'Back To Earth'
(Part 3)
by Doug Naylor

Arriving on the set of ‘Coronation Street’, Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten search for Craig Charles, the actor who plays Lister on ‘Red Dwarf’. When Kryten’s interrogation of a nearby robot proves fruitless, mainly because it is a pillar-box, the gang elicit the help of a local shopkeeper, who advises that their quarry is in the local pub, ‘The Rover’s Return Inn’, learning his lines. Initially mistaking Rimmer, Cat and Kryten for his former acting chums, Charles is shocked to see himself; putting the experience down to a drink-related hallucination, he tells the crew the address of the shows creator and then heads off to check himself into a clinic. Lister and the gang head for London, to the ‘Blade Runner’-esque home of the Creator. Shown inside by two Rimmerworld-like robots, the meet the Creator, an eccentric man whose gun is equipped with bullets inscribed with his character’s names. Lister and Rimmer plead for more time – and possibly a spin-off series or too – but the Creator refuses, instead describing how the poignant final scene of ‘Back to Earth’ plays out, in a ‘Blade Runner’-inspired chase scene through dark, rain swept streets that culminates in his shooting the quartet dead. When Cat’s attempt to snatch the gun fails, Lister becomes enraged, and to his shock, he finds himself killing the Creator. Checking the script, Lister learns why he acted out of character: the script describes the Creator’s death at Lister’s hands – the man lied so that his script would come true. Burning the final pages of the script, Lister uses the Creator’s typewriter to write his own ending – having fun making Rimmer, Kryten and Cat hurt themselves in comedy situations in the process. But when things start happening contrary to what Lister has written, the lads realise something else is in control – something related to the small, origami squids that Cat has been absent-mindedly making over the last few hours. With mounting horror, Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and Cat deduce that the squid that attacked them back on Red Dwarf was another type of Despair Squid, one that makes its victims experience joy instead of anguish – they have never left their ship, instead they have been trapped inside their own minds in a collective hallucination. Rimmer, Cat and Kryten’s natural defences kick in and they start to fade away, waking up in the real world aboard Red Dwarf. However, Lister decides to remain behind, believing the imaginary world to be the only way he can be with Kochanski. He finally meets the girl of his dreams, and together they drive off to create a perfect life for themselves… until Lister finally comes to his senses, and chooses to rejoin his mates and win over the real Kochanski. Waking up aboard Red Dwarf, Lister learns that Cat brought the squid aboard as a tiny creature years ago, and kept its subsequent escape quiet out of embarrassment. Deciding to take the fully-grown creature to an ocean world, Lister reflects on how much his ‘imaginary fans’ would have enjoyed the adventure he has just had…

Chris Barrie (Arnold J. Rimmer), Craig Charles (Dave Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Simon Gregson (Himself), Michelle Keegan (Herself), Richard O’Callaghan (Creator), Cloe Annett (Christine Kochanski)

Directed by Doug Naylor

Produced by Jo Howard and Helen Norman

TX: (Dave)
12th April 2009 @ 9:00 pm

*Featuring Dave Lister, Arnold Rimmer, Cat and Kryten

*Part two of a three part story