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  • #270479
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Lister uses the Time Drive at the end of Ouroboros to complete his destiny loop, then responsibly goes back to the future. It’s just another thing they casually have in Starbug, like the luck virus and maybe the other time-travelling teleporter from Rimmerworld.

    #270480

    It is funny how we get wrapped up in the Time Drive, because it explictly states its limitations and makes for a rather funny scene everyone agrees is clever – space in the mid 1400s.  When only the episode before the same device basically exists and is used for a throw away gag (and to resolve the episode all at the same time).

    Funnily enough, I always think that the teleporter shouldn’t work as the actual teleporter (the pad they load the supplies onto) is on the simulant ship thats destroyed.  Kryten merely has the handheld controls for it.

    #270483
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Regarding Kryten and Kochanski, I’m definitely on the side of thinking that purely visual changes do not require an in-universe explanation necessarily, but when it comes to major changes in accent, personality or backstory, it feels good to make a theory around it. (Or in the case of Kryten it’s not really a fan theory, it’s a canon explanation that isn’t kept totally consistent.)

    So essentially in the picture of Kryten partying on the Nova 5, I’m imagining that even though he isn’t wearing a smart suit and looks like Robert Llewellyn, he still sounds and acts like David Ross (or at least the ‘factory reset’ Back in the Red Kryten.)

    Regarding the time drive, I do like the explanation that the functional changes are down to anomalies that combined it with the future Starbug version… even though you think they’d mention that or act surprised about it.

    Unfortunately the internal Tikka inconsistency regarding killing your younger self isn’t so straightforward to explain (and no explanation would stop it from being a narrative issue, but never mind). My best swing is that how the universe resolves these paradoxes is more or less a coin flip. The death persisting or not persisting are both impossible – that’s why it’s a paradox – so you may as well argue that it could go either way.

    Of course, an underappreciated aspect of the Tikka to Ride grandfather paradox is that it’s not just the self-assassination which does it. They’ve already caused a paradox by accidentally preventing Kennedy’s death in the first place, because that changes the entire history of human space exploration and thus prevents the circumstances which lead to them travelling back to Dallas 1963 to begin with (“Starbug isn’t there. It doesn’t exist.”). So how the fuck are they still there, then. Kennedy fades away immediately. So they should have done the same just as quickly after they saved him.

    #270484

    Of course, an underappreciated aspect of the Tikka to Ride grandfather paradox is that it’s not just the self-assassination which does it. They’ve already caused a paradox by accidentally preventing Kennedy’s death in the first place, because that changes the entire history of human space exploration and thus prevents the circumstances which lead to them travelling back to Dallas 1963 to begin with (“Starbug isn’t there. It doesn’t exist.”). So how the fuck are they still there, then. Kennedy fades away immediately. So they should have done the same just as quickly after they saved him.

    I want to say because they caused the events (and maybe because they own a time machine) they continue to exist in the new timeline … but that still doesn’t explain Kennedy other than back to my comment about it  resetting the timeline as he wasn’t meant to exist at all – whereas Lister and crew are the catalyst for it all so they remain no-matter what.

    You can understand why Lister managed to destroy multiple video cameras.

    #270485
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    I want to say because they caused the events (and maybe because they own a time machine) they continue to exist in the new timeline … but that still doesn’t explain Kennedy other than back to my comment about it resetting the timeline as he wasn’t meant to exist at all – whereas Lister and crew are the catalyst for it all so they remain no-matter what.

    You can understand why Lister managed to destroy multiple video cameras.

    Yeah, I’m happy to run with that explanation in general, just not in this specific episode where that’s directly contradicted by Kennedy. Even if you say that fading away only happens if your time travel undoes your whole existence rather than just undoing the logical sequence of events in your life (which I guess is “Hard Grandfather Paradox” vs. “Soft Grandfather Paradox”), if Kennedy fades away after killing himself, The Cat should fade away after preventing the creation of his entire species.

