Tongue Tied

The Agonoids are a sadistic, misanthropic race of cyborgs featured in the Red Dwarf novel Backwards.

Three million years into the future, the main goal of the agonoids is to hunt down, torture and kill the last human in the galaxy, Dave Lister, aboard Red Dwarf. They are successful in killing some of the boys from the Dwarf, including Ace Rimmer, although Lister and the Cat are able to use Ace's ship to travel to an alternate dimension where Arnold Rimmer and Kryten are still alive.

Agonoids are not seen in the Red Dwarf television series, although Simulants have been seen heavily in the television series. Agonoids and Simulants may in fact be the same race, given the similarity, although it should be noted that the television series and novels take place in alternate timelines.


The Simulant Convict from "Justice". The Agonoids are described as being identical in appearance to the Simulants.

In the novel, the agonoids are said to be the reason that the human race is extinct, although the reason for this has been left unexplained in the television series. Like the simulants of the television series, they were originally created for a war that never took place, and turned on their human masters.

The novel elaborates on the current 'society' of the agonoids by explaining that their degrading systems have forced the agonoids to turn on each other and cannibalise each other for spare parts, with the positive result that the agonoid race is becoming increasingly limited, while also resulting in a race designed for ruthlessness now operating on a 'survival of the fittest' premise where only the strongest will survive.

The agonoids took control of Red Dwarf while the crew were trapped in a backwards universe, ripping out the machinery comprising Holly and transforming part of Red Dwarf into a 'Death Wheel' that would trap the crew in the center when they returned and force the Agonoids to race for the privilege of being 'The One' who would kill the last human. As further bait for their trap, the agonoids left Holly's parts floating in the outskirts of the asteroid belt where they had hidden the ship so that the crew would find him when they returned in Starbug and be forced to power him up, leaving them with so little power that their options were limited to dying in Starbug or trying to re-take the ship despite the impossibility of victory.

However, the agonoid Djuhn'Keep- highly intelligent but virtually helpless physically, kept alive only because of his inventive brilliance helping to keep their ships going- was able to turn the Death Wheel against the other agonoids after tricking one into infecting himself with a virus so that Djuhn could dismember him for spare parts. Using the Death Wheel, Djuhn forced the other agonoids out of the ship, by increasing the Gravity Field, spearing them with laser spears, and then ejecting the survivors into space. One of these agonids, Pizzak'Rapp landed on Starbug and attacked the crew, but was left drifting in space thanks to the sacrifice of Ace Rimmer, and while Djuhn was able to reach the ship, he was lost in space when Kryten blasted a hole in the hull after Lister and the Cat had donned space suits.

Eventually, all the agonoids were dead, but Rimmer, Holly, Ace and Kryten were also dead, and the only survivors of the agonoid attack were Lister and the Cat, while Red Dwarf and Starbug were in ruins due to the actions of the agonoids and the Armageddon Virus. Lister and the Cat used Ace's ship, Wildfire, to travel to another dimension. There they found an intact Red Dwarf on which their own counterparts were dead, but Rimmer and Kryten were still alive. Both pairs were elated to see their dead crewmates, perhaps for the first and only time they had been happy to see each other. (Backwards)

Named Agonoids

  • Djuhn'Keep - Djuhn was the oldest, most devious and most revered of the agonoids. Djuhn designed the Death Wheel with the secret intention of being "The One".
  • M'Aiden Ty-One - M'Aiden was the strongest of the agonoids and their self-proclaimed leader, supposedly in control of the Death Wheel. However, he was tricked and slowly cannibalised for parts by Djuhn'Keep.
  • Pizzak'Rapp - Pizzak was the fastest of the agonoids, and the only one to survive Djuhn'Keep's massacre. Pizzak is thrown into space where he tries to kill Lister, but Ace Rimmer sacrifices himself to send Pizzak into space.
  • Chi'Panastee - Chi was one of the generic agonoids, killed early on in an agonoid watering hole by M'Aiden Ty-One for spare parts.


  • "Agonoid" is a combination of "agony" and the suffix "oid" similar to mechanoid or mercenoid. This is a reference to how the agonoids torture captured humans as well as the pain they inflict on their enemies.