Tongue Tied

"She's so bright and receptive, sir. Such a breath of fresh air."
-Kryten ("Back to Earth, Part One")

Katerina Bartokovsky is a hallucination induced by the ink of a despair squid that the crew encounters. In this hallucination, Katerina was the science officer of the Red Dwarf before the accident. She is of Russian heritage and speaks with a strong accent. Her personality is strict, serious, and judgmental, with a certain amount of scientific genius and arrogance. She suddenly appears as a hard-light hologram in "Back to Earth, Part One" after Rimmer's negligence nearly results in the death of his crew mates. She uses her superior rank to make herself ship's hologram and tries to have Rimmer deactivated and destroyed; it is also evident that she has personal disdain for him. Meanwhile, she attempts to bring Lister home with a device she made with a mining laser and the DNA of a dimension hopping squid (the hallucination's explanation for the despair squid), which the rest of the crew enter through to get back to Earth, which allows Rimmer to escape deletion. She later encounters Rimmer in a street on Earth, claiming to have gone through a second portal, where they discuss the morals of deleting holograms. Katerina argues that since holograms are simulated dead humans, then killing them is fine. Using this logic, Rimmer pushes her into traffic, whisking her away. She is never seen again. Some take it that her light bee must have been destroyed, but then she is hard light, described by Legion as "practically indestructible." Her nicknames include "Mizzt Bartokovsky" and "Kremlin Kate". Despite her mean streak, her character is described by Kryten as "absolutely flawless", after being ordered to find "dirt" on her by Rimmer.

The episodes claim that their hallucination, as all do in the Red Dwarf universe, created an alternate reality where she in fact does exist.


  • Katerina Bartokovsky: From now, I am senior officer ... no longer hologram Arnold Rimmer who is bit crap.
  • Katerina Bartokovsky: Of course, I am always serious.
  • Katerina Bartokovsky: But you won't defeat me, I am too smart.
  • Katerina Bartokovsky: No, hologram already dead. Morally, ethically, hologram killing fine!


In "Pete, Part One", after Lister and Rimmer sneak sodium pentothal into Warden Ackerman's asthma inhaler, he admits to being late to the bridge crew by stating that he had been having "jiggy-jiggy" with the wife of the science officer. This has interesting implications if it is taken as true that Katerina was the ship's science officer (or indeed, the ship's only science officer), suggesting a (strained) lesbian marriage. However, as she only appeared as a hallucination, there is nothing to confirm that she truly ever existed (which is dubious, particularly noting her captain's remarks on the official Red Dwarf website). A similar theory has been stated about Deck Sargent Sam Murray ("Holoship").

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