List of Red Dwarf episodes

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This is a list of television episodes from the BBC's cult sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. There are ten series, 61 episodes in total. The first six series were written by co-creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, while Series VII and VIII were written by Naylor with collaborations from other writers and Back to Earth and Series X were written by Naylor alone. Series I and II were produced by Paul Jackson Productions (with Grant Naylor Productions taking over from Series III) for BBC North, and broadcast on BBC2. Red Dwarf first aired on 15 February 1988[1] and ended its original run on BBC2, by then rebranded BBC Two, on 5 April 1999 after eight series,[2] with some PBS stations in the United States airing the entire eighth series earlier on 7 March.[3] From 2009, Grant Naylor Productions produced new episodes for UKTV, which were broadcast on the TV channel Dave. The series follows the fortunes of Dave Lister who is stranded three million years in the future, together with the hologrammatic representation of his former bunkmate and immediate superior Arnold Rimmer; a creature known only as Cat; and the ship's computer Holly.[4] During Series II, the crew encounter a mechanoid called Kryten, who joins them from Series III onwards.[5] In Series VI the Red Dwarf ship has been stolen from the crew, forcing them to travel in the smaller Starbug craft for two series.[6] In Series VII Kristine Kochanski, Lister's former love interest, joins the crew, following the departure of Rimmer.[7] In series VIII the entire crew of the Red Dwarf ship – including a pre-accident Rimmer – are resurrected, but the Starbug crew, along with Rimmer, find themselves sentenced to two years in the ship's brig for "abusing classified information".[8] Series IX (Red Dwarf: Back to Earth) involves Lister, Rimmer (back as a hologram), Cat, and Kryten hallucinating that they've arrived on Earth in another dimension in the early 21st century, and Series X sees the same four crew members continue their adventures back on Red Dwarf.

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 6 15 February 1988 21 March 1988
2 6 6 September 1988 11 October 1988
3 6 14 November 1989 19 December 1989
4 6 14 February 1991 21 March 1991
5 6 20 February 1992 26 March 1992
6 6 7 October 1993 11 November 1993
7 8 17 January 1997 7 March 1997
8 8 18 February 1999 5 April 1999
9 3 10 April 2009 12 April 2009
10 6 4 October 2012 8 November 2012
11 6 22 September 2016 27 October 2016


Red Dwarf I (1988)[edit]

The pilot script was written in 1983; the writing duo team of Grant and Naylor handed the finished script to their agent Paul Jackson who had trouble convincing the BBC to take on the series.[9][10] Three years after the initial rejections, the script was accepted by BBC North West.[11] The series almost did not happen due to an electricians' strike at the BBC in 1987 which prevented filming and the project was shelved.[12] Filming eventually went ahead after the industrial action was resolved.[13] A remastered version of this series was produced and broadcast in some countries.

No. Title Writer(s) Director Original air date Prod. order
1 "The End" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 15 February 1988 (1988-02-15) 1
Aboard the Jupiter Mining Corporation (JMC) vessel Red Dwarf, the lowest-ranking crew member and utter slob Dave Lister (Craig Charles), technician third-class is sentenced to be frozen for 18-months in suspended animation as punishment for breaking quarantine regulations by smuggling his pregnant cat Frankenstein on board, a pet he had obtained while on leave on Titan. When given the option of either having the cat dissected or be frozen in stasis, he chooses to save his cat. But Lister awakes from stasis only to find the rest of the crew have since been wiped out in a radiation disaster, and he has actually been frozen for three million years. However, to both his relief and horror, he is not alone. The ship's computer Holly (Norman Lovett) has revived Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie), his austere and petty bunkmate, in the form of a hologram, who was responsible for the accident that wiped out the crew. Also Lister's pregnant cat, Frankenstein, was sealed in the hull during the radiation leak, and her kittens bred there for 3-million years and evolved into a race of humanoid life-forms, Felis sapiens, bred from the domestic housecat and about half as smart. They meet one of these life forms on the ship, and Lister decides to call it Cat (Danny John-Jules). The episode ends with Lister saying, "Holly, plot a course for Fiji. Look out Earth, the slime's coming home!"
2 "Future Echoes" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 22 February 1988 (1988-02-22) 4
Red Dwarf has been steadily accelerating for three million years and when it breaches light speed the new crew begin to experience visions from their own futures. Lister is shocked that his future self appears to have blown up while making a repair to the ship. However it was not him he saw, it was his son Bexley as revealed by a future echo Lister aged 171. The future Lister tells present Lister to run to the medibay to take a picture of Jim and Bexley as babies.
3 "Balance of Power" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 29 February 1988 (1988-02-29) 2
Lister wants to go on a date with the hologram of his former love interest, navigation officer Kristine Kochanski (C. P. Grogan), but it would mean replacing Rimmer as the ship's hologram, which of course Rimmer will not let happen. Lister decides to take a cooking exam so he can become a chef; if he passes he will hold sufficient rank to order this. Rimmer attempts to discourage Lister from taking the exam, but fails in this task.
4 "Waiting for God" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 7 March 1988 (1988-03-07) 3
Red Dwarf stumbles upon one of its own garbage pods, and Rimmer is convinced that it's a stasis capsule carrying a dormant alien woman. Meanwhile, Lister learns about Cat's people (the Felis sapiens) and discovers he is their mythical god, "Cloister the Stupid", and will bring them to the mythical island of Fuchal.
5 "Confidence and Paranoia" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 14 March 1988 (1988-03-14) 5
Lister contracts a mutated pneumonia virus. The hallucinations of his fevered brain materialise in solid form, and suddenly the ship is beset by herring rain and an exploding 16th century Mayor of Warsaw. When his fever breaks, Lister wakes up to find he has created personifications of his confidence (Craig Ferguson) and paranoia (Lee Cornes).
6 "Me2" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 21 March 1988 (1988-03-21) 6
Rimmer creates his perfect companion, an identical holographic duplicate of himself. He moves out of his quarters he shares with Lister and starts rooming with his doppelgänger. At first he enjoys it, but they eventually began to despise each other. Soon the two Rimmers find themselves locked in a conflict so fierce, only one of them can stay.

