Thursday, October 18, 2012

Red Dwarf X - Lemons - A review by @cheezypeas

What a lovely pair they both have!
The Red Dwarf team have met many people throughout their travels in space, some more famous than others. Some controversial encounters such as meeting Hitler could have caused a lot of outrage. Luckily, the humour of the show has made certain sensitive situations light hearted and very funny.

Religion has also been a regularly revisited subject in Red Dwarf history. Again, great writing and brilliant delivery of the lines has made a sensitive subject very amusing without being offensive.

So it was only a matter of time before this guy made an apperance:

Lister: "Jesus!"
 So let the laughter begin!

The boys find a flat pack of a "rejuvenation shower" which is obvious and hilarious dig at IKEA. As they complete it and find lots of left over pieces (but hey don't we all with flat packs?) A bit apprehensive about trying it out, they test something of organic origin, teeming with life (Listers used socks, a great long running gag) and as the rays hit everyone, they realise what the spare parts were for and are sent to 23AD. The boys have inadvertently created a TARDIS!

With dead batteries in their return remote, Rimmer uncharacteristically comes up with a good idea to make a battery out of lemons like he did at school to make the remote work. Having travelled from Britain to in a middle East market finding all the materials to make Rimmer's citrus battery they come across a young Jesus! Rimmer goes all fanboy on poor Jesus who's more fascinated in 'Gladiator' Kryten.

The Romans chase Jesus and the gang. Trapped, they make the batteries and get back to Red Dwarf with a very wide eyed Jesus. They discover he has a kidney stone and remove it, saving his life. Whilst recovering he reads about the future and seeing how Christianity has caused conflict in one of Lister's history books he panics, using the remote to get back to his present. He then argues against everything he once believed in. The gang follow him back to persuade him to change his mind, only to find he isn't the son of God and that Jesus is a very popular name in that time! Fantastic twist!

It was a very brave decision to create an episode about Jesus and Christianity (just look at the controversy The Life of Brian caused!) but true to form, the writing made it light hearted and in my opinion, non offensive. Rimmer having to hold a certain part of Jesus' anatomy whilst Kryten performs the surgery may be seen as bad taste but Rimmers excitement about the moment really defuses the situation. The addition of the wrong Jesus twist at the end also helps. Red Dwarf has always been good at approaching more controversial subjects firmly with a tongue in cheek attitude, not intended to offend.

Again, the boys from the Dwarf are a strong team. Danny John Jules really excels at going back to basics with his Cat character, especially when playing with the cables like cats do with string. It's reminiscent of his character in the first series where he was more feline-like instead of being predominantly fashion conscious which limited his character in quite a few episodes.

Lister's character is evolving, especially as he is reading books for a course in the first scene which is a nod to last weeks episode. It looks like this is part of a story arc, which will be interesting to see developing throughout the rest of the series. Its interesting to see that Rimmer isn't getting jealous of Lister studying for something which will make him more superior to him any more, or is that still to come?

Rimmer having a good idea? Is the smeghead feeling ok? Plus the idea works! I think it is good that he gets a more positive slant in this episode for a change.

Even Lister is astonished at Rimmer's idea working!
Its lovely to see how accessible the show still is in its tenth series. It appeals to fans new to the show plus the clever nods to older episodes really helps enrich the viewing experience further for those of us who have loved it from the start. A brilliant episode which all the team clearly enjoyed.

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