'The Beginning'
by Doug Naylor

Io, First Moon of Jupiter: a young Arnold Rimmer is used as a guinea pig for a class experiment in social behaviour by his lecturer – his father…

Three million years later, aboard the mining ship Red Dwarf: Rimmer detects a security breach, as a rogue simulant ship attaches itself to the vessel and its pilot destabilises the hull to get aboard. The vengeance-seeking simulant is looking for Lister, and he receives some helpful directions from Cat and Kryten in his search. However, when he reaches Lister’s bunk room he finds his quarry less than interested in a duel across all time and space: ‘Hogey the Roguey’ is well-known to the Red Dwarf crew, who have enjoyed playing duels with him for quite some time, to the point that they would rather play against him at ping-pong, miniature golf or cooking. When Hogey announces that he has a new prize, a star map displaying everything in their galaxy, Lister becomes more interested – until the Simulants that Hoguey stole the object from arrive on the scene and unleash a wave of missiles that tear open Red Dwarf’s hull! With the bunk room decompressing, Lister and Rimmer struggle to reach the door; luckily for them, Hogey manages to seal the hole in the hull – with his own body. Rimmer, Lister, Kryten and Cat assemble in the Drive Room and reboot the ship’s controls; looking out of a window, Kryten breaks the news that the Simulant Death Ship has deployed three smaller ‘Annihilator’ fighter craft which are now closing in on them. Aboard the Death Ship, Chancellor Thursday reports to his commander, Dominator Zlurth, of his failure to kill Hogey; he then runs himself through with a sword, misinterpreting his superior’s punishment of just polishing the weapon and writing a letter of apology. Back aboard Red Dwarf, the gang race to escape in Blue Midget, Lister carrying Hogey’s molecular disintegrator gun, and Rimmer clutching the only thing that matters to him: a holo-projector with a message from his father, to be played only when he has become an officer (he may as well watch it soon then!). Making a swift exit from Red Dwarf, Lister pilots Blue Midget into an asteroid field to evade the Death Ship and Annihilators chasing them. Dominator Zlurth is furious, and after consulting a bandaged Thursday and the rest of his sycophantic council, he gives the order to send in probes to track down his quarry. With the gang hiding inside a large asteroid and now faced with certain and painful death, Lister does the unimaginable: he asks Rimmer to come up with a battle plan. Nervously accepting command of the ship, Rimmer sets to making a plan timetable, while Kryten rounds up all the weapons on board: two forks and a pencil sharpener. As Rimmer goes to pieces Cat arrives, playing with some string; he gives Rimmer a pep-talk, telling him to forget trying to obtain his father’s approval and get on with his life. Rimmer is still stuck for a plan, but he does decide to play his father’s holo-recording – and listens with amazement as Rimmer Senior reveals that he wasn’t his father after all: Rimmer’s real dad was Dungo the imbecilic gardener! Knowing his real heritage actually boosts Rimmer’s ego, seeing how he has risen higher than his actual father ever reached; this helps him to come up with a plan, and, after convincing Lister, Kryten and cat that it isn’t crap, he goes into action. With the Death Ship now bombing the asteroid field, Lister takes Blue Midget out into the open, where the ship is quickly surrounded by the four Simulant vessels. Opening a comms channel, Rimmer surrenders and requests that they be taken as prisoners of war; but the Dominator refuses and orders his ships to open fire. With four pairs of missiles streaking towards Blue Midget, Rimmer coolly begins writing a report against the simulants. Then, just as the missiles are about to hit their target, Lister stands up and uses Hogey’s gun to destabilise the cabin walls – allowing the missiles to fly straight through Blue Midget and out the other side! As the missiles strike their new targets, Dominator Zlurth bellows in fury as he and his ships are blown to pieces! Rimmer and Lister are understandably pleased with themselves, and they set course for home. However, when they reach Red Dwarf they find Hogey waiting for them, wanting to play again…

Chris Barrie (Arnold J. Rimmer), Craig Charles (Dave Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Richard O’Callaghan (Hogey the Roguey), Gary Cady (Dominator Zlurth), Alex Hardy (Chancellor Thursday), Colin Hoult (Chancellor Wednesday), Simon Treves (Lecturer Rimmer), Taylor James (Big Simulant Advisor), Philip Labey (Young Rimmer), Joanne Gale (Wendy)

Directed by Doug Naylor

Produced by Richard Naylor
Executive producers Charles Armitage and Doug Naylor

TX: (Dave)
1st November 2012 @ 9:00 pm

*Featuring Dave Lister, Arnold Rimmer, Cat and Kryten

*This episode runs longer than in previous seasons, at forty minutes