Red Dwarf

Episode Special

Red Dwarf USA

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Unknown on BBC Two

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
35 votes
  • 'The Craig Bierko/Male Cat version'

    I've only seen this version and it has to be said, if you haven't seen it either, you're not missing much. Admittedly the version I saw looked like it had been transferred from a VHS tape twenty times over, but what bad visuals couldn't hide was just how bad this pilot was.

    It's strange becasue most of the script is familiar - jokes and ideas from a bunch of Red Dwarf episodes stuck together, but based mostly around the episode 'The End' as you'd expect. The whole thing falls flat, yes it raised a few laughs, but only because I knew the jokes beforehand. The studio audience whoop it up like they're getting paid.

    Craig Bierko is an odd choice as Lister, but not as bad as most people make out, at least he puts some pathos into the scenes where he talks about his plan and rescuing the cat - but part of that has to go to the writers. Where the casting really fails is Rimmer - he's really bad and it can't help but remind you how good Chris Barrie is. The guy playing the Cat seems ok, but it's not easy to judge from his limited screen time. The only person who comes in right on the money is Jane Leeves as Holly, but then she gets dumped with a most horrible epilogue scene that is super cringeworthy.

    Robert Llewelyn reprises as Kryten and despite putting in his usual good performance, does over do it a bit. All in all you can't help but be thankful they never got this up and running. Still interested in seeing the Terry Farrell as Cat version.
  • For a show where the characters are the foundation, they did not seem to have any character (excluding Kryten).

    The first thing that was upsetting about the USA version of the show was that it seemed like the actors had never watched the show before, none of the truly solid things that made the characters the characters were there. There was next to nothing on the relationship of Rimmer and Lister in the USA pilot which is strange because in version one of the pilot next to everything is stolen from the real version of the show. I know why they thought it was a good idea to put Kryten into the cast right away, but the pilot seemed rushed and had next to no character development because of it. For a show that has pretty well 4-5 cast members at all time you need to establish the characters right away, where they stand and who they are what their relationships are etc.

    At least in version two, they stood back and seemed to introduce all of the characters. They did three mini-episodes taken from other episodes in the original introducing the characters in different circumstances. The new cat (as a woman) was an interesting twist, yet I am not sure if the writers know what the characteristics of a cat are, they are concerned with themselves, they are curious and afraid. This cat seemed to think that it was not able to die and was completely fearless, not really attributes I would associate with a cat.
    At any rate they did a better job all around in the second version.
  • This is a sad attempt to take a great British comedy and try to Americanize it. The only reason I give such a high rating is that Robert Llewellyn (Kryton) is in the show.

    This pilot episode starts with a Star Wars like story scrolling up the screen. It continues with the opening from the British Red Dwarf series. How original... NOT!!!

    This is suppose to be a comedy series, but from the start the jokes are dry, maybe because it is British jokes that are Americanized. These are the same jokes that are very funny in the British series. The American actors do not make their characters seem believable. Robert Llewellyn's portrayal of Kryton was excellent and always hilarious, although he did have years of practice to perfect it. The episode ends with the ships' computer (Holly) talking about further adventures of the crew while showing clips from the British series. I am not surprised that this Americanized version was not picked up.

    The second Pilot was as bad as the first. They had a different actor playing the part of Rimmer and a female (Terry Farrel, "Dax" of DS9) playing the part of Cat. These changes did not help sell the series, the second pilot failed.