    #270486

    Though could certainly have used it to find Red Dwarf (i.e. go back to when the lost it).

    Yes, and it would have turned out that they were the ones who stole it in the first place. I say this every time and am still gutted Doug didn’t go with it. It’s a brilliant bootstrap paradox that would have really suited the show.

    #270488
    Dave
    Participant

    He learned his lesson by the time he wrote Give & Take.

    #270489
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Lister has that realisation about the missing curry supplies in Tikka Xtended, so Doug must have realised the option. He could/should have brought Red Dwarf back in all sorts of ways, but just wanted another Starbug run first.

    #270491

    It’s a shame he had all these plans for episodes featuring miles of ducts, a large artificial reality suite, a landing bay and so on, otherwise he could have just set VII on Red Dwarf.

    #270492
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    The search for Red Dwarf is so half-arsed in VII, that they’re prepared to  backtrack all of the distance they covered between Back to Reality and Episode (which took over 200 years), just to try and find the Nanobots instead. Admittedly, Starbug is capable of going far faster by this point, but it does seem to be the point when they’re essentially chucking in the towel.  Ditto Kochanski and the search for a way back to “her Dave”.

    #270493

    Kochanski’s chance of finding her way home are much slimmer than everyone else’s chances of finding Red Dwarf so I understand her giving up after a while.

    And to be fair to the crew, by the time they go looking for the nanobots, it’s been a couple of years since they lost Red Dwarf, they’ve probably half given up too. Hell, they don’t even mention searching for it in VII really. At that point, healing Lister seems like a more important and achievable target in the immediate future.

    #270496
    Hamish
    Participant

    Given the expansion of Starbug in Series VII you could also make the argument that it was a far more suitable ship for a crew of four people than Red Dwarf was by that point.

    #270497

    A further thought occurs re Tikka’s inconsistent killingnpast self logic

    In Lister’s opening spiel he makes a point of saying their future selves destroyed everything on board ship, including the time drive. So it wouldn’t be possible for them to travel back in time and kill themselves. It’s the second part that then says “by killing us they killed themselves” But that is Lister simplifying it.

    I suggest it’s actually the destruction of the time drive which is the main factor in restoring timelines and merging realities.

    Which means Kennedy’s death is different in that he only kills himself and the time drive still exists, which maybe in some way is keeping track of realities and timelines and stuff and adjusting accordingly. Regardless it does differentiate the Out of Time resolution and the Tikka resolutions a bit.

    Which begs the question, when the realised they had accidentally changed the timelines in the first place, why not desteoy the time drive again to reset things. Rimmer had already had that idea in Out of Time himself and they know that’s what saved them before.

    #270498
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Given the expansion of Starbug in Series VII you could also make the argument that it was a far more suitable ship for a crew of four people than Red Dwarf was by that point.

    The first series I saw were VI & VII (with near-real-time gaps), so I was really settled into Starbug and the survival/adventure style. Finding the ‘Red Dwarf’ of the title was a satisfying quest completion, but the idea of watching them living fairly comfortably on a massive ship by themselves seemed less appealing. I read the novels next, which sorted me out.

    #270499
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Given the expansion of Starbug in Series VII you could also make the argument that it was a far more suitable ship for a crew of four people than Red Dwarf was by that point.

    Effectively negating the “lifeboat vs Ocean Liner” thing they were going for with VI.

    #270510
    Rudolph
    Participant

    Which begs the question, when the realised they had accidentally changed the timelines in the first place, why not desteoy the time drive again to reset things. Rimmer had already had that idea in Out of Time himself and they know that’s what saved them before.

    If they’d simply kicked it to pieces after knocking Lee Harvey Oswald out of the window, it wouldn’t have undone all the changes it had already caused them make. They’d still be marooned in 1963 with a broken time machine and a still breathing JFK.

    #270513
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Right, yes, destroying the time drive they currently have wouldn’t do anything. They’d need to use the time drive to go back and destroy the time drive in their personal past.

