Spacecraft in Red Dwarf
The British television comedy Red Dwarf prominently features many different spaceships. The three principal ships are the Red Dwarf ship itself and its two main types of shuttlecraft, known as Starbug and Blue Midget. Several other ships have appeared for one or two episodes only but are nonetheless important to Red Dwarf continuity. Several spaceships have been seen only in one episode, and a few ships have also been mentioned but not seen.
- 1 Main ships
- 2 Guest ships
- 3 Ships mentioned by name
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
The eponymous spaceship Red Dwarf is an enormous mining vessel owned by the Jupiter Mining Corporation. In the first episode "The End" (1988), and in some episodes early in the series chronologically set before the first episode, it is commanded by Captain Frank Hollister.[note 1] For most of the show, Second Technician Arnold Rimmer is the self-imposed commander of this ship following the captain's off screen death in "The End", despite Rimmer being a deceased hologram. Holly says in both "Me²" (1988) and "Thanks for the Memory" (1988) that the ship has enough food and drink to last 30,000 years, but in "Thanks for the Memory" he says they have run out of Shake n' Vac, and in "Me²", he claims there is only one After Eight mint left, and everyone is too polite to take it. In the novel Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (1989), the ship is described as being 6 miles (10 km) long, 4 miles (6.5 km) tall, and 3 miles (5 km) wide. However, in the episode "DNA" (1991), the Cat describes the ship as being 5 miles (8 km) long. The jagged shape and dull red colour of the vessel has led to the vessel being described in the episode "Psirens" (1993) as a "gigantic red trash can". All of Red Dwarf's systems are controlled by the computer Holly, although in Back to Earth (2009), Holly is depicted as being non-functioning after being washed out by a nine-year-overflowing bath, and is still evidently non-functioning as of "Twentica" (2016). The last mention of Holly is in "Fathers and Suns" (2012) when Kryten mentions that he misses him. In Series X the ship is instead run by the JMC On-Board Computer in Holly's absence. The On-Board Computer is not a character but rather an automated system that does not seem to have artificial intelligence and behaves as if the ship is still fully staffed and operating normally, at one point even threatening to demote Rimmer for not showing up to work in three million years.
A small asteroid is embedded in Red Dwarf's underbelly. Upon the reconstruction of Red Dwarf in Series VIII, there are two asteroids. The asteroids are being mined, rather than accidental strikes resulting in fusion with the ship's structure.
The "scoop" on the front of the ship sucks hydrogen from the currents in space and converts it into fuel like a Bussard ramjet and can, theoretically, keep going forever. At the start of the series, it has been travelling for roughly 3,000,000 years.
Red Dwarf has a large complement of shuttles, including Starbugs and Blue Midgets. Another shuttle type only mentioned in the novels but never so much as mentioned on the television series is White Giant. The first episode, "The End", mentions that Red Dwarf has botanical gardens, when third-class technician Dave Lister and second-class technician Arnold Rimmer are sent off to repair a "faulty power circuit" there.
The crew size is repeatedly stated in Series I to have been 169, but in the episode "Justice" (1991), Rimmer is charged and convicted for the second degree murder of 1,167 people after negligence in failing to reseal a drive plate, which was first mentioned in "The End", resulted in the deaths of the entire crew (Lister and Rimmer not being counted in the charges), although this retcon was implicitly reversed by Lister giving his crew number as 000169 in "The Inquisitor" (1992). "Timewave" (2017) again states the number of people Rimmer killed after misrepairing the drive plate as "over a thousand". In Back in the Red (1999), Holly reveals that there are 400 people in a classified prison on the secret Floor 13.
Red Dwarf itself is the main setting for every series save for VI and VII, which take place on Starbug. Red Dwarf is revealed to have been stolen in the sixth series premiere "Psirens". In the Series VII finale "Nanarchy" (1997), it is discovered that a collective of rogue nanobots which form the mechanoid Kryten's auto-repair system dismantled Red Dwarf and created their own nano-version of the ship. The crew chase this nano-version of the ship in Starbug and eventually convince the nanobots to rebuild the ship.
