Red Dwarf Review: “Cured” (Series XII, Episode 1)

 

A scene from the Red Dwarf episode
.,.this is less weird in context, guys.

“Selfie!” – Adolf Hitler. Um…

Airdate: 12 October 2017
Written By: Doug Naylor
Plot: While looking for new thrusters for Starbug, the Red Dwarf crew come across a base operated by America dedicated to curing evil. Stored there is Professor Telford, who seems to have dedicated his life to rescuing the world’s most infamous and insidious figures – Hitler, Stalin, Messilina, and Vlad the Impaler.

Review:

Well, feels like nothing changed, right?

As I mentioned in my preview, Series XI and XII were written and filmed in one go. This could’ve proven a dual-edged sword – the chances of burnout and a decline in quality go hand-in-hand with a general drive for a more consistent series, visually and in terms of script. In this regard, Series XII’s first episode – “Cured” – doesn’t feel too much different from Series XI’s first episode, “Twentica”.

Indeed, the two debuts are vaguely similar – using a science fiction trope, mixing the presence of America inside of it, and combining that with a bit of social commentary. Last time it was prohibition and the underground market. This time, it raises the question of whether evil is innate or a learned behavior.

So does it answer that question well? Or, at least, does it make me laugh? Continue reading

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Red Dwarf XII Release Date Stateside

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Worth noting ahead of time that Red Dwarf XII is due to be released on physical formats on November 21st.

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I bring this up because Red Dwarf XI was formally released to streaming services on November 8th, 2016 – the same day the DVD/Blu-Ray came out.

Now, I am aware that XII is somewhat different in one regard – streaming services. The series was released on BritBox as the episodes aired in the UK. Unfortunately, I did not subscribe to said streaming service, not because I’m not excited for the new series (I SO AM), but because for me, one streaming service is quite enough for me right now. (It’s going to cost about the same for two months of BritBox compared to buying the entire series and having it in perpetuity.)

Also, I put it off because I wanted to make a dent in my Steven Universe and Simpsons reviews. (And I had to do stuff for school and all that.) Make of that what you will.

Putting it simply, new Red Dwarf reviews will debut on this blog in December – in effect, a Christmas Spectacular Thing. Bookmark, subscribe, follow, yadda, yadda, yadda.

What’s Happening, Dudes?

 

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Taken from the Red Dwarf official website.

“Well, this is a turn-up, innit? You better boogie on over, and we can sort it out.

So, no hard feelings then?

Yes, Norman Lovett is coming back to Red Dwarf for Series XII, due out in the UK on 12 October! I dunno how they got him back, but they did it! From that image alone, he barely looks 18 years older than he did the last time we saw him, way back in Series VIII.

Now, the question (besides what episode he turns up in) remains… how will they use his character?

(Spoilers below the break.) Continue reading

Happy 29th, Red Dwarf!

The Boys are Back in Town!!!!

Twenty-nine years ago today, Red Dwarf made its debut on BBC Two.

It’s actually rather incredible that it even debut – according to the Red Dwarf website, production was almost killed off due to several strikes. Who, from the head honchos at the BBC, to Grant/Naylor, to Craig, Chris, Danny, and Norman, all the way to even the casual viewer, would’ve thought it would still be in production today? Continue reading

Red Dwarf Review: Series XI Wrap Up

“Our nomination for JMC Crew Of The Year is starting to look unlikely.” – Lister, summing up the whole of Red Dwarf in a nutshell.

Well, almost four months after its debut in Britain, and two months after it was released stateside, I have completed my look at Red Dwarf XI. Six episodes isn’t a lot when stacked against seasons of the other shows I’ve reviewed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

So, final thoughts on this season?

Simply put, it was rather good.

Continue reading

Red Dwarf Review: “Can of Worms” (Series XI, Episode 6)

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“How do I break this to you… you’re a moron!” – Rimmer, to the Cat after his date.

Oh, Rimmer. Go easy on him. Let me handle this. Cat, man, you’re a moron!” – Lister, for once, agreeing with Rimmer. Bring on the giant meteor.

Airdate: 27 October, 2016

Written By: Doug Naylor

Plot: While cutting across an asteroid belt to get back on course, Starbug winds up coming across a largely deserted ship. It’s crew – a mercenoid and a prisoner. After some confusion, the crew take out the mercenoid, and the prisoner is rescued. Said prisoner, Ankita, happens to be of the Cat’s species. Cat becomes smitten with the very similar prisoner – assuaging his own anxieties regarding his love life (or lack thereof) – and goes on a date with her.

Unfortunately for him, Ankita happens to be a Polymorph who intends to deposit her eggs into the Cat. Ergo, the end of the Cat’s first date results in him becoming pregnant – thus becoming the third person on board Red Dwarf to become pregnant, and the second male.

Review:

Well, here we are. The last episode of Series XI. Hard to believe that it’s been almost 4 years since I began looking at this silly little sci-fi show – one that is more than the sum of its parts. And, so far Series XI has been rather solid. There’ve been no truly spectacular episodes, but I would argue that a couple of episodes have been great, and the rest, so far, have been good.

So, will Series XI continue the trend of stable quality? Will it break my expectations and be one of the most spectacular episodes of the series? Or will XI putter to the end?

Well, let’s start my analysis with the fact that this episode focuses on the Cat.

Continue reading

Red Dwarf Review: “Krysis” (Series XI, Episode 5)

“Have you ever felt ‘I’ve wasted my life?” “You? Sure! Every single day!”  – Lister and the Cat, summing up a midlife crisis.

Airdate: 20 October, 2016
Written By: Doug Naylor
Plot: Kryten’s hit a rough patch in his duties aboard ship. The trio diagnose him with a midlife crisis – something that becomes readily apparent once Krytie dons a bright red shell (pictured above). To try and remind him of how far he’s come, the Boys from the Dwarf go to the Nova III, to analyze a similar mechanoid and see how he’s held up all alone… only to come across a mechanoid that has become a connoisseur of and participant in all the finest arts.

Review:

This episode should not work.

I mean, let’s face it – the plot here is pretty much the child of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Barely Beyond A Joke”. I disliked The Final Frontier, and “Beyond A Joke” is my second least favorite episode of the show (third if you count “Krytie TV” as an episode and not as an instrument of torture banned by the Geneva Convention). Point is – is the third time the charm for these plot threads on this blog?

Well, if you count the second half of Gravity Falls season 2, then for the most part, yes.

But what about the fourth time? Does it work then?

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?

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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.

Review:

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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Red Dwarf Review: “Give and Take” (Series XI, Episode 3)

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“I am now fluent in all the deceptive arts. I could work for FIFA!” – Kryten. Hey, that’s base level, Krytie. Manage a presidential campaign.

Airdate: October 2nd, 2016

Written By: Doug Naylor.

Plot: While scouting for a medical droid aboard an abandoned spaceship, Rimmer and Kryten come across what they suspect is the target droid. Lister and the Cat actually do come across said droid, who proceeds to perform malpractice in a fit of insanity. Rimmer and Kryten come to their defense and rescue them – although they destroy a pair of kidneys that were to go into Lister. With Lister’s kidneys removed, he needs to get the Cat to donate and for the rescued droid to rewrite the DNA. Unfortunately, that proves a tall order.

Review:

Hey, the Cat gets an episode! Sort of. Last time Lister and the Cat interacted, Lister learned about how Archimedes invented gravy after a bath fell on his head. What we saw there is their dynamic starting to take shape after largely being held off over the prior several series. This episode continues that trend – with Lister’s life in Cat’s hands. (Here’s hoping he had a will.) In fact, it’s probably my favorite of the season so far.

Continue reading