Red Dwarf Review: Series II Wrap Up

My reviews of individual episodes of Series II of Red Dwarf are done, so it is time to take a look back on the series as a whole.

Series I laid the foundation of the show. Series II laid the framework of the show.

Series II was quite an improvement over Series I. Series I tended to be more formulaic, revolving over the fact that Lister and Rimmer hated each other and were basically stuck together for eternity.

Series II, however, seemed to take a lot more risks with the setting. Starting with “Kryten”, the trio left the ship. The only episode that does not feature the crew leaving the ship 100% is “Queeg”. “Better Than Life” has the crew going into virtual reality, which is close enough to leaving the ship.

Science-fiction cliches was used, but all for the sake of parody. From virtual reality collapses, to androids, to parallel universes, almost everything in this series is played for total comedy.

The two greatest episodes of the season are those that delve into the main character’s back story. “Better Than Life” is one of my favorite episodes of the show because it is the first episode that managed to show just how screwed up Rimmer’s life was. “Thanks for the Memory” also makes you feel bad for the lonely, lonely Rimmer, alongside delving into Lister’s history. “Queeg” gives Holly more character development than he will ever get for the rest of the show’s history. “Stasis Leak” gives a focus onto Lister’s life before he was frozen in stasis. When all is said and done, the odd man out is the Cat, who is reduced to Plucky Comic Relief and utter fashion victim.

Probably the worst episode of the series is “Parallel Universe”, if you cut out the music video in the beginning. However, it still gets a 6, a passing score. With the video at the beginning of “Parallel Universe”, then the worst episode is “Stasis Leak” with a 7.5. The best episode is “Better Than Life”.

Overall, a brilliant second series.

Score: 8.33

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