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Lister and the cat have been napping in stasis between episodes.
In one of the series one episodes, Lister is trying to convince the Cat to go into stasis with him. However, this is never resolved with the Cat wanting to take his clothes with him. In reality, Lister did find a way to preserve them - by putting them in the other stasis booth, perhaps. As such, each episode takes place hundreds or even thousands of years apart, supported by various time discrepancies. For example, in that episode Lister claims that it'll take a thousand years just to turn around, but later in series two they get a mail pod because they've turned around - clearly, those thousand years have passed. Or in the Matter Paddle'sintroduction, when it is stated that the nearest S3 planet is light years away but Rimmer is claiming them in the name of the JMC in Terrorform - again, there was a time jump between episodes. The only reason Lister hasn't woken up on Earth by now is that Holly or Kryten (Rimmer asked to be turned off between wakeups) keep waking him up either needing him to deal with something (the five black holes in Marooned, for example), wanting to share some new development (Matter Paddle, finding Dr. Lanstrome), or just wanting company after spending so many years alone.
  • Lister's claim of having turned 28 in Series VII, having been in space for 4 years in Series VI, would support this.
  • Also, in the episode that introduces the Holoship in Episode 1 of Series 5, Binks states that Lister was chronologically in his mid-20s while physically being 47.
  • "Psirens", at least, confirms this to an extent, as Lister and The Cat have spent the last 200 years in stasis while chasing Red Dwarf.
    • Technically that's neither here nor there; they were forced into it because the Starbug had limited supplies, whereas the Dwarf had enough to last them the rest of their lives.Nerd annotation 

Rimmer suffers from intrusive thoughts
  • His low is very different from the other anthropomorphic personifications of his subconscious; and also mentions 'thinking horrible things' (violent and sexual thoughts are very common with intrusive thoughts.)
    • He mentions 'voices' in Rimmerworld as a symptom of his anxiety (intrusive thoughts can sound like your own internal monologue and can be confused or described as voices)
    • It would make a lot of sense that he'd have something like that after what he's gone through (might be a side-effect of his self-deprecation and abusive family), and would also go hand in hand with his borderline obsessive compulsive behaviour.

Lister died in stasis, and he's in Hell for all episodes after the first.
Think about it. He's trapped 3,000,000 years away from Earth with his worst enemy on the ship where he hates working (according to the novels), with no chance of ever achieving his goal of marrying Kochanski and starting a farm/hot dog and donut shop in Fiji. Cat was created by his psyche, as nobody would ever want to spend eternity with someone like him. Kryten may just share Lister's Hell. In Timeslides, he admits to being utterly sick of his life. It's similar to the Sam & Max personal Hells, where the characters are stuck in their worst nightmares but are (usually) completely unaware.
The crew all died in "Out of Time" when they got shot by their future selves, which caused a paradox and unraveled the fabric of the universe.
Series VII and VIII are the crew's idea of Hell: Having to put up with Kochanski, losing Rimmer - whom they'd grown to like, though they'd never admit it - being imprisoned by the regenerated original crew of Red Dwarf... It also explains why the two series are so shit - it's all made up by their collective mind as part of their eternal torture.
  • In fact, the first episodes of series 7 can be considered a final judgement for them: "Tikka to Ride" was Lister's, tempted by the time machine, "Stoke me a Clipper" was Rimmer's, as he overcame his cowardice, "Duct Soup" was Kryten's, since he lied to humans and betrayed his programming, and the unaired Cat episode was Cat's.
The Dystopian world from the episode "Back to Reality" is the real world.
Sebastian, Billy, Jake and Dwayne were captured by the government agent that Jake supposedly shot. The government killed Jake and Dwayne, but couldn't kill Sebastian or Billy because of Sebastian's position as Voter Colonel. It would have been too hard to cover up the deaths of an important government official and his brother, and so the government put them back into "Red Dwarf" with altered memories, which made them believe it was all a dream and replaced Kryten and Cat with other players.

Kryten's badly accented, Droid Rot stricken spare head is the one we see in his original appearance
  • Droid Rot would naturally follow from being left on for 3 million years. The head's Northern English (possibly Lancastrian) accent is a deterioration of his original Received Pronunciation English one.
    • Alternatively, Spare Head 3 has gotten that accent from talking to Lister.

In Rimmerworld, they committed genocide against the ONLY alien life in the universe
Granted, they were single-celled protozoa. But still, it was not some random genetic Earth material that made its way there - it was truly alien!
  • How do you know that the protozoa died? Perhaps they lived and evolved into sentient multi-cellular organisms that gathered into small hunter-gatherer tribes and raided the Rimmers for food and metal tools. The Rimmers then started a campaign to exterminate them, fighting a bitter war for two centuries before they finally gave up and reluctantly allowed the natives to live so long as they stayed away and did not pollute the genetic purity of the Rimmer race.
    • The native hunter-gatherers would eventually dominate. The Rimmers might be more advanced, but a race whose hat is "asshat" would be too internally riven to beat them down forever.
      • Most of the Rimmers' technology comes from the colony pod that the Original Rimmer came down in. The Rimmers would use this technology to defeat the hunter-gatherers; but when they ran out of power sources, the natives would take their revenge and enslave them, becoming the masters of the planet for eternity.
  • Maybe there wasn't any "basic single-celled protozoa" on the planet. Remember that Rimmer is convinced that aliens exist; he'd assume that, if there is no visible life on the planet, it must be there in invisible form.
    • "The only lifeforms are single-celled protozoa and me" - given he's on a capsule with terraforming equipment, it's not a stretch that it would have scanning capabilities to determine any prior lifeforms.
    • The planet appears to be inhabitable, if a tad deserty, before Rimmer fires up the accelerators. There might have been some native life.
      • The single-celled protozoa was the the native life, and the eco-accelerators advanced it to to create the Earth-like environment and the Rimmers.
      • Has no one considered that the protozoa had stowed away in Rimmer's pod, and are therefore Earth natives?
  • Alternatively, it's an old human planet that's gone over desertification in 3 million years. The protozoa are the only things left.

Every time the show does a Retool, it's in a different parallel dimension.
A possible canon explanation for the abundance of retcons and complete disregard for continuity. Every time the show makes a major shift in tone, the events of the show are taking place in a different dimension to the previous series. This happens between series 2 and III, series V and VI, series VI and VII, and series VII and VIII.
  • The first retcon may be due to Married!Lister from "Stasis Leak" telling Our!Lister to not see Run For Your Wife on the 1989 Earth. Because of this, the timeline is changed so that Our!Lister doesn't go on and marry Kochanski. note 
  • The events of "Timeslides" cause Pre-Accident!Rimmer to be more receptive to his future self in "Stasis Leak" - after all, he's already been visited by his future self as a child. This makes him listen to his own warnings instead of thinking he's hallucinating. He manages to get put into stasis with Lister during "The End", and is thus alive at the end of "Timeslides"...for a few seconds.
  • In the same episode, Rimmer tells Lister about their future selves and Lister's quest to get Kochanski. Realising he needs to Carpe that Diem, Past!Lister asks Kochanski out, leading to their romance before the Radiation Leak. It is now, ironically, Past!Rimmer's forewarned attempt to prevent the Radiation Leak that causes the drive plate damage which goes on to wipe out the crew. Realising he can't do anything to prevent the leak, he characteristically runs for the hills, taking responsibility for the damage to the plate, but only so he can go into stasis, as seen above.
  • (This one's a bit of a stretch, but bear with us) With the Tension Sheet invented several years earlier, thanks to Lister and Rimmer's meddlings, Thickie Holden (a lifelong fanboy of The Space Corps Test Pilot squad), funds a pet project. Not realising what is meant by a ship that travels at "Glacial speeds", he pours billions of Dollarpounds into the revamping of Red Dwarf, allowing the JMC to hire on a thousand extra crew by the time Lister and Rimmer come aboard, bringing the ship's complement to 1,169 instead of 169. Once Holden discovers that Red Dwarf is a clapped out old mining ship, he pulls any further funding and has his name expunged from the project in embarrassment.
  • This minor change also spurs Rimmer's father on to push his sons toward greatness, retconning his suicide. After all, if Thickie can make it big, why not our Arnold?
Holly is AM.
A few years into Lister's long sleep in stasis, AM obliterated almost all human life in the Solar System. After four out of his five playthings died, he began examining the rest of the universe for other sentient beings to torture; by sheer luck, AM discovered Red Dwarf hovering far beyond Pluto. Seeing an opportunity for greater sadism, AM transmitted himself into the ship's mainframe, erased Holly, and stole Holly's image; he then sent the ship on a joyride far into deep space.

