Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

*** Contains Spoilers ***

*** Also Contains A Bit Of A Fan-Rant ***

It’s official - Red Dwarf is the Lazarus of TV science-fiction.

No matter how long it's gone off the air for, it's always managed to claw its way back, and this time, after waiting an incredible ten years for it, thank God it finally has.

Not that this 'eleventh series' was especially good. It's just that Red Dwarf has reinvented itself so much over the last 20 years, and inevitably made so many mistakes with it, that my expectations of this series were apprehensively low.

Easy to satisfy then! :)

Sure enough, they've ignored the cliffhanger at the end of the last series, wordlessly swapped new Rimmer for the old one again, and once more jetisoned Kochanski and Holly. They've also gone back to the cold filmic look, and even rashly done away with the laugh-track. Add to that the vague title (they're always getting back to Earth), the slow pacing, (audience-laughter would have tightened that up) and the number of holes in the story, and we have a series that I've thoroughly enjoyed simply because it is, inarguably, Red Dwarf.

After all, with this show, getting the obvious things wrong is part of the norm. (still wish they'd given it a laugh-track though, really, it just doesn't feel funny without it...)

For all that, most of my internal plot-concerns were resolved by the events of part three, which is classic stuff, and enthralling as a result. Even if the whole thing is just a long remake of Back To Reality.

The scene in part two when Rimmer zooms-into three reflections in a photograph in order to read what's written on a piece of paper facing away from the camera is sheer genius.

I would still like to know how the Cat hid a baby despair-squid on Starbug for the whole of seasons 6 and 7 though. :)

And so, once more, we dig our heels in and wait for news of when the BBC might yet deign to make a few more episodes of this series that so many of its viewers actually want to watch, even despite its sprawling quality and haphazard style.

Maybe they never will. The BBC seem far more interested in creating new series that have no guaranteed audience. Still, at least this was a much better way to go out than the end of season eight.

An opinion that, apparently, the programme-makers share.


Watch this clip - exclusive to YouTube!:

(review of Red Dwarf X here!) :)

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