Monday, November 12, 2012

Red Dwarf X: The Beginning

You know the drill by now... this will be spoilerific, so go away if you haven't seen it yet.

And I'll keep it brief, because there's important novelling to be done. I think the most important thing to be said here is that if they never make another episode of Red Dwarf (although all concerned have amply proven they can still do just as good a job as the beeb ever did), at least now it will have ended on a good note.

'The Beginning' was not the non-stop gag fest that 'Trojan' was, although it had more than a few laughs, but it was a superb bit of science fiction in its own way, what with simulant Death Ships looking all 'deathy' and some nice little nods to Star Wars and to earlier Red Dwarf - the first oblique reference to the ending of series eight, and right back to episode one, 'The End'.

Anyway, while all this Death Ship malarky is going on, Rimmer finally decides to play a holographic message from his father, who (massive spoiler) turns out not to be.

And that's when everything changes. Rimmer stops feeling like he has failed his father, stops trying to impress his father by being someone he obviously wasn't meant to be. He realises his father was somebody else, somebody who had entirely different expectations of him and would have been proud of who Arnold Rimmer actually was.

Isn't that what we all need sometimes, to realise who our Father really is, and to think about what He wants and expects from us, how He feels about us even when those around us seem to think we are worthless? Once we know who our Father is, we can begin to get a sense of who we are - and once we start trying to be that person, instead of whoever we think other people want us to be, that's when we can make a difference to the world around us.

And so, armed with a new found sense of self-worth, Arnold Rimmer finally sucks it up, grows a pair and acts like the senior officer on board, managing to save the day in what I at least thought was quite a fun sci-fi way.

And since fun sci-fi is what Red Dwarf has always been about, there could hardly be a better way to end the series. A very satisfying climax to what has, overall, been a return to form for Red Dwarf.

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