Trojan

Red DwarfRimmer’s hard drive runneth over with resentment upon the discovery of a derelict spaceship, where he receives a distress call from a Space Corps ship commanded by his more priveleged brother, Howard. Rimmer launches into an elaborate plan to gain a promotion before reuniting with Howard, who is already a command officer. As often happens with Rimmer’s elaborate plans, this is an utter failure, and Rimmer must now try to trick his brother into thinking that he is Red Dwarf’s captain, and ropes Lister, Kryten and Cat into maintaining this facade. But when the brothers are runited, it turns out that they’re more alike than expected – and Howard is absolutely counting on Rimmer’s wealth of command experience to salvage his ship. In the meantime, millions of years from home, having fought GELFs, simulants, polymorphs, and vindaloo monsters, David Lister has met his match: being put on hold.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Mark Dexter (Howard Rimmer), Susan Earl (Sim Crawford), Lucy Newman-Williams (Aii Droid Jayne / Phone Droid Voice), Bryan Bounds (Aii Droid Bob / Phone Droid Voice), Laurence Bouvard, (Phone Droid Voice), Rupert Degas (Phone Droid Voice)

Notes: The first episode of Red Dwarf’s first regular season since 1999, Trojan makes virtually no references to past episodes. The tenth season was produced and broadcast by UK cable/satellite comedy channel Dave, following on from the impressive ratings scored by 2009’s three-part Back To Earth special (which apparently now counts as the show’s ninth season). Also, for the first time since 1999, the series was filmed in front of a live audience and their laugh track is included in the show’s audio.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Fathers and Suns

Red DwarfRimmer discovers a habit of Lister’s that, even among his other eccentric habits that spring from being the last human being alive, ranks up there as “really strange”: every Father’s Day, Lister writes a card to his father (who, years ago, thanks to a time paradox, he discovered was really himself), gets roaring drunk and forgets that he wrote it. Kryten then delivers the card a year later, and it’s a heartwarming surprise. Rimmer decides to throw a new variable into this strange-but-well-oiled-routine by pointing out that Lister’s father hasn’t really been there for him. Lister takes steps to mend his relationship with his father, quickly discovering that it won’t be easy. In the meantime, Rimmer and Kryten prepare to put a piece of equipment from the derelict Space Corps ship to use: a new ship’s computer called Pree. With her ability to predict the crew’s actions and decisions, Pree could be a major asset, if she doesn’t decide to do away with the crew first – another relationship that requires major work.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Rebbecca Blackstone (Pree), Kerry Shale (Medi-Bot / Taiwan Tony)

Notes: This is the first Red Dwarf X episode to refer back to specific episodes of previous seasons. Lister being his own father was established in the Red Dwarf VII episode Ouroboros, while Rimmer and Kryten’s hunt for a new ship’s computer reflects Back To Earth‘s mention that Holly has ceased to function altogether. Lister (trying to must his best father-to-son pep talk) urges Lister to “find Krissie,” so presumably the hunt for Kochanski (last glimpsed at the end of Back To Earth is still on, though Lister seems unusually unmotivated to find her. The scene in which Lister gets back aboard confirms the long-standing tech point (from novels and fan-written materials) that the large, shuttlecock-shaped appendage on the front of Red Dwarf is a ramscoop (a real hypothetical space engine that gathers and utilizes interstellar hydrogen like an air-breathing airplane engine). Like Queeg before her, Pree is uninstalled; sometimes, no computer is better than a computer that’s out to kill you.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Lemons

Red DwarfLister, Rimmer, Kryten and Cat set about trying to build a device, whose parts were found aboard the derelict ship, which will rejuvenate their bodies to the peak of health. Thanks to a major misunderstanding of the assembly instructions (printed in Swedish), the device malfunctions seriously, sending the four back in time to Earth, in the year 23 A.D. They have a device that will allow them to return to Red Dwarf, but must build their own battery for it, since none was installed prior to their accidental time travel. The search for their first battery ingredient, lemons, sends them on a six-month trek across Europe and Asia on foot, where they meet a man named Jesus. The undue attention they pay to him attracts the attention of soldiers who are already pursuing him, leaving them with no choice but to bring Jesus to the future and to Red Dwarf – history will be rewritten either way, but the time travel options prevents Jesus’ premature death. Once aboard Red Dwarf, it’s practically unavoidable that Jesus eventually learns of his pivotal place in human history, and the fate that awaits him if he returns.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Indira Joshi (Erin), James Baxter (Jesus), Nicholas Richards (Uncle Aaron), Tom Pepper (Man who may be Jesus & Judas), Hormuzd Todiwala (Waiter)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Entangled