In Back in the Red, Holly reveals that he created a new set of nanobots to resurrect the dead crew as well. This causes some disorientation among the formerly dead denizens of the reconstructed Red Dwarf, including the reinstated Captain. The rebuilt ship is based on the original specifications, before the Jupiter Mining Corporation made cutbacks, meaning it becomes even larger than the Red Dwarf of the first five series, with a quark-level matter/anti-matter generator and a karaoke bar on level 6 (this was classified information that was repeated to a crew member by the coffee machine on G-deck). This version of the ship was also retconned into the remastered editions of series I–III, which replaced the original model shots with new CGI equivalents.
After a corrosive microbe nearly destroys Red Dwarf in "Only the Good..." (1999), with Lister, Cat, Kryten and Kristine Kochanski shown escaping into a mirror universe and Rimmer left behind to die, the ship is seen intact and fully functional again nine years later in the narrative in the special Back to Earth, with only Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten on board (and Kochanski absent, but revealed to have survived). Exactly how the ship was saved from destruction is not explained, although in "The Beginning" (2012), Rimmer claims that he saved Red Dwarf from the microbe. Kryten says that Rimmer shouldn't take the credit for what had happened, while the Cat describes the event as a "total fluke". On two occasions, Rimmer and Kryten try to clarify what happened specifically, but they are respectively interrupted by the Cat and Hogey the Roguey.
Beginning in Series X, miniatures replaced CGI as the show's primary visual effects for the first time since Series VI. As the original Red Dwarf models had long since been destroyed, the last in existence built for and blown up in the Series V episode "Demons and Angels" (1992), the long unused model originally built for the re-mastered series I-III was taken out of storage and shortened. Though the model was now both much closer in shape and even the same 8 foot (2.4 m) length as the Series I original, the overall physical features of the ship, most noticeably the ram scoop and rear thrusters, are those of the Re-Mastered/Series VIII design.
Notable areas of the ship over the past series include:
- Rimmer and Lister's original sleeping quarters — The main setting for the first two series. A grey room with bunk beds built into the wall, a table, two lockers, a sink with a mirror that also acts as a computer screen and a voice activated toilet. It made a reappearance in the first episode of Series VIII. This room was used as the background for the Red Dwarf: The Bodysnatcher Collection DVD cover.
- Rimmer and Lister's second sleeping quarters — In Series III, they relocate to a room in the unused Officer's Block; substantially larger, with a cream colour scheme and en suite shower as well as classier versions of much of the apparatus from their original quarters. This room was used as the background for the Red Dwarf Series IV DVD cover.
- Rimmer and Lister's third sleeping quarters — In the 2009 special Back to Earth, the crew once again move to a new sleeping area. This new room is white and features a console in the centre of the room that is reminiscent of the TARDIS console seen in Doctor Who. This room also features a large window that takes up one entire wall.
- Rimmer and Lister's fourth sleeping quarters — Series X, Rimmer and Lister relocate again to a large sleeping quarters, this time with a dark red and black colour scheme. It has many of the same features as previous quarters, but also includes a red and black leather sofa and a TV mounted to the ceiling.
- Level 147 — Appearing to have been the nerve centre of the vessel, it contained the Central Drive Room, the navigational control centre of the ship, where Kristine Kochanski used to work as well as the other senior officers. The Central Drive Room also contains the Navicomp, the ship's navigational computer, and several computer monitors which Holly used to project his/her image and communicate with the crew. Captain Frank Hollister's office is also on Floor 147, next to the Central Drive Room. The stasis booth in which Dave Lister is frozen in suspended animation for three million years is also on Level 147.
- Level 592 contains the Hologram projection suite, according to Holly in the episode "Queeg" (1988). In "Thanks for the Memory" (1988), Lister goes here to give Rimmer eight months worth of his memories. In "Queeg", a meteor strikes the ship on Level 592, damaging the Hologram suite which results in some erratic behavior by Rimmer until the damage is corrected by Lister.