    Though despite how Lister chooses to explain the Out of Time resolution, I’m struggling to buy the idea that the future crew destroying the past time drive is an inherently different type of paradox to them destroying Starbug or killing their younger selves

    Trying to make sense of Tikka to Ride is increasingly feeling like a lost cause. It literally has 3 completely contradictory outcomes to the same kind of time paradox in the same episode.

    If only it hadn’t ended with Kennedy fading away, and instead had him simply walk off into the distance, the 2 instances within the main story would at least have been consistent. It would have been the “changing history creates a branching timeline, it doesn’t destroy the original timeline, it just means you can’t get back to it” explanation. Granted, alt-Kennedy having to live a life undercover in a universe where he was assassinated maybe doesn’t have the same pathos as him ceasing to exist, but still.

    #270514
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Though despite how Lister chooses to explain the Out of Time resolution, I’m struggling to buy the idea that the future crew destroying the past time drive is an inherently different type of paradox to them destroying Starbug or killing their younger selves

    The paradox caused the original ending to merge with the broadcast ending in Lister’s (Doug’s) mind.

    #270520
    somecallmejames
    Participant

    The alternate ending to Only the Good is the canon one, and the broadcast version is a nightmare Rimmer had (and it’s worth noting the references in series X’s ‘The Beginning’ seem to match up with it).

    #270582
    Jenuall
    Participant

    I generally just refuse to accept the Out Of Time resolution as presented in Tikka, as has already been eloquently debated it’s contradictory and completely undermines the previous episode which is an all time classic.

    In my head Rimmer saves everyone by destroying the time drive, thus preventing their future selves from ever existing to kill them and then we cut to 19 years in the future and Series X begins.

    #270584

    I sometimes think that’s what I’d do if I was showing someone the show for the first time, but then they’d have all the “erm, why are they on about Kochanski all of a sudden?” questions.

    #270595
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Conspiracy theory: There was a series IX that broadcast sometime around 2000, but it was so terrible that everyone abandoned it after the first episode and put mental blocks over the trauma. It pissed off the BBC big time and was promptly disowned and hushed up by GNP… until nOH GOD WHAT HAV

    #270604
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    I generally just refuse to accept the Out Of Time resolution as presented in Tikka, as has already been eloquently debated it’s contradictory and completely undermines the previous episode which is an all time classic.

    In my head Rimmer saves everyone by destroying the time drive, thus preventing their future selves from ever existing to kill them and then we cut to 19 years in the future and Series X begins.

    OK, but this is also a rejection of Out of Time itself right. We see Starbug explode. Maybe the “the ‘Smeg! I’m a hero’ ending is canon” theory comes bundled in with this one?

    It seems to me that you can’t easily skip over all the disfavoured series without introducing some new, noticable discontinuity.

    If you skip from Series VI to X, in addition to not getting an explanation for their survival, you also don’t get an explanation for how they found Red Dwarf or why there’s no Holly, the repeated references to “finding Kochanski” make no sense, and the basis for one half of “Fathers & Suns” just comes out of nowhere.

    If you skip from Series V instead, it’s the same as above, but you’re lacking an explanation for Rimmer’s hardlight instead of Out of Time’s ending and Red Dwarf’s recovery.

    I think the cleanest cut is to skip over Series VIII only. The only bit of discontinuity (that I can think of) from going straight from VII to BtE is “why is (holo) Rimmer back?”, but that’s there regardless. In fact it’s actually got less discontinuity this way, because if you include Series VIII you’re left with the lingering questions of “how did they stop the chameleonic microbes?”, “where did nano-Rimmer go?” and “what ultimately happened to the 1,000+ crewmembers who abandoned ship?”. Not so if you skip it! (There are the references to the chameleonic microbes in ‘The Beginning’, but those could easily just be about an off-screen adventure; it wouldn’t be too jarring.)

