

Question: Does the Cat actually have a name?

Chosen answer: Presumably he does, but it's never been used in any material related to the show. He is the only Cat left (as shown in Series 1), so even if he had once had a name, nobody would know it.

Moose

Parallel Universe - S2-E6

Question: At the end of this episode Lister, Rimmer and the Cat are finding out whether Lister is pregnant or not. When Rimmer reads the pregnancy test he says "Oh excellent news, I'm going to be an uncle." Why does he say this if he is to of no relation with Lister? (as far as I know).

Chosen answer: It's quite common for male friends of the family to be referred to as "uncle" by the children, even if they're not actually related in any way - I have at least three old friends of my parents who I refer to in these terms. Rimmer may be stretching the point with the 'friend' thing, but that's what he's referring to.

Tailkinker

Season 9 generally

Question: I'm just dying to know why they refer to issues from a non existent "season 9" during the 3 part episode. If Red Dwarf ended at season 8, continued with season 9 with "back to earth", how is it they keep referencing a season that never happened?

darthmonkey2004

Chosen answer: In the fictional version of the real world that the crew visit in "Back To Earth", apparently a season nine did happen.

Tailkinker

The End - S1-E1

Question: How did the radiation leak turn the crew into that white powder?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: Their bodies have simply decayed to dust over the intervening three million years.

Tailkinker

Psirens - S6-E1

Question: How exactly did the crew 'lose' Red Dwarf?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: The details are never made particularly clear, except that the ship was, at some unspecified point, stolen by Kryten's rogue nanobots while the crew were away from the ship on Starbug. A short online comic produced by the BBC suggests that this happened directly after the events of the fifth series' final episode "Back to Reality", that the crew returned from their encounter with the despair squid to find Red Dwarf missing, although events in the recent revival, "Back to Earth" appear to contradict that.

Tailkinker

Psirens - S6-E1

Question: What exactly were the circumstances behind Lister being put into a suspended animation at the beginning of the episode?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: Starbug took 200 years to catch up with Red Dwarf, so Lister and Cat went into suspended animation while Kryten piloted Starbug after the ship.

Captain Defenestrator

The End - S1-E1

Question: Was there a specific reason Holly chose to bring back Rimmer as a hologram, someone whom Lister didn't at all get on with? Why not one of his friends?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: He brought Rimmer back because he's the person that Lister had the most interaction with during his time on Red Dwarf and also because all Lister ever did with his friends was get very drunk. Lister may not like Rimmer, but bringing him back probably has the best chance of keeping him relatively sane.

Tailkinker

Future Echoes - S1-E2

Question: If Red Dwarf can travel at speeds faster than light, why is this the only time it ever does?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: It can, but that doesn't mean that it's supposed to. At the time of the episode, Red Dwarf's thrusters have been firing continuously for millions of years, accelerating the ship until, in this episode, it finally achieves light speed. This is not a speed that the Dwarf was ever intended to attain, hence the need to slow it down again before the stresses tear it apart. If they wanted to hit light speed again, it would take the same sort of length of time to accelerate back up to that speed. Technically possible, but not exactly practical.

Tailkinker

Parallel Universe - S2-E6

Question: At the very beginning, when Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules and Chris Barrie are singing 'Tongue-Tied', is Danny John-Jules really singing? It sounds a lot like his speaking voice, but he might just be a really good mouther for all I know.

Chosen answer: It's him singing (and dancing), as singing/dancing is what he was primarily known as doing before he began acting (usually backup singing). He is, for example, in Little Shop Of Horrors (for all of 2 seconds), singing backup. Danny actually re-recorded the song and released it as a single, which reached No. 17 in the UK charts.

Gary O'Reilly

Backwards - S3-E1

Question: What exactly happened to Cat at the end of this episode?

Chosen answer: He had to use the toilet, but since they were in the Backward World, whatever he excreted would already be there, and go back INSIDE his body, which would be very disturbing.

Xofer

Ouroboros - S7-E3

Question: If in Kochanski's universe, Kochanski was the one put in stasis, why did Holly make a hologram of Lister? Wouldn't Holly have made a hologram of someone who drove her crazy like Lister's Holly did with Rimmer? In Kochanski's universe, would Kochanski's future self not tell her that she is going to hook up with Lister, as it happened in Lister's universe? Does this mean Kochanski in Lister's universe secretly had feelings for him all along?

dollors

Chosen answer: In Lister's universe, Holly told Lister that he brought Rimmer back because he spent the most time with him, sharing fourteen million words with each other and that he was the best choice to keep Lister sane. It was nothing to do with who drove Lister crazy the most. In Kochanski's universe, Holly would have brought Lister back as a hologram for more or less the same or similar reason. Holly would likely have seen Lister as the one in Kochanski's universe to keep her the most sane. As for the future self, it is unknown whether or not Kochanski would have met her future self in her universe. All that's known is Kochanski survived the ship disaster and Lister was brought back as a hologram and anything could have happened in that time. Whether or not Kochanski had feelings for Lister in his universe will remain unknown. It is probable that she did not, though it is shown in Stasis Leak that she got married to a version of Lister five years onwards and would definitely had feelings for that version of Lister.

