|Out Of Time|
|Written By||Rob Grant & Doug Naylor|
|Director||Andy de Emmony|
|Previous Episode: Rimmerworld|
|Next Episode: Tikka to Ride|
The crew discovers a derelict ship with a working time machine aboard. However, they soon meet their future selves and learn they've become selfish, addicted to luxury and friends with many of history's worst tyrants.
Starbug flies through a strange cloud and begins running into several "unreality pockets" that make them perceive things that are not true. These include Lister being an android (causing Kryten to boss Lister around as a lesser machine, something he lives to regret), the ship turning invisible and everyone forgetting The Cat exists. Finally making their way through with their sanity intact due to a stay in stasis, they find a derelict ship and realize the unreality fields were put there to keep intruders away. The reason is the ship's amazing cargo: a time drive, which can transport a ship through time itself, though on its own it can only move through time, and not space, so when the Dwarfers test it they're still in deep space in the year 1421.
When they return to the present they discover the Starbug of their future selves, whose time drive has malfunctioned and can no longer move back in time without data from the "present" crew's time drive. After much debate they decide that Kryten will meet them, since he can wipe his memory of the event and thus stop himself from being affected by the problems of knowing one's own future. Lister, Arnold Rimmer, and Cat are then locked in the scanning room. The future crew is anything but familiar: they're completely self-centred, using the time drive to enjoy every luxury imaginable and associating with such historical figures as the Borgias, the Hitlers and Louis the XVI. Future Cat has a "sofa sized butt", Future Kryten wears clothing along with false eyebrows and a toupee, Future Rimmer is older, moustached and obese (seeing as he remained the same after 600 years on Rimmerworld, the Future Rimmer deliberately reprogrammed his appearance). Future Lister is nothing but a brain in a jar of fluid. Spying on what's going on through a microscope hacked into a security camera Lister and his companions see all. "Present" Lister forces them off the ship at bazookoid-point in disgust, but rather than give up the opulent lifestyle to which they've become accustomed the future selves threaten to destroy the "present" Starbug, even though such an act would end their existence as well.
Even though the future Starbug is far more heavily armed, the "present" crew --even Rimmer-- choose to fight back rather than become their future selves. Lister, the Cat and Kryten are each killed, but Rimmer grabs a bazookoid and runs to destroy the time drive. Just when he fires, a shot blows Starbug to pieces... This leaves the episode on a cliffhanger, which would not be resolved for over three years.
- This would seem to contradict "Future Echoes" where the future can't be changed, then again in this episode there are two versions of Starbug and two versions of the same crew meeting in the same point in time and space, which is a paradox. That may have made it possible to alter the future as Rimmer was able to destroy the time drive, resulting in the events that follow in "Tikka to Ride".
- Future Rimmer's change in appearance would seem to imply that he reprogrammed his appearance as in "Rimmerworld" he was unchanged after 600 years there. Though why he would is questionable, though maybe to fit in better with the aging Cat and previously Lister. The aging of actor Chris Barrie has also caused this point to be raised as a concern over his appearances in later series, especially Series X and the Back to Earth specials.
- This episode was notable for a rushed production given the writing of the script. In fact prompters were installed in the Starbug cockpit set in order for the actors to read their lines, some of which were edited while the cameras were rolling.
- It is implied that Catnip is a narcotic to Felis Sapiens as the Cat commented that going through multiple unreality bubbles is "worse than triple-strength catnip!".
- Kryten: We're still in deep space, sir, only now we're in deep space in the 15th century. Isn't it wonderful?
- Kryten: Herman Goering is a "bit dodgy"?
- Kryten: Mr. Rimmer?
Rimmer: Better dead than smeg!
Lister: Cheers! Cat?
Cat: Better dead than sofa-side butt.
Kryten: Better anything than that toupee!
- Rimmer: Kryten?! There may be a what? A way out of this? Is that what you were gonna say? ... Speak, Kryten! How can we change what's happening?!
- This could have easily been the last episode ever of Red Dwarf. A new series was not aired until 1997, over three years later. This was despite the interest of the BBC in creating another series after the success of the previous few series. The hiatus was caused by the end of the Grant Naylor writing partnership and the Red Dwarf chaos that followed. New Red Dwarf was released during those years however in the form of Doug Naylor's and Rob Grant's conflicting sequels to the novel Better Than Life called Last Human and Backwards respectively. Though, given the mixed reception given towards Series VII, Series VIII and Back to Earth some may well wish that it was the last one ever, even with the unsettling ending; mitigated somewhat by the more generally positive reaction to Series X.
- Despite introducing four new characters, they are all played by the main actors.
|Red Dwarf: Episode List|
|Series I|Series II|Series III|Series IV|Series V|Series VII|Series VIII|Back to Earth|Series X|