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Kryten that his photograph developing fluid had mutated and brought the photos to life - they're in motion, now perfect moving captures of those scenes. And better yet, they can actually enter the photographs! Armed with a "Tension Sheet" and photographs of their younger selves, Rimmer and Lister try to make their younger selves patent the idea and allow them to live alternate lives as millionaires. Rimmer ends up alone because of this and changes things back as they were, but this time he's alive! He then promptly blows himself up while celebrating.


LISTER: I want a life! This, it's worse than prison! I mean, at least in prison you can look forward to getting out. I want to live. I want a job. I want to meet people. I want to meet girls. I want to make love!
CAT: Junior Angler's the best you're gonna get out of me, buddy!

RIMMER: Who are the other two?
LISTER: The whacked-out, crazy hippy drummer's called Dobbin. He joined the police force in the end. Became a grand wizard in the Freemasons. The bass is called Gazza. He was a neo-marxist, nihilistic, anarchist. He eventually joined a large insurance company and got his own parking space.


I've commented upon plenty of the ridiculous activities the crew get up to to occupy themselves in the cold and uncaring vastness of space, but the detailed golf course with recorded applause and caps is just fantastic - I'm envious! Indeed, the other sports they've invented like Unicycle Polo and even three grown men gathering around a match of Junior Angler, it's deliciously absurd, and it's a pity we never get to see them in action.

Of course, Lister's concerns are quite true - there's only so much you can do to waste time before it all feels hollow. Even if humanity is possibly extinct and they're three million years in the future in deep space, surely there's something they can work towards? Something they can do to make it feel like they're making progress in life, to achieve something, to make the universe a little more welcoming? It's not exactly an optimistic scenario to live in, but that's why they invented Unicycle Polo, for god's sake.

The titular timeslides are an interesting concept and feel like a logical extension of series 2's Stasis Leak, as although they can go where the timeslides go, there's still limitations to it - the stasis leak only allowed them to go wherever the stasis had preserved, and timeslides don't let them leave the boundaries of the photo.

It does give them more potential this time because they can actually take things from the photographs, thus allowing for a great gag wherein we see Hitler's crazy kinks, but it's also quite cheatsy at times. They can't leave the boundaries of the photograph, explicitly blocked by an invisible wall, yet where it ends and begins is rather vague; the crew can browse the inside of a bar during young Lister's performance without hassle, it's only going outside that's the trouble. "We can't get a picture of Earth and go back there, we wouldn't be able to move outside the frame of the photograph," Lister explains.

It's really, really cheatsy when Rimmer can enter rich Lister's mansion's dining room using only a photograph of its exterior, and leaves the photo by exiting the room - even though in the previous demonstrations they had entered exactly where the photograph was depicted, as in, literally stepping into the frame. One could argue that you could certainly enter the mansion's front door because, hurf, it's visible, but after that it would get more complex; from the distance of the photo, would it actually see or recognise the rooms inside?

Even then, how or why would he instantly exit just by leaving the room? Then again, it's mostly just there to provide further exposition on what this alternate Lister is like, but still. Lister explains "what you see is what you get," but given the looseness of how they enter the pub and Lister's mansion, surely if they took a photo of Earth they could only get into the countries visible from that angle, right? Right...?

Also, once again with Stasis Leak, they appear to have a functional time machine on their hands, as Lister's scuffle with Hitler is somehow mentioned in a newspaper (an English newspaper, no less!) that they somehow have on the ship, complete with a photograph of Lister. Once again, I have to ask how is this possible? I had difficulty understanding the concept of stasis in Stasis Leak; keeping a person in stasis is just like keeping them in a block of ice, but how do you archive time in an easily-explained manner? In summary, however the hell it works, I believed it had no essence on our timeline because it was basically copied and put on a separate dish, to make an odd analogy.

The timeslides are originally simple photographs that are then made into functional visits to the past; you could say that thanks to the mutation of the developing fluid, regular photographs are simply a frozen moment in time, like pausing a DVD, and this development fluid was the equivalent of pushing the play button. But, still, wouldn't that just cause its own mini-timeline? The moment the photograph was taken has come and gone, and if they go back to it then isn't that just going to be alternate take on the world's events from that point onward? I don't know and I don't really care - leave that kind of subject for someone who knows what they're talking about!

Lister and the crew visiting his 17 year old self in a pub, performing with his then-band Smeg And The Heads is an absolutely brilliant scene. Young Lister is just fantastic - he's not the jaded bum he is now, but this fashion-impaired ball of energy and excitement with incredible optimism who genuinely thinks he and his band are going to revolutionise the music industry, if not the world.

I'm not a very musically-inclined person, and I can't help but find it almost depressing how many bands are started with high hopes and barely go anywhere - everyone believes they've got the right kind of freshness and pizzazz to make them stand out, but would anyone really notice if they were popular or not?

The futures of his other two members are suitably fitting and ironic. Young Lister's ideals are almost quaint: he's got such high hopes and his head in the clouds that he won't even believe his future self, and his increasingly ridiculous slang is great; he and Rimmer make a great duo, with Rimmer boosting his confidence solely so he can screw over his future and Lister thinking he's an enthusiastic metalhead.

Also, I just love that fashion. A star-spangled jacket and an afro with a dreadlock ponytail? I have no words for that besides awesome. Craig Charles himself even commented that the actor resembled himself at that age. It's a short but great scene.

And of course, alternate millionaire Lister is amusing, with how incredibly wealthy and privileged he is yet how he's even more of a slobby git than he is normally, splashing absurd amounts of cash on a statue of himself urinating and other such trinkets. I admire his Fred Flintstone shirt though.

The scene afterwards with Rimmer visiting himself at age 8 is cute, complete with a throwback to series 2 ("What about the nickname I had a school?" "What? Bonehead?"); young Rimmer would be explored further in later series, and it's always interesting seeing how the completely loathsome snake-like git was actually a moderately normal kid at one point, if you excuse him sleeping with boxing gloves on.

The twist where Rimmer changes the timeline so that he's still alive is cute, and makes for a wonderfully hammy performance from Chris Barrie ("Kryten, unpack Rachel and get out the puncture repair kit! I'm alive!"), only for him to accidentally bang some explosive barrels and kill himself without any concern from his friends is amusing. It's definitely more interesting than a typical "you should be happy with what you've got" moral, but it makes sure it doesn't actually impact the status quo in any way, amusingly.

It's a fun episode and definitely feels like a better patched-up version of Stasis Leak, as their ambition to get themselves off Red Dwarf are shared with the two starring characters wanting to win that goal for themselves, not to mention that they make more interesting usage of the time travel, visiting some interesting locations with plenty of silly gags. It also helps it adds a nice dose of character development as well, showing us a little more of the two, their attitudes and histories.

Commentary highlightS

[coming soon!]

Fanbase opinionS

It's generally not seen as one of the greatest or most memorable episodes, but it seems to get a fair amount of recognition for its great gags and ridiculous situations, most notably Lister's scuffle with Hitler. Naturally, any Rimmer fan loves this one for his chance to get the whole show to himself by the third act. It's ranked as the worst of this series in the Japanese poll, though.