Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including mining, scouting, time traveling, space tourism and exploration. Diverse spaceship designs exist, such as the huge six-mile-long JMC Red Dwarf, to the holoship Enlightenment, which has no mass or volume and is composed entirely of tachyons. Types of support spacecraft include Starbug and Blue Midget. These smaller craft are capable of landing on planetary bodies.
The exact type of propulsion of spaceships in Red Dwarf has yet to be revealed. Propulsion is probably atomic in nature, due to radiation being a major concern for ship maintenance (RD: The End). Most ships travel at speeds that are slightly lower than the speed of light, however faster-than-light travel is possible, though not common.
Red Dwarf ships
The British television comedy Red Dwarf prominently features many different spaceships. Three feature regularly, and several have appeared for one or two episodes only but are nonetheless important to Red Dwarf continuity or well-known among the fan community. Dozens of spaceships have been seen only in one episode and no more. A few ships have also been mentioned but not seen.
List of Ships
The eponymous spaceship Red Dwarf is an enormous mining vessel owned by the Jupiter Mining Corporation and commanded by Captain Frank Hollister. It is 6 miles (10km) long, 5 miles (8km) tall, and 4 miles (6km) wide. The jagged shape and dull red colour of the vessel has led to the vessel being described as a "giant red trash can". All of Red Dwarf's systems are controlled by the computer Holly.
A small Asteroid asteroid] is embedded in Red Dwarf's underbelly— the asteroid is mined on the journey of the ship between Earth and Jupiter (as pointed out in the cast commentary of the series dvds). Upon the reconstruction of Red Dwarf in Series VIII, there were two asteroids as there were again in the new Red Dwarf seen in "Back to Earth".
It has so far been traveling for roughly 3,000,000 years, and a few centuries on top of this. The ship has enough food and drink to last 30,000 years, but they have run out of Shake n Vac.
The "scoop" on the front of the ship sucks hydrogen from the currents in space and converts it into fuel. Red Dwarf has a large complement of shuttles, including Starbugs and Blue Midgets. Another shuttle type only mentioned in the novels but never seen or heard on the television series is White Giant (although it might be the shuttle type that was used to transport the Canaries between Red Dwarf and their mission location). Red Dwarf is powered by a Bussard ramjet and can, theoretically, keep going forever.
It is briefly mentioned in the first episode, The End, that Red Dwarf has botanical gardens, when third-class technician Dave Lister and second-class technician Arnold Rimmer are sent off to repair a "faulty pourous circuit" there.
The crew size was repeatedly stated in Series I to be 169, but the number grew with time: in the Series IV episode Justice it was said to have been 1,169 (although this Retcon retcon] was implicitly reversed by Lister giving his crew number as 000169 in The Inquisitor, (This figure was the number of people killed in the explosion, and could be explained by having 169 crew members and 1000 civilians on board, this would be plausible as we know there are numerous hotels and civilian areas due to the episode "Stasis Leak") and in the books the figure is given as 11,169. In the programme, however, these continuity errors are more or less ignored. There are an additional 400 people in a classified prison on the secret Floor 13.
Red Dwarf itself was the main setting for the first five series of the programme, but was apparently lost for 200 years before Psirens of Series Six. It was later discovered that a collective of rogue Nanobot nanobots which formed the mechanoid Kryten's auto-repair system dismantled Red Dwarf and created their own nano-version of the ship. The crew chased this nano-version of the ship in Starbug 1 and eventually convinced the nanobots to rebuild the ship.
Unbeknownst to the crew Holly created a new set of nanobots to resurrect the dead crew as well, causing some disorientation among the formerly dead denizens of the reconstructed Red Dwarf. The rebuilt ship was based on the original specifications, before the Jupiter Mining Corporation made cutbacks, meaning it was even larger than the Red Dwarf of the first five series, with a Quark quark-level Matter matter/Anti-matter generator and a Karaoke bar (this was at least partly meant as justification for new sets and a new CGI model of the ship's exterior).
The ultimate fate of the ship is unknown as the cliffhanger ending of the last series was never resolved (see episode Only the Good...). We witness the ship moving towards destruction, this time by a corrosive microbe eating away at the vessel. Frank Hollister and the flight officers escape in the fleet of Starbugs and Blue Midgets. We last see Lister, the Cat, Kryten and Kochanski escaping through a portal into a mirror universe and Arnold Rimmer left accidentally alone on board a disintegrating Red Dwarf.
