How apt that an episode themed on the subject of criticism should end up being not all that great.
After Rimmer (Chris Barrie) claims and names a moon filled with the incredibly valuable gas helium-7 after himself, the crew are hit by a “timewave” that washes up a ship from the 23rd century. The ship is on a collision with “Planet Rimmer” (even though it is a moon), so Rimmer, Lister (Craig Charles), Cat (Danny John-Jules) and Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) have to board it in order to save everyone.
Before boarding, they learn that on the ship criticism is outlawed. The ship itself is full of terrible décor, childish drawings by people in their 30s that are not hung straight, and people doing jobs they are not qualified for while dressed in incredibly ridiculous ways because no-one is allowed to say they look awful. It is not long however before the boys from the Dwarf end up falling foul of the law and get busted, so they need to escape and redirect the ship before it is too late.
The idea of criticism being against the law is an interesting one, and while there are some fun sequences such as Johnny Vegas playing a “Crit Cop” dressed in a pink policeman’s uniform, and one prisoner sentenced for life for the most trivial of all forms of ridicule, the episode was short of laughs. There wasn’t that much really funny in it at all. I’ve even seen one review describing “Timewave” as the worst Red Dwarf outing since “Back to Earth”.
While that might be a bit harsh, this episode is certainly below par.
Red Dwarf is on Dave at 21.00.