If you're generous and pretend 'Give & Take' was a proper Lister episode, every Boy from the Dwarf has had his time in the spotlight in the back two thirds of this latest series, which was pleasing and inevitably variable. As "long-awaited" as a Cat-centric episode was, my hopes weren't any higher going in than for 'Krysis,' so at least this time I had the chance to be pleasantly surprised.
It might be the most average episode of this most average of runs, but it's funny, and that's enough to excuse all the things I'd normally be more cynical about (and am obviously going to be anyway). Like the fact that it's the second time they've made a sequel to 'Polymorph,' something I'm not going to bother being spoiler-conscious about as there's no danger the prisoner they come across is going to be what she appears to be when vampire GELFs have already been name-dropped.
Is it better than 'Emohawk' in that regard? Obviously not, because that's encased in the densest layer of my impenetrable childhood nostalgia possible and I saw this one when I was 31. If you're not similarly burdened and you're able to compare the sloppy sequels more objectively, it's not necessarily any worse. There's less emotion-sapping, apart from a quite chilling scene with an apathetic Lister, instead mining the multiplicity angle for laughs.
My biggest regret is that the series wimped out on what would have been a spectacular final twist, especially in a run of episodes that's received a lot of criticism for its endings. I would have loved Cat's concubines to have been real, then naturally never seen or mentioned again, and for that uncomfortable virgin shuffling to have all been an act. To hell with the plot making sense, it wouldn't have messed up the continuity any worse than the previous story.
Red Dwarf XI, there. One episode I loved, one I hated, one that could so easily have been brilliant that its decline pissed me off, the other half was alright. It's been a lot of fun.
"A nomination for JMC Crew of the Year is staring to look unlikely" - Dave Lister