In Red Dwarf: Back to Earth, the ship is, however, fully functional once again, in a shortened CGI vessel that approximates the dimensions of the original series 1-5 version. Exactly how the characters returned, and how the ship was saved from destruction, is not explained.
Notable areas of the ship over the past series include:
- Rimmer and Lister's original sleeping quarters — The main setting for the first two series. A grey room with bunk beds built into the wall, a table, two lockers, a sink with a mirror that also acts as a computer screen and a voice activated toilet. It made a reappearance in the first episode of Series VIII. This room is to be used as the background for the Red Dwarf: The Bodysnatcher Collection DVD cover.
- Rimmer and Lister's second sleeping quarters— In Series III, they relocated to a room in the unused Officer's Block; substantially larger, with a cream colour scheme and en suite shower as well as classier versions of much of the apparatus from their original quarters. This room was used as the background for the Red Dwarf Series IV DVD cover.
- Rimmer and Lister's third sleeping quarters— In the 2009 special "Back to Earth" the crew had once again moved to a new sleeping area. This new room is white and features a console in the centre of the room that is reminisent of the TARDIS console seen in Doctor Who. This room also features a large window that takes up one entire wall.
- Level 147 appears to have been the nerve centre of the vessel. It contained the Central Drive Room, the navigational control centre of the ship, where Kristine Kochanski used to work as well as the other top officers. The Central Drive Room also contains the Navicomp, the ship's navigational computer, and several computer monitors which Holly used to project his/her image and communicate with the crew. The Captain Frank Hollister's office was also on Floor 147, next to the Central Drive Room. The Stasis stasis booth in which Dave Lister was frozen in suspended animation for three million years was also on Level 147.
- Level 592 contains the Hologram projection suite. In Thanks for the Memories Lister goes here to give Rimmer six months worth of his memories. In the episode Queeg a meteor strikes the ship on Level 592, damaging the Hologram suite which results in some erratic behavior by Rimmer until the damage is corrected by Lister.
- The Science Room— This became the crew's main area of conducting technical business such as mind swaps and consultations with Holly, the ship's computer, in Series III–V. Apparently the vessel could be navigated from the Science Room as well as the Drive Room.
- The cargo bay— The area of the ship where the fleets of Starbugs and Blue Midgets were stored and from where these ships launched and landed.
- White Corridor 159— The initial site of the accident that wiped out the crew. It is where Lister collapses in the episode Confidence and Paranoia. There is another Stasis booth visible during this scene on Level 159.
- The Cinema.
- The Observation Dome.
- The CopaCabana Cocktail Bar— where Lister and his drinking buddies Petersen, Chen and Selby often met to drink. Seen in various episodes of Series I.
- Parrot's Bar— A wine bar on G Deck, apparently named purely for a Casablanca gag. ("We'll always have Parrot's.") This area was seen in the episode Camille.
- The Tank— A two-hundred cell Prison on the top-secret Floor Thirteen of Red Dwarf, which held in custody 400 hardened criminals on their way to a penal colony on Adelphi 12. However, when the nanobots rebuilt Red Dwarf (at the beginning of Series VIII), they do so to original JMC plans, also rebuilding The Tank in the process and resurrecting the inmates of the prison too. The Tank is the main setting for Series VIII as the regular cast are imprisoned there. The Tank was used as the background for the cover of the Red Dwarf Series VIII DVD.
Blue Midget is a type of shuttle which Red Dwarf carries. Its fuselage resembles that of a Chinook helicopter, although it also has features of a truck or tank (as it features caterpillar tracks and a bumper sticker that reads "My Other Space Ship is a Red Dwarf"), and its cockpit can hold a maximum of four people. Blue Midget was the only shuttlecraft used for Series II. By Series III, and the introduction of Kryten as a main character, a bigger shuttle was needed and Blue Midget faded into the background, only featuring in two episodes of Series III and not showing up at all again until Series VIII. For Red Dwarf Remastered, Blue Midget was completely redesigned to resemble a bubble car with retractable legs used for taking off and walking (replacing the caterpillar tracks).
The new design was also used for Blue Midget's reappearance in Series VIII, where the ship gained its third, substantially larger cockpit more akin to the Series VI–VII Starbug cockpit; the redesign was ascribed to the nanobots and their reconstruction of Red Dwarf and the Blue Midgets.
