Red Dwarf X: Review: Episode 5: Dear Dave (spoiler-free)

Lister learns some potentially terrifying news in a mail delivery from Earth.

And we go from the best to by far the worst episode of the current run, with only a couple of funny moments and a lot of very poor material. Throughout this series, there have been references to Kochanski (there’s even one in here that I suspect was probably an ad lib, as it makes zero sense within the context of the episode), and Lister’s desperate quest to find her, as she’s the only other human being in the universe. Dear Dave starts with Lister bemoaning the fact that he’s the only human being in the universe…

Such continuity-busting wouldn’t be a problem if the situation it was setting up was funny, but the scenes with the two vending machines who vie for Lister’s attention, simply aren’t. There’s a little set piece for the Cat, with Danny John Jules trying to get some laughs, that goes on considerably longer than justified, and a running gag that just sort of fades out.

Now if the B plotline from this regarding the news Lister learns had been married with him trying to be a good dad to himself then we might have had a classic Red Dwarf episode.

Verdict: The first really forgettable episode of this series.  4/10

Paul Simpson

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