Space Corps Directives
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The Space Corps Directives are a running joke from the British science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf. The Space Corps is somewhat analogous to Star Trek’s Starfleet and is responsible for the administrative organisation of all space travel in the Red Dwarf Universe; the Directives are a list of this organisation's regulations. Though originating in series 2, the directives were most often used for comic effect during the 5th and 6th series of the show
A prelude to the Space Corps directives were featured in the episode "Queeg", where Holly, masquerading as "Queeg 500", would use "Articles" to force the crew to work, as well as perform other unsavoury acts. As "Queeg" was created by Holly purely so the crew would appreciate his leniency more, the authenticity of the Articles and their influence remains suspect.
When first introduced, the Directives were used by Kryten to coerce Rimmer into acting altruistically or to highlight the less than exemplary behaviour of the rest of the crew. The normal pattern would be for Kryten to quote the number of regulation and then in response to a challenge would quote the entire regulation, to which one of the crew would respond with some pithy comment or other. Later on, Rimmer attempts to fight back by quoting from the same regulations, but his imperfect recall of the Directives means that he normally quotes the wrong paragraph number and instead references obscure and bizarre Directives that have little or no relevance to the situation at hand.
Rimmer's habit of quoting Space Corps directives eventually becomes a key part of his personality, so much so that when Lister begins to miss Rimmer in Series VII, Episode "Blue", he has a homoerotic dream in which Kochanski's inability to cite Space Corps directives is seen as a defect:
RIMMER: Is she [Kochanski] as good as me?
LISTER: Well, she's been here a few weeks and she hasn't quoted one Space Corps directive.
List of Known Directives
Directives from the TV Series
- 005. 'Gross negligence, leading to the endangerment of personnel.' (titled as an article, Queeg)
- 112. 'that clearly states: a living crew member always out-ranks a hologram' (Series V, Rimmer mistakes it for SCD113 instead of SCD112, also mentioned in White Hole)
- 142. 'quite clearly states that in a hostage demand situation, a hologrammatic personality is entirely expendable' (Series V, Rimmer mistakes it for SCD192 instead of SCD142)
- 147. 'Crew members are expressly forbidden from leaving their vessel except on permission of a permit. Permits can only be issued by the Chief Navigation Officer, who is expressly forbidden from issuing them except on production of a permit.' ("Ouroboros", also quoted in the Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 195. States that in an emergency power situation, a hologrammatic crewmember must lay down his life in order that the living crew-members might survive. ("White Hole")
- 312. States that crew members in quarantine must be provided with minimum leisure facilities, which Rimmer takes to mean: 'a chess set with 31 missing pieces, a knitting magazine with a pull-out special on crocheted hats, a puzzle magazine with all the crosswords completed and a video of the excellent cinematic treat, Wallpapering, Painting, and Stippling — A DIY Guide. ("Quarantine")
- 497. 'When a crewmember has run out of credits, food may not be supplied until the balance is restored' (although titled as an article) (Queeg)
- 595. A quarantine regulation (probably something like "any crew member who has been in direct contact with diseases must enter quarantine"). ("Quarantine")
- 596. Crew files are for the eyes of the Captain only ("Back to Earth (Part Two)")
- 597. One berth per registered crew member. ("Quarantine")
- 699. States that crew members may demand a rescreening after five days in quarantine showing no ill effect. ("Quarantine")
- 1742. 'No member of the Corps should ever report for active duty in a ginger toupee.' ("Psirens", also quoted in the Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 1743. 'No registered vessel should attempt to traverse an asteroid belt without deflectors.' ("Psirens")
- 5796. 'No officer above the rank of Mess Sergeant is permitted to go into combat with pierced nipples.' ("Psirens")
- 5797. May have something to do with "not letting a crew-member aboard if he may, in fact, be a brain-sucking psychotic temporal lobe slurper". ("Psirens")
- 34124. 'No officer with false teeth should attempt oral sex in zero gravity.' ("Legion", also quoted in the Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 68250. Is never quoted, but is known to be impossible without at least one live chicken and a rabbi, presumably the Jewish Ritual "Kapparot". ("Emohawk")
- 196156. 'Any officer caught sniffing the saddle of the exercise bicycle in the women's gym will be discharged without trial.' ("Rimmerworld", also quoted in the Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 1947945. 'A mechanoid may issue orders to human crew members if the lives of said crew members are directly or indirectly under threat from a hitherto unperceived source and there is inadequate time to explain the precise nature of the enormous and most imminent death threat.' (quoted by Kryten in the original script for "Back to Reality") In the deleted scenes in the DVD extras Kryten says 1975456-6 and it ends "…inadequate time to explain the precise nature of the unforeseen death threat".
