Having finished my review of Red Dwarf I, I may as well give a glance at the first series as a whole.
For starters, the show feels like it is missing something, especially if you watch an episode from Series III on. The pacing just feels off. The show is still funny, but it feels less full. The sets feel depressing, with ocean grey/military grey being the color of choice.
And the first three episodes were pretty weak. “Balance of Power” is the worst episode of the Grant/Naylor Era by far, because of the weak amount of humor. However, it does give some development to the arc as a whole. “Future Echoes” itself is pretty weak on the humor, but it does add in the Sci-Fi elements. “The End”, however, was pretty funny, and a good intro to the franchise.
The show really takes off with “Waiting for God”, one of the most underrated episodes ever. The character development is sublime, the take on religion is hilarious, and it feels like a Red Dwarf episode. “Confidence and Paranoia” gives us a great performance by Craig Ferguson of “Late Late Show” fame, even if the plot is a bit thin. And “Me2”, being the episode which showed Red Dwarf clearing orbit, gives us a deep look in the disturbed psyche of Arnold J Rimmer.
The interaction between Lister and Rimmer does get a tad bit old, but it is still very funny to see these complete opposites be trapped for the rest of eternity. The cat, being the most selfish character in existence, is always hilarious. You have to love Holly’s deadpan humor!
Ultimately, despite being weak in some spots, Red Dwarf I is a good indicator that this show was going somewhere.
Average series score: 7