From next Friday, August 29th, I will begin a weekly countdown of my top ten Red Dwarf episodes. Before we start with number ten, I’d like to take this week to take a look at the five episodes that just missed the mark.
Starting us off at number 15, White Hole. The fourth episode of the fourth series is a fun story where the crew encounter a white hole. A black hole sucks in time and matter, a white hole returns it. This causes weird space phenomenon that makes the crew repeat the same conversation over and over, while making portions of it happen in the wrong order. One of the funniest bits in the episode is when the Cat intentionally repeats parts of the conversation only to have him repeating the conversation repeated. No more ridiculous that the usual Red Dwarf plot, this one also has the famous planet pool scene, where a drunk Lister shoots a planet into the white hole canceling the effect making the story occupy a redundant timeline. A clever bit of writing on the part of Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.
Moving to number 14, the final episode of Series VIII, Only The Good…, is one that's completely insane. It starts of with Rimmer bringing Captain Hollister some hot lemon for his sore throat. We see a friend of Hollister enter the room and Rimmer asks him, “The picture of your wife, sir. Should I leave it where it is or turn it so that it’s facing the wall?” This, like Cassandra, also in Series VIII, provides some great moments for Rimmer, stealing the chocolate bar from the vending machine, ending up in the mirror universe where he’s a woman, and at the story’s conclusion kneeing death in the balls, with one of my favorite lines from Rimmer in the show, “Remember, only the good die young!”
Now to 13, what has been said by Chris Barrie until Series X’s Lemons, to be his favorite episode, Dimension Jump. Easily one of the greatest things ever made for the show, Chris Barrie really gets to shine and relishes the chance to play the hero. In the making of documentary, Built To Last, you learn that both him and Craig Charles nearly drowned as they had to film scenes that required a huge amount of gushing water that ended up being thrown at them with massive engine powered fans, and every time Chris would try to say his lines he would get a mouthful of water. Craig Charles has said that he told Chris to shut up on camera, saying, “Come on, Chris, shut up! We’re supposed to be space heroes!” Everything from taramasalata, to the many variations of “What a guy!”, this episode is often named one of the best, and topped a poll to find out the best of Series IV. Everything about this episode works tremendously!
On to 12, Dear Dave, the fifth episode of Series X, where Lister is caught up in a love triangle with the dispensing machines and Rimmer is about to be demoted to 3rd technician. Rimmer must prove that he is taking care of a sick member of the crew and decides to wait for Lister to perform “one act of mouth foaming, saliva dripping insanity by midnight. Shouldn’t be too hard!” There are several wonderful moments in this episode, particularly the charade scene, and the scene at the end where Lister has moved the dispensing machine and knocked it over. He tries to pick it up off of the ground but it looks like he’s trying to pick it up, to which Kryten replies, “Sir, I knew you’d find another species to settle down with!” Rimmer now has sufficient material with which to prove his case to remain a 2nd technician.
Finally number 11, Blue. One of the greatest scenes in all of Red Dwarf is without a doubt the Rimmer Experience scene. The song is impossible to remove from your head once you’ve got it there and is a gem in the other wise, eh, Series VII. There are several other fantastic scenes but this episode gets the number 11 spot from almost just that one scene alone! The golfing with Rimmer scene is funny, the locker game is great! But the other moment that solidifies this episodes place just outside the top ten is that moment when Craig Charles and Chris Barrie pucker up and have what they have described in the Series VII documentary, Back From The Dead, as a good kiss. That in itself is funny enough but it isn’t right until you have Lister’s reaction to his “nightmare”.
The Red Dwarf column moves to Fridays from next week,
and we're going weekly.
So join me from Friday August 29th as start my Red Dwarf Top Ten Countdown, and reveal what episode is in the number 10 position.
The World loves a bastard!
A look at Kryten 2X4B-523P
Five fantastic moments with the Cat
Dave Lister: The man who fathered himself
Andrew Jero is 18, lives in Iowa and has a very strong love of both Red Dwarf and Doctor Who. He enjoys acting and writing plays, television scripts, and short stories. Follow Andrew on Twitter.