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Out of Time (Red Dwarf episode)

"Out Of Time" is the sixth, and last, episode of science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf Series VI and the 36th in the series run. It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 11 November 1993. Written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor and directed by Andy de Emmony, it was the first Red Dwarf series finale to end on a cliffhanger.


Red Dwarf is lost and Rimmer conducts a "morale-meeting", where he gets a few things off his chest about how he hates everyone. They soon fly into a region of space populated by unreality pockets, a security measure around a top-secret Space Corps test ship. More of these unreality pockets occur, causing very strong hallucinations and Lister to think he is a 3000 series android, after which he is forced to obey orders from Kryten, a 4000 series. Kryten suggests the crew go into Deep Sleep and conducts his own looting mission and Starbug escapes with a time-drive.

They are subsequently contacted by another Starbug, populated by their future selves, who explain that their own time-drive is malfunctioning and request to be allowed to copy parts from the present-day time-drive. They invite them on board, but everyone except Kryten is sealed in the hold. Lister rigs a camera to see what's going on. It soon becomes clear that their future selfs are snobs and have socialised with some of the most evil figures of history - Hitler, Louis XIV, Hermann Göring, the Hapsburgs - and lived in the height of luxury.

Lister refuses after seeing what the future crew has become, and they launch an attack on their past-selves' Starbug. They would rather die than be denied their self-indulgent lifestyle. Rimmer shows uncharacteristic bravery by suggesting they fight, stating "Better dead than smeg." The battle ends with Lister, Cat, and Kryten all killed from explosions in the cockpit. Rimmer alone takes it upon himself to blow up the time-drive resulting in the explosion of Starbug...


"Out of Time", known as "Present From The Future" during shooting, featued an idea that the writers were thinking about for some time - Lister as an android. The idea never materialised as an episode in its own right but wound up as part of the plot here.

The episode was filmed with Auto cue prompts installed throughout the Starbug set, since Doug Naylor did not actually finish the script. He had to type lines for the actors to read, and simultaneously make it look like a well-rehearsed episode to the audience.

"Out Of Time" ended with Rimmer blowing the time drive up and the ship exploding, then the caption "To Be Continued..." appeared. But that wasn't the initial ending that was filmed. The idea to go with that cliffhanger was thought of in post-production, A conclusion to the story was written and recorded. As Rimmer blew up the time drive he is thrown back and everything around him returns to normal. Later Rimmer celebrates his heroics with Lister, Cat and Kryten, They toast their good fortune with some marguerita. "To the present" says Kryten. Lister then blurts out "that's urine re-cyc", and they are left with foam mustaches.

Several endings were considered, including the crew finding Red Dwarf at the end, which had been the original idea, but it was decided it would be a better cliffhanger to kill everyone off - especially as the BBC had already said they wanted more Red Dwarf.

See also

Out of Time (Torchwood)

Out of Time (Heroes)

External links


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