Blue Midget was used as the background for the Red Dwarf Series II DVD cover. Blue Midget also features in the first two Red Dwarf novels. In the second novel, after a polymorph finds its way aboard the shuttlecraft, the craft is made to self-destruct at the insistence of Lister.
The Jupiter Mining Corporation transport vehicle Starbug (full name Starbug I) is a relatively small shuttlecraft, green in colour. It has three bulbous sections; the cockpit, mid-section and engine rooms, somewhat resembling a bug from the exterior. Starbug replaced Blue Midget as the crew's primary choice of shuttle in Series III and became the show's primary vehicle throughout Series VI and VII. The original Red Dwarf came equipped with at least four Starbug vessels, as Starbugs are abandoned in Backwards and Terrorform as a result of crashes by Rimmer and Kryten, with Lister and Cat retrieving the two in another Starbug both times, and in Bodyswap after Rimmer (using Lister's body) crashes it and is retrieved by the others in Blue Midget. The reconstructed Red Dwarf of the Series VIII Back in the Red episode contained an entire fleet of Starbugs and Blue Midgets, but the nanobots reconstructed Red Dwarf to its original design specifications.
Series VI takes place a full two centuries after the final episodes of Series V. The internal layout of Starbug differs from that of the vessel's appearances in previous episodes. The new design featured four main areas: the cockpit in the front section, the midsection and galley on the middle section bottom deck, the observation room (which doubled as quarters and medibay) on the middle section top deck, and the engine room, which was over all three decks of the rear section. In addition, Starbug was finally armed with laser cannons in the episode Gunmen of the Apocalypse by rogue simulants looking for a challenge.
Throughout Series VI and VII, Starbug is regularly seen travelling through different planetary systems and through completely different regions of the interstellar medium within short periods of time. Thus it stands to reason that Starbug is capable of interstellar travel. However, it is clearly stated that Starbug has no faster-than-light capability; it merely runs on hydrogen-powered Rocket thrusters, and so it remains a mystery how the craft manages to travel trillions of kilometres every few hours or every few days. One fan-proposed theory is that Starbug has an extremely powerful albeit semi-functional tachyon-powered drive that can periodically provide massive jumps through space (but still not enough, however, to catch up to their mothership). Super tachyon-powered drives are mentioned at various points in the Red Dwarf television series (such as in the episodes Holoship and Ouroboros), so they are indeed part of the Red Dwarf canon. For Series VII, Starbug was redesigned again, partially rendered in CGI and the sets were made substantially larger (the Starbug of Series VII was apparently similar to the TARDIS] in Doctor Who; being larger on the inside than outside). The complex explanation on this occasion for the redesign was due to a time paradox caused by the battle with their future selves at the finale of the previous series (see episodes Out of Time and Tikka to Ride). Kryten explains that "dimensional anomalies" caused by this time paradox had expanded the engineering section, the cargo bay section and the maintenance ducts by over 212%. Apparently parts of the upgraded future version of Starbug from the timeline they erased also came to co-exist with the present Starbug.
The new model had a smaller cockpit window (as a result of the rest of the craft being larger) and newly backward-angled legs, and its larger size allowed for many extra rooms, including separate quarters, a medibay and a re-designed artificial reality suite. This version of Starbug would finally be destroyed when the ship crashed and exploded in the newly-rebuilt Red Dwarf at the beginning of Series VIII.
Starbug is shown to have an internal cloaking device installed in series III episode 'Backwards', as this feature has been rarely seen in the series it is not known if it is a standard feature of the craft or a custom modification.
Starbug was used as the background for the Red Dwarf Series III DVD cover.
In the Red Dwarf novels, Starbug also crashes onto an ice world: a rogue planet which, after being captured in a star's orbit and having its ice melted, turns out to be the Earth itself, which was ripped from its orbit after being officially renamed "Garbage World" and turned into the solar system's rubbish tip. Following the thawing of the ice, Starbug is all but destroyed by extremely concentrated acid rain. However, Starbug is back and functional in both the following novels (again, possibly a second Starbug vessel).
Carbug is featured in Red Dwarf: Back to Earth. It is a customised Smart Fortwo that is painted in the same green as the original Starbug; it also has various added engines and wings to make it look like the Bug. Chris Barrie (doing his best Jeremy Clarkson impersonation) made a spoof Top Gear style feature about Carbug for the official Dave website. In the episode, the Dwarfers find themselves in a hallucination caused by a despair squid. In this delusional state, they borrow Carbug from Swallow, a maker of movie props, in order to track down their creator after discovering that they are in fact fictional characters who have somehow escaped from a TV show called Red Dwarf. It was developed by the Red Dwarf fan club president and stolen by Swallow at the end of series IX.
