There were quite a few continuity errors, when facts are stated then contradicted later, which occurred in Red Dwarf. Not all of these errors are important but they are errors nonetheless. Red Dwarf actually became quite well known for its errors.
- 1 List
- 1.1 The Crew
- 1.2 Rimmer's Father
- 1.3 The Year
- 1.4 Lister's Education
- 1.5 The Accident
- 1.6 The Cat's Education
- 1.7 Lister's And Rimmer's Appendixes
- 1.8 Playing Pool With Planets
- 1.9 Silicon Heaven
- 1.10 Rimmer's Service
- 1.11 A Small Physical Presence
- 1.12 Rimmer's Virginity
- 1.13 Kochanski and Lister
- 1.14 The Hologram Discs
- 1.15 The Curry-holic
- 1.16 Rimmer's Eating Needs
- 1.17 Rimmer's Criminal Acts
- 1.18 Smiling Makes Everything Better
- 1.19 Great Genius And Bravery
- 1.20 Kryten's Brain
- 1.21 Same Gun Barrel
- 1.22 Not Even A Parking Fine
- 1.23 Retaking his Astronavs
- 1.24 Aging Holograms
- 1.25 How Old Is Everyone Anyway?
- 1.26 Return of the Transport Craft
- 1.27 Early Hard-Light flashback.
- 2 External Links
In the Series I episode "Confidence and Paranoia", Lister stated that out of the 169 crew members on board Red Dwarf he ranked #169. But in the Series IV episode "Justice", Rimmer is tried with 1,167 counts of 2nd degree murder: stated by the Justice Computer to be the crew of Red Dwarf.
Some sources say that there were 169 crew members aboard Red Dwarf, but that there were also 1,000 civilians aboard. If you exclude Rimmer and Lister, that does make 1,167 passengers. This would seem to indicate that those actually involved in mining for example, rather then maintenance staff like Lister and Rimmer, are classified as civilians, presumably employees of the Jupiter Mining Corporation but not members of the Space Corps. There are also the prisoners in The Tank to consider as well.
In the Series I episode "Future Echoes", Rimmer stated that his father committed suicide. But in the Series II episode "Better Than Life", Rimmer receives a letter from his mother stating that his father passed away "peacefully in his sleep".
The episode never explicitly says that it was a successful suicide attempt, just that "rather nasty suicide business" (and never even specifies whether it was Rimmer's father who attempted suicide, but may have been someone else who shared his father's views).
Most attempts in real life are unsuccessful.
In the Series II episode "Thanks for the Memory", Rimmer described Captain Hollister as "Mister Fat Bastard, 2044". But in the Series II episode "Stasis Leak" (the episode after it), the clock in the bathroom (before the crew were wiped out) says "08:33, 2077". Seeings how Captain Hollister is clearly not over 50 this begs an interesting temporal question.
Rimmer could just be picking a date out at random in a bit of hyperbole.
In the Series IV episode "D.N.A.", Lister states that he is an "enlightened 23rd century guy". But in the Series II episode "Stasis Leak", the clock in the bathroom before the crew were wiped out says "08:33, 2077".
The term could have been used intentionally referring to the future. Businesses in the late 20th century had referred to themselves as operating for the 21st century. It's possible this was no different. Additionally, it is possible that the wall clock is incorrectly set.
It is probable that Lister was denying the fact that he had never read a book so Rimmer wouldn't think he was so stupid. This is indeed the solution given in the first in the series of Red Dwarf novel adaptations, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. It could also be that Lister read a book off-screen, sometime between the two episodes. He also technically read a cat book by sniffing the "words".
Lister has also read Rimmer's diary in S1 E6 'Me²'. Before realising it is his diary, Rimmer comments 'I didn't know you read.' to which Lister replies 'I don't much but this is good'.
In the Series I episode "Future Echoes", Lister stated that he had never read a book. But in the Series I episode "The End", Lister stated that after three million years he "still had that library book".
Lister never said that he actually read the library book, just that he had it out.
In the Series I episode "Me²", Lister reads Rimmer's diary which states that "Gazpacho Soup Day" — November 25th — was six weeks before the crew was wiped out. But in the Series II episode "Stasis Leak", Lister states that they (he, Rimmer and The Cat) had travelled back to March; three weeks before the crew was wiped out.
Lister's maths skills can't really be considered entirely accurate and he would have double trouble given he was not present at the events preceding the accident.
