Red Dwarf X: Dear Dave review

Kryten: Is something getting you down sir? Is it something to do with the fact you are the last human being alive with no family, no life and no prospects?

Lister: Yeah, something to do with that, Kryten.

By Will Barber – Taylor

Lister has women trouble when he gets himself in a love triangle with Snack Dispensers 23 and 34, then to make matters worse gets a letter from an old girlfriend telling him that she’s pregnant and the baby might be his. Lister and Rimmer hunt through the mountain of letters from the mail pod to discover if Lister is finally a dad.

Dear Dave begins with Lister missing the human race, a theme which has been in many episodes of Red Dwarf. The comedy is brilliant from the outset, particularly in the scene with Rimmer explaining how certain ways of trying to get a date have been swept away in the tide of time. The comedy finally builds to the scene in which the Cat tries to tell the others about a mail pod arriving with a game of charades.  The Cat’s attempts to show this simply by actions and Lister, Rimmer and Kryten guessing at what it might mean are utterly brilliant.  However, after this the episode becomes less original. The whole premise of the story that Lister might be a Father and the implications around it do feel a bit reheated. Lister gave birth to two twin sons back in Series Two who went to the alternative universe in which they were conceived. Also, Lister is in fact his own father so the whole “shock” does not materialise. It is kind of obvious by the conclusion of the episode that it will turn out that Lister is not the father of his ex-girlfriend’s child. Dear Dave started off well but it could have been so much better.

Chris Barrie is excellent as the scheming Arnold Rimmer.  Rimmer’s main problem during this episode is that the Main Computer that now runs the Jupiter Mining Core has discovered that Rimmer has not been reporting for duty for the past three million years. The computer, however, does not recognise “being dead” as a true aliment. So Rimmer has to find a way to makes sure he keeps his job as second technician by implying that Lister is mad. The whole scenario is wonderfully thought out and executed. The sub plot shows off that Rimmer is maybe not the greatest technician in the world but he is damn good at scheming. Barrie is particularly good when he orders Kryten to bribe the Medical Computer. Barrie’s facial expressions are a joy to watch during the scene and we really do believe in the character.

Even though the ending was predictable, Dear Dave started off well and the first 20 minutes or so were a joy to watch. Hopefully the next and final episode will be even better.


The Beginning

One response to “Red Dwarf X: Dear Dave review

  1. Pingback: DVD Review – Red Dwarf: Back to Earth | An American View of British Science Fiction·

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