- The Series X Drive Room — A highly utilized room in Series X, set up much like the Starbug cockpit with four seats and panels at each. Used for both casual dialogue and serious plot-driven scenes.
- The Science Room — The crew's main area of conducting technical business such as mind swaps and consultations with Holly, the ship's computer, in Series III–V.
- The cargo bay — The area of the ship where the fleets of Starbugs and Blue Midgets are stored and from where these ships launch and land.
- White Corridor 159 — The initial site of the accident that wiped out the crew. It is where Lister collapses in the episode "Confidence and Paranoia" (1988). There is another Stasis booth visible during this scene on Level 159.
- The CopaCabana Cocktail Bar — where Lister and his drinking buddies Petersen, Chen, and Selby often met to drink. Seen in various episodes of Series I.
- Parrot's Bar — A wine bar on G Deck, apparently named purely for a Casablanca gag. ("We'll always have Parrot's.") This area was seen in the episode "Camille" (1991).
- The Tank — A two-hundred cell prison on the top-secret Floor Thirteen of Red Dwarf, which held in custody 400 hardened criminals on their way to a penal colony on Adelphi 12. However, when the nanobots rebuild Red Dwarf in "Nanarchy" (1997), they are seen doing so to original JMC plans according to Back in the Red (1999), also rebuilding the Tank in the process and resurrecting the inmates of the prison too. The Tank is the main setting for Series VIII as the regular cast are imprisoned there. The Tank was used as the background for the cover of the Red Dwarf Series VIII DVD.
Blue Midget is a type of shuttle which Red Dwarf carries. Its fuselage resembles that of a Chinook helicopter, although it also has features of a truck or tank (as it features caterpillar tracks and a bumper sticker that reads "My Other Space Ship is a Red Dwarf"), and its cockpit can hold a maximum of four people. Blue Midget was the only shuttlecraft used for Series II, and it was used as the background for the Red Dwarf Series II DVD cover.
By Series III, and the introduction of Kryten as a main character, a bigger shuttle was needed[clarification needed] and Blue Midget faded into the background, only featuring in two episodes of Series III and not showing up at all again until Series VIII. In Series X it took over again as primary shuttle craft even prominently featuring in the opening titles. As of Series XI, however, Starbug has taken the position back again and Blue Midget did not feature.
For Red Dwarf Remastered, Blue Midget was completely redesigned to resemble a bubble car with retractable legs used for taking off and walking (replacing the caterpillar tracks), and small arms. The new design was also used for Blue Midget's reappearance in Series VIII, where the ship gained its third, substantially larger cockpit; this came in tandem with Kryten's nanobots' reconstruction of Red Dwarf, also with a complete redesign. The walker design carried over when the ship reappeared in Series X, though the legs and arms do not feature. This time the physical model originally built for Red Dwarf Remastered, which had never been used, replaced the CGI version. The cockpit was again given a redesign more akin to that of the Series VI–VII Starbug cockpit with four seats. The set itself was a heavy modification of the Series X Drive Room.
Blue Midget also features in the first two Red Dwarf novels. In the second novel Better Than Life (1990), after a polymorph finds its way aboard the shuttlecraft, the craft is made to self-destruct at the insistence of Lister.
The Jupiter Mining Corporation transport vehicle Starbug[note 2] is a relatively small shuttlecraft, green in colour. It has three bulbous sections, the cockpit, midsection and engine rooms, somewhat resembling a bug from the exterior. Beginning with its introduction in Series III, Starbug replaces Blue Midget as the crew's primary choice of shuttle except when Blue Midget took the position for Series X. Starbug replaces Red Dwarf as the main setting of the show throughout Series VI and VII. The episode "Backwards" (1989) mentions a Starbug 1 as well as a Starbug 2, though Starbug 2 is only ever seen in "Back to Reality" (1992).
