The BEST Episodes of Red Dwarf
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Sep 16, 2019
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.
#1 - Back to Reality
Season 5 - Episode 6
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 why they decided to kill themselves, before leaving behind the Esperanto to head back to Red Dwarf.
#2 - The Beginning
Season 10 - Episode 6
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.
#3 - Dimension Jump
Season 4 - Episode 5
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.
#4 - Queeg
Season 2 - Episode 5
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.
#5 - Skipper
Season 12 - Episode 6
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.
#6 - Fathers and Suns
Season 10 - Episode 2
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.
#7 - Nanarchy
Season 7 - Episode 8
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!
#8 - Backwards
Season 3 - Episode 1
Under Rimmer’s supervision, Kryten takes a driving lesson at the wheel of Starbug, Red Dwarf’s newly-revealed scout ship. A chance meeting with a wormhole, however, sends student and teacher to a world that literally has everything backwards. Conversations end at the beginning, fights un-blacken eyes, and beer tastes best when vomited into the glass. By the time Lister and the Cat mount a rescue, their crewmates have discovered the bizarre upside of life in reverse motion.
#9 - Legion
Season 6 - Episode 2
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.
#10 - Out of Time
Season 6 - Episode 6
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 to save the ship by destroying the time drive. However at the same time, One of the Starbugs shoot at the other and it is destroyed...
#11 - Rimmerworld
Season 6 - Episode 5
The gang come across the simulant ship they nearly destroyed in Gunmen of the Apocalypse and decide to board the ship and loot it for supplies despite the fact that a loud noise would cause it to disintegrate. They find a time and matter transporter on board and take it with them. One of the simulants is still alive and attacks them. Rimmer, always the brave, jumps in an escape pod but when it releases the ship begins to fall apart. The rest of the crew use the transporter to get back to Starbug and track the pod which is heading down to a planet. Unfortunately, the pod goes through a worm hole on its way causing Rimmer to be on a completely different time stream than Starbug. When he reaches the planet, Rimmer uses technology from the pod to create a woman in his image, but no matter how many times he tries all he can do is clone himself. When Starbug reaches the planet on the normal time stream, 600 years have passed on the planet and the Rimmer clones have taken over, banishing the original Rimmer to a dungeon. The others are captured and also thrown in the dungeon because they are 'different'. They find their Rimmer and use the teleporter to escape but end up on Starbug 2 weeks in the future where they learn that something terrible has happened to Lister...
#12 - Quarantine
Season 5 - Episode 4
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!
#13 - Krytie TV
Season 8 - Episode 5
Kryten complains to Lister about being placed in the women's wing of the prison and makes the fatal mistake of revealing he showers with them too. The male inmates want him to sneak in a camera and film them but he refuses. Kill Crazy and some other inmates reprogram him, turning him into a ruthless entrepreneur and he creates "Krytie TV", a pay-per-view service offering "Women's Shower Night" and other events. Lister tries to get Kryten to stop, as he and Rimmer are in the middle of an appeal against their sentences, but Kryten plays a trick on them, getting them to mistakenly trash Ackerman's quarters live on Krytie TV.
#14 - Trojan
Season 10 - Episode 1
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.
#15 - Psirens
Season 6 - Episode 1
Red Dwarf is stolen from the crew and they are forced to survive on Starbug. They go into deep sleep and are revived 200 years later when there is a chance to recapture the ship. In order to gain more ground on Red Dwarf they try to go through an asteroid belt but find that it is inhabited by alien beings called Psirens who use mind control to lure their victims and then suck out their brains.
#16 - Dear Dave
Season 10 - Episode 5
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.
#17 - Tikka to Ride
Season 7 - Episode 1
After Starbug was destroyed, the future crew no longer existed - therefore were unable to go back in time and kill the present crew, hence they survived. But unfortunately disaster has struck. Starbug is completely devoid of curries. Lister proposes that they go back in time to order a couple of hundred curries from an Indian Restaurant. The rest of the crew will not go back in time because they are afraid of becoming the future selves they saw. However, Lister removes a guilt chip from one of Kryten's spare heads and swaps them over, telling the new guilt-less Kryten to reassure them it will be OK. They go back and appear in the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas on November 22nd 1963 just as Lee Harvey Oswald is taking his shot at President Kennedy. They knock him out the window where he dies hitting the ground, preventing Kennedy's assassination. To avoid being captured they go ahead a couple of years, however Kennedy's survival causes an alternate reality where he has been impeached out of office and the new president is controlled by the Mafia, allowing the Soviet Union to build several Nuclear Silos in Cuba. Fearing the Soviets will start a nuclear war, all the major US cities are deserted. Lister goes to the airport which would have been renamed JFK Airport where Kennedy is being transported to prison. He persuades Kennedy to go back in time with them, and be the gunman on the grassy knoll, and shoot himself for the ultimate conspiracy theory. After restoring Earth's normal timeline, The gang return to Starbug. Of course they still haven't got any curries...
#18 - Gunmen of the Apocalypse
Season 6 - Episode 3
The gang is attacked by a simulant ship who upgrade Starbug with laser cannons and defensive shields and then force them to play a game of 'cat and mouse'. The crew decide not to flee but to stay and fight which stuns the simulants. Before their ship is crippled by Starbugs new offensive weapons, the simulants upload a killer virus into the navicomp. Kryten then transfers the virus to his CPU in an attempt to eradicate it. The gang watch on a virtual reality screen as Kryten's search for an antidote is manifested as a western setting where Kryten is a sheriff who has to fight the four horsemen of the Apocalypse - Death, War, Pestilence and Famine.
#19 - Better Than Life
Season 2 - Episode 2
A three million year old mail pod drifts into Red Dwarf’s path, bearing the sad news of Rimmer’s father’s death. The grief is cut short, however, by the discovery of “Better Than Life”, a total-immersion videogame that treats players to a hedonistic free-for-all. For the crew, this means fast cars, loose women and limitless wealth, Lister feasting on caviar vindaloos while the Cat dates Marilyn Monroe. How long, though, before Rimmer's neurotic brain stirs up trouble in paradise?
#20 - White Hole
Season 4 - Episode 4
An attempt to restore Holly's mind via "intelligence compression" backfires, giving her an IQ of 12,000 but just three minutes to live. With the aid of the infuriating Talkie Toaster, whose questions about life, the universe and everything invariably gravitate towards bread, the crew devises a solution, unaware that a nearby "white hole" is disrupting the passage of time. Alarmingly, it falls to Lister's contested pool-playing skills to put everything back in order.
#21 - Lemons
Season 10 - Episode 3
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.
#22 - Entangled
Season 10 - Episode 4
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.
#23 - Stoke Me a Clipper
Season 7 - Episode 2
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.
#24 - Me²
Season 1 - Episode 6
Lister's attempt to activate a second hologram - his dream date Kristine Kochanski - goes horribly wrong and creates Rimmer's ideal companion instead: himself. Moving into their own shared quarters, the two Rimmers quickly drive both the crew and each other mad, the city-sized Red Dwarf proving too small for such an insufferable pair. Before long, the conflict has escalated to the point where only one Rimmer can survive - and it falls to Lister to decide which.
#25 - Justice
Season 4 - Episode 3
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.