September 29, 2008

Smeggin' Mondays - Red Dwarf Series 5

I cannot be objective about this - I pretty much love series five of Red Dwarf.

It's hard to even know when to begin - yes, it's beginning to be a little more like a sitcom, but the plots are dense - in fact, the plots do more in half an hour than in an entire episode of Star Trek: Voyager. (Just ask Siskoid). Much of the writing is spot-on, and there isn't a clunker episode in the bunch.

(And for me, that's admitting a lot - I really didn't care for the episode Devils and Angels at first, and having rewatched it - it's not all that bad. It would come in # 6 on my top five).

But these episodes often straddle the line between comedy and drama, with several downright chilling moments happening between wisecracks. (See The Inquisitor or Quarantine). Granted, one of the big themes of this series is delving into the characters of Lister, Rimmer, the Cat, and Kryten, mostly through showing lives never led, and/or alternative lives. (Given that an American version was being developed around this time, perhaps this has a subconscious influence on Rob Grant and Doug Naylor's writing).

This is also the season where several near-iconic characters and situations are introduced - the Cat's nerdy alter-ego, Duane Dibbley (Back to Reality); the Inquisitor, who judges individuals on whether they lead a worthwhile life; and of course, perhaps the greatest character ever created in the history of western civilization:

(If Mike Sterling or Chris Sims really loved us, they'd feature more Flibble on their blogs)

But the greatest thing about this series is how smeggin' quotable it is - you'll find yourself watching this over and over repeatedly to take in really cool phrases. You'll learn more Space Corps Directives than ever. But you'll also begin casually inserting series five lines into your daily conversation, including:
  • Let's put on the jet powered rocket pants and Junior Birdman the hell out of here!
  • A fine plan, sir, with just two flaws...
  • From where I come from, nothing is up
  • Spoiling for a rumble
  • You've got brains...brains you've never used
  • I know what to get you for Christmas - a double lobotomy and 10 rolls of rubber wallpaper and my personal favorite:
  • That sounds like the kind of hard-living, no-nonsense flatfoot that gets the job done by cutting corners and bucking authority...and if those pen-pushers at city hall don't like it, they can park their overpaid fat a$$e$ on this mid-digit and swivel...swivel until they squeal like pigs on a honeymoon!
So do yourself a favor - be sure to watch Red Dwarf Series 5 at least once in your life. It may not be the secret to personal growth...but you'll laugh yourself silly.

Everyone should see this at least once in their lives.

Very Highly Recommended


Siskoid said...

If asked, I will give you reason.

Hal said...

Great to see you working your way through the RED DWARF seasons. "Quarantine" remains my favorite episode of the series ever, partially due to Mr. Flibble himself, but also due to the geniune danger in the midst of the humor that you speak of.