Time Drive

Time Drive was a time travel device found on the Gemini 12. The boys from the Dwarf discover it in the last episode of Series VI, where it leads to disastrous results, and a greatly altered timeline.

A time paradox-altered Time Drive and Starbug are created due to this, and the upgraded Time Drive is used in two episodes of Series VII before finally being destroyed for good.


The Dwarfers salvaged it 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 and 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 (combined with Lister removing his guilt chip).

Aigburth Arms 6

Lister uses the Time Drive to drop off his baby self at the Aigburth Arms in 2155 ("Ouroboros")

Although 'Kryten' convinces the rest of the crew to go along with Lister's planned jump to the past, Spare Head 2's inexperience with the drive results in them accidentally travelling back 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 when they save Kennedy's life, creating a new timeline where he was impeached and the Mafia gained a foothold in the White House. 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. In a deleted scene of "Tikka to Ride", it is shown that they kept the Time Drive (perhaps in case of an emergancy where they could warn themselves of a disaster) and Lister used it to bring the curry supplies and lager forward in time to prevent them from being destroyed in the flood.

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 original version of the Time Drive could only travel through time, but not space (hence the "1421" gag in "Out of Time"). However, the Time Drive of Series VII is vastly upgraded by the time paradox instilled at the end of that episode, since it included components of the Time Drive in the future 'Bug. This meant that the Time Drive of Series VII could also travel through space, and was a much more mobile device.
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