Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Red Dwarf Season 6

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Welcome to the 6th review about the British comedy Red Dwarf. For those who don't know, Red Dwarf is a British Science Fiction comedy about the last human being alive. This is the first part of the reviews that will span all eight seasons as well as the Back to Earth specials. Perhaps when the next season finally comes out I will add it to my list of reviews. Click here for the review of Season 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Season 6 (1993)

Episode 1 - Psirens
Red Dwarf has vanished and the crew (in Starbug) have been chasing it's vapor trail for 200 years. Kryten wakes Lister and the Cat from their deep sleep when they seem to be getting close to Red Dwarf. The crew comes across an area of space crawling with Psirens (big bugs) that can read a person's mind and appear as anything or anyone in order to get in close to suck out their brains. The crew fight their way out, gaining on Red Dwarf. As I have said this is my least favorite season of Red Dwarf. They seem to have ditched the whole idea of the series and the only thing holding them to the original premise is the elusive Red Dwarf.

Episode 2 - Legion
This is my favorite episode of the series. Once the crew is on Legion's ship the show is confined and the comedy interaction is between the crew (becoming more comedy and less sci-fi). Anyway, the crew come across a ship/base where a life form mysteriously shows up and it very gracious to the crew. His name is Legion and he even gives Rimmer a 'hard light drive' which allows Rimmer to touch things. This is a very cool concept but it defeats the purpose of Rimmer's unique situation. The writers saw this (I think) and decided that the 'hard light' uses a lot more energy and can't be used indefinitely. Legion turns out to be made up of the crew, a collection of their emotions. They discover the key to disarming the powerful Legion and make their escape.

Episode 3 - Gunmen of the Apocalypse
Kryten is attacked by a computer virus and the crew uses the virtual reality machine to enter Kryten's mind and help him fight the virus. Kryten's mind has taken on a Western theme and the virus is portrayed as the Death, Famine, Disease, and War. Its hard to pick my least favorite episode of the season, but this one is in there. They seemed real happy to get this neat Western town to do the episode in but I just didn't care for it. There are a couple of funny bits (the ones involving Cat's Western persona, The Riveria Kid) but other than that it was a snoozefest.

Epsidoe 4 - Emohawk - Polymorph 2
What the heck is this? It seems the writers were like... 'remeber that polymorph episode, wasn't that great, let's do it again'. This is a rehash of the Season 3 episode with all the charm sucked out of it. It was basically a reason to bring abck Ace Rimmer and Duane Dibbley. The episode made no sense in any sort of continuity (even the thinnest). I must say this is my leat favorite of the season (there, I picked one). Oh yeah, the episode is about a smaller polymorph that gets loose on the ship and the crew battles it. Woowe.

Episode 5 - Rimmerworld
Rimmer gets sucked through a worm hole and spends several hundred years on a planet that he populates with Rimmers using the terraforming technology from the pod he was on when he crashed on the planet. Only problem is that all these clones of Rimmer are just as petty as he is and Rimmer spends hundreds of years locked in prison until the Red Dwarf crew comes and rescues him. I don't want to annoy those hard core fans but how did Rimmer get DNA to replicate himself? He couldnt' find any in the episode DNA but all the sudden he has some with him in this terraforming pod? Chris Barrie plays all the other Rimmer clones (which is one of the only bright spots of the episode. Oh, one more pick... how did Rimmer's hologram stay running with no power source for more than 600 years?

Episode 6 - Out Of Time
The crew finds a time drive which can transport them to any time in history. The crew meets up with their future selves; greedy, fat, and snobby. The future crew needs to see the time drive that the crew has in order to make repairs on their time drive (which was damaged). When the crew refuses to help the jerks they are fired upon and Lister, Cat, and Kryten are killed. Rimmer runs and destroys the time drive and the episode ends. The reveal of the future crew is the highlight of this episode. Other than that... meh.


Before Season 6 broadcast 2 different American Red Dwarf pilots were shot. They never seemed to get off the ground with the studio (which is probably a good thing). Here is the 1st pilot:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Didn't Kryten's chin look really wierd? Here is the 2nd pilot (screener thingy):

Part 1
Part 2

Join me next time for the strange Season 7

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