The BEST Episodes of Red Dwarf

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2020

Network: BBC Two

Three million years after the demise of humanity, third technician Dave Lister awakes aboard the mining ship Red Dwarf. Sentenced to a period of suspended animation for smuggling his pet cat on board, he is joined by just four fellow survivors: second technician Arnold J Rimmer, a sneering-yet-inept hologram based on his one-time superior; Holly, a ship's computer reduced to near-senility by eons adrift in space; a humanoid descendant of the cat obsessed with fashion and fish; and Kryten, a salvaged android programmed to serve his useless companions. Together, this bickering band must come to terms with an existence which, in terms of productivity and purpose, isn't that far removed from its old one.

Queeg

#1 - Queeg

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 4, 1988

Holly’s absent-mindedness allows a meteorite to hit Red Dwarf, endangering the crew and damaging Rimmer’s hologram generator. As an emergency measure, the backup computer Queeg 500 takes over the ship, subjecting its inhabitants to a physical and mental fitness regime that drives them to the point of despair. In a last-ditch bid to reclaim control, Holly proposes a winner-takes-all Chess match, despite accusations that his knowledge stems from the Junior Encyclopaedia Of Space.

star 8.32
849 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
The Last Day

#2 - The Last Day

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Dec 19, 1989

The crew intercepts a message from Kryten’s manufacturer, DivaDroid International, declaring him obsolete and announcing his successor, the all-singing, all-dancing Hudzen-10. Left with days to live by an inbuilt self-destruct programme, Kryten reflects on his robot existence, taking solace in the thought of an electronic afterlife. A farewell party prompts a change of heart, however, jeopardised by the arrival of his super-strong, murderously deranged replacement.

star 8.20
812 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Cassandra

#3 - Cassandra

Season 8 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 11, 1999

Lister mistakenly signs the gang up for the 'Canaries', prisoners that go into dangerous situations first to ensure it is safe for the important people. Their first mission is to investigate a derelict spaceship, and our crew come across a computer called 'Cassandra' who can accurately predict the future. When she predicts that Rimmer will die when the ship disintegrates, he goes to great lengths to prevent it from happening.

star 8.20
507 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor
Quarantine

#4 - Quarantine

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 12, 1992

The crew are on a snowy planet, when they come across an abandoned research centre. Rimmer objects to Kryten being in charge but is ignored by the others and goes to sulk. They send a scouter which reports that there is a scientist named Dr. Lanstrom inside the facility. Unfortunately she is a hologram and Kryten asks Rimmer to go back to Red Dwarf so they can rescue her, using another Space Corp Directive against him. Rimmer questions the validity of the Directives that Kryten uses so Holly gives Rimmer a hologrammatical copy of the directives manual, whereupon Rimmer again goes off to sulk. Going into the research center, they find the Doctor in stasis only to discover that she has contracted a holovirus that has made her insane but has given her extraordinary powers like hex vision and telekinesis at the price of her sanity. They escape when her life force is drained and she disappears, but the disease is transferred to Rimmer. When the rest of the crew get back on Red Dwarf, Rimmer forces them to stay in quarantine (to avoid catching the disease off them) and unbeknownst to him, he goes insane, locking them in without oxygen. The crew escape thanks to a luck virus which Kryten got from the facility. Rimmer chases them down the corridor with his hex vision and thanks to the luck virus injected into Lister, Kryten manages to turn him off and restore him to his previous self… Rimmer wakes up in quarantine only to discover that the other three have now contracted the virus and gone insane!

star 8.18
752 votes
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Stoke Me a Clipper

#5 - Stoke Me a Clipper

Season 7 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 24, 1997

After traveling through countless realities, Commander 'Ace' Rimmer returns to the Red Dwarf crew to ask a favor of his alternate self. It seems that the real Ace Rimmer died years ago and has been replaced many times over by his counterpart from each reality. This Ace Rimmer will soon die and asks our Rimmer to be his successor as an inter-galactic hero. After a little push from Lister, which seems to bring the two closer together, Rimmer decides to accept the offer and begins his training. When Ace dies, Rimmer dons his outfit and says his goodbye to the crew before leaving Starbug.

star 8.16
764 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Paul Alexander
Dear Dave

#6 - Dear Dave

Season 10 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 1, 2012

Lister has women trouble when he gets himself in a love triangle with Snack Dispensers 23 and 34; then, to make matter worse, gets a letter from an old girlfriend telling him she's pregnant and it might be his. Lister and Rimmer hunt through the mountain of letters from the mail pod to discover if Lister is finally a dad.

star 8.16
1,025 votes
Directors: Doug Naylor
Writers: Doug Naylor
The Beginning

#7 - The Beginning

Season 10 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 8, 2012

Hiding in an Asteroid, surrounded by a Simulant Death Ship and a fleet of Annihilators, the Dwarfers begin to wonder whether this is the beginning of the end. Only one man can save them. Unfortunately, that man is Arnold J Rimmer.

