TV: Red Dwarf XII, Skipper, Dave/UKTV Play

I've dipped in and out of this latest series of Red Dwarf but I had to make a point of watching Skipper as it features the long-awaited return of Norman Lovett as Holly the computer. Sorry if that has spoilt the surprise for you, but it has been pretty well publicised. And in fact there is another brilliant surprise comeback from the very early days which I won't reveal. But you can tell how devoted the fans in the studio audience are because his face gets a big cheer before he has even said anything.

As the title suggests, in this episode the crew find themselves skipping around various multiple universes. It's an idea – I think genuinely posited by Stephen Hawking – that feels like it has been done before but that doesn't stop it from being deliriously funny. Lister (Craig Charles), Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and co soon realise that whatever they say the opposite happens - so if they want to go down over 200 floors in the lift, for example they say they are going to walk down. Danny John-Jules' Cat, however, takes a little longer to catch on, which is fun in itself.

But the episode really belongs to Rimmer (Chris Barrie), who grabs the opportunity to travel through the wormhole with both hands. This means there are plenty of quickfire sight gags as he lands in places and then immediately moves on. But when he meets Holly things look up for him. In this world he has been promoted, which is his dream – until he discovers that someone close to him is an even higher rank here and the title skipper takes on a different meaning (this reminds me an old story where someone is giving a million pounds but their rival given two million pounds...).

Holly, of course is simply Holly. Gloriously deadpan as ever, making even the most mundane lines comical, And as a bonus, in one multiverse Rimmer even beomces the ship's computer himself. This is a true nostalgia trip for buffs. You can even hear the audience laughing when they see some of the old furniture.

All of which makes this a brilliant final episode. And I haven't even mentioned what Cat becomes in one of the multiverses. Twelve series on and the greatest sci-fi sitcom of all time still clearly has legs. And in the case of Cat in one of the multiverses, an extremely long tail...

Red Dwarf XII, Skipper, Dave, November 16 at 9pm and also in advance on UKTV Play.


Hello! Thanks for reading all the way down. I wish I could give you a prize. But BTJ needs your support to continue - if you would like to help to keep the site going, please consider donating.

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.