Red Dwarf

Season 6 Episode 1

Psirens

1
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 07, 1993 on BBC Two
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
69 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Two hundred years after investigating the SSS Esperanto, the crew awake from suspended animation aboard Starbug with amnesia, and find that their mothership Red Dwarf is missing. Chasing a faint vapour trail which may lead to their mothership, the crew travel through an asteroid field containing lost and crashed spaceships. The asteroid field is inhabited by "Psirens", genetically engineered creatures that telepathically lure the ship's crew onto the asteroids so that they can suck out their brains.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • While racing after Red Dwarf, the crew must divert through a dense meteor cloud which appears to be full of creatures trying to suck their brains out...

    7.8
    Wonderful! I never thought in a million years I'd see someone on TV who shares the same last name as me! Go the Tranters! I love this episode, firstly because it has TWO Listers in it! I mean, what more could someone want in a Red Dwarf episode? The guitar playing sequence astounds me - although I wish it had been Brian May. It always confuses me as to how they managed to make it look like Lister was playing it. At once point it shows just his hands, but at another point it shows his face and it looks like the hands are clearly coming out of his shoulders. So can Craig Charles ACTUALLY play guitar as well?moreless
Clare Grogan

Clare Grogan

Kochanski

Guest Star

Jenny Agutter

Jenny Agutter

Professor Mamet

Guest Star

Samantha Robson

Samantha Robson

Pete Tranter's Sister

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The Psiren looking like Pete Trantster's sister and Lister agree that he hasn't been with a woman for 3,000,000 years, or one leap Ice Age, but he had gotten pregnant by his female self in series 2.

    • Kryten shows Lister a picture of Kochanski and says that he dated her for three weeks, but in the first season episodes it is established that Lister always wanted to ask her out but never worked up the courage.
      See notes for 'Camille', series 4, episode 1

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Cat: There's an old "Cat" proverb: 'It's better to live one hour as a tiger, than a whole lifetime as a worm.'
      Rimmer: There's an old human saying: 'Whoever heard of a worm-skin rug?'

    • Rimmer: What about Space Corps Directive one-seven-four-two?
      Kryten: One-seven-four-two? 'No member of the Corps should ever report for active duty in a ginger toupee'? Thanks for reminding us of that regulation, sir. But is it really that pertinent in this particular situation?

    • Rimmer: Some kind of writing on the floor. P-S-I-R-E-N-S. "Psirens."
      Kryten: The poor sucker must've scrawled his death throes by using a combination of his own blood and his own intestines.
      Rimmer: Who would do that?
      Lister: Someone who badly needed a pen.
      The Cat: What I don't understand is why he went through the trouble of having to use his kidney as a full-stop.
      Rimmer: I don't think he meant to do that. Maybe it just plopped out.

    • (Lister picks up his guitar and starts playing in his usual fashion -- wretchedly terrible)
      Lister: What's the difference? If anything, this is slightly better
      Cat: A little survival tip, bud! Never play your guitar in front of a man with a loaded gun...

    • (one of the Psirens appears as someone Lister used to lust for in his youth)
      Pete Tranter's Sister: How long has it been since you made love to a woman?
      Lister: I admit it's been a while.
      Pete's Sister: It's been over three million years, Dave.
      Lister: I prefer to count it in Ice Ages -- Then it's just four. Better still, in leap ice ages, it's hardly even one!
      Pete's Sister: That's a long time Dave, for a man of your drives.
      Lister: That's a long time for a Welsh shepherd who's allergic to wool!

    • Rimmer: What about Space Corps Directive #5796?
      Kryten: 5796? "No officer above the rank of mess sergeant is permitted to go into combat with pierced nipples"?!?

    • Kryten: (Crushed into a cube) I'm almost annoyed!

    • Lister #1: How many times? He's the Psiren, and I'm me!
      Lister #2: How can you believe this? He doesn't even look like me. He's podgy! He doesn't have the classic profile.
      Kryten: You're both identical.
      Both Listers: No way!