- 39436175880932/B. 'All nations attending the conference are only allocated one car parking space.' (Although this is given the title ' The All-Nations Agreement') ("Gunmen of the Apocalypse")
- 39436175880932/C. 'POWs have a right to non-violent constraint.' ("Gunmen of the Apocalypse")
- ?. 'It is our primary overriding duty to contact other life forms, exchange information, and, wherever possible, bring them home.' (Not given a number on-screen.) ("Polymorph")
- ?. 'Space Corps super-chimps performing acts of indecency in zero-gravity will lose all banana privileges.' (Not given a number on-screen.) ("Back to Earth (Part Two)")
Directives from other sources
Several other directives appear in other official sources, including in the Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book.
- 003. 'By joining Star Corps each individual tacitly consents to give up his inalienable rights to life, liberty and adequate toilet facilities.' (Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 349. 'Any officer found to have been slaughtered and replaced by a shape-changing chameleonic life form shall forfeit all pension rights.' (Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 592. 'In an emergency situation involving two or more officers of equal rank, seniority will be given to whichever officer can programme a VCR.' (PBS ident, also included on the DVD for series VIII, Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 723. 'Terraformers are expressly forbidden from recreating Swindon.' (Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book). In the United States, 'Swindon' is changed to 'Cleveland'. (PBS ident, also included on the DVD for series VIII).
- 997. 'Work done by an officer's doppelgänger in a parallel universe cannot be claimed as overtime.' (Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 1694. 'During temporal disturbances, no questions shall be raised about any crew member whose timesheet shows him or her clocking off 187 years before he clocked on.' (Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 7214. To preserve morale during long-haul missions, all male officers above the rank of First Technician must, during panto season, be ready to put on a dress and a pair of false breasts. (Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 7713. States that the log must be kept up to date at all times with current service records, complete mission data and a comprehensive and accurate list of all crew birthdays so that senior officers may avoid bitter and embarrassing silences when meeting in the corridor with subordinates who have not received a card. (Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 43872. 'Suntans will be worn during off-duty hours only.' (Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book)
- 98247. 'No officer should be left behind on an inhabited planet unless he is missing two or more limbs.' (Advertising for the 2009 Red Dwarf special episodes. Message 2)
- 572 436 8217968B. 'At all times show your allegiance to Red Dwarf in the US by picking up your phone and calling your local public television station with your pledge.' (PBS ident, also included on the DVD for series VIII; Kryten complains that Rimmer has just made it up)
- 271. 'No chance, you metal bastard.' Used to counter Space Corps Directive 195 in the episode "White Hole".
- ?. An unspecified directive after the crew was attacked by a polymorph (simply referred to as "The Rimmer Directive"): 'Never tangle with anything that's got more teeth than the entire Osmond family.' ("Polymorph")
- Directives at PlanetSmeg. Retrieved 10 February 2012
- Elyce Rae Helford "'OK, homeboys, let's posse!' Masculine anxiety, gender, race and class in Red Dwarf" in John R. Cook, Peter Wright, (2006), British science fiction television: a hitchhiker's guide, pages 255-6. I.B.Tauris
- Paul Alexander, (1995), Red Dwarf Log Book 1996. William Heinemann. ISBN 0-434-00370-0
- Scanning Jupiter. Retrieved 10 February 2012