By Will Barber Taylor
In the opening episode the Dwarfers search for some tech to fix Starbug’s faulty steering. They come across a Scientific Research Centre where several figures from history are recreated in the present and ‘cured’ of evil. Or are they? Ryan Gage (The Three Musketeers, The Hobbit) guest stars.
Red Dwarf returns for a rollicking twelfth season with the Boys from the Dwarf encountering some technical difficulties with Star Bug, forcing them to land on a United America Scientific Research Station to gain spare parts. This leads them to encounter “cured” clones of history’s worst villains – Stalin, Vlad the Impaler, Hitler and Messalina. As you’d expect things don’t go to plan.
Cured is an interesting and bold opening episode – whilst not as visually stunning or inventive as the previous season’s opener, Twentica, it does have a lot going for it; primarily jokes are based around the clone’s past and the nature of being a psychopath. This would, if stretched any further than the half an hour running time become flabby but framed as it is within Red Dwarf’s sc-fi sitcom boarders it is perfectly palatable.
The acting is also enjoyable – the regulars continue to impress with their inventive and energetic comedic timing. In particular, Danny John – Jules’ Cat shines in this episode – his comedic timing and clear enjoyment of the situation his character is in helps to sell the episode and it’s great to see his character have more room to shine than normal.
The sets and SFX are particularly impressive in this episode demonstrating how far the series has come since it was first on BBC Two in 1989. A great deal of effort has been put into the series to make the sets look as if they are from a research station in the future and they fit the bill perfectly.
Overall, Cured is an enjoyable start to Red Dwarf’s new season. It isn’t the best of the season openers but nor is it the worst and with great performances, a witty and imaginative script and great sets it is sure to make any audience chuckle for half an hour.
With thanks to UK TV.