RED DWARF: Top Ten Countdown - 8. Tikka To Ride - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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RED DWARF: Top Ten Countdown - 8. Tikka To Ride

Oh, life without curry! Tikka To Ride is at number 8 in Andrew Jero's countdown of his ten best episodes of Red Dwarf. Here is why...

The opening episode of Series VII, Tikka To Ride, uses an event in recent history and makes use of alternate timelines really well. They accidentally go back to Dallas, Texas on the 22nd of November 1963, as we know this is the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, or as he’s called “Jeff K, the American King” The crew accidentally land inside the Texas Books Depository and bump Harvey Lee Oswald out of the window. They keep rearranging themselves on different floors until they come to the conclusion to arrange a gunman on “that little green hill over there”, “You mean the grassy knoll, sir?”

The person they decide to use as the second gunman is the perfect choice...

Throughout the episode they go and live a night in an alternate reality where JFK survived and J Edgar Hoover took over as president, after the mob forced him to run by using a picture of him at a transvestite orgy. They find a man who has been trampled to death and Kryten prepares him for dinner. In the beginning of the episode Kryten informs Lister that all of the Indian food supplies had been destroyed. He disables Kryten’s behavior protocols and plans to go order 5,000 curries with the time drive, which caused them a lot of problems in the Series VI finale, Out of Time.

Some of the best bits of the episode, which help to make it number eight on my top ten list, come from the actors reactions to certain moments, such as when Kryten tells the rest of the crew that JFK was assassinated in the Texas Books Depository, he turns and looks at a stack of boxes all of which read, “Texas Books.”

One of the funniest parts of the episodes is when the crew finds out from Kryten that the “really good chicken” they all eat, sans Rimmer, is the dead person they found earlier. As Rimmer himself says, “One minute you're down, the next you're right back up again.”

One of Kryten’s best moments is when Lister decides to go back and go order some Curries and he disables his behavior protocols. Kryten does everything from using the groinal attachment to stir everyone’s tea, preparing a breakfast that is described by the Cat as “… as healthy as jumping off a cliff!”, smoking a cigarette, drinking and using the phrase “You bet your ass.”

With the cast on top form here, it’s no question that this episode should be in the top ten. A very creative storyline with so many memorable gags, only a show with the creative range of Red Dwarf could take the assassination of a well loved leader and turn it into one of the funniest things on television. The spin that JFK would’ve been impeached was one of the best parts of the episode. Now, while that may not have been all that funny (J Edgar Hoovers’ transvestite orgy aside) it provided an interesting dynamic to the episode. Science fiction, in my view, has always been a very political medium of television, and suggesting that one of the most well beloved Presidents in American history was just an “irresponsible jackass” with women made the viewer think, which has always been the genres’ strongest and most appealing point.

Join me next Friday as I take a look at number seven on my top ten Red Dwarf countdown!

Smegging Brilliant
The World loves a bastard!
A look at Kryten 2X4B-523P
Five fantastic moments with the Cat
Dave Lister: The man who fathered himself
Top Ten Episodes: The one's that just missed the mark
10. Meltdown
9. Polymorph

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.

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