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Red Dwarf episode
Holoship (Red Dwarf).jpg
Rimmer leaves Red Dwarf to reside on the holoship Enlightenment
Episode № 1
Airdate February 20, 1992
Writer(s) Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
Director Juliet May
Guest star(s) Jane Horrocks
Matthew Marsh
Don Warrington
Simon Day
Jane Montgomery
Lucy Briers
Series V
February 20 – March 26, 1992
  1. "Holoship"
  2. "The Inquisitor"
  3. "Terrorform"
  4. "Quarantine"
  5. "Demons and Angels"
  6. "Back to Reality"
List of all Red Dwarf episodes...

"Holoship" is the first episode of science fiction sit-com Red Dwarf Series V[1] and the twenty fifth in the series run.[2] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 20 February 1992.[3] Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Juliet May.[4] The episode, which was the third filmed,[5] was brought forward to open the series.[6]



Aboard Starbug, the crew finish watching a movie. While Lister is left in tears and Cat lost interest after the cartoon that preceded the film, Rimmer is disgusted at the plotline. Rimmer tells everyone that he finds it unbelievable that a man would give up his dreams for a woman he loves even though he'll never see her again. The discussion is halted when Starbug comes into contact with another craft that doesn't show up on the monitors. It is a Holoship called the Enlightenment, consisting of a vessel and crew that are entirely computer-generated holograms. What is more, the crew are holograms of Space Corps elite personnel. The fact that the ship's regulations impose sex twice a day is an added bonus. Rimmer falls in love with one of the Enlightenment's crew members, Commander Nirvanah Crane. With an existence where he can eat, drink, touch, feel and taste, Rimmer feels that the Enlightenment is his true spiritual home.

However one obstacle stands in Rimmer's way: Enlightenment already has a full crew and new members can only join on a dead-man's-boots basis. If Rimmer succeeds in an intelligence contest it will be at the expense of a fellow hologram's existence. Rimmer might not be excessively bright but he is shrewd and furthermore he's got a perfect plan — he'll cheat. Using a mind-patching operation he significantly increases his IQ. But during the contest the mind-patch fails as his mind rejects it. Despite this he is assigned to the Enlightenment when his opponent suddenly withdraws from the challenge and bids farewell to his acquaintances on Red Dwarf.

Rimmer arrives on the Enlightenment and is given Nirvanah Crane's quarters. Rimmer didn't realise it but Crane was his opponent in the intelligence contest — she had sacrificed herself so that he could live the life of his dreams. Going back on his earlier statement that career would always come before love, Rimmer resigns his new commission and returns to Red Dwarf, so that Nirvanah can be re-instated.


Although "Holoship" was filmed third,[5] it was chosen to lead off the series as it was felt that it would draw in viewers the same way as "Camille" had done the previous series. It worked as the viewing figures increased as the series progressed.[6]

The Holoship model was built by Paul McGuiness. The transparent perspex miniature was a casualty of the editing cut.[7] One of the cut scenes showed the ship changing shape.[8] Besides the holoship special effects, other scenes and lines were cut out or trimmed down, including many holoship crew scenes and Holly's unhelpful speech to Rimmer.[9]

Guest stars included Jane Horrocks as Nirvanah Crane, Matthew Marsh as Captain Platini, Don Warrington as Commander Binks, Simon Day as No. 2, Jane Montgomery as No. 1 and Lucy Briers as Harrison.[4]


When a crew member boards Red Dwarf to survey its crew, he immediately recognises the Cat as a felis sapiens, which may be an indication that the Holoship had previously encountered the second Cat Ark.


The scene where Rimmer enters the room when the others are interviewing new holograms is a miscontinuity. Since Red Dwarf is only capable of sustaining one hologram, how could there be two on the ship -- Rimmer and the other one? [The episode Me2 showed that Red Dwarf was capable of sustaining two holograms operating with only minimal systems.]

Cultural references


The episode was originally broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 20 February 1992 in the 9:00pm evening time slot.[3] Despite going out first the episode was considered the worst in this series, gaining 0.2% in the Red Dwarf Smegazine poll.[10] Sci-Fi Dimensions stating that while the production values had increased greatly, the stories are becoming pedestrian and predictable.[11] Although others have noted "Holoship" as "one of the great episodes".[12]


  1. ^ "British Sitcom Guide — Red Dwarf — Series 5". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  2. ^ " — Holoship summary". Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  3. ^ a b "BBC — BBC — Programme Catalogue — RED DWARF V — HOLOSHIP". BBC. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Holoship cast and crew". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  5. ^ a b Series V Preview, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 1, March 1992,Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603
  6. ^ a b Grant and Naylor Look Back, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 11, January 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603
  7. ^ "Red Dwarf Series V Effects". Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  8. ^ Red Dwarf Programme Guide. Section 1: The History: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-86369-682-1. 
  9. ^ "Red Dwarf Series V Production". Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  10. ^ Red Dwarf Smegazine: Survey Results, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  11. ^ "Series V review at Sci-Fi Dimensions". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  12. ^ "Series V review by Gavrielle". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 

External links



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