The Cat's Education
In the Series VII episode "Blue", The Cat said that because there was no one else around, he had to teach himself. But in the Series I episode "The End", The Cat says that he remembers Frankenstein "from kitty school".
The school was probably still there after most of the Cat People left Red Dwarf in two arks, so he probably checked it out to stop himself from getting bored.
Lister's And Rimmer's Appendixes
In the Series II episode "Thanks for the Memory", Rimmer states that because Lister gave him eight months of his memory he had his appendix out twice - one for Lister and one for himself. But in the Series VI episode "Legion", Legion removes Lister's appendix... again.
- Maybe Lister regrew his appendix at some point with futuristic medical technology. The D.N.A. machine would have put it back when changing Lister around into an animal and back into a human, since the appendix is still in his DNA code.
- Another explanation is the time-travel related shenanigans experienced in the episode Timeslides. Lister ceased to exist on Red Dwarf by altering the timeline in his past, but Rimmer also went back and undid this, causing Lister to rematerialize on Red Dwarf. These events also caused Rimmer to come back alive and not as a hologram as before (although he soon died again and became a hologram once more), so it possible the Lister who rematerialised also came back was 'whole'.
- Or, being erased from history by The Inquisitor and then rewritten into history could have cause his appendixes' reappearance.
- Writer Doug Naylor would later explain this away at a Dimension Jump convention by saying that Lister had two appendixes. This is also the explanation given in the novel, Last Human.
Playing Pool With Planets
In the Series IV episode "White Hole", Lister played "pool with planets". When he succeeded in closing the white hole, the timeline they existed in ceased to exist, removing their memory of it. But in the Series V episode "Demons & Angels", Lister said that he played pool with planets.
Although the timeline in which the events of "Out of Time" took place was destroyed, the Dwarfers still remembered its events. It is probable that the same occured with "White Hole". Also, Kryten only states they would have no memory of the White Hole incident, before using it as an opportunity to insult Rimmer in safety, but it is possible that he was incorrect on this point. Which means Rimmer would still remember being called a smeg head too...
In the Series III episode "The Last Day", Kryten said that when he told Hudzen that there was no Silicon Heaven, he was lying. But Lister only teaches Kryten to lie in the Series IV episode "Camille".
It could be that before Lister taught him how to "lie", Kryten could not state any fact that he himself did not believe in. And seeings how he still believed that Silicon Heaven existed when he told Hudzen otherwise, this would be allowed.
Another explanation is that it was different because Hudzen was a mechanoid. Kryten was shown when he believed Lister to be a mechanoid (in the Series VI episode "Out of Time") to be capable of treating him in a way that he couldn't treat a human. Maybe lying works the same way. This is alluded to in "The Last Day" when Kryten comments that Hudzen is 'programmed not to harm humans', although Hudzen judges none of the crew to be human anyway.
In the Series I episode "Balance of Power", Lister stated that Rimmer had been with the company for fifteen years. But in the Series I episode Me², Rimmer presented his four medals to Lister; the first for three years long service, the second for six years long service, the third for nine and the fourth for twelve. Logically, Rimmer should have received another for fifteen years long service.
It is probable that Rimmer had served somewhere between fourteen and fifteen years and Lister was simply rounding it off. Its also just an assumption that the Space Corps would award anything at 15 years. Also, maybe the accident happened before they got around to giving Rimmer his medal.
It's also possible that for some of that time Rimmer was in 'basic training' (as referred to in S1 E6 'Me²': Rimmer telling Lister about 'Gazpacho Soup Day' says 'If only they'd mentioned it in basic training!') during which time he would arguably have been 'with the company' but not yet qualified for 'active service'. Time spent 'on leave' might also not qualify.
A Small Physical Presence
In the Series IV episode "Meltdown", Holly states that Rimmer has a got a "small physical presence" - his Light Bee. However, in the Series II episode "Stasis Leak", Rimmer steps fully into a table and sinks down into it. A similar complaint has been raised with the Series X episode "Entangled" where Rimmer briefly enters "soft-light projection mode" in order to walk through a stasis booth door on the ERRA station.
Rimmer only obtains a soft-light light bee somewhere between the end of Series II and the beginning of Series III. This is why he needs a "Hologram Projection Cage" in the Series II episode "Thanks for the Memory".
