Red Dwarf Review, Series II Episode 4: Stasis Leak

Airdate: 27th September, 1988

Synopsis: The episode begins with a prequel, set before the crew was wiped out, where Rimmer is placed on 8 weeks paint duty for being a smeghead. While going back to his cabin, he finds himself as a hologram poking through the table.

In the present (3 million years in the future), while going through Kochanski’s personal things, Lister finds a photograph of the two of them getting married. Remembering something from the past, he reads Rimmer’s diary and finds an entry describing the table incident which Rimmer himself (in the diary entry) took to be an hallucination. Following directions from the diary, the gang head down to floor 16 and find a hidden stasis leak which transports them back to the past, a few month’s before the crew all died.

Because they can’t bring anybody back to their time (unless they want them turned into powder), Lister and Rimmer fight over who they should convince to go into one of the two stasis booths (Lister himself being sent into the other). Lister wants to save Kochanski and Rimmer obviously wants himself. (“One for the week, and one for Sunday best!”) While Rimmer goes back to convince himself, Lister and Cat find Kochanski at a hotel, but she is already married. Kochanski invites them in and Lister discovers… himself! Five years in the future (sorta), Lister found a way to go back into the past and marry Kochanski.

Rimmer attempts to convince himself to go into stasis, but his former self acts the same as he did before and believes it to be nothing more than a hallucination, ending up attacking Captain Hollister The present Lister and Cat return tho their past quarters to collect the present Rimmer and meet up with their future selves. Overwhelmed by the arrival of these duplicates, the past Rimmer snaps and yells for them to go away.

Review: Two reviews in one day? It’s a wonderful Friday!

After two brilliant episodes, we get a rather mild one. While Rimmer gets some character development (the Lemming Story), this episode relies more on, to quote Doctor Who, “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey stuff”. The humor in this episode is rather weaker than “Better Than Life”, although it is by far not the lowest the humor goes ever. The ending provides something that could be interpreted as an ending (“GO AWAY!”), but it is rather open ended.

It is also worth noting that Future Lister is a complete jerk to himself. He makes RIMMER look comparable. Seeing Lister as he is in this series being quite kind (comforting Rimmer in “Better than Life” and giving him eight months of his memory in “Thanks for the Memory”), this comes as a shock. On the flipside, the show also reminds us, after the sympathy inducing stories in BTL and TFTM, that Rimmer is still a jerk.

Not a bad episode. But still, not the best of the season.

Favorite Scene
: Lister reads Rimmer’s diary.

Score: 7.5

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