The Good Dwarf Guide: Series IV
Quality seesaws wildly in this series: it’s got to be the most mixed series ever, with episodes evenly split between masterpieces and clunkers. The three good episodes include some of the best work ever seen in Red Dwarf, while two of the three bad ones ("DNA", "White Hole", "Meltdown") are among Red Dwarf’s worst of all time.
This series contains in "Camille", "Justice", and "Dimension Jump" some of the best work ever seen in Red Dwarf. The series contains Chris Barrie’s greatest moments in Red Dwarf, as Ace Rimmer in "Dimension Jump", and Robert Llewellyn’s most touching performance in "Camille". The series’s also notable for the exploration of some serious ideas, including the nature of war and the conflict between social order and personal freedom, which nevertheless doesn’t drag down the comedy. Some interesting science fiction ideas are also explored: character-based comedy is still strong in this series and character development still continues, but the characters are familiar enough to us now to leave more room than before for other plot points.
This series is a watershed one for Kryten, whose character really gels here for the first time. Robert Llewellyn goes from strength to strength in this series and thereafter. Lister’s position as a good and moral man is strengthened, and we learn a little more about Rimmer and are even more saddened - and appalled - than before (although I refuse to accept the portrayal of him in "Meltdown" as canon). The Cat is once again badly underused in this series, although he does a terrific job with what he does have. Rimmer and Kryten’s relationship becomes hostile, and the Rimmer versus the rest of the crew polarity is emphasised.
There’s some great model work in this series, and the ongoing refinement of computer imaging shows in the increasingly sophisticated special effects. Makeup and costuming are both exemplary, and sets are varied, complex and effective.
UK: buy video at Amazon US: buy video at Amazon
UK: buy video at Amazon US: buy video at Amazon
UK: buy video at Amazon US: buy video at Amazon
UK: buy video at Amazon US: buy video at Amazon
UK: buy video at Amazon US: buy video at Amazon
UK: buy video at Amazon US: buy video at Amazon
Series IV DVD
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Series III & IV DVD Pack
UK: no DVD available US: buy DVD at Amazon
Just The Shows (Series I-IV DVD)
UK: buy DVD at Amazon UK: buy DVD at Sendit US: no DVD available
SYNOPSIS: Lister attempts to teach Kryten to lie. Kryten rescues a female mechanoid, and they fall instantly in love. However, the mechanoid, Camille, is in fact a pleasure GELF who appears in the form of the perfect partner for whoever is looking at her. She reveals her true form (a large green blob), but Kryten is still attracted. When Camille’s husband turns up looking for her, Kryten uses his new lie mode to persuade Camille to leave him, for her own good.
COMMENT: There’s a beautiful love story in here, disguised as a comedy. Robert Llewellyn really hits his stride here, and this episode belongs to him. With the introduction of the breaking of his programming, Kryten’s character is now fully realised, and goes from strength to strength from this point on.
The others also contribute some memorable moments, and the episode throws more light on the characters of both Lister and Rimmer. We see Lister at his most likeable when he’s trying to break Kryten’s programming: it would have been more convenient for him just to have left Kryten in servile mode, so it does him credit that he wants to take Kryten beyond this so Kryten can realise his potential and gain some autonomy. Rimmer, naturally, is against this, since it’s much easier having a droid who mindlessly obeys orders. However, while Rimmer’s smeggishness is reinforced here, the pathetic side of his character, never far below the surface, emerges also - his gloom at having his own opinion of himself confirmed, of someone whom others want to vomit over, is a sad sight.
While Rimmer and Kryten’s relationship was quite amicable in the previous series, that all changes here, and the hostility continues from now on.
"Camille" combines exquisitely funny comedy, some novel science fiction ideas and heartwrenching emotion. An excellent episode with virtually no faults.
THE BEST BIT: Kryten’s attempts to learn to lie and to sling an insult. Laugh out loud material.
THE WORST BIT: A stretch to find anything, but okay, the soup slurping.
