Tongue Tied

This article is about the original version of Kristine Kochanski, as portrayed by Clare Grogan. This version of Kochanski died in the radiation leak aboard Red Dwarf, and appeared sporadically in Series I, II, and VI.
For the alternate version from another dimension, who survived the radiation leak and became a main character in Series VII, VIII and IX, and as played by Chloë Annett, visit the main article on the character.

"I think you're being promoted to Admiral, for your diligence and your general devotion to duty."
- Kochanski mocking Dave Lister ("The End")

Kristine Z. Kochanski was the Scottish Drive Room First Console Officer aboard Red Dwarf and Dave Lister's unrequited love. She was an integral part of his Plan. In the plan, she was to ride on a horse in Fiji, and be his and Frankenstein's only companion. According to Holly, Lister and Kochanski had exchanged a grand total of 173 words before she and the rest of the crew died, although he might have been joking.



In "The End", Kochanski is seen briefly in the Console Room telling Lister that the Captain wants to see him. He heavily flirts with her as she does with him. After the disaster and being released from stasis, a devastated Lister reveals that he wanted Kochanski to be part of his plan on Fiji. In "Balance of Power", Lister moans to Holly on bringing back Rimmer and asks why he didn't bring Kocanski back. Holly remarks that Lister and Kochanski shared 173 words in life, less than Lister had with his rubber plant. After several arguments and pleading with Rimmer on switching Kochanski back on for a night, Rimmer impersonates her.

In the second series episode "Stasis Leak", Lister, discovering a rip in space/time aboard Red Dwarf and discovering what appears to be a wedding photograph of him and Kristine, returns to Red Dwarf about three weeks before the accident, with the hope of marrying Kochanski. Although he and Cat successfully track Kristine down to a hotel at the Ganymede Holiday Inn, he discovers she already has married someone. This turns out to be another Dave Lister from five years in the future who evidently discovered another method of going into the past (obviously far enough in the past to woo and wed Kochanski). It is clearly established that Kristine knew about this, including the Cat and the hologrammatic Rimmer, prior to the accident. This fact strongly implies that she likely did not die in the radiation leak after all.

Due to the many changes in the timeline established in the series, it's unclear whether any of the events depicted in Stasis Leak will come to pass.

Kochanski appears as an hallucination of Lister's in the sixth series episode "Psirens". In it she is shown as one of the last surviving crew members of the SS Pioneer led by Captain Tau. The ship had been lured down onto the an asteroid inhabited by the brain sucking GELFs known as Psirens. After seeing Lister, she tells him to stay back and get out of the belt, and tells him that they will never take them alive, her and her two kids. The children are named Jim and Bexley, Lister's sons derived from the Sperm Bank Kochanski used back on Red Dwarf. In the end the rest of the Starbug crew keep Lister from falling for the ruse set by the Psirens.

Lister's fantasy of his perfect companion in "Camille" was initially intended to be Kochanski (played by Clare Grogan once again), but it was felt that the inexplicable and implausible re-appearance of Lister's true love (or at least enduring obsession) would tip him off too early as to the true nature of the creature that Kryten rescued. The character was changed in clothing and attitude to more or less a female version of Lister, played by Suzanne Rhatigan, but the credits incorrectly identified her as "Kochanski Camille".

In "Back to Reality", Anastasia Hille briefly appears as Kochanski. In the episode, it is suggested that the events of the series up to this point had been a Better Than Life-style immersive game. It is established that Kochanski is a character created by the game (as opposed to a player character). When Lister briefly glimpses a game-in-progress through a monitor he sees a tall, blonde, decidedly non-Scottish Kochanski on Starbug in a romantic embrace with an alternate version of Lister. Hille is credited as "Alternate Kochanski" in the closing credits.

In the Series VII episode "Ouroboros", Kochanski returned to the series, now played by Chloë Annett. This version of the character came from an alternate universe and, though she shared some traits with the Clare Grogan version (including being Scottish), was substantially different in many ways. (see Kristine Kochanski for this version).

Due to the many interruptions to the timeline it is unclear on the extent of Lister's relationship with Kochanski. Despite Holly's claims that they had shared 173 words with each other, the two did seem to have a five week romance together.


Kochanski in the Red Dwarf Smegazine

Kochanski appeared in the Red Dwarf Smegazine, as a blonde, but in character was more or less the same as in the old appearances in the television series.


After the publication of the novels Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and Better Than Life, Grant and Naylor took the opportunity to re-write several aspects of the back story. The crew of the Dwarf pre-accident increased by a thousand, the pre-accident setting moved from the 21st to the 22nd century, and Kristine Kochanski underwent her first major transformation.

In the first novel, she appeared to either be more of a social climber or (more likely) to have started further up the social ladder. She is learning Japanese and holds her own against arrogant young officers. Lister has a brief but intense relationship with her, spending most of the time in her quarters making love and watching It's a Wonderful Life, their favourite movie. Kochanski, however, reveals she is still hooked on her ex-and-future boyfriend Tim, a catering officer. She was dating Lister on the rebound, and goes back to Tim, leaving Lister heartbroken.

