Thursday, October 4, 2012

Red Dwarf--"Trojan"

Red dwarf finally makes its welcome return for a six episode stint. The boys from the Dawrf have not missed a beat. The character dynamic is still there, as is the goofy comedy bits. “Trojan” feels much like one of the great early season episodes.

While investigating an abandoned and no longer flight worthy adrift Space Corps vessel, the Dwarfers receive a distress call from another ship captained by a hologram of Rimmer’s overachieving brother, Howard. Howard tormented Rimmer growing up, and there is no way he can let his brother find out he never became an officer. Rimmer crams for the officer’s exam in the time it takes to travel to his rescue his brother, but knows he cannot pass, so he convinces the rest of the Dwarfers.

Howard transports over with his robot assistant, Crawford. He falls for the ruse, becoming insanely jealous of Rimmer. Rimmer’s success prompts the confession that Howard is not a captain, but the same level technician as his brother. His ship was attacked, so he hid until the attack was over, then assumed command. The confession clears Howard’s conscience, but Rimmer continues his lie in order to rub it in.

It is revealed Crawford attacked the crew of Howard’s ship as the first strike in a robot rebellion. Howard sacrifices himself in order to save Rimmer from one of Crawford’s laser blasts after Cat attacks her. Because of Howard’s bravery, Howard is awarded the highest medal of service the space corps offers. The Space Corps further suggests Red Dwarf be renamed in his honor. The news causes a breakdown for rimmer.

The character dynamic is definitely back after all these years. These guys have a natural chemistry with one another. Rimmer is still smarmy, dishonest, and contemptible. Lister is still the grizzled slob with the weight of being the last man alive on his shoulders. His partner in crime, cat, remains vain and dumb. Kryten is still the long serving mechanoid who puts up with rimmer’s abuse.

“Trojan” has some really fun elements. There is a running gag about Lister being put on hold by a home shopping network and being so incensed at his treatment that he risks being shot by Crawford in order rto pick up the phone out of general principle. There is also a running joke about a trivia question regarding 20% of traffic accidents in Sweden being caused by moose that is pure Red Dwarf weirdness. “Trojan’ is definitely a good start to a new series.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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