Balance of Power
Red Dwarf - Series 1 - Episode 3
At the start of the episode, Lister and Rimmer are busy carrying out an inventory of Red Dwarf's cargo. Lister is bored to death, but has to obey Rimmer because Rimmer has hidden all of his cigarettes away and is holding them hostage. Rimmer teases Lister, saying that for each day he obeys orders, he can have a cigarette. Fed up with being bossed around by Rimmer, Lister walks off to the mess hall for a drink.
Upon returning to the sleeping quarters he asks Rimmer if he can turn him off temporarily so he can spend a night with a hologram of Kristine Kochanski. Rimmer says no, and Lister can't argue because the hologram disks have also been hidden. When Rimmer tells Lister to shut up because he's Lister's superior, Lister says that he's going to take an exam and become an officer, which would Rimmer's superior.
- I'm going to pass the exams and become an officer.
- Oh, come on, wise up, Lister!
- You'll have to salute me, Rimmer! You'll have to call me "Sir!" You'll have to give me Kochanski! And me cigarettes!
The next morning, Rimmer wakes up and is dressed up by Holly, who replaces his own holographic arm with Petersen's holographic arm and refuses to say where Lister has gone. When he asks the Cat where Lister is, he growls angrily about his fish stash, and Rimmer is then beaten up by Petersen's arm. Walking around, Rimmer eventually finds Lister watching a revision video in the teaching room. He mocks Lister because he doesn't even appear to be taking the situation seriously, taking notes on chocolate wrappers and drinking beer. Rimmer gives Lister a few impromptu engineering questions, and when he is unable to answer, asks Lister how he expects to pass. Lister tells him that he's taking the chef's exam.
- These are basic engineering precepts, Lister! How do you expect to pass the engineering exam?
- I don't. I expect to pass the chef's exam.
- Chef? You want to become a chef?
- Not really. I just want to become your superior.
- But a chef? A white hatted ponce? That's not a real officer!
- It outranks you, smeg-for-brains!
Lister starts to tease Rimmer, and Rimmer storms out in a huff. While Rimmer is flicking through his astroengineering textbooks with the skutters, Lister walks in, holding a beautiful cake he made himself. Seeing that Lister actually has a chance of passing the exam, Rimmer changes tack and tries to suck up to Lister instead. Lister immediately asks him to give him Kochanski. Again, Rimmer refuses.
The next morning is the morning of the chef's exam. Rimmer is disgusted to see that the only last-minute revision Lister is doing is of sticky buns. Rimmer tries to stop him from getting to the exam room. Lister, one last time, demands that Rimmer let him turn on Kochanski's hologram. Rimmer, one last time, says no. Lister walks through Rimmer, and goes in to take the exam.
During the exam, Lister is pleasantly surprised to see a holographic Kochanski walk into the room. She tells him that she never loved him, and that he might as well not take the exam. Lister is about to follow her advice, but becomes suspicious when she starts using Rimmer's mannerisms. He tells Rimmer to come out, and orders him to leave. Rimmer is in no hurry to leave, considering that he has been left with Kochanski's right nipple and hips, but does so anyway. When he finishes the exam, Lister takes the envelope with his results out, but refuses to tell Rimmer what happened. When he is pushed by Rimmer to say how he did, he jumps happily up into the air and shouts, "How did I do, Mr. Lister, sir!"
← Future Echoes (episode 2)
→ Waiting for God (episode 4)
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