Well, after watching the embarrassment to comedy called Season 23 of The Simpsons, I must say, I am SO glad to go back to the boys from the Dwarf.
Series V of Red Dwarf was pivotal in terms of production. Why?
First off, producer and director Ed Bye packed his bags and quit, going to work on The Full Wax (starring Bye’s wife, Ruby Wax. (Side note: Wax played Blaze Falconburger in “Timeslides” from Series III._ Juliet May was brought on board as Director. Her previous experience included Top of the Pops (Americans, think American Bandstand, Solid Gold, and Soul Train rolled into a British package) and Heil Honey, I’m Home (a dom-com… about Adolf Hitler. Yes, that happened.) However, she couldn’t work with the sci-fi confines of the show, and left four episodes in. Hillary Jones also became producer, and stayed on during series V.
At the same time, Grant/Naylor decided to focus more on story compared to humor. However, the troubles with May caused two episodes, “Quarantine” and “Back to Reality”, to be produced in a hurry.
The budget was stretched to the limit. Remember, we’re dealing with a show on the BBC during the John Major era. Major (and his predecessor, Margaret Thatcher) took something of a meat cleaver to the BBC budget. Red Dwarf did not have a whole lot of wiggle room. Also, the original model for the Red Dwarf broke, so a new model had to be constructed.
Lastly, Grant/Naylor went to NBC in America to produce Red Dwarf USA… which never went past it’s two pilots.
Overall, production was a mess. And to top it all off…
… not only did Series V top the viewership on BBC Two, but Series V is now considered to be the best series. One episode in particular is considered to be the best of Red Dwarf
So, let’s go down the episode list!
- Holoship: The crew of the Dwarf encounter a hologramatic ship, the Enlightment. Rimmer manages to get into the running to become a new face on the ship.
- The Inquisitor: The eponymous character of the episode declares himself judge, jury, and executioner of the universe… and is taking aim at the boys from the Dwarf.
- Terrorform: Rimmer is kidnapped, and winds up on a psy-moon, where his inner demons attack him.
- Quarantine: Rimmer contacts a holo-virus, and is placed in Quarantine. (Duh). He goes insane, sending the crew to WOO. (Let me tell you, WOO ain’t fun).
- Demons and Angels: The Dwarf is split in two, alongside the cast and crew. One side is a peaceful Mary-Suetopia where love is practiced. The other side represents some of the most sickening humanity ever descended.
- Back to Reality: The crew hit the despair squid, die, and realise that… it’s too awesome to reveal right now. Just remember the name “Duane Dibbley”.