"Who would steal a gigantic red trash can with no brakes and three million years on the clock?"
-Cat (RD: Psirens)
|Jupiter Mining Corporation|
|Type||Jupiter Mining Corporation|
6 miles (10 km) long, 5 miles (8 km) tall, and 4 miles (6 km) wide with over 2000 levels
120 cubic miles (480 cubic km)
|Crew Compliment||169 or 1,169 (Depending on source)|
|Current Crew Numbers||4|
|Top Speed||200,000 mph (original specs), Over lightspeed (fastest clocked time)|
The JMC Red Dwarf is an enormous mining craft roughly the size of a large city; it is one of the oldest and largest vessels in commission for the Jupiter Mining Corporation. It is captained by Captain Frank Hollister. The ship was designed to be far longer and larger but this design was changed after the JMC made considerable cutbacks. The resulting Red Dwarf was a short hexagonal prism painted a deep, blood red. At the ship's front is a large scoop that collects traces of hydrogen in space. Assuming a fusion reactor powers it, the scoop would allow the ship to theoretically keep running forever. Much of its earlier history is unknown, but at some point what appears to be an asteroid collided and stuck to the bottom of the ship, and was either too expensive or too dangerous to remove. By the time Dave Lister became part of the crew, its age began to show, as it was one of the slowest ships in commission and technical faults were numerous.
Controlling much of the ship's systems is the main AI, Holly, who, supposedly, has an I.Q. of 6000. Holly usually appears as a balding man's head floating in a black background on the many screens on board (apparently he modeled the face on the greatest lover of all time). Holly controls and navigates the ship, maintains power levels and, most importantly, ensures the crews mental and physical safety.
The ship's population, originally told to be 169, was later mentioned as 1,169. Also, the ship contains service robots called skutters that number in the thousands. These take care of most faults aboard except for incredibly useless tasks such as cleaning clogged chicken soup machines, which Second and Third Technicians take care of, mostly because it is below them and they have a better union then the Technicians. Of the 2000 floors in the ship, most are devoted to cargo, food and water, with the hold containing enough food to last 10,000 years at full crew. Vending machines everywhere in the ship instantly deliver food from the lower levels. These machines either accept coins, or the crewmembers personal credit, accumulated from work.
Due to the massive power drain, Red Dwarf can only sustain one hologram at a time, usually the deceased crewmember most crucial for the mission at hand. As such, the appearance and personality of the entire crew is downloaded to disks and cataloged, with Holly having instant access.
For entertainment, the ship contains many bars, nightclubs, restaurants and cinemas. Despite its size, there are only two Stasis booths in the ship. The ship has signs labeled in both English and Esperanto.
For minor infractions (eg: smuggling contraband/unquarantined animals aboard), crewmembers are sent into stasis for a set, unpaid, period. Paint detaining involving repainting the exterior of the ship have also been know to be effective (This is probably meant to be a joke because painting a starship while in space is impossible as paint will not stick to a cold surface, though it is unknown whether the writers of the series knew this or not). Major infractions earn a period in The Tank, the ship’s classified prison on the classified floor 13.
The vessel has three different kinds of shuttles (Ship to Surface Vehicles) on board Red Dwarf, called Starbug, Blue Midget & White Giant, with many of each available mentioned in the television series, but only one of each mentioned in the novels.
At the series start, the crew of the Red Dwarf was lost after a Cadmium 2 radiation leak wiped out the crew except Dave Lister who was sealed in Stasis at the time. The incident was apparently caused by Arnold Rimmer's failure to repair the faulty drive plates. However, it is made clear that Rimmer was not really to blame, as his own arrogance and self-loathing caused him to believe he was responsible. His exact role in the accident differs from media to media, with him playing no part in the books. The TV series settles that though Rimmer had some part in the leak, his superiors were more to blame for assigning such a crucial task to someone so incompetent and unqualified.
