Tongue Tied
This article is about the holoship spaceship class, and its only known example, the Enlightenment.
For the episode, see RD: Holoship.

The only known holoship to exist; the Enlightenment ("Holoship", Series V)

A holoship is a legendary class of advanced spaceship composed entirely of light. This extremely advanced starship explores time and space in hologrammatical form. Holoships were crewed by holograms of the Space Corps best and brighest, which led to a culture of elitism and superiority among them.

Only one such holoship is known to actually exist - the Enlightenment - which encountered the vastly inferior and ancient JMC mining spaceship Red Dwarf three million years into the future. During this encounter, the old "class 1" hologram Arnold Rimmer of Red Dwarf temporarily joined the crew of the Enlightenment. ("Holoship", Series V)



"Of course, a holoship! The project was in its initial phase when I left the Solar System. Ships of no mass or volume able to travel as super-light particles - tachyons - through wormholes and star gates crewed by holograms of great genius and bravery. Now I understand why they didn't bother with a handshake. Holo-crews are legendarily arrogant. They despise stupidity wherever they see it, and they see it everywhere. "
- Kryten

The Enlightenment had no mass or volume and composed entirely of tachyons, or super-light particles, and which has the ability to travel many multiples the speed of light and even create wormholes to travel instantaneously from one point in space to the other. Kryten knew about the "holoship" as the project was in its initial phase when he left Earth's Solar System. Holoships cannot be located by normal scanners because it is only light, they can only be located visually. They have a command bridge, a gymnastic-bridge and a sexual recreation deck.

The Enlightenment carries the "hologrammatical cream of the Space Corps" or, as referred to in an earlier script, the "cream of the deadies" and the crew are all top of their field; some are geniuses with IQs around 200. Because of their intellectual superiority, they are notoriously arrogant towards the crews of other "lesser" vessels. They see stupidity everywhere. They are described by Dave Lister as being "emotionally weird" as they have abandoned all concept of relationships and family, which they view as the results of "short term hormonal imbalances". However, ship regulations say that each crew member must participate in sexual congress at least twice daily, for exercise and to relieve frustration. As they are holograms and the ship is also a hologram, and a very sophisticated one, holograms can have an effective physical presence onboard, being able to eat, drink, touch, feel and taste anything on the ship

The Enlightenment crew were apparently "hard-light" holograms, or at least very advanced holograms, since they could touch each other and interact in a way that Arnold Rimmer could not. Their superior form is denoted by a circle around the "H" on their foreheads (the alternate Rimmer from "Back to Reality" had the same circular "H"). The Enlightenment crew express surprise at first meeting Rimmer, since they didn't know "class 1" holograms were still around.

With a full crew complement of 2000 (no more holograms can be projected or it would be too much of a drain of the system, so it would seem), the only way for another hologram to join the crew is "dead man's boots", or to challenge an existing crew member and prove intellectually superior. For any new crew members, another crew member must go through a series of two ridiculously difficult tests. If the original crew member fails the test or withdraws, the new crew member takes the place of the original crew member along with their run-time, effectively killing the loser.


Encounter with Red Dwarf

When the Enlightenment came across Starbug three million years into the future, it scanned the 'bug, but quickly left it believing the vessel and its crew to be vastly inferior.

However, Dwarfer Arnold Rimmer temporarily joined the Enlightenment crew when he challenged flight officer Nirvanah Crane and she withdrew from their challenge (to give him a chance), and Crane was deactivated so Rimmer could take her place. However, Rimmer had developed feelings for Crane (the first time in his life he had ever felt feelings for anybody) and resigned back to Red Dwarf so that Nirvanah could be reinstated and live again. For her he gave up a position of command, something he had always wanted, he also gave up an effective physical presence and a life of constant sex with beautiful women.

to be completed


Behind the Scenes

  • In the DVD commentary for this episode Danny John-Jules amusingly gasps when the characters refer to the Enlightenment as "a computer generated ship". It was in fact a model made of transparent plastic.
  • In the Series V DVD extras, there are unused clips of the Enlightenment bending its main structure about its articulation points; no other ship in the Red Dwarf series is known to do this.