8. Red Dwarf - Marooned
For a show based on a pretty grim premise - the entirety of humanity bar one slob is wiped out - Red Dwarf rarely chose to dwell on the melancholic. Lacing the comedy with something more serious, however, made for some of the show’s best episodes, like season three’s “Marooned”.
The episode is all Craig Charles and Chris Barrie. Lister and Rimmer find themselves stranded on an ice planet. As is their wont, they instantly get on one another’s nerves - but when the situation becomes truly bleak, they drop the facade. The bickering pair open up - it’s a revealing episode for actors and characters alike.
Barrie’s performance was consistently one of the best things about Red Dwarf - he plays Rimmer like a coiled spring. Here, though, he’s substantially softer, dropping his cloak of officiousness as he learns more about Dave Lister, the man with whom he is doomed to spend the rest of time.
With its tiny cast, Red Dwarf was always a show that thrived within its own limits, but in concocting something akin to a two person mini-play, they push the claustrophobic vibes as far as they ever have, and it works a charm.