    #270606
    Jenuall
    Participant

    As a kid I always took the red laser and explosion as a visual representation of Rimmer “killing” the future Starbug by shooting the time drive – the explosion isn’t our bug being killed but theirs.

    The fact that what we see on screen is the ship exploding into literally nothing, no debris is left behind at all, is enough for me to believe that this isn’t just the future ship hitting them with a missile but the ship being erased from the timeline.

    The “skip to series X” comment was more flippant than anything, I don’t especially think it’s necessary to erase VII or VIII in that way, but I do think Tikka does a terrible job of resolving things and would rather live with my head-canon version!

    #270607
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    As a kid I always took the red laser and explosion as a visual representation of Rimmer “killing” the future Starbug by shooting the time drive – the explosion isn’t our bug being killed but theirs.

    The fact that what we see on screen is the ship exploding into literally nothing, no debris is left behind at all, is enough for me to believe that this isn’t just the future ship hitting them with a missile but the ship being erased from the timeline.

    Ooh, OK, I actually like this idea.

    Of course, to be a successful fan theory it needs to complement the canon, not contradict it. Maybe we could just say that the crew misunderstood what happened? After all, Lister, Cat and Kryten would maybe or maybe not remember being killed individually, and Rimmer maybe remembers taking a shot at the time drive, followed by darkness, followed by waking up on a very different Starbug. They could have just assumed based on that that Starbug blew up (allowing for the ‘attached’ footage to be partially for our benefit – it wouldn’t make sense for them to actually have the shot of Starbug exploding anyway).

    In fact, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. They successfully kill Lister, Cat and Kryten individually first, yet that doesn’t trigger the “everything gets undone” paradox. Why not? Why does it only happen as/after Rimmer is taking his shot at the time drive? Because the individual kills were the future crew changing their past – so you can imagine the future versions of the dead crew members starting to fade away like Kennedy did, leaving just Rimmer’s future self stable and still directing the assualt on past Starbug. But when past Rimmer chooses to destroy the time drive, this is changing the future rather than the past, so actively undoes the damage their future selves have already done.

    Trying to draw a hard line between “deliberately changing the past” and “inadvertently influencing your past selves to change the future” is still a bit wishy washy, but it’s better than what Tikka to Ride currently gives us.

    #270608
    Dave
    Participant

    Of course the whole ending of Out Of Time is really just an unreality bubble.

    #270609

    It’s a great dramatic moment, and the original ending is actually a bit crap, but I think going for the cliffhanger at the end of Out of Time is actually one of the few mistakes Rob and Doug made. With the hindsight of knowing all the upheaval that went on between VI and VII, Doug’s first solo series could really have done just going on as normal rather than having to resolve a four year old cliffhanger at the start.

    I don’t actually mind the resolution, partially because undermining a dramatic moment in comedy fashion is quite a Dwarf thing to do, and also because, even a couple of years before it was broadcast when I was 12, I’d actually worked out that’s what would happen, thus I felt vindicated. But it just feels unnecessary. Basically, never, ever put in a cliffhanger unless you already know how it’s going to resolve.

    #270612
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I saw it a couple of times on repeats before the VII resolution and thought Rimmer was just shooting the engine or some other vital component to make them blow up, knowing that this would make the events impossible and hopefully “somehow” resetting.

    I didn’t notice the blast effect and even thought that was a retcon added in VII (rather than just a different shot) until I eventually saw VI again.

    For convenience, I like the Smeg Ups version best, resolving it quickly and ending on a gag but skipping over the weak ‘smeg I’m a hero’ bit.

    #270796
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Maybe more of an extrapolation or just getting it than a theory. All of the main AI characters are primarily dedicated to keeping Lister sane and stimulated as the last human / crew member.

    – Holly has stated that it’s his job and admitted that he manufactures distractions to keep him occupied. Was it a coincidence that they broke the light barrier shortly after Lister woke up? Would he have bothered responding to the Nova 5’s signal on the way out? How much weekly peril is secretly Holly’s fault?