The original Red Dwarf is equipped with at least four Starbug vessels, as Starbugs are abandoned in the episodes "Backwards" and "Terrorform" (1992) as a result of crashes by Rimmer and Kryten, with Lister and Cat retrieving the two in another Starbug both times, and in "Bodyswap" (1989) after Rimmer (using Lister's body) crashes it and is retrieved by the others in Blue Midget. The reconstructed Red Dwarf, according to the Series VIII Back in the Red episode,[clarification needed] contains an entire fleet of Starbugs and Blue Midgets, but the nanobots reconstructed Red Dwarf to its original design specifications prior to the fleet being shown.
Starbug's introduction was prompted by the introduction of Kryten as a main character, which required a new, bigger shuttle to hold the crew.[clarification needed] The original concept of Starbug was named White Midget and was going to be white. With the second episode seeing Starbug crashing into a snow-covered planet the design team decided to recolour the ship green to increase contrast and renamed it Green Midget, before realising its similarity to a bug and renaming it once more as Starbug. Starbug is shown to have an internal cloaking device installed in the episode "Backwards". Starbug was used as the background for the Red Dwarf Series III DVD cover.
Series VI takes place a full two centuries after the final episodes of Series V. The internal layout of Starbug differs from that of the vessel's appearances in previous episodes. The new design features four main areas: the cockpit in the front section, the midsection and galley on the middle section bottom deck, the observation room (which doubles as quarters and medibay) on the middle section top deck, and the engine room, which is over all three decks of the rear section. In addition, Starbug is finally armed with laser cannons in the episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" (1993) by rogue simulants looking for a challenge.
For Series VII, Starbug was redesigned again, the model shots replaced with CGI, and the sets were made substantially larger. The complex explanation on this occasion for the redesign, first seen in the episode "Tikka to Ride" (1997), was due to a time paradox caused by the Dwarfers' battle with their future selves in the previous episode "Out of Time" (1993). Kryten explains that "dimensional anomalies" caused by this time paradox had expanded the engineering section, the cargo bay section and the maintenance ducts by over 212%. Apparently parts of the upgraded future version of Starbug from the timeline they erased also come to co-exist with the present Starbug.[original research?]
The new model has a smaller cockpit window (as a result of the rest of the craft being larger) and newly backward-angled legs, and its larger size allows for many extra rooms, including separate quarters, a medibay and a re-designed artificial reality suite. This version of Starbug would finally be destroyed when the ship crashes and explodes in the newly-rebuilt Red Dwarf during part one of Back in the Red (1999).
Starbug reverted to its classic design in Series X, as the production refurbished an old model from an earlier series. This model is briefly seen in "Entangled" (2012), though its cockpit is not.
Series XI revamped Starbug ship to marry the classic and VII designs. The swept-back legs of Series VII and VIII feature prominently, though with the larger cockpit glass of Series VI and before. "Starbug 1" is also written in larger text, the landing feet are much smaller, and the landing struts have extra joints to accommodate the legs' transition from landing position to swept-back flying position.
A new cockpit also appears on screen in Series XI, the first time a Starbug cockpit has been seen since Series VIII.
In the Red Dwarf novels,[clarification needed] Starbug also crashes onto an ice world: a rogue planet which, after being captured in a star's orbit and having its ice melted, turns out to be the Earth itself, which was ripped from its orbit after being officially renamed "Garbage World" and turned into the solar system's rubbish tip. Following the thawing of the ice, Starbug is all but destroyed by extremely concentrated acid rain. However, Starbug is back and functional in both the following novels.[clarification needed]
Carbug is featured in the three-part special Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (2009). Designed by Mark Harris, it is a customised Smart Fortwo that is coated in green vinyl in the same green as the original Starbug; it also has various added engines and wings to make it look like the Bug. Chris Barrie (doing his best Jeremy Clarkson impersonation) made a spoof Top Gear style feature about Carbug for the official Dave website. In the special, the Dwarfers find themselves in a hallucination caused by a despair squid. In this delusional state, they borrow Carbug from Swallow, a maker of movie props, in order to track down their creator after discovering that they are in fact fictional characters who have somehow escaped from a TV show called Red Dwarf. Within this hallucination's universe, Carbug originally belonged to the Red Dwarf fan club president and was stolen by Swallow after the fictional series IX had finished shooting.
