Red Dwarf: S07E07: Epideme

Kochanski, Lister, Kryten and Cat discover a starship in the middle of an astro-glacier. They land to and discover that the ship is the Leviathan, a 23rd Century JMC supply ship. It suffered an engine failure due to a power overload. Kryten suspects that they were running from something.

Lister nervously exploresThey explore and discover the obligatory dead bodies strewn around confirming that this ship, like all the others will ultimately contain some unspeakable horror. Sure enough, they discover the unspeakable horror in the form of a large block of ice. Kryten tells them that the block contains a life form.

Inside the block of ice is a supply officer called Caroline Carmen who was once a supply officer on Red Dwarf. They take the body back to Starbug. They discover that the ice block is being generated by the body inside! They decide to wait until the morning before examining the contents further.

The rotting corpse - icedDuring the night an attractive woman who has been allowed to rot for a few years, escapes the confines of the ice block and finds Lister asleep in bed. The putrefied remains of Caroline Carmen snuggle up to Lister under the bedclothes. Ms Carmen looks absolutely disgusting, yet in the evening light, Lister can only guess that Kochanski has finally come to her senses and jumped into his bed for a bit of skin!

The corpse snogs ListerThe fact that Lister is not surprised by this leads me to think that he deserves to suffer the consequences of making out with a rotting corpse. The corpse kisses Lister when suddenly Kryten knocks at the door. Lister pushes the Caroline corpse into the shower room, still not realising that it is NOT Kochanski. Kryten enters and argues with Lister, he suspects that Kochanski and he are ‘getting it together’. When a bleary eyed Kochanski enters the room to ask what all the noise is about, Kryten realises his mistake and leaves.

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Sod off!Lister then complements her on her ability to get from the shower room to the entrance of his quarters and tries to resume their amorous activity. Kochanski punches him while he tries to unbutton her shirt. She leaves muttering, “Not if you were the last man on Earth!

When Lister turns to the shower room, the decaying remains of Ms Carmen. She jumps on him and in the struggle; Lister pulls off one of her ears. She dies moments later, but not after giving Lister the most disgusting French Kiss he has ever had.

Kryten rushes into the room to find a distraught Lister and a dead-dead Ms. Carmen. “I’ve just been molested by Tutenkarmoon’s Horny Grandmother!Lister exclaims. “Eww, the taste! I need to go and gargle with a toilet duck!Lister collapses on the floor. It turns out that Lister has contracted a virus from Ms. Carmen. But this is no ordinary Virus. This is the virus to end all viruses – an intelligent virus.

Kryten examines Lister’s blood and finds that it is the Epideme virus, a man-made parasite created as a rival to the nicotine patch. It was designed to block neural signals telling the brain that it needed nicotine. Unfortunately it aslo blocked out the neural signals that tell the brain it needs food and oxygen! It is virtually unstoppable and for the first 48 hours it consumes the hapless host. Then it hijacks the body and goes looking for a new victim. If it can’t find one, then it freezes the body and waits.

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The Epideme virusKryten suggests that Lister patch in the neural translator and talk to the virus. He should try and reason with it, persuading the virus not to kill him. Lister is hooked-up and is instructed to be charming. The virus says hi, “And a great big hi to all of you out there in loveland. And tonight, Dave Lister – assistant vending machine sub-operative and spice food connoisseur – This is your Death!

Lister learns that the Epideme virus can also store knowledge, “So you absorb knowledge from every person you kill?

So, as you appreciate, killing you ain’t exactly a career highlight.” Says the Epideme virus happily, “No offence, but when you are a virus, there is not much call for knowing how to open beer bottles with your anus!

Armless ListerLister looses the argument for his survival. The virus is not only intelligent; it is articulate and strangely friendly. “Davey, come oooon. You’ve got a virus, it’s fatal, it happens. It doesn’t mean we can’t be friends!” Lister turns off the translator.

Kryten and Kochanski come up with a wonderful plan! They intend to inject an anti-viral substance into precise areas of Lister’s body and concentrate the virus in his arm. They would then cut off the arm! Lister is not impressed, but he agrees – there are no other options.

They make the attempt, but the reviving Lister is mortified to learn that they have chopped off his right arm and not the left as he had asked. Things are make even worse when they find that the Epideme virus is still in his body! Cat rushes in, “Buddy you look great!” he says holding out his hand to shake. Lister glares at him unable to return the gesture.

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They come up with a planIn the end, Kochanski come up with a stupendous plan to rid Lister of the Virus. As Lister lies dying in the medicentre, the happy go-lucky Epideme rants a commentary, “And in tomorrows episode, Chris, Kochanski has a nasty turn when Dave, her hilarious decomposing boyfriend, returns from the grave to infect her with a wacky but charismatic virus. Until then, goodnight!

EpidemeKochanski stops Lister’s heart and inadvertently presents her arm in front of Lister’s face. Lister bites Kochanski’s arm and the virus is transferred. Unbeknown to the Epideme, the arm was, in fact, Ms. Carmen’s arms which had been injected with blood and adrenaline. It was hidden under Kochanski’s clothing. She then takes the arm out and disposes of it. Lister is saved but he’s still somewhat erm… armless.

She show continues in part two, Nanarchy.

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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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