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Red Dwarf episode
Terrorform (Red Dwarf).jpg
To escape from the psi-moon, the crew pretend to like Rimmer
Episode no.Series 5
Episode 3
Directed byJuliet May
Written byRob Grant & Doug Naylor
Original air date5 March 1992
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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List of Red Dwarf episodes

"Terrorform" is the third episode of science fiction sit-com Red Dwarf Series V[1] and the twenty seventh in the series run.[2] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 5 March 1992.[3] It was written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor, and was directed by Juliet May.[4] The episode's plot has the Red Dwarf crew rescuing Rimmer from a terraformed moon based on his own psyche.


Kryten and Rimmer go moon-hopping in the Starbug, but run into trouble on one particular moon when Rimmer is abducted and Kryten sustains fearful injuries as the landscape starts to reform itself. Kryten makes a creature out of his left hand and his right eye to return to Red Dwarf and find Lister and Cat. After a brief panic over mistaking the creature for a tarantula, Lister and Cat go and rescue Kryten in Starbug 2, although Rimmer is nowhere to be seen. Back on board Starbug, Kryten is patched up by Lister and tells his story.

Lister, Cat and Kryten return to the moon, and discover it is a psi-moon - an artificial planetoid that can tune into an individual's psyche and adapt its terrain to mimic his mental state. In this instance, it has reconfigured itself using Rimmer's subconscious as a template. Here, not only is Rimmer given a physical presence (thanks to a side-effect from the moon) but so are his personal demons - and there are quite a few of them. Travelling through landmarks such as the Swamp of Despair, they soon discover a graveyard filled with tombstones to various aspects of Rimmers personality, such as Generosity, Honor and Charm. Discovering an empty grave marked Hope, they realise Rimmer is in serious trouble.

A rescue attempt is proven futile as Rimmer's captor, a monster created from his dominant feelings of self-loathing, is invulnerable to bazookoid fire and his hooded legions - themselves the personifications of Rimmer's negative emotions - are many. But when Kryten reassures Rimmer that they'd never leave him behind because he's 'part of the crew', the monsters retreat and the boys are able to escape. However Starbug is slowly starting to sink into the swamp, and Kryten realises that they need to defeat the monster completely. However Lister and Kryten realise there is only one way to defeat the creature and escape: all Lister, Kryten and Cat have to do is boost Rimmer's self-confidence by persuading him that they really do like him and think he's one hell of a guy.

By boosting Rimmer's self-confidence, Rimmer's self-respect and self confidence rise up and out of their respective graves, wearing musketeer style clothes, and slay Rimmer's personal demons, allowing the dwarfers to escape. As they leave the psi-moon, however, Rimmer suspects that his fellow dwarfers only pretended to like him, to which Lister, Cat, and Kryten agree.


Another episode that was cut in the edit room although this time it was felt that some of the dialogue didn't work. The final scenes with the crew gathering around Rimmer to make him feel wanted was trimmed down.[5]

Other small cuts included the Master, who was fully built, but cut down to show only a hand, foot or shadow. This was considered more effective than seeing the character full on.[6]

Some scenes from this episode were incorporated into the second pilot (actually, a promo reel) for the prospective American Red Dwarf series.[7]

Sara Stockbridge and Francine Walker-Lee both appeared as Handmaidens.[4]

Cultural references[edit]

Kryten's Colours[edit]

During the episode, the viewer can see Kryten's internal display, which among other things shows his system status as various shades of red: Mauve, magenta, taupe, marigold, heliotrope and tangerine.


The episode was originally broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 5 March 1992 in the 9:00pm evening time slot.[3] One review said that the episode "provides an excellent example of how writers Grant and Naylor combine sci-fi premise with a closer look inside one their regular characters."[9] However, among fans it was considered as one of the weakest episodes from the series.[10]


  1. ^ "British Sitcom Guide - Red Dwarf - Series 5". www.sitcom.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  2. ^ "TV.com - Terrorform summary". www.tv.com. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
  3. ^ a b "BBC - Programme Catalogue - RED DWARF V - TERRORFORM". BBC. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
  4. ^ a b "Terrorform cast and crew". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  5. ^ "Red Dwarf Series V Production". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  6. ^ "Red Dwarf Series V Effects". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
  7. ^ Chris Howarths & Steve Lyons. Red Dwarf Programme Guide. Section 1: The History: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-86369-682-1.
  8. ^ Cast & Crew - Series V, reddwarf.co.uk. Retrieved 24 November 2012
  9. ^ Berman, Garry (2011). Best of the Britcoms: From Fawlty Towers to The Office. Taylor Trade. p. 75. ISBN 1589795660.
  10. ^ Red Dwarf Smegazine: Survey Results, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603

External links[edit]