Complete Guide


Series VI, Episode 1
Recorded: 20.02.1993, Shepperton Studios
First Broadcast: 07.10.1993 (BBC 2)
VHS Release: 01.05.1995 (BBCV 5580)
DVD Release: 21.02.2005 (BBCDVD 1372)
Blu-ray Release: 14.01.2019 (BBCBD 0441)


Written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
Directed by Andy de Emmony


In pursuit of the stolen Red Dwarf, Lister and Co are attacked by Psirens - creatures who lure space-farers to their deaths with a lethal combination of telepathic manipulation and scanty clothing.


Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Jenny Agutter (Professor Mamet), Samantha Robson (Pete Tranter's Sister), Anita Dobson (Captain Tau), Richard Ridings (Crazed Astro), C.P. Grogan (Kochanski), Zoe Hilson & Elizabeth Anson (Temptresses), Phil Manzanera (Featuring the hands of)

Did You Know?

The pushing back of Series VI into October 1993 meant that the Primordial Soup script book, which included the full script for this episode, was published several months before its broadcast.

The opening scenes of Psirens were written in response to a direct request from the BBC to provide a "recap" of the show's status quo - but served the additional purpose of allowing Rob and Doug to fill in the gap between the end of Series V and Series VI's new Starbug-bound setup.

It's unclear from this episode whether "Pete Tranter's Sister" is any relation to an alternate-universe version of Admiral Sir James "Bongo" Tranter from Series IV's Dimension Jump. But the novel Backwards makes it clearer, naming Bongo as "Peter Tranter" instead.

It was originally intended that Lister's guitar-playing hands would be played by Queen legend Brian May - whose then-partner Anita Dobson appeared in the episode as Captain Tau (the character name being drawn from that of Red Dwarf's captain in the abandoned USA pilot). After May turned out to be unavailable, Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera substituted instead.

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