star 8.15
1,063 votes
Directors: Doug Naylor
Writers: Doug Naylor
Skipper

#8 - Skipper

Season 12 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 16, 2017

Rimmer gets hold of a Quantum skipper and skips his way across the multi-verse looking for a dimension where he's not such a giant loser.

star 8.14
504 votes
Directors: Doug Naylor
Writers: Doug Naylor
Fathers and Suns

#9 - Fathers and Suns

Season 10 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 11, 2012

Every year Lister sends himself a Father's Day card to celebrate the fact that he is his own father; but when Rimmer points out he's been a lousy father to himself, Lister decides to do something about it. Meanwhile, Rimmer and Kryten install a new computer: the beautiful - but lethally logical - Pree.

star 8.12
1,030 votes
Directors: Doug Naylor
Writers: Doug Naylor
Legion

#10 - Legion

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 14, 1993

The crew stumble on an abandoned space station and board it hoping to get some supplies. A man named Legion appears and offers each of them everything they ever wanted in the world but only if they remain on the space station forever, making the Dwarfers suspect that Legion is not at all what he seems.

star 8.11
705 votes
Directors: Andy De Emmony
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Back to Reality

#11 - Back to Reality

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 26, 1992

The crew are on an ocean planet investigating a seeding vessel called the SSS Esperanto which was studying the life forms that had been introduced by humans. They find 3 people aboard who committed suicide, and a haddock who did the same. Lister notices an oil covering everything and Kryten suggests that it is a hallucinogenic venom much like the oil from an octopus or squid. He does a chemical analysis and rushes the others back to Starbug saying that the oil contains a hallucinogen which induces despair, enough to drive the crew of the Esperanto to kill themselves. They try to escape in Starbug to avoid it happening to them, but the despair squid chases them and they crash into a rock. Starbug is destroyed. The gang wake up to find they were playing a computer game called Red Dwarf for the last four years (and they only scored 4%). Lister is the rich and successful Sebastian Doyle, Rimmer (his brother, Billy) is a bum, the Cat is the saddest geek you will ever see named Dwayne Dibley (Teeth stick out a mile, terrible taste in clothes, etc.) and Kryten is a half-human, half-machine cop named Jake Bullet. While leaving the video game building and adjusting to all that has happened, Sebastian finds out that he is the chief of an organisation called the Ministry of Alteration which organises mass murders to purify democracy. Bullet kills a cop while defending a young girl and they make a run for it and are chased by the fascist police. We then hear Holly trying to tell them that they're hallucinating, but they can't hear her. In their heads they manage to escape the police and run down an alleyway. Bullet, so appalled by his actions decides to kill himself. So do Billy and Dwayne. Sebastian, despising his mass murdering lifestyle, decides the same. Holly communicates to Kryten on a higher frequency and gets him to open a canister of Lithium Carbonate (a mood stabliser), which he thinks is a fire extinguisher. The gas saves them just in time and they reflect on w

star 8.11
805 votes
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Trojan

#12 - Trojan

Season 10 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 4, 2012

The Dwarfers' mining ship is still creaking through the wastelands of unchartered deep space, but the posse soon stumble upon the mysteriously abandoned SS Trojan. As they inspect the ship Rimmer receives an SOS distress call from an old foe, and is suddenly faced with the dilemma of his life.

star 8.10
1,239 votes
Directors: Doug Naylor
Writers: Doug Naylor
Lemons

#13 - Lemons

Season 10 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 18, 2012

Marooned in Britain in 23 AD, the Dwarfers need an 8-volt battery to power up their Returner Remote and get home. Remembering a lesson from school, Rimmer suggests they make a battery out of lemons - but the nearest lemon to Britain in 23 AD is in India, 4,000 miles away. They begin their journey, a journey that will ultimately lead them to a meeting with a historical A List Celebrity that could alter the entire history of civilisation.

star 8.09
875 votes
Directors: Doug Naylor
Writers: Doug Naylor
Entangled

#14 - Entangled

Season 10 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 25, 2012

Lister loses Rimmer in a game of poker to a group of Biologically Engineered Life Forms and in return gets an unwanted gift: a groinal exploder programmed to detonate in 24 hours unless Lister pays his debts. Meanwhile Kryten and Cat become quantum entangled and do everything in perfect unison.

star 8.09
1,009 votes
Directors: Doug Naylor
Writers: Doug Naylor
Back in the Red (2)

#15 - Back in the Red (2)

Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 25, 1999

Get Rimmer Officerhood, Power and Eminence (GROPE for short) is in full swing as he sucks up to Captain Hollister using the confidential files Lister gave him. However Rimmer will not help Lister and the others escape until he is promoted. Lister secretly takes some of the Luck Virus and escapes from the holding cell and heads to find his compadres. Kryten is classified as a woman as he has no apparent genitalia and is put in with Kochanski. This won't last long as the engineers are planning to restore him to his factory settings. One thing he cannot do is say no to a superior officer and this event ultimately happens. Lister finds Kochanski and the Cat (who is being held in the medical bay while they try to figure out exactly what he is) and the three find the no-personality Kryten. To avoid detection they dress up as the Dibbley family using mop heads as wigs and big, ugly false teeth.

star 8.08
580 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor
Dimension Jump

#16 - Dimension Jump

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 14, 1991

An alternate reality version of Rimmer literally crashes into his alter-ego while testing a dimension-jumping spacecraft. With Starbug downed after the collision, the daring, dashing Ace Rimmer attempts a one-man rescue, unaware that his doppelganger is, in this reality, an intolerable coward. Neither a broken arm nor hostile, jealous hologram can keep him from his duty, but when the company is this hopeless, even a hero finds it hard to keep his chin up.

star 8.07
861 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Pete (2)

#17 - Pete (2)

Season 8 - Episode 7 - Aired Apr 1, 1999

Our crew desperately try to turn Pete back into a sparrow before the time freeze wears off but Pete eats a scutter who was holding the time wand. The crew put out a heap of food for Pete and he eats it but then runs amok on the ship. Meanwhile the freeze wears off and Rimmer and Lister are hauled in front of Hollister who gives them a long and detailed account of how Pete ate almost all of the ship's supplies and then was sick. The time wand is retrieved and Hollister demands that they turn Pete back to normal. Lister and Rimmer complete the task and destroy the time wand, but they notice all too late that Pete had laid an egg that begins to hatch...

star 8.06
494 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Paul Alexander
Meltdown

#18 - Meltdown

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 21, 1991

Krtyen's discovery of a matter transporter device sends the crew to a distant planet, Wax World, populated entirely by theme park recreations of historic Earth figures. With Lister and the Cat imprisoned by, among other villains, the Roman emperor Caligula, Rimmer and Kryten recruit an army of heroes for a rescue operation. Unfortunately, the allied forces of Elvis, Gandhi, Stan Laurel, Pythagoras, and Noel Coward are about as effective as Rimmer's first military command.

star 8.06
605 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Back in the Red (3)

#19 - Back in the Red (3)

Season 8 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 4, 1999

Rimmer and Lister are trying to adjust to life in prison given that they are in the worst area you could possibly get. They go on about trying to survive the next two years there as we fade into ... Two Days Earlier: From where we left off, Lister, Kochanski, Cat and Kryten are dressed up as the Dibbley family and making their escape. What they don't know is that they are hooked up to a VR suite and all of this is a simulation. They climb aboard a Blue Midget, which is very different to what we have seen before. It is now a large vehicle which stands upright on two massive legs. After a fabulous display from the Cat where he tap dances with the Midget, they make their escape. Rimmer gets to the VR suite and types a command to erase any references to the deal he and Lister made. Suddenly the scene aboard the Blue Midget cuts to erase several words and it looks like a bad editing job. After several moments of jumping around they realise they are in VR.

star 8.05
541 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor
Nanarchy

#20 - Nanarchy

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Mar 7, 1997

Lister is quite annoyed that his right arm has been cut off, but seems to enjoy Kryten nursing him 24 hours a day; and Kryten is absolutely loving it. Kochanski becomes fed up with seeing Kryten doing things for him that he could easily do with one arm and comes up with a solution - use nanobots from Kryten's self-repair system to rebuild Lister's arm. Unfortunately, Kryten hasn't last seen the nanobots since they had met the Despair Squid (see Back To Reality) They all go into the deep sleep booths and make their way back to the ocean planet. The computer brings them out of deep sleep and they discover a planet which the Navicomp says is Red Dwarf. They are able to retrieve the original Holly and he explains that the nanobots had deconstructed Red Dwarf, created their own miniscule version of the ship and turned the rest into a planet for safekeeping. They realise that it was the nano version of RD that they were chasing and the nanobots evaded them by coming aboard Starbug and travelling around their own galaxy inside Lister clothes hamper. After much persuasion, Kryten convinces the nanobots to fix Lister and Red Dwarf. The nanobots follow Kryten's orders and reconstruct Lister's body, going one step further and turning him into Mr. Universe! Cat takes control and guides Starbug into Red Dwarf's landing bay. It seems awfully big and Starbug's engines make the sound of a buzzing fly as it passes under another, massive Starbug!

star 8.04
601 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, James Hendrie, Paul Alexander
Future Echoes

#21 - Future Echoes

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 22, 1988

Attempting to return to Earth at light speed, the crew experience a bizarre series of flash-forwards to future events. Some are as benign as the Cat breaking his tooth on a robot goldfish, others as disturbing as Lister’s death while performing emergency repairs. Troubled by thoughts of his imminent demise, the slobbish technician receives absolutely no support from his companions, Rimmer revelling in the belief that his fate is sealed.