    – Holly appoints Rimmer to unknowingly help in this role, which he does well until the antagonism softens and Lister starts hanging out with Cat more. This doesn’t prove beneficial to his mental health.

    – What seems like rebellion or independence from Kryten is really just him pleasing Lister as his new owner. He studies science and literature to be a more intellectual stimulating companion than Cat.

    – Talkie Toaster excepted. Or is he?

    #270797
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Bonus theory: The Cat species was genetically engineered by Holly (opening cargo doors and having the Skutters drop tools at the right times) to evolve a more stimulating ‘pet’/companion for Lister by the time he was calculated to be released from stasis. This may have included igniting the holy war and exodus to get rid of all the surplus.

    Maybe he just waited to release Lister until all that had happened, it is a bit convenient.

    #270798

    The best thing Holly could have done for Lister is kept him in stasis and sent the ship hurtling into a sun.

    in actual fact, he releases Lister at a point a young cat from a new dominant species finds himself on his own after his entire species fucks off on some massive religious tiff.

    Lister is actually only released to keep Cat company, because there’d be no sodding reason other wise.

    the rest sort of checks out. Holly, to some extent manufactures things to keep everyone occupied. Kryten definitely has t broken his programming in any meaningful way and does as he is ordered/expected. Be a science/medical officer alongside cleaning etc.

    Rimmer isn’t there only to keep Lister sane, but Cat too. They all help each other in a way, but Rimmer is there more so as an answer to the question “why not anybody else?”.  They don’t need a hologram, but without one Lister would be trying to start up Kochanski or someone and Holly knows that’d be disastrous

    #270808
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Both of the Listers in Psirens are fake.  The real Lister was killed shortly after shooting the Kryten psiren.  The one that does a better job of imitating Lister ultimately realises that Cat’s brain won’t be much of a meal, so he hangs around for the next thirty years and goes method.

    Craig Charles’s really strange line-reading of “What about Red Dwarf?” at the end of the episode hints at this.

    This is also why Lister has reacquired an appendix in Legion.

    #270811
    Jenuall
    Participant

    As time went on the Psiren stopped trying so hard to imitate the original and that’s why VII and VIII Lister seem wrong

    #275578
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    At the end of Skipper, the universe Rimmer ultimately ends up in was not the same one he originally left. It just so happens there’s a second Rimmer from a very similar universe who was skipping at the same time, and they ended up in each other’s universes without initially realising.

    The proof? In The Promised Land Rimmer is a First Technician – are we seriously meant to believe he got a promotion off screen? No, it’s far more likely this is a parallel universe where a different Rimmer earned the accolade. (And the reason the alternate First Tech. Rimmer doesn’t come back after he realises he’s been demoted is because he too smashed his skipper.)

    #275579

    I thought that the second he got back.

    #275580
    Dave
    Participant

    Did they ever specify what position he got bumped back down to in Officer Rimmer so that he could use the grunts area? Maybe it’s an attempt to keep continuity with that.

    #275581
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Did they ever specify what position he got bumped back down to in Officer Rimmer so that he could use the grunts area? Maybe it’s an attempt to keep continuity with that.

    Don’t think they explicitly say it in Officer Rimmer, but Mechocracy re-confirms that he’s 2nd Tech., so they can do the bit about him promoting Lister to 2.5th Technician.

    #275582
    loadoftottnumb
    Participant

    Little tidbit on this, the ‘skit’ where Rimmer promotes Lister to 2.5 then demotes him was originally the beginning of Officer Rimmer (it was refilmed for Mechocracy), you see a hint of this when he agrees to resign as an Officer and Lister says something like ‘welcome back technician 2.0’ 

    #275586
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Ah, interesting. So that’s why that bit felt so shoehorned into the scene. (And also I guess that means Rimmer’s 2nd Technician status was explicitly confirmed at the end of Officer Rimmer.)

