This article is coming to you a little late today and unfortunately I have no excuses, my work load is pretty steady at the moment and there’s no illness going around. However I do have a reason for my tardiness, I just discovered that seasons one to eight of Red Dwarf are on Netflix. If that sentence doesn’t fill you with glee then your either not human or you’re lacking on of the cornerstones of pop culture in your life. See before we had existential comedy series such as Community, Rick and Morty or Bojack Horseman we had Red Dwarf.
For the uninitiated, Red Dwarf is a comedy set thousands of years into the future focusing on a human, a hologram, a robot and a hyper-evolved cat adrift in space on a hulking mining vessel from which the crew have perished. It’s sci-fi but unlike anything you have seen before as the crew aren’t dashing heroes or pirates, they are just ordinary guys bumming around space. Once more, the creators Grant and Naylor decide upon a universe where humanity never found any alien life. Every problem the crew encounter is a human creation susceptible to all the flaws of human design. There are cyborgs but that have been lied to and told that they go to ‘silicon heaven when they die’ so they serve their masters with glee. Teleporters have been designed but they are inaccurate. The entirety of the ship is maintained by scutter robots who have an obsession with John Wayne. This gives the show a satirical edge but it doesn’t get to the root of the series success.
The main character of the series is Dave Lister, he was the lowest ranked crew member on the mining vessel and was put in stasis just before the crew were all killed due to a radiation leak. Dave is a humble, lazy and idiot but he always meant well and when he awakes thousands of years in the future, yes they did that way before futurama, he’s presented with a lonely and desolate existence. Lots of episodes revolve around Dave, and fellow hologramatic crew mate Rimmer, trying to work out their lives and the choices that lead up to their current situation. This is something that everyone can easily sympathise with and it gives the show an unprecedented level of heart.
If you’re looking to write any sort of comedy or drama this show is really worth watching, doubly so if you want to work with in sci-fi and fantasy. Fans of the series will tell you that it peters out around series six but I still think the entire series is worth one run through then you can pick and choose the bits you want to go back and you will want to go back to a lot. Eight seasons may seem a little daunting though so if you’re only going to watch one episode make it ‘Better Than Life’, the name is taken from the second novel upon which the series is based band it is a masterpiece in scriptwriting. That about wraps it up so I’ll just say this, smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast.
…That was this week’s BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!! Check back on Wednesday for a new Comic History 101!!!