Red Dwarf is stolen from the crew and they are forced to survive on Starbug. They go into deep sleep and are revived 200 years later when there is a chance to recapture the ship.
In order to gain more ground on Red Dwarf they try to go through an asteroid belt but find that it is inhabited by alien beings called Psirens who use mind control to lure their victims and then suck out their brains.
The crew stumble on an abandoned space station and board it hoping to get some supplies. A man named Legion appears and offers each of them everything they ever wanted in the world but only if they remain on the space station forever, making the Dwarfers suspect that Legion is not at all what he seems.
The gang is attacked by a simulant ship who upgrade Starbug with laser cannons and defensive shields and then force them to play a game of 'cat and mouse'. The crew decide not to flee but to stay and fight ,which surprises the simulants. Before their ship is crippled by Starbugs new offensive weapons, the simulants upload a killer virus into Starbug's navicomp. Kryten then transfers the virus to his CPU in an attempt to eradicate it. The gang watch on a virtual reality screen as Kryten's search for an antidote is manifested as a western setting where Kryten is a sheriff who has to fight the four horsemen of the Apocalypse - Death, War, Pestilence and Famine.
A Space Corps Law Enforcement Vessel chases Starbug and the crew make a crash landing on a GELF planet. They go in search of a vital ship part and come across a village who have the part but the price is for Lister to marry the chief's daughter. Lister reluctantly does so but on his wedding night, does a runner back to Starbug. The chief takes this as an insult and releases his pet Emohawk, a smaller polymorph (see Polymorph) on them. The Emohawk hides on Starbug and attacks Rimmer and Cat, taking Rimmer's bitterness and the Cat's cool; turning them into Ace Rimmer (see Dimension Jump) and Dwayne Dibbley (see Back to Reality).
Ace, with his new personality, decides to save the day and locks Kryten and Lister in the hold so they will be safe while he and Dwayne go after the Emohawk. They eventually track it down and freeze it, forcing it to release their emotions and turning them back to normal.
The gang come across the simulant ship they nearly destroyed in Gunmen of the Apocalypse and decide to board the ship and loot it for supplies despite the fact that a loud noise would cause it to disintegrate. They find a time and matter transporter on board and take it with them. One of the simulants is still alive and attacks them. Rimmer, always the brave, jumps in an escape pod but when it releases the ship begins to fall apart. The rest of the crew use the transporter to get back to Starbug and track the pod which is heading down to a planet. Unfortunately, the pod goes through a worm hole on its way causing Rimmer to be on a completely different time stream than Starbug. When he reaches the planet, Rimmer uses technology from the pod to create a woman in his image, but no matter how many times he tries all he can do is clone himself. When Starbug reaches the planet on the normal time stream, 600 years have passed on the planet and the Rimmer clones have taken over, banishing the original Rimmer to a dungeon. The others are captured and also thrown in the dungeon because they are 'different'. They find their Rimmer and use the teleporter to escape but end up on Starbug 2 weeks in the future where they learn that something terrible has happened to Lister.....
Starbug flys through a bunge of unreality pockets, and eventually find another Starbug from 15 years into the future.