Tongue Tied

Back in the Red: Part III is the third episode in Series VIII of Red Dwarf. It is the forty-seventh episode overall. It first aired 4 March 1999 on BBC2.


Kryten is reset to factory settings, while Dave Lister and Kristine Kochanski face two years in the brig. The newly-revived Arnold Rimmer ponders whether to help them or exploit them.


Dave Lister (Craig Charles), Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), Kristine Kochanski (Chloë Annett) and Cat (Danny John-Jules) make it, or rather, they think they have made it, to a shuttle bays and sneak aboard a Blue Midget, however the attractive Ground Controller tells Cat he needs clearance. In order to prove that he is capable of handling the ship, as well as impressing the woman, he begins an impromptu dance routine with Blue Midget as his partner. Amazingly, this ploy works and the flight controller agrees to a date with Cat who is more than ready to stay behind and get ready before Lister forces them to leave.

Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie) reaches the Artificial Reality suite and blackmails the officer on duty using information from the confidential crew files into leaving. In the simulation, the crew begin their search for the nanobots to prove their testimony. Lister then begins to discuss the deal he made with Rimmer, however Rimmer begins to edit out all mention of his name and the agreement. The crew in the simulation notice the jumps in their actions and conversation and realise that the whole escape attempt is a simulation designed to test their responses, having been knocked out when they licked the envelopes at the earlier hearing. Lister realises that they have actually proved their innocence, as they have indeed been trying to track down the nanobots who resurrected the crew. Rimmer, desperate to protect himself, then begins more edits to make Lister and the others seem guilty. Deciding they need to get out of the simulation, the crew search for the emergency exit which is hidden by a cryptic clue. Amazingly, Cat is the one to work out that the button marked 'E-Eleven-T' is the trap door (as eleven is XI in Roman numerals). Pressing the button, the four then find themselves as plasticine characters trapped in the simulation's screen saver. Cat once again finds the emergency exit, and the four leave again.

The crew wake in the AR suite to find Rimmer trying furiously to place them back inside, however he is quickly on the run as the sexual magnetism virus causes Kochanski to lust after him. Hobbling to the lift, Rimmer is protected from her advances by the others while Lister tells him that taking the luck virus will cure the sexual magnetism virus. Thanks to this, Rimmer, his leg and an embarrassed Kochanski are returned to normal. The crew are now forced to take Rimmer with them as they make a real escape attempt.

The five make it to Blue Midget and once again a flight controller demands clearance... and this one is far from attractive. Cat decides to forego the dance and Blue Midget leaves the ship in a hurry, breaking its way out. While making plans to pick up supplies from SS Einstein, talk turns to the theory of relativity. Naturally Holly (Norman Lovett) is unable to recall what it actually means, but takes offence at being labelled an idiot and reveals that he created the nanobots that resurrected the crew in order to fulfil his directive to keep Lister sane. Everyone is shocked that Holly nearly got them thrown in the brig, but Holly tells them they still might end up there... everyone is still in Artificial Reality and so is Rimmer.

From his office, Captain Frank Hollister (Mac McDonald) discusses the events with the original version of Holly who still has an IQ of 6,000. It turns out that Hollister suspected Rimmer of being in league with Lister and the others when he came to his office with so much knowledge and had him lick one of the psychotropic envelopes when he invited him to the captain's table. Lister and the others are found not guilty of the charges against them based on their actions in the AR Suite... but now have a new charge brought against them; using confidential crew information for their own gain. Of this, everyone is found guilty and are sentenced to two years in the brig. The five are released from AR and realise they still have the positive viruses, since they have not really been used, only for Hollister to confiscate the luck virus to send for testing. As they are photographed in their prison uniforms, Holly realises that he's buggered up again.

Below, the crew are welcomed by Warden Ackerman (Graham McTavish) to 'The Tank'. While this is going on Lister, still in possession of the sexual magnetism virus, empties the tube over Rimmer as revenge for his actions earlier. Rimmer then realises that he's becoming very popular with certain rough segments of the male inmates.

Deleted Scenes

The following deleted scenes were not restored in the hour-long, "Xtended" version of the episode, but are available on the Series VIII DVD:

Dvd deleted scenes 100306 2l.jpg
  • The original version of Lister's escape was re-shot on another set to include more time with Rimmer. In the bunkroom, Lister says that, without the nanobots, this trial starting tomorrow is as watertight as an economy bunk on RMS Titanic. Rimmer however reneges on his deal with Lister to help him escape, and reveals that he has found the diary of the old Rimmer (which explains how the "new" Rimmer knew everything that had happened to the "old" Rimmer).
  • On in the jacked Blue Midget, Cat wonders what his trial defense would be if caught. He would claim that he is a reject from a mutant lab, bumming his way across the Universe, and got entry to Red Dwarf thanks to help from Lister. Outside the virtual reality, Rimmer records it as a snippet to use against Cat.
Dvd deleted scenes 100306 3l.jpg
  • Hollister realises the nanobot story is true, since the actions of the accused in virtual reality corroborate it. With "Back in the Red" originally only meant to be one hour, this scene would have concluded the story long before meeting the second air traffic controller.
  • After Rimmer says he's been beaten up by the prison social worker, and Lister says he thought they were supposed to "be nice", Rimmer says he doesn't think the social worker is fully qualified. After Rimmer says he also got beaten up by the prison chaplain, Lister suggests that he goes to see the nuns. Rimmer replies that he'll "get garotted by Sister Les and her stupid smegging Rosary Beads."
  • Rimmer wonders what "appetising morsel" is on the prison menu tonight. "Fricasseed elephant dung maybe. Rat's ears pan-fried in garlic." Lister says no way; they had the latter the night before.
  • A dozen minor trims from dialogue scenes.


Noteworthy Dialogue

Background Information

One of the most difficult scenes to film was the Blue Midget/Cat dance sequence. The entire dance sequence was filmed first with green screen backdrop. It was then edited with no effects. Then the Midget would be added to match the movements of the scene. The scene marked the return of Blue Midget after last being seen in Series III's "Bodyswap". In terms of true-series continuity, this marks the first appearance of the new CGI re-design of the ship.

Guest Stars