Give & Take and Officer Rimmer get rave writeups.
14 October, 2016
Okay, look, we only get six weeks at most in any given year where there are new episodes of Red Dwarf airing - so as long as there are lovely reviews being done, we're going to keep reading them and writing about them.
Last week we checked in with the fan reaction to the particularly well-received Give & Take, but what about the critics? Well, there was some fairly high praise over in those parts, too, particularly from Digital Spy, who wrote that the ep was "the most fun we've had watching Red Dwarf since series 6 back in 1993... a perfect combination of ship-based banter and sci-fi action, the latter of which could actually rival Doctor Who in terms of scary monsters, special effects and wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff."
Over at Cultbox, there was agreement that episode three is already a highlight of the show's modern era: "[It] might be the best so far of the Dave era... You don't really expect a show that's now in its eleventh season to surprise you, but this ending manages to do just that." "The whole episode is nothing less than premium Dwarf," agreed CultFix. "Consistent laughs are had all the way through [with] that perfect blend of concept and humour." And while noting that they had slightly preferred the two episodes that preceded it from a comedic point of view, Den of Geek described the location-based scenes as "a superb bit of sci-fi television."
Even the sometimes hard-to-please, hardcore fan sites got in on the act. Gazpacho Soup gave particular focus to the episode's split-screen work: "Lister knocking himself out is Red Dwarf's visual effects at their very best. The fact that Red Dwarf has consistently done these sort of shots so well since 1987 and other shows on television still seem to find it difficult is baffling." While Ganymede & Titan also looked to the past for comparisons, saying "when a new episode can borrow so much structure from an episode as revered as Quarantine and end up delivering a better conclusion, then that's certainly worth a great deal."
On, then, to the episode that aired last night on Dave - but premiered a week earlier on UKTV Play - Officer Rimmer. Den of Geek were rather taken with this one, calling it "a hoot, an impressive technical feat and [featuring] some fantastically funny moments." "Easily features some of Chris Barrie's best work on the show," said CultFix. "Series XI has enjoyed a terrific run so far and it has another corker."
"A sterling episode throughout," wrote Cr@bpendium. "Astute in characterisation, satire, special effects AND comedy." "This series is quickly becoming one of the best the show has ever had," said Palace of Wisdom. "A very enjoyable half hour of television," said Flickering Myth, and "a fantastic character episode with some clever special effects" was the verdict of Cultbox.
So, once again, Red Dwarf XI continues to strike a chord with just about everybody. Every episode so far has had at least somebody claim it as their favourite - and on the whole, the "best series in twenty years" feeling seems to be becoming a general consensus.
And it's spread to the general audience, too: we reported last week how, with consolidated figures, the premiere episode Twentica installed itself as the highest-rating programme outside of the UK's "big five" former terrestrial channels that week. But what's even more impressive is that the second episode managed to top the same chart! Once again, Celebrity Juice was beaten, as Samsara earned a consolidated figure of 1.34 million - that's only 40,000 viewers fewer than watched the first episode, which is a quite phenomenally small dropoff (indeed, it's a far smaller drop, percentage-wise, than Red Dwarf X had from its first episode to second!)
We know we're biased, but it's a very heartening thing to know that so many people feel about Red Dwarf the way we do. It's great to be back, isn't it?