Future Echoes are glimpses of future events, both auditory and visual, that are encountered when a spaceship travels faster than light.
When Red Dwarf left the Solar System following the radiation leak, Holly ordered the ship to accelerate. Shortly after David Lister was released from stasis, Holly informed the crew that the ship would soon break the speed of light. When this happened 22 hours earlier than predicted, Holly lost his nerve while trying to pilot a huge ship at speeds only imagined before. He forgot to tell the crew to prepare for "Future echoes".
The first echo occurred while Lister was shaving. What he saw in the mirror were events that would happen a few seconds later. When he shouted for Rimmer's help, his bunkmate saw nothing strange and accused Lister of drinking marijuana gin. Later, Lister had a conversation with Rimmer that made no sense. Rimmer would respond to Lister with random replies or speak to thin air. Lister then had the same conversation with another Rimmer, but this time his responses made sense.
As Lister tried to explain to Rimmer that something strange was occurring, the Cat ran past them clutching his mouth. As they entered the sleeping quarters, the Cat was somehow still there. They demanded Holly explain the phenomenon in terms that Lister could understand. Holly told them that they were catching up with images of things still to come. The toaster chipped in that the future people could not see back into their past. Rimmer then spotted a new photograph that had appeared, showing Lister holding two babies. Lister had never seen it before.
Rimmer then witnessed what he described as Lister's death in the Drive Room. Lister was determined to prevent his demise, which came about whilst working the Navicomp, by proving that the future could be changed. He attempted to stop the Cat from breaking his tooth on a robot goldfish, but accidentally broke the tooth tackling the Cat.
When Holly asked Lister to link the Navicomp to the Drive Computer, Lister assumed his time had come. He was pleasantly surprised when the explosion did not happen. He and Rimmer then saw a vision of an elderly Lister, aged 171, who explained to them that it was Bexley who had died, not Dave. He told Lister to run to the medical unit with his camera, before annoying Rimmer by refusing to divulge the hologram's future.
When Lister arrived at the medical bay, he was told by Holly that the echoes were becoming closer to the present as Red Dwarf slowed down. Lister then saw himself with twin baby boys leaving the medical unit and took the photograph. Rimmer wondered how babies could arrive without a woman aboard. Lister grinned that it would be fun to find out. (RD: Future Echoes)
This remark came back to haunt Lister when he encountered his female counterpart in a parallel universe. She got him pregnant and he had to give birth to twin boys by caesarean section. They had to be returned to the parallel universe in order to prevent their deaths, as they aged extremely rapidly in the prime universe. (RD: Parallel Universe, RD: Backwards)
The future echoes occured in much the same way as in the television show, with only minor alterations. The scene with the mirror did not feature and the dialogue was different, but otherwise the phenomenon was described the same. (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers)