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Capsules Index

The End

Future Echoes

Balance of Power





| Info & Synopsis | Detailed Notes & Observations |

Scene Summary | Reviews | Miscalleneous Notes |

Plot and Production Errors | Credits |


Recorded: 4/10/1987

Broadcast: 29/2/1988

Written by: Rob Grant and Doug Naylor

Directed by: Ed Bye


What is it?

RImmer encounters his most dangerous blood chilling challenge ever - Lister is taking the chef's exam. If Lister passes he will hold sufficient rank to have Rimmer replaced as the ship's hologram. Just how low will the universe's most obnoxious dead man stoop to stop him?

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Observation Dome.

Production Notes:

Balance of Power was the second episode recorded, but was put back to third for the broadcast due to Future Echoes being pushed forward.

The pre-recorded scenes for this episode were: the disco scenes, the cinema scene, the chef from Lister's video, Rimmer getting changed in the bunkroom and the voice of the toilet.

This show features the first cliff-hanger of sorts, Lister lying about passing the chef's exam. Not quite in the same league as getting blown up by one's future selves, but there you go.

Deleted Scenes:

The recent DVD release featured:


An extended version of Lister boozing with Chen, Selby and Petersen.

Additional dialogue as Lister prepares to enter the chef's exam.

The full-length version of the exam scene, featuring a larger role for C.P. Grogan as 'Rimmer' inside Kochanski's body.


In what is widely regarded as the worst piece of editing ever, all references to black and white cards were removed. Still, the CGi shots are more important than funny dialogue, after all.

A lot of loud music and ambient noise was added to the disco scene, with the undesired result of much of the dialogue being obscured.

This scene was used in a promotional piece for the Re-Mastered series, which was shown on 13/02/1998 on BBC Two. They showed a before/after comparison of the scene, and most viewers concluded that it was better before.

Re-cycled Ideas.

Rimmer's analysis of his exam question in this episode came from the final episode of Rob and Doug's early radio show Cliché (broadcast 20/04/1981).

The sequel to Cliché, Son of Cliché, featured a series of sketches called Freshers. The notion of constructing a huge revision timetable comes from here, and is expanded further in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers.

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Sanity F.M.

1. Holly's Distress Call.

HOLLY: In the 3 million years we've been away, it is my fond hope that mankind has abolished war, cured all disease, and gotten rid of those little western saloon doors you get in trendy clothes shops.

2. Drive Room. Lister is helping Rimmer with the food inventory. Eventually, his boredom gets the better of him and he escapes for the evening.

RIMMER: 4,691 irradiated haggis.
LISTER: Oh, Rimmer, it's Saturday night.  I've had enough.
RIMMER: 4,691 irradiated haggis.
LISTER: Rimmer, it's Saturday night!  I want to boogie on down!
RIMMER: 4,691 irradiated haggis.
LISTER: We've been doing this for four hours!  Let's have a break!
RIMMER: 4,691 irradiated hag-g-gis.
LISTER: Rimmer, will you stop saying 4,981 irradiated haggis and speak to me!
RIMMER: 4,691 irradiated haggis.
LISTER: Rimmer, I want to go for a drink!
RIMMER: 4,691 irradiated haggis!
LISTER: I want to have some fun!
RIMMER: This *is* fun!  Are you mad?

3. Corridor. Lister rides his space bike to the quarters.

4. Sleeping Quarters. While getting ready for a night at the disco, Lister talks to Holly about his decision to revive Rimmer.

HOLLY: He's the person you knew best.  Over 14 million words in all.
LISTER: Holly, 7 million of those were me telling him to smeg off, and the other 7 million were him putting me on report for telling him to smeg off.
HOLLY: Jean Paul Sartre said hell was being locked forever in a room with your friends.
LISTER: Holly, all his mates were French.

5. Model Shot of Red Dwarf in space.

6. The Refectory. Lister has a flashback to pre-accident days - drinking heavily, drooling over Kochanski and annoying Rimmer.

CHEN: I've been to Titan, I've been to Bolanski, I can name 90 men who've slept with Kochanski!  Me!
CHEN: The London Jets Juniors!
PETERSEN: The service droids!
SELBY: My mother!

7. Corridors. Rimmer encounters The Cat, who is pushing a big trolley of cigarettes. In order to get them back, Rimmer bribes him with fish.

RIMMER: They're not yours; put them back.
CAT: See this hand?  It is mine.  See these things?  They are mine.

8. Sleeping Quarters. Lister tries to persuade Rimmer to let him spend an evening with Kochanski's hologram. When he fails, he tells Rimmer he plans to become an officer, in order to outrank Rimmer.

LISTER: OK, Rimmer.  OK.
RIMMER: Is that a threat, Lister?
RIMMER: Actually, "OK," Lister, is not a threat, technically speaking.
LISTER: It is when you mean it to mean what I mean it to mean, and I mean it to mean, OK, Rimmer, O-K!
RIMMER: No, Lister, "OK" is never a threat, no matter how many A's you put on the end.

