Red Dwarf: S03E02: Marooned

Holly opens the show with an urgent announcement, “Abandon ship, Abandon ship! Black Hole approaching. This is not a drill! This is a drill. (~sound of a hammer drill~)… Abandon ship. Oh gawd! Now the sirens bust! Awooga Awooga! Abandon ship!”

Rimmer is in the Drive Room and discusses the situation with Holly. He asks why she didn’t see something that is millions of miles wide on her scanners. Holly delicately points out to the sceptical Rimmer, “Well, the thing about a Black Hole, its main distinguishing feature, is it’s black! And the thing about space, the colour of space, yer basicAwooga! - Abandon Ship! space colour, is its Black! So how are you supposed to see them.”

Rimmer is not for giving up. “But there are five of them! How can you be ambushed by five Black Holes?”

Holly replies matter-of-factly, “It’s always the way init? We’ve been in space for three million years and there hasn’t been one! Then, all of a sudden five of them turn up at once!”

Rimmer leaves the Flight Deck of Starbug to supervise Lister and Kryten bringing aboard his chest of personal belongings.  Lister is amazed to find that in Rimmer’s most prized possession, a Javanese Camphor Wood chest, are a collection of replica wooden soldiers and a pile of money (about 20,000 credits).

On the other ship, Kryten brings some food and some essential medical supplies. Cat brings aboard 36 changes of clothing and 10 full-length dress mirrors.

The first Starbug collision!Lister drives Starbug away (it clips the hangar doors as it leaves) while Holly tries to navigate Red Dwarf through the Black Holes while the others head for a rendezvous point on a small desert planet, Sigma 14D.

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Lister and Rimmer settle down in Starbug. Lister chastises rimmer for his fascination with military things. Rimmer tells him that the reason for his interest is because he once underwent a hypnotist’s regression and found that he was non other than Alexandra the Great’s Chief Eunuch!

Lister believes him, and Rimmer goes on to explain that this is the reason why, “…. even to this day I can’t look at a pair of nutcrackers without wincing… and why every time I’m with a large group of woman I have this urge to bathe them in warm olive oil?”

Lister points out that he has that urge, it’s nothing to do with past lives, it’s because he’s bored of with his own hum-drum life. Suddenly a fireball hits the ship and they are plunged into a desolate cold wasteland.  The ship is disabled and they are stranded.

After three days they find that there is no food and no heat.  Rimmer is fairly confident that he can survive. He can’t feel the cold nor does he need food.   But Lister is very upset, everywhere he looks he is reminded of food.  They talk about when they lost their virginity as a way of changing the subject.

Lister feels cold and starts burning Rimmer’s books.  He is annoyed that Lister is doing this but admits that he hasn’t ever read any of them.  Eventually they run out of things to burn.  All that is left is Rimmer’s antique soldiers and the camphor-wood chest, and Lister’s guitar. They argue about which they will burn.  The argument is fraught with despair, these are the most prized possessions of each. Eventually, Lister agrees to burn his guitar provided he is allowed to play one final song.Rimmer tells all!

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The singing is as bad as usual and Rimmer decides to leave him to it.  He goes into the flight room.  As soon as Rimmer is out of sight, Lister makes a tracing of the guitar on the back of Rimmer’s chest and cuts out a guitar shape from it. The piece of Camphor wood is then put in the fire and he puts his guitar in a cupboard.

When Rimmer comes in he is amazed to see that Lister has burned his guitar. Rimmer is overwhelmed. He knew how important his guitar was to him and makes a big speech about friendship and trust and the importance of ones personal possessions. Lister begins to become very Guilty. He hugs himself in front of the fire as Rimmer says, “Ok burn the soldiers, let them lay down their lives in the name of friendship!”

Lister tries to object, but Rimmer insists as a gesture of solidarity and friendship. At this point, Kryten and Cat find their beached ship. The four greet each other and Cat tells of their epic search. Rimmer asks about the Black Holes. “they weren’t Black Holes,” says the lovely Holly, “they were …. Grit…… Five specs of grit on the scanner scope.” She then goes to point out, quite correctly as it happens, that “the thing is about Grit… is it’s black…..”

They all get ready to leave and as they do so Rimmer tells Kryten of how Lister bravely destroyed his guitar instead of his chest. “He’s not an irresponsible selfish drifter always out for number-one, he’s a man, a man of honour!”

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"Gimme a hacksaw!"Lister, head bowed, walks over to the cupboard and takes out his guitar. He leaves quietly as Rimmer tries to understand what must have happened. Rimmer then walks over to his prized chest, empty of its belongings and notices as Kryten lifts the lid, that there is a guitar shaped hole at the back.

Kryten,” says Rimmer, “Get the hacksaw and follow me! ….. We are going to do to Lister, what Alexander the Great once did to me!”

And there the show ends.

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This episode 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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