IMMORTAL DIALOGUE: "Is there any possibility we could go just a little bit faster? I mean, so we’re not being overtaken by stationary objects?"
"You’ll like them! Well, some of them. Well, one of them. Maybe."
"Nice? She looks like something that dropped out of the sphinx’s nose!"
"You’re a smeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!"
The writing’s on the wall: The credits for this series are in a flashy new typeface.
The casting couch: I’m sure every semi-sentient being in the quadrant now knows that the mechanoid Camille was played by Robert Llewellyn’s real life partner, Judy Pascoe, and ditto for Craig Charles’s then partner Suzanne Rhatigan as the human Camille, so I won’t mention it. Judy Pascoe is particularly impressive, with not a trace of her native Australian vowels peeking though her accent. Nice to see a fellow Antipodean making good. Even if she is an Aussie.
The ep of the film: Grant Naylor use the device of the plot paralleling a movie twice in Red Dwarf: here, and in "Holoship". This one’s the closest to the original, as some of the passages of dialogue are direct lifts from "Casablanca", especially the final Hector/Camille/Kryten speech.
The Pennell is mightier than the sword: Andria Pennell takes over the makeup design from this series, and Kryten’s much cuter from now on.
Last year’s model: We’re starting to see a lot more model work than previously, and since this is expensive and time-consuming, they sneak in the odd recycled shot where possible. This episode marks the third time we’ve seen Starbug twirling around.
They named six complexes after him: Oh, God. Rimmer’s ideal woman is his sister-in-law? It’s getting more Greek tragedyish all the time.
We’ll always have excruciating puns: They went to all the trouble of calling the bar "Parrots" and decorating it with a parrot theme, just for one painful joke. That’s comedy.
No, that’s "droid meets female aardvark...": I wonder how many times it took for Robert Llewellyn to get those speeches right?
I’ll love you forever, or until next week, whichever comes first: It should be Kochanski that Lister sees as the GELF. How quickly they forget.
In the scene where Rimmer and Kryten are in the hangar in front of Starbug, which has obviously been done with a blue screen, the lighting in the hangar, which is dim, doesn’t match the lighting on the characters, which is much brighter.
Kryten states that in Z80012 using hex instead of binary and converting to a basic ASCII code, "love" translates as E5 A9 O8 B7. Oh, no, it doesn’t. Kryten also calls ASCII "A.S.C. 2" - he seems to have misread the last two I’s as Roman numeral ones. ASCII is in fact an acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
When Kryten and Camille are in the cinema (which, incidentally, is a very different design to the one we saw in the first two series), in telling her about "Casablanca" he refers to "Lister" rather than "Mr Lister".
SYNOPSIS: The crew discover a DNA modifier on a ship of unknown origin. Kryten becomes human, but experiences some problems adjusting. The crew inadvertently create a rabid curry monster from Lister’s vindaloo, which is eventually subdued with the aid of lager.
COMMENT: I’m pretty lukewarm about this one. Oh, boy, Lister’s a chicken. I can barely contain my mirth. A lot of the attempted humour is not character-based, and is at best mildly amusing and at worst a waste of electrons. (In fact, this episode is a chilling presage of series VI, now I come to think about it.) I don’t even think the Kryten stuff comes off all that well, but it’s the best of the bunch. The humour of Red Dwarf is better the closer it is to the characters, and becomes progressively worse the further it moves away into situation-based comedy. Unfortunately, the series progress towards this direction rather than away from it.
THE BEST BIT: Lister’s wine bar speech.
THE WORST BIT: The whole curry monster sequence. Bring along something to read.
IMMORTAL DIALOGUE: "Wasn’t it Descartes who said: ‘I am what I am’?" "No, it was Popeye the Sailor Man."
Straight up: Robert Llewellyn is fine as the human Kryten, but it’s Craig Charles who really stands out in that scene. His straight man is absolutely hysterical here.
We just came here to do the Red Dwarf shuffle: Rimmer and Kryten’s dangerously funny bit where they keep changing places, and the earlier sequence about whether they should split up into two parties, are sharply observed parodies of classic science fiction clichés in which splitting up the search party invariably leads to involuntary organ redistribution.