9. Model Shot of Red Dwarf not doing much.

10. Sleeping Quarters. Rimmer wakes to discover that Lister isn't there. He also discovers that he has been given Petersen's arm.

RIMMER: And whose ears are these, Holly?  They're like two giant radar dishes stuck higgledy-piggledy to the side of my head. I mean, just look at them!  Look at them!  Whose were these ears, Holly?  An African elephant's?
HOLLY: They're your ears, Arnold.

11. Drive Room. The Cat is eating six fishes. Rimmer has an argument with Holly, which results in Petersen's arm attacking him.

DISPENSING MACHINE: Hello.  How can I help you?
CAT: Fish!
DISPENSING MACHINE: Today's fish is trout a la creme. Enjoy your meal.
CAT: Fish!
DISPENSING MACHINE: Today's fish is trout a la creme. Enjoy your meal.
CAT: Fish!
DISPENSING MACHINE: Today's fish is trout a la creme. Enjoy your meal.
CAT: Fish!
DISPENSING MACHINE: Today's fish is trout a la creme. Enjoy your meal.
CAT: Fish!
DISPENSING MACHINE: Today's fish is trout a la creme. Enjoy your meal.
CAT: Fish!
DISPENSING MACHINE: Today's fish is trout a la creme. Enjoy your meal.
CAT: I will!

12. Model Shot of Red Dwarf. Again.

13. Corridor. Rimmer, recovering from his attack, continues to search for Lister.

14. Cinema. His search takes him to the cinema, but all he finds is The Skutters, having some sneaky time off.

15. Teaching Room. Rimmer finally finds Lister here; he's revising for his Chef's Exam, which, if he passes, will make him Rimmer's superior.

RIMMER: And Lister, what's this? Learning drugs? They're illegal, matey! I'm afraid you're in very serious, grave, deep trouble, Lister. Where did you get them? I want names. I want places. I want dates.
LISTER: Arnold Rimmer. His locker. This morning.

16. Sleeping Quarters. Rimmer is revising for an exam when Lister walks in with a cake. Rimmer then tries to persuade Lister to drop the exam. He fails.

RIMMER: What I'm saying, Lister, is there's no need for us to be at loggerheads.  I mean we're mates.  We're pals.
LISTER: Since when?
RIMMER: Oh, come on, Lister!  Laugh, laugh, laugh, chuckle, guffaw, giggle!  That's Rimsy and Listy!
RIMMER: Millions of times!
LISTER: *When*?
RIMMER: Ah ... ah, how about the time your safety harness snapped and you fell into the cargo bay?  We laughed then, didn't we?
LISTER: I broke me spine in three places.
RIMMER: Yes, but it was hilarious!  We laughed like drains!
LISTER: *You* laughed.  I spent six weeks in traction.
RIMMER: Yes, that's right, that's right!  And you spent the rest of the summer walking around like a croquet hoop!  Oh, I laughed so hard I nearly puked, I really did.

17. Model Shot of Red Dwarf, over which Holly informs us that the Chef's Exam is about to start.

18. Drive Room. Lister is late for his exam, which annoys Lister.

RIMMER: You're not ready for it, you know.  Look at you.  You should be doing last-second revision.
LISTER: I am.  I'm revising buns.

19. Teaching Room. Lister is in the middle of his exam when Kochanski comes into the room, to persuade him not to bother with the exam. It becomes apparant that it is actually Rimmer's personality in Kochanski's body.

LISTER: So, it didn't mean anything to you, then?
'KOCHANSKI': What didn't?
LISTER: You know, when we made love on the snooker table behind the bins.
'KOCHANSKI': You never told me that.
LISTER: I thought you might have noticed.
'KOCHANSKI': Oh yes!  Yes!  I remember now!
LISTER: We've never made love.  Go away, Rimmer.
'KOCHANSKI': Look, look, I'm a bit out of sorts at the moment.  I'm having a woman's period.

20. Corridor. Lister, accompanied by a correctly-bodied Rimmer collects his results.

RIMMER: How did you do? How did you do? How did you do, Lister?
LISTER: How did I do, Mr. Lister, sir!

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Thanks For The Memory.

Ian Symes:

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"People... I've Met.

First Appearances: 

  • A flashback sequence (also featured in...)
  • A cliffhanger (also featured in...)


    Elements from past episodes:


  • Petersen (Also Featured in A1)
  • Chen (Also Featured in A1)
  • Selby (Also Featured in A1)
  • Kochanski (I) (Also Featured in A1)
  • The Skutters (also featured in A1, A2)
  • Rimmer's Exams (Also Featured in A1)
  • Lister being drunk (Also Featured in A1)
  • Talking Vending Machines (Also Featured in A2) 




    Goering, Hermann: (1893-1946)  The "bit dodgy, drug-crazed Nazi transvestite" associate of Hitler.  Established the Gestapo and concentration camps.  Committed suicide before he could be executed for war crimes.


