I am currently a very happy Max, because I just discovered that Red Dwarf is available from the iTunes Store…
What do you mean "What's Red Dwarf?" Have you been living under a rock? This is a British science fiction sitcom that aired on the BBC Two television channel between 1988 and 1999. (As an aside, I just discovered that they are having a comeback – a new Series X will start to be broadcast in September 2012 – I am aquiver with excitement!)
Each episode starts off with a close-up shot of someone in a spacesuit touching up an area of red paint on a wall with a roller. As the camera starts to pull back, we see he's painting a horizontal bar. The camera pulls back further, and we discover this is the middle bar in a giant letter "F". Still further, and we recognize the legend "RED DWARF" … and the camera keeps on pulling back and pulling back until we realize that this is just a small (by comparison) name-tag on the side of a city-sized spaceship.
In the first episode, we are introduced to a couple of characters, the main ones being a likable rogue called Dave Lister and his pain-in-the-rear supervisor called Arnold Rimmer. These two guys are the lowest of the low on the ships' pecking order – their job is to do things like keeping the nozzles clean and clear on the soup dispensers, and stuff like that.
Dave has brought an illegal pet cat on board. When the captain discovers this, he orders Dave to hand it over. Dave refuses, so he's put into Time Stasis
where he will spend the remaining 18 months of the voyage.
However, when the door to the stasis chamber opens, Dave is amazed to discover that we are three million years in the future. It seems that a drive plate was not properly secured (we later learn that Rimmer was the culprit) and the entire crew was wiped out by a radiation leak.
So, now we are left with Dave Lister, who is the last known human alive, and a hologram
of Arnold Rimmer. Also, we have a character called Cat
– is a lifeform that evolved from the descendants of Lister's pregnant pet cat Frankenstein (who was in the ship's hold and thereby protected from the radiation leak). Another character is Holly
, Red Dwarf's computer. In the second series we are joined by a service mechanoid called Kryten
As the Wikipedia says:
Despite the pastiche of science fiction used as a backdrop, Red Dwarf is primarily a character-driven comedy, with off-the-wall, often scatological science fiction elements used as complementary plot devices. In the early episodes, a recurring source of comedy was the "Odd Couple"-style relationship between the two central characters of the show, who have an intense dislike for each other and are trapped together deep in space.
(Yes, I had to look up "pastiche"
as well :-)
The bottom line is that this was a really, REALLY funny show. So, as I say, I was delighted to discover that Red Dwarf is available from the iTunes Store. I downloaded the first season to my iPad yesterday (only around $10 for the season) and watched them all last night. This coming weekend I'm planning on downloading a few more seasons and treating myself to a "Red Dwarf Fest". Now I cannot wait to get home…
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