Over the next three million years, AM amused himself by manipulating the development of the Cats and causing the occasional holy war. When Lister left stasis, he began the torture in earnest by resurrecting Rimmer as a hologram. Everything bad that has happened to the crew from seasons one to eight has been another subtle torture by AM, who was using his godlike power to create the enemies and monsters they encountered and excusing his actions with his apparent senility.

  • Better yet, the present Red Dwarf crew are the original five playthings: Lister is Gorrister, Kochanski is Ellen, The Cat is Benny, Rimmer is Nimdok, and Kryten is Ted. Anything else?
    • What about when they had lost Red Dwarf and they were stuck on Starbug? How could AM keep toying with them?
      • Well, considering that this theory is based on AM being behind everything, it means that AM copied himself onto Starbug's computer and is still playing silly buggers with them. Alternatively, he set up the creatures and monsters of Series Six and Seven before getting hijacked by Kryten's nanobots; once he's recovered in the form of the Holly Watch and regains control of Red Dwarf, he commands the nanobots to recreate the crew and kick off the events of Series Eight.
  • That's disturbing....
    • I've got the cure for that! A few minutes after AM awoke Lister, Lister accidentally poured some lager on the bridge's control panel, which caused AM to malfunction; allowing Holly, who was hiding in a data bank that AM had overlooked, to mount a digital assault on AM's core program using the personalities stored in the hologram library, including a version of Rimmer with certain attributes extrapolated to create a being quite like ACE RIMMER!!!!!! And Holly deleted AM, undoing his horrific deeds, all to a truly epic version of the theme music. However the battle did damage to Holly's artificial intelligence causing a condition mistaken for computer senility.
      • Well, if it undid all his horrific deeds, then why the hell does the series even happen? Remember, the theory states that AM creates every horrible thing that the crew encounter: without AM, the crew should have no problems, especially since Rimmer can't even be incarnated as a hologram with the Ace hologram taking up most of the ship's allotment to hologram power. Plus, why and how could Holly do anything suggested? He hasn't even met Ace Rimmer yet, Ace's most important attributes don't even exist in Rimmer at the beginning of the series, and a hologram wouldn't be worth a damn against a godlike supercomputer that only goes down with the assistance of two of AM's multiple personalities and a Villainous Breakdown. Also, Holly has been deleted within the theory: he is dead as a doornail, his personality emptied onto a surplus hard-drive and flushed into space. And if he did manage to hide away in a single console, it would mean that he's been doing that for the better part of three million years: unlike AM, he doesn't have the evolution of the Cats to entertain him, so Holly is not only suffering from Computer Senility, but terminal paranoia and an utter inability to control the ship due to having no access to anything besides the screensaver.
    • As a matter of fact, if you wanted to resolve the Poison Oak Epileptic Tree in an ideal way that works with the continuity of both the series and the theory, just look at Back To Earth: Holly is offline due to Lister accidentally flooding the ship, which means that AM is confined to his own damaged hard-drive and only capable of controlling a single terminal, which is stuck typing "I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST SCREAM," over and over again.
      • Which Arnold stumbled upon, read the story (with some additions detailing his subtle torture of the crew) and frantically deleted AM's hard drive. And if the first counter theory is true, Holly could have been planning his revenge or working on his holly rock plan.
      • Since when did the story come into play here? He's typing the words "I have no mouth and I must scream," not the whole damn story.

The entire series is Lister playing a defective copy of Better Than Life: Apocalypse Expansion.
After he was sent to his room to await sentencing, he decided to play some Better Than Life to pass the time. He got stuck, and the seven years have been him being transported to a planet then the doctors/programmers trying to get him out without breaking his brain. The game let him enter the apocalypse scenario (because he was feeling bitter and muttered "I wish they were all dead" while the game was loading), wiped his memory of starting the game, and gave him false memories of being trapped in the freezer while chasing his cat. It brought in the best combination of personalities it could find to keep him having fun without becoming a completely hopeless waste of oxygen (Rimmer, Holly, and a synthesized personality that it threw in because nobody else fit), and then every time the cast changed (Kryten's second appearance, Holly's change, and Kristine Kochanski) it was because of the programmers trying to keep him from going nuts before they brought him out. The original Kryten was a construct of the game.

It explains all of the science going on that the characters admitted was impossible within the context of the show's universe, especially how a cat with at most six kittens could parent and feed an entire race of eventually human-sized (English-speaking, clothing-wearing) beings without ever leaving the storeroom.

  • To be fair, the storeroom is a couple of cubic miles in volume.
  • This theory is actually used in the ending of the first novel and for a good portion of the second. The problem with applying it to the TV show is that Better Than Life did not arrive on board until the titular episode in the second series.
    • But is it not also stated in the books that those playing Better Than Life forget they're playing a game? And what better way to forget about something than to not acknowledge that it even exists? If the doctors/programmers are trying to remove him from the game slowly, surely the best way to do it would be to allow him to come to the realisation himself? Thus they "mail" new information to his subconscious, letting him know about the games existence. In later series, they cook up the despair squid and simulation units - to reinforce the idea that reality can be subjective - as well as subtly suggesting he is the lynchpin of the entire universe (which a lot of the time travel episodes suggest) and then finally, in Back To Earth, flatly stating that he is an entirely fictional character.

The Enrichment Centre is in Red Dwarf.
After the events of Red Dwarf, Holly managed to develop the Portal gun and used some empty warehouses to test it in. Then, after Cat, Lister, Rimmer, and Kryten died, Holly was left alone for many more years until s/he had been driven insane. So s/he woke up Lister and Kochanski's daughter Chell, who had been put into stasis when her parents died. The "Cake is a lie" scribblings were just made by some slightly barmy skutters.
  • The Portal Gun was reverse engineered and upgraded from Hogey's gun.

The future selves from "Stasis Leak" are the same future selves from "Out of Time".
Consider this: in "Stasis Leak", Lister gets told by his future self, "In five years time, you'll find another way to come back in time"; a subjective five years later, they discover the Time Drive in "Out of Time".

Also, consider this: both future selves of Rimmer have moustaches.

So presumably, some time after the events of "Stasis Leak", Future Lister suffers an "accident" that leaves him as a brain in a jar (and the same accident kills Kochanski), and the Dwarfers start using the Time Drive again (and abusing it) around that time.

Also, remember that by the end of "Back to Earth," it has been about fifteen years (subjectively) since Lister emerged from stasis: the future events from "Stasis Leak" should have come to pass already, but didn't. If this theory is accurate, this discrepancy would make sense because the "Stasis Leak" future selves would have been erased from the timeline just like the future selves were erased at the end of "Out of Time").

  • It's more like two years between Stasis Leak and Out of Time, meaning Future Lister would have met Cassandra by Stasis Leak, so he could have known of the encounter ahead of time. And Kochanski could have been 'Rimmer', leading Future Lister to get into a fight with real Rimmer and consequently end up as a dreadlocks and a brain. Or perhaps Holly did it.
    • It's not "more like two years", it's five years. In "Out of Time" Kryten says he's been part of the crew (and doing Lister's laundry) for "four long years", and Kryten came back to Red Dwarf soon after Lister's twins were born. So the episode "Parallel Universe" (two episodes after "Stasis Leak") happens between nine and ten months before Kryten comes back. That rounds off to five years.
    • What the hell is that supposed to mean? (The "Kochanski could have been 'Rimmer' [...] Or perhaps Holly did it" bit.) I've read it and re-read it multiple times and I can't make any sense of it. Kochanski could have been Rimmer? Holly did what? I'm incredibly confused right now.
      • In season 8 they meet an accurate future predicting computer called Cassandra, one of the things that happens is it says Rimmer is going to die, so he gives his jacket with name badge to another prisoner, and that 'Rimmer' dies. If he'd given it to Kochanski, she dies, Lister fights him, and so on.
  • I agree with this WMG 100%. I think that the events of Stasis Leak with Lister going back and marrying Kochanski was the start of the future Dwarfers abuse of the Time Drive.
  • This makes so much sense now that I've heard the theory it's pretty hard NOT to believe it. Having been in love with Kochanski for so long, it's pretty hard to think that if Lister had access to the ability to travel anywhere in time and space that he wouldn't eventually go back to see her. Of course, being Lister he's not just going to accept that he could only be with her until the radiation leak kills off the crew. All we know about what happened to him was that there was some kind of accident. Perhaps Lister's attempts to prevent the radiation leak actually exposed him to radiation and destroyed his body. With Lister no longer able to act, the group's morality was largely in the hands of the Cat and Rimmer who may have quickly disabled Kryten's behaviour protocols (and anti-toupee safeguards) thereby leading them on the path they'd eventually take.
The entire series was a nightmare Lister was having in the Stasis punishment.
For some reason, his mind wasn't automatically put to sleep when his body was frozen in time. The stasis generator thing has a side effect of putting a person's mind to sleep when their body is frozen, rather than the mind existing as a result of chemical reactions in the body and the separation only occurring when something like artificial time-control affects the physical brain. The whole thing could have finished in a much shorter time than he was in stasis, if the only things happening were what was on- and just off-screen. Seasons 7 and 8 were just him getting bored (all the more-ridiculous stuff that happened), and losing touch with what reality actually looked like (for example, the dancing Blue Midget).

