After Rimmer’s reunion with his long-lost brother Howard last week, Red Dwarf X continues with the theme of family and ambition, as Lister reveals his annual Father’s Day tradition, which considering he is his own Dad, makes for some slightly confusing scenes. But similar story arcs aside, this episode, while witty in places, lacks some of the Red Dwarf charm that we’ve come to know and love.
After stumbling across a derelict ship, Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and Rimmer (Chris Barrie) manage to salvage and install a new ship computer, Pree (Rebecca Blackstone). But working with their new computer soon proves to be more difficult than either of them anticipated, and while they attempt to work with her, Lister finds out that a tooth cavity, Father’s Day, paternal disappointment and unlimited supplies of Gelf hooch make for interesting, if slightly unsuitable bedfellows.
While it has been some time since Red Dwarf had a computer, the inclusion of Pree in this episode is just one of a number of aspects that harks back to the first ever series in 1988, with talking vending machines, brainless garbage disposal units and overly helpful medical bots.
However, for all the nods to the past, Cat (Danny John-Jules) appears only fleetingly, and some jokes, such as a recurring piece about whether the term Chinese Whispers is racist or not, are somewhat predictable and old-fashioned.
Nevertheless, while some jokes aren’t quite up to the usual Red Dwarf standard, this episode does contain a few sparks or originality and that signature cheeky and surprising Red Dwarf intelligence and wit. A bit more thought-provoking than the episode that preceded it, the second episode of Red Dwarf’s new series is ultimately a slightly mixed but entertaining affair that relies a little too much on clichés and slightly worn humour.
Aired at 9pm on Thursday 11th October 2012 on Dave.
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