Red Dwarf

Season 6 Episode 3

Gunmen of the Apocalypse

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 21, 1993 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
76 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The gang is attacked by a simulant ship, who upgrade Starbug with laser cannons and defensive shields and then force them to play a game of 'cat and mouse'. The crew elect instead not to flee but to stay and fight which stuns the simulants. Before their ship is crippled by Starbug's new offensive weapons, the simulants upload a killer virus into the navicomp. Kryten then transfers the virus to his CPU in an attempt to diffuse it. The gang watch on a virtual reality screen as Kryten's search for an antidote is manifested as a western setting where Kryten is a sheriff who has to fight the four horsemen of the Apocalypse - Death, War, Pestilence and Famine.moreless

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  • Probably the greatest episode of the show ever

    My word what a great episode. Yet again the versatility of this show is proved. The genius of such a weird setting for the show in general and very loose plot above the explanation for what the characters are doing together is that they can be put in almost any setting and the show would work and the fact that they become cowboys for the wild west and become some of the best TV cowboys in the process shows this very well. I even picked one particular character to play as in a video game because he looked like the Cat's amazing cowboy alter ego, the Riviera kid, that says it all. The Riviera kid was a great compliment to the cat's comic brilliance. Add some brilliant bad guys, crazy plans and Rimmer's typical cluelessness and you get the definitive dwarf episodemoreless
  • Brilliant, award winning episode!

    In my opinion Gunmen of the Apocolypse is the best Red Dwarf episode in the entire 8 series.

    The comedy, the acting and just the story of it is brilliant and so original.

    No show had done anything like this before and the 'Naylor' and 'Grant' the writers should be VERY proud of this episode, which since it was aired has won an award! woo!

    "The Cat" (Danny John Jules), in particular, shows great acting in the episode and he actually said something worth saying which for him, wow! - as he said: "Twice in one lifetime?!? When you're hot, you're hot!"

    GREAT EPISODE GUYS! Could watch it over and over again!


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • If you look closely at the doorway while Lister is seen on the AR machine, you can clearly see Kryten's hand waiting to enter.

    • When the simulant has beamed onboard Starbug, and Lister and Cat(with Kryten's eyes attached to their chins) get up slowly and scared, a boom mic can be seen above their heads for a brief second.

    • The two bullets we see on the floor are perfectly formed and are not mutilated as they should be from hitting each other in mid air.

    • Although four bullets were fired (two from each shooter), only two bullets are heard falling to the floor.
      Response: In order for the 2 bullets that fell on the floor to fall like that, the other 2 bullets must ricochet upwards for the downwards motion of the falling 2 bullets, so the other 2 bullets could've gone anywhere, even out the door.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Simulant: Incoming.
      (an image of Lister's mouth, upside down, with an eye on the chin, appears on the Simulant's screen)
      Lister: I am Tarka Doll, an ambassador of the great Vindaloovian empire.
      Simulant Captain: Our scanners detected humans on your vessel. Is this so?
      Lister: Humans? (spits) The Vindaloovians despise all humans. They are the vermin of the universe! Is that not right, Bindhi Badjhi?
      (the camera pans over to The Cat's mouth, in a similar position)
      The Cat: You bet! We hate 'em! Scum, scum, scum, scum, scum! (spits)
      Lister: The Vindaloovian empire has pledged to exterminate them all! (sticks out his tongue) We will not rest until our task is completed!

    • Death: Well, Sheriff, now it's just little ol' you.
      Kryten: I'm not afraid, Mr. Death, sir. I believe my friends have bought me enough time to complete the antidote program. Now, if you'll forgive the rather confrontational imperative, Go for your guns, ya scum-suckin' molluscs!

    • Kryten: Wait, something's coming back to me. (Point to Lister) You sir, whenever I look at you, I get an image of curry, and early morning breath that could cut through bank vaults. (Points to Rimmer) And you, sir, there's something familar about you too. I get a name. Smeee! Smeee-heeee!
      Rimmer: Smeghead?
      Kryten: That's it.
      Rimmer: He remembers me!

