Red Dwarf XI – Samsara

“Samsara” is episode two of Red Dwarf XI.

This episode opens with a ship in trouble heading towards an ocean moon. An escape pod leaves the ship, which then crashes into the ocean on the moon below.

3 million years later and Rimmer and Lister are playing a game of Minopoly on the Red Dwarf – and Lister is cheating. There’s a bet riding on the game; if Lister wins, Rimmer can’t complain about anything he does for a whole week (complaining is probably Rimmer’s favourite pastime). If Rimmer wins, Lister has to wear an evening gown day and night until he successfully learns a tune on the bagpipes. Rimmer improbably continues to get the same losing roll again and again, no matter how many times he rerolls.

The escape pod is from the SS Samsara, and Kryten says that it is emitting and energy field that is disrupting everything in the vicinity. He and Cat get a warning message from the pod, which is cut off. So they bring the pod in. Kryten says that there are two survivors on the pod, but these turn out to be two piles of dust, both being disintegrated. Although they were alive when they tried communicating with the Red Dwarf. So the crew head to the moon to find the wreck of the Samsara. According to Kryten the ship should never have crashed.

The Samsara is full of skeletons – many of which are in rather unusual, and in some cases suggestive, positions. In other cases the crew appears to have been murdered. As the crew explore the ship, there are clips from the past when everyone on the Samsara was alive.

The Dwarfers separate into two teams, Kryten and Rimmer and Cat and Lister. Cat and Lister end up stuck together, whilst Kryten and Rimmer find out what probably happened to the ship – which poses a serious problem to the Dwarfers. The warning message probably was going to say something along the lines of ‘Don’t go down to the ship’ or ‘Run away!’ Cat and Lister are getting on each other’s nerves.

The primary concept of this episode is actually very similar to something that appeared in a much older episode.

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