Thanks for
the memorY

\ Summary | Highlights | Review | Commentary highlights | Fanbase opinions /


After partying out and going on extreme benders, the crew wake up to find modified star charts, a solved jigsaw puzzle, two broken feet belonging to the Cat and Lister, and the black box missing. They find it on a mysterious planet with ominous footprints, buried under a gravestone for Lister's ex-girlfriend, and witness the events, beginning with Lister wanting to give Rimmer eight months of his life with his girlfriend as a present to Rimmer, only for it all to go pear shaped.


LISTER: What time is it?
RIMMER: [drunkenly] ... Saturday.
LISTER: Is that the best you can do?
RIMMER: There are some numbers next to it, but they could be anything.

RIMMER: She was a lover, and a friend.
LISTER: Beautiful.
RIMMER: Gorgeous.
LISTER: Great sense of humour.
RIMMER: Terrific.
LISTER: Sex was fantastic.
RIMMER: Amazing sex.
LISTER: Brilliant sex.
RIMMER: Oh, primo, dynamite sex.
LISTER: Fantastic sex! Stupendous sex!
RIMMER: Lister?
LISTER: The way she used to...! Oh, sex, brilliant sex!
RIMMER: Lister, Lister, how do you know?
LISTER: I'm just havin' a guess!


Series 2 has stories that mix interesting atmosphere with great comedy, and this episode is a very fine example. The beginning is great in many little ways: the characters rocking out and cooking sausages on a moon to celebrate Rimmer's death, Holly's simple throwaway line of "the moons are setting;" I just really, really like it. It's a great way to demonstrate that the crew aren't merely limited to being on the ship anymore, and it's accompanied with a very neat establishing shot that shows, as I always like noticing, BOY SPACE SURE IS LONELY.

Plus, seeing the characters going out and celebrating Rimmer's death is actually really nice of them; okay, they're celebrating the fact he friggin' died, but they're having an enjoyable night out with him! Sure, it promptly backfires when he starts telling embarrassing stories and regrets the hell out of it, but it's nice to see that despite calling him a complete smeghead, they're still willing to take him out for a night of fun. Watching them all drunk and singing as they drive Blue Midget back to the ship is cute, seeing them all bonding under the unbiased banner of total intoxication.

The bunk scene with Lister and Rimmer afterwards is great, somehow making great in-depth analysis to their personalities over the ingredient composition of a sandwich - and it's accurate! Rimmer's reactions to the sandwich are brilliant ("I think I'm having a baby!"), and it's also a nice look at how he determines a person's "goodness" in terms of their components; it's hard to admit but Rimmer does have some decent qualities, but as Lister says, his personality isn't befitting of them. Seeing him in the melancholy stage of being drunk and singing his song is cute, if kinda sad, but it makes for a great joke later in the hologram simulation suite, albeit one that works simply because it's so completely oddball.

The scene when they wake up is the start of a great suspenseful story; the Cat and Lister's feet are broken, a jigsaw puzzle has been solved and Holly's star charts have been edited - who or what is responsible? It begins quite subdued, even though Rimmer's alien-enthused spiel tries to make it look like something bigger (well, more technically, a friendly greeting from an extraterrestrial), it kicks off when it's found that the black box is missing, and the short scene when they arrive on the moon is one I simply adore.

The discovery of the giant "footprint" is fantastic, followed by the absolutely outlandish discovery of a gravestone for Lister's ex-girlfriend. It's more or less obvious that it isn't a huge alien conspiracy or anything afterwards, but it's a wonderfully mysterious atmosphere, and Holly's ominous warning prefacing the message just makes it that more great. Admittedly, it's a rather insignificant sequence of events and is obviously just there to get the real story rolling; they could very well have just gone a much simpler route of going "oh snap, the black box is missing! Oh wait, there it is," but I positively love it the way it is.

I kinda wish that kind of atmosphere could've been used for a longer span of time in a different episode, but I suppose if that vibe is kept up for too long it would need a better payoff, rather than just discovering it was a birthday gift gone wrong. Still, I totally love it.

The hologram simulation suite is a great concept, though it's obvious why it was never seen again given how much blue-screening needed done, and how it would often cut to other shots simply so you didn't have to see the fuzzy outlines on the characters. I can't remember if the Red Dwarf books expand further on the hologram concept and say if they're used frequently on planets, but the fact you can very easily just screw around with someone like that is more or less playing god; since it's only a simulation of someone, you could muck about with them in any way you wanted and they couldn't do a thing to stop you.

Of course, Lister's got his best intentions at heart, and admittedly the idea of giving someone the best year of your life for their happiness is kinda interesting - love is different for everyone, but I guess any love for Rimmer, even if he was a slobby binge-drinking bozo, is better than none. Then again, he gets boned ten times 'til Tuesday quite frequently throughout the remainder of the series, so I guess in comparison it doesn't pale up. Mind you, having to tell Rimmer that it wasn't real would be positively terrible; it's one thing to tell someone they're loved, but to have it rooted into their brain that they experienced such things really changes everything.

Although it's wrapped up rather quickly at the end, it's kinda fun seeing how an innocent tale of trying to make Rimmer happy ended up giving the impression of a bizarre alien encounter after they erased their memories, and after the long span of drama generated via Rimmer's angst, it's kinda amusing to see how it all began by them waking up with broken feet.

Well, okay, not "began" because the events had come and gone by then, but they reminded themselves of it, y'know. It's a very fun and intriguing story; the mystery aspect is lost quite quickly, to my personal chagrin, but the analysis of how Rimmer would almost certainly benefit from a bit of love in his life is interesting, followed by Lister actually admitting that Rimmer loved Lise Yates more than he did is a great exploration of the dynamic between the two and how despite the constant hating, they still have some mild respect for each other. It's a pity that Rimmer is only happy for one brief scene before he finds Lister's letters, since it's amusing to see abusing his happiness so he can feel better than others.

Yeah, I seem to remember the first part of the episode more than the actual story. It's definitely an entertaining episode, though it almost seems like less time is spent on the main events than it is the build up and jokes vaguely related to the premise. That certainly isn't a criticism, just means there isn't much to write about besides the little elements that I love!

Commentary highlightS

RIMMER: I'm dedicated to my career, I always have a pen...
CHRIS: It's true, that line has lived with me for years and years and years. And I always thought that if I have to borrow a pen, then I think, god, I am deeply disorganised. ... I'll tell you now, if anyone did ask me for a pen today, I could provide one.
CRAIG: You've got one today, have you?
CHRIS: Yeah.
CRAIG: Well, don't lend it to me because... then you won't have a pen.
CHRIS: Well, my pen is locked away, of course.

CHRIS: Series 2 and 3 were the developing series, they were, up to 4.
CRAIG: Well, 4 and 5, they became... almost traditional sitcoms, there was always a gag about Kryten - Kryten gag, the shape of his head - there was always a Space Corp directive, there was... it sort of become formulaic.

Fanbase opinionS

This one seems to be rather hit and miss. Some love it for the drama and great analysis of Rimmer's personality, as well as Chris Barrie's suiting performance, while some are less enamoured and feel other episodes achieved the same thing but with better gags and presentation. The fact it's a rather slow going episode probably doesn't help; it's not until near the 20 minute mark that we see the main story of Rimmer's change in attitude, and until then it's just build-up to the moment. I quite like the episode, but probably for the wrong reasons. The Japanese poll don't seem that enamoured with it, ranking it as the worst in this series, with 6.5% of the vote. I thought an episode another Rimmer-centric episode would've been received better, but I guess not.