Originally Posted by Sausy Gibbon
That ending sounds horrible. I never felt like an ending where they returned to Earth would work. Lister has been changed so much by the journey he has been on it would be almost impossible for him to return to the way things were before. An ending I could see might involve them returning to a parrelel Earth, the crew dying, Lister getting back with Kochanski or the crew returning to Earth only to see it explode before their eyes, but I don't right for the show. I wonder if it was Rob and Grant's plan to have Lister stay on Red Dwarf for the remainder of his life, in Future Echoes the vision of the 70-80 year old Lister is still in his bunk. I never understood what Rimmer's motivations were for returning to Earth. What life would he have their?
I like your way of thinking regarding the end of the show but I agree that it still wouldn't work. Also, it's interesting that you mentioned bottle-cap-opening-armed Lister from the episode Future Echoes because it would imply that he was destined to remain lost in space for the remainder of his days. In fact, wouldn't it be cool if the final episode flashed forwards to show the crew as being old and accepting of their fate, to have a scene where Lister is lying on his bed arguing with Rimmer in the bunk room, only to stop arguing and remember the past and start responding to past Rimmer about "you want to know what happens to you Rimmer...". Old Rimmer calls Lister a goit just as he did in Future Echoes.
I don't see why Rimmer wouldn't want to return to Earth, he has probably fooled himself into thinking that he could be happy back home. Of course Rimmer would be miserable even in Heaven but eveyone needs a dream in life, a goal to aspire to. It's what keeps us going.