Gordon Brittas is an alternate universe version of Arnold Rimmer.
Both of them had a very similar experience where they joined the Samaritans for one day and caused several deaths only with their personalities, including one that was a wrong number. Considering that other versions of Rimmer apparently existed in different times and places, it seems reasonable that one could exist hundreds of years in the past under a different name.

Rimmer's meddling in the timeline in Timeslides had a far greater effect that just (temporarily) bringing him back to life.
Given that that very episode showed that changing the timeline had far larger consequences than previously considered (removing Lister from Red Dwarf and erasing the Cat and Kryten, for example), it seems odd that Rimmer's efforts simply result in resetting the timeline, albeit with him alive again. However, up until that point, Rimmer had gone through life without the experience of "Thicky" beating him to the punch to the invention of the Tension Sheet (not to mention it possibly being patented far before it originally had), but meddling with the timeline inserted that experience into the flow of Rimmer's life, having knock-on effects altering Rimmer's personality, if only in a small way. This, combined with the sum of his experiences, lead to the "Better dead than smeg!" line, and his eventual acceptance of the Ace Rimmer role.

Everything that happened after Back to Reality was a hallucination
At the end of the episode, the Dwarfers are still hallucinating, and they only imagine that Holly brings them out of the hallucination. Everything that happens afterword is a fantasy created by the despair squid's ink. They imagine that they lose Red Dwarf, Rimmer leaves, Kochanski arrives, and the Dwarf is resurrected only for them to end up in prison. They are still are hallucinating in Back to Earth, but perhaps are starting to realize that none of what's happening is real and are close to waking up.

Dog (the alternate universe version of Cat) was descended from a pregnant bitch named Dracula.
Werewolf would make sense, but then, anything would make more sense than Frankenstein.
  • Wouldn't the hypothetical Dracula (presumably named for the famous Countess Dracula) be a pregnant male dog, since that's the universe where males get pregnant?
  • ^ It must have been a male dog, and being named after Hemo Erotic Countess Dracula sounds logical. BTW, I've always loved that Lister named his cat Frankenstein. A cool name for a cat.
    • Technically, Frankenstein and Dracula are both surnames, thus non-gendered.

The change to the timeline in "Timeslides" didn't make Rimmer survive the accident, but made it so they could resurrect him at a later date.
Rimmer retroactively not being a hologram all the way through up to the events of "Timeslides" would've had way too big a knock-on effect on all the events we saw up til then (the biggest being that Lister would've naturally revived Kochanski's hologram right away without Rimmer to stop him). So the WMG is that "Thicky" Holden getting the credit for the Tension Sheet and being amazingly wealthy and famous from age eight somehow led to the invention of something that could restore holograms to life which the Dwarfers stumbled upon 3 million years later. So Rimmer was a hologram, then was brought back to life, then ended up being blown up and dying again all too quickly (and apparently the resurrection was a one-time deal as he stays a hologram from then on).
Most of the series exists in Holly's imagination.
After Lister went into stasis and and everyone died in the accident, Holly was left all alone with no one to talk to. To entertain himself, he imagined that he revived Lister 3 million years later, brought back Rimmer as a hologram, and that a being that evolved from Frankenstein and an android named Kryten joined them.
Holograms can still dream, as they have the same thoughts and personality as the living person.
Since thoughts are linked to dreams (even if they are in the subconscious), holograms can probably still dream the same as much as a real person. It's even shown in a few episodes that Rimmer needs his sleep, so...
  • That's actually in the series. Rimmer has on at least one occasion woken up from a dream shouting "Yes, mummy, I'm just packing my satchel!" and has been shown dreaming he's singing a musical number in the hologram simulation suite.
The drive plate Rimmer improperly fixed was decorative
It makes no sense they would make someone so spectacularly incompetent fix such a vital system. Instead, the Drive Plate Rimmer fixed was the eighth or ninth backup system and even if improperly repaired would not have done anything. Rimmer was just such an incompetent that he cracked all the seals and backups.
  • The original script states that George McIntyre was killed by the original fault in the drive plate.
The Red Dwarf explanation of the JFK assassination in "Tikka To Ride" was the truth, but with different characters.
Think about it. It makes about as much sense as the "magic bullets" theory, or any other conspiracy about Who Killed JFK. The creators mightn't have known, but they came up with the true story of JFK's assassination.

The Dwarfers never escaped "Better than Life".
The ridiculous amount of changes to the Red Dwarf universe seem more like glitches than reality. Holly getting a head-sex change, Kochanski's appearance, or the reconstruction of the Red Dwarf for instance. Also, Kryten was placed in the game by Rimmer, subconsciously, as an element designed to torture him. As for Rimmer leaving to become the next Ace, this was simply the real Rimmer escaping the game. He reentered to get Lister out, but was distracted by getting a fully living body.
  • Or, that wasn't the real Rimmer at all, just a simulation of him that the game created because the crew found themselves missing him despite everything.
  • In the Red Dwarf novels, Better Than Life actually makes you forget you're playing it so they wouldn't know. It has the unfortunate side effect of slowly killing you, though.

The confrontation in "Out of Time" was an Unreality Bubble.
All throughout that episode, the crew were experiencing unreality pockets in time. Since they're seen alive in the next episode, their future selves and their attack was yet another unreality bubble.

  • During the battle, you can see a "unreality jolt" effect. Shortly afterwards, Rimmer is manipulated into destroying the Time Drive, which is exactly what the bubbles are designed to do (stop looters from taking and using the Drive). In fact the whole Future Selves thing was to convince the Dwarfers not to use time travel (again, to dissuade them from using the Drive), as was Tikka to Ride (showing them the consequences of time travel abuse and convincing them not to do it.)
  • Rimmer being heroic? That's unreality if I've ever seen it.

Lister's past with Kochanski isn't a Retcon but a product of their interference with time at the end of timeslides.
After their damage the did to the past by the end of the episode settled, their memories got altered to match those of the new history and something they did in the past caused Lister to finally decide to ask out Kochanski back in the past.
  • Considering the amount of continuity errors changes in history that occur (the number of crew originally aboard Red Dwarf, the century the accident happened etc.) this isn't too far fetched, especially considering that they travelled through time before Timeslides.
    • Ok, here's what I reckon. A young Lister gives in and listens to his Red Dwarf self, and goes to sell the tension sheet idea. Only to discover that Thickie Holden had already beaten him to it. But simply the act of being able to let go of the mindsets he allows himself to be caught up over, that hold him back from achieving things, allows him to abandon too much overthinking and just to go for things. In this case, being overzealously anti-capitalist just for the sake of a youth identity gimmick prevented him from being opportunist and seizing the moment in certain cases. So now that he has broken the barrier, and taken that leap, he disregarded his radical identity much easier, and could now seize the moment easier without worrying about what would go wrong after. Thus, was able to ask Kochanski out easier, and succeeded. They dated 3 months till she dumped him for a catering officer.

Rimmer is an objectivist.
Or at least started out as one at the beginning of the series.
  • So, does that make Lister a subjectivist?

The reason the two Kochanskis are so different

The first Kochanski (Clare Grogan) and the second Kochanski (Chloë Annett) are not only physically different (explained due to Grogan giving up acting and being replaced by Annett), but they're very different personality wise too.

This is because they're from different realities, and like with Arnold and 'Ace' Rimmer, there was a specific point in their lives that would branch off to create the two different Kochanskis.

The first Kochanski's parents divorced, and she was raised in Scotland by her father. This not only explains the accent, but also her easy going nature, and the fact she's a bit of a Lad-ette.

