Hologrammatic is the term coined by Rob Grant and Doug Naylorfor the television show Red Dwarf to describe the state that Arnold Rimmer finds himself in after he dies. The reason why they didn’t use “holographic” is unknown, possibly it was deliberate, possibly they didn’t think of it, however it definitely doesn’t really matter.

A hologrammatic person is a person who has been brought back to life in the form of a hologram. This is a strange state of existence where a computer simulates how you probably would have behaved were you placed in the specific situation the hologram is in. In Rimmer’s case this leads to him complaining that he is dead and a hologram.

A hologram can work in several ways one is using a spaceship’s own projectors forming a massless being comprised of pure light. Interestingly this light is not luminous in the usual sense, it can cast shadows and will not provide any help seeing in a dark room. Using this method outside the ship requires the use of a “Hologram Cage” which can project the person inside itself. Another method is the “Light-Bee” this is a small flying projector about the size of a bee that buzzes around inside the hologram and projects them wherever they go. This is powered by an external source with the energy remotely broadcast to it. The final way is the “Light Belt”, more on that later.

The good news about this is that it means that you are essentially immortal, that since you can be resurrected after death in a form that cannot die nearly as easily as a mortal. (Power could go down, or the Light-Bee could be shot). As Lister says “Death isn’t the handicap it once was.”

The bad news is someone who is hologrammatic cannot smell, taste or touch, they pass right through everything except other holograms. This serves as no end of frustration to Rimmer, who will now “never again make love to a woman.” (Well actually “again” is a bad choice of word.) The other disadvantage to being a hologram is everyone hates you. To be a hologram you must either have served in the military or merchant space navy and have reached the position of “indispensable personal” or you have to be filthy rich to afford the amount of power needed to run one. This leads to disputes of hologrammatic rights, and the occasional “hologrammatic rights/pride” parade where crowds gather to hurl stones through the “dirty deadies.” It should be noted that “Groovy Channel 27” does have a hologrammatic newsreader, but Rimmer doesn’t think she counts as anything.

Later the “Light Belt” was invented which projected “Hard Light,” a form of light that has actual physical substance. This at last allowed hologrammatic people to touch things, a great lifestyle change, although not always a good thing. For instance, many had gotten used to not touching anything and would knock things over and break things more often because they were used to simply passing through them.

It is considered politically incorrect to refer to these people as anything other than “Hologrammatic People,” “Holographs,” “Holograms,” “Deadies” and “Snuffs” are all frowned upon by the Hologrammatic Community.

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