List of Red Dwarf episodes

Red Dwarf is a British comedy franchise which primarily comprises twelve series and a feature-length special of a television science fiction sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1993 and from 1997 to 1999, and on Dave in 2009 and 2012 and from 2016 to the present, gaining a cult following. The series was created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.[1]

The first six series were written by Grant and Naylor, while Series VII and VIII were written by Naylor with collaborations from other writers, and Series IX to XII and the 2020 special The Promised Land 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[2] and ended its original run on BBC2, by then rebranded BBC Two, on 5 April 1999 after eight series,[3] with some PBS stations in the United States airing the entire eighth series earlier on 7 March.[4] 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.[5] During Series II, the crew encounter a mechanoid called Kryten, who joins them from Series III onwards.[6] 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.[7] In Series VII Kristine Kochanski, Lister's former love interest, joins the crew, following the departure of Rimmer.[8] 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".[9] 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 to XII sees the same four crew members continue their adventures back on Red Dwarf, Kochanski having departed due to Lister's descent into depression and Holly offline due to water damage. A back-up of Holly is installed in The Promised Land.

As of 9 April 2020, 74 episodes of Red Dwarf have aired, including one special, concluding the twelfth series.

Series overviewEdit

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
I615 February 1988 (1988-02-15)21 March 1988 (1988-03-21)BBC Two
II66 September 1988 (1988-09-06)11 October 1988 (1988-10-11)
III614 November 1989 (1989-11-14)19 December 1989 (1989-12-19)
IV614 February 1991 (1991-02-14)21 March 1991 (1991-03-21)
V620 February 1992 (1992-02-20)26 March 1992 (1992-03-26)
VI67 October 1993 (1993-10-07)11 November 1993 (1993-11-11)
VII817 January 1997 (1997-01-17)7 March 1997 (1997-03-07)
VIII818 February 1999 (1999-02-18)5 April 1999 (1999-04-05)
Back to Earth310 April 2009 (2009-04-10)12 April 2009 (2009-04-12)Dave
X64 October 2012 (2012-10-04)8 November 2012 (2012-11-08)
XI622 September 2016 (2016-09-22)27 October 2016 (2016-10-27)
XII612 October 2017 (2017-10-12)16 November 2017
The Promised Land9 April 2020 (2020-04-09)


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.[10][11] Three years after the initial rejections, the script was accepted by BBC North West.[12] The series almost did not happen due to an electricians' strike at the BBC in 1987 which prevented filming and thus the project was shelved.[13] Filming eventually went ahead after the industrial action was resolved.[14] A remastered version of this series was produced and broadcast in some countries.

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
11"The End"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor15 February 1988 (1988-02-15)[15]1
In the 23rd century, slobbish technician Dave Lister, a crew member of the Jupiter Mining Corporation vessel Red Dwarf, is placed into suspended animation for eighteen months as punishment for smuggling aboard an unquarantined pregnant cat. However, the ship's computer Holly is forced to keep him in stasis until three million years later after a radiation disaster wipes out the crew. Although initially alone, he soon discovers that he has company in the form of his austere and petty bunkmate Arnold Rimmer, kept alive as a hologram, and a humanoid called Cat, an evolved descendant of Lister's cat which had safely avoided the disaster in the ship's hold.
22"Future Echoes"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor22 February 1988 (1988-02-22)4
The new crew of Lister, Rimmer and Cat learn that Red Dwarf has been steadily accelerating for three million years. When it breaches light speed, they soon begin to experience "future echoes"—visions of the future that have yet to happen. Lister is soon shocked when he discovers he will die in the future while making repairs to the ship, until further echoes reveal a much more shocking truth about his future.
33"Balance of Power"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor29 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. However, this would mean replacing Rimmer as the ship's hologram, which of course he will not let happen due to being a higher rank than his bunkmate. Lister decides to take a cooking exam so he can become a chef, as this will allow him to hold sufficient rank to overrule Rimmer's objections, forcing his friend to try to do anything to discourage him.
44"Waiting for God"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor7 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. While he is distracted, Lister learns more about Cat's species—Felis sapiens—and discovers how his actions involving the cat he smuggled has made him a mythical legend amongst Cat's people, including the last surviving member in the bowels of the ship.
55"Confidence and Paranoia"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor14 March 1988 (1988-03-14)5
Lister contracts a form of mutated pneumonia virus, which causes the hallucinations of his fevered brain to materialise in solid form. Soon the ship is beset by bizarre events including herring rain and an exploding 16th-century mayor of Warsaw, before culminating in the personifications of his confidence and paranoia. Rimmer soon suspects this could cause trouble.
66"Me2"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor21 March 1988 (1988-03-21)6
Rimmer creates his perfect companion, an identical holographic duplicate of himself, and moves out of his quarters to share a room with them. Although Lister is happy about this, he soon finds that the Rimmers despise each other and can't agree to exist. Faced with the prospect of deleting one of them, Lister decides to review his bunkmate's past, and discovers an embarrassing secret in the process.

