Villordsutch reviews Red Dwarf XII – Mechocracy…
After last week’s Red Dwarf XII “Timewave” in which our favourite sci-fi/comedy show took a serious nosedive, switching on the latest offering from Doug Naylor (again on writing and directing duties) is taken with a wee bit of trepidation. However come the close of Mechocracy all my negative dreads have been completely dashed, as in a mere thirty minutes Red Dwarf is back to being smegging brilliant.
In the empty bunk room of Rimmer and Lister, Kryten is sat alone waiting for his next Mechanoid Development Lesson, today’s course being patience. Due to Dave being apparently late for the lesson Arnold takes it upon himself to give Kryten a swift and compact session. Though this doesn’t go well at all for Rimmer, as finds himself delegated to mopping the floors of the mighty JMC vessel. However, due to a planned out ruse from the mechanoid, Rimmer discovers he’s been setup up by Kryten and isn’t overly impressed.
Later when Lister detects a ship in trouble – it’s being sucked into a Black Hole – he begins to download the doomed ship’s drive, believing it to be eCargo, onto Red Dwarf’s computer. This reveals itself to be a trap in the form of an SOS Virus, which rather rudely manoeuvres Red Dwarf into the same Black Hole. With the crew abandoning ship, the vending machines query who’s packing them for the upcoming rapid egress. Discovering they’re being left behind, they join their collective processing powers and wipe out the virus, however they also go on strike.
With the ship’s machines demanding a voice along with equal rights, a vacuum is spotted and Arnold Rimmer puts his name forward for President of all Machines. To which Kryten announces that he’ll be running against him.
This is a Red Dwarf episode. We have no special guests – except of course from a toast-loving toaster – and because of this we get all of Doug’s wit, worldly observations and wisdom finely-tuned into four characters he’s been moulding for the past thirty-plus years.
Everything is just spot on, from the opening joke of Kryten’s Mechanoid Development lesson, which initially appears to have a somewhat okish payoff in the bunkroom – with Rimmer being handed the mop – then minutes later it receives its finishing punchline. This continues throughout with standout moments including: Rimmer explaining why he loves “Yellow Alert” so much; Cat’s reading glasses (no longer smelling books); Rimmer both promoting and demoting Lister, showing they still know where each others chinks are and they are more than happy to chip away at their armour; the promo-smear campaign videos; and of course the brief return of Talkie Toaster.
If there’s a negative, once again it’s the cut short ending. Granted we get a great closing shot of Rimmer screaming, but the whole wrap up of the election consisted of Kryten being crowned champion and that was that.
Mechocracy is a fantastic slice of Red Dwarf. This is what we want, more of this. The Red Dwarf posse, trapped in a hulk of metal going insane with each other’s company, and we get to watch it happening.
Red Dwarf XII “Mechocracy” is available to watch now on UKTV Play.