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Balance of Power (Red Dwarf)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Balance of Power"
Red Dwarf episode
RD Balance of Power.jpg
Lister tries to pass the chef exam so he can outrank Rimmer.
Episode no.Series 1
Episode 3
Directed byEd Bye
Written byRob Grant & Doug Naylor
Original air date29 February 1988
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Future Echoes"
Next →
"Waiting for God"
List of Red Dwarf episodes

"Balance of Power" is the third episode of science fiction comedy Red Dwarf series one.[1] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 29 February 1988.[2] Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Ed Bye.[3] The story revolves around Lister's desire to bring his one true love, Kristine Kochanski, back as a hologram.

Considered to be one of the weakest from the first series,[4] the episode was re-mastered, along with the rest of the first three series, in 1998. This was an attempt to change the standard of the episode suitable for international broadcast.[5]


Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie) seeks to keep the ship "spick and span" and arranges for Dave Lister (Craig Charles) to be obedient by having his cigarettes confiscated; when Cat (Danny John-Jules) finds them, Rimmer offers him a deal to return them in exchange for getting all the fish he wants from the food dispensers.[6] However, Lister refuses to let this get to him, instead wondering why he could not be with a hologram of his true love Kristine Kochanski (Clare Grogan). When he questions Holly (Norman Lovett) over his decision to revive Rimmer and not anyone else, particularly Kochanski or one of his drinking buddies, the computer explains that Rimmer was considered by him to be the best to keep Lister sane.

Regardless of Holly's answer, Lister demands Rimmer to let him have Kochanski as a hologram for a few hours. Rimmer refuses his request leading to an argument between the pair, which prompts Lister to declare his intention to outrank him by passing his exams. Rimmer naturally assumes he plans to pass the Astronavigation Exam, which Lister and himself have failed before. He soon discovers that Lister seeks to pass the chef's exam, which is much easier and will still allow him to outrank Rimmer.[6] Rimmer gets increasingly nervous when Lister appears to be doing well with his study prodding a cake and other foods quite well. Rimmer realises Lister may pass, so to prevent this, Rimmer corrupts his image to appear and sound like Kochanski and convince him that she wouldn't be interested in someone like Lister, but fails when he acts out of character. Once the exam results come in, Rimmer nervously asks how he did, to which Lister smugly implies that he passed, refusing to show off his results.[7]


The story was written as pure sitcom at the request from the BBC who didn't want the show to be too heavy on science fiction elements. [8]

Lister's disco music, "Fakin'", was by Motor City Diva and Danny John-Jules.[9]

Returning Red Dwarf crew members, and Lister's drinking buddies, included Paul Bradley as Chen, David Gillespie as Selby and Mark Williams as Peterson. Clare Grogan also returned as Kochanski.[3]


"Balance of Power" was originally broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 28 February 1988 in the 9:00pm evening time slot.[2] Although the pilot episode "The End" drew in over five million viewers, this figure was now tailing off slightly as the series progressed.[10] The episode was considered by Red Dwarf Smegazine readers to be one of the weakest from the first series, coming last in a readers poll with 0.1% of the votes.[4]


The remastering of Series I to III was carried out during the late 1990s.[11] Changes throughout the series included replacement of the opening credits,[12] giving the picture a colour grade and filmising,[13] computer generated special effects of Red Dwarf[14] and many more visual and audio enhancements.[14] Changes specific to "Balance of Power" include a new shot of Lister riding his bike down the ship's corridor,[15] new re-shot scenes with new dialogue from Holly, pieces of dialogue removed entailing the 'black card' situation lines.[15] A music cue has been added to scenes of Rimmer, when using Kochanksi's hologramatic body, trying to distract Lister during his chef's exam.[15] Also, certain shots and some inconsistent dialogue have been removed from the same scene.[15]


  1. ^ "British Sitcom Guide — Red Dwarf — Series 1". Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  2. ^ a b "BBC Programme Catalogue RED DWARF — BALANCE OF POWER". BBC. Retrieved 5 December 2008.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Red Dwarf Balance of Power (1988) Full cast and crew". Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  4. ^ a b Episode Survey Results, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  5. ^ "Sci-Fi-London Film Festival — The Bodysnatcher Collection". Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  6. ^ a b Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 47.
  7. ^ Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 48.
  8. ^ Episode Guide: Series 1 episode 2: Balance Of Power, Red Dwarf Smegazine, volume 2 issue 3, July 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  9. ^ " Cast & Crew - Series I". Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  10. ^ Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 8-9.
  11. ^ "Remasters of the Universe". Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  12. ^ "Red Dwarf Series I Remastering". Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  13. ^ Remastering Crew (2007). The End Re-Mastered DVD Commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.CS1 maint: location (link)
  14. ^ a b Remastering Crew (2007). 'Re-Dwarf' Documentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.CS1 maint: location (link)
  15. ^ a b c d Remastering Crew (2007). Balance of Power Re-Mastered text commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset disc 1: BBC.CS1 maint: location (link)


External links

This page was last edited on 15 December 2020, at 03:25
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