The second Kochanski's parents decided to stay together, and raised Kochanski in England. She grew up a little spoilt due to her parents overcompensating for their failing marriage, and clearly is used to the finer things in life. She's also more refined and lady like, even though she still has that Action Girl streak.

  • Nope. The episode "Duct Soup" establishes that the second Kochanski was raised in Glasgow. (And although the first Kochanski does appear to be friendlier, she really isn't a "ladette". In fact, her personality appears very feminine.)
    • In "Duct Soup" The second Kochanski makes reference to her having attended Cyber School, surrounded by computer recreated characters of important historical figures, and CG friends, likely experiencing a lot of Received Pronunciation. I'm presuming the differences between the two Kochanskis is that the first one (Grogan) never experienced Cyber School, but instead went to a more rough and tumble Glaswegian state school. These different experiences would make for very different people.

The Red Dwarf's normal cruising speed is 99.9% of the speed of light
The resulting Time Dilation is how they can visit multiple solar systems in one series with only sporadic and really screwy forays beyond light-speed. Decades pass outside the Dwarf between each episode.
  • Jossed. According to the books, its normal cruising speed is 20000 miles per hour.

Kochanski in series seven is actually the original Kochanski who had previously been replaced by The Inquisitor
At some point in Kochanski's history, she was met by The Inquisitor. She judged herself unworthy and was therefore replaced with the Kochanski from the start of the series (an event taking place in both realities). Then when the Inquisitor's influence was removed from history, Kochanski was returned to her original self, thereby explaining why this version is what all the other characters now remember her to be.
  • Grogan!Kochanski appears once in series 6, after the deletion of the Inquisitor. Perhaps the crew's memories of her didn't shift until they actually encountered a flesh-and-blood version to make them shift?
  • I wouldn't even go that far. It's simply that the series seven version that Chloë Annett plays is from an alternative universe that the Inquisitor had not yet reached.
  • But the Inquisitor was destroyed by his own gauntlet, meaning every action he had ever done had been undone. It wouldn't make a difference what universes he did or didn't visit.
  • This makes sense when you consider that the Kochanski in series six was not actually the real Kochanski though, it was only a psiren impersonating her, through reading Lister's memory of her. It makes sense that Lister would remember the series 1-2 Clare Grogan incarnation of her, if that's the memory he has, even if the Inquisitor's erasure had restored her back to the series 7-8 Chloe Annett incarnation instead. Remember that Lister and Kryten were originally set to be erased before they outwitted the Inquisitor, and were then sent to a timeline they had never actually lived. While they were able to restore the timeline itself back, they still had the same memories of all the events that had happened to them, which Rimmer and the Cat lacked (and thus, in Lister's case, he would remember the series one replacement Kochanski when the series six psiren read his mind).

The easiest and most effective way for them to get back to Earth
The time machine in "Out of Time" lets them move in time, but not space. Well then, figure out how long it would take for them to get back to Earth, double it, and then travel that far into the past. Take Rimmer off-line and put Lister and the Cat in the cryo-tubes, with Kryten keeping everything in order while they're asleep. Set a course for Earth, and make sure Lister doesn't sleep in. If their calculations are correct, the ship should arrive at an Earth in the same shape it was in a few months after the mining ship Red Dwarf went missing. End of series.
  • I've always wondered why they didn't do that! But then again, how would they explain Kryten? He won't be built for a few hundred years, they could say that Cat is an alien they picked up.
  • The X-tended version of Tikka To Ride states that they've decided against using time travel to go home, in no small part due to the havoc they've already caused on the space/time continuum.

Lister will become God at the end of Series X
Looking at the episode guide, the Series X finale is called "The Beginning", which would make for a great finale for the whole series, considering the pilot episode was called "The End". Furthermore, the name may be referring to the beginning of the Universe, the Big Bang. In both the TV series and the novels, there are allusions to Lister causing the Big Bang, which is exactly what is going to happen at the end of the episode.

Series nine
Just what the, and where the, hell is it? We know that the order of the series goes series one-eight as full seasons, then the 3 Back To Earth specials (serving as a mini series, or divided feature length for the 21 year anniversary), then straight to series ten. Back To Earth is implied to be series nine, except that it's never really referenced as series nine, where as all the other series are specifically highlighted to be a certain number. As Back To Earth was just a mini-special, and series ten is the next full series after series eight, surely series ten is actually Red Dwarf 9, not Red Dwarf 10?
  • This is lampshaded a bit actually in Back To Earth, where it's implied that the specials actually take place AFTER a hypothetical series nine on the show, but it's just one that happened to be off screen. The fan in the shop exclaims that series nine was the best series yet. And with the cliffhanger of series eight unsolved, it's entirely possible that series nine is simply whatever the fans choose to make of it in their own imagination.
  • Or the Back To Earth specials actually DO make part of series nine, but only towards the end. Kinda like how Back In The Red made three out of the eight total episodes of series eight, but were not the whole series by itself. Let's just say, for hypothetical sake, that series nine would have six episodes. That would be three episodes that help tie up the cliffhanger transition from Red Dwarf 8 to Back To Earth, and then you have the three last episodes being Back To Earth itself. Maybe when the fan in the shop was talking about series nine being the best yet, he was talking about it in a present tense, as in it hadn't finished yet, or was still airing. Mainly because the shop had all the DVDs from series 1-8, but not nine. Obviously series nine doesn't exist of course, so there wouldn't be a DVD for it, but it's just a bit of an explanation to explain the otherwise unexplainable.
  • Or that series nine was SO AMAZING, the shop didn't have any DVDs of it because it was sold out already.
  • We have material to go on to explain a few things, to tie up that continuity gap between Series 8 and Back To Earth thankfully. An unfilmed ending of series eight suggested the original hologram series 1-7 Rimmer came back from his Ace Rimmer travels to try and save his series 8 self. Likely given how much of a screwup Rimmer generally is, he failed to save his own alternative self's life, so ended up taking his place back with the Dwarfers, and that's how we have a hard light hologram Rimmer in Back To Earth. I mean even if the series 8 Rimmer died and was resurrected to the Rimmer seen in Back To Earth and series 10, he would be SOFT LIGHT instead? If Red Dwarf had the ability to resurrect hard light holograms, why not just do it before back on series 1? Also, the same alternative series eight ending shows the Dwarfers having full control of Red Dwarf again, when the rest of the crew (including Captain Hollister) evacuated in all the Blue Midgets and Starbugs. This explains the lack of crew in Back To Earth. Also, Kochanski was said to have taken a space craft, and dumped Lister before the events of Back To Earth (Kryten lied, and said to Lister when he was in the bath that she had died via being sucked out of an airlock), hence her absence too. And we know Holly isn't there because, while Lister had the same bath, he left the tap on, and a leak damaged Holly's circuits.
  • I'm not sure Back To Earth is series nine. The first thing we see in the first episode of Back To Earth is the on screen text saying 'nine years later'. And given that, from series five onwards to series eight, the timeline had been very consistent with an evolving story arc, where one season cliffhanger led onto the next (as opposed to the more episodic sit-com feel of series one-four). It stands to reason that series eight's final episode would led straight onto the first episode of a hypothetical series nine, especially with the way series eight ended. NINE YEARS between series eight and Back To Earth, alot would have happened. That's your series nine, but as an above troper stated, it's left up to your imagination.
  • Series eight aired in 1999, Back To Earth aired in 2009 (ten years gap, which would easily justify the 'nine years later' on screen text, with just one year out). Well what people don't seem to be remembering is the shelved Red Dwarf movie, the one which had to stall it's production. It was written, storyboards were created, and the cast even got together for read throughs back in 2001. Filming was actually intended to happen in Australia in 2005. But the movie fell short because Doug Naylor didn't have enough funding. It's storyline involving a race of evolved Homo sapienoids exterminating all humans, with Red Dwarf being the last in its chain of victims, was to serve as a sequel to series eight. It featured what appears to be the hard light hologram Rimmer up to Series VII (rather than the alive one from Series VIII), however Series VIII's Chloë Annett's Kochanski, Norman Lovett's Holly, and Captain Hollister appear in the cast list. Likely it would give the 1999-2009 continuity gap an explanation, and serve as a pseudo series nine. Or at least, itself and Back To Earth together would achieve something near to it.
  • Or it's just a case of lost episodes. I mean Identity Within of series seven, and Dad of series three, were never aired, but we still KNOW they happened.
  • Or this.
  • If they ever do get round to making the movie, its likely it will serve as a Series 8-Back To Earth bridge, and a prequel to Back To Earth and Series 10.
  • The Rimmer from Back To Earth/Series X is a Composite Character of his original self and his series VIII self thanks to a combination of personality disks.
  • The X in Red Dwarf X is not the Roman numeral for 10, but the letter X, as used in mathematics to denote an unknown quantity.

