This was a fine ending to the tenth series with lots of great laughs; highlights include the way Cat and Kryten casually direct Hogey to Dave's quarters as if the presence of an armed simulant wanting revenge is no big deal and the scene on the simulants' ship where the commander passed his sword to an underling who failed then the underling attempts to commit seppuku only to be told he was meant to clean the sword not stick it in his gut! Another highlight was seeing Rimmer's plan actually work; after all these years of failure he deserved a success that wasn't by accident and the scene where he watches the message from his father was genuinely touching.
When I heard that Red Dwarf was to return after many years away I feared that it would be a shadow of its former self and watched more out of curiosity than anything else... how wrong I was! The cast and writers showed that they certainly still have what it takes; this was a return to form and I'm certainly looking forward to series eleven which is sure to be commissioned given the quality of this.
Series 10 is much better. The production is a little different, but it has much of the spark that was present in the original run. I do miss Holly though ( both of them ); Pree just wasn't the same ( can't say more without a spoiler alert ).
If you haven't seen the original, you might be confused as to how Dave & Co got to where ( and when ) they are. So you probably want to watch the original Series 1- 8 to get the feel of the Red Dwarf experience. But, unless you are a real die hard fan, and want to have seen it, skip Series 9.
So on one hand we have the basic comedy and canned laughter that the show always did well, but then on the other hand, well, we have just that and not much more. I found it amusing for most of the season but there was at least one episode where I didn't so much as raise a smile. There is a tiredness to the material that I didn't think it ever shook off – surprising for a show just given a new lease of life. The plots feel a bit recycled and the material and relationships feel stale and lacking inspiration. It does have some funny moments along the way whether it be scenarios or specific lines, but mostly it really bumbled along on the "amusing at best" level.
The cast are not to blame though because their delivery is fairly committed – the lines they have to say and the characters they are playing lack spark but it is not the fault of their delivery. Charles continues to do a good job of playing a slob with poor hygiene, John-Jules is simple and slick, Barrie is stuck-up and pompous and Llewellyn continues to get more than his fair share of the good lines. None of them are brilliant but they all do what they are there to do – just not much more than that.
Fans may love the return of this show and in fairness I can understand that, because it has sort of gone back to its roots for this 10th season, however for me this just serves to remind me why I gradually stopped watching it. The comedy is basic and the episodes, while amusing, seem to lack a spark or inspiration to them.