Let’s do the time warp again: Here we get our first notice that time frame has shifted a couple of centuries: while the earlier series refer to the twenty-first century, Lister refers to himself in this episode as an "enlightened twenty-third century guy".
Don’t you wish, guy: Lister mentions that he was depressed when Kochanski finished with him, thus trampling all over the viewer, who knows perfectly well that the closest Lister ever got to Kochanski was a brief exchange of merry badinage. This becomes the official story from now on, too. Irritating.
He’s only a toilet droid: Kryten says that all human cells contain DNA: in fact, mature red blood cells do not.
Dead heat: Kryten refers to his right nipple nut regulating temperature. However, in "Polymorph", it’s established that mechanoids give off no heat.
Put it down to inbuilt human stupidity: Kryten is knowledgeable about human anatomy to the extent that he’s able to give information (even if slightly wrong) on human cellular composition. However, when he himself becomes human, he doesn’t seem to know the most elementary things about human anatomy.
You dirty rat: Lister’s transformation into a hamster presages a string of rodent jokes directed at him: he once wanted to be a squirrel, and he’s referred to as gerbil-faced and dormouse-cheeked.
Robosmeg: The mini-Lister’s costume looks like a direct lift from "Robocop".
Lister slightly flubs a line, saying in his speech about how if God had wanted us to fly, he wouldn’t have invented Spanish Air Traffic Control: "I’m of the school of believe" for "I’m of the school of belief".
SYNOPSIS: Red Dwarf picks up an escape pod which may contain either a woman or a deranged psychotic homicidal simulant. The crew decide to take the pod to a prison facility, but when they arrive they find they themselves are judged. Rimmer is convicted of second degree murder for his failure to fix the drive plate, but Kryten gets him off on appeal. The pod turns out to contain the simulant, who eventually kills himself through the operation of the prison’s Justice Field.
COMMENT: This is a classic episode, with both interesting concepts and hilarious set pieces. The trial scene is particularly strong: while Robert Llewellyn manfully copes with a long speech as defence counsel, Chris Barrie steals the scene completely even though opening his mouth only to say "objection!". It’s a total tour de force on Barrie’s part. The ep drags slightly at the end during the battle with the simulant - yeah, we get the idea! - but otherwise it’s a gem.
As usual with anything concerning Rimmer, the humour is bittersweet. Kryten neatly encapsulates the essence of Rimmer in his speech, and his summation that being Rimmer is both Rimmer’s crime and his punishment wipes the smile off our faces.
The question of course arises as to whether Kryten’s defence of Rimmer, that he didn’t in fact repair the drive plate himself and thus wasn’t responsible for the radiation leak that killed the crew, is in fact true or merely a clever twisting of the facts. We know from the first series that Rimmer did repair the plate, but that version of events is not reliable, due to the Universal Explanation. Kryten’s description of Rimmer is in part accurate, but differs in some important respects from what we know of Rimmer: he’s many things, but he’s not delusional. Basically Rimmer has an all-too-clear understanding of his own inadequacies, so Kryten’s statement that he has an overinflated ego is not really accurate. Rimmer does at times try to hide the knowledge of his inadequacies from himself by blaming everyone else in sight for his misfortunes, but this is an argument against Kryten’s position. Rimmer’s the last person to take responsibility for someone else’s misdeeds: he won’t even take responsibility for his own. On the other hand, it seems very unlikely that they would have let a second technician do something as vital as repairing the drive plate.
There are some interesting insights into Lister’s character in this one: while we find out that he used to be a petty thief in his adolescence, the explanation for this isn’t that he’s criminal by nature, but that he "wasn’t strong enough to go against the flow". This keeps his image as the moral centre of Red Dwarf intact, which is reinforced by his refusal to shoot the simulant in the back because it would be immoral. It does, however, ignore the memory of Lister’s half-inching the magic mushrooms in "Stasis Leak". But hey, that was in a parallel dimension, right?
