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Red Dwarf episode
Holoship (Red Dwarf).jpg
Rimmer leaves the holoship Enlightenment after resigning his commission.
Episode no.Series 5
Episode 1
Directed byJuliet May
Written byRob Grant & Doug Naylor
Original air date20 February 1992
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
Next →
"The Inquisitor"
List of Red Dwarf episodes

"Holoship" is the first episode of Series V of the science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf [2] and the twenty-fifth in the series run.[3] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 20 February 1992 in the 9:00 PM evening time slot.[4] It was written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Juliet May.[5]


While travelling aboard a Starbug, Dave Lister, Cat, Kryten, Arnold Rimmer and Holly finish watching a movie. While Lister is left in tears and Kryten praises the film, Rimmer shows disgust over the romantic elements of its plot, claiming no man would abandon their dreams for a woman they love, especially one they will never see again. Holly interrupts the discussion by alerting the group to the presence of another craft. The group discover the craft to be a holoship called the Enlightenment – a purely holographic vessel, not detectable on any sensors, crewed entirely by computer-generated holograms of Space Corps elite personnel. Rimmer is subsequently taken aboard and delights in finding himself able to exist in a place where he can touch, feel and taste without any form of assistance, further surprised that Enlightment upholds a regulation that crew members have sex twice a day.

Rimmer becomes attracted to one such crew member, Commander Nirvanah Crane. He falls in love with her, and decides to ask the ship's captain to join the crew. However, he learns that the crew is already full but that if he passes an intelligence contest against another crew member, he will be recruited at the expense of his opponent's existence. Concerned he will fail, Rimmer opts to cheat and has Kryten give him a mind-patching operation to increase his IQ. The patch fails during the contest, leading Rimmer to abandon it halfway through and disrupt Lister, Cat and Kryten's interviews for a new hologram to request a new one. Kryten tells him that his mind cannot readily accept a patch. However, Rimmer is delighted when his opponent suddenly withdraws, and bids farewell to his friends before transporting onto the Enlightment. Upon learning that Nirvanah was his opponent and that she sacrificed herself for his happiness, Rimmer finds himself renouncing his earlier belief on romance (even to his own disbelief), resigns his new commission, and returns to Red Dwarf in order to let Nirvanah be reinstated with her crew.


The Enlightenment's model was built by Paul McGuiness. One of the cut scenes showed the holoship changing shape.[6] The transparent perspex miniature was also a casualty of the editing cut.[7] 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.[8]

Guest stars included Jane Horrocks as Cdr. Nirvanah Crane, Matthew Marsh as Capt. Hercule Platini, Don Warrington as Cdr. Binks, Simon Paisley Day as Cdr. Randy Navarro – Number Two, Jane Montgomery as Cdr. Natalina Pushkin – Number One, and Lucy Briers as Harrison.[5] The two (uncredited) actors heard in the film at the beginning of the episode were Kate Robbins and Steve Steen.[5]

Cultural references


Although "Holoship" was filmed third in the series,[9] 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 during the previous series. It worked in the sense that the viewing figures increased as the series progressed.[10] However the episode was considered the worst in the series by fans, having a 0.2% rating on the Red Dwarf Smegazine poll.[11] With its out-of-place moment of pathos at the end of the episode, Sci-Fi Dimensions described it as "less like Red Dwarf and more like a rejected Star Trek episode."[12]

Continuity goof

One of the biggest things with continuity in Red Dwarf is the fact that the ship can only sustain one hologram. When Rimmer returns to Red Dwarf to get more of the mind patch, there is a hologram in the room with the others. This could be considered a mistake in continuity, however, Rimmer's hologrammatic status could be projected by the holoship, allowing for Red Dwarf to sustain the other hologram. Red Dwarf has projected two holograms in the past (Me2, series 1) for a short period, although both these were holograms of Rimmer.


  1. ^ "Red Dwarf Scripts - Holoship". Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  2. ^ "British Sitcom Guide — Red Dwarf — Series 5". Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  3. ^ " — Holoship summary". Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  4. ^ "BBC — BBC — Programme Catalogue — RED DWARF V — HOLOSHIP". BBC. Retrieved 12 December 2007.
  5. ^ a b c "Holoship cast and crew". Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  6. ^ Chris Howarths & Steve Lyons. Red Dwarf Programme Guide. Section 1: The History: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-86369-682-1.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) CS1 maint: location (link)
  7. ^ "Red Dwarf Series V Effects". Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  8. ^ "Red Dwarf Series V Production". Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  9. ^ Series V Preview, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 1, March 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603
  10. ^ Grant and Naylor Look Back, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 11, January 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603
  11. ^ Red Dwarf Smegazine: Survey Results, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
  12. ^ "Series V review at Sci-Fi Dimensions". Archived from the original on 7 January 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2008.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 April 2021, at 20:21
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