I was watching the "Built to Last" special for Season 4 last night, and listening to the comments about "Meltdown" and how it wasn't showed during the Gulf War, even though it was an "anti-war" episode. Craig was pretty proud of the speech at the end. Problem is, though I am one of the ones who likes this episode, I don't think it works very well as an anti-war episode, and the speech at the end comes off looking a bit silly. The reason why lies in the nature of this particular war. It's not an elective one, but Lister treats it as though it were. He, bizarrely, acts as though the Wax War was something the Good Guys were (for some reason) fighting by choice happy?), and something they could just as easily opt out of, if they'd prefer to live in peace instead. That's not so easy to do when you're being attacked on your home turf. He comes off as Marie-Antoinette-like in his cluelessness. Asking why people who are being invaded don't just live in peace seems like asking why the peasants don't just eat cake. Yeah, that must be nice, if you can manage it. Also, this war wasn't a bunch of guys fighting over a mud patch somewhere. The stakes of the game, as laid out by Honest Abe himself were that the Bad Guy droids intended to wipe out every one of the Good Guys, to use the raw materials in their bodies. Given the show's premise that Wax Droids = People, that makes it an act of genocide. We might debate whether to intervene to stop a genocide, but surely just about anyone would try to stop it if they themselves were the target. What's next? An episode where he goes back to (non-wax) Nazi Germany, and advises people to go peacefully to the camps? The stakes of this war were that if you lose, you die. If you don't fight at all... you die. If you do anything at all except win... you die. Lister's response: "Don't fight, because you might die." was Wacko-Jacko. It's Noodle-Doodle, and makes his speech at the end look ridiculous. "Might die" is still better than "Will Definitely die." The writers had stacked the deck so high that only one answer was possible, and he still got it wrong. You can try to argue that no, he wasn't mad at the fact that they fought, only at Rimmer's lackadaisical attitude towards losing all his men. But no, that doesn't work. He said very clearly that he intended to talk them out of fighting at all. That's what Sergeant Presley arrested him for. And this also explains to me why they were antsy about showing this episode during the Gulf War. The point that Lister missed, that this was a non-elective war, would not have been missed by the network or the public. The network was obviously afraid of people watching it, and thinking something like "Well, if they're saying this war was unavoidable, then they're saying all wars are unavoidable, which means they're supporting the Gulf War". (It's nutty, but a lot of people think in Black and White like that.) It's not clear what Lister was even thinking. Since they didn't have the Matter Paddle, they didn't even have the option of buggering off and letting the droids sort out their own affairs. So, if he'd talked Rimmer out of playing General, what next? Sit around and starve? (I know, "Let them eat wax".) In the end, you can blame Rimmer for bad leadership, and for not caring about his men, but not for starting or fighting a needless war. He may have turned Mother Theresa into one of the Dirty Dozen figuratively, but the Bad Guys were going to do it literally. And he certainly didn't get the Good Guys killed. They were dead whether he showed up or not. The only effect of Rimmer's involvement was to get Hitler, Mussolini, Caligula, The Boston Strangler, Rasputin, et al killed, which I find it hard to care too much about. (Well, except for Caligula, I kind of liked him, but you get the idea.) ____________________ "Reach for the sky, boys! Let's see them understains!"