Red Dwarf Review: “Timewave” (Series XII, Episode 3)

Merry Christmas, and welcome to the climax of our Christmas Spectacular Thing! And it is a climax this year, as we get ready to delve into one of the most critiqued Red Dwarf episodes of the Dave era, “Timewave!”

Red Dwarf Timewave

“Suggest you engage “skedaddle” mode!” – Kryten. Hey, we were warned!

Airdate: 26 October, 2017

Written By: Doug Naylor

Plot: The crew try and come to the rescue of the SS Enconium, a ship that is floating towards the titular timewave. Simple enough, right? Well, on the Enconium, criticism is illegal, punishable by a lengthy jail sentence. Thus, the crew are incompetent, dress like performance artists, and are smug morons.


I am of the opinion that Red Dwarf’s Dave era has been quite a success so far. Sure, the episodes haven’t really reached the quality peaks of Series III-V (although they have come somewhat close on occasion), but honestly, I don’t expect another “Back to Reality” or “Dimension Jump”. And I’m weirdly cool with that.

Besides, for the most part, the episodes have been funny, our characters have been relatable (in contrast to VIII), the drama and comedy are mixed appropriately (contrast to VII), and the story construction has largely remained good. Nothing mind-blowing, like the aforementioned “Back to Reality” or “The Inquisitor”, but for the most part, the show has produced a consistently enjoyable output since returning from the decade-long hiatus.

Unfortunately, the further you go, the higher your chance of slipping up and misfiring. Which is what brings us to Series XII’s third episode, “Timewave”. In the interest of not burying the lede… it’s a bad episode.

How bad is it? The more I think about it, the less I have to wonder “is it watchable” and the more I have to question “is it a contender for the worst Red Dwarf episode ever?” Oh, yes. As far as I’m concerned, this episode could give “Duct Soup”, “Beyond A Joke”, “Back in the Red”, “Pete”, and even freaking “Krytie TV” a run for their money in the disaster department.

The beautiful irony here, in an episode that I consider a disaster on as many levels as possible? This episode’s big topic is “criticism”. Continue reading


Red Dwarf Review: “Officer Rimmer” (Series XI, Episode 4)

Merry Christmas, everybody! The reviews of Series XI, I guess, will serve as my Christmas Spectacular Thing. It’s gonna go into January (I think), but given that it feels like stores have begun selling Christmas goods in August, what’s the problem with going a few extra days?

A first lieutenant must keep his priorities in order, prepare for any sort of danger. Truly, Rimmer is the MacArthur of his fleet.

“Things are about to get a whole lot more Rimmery!” – Rimmer.

Airdate: October 9th, 2016
Written By: Doug Naylor
Plot: As the title suggests, Rimmer becomes an officer. He does so by saving a JMC officer that was printed out by a 3D printer. After getting this promotion, he uses the printer to make several clones. Unfortunately, like real-life printers, this one encounters some errors… a few of which are deadly.


The idea of cloning somebody isn’t necessarily a complex idea. How this episode deals with it, though, is by analyzing the style of DNA reproduction by making temporary copies in a printer. It’s rather horrifying, especially given that the printer is connected to a network of individuals whose genomes are available for anyone to use, regardless of their intent.

Red Dwarf, like most sci-fi tropes it takes on, puts a comedic spin on it by tying it to one of the main plot threads present in the show – Rimmer’s utter failure to reach what he feels is the next class level.

On that note, anybody remember Series VIII’s “Only the Good”?

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Movie Review: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

“The battle for galactic peace has begun…” (Screencap from Wikipedia, poster by John Alvin.)

Premiere: December 6th, 1991

Synopsis: The moon that provides the Klingon Empire’s energy suffers a major disaster, releasing ozone onto the planet. This potentially condemns the empire to a maximum of fifty years, should the planet not reign in it’s military expenditures. The Federation is ready to broker a treaty between them and the empire, and sends Captain James T Kirk and the Enterprise out to make a truce. Thing is, Kirk doesn’t trust the Klingons – something about them stabbing his son and wrecking his old ship doesn’t endear them to him.

