Red Dwarf X: The Beginning – Mini Review

Red Dwarf X: The Beginning ReviewAnd so we come to the final episode of Red Dwarf X. This is just going to be a mini-review. Partly because I’m going to be writing a longer post this week about the series as a whole, but mostly because I really didn’t have much to say about this episode. I could push out a few more thoughts, but they’d really be more about the overall set design, direction, themes etc. so I’d rather wait.

The Beginning is a curious episode; I thought it did interesting things but I rarely found it very interesting. It starts with a Rimmer flashback that really brought back memories of episodes like Dimension Jump and the young actor cast is absolutely excellent. (His name doesn’t seem to be on imdb yet though, weird. Sorry unnamed actor.) Once the main part of the plot gets going, however, it’s a little bit forced. Essentially the crew are ambushed by rogue simulants (them again, tut!) and are forced to hide in an asteroid while Rimmer comes up with a plan. Meanwhile, there’s a plot involving Rimmer’s father leaving a secret message and a disturbed droid who wants a duel across the universe. One of the nice features of the show this year has been the layered plots which seems to be a little ignored this time around. It feels like the writers were going for a big finale, but the results just feel a little inconsequential. There really isn’t much to say about The Beginning. It opens well, there are some good laughs scattered throughout, then there are some utterly inconsequential villains, a nice Rimmer moment at the end and then it sort of fizzles out. When it works it really works. When it doesn’t, it’s not bad, just empty. I liked the characters again and I really think the performances have hit top form, the writing is generally much less awkward that it has been too. I just didn’t get swept up with the drama this time around. It felt much more like a reject from Series VII, competent but lacking in spirit.

I’ll be back with my thoughts on the whole of Series X soon.