Starbug's introduction was prompted by the introduction of Kryten as a main character, which required a new, bigger shuttle to hold the crew. The original concept of Starbug was named White Midget and was going to be white. With the second episode seeing Starbug crashing into a snow-covered planet the design team decided to recolour the ship green to increase contrast and renamed it Green Midget, before realising its similarity to a bug and renaming it once more as Starbug. However, a script error does have Lister saying "How else can I pilot White Midget?"— although he was misnaming Blue Midget, the reference has left some fans intrigued. A ship named White Midget would finally appear on-screen in Series VII, in a flashback to Kochanski's alternate universe pre-accident. Like the crew's alternate uniforms in blue rather than beige, however, this is presumably a difference in her universe— although a different, unnamed, white ship would appear as the Canaries' primary transport in Series VIII.
The Red Dwarf Companion includes a sketch of an unused shuttlecraft design that is described as being the design for White Midget. This also features an early Starbug design labelled "Green Midget".
In the audio commentaries for the Series IV DVD, Chris Barrie surmised that Starbug's spherical construction was the reason for its durability.
White Midget was going to be the second type of shuttle held aboard Red Dwarf in addition to Blue Midget - the introduction of the character Kryten necessitated the introduction of a larger shuttle. White Midget went through at least one redesign in the concept stage, which changed it to the shape of three spheres like the segments of a bug. It was later renamed Green Midget and later still Starbug.
In the Series VII episode Ouroboros, a craft called White Midget finally appeared, albeit briefly and only from the stern. It is seen approaching Red Dwarf in a flashback and appears to be a transport/passenger/personnel specialised vehicle as it delivers Dave Lister back to Red Dwarf from his shore leave on Mimas before the accident that wiped out the crew of Red Dwarf.
However, it did not look anything like Starbug or the original design concept. The White Midget model used for "Ouroboros" was actually a converted Blue Midget model, last used in Series III. Mike Tucker and freelancer Alan Brennan refurbished the original model, adding a nose-cone, wings and back engines and repainted it. Because the flashback is of an alternate reality (Kris Kochanski's dimension) and because White Midget has never been seen before or since on the show (including the evacuation of every shuttle in the final episode), it has been theorised that White Midget as seen in Series VII was merely that dimension's equivalent of Blue Midget.
White Giant is a shuttlecraft on Red Dwarf that only features in the Red Dwarf novels and is never mentioned in the television series. It's never explained what the craft looks like.
In the second Red Dwarf novel, Rimmer and Cat use White Giant to find Lister on Garbage World. Given that Starbug was destroyed by acid rain, and the destruction of Blue Midget, White Giant was left as the only remaining shuttlecraft for Red Dwarf. However, in the two sequel novels Starbug has been rebuilt and White Giant never appears. It is possible that White Giant may have made an appearance as a shuttle craft in the eighth series as the shuttle used by 'The Canaries', the so called suicide squad who attempt dangerous missions.
The wreck of the Nova 5 was discovered in the Series II episode Kryten and is in fact the first spacecraft seen in the show apart from Red Dwarf itself.
The Nova 5 crashed into an asteroid an unspecified amount of time prior to the episode. All of the crew were killed in the crash except for three women who died an unknown time later. The hyperactive series 4000 service mechanoid Kryten was still attending to his long-dead masters (now skeletons) when encountered by the members of Red Dwarf.
Kryten, programmed to serve and nothing more, refuses to believe they are dead. He has continued to prepare meals for and dress the now skeletal remains for an unspecified time after their deaths. Ironically, and hilariously, the crew of the Red Dwarf heed Kryten's distress call with much excitement and enthusiasm when faced with the prospect of meeting real, live women for the first time in three million years.
Nova 5 is never seen after that episode, but is mentioned several times afterwards and recalled by Kryten with much fondness.
In the Series VII episode Ouroboros, it was revealed that Kryten was responsible for the accident that killed the ship's crew. A reason has not been given in the series, but the novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers explains that the crash was caused by Kryten cleaning the sensitive computer terminals with soapy water.
