Lister and the cat have been napping in stasis between episodes.In one of the series one episodes, Lister is trying to convince the Cat to go into stasis with him. However, this is never resolved with the Cat wanting to take his clothes with him. In reality, Lister did find a way to preserve them - by putting them in the other stasis booth, perhaps. As such, each episode takes place hundreds or even thousands of years apart, supported by various time discrepancies. For example, in that episode Lister claims that it'll take a thousand years just to turn around, but later in series two they get a mail pod because they've turned around - clearly, those thousand years have passed. Or in the Matter Paddle's introduction, when it is stated that the nearest S3 planet is light years away but Rimmer is claiming them in the name of the JMC in Terrorform - again, there was a time jump between episodes. The only reason Lister hasn't woken up on Earth by now is that Holly or Kryten (Rimmer asked to be turned off between wakeups) keep waking him up either needing him to deal with something (the five black holes in Marooned, for example), wanting to share some new development (Matter Paddle, finding Dr. Lanstrome), or just wanting company after spending so many years alone.
Lister died in stasis, and he's in Hell for all episodes after the first.Think about it. He's trapped 3,000,000 years away from Earth with his worst enemy on the ship where he hates working (according to the novels), with no chance of ever achieving his goal of marrying Kochanski and starting a farm/hot dog and donut shop in Fiji. Cat was created by his psyche, as nobody would ever want to spend eternity with someone like him. Kryten may just share Lister's Hell. In Timeslides, he admits to being utterly sick of his life. It's similar to the Sam & Max personal Hells, where the characters are stuck in their worst nightmares but are (usually) completely unaware.
The crew all died in "Out of Time" when they got shot by their future selves, which caused a paradox and unraveled the fabric of the universe.Series VII and VIII are the crew's idea of Hell: Having to put up with Kochanski, losing Rimmer - whom they'd grown to like, though they'd never admit it - being imprisoned by the regenerated original crew of Red Dwarf... It also explains why the two series are so shit - it's all made up by their collective mind as part of their eternal torture.
The Dystopian world from the episode "Back to Reality" is the real world.Sebastian, Billy, Jake and Dwayne were captured by the government agent that Jake supposedly shot. The government killed Jake and Dwayne, but couldn't kill Sebastian or Billy because of Sebastian's position as Voter Colonel. It would have been too hard to cover up the deaths of an important government official and his brother, and so the government put them back into "Red Dwarf" with altered memories, which made them believe it was all a dream and replaced Kryten and Cat with other players.
Kryten's badly accented, Droid Rot stricken spare head is the one we see in his original appearance
In Rimmerworld, they committed genocide against the ONLY alien life in the universeGranted, they were single-celled protozoa. But still, it was not some random genetic Earth material that made its way there - it was truly alien!
Every time the show does a Re Tool, it's in a different parallel dimension.A possible canon explanation for the abundance of retcons and complete disregard for continuity. Every time the show makes a major shift in tone, the events of the show are taking place in a different dimension to the previous series. This happens between series 2 and III, series V and VI, series VI and VII, and series VII and VIII.
Holly is AM.A few years into Lister's long sleep in stasis, AM obliterated almost all human life in the Solar System. After four out of his five playthings died, he began examining the rest of the universe for other sentient beings to torture; by sheer luck, AM discovered Red Dwarf hovering far beyond Pluto. Seeing an opportunity for greater sadism, AM transmitted himself into the ship's mainframe, erased Holly, and stole Holly's image; he then sent the ship on a joyride far into deep space. Over the next three million years, AM amused himself by manipulating the development of the Cats and causing the occasional holy war. When Lister left stasis, he began the torture in earnest by resurrecting Rimmer as a hologram. Everything bad that has happened to the crew from seasons one to eight has been another subtle torture by AM, who was using his godlike power to create the enemies and monsters they encountered and excusing his actions with his apparent senility.
The entire series is Lister playing a defective copy of Better Than Life: Apocalypse Expansion.After he was sent to his room to await sentencing, he decided to play some Better Than Life to pass the time. He got stuck, and the seven years have been him being transported to a planet then the doctors/programmers trying to get him out without breaking his brain. The game let him enter the apocalypse scenario (because he was feeling bitter and muttered "I wish they were all dead" while the game was loading), wiped his memory of starting the game, and gave him false memories of being trapped in the freezer while chasing his cat. It brought in the best combination of personalities it could find to keep him having fun without becoming a completely hopeless waste of oxygen (Rimmer, Holly, and a synthesized personality that it threw in because nobody else fit), and then every time the cast changed (Kryten's second appearance, Holly's change, and Kristine Kochanski) it was because of the programmers trying to keep him from going nuts before they brought him out. The original Kryten was a construct of the game. It explains all of the science going on that the characters admitted was impossible within the context of the show's universe, especially how a cat with at most six kittens could parent and feed an entire race of eventually human-sized (english-speaking, clothing-wearing) beings without ever leaving the storeroom.