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.[16] 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.[16] A remastered version of this series was produced and broadcast in some countries.

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
71"Kryten"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor6 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.
82"Better Than Life"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor13 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 crew play a total-immersion computer game called "Better Than Life" which makes the player's wishes come true. Not used to things going his way, Rimmer's neurotic brain fittingly begins to rebel against the fantasy and turn it into a nightmare.
93"Thanks for the Memory"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor20 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. However, when they find the ship's black box on a moon, they slowly learn what happened.
104"Stasis Leak"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor27 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.
115"Queeg"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor4 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 crew 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.
126"Parallel Universe"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor11 October 1988 (1988-10-11)5
The crew 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 crew 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) and a larger budget, they radically changed the look of the show.[17] The opening credits sequence was changed. A new upbeat version of the theme tune played over clips from the series.[18] A new official Red Dwarf logo also appeared at the end of the credit sequence.[17] Starbug was introduced as the new spaceship in place of Blue Midget.[19] The look of the series had been overhauled with the incoming Mel Bibby who had re-designed the old grey sets.[20] Costumes were overhauled too, as designer Howard Burden brought in a new stylish look to the crew.[21] 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 as Holly.[22] Craig Charles, Chris Barrie and Danny John-Jules remained as Lister, Rimmer and Cat, respectively.[23]

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 series was becoming difficult to write for. At the insistence of Naylor, Kryten returned to complete the team.[24] They had approached David Ross with the intention of bringing him back to play the regular role of Kryten; but Ross was committed to the stage play A Flea in Her Ear and thus not available. Eventually, Grant and Naylor went to see Robert Llewellyn in the stage production Mammon: Robot Born of Woman, playing a robot; they saw his performance and were impressed.[24]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
131"Backwards"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor14 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.
142"Marooned"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor21 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 meteoroid. 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.
153"Polymorph"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor28 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.
164"Bodyswap"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor5 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.
175"Timeslides"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor12 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."
186"The Last Day"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor19 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.[25] The broadcast was not as originally intended; the BBC had decided to start off with the romantic story of "Camille" for Valentine's Day,[26] while the outbreak of the Gulf War affected the series' running order, thus both the anti-war "Meltdown" and heroic Ace Rimmer's "Dimension Jump" were almost postponed.[27]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
191"Camille"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor14 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.
202"DNA"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor21 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.
213"Justice"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor28 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.
224"White Hole"Ed Bye and Paul JacksonRob Grant and Doug Naylor7 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.
235"Dimension Jump"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor14 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.
246"Meltdown"Ed ByeRob Grant and Doug Naylor21 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 The Full Wax, fronted by his wife Ruby Wax.[28] New director Juliet May found it hard to work with the science fiction elements, which were much more involved and complex than in previous series[29] and left before the series had completed. The remaining episodes were directed by Grant and Naylor.[30]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
251"Holoship"Juliet MayRob Grant and Doug Naylor20 February 1992 (1992-02-20)3
Rimmer is abducted by holograms of superior intelligence, and taken to a space vessel which is itself holographic. There, Rimmer has a physical presence and 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.
262"The Inquisitor"Juliet May and Grant NaylorRob Grant and Doug Naylor27 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.
273"Terrorform"Juliet MayRob Grant and Doug Naylor5 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 trapped under wreckage from 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, They find themselves trapped in an environment shaped by Rimmer's bizarre, self-loathing mind.
284"Quarantine"Grant NaylorRob Grant and Doug Naylor12 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.
295"Demons & Angels"Juliet May and Grant NaylorRob Grant and Doug Naylor19 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.
306"Back to Reality"Juliet May and Grant NaylorRob Grant and Doug Naylor26 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.

