In "Timeslides",

Rimmer goes back in time, alters the past, returns to the present, and he (and Holly) discover that he is alive, not a hologram. Then he accidentally kills himself and so is a hologram again in the next episode.

But, has the timeline been altered? So should Lister, Cat and Kryten from then on remember a past in which Lister and Rimmer both had been alive until "Timeslides"?

If so, shouldn't they remember someone else being a hologram?

If they have no memory of a live Rimmer (other than Series 1 Ep 1), why not? (Other than "Grant and Naylor don't worry too much about continuity").

  • No, because the show doesn't have (much) continuity. The early episodes were just a bunch of stuff that happened. – Valorum Apr 27 '18 at 6:14

When Lister went back in time and changed his own past, he

disappeared, as did Cat and Kryten,

but neither Holly's nor Rimmer's memories were changed to correspond to the new reality.

Logically, then, when Rimmer went back into the past and made another change, the consequences of that change shouldn't affect Lister's, Cat's or Kryten's memories either.

As to why: apparently, that's just how this particular form of time travel works. Getting a time travel plot to make sense is bothersome even if you're trying, and you're not going to get all that much of an effort in a comedy format. :-)

PS: the first new timeline wasn't self-consistent either; Holly would have had no good reason to animate Rimmer's hologram without Lister.

Fortunately, it doesn't have to make sense; it's a comedy.

Warning: TV Tropes link, credit goes to Jontia for finding it.

  • 1
    It's also worth noting that even Rimmer's memories didn't seem to be altered to fit him being alive. He was surprised when Holly told him about the status change. Ultimately Red Dwarf runs on tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfFunny – Jontia Apr 27 '18 at 8:10
  • @Jontia, that's not as surprising, AFAIK most time-travel stories have the person or people who made the change keep their original memories. There are a few exceptions but they're all the more notable for it. Excellent link, though; I'm going to steal it, thanks. :-) – Harry Johnston Apr 27 '18 at 22:24

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