A swirly thing is a colloquiial term for a time/space rift, or a Spatial Anomaly They often pull protagonists into trouble or dump trouble into the laps of the protagonists.

Taken from Red Dwarf and the following exchange


Cat. Rimmer, Lister and Kryten - Veteran Space Explorers

Lister and Cat are in a Starbug (Red Dwarf's answer to the Runabout ) Looking for Rimmer, and see a rift

Cat: "Is that what I think it is?"

Lister (Looks at Cat): "Why? What do you think it is?"

Cat: "An orange swirly thing, in space!"


It doesn't do to be too specific about a Swirly Thing. It's mainly a vehicle to get characters and ships into places where logically they couldn't go.


Several examples exist in ST-OM and the Starbase 600 Game , where they serve just that specific purpose.



Entering the rift


Timeless 232

Janeway Time and Again

Will Shooting it Help? No, but you might as well, anyway.

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