Duct Soup

Duct Soup
"Duct Soup"
Red Dwarf episode
Episode no. Series 7
Episode 4
Directed by Ed Bye
Written by Doug Naylor
Original air date February 7, 1997
Guest stars


Series 7 episodes
17 January – 7 March 1997
  1. "Tikka to Ride"
  2. "Stoke Me a Clipper"
  3. "Ouroboros"
  4. "Duct Soup"
  5. "Blue"
  6. "Beyond a Joke"
  7. "Epideme"
  8. "Nanarchy"
List of all Red Dwarf episodes

"Duct Soup" is the fourth episode of science fiction sit-com Red Dwarf Series VII and the 40th in the series run. It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 7 February 1997.[1] Written by Doug Naylor and directed by Ed Bye.



Kochanski (Chloë Annett) is having a hard time on Starbug with the boys. No baths (she doesn't like showers), no decent food and the pipes in her sleeping quarters squeak all night. Lister (Craig Charles) arranges for her to have a bath in his quarters, and finds some extra clothing for her - gestures that worry Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) considerably. But before she gets the chance to dip into the bath, an engine failure leaves the crew trapped in Lister's quarters, and the ship is on a collision course with a meteor shower. The only way to re-fire the backup generator is by going through the service ducts.

As they navigate through the narrow ducts, Kochanski helps Lister with his claustrophobia, while Kryten and Cat (Danny John-Jules) look for any hatches that they can use to get back into Starbug. After dealing with Re-cyc water flushing through the vents, and hurricane-force winds to dry the ductways, Kryten admits that he perpetrated the whole thing. He adjusted the thermosettings so it would overload and locked them in Lister's quarters. They eventually exit the ducts but end up back in Lister's quarters. Kryten makes another admission - the doors to Lister's quarters aren't locked after all; he excluded them from the shutdown override in case anything happened. Lister goes off to steer the ship away from disaster, while Kochanski asks Kryten to repeat the squeak noises that the pipes make while repeatedly hitting his head with a spanner (which she had been doing earlier to the squeaking pipes).


The episode overran by three minutes, and had to be cut down. Rather than lose vital scenes it was decided that the opening title could be omitted to save precious time. The scenes would be reinstated for the X-tended edition. This is the third Red Dwarf episode to forfeit the opening titles for the purposes of time and episode pacing (the others being Series II episode "Parallel Universe" and the previous episode "Ouroboros").[2]

Being the last episode written, and the fact that the series had stretched the budget a that point, "Duct Soup" turned out to be the "bottle show", a cheap production script that replaced the initially more expensive story that was written, Identity Within.

In Series 7's bonus features, Craig Charles mentions one word has been dubbed over in the scene where he tells his story about him developing claustrophobia, as it turns out this word was left un-dubbed on the first VHS release of Series 7 and is, in fact, 'Fuck'.


Lister's claustrophobia is only mentioned one other time within the Red Dwarf series, in the episode "Confidence and Paranoia" when Lister and his Confidence are outside in space suits. Any other time, though, Lister is shown in closed spaces, without any fear. When the Cat questions Lister as to why he's never shown any signs of claustrophobia in other instances when they've been trapped in small places, Lister responds he only 'sometimes' suffers with it, thereby avoiding a continuity error.

The name is a reference to the famous Marx Brothers comedy, Duck Soup.


External links

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