See also: Dave Lister

In 3 million years, Dave Lister will be the last surviving human in the universe. At least, that's what Grant Naylor say when you watch (or read) Red Dwarf.


Played by Craig Charles. In the American pilot, Lister was played by Craig Bierko.

Lister (as we know him, forget the American version) is "the short, dumpy one with the stupid hair". He has a thick scouse accent (so I've been assured - sounded Scottish to me, but then again, there was a time I couldn't tell English from Australian either), some really interesting locks growing out the back of his head, and is obsessed with curry and Kristine Kochanski, and once, when asked what his occupation was, he replied bum. He (thinks he) can play the guitar, but it drives all the other crew members crazy. He loves lager and his favorite sports player is Jim Becksley Speed of the London Jets (not sure if this is fictional or not).


First a bit of background, mostly taken from Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. Lister is an orphan, found in a box under a pool table in the Aigburth Arms pub in Liverpool, in 2155. (NOTE: In OUROBOROS, he actually finds out who his parents are, but it's kind of a suprise so if you want to know, you have to check out the spoilers at the end of this write-up or watch that episode yourself.) He was then raised by an old lady he called his gran and spent most of his life in Liverpool. During his time in Liverpool, he dated Lisa Yates, who you'll find out about in Thanks for the Memory.

After getting all grown up and "celebrating his birthday with a Monopoly-board pub crawl around London, he came to in a burger bar on one of Saturn's moon(Titan), wearing a ladies pink crimplene hat, a pair of yellow fishing waders, with no money and a passport in the name of 'Emily Berkenstein'." So he rented a storage locker and devised a plan (that he would later update) to get back to Earth. To save up money, he would steal a taxi each night, taxi people around, save the money and return the taxi. (Usually, he ended up blowing all his dollar-pounds on booze and curry and had to start over.) This is how Lister met Rimmer. A still-quite-alive "gentleman" wearing an obviously fake mustache and claiming to be an officer on the mining ship Red Dwarf, asked Lister to take him to a brothel. The man was quite embarrassed but asked for Lister to wait for him.

Lister later learns that Red Dwarf is a way to actually get paid to go back to Earth, provided he work 18 months beforehand. So he signs up with the JMC and ends up on Red Dwarf, bunkmates with none other than that officer who is actually a chicken soup machine attendant by the name of Arnold Judas Rimmer.

While on Red Dwarf, Lister meets (and briefly dates) Kristine Kochanski, a Navigations Officer. And this is where the TV show picks up.

Lister's ultimate goal by the beginning of The End (the first episode) is to take Frankenstein and Kristine Kochanski to a small farm on Fiji where he will buy a sheep, a cow and breed horses (not from the sheep and the cow, from horses and horses). He also planned to open a hotdog and donut diner stand (the Cat race's vision of Heaven).

Lister, however, makes a tactical error and sends a picture of himself and his cat to get developed in the ship's lab. He is quickly take to Captain Frank Hollister who demands to know where the animal came from and where Lister's hidden it. Lister refuses to hand over Frankenstein, so he gets put into stasis. When he emerges, Holly informs him everybody is dead. "They're all dead, Dave." So he's alone, except for Rimmer, or a hologram of him, and a creature called Cat. And he's 3,000,000 years from Earth, just because somebody (Rimmer) didn't seal a drive plate properly and a radiation leak vaporized the entire crew, except for Lister, who in stasis when the accident occurred, and his cat, who was safely concealed in the cargo hold.

So there you have it. Lister's 3 million years from earth, stuck with Rimmer and Cat. Eventually Kryten joins the team, and later on Kochanski (well, a Kochanski from a parallel universe) joins the team, and that's that. For anything else, you should probably watch the TV show.

Additional Information

Children: Lister finds out he has twin sons in Future Echoes named Jim (after Jim Becksely Speed) and Becksley (after Jim Becksley Speed) and has those twins in Parallel Universe. He is later told he has another set of twin sons in Psirens, also named Jim and Becksley. Finally, he has a third son (just one this time) in OUROBOROS. After actually finding out about how he fathered his kids, though, it tends to get a bit disturbing.

Inconsistencies: Lister had his appendix out twice (mentioned as having happened in Thanks for the Memory, and it is removed in Legion - update Last Human, the fourth novel, writes this off by explaining that "a freak of nature bequeathed him with two of the human anatomy's most useless organs" (paraphrased)). In the episode Balance of Power, it is revealed that Lister was never involved with Kochanski, but in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, Psirens and OUROBOROS, it is revealed they did have a past relationship. Go figure.


