Red Dwarf XII – Anyone Feel Like Toast?

Red Dwarf has been pretty hot with the laughs this series and Mechocracy continues right on track. Mechocracy delivers great writing with sizeable laughs liberally strewn throughout the episode.

A computer virus is allowed unrestricted access into the main drive of Red Dwarf after Cat and Lister unwittingly download some e-cargo from a doomed ship falling into a black hole. After Kryten initiates the anti-virus they discover there isn’t enough processing power to get rid of the virus before Red Dwarf will crash into the black hole. The only option, abandon ship.

Lister (Craig Charles) lets the cat out of the bag to Rimmer (Chris Barrie) and Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) (c) 2017 GrantNaylor Productions
Lister (Craig Charles) lets the cat out of the bag to Rimmer (Chris Barrie) and Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) (c) 2017 GrantNaylor Productions

The ship’s vending machines, assuming their vital importance, await to abandon ship with the boys, however they are not so gently told by Rimmer that they are not indispensable, so they’ll be left behind. Suddenly a miracle happens and the virus is eradicated. It seems every computer system on the ship has banded together to get rid of the virus. Red Dwarf is saved.

Great, right. Wrong. As a result every system and machine on board goes on strike, stranding the boys on B-deck with no electricity, food, water, etc. In order to appease the machines they offer to have a machine election so they can vote for someone to give the machine a voice. What could go wrong?

This is the type of Red Dwarf episode I like best. It focuses almost entirely on the main cast with the guests fuelling and supporting their antics without overly getting in the way.

Cat and Lister are at their irrepressible best and as a foil Rimmer is perfect, promoting and demoting Lister with smug glee. Kryten, unexpectedly, plays Rimmer like a fiddle to manipulate him into doing something unexpected to us and to Rimmer. Plus we see the return of a rather memorable character.

Talkie Toaster (David Ross) holds the fate of the election in his... grill? (c) 2017 GrantNaylor Productions
Talkie Toaster (David Ross) holds the fate of the election in his… grill? (c) 2017 GrantNaylor Productions

Mechocracy does a terrific job of combining the most absurd aspects of what is happening in the world of politics today with the classic mayhem we expect from Red Dwarf. Doug Naylor has written a cracking episode and it will no doubt be talked about for some time to come.

Series XII has, thus far, been on par with some of the best series’ produced. With only two episodes left, I expect to hear any day that we can look forward to a series XII. And XIV.

As an aside I just want to mention that the merchandise range offered for series 12 is outstanding; a Mugs Murphy Mug, Leopard Lager T-Shirt, Mugs Murphy T-Shirt, and London Jets T-Shirt are all essential kit for the discerning Red Dwarf fan. Now if they’d only reproduce Lister’s jacket…

Get your Red Dwarf kit at the Red Dwarf Shop.

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