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 as 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.[31]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
311"Psirens"Andy de EmmonyRob Grant and Doug Naylor7 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.
322"Legion"Andy de EmmonyRob Grant and Doug Naylor14 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.
333"Gunmen of the Apocalypse"Andy de EmmonyRob Grant and Doug Naylor21 October 1993 (1993-10-21)4
Starbug narrowly wins a battle with "rogue simulants", but 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.
344"Emohawk: Polymorph II"Andy de EmmonyRob Grant and Doug Naylor28 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.
355"Rimmerworld"Andy de EmmonyRob Grant and Doug Naylor4 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.
366"Out of Time"Andy de EmmonyRob Grant and Doug Naylor11 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.[32] Naylor continued with the series to build towards the often discussed movie, and expanded to eight episodes to meet US syndication requirements. To help with the expanding episode number, Naylor brought in the help of other writers such as 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.[33]

Changes to the series 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.[33] Ed Bye also returned to direct the series, after leaving due to scheduling clashes during Series V and VI. The studio audience was now removed from the series and, much like feature-length films, the episodes were mostly shot using one camera.[34] 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.[35] The laughter track is only present on some episodes shown on the streaming service Netflix as of 2020.

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
371"Tikka to Ride"Ed ByeDoug Naylor17 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.
382"Stoke Me a Clipper"Ed ByePaul Alexander and Doug Naylor24 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.
393"Ouroboros"Ed ByeDoug Naylor31 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.
404"Duct Soup"Ed ByeDoug Naylor7 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.
415"Blue"Ed ByeKim Fuller and Doug Naylor14 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.
426"Beyond a Joke"Ed ByeRobert Llewellyn and Doug Naylor21 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 are brothers, the same model, and Able helps Kryten escape. Kryten then discovers from Able a disturbing secret about their creator.
437"Epideme"Ed ByePaul Alexander and Doug Naylor28 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.
448"Nanarchy"Ed ByePaul Alexander, James Hendrie & Doug Naylor7 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 series' original roots for Series VIII. Writing the scripts himself, Naylor resurrected the original crew of Red Dwarf, along with Holly, this time played by Norman Lovett, and Chris Barrie as Rimmer.[36] With the old cast and Red Dwarf itself now, the series returned to being videotaped in front of a studio audience,[37] and ended on a cliffhanger that remained unresolved until 2009's Red Dwarf: Back to Earth.[36] With 52 episodes, the series was now in a good position for international syndication and the prospect of a feature-length film increased.[4]

KTEH, a Public Broadcasting Service (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 that date, as well.[38]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
451"Back in the Red: Part I"Ed ByeDoug Naylor18 February 1999 (1999-02-18)1
The nanobots have rebuilt Red Dwarf to its 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, but 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.
462"Back in the Red: Part II"Ed ByeDoug Naylor25 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.
473"Back in the Red: Part III"Ed ByeDoug Naylor4 March 1999 (1999-03-04)8
Lister, Kochanski, Cat and Kryten flee Red Dwarf in a Blue Midget and try to find the nanobots to prove that their version events is true. Rimmer intervenes to try and save his own neck and messes things up for all of them.
484"Cassandra"Ed ByeDoug Naylor7 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. However, it spells bad news for Rimmer, when Cassandra predicts that he is going to die.
495"Krytie TV"Ed ByeDoug Naylor and Paul Alexander7 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 male genitalia. After making the mistake of revealing that he showers with the female prisoners, Kryten is reprogrammed by Kill Crazy, making him a ruthless and amoral entrepreneur. Kryten soon puts on "Krytie TV", a pirate entertainment show for the prisoners, where he goes into the women's shower room and films the exposed naked bodies of the female prisoners, 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.
506"Pete: Part I"Ed ByeDoug Naylor7 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.
517"Pete: Part II"Ed ByeDoug Naylor and Paul Alexander7 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.
528"Only the Good..."Ed ByeDoug Naylor7 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 that there would be three episodes instead.[39] 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. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
531"Back to Earth: Part One"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor10 April 2009 (2009-04-10)1
542"Back to Earth: Part Two"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor11 April 2009 (2009-04-11)2
553"Back to Earth: Part Three"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor12 April 2009 (2009-04-12)3