Although most of the alteration brought in after the books begin at series three, the first series after the publication of the first book, the onscreen depiction of Kochanski stayed the same. The same actress (Clare Grogan) portrayed her (for the most part), and she remained the cheeky yet spunky Scottish lass of the first two series. The portrayal of Kochanski in the books is broadly compatible with both this portrayal and Chloë Annett's later portrayal.

In both the book and the later series versions, it is Kochanski's rejection of him that leads Lister to his plan with Frankenstein and the stasis booth. In the novel Backwards, she is brought to life on a version of Earth where time runs backwards in the twenty-first century. While starting out as Lister's wife, the flow of time eventually led to their first meeting and causing her to not know him anymore.

Last Human

Kochanski also appears prominently in the Red Dwarf novel Last Human, written by Doug Naylor. As with all of the Red Dwarf novels, however, Last Human is not considered part of the television canon due to significant variations between the television and book continuities. Kochanski's role in the novel — as a new member of the crew — is similar to that of her role in the seventh and eighth series of the television series (though she is more canonically related to the original television Kochanski as she is from the main Red Dwarf universe), with notable differences.

In the novel, following being reunited with Lister as an aged couple on an Earth where time runs backwards (following the death of Dave Lister in the prime universe), Kochanski and Lister have entered into a loving relationship with each other. Now part of the Red Dwarf crew, Kochanski is in a clear position of authority as the highest-ranking member of the crew — a fact that Rimmer clearly resents (having been robbed of what minuscule authority he could claim in that position), although the others either appreciate or at least do not mind her clear intelligence and competence. The crew cross paths with a sociopathic version of Lister, who has killed his crew mates. The evil Lister shoots his counterpart in the groin, almost sterilising him. The evil Lister is consumed by the Rage. The novel ends with Kochanski and Lister, stranded on an idyllic world in an unknown parallel universe, attempting to start a family with help from the Luck virus.

In Backwards, the novel explores Lister's life in the backwards universe. It is revealed that he had a relationship with Kochanski in reverse. They both arrived dead, and became younger as each year passed. They had twins, who became babies and returned to their mother's womb. A year before (or after) Lister finished a prison sentence for murder, he and Kochanski's relationship ended by their first meeting. Due to Kochanski fitting in and becoming a native of this universe, her backward memory promptly forgot Lister on their first/last meeting.


In the television series the character of Kochanski has been portrayed by five different actresses, all of which portrayed dramatically different persona of the character.

Alexandra Pigg was the original actress cast as Kochanski

  • Kochanski was originally written as a working-class, Liverpudlian slob like Lister, and the first actress cast as Kochanski was Liverpudlian actress Alexandra Pigg. Alexandra Pigg rehearsed the character along with Craig Charles, Chris Barrie and Danny John-Jules, who came to see Pigg as Kochanski, as noted in the Series I DVD cast commentaries. However, during the BBC electricians' strike which put back production on the television series, Rob Grant and Grant Naylor would significantly re-write the character, and when Pigg was unavailable for shooting later, forced them to recast the role.

Kochanski as briefly portrayed by Clare Grogan in Series I

  • Clare Grogan, Scottish actress and lead singer of new wave/post-punk band Altered Images, was recast as Kochanski. Grogan would portray Kochanski in the pilot episode, once in Series II and once in Series VI. The character was rewritten as having Scottish roots to explain Grogan's Scottish accent. This version of the character was a little cocky and fun-loving, but was nonetheless First Console Officer in the Drive Room. This version of Kochanski had only flirted with Lister and had not initiated a full relationship with him, meaning she was something of a unrequited love for Lister. This version of the character died in the radiation leak with the rest of the crew of Red Dwarf.
  • When Lister saw his "perfect mate" in Camille, the "Kochanski Camille" appeared differently. She was dressed in a customised leather jacket like Lister, and also spoke in a Liverpudlian accent. This version of the character was portrayed by the real-life girlfriend of Craig Charles at the time, Suzanne Rhatigan.

Kochanski as a main character from Series VII to Back to Earth, as portrayed by Chloë Annett

  • The final and "main" Kochanski, as portrayed by English actress Chloë Annett, joined the Boys from the Dwarf in the Series VII episode "Ouroboros" as an "alive" version from another dimension who had survived the radiation leak in stasis. Although it is stated she is Scottish like the original version, she speaks with an English accent, and is more middle-class. This version of the character was the Navigation Officer of Red Dwarf, and notably is said to have actually dated Lister for a few months before the radiation leak, unlike Clare Grogan's version of Kochanski who is said to have never dated Lister. This version of Kochanski was constantly exasperated by Lister's ways, but shared some moments of tenderness with him too. She stayed with the regular characters for two series before leaving in mysterious and as-yet unexplained circumstances sometime before Back to Earth.

Background Information

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Kristine Kochanski. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tongue Tied, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.