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.

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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.

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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 midlfie 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 – it’s plot 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?

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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)

“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.

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Red Dwarf Review: “Samsara” (Series XI, Episode 2)

Lister’s hair is not food. Repeat – Lister’s hair is not food.

“They’re dead!” “Hey, the medical reports aren’t in yet. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions.” – Rimmer and the Cat, discussing the bodies of Col. Green and Prof. Barker. Second time Rimmer’s introduced himself as a captain to dead people, by the way.

Airdate: 29 September, 2016

Written By: Doug Naylor.

Plot: The crew investigate a ship that crashed on an oceanic planet, as well as a pod that contains two deceased (read, dissolved) crew members. On that ship, they discover that the Samsara contains a karma drive – one which praises virtues and punishes callousness. The four split up – Lister has to deal with the Cat, while Rimmer and Kryten team up.

While this is happening, we learn more about the dynamic duo, who were locked in an affair with each other… and who’s reaction to getting caught may have damned the ship.

Review:

My thoughts about “Twentica” was that it was a rather solid opener to the series. While not ranking among my top 10 episodes of the show, it still managed to please me for 30 minutes. It was rather unique, but more of a way to establish something of a tonal shift. “Samsara” takes the tonal shift a bit further – rotating between two stories, past and present. Does it work? Well, let’s take another analysis at this.

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