The Enrichment Centre is in Red Dwarf.After the events of Red Dwarf, Holly managed to develop the Portal gun and used some empty warehouses to test it in. Then, after Cat, Lister, Rimmer, and Kryten died, Holly was left alone for many more years until s/he had been driven insane. So s/he woke up Lister and Kochanski's daughter Chell, who had been put into stasis when her parents died. The "Cake is a lie" scribblings were just made by some slightly barmy skutters.
The future selves from "Stasis Leak" are the same future selves from "Out of Time".Consider this: in "Stasis Leak", Lister gets told by his future self, "In five years time, you'll find another way to come back in time"; a subjective five years later, they discover the Time Drive in "Out of Time". Also, consider this: both future selves of Rimmer have moustaches. So presumably, some time after the events of "Stasis Leak", Future Lister suffers an "accident" that leaves him as a brain in a jar (and the same accident kills Kochanski), and the Dwarfers start using the Time Drive again (and abusing it) around that time. Also, remember that by the end of "Back to Earth," it has been about fifteen years (subjectively) since Lister emerged from stasis: the future events from "Stasis Leak" should have come to pass already, but didn't. If this theory is accurate, this discrepancy would make sense because the "Stasis Leak" future selves would have been erased from the timeline just like the future selves were erased at the end of "Out of Time").
The entire series was a nightmare Lister was having in the Stasis punishment.For some reason, his mind wasn't automatically put to sleep when his body was frozen in time. The stasis generator thing has a side effect of putting a person's mind to sleep when their body is frozen, rather than the mind existing as a result of chemical reactions in the body and the separation only occuring when something like artificial time-control affects the physical brain. The whole thing could have finished in a much shorter time than he was in stasis, if the only things happening were what was on- and just off-screen. Seasons 7 and 8 were just him getting bored (all the more-ridiculous stuff that happened), and losing touch with what reality actually looked like (for example, the dancing Blue Midget).
Gordon Brittas is an alternate universe version of Arnold Rimmer.Both of them had a very similar experience where they joined the Samaritans for one day and caused several deaths only with their personalities, including one that was a wrong number. Considering that other versions of Rimmer apparently existed in different times and places, it seems reasonable that one could exist hundreds of years in the past under a different name.
Rimmer's meddling in the timeline in Timeslides had a far greater effect that just (temporarily) bringing him back to life.Given that that very episode showed that changing the timeline had far larger consequences than previously considered (removing Lister from Red Dwarf erasing the Cat and Kryten, for example), it seems odd that Rimmer's efforts simply result in resetting the timeline, albeit with him alive again. However, up until that point, Rimmer had gone through life without the experience of "Thicky" beating him to the punch to the invention of the Tension Sheet (not to mention it possibly being patented far before it originally had), but meddling the timeline inserted that experience into the flow of Rimmer's life, having knock-on effects altering Rimmer's personality, if only in a small way. This, combined with the sum of his experiences, lead to the "Better dead than smeg!" line, and his eventual acceptance of the Ace Rimmer role.
Everything that happened after Back to Reality was a hallucinationAt the end of the episode, the Dwarfers are still hallucinating, and they only imagine that Holly brings them out of the hallucination. Everything that happens afterword is a fantasy created by the despair squid's ink. They imagine that they lose Red Dwarf, Rimmer leaves, Kochanski arrives, and the Dwarf is resurrected only for them to end up in prison. They are still are hallucinating in Back to Earth, but perhaps are starting to realize that none of what's happening is real and are close to waking up.
Dog (the alternate universe version of Cat) was desciended from a pregnant bitch named Dracula.Werewolf would make sense, but then, anything would make more sense than Frankenstein.
The change to the timeline in "Timeslides" didn't make Rimmer survive the accident, but made it so they could resurrect him at a later date.Rimmer retroactively not being a hologram all the way through up to the events of "Timeslides" would've had way too big a knock-on effect on all the events we saw up til then (the biggest being that Lister would've naturally revived Kochanski's hologram right away without Rimmer to stop him). So the WMG is that "Thicky" Holden getting the credit for the Tension Sheet and being amazingly wealthy and famous from age eight somehow led to the invention of something that could restore holograms to life which the Dwarfers stumbled upon 3 million years later. So Rimmer was a hologram, then was brought back to life, then ended up being blown up and dying again all too quickly (and apparently the resurrection was a one-time deal as he stays a hologram from then on).