    Sartre, Jean-Paul:  (1905-1980) French writer/philosopher, apparently with a penchant for poncing around in black polo-neck sweaters... 


    Juno: An asteroid in the main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, the third one discovered (named in 1804, after the Roman goddess of women and childbirth and wife of Jupiter, chief of the gods).


    Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus:  (1756-1791)  Austrian genius composer, and virtuoso piano and violin player.


    Mendelssohn, Felix: (1809-1847)  German composer, pianist and conductor.


    Motorhead: British heavy metal band.


    Boyle, Robert: (1627-1691)  British chemist who made quantitative studies of gases, enabling him to formulate Boyle's Law of Gases. Of course, he may also have made study of the dangers of eating greasy food...




    The episode is (or at least was) availiable on the following releases: 


    Red Dwarf I Byte I: The End. Released in 1993 by BBC Enterprises. Catalogue No. : BBCV 4914


    Red Dwarf Series One Re-Mastered: Episodes I - III. Released in 1998 by BBC Worldwide. Catalogue No. : BBCV 6436


    Red Dwarf I - The Original Series. Released in 2002 by BBC Worldwide. Catalogue No. : BBCDVD 1117


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    Yow Twonk!

    Plot Inconsistencies:

    ? To get the results of his chef's exam, Lister says his ID number is '16912146.' In Future Echoes (A2) his number is 'RD52169.'

    - The number may be his candidate number for the chef's exam.

    ? Rimmer says Kochanski is a 'Navigation Officer' and that is written on her disk in Confidence And Paranoia (A5). Yet her uniform reads 'Console Officer.'

    - Perhaps one is a subsidiary of the other.

    ? Why didn't Lister get Kochanski's holodisk from the skutters or Holly when Rimmer was fooling with it? Why didn't Lister order it back from Rimmer when he became his 'superior'?

    - The whole decision to bring Rimmer back as opposed to Kochanski or any of Lister's friends was made by Holly (to preserve Lister's sanity). Since it is unlikely that he has changed his mind, Holly no doubt has taken precautions to keep Lister from finding the disk. Since Holly runs the skutters, they can't help, and he can probably countermand any order from Lister that he believes is not in his best interests.

    ? Holly tells Lister that his conversation total with Rimmer was over 14 million words. In Me^2 (A6) it is said that Lister was on the ship for two years, which would have averaged 13 Words Per Minute (WPM) between the two. According to Waiting For God (A4), Lister had only been with the company for eight months previous to the accident, bumping this up to 40.5 WPM.

    - Holly is going computer senile, so his numbers aren't what they used to be.

    Production Errors:

    ? A food dispenser appears in front of a wall where the main entrance to the Captain's Office used to be.

    ? The butts that Lister tips out of his beer can have obviously come from his palm.

    ? Lister walks through Rimmer on his way to his chef's exam. Rimmer fades out (as a hologram, that's an acceptable occurrence), but Lister, who shouldn't fade out, also becomes temporarily transparent.

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    Rimmer  Chris Barrie
    Lister  Craig Charles
    Cat  Danny John-Jules
    Holly  Norman Lovett
    Trout a la Creme & Chef  Rupert Bates
    Chen  Paul Bradley
    Selby  David Gillespie
    Petersen  Mark Williams
    Kochanski  C P Grogan
    Written by  Rob Grant
                         Doug Naylor
    Music  Howard Goodall
    Disco music  Motor City Diva
    Developed for Television by  Paul Jackson Productions
    Graphic Designer  Mark Allen
    Visual Effects Designer  Peter Wragg
    Properties Buyer  Mike Fallon
    Assistant Floor Manager  Dona Distefano
    Production Assistant  Alison Thornber
    Unit Manager  Mario Dubois
    Production Manager  George R. Clarke
    Costume Designer  Jacki Pinks
    Make-up Designer  Suzanne Jansen
    Vision Mixer  Jill Dornan
    Camera Supervisor  Melvyn Cross
    Technical Co-ordinator  Ron Clare
    Videotape Editor  Ed Wooden
    Lighting Director  John Pomphrey
    Sound Supervisor  Tony Worthington
    Designer  Paul Montague
    Executive Producer  Paul Jackson
    Produced & Directed by  Ed Bye

  • Uncredited Extras: Rupert Bates (Toilet); Beverley Isherwood, Steve Meridith, Cordell, Julie Fowley, Soni Walker, John Barryman, Phillip Haigh, Stephen Holt, Richard Hennassey, Alison Cragg, Paul Taylor, Stewart Hurst, Janet Kane, Kevin Coloridge, June Rosco, Simon Alexander, Glynis Williams, Debbie King, Tracey Bayler, Kelly Jay (Crew)

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    This page last updated: 25th January 03

    Website: © Ian Symes 2002

    Red Dwarf: © Grant Naylor Productions


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