Red Dwarf II (1988)[edit]

Realising that they were limited with stories based on the huge, but empty, mining ship of Red Dwarf, writers Grant and Naylor decided to go in a different direction for Series II. A small shuttle ship, Blue Midget, was designed to ferry the crew to and from different locations.[14] The mechanoid, Kryten, appeared in the first episode as a one off. The writers had resisted using robot characters as they had considered the practice a sci-fi cliché.[14] A remastered version of this series was produced and broadcast in some countries.

No. Title Writer(s) Director Original air date Prod. order
7 "Kryten" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 6 September 1988 (1988-09-06) 4
Red Dwarf intercepts an SOS distress call from the American Space cruiser Nova 5, which has crashed on an asteroid. Much to their disappointment, the crew (who are expecting to find female crew members) find the only survivor is Kryten (David Ross), a service mechanoid with an over-active guilt chip. Lister wants to teach Kryten to be rebellious, whilst Rimmer wants to abuse Kryten's servility.
8 "Better Than Life" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 13 September 1988 (1988-09-13) 1
A post pod carrying a three-million-year-old bag of mail arrives, and Rimmer becomes depressed when he reads a letter saying his dad is dead. Meanwhile the Dwarfers play a total-immersion computer game called "Better Than Life" which makes the player's wishes come true. Rimmer's neurotic brain fittingly begins to rebel against the fantasy and turn it into a nightmare.
9 "Thanks for the Memory" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 20 September 1988 (1988-09-20) 2
The crew wake up after celebrating the anniversary of Rimmer's death, only to find four whole days have passed that they have no memories of. But when they find the ship's black box on a moon, they slowly learn what happened.
10 "Stasis Leak" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 27 September 1988 (1988-09-27) 3
A time portal called a "Stasis Leak" is found on Floor 16 and it takes the crew back in time on Red Dwarf three million years earlier, to a point three weeks before the disaster which killed the rest of the crew. Rimmer tries to change the past by putting himself into suspended animation, so he does not die in the radioactive disaster. Lister has similar plans for Kochanski.
11 "Queeg" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 4 October 1988 (1988-10-04) 6
When the ship's "senile" computer, Holly, allows a meteorite to damage the ship and Rimmer's hologram to malfunction, the crew lose faith in him. Holly's back-up computer, Queeg 500 (Charles Augins), takes command of Red Dwarf. When Queeg 500 runs the ship like a military garrison, the Dwarfers have a change of heart and want Holly back. Despite their misgivings, Holly challenges Queeg to a game of chess, where the loser gets erased from the system.
12 "Parallel Universe" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 11 October 1988 (1988-10-11) 5
The Dwarfers test Holly's new invention, the "Holly Hop Drive", which will supposedly warp them back to Earth in seconds. Instead Red Dwarf enters an alternate parallel dimension in which the Dwarfers encounter female versions of themselves – Cat, however, encounters an opposite version of himself instead, the scruffy Dog. Lister gets drunk and sleeps with his female self. Later he finds himself pregnant with twins, as in the parallel dimension, it is the men who fall pregnant.

Red Dwarf III (1989)[edit]

With Grant and Naylor directly involved with the series' production, under Grant Naylor Productions, they radically changed the look of the show.[15] The opening credits sequence was changed. A new upbeat version of the theme tune played over clips from the series.[16] A new official Red Dwarf logo also appeared at the end of the credit sequence.[15] Starbug was introduced as the new spaceship in place of Blue Midget.[17] The look of the show had been overhauled with the incoming Mel Bibby who had re-designed the old grey sets.[18] Costumes were overhauled as well as Costume designer Howard Burden brought in a new stylish look to the crew.[19] A remastered version of this series was produced and broadcast in some countries.

There were a number of loose ends from the first two series, and changes in the third series, that were explained off by a text intro to the first show of Series III. This was done in the form of scrolling text across outer space, in a parody of the introductions to the Star Wars movies. The loose ends included the return of Kryten, Lister being pregnant, delivering twins Jim and Bexley, who grow up in a matter of days, then wind up in the parallel universe with the female version of Lister.

The regular cast changed for Series III: Robert Llewellyn came in as Kryten, and Hattie Hayridge replaced the departing Lovett.[20] Craig Charles, Chris Barrie and Danny John-Jules remained as Lister, Rimmer and Cat respectively.[21]

The character of Kryten was originally intended as a one-off appearance in the series-two episode "Kryten", but had returned mainly to broaden the story potential. The show was becoming difficult to write for. At the insistence of Naylor, Kryten returned to complete the team.[22] They had approached David Ross with the intention of bringing him back to play the regular role of Kryten. Ross, however, was in a stage play Flea In Her Ear and was not available, so they went to see Robert Llewellyn. Llewellyn was also in a stage show called Mammon: Robot Born of Woman, playing a robot. They saw his performance and were impressed.[22]

