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Recap / Red Dwarf Season IV White Hole

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So what is it?
I've never seen it before, sir. No-one has, but I'm guessing it's a white hole.
—The Cat and Kryten, as everyone tries to figure out what's going on.

When an experiment to try and restore Holly's badly degraded IQ goes wrong, the crew is left struggling to survive on a powerless Red Dwarf as it drifts into the vicinity of a white hole.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: After having to be used as a battering ram through 53 doors, a dazed Kryten responds to Lister asking if he's okay with "I'm fine, thank you, Susan."
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  • Battering Ram: After the ship's power gets shut off..
    Lister: Look, they're only interior doors. They're only a light alloy. Maybe we could get through them if we use a battering ram. All we need is something, say, I dunno, six foot long, fairly sturdy, with a flat top.
    (everyone grins at Kryten)
    Kryten: 53 doors?! You can't be serious!
  • Call-Back: When Holly's I.Q. is boosted, it's shown that her IQ actually is six like she had Queeg claim it was. That, or its accidentally brought down first.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: Lister said the accident involved "Me, the Toaster, the waste-disposal unit and a 15-pound lumphammer". It was actually first-degree toastercide.
  • Drunken Master: Lister claims it makes his pool skills better, though Rimmer is understandably dubious. He does manage to make the shot.
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  • Dumb Blonde: Female Holly has, by the opening of the episode, degraded to the point of being far stupider than her male counterpart. She's even shown needing to audibly bonk her head against the viewscreen in order to count.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Lister fires a shot to knock a planet into a white hole but misses... only to hit another planet, which collides with another planet, which plugs the hole. He then claims this was a "trick shot".
    • This also happens in the second novel. With disastrous consequences.
  • Flanderization: This episode created the idea that Talkie Toaster is a fanatical bread-obsessed lunatic, when in the first two seasons he had been more of a snarky bit-part character. That said, Retcon is involved, as Lister claims that this is how he's always been, relegating his saner earlier portrayal to a case of Early Installment Weirdness.
  • Gilligan Cut: "53 doors?! You can't be serious!"
  • Gone Horribly Right: The procedure to restore Holly's IQ works... but it works too well. It makes her many times smarter than she was before the drive plate accident, but it reduces her lifespan to a mere handful of minutes.
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  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Lister manages to perform a trick shot with planets.
  • Insistent Terminology: Lister claims what happened to the toast was an "accident", which involved him, the toaster, a waste disposal unit and a lump hammer. The toaster declares it was "first degree toaster-cide".
  • Mundane Wish: At one point, the crew discuss when in history they would choose to live if they had a time machine. Kryten chooses... a week last Tuesday.
    Lister: ...Why?
    Kryten: Don't you remember? I did all the laundry, and then we watched TV. Wow, we won't see the like of those sorts of days again.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: Holly finds a way to boost her intelligence and undo three million years of "computer senility". Overclocking it, she gets an IQ of 12,368 (over her original IQ of 6,000) at the cost of reduced run-time: about 3 and a half minutes.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The titular White Hole, a polar opposite to the Black Hole, which expels time and space in a continuous flow into the universe.
  • Phrase Catcher: A hyperintelligent Holly, irritated by Rimmer's inability to get what she's saying, declares him a smeghead.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: A short but wonderfully succinct one addressed from Kryten to Rimmer closes the episode, as he takes advantage of the fact that time is being reshuffled as an excuse to bypass his usual profanity filters:
    Kryten: You are the most obnoxious, trumped-up, farty little smeghead it has ever been my misfortune to encounter!
  • Skewed Priorities: When Holly reaches supergenius levels of intelligence, the toaster wastes time asking if she, a computer, wants something bread related to eat.
  • Troll: The "it's a white hole" scene isn't helped by the Cat deliberately asking what's going on again just to mess with everyone.
  • Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: See above under Battering Ram.

So what is it?
Oh, somebody punch him out!
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