When Red Dwarf encounters a space-time anomaly, a weird space thing for those who prefer Rimmer’s take on things, in the space-time continuum, Kryten has to confess that he’s been working on a small project that may have something to do with it. As it turns out, Kryten’s experiment may allow them to skip (hop) between universes.
When Lister finds Captain Hollister’s crew review book he can’t help but read Hollister’s review of himself, and then Rimmer’s. Predictably Lister, while lazy and feckless, is essential a bright person. Rimmer, coming from a good background, will never achieve the success he craves. After this humiliation, Rimmer decides to use the skip device to hop between universes to find one where he’s not such a loser.
Rimmer skipping between universes offers us a look at possible alternatives. Alternatives, while different to the one Rimmer knows, that aren’t quite what he’s looking for. Like a universe where a well mannered and cultured Lister, invites Rimmer to remain and enjoy good food and good company, but instead of a Cat crew member there is a Rat. Or a universe with dozens of Dave Listers crowding their quarters. And perhaps the most perfect universe where Rimmer is still alive and has become Navigation Officer. Perfect except for one flaw, forcing Rimmer to skip once more.
Skipper, much like M-Corp, uses Red Dwarf’s history to great effect, including the return of a very familiar face. This could be construed as fan-appeasing or pandering, but Doug Naylor manages to turn them into rather cheeky moments that had me either smiling broadly or laughing out loud. And while I still think that the last episode of the series should have been M-Corp (for obvious reasons), Skipper does an admirable job rounding things out.
Series XII has been an unequivocal success. It went back to its roots and scored big with the fans. This is a series that will be watched repeatedly by myself and many other fans. The Boys from the Dwarf nailed it.
Roll on series XIII!