No. Title Writer(s) Director Original air date Prod. order
13 "Backwards" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 14 November 1989 (1989-11-14) 3
With Kryten now a regular member of the crew, Rimmer takes him on a flying lesson in the transport vehicle Starbug. They find themselves whisked away through a time hole, arriving back on Earth, 1993. However, on this world, time runs backwards.
14 "Marooned" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 21 November 1989 (1989-11-21) 1
The crew abandon ship as Holly sees five black holes in the direct flight path of Red Dwarf. Rimmer and Lister then find themselves marooned on an ice planet after Starbug is struck by a meteorite. Lister is freezing and starving but the only firewood is his beloved guitar and Rimmer's prized possessions, and the only food left is dog food and a pot noodle, Lister's most hated food.
15 "Polymorph" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 28 November 1989 (1989-11-28) 5
The crew become radically different people after they encounter a polymorph, a genetically engineered shape-changing mutant that feeds on negative emotions - in the crew's case vanity, guilt, anger and fear. They decide that there are only two options against the polymorph, one: take it on, or two: run away. Two has always been the Cat's favourite number anyway.
16 "Bodyswap" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 5 December 1989 (1989-12-05) 4
Rimmer suggests that the perfect way to help Lister get "healthy" is swapping bodies, by implanting his mind into Lister's and vice versa, so that Rimmer can undergo a hefty exercise regime in Lister's body. However, Rimmer is overtaken with excitement at the prospect of having a physical body again and refuses to give it back to Lister.
17 "Timeslides" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 12 December 1989 (1989-12-12) 2
The developing fluid that Kryten uses to process old photographs mutates and the photographs come alive. The crew find they can go into the photograph, and Lister finds that the photographs allows them to go back in time. Using this he plans on changing history so that he does not end up marooned in deep space. Director Ed Bye's wife Ruby Wax made a Cameo appearance as the presenter of "Lifestyles of the Disgustingly Rich and Famous."
18 "The Last Day" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 19 December 1989 (1989-12-19) 6
Lister receives a pre-recorded message from Jim Reaper (as in "the Grim Reaper"), head of Diva-Droid international, the company that created Kryten. Kryten is ordered to be dismantled within 24 hours and is to be replaced by Hudzen-10 (Gordon Kennedy), a super-strong android, who has been tracking Kryten for thousands of years and is now on an intercept course with Red Dwarf. The crew decide to throw Kryten a leaving party, and give him one last night to remember.

Red Dwarf IV (1991)[edit]

Due to the old studio in Manchester undergoing refurbishment, the recording of Series IV moved to Shepperton Studios.[23] Series IV was not broadcast as originally intended. The BBC had decided to start off with the romantic story of "Camille" for Valentine's Day.[24] The Gulf War outbreak also affected the series running order as both the anti-war "Meltdown" and heroic Ace Rimmer's "Dimension Jump" episodes were postponed.[25]

No. Title Writer(s) Director Original air date Prod. order
19 "Camille" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 14 February 1991 (1991-02-14) 4
Lister helps Kryten to break his programming so that he can lie and insult. Later, when Kryten rescues a mechanoid named Camille, the sole survivor from a crashed spaceship, she appears to be his perfect mechanoid partner. However, Rimmer and Lister also see their fantasy women when they see Camille. Secrets, lies and broken hearts ensue, along with an ending similar to Lister's favourite film, Casablanca.
20 "DNA" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 21 February 1991 (1991-02-21) 6
A mysterious derelict spacecraft containing extremely advanced technology, perhaps alien, docks with Red Dwarf. On board they discover a DNA modifier, a genetic altering machine that can metamorphose organic life. But havoc ensues as Lister gets turned into a chicken and then a hamster, Kryten becomes human, and a curry monster is created from Lister's vindaloo.
21 "Justice" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 28 February 1991 (1991-02-28) 1
The crew pick up an escape pod bearing a woman's name. There is also the possibility it may in fact be a deranged bio-mechanical killer on his way to "Justice World", a deep space penal station. They decide to go to "Justice World" to discover the contents of the pod. Things become worse when a justice scan reveals that Rimmer is guilty of the radioactive disaster that wiped out the entire crew of Red Dwarf, equal to 1,167 separate counts of second-degree murder, and he is promptly convicted and sentenced.
22 "White Hole" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye & Paul Jackson 7 March 1991 (1991-03-07) 5
Holly has her intelligence briefly restored to an IQ of 12,368, but a side effect of this is that her run-time is reduced to minutes. Holly promptly switches herself off, leaving Red Dwarf with no lighting or manoeuvring capability. It's back to basics for the crew and they must resort to their own resourcefulness to survive.
23 "Dimension Jump" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 14 March 1991 (1991-03-14) 2
The crew meet a parallel dimension version of Rimmer. Arnold "Ace" Rimmer is a dashing daredevil test pilot for the space corps, and he has been assigned to test-pilot a ship that can travel through dimensions, so he can meet different versions of himself. He enters our dimension to meet our Rimmer, the weaselly cowardly version, who has gone on a fishing holiday with the rest of the crew.
24 "Meltdown" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 21 March 1991 (1991-03-21) 3
Kryten uses a prototype "matter paddle" to teleport the crew to a nearby planet with an S3 (or Earth-like) atmosphere. They discover the planet has been visited by humans years previously, who populated the planet with "wax droids" – animated wax works of famous characters from Earth's history including Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Gandhi, Winnie the Pooh, Mother Teresa and Elvis Presley, who have now gone berserk, and are at war.

