Red Dwarf: Can of Worms

Where there are GELFs, there are polymorphs. Well, technically a polymorph is just a type of GELF (Genetically Engineered Life Form). You tend to get the big hairy ones alongside the squidgy morphing ones, though. We first met a polymorph in the episode “Polymorph” when the shape-shifting creature came aboard the Red Dwarf and sucked all the emotions out of the crew. Rimmer became a methodical hippie and Lister was readey to smite anything that came across his path. Later, after Lister split on his wedding night with a not-so-attractive GELF “lady,” the chief GELF sic-ed his Emohawk on them. An Emohawk is really just a domesticated polymorph, a little smaller in size when it’s not disguised as a tin of beans. In “Emohawk,” the emotion leach sucks out personality traits that turn Rimmer into his alter ego Ace Rimmer and turns Cat into the thermos-toting dweeb Duane Dibbly.

In “Can of Worms,” at the talk to vampire GELFs who feed on virgins, we learn that Cat is still a virgin. When a beautiful woman with sharp canine teeth appears, we wonder if she is a vampire GELF or if she is one of Cat’s own race. It’s nice to see Cat with a mate because every other opportunity hasn’t worked out. The pleasure GELF Camille was meant to appear as the perfect match to whoever was looking at her, but Cat only saw a copy of himself. Lister’s alternate reality version of himself in “Parallel Universe” was a woman he fell for, while Cat’s counterpart was a stinky man-dog.


But! Ankita (Dominique Moore) is a polymorph, ready to breed with Cat so she can implant him with eggs. Cat loses his virginity and gets pregnant. This isn’t the first time a male member of the crew has been up the duff. In “Parallel Universe,” Lister got pregnant with twins. After giving birth, he sent them off to their mother/father Deb Lister, the female version of himself. Never mind. Moving on.

As a defense mechanism, the baby polymorphs that Cat births disguise themselves as adorable kittens and chinchillas. Before long, they’re not so cute, and they’re running around sucking out people’s emotions. Ironically, it’s getting rid of emotions artificially with a machine that helps them defeat the monsters.



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