Casual Person

Only The Good... - S8-E8

Question: What happened to the rest of the crew at the end of season 8? During Back to Earth there were a few memorials and pictures of people, including Kochanski - is one to assume that was the whole crew?

Chosen answer: The crew abandoned ship at the end of Series VIII when they thought the ship was doomed. Little is known about what happened between then and the revamped series. All that is known is the ship survived, Rimmer is now dead again and Kochanski left.

Timeslides - S3-E5

Question: At the end of this episode we see Rimmer accidentally create a reality in which he is alive. He then kills himself by punching boxes full of explosives shortly after. So why, in future episodes, do the other guys still claim that Rimmer died in the explosion that killed all Red Dwarf staff? Wouldn't they remember it as Rimmer killing himself in this new way instead?

strikeand

Chosen answer: Although Rimmer is dying a different way in this episode, the crew were not paying attention to his death. When Lister, the Cat and Kryten are brought back due to Rimmer changing the timeline, they are too puzzled to pay attention to anything that is going, so they did not notice that Rimmer was alive. After the explosion that kills Rimmer, the Cat asks Lister "What was he saying?" to which Lister shrugs his shoulders, implying that he did not know. Assumedly, Holly would have brought Rimmer back as a hologram once again shortly afterwards and the crew probably wouldn't have known that he was alive after changing the timeline.

Casual Person

Back in the Red (1) - S8-E1

Question: Could someone explain the joke behind the psychiatrist's running comments about Kryten's chair?

Chosen answer: The psychiatrist is scared of him and afraid that if the chair isn't secure, that Kryten will pick it up and beat him with it.

Captain Defenestrator

Justice - S4-E3

Question: In various episodes in the first series it is mentioned several times that the crew numbered 169 crewmembers aboard the ship. However, when the mindprobe convicts Rimmer of second degree murder it states that he is guilty of 1,167 counts. Where did the other 1,000 casualties come from?

Skarma

Chosen answer: This is an example of the rather lax attitude to continuity that Red Dwarf subscribed to. Early on, the crew was stated as numbering 169; in later series of the show, this was deemed to be more than a little low, given the huge size of the ship, and the count was upped to 1169. Various arguments have been put forward to try to explain this, most commonly that the ship had 169 registered crew, but families, passengers and so forth boosted the actual number of people on board to the higher level, but, in the end, it's simply an intentional change in continuity by the show's writers.

Tailkinker

Kryten - S2-E1

Question: What caused the Nova 5 to crash?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: It was never stated directly in the series, although Lister does mention at one point that it was Kryten's fault. The first book based on the series states that the ship crashed after Kryten carefully washed the navigation console using soapy water, but it's unclear whether this is intended as a canonical explanation.

Tailkinker

Season 8 generally

Question: Why did the nanobots resurrect the Red Dwarf crew?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: They reconstructed Red Dwarf as it was supposed to be, hence going back to the original plans, rather than the cut-down versions that were actually used to build it. A ship without a crew isn't much use, so they brought the crew back as well, possibly using the physical and personality information stored by the ship's holographic recreation unit as a template. How they might have restored the prisoners is another matter, probably best explained by the venerable science-fiction standby of "don't ask, they just did".

Tailkinker

Show generally

Question: How did the accident originally occur aboard Red Dwarf? I know Rimmer was responsible, but what exactly happened? Also, how come the accident didn't completely destroy Red Dwarf and why was the inside of the ship completely clean and tidy with no signs of destruction?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: The crew were wiped out in a radiation leak, something that killed the crewmembers, but had little effect on the structure of the ship other than rendering it radioactive for the next three million years. Any minor damage was presumably fixed by the scutters in the intervening time. The leak supposedly occured after a faulty part of the drive system wasn't repaired properly, something that Rimmer blames himself for. However, as Kryten argued successfully in the episode "Justice", somebody as incompetent as Rimmer would never have been given responsibility for any task that could potentially have such devastating consequences, suggesting that the true cause of the accident may be considerably more complex than one minor drive plate fault.

Tailkinker

Only The Good... - S8-E8

Question: If this wasn't supposed to be the last episode, was there any plan on how to explain Red Dwarf's survival, or were they just going to ignore the problem, like they do in "Back to Earth"?

Chosen answer: The original idea was that they would do a feature film which would cover subsequent events, but, despite numerous attempts, they were never able to get it off the ground. By the time Back to Earth aired, years later, it was presumably decided that enough time had passed that it was no longer necessary to address the issue and instead focus on telling an entirely new story.

Tailkinker

Show generally

Question: It's been established that during Lister's time in stasis there was a radiation leak that wiped out Red Dwarf's crew. My questions are, after the radiation leak was The Jupiter Mining Corp aware of what transpired? Was there any attempt at all to salvage Red Dwarf? Also, exactly how did Red Dwarf become lost?