Red Dwarf V (1992)[edit]

The series returned without regular director Ed Bye, who had agreed to direct his wife Ruby Wax's television show The Full Wax.[26] New director Juliet May found it hard to work with the science fiction elements of the series[27] and left before the series had completed. The remaining episodes were directed by Grant and Naylor.[28]

No. Title Writer(s) Director Original air date Prod. order
25 "Holoship" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Juliet May 20 February 1992 (1992-02-20) 3
Rimmer is abducted by holograms of superior intelligence, away to a space vessel which is itself holographic, where Rimmer has a physical presence and where twice-daily sex is a health requirement but emotional attachment is bad manners. Rimmer applies to join the crew, feeling that this is his chance of becoming an officer and getting a life. To do this he must pass an exam against a fellow hologram, which is complicated when he discovers his opponent is Nirvanah Crane (Jane Horrocks), a female hologram who's fallen for him.
26 "The Inquisitor" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Juliet May & Grant Naylor 27 February 1992 (1992-02-27) 2
The Inquisitor is a time-travelling android who acts as judge, jury and executioner to those who have led worthless lives, and thus erases them from history. The Red Dwarf crew are next to appear before this judge to justify their existence. It does not look good for our crew of slobs, failures and misfits.
27 "Terrorform" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Juliet May 5 March 1992 (1992-03-05) 4
Kryten and Rimmer crash land on a "psi-moon", an artificial planetoid which terraforms itself to match the inner psyche and subconscious of anyone who lands on it. Kryten is cut in half in the crash, and Rimmer finds himself alone and taken prisoner by manifestations of his own inner demons. Lister, Cat and Holly arrive to rescue them, but find themselves trapped in an environment shaped by Rimmer's bizarre, self-loathing mind.
28 "Quarantine" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Grant Naylor 12 March 1992 (1992-03-12) 5
After investigating an abandoned biological research complex on an ice planet, Lister, Cat and Kryten return to Red Dwarf only to find Rimmer has taken over the ship. While Rimmer orders them into quarantine for three months, he himself is slowly taken over by an electronic holo-virus that corrupts his holographic form, giving him telekinesis, hex vision, and many other powers, and turning him completely insane.
29 "Demons and Angels" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Juliet May & Grant Naylor 19 March 1992 (1992-03-19) 1
An experiment with a machine – a Triplicator – that can make duplicates of an object goes wrong, causing Red Dwarf to explode. The crew escape aboard Starbug but find that the Triplicator has made two copies of Red Dwarf in place of the original. One of these copies has extracted the "good" qualities of the former vessel, and the other has extracted the "bad" qualities. The crew board one, first meeting angelic versions of themselves, then to the other, meeting their demonic versions.
30 "Back to Reality" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Juliet May & Grant Naylor 26 March 1992 (1992-03-26) 6
The crew take Starbug down into the watery depths of an ocean planet to investigate the wreck of the SSS Esperanto. They find that the ship's crew have committed suicide, then escape to try and avoid attack from a sea monster, the "Despair Squid". The crew suddenly wake up to find they are not who they think they are; Red Dwarf and Starbug did not exist, and they have in fact been playing a virtual reality computer game for four years. This turns out to be a hallucination caused by the despair squid to make them commit suicide.

Red Dwarf VI (1993)[edit]

The writing of Series VI was rushed due to the fact that the BBC wanted the episodes completed as soon as possible. Grant and Naylor had originally hoped to both write and direct Series VI, but the rapid production schedule meant this was unfeasible, and Andy de Emmony was brought in to direct the series. The writers decided to make changes for the new series – Red Dwarf itself was written out, thus removing Hattie Hayridge's Holly – and the series was set entirely aboard Starbug. During the series Rimmer would also obtain "hardlight", which would effectively give him a physical presence. For the first time in the series history a story arc was introduced and followed throughout the episodes leading up to the series cliffhanger.[29]

No. Title Writer(s) Director Original air date Prod. order
31 "Psirens" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Andy de Emmony 7 October 1993 (1993-10-07) 1
Two hundred years after investigating the SSS Esperanto, the crew awake from suspended animation aboard Starbug with amnesia, and find that their mothership Red Dwarf is missing. Chasing a faint vapour trail which may lead to their mothership, the crew travel through an asteroid field containing lost and crashed spaceships. The asteroid field is inhabited by "psirens", genetically engineered creatures that telepathically lure the ship's crew onto the asteroids so that they can suck out their brains.
32 "Legion" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Andy de Emmony 14 October 1993 (1993-10-14) 2
Chasing the vapour trail of Red Dwarf into a gas nebula, Starbug is taken over by a tractor beam which takes it to a space station. There the crew discover Legion, a highly intelligent, sophisticated and cultured lifeform conceived out of an experiment by a group of famous scientists. It is Legion who modifies Rimmer's holo-projection unit, enabling him to become a "hardlight" hologram (his jacket goes from red in "softlight" to blue in hardlight), as a result he is able to touch, feel, eat, and experience pain – but still being made of light, cannot be physically harmed. They learn that Legion is composed from the minds of each member of the crew, combined and magnified, and as such they are sustaining his very existence with their presence. Legion will not allow them to leave and continue the search for Red Dwarf.
33 "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Andy de Emmony 21 October 1993 (1993-10-21) 4
Starbug narrowly wins a battle with "rogue simulants". However the "simulants" have infected Starbug with a computer virus and the ship is locked on a collision course with a volcanic planet. Kryten attempts to fight the virus, with the battle taking the form of an old wild west movie in his digital mind. The virus overtakes him, so Lister, Cat and Rimmer enter Kryten's wild-west dream using an artificial reality video game in attempt to help Kryten come up with an antidote.
34 "Emohawk: Polymorph II" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Andy de Emmony 28 October 1993 (1993-10-28) 5
Starbug is attacked by an advanced Space Corps enforcement probe, for looting from derelict ships. The crew manage to escape by entering GELF space but Starbug crashes on a moon. Lister must marry the GELF chieftain's daughter in exchange for an oxygen breathing unit. The crew escape with the engine part during Lister's honeymoon, but the GELF chieftain sends his pet, a polymorph, after them to retrieve his new son-in-law.
35 "Rimmerworld" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Andy de Emmony 4 November 1993 (1993-11-04) 3
The crew return to the wreck of the simulants' battleship to salvage for food supplies but are confronted by a surviving simulant who threatens to kill herself and the crew. Rimmer, who has been diagnosed with a tense nervous disorder, escapes in a pod which has no steering, and is whisked away through a worm-hole and crashes on a planet. The crew follow Rimmer through the worm-hole, but due to its effects arrive at the planet 600 years after Rimmer arrived, only to find the planet is populated with thousands of Rimmer clones.
36 "Out of Time" Rob Grant & Doug Naylor Andy de Emmony 11 November 1993 (1993-11-11) 6
Starbug enters an artificial fog containing devices that create false realities. Persevering through it, the crew find what it is hiding – a time machine. Shortly after, they meet their future selves, from fifteen years later. The crew learn that their future selves are incredibly corrupt and amoral through abuse of the time drive, to experience the "very best" of history. In the end, the two Starbug craft engage in a space battle to end all space battles.

