The BBC takes viewers three million years into the future with this science-fiction spoof chronicling intergalactic adventures of the only human to survive a radiation leak on the ship Red Dwarf. Lister battles loneliness with a holographic incarnation … see full wiki
Far in the future, deep in the vast reaches of space, a red ship the size of a small city and too many years on the clock hurries on it's way. On board...
Dave Lister: Loves curries, tended the ship's vending machines for a living, believes he can play guitar like a god, is in love with crew-mate Kristine Kochanski, and lives as an all around British slacker. Lister survived the rest of the crew because he was put into stasis for smuggling a pregnant feline on board, and refused to give her up. You're all heart, Lister!
Holly: Holly is Red Dwarf's computer, and ever since that nasty drive plate incident that caused the death of the entire crew... Holly has been running the show alone. Patiently waiting until it was safe to wake Dave from his slumber... In the meantime, Holly has watched the evolution of an entire race that evolved from Lister's cat...
Cat: This unique being is one of the last surviving members of his race, as most went their separate ways from Red Dwarf after the great religious war over what color the novelty hats would be in the great donut diner shop of the hereafter. From his sparkling canines to the tip of his well-groomed wardrobe, Cat is feline charm and wit on two legs.
Arnold Judas Rimmer: Commonly called Rimmer by everyone, including his Mum, the Boys of the Dwarf have a few special nicknames for him... Self-righteous Git, Spineless Wonder... Smeghead was probably their favorite. Rimmer was obsessed with becoming an officer, had a collection of telegraph pole pictures, subscribed to Fascist Dictator monthly, appears to have absolutely no spine, and isneurotically incapable of succeeding at anything. He doesn't expect his career to take off now that he's dead, and as the only person he outranked was Lister, he's more than happy to keep himself that slender rung higher on the ladder by any means necessary... including holding all of the ship's cigarettes hostage!
Rimmer is the Hologramatic crewmember that Holly handpicked to help keep Lister sane in the loneliness of space. "Why Rimmer?!", would be the obvious question, and Lister does ask! Holly informs Lister that it was because of all the crew, he exchanged the most words with him. "Yeah, but half of those were me telling him to smeg off, and the other half were him putting me on report for telling him to smeg off!" Yes, by Lister's own admission he would have been happier with anyone else, "Even Herman Gehering! Ok, so he was a drug-crazed transvestite, but at least we could have gone dancing!"
Hundreds of years in the future, lost in the depths of space, cut off from whatever became of the rest of his species, the Red Dwarf is the only family Lister has left. Jean Paul Satre once said that Hell would be being locked forever in a room full of your friends. "Holly... all his mates were French!" Dave points out.
Red Dwarf is one of those rare wonders that happens once in a blue moon... a cult tv show that managed to run for an amazing Eight seasons(1988-1999). This first season you can really see the show's cult-classic caterpillar status. Red Dwarf is a BBC Grant/Naylor production that should really be enjoyed by more people. Plenty of inexpensive sets and props in the first season certainly don't detract from the appeal of the Dwarf though. Laughs are guaranteed, and you can be pretty sure that the boys will be having a hard time of it somewhere in the universe whatever the details may be!
I have found this to be one of the most enjoyably quotable shows to ever air, and our whole family has had fun throwing out a line from Red Dwarf just to see who will pull out the line that caps it. Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Chris Barrie (Rimmer) and Norman Lovett (Holly) came together with some fabulous writers and directors to form one of the most memorable yet least well known television moments in our history! In the first season we have:
The ironically named first episode of this classic BBC comedy makes perfect sense, because you can't really talk about the beginning of the Boys from the Dwarf without talking about how the rest of the crew met their end...
3 million years after a radiation leak that wiped out the majority of the city-sized mining ship's crew, Dave Lister is woken from stasis by Holly, the ship's computer. The chuckles begin as we watch Dave, an ordinary guy, try to cope with the reality of his situation. Rimmer, possibly this Universe's biggest loser and most irritating individual, is his bunkmate. A lifeform that evolved from his cat, and a ship's computer that may very well be in the onset of computer senility are his only other company. In fact, Dave's got nothing better to do but tool around space and prooving to himself that he really is the last human being alive.
When the Dwarf hits light speed headed back for Earth, time begins to dilate. The crew begin seeing bewildering and alarming echoes from their future. Rimmer has great fun composing his Deepest Sympathy card and consoling Lister with thoughts like, "Hey that's more warning than most of us get. All most people get is "Mind that bus!" "What bus?" SPLAT!"
Balance of Power
Lister is sick of Rimmer enforcing his "superior" position on the ship. He is tired of spending his days taking inventory of how many irradiated haggis they have in the hold, and following all of his inane orders just to ransom some of his cigarettes back from wherever Rimmer has them hidden. Lister's solution? Pass the officer's examine and start giving Smeghead some of his own medicine!
Waiting for God
Rimmer is in an tizzy of anticipation waiting for a mysterious pod they've picked up to clear quarantine. Meanwhile, Lister learns how to read Cat's books, and discovers that he features in their religion! Saddened by the thought that the religious wars fought in the name of Cloister (Dave) were over something as trival as whether the donut diner hats of the promised land were supposed to be red or blue, Dave attempts to set things right with the last members of the Cat race.
Confidence and Paranoia
The officer's lounge was supposed to be decontaminated a week ago, but Rimmer forgot to tell Dave that he never got around to it. Dave picks up some strangely mutated virus, and Rimmer has to depend upon the scutters to help him with Lister in the medical bay. The Cat's answer to a plea for help? "Oh, that's too bad. I really liked him too!"
Lister's fevered hallucinations take on tangible form! His personified Confidence and Paranoia begin wreaking havoc on the ship! Who will save the crew from Lister's twisted inner voices made real?
Rimmer foils Lister's plans to reanimate another crew member by labeling another copy of himself as Kochanski, Lister's long gone love interest. But can Rimmer stand himself as a roommate? Dave uses their blazing row to find out why Rimmer's last words were, "Gazpacho!" An amusing conclusion to the first season of utterly enjoyable entertainment.
Almost 20 years after first becoming hopelessly addicted to this Britcom, I can't say that I was really surprised to find that two pilot episodes for Red Dwarf were shot for an American version of this show that never aired. I am so thankful that I have been able to simply enjoy this wonderfully amusing show without the potentially disastrous comparison of another version! You can occasionally catch them on Youtube, and, surprisingly, they aren't that bad, but I prefer to feed my addiction from the original source. No clones for this circus, please!
For the first recordings of Red Dwarf, producers dragged in customers from a local pub for the laugh track... by the show's final season 200 fans had to be turned away as there was no more room! Witty banter, unique insults, hilarious thought bombs like "It's as plain as a Bulgarian pin-up!" are found in every episode, every season. My advice? Start at season one with the very first episode, aptly entitled "The End", and watch the series evolve! Season One is our door into the Crimson Short One, and the boys are always eager for new company.
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older
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