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Red Dwarf episode
Episode no. Series 7
Episode 8
Directed by Ed Bye
Written by Paul Alexander, James Hendrie and Doug Naylor
Original air date 7 March 1997
Episode chronology
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"Nanarchy" is the eighth, and final, episode of science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf Series VII and the 44th in the series run. It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 7 March 1997.[1] Written by Paul Alexander, James Hendrie & Doug Naylor and directed by Ed Bye. After two series of tracking their ship, the crew of Starbug finally discover the location of their missing mining ship Red Dwarf and its computer Holly.


Lister (Craig Charles) is finding it very difficult to get used to life with only one arm, but seems to enjoy Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) nursing him, and Kryten is absolutely loving it. Kochanski (Chloë Annett) is fed up seeing Kryten doing things for him that he could easily do with one arm, so with Kryten's help they come up with a solution - nanobots from Kryten's self-repair system could conceivably rebuild an arm for Lister. The problem is, Kryten hasn't seen his nanobots since the attack on the crew by the Despair Squid hundreds of years earlier, right before they lost Red Dwarf. They therefore decide to retrace their steps all the way back to the ocean planet where they met the Despair Squid and have to go into Deep Sleep for the very long journey.

When they emerge from Deep Sleep near their destination they are surprised to discover a planet which the Navicomp identifies as Red Dwarf. Down on the surface they find items from Red Dwarf including the original Holly (Norman Lovett) who explains that the nanobots had deconstructed Red Dwarf, creating their own miniature version of the ship and turned the rest into a planet for safekeeping. The crew now realise that it was the nano version of Red Dwarf that they were chasing all along – the nanobots ended up evading them by coming aboard Starbug and travelling around their own galaxy inside Lister's clothes hamper.

Kryten captures the nanobots and gives them a good piece of his mind. He tells them to construct a new arm for Lister and to reconstruct Red Dwarf out of the sands of the planet below. The nanobots follow Kryten's orders but, perhaps feeling guilty for the all the trouble they've caused, they seemingly overcompensate by giving Lister an upgrade - giving him the body of a muscular bodybuilder. Also, as Starbug flies into the reconstructed Red Dwarf landing bay, something feels odd: it seems awfully, awfully big. In the last shot Starbug flies in like a buzzing fly against a massively enlarged ship.


The series finale proved to be one of the most problematic scripts. James Hendrie was not available to do any rewrites to the script, so Alexander was asked to do one of his own, before Naylor did a final polish. It is the only episode to date with three credited writers.[2]

This is the first time since 1988's "Parallel Universe" that Norman Lovett has appeared as Holly, the ship's computer. In between, the character - played by Hattie Hayridge - was last seen in Series V's finale "Back to Reality".


Viewing figures had reached over 8 million viewers, and the series also gained a Sunday night repeat. These were the highest ratings garnered so far.[3]

Most reviewers noted the return of Norman Lovett as Holly,[4][5][6] although DVDActive disliked the episode's "mercilessly slow first scene".[4] Sci-Fi Online thought that Chloë Annett "had evidently settled into role ... and delivers some funny lines."[5]


  1. ^ "BBC - Programme Catalogue - RED DWARF VI - NANARCHY". BBC. Retrieved 12 December 2007. 
  2. ^ "Red Dwarf Series VII Writing". Red Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2007. 
  3. ^ "Red Dwarf Series VII Aftermath". Red Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Red Dwarf VII (UK - DVD R2)". Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  5. ^ a b "DVD Red Dwarf Series 7". Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  6. ^ "DVD Review--"Red Dwarf Series VII"". Retrieved 2014-03-05. 

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