star 8.04
1,088 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Justice

#22 - Justice

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Feb 28, 1991

Lister is in bed with "space mumps" when he hears the news that the gang has brought aboard a cryo-pod from a prison ship which possibly contains a guard named Barbara Bellini. Lister inspects the pod and begins the thawing process, which Rimmer objects to, saying that there were two survivors aboard the ship: Ms Bellini and a Simulant prisoner (Simulants are droids who are noted to be murderous and insane). Since it is too late -- they cannot stop the thawing process -- they decide to travel to the prison colony that the ship was heading for. They arrive on the space station and walk through a white light which Kryten says is a mind probe to seek out any unpunished criminal activity. Lister gets very edgy and confesses that he had committed some minor crimes as a teenager. The justice computer passes his verdict on them: Kryten and Cat get off, Lister does so, but barely. Rimmer, however, is sentenced to 9000 years in prison for the second degree murder of the Red Dwarf's complement of 1167 personnel -- not counting himself or Lister. Kryten believes that he can defend Rimmer and reverse the verdict and he fronts up to the justice computer, describing to it all about Rimmer's extreme inadequacy and sheer hopelessness. The computer eventually concedes that Rimmer should not have been held accountable for the deaths and releases him due to incompetence. Meanwhile the pod has thawed and the occupant has escaped. It is, of course, the simulant who was inside and he chases them through the colony. Lister finally beats him by using the power of the justice field - whatever crime you commit against someone else, the consequences happen to you. When the simulant fires at Lister, the bullets hit him instead of Lister, when he throws a knife, it comes back and hits him and so forth. The gang head back to Red Dwarf with Lister droning on and on about justice and freedom until he falls down a manhole. "Thank God for that" remarks Cat.

star 8.01
872 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Timeslides

#23 - Timeslides

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Dec 12, 1989

Lister’s despair at life after humanity lifts when Kryten, having discovered some mutated development fluid, creates photographs that literally revisit the past. With no regard for the laws of causality, Lister looks to exploit the discovery for his own ends, talking his teenaged self into inventing the “Tension Sheet”, a billion-selling sheet of painted bubble-wrap. Suddenly alone on Red Dwarf, Rimmer is left with little choice but to “save” his crewmate from a life of luxury.

star 8.00
808 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Bodyswap

#24 - Bodyswap

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 5, 1989

Lister asks a malfunctioning dispenser unit for a Toffee Crisp and triggers the ship’s self-destruct sequence, the only way out being a “body swap” with a dead, high-ranking officer. Inspired, Rimmer suggests a two-week trade: Lister’s body for his, the sweetener being that he’ll return it in tip-top physical condition. Unfortunately, the pleasures of the flesh prove too much for the weak-willed hologram, the fitness regime descending into an orgy of binging and self-abuse.

star 7.98
902 votes
Directors: Ed Bye
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant
Out of Time

#25 - Out of Time

Season 6 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 11, 1993

After Rimmer conducts a "morale-meeting", the crew find a cloud of fog from an imploded supernova and have no choice but to go through it. They get some bad turbulence, and Lister is injured revealing that he is an android! Kryten is angry that Lister is a lesser model then he and orders him to do all the work and even gives it to him for not having used a setsquare to cut the sandwiches. They find out they were in an unreality pocket, and Lister is indeed human. More of these unreality pockets pass until they decide to go into stasis until they get through the fog. In the centre of the fog they find a Space Corps derelict which is capable of time travel. They take the time drive and hook it up to Starbug's engines. After testing the time drive they are disappointed to find that although they can travel to any time in history, they are still in deep space, no closer to Earth than they were before. They return to their own time to find a future version of themselves. They invite them on board, but everyone except Kryten is sealed in the hold. Lister rigs a camera to see what's going on and he sees that Kryten is wearing a toupee, Rimmer is getting fat and the Cat is bald; but worst of all, Lister himself is just a brain in a jar! He continues to watch the meeting and finds out that their future selves are not only fat, bald and bodiless, but are souped-up snobs, who can never compliment anything, who've socialised all the most evil figures of history (Hitler, Louis XIV, Goering, the Hapsburgs, etc.), and lived in the height of luxury. Now they need help recalibrating the time drive so they can continue with their lifestyles. Lister is horribly dismayed to find out this, so the three blast open the hold, and head down to kick them out of the ship, refusing to fix the time drive. The future crew, deciding they are better off dead than to live without the time drive, stranded in space, attack the present crew. Lister, Cat and Kryten are killed, so Rimmer decides t

star 7.98
695 votes
Directors: Andy De Emmony
Writers: Doug Naylor, Rob Grant