In the novel, Nova 5 is an American vessel owned by The Coca-Cola Company which was sent on a mission to induce the Supernova supernova] of 128 supergiant stars in order to create a five-week-long message in the sky visible even in daylight, reading "COKE ADDS LIFE!" After the Red Dwarf crew finds the wreck it is brought aboard and repaired in order to utilise its Duality Jump engine, which could get the crew back to Earth within three months. However, although the ship is successfully repaired, circumstances prevent them from ever going through with it.
This was a plague ship found in a space glacier containing the Epideme virus that infected Lister, nearly killing him. It crashed because of an engine overload. It is very large.
The DNA Ship
All that is known of its origins is that it was from a later period of Earth's history and crewed by a human— who died after the DNA-transforming machine on board caused him to grow three heads.
This was an unnamed vessel of extremely advanced construction— so much so that Rimmer assumed it belonged to aliens intent on returning Glenn Miller. Its most notable feature, however, was the advanced machine for the transmogrification of human DNA. This machine was so advanced it could turn, say, a human being into a chicken and back again without lasting effects.
It could also turn a mechanoid into a human being, if there were even the slightest organic material used in the mechanoid's construction. Kryten used the DNA machine to become human for a time, if somewhat accidentally.
However as the Dwarfers discovered the DNA transforming machine could also malfunction; for example, when Lister tried to turn a mutton vindaloo into a chicken vindaloo, it reanimated the dead organic matter creating into a ravenous snarling beast (referred to as "the Mutton Vindaloo Beast" or the "Curry Monster"). Lister then used the DNA machine to turn him into a Robocop-esque cyborg (albeit one only a few inches tall) so that he could battle the Curry Monster. In the end Lister killed the Curry Monster by exploding cans of lager in its mouth, as lager is "the only thing which can kill a vindaloo".
Lister and Kryten used the DNA machine one last time to revert back to their original states, and the DNA ship was not seen again.
Wildfire is Ace Rimmer's personal ship. Wildfire is a one-man craft with only a cockpit, and is run by a computer who has a crush on Ace Rimmer. It first appeared in the episode Dimension Jump, which also introduced Ace Rimmer. Its second appearance was in the episode Stoke Me a Clipper, where it was slightly redesigned, being small enough to fit inside Starbugs hangar.
Wildfire was created in Ace Rimmer's own dimension by his team on Mimas, including "Spanners" Lister, and is capable of crossing the barrier between alternate dimensions. Ace Rimmer agreed to test-fly it even though it was a one-way ticket as there was no way of returning to his own dimension, but he couldn't resist due to his natural character of daredevil bravado. Ace used it to cross into our dimension where he met the Dwarfers. Afterwards he used it as his own dimension-jumping spaceship, and gained a reputation across many alternate dimensions as a kind of intergalactic space adventurer and dashing hero.
Ace Rimmer "caught the business end of a neutron tank in Dimension 165", after which another version of himself in that dimension took up his persona and continued adventuring through the dimensions with Wildfire. This has since occurred many times since and many alternate counterparts of Ace from various dimensions have piloted Wildfire. When each Ace dies, Wildfire is given to the next one in the counterpart dimension.
Wildfire is never named in the TV series: it is only named in the Red Dwarf novel Backwards, where it was built on Europa rather than Mimas. In that novel (the novels had different stories to the TV series) Wildfire is taken by Lister and Cat after Ace dies so they can escape the sun Starbug is flying towards.
The SSS Esperanto was a designated seeding ship featured in Back to Reality, the last episode of Series V.
Its three-year mission was to explore deep space and locate potential S3 (or Earth-like) planets that were covered by ocean, introduce primitive life-forms to these extraterrestrial environments and finally speed up the evolutionary process. Her mission was successful; indeed, it was off all predicted charts— on one ocean planet the Esperanto succeeded in causing five million years' worth of aquatic evolution in just three solar years.
The SSS Esperanto crashed onto the ocean floor when it was attacked by one of the creatures she had helped create: a gigantic squid-like creature whose ink had hallucinatory and despair-inducing properties. The ink caused all the crew of the Esperanto, and even a stray fish, to have hallucinations which made them despair and commit suicide. The fish committed suicide by voluntarily closing its own gills.
It is revealed that, of all the ocean-dwelling species the Esperanto created, the giant squid had either eaten them all or caused them to die with its despair-inducing ink, leaving the ocean devoid of life except for the squid.
