Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Red Dwarf Season V Demons And Angels

Go To
I want to hurt you.
Lister and Kryten are running an experiment with the matter paddle device used back in "Meltdown" which can produce two duplicates of whatever its beam is projected on. While testing it out on a strawberry, though, they find the duplicates aren't quite the same as the original: one is delicious and the other infested with maggots. Trying to tinker with the device inadvertently causes a chain reaction that results in Red Dwarf exploding minutes after the crew make an emergency evacuation in Starbug.

As they're scanning the wreckage for salvageable material, the boys are in for a surprise: nearby are two other Red Dwarfs, produced by the malfunction with the matter paddle. Although initially excited at having not only their ship back but one that should be even better than the original, Lister points out they still haven't perfected the process, and the duplicates would fade away after about an hour. They board the "high" ship to find the device and use it to reintegrate the two copies into the original Red Dwarf.

They soon find that not has the ship been copied, but so have the crew themselves: the "high" versions of the crew are monk-like individuals who devote their time toward philosophy, poetry and the arts. Kryten finds the matter paddle of the high ship but only half of it; the rest must be on the other "low" ship.

In the dilapidated wreck that is the other ship, the "high" crew are picked off by the sleazy, degenerate "low" versions of the crew. The real ones are separated in the chaos and Lister is fixed with an implant that lets the "lows" control his movements. He kills the high versions of himself and Rimmer before going after the real crew but is stopped short when Cat kicks him in the groin. They manage to recombine the two versions of Red Dwarf into the original, but Lister accidentally sits on the implant again, with Cat asking for just one week of him as a remote-controlled plaything.

The episode contains examples of:

  • Abandon Ship: The ship has a major overload after a problem with a matter replicator, once they've escaped the ship it blows up only to leave two copies in its place, a high version and a low version. Once they work out a way to replicate the original, they must then get out of the new "low" Red Dwarf before it disappears.
  • Back from the Dead: Holly, who is first seriously damaged when an electrical fire knocks out her voice recognition unicycle, then is destroyed when the ship explodes. However, she returns at the end along with the ship, due to her High and Low selves being merged.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Happens with Low Kryten grabbing Lister through a wall.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Lister runs into a deranged Enemy Without version of Rimmer who combines the Creepy Crossdresser, Depraved Homosexual, and Bondage Is Bad tropes all in one. He's dressed in some sort of "Dominatrix Dr. Frankenfurter" outfit while he attacks Lister with a whip before promising to torture and rape him.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: When the Cat finds Rimmer cowering in the Low cargo bay, he declares Rimmer was "using his pants as an emergency latrine".
  • Can Only Move the Eyes: Lister warns his crew that he's being controlled to attack them, and actively helps them defeat him. Gives the quote "Look out, I'm trying to kill you!".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Lister recites some of the improbable things he's done while eating the pot noodle; seen time going backwards, giving birth to twins, and playing pool with planets.
    • Also, the fact that Lister utterly hates pot noodles was previously established in "Marooned" where he decided a can of dog food was a better alternative.
    • When the Lows make Lister do what they want, he reacts with horror when they make him go toward a tarantula. "Terrorform" established that Lister's not overly fond of spiders as a species.note 
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Lister is running for his life from the evil versions of the Red Dwarf crew, until he runs into Evil Rimmer, wearing what is best described as a Dominatrix-type get up.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The general aesthetic of the High ship.
  • Curse of Babel: "An electrical fire has knocked out my voice recognition unicycle! Many Wurlitzers are missing from my database."
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Cat kicks Lister very hard in the crotch for ruining his neckline.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: Quoth a malfunctioning Holly:
    Holly: Rude alert! Rude alert! An electrical fire has knocked out my voice-recognition unicycle! Many Wurlitzers are missing from my database! Abandon shop! This is not a daffodil! Repeat: This is not a daffodil!
    Rimmer: [sarcastically] Well, thankfully Holly's unaffected.
  • Enemy Without: The Red Dwarf and its crew are given "good" and "evil" copies by a triplicator; the "good" Dwarf is shiny, white, and well-maintained, while the "evil" version looks like an abandoned oil refinery. Similarly, the "good" versions of the crew are a bunch of pacifistic milksops, while the "evil" ones are sadistic monsters that dress in lots of leather. The plot revolves around causing the "good" and "evil" sides of the Dwarf to re-merge, as the original was destroyed in the process of creating the two duplicates; merging the "good" and "evil" sides of the crew is less of an issue (and in fact becomes impossible, as the "evil" crew members rapidly kill off all of their "good" counterparts).
  • Evil Costume Switch: The Highs, predictably, dress in white and gold, while the Lows look like every stereotype you've ever seen of goth S&M freaks, especially Rimmer.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The Low version of Rimmer is introduced walking down a stairway to menace Lister, revealing that he's dressed as a sexually sadistic dominatrix.
  • Giggling Villain: When playing Low Lister, Craig Charles came up with an impressively scuzzy giggle.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Apparently, having all negative traits removed from your being makes you incapable of recognizing evil and reacting to threats in any sensible way. Even though they clearly know what guns are, the "High" crew can only act as if it was an accident when they're shot multiple times.
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death: Parodied with some of the Lows' movie collection, such as Revenge of the Mutant Splat Gore Monster.
  • Groin Attack: While Lister is being remote-controlled by the Lows due to an implant in his spine, he attacks his crewmates. He strangles Cat for several seconds while Rimmer orders Kryten to blow his kneecaps off. Because Kryten is paralyzed with indecision, the Cat decides there is only one way to stop Lister. With a hearty, meaty THWACK, Lister's eyes bulge, his mouth goes slack, and he releases the Cat.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: The Low version of Rimmer greets Lister with "Hello, my pretty". He tells Lister that he's going to hurt him because he's not a very nice person. "I'm going to thrash you within an inch of your life, and then I'm going to have you."
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Played as a negative. The "High" crew have no ability to recognize ill intentions and do things like apologize for getting their blood on their killer's knife.
  • Literal Split Personality: A triplication device creates a Good Ship with crew (who exist in the starship equivalent of Crystal Spires and Togas, and can even make Pot Noodles edible), an Evil Ship with crew (where Rimmer's H has fallen sideways and... yeah) and a Neutral Ship with crew (i.e., the original gang). The Neutral Ship duly explodes, and it requires a polarity reversal to recreate it from the others.
  • Masochist's Meal: Lister is forced to eat a tarantula while being controlled by his evil counterpart.
  • Matter Replicator: The episode features a matter replicator with a caveat: all the virtues of the replicated object go into one copy, all the evils into another.
  • Merging Machine: An experiment with a teleportation device causes the ship and crew to be split into "High" and "Low" versions. Eventually, the crew manage to recombine them.
  • Messy Maggots: Lister eats a strawberry which turns out to be full of maggots.
  • Mind-Control Device: One of these is used on Lister. It only controls the body, giving a rather interesting discussion between victim and targets.
  • Nasal Trauma: The Low crew demonstrate their ability to remote-control Lister by having him slam a supply cabinet door on his nose.
  • Now Do It Again, Backwards: This is how Kryten reconstitutes the Red Dwarf from its triplicator-created High and Low copies.
  • People Puppets: This happens to Lister, thanks to the Lows remotely controlling his movements. He still has the power of speech, resulting in memorable lines such as: "Look out — I'm gonna kill ya!".
  • Putting on the Reich: Minor example, but Low Rimmer's canted "H" is reminiscent of a swastika.
  • Red Alert: Combined with Curse of Babel with Holly.
    "Rude alert! Rude alert! An electrical fire has knocked out my voice recognition unicycle! Many Wurlitzers are missing from my database. Abandon shop! This is not a daffodil. Repeat, this is not a daffodil.""
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?:
    Dave Lister: I tell you one thing: I've been to a parallel universe, I've seen time running backwards, I've played pool with planets, and I've given birth to twins, but I never thought in my entire life I'd taste an edible Pot Noodle.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Lister mentions having "played pool with planets" as a point of reference for the remarkability of his first taste of an edible pot noodle. However, according to Kryten's explanation at the end of "White Hole", he shouldn't have been able to remember that. But that's okay.
  • Robotic Psychopath: Low Kryten is an evil mechanoid designed to hurt people. He tortures Lister along with the rest of his crewmates.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: When Lister denies that Low Lister is part of him, Low Kryten says "He's the little boy who, on a hot summer's day, held a magnifying glass to his best friend's neck and watched him burn." This disturbing-sounding incident is not elaborated on.
  • Space Friction: This occurs when the Dwarf temporarily explodes and the crew narrowly escape in Starbug. The nearest asteroid with an "S3"note  atmosphere is six hours away, but they only have enough fuel for five hours' flight.
  • Stupid Good: The Highs are so naïve and trusting that they don't realise they are being deliberately shot, stabbed, and crushed, and the High Kryten thinks a grenade is a "welcome gift".
  • Take That!: The ultimate test of the High Red Dwarf's replicator is that it makes an edible pot noodle.
  • This Is Not a Drill: When the emergency damages Holly's memory banks, she announces: "This is not a daffodil! Repeat: This is not a daffodil!"
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Highs. Not recognising being shot isn't an accident is one thing, failing to recognise a live grenade...
  • Touch the Intangible: The Lows use a holowhip that can be held by a hologram and inflict damage on a human.
  • Used Future: The general aesthetic of the Lows, a dingy, filthy wreck of a spacecraft. The Lows want to claim the Highs's vessel because nothing on their version of Red Dwarf is actually functional.
    Low Cat: Nothing works here, man!
    Low Lister: It's all decayed.
  • What the Fu Are You Doing?: Whilst exploring the Low ship, Rimmer attempts to leap around the corner in a karate move and hurts his leg. Don't think about it.
  • Whip of Dominance: A degenerate version of Rimmer called Low Rimmer wields a "holo-whip" and threatens to lash Lister to an inch of his life. Fittingly, he's a Creepy Crossdresser wearing a Dominatrix-type get-up who wants to "have" Lister.
  • White Is Pure: The highs are dressed in white robes and are so good that they can't recognise when a person has evil intentions and are way too nice for their own good.