Red Dwarf

Back To Reality

Season 5, Ep 6, Aired 3/26/92
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  • Episode Description
  • The crew investigate an alien vessel and are exposed to a hallucinogenic substance which induces extreme dispair. They wake up to find that they have been playing a computer game, called "Red Dwarf", and that Lister is actually a rich and successful businessman, Rimmer his ne'er do-well brother, Kryten is a cop, and Cat is actually the most uncool nerd in human history. Lister finds out, to his dismay, that he also is the chief of an organization which institutes mass murders to "purify democracy". Kryten inadvertently kills a cop while trying to protect a girl, they run from it, and are chased by the police. Holly's voice, meanwhile, is heard advising them that they are hallucinating, but they ignore it. Deciding that their lives are wretched and unacceptable, they each decide to commit suicide. Holly, meanwhile, induces Kryten to open a cannister of Lithium Carbonate (a mood stabilizer) thinking it is a fire extinguisher. They come to their senses just in time, and head back for the Red Dwarf.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Craig Charles

    Dave Lister

  • Chris Barrie

    Arnold Judas Rimmer

  • Danny John-Jules


  • Hattie Hayridge

    Holly (season 3-5)

  • Robert Llewellyn

    Kryten (season 3-)

  • Fan Reviews (3)
  • The crew come across a giant squid on a ocean world, making them have hallucinations, where they are in a facsist world, where they try to kill themselves. where only Holly can stop them. First time we see Duane Dibbley.

    By PKKendrick, Feb 18, 2007

  • The crew encounter a giant squid on a ocean world, which causes them to hallucinate they are in real life, but they are actually in a facsist world, so they try to kill themselves. But Holly manages to stop them. First appearance of Duane Dibbley.

    By plumber-man, Oct 21, 2006

  • For the love of delusions

    By AvatarBlue, May 31, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • Jake: (Whips out his badge) Bullet, Cybernautics. Cop: That's traffic control.

    • The crew stumble out of the AR Red Dwarf game. Lister: This is a very, very bad dream, right?! Rimmer: I'm not a hologram. Kryten: I'm half human! Cat: What the hell's happened to my teeth?! I can open beer bottles with my overbite!!

    • "Billy": This is a nightmare. I'm on the run from the fascist police with a murderer and a mass murderer and a man in a Bry-Nylon shirt. A flotsam, jetsam, human wreckage, sputum bag who smells like a yak latrine. And now my best flashy mac' is about to be splattered with an android's brain. I'm after you with the gun.

    • "Billy": William Doyle. "William Doyle." Good ol' Bill Doyle. You know, that sounds like a hell of a good name to me! Probably connected with the Boston Doyles. Old money, blue chip stock. You know, I think it's all starting to come back to me now. "Sebastian": What puzzles me slightly is what a man of such undoubted good breeding would be doing wearing a coat that smells like an elderly male yak has taken a leak in both the pockets. "Billy": Well, isn't it obvious? "Jake": No, it isn't. "Billy": Oh my god! My name's Billy Doyle and my cologne is "Eau de Yak Urine."

    • "Jake": Jake Bullet, Cybernautic Detective. I like that! That sounds like the kind of hard-living flat foot who gets the job done by cutting corners and bucking authority. And if those pen-pushers up at City Hall don't like it, well, they can park their over-payed, fat ass's on this mid-digit and swivel till they squeal like pigs on a honeymoon. "Billy": On the other hand, "Mr. Bullet", perhaps the Cybernautics division is in charge of traffic control. You just happen to have a rather silly macho name.

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    Notes (3)

    • In Australia at least, all of the episodes of Season V were produced on video in backwards order, meaning the season starts with Back to Reality and ends with Holoship.

    • In 1998, this episode was voted by the British public as the best Red Dwarf episode ever. This is also Stephen Hawkings' favourite episode.

    • At the conclusion to this episode and the season, we say farewell to Hattie Hayridge whose character of Holly is written out of the show for the next two seasons. Holly is revived in the season 7 finale, but played by the original actor, Norman Lovett.

    Trivia (4)

    • Sebastian Doyle's car is in Bay 47, which is the same bay on Red Dwarf that the quarantine facility was in "Quarantine".

    • The Dwarfers have (supposedly, during their hallucination) been playing the Red Dwarf TIV for five years...why haven't their hair or nails grown? It's easy to guess that an attendant could trim their nails, but how would they cut the Dwarfers' hair whilst they were wearing helmets? Response: Given that this is a hallucination, such inconsistencies are not unexpected.

    • When Lister looks in on the New Dwarfer's game, the scene that they are playing is much too far in given that they have only been playing for about 20 minutes. Really Lister should have been watching their version of 'The End'. Response: Given that this is a hallucination designed to make the Dwarfers feel inadequate, this follows a reasonable "dream logic".

    • Andy says that it is an irony that Lister turns out to be God as he is an atheist, but in season 3's 'The Last Day' Lister says he is a pantheist.

    Allusions (1)

    • Cat: This is like Saturday night at the Wailing Wall.
      The Wailing Wall is a temple ruin in Jerusalem, a sacred site of mourning, pilgrimage and prayer for Jewish people. One way to offer prayer is to speak them aloud or 'wail' at the wall.

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