Red Dwarf review

Red Dwarf continues hurtling through deep space and comes across a broken-down space station being assaulted by asteroids. The crew disembark, with Lister and the Cat being attacked by a medical robot. Lister, down two kidneys, wakes up and finds out his dilemma. The only flesh-and-blood in the crew is the Cat, and he has to either ask him for a kidney or go back in time and retrieve his own.

This episode, like most episodes, wasn’t too joke-heavy, and what there were were mostly quite funny (the crew referring to Rimmer as “Captain Bollocks” at the beginning is a standout). However, Kryten made a joke about FIFA’s corruption halfway through, which while funny, seemed very out of place and character and would serve to date this episode like the primitive computing technology used in the early series (although these have a certain charm).

The plotline about Kryten and Rimmer mistaking a snack robot for the actual medibot was certainly original, but even for a show whose protagonist is obsessed with food and lager it seems a bit uncreative to have another plot involving a vending machine just one series on from the last. There were plenty of loose ends which were never tied up- the asteroids weren’t mentioned after the beginning (even though said mention was about how they had five hours to get out of the station before it was completely destroyed, with the timeframe likely being more than five hours). There was also no resolution to the subplot of Kryten having formatting issues, which spawned the above “Captain Bollocks” scene. Even with multiple subplots the show needed some padding, and it came in the scene where Rimmer tells Snacky (still believing sem to be the medibot) all his problems. Again, while mostly humorous, this had no relation to the plot whatsoever and was unnecessary.

The final gripe pertains to the main plot and deserves its own paragraph. The time mechanic has been done before and better. If Lister purpotedly had his kidneys removed BEFORE the event of the episode, why did the medibot have a jar full of them? It doesn’t look like we’re going to get a Part 2 where the kidneys are revealed to be Cat’s (despite Kryten having a lapse of memory and teasing this). And why grab the kidneys from the past Lister back on Red Dwarf? They could have snuck into the medibot’s operating theatre and taken the jar of kidneys without it noticing.

The episode was funny like most Dwarfs, but there were so many loose ends that would require a Part 2 that probably isn’t coming to be tied up. Some filler that would be better off on the cutting room floor as well.

I’d give it a 2/5. Nothing to raise my JMC Leopard to and about as weak.

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