Red Dwarf

Season 3 Episode 3

Polymorph

2
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Nov 28, 1989 on BBC Two
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
82 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
A pod arrives aboard Red Dwarf containing a genetic mutant which can change itself into any shape whatsoever. It appears to Lister in it's true form, bringing him to the height of his terror, and then sucking his fear right out of him. While they are searching for it, Cat is chased by his own heat-seeking bazookoid balls, and eventually manages evade them and lock them in a room. The Polymorph gets the Cat and takes away his vanity by appearing as a beautiful woman and flattering him. It then appears as Rimmer and blames Kryten for the Cat being attacked, thereby taking away Kryten's guilt. Later, when the three get back it appears as Rimmer's mother, pretending to have slept with Lister, angering Rimmer so much that it feeds off him also.. .

The gang now have very different personalities: we have Rimmer, a "wannabe" hippy, (T-shirt saying "Give quiche a chance"), Lister with nerves of steel and willing to sacrifice his life to kill it, Kryten with no sense of loyalty or guilt, and the Cat, a bum. They continue their search for the Polymorph and suddenly it comes up and attacks from behind. Luckily, an automatic door opens, releasing the bazookoid balls that were chasing the cat. The crew duck and the polymorph is destroyed. All the crew get their emotions back and they are free from the polymorph. Or so it may seem...moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Alien Syndrome

    10
    This is basically an parody on Ailen but it's done well because of how well it stands on it's own and it's one of my all time favorates. There is just not one dull moment, from the parts before the alien arrives, it was just funny seeing the fact that Lister was using medical tools as food utencils, I'm not sure if I would want to eat with them. Down to the alien arriveing, the polymorph is an interesting character since it can shapeshift into anything which makes finding the alien even harder. One of my favorate moments in the alien hunt was seeing the heat seeking discharges chase after Cat, as if those things had a mind of their own.



    However despite all of this the real comidy is in each of the characters acting contrary to their own personas once the Pollymorph sucked out a certain emotion of theirs making their personas based on just one type of emotion which is amplified. Everyone just does it so well it litterally feels believable. For Kryton it's guilt gone making him act like a insensitive self centered jerk, loved what he say's to Rimmer when he starts changing, "Oh screw you Hadron Head!" Kat it's vanity, making him into basically a dirty drunk street bum who has no pride in himself. But two of my favorates are Rimmer who lacks anger and has turned into a hippie or Tony Robbins like self help guru, it's just great seeing the sollution he is thinking of in getting rid of the Pollymorph which is nothing but a peaceful protest campagn. Down to Lister who has no fear and is bascially an anger driven half crazed gung ho. Some of the things he says are just priceless it made me laugh my head off, "I don't care if I have to die in some stupid pointless way, lets go to the weapon store right now and buy a nucular warhead, strap it on to my head, I'll knock the smeg it to oblivion." There may have been a few other episodes that have done this, but this episode is the genuine article and is still comic gold to this day.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Just after Kryten takes off Listers tiny boxer shorts and puts them in his bunk, he claims that they are not there as the polymorph has changed into a snake, howerver the boxer shorts are clearly visible on the bunk as he says this!

    • Season 1 Episode 1 clearly establishes that holograms are made of light and cannot physically interact with their surroundings. Several subsequent episodes confirm this, how can the polymorph attach itself to Rimmers forehead and suck out his anger?

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Kryten: What about the Space Corps directive which states: "It is our primary, overriding duty to contact other life forms, exchange information, and, whenever possible, bring them home"?
      Rimmer: What about the Rimmer directive, which states: "Never tangle with anything that's got more teeth then the entire Osmond family"?

    • Kryten(About the Polymorph): Apparently it was an attempt to create the ultimate warrior; A creature that could change shape to suit its terrain and deceive its enemies.
      Cat: So what did go wrong?
      Kryten:(Deep, creepy voice): It's insane!

    • Rimmer's Mum: The thing's this boy can do, with alphabetti spaghetti!
      Holly: Cool it Arnie!
      Rimmer: ALPHABETTI SPAGHETTI?!