ExcellentCryer

Chosen answer: After the radiation leak, Red Dwarf became an extremely dangerous place, with the majority of the ship irradiated and thus a danger to anyone who ventured near it. As such, Holly boosted the engines to maximum, sending Red Dwarf hurtling out into deep space where it couldn't pose a threat. It would seem likely that the Jupiter Mining Corporation would have been informed, either directly by Holly or by some sort of automated system, but, given the irradiated nature of the ship, they probably would have decided that any salvage mission would be pointless and would simply risk more personnel. Once the radiation finally reached a safe level for Lister to be brought out of stasis, after three million years of thrust, Red Dwarf was well and truly lost.

Tailkinker

The Inquisitor - S5-E2

Question: What is the Inquisitor saying as he is being wiped from existence?

Chosen answer: The direct quote is "But you can't. All my wonderful and glorious work will be undone!"

Psirens - S6-E1

Question: If the nanobots made Red Dwarf microscopic, why do they need to go around the asteroid field?

Chosen answer: Everything's relative: microscopic asteroid particles would now be just as much a threat as their larger counterparts.

Jean G

Parallel Universe - S2-E6

Question: What exactly was the point of the 'Tounge Tied' scene at the start of this episode. It doesn't seem to be in any way important to the episode, apart from triggering the conversation about Rimmer's attitude towards woman, which could have been done in a much quicker way.

Chosen answer: This segment was included purely as a means of showcasing Danny (Cat) John-Jules' singing and dancing talents. It was released separately as a music video, and an extended version is apparently also included as an extra on the dvd.

Jean G

Only The Good... - S8-E8

Question: When this episode was written, did the writers know it would be the very last show? I ask because, apart from the Grim Reaper scene at the end, it doesn't seem to be particularly 'big' or 'climatic' as you would expect the last episode of a long running series to be.

Chosen answer: No, the intent was not that it would be the final episode. At the time, the aim was to follow the eighth series with a full-length movie, before returning to television. Unfortunately, despite many attempts, there have always been problems with obtaining the necessary financing, so the series has never been continued. While the possibility of a ninth series has been discussed on many occasions, no progress has ever been made.

Tailkinker

Show generally

Question: If the Cat only calls Lister by name once, which episode is it in?

Chosen answer: He does it twice: in "Parallel Universe" he says "Lister - female counterpart, Rimmer - female counterpart... where's mine?"; in "The Inquisitor" Cat and Rimmer say Lister's name in unison when the Inquisitor asks "Who's next?"

Sierra1

Timeslides - S3-E5

Question: At the end of 'Timeslides', even though all has returned to normal, Rimmer has altered history sufficiently so that he is now alive rather than a hologram. As the Dwarfers walk through the cargo decks Rimmer excitedly yells "I am alive.", the end of which is punctuated by an explosion that presumably kills him. The question is: What in God's name causes this explosion? And why do Lister and the Cat appear completely uninterested that one of their crewmates has just been killed?

enter_a_uh

Chosen answer: Rimmer pounds his fists on two large crates labelled "Explosives", which causes the explosion. The others had wandered off by the time Holly and Rimmer realised he was alive, so they heard Rimmer yelling followed by the explosion but didn't know Rimmer had been harmed, as they didn't know he was alive to start with.

Sierra1

Parallel Universe - S2-E6

Question: When Lister, Rimmer, and the Cat are waiting for the pregnancy test to change color, and Rimmer wants it to turn red, he cheers it on saying, "Come on you reds." Is this a cultural reference?

Chosen answer: Sort of. A common colour for football teams in the U.K is Red (or blue). "Come on you reds!" is a chant sometimes shouted at football games in support of whatever team is wearing red at the time, although nowadays it's more of a "generic football chant" rather than something used heartily by fans of a certain team. Rimmer is just indicating he's hoping for a positive on the test, but pretending he's cheering for a football team (to break the joke down).

Gary O'Reilly

Marooned - S3-E2

Question: Why was there dog food on board in the first place? I thought that Red Dwarf wasn't meant to have any animals on board- so why was it needed?

Chosen answer: It's entirely possible there were animals on board. Lister mentions lab mice, there could have been other lab animals too, or pets. Lister got in trouble with the cat because it hadn't been quarentined or vacinated.

Back in the Red (1) - S8-E1

Question: When Hollister enquires about what a female of Cat's species is like he responds that she's good in bed and then adds 'especially if you play the piano'. How does the piano reference figure into the joke?

Chosen answer: A cat has six nipples. The joke is that rubbing/feeling them all would be similar to playing a piano.

Gary O'Reilly

White Hole - S4-E4

Question: In this episode, Rimmer says how the Eskimos had the right idea by taking the sick and old out into the snow, and then leaving them to it. Then he says 'that's why there is no Eskimo word for Eastbourne'. I don't get the joke. What does he mean?

Chosen answer: Eastborne is a coastal resort town in Sussex in southern England. A lot of people go to live there after they retire, hence the joke.

J I Cohen

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