When Starbug found the Esperanto, the crew were also attacked by the squid and had a bizarre but elaborate group hallucination which led them to believe all their experiences on Red Dwarf were nothing but a video game, and their real identities to be people whom they all despised. In their hallucination, a Brummie technician named Andy says that to kill the squid they were supposed to use the SSS Esperanto's laser cannons, citing the name "Esperanto" as a clue (Esperanto means "one who hopes", and hope defeats despair).
This unnamed vessel appears in two episodes of Series VI: Gunmen of the Apocalypse and Rimmerworld. It is crewed by Rogue Simulants who roam deep space, looking for other vessels to hunt or compete with in battle for the purposes of sport, and occasionally to capture humans to torture for their sadistic pleasure. It contains a number of components looted from other vessels, including an escape pod taken from a seeding ship. It also incorporated a great deal of advanced technology (most notably a teleporter) and a large store of food in order to sustain the Simulants' torture victims.
The Simulant ship is heavily armed with laser cannons, and the Simulants will occasionally equip unarmed vessels with their own weaponry to make the hunt more sporting. The Simulant ship is apparently not very well armoured, however, as a few laser blasts from Starbug were enough to blow the Simulant ship into two halves. Apparently the Simulants were accustomed to their prey fleeing, and were not accustomed to their prey standing their ground and fighting back. The surprise attack from Starbug leaves them unable to move or return fire.
The Dwarfers later return to the site of the battle and board one half of the wrecked Simulant ship as they are in need of food supplies.
The ship's first design was in the shape of a human skull. This was changed to a goat skull and finally, to make it fit in with the overall Western theme of Gunmen of the Apocalypse, to a cow skull.
The Gemini 12 was a mysterious spaceship capable of time travel and originating from the 28th century. According to the Gemini 12's black box, her ill-fated maiden voyage was a covert reconnaissance mission to the 20th century, during which the unfortunate crew inadvertently contracted a 20th century influenza virus. Apparently all viruses had long since been wiped out by their time, and so by the 28th century the human immune system had become so weak through inaction it no longer had the ability to combat illness. The crew of the Gemini 12 knew they were dying and so, to stop the time machine aboard falling into the wrong hands (knowing how it could be abused and how dangerous it could be to mess with time) they sent the ship away into deep space on autopilot.
After falling into orbit around a gas giant, the Gemini 12 activated its unusual security system— a giant enveloping gas cloud which contained a "reality minefield". This consisted of temporary bubbles of "unreality" which would confuse and disorientate any trespassers and deter them from delving deep into the gas cloud surrounding the Gemini 12. The effects of these "unreality bubbles" included making Dave Lister, a human crew member, appear to be a robot; making the Cat become invisible and removing his existence from the memory of the other crewmembers; making Starbug appear to disappear around the crew; and the heads of the crew transforming into the heads of animals. As any ship penetrated deeper into the gas cloud, the effects of the "unreality bubbles" would become more and more unnerving, more ridiculous and more extreme.
Starbug went through the unreality bubbles, with the crew in Cryonics cryogenic sleep] so they wouldn't be affected by the unreality bubbles, to find out what they were protecting. When they found the Gemini 12 they took the Time Drive and installed it on Starbug. Soon after they came into a conflict with their future selves from fifteen years from then (who had grown incredibly Decadent decadent] and Amoralism amoral] through abusing the Time Drive) which concluded with their future selves killing them. This caused time to reset to before they discovered the Gemini 12. However the time paradox of the battle with their future selves caused severe dimensional anomalies, which in turn caused the appearance, size and properties of Starbug, Gemini 12 and the Time Drive to alter greatly. Also the Dwarfers retained all memory of the meeting and subsequent battle with their future selves, which should have been enough deterrent to leave the Gemini 12 alone. It was not so...
They once again went and retrieved the Time Drive afterwards on Lister's insistence, so they could go back in time to Earth and replenish their curry supplies. To get the rest of the crew in on it, Lister swapped Kryten's normal head with Spare Head 2, which was less morally upstanding than Kryten's normal head.
The crew accidentally warp to Dallas in 1963, and get caught up in the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The Dwarfers manage to set the timeline straight but not after nearly bringing the Earth to nuclear holocaust. Afterwards the crew finally decide to no longer use the Time Drive as it proves too much hassle, or perhaps it was faulty or broken, which is implied during the episode Tikka to Ride. As such the Gemini 12 is not seen again. Although not mentioned, the red flash of light and sound effect of the Time Drive is used in the background of the next episode (Ouroboros) when Lister places the child of himself and Kochanski under the pool table where Lister was originally "found" as an orphan.
