Red Dwarf: 10.4 “Entangled” Review
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.
This week’s Red Dwarf was somewhat of a pedestrian affair compared to the laughs and satire of last week’s Lemons. That being said this still kept up the quality in the successful return of this classic sci-fi comedy and proved to be a decent half hour of entertainment.
Instead of religious satire, fruit and Lister’s organs (well not internal anyway), “Entangled” was centred on Rimmer’s ambitions to enforce health and safety procedures, Krytan’s experimentation with synchronicity crystals and the issue of whether the inside of Red Dwarf would be decorated in a new shade of Lister’s love spuds.
Rimmer’s turn as an annoying, uptight health and safety enforcer was a bit of a mixed bag. It was definitely a trait that you’d associate with the ship’s most uptight crewmember but at times it just felt a little stretched and one-dimensional. Logging the accident of the accident at the end wasn’t quite as good a sign off as it could have been and didn’t really push the boundaries of sarcasm in any way.
The threat to Lister’s manhood came as a result of loosing both Star Bug and Rimmer in a game with BEGGs, or biologically engineered garbage gobblers for the likes of you and me. This was a particularly fun part of the episode with some quirky dialogue and enjoyable aspects. There was a sense of nostalgia, much like the rest of the episodes so far in series X, with the BEGGs looking a lot like the GELFs from series VI. Fans will recall this is where Lister got himself into another tight spot when he ended up marrying one of the species, in both cases it was bad news for little Lister.
Other parts of this episode that worked well were the performances by Kryten and Cat in their coincidental conversions, which really shows that Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewellyn haven’t lost it when it comes to executing a joke that rests completely on the quality of their timing. As well as this Kryten’s novel way of drying spoons was another entertaining visual gag that maintained its originality and impact, despite being shown on the trailer dozens of times, no thanks to Dave.
The saviour of the both the crew and in a small way the episode too, was the institute of wrongness. This was a witty piece of writing that spawned a clever solution to Lister’s peril and served up a few big laughs as well. With a couple of references to Star Wars included for good measure, this made for an intelligent bit of sci-fi comedy.
In all this didn’t have quite the magic of some of the instalments so far this series but it did well to maintain the comedy levels that this re-booted sitcom is producing. So far Series X has done well to re-establish itself to a younger, modern day audience whilst keeping older, cult fans entertained with a combination of new material and tactical nods to the show’s history.
Scene of the Episode: The Wrong Academy – Full of clever sneers at people who are often incorrect, this was another well thought out and executed sub-plot, that delivered some good laughs at the right moment.