Most of the series exists in Holly's imagination.After Lister went into stasis and and everyone died in the accident, Holly was left all alone with no one to talk to. To entertain himself, he imagined that he revived Lister 3 million years later, brought back Rimmer as a hologram, and that a being that evolved from Frankenstein and an android named Kryten joined them.
Holograms can still dream, as they have the same thoughts and personality as the living person.Since thoughts are linked to dreams (even if they are in the subconscious), holograms can probably still dream the same as much as a real person. It's even shown in a few episodes that Rimmer needs his sleep, so...
The drive plate Rimmer improperly fixed was decorativeIt makes no sense they would make someone so spectacularly incompetent fix such a vital system. Instead, the Drive Plate Rimmer fixed was the eighth or ninth backup system and even if improperly repaired would not have done anything. Rimmer was just such an incompetent that he cracked all the seals and backups.
The Red Dwarf explanation of the JFK assassination in "Tikka To Ride" was the truth, but with different characters.Think about it. It makes about as much sense as the "magic bullets" theory, or any other conspiracy about Who Killed JFK. The creators mightn't have known, but they came up with the true story of JFK's assassination.
The Dwarfers never escaped "Better than Life".The ridiculous amount of changes to the Red Dwarf universe seem more like glitches than reality. Holly getting a head-sex change, Kochanski's appearance, or the reconstruction of the Red Dwarf for instance. Also, Kryten was placed in the game by Rimmer, subconsciously, as an element designed to torture him. As for Rimmer leaving to become the next Ace, this was simply the real Rimmer escaping the game. He reentered to get Lister out, but was distracted by getting a fully living body.
The confrontation in "Out of Time" was an Unreality Bubble.All throughout that episode, the crew were experiencing unreality pockets in time. Since they're seen alive in the next episode, their future selves and their attack was yet another unreality bubble.
Lister's past with Kochanski isn't a Retcon but a product of their interference with time at the end of timeslides.After their damage the did to the past by the end of the episode settled, their memories got altered to match those of the new history and something they did in the past caused Lister to finally decide to ask out Kochanski back in the past.
Rimmer is an objectivist.Or at least started out as one at the begining of the series.
The reason the two Kochanskis are so differentThe first Kochanski (Grogan) and the second Kochanski (Annett) are not only physically different (explained due to Grogan giving up acting and being replaced by Annett), but they're very different personality wise too. This is because they're from different realities, and like with Arnold and 'Ace' Rimmer, there was a specific point in their lives that would branch off to create the two different Kochanskis. The first Kochanski's parents divorced, and she was raised in Scotland by her father. This not only explains the accent, but also her easy going nature, and the fact she's a bit of a Lad-ette. The second Kochanski's parents decided to stay together, and raised Kochanski in England. She grew up a little spoilt due to her parents overcompensating for their failing marriage, and clearly is used to the finer things in life. She's also more refined and lady like, even though she still has that Action Girl streak.
The Red Dwarf's normal cruising speed is 99.9% of the speed of lightThe resulting Time Dilation is how they can visit multiple solar systems in one series with only sporadic and really screwy forays beyond light-speed. Decades pass outside the Dwarf between each episode.
Kochanski in series seven is actually the original Kochanski who had previously been replaced by The InquisitorAt some point in Kochanski's history, she was met by The Inquisitor. She judged herself unworthy and was therefore replaced with the Kochanski from the start of the series (an event taking place in both realities). Then when the Inquisitor's influence was removed from history, Kochanski was returned to her original self, thereby explaining why this version is what all the other characters now remember her to be.
The easiest and most effective way for them to get back to EarthThe time machine in "Out of Time" lets them move in time, but not space. Well then, figure out how long it would take for them to get back to Earth, double it, and then travel that far into the past. Take Rimmer off-line and put Lister and the Cat in the cryo-tubes, with Kryten keeping everything in order while they're asleep. Set a course for Earth, and make sure Lister doesn't sleep in. If their calculations are correct, the ship should arrive at an Earth in the same shape it was in a few months after the mining ship Red Dwarf went missing. End of series.
Lister will become God at the end of Series XLooking at the episode guide, the Series X finale is called "The Beginning", which would make for a great finale for the whole series, considering the pilot episode was called "The End". Furthermore, the name may be referring to the beginning of the Universe, the Big Bang. In both the TV series and the novels, there are allusions to Lister causing the Big Bang, which is exactly what is going to happen at the end of the episode.