White Midget was going to be the second type of shuttle held aboard Red Dwarf in addition to Blue Midget - the introduction of the character Kryten necessitated the introduction of a larger shuttle. White Midget went through at least one redesign in the concept stage, which changed it to the shape of three spheres like the segments of a bug. It was later renamed Green Midget and later still Starbug. The Red Dwarf Companion includes a sketch of an unused shuttlecraft design that is described as being the design for White Midget. This also features an early Starbug design labelled "Green Midget".
However, a ship called White Midget is mentioned in the episode "Bodyswap" (1989) as a ship that Lister (in Rimmer's body) was going to use. However, after Cat volunteers to use it, they leave Red Dwarf with Blue Midget. According to the book in Series 3,[clarification needed] White Midget did not exist, only Blue Midget did.
A ship named White Midget would finally appear on-screen in Series VII episode "Ouroboros", in a flashback to Kochanski's alternate universe pre-accident. It is seen approaching Red Dwarf and appears to be a transport/passenger/personnel specialised vehicle as it delivers Dave Lister back to Red Dwarf from his shore leave on Mimas before the accident that wiped out the crew of Red Dwarf.[original research?] White Midget may however be an alternate universe version to Blue Midget in Kochanski's dimension. The White Midget model used for "Ouroboros" was actually a converted Blue Midget model, last used in Series III. Mike Tucker and freelancer Alan Brennan refurbished the original model, adding a nose-cone, wings and back engines and repainted it.
An unnamed, white ship would appear as the Canaries' primary transport in Series VIII.
White Giant is a shuttlecraft on Red Dwarf that only features in the Red Dwarf novels and is never mentioned in the television series. It's never explained what the craft looks like.
In the second Red Dwarf novel, Better Than Life (1990), Rimmer and Cat use White Giant to find Lister on Garbage World. Given that Starbug was destroyed by acid rain, and the destruction of Blue Midget, White Giant was left as the only remaining shuttlecraft for Red Dwarf. However, in the two sequel novels Last Human (1995) and Backwards (1996), Starbug has been rebuilt and White Giant never appears.
White Giant may be the white ship which appears in Series VIII as the shuttle used by the Canaries, the so-called suicide squad who attempt dangerous missions.[original research?]
The wreck of the Nova 5 was discovered in the episode "Kryten" (1988), and is in fact the first spacecraft seen in the show apart from Red Dwarf itself. The Nova 5 crashed an unspecified amount of time prior to the episode. All of the crew were killed in the crash except for three women who died an unknown time later. The hyperactive series 4000[note 3] service mechanoid Kryten was still attending to his long-dead masters (now skeletons) when he encounters the members of Red Dwarf. The Nova 5 is never seen after that episode, but is mentioned several times afterwards and recalled by Kryten with much fondness.
In the episode "Ouroboros" (1997), it is revealed that Kryten was responsible for the accident that killed the ship's crew. A reason has not been given in the series, but the novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (1989) explains that the crash was caused by Kryten cleaning the sensitive computer terminals with soapy water.
In the novel, Nova 5 is an American vessel owned by The Coca-Cola Company which was sent on a mission to induce the supernova of 128 supergiant stars in order to create a five-week-long message in the sky visible even in daylight, reading "COKE ADDS LIFE!" After the Red Dwarf crew finds the wreck it is brought aboard and repaired in order to utilise its Duality Jump engine, which could get the crew back to Earth within three months. However, although the ship is successfully repaired, circumstances prevent them from ever going through with it.