Just after a series of awkward talks between the Klingon Ambassadors and the Enterprise (appointed ambassadors), the latter ship fires on the former’s ship, killing the Klingon Chancellor. With no knowledge of who did it, Kirk and Dr. McCoy stand trial and face life in prison, and the two forces appear on the brink of war.

Review: Well, it took far longer than I expected (again, my apologies), but here we are. The last movie solely based off of Star Trek: The Original Series, and the last film produced during Gene Roddenberry’s lifetime (he died a month and a half before the premiere, but got an advance screening two days before he died).

After the utter disaster that was Star Trek V, nobody was sure what to do with Star Trek VI. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was the franchise’s 25th anniversary, and that TNG had done alright in the ratings so far, Paramount probably would’ve sunk Star Trek into history. After waffling around as to what the plot would be, the end result is actually a genuinely moving film – an arguably overlooked classic in the Trek canon.

(Warning: spoilers. Proceed at your own peril. Or disappointment. Hey, it’s a movie.)
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Not Another Top (X) List: Top 11 Best Episodes of Red Dwarf (So Far)

Merry Christmas, and welcome back (again) to…

At the beginning of our Christmas Spectacular Thing, we took a look at the top 8-ish worst episodes of Red Dwarf. By the end, the questions you were asking were probably…
  1. “Why the hell did you not go completely mad?”
  2. “Why look at the bad of this show?”
  3. “Why was Red Dwarf still your favorite show, even after you reviewed this tripe?”

To all three of those questions, I present this list. You see, when Red Dwarf was at its lowest, during the doldrums of Series VII and VIII, I thought back and actually asked myself these questions.

The thing is that, even with those 16 maligned episodes in Series VII and VIII, and with the more lukewarm material that came afterward, 35 of the first 36 episodes of Red Dwarf were some fantastic television. At worst, those episodes were a bit off, but not too bad. On average, those episodes were some funny, somewhat deep television. At its best? Simply put, at its best, Red Dwarf is some of the best television I’ve ever seen.

Where else could you see an odious failure of a man revealed to be a man with neuroses, a man held back by the worst that life had to offer? Where else did a seemingly one-dimensional fashionista have some of the best dexterity in the history of TV? Where else could one see a loopy computer pull the occasional trick up his sleeve? Where else could a subservient robot use his order to manipulate the system, and almost crack his programming due to the surroundings he faced every day. And where else could a man who seem to be satisfied with the simpler things in life, an utterly unmotivated slob, actually hold deep-seated values, and coincide the negative side of his id with actions that make him one of the kindest people in fiction?

And what other show would pack it all in with comedy that hits both ends of the scale? Jokes about modern pop culture and sex flow into jokes about historical figures that few may have even known about.

That’s why Red Dwarf is so brilliant. Through the doldrums, I never forgot about the brilliance of the best episodes.

I picked out 11 episodes that I feel are required viewing for any fan of Red Dwarf. OK, these are mainly my favorites, but you get the idea. I was originally going to do 10, but I realized that would exclude an episode that I feel needs to be on the list. These episodes are the best that Grant/Naylor have to offer. The highest parts of the list are some of the best TV I’ve ever seen.

Now, as with my “Worst Episodes” list, my opinions may have changed since I reviewed them, albeit not by too much.

So, here we are…


Not Another Top (X) List: Ranking the Series of Red Dwarf (So Far)

Hello, and welcome to…

Last time, we took a look at the 8 worst episodes in the history of Red Dwarf, plus one that surpassed the 8 so far in badness that it ranked under the eight (know what I’m saying?) Since I expect the last list to debut on Christmas, I have decided to bridge the “bad” with the “good” by ranking every series of Red Dwarf so far, from worst to best. I think the start of the list is pretty predictable- it’s the rest of the series that might throw a curveball or two.

In addition, I have decided to add the “worst episode” and “best episode” from the season. Here’s the deal- the best episode from the best season might not (not necessarily “won’t”) make it to #1 on the “top episodes” list. Likewise, a “best episode” from a lower-ranked series might make it to #1 on the “top episodes list”.

Oh, and none of the DVD covers featured here belong to me.

Enough stalling… let’s begin!

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Not Another Top (X) List: Top 8-ish Worst Episodes of Red Dwarf (So Far)

Note to self: invest in Photoshop!

Hello, and welcome to another edition of….


Oh, and it’s December! Time for our…


Over the past two years, I took a look at Red Dwarf. I’ve seen the highs, I’ve seen the lows. I’ve seen the best, I’ve seen the worst. I’ve seen Duane Dibbley and the Polymorph. I saw Krytie TV and the Dinosaur. I’ve watched the characters evolve, devolve, and everything in between.

Now, until Series XI premieres (or until I get around to re-reviewing episodes), it’s the end of the road for our look at Red Dwarf.

When Red Dwarf was good, it was awesome. Its characters, its plots, it’s humor were unparalleled in British Comedy, in science-fiction, in TV. The construction of a solid majority of the episodes is awesome, and quite a few episodes are perfection.

Yet, to say it’s not perfect would be an understatement. The bad episodes of Red Dwarf ranged from duff episodes to some of the worst TV I’ve ever watched. Now, debate can range on if and when Red Dwarf went down the tubes, if and when it recovered, and if and when the show’s legacy was tarnished by the weaker seasons.

Still, I feel fit to put in my top examples on when Red Dwarf failed to meet the high standards set by the cream of the crop… of if it just failed, period.

Now, a disclosure: this is not in the order that I graded them, nor could the episode that I may have noted was the worst episode ever at the time of review make it to #1 on this list. This is purely on reflection. My opinions may have changed since I originally reviewed these episodes, albeit only slightly.

Oh, and stories=episodes.

Ladies and gentlemen, X=8. After the jump…


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My Christmas Gift to You!

Well, it’s December! That means two things:

  • It’s the end of Matt Smith’s run on Doctor Who. Sorry.
  • It’s CHRISTMAS!!!! Or, for those Politically Correct types:
Image stolen from the Political Correctness Gone Mad page on TV Tropes. My apologies to TV Tropes.

It’s the season of giving, to reunite with family, to listen to nonstop Christmas music on the radio (which probably started on Halloween), to stuff yourself with food, to go to church/synagogue/mosque/etc., and for all of those TV shows to air cheesy specials from past and present!

Given that this is the blog’s first Christmas, I’d figure that the best type of celebration involves one where you watch me go insane. Therefore, for this very first “Geek Zone Christmas Spectacular Celebration Thing”, we will be taking a look at….

…wait for it…

… Season 23 of The Simpsons. No, that’s not a typo.

Season 23 of The Simpsons is probably the worst season in the history of the show. Sure, Season 11 ain’t going to win any golden prizes, and most of anything past season 9 is subpar, but I will give most of those seasons credit: up until season 20, those seasons had traces of nostalgia in them. I got into the show at season 16, and enjoyed watching until sometime into season 21. Even after that, I kept watching into season 23, although I got less concerned if I missed an episode or two.

Season 23 has none of that. It was partly insane, partly hipster-esque, tried to be relevant when it wasn’t, took the easy way out, showed a world of sunshine and rainbows when the classic era would’ve showed a world gone mad, ect. The end result was, for the most part, either insane or boring. At the end of the season, after watching the finale, I decided that the show was too far gone to continue watching on a regular basis. While I HAVE watched episodes since (on occasion), I was much more active in deciding not to watch the show. (I have watched season 25, sort of as a time killer, and from what I have seen, it is marginally better. Marginally.)

Watching season 23 as a whole would drive me insane, so I have decided to pick the three most infamous episodes of the season. I might throw in a bonus episode, the one good episode of the season, but don’t count on it.