Red Dwarf: The Promised Land

Red Dwarf: The Promised Land ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I started binge watching Red Dwarf several months ago.

I'd seen the very first episode several times over the years, intending to roll through the series, but never quite got there.

But in 2021, I finally let the momentum carry me, and I blasted through the entire show, with the exception of the most recent, 'The Promised Land'.

Red Dwarf is a fascinating series. It feels like it's been ever-evolving, never quite sure what it's supposed to be. The sets change. Characters get added. Storylines are all over the place. Through the ups and downs, it's always maintained a baseline level of charm fitting it's perpetually modest budget.

Sometime around Series IX (2009's "Back to Earth", a decade after Series IIX aired), there seemed to be a bit of a soft-reboot. And in doing so, it felt like the show began to settle down, finally finding JUST the right balance.

Each series since then has been a delight, and 2020's "The Promised Land" continues that trend.


- No idea if Holly is going to stick around; he's been on and off over the years. Nice to see 'em, though.

- The 'big bad' is almost a bit too sinister for the tone of the show. Still, terrific casting.

- While I really wanted Lister to admit he liked Rimmer. At least, initially. After all, it feels like this is about that point in a show's lifespan where the guard can come down, and it would feel earned. But their 'moonlight' analogy was actually quite beautiful, and didn't require popping open the "grudging respect because we're family" champagne, so to speak.

- Seriously enjoyed Rimmer's B-story with the low-power mode, and surprising contemplation of suicide. It felt earnest. And I was very pleased to see Lister trying to discourage Cat from taking digs at him.

- I was seriously expecting there to be a joke about the cats on board digging what's left of Starbug out of the sand (as in a big litter box). Kind of surprising, really. But maybe that would have cost too much.

I love this show. Glad I finally took the plunge last year. It's really quite special. :)

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