The episode also raises the interesting question of exactly how the Justice Field operates. It seems to work on actions rather than intentions, since Lister’s intent is to kill the simulant, yet he’s allowed to get away with it as long as he doesn’t physically commit any violent action.
THE BEST BIT: The escort boots. These scenes should carry a government health warning.
THE WORST BIT: The space mumps. You’d need either an age or an IQ in single digits to find this funny.
IMMORTAL DIALOGUE: "I have a body that makes men wet!"
"Gloop him!" "What, in the back?" "Of course in the back! It’s only a pity he’s awake!"
Simulated ecstasy: This episode marks the first appearance of a simulant. This is a concept which Grant Naylor appear to find immensely captivating, since they recur with tiresome regularity thereafter, particularly in series VI. This particular one seems to be a cross between Rutger Hauer and a Borg.
Dirty Mac: Rimmer refers to a Cameron Mackintosh 40-valve air-cooled diesel. This is, of course, an in-joke for those in the biz, referring to a theatrical production team almost as famous as Grant Naylor themselves.
Where’d they come from?: The Justice Computer refers to Rimmer as having been responsible for the deaths of 1,167 people: however, in "The End", Red Dwarf’s full crew complement is given as 169.
Somebody wasn’t paying attention: Lister refers to the Cat never having met a real woman. However, the Cat has met human women ("Stasis Leak", "Parallel Universe"), and presumably knew his mother, a Cat woman ("Waiting for God").
I was repressing that: The Justice Computer alleges that Rimmer has killed the entire crew of Red Dwarf. However, this is not the case, as Lister survived the accident.
Time off for good behaviour: Rimmer is charged on 1,167 counts of murder and sentenced to eight years for each count, to be served consecutively. Yet his sentence is for 9,328 years, which equates to sentencing for 1,166 counts.
Oliver Stone has a lot to answer for: Lister’s philosophical musings on the nature of freedom and justice are comically undercut by his falling down the open manhole, but nevertheless raise some interesting points about the balance in society between keeping crime under control and allowing freedom of choice.
When the crew go through the mind probe, both Lister and Rimmer take their hats off with their left hands. In the shot that immediately follows, where they are just beyond the field of the probe, Lister’s hat is in his right hand and Rimmer’s has disappeared altogether.
At the end of Rimmer’s lines "Is that a small sewage plant you’re carrying in your trousers? Or do I detect you’re a tad concerned?", Rimmer starts to smirk broadly. However, in the wider shot that follows immediately after, there’s no trace of the smirk on his face.
SYNOPSIS: Kryten develops a process to compress Holly’s intelligence, which raises her IQ to 12,000 but reduces her life span to less than three minutes. Holly takes herself offline, and without her guidance Red Dwarf runs into interference with time emanating from a white hole. Holly suggests knocking a planet into the white hole, but Lister, pool shark extraordinaire, thinks she’s calculated the angles wrong. He successfully pulls off a trick shot which wipes out the white hole and therefore the entire sequence of events.
COMMENT: Zzzzzzzz....Oops! Sorry, where was I? Ah yes, "White Hole", the single dullest Red Dwarf episode ever made. I wish somebody would wipe my memory of this terminally yawnsome endurance test. (I mean that in a very caring way, of course.)
I can’t quite figure out why it’s as dull as it is - every time I try and think about it, my brain offlines. No, I just can’t do it. I refuse to spend another second on an episode where Talkie Toaster is the much-anticipated highlight.
THE BEST BIT: The opening and closing credits.
THE WORST BIT: Everything in between.
IMMORTAL DIALOGUE: "Rimmer Directive 271: "No chance, you metal bastard."
"That was no accident! That was first-degree toastercide!"
I don’t remember yelling "Encore": David Ross, the chronically unfunny first Kryten, returns as Talkie Toaster. He makes a reasonable fist of a part which consists of one joke repeated until the audience begs for mercy.
