Red Dwarf. Image shows from L to R: Cat (Danny John-Jules), Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Lister (Craig Charles), Kryten (Robert Llewellyn). Copyright: UKTV.

Red Dwarf

Dave and BBC Two sitcom set on a space ship. 74 episodes (12 series), 1988 - 2020. Stars Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn and others.

Series I, Episode 1 - The End

Dimwitted third-class space ship technician Dave Lister is dumbstruck to find that, after what was supposed to be an 18-month punishment in stasis (suspended animation), he has woken up some 3 million years later, a radiation leak having long killed his Red Dwarf colleagues and left him as the last human being.

Further details

Lister held in stasis. Lister (Craig Charles). Copyright: Grant Naylor Productions / BBC.

Having been locked in stasis - a state of suspended animation that not even time can affect - as punishment for smuggling his pet cat Frankenstein aboard the mining vessel Red Dwarf, the interstellar space ship on which he works, Dave Lister is incredulous to discover he is the last surviving human.

Originally sentenced to an 18-month freezing whilst the ship returned to Earth, Lister is woken by ship's computer Holly and informed that whilst he was locked away the rest of the crew died. It transpires that without Lister's help his immediate superior and begrudging work-mate Arnold Rimmer was unable to properly fix a drive plate, leading to a lethal dose of cadmium II to leak throughout the ship and turn the crew to neat piles of dust.

But there's a worse surprise to come for Lister: Holly reveals he had kept him in stasis not for the mere moment it felt like; not even for the 18 months of his sentence; but for some 3,000,000 years whilst the radiation from the cadmium leak died down to a safe background level. In the meantime, if it hasn't died out completely, the rest of the human race must have evolved far beyond Lister's feeble imagination.

However, he's not entirely alone. Rimmer has been brought back as a hologram. There's also Cat, a creature evolved from Frankenstein, who was hidden and sealed away in the hold by Lister before his suspension - and Holly itself, the ship's emotionally unstable and somewhat mentally challenged computer, charged with attempting to get them back home...

Broadcast details

Monday 15th February 1988
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Chris Barrie Rimmer
Craig Charles Lister
Danny John-Jules Cat
Norman Lovett Holly
Clare Grogan (as C P Grogan) Kochanski
Mac McDonald Captain Hollister
Guest cast
Robert Bathurst Todhunter
Paul Bradley Chen
David Gillespie Selby
Robert McCulley McIntyre
Mark Williams Peterson
Writing team
Doug Naylor Writer
Rob Grant Writer
Production team
Ed Bye Director
Ed Bye Producer
Paul Jackson Executive Producer

Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • Broadcast details of 26 further repeats of this episode
  • BCG Pro business users can see additional crew credits  
    If you join BCG Pro business, you can see composer, editor & production designer credits for this episode.

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?