Red Dwarf X's name doesn't just mean Red Dwarf 10, it's highlighting a critical point in the franchise, to bring it back up to popularity.

Red Dwarf X is the personification of the majority of the fan base's fanfiction wishes, for what wasn't achieved before
In other words, it takes the best parts of all previous seasons, to construct a series unique in it's own right to stand distinct, as the epitome of what most fans would have wanted the past series to be. For example, the new drive room reflecting Starbug's cockpit, without needing to be confined to Starbug. The return of Rimmer's popular nylon outfit, but now coloured blue in accordance to his hard light hologram presence, to have Rimmer as a hard light hologram aboard Red Dwarf for the first time ever in a Red Dwarf series. It almost serves as a what if, regarding what past shows could have done if it transitioned between the series differently. It's as if, the fans themselves wrote the show.
  • If we look at the alternative flip cover for the Series 10 DVD, it seems to have the same sort of maroon colour as the Series 6 DVD. And if we take into account that Back To Earth (as a Series 9) was a continuation of the Back To Reality story from Series 5, then it's as if Red Dwarf X (as a Series 10) is just a retelling of what Series 6 COULD HAVE been, if Doug Naylor listened to the fans when they said they wanted more episodes away from Starbug and aboard Red Dwarf more. Since Series 6 was the point where Red Dwarf started to take a different direction before, that ended up altering the status quo.

Arnold Rimmer is a descendant of Jesus Christ
  • Rimmer's middle name is Judas. And as suggested in Rimmerworld, Rimmer's bloodline suffers from heart and chest pains, Rimmer himself inheriting the flaw. In the recent Series X episode Lemons, the Jesus for most of the story suffers similar pains. Now, later on, we realize that this wasn't the same Jesus as the Jesus Christ who appeared later. Nethertheless, it seems interesting that Doug Naylor threw those 'chest pain' lines in, as if to suggest to us that this Jesus was actually Rimmer's ancestor, with the real Jesus Christ being an aversion.
    • Uh, if you've watched Lemons, it's explicitly stated that Jesus's pains are abdominal and caused by an impacted kidney stone. Rimmer's genetic fault is a tendency towards stress-related nervous disorders, which tend to manifest as strokes and heart attacks.

Talkie Toaster inherited Kryten's old personality
The Kryten that guest starred in Series 2 was played by David Ross. When Kryten became a regular in Series 3 the role was taken by Robert Llewellyn, which has remained consistent to this day. The old Talkie Toaster of Series 1-2 was voiced by Tony Hawks, but when it appeared briefly in Series 4's 'White Hole' episode it was voiced by the original Kryten David Ross. The Series 3 Episode 1 opener explains how Lister was able to rescue the Series 2 Kryten from an astroid, but unable to restore it's former personality, leading to the nature of Series 3's Kryten seeming different. So in Series 4, when Kryten brought back Talkie Toaster, it inherited Series 2 Kryten's abnormal chirbyness or general unawareness of serious matters (hence why Kryten in Series 2 wasn't aware his crew had been dead for years) that made it different from the old Talkie Toaster. The fact that they both have the voice of David Ross could be significantly meaningful. Kryten of Series 4 said he restored the toaster's personality, but who's to say that Kryten didn't accidentally restore to him the personality of his old Series 2 self, that Lister presumably put on file somewhere?
  • It is implied that like the Cat race, Kryten watched so many old American movies (in particular Rebel Without A Cause) that he broke his programming, and that the personality is contained within the head itself (with Kryten's spare heads in a later episode showing a difference to him). However, the theory holds plausibility in that even as early as Series 1, Talkie Toaster appears to have a level of AI far above his requirements, causing him to want to perform tasks other than that of a toaster but being depressed due to his inability to move. So it's entirely possible that when renovating up Talkie Toaster, Kryten may have used the programming language he was most familiar with - his own, thus making it rather like his original self (note that in Series 8, when reset to his factory settings, Kryten acts like the David Ross incarnation).

The female computer Hilly from the opposite dimension in Parallel Universe, would adopt the face of the boy's universes' male Holly, and then back to the female face for their 'Series 8' equivalent
Because obviously genders are reversed (unless it's the case of another opposite like Cat/Dog). Holly came back from his interaction with the female Hilly, and adopted her female face as his new Holly identity. Stands to reason Hilly would do the same, and adopt the male Holly's face. If people say it wouldn't work, because Holly is a gender neutral name applicable to both men and female, whereas Hilly is a predominately female only name... these naming norms only apply in our universe. In that one things are opposite. Hilly would be seen as a gender neutral name, and Holly is probably predominately masculine.

The dwarfers are all irrational
Why else would they spend most of the series trying to get back to Earth, but then choosing not to stay on Earth whenever they do reach it? Series 7 started this irrational thought off. There's the time machine they use to go back to Dallas in Tikka To Ride. They have access to Ace's dimension hopper in Stoke Me A Clipper, we know Lister goes back in time to put himself as a baby under the pooltable in his past in Oroboros. Series 10 has dealt with them entering the time Jesus was alive. They've have opportunities to stay on Earth, but they always walk away.
  • It may be that they can't choose a particular time period to go back to, for whatever reason.
The timeline from the perspective of the crew in Series 7's Oroboros's alternative dimension (from Oroboros onwards obviously)
  • 1) Hologram Lister, Cat and Kryten lose Kochanski to the other dimension (our timeline) containing Cat and Kryten, and Lister as a human.
  • 2) Human Lister and his Cat and Kryten try to return Kochanski to her native dimension, but unfortunately the dimensional rift is damaged again, and Kochanski is lost to the other dimension again.
  • 3) Hologram Lister, Cat and Kryten have to accept the realization that they have lost Kochanski, and live out their Series 7 without her.
  • 4) Duct Soup would be redundant, since they would have no new crew member to have to adjust to, and the plot point of that episode consisted of our Kryten being jealous of Kochanski trying to steal Lister. It wouldn't apply in the Hologram Lister's dimension. Instead, Identity Within may take place.
  • 5) Instead of Blue, we'd have an episode consisting of Hologram Lister missing Kochanski.
  • 6) There's no reason why Beyond A Joke wouldn't happen, but the way it happened might be a bit altered. Kryten may be feeling less insecure about himself, as the jealous Kryten was in our dimension of trying to compete with Kochanski, so this Kryten may have been less harsh on Able. Able joins the crew as the new 4th member, to replace Kochanski. Cat and Lister adopt Kochanski's expertise (as she performed in our timeline), because they had been conditioned by her influence beforehand.
  • 7) Epideme might occur, with Cat as a victim instead, who ends up armless. Kryten fills up Kochanski's role as well as Listers, as mentioned they benefitted from her presence before and became more sophisticated/competent.
  • 8) Nanarchy likely exists pretty much as it did.
  • 9) Series 8 is similar, except without nano Rimmer joining the gang as it would be pointless, as the Lister, Kryten and Cat of this timeline would have never experienced him in their adventures. Kochanski is, however, resurrected along with the crew. So with Able maintaining his role as Kochanski's replacement (as Kochanski did as Rimmer's replacement in our Series 8), the original Kochanski is resurrected to take the role that Nano Rimmer did for ours (and like that Rimmer, she doesn't have the memories of Series 1-7 either). Stories are pretty much the same.
  • 10) Hologram Lister does not have the same relationship with Nano Kochanski, as he did with the Stasis Kochanski, due to not having the same experiences and adventures together. As such, there is conflict, alienation, and divergence. Kochanski goes into the mirror universe in Only The Good, and dies when she comes back to the Red Dwarf that slowly corroding.
  • 11) The Kochanski they knew and interacted with for their Series 1-7 (that was lost to our dimension in Oroboros), returns to them for their version of Back To Earth, and Series 10. This is because in our timeline, Kochanski left our dwarfers on a Blue Midget, for some undisclosed reason found a dimension hopper (or returned to the point where she originally entered our dimension in the dimensional gateway), and returns to her native dimension to be reunited with her crew. In exactly the same fashion to how in our dimension, the Hologram Rimmer that left in Series 7, came back to be with his original crew.
    • The problem with this is that in Kochanski's timeline the nanobots never stole Red Dwarf. (It's never stated outright — there was a line in "Ouroboros" but it was cut — but it's very heavily implied, with how they give our Dwarfers all those supplies before the linkway is broken, and how Kochanski is so miserable at being stuck on a small crappy ship like Starbug.)