Where’s that echo coming from?: The Cat’s repeats of "So what is it?" are a cute reprise of his same bit in "Stasis Leak".
General Protection Fault: There’s some conflicting information here about the nature of Kryten’s programming. Kryten votes for Lister’s plan to pot the planets on the basis that a living human outranks a hologram. However, in "Meltdown", Kryten allows Lister and the Cat to be tied up by the Elvis wax droid on Rimmer’s orders even though this is clearly against Lister’s wishes.
Lister trips slightly over a line, saying: "What the smeg does ‘howdly doodly doo’ mean?" instead of ‘howdy doodly doo’.
As Lister gets off the exercycle, the Cat picks up a spatula in his right hand (the frying pan’s in his left) and goes to scoop the eggs out of the pan. In the next shot, he’s not doing this, and a brief glimpse of his right hand as he gestures shows he has nothing in his hand.
When Lister sits down after getting off the exercycle, his face has a sheen of sweat. The camera cuts away to the Cat for the line "Plus we’re going to have to spend another twenty minutes sawing the lid off the can because all the openers are electric", then cuts back to Lister, whose face is now dry.
SYNOPSIS: The story opens with little Arnie Rimmer about to find out if he’s going to be kept back a year at school, then shifts to a parallel dimension, where Arnold "Ace" Rimmer is a fearless, popular, heroic, handsome Space Corps test pilot. Ace accepts a new mission - to pilot a vessel through to a different dimension. In doing so, he hits Starbug, which crash-lands, seriously injuring the Cat. Ace follows Starbug down and bails out to help. After a few false starts when he turns fruitlessly to Rimmer for information, Ace takes control of the situation, and together he and Lister, who get on like a house on fire, repair the ship. After performing microsurgery on the Cat, Ace elects to leave to explore more dimensions - he can’t stand the thought of living with his maggoty alter ego.
COMMENT: This episode is completely stunning: it combines high comedy and high pathos into an experience that is at once terminally funny and emotionally wrenching. The only reason it doesn’t beat "Back To Reality" in my book as the best Red Dwarf episode is that "Back To Reality" offers superb parts for all four crew members, whereas this is undoubtedly Chris Barrie’s show. However, the first scenes, with Ace in his own dimension, win my vote for the best scenes of any episode. The first time I saw Ace, I was so blasted out of my seat by Chris Barrie’s characterisation that I didn’t even notice that the other cast members were there playing alternate parts. They are fantastic as Spanners, the Padre and Bongo, as I discovered on rewinding, but Barrie is incomparable. The proposition scenes, especially the one with Bongo, make me laugh so much I need emergency oxygen.
As well as being hysterically funny, the episode is (and I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record) also heartwrenchingly sad. The scenes where the rest of the crew try to sneak off and leave Rimmer behind are just tragic: you can hardly blame them, but you still can’t help but feel tremendous sympathy for Rimmer. His efforts to get on with the rest of the crew are pathetic beyond belief, and you realise that he’s, sadly enough, even more of a gimboid when he’s trying to be friendly than when he’s being a bastard. The arrival of Ace throws Rimmer’s familiar shortcomings into sharp relief, and you’re astonished all over again that one man can be such a quintessential smeghead. It’s agonising watching Rimmer humiliated in front of Ace, and desperately sad to see Rimmer’s jealous reaction to Lister’s friendship with Ace. It’s also tragic to discover that just one decision in his childhood condemned Rimmer to the life he now has. However, Rimmer’s mean-spiritedness when faced with Ace’s all-around superiority effectively undercuts the sympathy and saves the show from descending into mawkishness.
Lister immediately takes to Ace, and the two become friends. The friendship has an odd feel to the viewer: it’s a normal, everyday sort of thing, which is not something we’ve grown to expect to see on Red Dwarf. The relationships between the core cast are all strange in some way, and the Lister/Ace friendship, by possessing a different tone, highlights that.