The DNA Ship
The "DNA Ship" is described in the episode "DNA" (1991) as coming from a later period of Earth's history and having been crewed by a human — who died after the DNA-transforming machine on board caused him to grow three heads. This was an unnamed vessel of extremely advanced construction — so much so that Rimmer assumed it belonged to aliens intent on returning Glenn Miller. Its most notable feature, however, was the advanced machine for the transmogrification of human DNA. This machine was so advanced it is shown in this episode turning human being Lister into a chicken and back again without lasting effects. Kryten, who has a partially organic brain, accidentally uses the DNA machine in this episode to become human for a time.
Wildfire is Ace Rimmer's personal ship. Wildfire is a one-man craft with only a cockpit, and is run by a computer who has a crush on Ace Rimmer. It first appeared in the episode "Dimension Jump" (1991), which also introduced Ace Rimmer. Its second appearance was in the episode "Stoke Me a Clipper" (1997), where it was slightly redesigned, being small enough to fit inside Starbug's hangar. Wildfire was created in Ace Rimmer's own dimension by his team on Mimas, including "Spanners" Lister, and is capable of crossing the barrier between alternate dimensions. Ace Rimmer agrees to test-fly it in "Dimension Jump" even though it is a one-way ticket as there is no way of returning to his own dimension.
Wildfire is never named in the TV series: it is only named in the Red Dwarf novel Backwards (1996), where it was built on Europa rather than Mimas. In that novel (the novels had different stories to the TV series) Wildfire is taken by a teenage Lister and Cat after Ace, Kryten and Rimmer die, so they can escape because Starbug is on an unstoppable collision course towards a planet.
In "Holoship", the Enlightenment is depicted as a hologrammatic ship with no mass or volume and composed entirely of tachyons, or super-light particles, and which has the ability to travel many multiples the speed of light and even create wormholes to travel instantaneously from one point in space to the other. The Enlightenment carries a hologrammatical crew of 2,000 – no more holograms can be projected or it would be too much of a drain of the system. All of the crew are all top of their field; some are geniuses and most of them have an IQ over 200. They have abandoned all concept of relationships and family, and ship regulations say that each crew member must participate in sexual congress at least twice daily, for exercise and to relieve frustration. Since holograms can touch one another (revealed in "Parallel Universe") and as the ship is also a hologram, holograms have a physical presence on board, being able to eat, drink, touch, feel and taste anything on the ship.
Although described as "a computer generated ship", the ship used in this episode is in fact a model made of transparent plastic.
According to backstory in the episode, its three-year mission was to explore deep space and locate potential S3 (or Earth-like) planets that were covered by ocean, introduce primitive life-forms to these extraterrestrial environments and finally speed up the evolutionary process. On one ocean planet the Esperanto succeeded in causing five million years' worth of aquatic evolution in just three solar years. The SSS Esperanto crashed onto the ocean floor when it was attacked by one of the creatures she had helped create: a gigantic squid-like creature whose ink had hallucinatory and despair-inducing properties. The ink caused all the crew of the Esperanto, and even a stray fish, to have hallucinations which made them despair and commit suicide. The fish committed suicide by voluntarily closing its own gills.
This space station appears in the episode "Legion" (1993). The station was created by four of "the most brilliant minds of the 23rd century". Although apparently abandoned, it is home to a "gestalt entity" called Legion, made up of the combined consciousness of any beings who are on board the station.
The Simulant Battle Cruiser
This unnamed vessel appears in two episodes: "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" (1993) and "Rimmerworld" (1993). It is crewed by Rogue Simulants who roam deep space. In "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", the Simulants are described as looking for other vessels to hunt or compete with in battle for the purposes of sport, while in "Rimmerworld", Kryten says that they hold victims so that they can torture them; some subjects staying alive in agony for over forty years. In "Rimmerworld", the Simulant vessel is shown containing a number of components looted from other vessels, including an escape pod taken from a seeding ship. It also incorporates a great deal of advanced technology (most notably a teleporter) and a large store of food in order to sustain the Simulants' torture victims.