    • [The polymorph has taken the form of Listers boxers and is now *ahem* 'strangling' him. Kryten is down on the floor with Lister, trying to help him take them off]
      Lister: Oh smeg Kryten, I can't stand it anymore, get them off, GET THEM OFF!
      Rimmer: [walks in to see the rather interesting scene in front of him] Well, I cant say I'm totally shocked! You'll bonk anything, won't you Lister!?.

    • Cat:This isn't a meal! It's an autopsy!

    • Lister: I'm gonna stick my fist so far down its gob, I'll be able to pull the label off its underpants.

    • Lister: If it wants a barney, we'll give it one! One swift knee in the happy sacks and it'll drop like anyone else!

    • Rimmer: I think we are straying from the most important business at hand, and that is what to call ourselves. My personal favorite, is the Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms, and their Rehabilitation Into Society. There is one drawback however, the abbreviation is Clitoris.

    • Lister: I've got an idea. Why don't we go down to the munitions cabinet, get the nuclear warheads, and strap one to my head? I'll nut the smegger into oblivion!

    • Lister: Well I say let's get out there and twat it!

    • Rimmer: Look, just because it's an armour-plated alien killing machine that salivates unspeakable slobber doesn't mean it's a bad person. What we've got to do is get it round a table and put together a solution package - perhaps over tea and biscuits.

    • Cat: This is a scalpel! I'm supposed to eat my food with this? Something that long ago in history may have performed a certain popular Jewish operation?!

  • NOTES (6)

    • The Polymorph turns into the following (in order) in this episode: teddy bear, bucket & spade, potted plant with red flowers, yellow toy dumper truck, china flamenco doll, white old-fashioned telephone, elephant ornament, hat, baseball glove & ball, boxer action figure, toy drum, yellow workman's lantern, red toy Volkswagen beetle, rollerskate, traffic cone, frilly lamp shade, inflatable penguin, yellow piggy bank, Ken doll, blue plastic chamber pot, alarm clock, rubber ball, white trainer, saucepan, yellow "koosh" ball, scrubbing brush, silver pail, fish bath toy, statue of Hindu god, light bulb, toy horn, sponge ball, red-and-black striped sock, fluffy white rabbit, basketball, kebab, red boxer shorts, snake, Genny (woman who hits on The Cat), Rimmer, Rimmer's Mum and Lister.

    • On the DVD commentary, Craig Charles says that they recieved some hate mail because of this episode, particularly about the CLITORIS joke. One woman apparently wrote that she was so appalled by the joke she would never watch the show again and also was embarrased that she had to explain what clitoris meant to her 8-year-old daughter.

    • In the Remastered version Kalli Greenwood (Rimmer's Mum) had her voice dubbed with a younger, more spophisticated-sounding womans voice to emphasise how Rimmer described his mum earlier.
      Also new sound effects for the heat-seeking missiles that chased Cat around the cargo bay were added.

    • UK Gold apparently cut Lister's line "Well I say let's get out there and twat it!" short when they broadcast the episode.

    • The reason the ending was changed in The Remastered version was because Doug Naylor was getting tired of fans asking what happened to the second Polymorph. Really, it's pretty obvious what happened - just use your imagination.

    • The Remastered version of this episode contained a new ending. Originally we saw the crew walking single file past the camera with two Listers bringing up the rear, the second one snarling at the camera and then changing into another Polymorph. The new ending simply had scrolling text giving a brief (and silly) story of what happened to the second Polymorph. Apparantly, the second Polymorph hid in Lister's sock drawer, and ended up dying of starvation two weeks later.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Lister: Come on, ya bunch of tarts, it's clobbering time!

      This is a reference to Marvel Comics' Thing, and his battle cry, "It's Clobberin' Time!"

    • This episode's plot bears a certain resemblance to the movie "Alien" and its sequels, along with a number of earlier low-budget SF films -- "Alien monster takes out an isolated group one by one" -- dating all the way back to the original "The Thing" from 1951.

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