Tongue Tied
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Starbug chases after the 'fake' Red Dwarf, unknowingly leaving Holly stranded on the Red Dwarf planetoid and beginning Series VI
(Prelude to Nanarchy webcomic)

The Red Dwarf planetoid (referred to as The Red Planet in the Series VII finale script) was a planetary body with it's own gravity and a breathable atmosphere encountered by the crew of Starbug.

The planet was not in fact a natural world, as it was actually made up of matter that originally comprised the massive spaceship Red Dwarf - the long lost mothership of Starbug.

A sandy, windswept and stormy world, it was created by the nanobots who made the planet from the excess material of Red Dwarf that they didn't want. The nanobots also created a 'fake', micro-Red Dwarf for the Dwarfers to chase after between Series VI and Series VII.

The Red Dwarf planetoid was finally made back into Red Dwarf - in an improved condition with it's original crew resurrected (who had died in the original radiation leak) - in the Series VII finale and Series VIII opener.

History

Exploring the surface in the buggy

Background

After the last episode of Series V, during the incident on the ocean moon containing the SSS Esperanto, Red Dwarf was stolen by the nanobots (unbeknown to them at the time), and the Boys from the Dwarf spent the next two series searching Deep Space for Red Dwarf while travelling on Starbug without Holly.

Starbug arrives on the nanobot-created planetoid which was once Red Dwarf
(Nanarchy, Series VII)

Discovery

In the last episode of Series VII, they eventually found the planetoid which the nanites had turned Red Dwarf into whilst looking for Kryten's nanobots to rebuild Lister's lost arm and retraced their steps back to a previous point in time - when they investigated the wreck of the SSS Esperanto on an ocean moon (thirteen episodes previous to the Series VII finale). Kryten noted that the Psi-Scan was mysteriously reading the new red planet orbiting with the same ocean moon as their long-lost mothership, with the sand comprised of what was once computer chips and so forth. Lister, the Cat and Kochanski took an armoured sand buggy down to the new red planetoid to investigate. Although the planetoid had gravity and it's own breathable atmosphere, the weather was dire; with hurricane force gales and constant lightening strikes exploding on the surface.

Nonetheless, in among the electrical storm they managed to scavenge pieces of junk that had undoubtedly originated on Red Dwarf, such as vending machines, the Cat's beauty aids, and an inflatable shark which had once resided in the sleeping quarters. Confirmation that the planetoid was Red Dwarf was found when the original, senile version of Holly was found stored in Lister's wristwatch.

Starbug landed on the surface of the Red Dwarf planetoid

Reconstruction of Red Dwarf

When caught in Lister's laundry basket, the nanites had turned the planetoid back into Red Dwarf, and tried to compensate for their behaviour by improving on the design of the rebuilt ship. The nanites had even resurrected the original crew (who had all been killed in the radiation leak three million years ago) and also rebuilt a new version of Holly to run the new and improved ship. However, the amazement and joy of the regular characters at this discovery was extremely short-lived, as the nanobots then fled, leaving them without any evidence to corroborate their story. The other, newly-resurrected crew-members of Red Dwarf locked up the regular characters in The Tank for stealing and crashing a Starbug. ("Nanarchy", Series VII) ("Back in the Red", Series VIII)

Behind the scenes

As Starbug flies off, an accident ignites the set

  • The set was destroyed whilst filming the Starbug model leaving the Red Dwarf planetoid surface. Non-flammable gases were supposed to be used to depict the Starbug jet propellant, but the wrong type of gas (i.e. flammable) was accidentally used. This was then ignited by the small pyrotechnics that were meant to be depicting the lightning strikes on the surface. Footage of the accident can be seen on the Series VII DVD making-of feature.
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