Top 10 coolest sci-fi concepts

Red Dwarf has always been stuffed full of inventive ideas and mind-twisty scenarios. Here's our favourites.


10. Ouroboros

Ok, good news and bad news with this concept of Ouroboros - an idea which has as its symbol a snake eating its own tail. The good news is that, thanks to some nifty time-skipping and a bit of sexy time, Lister created an eternal and unbreakable chain which ensures the human race can't die out. The bad news is that the human race is left under a pool table in the Aigburth Arms and becomes Dave Lister, curry connoisseur and self-fathering pool hustler.

9. Legion

To some extent, we're all a product of our various family members and friends and such like, but in the case of Legion he was a bit more directly influenced by the company he kept, shall we say. A gestalt entity, to give him his proper title, Legion only existed when there were other minds on board to feed off (and yes, we are counting the Dwarf lads as 'minds'). The most shameless copycat since yer man off Editors saw a Joy Division video on YouTube…

8. Time Wand

One difficulty with evolution is that it can have unexpected results. For every Cat, who starts life as a humble feline and becomes a stylish chap with a wardrobe to die for, there's a Pete. Pete, who was a much loved sparrow that became somewhat lacking in the old life department, and was regressed through time by Krytie with the best of intentions. Sadly he regressed a bit past his infancy and into the dark recesses of his genes, becoming a T-Rex in the process. Slightly harder to get in a cage, that.

7. The Inquisitor

The Inquisitor brought up a few quite massive concepts . The first was that it was possible to 'complete' time like a spoddy teen might complete a video game. Having got to the end, he worked out there was no God (or end of level boss) and set about erasing people who'd wasted their lives. Naturally for the Dwarfers that spelled doom, especially as he was capable of re-writing timelines to put replacement people in place of losers. Imagine what he’d do with Ed Sheeran…

6. Terrorform

People are constantly banging on about the environment these days, and especially the impact that mankind has had on it. Well, if they think that spraying deodorant and making Pandas cry is bad, then they should check out Terrorform, in which Rimmer's twisted psyche formed the entire basis of the planet's composition. As you can imagine the result wasn't a heaven on earth, but a murky swampy boggy sort of place which made a night in Kerry Katona's boudoir seem almost appealing.

5. Bodyswap

Why waste your time pumping iron down the gym or running for ages despite the fact you aren't in fact being pursued by a cougar? No, instead of all that voluntary exercise nonsense why not sign up for a mind-swap and let some other bozo do all the hard work in your body, then return it in glistening Adonis-shape? A fine idea, you might think, unless the bozo in question is Rimmer and he gets a little too fond of having a body again, even if it is a slobby curry-stained one...

4. Backwards

There are some places on Earth where time may appear to run backwards. Yates wine bars, say, or Ipswich. When the boys landed on what they thought was Lister's home planet they were slightly thrown by the odd language and slightly, er, quirky behaviour on show. It was only once people started spewing up their dinner and nicking coins from buskers that they twigged on to the fact that time was in fact running the wrong way. Too late for Cat to reconsider that toilet break, mind…

3. Future Echoes

One of the most difficult science facts to get our tiny minds round is the whole speed of light concept, and time-travel proved the basis of one of the most ingenious episodes of the Dwarf . When the ship broke the speed of light barrier it had consequences far more dramatic than a speeding fine and three points on the licence - it meant the lads saw themselves in the future. Chilling enough a concept, even before Rimmer spotted 'Lister' coming to a sticky end…

2. We're in stasis

If it wasn't for Lister being put in Stasis due to smuggling a moggy in his time on board would have ended with him being a small pile of ash. That wasn't the last brush with the time-pausing process, though, and when Level 16 experienced a Stasis Leak it resulted in a second chance and even the possibility that the whole crew might not be turned into something fit for the dust-buster. Naturally, with THREE Rimmers around, things didn't quite work out.

1. Dimension Jump

If our heads get fuzzy trying to understand the speed of light, that’s nothing compared to the idea of multi-dimensions, and parallel universes and the like. There can have been no better illustration of this most complex quantum theory than the notion that somewhere out there is a universe in which Rimmer is not only heroic, but also has a luscious head of quite bouncy hair. Sadly for Ace, his dimension hopping was a one-way ticket away from Spanners...

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