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Villains Wiki
Villains Wiki

The name's Death. And these here're my brothers. Brother War, Brother Famine and Brother Pestilence.
~ Death introducing his brothers.
We're gonna cut you up so small the worms aren't even going to have to chew.
~ Death threatening Arnold Rimmer.

The Apocalypse Boys are the main antagonists from the Red Dwarf episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" and minor villains from the novel Backwards. They are four cowboy brothers (Death is their father in the novel) who extend fear and anxiety into hearts of wild west citizens. In real world, they are just manifestations of the Armageddon Virus in Kryten's dream.


TV series

When there is the Armageddon Virus in Starbug, Kryten gives it to himself in order to work on an antidote program. He starts dreaming that he is an always drunk sheriff of a small town, Existence, in the wild west. The virus is shown in his dream as four Apocalypse Boys: Death, War, Famine and Pestilence, who are primary villains to Kryten.

The Apocalypse Boys come to the town to find Kryten. At first, he tries to be nice to them, but they fire their weapons at his feet, making him dance about. They then order him to leave in one hour, causing weak Kryten is about give up his fight with the virus.

To help their friend, Lister, Rimmer and the Cat enter the dream as computer game characters. When the Apocalypse Boys, the four heroes are prepared to face them. However, Death realizes what is going on, raises his hand and makes lighting. The crew doesn't think it is important, but the opposite is true: Death's lighting causes that the virus gets into the game and erases all special skills of its characters.

Rimmer, confident by his fist fighting skills, challenges War to a one-on-one battle. They both are about to lift off the cross bar from a hitching post, but Rimmer fails. Unfortunately for him, War successes and starts hitting Rimmer over his head. Meanwhile, Lister discovers they lost their skills and warns the others. Helpless Rimmer try to exit the game by clapping his hands, only to leearn he lost also this skill. Luckily, Lister manages to get his helmet off and does the same with the Cat's. Rimmer suddenly faces the four Apocalypse Boys all alone who are about to stab him with knives. He acts brave inconclusive in front of them, but is be saved by Lister before they can attack him.

The Apocalypse Boys then turn to Kryten, only to learn he has just finished his antidote. They 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.


The role of the Apocalypse Boys is similar, but much bigger in the novel Backwards.

After the Boys (except Death who doesn't appear till the end) ask Sheriff Carton (aka Kryten) to leave the town before the midnight, they start taking control over Existence. War tries to blow up the bank, only to be stopped by Rimmer and the Cat. War then informs his brothers and father Death about the Red Dwarf crew and they spear the virus into the game the crew is using,

Pestilence then becomes the new town doctor and is about to bury Kryten's control processor. Rimmer challenges him to a one-on-one battle, but is heavily beaten as the crew's special skills were erased. The Cat even shoots himself when he wants to help. Meanwhile, Famine enters the prison and declares himself a new sheriff. Lister throws a knife on him, only to cut off his own pointer finger which is eaten by Famine.

Till the midnight, the heavily injured crew cures themselves in the prison while Carton tries to figure out what his revolvers and doves on them mean. At twelve o'clock, all four Apocalypse Boys enter the town. The crew tries to stop them until Carton completes an antidote program against the virus. Although the crew can't die in the game, the Apocalypse Boys injure them heavily: Lister is decapitated, the Cat is shot between the eyes and Rimmer melts down.

Suddenly, Carton walks out to comfort the Apocalypse Boys. They try to shoot him dead, but he survives and throws his revolvers which changes on doves, killing the Boys.

In opposite of the TV series, the antidote program is able only to destroy the virus in the Starbug in the novel. When Lister and the Cat leave the game, they are unharmed in the safe Starbug, but Kryten and Rimmer (the virus hit his holo-bee) are dead due the virus and stopping the virus.