Red Dwarf: 10.3 “Lemons” Review
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.
“Lister, did you give Jesus a vindaloo? – That has to be one of the best lines, not just from this, but, any Red Dwarf series.
The re-birthed sci-fi sitcom continued this week with a cleverly written plot that saw the crew travel back to a 23AD Earth, coming face to face with the son of God…. or so it seemed until we discovered the geordie-accented Jesus wasn’t actually the Christian idol we’d thought he was. Who’d have guessed it, eh pet?
If last week’s edition of the show tipped its hat to the likes of classic episodes in Queeg & Cassandra then Lemons was certainly nodded towards Tikka To Ride, where the crew convince JFK to go back in time and be the second shooter in his own execution. This episode also felt like a homage to Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, with its satirical illustration of a young Christ. No doubt this is going to be perceived as a controversial episode in it’s subject matter, but it never really takes a direct shot at Jesus (apart from Lister’s ‘nob’ comment of course) and instead makes fun of the people who followed in his name.
Stepping away from the religious angle, this instalment of the tenth series was both enjoyable and intelligent in its delivery. There were a couple of wayward gags that halted the flow of the episode, such as parts of Lister and Rimmer’s discussion about Shakespeare, it just felt a little forced and diluted down some really great moments.
Moments such as Cat realising he’d eaten Rimmer’s spleen and who knows what else of the curry-slurping scouse’s anatomy. Other good parts of the episode came during the assembly of the Ikea inspired ‘rejuvenation shower’ as well as the big pay off for Rimmer when Jesus and Judas checked in for their meal, this was always going to come into proceedings and it ended the show well.
This was definitely a step up from last week’s slightly miscued Fathers And Suns and more like series opener Trojan in terms of it’s intelligent, thought out plot and well-layered gags. It’s still not quite the polished article yet with a few jokes a bit too predictable and forced. However, it did deliver on it’s witty representation of a, mistaken, Jesus and certainatly hit the mark when it came to referencing significant moments in history, such as the last supper. All in all, this was a solid, entertaining episode that marks a positive half way point of this resurrected sitcom, – so far, so smeggin’ good.
Scene of the Episode: Jesus On Board: Having Jesus roam around the ship was a golden opportunity for satire and the show took it. Rimmer’s vindaloo line and Cat realising his steak was spleen were two solid gold moments that made this episode as funny as it was spirited.