Tongue Tied

Starbug hides in an asteroid belt from SS Centauri
("Beyond a Joke", Series VII)

"Not an asteroid belt again! Everything tips from side to side, and my hair gets all messed up."
- Cat ("Beyond a Joke")

An asteroid belt, also referred to in Red Dwarf as an asteroid field, is a cluster of asteroids orbiting a star.


Dave Lister was once seen polishing his space bike in the sleeping quarters aboard Red Dwarf, and as Rimmer attempted to learn Esperanto nearby he said that Lister was preparing to go joyriding through asteroid belts because he is a "gimp" without ambition. ("Kryten", Series II)

An asteroid field was once the site of a pitched battle between the authorities and escaped Simulants who had been headed to Justice World. When Red Dwarf recovered an escape pod from the asteroid field, it either contained one of the Simulants, or one of the guards - Barbra Bellini. Cat stated that inside the pod was either death, or a date... and he was willing to take the risk. ("Justice", Series IV)

The boys from the Dwarf first entered an asteroid belt on-screen when chasing after the wayward Red Dwarf in Starbug. The Dwarfer's mothership had been stolen by an unknown party, but since it was too big to go through the belt, the Dwarfers attempted to gain ground by cutting through the belt in the small and nimble 'bug.

However, the belt turned out to be a spaceship graveyard, swarming with Psirens which had lured to astros down onto the rocks. Starbug ended up crashing onto one of the asteroids, but luckily the asteroid had enough atmosphere for Lister to go outside and blast the landing gear of the 'bug free with a bazookoid. This didn't stop a Psiren from boarding Starbug, however. ("Psirens", Series VI)

Some time later, the Starbuggers tried hiding in an asteroid belt from the Simulant Trader who was hunting them with SS Centauri. However a drug-induced mistake by Able accidentally revealed the 'bugs position to the Simulant, and the Simulant began attacking the 'bug with laser cannons, forcing it out of the belt. Able redeemed himself when he came up with a plan to disable the Simulant with the Nega-Drive and an escape pod; the plan worked, but at the cost of Able's own life. ("Beyond a Joke", Series VII)

Many years later, when Red Dwarf came under attack from the Simulant Generals, the Dwarfers fled in a Blue Midget and hid within a hollow asteroid in a nearby asteroid belt. Annihilators were launched from the Simulant Death Ship and began blowing up the asteroids in the belt one by one, forcing Blue Midget back out into the open. Rimmer had recently learned of his true parentage from the holo-lamp, and finally feeling free of his father's disappointment was able to come up with a plan to save them involving the Molecular Destabilizer, and using the Simulant's own missiles against them. ("The Beginning", Series X)

Asclepius' Station was destroyed by an asteroid shower as the Dwarfers were scavenging it, although they managed to escape the ill-fated space station with seconds to spare with a new crewmember, Snacky. Unfortunately, Lister was left without kidneys after meeting the station's other occupant, Asclepius, who was destroyed in the asteroid shower. ("Give & Take", Series XI)

On another occasion and whilst in Starbug, the gang came across SS Nautilus which was carrying explosive nuclear waste and also drifting dangerously close to a Class C asteroid storm - an asteroid belt in a chaotic state. Panicked due to their proximity, Rimmer launched a mining torpedo at SS Nautilus, which had the unexpected result of actually saving the ship when it clipped an asteroid sending it off course, and the explosion pushed the Nautilus away from danger. Rimmer indulged in an act of gross deception after this, pretending that he had meant to save the ship, earning promotions from Nautilus captain, Edwin Herring. ("Officer Rimmer", Series XI)

When Lister fell asleep at the controls of Starbug after a giant Sunday roast, the gang ended up 5,000 clicks of course. Lister suggested a short-cut back to Red Dwarf through the asteroid belt Juno 98, but Kryten and Rimmer noted from ancient astro tales that this belt was the dwelling place of the Vampire GELFs. Cat was terrified, since he was still a virgin - a favourite of the GELFs - although he was too proud to admit it. After much mocking from Rimmer, Lister told Cat he would go the long way around Juno 98. ("Can of Worms", Series XI)


See Also