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Death (Red Dwarf)

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The name's Death.
~ Death introduces himself
We're gonna cut you up so small the worms aren't even going to have to chew.
~ Death threatens Rimmer

Death is the antagonist from the Red Dwarf episode Gunmen of the Apocalypse and the novel Backwards. He is the leader (and father in the novel) of the gang of four cowboy brothers, the Apocalypse Boys. In real world, he is just a manifestation of the Armageddon Virus in Kryten's wild west dream.

He is portrayed by Dennis Lill.

Description

Death is the "deadly" leader of the gang and the only of brothers who speaks in the episode. He has a bushy mustache, dresses in black and speaks in an American accent. He likes chewing tobacco and traveling. Except using guns and knives, he is also able to spear the Armageddon Virus into other machines by lighting.

In the novel, Death is a father of three other Apocalypse Boys. He is very authoritative and his sons obey him almost blindly. Death actually doesn't look like a human at all in the novel. He is at least two meters tall, wears a long, black mantle and obviously has nothing but bones under his clothes. He has green skin and only pupils in his eyes.

WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW

History

TV series

When there is the Armageddon Virus in Starbug, Kryten gives it to himself in order to work on an antidote. He starts dreaming that he is an always drunk sheriff of a small town in the wild west.

Kryten is soon confronted by four Apocalypse Boys. Their leader introduces himself as Death and his brothers as Brother War, Brother Famine and Brother Pestilence. Death spits tobacco at Kryten's feet, causing a sizzling noise as it burns the decking outside the saloon. Despite that Kryten tries to be nice to them, but they start firing their weapons at his feet, making him dance about. Death then orders Kryten to leave the town within one hour and he and his gang drive out of town.

To help their friend, Lister, Rimmer and the Cat enter the dream as computer game characters. The four friends then face the Apocalypse Boys in a showdown in the street. However, Death realizes what is going on, puts his hand in the air in the sign of the horns and makes lighting. It causes that the virus gets into the game and erases all special skills of its characters.

After helpless Lister and the Cat manage to put their helmets off and leave the dream, Rimmer is left there all alone. The four brothers corner him, holding their knives ominously. Death threatens to cut him into small pieces before Rimmer escapes as well.

The Apocalypse Boys then turn to Kryten and shoot him many times but he shrugs off the hits and throws his own weapons at them. The revolvers turn into doves which dissolve the Apocalypse Boys and end the dream.

Novel

In opposite of the episode, Death doesn't appear in the Existence to threaten Sheriff Carton (aka Kryten) along with his sons in the novel Backwards. He eventually enters the town with them at midnight when the severely injured Red Dwarf crew tries to stop them until Carton completes an antidote program against the virus. It is useless as the Apocalypse Boys harm them even more. Death himself shoots the Cat between his eyes, stops Famine to fight Lister one-on-one and orders War to decapitate Lister with his tomahawk. The Apocalypse Boys then turn to Carton to kill him, but he manages to throw his revolvers which changes on doves, killing the Boys and stopping the virus.

Behind the Laughter

  • Death is based on Death from the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
  • Death was portrayed by Dennis Lill who also played the Simulant Captain, another villain from the same episode. They both bad guys look similar, so it is possibly the Captain created the virus in his own image or Kryten's subconscious made his opponents look alike.

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