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Red Dwarf Review

 

Red Dwarf Review

 

So what is it?

 

  Red Dwarf began airing on BBC 2 on February 15, 1988. Like most good BBC shows that made it to America without a remake, Red Dwarf was only shown on PBS (Public Broadcast Stations).

 

Red Dwarf

 

So what is it?

 

  The show opens with some very somber music, and a pullback shot of the Jupiter Mining Corporation's ship Red Dwarf.

 

Holly from Red Dwarf

 

  This is an S.O.S. distress call from the mining ship Red Dwarf, the crew are dead, killed by a radiation leak. The only survivors were Dave Lister, who was in suspended animation during the disaster, and his pregnant cat who was safely sealed in the hull. Revived three million years later, Lister's only companions are a life form who evolved from his cat, and Arnold Rimmer, a hologram simulation of one of the dead crew.

 

   Believe it or not this is the premise for one of the funniest shows to ever air on television. While most science fiction shows based around a starship focus on the competent high ranking officers, pilots, and soldiers aboard, Red Dwarf was the antithesis of this model, and killed off all these types of characters before the end of the very first episode, fittingly titled The End.

 

  The great thing about Red Dwarf is that even though it parodied many other shows and movies, its comedy was done with intelligence, and the science and laws behind how the Red Dwarf universe worked were treated fairly well, most of the time... and unlike most shows the characters truly evolved as time went by.

 

  Red dwarf is far from perfect and those who nitpick at continuity, will be driven slowly insane as the show progresses over the course of its eight seasons. Rules of how the universe works are changed and individual character history is rewritten several times. The other detraction for the series is the use of laugh tracks in the show that have not aged as well as the show itself.

 

  In the beginning the surviving crew is made up of the last surviving human being Dave Lister (Craig Charles), his dead and barely higher ranked holographic roommate Arnold J Rimmer (Chris Barrie), a life form that evolved from his pregnant cat over the last three million years named Cat (Danny John-Jules), Holly (Norman Lovett) the ships computer with an IQ of 6000 that has gone senile from being alone for three million years, two little non talking robots known as the scutters, and a very small part played by a talking toaster.

 

Red Dwarf Ship and Crew Montage

Where do they get those wonderful toys! 

 

  Later on the ships computer has a sex change and the role of Holly is taken over by Hattie Hayridge (eventually reverting back to Norman Lovett toward the end of the red dwarf series). Along with the addition of a service mechanoid named Kryten (David Ross for one episode and then by Robert Llewellyn afterwards), and ships navigator Kristine Kochanski (played by Clare Grogan before the disaster and by Chloe Annett beginning with series VII).

 

Red Dwarf Montage

 

  The Red Dwarf crew are like a dysfunctional family who stay together because of a warped sense of friendship and because they know no other way to live. A lot of fans have mixed feelings about the way the show evolved and changed styles from season to season, but change is what helped to keep the show fresh, and was inevitable with the long periods between the various series productions.

 

  The dilemas and moral choices that the crew face are always given a Red Dwarf twist and will leave you with a smile even if they are dealing with a very dark matter.

 

  A great cast of actors and great writing, along with being the oddity that is a science fiction comedy rolled up in one. Make sure to catch Red Dwarf if you have never had the pleasure it will be well worth your time.

 

Red Dwarf Crew

 

  Red Dwarf even spawned its own role playing game were you could create entirely new characters to play out stories in alternate Red Dwarf universes. A nice change of pace for those who may be a little burned out on the typical fantasy role playing game, or serious hard science fiction role playing game like Traveler.

 

Red Dwarf RPG

 

  Red Dwarf can still be seen around the world in reruns on various stations, but you can also get season 1-8 in a DVD boxed set or individually.

 

Red Dwarf Boxed Set

 

Episode List

 

Season 1 (February 15, 1988-March 21, 1988)

 The End

 Future Echoes

 Balance of Power

 Waiting for God

 Confidence and Paranoia

 Me2

 

Season 2 (September 6, 1988-October 11, 1988)

 Kryten

 Better Than Life

 Thanks for the Memory

 Stasis Leak

 Queeg

 Parallel Universe

 

Season 3 (November 14, 1989-December 19, 1989)

Backwards

Marooned

Polymorph

Bodyswap

Timeslides

The Last Day

 

Season 4 (February 14, 1991-March 21, 1991)

 Camille

 DNA

 Justice

 White Hole

 Dimension Jump

 Meltdown

 

Season 5 (February 20, 1992-March 26, 1992)

 Holoship

 The Inquisitor

 Terrorform

 Quarantine

 Demons and Angels

 Back to Reality

 

Season 6 (October 7, 1993-November 11, 1993)

Psirens

Legion

Gunmen of the Apocalypse

Polymorph II

Rimmerworld

Out of Time

 

Season 7 (January 17, 1997-March 7 1997)

 Tikka to Ride

 Stoke me a Clipper

 Ourboros

 Duct Soup

 Blue

 Beyond a Joke

 Epdieme

 Nanarchy

 

Season 8 (February 19, 1999-April 5, 1999)

Back in the Red: Part 1

Back in the Red: Part 2

Cassandra

Krytie TV

Pete: Part 1

Pete: Part 2

Only the Good

 

Red Dwarf Special: Back to Earth 1-3 (April 10, 2009-April 12,2009)

 

  As you can see by the timeline the BBC has a crazy production schedule, be happy when you get at least 12-13 episodes of your favorite show a year, it could be worse.

 

Final Verdict: Red Dwarf  9/10

  ~Professor

 

Update it has been announced that do to the success of the Red Dwarf special Back to Earth, the BBC has green lighted a brand new season of Red Dwarf.

 

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