Tongue Tied

Legion is the second episode in Series VI of Red Dwarf, and the thirty-second overall episode of the programme. It first aired 14 October 1993 on BBC2.


After being snared by the malfunctioning tractor beam of the Legion Station, the Dwarfers meet a strange being named Legion who has no intention of letting them leave...


With food and water supplies aboard Starbug dwindling and the crew falling further and further behind their stolen mothership Red DwarfKryten serves Dave Lister corn-fed Space Weevil (he thought it was crunchy king prawn) just before they are attacked by a missile.

Starbug ensnared by the Legion Station

Arnold Rimmer argues with the others over their level of readiness, while Kryten is hesitant to increase the alert level from blue alert to red alert since it will mean changing the bulb. However, the missile turns out to be part of a malfunctioning guidance beam which takes over Starbug and brings it inside a massive research facility. Although apparently empty, the Dwarfers discover that it was once occupied by the greatest minds of the 24th century.

The Dwarfers decide to look around to see if there was anything worth salvaging, and are then greeted by a humanoid lifeform that didn't initially appear on the psi-scan. The lifeform proceeds to give Rimmer a new hologram hard-light drive for his light bee of his own invention, which gives Rimmer a solid, physical presence, and allowing him to do whatever a living human could do with the added bonus that he can't be harmed, but can still feel pleasure and pain. The being then removes Lister's appendix, which was on the verge of peritonitis, and then invited them to dinner, referring to itself as "Legion".

Legion eats the Mimosian banquet with Anti-Matter Chopsticks

The Dwarfers then talk about Legion when he is preparing the feast and want to persuade him to come with them, reasoning that with his intellect they can easily catch Red Dwarf and make it back to Earth. However Lister points out that while they have a lot to gain from taking Legion with them, they can offer nothing. They decide to act refined and intelligent to trick Legion to come with them, as it'll be too late to change his mind once they've left. Legion then serves the Mamosian banquet which needs to be eaten by Mamosian anti-matter chopsticks. The crew pretend that they're used to using the chopsticks, when in reality only Kryten has any idea how to use them, and as a result most of the food falls on Rimmer. They are also served telekinetic wine served in glasses fixed to the table, as the drinker wills the liquid into his mouth and decides on the flavour. Lister has a go, but has his face sprayed by the drink as a result. Rimmer decides to just straight up ask Legion if he wants to come with them, but Legion tells them not only can he not leave but he has no intention of letting the others leave either, intending for them to be his honoured guests until they die.

Legion shows Dave Lister to his "cell", which includes everything Lister loves (including rock music, sugar puff sandwiches, off-tune guitars, chillis and sneakers in the ice box)

They find out that their 'cells' are huge luxurious rooms catered to their tastes and requirements. Rimmer considers it impeccable, right down to the over-starched pajamas and nocturnal boxing gloves, just like his childhood in Io House. Kryten finds mud-streaked floors with a mop and bucket, and couldn't be happier in "Hog's Heaven". Lister's room is the only "cell" actually seen; it filled with neon signs and rock music playing in the background. Lister finds a few dozen eight-packs of lager and a spare pair of sneakers in the ice box, a badly out-of-tune guitar (which Lister immediately adores) a bowl of chilli peppers on the bedside drawers, a covered plate of sugar puff sandwiches. The cell stocked with all his favourite music and movies (with no Doug McClure, whose films Lister had been begrudging forced to watch earlier aboard Starbug due to lack of choice). When Lister asks about company, Legion tells Lister that he can have full use of the institute's Cyber Park before Legion nearly falls asleep, saying that the others are getting tired and excusing himself.

Legion's face is revealed...

