Red Dwarf

Season 10 Episode 6

The Beginning

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Nov 08, 2012 on BBC Two

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
23 votes
  • The slime's coming home!

    Whether you're a fan of series X or not, this episode is definitely worth a viewing. The show has sort of fluctuated in quality since series VII and once or twice I felt like packing it in. That said, I'm glad I stuck with it. The beginning felt like some sort of reward for the show's more faithful fans. Yes, my 10 star rating might seem a bit high and maybe overzealous but this episode is hands down my favourite this series. Is it a classic like Back to Reality or Gunmen of the Apocalypse? I don't know. I guess time will tell.

    I've seen no recent press releases to suggest that Red Dwarf will return for an eleventh series and for all I know this may have been the show's swan song. If this is the series' last ever episode, I'm a little unnerved that it didn't convey a greater sense of resolution. What this episode does do (and it does so very well) is deliver a payoff for fans who've stuck with the show since it first aired and move one particular character a few miles forward on their personal journey. I admit I was a little scared when I discovered last night's episode was entitled "The Beginning". Especially considering that the first ever episode bore the heading "The End". Has the series finally come to a close? I wish I knew, but I'll talk about that in more depth a little later.

    The episode had a brilliant opening. A rogue mechanoid storms the ship in search of Lister claiming "You kissed my brother". Weird that the droid had a spanish accent, but what the hell? It was genuinely funny. I found it a little odd that Kryten was so nonchalant about a killer robot boarding the vessel, but it made for a good joke and it became apparent after a while that this type of thing happens often aboard Red Dwarf. Lister's interaction with the droid and his refusal to engage in a duel across time and space was brilliant and a good example of some of the classic dwarf dialogue Doug Naylor is capable of producing when he really knuckles down and decides to kick some ass. The cookoff to the death was a genius idea and I'd love to see this droid character return if the show is renewed.

    The dwarfers discover the droid is a thief and the encounter inevitably leads to a showdown with a rogue simulant death ship and its evil, yet fairly dorky crew members. Finally, we get confirmation that the human race was indeed wiped out by simulants. Moreover, we get introduced to some hilarious new characters. Despite wanting a little more focus on the crew of Red Dwarf, the scenes with the death ship crew had me giggling. The ship's commander would make for a great recurring villain and his interaction with his underlings was pure entertainment.

    If this episode had one weakness, it was that it became a little predictable. Arnold's journey was just a tad too conventional, but that in itself came as a big surprise considering this is Red Dwarf. Rimmer's flashbacks and his inability to think under pressure all serve to highlight the character's key personality traits. He is and has always been a bitter man living in the shadow of his father and brothers. Awesome to see Rimmer's dad on screen by the way. Didn't know he was a professor. How strange. Almost as strange as Rimmer's last words being "mmmm" instead of "Gaspatcho Soup!". Red Dwarf has always been rife with continuity errors, but I guess all their time travelling escapades were bound to screw with the fabric of the universe sooner or later.

    Having Cat be the one to help Rimmer face his inner demons seemed a little odd considering everything that's ever been done or said by the character in every previous episode ever. To be honest it seemed a little forced and out of sorts. That said, it kept the plot moving and gave the overgrown feline something to do besides play the fool. The Cat has become an insightful human being! These are almost definitely the end times.

    Rimmer's reaction to his father's message was a little predictable, but so cool to watch. I could see where the roads would turn, but it was still fun to be taken along for the ride. When Rimmer slammed his fist down on the table I almost felt like cheering. I've watched these characters since I was a kid and it's great to see one of them take a positive step and find some small form of success.

    The ending was excellent as was the cutaway gag following the end credits. Having Rimmer declare "The Slime's coming home!" brought back a lot of memories and reminded me of what makes this show awesome. It's fantastic to see Rimmer grow as a character and I'm interested to see if this change continues into series eleven... if there is a series eleven.

    Which brings me back to what I was talking about earlier. Having Rimmer utter Lister's final line from the pilot and having the episode's title reflect that of the pilot has me worried that this may infact be Red Dwarf's concluding chapter. As the final episode of a series, The Beginning was fantastic. As the last Red Dwarf episode EVER, it just doesn't live up to expectations. It would have been cool if there had been a greater sense of resolution and if all those loose plot threads had been neatly tied up. That said, I may be wrong. Perhaps Red Dwarf will return again next year. I hope it does. The show seems to be heading in a great direction. Besides, it wouldn't be fair to leave these characters without giving Lister a happy ending!

    Additional: Apparently we will never know what happened at the end of Series VIII. Very funny Doug Naylor... You sadistic smeg head!