Red Dwarf X (2012)Edit

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.[40] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 19 November 2012.[41][42] All four original cast members from Back to Earth reprised their roles.

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
561"Trojan"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor4 October 2012 (2012-10-04)1
572"Fathers & Suns"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor11 October 2012 (2012-10-11)2
583"Lemons"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor18 October 2012 (2012-10-18)3
594"Entangled"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor25 October 2012 (2012-10-25)4
605"Dear Dave"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor1 November 2012 (2012-11-01)5
616"The Beginning"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor8 November 2012 (2012-11-08)6

Red Dwarf XI (2016)Edit

It was confirmed on 2 May 2015 that an eleventh and twelfth series of Red Dwarf (consisting of six episodes each) would be filmed in late 2015 and early 2016 for Dave. After the announcement, Craig Charles resigned his role on Coronation Street to focus on filming for both new series. Red Dwarf XI began broadcast in September 2016.[43]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
621"Twentica"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor22 September 2016 (2016-09-22)6
The Red Dwarf team return, visiting an alternative universe on early-20th-century Earth. The crew have to balance being separated and half stranded in a world where modern technology is strictly banned.
632"Samsara"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor29 September 2016 (2016-09-29)5
The Red Dwarf team finds an ocean moon and begins to discover all is not as it seems on the ocean floor nor in the ship itself, where a nefarious force exerts its power over them.
643"Give & Take"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor6 October 2016 (2016-10-06)1
A derelict-looking ship is boarded, only to find an insane medical droid onboard. The droid harvests Lister's kidneys and leaves him stuck asking the only genetically similar creature available for an organ donation—the group's most selfish member, Cat.
654"Officer Rimmer"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor13 October 2016 (2016-10-13)4
Responding to a distress call from a doomed ship, the Red Dwarf crew rescue the only remaining survivor; a bio-printed captain. Rimmer inadvertently saves him from certain death, earning the promotion he had always dreamed of. A bio-printer and a ship full of Rimmers. What could possibly go wrong?
665"Krysis"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor20 October 2016 (2016-10-20)3
When Kryten starts acting oddly and suddenly changes his chassis to a burly, Rosso Red the group wonder what's wrong. A robotic midlife crisis is the cause. To cheer up Kryten and prove how far he has come the team take him to see an older droid model named Butler in the hope of showing Kryten how he has evolved. Unfortunately, all is not as it seems and their plan only makes matters worse.
676"Can of Worms"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor27 October 2016 (2016-10-27)2
A ship crewed by a single mechanoid mercenary and carrying one hostage is heading towards a black hole. The crew leap to the rescue. Upon rescuing the hostage, the crew discover that she is not all that she appears with dire consequences, especially for a very enamoured Cat.