    #275588
    loadoftottnumb
    Participant

    Yeah, also there was a bit where Rimmer talked about the importance of making a to do list and how he always had a pen, which was also referenced at the end. The demotion thing came about cos Lister had forgotten to do the MOT on the Ramscope. 

    #275589
    Dave
    Participant

    Ah yes that all rings a bell.

    I guess First Technician is maybe just one of those book-continuity-confusion things that creeps in from time to time.

    #275592
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Yeah, it probably is just novel continuity confusion, though it’s weird that there were 9 series made after Infinity, yet The Promised Land was the first time that such confusion made its way into the TV series.

    To offer a more ordinary headcanon than the universe swapping thing – perhaps Rimmer found an obscure JMC rule between Skipper and TPL, which says that if a 2nd Tech has X years of service and a 1st Tech role remains vacant for Y amount of time, then the 2nd Tech is automatically entitled to a promotion.

    #275615
    Moonlight
    Participant

    which says that if a 2nd Tech has X years of service and a 1st Tech role remains vacant for Y amount of time, then the 2nd Tech is automatically entitled to a promotion.

    The gag of course being that he’s been 1st tech for most of the show but didn’t realize.

    #275619

    The gag of course being that he’s been 1st tech for most of the show but didn’t realize.

    Dammit how did you win me over with that simple statement

    #281275
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Rimmer’s visible ageing (glimpsed in Out of Time and later seen in real time) is a result of his life force being severely depleted in Quarantine, which ended up putting him roughly and conveniently on track with Lister and Cat’s lifespans.

    This was a Metacrisis Doctor type failsafe by Grant Naylor to allow the series to continue for the long run more credibly. Although they did forget about it during Rimmerworld.

    I was going to include Holly in White Hole too, then remembered that didn’t happen.

    #281290

    I was going to include Holly in White Hole too, then remembered that didn’t happen.

    What, you mean the ion storm?

    #283116

    Okay chaps, here’s the Red Dwarf fan theory to end all Red Dwarf fan theories – the pencil Dwarf from series 8 isn’t the real Red Dwarf. Literally. In every possible sense it is an entirely different vessel with not so much as a subatomic particle shared with the original.

    Let me explain.

    Now I’m not a scientist but even accounting for how much ’empty’ space there is between molecules, I don’t think there’s nearly enough matter present on the original Red Dwarf to expand it to such an extent as to double its length. Add to that the previously raised point that any remaining biomass of the original crew may have already been jettisoned in an offscreen funeral like the one Lister conducted in the deleted scenes for The End, and even if that weren’t the case there’s not a whole lot of them left to reconstruct by my reckoning.

    (and also aside from the really cool way that they melded together the different visual styles from all the different prior series, does this even feel like the same ship to you?)

    So here’s my theory for the day – at some point after the end of Series 8, they take the ship back in time to the ocean moon (thus giving Cat an excuse to drop by planetside for a quick fishy that then escapes into the water tank to grow up to become the squid from Back to Earth), jump ship and nick the original, leaving their replacement to be stolen by Kryten’s nanobots and converted to the Dwarf planetoid they find in Nanarchy in a big stupid smeggy Ouroboros style predestination paradox.

    #283117
    Beryl 2
    Participant

    Off to the funny farm you bastard

    #283118
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    So where did the pencil Dwarf come from?

    #283119

    So where did the pencil Dwarf come from?

    From itself. It was broken down by the nanobots to be used by the nanobots to recreate it based on the ship that was broken down by the nanobots to be used by the nanobots to recreate it based on the ship that was broken down by the nanobots to be used by the nanobots to recreate it based on the ship that was broken down by the nanobots to be used by the nanobots to recreate it based on the ship that was broken down by the nanobots to be used by the nanobots to recreate it based on the ship that was broken down by the nanobots to be used by the nanobots to recreate it based on the ship that was broken down by the nanobots to be 

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