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Red Dwarf – Give And Take. Review (Mild Spoilers)

Red Dwarf – Give and Take (Series 11 Episode 3)

Finally…Red Dwarf is back to its best! ‘Twentica’ got us started, ‘Samsara’ gave us some great nostalgia and was entertaining. But, ‘Give And Take’ I will go as far to say it is probably the best episode of Red Dwarf for over 20 years! We get a classic-esque storyline which features some great one-off characters, an extremely funny premise and one of the creepiest foes the crew has ever been up against.


Starting off with Rimmer basically not getting his own way (I know, similar to the previous week. But just wait!) as he argues with an elevator, we then get classic Lister who is apparently nursing a two-day hangover. The crew are then shortly heading to an abandoned space station which really brings the classic feel back (The squabbles from the crew and Kryten’s file for Rimmer being called “Captain Bollocks” was bloody brilliant). The station is said to hold Asclepius, a robot who is a medical genius, and no longer insane like many believed him to be…apparently. The robot then kidnaps Listen and The Cat for his own operations. Then we get the robot which Kryten and Rimmer believe to be Asclepius, but you need to watch it to really get the most of it. There is just so much, and as usual, Rimmer does seem to mess up the day during his and Kryten’s rescue of their crewmates.

Even though it’s not exactly a ‘Bodysnatchers’ script, there are a couple elements when you see Lister having his kidneys taken by the insane robot! The interactions with the cast with the one-off additions really does set a great tone. The jokes about the robots are great, the interactions with the usual foursome is top notch throughout the episode. The mix of smart and funny was indeed pulled off well. The way that the show winds itself back to the beginning of the episode and fill some of the gaps from the opening minutes was indeed entertaining. I could talk about every single thing that made this episode brilliant, but it would stretch to maybe 5000 words on this review. ‘Give And Take’ is indeed a callback to the classic episodes of the 90’s, the story is indeed written so well and the comedy from the usual guys and the “enemy of the week” was so creepy and well made it certainly felt perfectly in place in the Dwarf universe (and I would be happy to see Asclepius come back to antagonise them again!).


Overall, I loved this episode. Red Dwarf may not beat this peak, and I may be a bit generous on my final rating, but I laughed a lot and the jokes about FIFA and Rimmer being dubbed Captain Bollocks was proof for me that Doug Naylor will still write truly great pieces for the fans. Please keep sending scripts out like this! Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewellyn finally all get to have a great equal amount of time to shine, the location shooting blends in perfectly with the studio recordings and I know I will be re-watching this episode many times over. I will still be laughing hard for a long time to come!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove


Red Dwarf – Samsara. Review (Mild Spoilers)

Red Dwarf – Samsara (Series 11 Episode 2)

Now we are heading in a great direction. The show definitely is sharper and funnier in this second edition, and hopefully it will continue to improve as series 11 goes on. This week we get some of the classic interactions which always made the 90’s Dwarf such must-see TV. It is also a great thing when I can say that The Cat does get some of the greatest and silliest lines for some time. Also we get a classic crazy premise similar to the shows of old, but let’s talk a bit about that plot!


So an escape pod from a ship called the S.S. Samsara comes into contact with Red Dwarf, the pod itself carries two survivors (who left the Samsara before it crashed on an ocean moon three million years prior). During this time, Lister and Rimmer are playing a game of Mine-Opoly and Lister’s cheating seems to be paying off no matter what! Later, the crew then go to Samsara to scavenge and see what happened to the crew. We also get to follow the story of the two survivors before they left the ship, which gives a great pay-off to the main twist in the episode. I really do enjoy the episodes where there is a smart backbone to all the jokes…and honestly this sits there with some of the best Series 5 and 6 episodes where I think they reached a peak in clever storylines which would entertain and tickle you. Also, how many episodes do you see the crew get rewarded for being themselves (out for themselves, greedy and vain. Wouldn’t want them any other way!).


The highlights for this episode is when you finally learn why the Samsara ended up crashed on the moon, the certain positions of them skeletons definitely gave me a good hard chuckle (and with the glow sticks, it was funny again!) and then there was the moments with Lister and The Cat when they are sealed in a chamber together. Kryten and Rimmer get some time together too, but it seemed to be more about the interaction of the two living characters this week. The joke about Archimedes being the inventor of gravy was so funny, and then saying he got a special hat to hide his bruises (a Knight Hood!) was indeed Cat at his best when he is completely wrong, but believes himself to be right. The only comments I would say against this episode is that you do feel a bit underwhelmed by the time the credits roll. This isn’t too say I didn’t enjoy the episode, this is probably one of (if not my favourite) the best episode’s since the show transitioned to Dave. Doug Naylor does still provide some sharp, funny scripts. They need to keep coming more like ‘Samsara’ and less like ‘Twentica’. There is nothing wrong with ambitious, but it needs to be tight and well-rounded too.

With episodes still to come such as Kryten having a mid-life crisis, The Cat apparently finding love and hopefully an episode which will very much be the ‘Bodysnatchers’ episode which never came to pass. For now, two in and I am ready for more…

Final Rating: 8.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove


Red Dwarf – Twentica. Review (mild spoilers)

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


Red Dwarf returns. What you need to know!

It’s official! Red Dwarf is to return in 2016 to our TV screens for series 11 courtesy of TV channel Dave. Though this is more than just a regular celebration, as we also have confirmation that series 12 will be broadcast in 2017 too! So with the filming of the new episodes due to begin in the autumn, what do we know so far?

To begin with, Craig Charles has announced his official departure from Coronation Street. This is a big move to show his commitment to the future of the sitcom. It has been a while since Red Dwarf X was shown. Many had begun to doubt whether the show was to continue due to the commitments of the main cast. Though, does this mean that Danny John-Jules will be leaving his role in Death In Paradise?  I assume his schedule will let him do both. Chris Barrie coming back as Rimmer gives so many possibilities and Robert Llewellyn needs to be Kryten again!

We have a two series order; this is at least twelve episodes of new Red Dwarf that will be coming to us in the next two years. So, does this double order mean we may be saying goodbye to the boys of the Dwarf? Well, not necessarily. If Series 10 was anything to go by, the show still has a dedicated fanbase and Doug Naylor is able to create fun scripts for his audience. Also, it does look like Barrie, Charles, John-Jules and Llewellyn want to make more on their working friendship. Though, I reckon Norman Lovett should be brought back to play Holly again, really bring the full original line-up back.

Supporting characters? Yes. We should have more from the GELF, simulants and maybe explore that former script about the Felis Sapiens species where The Cat has to find someone of his species to mate with. Ace Rimmer maybe should make a return to lead his more pathetic self to become a hero. Also, how about we get a return for one or two of the Red Dwarf crew? Maybe Captain Hollister and his crew may pop up with the escape pod they took (and finally give answers to the Series 8 finale), or Olaf Petersen finally goes to see his buddy, maybe he has just been drinking in the lower decks of the ship all this time.

Whatever happens, it is sure to be funny and exciting as usual. Though right now we have very little details on what will happen, we can be happy with the fact that it is finally coming back! Lister, Rimmer, The Cat and Kryten are returning to our screens! BRING ON 2016!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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