Red Dwarf: Characters: Dave Lister

Dave Lister is yer archetypal slobby pal and the only surviving member of the Human race. Lister, your slobby pal!He is the sort of guy that can both turn your stomach and at the same time fill you with admiration.   He is in complete contrast to the personality of Rimmer and is played magnificently by the amazing Craig Charles.

If you were to meet him in a pub, Lister would be eating a meat pie with a lighted cigarette sticking out of his ear while winning a farting contest between himself and his pals (plus a couple of ladies whom he would have persuaded to join in).

Lister playing Cat GODAlthough he is almost ten years older, Lister’s character has changed little since the very first episode (called ‘The End’) in which he was confined to the Stasis chamber for illegally smuggling on board his pet cat. He was only supposed to spend 18 months in stasis, but following a fatal error by Rimmer in the repair of the ships Drive Plate all the crew suffered a fatal dose of Cadmium II radiation. It took 3 million years before the radiation had reached a safe level and Holly, the ships computer, felt it safe to let Lister out.

The shocking news about his friends being 3 million years dead was compounded when he remembered the ships navigation officer, Christine Kochanski. He’d always fancied her (and even dated her for a few weeks). His dream of taking her and his pet cat to Fiji to start a farm was now impossible.

Lister was an orphan left under a pool table in Liverpool. Stranger still, his real father was Lister and his mother was Kochanski!  Erm…. Kochanski (from another dimension) asked Lister to collect some of his sperm in a self-gamut mixing invitro tube! (see OUROBORUS). All she needs to do is pop it in the machine and “Bingo” out pops their child. Eighteen months later, Lister returns back in time to the Egbeth Arms in Liverpool with and OUROBOROS box (the name of a battery manufacturing company) containing his baby. He lovingly places the box containing his baby under the pool table and says, “For a long time, you’ll think that you were abandoned. You were put here to create a paradox, a unbreakable circle, with us going round and round in time, the human race can never become extinct. We’re like a kind of holding pan. I’ll see you son.”

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Lister looking at the famous double-polaroidThe baby Lister was adopted by a gruesome looking woman that he affectionately called his grandmother. The young Lister however, was a rather precocious teenager completely opposed to anything which was ‘crypto Neo-fascist’ a term which he clearly didn’t understand. He played for a short time in a band called ‘Smeg and the Heads’ and their best song (called The Om Song) was never released.   He had a very short stay at art college (97 minutes – the schedule was too hard) and worked as a supermarket attendant (he left after seven years because he didn’t want to get tied to a career). He joined the Jupiter Mining Corporation on the ship ‘Red Dwarf’ as the assistant to the technician Rimmer, a job he detested. It seems that the only fun on Red Dwarf was winding-up Rimmer at every possible opportunity (like the time he replaced Rimmer’s toothpaste with contraceptive jelly!).

Lister had requested sick leave due to dioreah on no less that 500 different occasions and the captain sincerely believed that his future promotion prospects were zero!

Lister with his son's Jim and BexleyLister is a daddy! Erm… and a MUMMY!!  In a complicated and yet hilarious episode (better noted for the song Tongue Tied) the Red Dwarf crew burst into another dimension where they meet their opposites who are female (except Cat, who meets a Dog). After a heavy drinking session, Lister and his female double find that they have spent the night together and realised that they also bonked!  In this dimension however, it is the MALE that gets pregnant and 9 months later (back in his own dimension) Lister gives birth to Jim and Bexley. He returns the children to their own dimension shortly after.  In Season 7 Lister is forced to marry a furry GELF!  But he manages to escape before having to perform him erm… duties.Lister with Space Flu

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Lister has some amazing eating habits.  A typical breakfast is Chicken Vindaloo and Beer Milkshake, or cornflakes with grated raw onion and Vindaloo sauce. The idea of no Indian Food to eat would drive Lister crazy and has, on a number of occasions (as in the episode Tikka to Ride) got the crew in considerable trouble.Lister was re-built by nanobots And yet, Lister does not attempt to be macho, indeed he often likes to watch sad, romantic movies (as long as they don’t have any parts played by Doug Maclure, whom he detests).

Lister’s hobby is playing his guitar. Unfortunately, though he believes himself to be ‘a deva’ on the ol’frets, he is in fact absolutely diabolical.   The crew will only allow him to practice is with a space suit on – in space.

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This Character review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without  the authors express permission

The Red Dwarf names, characters and everything else associated with
the series are the property of The British Broadcasting Corporation,
Rob Grant & Doug Naylor.  All rights reserved.

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