Red Dwarf 10.1 Review - "Trojan"

rating: 5

(WARNING: Significant spoilers follow!) And so Red Dwarf returns for the tenth series. Yes, ten series in, what, 23 years? That€™s gotta be some sort of record. When we last saw the crew it was in the€well, €œnot great€ is the nicest thing I can say about it€story €œBack to Earth€. That particular story had some good moments, but it wasn€™t what you might think of as funny, which was a major problem. Fortunately, this episode forgets that storyline entirely and is, thankfully, very funny indeed. Right from the old-school opening credits, we see that the show is returning to its roots. This continues as we have Lister (Craig Charles), wagering on pig races and trying to order a coffee stirring machine (and waiting on hold for hours to do so), Rimmer (Chris Barrie), trying yet again to pass his officer€™s exams and going a tad overboard when he doesn€™t, and Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), and the Cat (Danny John-Jules), being€well, Kryten and the Cat. Things really kick into gear when they get a distress call from a ship called the Trojan. When they board, they receive another distress call from a ship captained by Rimmer€™s brother, Howard. This causes Rimmer to glitch madly and eventually to freeze up, with color wheels spinning in his eyes. Only a resentment drain saves him from his self-induced malware. To me that last bit represents everything that€™s great about Red Dwarf. The idea that someone like Rimmer is so messed-up that his resentment causes his light-bee to crash is just classic, and really makes this feel a lot like the series was back in its heyday. I also really loved the fact that Howard had indeed joined the Space Corps, as he said, but was in fact a vending machine repairman and not a captain. He eventual reaction goes to show that being screwed-up probably runs in Rimmer€™s family. The ongoing bit with Lister trying desperately to get through to order a coffee stirrer, even to the point of risking his life, was also pretty damn great. Lister€™s status as the last human is part of what really made the series in the first few years, and I€™m pleased to see them revisiting that idea now. What didn€™t work here? Well, really, nothing. I mean, few comedies these days actually have me laughing out loud, but this one certainly did. I€™m pleased to see that the cast all have their old chemistry back and it seems that they are really enjoying what they are doing, unlike in €œBack to Earth€, where it felt like everyone was just going through the motions. I must admit, however, it is bit odd seeing Kryten with wrinkles under his eyes, and while I do miss Holly (both versions), and Kochanski, I do feel that the show is, at this point, stronger without them. If this episode is any indication of what we can look forward to for the rest of the series, I am a very happy person indeed. Red Dwarf is back, and I couldn€™t be happier!
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Chris Swanson is a freelance writer and blogger based in Phoenix, Arizona, where winter happens to other people. His blog is at