Skipper is the final episode in Series XII of Red Dwarf, first broadcast on Dave on November 16, 2017.

It is also the seventy-third Red Dwarf episode overall.


Rimmer gets hold of a Quantum skipper and skips his way across the multi-verse looking for a dimension where he's not such a giant loser.


During an uneventful day, Lister and Kryten discover Captain Hollister's Personal Records on the entire crew, and read them. Lister is quite pleased that the Captain called him 'a genius' despite it only being used once. When reading Rimmer's report, he denies the allegation that he always blames other people for his failings by blaming his parents.

Red Dwarf is then hit by an anomaly, which distorts reality. Kryten and Rimmer are in the Science Room while Lister and Cat are in the Bunk Room and quickly find that for every decision they make, they end up doing whatever they decided not to do. Kryten and Lister quickly realise this but Cat is slow to clue in, even when despite saying he wouldn't, Lister manages to get him to clean his bunk and make breakfast.

When they finally reconvene, Kryten admits it was his fault: he was repairing a salvage device called a Quantum Skipper, which allows the user to skip between alternate realities and take the place of their alternate self, to see how life would be if they had made different decisions, He messed up by leaving the settings too high. After restoring reality, Kryten contemplates how the crew should use this device. Unlike the others, who are happy to stay and don't need to see how their lives would be, Rimmer decides to take the leap and leave their reality to find one where he isn't such a loser.

After a brief guide on how to use the Quantum Skipper, which is a small remote, Rimmer gives a short goodbye, and skips to another reality, where he finds himself in a corridor on Red Dwarf and thinks that it hasn't worked, not noticing that Holly is on a Monitor. He soon realises he is in an alternate reality where the crew is alive, as the radiation leak hasn't happened. However before he can learn anything else, he is interrupted by a radiation leak alert, realising he has arrived to just before it happened. While waiting for the Quantum Skipper to recharge, he discovers Captain Hollister trying to 'accidentally' leave the ship in an escape pod which jams. The Skipper recharges and Rimmer skips out seconds before the radiation wave hits him.

Rimmer then skips through various other realities, rejecting them because of something massively wrong, such as an underwater reality. He eventually finds one where Lister's tastes are similar to his own, and introduces himself as a traveler from another reality. However, in this reality he learns that Lister had a pet rat instead of a cat, which didn't leave the ship and ended up evolving into a species of 6ft rats. he politely leaves as quickly as he can. Looking for something better, he finds a reality where the crew quarters are occupied by around a dozen Lister's for some reason. He then moves to one where he is stuck on the Holly Monitor as the ships computer.

After moving through several realities, he eventually finds one which seems perfect. In it, he is a human Navigation Officer aboard Red Dwarf, married with 4 boys, everything he ever dreamed off. He is soon summoned to the Captain's office where he finds the captain is a moustache-bearing Lister, much to his horror. This Lister is still slovenly and lazy, but has managed to become popular and successful. Revealing he is from another reality in the multiverse, but Lister confuses it for a strip club on Venus. Lister explains that in this reality, Lister discovered the faultily repaired drive-plate and saved the ship. He was commended and rapidly rose up the ranks after.

Lister takes Rimmer to their old bunk room, which he has left preserved. Out of the window, Rimmer sees that they are at Earth, and Lister reveals that he is married to Chrissy. Rimmer thinks he means Kochanski, but it's actually Crystal, a stripper from the Multiverse.

Rimmer initially thinks that he hasn't got much to get annoyed over as Lister is the Captain of a beat-up mining ship, but Lister explains that he was offered a bribe to keep quiet about the near-disaster, but rather than accept a payout, Lister negotiated for shares, which sky-rocketed after the discovery of a helium-7 deposit, making him rich and successful, but always has room for his friends.

Despite this reality having everything he could ever possibly want, Rimmer decides he cannot live there as he cannot live in a reality where Lister is more successful than he is, as the pain is too much. He returns back to his own reality and, when asked if his search for a reality where he isn't a loser was productive, he smashes the Quantum Skipper and quietly joins the others in a card game.

Main cast

Guest stars

Deleted scenes

to be completed


  • Norman Lovett and Mac McDonald both return for guest appearances nineteen years after their previous stint in Series VIII.
  • The "Nobody's dead, Arnold" exchange between Rimmer and Holly references the classic "Everybody's dead, Dave" conversation from The End.
  • Lister's major surprise to the time anomaly in this episode in ways are a lot similar from the early episodes in Series I, Series II & Series III and his reaction towards Kryten when he has built the device that skips different universes is a direct explanation to the last episode M-Corp where Lister is back to "square one", having lost his several years experiences in deep space since leaving stasis.
  • This episode mentions Lister's aversion to eating fresh fruit and vegetables. (examples include Quarantine, Legion and Back in the Red II)

Background information

While Rimmer visits several different alternate realities, only three are shown in depth, with two worlds offering more detailed glimpses the rest merely shown as Rimmer finds something disturbing or is forced to run away from something terrifying;

  • A world from a point just before the radiation leak that killed the crew, forcing Rimmer to 'skip' to another dimension before he is vapourised. Two notable differences being that Rimmer is already a Hologram and that Captain Hollister tried to escape using the escape pod (which jammed) rather than them both being in the Drive Room when the radiation leak hit them.
  • A world where Lister is more cultured, but the highly evolved animal on the ship is The Rat rather than The Cat, and the rest of the Rat race remain on the ship in various other decks
  • A world where there are multiple Listers
  • A world where Rimmer is apparently the ship's computer, as he is shown on Holly's monitor
  • A world where Rimmer is the navigation officer with a wife and four sons, and Lister is the captain of the ship, having been bribed with several shares in the company after he reported the radiation leak before it could kill the crew and then received a sizeable bonus after finding a planet rich in Helium-7.

Noteworthy dialogue

to be completed


to be completed


External links

to be completed

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