Rimmer, of course, prefers to categorise Lister and Ace’s friendship as evidence of a homoerotic bond. Grant Naylor go to some trouble in the bread-buttering scene to make it clear that this isn’t the case, but the scenes have an interesting resonance even so. Rimmer’s motive in making these accusations is clearly jealousy, but the form which it takes is intriguing, given what we see in "Demons and Angels", where the "low" Rimmer declares his intent of having kinky sex with Lister. Given that the "low" Rimmer is a component of the integrated Rimmer’s character, does this imply that at some level Rimmer is attracted to Lister? Frankly, I’m not sure if this line of thought says more about Rimmer, Grant Naylor or me.
Ace is, of course, meant to be a James Bond-type megahero (there’s even a Moneypenny scene in there in case we don't get it, and both Bond and Ace have the rank of Commander). But Ace’s character does in fact deserve a little deeper consideration: should we really accept his all-around coolness at face value? Adorable as Ace is, when you look a little closer, he doesn’t come off as quite so shining white after all: a good case could be made that he’s an adrenaline junkie with a commitment problem. Bravery this pathological shades into stupidity, and despite the fact that he’s so well-loved in his own dimension, he leaves the people who care about him behind him without a second’s thought. And he chooses to spend the rest of his life meeting himself in different dimensions, which is self-obsessed to say the least. In addition, Ace is so moronically macho that he practically gives Lister whiplash when he shakes his hand. Kryten says that "only a fool or a hero" would attempt what Ace has done, and maybe on reflection he’s the former rather than the latter. And after all, what kind of dweeb says "Smoke me a kipper"?
This episode has some lovely model work, including the endearingly Thunderbirdsy scene of Ace’s craft taking off from the hangar and the mega-spectacular shot of Starbug crashing in water.
THE BEST BIT: Ace in his own dimension. Utterly, hysterically, unbelievably superb. Special mention also to the Cat in his delirious state muttering about anoraks with furry collars.
IMMORTAL DIALOGUE: "I’ll smoke him a smegging kipper!"
THE WORST BIT: Having to see it end.
Male blonding: Chris Barrie performs some very profound alchemy here to emerge as the startlingly cute Ace. Okay, he’s wearing that silly but flattering wig and half a kilo of blusher, but it’s nevertheless full credit to Barrie that Ace comes over as a matinee idol. Barrie’s characterisation is brilliant in every detail: the stride, the voice, the facial expression, the hair toss. Particularly the hair toss! Mercy..... Barrie’s accent slips a little at times, but who cares?
Breathless with longing: The music playing during Ace’s takeoff bits is strongly reminiscent of "Take My Breath Away", which appeared in the movie "Top Gun". What a coincidence!
Tongue tied: This episode contains Hattie Hayridge as Holly’s finest moment: her response to Ace asking her name is a scream.
Mind that pedestrian, I mean star: Rimmer directing Kryten in Starbug is eerily reminiscent of that other champion backseat driver, Hyacinth Bucket in "Keeping Up Appearances".
Salted wines of the Estonian weaving district: As a rabid traveller who’s racked up many tens of thousands of frequent-flyer miles, I’m particularly appreciative of the gags about in-flight magazines. I laughed so hard I forgot to fold back my tray table.
Music to my ears: Lister says here his favourite music is rastabilly skank, which is a nice link to Rimmer’s speech in "Thanks For the Memory" about his memory of the eight months with Lise Yates during which this was his favourite music.
What a shot!: When Ace goes to leave, he’s seen walking down a corridor with his shades on, smoking, and the scene then cuts to Rimmer with the skutter. The scene that follows, a cut back to Ace walking, is a repeat of the first part of the previous Ace shot.
Vital organs: The first variant seen to the closing theme here, with a spirited rendition by the skutters on that prince of instruments, the Hammond organ.
SYNOPSIS: Kryten discovers and repairs a matter paddle which takes the crew to the nearest planet with a breathable atmosphere: Wax World, a theme park staffed by wax droids. The droids have broken their programming and are engaged in a bitter war, heroes against villains. The heroes are hopelessly outnumbered, and so it’s General Rimmer to the rescue. Despite the protests of Lister, Rimmer manages to wipe out the entire population of the planet, claiming a glorious victory as he does so.
