Red Dwarf/Terrorform

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Season 5, Episode 3
Airdate March 5, 1992
Writer(s) Rob Grant,
Doug Naylor
Director(s) Juliet May
← 5x02
The Inquisitor
5x04 →
Red DwarfSeason Five

Terrorform is the third episode of the fifth season of Red Dwarf, and the twenty-seventh episode overall.

Guest Stars: Sara Stockenbridge (Handmaiden), Francine Walker-Lee (Handmaiden)


Plot Overview

Kryten has been severely damaged in a crash. His self-repair systems estimate that he has only 67 minutes to live, so he cuts off his hand, equips it with an eyeball, and tells it to take an ore sample pod to go get help.

Lister repairs Kryten on Starbug. When he is finished, there are a few parts left over. Apparently Kryten and Mr. Rimmer were claiming an S3 planet on behalf of the Space Corps, when the moon erupted around them; and something awful took Rimmer.

Kryten believes they are on a psi moon, an artificial planetoid that has reconfigured itself using Rimmer's subconscious as a template. All of Rimmer's neuroses and personal demons now have physical form. As long as Rimmer remains on this moon, he will be in danger, because here he too has a physical form.

Meanwhile a kilometer and a half away, Rimmer is being carried through the darkness by druids, bound to a cross. He demands his rights: a phone call, and he also threatens them with legal action. The druids drag him into a dungeon and chain him to the wall. There they tell him that he is to be offered to "slake the vile depraved thirstings of the Unspeakable One."

Outside Kryten, Lister, and the Cat are making their way through a swamp (of Rimmer's subconscious). The frogs seem to be croaking the word "useless" and there are leaches with human faces (Rimmer's mother).

Rimmer, now face to face with the Unspeakable One, is about to have all of his nightmares come true. At that moment Lister, Kryten, and the Cat, jump down from a ceiling grille, bazookoids blazing, but they don't seem to have any effect at all. The Unspeakable One is only weakened when Rimmer realizes that the others will not abandon him.

They escape to Starbug, but the ship is mired in a bog, and the Unspeakable One is coming. Kryten believes that the Unspeakable One (a manifestation of Rimmer's subconscious mind) is feeding off of Rimmer's mood. They are going to have to make Rimmer feel good about himself. They are going to have to tell him they love him.

It works! A round of kind words and a group hug work wonders. After they're clear of the psi moon, they admit to Rimmer that they only told him they loved him in order to escape.


Arc Advancement





The Show

  • Starbug apparently has a caterpillar (tractor of some sort) aboard.
  • The Unspeakable One refers to Rimmer as the "Despicable One".

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • When the "spider" is in Lister's underpants, the Cat thinks he is only playing a text adventure and suggests that Lister just buy a potion from Gandalf the master wizard.
  • After Rimmer has been rescued and is aboard Starbug, he lets the others know that he "nearly had a knobbly thing the size and shape of a Mexican agave cactus jammed up where only customs men dare to probe."

Memorable Moments

The unexpected arrival of Kryten's hand causes a stir back on Red Dwarf, when Holly mistakes it for a tarantula. A moment later just as Cat comes in, the "tarantula" crawls up Lister's leg and into his underpants. Lister, gripped with fear, is unable to speak; so he types his message on the computer instead.

He types, "HELP!" and "It's in my boxers!", but the Cat just thinks he's playing a text adventure. When Lister is finally able to convince the Cat that he has a real problem, they carry on typing back-and-forth to each other worriedly. Then the creature moves. It jumps up to the keyboard, and to everyone's astonishment, types a message:

Kryten in danger.  No time to explain.  Follow.


As Lister is starting to cut Kryten in half to free him from the wreckage ...

Kryten: Sir, a couple of brief points: Firstly, you are not a qualified service engineer, and consequently sawing me in two will invalidate my guarantee ...

Lister, Kryten, and the Cat have just fired a volley of a dozen or more bazookoid shots at the Unspeakable One, who is holding Rimmer captive. They can no longer see anything, because the room has filled with smoke, so they cease fire to see how much damage they've done. That's when they hear the Unspeakable One ask, "Is it my turn now?"

Starbug has become mired in a bog. The Unspeakable One is hot on their trail ...

Cat: Ok, I say let's get into the jet-powered rocket-pants and Junior-Birdman the hell out of here!
Kryten: An excellent and inventive suggestion, sir, with just two tiny drawbacks:
(a) We don't have any jet-powered rocket-pants, and
(b) There's no such thing as jet-powered rocket-pants outside the fictional serial Robbie Rocket Pants.


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