Sunday, August 21, 2016

Red Dwarf VIII Episode 7: "Pete, Part 2"

A tyrannosaurus eats curry and Kryten's penis escapes. Is there a funny joke in this episode? The tiresome repetition of "we're finished" can't even be salvaged by Chris Barrie, the "absolutely no control over your penis" joke is stupendously predictable, and the "see you in ten minutes thing" is just weird. The only genuinely funny moments in this probably come from Hollister, as it happens; while the "do you know what happens when a dinosaur eats..." joke is absurdly drawn out, I like the bit when he goes "Do you know? Do you know what happens?" and when, in Lister and Rimmer's cell, he turns suddenly, making Rimmer jump. This, however, is set up by a very cliché "he's standing behind me" gag. If it wasn't for Mac McDonald, there probably wouldn't be a laugh to be found in this episode.
The number of redundant scenes in this is mind-boggling. Note especially that after the first Captain's office scene and a few gags about punishment duty, the Canaries are sent back out and Baxter steals the time wand. Lister and Rimmer then immediately change back into their prison jumpsuits, visit Hollister again, who delivers a handful of lines, and then Lister and Rimmer immediately change back into their Canaries outfits and go back out again, now inexplicably without Kryten, Kochanski and the Cat. It's possibly worth it for the delayed fight sequence, although that's probably only redeemed by when Rimmer flies backwards. It's also unimpressive that, when they both fly backwards to the far wall of the office corridor, you can very identifiably hear the rattling wheels of the trolley they're being pushed on.
The dinosaur effects are arguably okay, and they get the job done, but one can't help but think that it's just a special effect for the sake of a special effect, and it doesn't serve much comedy except for a bit of scatological humour later about burps, vomiting and diarrhoea. The over-the-top curry gag is just the show descending further into "Tikka to Ride"-esque self-parody as well. The "Archie" aspect feels awkwardly shoehorned in, and one can't help but feel that the episode doesn't know what it's about. If "Pete" had been a one-episode-long story about the time wand and what it could do that might have been interesting and more funny, but this repetitive run-around is just Series VIII being daft kiddy nonsense.

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