Red Dwarf/Holoship

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Season 5, Episode 1
Airdate February 20, 1992
Writer(s) Rob Grant,
Doug Naylor
Director(s) Juliet May
← 4x06
5x02 →
The Inquisitor
Red DwarfSeason Five

Holoship is the first episode of the fifth season of Red Dwarf, and the twenty-fifth episode overall.

Guest Stars: Jane Horrocks (Commander Nirvanah Crane), Simon Day (II) (Commander Randy Navaro), Matthew Marsh (Captain Hercule Platini), Don Warrington (Commander Binks), Jane Montgomery (Commander Natalina Pushkin), Lucy Briers (Harrison)


Plot Overview

As the show opens aboard Starbug, we see the entire group watching a melodramatic movie. Lister is being quite emotional, and ends up crying like a baby. Rimmer can't understand why a man would give up everything for a woman he will never see again.

A ship is detected, a holoship. It scans Rimmer and takes him aboard.

Rimmer learns that aboard the holoship, there is a regulation requiring that every crewmember have sexual congress at least twice a day. Since they are all holograms, there is no risk of pregnancy or disease. They have sex whenever they want. They do however, consider things like love and relationships to be weaknesses. Rimmer is thrilled and decides that he would like to join.

The holoship is crewed by the cream of the Space Corps. But since the holoship has a full ship's compliment, the only way for Rimmer to gain a position is to challenge an existing crewmember. If he wins, that crewmember would be deactivated, and he would take their place. The computer chooses crewmember 4172 and estimates that he has a 96% chance of failure. He has 24 hours to prepare.

Rimmer has sex with Nirvanah Crane. She is deeply moved by the experience and falls in love with him, and he falls in love with her as well.

Rimmer realizing that he doesn't stand a chance, uses a mind patch to boost his knowledge. A mind patch is a dangerous and highly unreliable thing.

Rimmer begins the test and is moving along quite nicely, having no problems at all. However around question 396, the mind patch wears off. Rimmer, unable to apply another mind patch is prepared to withdraw, but his opponent withdraws instead.

Rimmer is shocked to learn that his opponent was Flight Commander Nirvannah Crane, the woman he loves. He goes directly to the captain and asks to resign. He is willing to give up his life on the holoship for her.


Arc Advancement



  • Rimmer has sex with Flight Commander Nirvanah Crane, and they fall in love.
    • Rimmer hardly said anything apart from Geronimo.



The Show

  • The holoship's name is "Enlightenment".
  • Members of the Enlightenment's crew salute each other by raising their (right) hand, palm forward, with only the index and pinky fingers extended.
  • Crewmembers of the Enlightenment introduce themselves with name, rank, and IQ.
  • Sam Murray was apparently a member of the original Red Dwarf crew, and was a candidate to replace Rimmer as the hologram.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments

  • Holoship crewmember Binks's recon mission ends when Lister threatens to use the holo-whip in the munitions cabinet.
  • When it seems that Rimmer might leave them, Lister and the others begin interviewing replacement holograms. A Miss Harrison has just been offered a chance to be the ship's hologram:
    • Miss Harrison: No, I think I'm better off where I am.
    • Cat: But you're dead.
    • Miss Harrison: And meeting you guys has really made me appreciate it a whole lot more.


When the holoship first appears, the Cat offers a suggestion:

Cat: Why don't we drop the defensive shields?
Kryten: A superlative suggestion, sir, with just two minor flaws. One, we don't have any defensive shields, and two, we don't have any defensive shields.

Rimmer is scanned and then disappears:

Kryten: They've taken Mr. Rimmer. Sir! They've taken Mr. Rimmer!
Cat: Quick, let's get out of here before they bring him back!

Lister is trying to get Rimmer to reconsider his ambition to be a crewmember of the holoship:

Lister: Rimmer, they're a bunch of arrogant, pompous, emotionally weird, stuck up, megalomaniacs. Do you really think you're gonna fit in with them?
[Lister thinks a bit] ...
Lister: What am I saying? Bon Voyage.

Kryten tries to make Rimmer aware of the cost of moving to the holoship:

You haven't even considered the moral implication of your decision. I mean you will be joining a society where you will be compelled to have sex with beautiful, brilliant women twice daily on demand. Now am I the only one here who finds that just a little bit tacky?

Everyone else is stunned motionless by the implications. They obviously do not agreee with Kryten.

Rimmers parting words to Kryten, Lister, and the Cat as he is preparing to leave Starbug for the last time:

I just want to say that, over the years, I've come to regard you ... as ... people I met.


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