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Red Dwarf episode
Holoship (Red Dwarf).jpg
Rimmer leaves the holoship Enlightenment after resigning his commission.
Episode no.Series 5
Episode 1
Directed byJuliet May
Written byRob Grant & Doug Naylor
Original air date20 February 1992
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Holoship" is the first episode of Series V of the science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf [2] and the twenty-fifth in the series run.[3] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 20 February 1992 in the 9:00 PM evening time slot.[4] It was written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Juliet May.[5]


Aboard Starbug, the crew finish watching a movie. While Lister is left in tears and Cat has more interest in the cartoon that preceded the film, Rimmer is disgusted at the plotline. Rimmer tells the crew that he finds it unbelievable that a man would give up his dreams for a woman he loves even though he will never see her again. The discussion is halted when Starbug comes into unexpected contact with another craft. It is a Holoship called the Enlightenment, consisting of a vessel and crew that are entirely computer-generated holograms, therefore rendering it invisible to the Starbug's monitors. The crew are holograms of Space Corps elite personnel, in fact, and the ship's regulations impose sex twice a day to note. Rimmer falls in love with one of the Enlightenment's crew members, Commander Nirvanah Crane. With an existence where he can eat, drink, touch, feel and taste unbridled, Rimmer feels that the Enlightenment is his true home.

However, one obstacle stands in Rimmer's way: Enlightenment already has a full crew and new members can only join if an existing crew member dies. If Rimmer succeeds in an intelligence contest it will be at the expense of a fellow hologram's existence. Rimmer decides to cheat: with the assistance of a reluctant Kryten, he uses a mind-patching operation to significantly increase his IQ. But during the contest the mind-patch fails, as his mind rejects it. Despite this, he is assigned to the Enlightenment when his opponent suddenly withdraws from the challenge. Rimmer bids farewell to his acquaintances on Red Dwarf.

Rimmer arrives on the Enlightenment and is given Nirvanah Crane's quarters. Rimmer did not realise that Crane was his opponent in the intelligence contest — she had sacrificed herself so that he could live the life of his dreams. Abandoning his earlier statement that his career would always come before love, Rimmer resigns his new commission and returns to Red Dwarf, so that Nirvanah can be reinstated.


The Enlightenment's model was built by Paul McGuiness. One of the cut scenes showed the holoship changing shape.[6] The transparent perspex miniature was also a casualty of the editing cut.[7] Besides the holoship special effects, other scenes and lines were cut out or trimmed down, including many holoship crew scenes and Holly's unhelpful speech to Rimmer.[8]

Guest stars included Jane Horrocks as Cdr. Nirvanah Crane, Matthew Marsh as Capt. Hercule Platini, Don Warrington as Cdr. Binks, Simon Paisley Day as Cdr. Randy Navarro - Number Two, Jane Montgomery as Cdr. Natalina Pushkin - Number One, and Lucy Briers as Harrison.[5] The two (uncredited) actors heard in the film at the beginning of the episode were Kate Robbins and Steve Steen.[5]

Cultural references[edit]


Although "Holoship" was filmed third in the series,[9] it was chosen to lead off the series as it was felt that it would draw in viewers the same way as "Camille" had done during the previous series. It worked in the sense that the viewing figures increased as the series progressed.[10] However the episode was considered the worst in the series by fans, having a 0.2% rating on the Red Dwarf Smegazine poll.[11] With its out-of-place moment of pathos at the end of the episode, Sci-Fi Dimensions described it as "less like Red Dwarf and more like a rejected Star Trek episode."[12]


  1. ^ "Red Dwarf Scripts - Holoship". Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  2. ^ "British Sitcom Guide — Red Dwarf — Series 5". www.sitcom.co.uk. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  3. ^ "TV.com — Holoship summary". www.tv.com. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  4. ^ "BBC — BBC — Programme Catalogue — RED DWARF V — HOLOSHIP". BBC. Retrieved 12 December 2007.
  5. ^ a b c "Holoship cast and crew". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  6. ^ Chris Howarths & Steve Lyons. Red Dwarf Programme Guide. Section 1: The History: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-86369-682-1.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Red Dwarf Series V Effects". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  8. ^ "Red Dwarf Series V Production". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  9. ^ Series V Preview, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 1, March 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603
  10. ^ Grant and Naylor Look Back, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 11, January 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603
  11. ^ Red Dwarf Smegazine: Survey Results, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  12. ^ "Series V review at Sci-Fi Dimensions". www.scifidimensions.com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2008.

External links[edit]