|'Back To Earth'
by Doug Naylor
Nine years later, aboard the mining ship Red Dwarf… With the ship inexplicably running out of water, Lister formulates a way of ironing his clothes using a tomato, a sieve and a well-aimed sneeze. Leaving a disgusted Rimmer to hang his favourite picture of himself and swot up on astronavigation, Lister heads to the ship’s memorial to pay Kochanski a visit; however, his reading of a Jane Austin novel to the late love of his life is interrupted by the arrival of a terrified and bedraggled Cat, who has been attacked by a sea monster living inside the water tank on G Deck. Returning to Rimmer, Lister and Cat are also joined by Kryten, freshly returned from a week’s holiday in the tranquillity of a remote broom cupboard. Knowing that without water he and the Cat will die, Lister immediately mounts a mission to kill the sea creature. While the ever-cowardly Rimmer remains behind in the control room to keep an eye on things (and read a car magazine), a tooled-up Lister, Cat and Kryten head into the depths of the water tank inside a small diving bell; the intrepid trio soon find the sea monster – or rather, it finds them. As Lister, Cat and Kryten fight the creature their cries for help are missed by Rimmer, who is busy with some easy-listening music; by the time Rimmer finally realises what has been happening and has pulled his crewmates up to safety, he has earned Lister’s fury and custody of one of the monster's tentacles that has been ripped off. Just as Kryten tells his fellows that the sea monster was a dimension-migrating leviathan looking for somewhere safe to rest, the creature in question leaves the ship in a blaze of light. At that point another hologram appears: Science Officer Katarina Bartikovski; the haughty but attractive Russian explains that she has been initiated to ensure Lister’s survival as the last human being, replacing Rimmer, who is now due for destruction after failing one too many times in this task. After learning that Holly has been damaged in a flood when Lister left a tap running for nine years, Katarina announces that she will return the crew to Earth by using the DNA of the leviathan’s tentacle to create a dimension jump device – enabling Lister to travel to an alternate universe, find a woman, and then return to Red Dwarf to restart the human race. After hours of work Katarina’s task is eventually completed – she activates the device and a portal appears…
Chris Barrie (Arnold J. Rimmer), Craig Charles (Dave Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Sophie Winkleman (Katarina Bartikovski)
Directed by Doug Naylor
Produced by Jo Howard and Helen Norman
10th April 2009 @ 9:00 pm
*Featuring Dave Lister, Arnold Rimmer, Cat and Kryten
*Part one of a three part story
*Time-placing: according to the DVD of 'Back to Earth' that Lister later finds in the John Lewis store (the Kingston-Upon-Thames branch, where I bought my television!), this story takes place after 'Season 9' - a season we've never seen!