The Simulant ship is heavily armed with laser cannons, but it is apparently not very well armoured, however, as a few laser blasts from Starbug in "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" are enough to blow the Simulant ship into two halves. The ship resembles a cow's skull.
The Gemini 12 appears in the episodes "Out of Time" (1993), and Tikka to Ride (1997). It is a mysterious spaceship capable of time travel and originating from the 28th century. According to backstory in "Out of Time", her ill-fated maiden voyage was a covert reconnaissance mission to the 20th century, during which the unfortunate crew inadvertently contracted a 20th-century influenza virus and died. Before their deaths, the crew sent the ship into deep space operating on autopilot. After falling into orbit around a gas giant, the Gemini 12 activated its unusual security system — a giant enveloping gas cloud which contained a "reality minefield". This consisted of temporary bubbles of "unreality" which would confuse and disorientate any trespassers. In "Out of Time", Starbug goes through the unreality bubbles, with the crew in cryogenic sleep so they wouldn't be affected by the unreality bubbles. When they find the Gemini 12, they take the Time Drive and install it on Starbug. Both episodes revolve around the use of the Time Drive, but it causes so many problems that the crew decide never to use it again.
The Gemini 12 has had four different appearances, none of which are compatible. For "Out of Time", the production team weren't able to build a new model and instead used stock footage from the episode "Justice" (1991). For the next episode, "Tikka to Ride", there was a failed attempt to build an all-new CGI design before it was decided to use another ship that would appear later in the same series, the SS Centauri. Finally, for "Tikka to Ride Remastered" on the Red Dwarf series VII DVD, an entirely new design was made using CGI.
The SS Centauri appears in the episode "Beyond a Joke" (1997). It is a derelict spaceship which the crew board in order to locate some spare mechanoid heads. However, the Centauri has been commandeered by a Rogue Simulant captain. Kryten meets another an identical mechanoid named Able who is a servant to the Simulant. The pair escape to Starbug, but the Centauri attacks them. The crew are saved by Able, who sacrifices his life for them by attacking the Centauri with pent-up emotions, enticing the simulant to destroy himself and his ship in a fit of depression.
The Leviathan is a plague ship seen in the episode "Epideme" (1997) which the Dwarfers discover in a space glacier containing the Epideme virus that infects Lister, nearly killing him. It crashed because of an engine overload. It is very large.
The SS Silverberg is seen in the episode "Cassandra" (1999). It is aboard the Silverberg that the Canaries are depicted finding Cassandra, a computer who can predict the future with 100% accuracy. It was originally believed that the ship crashed and something devoured the crew, but in fact the Silverberg had been programmed to crash on auto-pilot so as to get rid of Cassandra.
SS Manny Celeste
The SS Manny Celeste appears in part one of the two-part story Pete (1999). Kryten, Kochanski and the Cat are sent on a Canary mission to the SS Manny Celeste to search for a missing Canary battalion. While aboard the Manny Celeste they find a group of Canaries, apparently frozen in place, with one of the men holding a "time wand" in his hand. The time wand is a device that can digitise time and release it to manipulate timefields around people or objects.
The SS Trojan is a derelict "Quantum Twister" ship discovered by the crew in the episode "Trojan" (2012). It is driven by a quantum rod, a device which tunnels through spacetime by attracting together related matter which emerged from the Big Bang.
The Samsara is a crashed spaceship featuring in the episode "Samsara" (2016). The ship contains a Karma Drive which was based on the "justice tech" featured in the episode "Justice". The Karma drive could be programmed to reward or punish crew based on their behaviour, it is revealed during the episode that only the captain is aware of the drive after it transpires two members of the Samsara crew are being punished for having a continual extra-marital affair. The two crew members subsequently decide to alter the Karma Drive settings to reward bad behaviour and punish good; this change ultimately causes the ship to crash. At some point before the crash the culprits escape in a pod. In an attempt to save themselves from the Karma Drive the remaining crew resort to lewd and extremely violent behaviour. However, this proves unsuccessful as the ship ultimately kills them all through a flash fire.