Holograms also require light bees only when they are a considerable distance away from their source. With that in mind, it is likely that when he is on Red Dwarf, he does not require a light bee
The key word "projection" has been used to justify the latest incarnation of this error, stating that while being in "projection mode" his light bee remains elsewhere, though where exactly is still unknown.
In the Series II episode "Thanks for the Memory", Rimmer stated that he had only made love once - to Yvonne McGruder. But in the Series III episode "Marooned", he stated that he lost his virginity to a girl he met at cadet school named "Sandra".
Sandra is never mentioned outside that one episode, so it is probable that Rimmer merely made her up because he was still embarrassed about telling Lister that he had only made love once. This is indeed the solution shown in the novel, Better Than Life, which has Rimmer reflect that he will fumble details of his first experience at second base to 'justify' referring to Sandra as his first, and one that has been suggested elsewhere by the show's creators.
Kochanski and Lister
During series I and II, Kochanski was an officer aboard Red Dwarf that Lister had a crush on. But in series IV, VII and VIII, Kochanski was Lister's ex-girlfriend. This is best shown when in the Series I episode "Balance of Power" Lister states to Rimmer (imitating Kochanski) that she and Lister had never made love. But in the flashback in the Series VII episode "Ouroboros", Kochanski said to Lister that "there was more to life than hanging out in your bunk, eating delivery curries and having fantastic sex."
The timeline changed a lot between these points. Maybe the girlfriend situation was part of this. It's also possible that the 'original' Kochanski was in fact a replacement made by the Inquisitor when Kochanski as she turned out to be in season seven judged herself unworthy. Then when the Inquisitor was removed from history, the Kochanski we ended up with was restored. This Kochanski lived a different life and had a different relationship with Lister.
The Hologram Discs
In the Series I episode "Balance of Power", Lister says to Rimmer that when when Lister passes the officer's exam, Rimmer will have to give him Kochanski. While saying this, he points to the solar panel outside he and Rimmer's sleeping quarters - the place where the hologram discs were hidden. But Lister does not figure this out until the next episode "Confidence and Paranoia".
He was merely pointing to his picture of Fiji.
In the Series III episode "Bodyswap", Rimmer said to Lister that the latter had killed most of his taste-buds with "twenty-five years of stone-cold curries". But in the Series III episode "Timeslides" (the episode after it), Lister states that he used to live off sausage and onion-gravy sandwiches when he was "in the band".
Lister would have been about twenty-five when Rimmer said this. Nobody could eat curries non-stop from one or two years of age. Again, easily explained away as a bit of verbal hyperbole.
Rimmer's Eating Needs
In the Series VII episode "Stoke Me a Clipper", Kryten states that he once accidently dropped his groinal socket into Rimmer's soup. But in the Series III episode "Marooned", Lister states that as a hologram, Rimmer doesn't need to eat.
It is probable that since becoming a hard-light hologram, Rimmer had enjoyed the experience of eating even though it had no consequence and it was not a problem given the higher availability of supplies aboard Starbug since the temporal warps in "Tikka to Ride".
The soup could also be hologramatic. Examples of Rimmer eating include: S2 E3 'Thanks for the Memory' Rimmer eats a hologramatic 'triple fried egg chilli chutney sandwich' following a recipe Lister created. He is drunk in this scene, demonstrating that his hologram can also simulate the effects of hologramatic food and drink. Rimmer also gets drunk at Kryten's party in S3 E6 'The Last Day'. Rimmer also drinks a whiskey when he is about to be turned off in S1 E6 'Me²' - although we do not see the whiskey, we can tell when he is drinking it judging by his facial expression.
Rimmer's Criminal Acts
In the Series IV episode "Justice", Rimmer stated that he had never done anythng illegal. But in the Series V episode "The Inquisitor", Rimmer stated that he used to phone charities and pledge donations using other people's credit card numbers. Also. in the flashback in the Series I episode "Balance of Power", Rimmer was taking learning drugs, which are stated by Petersen and Rimmer later in the episode to be illegal.
In "Justice", Rimmer simply panicked and lied? Rimmer might not have actually been using credit card numbers he knew of and was just using random numbers which might not necessarily be a crime. The learning drugs might be explained away that, since he still didn't pass, he did not consider it to count. Also, in the first novel, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, Rimmer is described as repeatedly using dog worming pills thinking them to be amphetamine. It is possible that he later found out he was mistaken about the true identity of the learning drugs as well, which is unfortunate for Lister who later used them himself.
