I admit I'm not a fan of the last two series, but to produce 36 episodes of consistently good quality has to be recognised as an achievement, anyway. My current favourite episode is "Legion", although today is a Monday, so this choice is subject to change within the next 24 hours... ! Each member of the crew has their own instantly definable personality, and I just love it that even when greeting members of other civilisations, the toadying Rimmer cannot help but bluff about his high level of sophistication:
Rimmer: "Ah, an excellent example of modern art, no doubt. Note the precise cubic structure and its bold, sweeping lines... What is it?"
Legion: "My light switch".
R: "Can I buy it?"
L: "Not really. I need it to turn my lights on and off... "
I'm torn between whether I prefer on the whole the stark, bleak and basic environment of the first two series, or the polished, more modern look of series 5 and 6. In the beginning, the drab and ordinary nature of the sets allowed the focus to be more on character comedy, but in later years the more colourful design went hand-in-hand with ever more bizarre and interesting stories. Although the writing style changed as we became more comfortable with the characters, in half a dozen runs the quotient of laughs was kept remarkably high. This is the most important thing for a comedy, and above all, the clever and rapid-fire jokes are what helped "Red Dwarf" to achieve its own unique and seismic impact.
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