Saturday, October 20, 2012

Red Dwarf X: Lemons

"Lemons", the latest episode, takes the crew through another quasi-believable time travel mechanism (not an inherently bad thing; this show is really good at that), winding up in the year 23 AD, on Earth, in England.
It's a little bit contrived that yet again, their time travel widget takes them 3 million years through space onto Earth, but we'll accept that. This is even lampshaded by Cat when they first get there.

It's extremely contrived that everyone speaks English, but again we'll forgive this point, because translation jokes would have just made the episode stupider and more boring. Even "Why is there an H on your forehead, and why does your friend look like a chewed-up eraser?" doesn't need to be gone through yet again. Calling Kryten a gladiator was enough.

So, after Jesus reads about "Himself" and gets all depressed about it, you'd also think that maybe Lister would empathize. This is exactly what Dave went through in Waiting for God. They missed a great opportunity for a touching conversation between 2 reluctant gods and how they may have been misquoted, or their deeds misunderstood, even if it turned out that this wasn't really Jesus Jesus.

Rimmer mentions that his parents were members of the "Church of Judas". But we all know -- from the same episode where we learned about Lister's cardboard-box past, "The Last Day" -- that Rimmer's parents were Seventh Day Advent Hoppists ("Faith, hop and charity"). Maybe two names for the same thing, I suppose.

Also: How does Cat really know or care who Jesus is? Again, Cat's god is Cloister the Stupid, and human religion is irrelevant to his people. Sometimes I think the writers forget that Cat is a Cat except when convenient.  At all other times, he's an overgrown 5-year-old with unique fashion sense and sharp teeth.

Kryten also shouldn't be all that impressed with Jesus, but at least he spent his formative years around humans.

There is another trademark inconsistency in this episode that's almost endearing: comments about Shakespeare. Every time Shakespeare comes up, the characters' knowledge of him is whatever the plot requires of them. Whether Rimmer is referring to him as "Wilfred Shakespeare", or learning about Wilma in the Parallel Universe, or reciting that famous "Now" speech from Richard III, or coming up with a convenient way to introduce "skullet" into the lexicon...  It's not the only anachronistic cultural reference that the show has ever made, and it's not really a fault; it's just interesting that Shakespeare in particular keeps coming up like this.

Oh, yeah, and: If they were in search of battery power, why didn't anybody think to suggest Kryten's power supply or Rimmer's Light Bee power supply instead of their quest for citric acid? Not even as an insult-joke?

All the rest of that ignored, the jokes in this episode were alright, and the resolution was enough not to mess up all of human history too badly.  This is still on the level of "mediocre middle seasons", and better than Series 8, but it is not as good as Trojan was promising the series would be.

3 more episodes to go, let's see whether they can bring it on home.

1 comment:

  1. haha, yeah I was like, wait doesn't Kryten have batteries? I was worried about the Jesus thing because of that JFK episode (which I hated alot) but they managed to fix that. You're right, though, the jokes were decent. Most of this episode is what I called "dumb stuff" when I made a short review of the series as a whole ;)

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