Red Dwarf VII (1997)[edit]

After Series VI, co-creator and writer Rob Grant had decided to leave the series to pursue other non-Red Dwarf projects.[30] Naylor continued with the series to build towards the often discussed movie. To help with the expanding episode number, Naylor brought in the help of other writers like Paul Alexander. Chris Barrie, disappointed with the hectic workload of series VI, had decided to only take part in four of the episodes. Kochanski (now played by Chloë Annett) was brought back as a regular character.[31]

Changes to the show itself were evident with the mix of science fiction and sit-com episodes throughout. This was an attempt by Naylor to move away from the "monster of the week" format that he felt Series VI suffered from.[31] Ed Bye also returned to direct the series after leaving due to scheduling clashes during Series V. The studio audience was now removed from the series and, much like feature-length films, the episodes were mostly shot using one camera.[32] Episodes were still videotaped, but were digitally processed to look like film, and although there was no live audience, a laughter track was later recorded at a screening of the episodes before an audience.[33]

No. Title Writer(s) Director Original air date
37 "Tikka to Ride" Doug Naylor Ed Bye 17 January 1997 (1997-01-17)
The crew find themselves resurrected due to the time paradox resulting from the battle with their future selves. The time paradox also results in a greatly upgraded and much larger Starbug. However, the curry supplies have gone missing, and so Lister devises a sneaky plan which involves swapping Kryten's head, once again utilising the time machine, and which ultimately results in the crew getting mixed up in the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, in 1963.
38 "Stoke Me a Clipper" Paul Alexander & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 24 January 1997 (1997-01-24)
Daredevil pilot Ace Rimmer, fatally wounded after rescuing Princess Bonjella, travels from his own dimension into the dimension where Starbug is cruising. His intention is to try and bring out courage in the cowardly version of himself aboard Starbug, and then recruit Arnold Rimmer as his replacement, so that after his death another Rimmer will carry on the legacy of the interstellar space hero.
39 "Ouroboros" Doug Naylor Ed Bye 31 January 1997 (1997-01-31)
Lister, Cat and Kryten stumble upon a tear in the fabric of space that leads to another dimension. There they meet a parallel version of Lister's old girlfriend, Kristine Kochanski, who becomes stranded on Starbug. Meanwhile Lister discovers the truth about himself and who his parents were.
40 "Duct Soup" Doug Naylor Ed Bye 7 February 1997 (1997-02-07)
Kryten gets fussy and jealous thinking that Lister likes Kochanski better than him. When the primary power goes off and they get stuck in a room, they have no choice but to climb into the small ventilation ducts which wind round Starbug in order to escape. Whilst inside the ducts they discover a lot about each other, including the fact Lister is claustrophobic.
41 "Blue" Kim Fuller & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 14 February 1997 (1997-02-14)
Starbug is travelling through a rather uninteresting region of space and the crew are bored and begin to nitpick at petty areas of their lives. Meanwhile Lister finds, much to his own surprise and disgust, that he is missing Rimmer, and even having romantic dreams about him returning. Kryten's solution is to take him on a ride called "The Rimmer Experience," which recounts outrageously fictionalised events from Rimmer's diaries.
42 "Beyond a Joke" Robert Llewellyn & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 21 February 1997 (1997-02-21)
Searching for a new head for Kryten, which exploded due to build-up of negative thought after an incident involving ketchup added to lobster, the crew encounter a rogue simulant on a deserted ship. The simulant kidnaps Kryten and commissions one of his own droids, Able, to fix him up. But Kryten and Able discover they're brothers, the same model, and Able helps Kryten escape. Kryten then discovers from Able a disturbing secret about their creator.
43 "Epideme" Paul Alexander & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 28 February 1997 (1997-02-28)
The crew come across a frozen supply ship, the Leviathan, with one survivor: Caroline Carmen, one of Lister's former crushes. She revives in the middle of the night, as a zombie; she has been dead for a long time, and infects Lister with the dreaded Epideme virus. Lister tries talking with the virus directly through a communication link (Epideme is a sentient, self-aware organism) but Epideme refuses to let Lister live. Drastic action must be taken if Lister is to survive.
44 "Nanarchy" Paul Alexander, James Hendrie & Doug Naylor Ed Bye 7 March 1997 (1997-03-07)
Lister tries to cope with the loss of his arm. Meanwhile Kryten searches for his nanobots – incredibly advanced microscopic robots, which can alter forms of matter at the sub-atomic level – so that he can rebuild Lister's arm. Kryten finds the nanobots in Lister's laundry basket, and also discovers that it was the nanobots who stole the mothership Red Dwarf in the first instance. Kryten gets the nanobots to rebuild both Red Dwarf and Lister's arm. Red Dwarf makes an appearance, but with one problem – its size.

