After a bit of a eureka moment a couple days ago, I finally figured out what it is about Red Dwarf I just don’t like. For those that don’t know,Red Dwarf is an on again, (mostly) off again Briish comedy science fiction series. Its got a lot of fans and is one of those most popular British imports after Doctor Who. It is essentially the odd couple…but in space!
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a lot of things about the premise, and I don’t think too hard about each episode everything’s just peachy. I can’t seem to watch anything past series four; but the more I think about it, the more I think it goes back to my root problem with the series.
Really, Red Dwarf just wasn’t very well thought out in its world building, and that has me really bugged. I can on;y go with things so far until my reasonable suspension of disbelief kicks in. For example, the character of Cat is brilliant, however, his backstory is the dumbest damn thing I’ve seen. It’s just a bit too much of a stretch of the imagination that an entire race of cat people could evolve on the ship to be full sized, sentient, bipedal creature that lived in the hull. Not only that, but the species managed to evolve the point of developing their own space travel and manage to have a holy war without damage really occurring to Red Dwarf. I mean damn, the writer’s couldn’t come up with better on the spur of the moment?
Granted, it does give the series a great, homemade feel, but I demand a bit more from my comedy, and my science fiction. An entire series where all the established continuity was forgotten the moment it was a hit and it had a bit of money thrown its way by the BBC? I could understand it in Enterprise and Star Trek where there was so much built up it was easy to sacrifice detail in the name of trying some original plotting, but in a series that essentially had no bullwark to contend with? It was just sloppy.
Red Dwarf is just sloppy. But at the same time, its brilliantly sloppy in the day to day moments of a group of boys just trying to get on with no women nearby. I’ll just continue to be thankful for what it is, and just try not to think too hard about why Holly had that sex change between seasons and how Kryten mysteriously came to be on Red Dwarf. . .