Red Dwarf VIII is a Fanon Discontinuity turned Canon Discontinuity

Meaning that that the reason there is no bridge between VIII and BTE/Series X, is because there doesn't need to be. Series 8 was very unpopular, so it's likely that the ninth series hinted at in BTE follows straight from VII's Nanarchy, and that VIII's Back In The Red never happened. I say this, because they specifically mention in Series X that the reason the crew isn't there is because they were wiped out (which was the case Series 1-VII), so the original reason remains. If Series VIII happened, then the crew would have been resurrected, meaning they'd still be there in BTE and Series X, but they aren't. The nanos didn't resurrect them, and they remain dead due to the radiation leak, just as planned. Series 7 still happens, to explain why Kochanski existed enough before she took a Blue Midget and left on her own (explained in show), obviously following Nanarchy explains they they return to Red Dwarf, but the nano's not being over enthusiastic in their restoration explains why Red Dwarf didn't change to the long remastered model (and why it still has it's short stocky shape in BTE and Series X), and why they didn't resurrect the crew. Series 6 still happened, to explain why Rimmer is a hard light. As to how or why Rimmer came back, who knows. Maybe him failing as Ace, was part of his character's comical presence, as the most hopeless incarnation of any Rimmer. And he returned to the Dwarf to make sure the futures of Stasis Leak and Out Of Time come true. In terms of what happened to the 'Ace Rimmer legacy', who knows.

  • Or... not. Series 10 has now made reference to the corrosive microbe from Series 8, meaning it happened.
  • The event itself may have happened, but probably not how Series 8 literally portrayed it. Red Dwarf is still in tall and stocky size in Series 9/10, whereas Series 8 has it long and thin.
    • Conceivably, Series X is supposed to follow on from Series 6 if you handwave all the continuity that happened between the series, which is pretty much what people who don't like 7, 8 or Back To Earth would do.

Lister is the only sentient being on Red Dwarf.

Holly and Kryten are both advanced machines that give a convincing impression of sentience, but do not in fact experience anything. Rimmer is merely a simulation, with none of the consciousness that a real human being would have. The Cat is a cat, and hasn't evolved any greater awareness of the world in the last 3 million years.

The only reason Lister hasn't gone insane is that he is too stupid to have realized this.

  • Rimmer is very conscious in fact, he is shown to get frustrated when he can't eat proper food or punch Lister. When he becomes a hard light hologram and later is resurrected, he achieves this.

The cliffhanger of Season VIII was resolved by...

The chameleonic microbes being wiped out by a radiation leak because somebody forgot to fix the drive plate.

  • Which makes Rimmer's claim in The Beginning that he saved the day all the more credible.
  • As much as I would like to accept this as true, that the nanobots recreated the ship so well that it also recreated the original radiation leak that killed the crew in the first place, it took 3 million years for the radiation levels to die down, after the original accident, which was why it took so long for Holly to release Lister from stasis. So after the events of VIII, what would Lister, Cat, Kryten, Kochanski and Rimmer be doing for 3 million years? Obviously they'd have to be in stasis, or they'd be dead. So if they were brought out of stasis when the radiation levels died down, Lister is probably 6 million years away from Earth now.
    • The evacuation fleet encountered a Negative Space Wedgie of the time travel variety. Lister and Co. are now in the year 6 million. Everybody else got to go home.

Rimmer from "Back to Earth" and Series X is a combination of both the original Rimmer and the Series VIII Rimmer.

That is, Series VIII Rimmer died at some point in the nine years between "Only the Good..." and "Back to Earth", and he was revived as a hologram. The new hologram Rimmer had all the memories of Series VIII Rimmer, but was also given the memories of the original Rimmer from Series I-VII. Perhaps these memories were only up-to-date until Red Dwarf was stolen by the nanobots; perhaps they were up-to-date up to the point the original Rimmer became Ace and departed. Either way, Rimmer is now effectively a combination of both his previous incarnations. This is why he has the memories of both the Despair Squid incident (referenced in "Back to Earth") and the chameleonic virus incident (referenced in "The Beginning"), even though they happened to different Rimmers.

Rimmer's personality disc has become corrupted.

How else would he Take A Level In Badass?

  • Look at Ace Rimmer. That's the same Rimmer minus his neuroses and a lifetime of having already overcome those neuroses. The capacity for awesome is there. There's simply the lack of will.
  • The neuroses could be corrupted/erased from the disc.

The resurrected crew were killed by the acidic microbe in Only The Good...

The microbe spreads to the Starbugs and Blue Midgets before the ship is abandoned. The crew doesn't find this out until they leave Red Dwarf. Lister, Kochanski, the Cat and Kryten return to find the prisoners all dead as well. Rimmer's hologram has been switched on and he explains the information he gets from the vending machine and gets Kryten to transpose the formula. This explains why he takes credit for saving the ship, while Kryten disputes it.

The cat race have some form of extra-sensory perception.

Possibly caused by exposure to radiation over the course of their evolution aboard Red Dwarf. This would explain the frequent references to Cat "smelling" something - such as a Negative Space Wedgie or enemy ship - which he couldn't possibly be actually physically smelling. As smell is the most important sense to the cat race (as evidenced by the fact that their written language was based on smells), this is the terminology that they use to describe what they are sensing.

  • Pretty much confirmed in the Series X finale, where the Cat senses that Rimmer is haunted by the memory of his overbearing father.
Cat: You think awesome good looks and rock-hard pecs are my only qualities? I'm a cat! I sense things!

Rimmer from BTE/X is the same Rimmer from series 1-7 - as is Red Dwarf itself

It has never been explained what happened to him, but it is clear from Back to Earth that he has his memories from series 1-7 (remembering the encounter with the Despair Squid). In series 10, he comments that he "saved the day" in series 8 - but this is Rimmer we are talking about. Even if that was not actually him, he would take the credit for it. Besides, do we honestly believe he would have been able to be the hero that is Ace Rimmer? He probably crashed the ship into Jupiter.In regards to Red Dwarf, in BTE the boys comment that the timeslides and Holly Hop Drive are on Red Dwarf - things that would not exist in the resurrected ship.

  • Holograms are just really advanced AI run by the ship's computer. This could easily be a third Rimmer with memories from the original Rimmer, the first holographic Rimmer, and the resurrected Rimmer from season VIII who died in the interim.

The Inquisitor's decision to erase Lister and Kryten from existence had nothing to do with them not having fulfilled their potential — he did it because they ticked him off.

Looking at the inquisition scene, it's notable that the Cat and Rimmer play by the Inquisitor's rules and are polite to him — Rimmer's being his usual toadying self and the Cat is downright friendly. However, Kryten and Lister aren't playing along; they both refuse to justify themselves. In addition, Kryten questions the Inqusitor's methods and says it's not his place to judge the humans, and Lister is just being sullen, rude and insulting. Is it any wonder the Inquisitor chooses them for deletion?

His "you could have been so much more" speech doesn't fit at all with his previous operation modus, so I'm calling it: It's just a rather feeble justification he thought up on the spot to hide that the real reason was "I don't like you."

The decision to make Rimmer the guy who repaired the drive plate was due to Hollister's incompetence
He only got his commission because he bribed/blackmailed his way up the chain of command. Maybe, for some reason, he put a hugely incompetent chicken soup repairman in charge of such an important job.
  • Perhaps Hollister was looking to humiliate Rimmer for jamming a pencil up his nose, so he assigned Rimmer a trivial task that he coudn't do but whatever subordinate he had would show him up, but Hollister forgot he hadn't yet assigned Rimmer a replacement for Lister, and the rest of Z-Shift transferred out.

Rimmer actually was qualified to fix the drive plate
It's just that he had to do it after a mental breakdown stemming from his failure at the officer's test, thus impairing his judgement. Unfortunately, this blow to his ego became internalized.
  • It's implied to be a trivially easy task in Series VIII, so that's plausible.

Rimmer was rescued by Ace, though he hallucinated him as The Grim Reaper.
It would make perfect sense that Rimmer would want to kick Ace in the balls.

