Tongue Tied

A dust storm approaches

Dust storms are reflective, interstellar clouds of cosmic dust.

The can also occur on planetoids, if there is enough atmosphere to whip up sand and/or soil in large quantities, and are this phenomena is often called sandstorms.

Interstellar dust storm

Red Dwarf enters a massive dust storm

The JMC mining spaceship Red Dwarf was large and sturdy enough to withstand dust storms. It presumably went through countless dust storms after the accident which killed the crew, and it floated around the Galaxy for three million years, and before Dave Lister came out of stasis. However Holly was still forced to restrict airlock usage and shuttle flight whilst Red Dwarf flew through dust storms.

Red Dwarf once spent eighteen hours passing through a massive dust storm, creating added pressure to an already tense situation aboard the ship. Lister had contracted space pneumonia, which manifested his Confidence and Paranoia into reality. First, Confidence smashed up the Medicomp to stop Lister getting better. He then killed Paranoia, wanting Lister all to himself, by feeding Paranoia into the Waste Grinder and flushing him out into space (the Waste Grinder being apparently still operational during the dust storm). This was unknown to the others at the time (except for Holly, who was otherwise too engrossed in the novels of Agatha Christie at the time).

After the dust storm passed, Confidence helped Lister figure out where Arnold Rimmer has hidden Kochanski's hologram disc - outside the ship, in the solar panel beneath their sleeping quarters porthole window. Lister and Confidence went on a space walk to retrieve it, but Confidence killed himself when he removed his helmet to prove to Lister he didn't need oxygen, exploding himself into smithereens. ("Confidence and Paranoia")

Red Dwarf Remastered

The Red Dwarf Remastered version of "Confidence and Paranoia" has an alternate, computer-generated dust storm instead of the model work of the original.

Planetary sandstorms

  • When the Dwarfers were in Starbug and hunted by Rodon's flagship along the surface of a desert planetoid , the Dwarfers survived by taking refuge in a massive sandstorm - a 4.9 on the Stanley sandstorm scale. The ploy worked, but Starbug was completely buried under a mountain of sand. Fortunately, Kryten was able to drill a hole through to the surface through which they made contact with Holly on Red Dwarf. Holly saved the Dwarfers by firing a mining torpedo at the moon, blowing it to smithereens and freeing Starbug.