Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Red Dwarf VII Episode 7: "Epideme"

Lister gets kissed by a zombie and has his arm chopped off. This one starts very abruptly, with our dashing space heroes finding themselves on a frozen ship with a frozen woman aboard, who defrosts as a zombie and gives Lister a virus before expiring, a virus he's somehow able to talk to. What follows is a kind of feeble discussion of Nietzschean views on morality as the virus argues that its process of infecting and killing humans to survive is no different to humans killing animals for food. This is all modulated through a strange radio-show-host voice which, while not out of place in regards to characters like Confidence and the original Talkie Toaster, becomes a bit grating after a while in this episode.

The point at which Lister thinks Kochanski is showing up to seduce him seems unoriginal, although I can't think what else I've seen it happen in before. A touch of humour is to be derived from Kryten throwing the bits of Lister's arm into the bucket with increasing vehemence. I was never convinced by the bit in which Caroline Carmen's teeth fall out into Lister's mouth. I was always confused, because they don't look like real teeth; I used to think it was meant to be her tongue. The solution for defeating Epideme feels weak too; it's accidentally tricked into biting a dead arm because apparently viruses work that way; in reality, of course, Lister would have to be heavily quarantined and no one would be allowed to even breathe the same air as him in all likelihood. Perhaps the funniest bit is when, with the Cat still fainted on the floor in the same rigid pose, Kochanski and Kryten casually walk out chatting, forgetting that Lister is dead on the operating table.

Kryten's line "I had you marked down as a bit of a madam" is amusing for some reason. "Toilet University" is pretty stupid. When did Kryten go from being an android butler to being an android toilet cleaner? Series V, wasn't it? Can't blame that aspect on the post-Rob Grant stuff. Kryten's insistence on performing an "emergency dust" tickles me a bit, as well as "Who do you think? Madam Curie?!?" The way he says "'Scuse me ma'am" as he leaves is good too. It should be noted that even the audience they got in to provide laughter for this episode groans at Kryten's jealousy this time around, however. A proper laugh can be found in the part when Lister tries to cover up his lies about dating Caroline Carmen by saying that ice affects people's memories; Kryten says he doesn't recall this and Lister quips "It's affecting him already."

Incidentally, Kochanski doesn't believe a supply officer would go out with Lister, but she's a navigation officer and she did. Probably my favourite line in the whole thing, however, is when Lister says "I've just been molested by Tutankhamun's horny grandma." I kind of like how Kochanski describes the ice planet's formations as "fabaroo" as well, although I don't understand why the writers thought, both here and in the previous episode, that Kochanski being a navigation officer in space meant that she would be an expert on Earth geography. A related gag worth mentioning might be "What kind of navigation officer can't tell left from right?" Lister gets a decent comedy walk after getting ice water in the crevice. Perhaps "Epideme" is better than I give it credit for, but note that I haven't said much about the comedy virus. That's the bit I don't particularly care for.

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