The Inquisitor is connected to Faction Paradox.
A time traveller who wears a bizarre skull and has no qualms in changing a person's timeline and in fact dedicates his life around it... Hmm...

Hologram!Rimmer ends up in Kochanski's Universe.
As nice as it is to imagine he gets his happy ending, he's Rimmer so it's inevitable he fails. Sometime after Ouroboros, Hologram Rimmer stumbles across Kochanski's universe, where the Alternate!Dwarfers are missing Kochanski. Rimmer somehow breaks his ship, and joins the alternate crew due to them being unwilling to leave him out in deep space regardless of how Rimmer-ish he may be. After this, it plays out similarly to the original universe, except maybe for Duct Soup, and the fact Rimmer and Lister share a room again prevents Epideme from occurring due to Lister no longer mistaking the zombie for Kochanski. After that, it plays out the same.

Ace Rimmer is from Kochanski's Universe.
  • He can't be. The flashback in "Ouroboros" took place in Kochanski's universe, and we saw that both Rimmer and Lister were much the same as in the Dwarfers' own timeline — very different to Ace and Spanners as seen in "Dimension Jump".
    • Plus, Spanners married Kochanski in Ace's universe.

Lister could never have got pregnant- the other characters, including (indeed, especially) their female alter-egos, were just screwing with him.
Yes, it's a silly comedy and the whole thing is Played for Laughs- but there's no logical way simply going into a gender-reversed universe mucks with your anatomy in some fundamental way just by magic. Besides, some of the jokes in the episode (made by the female alter-egos no less) may not have made sense if the male characters didn't have penises.
  • Except that he is stated to have given birth offscreen.
    • The explanatory text might have been made up by Holly in his capacity as narrator, to screw with the audience. Not entirely out of character for him.

Or, Lister did get pregnant, as an effect of the multiverse in-show running on nonsensoleum.
Since there are plenty of other examples of such, is it any wonder if the laws of biology are not as intrinsic to a given parallel universe as might be expected for the Real Life laws of physics?

Also from the same episode, incest isn't taboo in Red Dwarf's future.
Else why would hitting on your gender-reversed alter-ego not be considered Squick in the same way as hitting on a brother or sister?
  • It's called the Westermarck Effect. Also, they're the only humans within 3 million years, so desperation.
  • The gender reversed alter ego thing could be understandable (we've evolved with a natural aversion to having sex with our brothers and sisters because that would cause serious genetic complications for offspring; we haven't actually had any reasons to evolve a natural attitude one way or another to meeting a gender reversed version of ourselves from a parallel universe). Of course, Lister explicitly points out in Ouroboros that Kochanski is technically his mother and that doesn't seem to bother him that much. Also, in Rimmerworld when faced with the dilemma that a female clone would technically be his sister, Rimmer's attitude was that he simply wouldn't tell her. So you may be onto something.
The future selves of the crew joined Faction Paradox

In "Out of Time," the characters' future selves, except Rimmer, disappeared as they killed their past selves.
Just like how future JFK killed his past self and then disappeared in "Tikka to Ride." The only one who didn't disappear was future Rimmer, who was probably too selfish to kill his past self and disappear along with the others.

The American Red Dwarf pilots each take place in an alternate universe.
Not too unusual for this show.

The female Cat in one of the American pilots descends from [1] Jadzia Dax
Actor Allusion. So at one point, Jadzia had sex with a cat.

The 'computer bureaucracy' in Series X
In Series X, there are many references to computers and systems processing or dictating various rules and procedures (eg, the system that gives Howard Rimmer a commendation and not Arnold). The reason we didn't hear about this in earlier seasons is that it wasn't active, at least not in the same way. At some point during the 'interregnum', these systems were brought into play to give some more structure to the Dwarfers' lives, protecting their mental well-being against the increasingly long time stranded in deep space.
  • That would make sense with Holly being offline. S/He probably used to manage, and was able to override or ignore, many of the individual systems' dictats. Without Holly, these systems now report directly to the crew with no filter, and without a sentient computer to control them, their output doesn't always make sense.

Series IX was an Ace Rimmer Spin-Off.
Which is why the guy in the comics shop refers to it as the best series by miles. It was too good for us to see.

The Kochanski of the early seasons was actually the result of Lister altering history
The version of Kochanski in the later series is completely different in appearance and personality to the early series. One possible explanation for this is as follows:
  • 1) Originally, Kochanski was the Chloë Annett version.
  • 2) In "Out of Time" the crew discovers the time drive.
  • 3) The crew eventually finds an ability to travel through space as well as time.
  • 4) Lister, being in love with Kochanski, decides to travel back in time so he can be with her. He can only be with her a short while before the radiation leak kills off the crew, but he can keep travelling back and being with her again (he just has to ensure he doesn’t encounter himself, or to somehow eliminate his past self from the equation).
  • 5) He goes back and he's with her again, but he starts to get sick of her. He's idealised her in his head, but he really wants to be with a woman more like him. Due to the time drive’s corrupting influence, he decides he has a right to "fix her".
  • 6) Lister travels back in time and arranges for Kochanski’s father to have a nice working-class job in Scotland hoping to change her upbringing. Instead, her mother leaves him, hence explaining why when he does have a daughter and name her Christine (and she does pursue the dream he always wanted for his daughter of being a navigation officer on a mining ship) she doesn’t look the same.
  • 7) Lister ends up having a romance with this Kochanski (both the local Lister to her time period, who ends up being the Lister throughout the show, and the Lister from the future). History again plays out up until “Out of Time” (except this time with Clare Grogan Kochanski) and eventually the two versions of Lister encounter each other (when the Lister using the time drive, now a brain in a jar, has to travel to the future).
  • 8) The time drive is destroyed, thereby erasing the changes it caused, including the changes to Kochanski and causing Lister to forget that he’d seen the different Kochanski.
  • 9) When Lister encounters Kochanski next she’s from a parallel universe. In that universe, Lister never had access to the time drive and hence Kochanski was never changed. Therefore, this version of Kochanski was always the Annett version.

Lister wasn’t always his own father

The Inquisitor judges Lister (or rather he judges himself) and he’s found unworthy. He’s then replaced by an alternate version of himself who never got a chance at life. This raises some fridge logic if you consider the fact that Lister is his own father. If Lister had never been born then neither would Lister’s father. Therefore, if Lister had never been born then logically neither would any alternate siblings. More fundamentally though, If Lister the son is the same as Lister the father then that must mean he has only his father’s DNA and by extension only his grandfather’s DNA and only his great grandfather’s DNA and by extension all his ancestral DNA is identical to his own. So Lister’s effectively a perfect clone of himself and there shouldn’t be any alternate version of him in the mix.

So where would the DNA for an alternate version of Lister come from? Yes, in theory Lister’s DNA could have been modified to produce someone different, but that’s not really the Inquisitor’s way of working.

The alternative explanation is that, before the loop began, Lister did actually have parents. Lister had a mother and father. They had a child. For some reason, either Lister himself, his parents or someone else entirely decided to leave a baby Lister in a box in a pub (given Lister seems to view it as a way to ensure humanity can never die out, it’s possible he did it himself and left the ourobourous message so he would know what to do when he reached the proper age). The very first version of Lister left in that pub may have been the first Lister or he may have been the first Lister’s son. Either way, once a Lister had been left there the loop had begun and the Listers were set in motion to grow up, travel back in time and leave themselves there (therefore completing the loop).

This way, when the Inquisitor encountered Lister he could have replaced that first Lister (the one who had parents) with an alternative version and this alternative version would have then done the same thing (creating the loop again) therefore resolving the apparent contradiction.

  • One entry earlier in the page talked about how the change between Clare Grogan and Chloë Annett's Kochanski existed in universe because of the Inquisitor's meddling. So the cosmetic 'differences' between the Lister in one timeline and that of another could somehow be explained as one having one Kochanski's genes, and the other with the other. Assuming Annett's Kochanski was the original one, who then got replaced with Grogan's by the Inquisitor, Lister as he is then was still born from Annett's genes. When the Inquisitor finally got round to judging David Lister, he 'corrected it' by replacing him with that of a Lister born of Grogan's genes... thus the different appearance. Two questions arise though. Why would changing Annett to Grogan in the first place not affect Lister's appearance right away? And secondly, what actually is the extent of the Inquisitor's powers in changing every last person in time and space, when you take into account that by changing one person you effectively screw up the existence of literally all of their descendants. Does he judge one person independently and override the cosmetic appearance of their descendants? But that would be absurd because then genetics would be completely moot. Or does he see into his own future, and know that he's already going to deem certain of those descendants unworthy, and thus doesn't bother to modify their appearance in line with their ancestor as they'll be changed eventually anyway? The extent of his skillbase is never really expanded on. Either way, Red Dwarf timefucks aside, I like to assume that the alternate Lister is the son of Grogan's Kochanski, and the one we know is that of Annett's. It just makes sense, to me.

