Tongue Tied

"You see, the thing about space is that it's black..." - Holly

A Black Hole is a spatial and temporal phenomenon caused by the collapse of a suitably massive star. No matter or even light can escape from its massive gravitational pull, and it is the most destructive force known in the Universe.

The Galaxy rotates around a massive super-massive Black Hole, Sagittarius A*. Some less destructive forms of Black Holes could be used as wormholes or Time Holes.


Holly once forced the boys from the Dwarf to evacuate Red Dwarf in the shuttles when she spotted five Black Holes on the scannerscope. After piloting the ship past them, she realised that they were merely five specks of grit on the scannerscope. ("Marooned", Series III)

The crew once encountered a White Hole, the opposite phenomenon of a Black Hole, which returns time and matter back into the universe instead of removing it. ("White Hole", Series IV)

Dashing test pilot Ace Rimmer once successfully took his light speed ship on a loop-de-loop around the Event Horizon of a Black Hole, and like "a frolicking filly in a harvest-time pasture" around the singularity. ("Dimension Jump", Series V)

When the Cat rushed into the sleeping quarters and said there was a situation developing, he forced the others to guess what was happening through an impromptu game of charades. A post pod had arrived, but the others first guessed that it was emotion-sucking chameleonic monsters, rogue viruses, Black Holes, "death worms" and other calamities. ("Dear Dave", Series X)

Whilst cruising in Starbug 19, the Dwarfers came across a Mercenoid transport ship which was locked into a death dive, kamikaze-style, into the heart of a super-massive Black Hole. Although Arnold Rimmer was scared and suggested that they leave the transport to its fate, a prisoner had also been detected aboard the transport, which Lister wanted to rescue since it could have been a human. They docked with the transport, disabled the Mercenoid, took it's Black Box, and rescued the prisoner before leaving the transport to fall into the Black Hole. Unfortunately, after returning to Red Dwarf, Kryten studied the Black Box and realised that the prisoner was actually a polymorph, and that the Mercenoid had actually been deliberately piloting the transport into the Black Hole to kill the polymorph. ("Can of Worms", Series XI)

The Dwarfers later encountered a Time Wave near Planet Rimmer; a Time Wave being a remnant of a compacting Black Hole. Starbug passed through the Time Wave unscathed, but discovered that it had washed up a ship from the past into their space, SS Enconium. ("Timewave", Series XII)

When Red Dwarf came across another super-massive Black Hole (or perhaps the same one they came across in "Can of Worms"), an unmanned vessel was detected nearby. The computer of the unmanned ship began to transmit a distress signal. Lister and the Cat were too engrossed in a video game, Renegade Monks, to take a closer look at the signal or uphold any safety precautions. The signal was, in fact, an SOS virus, which rendered Red Dwarf inoperable and heading strait for the Black Hole. As the Dwarfers prepared to evacuate, the various artificial intelligences of Red Dwarf were able to combine their processing power to boost the anti-virus program and remove the virus. Although the ship functions were restored, the ship was now under the direct control of the A.I.s, who demanded someone be appointed from the crew to represent their rights. ("Mechocracy", Series XII)


Red Dwarf strayed too close to a black hole after Holly had gone offline. This caused multiple time distortions to occur aboard the ship. Before he deactivated himself, Holly had told Talkie Toaster how to escape from a black hole's gravity well. The Toaster, once placated with having them eat lots of toast, instructed the crew to fly as fast as they could into the hole, loop round the singularity at its centre and use the gravitational pull to fly out even faster.

One of the things they encountered in the black hole was the Omnizone, a gateway between dimensions. The strange gravitational effects inside the black hole caused the crew to become spaghettified (turned into living spaghetti). After returning to real space, they went to rescue Dave Lister from the planet where he had crashed. Owing to the effects of the black hole, Lister had waited 34 years for them while only sixteen days had passed aboard ship.

After Lister died of a heart attack, The Dwarfers re-entered the black hole to take Lister and Kochanski's ashes to a backwards universe so that they could grow young together. (Better Than Life)

After picking them up again, Starbug found itself in the wrong dimension. The asteroid belt they encountered was being sucked slowly into a black hole. The GELFs that lived on the asteroids had a plan to terraform a planet which they could ride through the hole and into another universe. The Starbug crew later rode out the passage inside a cave system on the planet. (Last Human)

Alternatively, the crossing back to their universe went smoothly, but Red Dwarf had gone missing. (Backwards)

External Links