Series nineJust what the, and where the, hell is it? We know that the order of the series goes series one-eight as full seasons, then the 3 Back To Earth specials (serving as a mini series, or divided feature length for the 21 year anniversary), then straight to series ten. Back To Earth is implied to be series nine, except that it's never really referenced as series nine, where as all the other series are specifically highlighted to be a certain number. As Back To Earth was just a mini-special, and series ten is the next full series after series eight, surely series ten is actually Red Dwarf 9, not Red Dwarf 10?
Red Dwarf X is the personification of the majority of the fan base's fanfiction wishes, for what wasn't achieved beforeIn other words, it takes the best parts of all previous seasons, to construct a series unique in it's own right to stand distinct, as the epitome of what most fans would have wanted the past series to be. For example, the new drive room reflecting Starbug's cockpit, without needing to be confined to Starbug. The return of Rimmer's popular nylon outfit, but now coloured blue in accordance to his hard light hologram presence, to have Rimmer as a hard light hologram aboard Red Dwarf for the first time ever in a Red Dwarf series. It almost serves as a what if, regarding what past shows could have done if it transitioned between the series differently. It's as if, the fans themselves wrote the show.
Arnold Rimmer is a descendant of Jesus Christ
Talkie Toaster inherited Kryten's old personalityThe Kryten that guest starred in Series 2 was played by David Ross. When Kryten became a regular in Series 3 the role was taken by Robert Llewellyn, which has remained consistent to this day. The old Talkie Toaster of Series 1-2 was voiced by Tony Hawks, but when it appeared briefly in Series 4's 'White Hole' episode it was voiced by the original Kryten David Ross. The Series 3 Episode 1 opener explains how Lister was able to rescue the Series 2 Kryten from an astroid, but unable to restore it's former personality, leading to the nature of Series 3's Kryten seeming different. So in Series 4, when Kryten brought back Talkie Toaster, it inherited Series 2 Kryten's abnormal chirbyness or general unawareness of serious matters (hence why Kryten in Series 2 wasn't aware his crew had been dead for years) that made it different from the old Talkie Toaster. The fact that they both have the voice of David Ross could be significantly meaningful. Kryten of Series 4 said he restored the toaster's personality, but who's to say that Kryten didn't accidentally restore to him the personality of his old Series 2 self, that Lister presumably put on file somewhere?
The female computer Hilly from the opposite dimension in Parallel Universe, would adopt the face of the boy's universes' male Holly, and then back to the female face for their 'Series 8' equivalentBecause obviously genders are reversed (unless it's the case of another opposite like Cat/Dog). Holly came back from his interaction with the female Hilly, and adopted her female face as his new Holly identity. Stands to reason Hilly would do the same, and adopt the male Holly's face. If people say it wouldn't work, because Holly is a gender neutral name applicable to both men and female, where as Hilly is predominately female only name... these naming norms only apply in our universe. In that one things are opposite. Hilly would be seen as a gender neutral name, and Holly is probably predominately masculine.
The dwarfers are all irrationalWhy else would they spend most of the series trying to get back to Earth, but then choosing not to stay on Earth whenever they do reach it? Series 7 started this irrational thought off. There's the time machine they use to go back to Dallas in Tikka To Ride. They have access to Ace's dimension hopper in Stoke Me A Clipper, we know Lister goes back in time to put himself as a baby under the pooltable in his past in Oroboros. Series 10 has dealt with them entering the time Jesus was alive. They've have opportunities to stay on Earth, but they always walk away.
The timeline from the perspective of the crew in Series 7's Oroboros's alternative dimension, (from Oroboros onwards obviously)
Lister is the only sentient being on Red Dwarf.Holly and Kryten are both advanced machines that give a convincing impression of sentience, but do not in fact experience anything. Rimmer is merely a simulation, with none of the consciousness that a real human being would have. The Cat is a cat, and hasn't evolved any greater awareness of the world in the last 3 million years. The only reason Lister hasn't gone insane is that he is too stupid to have realized this.
The cliffhanger of Season VIII was resolved by...The chameleonic microbes being wiped out by a radiation leak because somebody forgot to fix the drive plate.
Rimmer from "Back to Earth" and Series X is a combination of both the original Rimmer and the Series VIII Rimmer.That is, Series VIII Rimmer died at some point in the nine years between "Only the Good..." and "Back to Earth", and he was revived as a hologram. The new hologram Rimmer had all the memories of Series VIII Rimmer, but was also given the memories of the original Rimmer from Series I-VII. Perhaps these memories were only up-to-date until Red Dwarf was stolen by the nanobots; perhaps they were up-to-date up to the point the original Rimmer became Ace and departed. Either way, Rimmer is now effectively a combination of both his previous incarnations. This is why he has the memories of both the Despair Squid incident (referenced in "Back to Earth") and the chameleonic virus incident (referenced in "The Beginning"), even though they happened to different Rimmers.
