|“||Aaaand a great big "Hi!" to all of you out there in flesh-and-blood land! And tonight, Dave Lister, assistant vending machine sub-operative, and spice food connoisseur, this is your death!||„|
|~ The Epideme|
The Epideme is the main antagonist from the Red Dwarf episode Epideme. It is a man-made, communicative and smart virus.
It is voiced by Gary Martin.
The Epideme virus is the mortal disease which blocks all nicotine cravings, as well as all signals for food or oxygen. It is talkative and intelligent, as it drains knowledge from its victims. It often makes references to popular culture. When there is no body to attack, the Epideme simply freezes itself along with the body of its last victim, until another life form wakes it.
The Epideme arrives to a ship named the Leviathan at first. A doctor tries to destroy it, but fails and the virus soon spreads to the whole ship. Its last victim is Caroline Carmen. The virus then freezes her body to sleep until another victim will come too close.
Three million years later, the Red Dwarf crew locates the Leviathan. They find frozen Carmen and realize there are life signs in the ice, so they take her to Starbug. That night, the virus takes control over Carmen's body, breaks the ice and looks for another victim. Carmen then attacks Lister and transfers the virus to him by kissing him.
The crew is able to communicate with the Epideme via a comlink. They try to persuade it to leave Lister's body, but it refuses and discards all their arguments. The virus is very talkative all the time and taunts Lister with his impending doom.
To save their friend, Kochanski and Kryten decide to force the virus to move down towards lister's left hand and then cut it off, much to his dismay. Unfortunately, the virus comes to the right arm instead, so they are forced to cut it off. The end result is that seven percents of the virus are still in Lister's body and they only prolong his life by an hour.
Desperate Lister travels alone back to the Leviathan and is about to blow himself up, along with the virus, much to its shock. The Epideme, however, manages to convince Lister to stop, when it tells him there might be a cure on Delta VII. Unfortunately, when they come to Delta VII, it turns out that the virus was lying to them, as the planet has been destroyed in order to deal with a massive Epideme outbreak.
That evening, the Epideme taunts the crew for the last time, threating to infect Kochanski after killing Lister. Obviously hopeless Kochanski injects Lister with a drug that stops his heart, and then gets his corpse to bite her left hand, infecting it. She then immediately slices off her arm, turning out it is actually Carmen's left arm. The crew then revives now virus-free Lister and flushes the infected arm into the space.