Friday, 12 October 2012
TV: Red Dwarf Series 10 - Fathers and Suns
The second episode of this new series is a much funnier affair than last week's limp opener and seems to prove that there is indeed still life in the Red Dwarf formula. Doug Naylor's script had a couple of good recurring gags and two big ideas that move the episode along nicely. Not only that, but all the regulars put in engaging performances, especially Craig Charles as Lister, who gets to take centre stage.
In a previous series a visit to the past led to Lister becoming his own dad. Naylor develops this well with Lister sending himself Father's Day cards when he's drunk and then going further and offering his 'son' some tough love via video recordings that has a great payoff as Lister the dad throws Lister the son's guitar out of the spaceship. The sequences of Lister effectively trying to lie to himself are very funny and his dual role as son and father give Charles much more to do and he is very funny.
The other plot has the crew install a new computer, Pree, that has a unique talent - it can predict their behaviour and do what they wish before they ask for it. This leads to some great moments as Pree repairs the spaceship in the way Rimmer would have done - i.e. a total botch job. As Pree starts doing more and more things before they ask, the plots of Lister as his own dad and the new computer come together cleverly and also brings to a close the running gag about whether the game Chinese Whispers is racist.
Last week I thought the Red Dwarf concept has run its course and it seemed as old as its cast but this week, with a script as clever as those of old and a lively turn from Lister, the show felt fresh and fun again. I'm very happy to stand corrected and look forward to next week's.
GK Rating: ***