Red Dwarf: Series 6 Episode 6
In Red Dwarf’s sixth season, there’s a big change-up - the main characters have lost the Red Dwarf ship itself, which includes computer AI Holly. This season and the next is a story arc spent trying to find it, using the space shuttle Starbug as their home and base. They try and find any leads they can on where Red Dwarf is, all while contending with GELFs (genetically-engineered life-forms), Simulants (human-hating robots) and dwindling supplies. Along the way, Rimmer’s upgraded to a hard-light hologram, meaning he’s now solid and able to actually touch things now, with the big bonus of being invulnerable. He’s still a coward, though.
During the season finale ‘Out of Time’, the Boys from the Dwarf come across a time-travel device, the Time Drive, which they give a quick test-run. They’re then contacted by a future version of themselves from 15 years later, whose Time Drive is damaged, leaving them stranded in deep space only able to travel forwards, and wish to meet up for repairs. Present-day Kryten the mechanoid insists he’s the only one who meets up with them, due to his concern about potentially damaging time and space from knowing your own future, and he can erase his memory of that knowledge afterwards. Lister, Rimmer and Cat are able to secretly hack a camera to observe the meeting.
Future Rimmer is the first to appear and he’s gotten...surprisingly big, possessing a large stomach, the bottom of which sticks out from underneath his hardly-fitting and strained jacket, forcing the belt to shift down in order to actually fit him. He also looks considerably older with grey hair and a mustache, which is odd since a previous episode had Rimmer spend 600 years in jail and not age a day. It’s possible he’s able to alter his appearance so that he ages with his crewmates too, and have his weight reflect his physicality and eating habits, which is my assumption for the stomach. Present Lister describes him as being “two meals away from being a sumo wrestler”, much to Present Rimmer’s shock and confusion.
Future Cat isn’t any better, either. Cat’s a fashionable and vain guy, and his Future self has definitely put on a good deal of weight, with a protruding stomach against his PVC outfit, which is covered up a fair bit by his jacket, save for when he’s sitting down and has his hands on his swollen belly. And his rear’s indicated to have swelled up too, as Present Cat observes and asks, “What happened to my butt? Buddy, you could park a plane in that crease!”. He’s also starting to lose his hair, which Lister describes “as bald a plucked chicken”, which Present Cat is equally terrified over.
While Rimmer and Cat have become fat and old, Future Kryten goes about disguising himself to fit in to whatever time period they’re in, including an awful-fitting toupee, while Future Lister’s reduced to a brain in a jar with his signature dreadlocks attached, much to Present Lister’s dumbstruck horror.
During this meeting with Kryten, the Future Cat and Rimmer sit next to each, which helps to show how collectively bloated they’ve become, though more obviously so in Rimmer’s case.
The Future crew quickly make it clear that they’re used to the best and have spent 15 years indulging in the finest history has to offer with some of the most prominent figures in history...it’s a pity though that from their experiences, the best just so happens to come from some of the worst people, or as they put it, “a bit dodgy”, such as the Hitlers, who they’re good social friends with. It’s clear that they’ve been corrupted by the power of the Time Drive, focusing more on satisfying their carnal desires rather than uphold their morals and be responsible, and given the fact they’re still in Starbug, they’ve abandoned their mission to recover Red Dwarf.
Having had enough of how disgusting their future selves have become, Lister, Rimmer and the Cat break in and force the Future crew off their Starbug, though Future Rimmer ominously says that no matter what. the crew are destined to become them.
The Future crew, unwilling to live without the Time Drive, launch an attack against their past selves, ordering them to give them the data required to repair it, or be destroyed. They’re so corrupt that they’d rather not have to live like how they used to, even if it means being erased from existence. Present Rimmer, of all people, bravely spurs the crew on, and so the two crew fight. The present crew go down one by one, until it’s only Rimmer now, who makes his way to the Time Drive and shoots it, right before past Starbug is destroyed by Future fire.
That’s how Season 6 ends. But Season 7 has the past crew alive and well now, as Lister explains. A massive paradox was made with the dead crew and destroyed Time Drive. As a result, none of this could happen, so the past crew are resurrected, the Time Drive’s back where it originally was, and their ship now has upgrades from the alternate timeline, so the crew ensure they don’t wind up becoming their horrible future selves.
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