Tongue Tied

SS Centauri, rear view

SS Centauri was a Space Corps starship impressive in a number of characteristics, including it's imposing size, very fast speed, and heavy armament. It was powered by Crystalline Turbine Drives.

Three million years in the future, SS Centauri still sojourned through Deep Space. It had been commandeered by an unscrupulous trio led by the Simulant Trader, and which also included his unnamed Kinitawowi GELF associate and a "zoney" mechanoid named Able. Able's brother Kryten was stolen and spent some time aboard.

The heavily-armed ship eventually attacked the boys from the Dwarf with laser cannons, but was destroyed when Able used Kryten's negativity (from his mind nega-drive) to cause the Simulant Trader to commit suicide by exploding SS Centauri in a fit of depression. Although this action also killed Able, it saved the the vastly inferior Starbug crew from SS Centauri. ("Beyond a Joke", Series VII)



  • Kryten actually visited SS Centauri twice. In the deleted scenes, the Simulant Trader tells the Dwarfers he knew it was them who formerly looted his ship whilst the Simulant was in his AR Suite. This is how Kryten acquired the lobster from the stasis chambers of SS Centauri; the lobster is seen at the beginning of the episode.
  • SS Centauri contained "big fancy crystalline turbine drives", which led Cat to speculate (not very helpfully) that it was created anywhere between the 23rd to 29th centuries.
  • When the Simulant Trader orders Able to get Kryten fixed and "ready for market", it is unclear what this market was. However he may have been referring to the Brefewino planet from "Identity Within", which acted as a galactic trading hub for all manner of droids and various races of GELFs.

Behind the Scenes

  • The model for SS Centauri was a fresh design by Mike Tucker, who elected to follow some of the design style of Starbug by incorporating rounded shapes at the front of the vessel.

Cut model shot of Starbug docked with the much-larger SS Centauri

  • In model work which was cut from the episode, SS Centauri was shown to be a dozen times larger than Starbug. An entire section of the Centauri hull was built to a much larger scale (and much more detailed) that would have shown a tiny Starbug docked with it, giving clear scale between the two ships and showing that Centauri was much larger than Starbug. Although filmed, it was cut from the broadcast episode for timing reasons, but is still available in the making-of features on the Series VII DVD.
  • In some shots, SS Centauri seems to have rounded, bare rock in its construction, especially along the top and back, although it's hard to tell given the lighting and shadows on the model. This may mean that, like Red Dwarf, it may have included small asteroids in its design (in the case of Red Dwarf, these were small moons), or have been built around them - this may explain the modular yet bulbous and spherical sections of the ship.
  • The SS Centauri model was knocked together with parts including old answering machines.
  • A differently colored version of the model was used as Gemini 12 in the first episode of the series, "Tikka to Ride". However at least four different models have been used to depict the Gemini 12.