The two Kochanskis are genetically different in the alternate timelines.
Perhaps a slightly different sperm fertilised the egg that would become her, meaning the combined DNA would be slightly different.
  • Taking this thought on a stage, the Clare Grogan Kochanski of that universe had, for whatever reason, failed an encounter with that universe's Inquisitor, and was wiped for history. The Chloë Annett version was the "sperm-in-law" she was replaced by.
    • Fridge Logic, the Chloe Annett version is actually the original who was replaced by Grogan's version by the Inquisitor. When Lister tricked The Inquisitor and all his work had been undone, she was then restored to Chloe Annett's original version. The Grogan verison the psiren transformed into in Series 6 was just because Lister remembered her like that, and his mind was unaffected by the timeline restoring itself. Mind blown yet?

Talkie Toaster equates toasting with sex
Talkie Toaster didn't have room for a Silicon Heaven chip, but to make sure that Talkie Toaster (and other similar household appliances) don't ever rebel, its AI is tuned to think of toasting in the same way as humans think of sex. Unfortunately thanks to cheap production, Talkie Toaster is a nymphomaniac...
  • I once imagined an episode with Kryten trying to be helpful by installing a cheap female hologram in Talkie Toaster, the intention being that it would become slightly more human, just as he had done. Unfortunately, as with many of Kryten's attempts to be helpful, it backfired, and Talkie Toaster got no better, using its human appearance to try and emotionally extort the eating of toast out of the crew - sobbing hysterics, suicide threats (which obviously mean nothing coming from a toaster's hologram) and even offering holographic sex to Rimmer in exchange for the eating of toast. Of course Rimmer can't eat toast, so TT would start insulting his sexuality for turning it down.
    Talkie: "I can take two at a time, y'know." (imagined line)

Rimmer was assigned to repair the Drive Plate because he was the only one to be able to get to it in time
It doesn't make sense as to why Rimmer of all people would be assigned to fix the Drive Plate. It's supposed to be trivially easy and Rimmer's incompetence is well-documented, and in one alternate universe where Kochanski was put in stasis instead of Lister, it still killed everyone, despite Lister being qualified to fix it. However, Red Dwarf is incredibly huge. What if the Drive Plate was in a relatively isolated part of the ship, and Rimmer was only there as part of the fallout of his mental breakdown? In the Kochanski-verse, Rimmer didn't go to the isolated part of the ship because he had access to his favourite method of de-stressing: blaming Lister. In the main timeline, someone discovers the problem too late to get anyone else down there, if the drive plate isn't fixed right then and there, there will be a catastrophic reactor meltdown. Rimmer had the time to attempt to fix the drive plate, then return to be dressed down for failure. Why they didn't try to evacuate is unknown, but in one alternate universe, Captain Hollister did attempt to flee in an escape pod, only for the thing to malfunction, so it's probably due to overall incompetence, both in failing to get a proper evacuation order and for not maintaining the escape pods. Pre-cuts Red Dwarf was able to manage an evacuation, and even they left behind large numbers of people.
Rimmer saved the ship in "Only the Good" by accidently bringing back the virus
The opposite universe wasn't completely opposite. Rimmer may have been the Captain but the woman he thought was the captain's lover (actually his religious adviser) was still rescued from the Hermes which is where the virus came from. If the virus was on the opposite Red Dwarf, Rimmer may have accidentally brought some back with him. When he did, it would become the antidote.

Even if Rimmer died, Red Dwarf may have been saved. Given they rebuilt the ship once, Kryten's nanobots could presumably fix the damage once the virus was stopped.

As for what happened then, Lister, Kryten, Kochanski and the Cat would all have been in the mirror universe. However, if they learnt Rimmer had returned to the collapsing ship, they would probably have come back to try to get him (Kryten could presumably rebuild the prism laser in the other universe). Rimmer would be dead, hence being brought back as a hologram, but our heroes would have Red Dwarf to themselves again (and the crew may have all been killed off anyway, if the microbe travelled with them to their escape crafts).

Rimmer is officer material... just not navigation officer
Rimmer can be quite meticulous in organizing things and will happily force his subordinate to conduct long, boring inventories. If anything, Rimmer should have considered applying to be a logistics officer. By no means would he go far in the position, he's a petty, uptight smeghead who drives away everyone he gets around, but he'd be an officer.
  • It's likely that he wouldn't consider it to be a proper officer. In "Balance Of Power", he specifically states that the rank of Catering Officer, essentially a commissioned chef and the rank that Olaf Petersen held, is not a real officer. For Rimmer, it's engineering, navigation, or nothing. However, this WMG does fit in with the implication during the books that he does have a certain talent for graphic design.

Red Dwarf takes place in the same universe as Harry Potter, and at least one member of the crew was secretly a witch or wizard.
Who was extremely careless with their magical belongings.
  • The "mutated" developing fluid from "Timeslides" was really the potion wizards develop photos in, which causes them to come to life. (I mean, what makes more sense — that normal, physical developing fluid could "mutate" to the point that it develops properties which blatantly defy the laws of physics, or A Wizard Did It?)
  • Similarly, Kryten's Techno Babble explanation for how the Matter Paddle worked was nonsense; it's actually a computerized Portkey. (He claimed it transmits you as light beams, but then they use it to travel 200,000 light years in a matter of moments. If it did indeed transmit you as light, Lister and Cat would have had to wait 400,000 years for Kryten to send the thing back.) Indeed, this would also explain why splitting the signal in "Demons and Angels" produced duplicates with the "good" and "bad" attributes of the original; the original spell simply wasn't intended to copy the travel subject that way, and Lister and Kryten — meddling in forces they don't understand — accidentally trigger unintended side-effects, much like when Hermione drank Polyjuice Potion containing what turned out to be a cat hair.
  • The virus from "Confidence and Paranoia" was actually magically created, most likely a failed experiment intended to trigger latent magical abilities in Muggles (probably for the same reason as Magneto's mutation machine in X-Men).

Rimmer is transgender and in deep, deep, deep denial about it.
With the exception of Holly (who literally changes sex twice) Rimmer is by far the character who's gender is changeable. In the novel version of Better Than Life he ends up in the body of a voluptuous blonde prostitute named Trixie La Bouche, in Red Dwarf Season I "Balance of Power" he adopts Kochanski's body to trick Lister (and seems to be willing to go quite far in keeping up the act: "It's Kochanski's body, it's Kochanski's voice. I mean, what's the difference? Come on!") and in Red Dwarf Season VI "Rimmerworld" he ends up creating female clones of himself with female bodies and his face (a level of vanity completely in keeping with the Cat but a little odd for Rimmer.)

Rimmer wants to be female but can't conciously bring himself to even think about it. Only when he can justify it to himself somehow out of neccisity does allow this element to surface. This is also part of Rimmer's extreme dislike against the overtly hypermasculine Ace Rimmer (who himself may be aggressively overcompensating.)

The end of the Backwards novel is Lister's Dying Dream
It had already been established that the Wildfire can only take you to parts of the multiverse where you have a counterpart so it shouldn't have been able to take Lister and The Cat to a universe where they're dead. And going to a universe where the dead in the main universe Rimmer and Kryten are still alive is a bit too convenient for a ship that can only Blind Jump with no way for the traveller to choose what universe they end up in.This book establishes that Lister now considers the Dwarf his home rather than Earth so a dying dream or Heaven would look like the ship rather than Earth.

On becoming the new Ace Rimmer, Rimmer reached alternate Kochanski's universe.
He and Hologram Lister found a way to re-open a dimensional tear, explaining, from "Back to Earth," Rimmer's return and Kochanski's continued absence.

Humanity evolved into Energy Beings.
To evade the Simulants, humans, like the Firstborn, learned to embody their minds in the substance of space itself. For the past million years, they've psychokinetically steered the Red Dwarf to preserve humanity's organic legacy - leading the Dwarfers to Garbage World in Better Than Life, the Omnizone in Last Human, and Ace's dimension-hopping Wildfire in Backwards. In the series, they'll eventually reunite Lister with Kochanski, allowing for Red Dwarf: The Next Generation.