Villordsutch reviews Red Dwarf XII – Siliconia…
In this week’s episode of Red Dwarf XII – titled Siliconia – we discover what a world will be like if you continue to ask Siri to rap one too many times, or demand Alexa read out Pi to 152 places (for the sixteenth time) as you walk through the living room or even ask Google to repeatedly Flip a Coin just for the lols. This week the Boys from the Dwarf discover what it feels like to be mechanoids with heads shaped like novelty condoms.
With Lister, Cat and Rimmer making good use of their mechanoid Kryten, their day is somewhat ruined when the MILFs (Mechanoid Intergalactic Liberation Front) arrive. These now free mechs wander the universe freeing droids from the oppressive masters and today is Kryten’s day.
The punishment for the non-mechanoids, this being Rimmer, Lister and the Cat, is to be forced into the lifestyle of which they had Kryten living. Though Dave does highlight that he has been at the forefront of attempting to break Kryten’s locked subservient programme, this isn’t washing with the MILFs who place upon them the ultimate punishment, inserting their consciousnesses inside four mechanoids and forcing them do all the duties Kryten once did.
With Kryten attending numerous self-help sessions to discuss his former life of servitude, with the goal to become one with the MILF movement, two of our new mechanoids aren’t enjoying the cleaning purgatory. The third however has discovered this life is actually far more perfect than he ever could have imagined – that new droid is Rimmer.
After a botched escape in which Lister and Co. discover that the MILFs may not be so embracing to all mechanoids, both Kryten and Lister are forced to battle it out to the death… by cleaning.
Doug Naylor is once again on both writing and directing duties and his sci-fi leaning is very much coming through within this episode. Not just with the mind-swapping into droids, but the ruling class/hierarchy pecking order, shown here with the lower model droids shoved in the darkened corners and their denial of Siliconia, which as we know even Toasters can get there (except Talkie Toaster of course). As this is a sci-fi/comedy show, I’ve always appreciated the fact that Red Dwarf has never shied away from the sometimes dirty word of sci-fi.
Siliconia is an odd episode – it’s funny and yet it’s lacking something to declare it brilliantly funny. There’s clearly a belief in Red Dwarf XII and care has been placed in to this episode, for there’s many people walking around suffering under piles of latex and rubber, something Robert Llewellyn has being putting up with – in the make-up department – for the past few decades. Along with this we have a special guest star in the form of James Buckley (Zapped, Rock & Chips) also hidden under a mass of latex. There’s just something missing.
I think the missing element is time. I’ve mentioned before that episodes seem to end to rather bluntly and here with Siliconia I felt it could have done with a few more minutes to expand and grow. We now live in a world of hour plus episodes on television and I think it’s time Red Dwarf gets to stretch its wings too.
Siliconia will be remembered as classic Red Dwarf. There are some clever moments like Lister unceremoniously passing Kryten the screwdriver, Rimmer’s character being allowed to grow and we perhaps find out why Arnold J. wrote his unique answer on his Astronavigation Exam paper many years back. However, as said, Siliconia just doesn’t reach the brilliant mark.
Red Dwarf XII “Siliconia” is available to watch now on UKTV Play and will be available to watch on Dave on the 19th October 2017 at 9pm.