COMMENT: We’ve seen mention of Rimmer’s military fixation before, with frequent references to his admiration for Napoleon, not to mention his subscription to "Fascist Dictator Monthly". In this ep Rimmer’s military fantasies are taken to their natural conclusion, but something goes badly wrong with the execution of this concept.
The episode starts very well: the Risk story is terrific, and Lister and the Cat’s scene about the death of Winnie the Pooh is a real gem. However, things career rapidly downhill from there: Rimmer’s scenes with the impersonators are yawnsome, and after that things go from dull to actively unpleasant. Call me sensitive, but I don’t find it particularly hilarious watching an entire population we’ve just been told is sentient being annihilated. In addition, the portrayal of Rimmer as an insane tyrant with absolutely no qualms about killing his entire army just doesn’t fit: the Rimmer we know is a bastard, but he’s not actively evil. And if all that wasn’t bad enough (and it is), we have to endure the antiwar moral at the end being delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. As is usual with Red Dwarf, this episode works where the comedy is based in the characters, but when it moves away from that, as with the non-hilarious concept of the impersonators, it dies the death. Top marks, as ever, to the core cast for their performances in this, but they can’t work miracles when the material is dire.
Tucked behind the "comedy" are some interesting ideas: as well as the antiwar theme, the question of what constitutes a sentient life form is raised. As the wax droids have broken their programming, they are, of course, now as sentient as Kryten himself. This issue is reminiscent of the long-running debate in Star Trek: The Next Generation about whether Data is a life form. The Trek connection can also be spotted in the discussion of the matter transporter, and is it coincidental that in that conversation Kryten uses the words "fully functional", which ever since they were applied to Data’s sexual capabilities are guaranteed to make the Trek fan snigger?
THE BEST BIT: Lister and the Cat attempting to escape from Hitler’s room - the fireplace scene is an absolute classic.
THE WORST BIT: The "and the moral of the story is" ending.
IMMORTAL DIALOGUE: "Does it have a kind of rope motif?" "There’s a sort of noosy theme, yeah."
"We attack tomorrow under cover of daylight."
Risky business: During Rimmer’s nightmare-to-memorise Risk speech, Chris Barrie’s eye catches the camera when he says "That would have been quite interesting", but it looks accidental rather than a deliberate delivery to camera.
Hailing frequencies open: Kryten’s reference to "subspace" lifts the concept directly from Star Trek.
Bee mine: This is the first episode to introduce the concept of Rimmer being powered by a light bee.
Waxing repetitive: The wax droid part of this plot seems to be a direct lift from the movie "Westworld", in which amusement park androids break their programming and run amok.
Smegasaurus: The cheesy dinosaur footage is very reminiscent of the Japanese Godzilla films - or, more to the point, Doug McClure’s dinosaur B-movies.
Belt and braces: The villain wax droids build a gallows, then execute Winnie the Pooh by firing squad.
Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten us into: The Cat’s whimpering when he finds out what the villain droids are doing presages the Stan Laurel impersonator.
And he’s neither: Rimmer’s line about the steers and queers is another direct lift, this time from the movie "An Officer And A Gentleman".
Shades of the past: Hey, isn’t Rimmer wearing Ace’s aviators?
It’s all relative: Tony Hawks makes his third appearance in Red Dwarf, this time as Caligula (he was the guide in "Better Than Life" and the compère in "Backwards"). He also lends his vocal talents to the dispensing machine in "Future Echoes" and the suitcase in "Stasis Leak". Is he somebody’s cousin or something?
This episode will self-destruct in thirty seconds: The drum roll scene changes used in this episode sound suspiciously like those used in "Mission: Impossible".
Thank you very much: Another variation on the closing theme: this time it’s done by the Elvis impersonator.
In some of the outdoor scenes, Rimmer (the hologram)’s and Kryten (the android with no body temperature)’s breath can be seen.