Red Dwarf VIII (1999)[edit]

Having changed the look and format for Series VII, Naylor returned to the show's roots for Series VIII. Writing the series himself, Naylor resurrected the original Red Dwarf crew, along with Holly, played again by Norman Lovett, and Chris Barrie as Rimmer.[34] With the old cast and Red Dwarf back, the series moved back to being videotaped in front of a studio audience.[35] The series ended on a cliffhanger that has still to be resolved.[34] With 52 episodes the show was now in a good position for international syndication and the prospect of a feature-length film increased.[3]

KTEH, a PBS station in San Jose, California, broadcast the entire series on 7 March 1999. As a result, they broadcast the last five episodes of Series VIII before they were aired in the UK. "Cassandra" was also broadcast on other PBS stations on 7 March 1999 as well.[36]

No. Title Writer(s) Director Original air date Prod order
45 "Back in the Red: Part I" Doug Naylor Ed Bye 18 February 1999 (1999-02-18) 1
The nanobots have rebuilt Red Dwarf not only in its entirety, but to its better, original design plans. In effect, the fresh new Red Dwarf is better than the old version of the ship the nanobots deconstructed in the first place – faster, more streamlined, containing more advanced technology, which was not included the first time round due to budget cutbacks. After crashing Starbug in the docking bay, they discover the nanobots have also resurrected the original crew complement of Red Dwarf who were killed in the radioactive disaster three million years previously, and who now have no memory of the incident or events following it. Lister tries to persuade the newly resurrected Arnold Rimmer to help him escape so that he can track down the nanobots to corroborate his story. However the only way for Lister to convince Rimmer is by helping Rimmer get promoted using a disc of confidential files left in the crashed wreckage of Starbug.
46 "Back in the Red: Part II" Doug Naylor Ed Bye 25 February 1999 (1999-02-25) 2
Lister, the Cat, and Kochanski are in big trouble aboard the resurrected Red Dwarf with the freshly resurrected Captain Hollister (Mac McDonald), and they find themselves standing trial for stealing and crashing a Starbug. Kryten is reprogrammed and has his factory settings restored, while Rimmer uses the confidential files and the luck and sexual magnetism viruses found in the wreckage of the Starbug to get himself promoted in the field.
47 "Back in the Red: Part III" Doug Naylor Ed Bye 4 March 1999 (1999-03-04) 8
After discovering the sexual magnetism virus in the wreckage of Starbug, Rimmer finds he has become irresistibly attractive to every female crew member aboard Red Dwarf. The confidential reports he also found gave Rimmer access to information he uses as part of a scheme to get promoted, and he begins to impress Captain Hollister.
48 "Cassandra" Doug Naylor Ed Bye 7 March 1999 (1999-03-07) (US)
11 March 1999 (1999-03-11) (UK)
Rimmer, Lister, Cat, Kryten and Kochanski have been sentenced to two years in "The Tank" on secretive Floor 13, for stealing and crashing a Starbug and abusing confidential information during their trial in virtual reality. Lister signs up the gang for the Canaries, thinking it is the prison choir and enticed by the list of privileges that go with it. Lister is unaware the Canaries is actually a convict army utilised for reconnaissance on uncharted planets. Their first assignment is to investigate an abandoned spaceship on an ocean planet, where they discover Cassandra (Geraldine McEwan), a computer that can predict the future. But it spells bad news for Rimmer, when Cassandra predicts that he is going to die.
49 "Krytie TV" Doug Naylor & Paul Alexander Ed Bye 7 March 1999 (1999-03-07) (US)
18 March 1999 (1999-03-18) (UK)
Kryten has been placed in the Women's Wing of The Tank, due to his lack of genitalia. After making the mistake of revealing that he showers with the female convicts, Kill Crazy reprograms Kryten, making him a ruthless and amoral entrepreneur. Kryten soon puts on "Krytie TV", a pirate entertainment show for the convicts, where he goes into the women's shower room and films the exposed naked bodies of the female convicts, including Kochanski. Rimmer and Lister have been given a retrial, and Kryten endangers their only chance of freedom, when he sets up Lister by getting him to mess up governor Ackerman's sleeping quarters.
50 "Pete: Part I" Doug Naylor Ed Bye 7 March 1999 (1999-03-07) (US)
25 March 1999 (1999-03-25) (UK)
Rimmer and Lister are not having a good time, frequently in and out of the captain's office for offences, each of which annoy Hollister more and more until he snaps and has them thrown in "the hole", a sparse prison cell inhabited only by an insane Welshman called Birdman and his pet sparrow, Pete. Meanwhile, the others return from a Canaries mission with a "time wand", a device that can manipulate time.
51 "Pete: Part II" Doug Naylor & Paul Alexander Ed Bye 7 March 1999 (1999-03-07) (US)
1 April 1999 (1999-04-01) (UK)
Lister and Rimmer drive Captain Hollister ever closer to a nervous breakdown. Kryten discovers the time wand can regress a living creature back into what it evolved from, and turns Baxter and Kill Crazy into apes. He also accidentally regresses Pete, Birdman's pet sparrow, into a Tyrannosaurus rex which then goes on a rampage around Red Dwarf and eats the Birdman, along with the time wand. With the rest of the crew frozen in time, Rimmer, Lister, Kryten, Kochanski, The Cat and Holly attempt to find a solution before the freeze wears off.
52 "Only the Good..." Doug Naylor Ed Bye 7 March 1999 (1999-03-07) (US)
5 April 1999 (1999-04-05) (UK)
An escape pod containing a genetically engineered virus that eats metal arrives on Red Dwarf and begins to destroy the ship. Left on Red Dwarf to die, Rimmer, Lister, Cat, Kryten, Kochanski and Holly find their only chance at finding an antidote is to create a mirror universe where everything is opposite. Rimmer is sent into the mirror universe to find the antidote before Red Dwarf is destroyed. In the mirror universe, Rimmer finds what he has always wanted – he is no longer a lowly technician but the captain of the ship.

Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (2009)[edit]

In 2009, UKTV channel Dave screened three new 25-minute specials to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the show. The new episodes form part of an effort by Dave to screen more original programming, instead of just repeats. The specials were made up of a three-part story, "Back to Earth", as well as a "Making-of" special. Originally, there were to be two episodes, a "Making-of" and a live show titled Red Dwarf: Unplugged. However, according to Robert Llewellyn on 'Twitter', the Live Show had been cancelled due to time and money and there would be three episodes instead.[37] As with series 7, these episodes were not filmed in front of a live studio audience; however, unlike the seventh series, it was not shown to an audience at a later date to record the audience laughter.

No. Title Writer Director Original air date Prod. order
53 "Back to Earth: Part One" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 10 April 2009 (2009-04-10) 1
Lister's day of annoying Rimmer is cut short after the discovery of a dimension-hopping leviathan in the ship's water tank. This leads to the appearance (as a hardlight hologram) of deceased science officer Katerina Bartikovsky (Sophie Winkleman), who begins to make plans to permanently remove Rimmer and to assist Lister in restoring the human race.
54 "Back to Earth: Part Two" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 11 April 2009 (2009-04-11) 2
Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and Cat appear on contemporary Earth and discover that they are fictional characters from a television show called "Red Dwarf". They find a DVD box for "Back to Earth" and discover that they are to die at the end. They decide to track down their creators to plead for an extension, in a parody of Blade Runner. The DVD box also refers to a series X that does not actually exist yet. Katerina arrives via a second portal, but is quickly killed by Rimmer after she makes the mistake of telling him that taking the life of a hologram is not murder as they are already dead. A discussion between Lister and two children on a bus reveals that Kochanski may not be dead.
55 "Back to Earth: Part Three" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 12 April 2009 (2009-04-12) 3
Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and Cat use the car they take from the President of the Red Dwarf fan club, made out to resemble Starbug. They go to the set of Coronation Street, where they question Craig Charles about how much time they have left. Charles tells them they are down to their last episode, as well as giving them the address of "the creator", before joking that he needs to go back to the Priory (a reference to the actor's real life drug problems). They find the creator, in a scene heavily referencing Blade Runner. He tells them that their deaths cannot be undone, but they will at least die gloriously. In a struggle Lister manages to kill him, before finding that this was scripted by the creator. Lister then burns the creator's script and rewrites their own ending. They then discover that the typewriter is not determining their actions. The small origami sculptures left by the Cat turn out to be squids, leading the crew to realise that they have been drawn into an alternative reality by another despair squid. Rimmer, Kryten and Cat have formed resistance to the Despair Squid through their previous meeting, but Lister chooses to stay in the false reality where he gets together with Kochanski, despite the knowledge that she isn't real. After a period of time with Kochanski Lister decides to head back to his own reality, with a renewed sense of his own self-worth, determined to find the real Kochanski and win her back. The episode ends with the four laughing at the fact that the fans of Red Dwarf created by the Despair Squid's hallucination (i.e. the viewers) will think that their reality is the real one, and the Red Dwarf reality dependent on it, as opposed to the other way round.

Red Dwarf X (2012)[edit]

Main article: Red Dwarf X

Red Dwarf returned for its first full series since 1999 in October 2012 for six new episodes written by Doug Naylor filmed before a live audience.[38] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 19 November 2012.[39][40] All four original cast members from Back to Earth reprised their roles.

No. Title[41] Writer(s) Director Original air date Prod. order
56 "Trojan" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 4 October 2012[42][43] 1
Rimmer receives an SOS Distress Call from a doomed ship commanded by his all-conquering brother, Howard. But Rimmer can't bring himself to save Howard until he's on an equal footing career-wise. He has 15 hours to pass his Astro-Nav exam and become an Officer, the same exam he's already failed ten times. Meanwhile Lister is put on hold by a telemarketing line.
57 "Fathers and Suns" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 11 October 2012 2
Every year Lister sends himself a Father's Day card to celebrate the fact that he is his own father, but when Rimmer points out he's been a lousy father to himself Lister decides to do something about it. Meanwhile, Rimmer and Kryten install a new computer; the beautiful, but lethally logical, Pree.
58 "Lemons" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 18 October 2012 3
Marooned in Britain in 23 AD, the Dwarfers need an 8-volt battery to power up their Returner Remote and get home. Remembering a lesson from school Rimmer suggests they make a battery out of lemons but the nearest lemon to Britain in 23 AD is in India 4,000 miles away. They begin their journey, a journey that will ultimately lead them to a meeting with an historical A-List Celebrity that could alter the entire history of civilisation.
59 "Entangled" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 25 October 2012 4
Lister loses Rimmer in a game of poker to a group of Genetically Engineered Life Forms (GELF) and in return gets an unwanted gift: a groinal exploder programmed to detonate in 24-hours unless Lister pays his debts. Meanwhile, Kryten and Cat become quantum entangled and find themselves acting in perfect unison.
60 "Dear Dave" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 1 November 2012 5
Lister gets himself into a love triangle with Snack Dispensers 23 and 34. To make matters worse he gets a letter from an old girlfriend telling him she's pregnant and it might be his. Lister and Rimmer hunt through the mountain of letters from the mail pod to discover if Lister was actually a dad 3 million years ago.
61 "The Beginning" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 8 November 2012 6
Hiding in an Asteroid, surrounded by a Simulant Death Ship and a fleet of Annihilators, the Dwarfers begin to wonder whether this is the end. Only one man can save them. Unfortunately that man is Arnold J. Rimmer.

