- This article is about the Red Dwarf character. For the Red Dwarf episode, see RD: Cassandra.
Cassandra was a particularly advanced AI computer aboard SSS Silverberg, encountered by the boys from the Dwarf during one of their excursions as part of the Canaries, the prison "suicide squad" of Red Dwarf.
Cassandra was created on Earth to predict future events. She could foresee events with an accuracy rating of one hundred percent. This made her particularly dangerous, since knowing the future was not something the human mind was capable of coping with. Her creators placed her aboard Silverberg and programmed the drive computer to take her to a distant ocean moon and leave her there.
Millions of years later, the Red Dwarf crew discovered Silverberg and sent the Canaries down in a Diving Bell to investigate. Cassandra greeted them without surprise, having foreseen their arrival long ago. She displayed her predictive talents by anticipating everything Lister, Rimmer, Kryten, Cat and Kochanski would say and do. She then told them that all the other Canaries would be dead in one hour and Rimmer even sooner.
Rimmer managed to convince Cassandra that Mr. Knot was called Rimmer, so that he would die instead. She then told Rimmer that he would still die when Lister shot him for making love to Kochanski. This delighted Rimmer, who contrived to make it happen. Kryten, however, realised that this was a ploy to punish Lister for killing Cassandra in the future. Lister told Cassandra that he did not believe in predeterminism and that he refused to kill her. Lister then left his chewing gum in her room, which set off a chain of events that unwittingly caused her to explode after giving Lister a last knowing look, but of course Cassandra had already seen this. Lister said "smeg" as he left Silverberg. ("Cassandra")
- Cassandra appeared as a floating head on a screen, implying that she was a hologramatic computer like Holly.
- Other future-telling computers seen in the franchise include Stocky and Pree.
- The character is likely named after a character from Greek mythology also named Cassandra, a Trojan princess who was cursed with the ability to see into the future. The mythological Cassandra was outcast by the frightened Trojans, and also driven insane, due to her ability to see the future. This is many ways very similar to the Cassandra seen in Red Dwarf, since as the Cassandra of mythology was outcast, so was the Cassandra of Red Dwarf outcast by the Space Corps. Cassandra is also apparently insane, or perhaps at least computer senile, since she tried to engineer events to get Lister to kill Rimmer, since Cassandra knew it would be Lister that killed her - or this may have just been the computer with its full faculties intact simply wanting revenge. Considering the annoyed look she gives Lister, it seems unlikely that she had deliberately orchestrated her own demise.
Behind the Scenes
- Cassandra was played by character actor Geraldine McEwan, who was persuaded to take the role by Alan Rickman, one of the original choices for the role of Rimmer.
- Geraldine McEwan's hair was formed into spikes with super-strength hair gel to create a futuristic look.