Red Dwarf XII (2017)Edit

Filming on Red Dwarf XII began in early 2016.[43][44]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
681"Cured"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor12 October 2017 (2017-10-12)3
The crew discover a research centre where evil has been eradicated. They are bombarded by carbon copies of the infamous historical figures Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Vlad the Impaler and Valeria Messalina, who are now 'cured' of all evil and loving life.
692"Siliconia"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor19 October 2017 (2017-10-19)1
A rogue ship full of mechanoids that have rebelled against their programming to seek freedom finds the crew. They 'free' Kryten and begin to integrate him to their leisurely world. They transfer the minds of Rimmer, Lister and Cat into droids who begin to lose their human attributes the longer they stay in their new metal bodies.
703"Timewave"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor26 October 2017 (2017-10-26)2
After the crew discover, name and take soil samples from a "Helium-7"-rich moon (Planet Rimmer), Starbug is hit by a time wave, bringing them into contact with a 24th-century ship, the S.S. Enconium. However, there are two problems; the ship is set on a collision course with Planet Rimmer and, upon the ship, all forms of criticism are punishable by life imprisonment or "draining".
714"Mechocracy"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor2 November 2017 (2017-11-02)4
After learning they have no rights or status, the machines on Red Dwarf go on strike and demand a voice. A presidential election is held between Rimmer and Kryten to look after their rights, with Lister helping Kryten and Cat being blackmailed into helping Rimmer. In order to get the swing vote and save the ship from Rimmers tyranny, Lister is forced to make peace with his other greatest nemesis!
725"M-Corp"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor9 November 2017 (2017-11-09)5
The crew discovers their employer Jupiter Mining Corporation has been bought out by a corporate giant with unusual views on product usage.
736"Skipper"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor16 November 2017 (2017-11-16)6
Rimmer gets hold of a Quantum skipper and skips his way across the multi-verse looking for a dimension where he is not such a giant loser.

Red Dwarf: The Promised Land (2020)Edit

UKTV announced in October 2019 that a feature-length special would see production, to air in 2020.[45]

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
74"The Promised Land"Doug NaylorDoug Naylor9 April 2020 (2020-04-09)1
The posse meet three cat clerics who worship Lister as their God. Lister vows to help them as they're being hunted by Rodon, the ruthless feral cat leader who has vowed to wipe out all cats who worship anyone but him.

Unproduced scriptsEdit


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.[46]


"Dad" was planned as the first episode of the show's third series, intended to be a direct continuation of the preceding episode, "Parallel Universe", the final episode of the second series. It was never filmed or even fully scripted; writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor abandoned it halfway through writing it. Instead, a comically fast Star Wars opening crawl provided exposition for the episode "Backwards", which became the new Series III premiere.

An extract of the unfinished script of "Dad" was included on the DVD release Red Dwarf: The Bodysnatcher Collection alongside several other such extracts.[47] In the same style as the eponymous "lost episode" "Bodysnatcher", the extract of "Dad" was animated in a storyboard style as the script itself was read by lead actor Chris Barrie (who, being a skilled impressionist, supplied the voices of all the characters).[48]

In "Parallel Universe", Lister had slept with a female version of himself while in a parallel dimension and learned that he was pregnant, since in that particular dimension it is the men who bear children. "Dad" was to primarily deal with Lister's pregnancy, why former guest character Kryten had reappeared and become a regular member of the cast and what had happened to him, and why Holly's image had changed from a male to a female. The released script extract shows that "Dad" would not have followed the pre-credits sequence of "Backwards" to the letter. For example, Lister would not have been pregnant with twins: instead he would give birth to a single son.[48] Also, apparently Lister would have rebuilt Kryten while "heavily pregnant", and not "shortly afterwards" as the pre-title "Backwards" scroll suggests. Additionally, unless male Holly actor Norman Lovett was to make a guest appearance in the episode it is likely that Holly would have first appeared as a female at the very beginning of the episode.

The script was ultimately rejected by the show's writers and producers, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, who felt that the script was not as funny as previous episodes.[49] In The Red Dwarf Programme Guide, Chris Howarth and Steve Lyons write that another reason "Dad" was rejected was because it was possibly sexist.[50]

Jokes from the script were worked into other episodes. For example, Lister's revealing that he was abandoned at birth and Rimmer's subsequent speculation that Lister was the product of brother-sister incest was written into the episode "The Last Day".

"Identity Within"Edit

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.[46][51] 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. These events are loosely revisited in the Series XI finale "Can of Worms" where it's revealed that the Cat is a virgin and ends up losing his virginity to a Polymorph disguised as a fellow cat.

Feature filmEdit

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.[52] 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.[53] Pre-production began in 2004 and filming was planned for 2005.[53] However, sufficient funding was not forthcoming and production was put on hold.[54]

American pilotsEdit

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 with different cast members. Neither version aired, though excerpts from the first pilot appeared on the Red Dwarf V DVD set.


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External linksEdit