Confidence and Paranoia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Confidence and Paranoia"
Red Dwarf episode
Confidence and Paranoia (Red Dwarf).jpg
Lister turns on Kochanski's hologramatic disk only to have another Rimmer appear
Episode no.Series 1
Episode 5
Directed byEd Bye
Written byRob Grant & Doug Naylor
Original air date14 March 1988 (1988-03-14)
Guest appearances
Lee Cornes as Paranoia
Craig Ferguson as Confidence
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Waiting for God"
Next →
List of episodes

"Confidence and Paranoia" is the fifth episode from series one of the science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf.[1] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 14 March 1988.[2] The plot involves Lister's mutated pneumonia which manifests solid hallucinations.

Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Ed Bye,[3] the episode was originally going to be broadcast as the series cliffhanger but was moved down in the broadcast schedule with a new series finale taking its place.[4] Considered to be one of the weaker efforts from the first series,[5] the episode was re-mastered, along with the rest of the first three series, in 1998, to bring the episode up to a standard suitable for international broadcast.[6]


While snooping through Kristine Kochanski's quarters for her hologram disc, despite the fact they were not decontaminated, Dave Lister (Craig Charles) contracts a mutated strain of pneumonia. The condition causes Lister to become delirious and experience hallucinations, all of which become physical in presence, including fish raining in his sleeping quarters (which Cat (Danny John-Jules) later eats), and the Mayor of Warsaw from 1546 appearing and then spontaneously combusting. Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie) later reveals this to Lister, before stating that he also caused two men to appear in the Drive Room. Lister discovers that the men each symbolise a part of his personality: Confidence (Craig Ferguson), who appears as a tall, tanned, flashily-dressed game show host-type man; and Paranoia (Lee Cornes), who appears as a stooped, pallid, black suit-clad little man.[7]

Despite Rimmer's warning that they are symptoms of his condition and thus dangerous, Lister spends time with Confidence and quickly figures out through him that Rimmer hid Kochanski's hologram disc in the solar panels outside their sleeping quarters. Rimmer soon learns that someone smashed the Medical Unit's computer to prevent Lister receiving treatment, and warns Lister that he is in mortal danger. Rimmer assumes that Paranoia is the culprit, since he has disappeared. While on a spacewalk to recover the hologram disc, Lister questions Paranoia's actions, only to learn that Confidence was the culprit and had murdered the other to spend more time with him. Confidence soon pressures Lister into suicidal acts, and dies from the vacuum of space when he removes his helmet. After recovering, Lister prepares to use the disc after retrieving it, but discovers when he uses it that Rimmer planned for this by having it contain a second hologram of himself.[8]


Split-screen technique - shots were done separately and cut together

The production team were very worried that they might get complaints about cruelty to fish regarding the raining fish hallucination scene. In fact no fish were actually harmed and none were dropped from any height, but placed on the floor.[4] The episode used split-screen techniques to show The Mayor of Warsaw approaching Rimmer and spontaneously combusting. The technique was used to minimise any potential threat to the actors. The mayor, Rimmer's reaction and the explosion were all carried out as separate shots and cut together.[9]

This episode was originally going to be the last of the series, and would have concluded with Kochanski being successfully resurrected as a "sort-of cliffhanger". The BBC electrician strike had disrupted the series production, but this gave Grant and Naylor time to re-think about an earlier script titled "Bodysnatcher", which was intended to be the second episode: the pair felt that "Bodysnatcher" was the weakest script of the six, and also suffered because they had not actually written an ending for it. Rob and Doug took the idea from "Bodysnatcher" of two Listers (i.e. him and his hologram) not getting along, and adapted it into the idea of having two Rimmers together. So the ending of "Confidence and Paranoia" was changed to have a duplicate of Rimmer resurrected instead, and this cliffhanger continued into the series finale "Me²".[4]

Cultural references[edit]

  • Film references include The Wizard of Oz whose Munchkins are mentioned.[10]
  • The Alien tagline is also parodied "In space, no one can hear you cha-cha-cha".[11]
  • To relieve his boredom, Holly deletes his memory banks of all Agatha Christie's novels and then gets intensely involved with reading Hercule Poirot novels.


The episode was originally broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 14 March 1988 in the 9:00pm evening time slot.[2] Although the pilot episode "The End" drew in over five million viewers, this figure was now tailing off as the series progressed.[12] The episode was considered to be one of the weakest from the first series by Red Dwarf Smegazine readers — it came in 28th place with 0.2% of the votes.[5]


The remastering of Series I to III was carried out during the late 1990s.[13] Changes throughout the series included replacement of the opening credits,[14] giving the picture a colour grade and filmising,[15] computer generated special effects of Red Dwarf[16] and many more visual and audio enhancements.[16] Changes specific to "Confidence and Paranoia" include a new recorded Holly joke to replace the opening 'post office worker' gag, dramatic music cue added to Lister's collapse due to the mutated illness and a CGI scene of Red Dwarf travelling through the dust storm.[17]


  1. ^ "British Sitcom Guide — Red Dwarf — Series 1". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  2. ^ a b "BBC Programme Catalogue RED DWARF — CONFIDENCE AND PARANOIA". BBC. Retrieved 5 December 2007.
  3. ^ "Red Dwarf Confidence and Paranoia (1988) Full cast and crew". Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Episode Guide: series 1, episode 5: Confidence and Paranoia, Red Dwarf Smegazine, volume 2 issue 5, September 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  5. ^ a b Episode Survey Results, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  6. ^ "Sci-Fi-London Film Festival — The Bodysnatcher Collection". Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  7. ^ Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 49.
  8. ^ Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 50.
  9. ^ "Series I Effects". Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  10. ^ "Confidence and Paranoia movie connections". Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  11. ^ "Red Dwarf movie connections". Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  12. ^ Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 8-9.
  13. ^ "Remasters of the Universe". Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  14. ^ "Red Dwarf Series I Remastering". Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  15. ^ Remastering Crew (2007). The End Re-Mastered DVD Commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  16. ^ a b Remastering Crew (2007). 'Re-Dwarf' Documentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  17. ^ Remastering Crew (2007). Confidence and Paranoia Re-Mastered text commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: location (link)


External links[edit]