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Recap / Red Dwarf Season V Holoship

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Underneath all that neurotic mess is someone nice trying to get out. Someone who deserves a chance to grow.
After a sappy film that leaves Lister chewing his hair in sadness, Rimmer goes on a rant about how unrealistic it is for any man to give up his career just because he loved a woman (and calls Jesus' life of healing the poor similarly absurd). Then a bunch of weird lights surround Rimmer and whisk him away.

It turns out they've been found by the holoship Enlightenment, sent to the stars long ago to explore, and crewed entirely by hyperintelligent holograms. Rimmer is shown around by Commander Nirvanah Crane and immediately wants to join, though the chances of a failed engineer whose main skill is unblocking vending machines are low. Since sex is a completely casual activity aboard the holoship, Crane invites him to her quarters. The experience turns out more emotional than she expects.

The captain informs Rimmer that the only way aboard is through dead man's boots—he'll have to challenge an existing crew member in a contest of intelligence. Desperate, Rimmer has Kryten give him a "mind-patch" with another, smarter crew member's holodisc. He gets his IQ boost (at the cost of any semblence of a normal personality), but it falls apart halfway through. Even so, he wins... because his opponent was Crane, who took herself out so that he could have his dream. After an unmoving speech to Lister, Kryten, and Cat, Rimmer departs.


Rimmer is shocked when he finds out what happened, and despite being the self-centered, ambitious smeghead he is, he decides that he can't stay aboard the ship knowing that a woman he loved gave up everything for him. The captain is incredulous, since not only is Rimmer giving up a new life, he won't even be with Crane. But that's all right, because they won't be apart... they just won't be together.

  • Damned by Faint Praise: Rimmer's farewell speech to Lister, Kryten and the Cat barely even qualifies as praise.
    Rimmer: Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with. And I know that, given the choice, I probably wouldn't have chosen you as friends. But, I just want to say... that over the years I have come to regard you as... people... I met.
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  • Eternal Sexual Freedom: The holograms, since they can't get pregnant or contract STDs, view sex to be as necessary as calisthenics and with no more emotional commitment.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The crewmember the others interview while Rimmer's away has this opinion of life on the Dwarf, so much so she'd rather go back to being dead.
    The Cat: But you're dead!
    Crewmember: And meeting you guys has helped me appreciate that so much more.
  • Freudian Excuse: Discussed between Nirvanna and Rimmer, who mentions parents were outlawed in the 25th century after everyone realized all their neuroses and hang-ups were their parents' fault. Rimmer, naturally, is happy to find out he was right to blame his parents.
  • Ironic Echo: The film ends with the lead saying "We'll still be together, we'll just... be apart," a line Rimmer regards as barf-worthy. At the end of the episode, he tells the holoship's captain "We won't be apart, we just... won't be together." And then pulls a face.
    "I cannot believe I just said that!"
  • Insufferable Genius: The holograms in general, but particularly the officer who beams over to Starbug and reports on what he finds in a bored, condescending tone, talking about the crew as though they're unable to comprehend him. He books it when Lister claims to have a holo-whip.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Crane forfeits the test so that Rimmer can have a place aboard the Enlightenment, even though it means she'll be deactivated. When Rimmer learns this, he leaves so that she can have her life back.
  • Glurge: The Casablanca knock-off the crew watches at the start, at least by Rimmer's estimation.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: Rimmer has all the knowledge and experience of two officers of the ship transferred into his own mind so as to pass an exam. Kryten warns him, however, that it could "reduce him to a gibbering wreck". It doesn't, and the result is slightly unnerving.
  • No Antagonist: This is one of the few episodes where there's no villain or Negative Space Wedgie to deal with.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jane Horrocks based her performance of Cdr. Nirvanah Crane on Joanna Lumley.
  • Proud Scholar Race Guy: The holograms, essentially. They're immortal, were chosen for their advanced intelligence, and roam the galaxy in pursuit of knowledge. They're also monumentally arrogant.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Lister's reaction go the smug, superior Binks is to threaten to kick his arse with a holo-whip. Binks beats a hasty retreat back to Enlightenment rather than risk finding out whether they actually have said holo-whip.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: The "Binks to Enlightenment" scene, once Lister gets fed up of Binks's smug derision.
    Lister: Lister to Red Dwarf, we have in our midst a complete smeg-pot! Brains in the anal region. Chin, absent, presumed missing. Genitalia, small and inoffensive. Of no significance or value.
  • Strange Salute: The salute used on Enlightenment has the index and little fingers outstretched but the middle and ring fingers held down by the thumb.
  • Take That!: Kryten illustrates how much an intelligence boosted Rimmer is above Lister by saying "to him, we are the mental equivalent of domestic science teachers".
  • Totally Radical: The holoship officers make devil-horns as a salute.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Rimmer finally has everything he wants. Command, respect, sex with an entire shipful of attractive women... and then when he finds out that the one woman he's fallen in love with won't be able to be there because she sacrificed herself for him to get it, he gives it all up to save her.

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