The Dwarfers discuss the situation the next morning while eating breakfast, and agree that although they're treated well, they are still prisoners and are losing ground on Red Dwarf with each second. Lister comes up with a plan, based on the movie Revenge of the Surfboarding Killer Bikini Vampire Girls, which fails as Legion knows of that plan too. During the brief scuffle, Legion's face-plate falls away to show his face is a composite of all four of his prisoners (with Lister's contribution disappearing during a brief instance of unconsciousness). Kryten reveals that Legion is a gestalt entity made up of all four of them, and if they left he would be nothing. Legion demonstrates that he is capable of insanely irrational behaviour by stabbing his hand, giving them the pain as well and threatens to stab himself in the groin at the next hint of insurrection. He explains that he was the product of the greatest minds of the 24th century, an experiment in collective intelligence, but old age killed them one by one leaving him as a formless entity until the Dwarfers arrived. Kryten then knocks Cat and Lister out, confirming that when each of them loses consciousness, Legion loses them from his facial composite. Kryten then attempts to knock Rimmer out by hitting him with a vase and a pipe, but because hard-light is almost indestructible, Rimmer is left reach inside himself and to turn off his light bee. With no-one else left to contribute to his existence, Legion becomes Kryten's double and declares stalemate, but Kryten knows he has won as now Legion is incapable of malice and, since serving humans is his only priority, Legion is now compelled to return the crew to Starbug. As they drag the unconscious Lister and Cat back to the ship, Legion notes that a "limbo state of non-existence" seems like promotion when compared to sharing the crew's psyches. Kryten takes the chance to ask if Legion, when composed of the great minds, ever developed anything that could help the crew catch up to Red Dwarf.

Back aboard Starbug, Kryten shows the rest of the crew the new Star Drive which, if it works, will allow them to catch up to Red Dwarf in a matter of nano-seconds. Lister, Rimmer and Cat don't hold out much hope, already knowing it won't work, but Kryten rallies them by pointing out that Legion was proof that if they allow themselves to be composed of one mind and will there's no limit to what they're capable of and makes them all declare that they believe the Star Drive will work. The device is activated, and it does indeed work and zooms off into space... unfortunately, it doesn't take Starbug with it. As the crew hold on against being sucked out into space from the hole left behind, Kryten notes that technically it did work.

Guest Stars

Deleted Scenes

Available on the Series VI DVD:

  • A couple of jokes trimmed for time include Rimmer recounting a story of when Lister used the Deep Space Probe to de-wax his ears.
  • As the heat-seeking missile tracks Starbug, Cat says that they are "deader than seersucker"; the line was trimmed as the studio audience didn't know what seersucker was.
  • A short extended scene as the Dwarfers enter the Legion Station, with Legion forming and then silently watching them from above.
  • Additional dialogue as Legion turns Rimmer from a "soft-light" into a "hard-light" hologram. Rimmer says that "where he comes from, sticking your hand inside someone and pulling out their works constitutes a major chinning offence".
  • Extended dialogue of the Starbuggers discussing getting Legion to join them, of Lister and Cat display their disdain for "24th century Mamosian" cuisine, and Rimmer attempting to appear cultured to Legion.
  • When Legion shows Lister to his "cell", Lister is impressed by the sneakers in the ice box, and puts them on his feet saying that they are chilled to perfection. As Legion leaves the "cell", Lister tries some dried chillis that Legion has put out, and much to his delight they are the hottest thing he has ever tasted. The scene was cut as Craig Charles ate a real one and struggled with it at the end of the take.
  • At breakfast, Cat hypothesises that Legion is a "human zoo-type weird person collector". Rimmer concurs, saying that they may soon be led out of there and forced to mate with a variety of strange-coloured voluptuous alien women. Cat is excited at the prospect.
  • An extension to the scene where Lister tries to knock out Legion from behind with one of Legion's statues, recreating the scene from Revenge of the Surfboarding Killer Bikini Vampire Girls. As Lister explains the plan, Legion is stood behind the door listening. He enters to see Lister holding up the statue, and Lister says that he is trying to get a better look at the statue by holding it up to the light.
  • The scene of Kryten trying to knock Rimmer out was later re-shot, replacing the obviously lightweight sculpture with a more convincing metal bar. Originally, Kryten was hitting Rimmer with a giant, rock-like piece, although it did not appear heavy.
  • A completely different take on the Star Drive smashing through the hull of Starbug; in this case, the exterior model shot of it actually happening is seen, although luckily it is revealed that Starbug is still in the hangar of the Legion Station when it happens. However the take was re-shot as the crew 'hanging on' with the escaping air nearly blowing them out was not considered successful.