Red DwarfRed Dwarf encounters its first life forms in about a decade, only to discover that they’re genetically-engineered humanoid garbage disposals. Lister engages them in the only kind of diplomacy he knows: a game of poker, in which he loses Starbug. Attempting to get Red Dwarf’s shuttlecraft back, he then proceeds to put Rimmer up as collateral, and loses again. Rimmer is less than pleased (but also less than surprised) at this development, but Lister is determined to reverse his losses at the poker table – and fast, because to ensure his cooperation, the life forms have fitted him with a security device that will explode (starting with his crotch) if he upsets them. Kryten and the Cat discover that they’ve become intermittently entangled on the quantum level, leading to a number of favorable coincidences in their presence. Lister and Rimmer are now counting on these coincidences to set them free.

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Steven Wickham (Begg Chief), Peter Elliott (Chimp), Sydney Stevenson (Professor Edgington), Emma Campbell-Jones (TV Character 1), Nick Barber (TV Character 2), Nik Williams (Chimp Puppeteer), Jun Matsuura (Chimp Puppeteer)

Notes: Kochanski gets another mention; interestingly, so too is the incident from the very first episode, The End, in which Rimmer’s negligence wipes out Red Dwarf’s original crew, and Lister talks as though that crew was lost forever, which would seem to cast the rediscovery of that crew in Red Dwarf VIII in a very vague new light – was that season a bad dream, a parallel timeline that never happened to the “real” Lister, et al., or some other kind of marginalized reality?

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Dear Dave

Red DwarfLister finds himself missing the human race, despite Kryten’s attempts to remind him that the human race never did anything for him. Lister’s rampant depression soon affects even Rimmer, who faces a crisis of his own: having not reported to a single day of work in over three millennia (by virtue of being dead), Rimmer is in danger of having his rank reduced automatically per Jupiter Mining Corporation policy. Lister seeks solace wherever he can, even to the point of striking up a relationship with one of the ship’s vending machines, which leads to a bit of a misunderstanding with a piece of machinery whose job it is to dispense snacks…

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Isla Ure (Dispenser 23 / Dispenser 34)

Notes: Once again, Lister’s pining for the human race seems to completely discount Red Dwarf VIII and its nanobot-replicated crew.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Beginning

Red DwarfRed Dwarf and its crew are ill-equipped to survive an attack by rogue simulants, especially simulants hell-bent on recovering a map of wormholes and other safe passages through space recently acquired by Lister. Leaving Red Dwarf unmanned and escaping aboard Blue Midget, Rimmer, Lister, Cat and Kryten hide out in a nearby asteroid belt, hoping to plan their next move. Ultimately, they decide it’s time for Rimmer to utilize the expertise that (they hope) he has after a lifetime of absorbing stories about military strategy. Rimmer also brings along a holographic message left for him by his late father, in the event that Rimmer ever becomes an officer. Despite the fact that he’s still a second technician aboard a derelict mining ship, Rimmer plays the message, hoping for some invaluable advice or a rousing pep talk. Instead of the benediction he hopes for, however, Rimmer instead learns something that sets him free from a lifetime (and a three-million-year living death) of disappointments. But can it save his crewmates?

Order the DVDswritten by Doug Naylor
directed by Doug Naylor
music by Howard Goodall

Red DwarfCast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Richard O’Callaghan (Hogey the Roguey), Gary Cady (Dominator Ziurth), Alex Hardy (Chancellor Wednesday), Colin Hoult (Chancellor Thuusday), Simon Treves (Lecturer Rimmer), Taylor James (Big Simulant Advisor), Philip Labey (young Rimmer), Joanne Gale (Wendy)

Notes: Rimmer’s father was played in the 1988 episode Better Than Life by the late John Abineri; obviously the role had to be recast. The episode is dedicated to the memory of Red Dwarf’s original visual FX designer, Peter Wragg (1947-2012). Actor Gary Cady is a genre veteran with a much more peaceful role behind him, that of the ill-fated Luke Ward in 1985’s Doctor Who story The Mark Of The Rani (very, very early in Cady’s TV career). Richard O’Callaghan appeared in Red Dwarf: Back To Earth as the Creator.

LogBook entry by Earl Green