Thursday, November 8, 2012

Red Dwarf X The Beginning - A review by @cheezypeas

Hands up who thinks Rimmer is a smeghead!

So there it is, the final episode of Red Dwarf X. I hope I'm not the only one to think this series went rather too quickly. I have to admit, I was a little concerned about the title. As those of you who have watched from the start, you'll be aware of the pilot episode being called "The End". So, naming this episode "The Beginning" did make me rather worried. With the success of this series I am hoping there are plenty more adventures to come.

Any episode that includes a flashback to Rimmer's childhood is a good sign its going to be a good one. Rimmer was apparently taught by his father at school who as we know despised him as much as everyone else, and liked to make Rimmer even more of a fool! The justification of this flashback becomes clear later.

Meanwhile, Lister is pestered by his old friend Hogey, who is obsessed with having duels through time and space as a way to kill time. Lister and the rest of the team have got bored of this, but then Hogey causes them all trouble by annoying some Dominators who pursue him to Red Dwarf in their Simulant death ship. They attack, leaving the guys to flee and leave Hogey who is trapped.

The guys use the ever faithful but underused Blue midget to escape, but find themselves surrounded. As they think they're about to die and need to think of a plan of escape, Rimmer plays a message his father asked him to play once he became an officer. This message drops the bombshell that he wasn't Rimmer's father but the family gardener was! This initially upsets Rimmer but then he thinks as he is much lower class now than he was brought up to believe he is actually an overachiever and with his new found pride and confidence devises a plan to save them all and it works!

I always feel a little sorry for Rimmer when he gets picked on but then true to form he always does something that makes you think it served him right. In the first scene where the girl next to him tries to warn him his father is using him as a guinea pig, Rimmer thinks she's insulting him and retaliates. You could argue that Rimmer being rather dim simply misunderstood as he is such a smeghead!

I thought Hogey was a great character to bring into this episode, especially to begin with as he is armed and none of the crew are bothered about it! The fact he is just as bored in deep space as the Red Dwarf crew is a subject that was approached in Timeslides and its good to see the boys have a comrade as such in deep space that knows its a boring place and you have to create your own if warped, entertainment.
The fact that Rimmer's father isn't who he thought he was came as quite a surprise and a rather humorous one as it was a definite nod to Star Wars. This major twist changes absolutely everything about him. Initially you think he's going to be upset and sulk but he finds a cloud in the silver lining and actually looks on the bright side, which was almost to the point of being too far fetched, especially when he agrees he's on a par with Lister! But, this is Red Dwarf after all! I also liked the addition of Rimmers infamous study charts for his plan of action.

I liked the fact it was another Rimmer orientated episode and I actually cheered when his plan worked. The fact that its changed Rimmers perspective makes me wonder how the writers will work with that if there is another series to be made as Rimmer's neuroses really do help make the episodes funny and interesting.

The rest of the team don't feature heavily, but then that works as this really is Rimmer's episode and it orientates around him, as he probably thinks it should!

All in all a great episode and a fantastic end to a great series. I really hope there are plans to create more, but we will have to wait and see.


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