Red Dwarf – Twentica (Series 11 Episode 1)
Nearly four years since Red Dwarf last hit our screens, we finally get our fantastic foursome back for another lot of adventures. The third series on Dave (eleventh in total) starts with the guys in Starbug as they are about to set out on another adventure. Facing against the simulants, the crew are flung into a mission to save the very fabric of time. From the very beginning of the episode, we get a good number of laughs which fill the 28-minute episode. ‘Twentica’ wastes no time getting into the action as we get a quick introduction to our friends from the past three decades. The show has always made itself resourceful on a more limited budget and one thing I do like is the mix of good and bad effects (yes some of the effects are a little tacky, but it adds to the charm).
The one thing that has always kept us hooked to this show is the stars. Chris Barrie continues to be the funny yet bumbling Rimmer and Danny John-Jules’s Cat does seem to still get some of the best lines in the show. Robert Llewellyn does make a great return as Kryten, though it is funny how the android seems to be aging just as much as the rest of the cast (that being said, holograms do seem to age quite a bit too). Sadly, I feel Dave Lister was a little underused and I really hope Craig Charles will get more to do in the coming weeks. The comedy does come fast and the jokes do come thick and fast. Where there may be a few that don’t land, most of them do work well and a few lines that really did tickle me. How about the ancient human technique such as knocking on a door? Or “Hey! What the hell happened to your face?”, “I went bobbing for apples in a cement mixer!”.
The fun thing about Red Dwarf is that it has the ability to be both silly and smart at the same time. Making a 1950’s world which outlaws technology, making science and theories like drinking and prostitution was great. The jokes about the possible outcomes for Rimmer near the beginning was classic Dwarf throughout, same for the little silly parts (robot nipples?). Could I say this was the best Red Dwarf ever? No, definitely not. It is true that the best work came when Grant and Naylor worked together on the show. Although the comedy is there and the set pieces are still well executed, it does feel like it could go further. I enjoyed the episode a lot, though I didn’t feel fully satisfied. But, we have got another 5 episodes to go…then another full series again! Red Dwarf is back, and I am happy!
Final Rating: 7.5/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove