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Red Dwarf - Meltdown

episode 4.6

UK 1991
produced by
Ed Bye, Rob Grant, Doug Naylor for Grant Naylor/BBC
directed by Ed Bye
starring Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn, Hattie Hayridge, Clayton Mark, Kenneth Hadley, Martin Friend, Stephen Tiller, Jack Klaff, Tony Hawks, Forbes Masson, Pauline Bailey
written by Rob Grant, Doug Naylor

Red Dwarf, Elvis, Hitler, Caligula, Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, Einstein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After the ship's robot Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) has discovered a teleportation-pad, the crew of the space-ship Red Dwarf - besides Kryten the last human Lister (Craig Charles), the after-death hologram Rimmer (Chris Barrie), the cat evolved to human form Cat (Danny John-Jules) & the halfwit computer Holly (Hatty Hayridge) - decide to teleport themselves to the nearest planet with earthlike conditions. Kryten & Rimmer, who go first, are soon attacked by dinosaurs (actually filmclips from the 1967 Japanese monster movie Daikyoju Gappa), while Lister & Cat land in Nazi headquarters to be arrested by Hitler (Kenneth Hadley) personally.

When a short time later Abraham Lincoln (Jack Claff) is thrown into their cell, too, & they are questioned by Caligula (Tony Hawks), while Kryten & Rimmer are apprehended by Elvis Presley (Clayton Mark),  it becomes clear that something is not quite alright - all our heroes have been transported to Waxworld, an amusement park planet which was created to entertain by having waxdroids resembling historical figures act out history. However, when the human race became extinct, the waxdroids survived, broke their programming & soon started a futile war of good (Elvis's party) versus evil (Hitler's gang). Finally Rimmer, a dedicated Risk-player, sees a chance to become the warlord he always wanted to be & trains the good waxdroids to become fighting machines & attack the evil waxdroids.

Lister & Cat - since escaped from Hitler & Caligula - try to stop him from playing war witht he waxdroids, claiming they had become beings in their own right when breaking their programming, but are only taken prisoner by him.

... & what do you know, Rimmer really wins the war - even though not only all of his adversaries but also all of his army are wiped (melted down) out completely.

Celebreties in Rimmer's army include Einstein (Martin Friend), Pythagoras (Stephen Tiller), a totally unconvincing Stan Laurel (Forbes Masson) & Marilyn Monroe (Pauline Bailey).


Meltdown proves to be the best episode of the rather weak season 4 of Red Dwarf, due to a pacifist message (that at long last presents Rimmer as a total asshole again, a fact forgotten during most of season 4). & actually, the celebrity look-alikes in this context provide some laughs, even though most of them are not too convincing. However, an exploding Mahatma Gandhi, a machine gun firing Queen Victoria, & even Caligula & Rasputin coming out of a cupboard are worth a chuckle or two, aren't they ?


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD