Why doesn't the crew just go into stasis?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    We see them go into stasis for "short" episode-specific journeys. Why do they go into stasis for these short journeys, but not for the overall journey back to Earth? Out-universe it's because there wouldn't be a show, but what about in-universe? Why hang around the ship getting on each other's nerves, getting attacked by slime-robots from the past, and watching your lifespan tick away knowing you're going to die of old age before you make a dent in the journey?

    Since Lister discovered Kochanski is still out there (BTE 3) I think that's a fix now. Lister can't go into stasis (for long) because he needs to find Kochanski, and Kryten wants to support him. It's drilled into us that Cat is selfish, so I don't see what's in it for him. I'm not sure how stasis works for Rimmer. There have been discussions about switching him off, but he's been scared they won't turn him back on. It's unclear if Rimmer went into stasis in Krysis, or got switched off, or stayed on by himself. Rimmer is apparently immortal so wouldn't need stasis in the way Lister and Cat would, but even then he might not want to wait out a three million year journey.

    But what about before BTE 3, when Lister thought Kochanski was dead? Did he hang around on the ship because he was hoping to find another Kochanski from an alternate-alternate-dimension? When Kochanski was onboard I assume he was excited to be around her, thinking he might win her back. What about before Ouroboros, when Kochanski really was dead?

    Maybe the thought of going into stasis for three million years back to Earth is just too terrifying, like death. But in Future Echoes, Lister and the Cat were both quite willing to do it. They just didn't . . . for no apparent reason. Holly reached light speed early and they started seeing Future Echoes, so they hung around to watch them instead of going to stasis as planned. Although we can assume they went into stasis for several thousand years off-camera, because Lister says it's going to take four thousand years to turn around, and in Better Than Life Holly says they've turned around. So why did they bother coming out.
     
  2. Chris D

    Chris D Engineer

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    My general feeling is that over the years, their priorities have changed, so in many ways how they've gotten to where they are today is somewhat irrelevant.

    But, even back then, they sort of sewed the seed for what I think plays a significant part in their reasons to not go back to Earth.

    In The End:

    So Earth, three million years in the future, plus another three million for the return journey is somewhat of an unknown quantity.

    There's a really interesting article on Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_far_future

    Even in the next 1 million years from now, Earth may have suffered from a number of catastrophic natural disasters.

    Earth, as Lister knows it, may simply no longer exist. And, even if it does, how would they react if in the year ~6,002,200 a mining ship from 6 million years earlier attempts to land?

    Frankly the thought of something like that scares the heck out of me, so I suspect that plays a big part of it.

    Of course the question to ask before this one, is why, if they have or had the capability of using the time drive to get back to Earth in the 20th century then why not use it to get back to Earth in the 22nd / 23rd century? Lister could effectively resume his old life, making up some story that he made his own way back and no longer works for JMC or on Red Dwarf.

    I think this basically boils down to the fact that Lister may well be contented with his life for the most part. He may be lonely and not have much of a future, but perhaps it overall beats going back to his old life, and beats the unknown which is Earth in the 60,022nd century.

    DISCLAIMER: Dates give or take an ice age or two ;-)
     
  3. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I think the ending of Future Echoes implied that Lister remained out of stasis because he'd seen a future where he became a dad on Red Dwarf.
    In terms of the bigger arc, I think the whole point of Future Echoes was to give Lister a reason not to go back into stasis for the return journey.
     
  4. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Future Echoes:
    LISTER: If I'm going back to Earth, I have to go into stasis. It's gonna take 4,000 years just to turn around.

    Better Than Life:
    HOLLY: I knew you wouldn't get it. Post pod's arrived.
    RIMMER: What, the mail?
    HOLLY: It's been tracking us since we left Earth. Now we've turned round, it's caught up.

    Lister & Cat must have gone into stasis off-camera for at least four thousand years, sometime between Future Echoes and Better Than Life. Also, if Lister's reason for not going into stasis was to see how he became a father, he ticked that box in Parallel Universe.
     
  5. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I know - I was just making a point about your "for no apparent reason" comment, regarding Future Echoes itself.

    I guess it's like decorating a house when you buy it. If you don't do it straight away, you never get round to it :-)

    In other words - during series three, four and five, maybe it was something he kept putting off. I suppose he was starting to enjoy space a bit by then, and it's the sort of thing you can keep sliding till tomorrow.

    In series six and seven, no Red Dwarf = no stasis booths.

    And, since BTE, he's theoretically had the prospect of Kochanski to keep him exploring.
     
  6. Goit_84

    Goit_84 First Technician

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    This isn't what bothers me.

    What bothers me is not using the time drive to just go home, exactly when and where you want to go.

    Actually, why isn't there an episode which explores this? Why not just address it? You could have it so that if Lister returns to his own time, he would be arrested under suspicion of sabotaging Red Dwarf, which has gone missing. There's ways around this - he could set up a false identity and assume that and live the rest of his days as someone else quite easily with a time drive at his disposal. At least it could explain why he cant actually go back to his Earth as Dave Lister, and what's done is done. He's not the same person who once dreamed of Fiji, Kochanski, a sheep, a cow and three horses any more. I'd like for one episode to just give Lister that chance, and he doesn't take it, just to end the speculation and put some motivational questions to bed. Just what are Lister's aims? Has he given up? Does he like the fact he's given up?

    Why would you want to go back to Earth anyway? Lister lives the dream. He doesn't have to work, ever, has his own maid pretty much, Rimmer would be a laugh to have as a hologram, a roof over his head and a gigantic spaceship all to himself. He's passed on his legacy in Jim & Bexley and never had to raise them. He retired at 25. The guy won the lottery. He should thank Rimmer every day for killing that awful crew and Dennis the Donut Boy.
     
  7. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    It increasingly feels like he's given up on getting back to Earth and is just existing in space, only bothering to move the ship for the sake of a change of scenery or a new derelict. I don't remember the last time they ever reiterated getting back to Earth as a goal. But given mailpods are still arriving, I think it's safe to assume that Red Dwarf is still pointed towards Earth.

    As of Series X, Lister is ostensibly looking for Kochanski. But there's no way for Red Dwarf to systematically look for Kochanski in space. They don't look like they're searching in grids. Kryten didn't say which way she went. Presumably Kochanski would be headed toward Earth too? Given the Nova fleet had scanners that located other Novas across space, it makes me wonder if Red Dwarf doesn't have a scanner that could locate Kochanski's Blue Midget.
     
  8. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I think you have to accept the reason as given in Tikka to Ride - i.e., the rest of the Dwarfers thought it was madness to use the time drive at all, for fear of turning into the future selves from Out of Time.

    Lister was a dissenter in that regard, but I think we're meant to assume that he learned his lesson in Tikka to Ride, and came round to the others' way of thinking.
     
  9. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Starbug has the deep-sleep booths, which seem to be a lot like stasis. Lister was in deep-sleep for two hundred years and didn't die of old age, even though he was still "in time" and his hair and nails kept growing. I guess we can assume he just got really bored and/or depressed and wanted to sleep for a century or two. Weird time to do it when you've lost Red Dwarf.
     
  10. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    This suggests that time slowed but didn't stop, and he did age a bit at least.

    If he'd gone into deep sleep for three million years, he would have aged fifteen thousand times more than we saw at the start of Psirens - which I'd expect to be fatal.
     
  11. mtullock

    mtullock First Technician

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    Did he not go into deep sleep until a point where the sufficiently caught up with the Dwarf? So when RD had to circumnavigate the azteroid belt Starbug flew through to catchup to the vapor trail.
     
  12. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Upon reviewing Psirens, I think it's a reasonable assumption that that's why Kryten woke him up:

    KRYTEN: You have been out for over two hundred years.
    LISTER: Two hundred years?
    KRYTEN: Well, I tried to wake you up in the spring, but you absolutely insisted on another three months.

    KRYTEN: The important thing is, after two hundred years of following their vapour trail, we have them.
    LISTER: What d'you mean?
    KRYTEN: They've been forced to make a massive detour to circumnavigate this asteroid belt. However, Starbug is small enough to negotiate its way directly through the middle. For the first time in two centuries, we have the opportunity to head them off at the pass as it were, and recover Holly.

    But if all Lister was doing was sitting around dying of old-age on Red Dwarf, then why not sit around dying of old-age on Starbug? I think Lister gives us the main answer:

    LISTER: Rimmer, check out the supply situation. Your hologram's on battery backup. Oxygen for three months. Water, if we drink recyc, three weeks. And worst of all, we're down to our last two thousand poppadoms.

    Presumably the main reason Lister (and Cat) went into deep-sleep instead of just hanging around like normal was because there weren't enough supplies on Starbug. But perhaps they also didn't want to spend the rest of their lives on Starbug because it's too small; they wanted to get Red Dwarf back because it's cushier and because of the principle of the thing. We see Rimmer being turned back on, so presumably he was off for two centuries to save power. This possibly explains why Lister was only in "deep-sleep" rather than "stasis" - perhaps it's two settings for the same technology and the "deep-sleep" setting uses less power. There's no attempt to explain how Cat survived the journey, but I suppose we can assume Cat was also in deep-sleep off-camera. Presumably Kryten woke Cat in spring when he tried to wake Lister. We see Kryten compacting rubbish as if he's been keeping an eye on things the whole time.

    I also noticed that the Dwarfers are still trying to get back to Earth as of Psirens:
    RIMMER: This is not the time for small-minded, petty recrimination. The time for that is when we get back to Earth and Lister is court-martialled.
     
  13. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Good point. According to Nanarchy, Starbug had been chasing a nano-Red-Dwarf the whole time. So surely that could cut through the asteroid field even quicker than Starbug. The only in-universe fix I can offer is that Kryten was wrong, or it had to circumnavigate the asteroid field for a reason that was never explained.
     
  14. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Maybe the reason they don't go into stasis is that they're vaguely looking for new devices to get them to Earth quicker*.

    *For their collection.
     
  15. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Perhaps the dust in the asteroid field makes it just as perilous for the nano-Dwarf. i.e., on their scale, grains of dust are asteroids.

    I'd like to imagine the asteroids follow an inverse power law, meaning it's essentially the same proposition however much you "zoom in" on it. But then, Starbug wouldn't have any particular advantage, so that idea doesn't work.
     
  16. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    :-)
     
  17. BigOleDummy

    BigOleDummy Guest

    Well ........... umm ........ uhhhh ....... well, if they went into stasis there wouldn't be a show seems to me the main reason. Excuse me for being too literal maybe. I think this is actually one of those "suspension of belief" times like you need to watch/read most science fiction or fantasy. Besides, it would be Earth 6 million years in the future as stated before by others.
     
  18. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    So where are they going then? They were still talking about getting back to Earth at least as recently as Series X. And given they are still getting mailpods, we can assume they are still pointed towards Earth.
     
  19. BigOleDummy

    BigOleDummy Guest

    Yes that's true, but then........ you have to going SOMEWHERE don't you? I mean otherwise it would be just as useful to just park. Sometimes any destination is better than no destination at all. Lister, while no Einstein, is certainly no dummy and somewhere in the back of his mind (at least) he HAS to know that actually getting back to Earth is futile for him. At the end of the day though, I'm just happy we get to go along for the ride, wherever that ride is going.
     

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