  • This is the episode where Rimmer has the Hard Light drive installed, which allows him to touch physical objects (in soft light form, he could only touch other soft light objects and holograms).
  • In three episodes after this ("Gunmen of the Apocalypse", "Rimmerworld", and "Entangled"), Rimmer is shown in both his soft-light and hard-light forms.
  • When Legion puts his mask back on, after the four faces are revealed, a small part of his jowls under his jaw is briefly shown.
  • This episode contains one of the show's most noted continuity errors, as Lister has his appendix removed despite the fact that he already had it out according to references in "Thanks for the Memory". Some fans have assumed that since Lister underwent genetic reconstruction in "D.N.A.", his appendix was restored along with the rest of his body. In Last Human, it is explained that due to a freak of nature Lister was born with two appendixes.
  • The number of people Rimmer mentioned the crew meeting is the number of episodes the series had at this point, making Legion the 32nd episode, and the 32nd individual the crew has met. He also indirectly refers to the Polymorph and the Psirens (who "in some way wanted to suck out our brains") and The Inquisitor (who tried to "erase them from history altogether") despite the fact that he erased himself from history (although, since he doesn't refer to the Inquisitor by name, it could be assumed that the Dwarfers encountered another alien who wanted to wipe them from history. Although, in "Timeslides" Rimmer was able to remember Cat and Kryten even though he never met them in that timeline, it's possible Rimmer is the only one able to remember The Inquistor).
  • Though it is not said specifically, the fact that the people providing Legion's original components stayed on the station until they all died of old age suggests he may have been keeping them prisoner in order to maintain his own existence then as well.

Background Information

  • The working title of this episode was Call Me Legion.[1]
  • The 'Citadel' scenes inside the Legion Station were filmed in the distinctive interior of Marco Polo House.[2] It was once the headquarters of the late satellite channel BSB, and later the shopping channel QVC. The post-modernist building was demolished in 2014.[3]
  • When Nigel Williams arrived to film the 'citadel' scenes, it was discovered that his Legion costume didn't actually fit. As the zip could not be persuaded to close after he had squeezed into it, the back of the garment had to be sewn up instead, a process which took eight hours.[4] This trapped Williams inside the costume for the duration of the recording.[5]
  • Although Rimmer's hard-light form was intended to be temporary for the dinner scene, it was later decided to make the change permanent since it was becoming frustrating for Grant and Naylor with having the character be unable to touch anything or be under any kind of real threat.
  • The rock music playing in Lister's cell was "Hot and Wild Number 1" by the musician Chris Tsangarides.[6]

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Rimmer: You can't serve space weevil, Kryten. I mean, not even Lister with his single remaining tastebud will knowingly sit down and eat insectoid vermin. Well let's face it - with him it's practically cannabalism.
  • Kryten: Supper, sir, and tonight's movie. I'm sorry, sir, it is another Doug McClure. Please don't hit me.
  • Rimmer: May I remind you all of Space Core Directive 34124?
    Kryten: 34124. No officer with false teeth should attempt oral sex in zero gravity.
  • Rimmer: Step up to Red Alert!
    Kryten: Sir, are you absolutely sure? It does mean changing the bulb.
  • Legion:I wasn't aware you had an interest in art, Mr Rimmer?
    Rimmer: Many's a night we while away the wee hours contemplating a Caravaggio, discussing its shape, themes and form.
    Cat: The pointy-stick game doesn't get a look-in anymore.
  • Rimmer: Now this three-dimensional sculpture in particular is quite exquisite. Its simplicity, it's bold, stark lines... pray, what do you call it?
    Legion: The light switch.
    Rimmer: I couldn't buy it, then?
    Legion: Not really. I need it to turn the lights on and off.
  • Lister: Anti-Matter Chopsticks? We use them all the time.
    Cat: Can't even remember what a fork looks like.
    Rimmer: Don't let a few congealed custard stains down Lister's long-johns delude you into thinking we're not sophisticates.
  • Legion: My name is Legion, for we are many.
  • Rimmer: That's not an Ionian Nerve Grip! That's smashing me over the head with a vase!
    Kryten: There's no such thing as an Ionian Nerve Grip. Now stand still while I hit you!


  1. News from the Dwarf, Red Dwarf Smegazine, volume 2 issue 1, May 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  2. Series VI DVD booklet
  5. Page 138 of the Red Dwarf programme guide - Third edition