lived an old plutonium miner, and his daughter Clementine...
Lister stops off at an artificially-intelligent Vending Machine to get breakfast, but it has developed senility and a lisp, throwing out a steel bucket that hits Lister's foot. His old bunkmate and superior Rimmer, now a hologram, runs by Lister as he performs his necrobics, berating Lister for his slobby lifestyle.
Red Dwarf has been speeding up in the three million years it has been unmanned, and the senile ship's computer Holly is struggling to cope with the astrophysics of it all. Rimmer continually interrupts Holly's equations and annoys him, demanding to be given a new, "military" haircut, to which Holly replies by giving Rimmer a giant, 1950s-syle beehive hairdo.
Lister and the Cat prepare to go into stasis while Red Dwarf goes to light speed until they get back to Earth, since it will take thousands of years just to turn around, and are packing up their things in the sleeping quarters. Lister shows the Cat some of his old photographs, including one of Lister's favorite Zero Gravity Footballers, Jim Bexley Speed, "roof attack" for the London Jets; who Lister claims was "really, really thrilled to meet me", but doesn't appear so in the photograph. He then shows the Cat a photograph of Gran, the woman who raised Lister, and tells the Cat a story about tough she was. Then then shows Cat his "Jupiter Rise" shot, and finally, a picture of Hannah, his father's old dog. The Cat hisses and scratches at it, especially when Lister tells him that "dawwgs" are giant. As Cat slinks off terrified, Lister repairs one of his broken robot goldfish, McCartney.
Rimmer expects that when the journey is over, he will no longer be needed, so he demands to be left on even though he will be alone. Unfortunately they reach light speed 22 hours before they expected and don't get to go into stasis after all.
While shaving, Lister watches himself accidentally cutting himself in the mirror and Rimmer rushing up behind him, then a few seconds later he does cut himself and yells for Rimmer, but dismisses what he saw in the mirror. Lister goes to the drive room and talks to Rimmer, only Rimmer is having a conversation with an invisible person. Rimmer leaves through one door and immediately returns through another where he has the same conversation with Lister that he had before.
Lister tries to tell him about what is happening and Rimmer is convinced when he sees Cat rush past them in the hall, apparently in pain after breaking a tooth, but then sees him in the sleeping quarters immediately after, apparently fine. Holly calls the experiences "Future Echoes", pieces of the future that they are catching up with as a result of light speed, backed up when Rimmer spots a picture showing Lister holding two babies in his arms. When Cat breaks his tooth on McCartney, it seemingly confirms that the Future Echoes do indeed tell the future correctly.
Rimmer sees Lister getting killed by an exploding panel in the Drive Room and doesn't seem to be too concerned about it in front of Lister. Holly interrupts and tells them that there is an emergency going on, and Lister must put two cables together to stop the navicomp overheating in the Drive Room. Lister goes to face his death, as Rimmer mockingly hums a funeral march, but Lister doesn't get killed. After the countdown, Lister is floored by the Cat doing a surprise "dawwg attack".They return to their quarters and see a very old Lister lying in the bunk. The Old Lister tells them that it was Lister's son Bexley that Rimmer saw in the drive room and tells Lister to grab his camera and run to the medical bay. Rimmer wonders how Lister fathers two children without a woman on board and Lister responds with "I dunno, but it'll be a lot of fun finding out!"
The two go to the medical bay and are greeted by Lister, the same age he is now, introducing them to his twin dread-locked baby boys, Jim Lister (named after Jim Bexley Speed) and Bexley Lister (named after Jim Bexley Speed who played "Roof Attack" in Lister's favourite Zero Gravity Football team, the London Jets). The present Lister then takes the picture (which is the same picture that appeared earlier) of his future self and the twins.
- This is the first episode to deal with matters of time travel and changing future and past events, a theory which will be used again in several more episodes: Stasis Leak, Backwards, Timeslides, White Hole, The Inquisitor, Out Of Time, Tikka To Ride, Ouroboros, Cassandra, and Lemons.
- Lister's Jupiter Mining Corporation registration number is given as "RD 52 169". This of course would be meaningless three million years into the future, but is apparently still necessary to order for the Vending Machines of Red Dwarf.
- The first appearance of Lister's space bike
- The first appearance of some significant artificial intelligences, such as the talking Vending Machines, and recurring character Talkie Toaster.
- Rimmer's Necrobics is first seen in the episode.
- It is established that, although a hologram, Rimmer's hair grows as a human's would, perhaps programmed to do so. This means that Holly has to periodically project new haircuts for him, essentially giving Rimmer a "haircut". This also foreshadows later series, where it would be revealed that Holograms also age in appearance as a human would. ("Stasis Leak, "Out of Time", "Back to Earth")
- We learn that Lister has two Robotic goldfish, Lennon and McCartney. The Cat, however, appears unaware that they're artificial.
- In the Red Dwarf universe, Polaroids are still being made several centuries into the future. The photo of Lister holding the two babies is a real Polaroid which was filmed developing in real time during the closing credits. An Easter egg on the Series I DVD includes raw footage of this sequence (and the two babies can be heard crying in the background of the shot, as the photo had just been taken). There is also Kryten's infamous "double-Polaroid" scene in the Series IV episode "D.N.A."