Smiling Makes Everything Better
In the Series III episode "Timeslides", Lister stated that he was sick of the way Rimmer always smiled when he was being insulted. But Rimmer is never once shown smiling whilst being insulted other than that one moment. Also, in "Out of Time" Rimmer complains of Lister on basicly the exact same charge.
Not all of the time spent on Starbug and on Red Dwarf is in the episodes, so it's possible this was all during off-screen moments in the timeline and that only a small portion of the canonical insults towards Rimmer are shown within the series, all those other times he may smile whilst being insulted.
It could also be that this is used as Dramatic Irony to show Lister's reactive nature to Rimmer's smiling.
Great Genius And Bravery
In the Series V episode "Holoship", Kryten states that holoships, such as the Enlightenment, were crewed by holograms of "great genius and bravery". But later in the same episode , the hologram sent aboard Starbug, Commander Binks, was afraid of Lister (even though Lister could not touch him).
Maybe Commander Binks just wasn't up to standard...that or he wasn't expecting a threat to his person. (e.g. via a holowhip, one of the few means left that can inflict physical violence to a hologram)
It is also entirely possible that Binks wasn't scared at all, and that he requested a hasty extraction simply out of disgust over what Lister was going to try and do.
In the episode "D.N.A.", Kryten says that his brain is part organic, which is why the machine could change him into a human. However, in Psirens, Kryten states that his brain is synthetic and therefore immune from Psirens. He would not have been lying to put off the Psiren, as he had previously been told by Lister that Psirens are telepathic.
It is possible that his brain is part organic, but of no value to the Psiren as it would not be the same composition as pure organic brains, that and it's potentially poisonous to the Psiren. There is the question about how the Psiren would be aware of this, although if Kryten was it would be too.
Being only partly organic, Kryten's brain is potentially both immune from Psirens and their telepathy.
Same Gun Barrel
In the episode "The Inquisitor", Lister tries to explain to his new self their commonality by stating that their initial sperms were both "shot out of the same gun barrel." But, given what was later revealed in "Ouroboros", Lister is his own father, which renders his past statement untrue - logically they were both fired from their own very separate "gun barrels", which adds a certain level of confusion as to how The Inquisitor managed to tidy the time line around this particular paradox.
The lore of The Inquisitor states that he replaced unworthy candidates with failed sperms and unfertilized eggs, which means that Lister could have been mistaken and the new Lister could actually have been born from a different ovum of Kristine Kochanski's being put into the incubator tube; which would cast similar doubts on our listed explanation for Kochanski and Lister. It is also not impossible that The Inquisitor was able to repair the time line while making the new Lister fit into the circular parentage paradox; it just would be a bit of a harder job than normal.
It is also possible, as so little is known about the Inquisitor, that the term "failed sperms and unfertilized eggs" is an incorrect guess at how his methods work. It could be possible for example that the Inquisitor doesn't fertilize an egg with a new sperm or vice versa, he instead modifies the DNA within the original sperm/egg to allow it to create a new being. From there it'd just be a simple matter of making sure the key points leading to Lister's birth remain in place.
Another possibility is that the Inquisitor doesn't alter the sperm or egg at all and in fact replaces the child itself once it is conceived, if this were the case he could easily make a Dave Lister approximation but born to different parents.
Not Even A Parking Fine
In the episode "Justice" Rimmer states that he has never been charged with any crime, not even a sent a parking ticket. However, in "Better Than Life", it is clearly stated that Rimmer owes 2500 dollar-pounds in unpaid back-tax to Outland Revenue, making him guilty of tax evasion. In addition, in "Dear Dave" Rimmer does in fact receive a parking fine, meaning he was, unknowingly, wrong on another count as well.
The Mind Probe is only meant to detect guilt, and even though Rimmer had moaned that he was going to be worried about the fine forever at the time, he never mentions it again, therefore indicating that he did not feel much guilt or issue with it. Also, the Mind Probe might have excluded the charge as pointless in light of the fact that the government he owes it to probably no longer exists, and as it was charging him with second degree murder anyhow adding another charge would be rather pointless.
In "Waiting for God" a report by Captain Hollister states that Rimmer has taken his astronavigation exam 11 times. In "Justice", Kryten tells the Justice computer that Rimmer has failed his exam on "no less than 13 occasions". However, in "Trojan" Rimmer claims that he has only taken the exam nine times.
