Red Dwarf: S07E03: OUROBORUS

This was a cracking episode! It introduced a new character and moved at a terrific pace!

A present for the barmaidThe show opened with a scene in a pool room. A pool player notices a box under the pool table. The box has OUROBORUS marked on it and a baby inside. The player points out that the spelling (he assumed that it meant ‘our Rob or Ross’) proved that the baby’s parents were “thicker than a ticket tout’s wadd (pile of money)”.

Lister's pretty gownOn Starbug, Lister is picking his nose hairs with a kitchen implement. Kryten joins him as his tooth cap comes out. Lister fixes his tooth with some wood glue and Kryten shows him that he has found some bobbly slippers and an old ladies dressing gown. Lister tries them on and is just flossing his teeth when a sort of temporal rip appears in space in front of them. They can’t avoid it but pick an anomaly in the engineering decks.

When Cat, Lister and Kryten go to investigate, they see that the anomaly is a membrane between two alternate realities. They decide to cross through the membrane to see across into a parallel dimension. They nearly fall into an area of non-space. Suddenly they notice that across this short divide is Alternate Lister (a hard Light Hologram, Cat and Kryten).

The alternate fourLister comments that in their dimension it must have been Lister who died and Rimmer who survived. Alternate Lister explains how it was KOCHANSKI that got caught with Lister’s cat and not Rimmer. It was she who was therefore sentenced to stasis for 18 months and Alternate Holly revived Lister (since they were ex-lovers) and not Rimmer. Alternate Kochanski and Alternate Hard Light Lister were very much in love. It also has to be said that Hard Light Lister looked a helluva lot more cool that our Lister dressed in a pink woman’s dressing gown, a pair of furry slippers and a box of floss stuck to the wood glue in his front tooth. In fact Rimmer once pointed out that our Rimmer would never have managed to sustain a relationship with Kochanski, his type of girlfriend is “… it’s someone called Tiffany. Someone who wears crotchless orange knickers and drinks Campari and soda, someone who says somfink instead of something and laughs like a freshly wounded mouse strapped to a cement mixer.

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Alternate Kochanski too would not have failed to notice this as she joined the three alternate’s on the other side of the rift. She looks at our Lister with a certain amount of disbelief.

Alternate Kryten suggests that they exchange information and supplies. Kochanski however asks if Lister can collect some of his sperm in a self-gamut mixing invitro tube! Apparently she is already in there. {?} Since alternate Lister is a hologram it is impossible for her to have children. With Lister’s sperm she and Alternate Lister would be able to bring up a family.

Cat impressesSuddenly a GELF Ship attacks. It’s Lister ex-wife’s family. They attack in revenge of him leaving her (See Emohawk: Polymorph II). The temporal rift is broken and Kochanski is knocked from her dimension into Lister’s {our Lister’s that is}. They make their way back into the Starbug control room. The GELF ship tells them that they demand the return of Lister to his Bride. Separation is not allowed without special dispensation from Ackhackakakackackhack Hackakackackackackackhack (the GELF Chief Justice). With the help of Kochanski, they outmanoeuvre the GELF ship, causing it to crash on a moon.

Later, Kryten and Lister chat about Kochanski. This is the first time we see Kryten overacting the hurt mummy character. He whines and cries his objections to Lister in a most unconvincing manner. He is frightened that Lister and Kochanski will reaffirm their affections to one-another and that Kryten will be left ‘out in the cold’.

Lister tries to reassure him, but I’m afraid we’re stuck with Kryten’s stupid and uncharacteristic concerns for a couple of episodes!

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Later, Kochanski and Kryten find themselves alone together. Kochanski accuses Kryten of not liking her. Kryten tries to avoid the subject but she presses him. “You’re not good enough for him that’s all. Ok so he may go around smelling like a Balti House (Indian restaurant) laundry basket, but he doesn’t need you swapping dimensions and bewitching him with your in-and-out-bits all pointy and unnecessary.

The two argue for a few moments when they suddenly find that the program they were working on has managed to provide them with the co-ordinates for the ‘temporal rip’. Kryten celebrates by opening a bottle of champagne. Lister is not so happy. Kochanski meets up with him in the Engineering section and he gives her the sperm capsule. All she needs to do is pop it in the machine and “Bingo, our child!

Lister tells her about him not wanting the baby to end up like himself. Kochanski sympathises about him being found under a pool table without explanation of his origins and vows that their baby will be well looked after.

She begins her journey along the temporal rip as Cat returns from the other ship with a box of batteries. on the box are the words ‘OUROBOROS’ which is the name of the manufacturer of the batteries! Lister quickly theorises that the baby contained in the little cryo-capsule in Kochanski’s hand is he himself! Lister is his own father and Kochanski is his ex-girlfriend and his mother! Welp! Get yer head round that one!

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A leg shotHe runs to catch up with her. He shouts after Kochanski, “Hey Mum wait!… I need the invitro tube back. It’s me!” Then, just like a bad penny, the GELF ship arrives back – guns blazing and, as before, Kochanski ends up on the wrong side of the temporal rip. She is determined to get back however, and takes a running jump.

Unfortunately she misses. Our Lister however, has the presence of mind to run back t the ship and get a harpoon gun. He returns and shoots Kochanski in the leg and pulls her back to the safety of their ship. Kochanski is lost to her alternate friends and loversnice bum however – she is stuck with our Lister, Kryten and Cat.

Later in the medial room, Kochanski gets up and tells Kryten that she is going to work out a way of re-establishing the linkway. As she goes off to begin her work, Kryten fails to point out that she has her slip tucked into her knickers.

Lister hugs his little selfEighteen months later, Lister returns back in time to the Egbeth Arms in Liverpool with and OUROBOROS box containing his baby. “For a long time, you’ll think that you were abandoned,” he tells the baby, “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.

And with that melancholy scene, 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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