Red Dwarf XI (2016)[edit]

It was confirmed on 2 May 2015 that an eleventh series of Red Dwarf (consisting of six episodes) would be filmed in 2015 for a release in 2016. The series will be, once again, aired on Dave. All the cast are expected to return to their roles. After the announcement of an eleventh and twelfth series of Red Dwarf, Craig Charles resigned his role on Coronation Street to focus on filming for the eleventh series. Red Dwarf XI will be broadcast in September 2016.[44]

No. Title Writer(s) Director Original air date[45] Prod. order
62 "Twentica" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 22 September 2016 6
The Dwarfers find themselves in an alternative version of America where modern technology is prohibited, making Rimmer and Kryten illegal. The Dwarfers infiltrate the tech savvy underground and try to bring down the authoritarian regime.
63 "Samsara" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 29 September 2016 5
When the Dwarfers investigate a crashed ship at the bottom of an ocean moon, Lister and Cat become trapped together and Lister's nightmare begins. Meantime Rimmer and Kryten discover the ship is controlled by a dark force.
64 "Give and Take" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 6 October 2016 1
After an altercation with a deranged droid Lister has his kidneys organ-napped. The only solution is to ask Cat, the most selfish creature in the universe, to give him one of his.
65 "Officer Rimmer" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 13 October 2016 4
After a scandalous piece of good fortune Rimmer saves the life of a bio-printed Captain and is promoted, fulfilling his life-long dream of becoming an Officer. He immediately opens an Officer's club, which is out of bounds to the lower orders, and uses the bio-printer to fill it with versions of himself.
66 "Krysis" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 20 October 2016 3
Kryten has a mid-life crisis and changes his body cover from Mech grey to Ferrari red. The posse try and show him how much he's achieved in life by taking him to visit a mechanoid from his old fleet.
67 "Can of Worms" Doug Naylor Doug Naylor 27 October 2016 2
Cat takes time off from being in love with himself to fall head over heels in love with a lady Cat with a big secret.

Red Dwarf XII (2017)[edit]

A twelfth series of Red Dwarf was confirmed along with the announcement news of an eleventh series on 2 May 2015. Some episodes from this block may be transmitted as part of series XI and vice versa. It is filming in early 2016, only weeks after the shooting of the previous series, and is expected to air in 2017 on Dave.[46]

Unbroadcast scripts[edit]


Main article: Bodysnatcher

Originally to be the second episode of Series I, and would have involved Rimmer going insane trying to deal with his intangibility and attempting to build himself a new body by stealing parts of Lister's, and Lister trying to live with a hologram of himself. The former idea was, in a way, used in the episode "Bodyswap" in Series III, and the latter became the basis for "Me2" (with the plotline transferred from Lister to Rimmer), which filled the sixth spot in the first series after "Bodysnatcher" was dropped.[47]


Main article: Dad (Red Dwarf)

This would have been the opening episode to Series III. It was to be a direct continuation of the earlier episode "Parallel Universe" (the last episode of Series II), and would deal primarily with Lister's pregnancy. The idea was ultimately rejected by Grant and Naylor who felt that the script was unfunny and possibly sexist. The events were referenced in the pre-title sequence of the episode "Backwards".[48]

"Identity Within"[edit]

Main article: Identity Within

This episode was going to be in Series VII but was replaced by "Duct Soup" for budgetary reasons. A reconstructed version of the episode, (read by Chris Barrie), appears on the Series VII DVD release.[47][49] The Cat is fatally ill, with only one cure: he has to have sex. They travel to a GELF village, where a female cat called Aura is being held prisoner for auction. Lister, Rimmer and Kryten have to save Aura and get her to fall in love with the Cat before he dies from being a virgin.

Feature film[edit]

Once Series VIII ended in 1999, Doug Naylor attempted to make a feature-length version of the show. A script was written, by Naylor, and flyers began circulating around certain websites.[50] The flyer outlined the movie's plot, set in the distant future where Homo Sapienoids – a fearsome flesh-machine hybrid race – had taken over the solar system and were wiping out the human race. Spaceships that tried to escape Earth were hunted down until only one remained... Red Dwarf.[51] Pre-production began in 2004 and filming was planned for 2005.[51] However, sufficient funding has not been forthcoming and production was put on hold.[52]

American pilots[edit]

See Red Dwarf#U.S. version

Two versions of a pilot episode for a proposed NBC version of Red Dwarf were produced in 1992—a complete episode and a partial episode compiled with different cast members. Neither has been televised, though excerpts from the first pilot have been released on the Red Dwarf V DVD set.


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External links[edit]