This time we see the dangerous of monopolisation as the ship is taken over by a company that owns all of Earth.
On his birthday Lister (Craig Charles) suffers a severe indigestion attack, so Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) installs a chip in his bloodstream to monitor his health. Rimmer (Chris Barrie) impersonates Lister’s voice to learn when Lister will die, although the chip short-circuits after mixing up its data with Lister’s. They learn that thanks to Cat (Danny John-Jules) unplugging the mainframe so he could use his curling tongs, Red Dwarf has not been updating its software. After the update, they find that the Jupiter Mining Corporation has been taken over by the world’s largest conglomerate, M-Corp.
M-Corp then fills the ship with their own goods, but the update then stops Lister from seeing products not supplied by the company, mean that brain eventually filters out the rest of the crew too. The crew learn that M-Corp purchased the whole of Earth in the 26th century, and even put a tax on thinking meaning no-one could fight back. Lister visits M-Corp to try and solve the issue, but then learns what happens if you have no money to pay for things.
This episode starts very strongly, with a great scene involving Lister and the selfish Cat when Lister has his indigestion attack. The following scenes with Rimmer’s impression of Lister and the malfunctioning chip are also good. However, the episode peters out around halfway through as they episode tries to get more serious. Some fans will however enjoy references to the earlier episodes, such as Rimmer’s first kiss, and even a homage to the very first Red Dwarf. But with the referencing of episodes this time and last time, you worry if it is getting a bit tiresome.
Red Dwarf XII is on Dave at 21.00.