- Rimmer claims that Lister has a fondness for "Marijuana Gin".
- To combat the problem of new viewers not understanding what was going on (a massive ship with only Lister, Rimmer and the Cat aboard), Holly's opening SOS message was introduced with him delivering a different witty remark at the end.
- Originally this episode was number four in the series but was switched to second because the producers felt that it was the best episode to really introduce the sci-fi aspects of the show.
- The Skutters (described as "roving shoe boxes" in the script) were radio-controlled props. After performing perfectly in rehearsals, during filming one skutter got radio interference from a nearby taxi company, causing it to go haywire and it attacked Chris Barrie in the groin. The skutter performing the derogatory hand gesture to Rimmer was a actually a "skutter glove".
- As noted in the cast commentary on the Series I DVD, Craig Charles said that the bucket the vending machine threw out hit Charles on the toe, and his foot hurt for the rest of the series. Charles also pulled his Achilles tendon whilst climbing through Supply Pipe 28 looking for the Cat Priest in the episode "Waiting for God".
- The 171-year old Lister seen in the episode has a metal prosthetic right arm. This coincides with when Lister has his right arm cut off by Kryten in an attempt to kill the epideme virus inside Lister, and Kryten starts to build Lister a prosthetic arm, in the Series VII episode "RD: Epideme". However, Lister's flesh-and-blood arm is later rebuilt by the nanobots in "RD: Nanarchy", throwing this future echo into some confusion - it may have been an echo of, say, "one possible future" where Lister never had his arm rebuilt.
- Rimmer says to Lister that "you can't cheat death by whacking it on the head." Ironically, at a later date when Rimmer has been resurrected by the nanobots in the flesh and is facing his end a second time, Rimmer kicks Death himself in the balls and runs away at the conclusion of Series VIII. (Only the Good...)
- The future echo Rimmer sees of Lister (or maybe his son) exploding is possibly the same explosion Lister gets caught up in, and which nearly kills him, in the later Series II episode "Queeg".
- Rimmer suggests that if they get to Earth, they may have "cured death" and he could get his human body back, no longer having to be a hologram. This foreshadows what happens in the first episode of Series VIII, when he gets resurrected in the flesh by the nanobots.
- Holly: I am Holly; an AI computer with an IQ of 6,000. The same IQ as 6,000 P.E. teachers.
- Rimmer: Clock stop, six forty-seven. Not a bad little time for the mile. Pity I was only doing the three hundred meters.
- Rimmer: [jogging] Morning, Lister! How's life in hippie heaven, you pregnant baboon-bellied space beatnik? What's the plan for the day, then? Slobbing in the morning, followed by slobbing in the afternoon, then a bit of a snooze before the main evening's slob? God, you're a disgrace to the species. [jogs away]
Lister: Good morning, Rimmer.
- Holly: Look, I'm trying to navigate at faster than the speed of light, which means that before you see something, you've already passed through it. Even with an IQ of 6000, it's still brown-trousers time.
- Holly: Look, I'm a tenth-generation AI hologramic computer. I'm not your mum.
Rimmer: Yes, fantastic.
Holly: What do you want this time? A hand with your homework? Or would you like me to sew little name tags in your P.E. kit?
- Rimmer: [Holly has given the hologram a bouffant-haircut when Rimmer asked for a military-style cut] But you are how you look, and I look....like a complete and total tit!
- Rimmer: I'll see you toast in the fires of Hell for this Holly!
Talkie Toaster: Did somebody say they wanted toast?
- Lister: But Rimmer, death isn't the handicap it used to be in the olden days. It doesn't screw your career up the way it used to.
Rimmer: That's what they say, Lister, but If you had two people coming for a job, and one of them was dead, which one would you pick?
- Holly: Emergency, emergency. There's an emergency going on.
- Lister: You said yourself. I can't stop it. Let's get this over with. [grabs a pipe]
Rimmer: Lister, what's that for?
Lister: I'm going out like I came in -- screaming and kicking.
Rimmer: You can't whack Death on the head!
Lister: If he comes near me I'm gonna rip his nipples off!!!
Main Article: Continuity Errors
- In the "Double Rimmer" scene, Rimmer doesn't lift his right hand to point the second time he says ...and I've decided...shut up!
- In the same scene, when the first Rimmer leaves, the second Rimmer walks in at the same time, causing Lister to scream. If you look at the right edge of the canister dispenser you can clearly see the line caused by the split screen.
- In Rimmer's future echo he first says "You're space crazy" and then in the actual conversation with Lister, he says "You are space crazy".
- Both Rimmer and Lister use a door in the Drive Room which wasn't there in the previous episode.
Only when seen from certain angles.
- The sign above the Stasis Booth has changed colour from the previous episode.
It was mentioned there were two of them.
- Lister claims he's never read a book, but in "The End" he claims he forgot to return his library book.
Lister was speaking in hyperbole, for one thing. Even if he did rent out a book, that doesn't mean he read it. And lastly, for all we know the library book was illustrated.
- In the future Lister still uses a Polaroid SLR 680 camera, but doesn't unfold it to take the picture of Jim and Bexley.