For once the malfunctioning unit isn’t Kryten himself – a few IKEA-aimed (but not named) gags precede the time travelling which leads into Red Dwarf’s own tribute to The Life of Brian.
There’s quite a lot of publicity about gags at the expense of Christianity in this episode, but you have to wonder if those who are complaining have actually seen it, since, as with the earlier Python film, the jokes are directed far more at those who profess Christianity but don’t follow through its precepts than the actual character of Christ himself. In fact, some of the most potentially blasphemous stuff is carefully set up to ensure that it shouldn’t be taken too seriously (and no, the church of Judas isn’t the same as the historical Gospel of Judas).
The running gag gets a proper pay-off again this time around, which does make me wonder if there were some over-zealous cuts in last week’s script, and there are again a couple of laugh-aloud moments, particularly one great Rimmer set up that you expect to go one way, and then goes the exact opposite. The effects work is minimal but effective, although Craig Charles’ fake beard looks dreadful (although if that’s what he really looks like with a beard, stay clean-shaven!).
Verdict: Enjoyable but not the finest vintage. 6/10