It is always possible that Rimmer simply did not count some of the attempts, or that he has been repressing some of the incidents; as an example, the novel notes two occasions when he explicitly never really took the exams, as he overdosed on amphetamines and passed out before the exam on one occasion, and the second occasion was when he claimed to be a fish, both of which were arguably not failures as he never even attempted the true exam.
In "Rimmerworld" it is shown that Rimmer does not appear to age even though he has been separated from the rest of the crew for 600 years. However, in the very next episode, "Out of Time" Rimmer is shown to have aged along with the rest of the crew. This inconsistency is also compounded by the fact that, as the series progressed, actor Chris Barrie's increasingly aged appearance caused Rimmer's hologram to appear to age as well.
Future Rimmer's change in appearance in "Out of Time" would seem to imply that he reprogrammed his appearance, although why he would is questionable; it may be to fit in better with the ageing Cat, and previously, Lister. Another suggested theory is that Light Bees themselves do not calculate aging; some technology on Red Dwarf or Starbug does that. In "Rimmerworld" he's out of range, so no physical aging would become apparent. Or perhaps it is a slow cycle that repeats after awhile, and when the crew arrive on Rimmerworld it just happens to have Rimmer at roughly the same age. It is also possible that his life of gluttony and socialising caused physical changes to his hard-light hologrammatic appearance.
How Old Is Everyone Anyway?
In "Future Echoes" Lister states that he is 25, a statement he also repeats in "Backwards", despite that fact that is implied that several years had since past. He later states that he had recently turned 28 in "Tikka to Ride", and in "Back in the Red I" he states that it had been "five, six years, not counting stasis" since the events of "The End". At the beginning of Back to Earth it states that nine years had passed, presumably since Series VIII. This would make Lister easily pushing forty.
Further confusing the issue is the fact that Lister states that Kochanski is only 31 in "Entangled", making her significantly younger than Lister. Based on this statement, she would only have been in her early twenties in Series VIII, despite Kryten saying in "Back in the Red I" that she was "hurtling towards thirty". This also does not seem to counter in the fact that Kochanski presumably spent several years in her own dimension before joining the crew, making her only being 31 extremely dubious and confusing.
Like with many other confusing details, much of the debate over Lister's age can be explained away by the fact that the time-lines had changed so much. This can not explain all of the continuity problems however.
Kochanski's comparative youth could be explained if she had spent much of the intervening time between Series VIII and Series X in stasis, although why she would is considerably questionable. Like with Lister though, this explanation can not cover most of the present problems with her age.
It should be noted that Chloë Annett was 25 when she took on the role of Kochanski in Series VII (1996), while Craig Charles was 24 when he took the role of Lister in Series I (1987). This would have made him eight years older than her. Charles was 47 during the filming of Series X; Annett, who does not actually appear in the series, would have been 40.
Return of the Transport Craft
In the Series VIII finale episode "Only the Good..." the resurrected crew of Red Dwarf are shown to have escaped the doomed ship by taking a fleet of Starbug and Blue Midget crafts, utilizing all of the ships. However, in Back to Earth it is mentioned that Kochanski took a Blue Midget to make her escape from Red Dwarf, and the crew are shown to use both types of craft in Series X.
It is possible the they may have been able to recover some of the craft after they had been crashed, attacked, or abandoned by members of the resurrected crew. Indeed, this would help explain why Lister was so insistent on getting Starbug back from the BEGGs in the Series X episode "Entangled". This paints an ominous picture about what happened to the rest of the crew, however. One theory about the repaired state of Red Dwarf following "Only the Good..." was that Kryten recovered his nanobots, which would have presumably restocked the ship with shuttle craft upon rebuilding it. This also explains the ship's third revision in appearance.
Early Hard-Light flashback.
In the Series VII Episode "Blue", a flashback is shown of Lister and Rimmer aboard Red Dwarf playing a game in the locker room. Rimmer is wearing his blue jacket, indicating that he is in hard-light mode. However, Rimmer did not receive his hard-light upgrade until the "Legion" episode in Series VI, by which time the crew had already lost Red Dwarf and only had Starbug.
The presented solution is that Rimmer's uniform might only have appeared to be based off whether he was in Hard-Light mode. This doesn't track as we literally see Rimmer's appearance change when Legion replaces the technology in his Light Bee. It should also be noted that Rimmer does not actually touch anything in the scene, leaving it up to Lister to break open the lockers.
Originally Created by Dueler65 Edited by Technopeasant