Rimmer finds a Karma Drive in the wreck of the SS Samsara
(Samsara, Series XI)


Rimmer and Kryten inspect the Karma Drive of the SS Samsara

A Karma Drive was a very advanced technology which created an energy field referred to as a "Karma Field". Within this energy field, which could encapsulate a spaceship or an entire planetoid, the very fabric of reality could be slightly altered in such a way to satisfy the programming of the Karma Drive.



Karma drives were systems based off the "Justice Zone" technology of the space prison Justice World with one important difference; they possessed not only a punishment setting, but also a reward setting. They were mostly used on Deep Space missions as a method of promoting teamwork and cooperation between the crews. A Karma Drive could scan the ship and surrounding area, even a planetoid, where they were implanted to monitor the behavior of the crew. If an individual acted immorally they would be "punished" with pain or bad luck, while good behavior would be "rewarded" good health and fortune.

This could range from simple punishment and rewards depending on the level of moral and immoral acts. For example punishment could simply be cold showers or being flash heated to death, while you could be rewarded with nice tasting food or surviving crash landing without a scratch.


Despite their benefits Karma drives had one main flaw in that they were programmable; meaning any form of moral code be implanted. In light of this those on a ship would be forced to adhere to even the most perverse behavior depending on the morals of the Karma drives programmer. The SS Samsara crashed on an ocean moon when the Karma drive was hacked and it programming was altered to punish accepted behaviour and reward immoral acts.


Since the primary function of a Karma Drive was to promote desirable behaviour in crewmembers, the Mega Core were fond of utilising Karma Drives since the Mega Core had a stringent code of behaviour which all crew were expected to adhere to.

The boys from the Dwarf encountered such a machine in the wreck of a Mega Core spaceship, the SS Samsara, in the episode of the same name.

to be completed