As the crew died, Lister's pet cat, Frankenstein, who Lister was sent to stasis for protecting, was safely sealed in the ship's hold. As millions of years passed, the cats evolved, bred, and formed an entire society in the ship's cargo levels, surviving on the sealed food on board after one discovered how to use a can opener. The cats eventually developed a religion based on Lister and Frankenstein, with Lister altered over time to Cloister the Stupid, a god who will lead the cats to the promised land Fushal, which really was Lister's dream to open a farm and hot dog diner on Fiji, complete with funny hats with arrows through the head. The cats soon began a bloody holy war over what color the hats should be: Red or blue, though Lister wanted them to be green. After many losses on both sides, both factions left Red Dwarf in shuttles to find Fushal, leaving behind their sick, disabled or useless.
Three million years after the accident, Holly released Lister from stasis and explained what happened. Due to the lethal amount of radiation in the ship, Holly kept Lister locked away until it was safe to free him and directed the ship away from Earth as per regulation to prevent further deaths. By the time Lister is free, Red Dwarf is in deep space, far from any mapped area, and now clocked its maximum speed to above or around lightspeed. Holly had paid for his time by himself, as he has been reduced to computer senility. To keep his only remaining crew member sane, Holly resurrected Lister's bunkmate Rimmer, as the conflict between the two would help Lister forget he is the last human alive. The Cat, the last of the Felis sapiens, who was born from a cripple and an idiot left behind on Red Dwarf, joins the two. Later, the group found Kryten, a mechinoid serving on a derelict vessel, the Nova 5. The group spends their time lazily as Holly guides the ship back to Earth, indulging in the ships vast food supply and salvaging derelict ships for needed supplies.
Suddenly, Red Dwarf was stolen from the small crew by an unknown force, and the crew flees in a Starbug. During this time the hologram version of Rimmer gains a solid body (Legion), leaves and soon after at a temporal rift the crew pick up an alternate version of Kristine Kochanksi - Navigation Officer and Lister's ex-girlfriend and lasting obsession.
They eventually discover that Kryten's nanobots, part of his self repair system, stole Red Dwarf due to boredom. Reshaping the ship to a smaller size, they turned the excess material into a planet, leaving any unneeded equipment on the planet's surface, including Holly. Once caught, Kryten made the nanos rebuild the ship. To make up for their earlier mutiny, the nanos rebuilt and improved Red Dwarf, returning it to is original intended design before the JMC's cutbacks, which included several new floors, a quart level matter/antimatter reactor, a bio-neural computer network and a karaoke bar on C Deck. Unknown to the group, Holly created a second set of nanos to resurrect the crew. He did this to keep Lister sane, but due to his senility, his plans failed and resulted in the entire group, including a resurrected human Rimmer, being sent to The Tank.
Some time after the group was sent to The Tank, Red Dwarf picked up an escape pod, which contained a chameleonic microbe that began to eat the ship from the inside out. Their attempts to find an antidote fail and Red Dwarf is last seen crumbling to pieces with the crew having fled and the group escaping to a parallel universe.
Nine years later Red Dwarf is found to be still intact, though changed, much more like the original cutback version, even regaining the impacted asteroid. The original non-resurrected crew of Rimmer, Lister, Holly, Kryten, Cat, and Kochanski had somehow returned and saved the ship. During those nine years Lister went off the rails, and began to engage in acts which were Kochanski saw as slowly killing himself. Depressed by this, she flew off in a Blue Midget (the ship somehow regaining shuttles), with Kryten telling Lister and the others that she had been sucked out of an airlock.
Rimmer is found to be once again a hologram, though one with the memories of both the hologram and nano resurrected Rimmers and Holly is out due to a large amount of water damage caused by Lister leaving a bath running those whole nine years. The skutters are still trying to dry it out and reboot the computer, the larger resurrected crew are apparently still out there somewhere in their escape craft. After a bout with a Despair Squid Lister learns of Kochanski's escape and vows to find her and win her back.
It is unknown whether there are any other Red Dwarfs made by the JMC, or if this is the only one. It is not official, but there was made another ship called "Blue Dwarf"