No one is ever surprised to see Lister

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Something that confuses me about Red Dwarf is the fact that no one is ever surprised to see Lister. The premise is that he's three million years in the future and may or may not be the last human, and he doesn't know if Earth/humanity still exists. But none of the GELFS/Holograms/Simulants ever seem surprised to see him. I've never heard anyone comment "wow, it's a human, we thought you were extict, I haven't seen a human in three million years" etc. Nor have I ever heard Lister ask the GELFS/Holograms/Simulants if humans still exist or when they last saw Earth.

    For example in Holoship, my first thought was the Earth and humans must still exist if they're sending holoships out. But of course, we don't know how long that ship has been out there or if they're in contact with Earth. Because no one asks. Everyone acts like it's no big deal that a human has turned up. Similarly, the Simulants hate humans. The fact that they hate humans suggests to me that humans must still exist.
     
  2. Goit_84

    Goit_84 First Technician

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    It's a good point actually. When Binks beams aboard in Holoship he insults Lister. It makes you think - has the Holocrew met other humans on their voyage? Is the Holoship still in contact with Earth or is it a Star Trek Voyager situation for them?

    Alternatively, why doesn't Lister react to the Holoship like a castaway would greet a naval vessel? Youd think Lister would at least try to question Binks about what's left of the human race.

    I'm trying to think of other times they've met other people from Earth. Legion? How come they didn't ask it about how it got lost in deep space or whether the station still had ties to the Solar System. Kryten o ly asks for help finding Red Dwarf - forget Red Dwarf, ask about getting home.
     
  3. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    Yup - a valid plot hole!

    I will give it some thought.
     
  4. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    The BEGG in Entangled mentions he ate someone from an English boarding school, so that means there must have been a (presumably human) society on Earth until very recently, though none of the Red Dwarf crew ask about this.

    Given that all the antagonists are either GELFS or robots, ie all created by humans, you'd think Lister would ask when they last saw humans. The fact that all these human-created species are so far out in deep space suggests humans have been there relatively recently. Unless all these creatures rebelled, stole spaceships and colonised the universe on their own in the distant past. That's what the Simulants apparently did. But the BEGGs/GELFs are depicted as primitive, I can't see them flying a spaceship, so how and when did they get there.
     
  5. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    To be fair, they might just be very long-lived or biologically immortal? But yes, I found that odd too.
     
  6. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    Gelfs are depicted as very tribal, but I think they're at home with technology. The kinitawowi has a space craft in series 7.

    I don't think they all rebelled so much as became independent. I think their species continued without evolving much long after humanity vanished.
     
  7. AJ Smeggnog

    AJ Smeggnog Second Technician

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    Doesn't Lister only think he's the last human alive because Holly told him that? Is it possible Holly got it wrong? (Holly did get a lot wrong, to be fair...)
     
  8. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    I don't remember Holly telling him that. Holly presumably wouldn't know, since they weren't in live contact with Earth anyway. Or if Red Dwarf was, it must have lost contact at some point when it drifted out too far into deep space. Which does make one wonder: Why did Holly let Red Dwarf get so far out. Possibly the radiation contamination meant he couldn't take it back to Earth, but surely he could have taken it back to the Solar System and hung around in orbit.

    Rimmer told Lister that humanity was either extinct or evolved past him. But the Red Dwarf crew don't actually know what's happened to humanity, because they never ask the human-created species they encounter. They just assume humanity is extinct because they never meet any humans. But you'd think they'd ask. Deep Space is teeming with GELFs, Holograms, Droids, etc, all human-created. Were they created on Earth? How long ago? Why are they so far out in space? When did they last see humans? Do they know if humans still exist? Similarly, since humans are very rare if not extinct, you'd think the other species would express some surprise and interest at meeting one.

    Post-VIII, the nanobot-resurrected crew + alternative-dimension Kochanski may or may not be out there.
     
  9. AJ Smeggnog

    AJ Smeggnog Second Technician

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    Then perhaps that's it. Lister being the last human alive is merely a misconception by the Dwarfers.
     
  10. Goit_84

    Goit_84 First Technician

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    What I would love would be a throwaway lone that basically says Rimmer killed the crew by accident again.
     
  11. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    Aha. Looking at series one/two, they seem to have assumed that Lister was the last human alive after several unanswered distress calls.

    In series one, Holly opens with "this is an SOS distress call from the mining ship Red Dwarf. The crew are dead, killed by a radiation leak. The only survivors were Dave Lister," etc.. So this is a clear attempt to contact other humans, with no mention of Lister being the last one alive.

    In series two, it changes to "three million years from Earth, the mining ship Red Dwarf. Its crew: Dave Lister, the last human being alive," etc.. No mention of an SOS, and Lister is now presumed to be the last human.
     
  12. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Even if there are still humans in the Solar System, there appear to be none where Red Dwarf is. But it seems like there was at some point, for example who does All-Droid shoppnig station normally sell to? The stir-master advertisement specifcally said "the average human", meaning humans are the target audience. Was it set up by humans or did the droids set it up themselves? There's a deleted scene in Trojan where Lister wants to know why he's on hold when he's the last human so who else is ordering stir-masters.

    The appearance of a human would be remarkable, yet it consistently goes un-remarked-upon. It's as if the other species are still regularly interacting with humans, and it's just Red Dwarf that never sees them. On the flipside, why does the crew not interrogate every sentient life-form they encounter for information about Earth/humans. Hogey the Roguey for example has a Union Jack on his shoulder!
     
  13. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    Because it's "all droid", they could have been on standby - or even waiting patiently, like Kryten with his skeletons - for anywhere up to millions of years.
     
  14. emmawatson

    emmawatson Second Technician

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    The human race might still be in existence but it wouldn't be Lister's type of human as further evolution will have certainly taken place.
     
  15. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    That's true, but the fact that they're there at all means humans have been in that part of space at some point. Either Red Dwarf is now much closer to Earth and is in "human-space", or humanity must have found a way to get that far out without it taking three million years. It makes me wonder about Red Dwarf drifting past all these space stations for three million years while they were presumably manned. Did they see Red Dwarf, did they try to make contact, did Holly try to make contact? Or was Red Dwarf drifting in empty space and it was only later that humanity developed better technology to get out there quicker and colonise space that was barren when Red Dwarf originally drifted through it. I think I'm more interested in the back-story than I'm supposed to be. I want the crew to start asking a few more questions.
     
  16. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    All good questions.

    Personally, I imagine those deep space stations were behind Red Dwarf, and they're starting to find them as they head back the other way - as per your suggestion.
     
  17. emmawatson

    emmawatson Second Technician

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    I'm guessing that, if the human race is still around, and Lister and Co. ran into them, they would have nothing in common. Lister would look like something that crawled out of the sea.

    I mean look what three million years of evolution did to the cat. They became biped humanoids. Imagine what humans must have become in the three million years that Lister and Co. have been away.
     
  18. FeeBeeBells

    FeeBeeBells Deck Sergeant

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    I'm assuming that the cat evolution was sped up due to radiation exposure over those three million years. It would be interesting to see what humans looked like in that universe with the 3 million years that have passed.
     
  19. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Sharks have been the same for fifty million years, I don't see why humans couldn't be the same after a mere three. Evolution doesn't mean change for the sake of change, if something survives then there's no reason for it to change. It depends if the Earth has significantly changed. But think about the technology humans have now, let alone in the future. Cities and agriculture and medicine mean no one is under much selection pressure anymore.

    If there was a huge event like a plague or meteor strike then human biodiversity might be affected because one race or another might have survived where others didn't. For example, sickle-cell anemia is a genetic mutation which resists malaria, and is overwhelmingly found in black people. White people almost never have it, because they didn't need it.

    Maybe there was a new ice age and humans are pretty much the same except more hairy and fat. But like I said, technology removes a lot of these selection pressures because many of us, at least in the "developed world", live divorced from the natural world. If it's cold, we put the heater on. In fact many of us don't even do that because our heaters automatically adjust to the specific temperature we've programmed. So if there was an ice age, maybe it only affected fashion.

    And don't forget, we know that humans branched out from Earth. There were humans on other planets, space stations, generational spaceships . . . so even if something happened to Earth and Earth humans have six legs now, Lister's type of human would probably still exist somewhere.

    In short, I think it's quite possible that humans are exactly the same.
     
  20. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    Yes. The time elapsed isn't the key variable. The question is what selection pressures (if any) humans faced in the interim.

    Natural selection doesn't just include survival - it includes success at mating. So we might expect some drift towards features that are considered desirable. However, even this isn't guaranteed. The advent of safe sex and "planned parenthood" means that more successful lovers no longer have more offspring.

    A real game-changer would be artificial selection - e.g., parents being able to pick their very best sperm and very best eggs to produce the fittest offspring. Then you'd expect each generation of humans to be fitter, happier, and more productive than the last.

    Over three million years, that could have very profound consequences, and humans could be god-like.

    Equally, over the course of three million years, you might reasonably expect a catastrophe or two. There's any number of possibilities.
     

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