I've been offline for a bit, admittedly, but I've been fighting off a cold. So it was in an attempt to build up some positive attitude that I put on Red Dwarf, series six, hoping for a laugh.
It was then that I made an observation - the previous five series were relatively solid, with five really good stories and one rather OK story. Unfortunately, the fatigue begins with series six - with three plain episodes, two brilliant ones, and one flat-out stinker.
The stinker - Rimmerworld. Basically, it's a planet full of Arnold Rimmer clones. Wow.
But the middle, somewhat OK episodes show that - at the very least - Rob Grant and Doug Naylor were beginning to recycle ideas. One is an flat-out sequel to a season three classic (and one of the photos in this post is a spoiler for which two returning characters), and both Legion and Psirens have their moments...but don't really catch fire. They're enjoyable, but nothing really stands out in either one. (OK, Pete Trantor's sister quote about making the "big, juicy peach" is one, but that's about it).
However, the two remaining episodes are simply flat-out brilliant, and are really reminiscent of the Dwarf of old. Gunmen of the Apocalypse is a fan-favorite, and it's easy to see why: it has some great concepts, a good story, and is wrapped in a nice little package. It also has some great quotes, and quite frankly, deserves all of the accolates that it has received.
But the season-ending Out of Time is, in my opinion, a flat-out work of genius. It contains multiple mini-plots within the episode, and quite frankly, I think that the last three minutes (warning: clicking this link will spoil it, but you can watch it for yourself).
Normally, I would have a link for you, dear reader to buy a copy of the DVDs (and you can always head straight to the online store); but my recommendation is that you rent the DVDs.
Series 6 isn't bad, but to put it into perspective - it would be four years between series 6 and 7.
And series 7....well, that's next week.
See you then.