Red Dwarf Review: Series IV Preview

There’s not a whole lot to talk about, so this will be relatively brief.

Ah, Series IV. Sweet, sweet series IV. At the same time, poor, poor series IV.

Why poor? Well, it is sandwiched between the game-changing series III and the near-universally beloved Series V, so it often gets overlooked.

Why sweet? Well, this is a great series. The characters are developed in such a wonderful fashion that they become more like your best friends. Kryten gets more screen time in this series, getting two episodes focused on him. The episode takes three opportunities to delve into the character and psyche of Arnold Rimmer. This series also took more risks than series III, such as robots turning into humans, alternate timelines, and kooky episodes.

Admittedly, this episode does hold some retcons. Instead of Lister sharing a mere 173 words with Kochanski, Lister now had a brief relationship with her. The number of crew originally on the ship (before the accident) was increased by 1000. And the first 2/3rds of the pilot episode now belongs to the 23rd century (again, before the accident). I’m a bit of a continuity freak, but these retcons can be excused, as it does not hurt the show at all.

Production-wise, this series was also the first series not predominantly filmed in Manchester, as production shifted to London.

The epic “Dimension Jump” was originally scheduled to air to kick off the series with a bang!

And then Iraq invaded Kuwait, and America and Britain got involved. Fearing for sensitivity, “Dimension Jump” and the anti-war “Meltdown” were pushed back to close out the series.

In fact, there was good timing, since “Camille” would wind up going out on Valentine’s Day.

Like always, let’s take a quick look at what we have in store.

Camille: Kryten, who is trying to master the art of lying from Lister, winds up finding a female mechanoid on a crashed ship, and Kryten falls in love with her. However, when Rimmer sees her, he sees her as a female hologram. When LISTER sees her, he sees her as the last female alive. Why is that? Long story.

DNA: While analyzing a drifting spaceship, the crew find a DNA modifier. While fiddling around with it, Kryten becomes a human. Hilarity ensues.

Justice: The crew visit a high-tech prison called Justice World. In it, Rimmer is analyzed, and charged with the death all but one of the crew of the Dwarf. Not helping for Rimmer is his defense consul.

White Hole: Holly’s computer senility is reversed. However, thanks to a miscalculation, she has to shut herself off to preserve the crew’s life. Not helping is the crew having to deal with a reverse black hole- the titular White Hole.

Dimension Jump: In a parallel universe, Arnold “Ace” Rimmer is alive, a test pilot in the Space Corps, handsome, and respected. Ace is given the chance to test a dimension-ho er, and happens to come across an Arnold Rimmer that is NONE of those things. I.E., OUR Rimmer.

Meltdown: While testing a device that can send the crew to a planet with a breathable atmosphere, they wind up meeting Wax-Droids. The Wax-Droids happen to be in a battle of good versus evil.

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