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Recap / Red Dwarf Season III Marooned

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The day Rimmer was only the second-biggest smeghead among the crew.

Red Dwarf is evacuating. Holly has spotted five black holes on their route and it's not safe for anyone to remain aboard while she navigates around them. Kryten and the Cat depart on Blue Midget, while Rimmer and Lister take Starbug for a 12-hour trip before joining back up, each of them taking a few valuables just in case.

And then a meteor hits Starbug and it crashes onto a desolate ice world.

Unable to dig out, Lister and Rimmer wait days for the others to rescue them. With no real supplies and the temperature dropping, Lister is forced to increasingly desperate measures to survive, which mainly equates to trying to ration out the inadequate edibles and burning anything flammable... mostly, Rimmer's stuff. It reaches a breaking point when Lister, having expended everything flammable, wants to burn Rimmer's camphor wood chest. Rimmer refuses and insists that Lister's guitar should be burnt first. He leaves to give Lister time for one last song (and because Lister is an awful musician). Once Rimmer is off the ship, Lister traces the guitar on the back of the chest, cuts it out, and puts it in the fire barrel while stashing the guitar in a locker.


Rimmer returns and is astonished to see the guitar burning. He is truly impressed by Lister's sacrifice and says so, because he knows the guitar meant as much to Lister... as the camphor wood chest. Lister is increasingly chagrined as Rimmer goes on to explain that the wooden chest was the only thing his father gave him besides cruelty and disappointment and how devastated he would be if it got so much as scratched. Rimmer then insists on burning the rest of his possessions to honor Lister's sacrifice.

Kryten and Cat arrive on a dogsled (actually a Kryten-sled) at last. Rimmer begins telling them about how he's seen a new side of Dave Lister and calls him a man of honor... while Lister shamefacedly retrieves his guitar from the locker. Realization dawns, and Rimmer has the chest opened to see the big, guitar-shaped hole in the back. With his face twitching in rage, he orders Kryten to get the hacksaw to exact revenge.


  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: Lister is talking about how there's no point in excessive planning because you never know what'll happen even in the next five minutes, just before a flaming space rock hits Starbug.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: With just a tin of dog food and a Pot Noodle left, Lister says that it's obvious what's going last. He can't stand Pot Noodles.
  • Bottle Episode: Confined to Starbug for nearly all its running time, featuring just Lister and Rimmer.
  • Brick Joke: Rimmer talks about finding out he was Alexander the Great's chief eunuch in a past life. At the end of the episode, he asks Kryten for the hacksaw.
    "We're going to do to Lister what Alexander the Great once did to me."
  • Characterization Marches On: This was the first episode Robert Llewellyn filmed as Kryten and it's clear he's still trying to finding his footing (the bizarre faux-Canadian accent).
  • Comically Missing the Point: Rimmer is aghast that Lister lost his virginity on a golf course at age twelve... because it means he wasn't a full member of the club and therefore had no business messing up the sand traps.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Lister really, really, really hates Pot Noodles. He chooses dog food over it.
  • Dog Food Diet: Lister is stranded on a freezing planet with almost no supplies and must eat a can of dog food. However, he chose dog food over a Pot Noodle.
  • Dreadful Musician: Lister is awful at both playing and singing.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Rimmer smells camphor wood when he returns to Starbug. Conclusion? Lister's guitar was made of camphor wood.
  • Fake Food: Despite popular rumours, the dog food eaten by Lister in this episode was not real. It was actually tuna mixed with meat jelly to look like dog food. Craig Charles added that it might as well have been dog food, because it tasted horrible.
  • Groin Attack: Rimmer intends to do to Lister what Alexander The Great once did to him in revenge for Lister destroying his chest.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: There was a chance for Lister and Rimmer to start getting along, or at least for Rimmer to have a better opinion of Lister, but it's ruined by Lister's deception.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The exchange about why it's okay for Lister to burn Rimmer's books and valuables to stay alive in the frozen waste, which turns around when Rimmer suggests burning Lister's guitar instead.
  • Locked in a Freezer: Starbug is slowly losing heat and running out of food. Rimmer is unaffected, being a hologram, while Lister is forced to increasing lengths to survive. To pass the time, they swap a few stories and argue a lot.
  • Minimalist Cast: The overwhelming majority of this episode is entirely Lister and Rimmer. The other regulars are essentially reduced to cameos and there's no guest cast at all.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Lister is horrified when Rimmer explains just how much sentimental value the wooden chest carried.
  • The Needless: Rimmer's status as this is emphasized, continually arguing with Lister over whether or not it's actually necessary to destroy his things while Lister needs them to survive.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: After Lister burns the "guitar," Rimmer is awed by Lister's sacrifice and insists that the wooden soldiers go next while gushing about Lister's emotional fortitude and honor.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: After six days without eating, Lister finally resorts to eating the dog food. The look on his face says it all.
  • Reincarnation: Rimmer claims that, in a previous life, he was Alexander the Great's chief eunuch.
  • The Scrooge: It's revealed that Rimmer has twenty-four grand in cash saved up, yet borrowed $£15 from Lister to buy him a book token for his birthday that was only worth a fiver.
    Lister: You never paid me back either. You're tighter than an Italian waiter's keks!
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The five black holes? Black specks of grit on the scanner scope.
  • Skewed Priorities: Lister accuses Rimmer of this for refusing to let his books, soldiers, and wooden chest be burnt, as Lister is the one who is at risk of freezing to death. Rimmer gets to fire back when he suggests Lister's guitar as fuel for the fire and is angrily rebuffed for it.
  • Take That!: Lister would rather eat dog-food than a pot noodle.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Rimmer's Javanese camphor-wood chest was not only a family heirloom, it was the only gift his father ever gave him.
  • Tranquil Fury: Rimmer's cold, face-twitchy fury when Lister shamefacedly retrieves the intact guitar and he sees the big guitar-shaped hole in the chest.
  • Wham Line: "I know what that guitar meant to you. It meant exactly what that camphor wood chest means to me!"


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