Red Dwarf XII – Time Wave

“Time Wave” is episode three of Red Dwarf XII.

The Dwarfers are on an airless planetoid and Rimmer – who doesn’t need a spacesuit – is claiming it on behalf of the Jupiter Mining Corporation. He is also naming the planet Rimmer, and graciously donating his name to the sun it orbits as well, which is now called Sunny Rim. The planetoid is apparently rich in helium 7, a very rare, very valuable substance and Rimmer is claiming it so that, should they get back to their own time, he will get a finder’s fee and become rich.

Kryten warns them that there’s a solar storm coming and they need to leave. Quickly. If Rimmer stays behind, he will be wiped. Which naturally results in Cat suggesting that he stays. As they depart in Starbug 1, Kryten informs them that it isn’t a solar storm. It is, in fact, the titular time wave, caused by an imploding black hole, and it can drag things from the past into the future and vice versa. If they get hit by the wave, they may get dragged into the past but probably also into a remote region of space.

Before they can leave, another ship appears, the SS Enconium, dragged forward from the 24th century. It’s on a collision course with Planet Rimmer and, if it hits, the resulting helium 7 explosion will wipe out everything in the neighbourhood.

They need to get on board the ship and get it to change its course. Criticism has been made illegal, due to the high it gives those who criticise, so they are going to be on their best behaviour. Which is going to be really, really difficult. Perhaps even impossible. Although Rimmer likes the idea, having been criticised all his life. Although he does tend to criticise others a lot as well.

With criticism being illegal, it isn’t allowed to criticise anyone for not being able to do the job they are doing. Which has resulted in a society run by incompetents (rather similar to the novel Incompetence from Red Dwarf co-creator, Rob Grant). Those running engineering should not be doing the job, nor should the engineers be doing the job they are doing. With no-one performing in a remotely competent way, and it being illegal to say anything about this, it’s only a matter of time before the naturally-critical crew end up breaking the law.

There are more than a few references to things from much earlier episodes in this one.

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