Highlights of Lister's adventures that not everybody knows about but should. If you're the kind of person that likes suprises, read the books and watch the TV show. However, if you're the kind of person who wants to know everything, just ROT13 to find out...
  • ...who Lister's parents are: Va Frevrf Frira, n Xevfgvar Xbpunafxv sebz n cnenyyry havirefr zrrgf n yvivat Qnir Yvfgre. Va ure havirefr, fur yvirq naq Qnir qvrq, ohg fur sryy va ybir jvgu ure Qnir naq jnagf uvf puvyq. Fb fur nfxf gur Qnir Yvfgre gung gur fubj vf nobhg sbe uvf "pbagevohgvba" fb gung fur pna chg vg na n grfg-ghor jvgu bar bs ure rttf, naq unir uvf onol. Nsgre gur onol vf obea, Yvfgre ernyvmrf jung ur unf gb qb. Ur unf gb chg gung onol va n obk, jevgr Bhebobebf ba vg naq chg vg haqre n cbby-gnoyr va Nvtohegu Nezf. Fb uvf cneragf ner uvzfrys naq Xbpunafxv.
  • ...the outcome of his "plan": Yvfgre arire znxrf vg onpx gb Svwv, naq ur arire trgf n png, ohg Vasvavgl Jrypbzrf Pnershy Qeviref bssref n qvssrerag bhgpbzr bs jura ur jnf zneebbarq ba gur vpr cynarg. Erq Qjnes arire svaqf uvz. Ur jnvgf sbe lrnef, ab fvta bs Erq Qjnes. Gur cynarg vf riraghnyyl jnezrq hc naq vg vf pbirerq jvgu tneontr. Ur riraghnyyl yrneaf gung vg vf cynarg Rnegu (ur yrneaf gur ynathntr bs gur tvnag pbpxebnpurf gung ribyirq sebz gur cerfrag qnl inevrgl). Fb ur frgf hc fubc. Erq Qjnes qbrf svaq uvz, ohg ur vf na byq zna, naq ur qvrf ba gur fuvc. Ubyyl ol abj unf ertnvarq uvf vagryyvtrapr naq univat jbexrq bhg gung vs qbar pbeerpgyl, ur pna fraq Yvfgre'f erznvaf vagb n oynpx ubyr naq cnff guebhtu gur fvathynevgl vagb bar bs fvk qvssrerag havirefrf, fcrpvsvpnyyl, gur bar ehaavat onpxjneqf. Yvfgre pbzrf onpx gb yvsr, unf n urneg nggnpx ba n fznyy (Rnegu) gbja fvqrjnyx naq gura tbrf ubzr (onpxjneqf) gb qvfpbire ur'yy or zneevrq naq tebjvat lbhatre jvgu uvf jvsr, Xevfgvar Xbpunafxv. Nsgre guvf, V pna'g rira gryy lbh jung unccraf -- lbh arrq gb xrrc jngpuvat gur frevrf naq ohl gur abiry Onpxjneqf, juvpu vf irel qvssvphyg gb trg n ubyq bs.
  • ...other notable accomplishments: Nsgre Ubyyl ertnvaf uvf vagryyvtrapr, Gnyxl-Gbnfgre nfxf uvz jub perngrq gur havirefr. Gur nafjre vf, bs pbhefr, Qnir Yvfgre, ohg Ubyyl bssref ab rkcynangvba bs ubj Yvfgre nppbzcyvfurq guvf. V oryvrir guvf unccrarq va gur svefg obbx ohg abg gur fubj. Gur rcvfbqr Onpx gb Ernyvgl fhttrfgf ur hfrq gur whzc yrnqf sebz Fgneoht, ohg gung jnfa'g npghnyyl ernyvgl. Hasbeghangryl, V qba'g erzrzore gur bgure obbxf jryy rabhtu gb erzrzore vs jr rire svaq gur nafjre gb gung cnegvphyne dhrfgvba. Gbb onq. Lbh pbhyq ernq gurz lbhefrys vs lbh'er ernyyl qlvat gb xabj.

Leis"ter, Lis"ter (lis"tər), n.

A spear armed with three or more prongs, for striking fish. [Scotland]


© Webster 1913

List"er (list"ər), n.

One who makes a list or roll.


© Webster 1913

Lis"ter (lis"tər), n.

Same as Leister.


© Webster 1913

List"er (?), n. [Cf. List a strip, border, prob. applied to the furrow or the ridge of earth along the furrow.]

A double-moldboard plow which throws a deep furrow, and at the same time plants and covers grain in the bottom of the furrow.


© Webster 1913

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