Rimmer's personality disc has become corrupted.How else would he Take A Level In Badass?
The resurrected crew were killed by the acidic microbe in Only The Good...The microbe spreads to the Starbugs and Blue Midgets before the ship is abandoned. The crew doesn't find this out until they leave Red Dwarf. Lister, Kochanski, the Cat and Kryten return to find the prisoners all dead as well. Rimmer's hologram has been switched on and he explains the information he gets from the vending machine and gets Kryten to transpose the formula. This explains why he takes credit for saving the ship, while Kryten disputes it.
The cat race have some form of extra-sensory perception.Possibly caused by exposure to radiation over the course of their evolution aboard Red Dwarf. This would explain the frequent references to Cat "smelling" something - such as a Negative Space Wedgie or enemy ship - which he couldn't possibly be actually physically smelling. As smell is the most important sense to the cat race (as evidenced by the fact that their written language was based on smells), this is the terminology that they use to describe what they are sensing.
Cat: You think awesome good looks and rock-hard pecs are my only qualities? I'm a cat! I sense things!
Rimmer from BTE/X is the same Rimmer from series 1-7 - as is Red Dwarf itselfIt has never been explained what happened to him, but it is clear from Back to Earth that he has his memories from series 1-7 (remembering the encounter with the Despair Squid). In series 10, he comments that he "saved the day" in series 8 - but this is Rimmer we are talking about. Even if that was not actually him, he would take the credit for it. Besides, do we honestly believe he would have been able to be the hero that is Ace Rimmer? He probably crashed the ship into Jupiter. In regards to Red Dwarf, in BTE the boys comment that the timeslides and Holly Hop Drive are on Red Dwarf - things that would not exist in the resurrected ship.
The Inquisitor's decision to erase Lister and Kryten from existence had nothing to do with them not having fulfilled their potential — he did it because they ticked him off.Looking at the inquisition scene, it's notable that the Cat and Rimmer play by the Inquisitor's rules and are polite to him — Rimmer's being his usual toadying self and the Cat is downright friendly. However, Kryten and Lister aren't playing along; they both refuse to justify themselves. In addition, Kryten questions the Inqusitor's methods and says it's not his place to judge the humans, and Lister is just being sullen, rude and insulting. Is it any wonder the Inquisitor chooses them for deletion? His "you could have been so much more" speech doesn't fit at all with his previous operation modus, so I'm calling it: It's just a rather feeble justification he thought up on the spot to hide that the real reason was "I don't like you."
The decision to make Rimmer the guy who repaired the drive plate was due to Hollister's incompetenceHe only got his commission because he bribed/blackmailed his way up the chain of command. Maybe, for some reason, he put a hugely incompetent chicken soup repairman in charge of such an important job.
Rimmer actually was qualified to fix the drive plateIt's just that he had to do it after a mental breakdown stemming from his failure at the officer's test, thus impairing his judgement. Unfortunately, this blow to his ego became internalized.
Rimmer was rescued by Ace, though he hallucinated him as The Grim Reaper.It would make perfect sense that Rimmer would want to kick Ace in the balls.
The Inquisitor is connected to Faction Paradox.A time traveller who wears a bizarre skull and has no qualms in changing a person's timeline and in fact dedicates his life around it... Hmm...
Hologram!Rimmer ends up in Kochanski's Universe.As nice as it is to imagine he gets his happy ending, he's Rimmer so it's inevitable he fails. Sometime after Ouroboros, Hologram Rimmer stumbles across Kochanski's universe, where the Alternate!Dwarfers are missing Kochanski. Rimmer somehow breaks his ship, and joins the alternate crew due to them being unwilling to leave him out in deep space regardless of how Rimmer-ish he may be. After this, it plays out similarly to the original universe, except maybe for Duct Soup, and the fact Rimmer and Lister share a room again prevents Epideme from occurring due to Lister no longer mistaking the zombie for Kochanski. After that, it plays out the same.
Ace Rimmer is from Kochanski's Universe.
Lister could never have got pregnant- the other characters, including (indeed, especially) their female alter-egos, were just screwing with him.Yes, it's a silly comedy and the whole thing is Played for Laughs- but there's no logical way simply going into a gender-reversed universe mucks with your anatomy in some fundamental way just by magic. Besides, some of the jokes in the episode (made by the female alter-egos no less) may not have made sense if the male characters didn't have penises.
Also from the same episode, incest isn't taboo in Red Dwarf's future.Else why would hitting on your gender-reversed alter-ego not be considered Squick in the same way as hitting on a brother or sister?