The premise of Red Dwarf is that they drifted out into deep space for three million years for reasons that were never made clear, and are trying to get back to Earth. But they have, of course, returned to Earth several times now, just in the wrong time period! Which back-to-Earth episodes are justified and which pose more awkward questions than they're worth? The back-to-Earth episodes are, in chronological order, Backwards, Time Slides, Tikka to Ride, Lemons, Twentica. Hallucinations caused by genetically engineered squids don't count because they actually never left Red Dwarf. Tikka to Ride I enjoy this, especially the extended edition. I like the idea that running out of curry precipitates a crisis, and the final scene where he's locked in a room with a thousand curries seems like a weird fantasy, although I don't see any freezer or microwave. I'm a bit put out at a British programme worrying about America so much, was this an attempt to reel in an American audience? Plugged in London but ended up in Dallas. Well, could have been worse, could have ended up halfway under the Pacific Ocean I suppose. Or Wales. Understandable awkward questions about why the time-drive suddenly gained the ability to travel in space, but I think it's to do with the timelines merging to cope with the paradox of the future Dwarfers killing their past selves. The real awkward question is why not just use the time-drive to go back to current Earth. Backwards Look out, swirly thing ahead! I like the acknowledgement of sci-fi tropes where they don't bother explaining it, it's one of those swirly things that takes you somewhere else. At the time the effects probably impressed people. Good thing the Dwarfers somehow remained insulated by their own time-reference, because presumably once you entered Backwards-Earth you'd be part of it and start doing everything backwards from the get-go. There's no reason why the writing on signs should be backwards, is there? This episode is good because it doesn't pose any "why don't they stay there" questions. It's backwards, and they can't go back there again because it was a swirly thing they've long-since passed. But I tend to skip this episode because I find it a bit boring. People talking backwards only holds one's interest so long, after that you realise it's Red Dwarf at the pub. It was clever the first time around though. Time Slides Wacky idea, wacky episode. How many time-travel paradoxes can you fit into one episode. It does pose the usual question of why don't they use the Timeslides to go back to Earth - someone must have taken a photo of Earth when they left, so just fly a starbug into a giant photo of Earth somehow. Also, at the start they can't walk out of the frame, then suddenly they can. Twentica I don't like this because once again we've got a British programme going to America, like British history isn't cool enough. I'm guessing Doug has a particular interest in American history. JFK in Tikka, the Wild West in Gunmen, now Prohibition in Twentica. Am I the only one who wants to ask him why we've now been to three eras in American history and none in British history? I guess there were the brief Lister of Smeg and Jane Austen bits in AI. I don't want to slag off American history, but if it was an American programme do you think the characters would keep ending up in Britain? I doubt it. The Casket of Chronos raised a lot of questions, ie I thought they had to plug it into a temporal transporter so how did they use it by itself at the end, why was the Expanoid wearing it around his neck like Flavour Flav, why haven't we heard about Expanoids until now if they're such a big deal, why did they allow technology until the 1920s after cars and planes and film and radio and machine guns were invented. It's basically just another America dress-up episode. Lemons The Rejuvination Shower is the least convincing back-to-Earth device yet. And they don't even bother telling us where it came from. I suppose it transported them back to 1st century Britain because that's where their ancestors were from? Lister is obviously mixed-race. Craig Charles' ancestry is Guyanese/Irish, but I suppose we can assume the character Lister's ancestry must be part-British. I'm assuming it's to do with genetic ancestry because it's before their personal birth. But I don't know how it works for Kryten, being a robot. Was he constructed in Britain? Rimmer is presumably British-descended, but he's a hologram so I don't know how the Rejuvination Shower picked up on him. The Cat's ancestor Frankenstein was from Mimas while the Tomcat was from Titan, but presumably both cats go back to Britain before that. I assume the time-travel mishap was to do with rejuvinating them so far back through their youth they go back to where their ancestors were, why else would a beauty aid become a time-and-space-machine. Cat has three million years more ancestors than Lister and Rimmer, but the malfunctioning Rejuvination Shower transports them all back to the same place together despite Lister and Rimmer's differing ancestry, Rimmer being a hologram, Kryten being a robot , and Cat being a million generations out from the rest.