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Recap / Red Dwarf Season VII Duct Soup

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A heatwave aboard Starbug leaves everybody uncomfortable enough, but when a short circuit sends the ship tumbling into the gravity well of a sun, the crew must make a desperate race through the ventilation shafts of the ship to try and repair the navigation controls before they all fry for real.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Bait-and-Switch: Among the things Kochanski complains about is the nature of Starbug's fridge, saying women would never keep it like Lister does. Then she produces a pair of trainers which had been in there.
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  • Bottle Episode: By the admission of the production staff, the premise of the episode is "stick them in a room together and see what happens" (it was a replacement for "Identity Within", an episode too ambitious to realise on the remaining budget).
  • Buffy Speak: The Cat, again, describing the sounds of the incoming recyc systems as "water-y" noises or "hurricane-y". Lister quickly reaches the end of his rope with them.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: This is the first episode in which Kryten's terror of losing Lister's affection to Kochanski becomes prominent.
  • Gilligan Cut: Just as Kryten tries defending the characters of the Cat and Lister, saying they'd never watch Kochanski's underwear in the wash...
    The Cat: Boy, this is a great show tonight!
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Kryten reveals that he faked the short-circuit to try and prevent Lister from giving Kochanski a cold bath, out of fear that this would lead to them getting closer. He had no idea that this would knock them off course and send them tumbling into a star, or that they'd end up getting lost in their attempts to crawl through the ducts and waste all that time.
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  • Hell Is That Noise: The noises those sewage pipes create when processing. They're not so much "cries of the damned" as they are more in the sense of "loud and constant".
    Kochanski: Ever listen to those sewage pipes? Nureeking and rotuting and when you expect them to nureek again, they squeelookle! It's enough to make a perfectly sane person crazy!
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Kochanski understandably bemoans being stuck on a ship where the most entertaining pastime is watching her underwear drying.
  • Imagine Spot: Kryten has a paranoia induced one when he learns Kochanski's going to have a bath, where a married Lister and Kochanski are unceremoniously booting him off Starbug, and give him a going-away gift of a keyring of a "c".
  • Lampshade Hanging: Cat asks Lister why his claustrophobia has never been a big issue in the past.
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  • Real Life Writes the Plot; It was decided that Kochanski's figure-hugging, red PVC uniform from the previous episode would be ditched as it was too distracting to the rest of the cast. It was written that Kryten would accidentally shrink-wash this uniform and blame it on Lister. Kochanski would next be seen wearing an improvised outfit comprised of a pair of Lister's combat trousers and her cocktail dress adapted into a top. By the next episode Kochanski would have taken to knocking up her own outfits, which they'd presumably taken from Space Corps derelicts.
  • The Reveal: Twofold; that Kryten caused the "short-circuit" in the first place, and that he actually excluded the doors from the lock-down just in case they needed to get to the cockpit in a hurry.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Kochanski, due to a combination of losing everything and everyone she ever loved, being stuck on a ship with a neurotic android obsessed with rearranging her underwear, and having to sleep in a room where the pipes constantly make bizarre noises, among other things. First she becomes violently angry, throwing knives into walls. When Lister comes to talk to her, she's degenerated into caveman-like grunting.
    • Kryten mentions this is the fate of all who sleep in the pipe room. Apparently Lister tried it once, for some reason, and he ended up trying to kill himself with an onion sandwich.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: When they see Kryten has inadvertently destroyed Kochanski's only shirt, Lister and the Cat run for it.
  • Shout-Out: Due to wearing a white bedsheet and some earmuffs, Kochanski starts looking a little like Princess Leia, prompting Kryten to call her as much.
  • Tranquil Fury: Lister, once it's revealed what Kryten did, calmly tells him they'll talk about it later, over a cup of tea and a hot branding iron. And as noted below, Kochanski comes across as dispassionate even as she gets a head start in the punishment department.
  • True Companions: The Cat and Lister. Compare to earlier episodes where the Cat would gleefully have done nothing to help Lister, he actually tries helping Lister through his severe panic.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Spoofed, as the erudite, distinctly upper-class and decidedly non-stereotypically accented Kochanski is stated to come from the poshest part of Glasgow: The Gorbals (for non-Glaswegians, the Gorbals was historically considered one of the rougher parts of the city's east end). Of course, aforementioned Sanity Slippage makes her start throwing knives at the wall, threatening to insert salad-cream jars into mechanoid rectal cavities, and smashing a wrench against pipes driving her nuts.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Lister's heretofore never mentioned claustrophobia, which stems from an incident in his youth in Bootle. He was having an affair with a girl who worked at the supermarket he parked trolleys at, until they got caught making out in the stockroom by her jealous and inattentive husband. Lister wound up stuck in a box, at the man's mercy as he threatened to throw Lister in a river. After much begging and pleading, Lister was released, bollock-naked, in the middle of an amateur production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
  • Wrench Whack: Whilst Cat and Lister are off steering the ship away from the star, Kochanski takes an opportunity to get a little preemptive punishment in for Kryten causing all this by repeatedly beating him in the head with a wrench.
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