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War (Red Dwarf)

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War is the antagonist from the Red Dwarf episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" and the novel Backwards. He is the one 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 Robert Inch.

Description

War is a fighter with long hair and a monobrow. He is dressed up in a black mix of U.S cavalry uniform and native American skins, with a scarf on his head. He likes breathing fire to scare his enemies and always carries a burning stick with him.

In the novel, War doesn't play with fire at all. He also speaks in a quiet voice and is armed with a tomahawk.

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. They order 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 and face the Apocalypse Boys in a showdown in the street. Rimmer whose character is good at fist fighting, challenges War to a one-on-one battle. However, the heroes don't know Death has just spread the virus into the game and deleted all their special skills.

When Rimmer finally discovers his powerlessness, it is too late, as War has already got the cross bar from a hitching post and starts hitting Rimmer over his head. Helpless Rimmer tries to leave the game by clapping his hands, only to learn he lost also this skill. He then turns the clapping into a castanet dance, confusing War completely.

Meanwhile Lister and the Cat manage to put their helmets off and leave the dream, so Rimmer is suddenly 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

War's role in the novel Backwards is much bigger than in the episode. At first, Famine, Pestilence and he order Sheriff Carton (aka Kryten) to leave the Existence till the midnight. War later returns to the town and throws dynamite at the bank in order to blow it up. Luckily, the Cat's bullets disarm dynamite. However, War notices the Red Dwarf crew joined Carton's dream through the game. He informs his brothers and father Death about that and they spear the virus into the game, erasing the crew's special skills.

At midnight, the severely injured 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. War throws his tomahawk and decapitates Lister. 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

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