    • Bear-Strangler Mcgee: A man beans up in the hat of Bear-Strangler Mcgee. He's either mighty brave, or mighty stupid. Which are you, boy?
      Rimmer: Sorry, what were the choices again?
      Lister: (Hands Mcgee money) You'll have to forgive our friend. He's a couple gunmen short of a posse.
      Bear-Strangler Mcgee: That pays for the hat. Now what about the insult?
      Rimmer: Okay, you're a fat, bearded git with breath that could paralyze a grizzly.

    • Rimmer: Look, sooner or later, we're gonna have to face the fact that we're not all gonna get out of this in one piece. Or if we are, it's gonna be one big flat piece.
      Lister: And?
      Rimmer: It's time we decided who's gonna take the one-man escape pod.
      Cat: How?
      Rimmer: Well, if you'll just bear with me, I think I've devised a fair and equitable system of choosing who should survive. It's based on age, rank, seniority, usefulness... to cut a long story short it's me. I was as stunned as you are, which is why I demanded a recount. But blow me! IF it didn't come out as me again! Keys?
      Lister: Rimmer, the escape pod is not an option.
      Rimmer: Why not?
      Lister: It escaped last Thursday. I was having a few beers. I coudn't be bothered to get up, so I used the release mechanism as a bottle opener. Whoosh!
      Rimmer: That's it, then! We're finished!

    • Simulant Captain: See you in silicon hell.

    • Death: We're gonna cut you up so small, the worms won't even haveta chew.
      Rimmer: You can't frighten me, I'm a coward. I'm always scared!

    • Computer Virus, Horsemen of Apocalypse: Have infection, will travel.

    • Rimmer: I've seen Westerns, I know how to speak cowboy. Leave this to me. to the barmaid Dry white wine and Perrier please. And what about you two chaps?
      Lister: Rimmer, what westerns have you seen? Butch Accountant and the Yuppie Kid?

    • Cat: Wait, I know this game. It's called cat and mouse, and there's only one way to win; don't be the mouse.
      Lister: What are you saying?
      Cat: I'm saying, the mouse never wins. Not unless you believe those lying cartoons. We don't run, we strike. It's the last thing they'll be expecting.
      Rimmer: No, the last thing they'll be expecting is for us to turn into ice skating mongooses and to dance the Bolero. And your plan makes about as much sense.
      Lister: I say go with it.
      Kryten: Agreed.
      Cat: You're going to go with one of my plans? Are you nuts? What happens if we all get killed? I'll never hear the last of it!

  • NOTES (4)

    • In the "High Midnight" section of the Backwards novel (On which this episode is based) the Jimmy character has the surname "Guilt", which would explain why Kryten has trouble standing up to him.

    • During the saloon bar scene, you can hear the show's theme music playing in the background.

    • Gunmen of the Apocalypse is the only individual Red Dwarf episode to have won an award. It won an International Emmy award for Popular Arts in 1994 which it shared with an episode of Absolutely Fabulous.

    • The credits for this episode feature a music-only "wild west" version of the "Red Dwarf" theme.


    • 'Streets of Laredo' is also the name of a famous traditional cowboy ballad, based on an Irish folk song which was re-written in 1876 by Francis Henry Maynard. It tells the tale of a youg cowboy dying in the street, who begs a passer-by to give him some water, and arrange for his funeral. It features the famous line 'Beat the drum slowly, and play the fife lowly.' It has been covered by a wide variety of singers, from Johnny Cash to John Cale.

    • The Cat: I'm saying the mouse never wins. Not unless you believe those lying cartoons.

      The "lying cartoons" in question are of course Tom and Jerry, created in 1965 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, in which the mouse (Jerry) always outsmarts the cat (Tom).

    • Visual: Streets of Laredo

      The name of the A.R. western game that Lister borrows their characters from is probably taken from the western replica town of Laredo in Kent, which was also the site used for the location shooting for this episode.

    • Lister: Rimmer, what westerns have you seen? "Butch Accountant and The Yuppie Kid"?

      A parody of the American western movie Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969), starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

    • Visual: Film Reference

      The AR game Lister plays is based on the 1971 British movie Gumshoe, starring Albert Finney as a man who dreams he is a private detective on a murder case.