The Gemini 12 has had four different appearances, none of which are compatible. For the first episode it appears in, Out of Time, they weren't able to build a new model and instead used stock footage from the episode Justice. For the next episode, Tikka to Ride, there was a failed attempt to build an all-new CGI design before it was decided to use another ship that would appear later in the same series, the SS Centauri. Finally, for "Tikka to Ride Remastered" on the Red Dwarf Series VII DVD, an entirely new design was made using CGI.
The Enlightenment only appears once, in the episode Holoship (Series V, Episode 1). In the commentary for this episode Danny John-Jules amusingly gasps when the characters refer to the Enlightenment as "a computer generated ship". It was in fact a model made of transparent plastic. In the Series V extras DVD, there are unused clips of the Enlightenment bending its main structure about its articulation points; no other ship in the Red Dwarf series is known to do this.
The Enlightenment is a hologramatic ship with no mass or volume and composed entirely of tachyons, or super-light particles, and which has the ability to travel many multiples the speed of light and even create wormholes to travel instantaneously from one point in space to the other. Kryten knew about the "holoship" as the project was in its initial phase when he left the Solar System.
The Enlightenment carries the "hologrammatical cream of the space corps" and the crew are all top of their field; some are geniuses and most of them have an IQ over 200. Because of their intellectual superiority, they are notoriously arrogant towards the crews of other "lesser" vessels. They see stupidity everywhere. They are described by Dave Lister as being "emotionally weird" as they have abandoned all concept of relationships and family, which they view as the results of "short term hormonal imbalances". However, ship regulations say that each crew member must participate in sexual congress at least twice daily, for exercise and to relieve frustration. Since holograms can touch one another (Revealed in Parallel Universe) and as the ship is also a hologram, holograms have a physical presence on board, being able to eat, drink, touch, feel and taste anything on the ship
With a full crew complement of 2000 (no more holograms can be projected or it would be too much of a drain of the system, so it would seem), the only way for another hologram to join the crew is "dead man's boots", or to challenge an existing crew member and prove intellectually superior. For any new crew members, another crew member must go through a series of two ridiculously difficult tests. If the original crew member fails the test or withdraws, the new crew member takes the place of the original crew member along with their run-time, effectively killing the loser.
Arnold Rimmer temporarily joined this crew when he challenged flight officer Nirvanah Crane and she withdrew from their challenge (to give him a chance), and Crane was deactivated so Rimmer could take her place. However, Rimmer had developed feelings for Crane (the first time in his life he had ever felt feelings for anybody) and resigned back to 'Red Dwarf so that Nirvanah could be reinstated and live again. For her he gave up a position of command, something he had always wanted, he also gave up an effective physical presence and a life of constant sex with beautiful women.
The SS Silverberg was seen is the series 8 episode, Cassandra. It was aboard the Silverberg that the Canaries found Cassandra, a computer who can predict the future with 100% accuracy. It was originally believed that the ship crashed and something devoured the crew, but in fact the Silverberg had been programmed to crash on auto-pilot so as to get rid of Cassandra.
Ships mentioned by name
The SS Hermes spaceship was reduced to a skeletal carcass after a highly corrosive and microbe got loose on board and ate away at the very ship itself, killing the crew in the process. Because of this little is known about the Hermes, or the nature of the ship-devouring virus it fell victim to (although it is stated that the virus was synthetic, so it is possible the virus was made in the laboratory of the Hermes).
The deadly microbe then escaped on a pod from the wrecked vessel, along with the lone survivor Talia Garrett (an old acquaintance of Red Dwarf Captain Frank Hollister). The virus was unknowingly taken aboard Red Dwarf along with the escape pod, in the last episode in season 8, Only the Good...
The Oregon is mentioned by Captain Hollister in The End, citing example of a ship that had experienced an animal quarantine related incident, apparently involving rabbits.
The SS Augustus is a ship Kryten served on before the Nova 5. The crew all died of old age, suggesting it may have been on a long-term voyage. He mentioned it during Duct Soup when the crew roamed around Starbug's vents. He mentioned it to Lister along with the Nova 5 as ships where the crew "abandoned" him.