You know what, you can say a lot about this series but it’s certainly not been boring. I’ve just this minute watched through Can of Worms so here are the talking points that instantly struck me. Thank fuck I don’t need to form or present any kind of opinion right at this moment.
The episode opening features a nice call back to Give & Take, as the personality tweaking machine is said to be salvaged from the medical space station. Lucky the episode re-jigging didn’t fuck this up really, isn’t it? It’s another case of an episode opening with some general ‘life aboard the ship’ type material giving us some amusing character interaction to warm us up while introducing an elements that would prove somewhat ‘relevant’ later. What did you think of the concept in the context of what’s revealed later on and how the machine is used in the climax?
The series delivers another super atmospheric scene as we finally see what made up the bulk of the early trailers for the series, as the crew decide to rescue the prisoner from an insane droid prison guard on a suicide mission into a black hole. Before then we are briefly teased with the concept of a race of GELFs that feast off fearful virgins. It certainly makes for a busy set up to the episode, presumably in the name of setting up the idea of the Cat’s virginity, but whether you think this adds richness or messiness is another matter.
Attention! Lady Cat!
The lady cat promised by the synopsis turns out to be the rescued prisoner, Ankita, much to the delight of the Cat. As with Butler last week it’s a difficult role to play since it involves needing to mimic a well known core cast member, while trying to not look like a poor imitation by comparison. Do you think Dominique Moore managed to make a good impact with her very Danny John-Jules inspired performance?
Polymorph 3, Aston Villa 0
Ah yes, probably the worst kept secret all series: the return of the Polymorph. While it’s not a massive surprise that Ankita didn’t last very long, it was perhaps surprising that the Polymorph concealed beneath the character came to such a quick demise as well, apparently unaware of the dangers of being a woman on-board Red Dwarf. The creature might be reused from previous episodes, but this time we’re introduced to an entirely new concept in the shape of its mating habits, and the danger that poses to the Cat, who is mere minutes away from fucking it. Did you like this new way of using the Polymorph and what did you think of how it was executed?
As if resurrecting Polymorph wasn’t enough, Doug seems keen to revisit the concept behind Dad, too. In a slightly unexpected turn for the episode the Cat carries the Polymorph spawn to full term, culminating in a birth scene laden with classic shapeshifting based lols. The surprise of the original Polymorph being offed so soon is certainly offset by giving us eight more to deal with, but did you think the idea behind the Cat being pregnant, and the representation of his ‘motherly’ instincts, was done well? And in the birth what did you think of one of the more overtly slapstick scenes we’ve had this series?
Let’s Get Out There and Twat ‘Em!
The finale of the episode sees the return of the personality altering machine from the intro as Lister has all his emotions stripped away to allow him to move stealthily among the now fully grown octet of Polymorphs. It’s a plot point that seems to be causing some consternation by dint of not making a great deal of sense, but does that particularly matter? Was the tension brought on by the gaggle of Polymorphs a fitting end to the episode, and what did you think of the rather sudden occurrence of Cat killing his own children after only very recently being overcome with maternal instinct? Are my opinions perhaps starting to seep into my never ending string of questions?
Is it shit or is it good?
The big question, as always, and its binary nature has never really been suitable for a series full of shades of grey and wildly diverging opinions. But as a series closer a certain level of quality is expected, so did Can of Worms deliver that for you? Is it a fitting end to an enjoyable series, a predictably shit end to a disappointing run, or more likely something in between those two unhelpful and unrealistic binaries? Team G&T are currently working out our exact thoughts and feelings, but we suspect as with the previous five episodes that we’re going to be dealing with a very interesting range of options in the discussions over the coming days. Let us know what you thought about these talking points, or any other aspects of the episode you think should’ve been included.
Our Live DwarfCast for Can of Worms, which will also close out our immediate Red Dwarf XI coverage, will be occurring at 10pm on Thursday 27th October. Look out for our in-depth written review in the coming days.