    • Lister: Oh no, it the TV weathergirl from channel 27!
      Kryten: You must resist sir!
      Lister: I'm trying Kryts, but you can't see what she's doing with her pointy stick!

    • Cat: You heard 'em. They want seed spreaders. I'm gonna apply. You guys deal with this Psiren thing. I'll deal with this.
      Goes to step out, pauses, then turns
      Call me paranoid, but you don't think they were these psiren dude thingy's?
      Lister, Rimmer and Kryten all nod their heads affirmatively.
      Cat: Even the brunette?
      They all nod their heads again in the affirmative.
      Cat: You don't think there's any chance they're just two nice girls who both happen to want my seed for totally legitimate reasons?
      They all shake their heads no.
      Cat: I don't need to tell you this is a big disappointment. Damn vixens! How could they be so cunning? If anyone wants me, I'll be taking a cold shower in liquid oxygen.

  • NOTES (7)

    • In the Psirens' hallucination, the commander of the SCS Pioneer; Captain Tau, is named after the captain of Red Dwarf in the American pilot. That she is killed almost instantly speaks volumes about the writers' experiences in Hollywood.

    • Clare Grogan returns as Kochanski (Albeit as a hallucination) for the first time since 'Stasis Leak' back in Series 2. The character of Kochanski returns for the majority of series 7 onwards, but because the role was going to be fuller, it was recast with Chloe Annett taking over.
      In a nice bit of coninuity, Psiren-Kochanski says that she has 2 sons (Which she conceived by stealing Lister's sperm sample from the ships vault whilst he was in stasis) named Jim & Bexley, which are the names of Lister's twins boys seen in 'Future Echoes' and 'Parallel Universe' - Lister said he was going to name his first 2 sons Jim & Bexley.

    • Check out the all-new Starbug! Kryten, left alone for 200 years seems to have rebuilt the entire interior. There are now four console stations in the cockpit, a galley, sleeping quarters and an enourmous engine room. By the end of the series, the ship would also acquire significant upgrades, including laser cannons, and the seat-tilt control would stop squeaking.

    • Anita Dobson was offered the part of Captain Tau when Rob Grant and Doug Naylor approached her partner, Queen guitarist Brian May, to play Lister's guitar-playing hands double. Although May couldn't make it, Grant and Naylor were astounded when Dobson agreed to appear anyway. Grant and Naylor have since indicated that, if they had known she really would be interested, they would have written something more substantial for her.
      Anita Dobson isn't really known much in the USA, but she is fairly well known in the UK for an early role in the long running BBC1 soap East Enders, as well as for her marriage to May.

    • Season 5 saw a substantial increase in viewership, so the BBC asked Rob Grant and Doug Naylor to write a special introductory sequence for the new viewers to the show. This was achieved through the vehicle of a five-minute opening sequence in which Lister, suffering from amnesia, is reminded of the key elements of the series by Kryten.

    • This episode was omitted from the first run of repeats due to the fact that Craig Charles was in jail on rape charges (later proved to be totally unfounded) and it was felt that some of his raunchier scenes with Pete Tranter's sister weren't appropriate

    • The loss of Red Dwarf and subsequently the loss of Holly were written as a way to reduce the cast members on the show. The producers argued the idea down to two expendable characters, Cat and Holly. It was eventually decided that Holly would get the axe as most of her lines could be given to Kryten.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • When Kryten is talking about who could have stolen Red Dwarf, he mentions Rogue Simulants (last seen in "Justice"), genetically engineered life forms (A reference to "Camille") and "figments of Mr. Lister's imagination made solid by some weird space plague" (referencing the events of "Confidence and Paranoia").

    • visual: The Spaceship Graveyard

      Of the spaceships that StarBug passes on the asteroids, one is an Eagle ship, from the 1970s TV series Space: 1999, starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain; the ship from the 1986 film Aliens, starring Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, and also a Klingon ship from Star Trek.

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