Red Dwarf: Cultures: GELFs

The only nice GELF is a Pleasure GELF which looks like a big green blob!  The rest are all baddies.

GELF’s are Genetically Engineered Life Forms and pop up in various guises throughout the Red Dwarf Saga.

Pleasure GELFThere are yer average dangerous-furry-monsters which are simply known as GELF’s; Polymorphs – VERY dangerous creatures that feed off human emotions; Emohawks the furry GELF’s pets Polymorph; and the spine chillingly wonderful Sirens that feed off brains (usually by sticking a straw through the ear of the doomed human victim and giving a powerful suck!).


Polymorphs are extremely hostile creatures.  They feed off the human psyche, they seek out the deranged, the unbalanced and the emotionally crippled.  To make things worse, they are pretty darned ugly too! Looking like a rat with big teeth, they scurry around looking for some unfortunate person whose emotions they can devour.

A Polymorph

Polymorphs can also change shape!  This of course makes it extremely difficult to spot them! (Lister found this out when one of them changed shape into a pair of red underpants and then proceeded to shrink).

They originated on Earth, the result of a genetic experiment that went wrong. It was an attempt to create the ultimate warrior, a mutant that could change its shape to deceive its enemies. The Polymorphs therefore generally feed off people’s negative emotions, fear, anger, guilt, and paranoia.  It is a sort of emotional vampire that changes shape to provoke a negative response from its victim and then sucks ‘it’ out of them.


Psirens look like giant cockroaches!  And as if that isn’t bad enough, they have the ability to make you believe that they are absolutely Goooorrrgious! Have you ever slept with someone that you shouldn’t have? Possibly after aA Psiren night where far too much alcohol? Well the next morning you probably looked at that unfortunate person as a Psiren (without the psychic shroud!). The difference that person and a Psiren is that the Psiren will suck out your brains with a straw rather that provide a harmless, drunken evening of bonking!  (I personally find such a notion particularly distressing! – I’m sure I once slept with a Psiren!)

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Psiren’s attempt to alter the perceptions of their prospective victims telepathically.   They use this power of illusion to lure their victim into their hiding place.   They may then fight with each other to see who should enjoy the spoils of their capture!

Psirens are very difficult to kill, able to take full-on shots from a Bazookoid with relatively minor damage.

Furry GELF’s

A Furry GELFGELF’s are a good deal more humanoid that polymorphs or Psirens, and this, in many ways, makes them even more dangerous. GELF’s are untrustworthy scavengers with no regard for life, law or property. They skin human beings alive and turn them into beanbags.

Starbug once ventured into Furry GELF space and suffered a damaged to an Oxygen Generation Unit.  Lucky for the crew, the GELF’s they encountered (Kinitowawi) were a little more friendly other GELF races and were able to trade Listers libido.  The GELF’s had an OGU they did not want the trinkets offered by Kryten. Instead they wanted Lister! In fact they want Lister to marry the chiefs elder daughter.   His prospective bride is absolutely as ugly as you can imagine – very hairy and more than a little chubby.  I particularly like the way she spoke with a deep male voice.

Lister is persuaded to marry the furry GELF by an insistent Cat, Kryten and Rimmer. They hatch a plan to do a runner in the morning after the wedding.

After the wedding, later that night,  Lister just can’t manage to spend his honeymoon night with the hairy-warty-eight-f

An Emohawk

oot-yeti that is his wife!  He understandably runs off and the four of them head back to Starbug. Lister’s wife complains to her father, “He’s left me on my wedding night! Men, They’re all bastards!”

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The angry father of the bride decides to set his pet Emohawk on the crew of Red Dwarf!  A just reward for such dishonourable behaviour.


Emohawks are dastardly little creatures.  It is a Polymorph that is spayed at birth and half domesticated by the furry GELF’s. It’s trained to change shape at its owner behest.

Like all Polymorphs, it has the ability to steel emotions from living creatures.  Emotions are, amongst the GELF’s, a highly valued trading commodity.

Like all polymorphs, they are able to change shape at will, and they feed off their victims’ emotions, one at a time, usually the most negative ones first.

Race Rating – GELF’s
Personality 1 (rancid butter) – 4 (cool dude) 3
Attractiveness 1 (requires paper bag) – 5 (Drop-dead-gorgeous) 1
Humour 1 (stomach-turning) – 5 (sidesplitting) 4
Dress Sense 1 (laughable) – 5 (hip) 1
Aggression 1 (big/little softy) – 5 (hard as nails) 3
1 (scumbag) – 5 (god) 2

Sad Geezer Race Rating (out of 30) = 14         

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This Culture 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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