Red Dwarf

Season 3 Episode 3


Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Nov 28, 1989 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
82 votes

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Episode Summary

A pod arrives aboard Red Dwarf containing a genetic mutant which can change itself into any shape whatsoever. It appears to Lister in it's true form, bringing him to the height of his terror, and then sucking his fear right out of him. While they are searching for it, Cat is chased by his own heat-seeking bazookoid balls, and eventually manages evade them and lock them in a room. The Polymorph gets the Cat and takes away his vanity by appearing as a beautiful woman and flattering him. It then appears as Rimmer and blames Kryten for the Cat being attacked, thereby taking away Kryten's guilt. Later, when the three get back it appears as Rimmer's mother, pretending to have slept with Lister, angering Rimmer so much that it feeds off him also.. .

The gang now have very different personalities: we have Rimmer, a "wannabe" hippy, (T-shirt saying "Give quiche a chance"), Lister with nerves of steel and willing to sacrifice his life to kill it, Kryten with no sense of loyalty or guilt, and the Cat, a bum. They continue their search for the Polymorph and suddenly it comes up and attacks from behind. Luckily, an automatic door opens, releasing the bazookoid balls that were chasing the cat. The crew duck and the polymorph is destroyed. All the crew get their emotions back and they are free from the polymorph. Or so it may seem...moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (2)

      • Just after Kryten takes off Listers tiny boxer shorts and puts them in his bunk, he claims that they are not there as the polymorph has changed into a snake, howerver the boxer shorts are clearly visible on the bunk as he says this!

      • Season 1 Episode 1 clearly establishes that holograms are made of light and cannot physically interact with their surroundings. Several subsequent episodes confirm this, how can the polymorph attach itself to Rimmers forehead and suck out his anger?

    • QUOTES (12)

      • Kryten: What about the Space Corps directive which states: "It is our primary, overriding duty to contact other life forms, exchange information, and, whenever possible, bring them home"?
        Rimmer: What about the Rimmer directive, which states: "Never tangle with anything that's got more teeth then the entire Osmond family"?

      • Kryten(About the Polymorph): Apparently it was an attempt to create the ultimate warrior; A creature that could change shape to suit its terrain and deceive its enemies.
        Cat: So what did go wrong?
        Kryten:(Deep, creepy voice): It's insane!

      • Rimmer's Mum: The thing's this boy can do, with alphabetti spaghetti!
        Holly: Cool it Arnie!

      • [The polymorph has taken the form of Listers boxers and is now *ahem* 'strangling' him. Kryten is down on the floor with Lister, trying to help him take them off]
        Lister: Oh smeg Kryten, I can't stand it anymore, get them off, GET THEM OFF!
        Rimmer: [walks in to see the rather interesting scene in front of him] Well, I cant say I'm totally shocked! You'll bonk anything, won't you Lister!?.

      • Cat:This isn't a meal! It's an autopsy!

      • Lister: I'm gonna stick my fist so far down its gob, I'll be able to pull the label off its underpants.

      • Lister: If it wants a barney, we'll give it one! One swift knee in the happy sacks and it'll drop like anyone else!

      • Rimmer: I think we are straying from the most important business at hand, and that is what to call ourselves. My personal favorite, is the Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms, and their Rehabilitation Into Society. There is one drawback however, the abbreviation is Clitoris.

      • Lister: I've got an idea. Why don't we go down to the munitions cabinet, get the nuclear warheads, and strap one to my head? I'll nut the smegger into oblivion!

      • Lister: Well I say let's get out there and twat it!

      • Rimmer: Look, just because it's an armour-plated alien killing machine that salivates unspeakable slobber doesn't mean it's a bad person. What we've got to do is get it round a table and put together a solution package - perhaps over tea and biscuits.

      • Cat: This is a scalpel! I'm supposed to eat my food with this? Something that long ago in history may have performed a certain popular Jewish operation?!

    • NOTES (6)

      • The Polymorph turns into the following (in order) in this episode: teddy bear, bucket & spade, potted plant with red flowers, yellow toy dumper truck, china flamenco doll, white old-fashioned telephone, elephant ornament, hat, baseball glove & ball, boxer action figure, toy drum, yellow workman's lantern, red toy Volkswagen beetle, rollerskate, traffic cone, frilly lamp shade, inflatable penguin, yellow piggy bank, Ken doll, blue plastic chamber pot, alarm clock, rubber ball, white trainer, saucepan, yellow "koosh" ball, scrubbing brush, silver pail, fish bath toy, statue of Hindu god, light bulb, toy horn, sponge ball, red-and-black striped sock, fluffy white rabbit, basketball, kebab, red boxer shorts, snake, Genny (woman who hits on The Cat), Rimmer, Rimmer's Mum and Lister.

      • On the DVD commentary, Craig Charles says that they recieved some hate mail because of this episode, particularly about the CLITORIS joke. One woman apparently wrote that she was so appalled by the joke she would never watch the show again and also was embarrased that she had to explain what clitoris meant to her 8-year-old daughter.

      • In the Remastered version Kalli Greenwood (Rimmer's Mum) had her voice dubbed with a younger, more spophisticated-sounding womans voice to emphasise how Rimmer described his mum earlier.
        Also new sound effects for the heat-seeking missiles that chased Cat around the cargo bay were added.

      • UK Gold apparently cut Lister's line "Well I say let's get out there and twat it!" short when they broadcast the episode.

      • The reason the ending was changed in The Remastered version was because Doug Naylor was getting tired of fans asking what happened to the second Polymorph. Really, it's pretty obvious what happened - just use your imagination.

      • The Remastered version of this episode contained a new ending. Originally we saw the crew walking single file past the camera with two Listers bringing up the rear, the second one snarling at the camera and then changing into another Polymorph. The new ending simply had scrolling text giving a brief (and silly) story of what happened to the second Polymorph. Apparantly, the second Polymorph hid in Lister's sock drawer, and ended up dying of starvation two weeks later.

    • ALLUSIONS (2)

      • Lister: Come on, ya bunch of tarts, it's clobbering time!

        This is a reference to Marvel Comics' Thing, and his battle cry, "It's Clobberin' Time!"

      • This episode's plot bears a certain resemblance to the movie "Alien" and its sequels, along with a number of earlier low-budget SF films -- "Alien monster takes out an isolated group one by one" -- dating all the way back to the original "The Thing" from 1951.