Ships mentioned by name
SS Scott Fitzgerald
The SS Augustus is a ship Kryten served on before the Nova 5. The crew all died of old age, suggesting it may have been on a long-term voyage. Kryten mentions it during the episode "Duct Soup" (1997) when the crew roams around Starbug's vents. He mentions it to Lister along with the Nova 5 as ships where the crew "abandoned" him.
The SS Einstein is mentioned in part three of the story Back in the Red (1999). It is a derelict spaceship which Kryten suggests the crew should head towards when he discovers that they are frighteningly low on fabric softener.
The SS Hermes is mentioned in "Only the Good..." (1999). The spaceship is reduced to a skeletal carcass after a highly corrosive and chameleonic microbe gets loose on board and eats away at the very ship itself, killing the crew in the process. Because of this, little is known about the Hermes, or the nature of the ship-devouring virus it fell victim to (although it is stated that the virus is synthetic). The deadly microbe then escapes on a pod from the wrecked vessel, and is unknowingly taken aboard Red Dwarf.
- The captain's first name is mentioned by one of the officers in part one of Back in the Red (1999), following his resurrection by nanobots.
- Despite multiple numeric designations of Starbug vessels in the episode "Backwards" (1989), the ship seen throughout series VI and VII and which crashes at the beginning of series VIII is officially designated by Rimmer in "Legion" (1993) as "the Jupiter Mining Corporation transport vehicle Starbug", and by the Cat in "Stoke Me a Clipper" (1997) as "the JMC transport ship Starbug".
- "The Last Day" (1989) refers to Kryten as a series III mechanoid.
- Grant, Rob; Naylor, Doug (writers); Bye, Ed (director) (15 February 1988). "The End". Red Dwarf. Series I. Episode 1. BBC. BBC2.
- Grant, Rob; Naylor, Doug (writers); Bye, Ed (director) (21 March 1988). "Me²". Red Dwarf. Series I. Episode 6. BBC. BBC2.
- Grant, Rob; Naylor, Doug (writer); Bye, Ed (director) (27 September 1988). "Stasis Leak". Red Dwarf. Series II. Episode 4. BBC. BBC2.
- Naylor, Doug (writer); Bye, Ed (director) (18 February 1999). "Part One". Back in the Red. Red Dwarf. BBC. BBC Two.
- Grant, Rob; Naylor, Doug (writers); Bye, Ed (director) (7 March 1988). "Waiting for God". Red Dwarf. Series I. Episode 4. BBC. BBC2.
Rimmer: Holly, give me access to the crew's confidential reports. Holly: Those are for the captain's eyes only, Arnold. Rimmer: Fine. Well, we'll give him ten seconds to come back from the dead, and if he hasn't managed it, we'll presume I'm in charge, yeah?
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Rimmer: Captain, I've been in effective command of Red Dwarf now for nearly four years. I've guided that ragamuffin ragtail crew of whacked out crazies and hippie peaceniks through hell and back. If I gave the order, those guys would crawl on their bellies across broken glass with their flies unzipped. So don't tell me I'm not an officer, Captain, just because in deep space, there's no academy around to award me my pips.
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Todhunter: There are a hundred and sixty-nine people on board this ship. You, Rimmer, are over one man. Why can't you two get on?
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Rimmer: Holly, I'd like to send an internal memo. Black border. Begins, 'To Dave Lister: Condolences on your passing away.' What's that poem? 'Now weary traveller, rest your head. For just like me, you're utterly dead.' Holly: Emergency. Emergency. There's an emergency going on. Lister: What is it, Hol? Holly: There's an emergency, Dave. The navi-comp's overheating and I need your help in the drive room. Lister: Come in number one-six-nine, your time is up.
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Lister: Look, I'm a nobody. Out of the hundred and sixty-nine people on board this ship, I ranked one-six-nine. Bottom of the pile.
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