Tongue Tied

The wreck of the SS Samsara at the bottom of an ocean moon (Samsara, Series XI)

SS Samsara was an ill-fated Mega Core research starship with a large crew compliment. Most notably, it contained a Karma Drive to ensure the good behaviour of the crew.

Three million years later, it had become an underwater wreck on an ocean moon, and was explored by the boys from the Dwarf when Red Dwarf came across the same ocean moon in Deep Space. Unfortunately for them, the Karma Field was still active, and not working as intended.


Originally, the SS Samsara was a state-of-the-art vessel, with self-repairing engine parts. Her ultimate downfall would be human error. Two of the crew of the SS Samsara - Professor Rachel Barker and Colonel Jim Green - were having an extramarital affair, which was against the strict moral code of the Mega Core, and they were severely reprimanded by their captain, Tom Kadri after this was discovered. Barker and Green also suffered increasing bouts of bad luck, bestowed on them by the Karma Drive present on the Samsara, which rewarded good behavior but punished bad behavior.

Green and Barker's affair continued, with them experiencing more and more unpleasant occurrences and instances of bad luck due to the Karma Field. When she could take it no more, Barker reprogrammed the Karma Drive to switch itself - punish good behaviour and reward bad behaviour. Green and Barker then took the only escape pod of the SS Samsara so that they could have some time alone.

Green and Barker unwittingly left the SS Samsara a virtual warzone, with people having crazed orgies and murdering each other just to survive. Soon after, the quantum motherboard overloaded, causing a blast of extreme heat to kill everyone aboard the Samsara instantly. The ship then crashes into the ocean moon it had been orbiting, sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

Three million years later, the Red Dwarf came across the same ocean moon. Green and Barker came out of stasis aboard their escape pod and tried to warn the boys from the Dwarf that the Karma Field was still active, but since warning them was a "good" act, Green and Barker were immediately punished by being vaporised, turning them into piles of dust. Kryten remote piloted the pod into Red Dwarf, but could get little from its black box.

The Dwarfers then decided to go down to the wreck of the Samsara with Starbug to uncover what had occurred themselves...

to be completed

(Samsara, Series XI)



  • In old Earth religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, "Saṃsāra" is the word for the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth through reincarnation. This cycle can be broken and nirvana or enlightenment attained through, fittingly, good karma.