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M-Corp is the fifth episode in Series XII of Red Dwarf, first broadcast on Dave on November 9, 2017.

It is also the seventy-second Red Dwarf episode overall.

Overview

When the Dwarfers upload the latest software update they discover the Jupiter Mining Corporation, owners of Red Dwarf, have been bought by M-Corp - a company that only allows products made by them to be visible to their employees.

Summary

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Main cast

Guest stars

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Deleted scenes

  • Lister and Rimmer argue over who is worse off. Lister bemoans that he wanted a family and kids, but if he had that now, everybody would think that he was their grandad, which would cause teasing and fighting with the other kids. Kryten says that the children would rise above it, but Lister says that he was talking about himself, wading in against the "smart-arse little smeggers". Kryten says that Lister should look on the bright side, since there is always someone worse off then youself. Rimmer puts his hand up, saying that he is sitting right here. Rimmer points out to Lister that at least he is still alive, and at least he is not a computer-generated illusion which doesn't even exist, like himself. Lister asks how it possible, if Rimmer doesn't exist, how can he be so annoying? "To paraphrase John Paul Satre, You annoy, Therefore You Are". Rimmer says that it is still not the same as being real, and he is only there to keep Lister sane. Lister says that he is not sane, since he was just drawing a face on a spring onion and giving it a mullet. Rimmer says that he is still better off than he is, and leaves. Kryten tells Lister not to listen, since it is his birthday after all and has a present for him. Lister, cheering up, says that he doesn't need a present, since he has everything he needs. Kryten reminds Lister that, in fact, he has nothing - no wife, no partner, no future - and that he is so easy to shop for.

Notes

  • Lister's current age is hinted strongly at the beginning of this episode after Kryten wakes him up and wishes him a Happy Birthday, when Lister asked how old he was, he obviously found out that it was neither 30 or 40, which lead to his refusal to hear his actual age, it is implied that Lister could now be in his mid to late 40s, in fact hurtling towards 50.
  • When the Cat asks why he wasn't infected with the same virus that afflicted Lister, Rimmer suggests that the virus requires "more than two bytes of RAM", forgetting the possible explanation that the virus was only targeting employees of the Jupiter Mining Corporation, as Cat was never employed by the company and merely lives on the ship (Kryten was made by DivaDroid International, which was not owned by M-Corp and Rimmer's light bee wasn't made by M-Corp).
  • Rimmer's password security question is the name of his first kiss, Kryten types in "Uncle Frank". Rimmer says that was personal, but Cat says he already told them this story, which he did whilst intoxicated in the Officer's Club in the "The Last Day". It is surprising that the Cat and Kryten remembered the story, as they were heavily drunk at the time this story was told.
  • The M-Corp computer programme Aniter has a much similar defeat to Pree in the Series X episode "Fathers and Suns".
  • The final scene of this episode, during which Lister's brain has been reset to when he was 23, is a direct recreation of the opening scene of the pilot episode. Lister is pushing a Z Shift trolley through the corridor, wearing the same clothes, eating a pie, putting a cigarette in his ear, singing Lunar City Seven, and annoying Rimmer by humming and slapping his cheeks.

Background information

  • The concept for "M-Corp" began a satire on the overreach of corporate greed and power, and its impact upon society. This theme evolved into the concept of a ruthless corporation which would even charge customers for the time in their lives.[1]
  • British actor and comedian Ray Peacock performed the warm-up for the live studio audience during the filming of Series XI and XII. As a life-long fan of Red Dwarf, Peacock requested of Doug Naylor a role on the show, even suggesting that he could have appeared as a "little homeless man who had been on board the ship the entire time". Naylor did not go with this suggestion, but eventually wrote Peacock a cameo appearance in this episode as "Steve" who M-Corp unsuccessfully tries to "sell" to Lister as a friend within the M-Corp world.
  • Helen George based her performance of Aniter on that of a robot or avatar of an unfeeling corporate entity which is within her, and which is only in it for what they can get out it for themselves. She also imagined an air hostess "giving customers the news that their flight has been delayed by 30 hours, all the while smiling and being charming, but ultimately doesn't care".
  • For the scenes where various objects are invisible to Lister required both digital and practical effects to achieve. For example, when Lister is laid on his sofa in the sleeping quarters that has become invisible, Craig Charles was laid out on a clear perspex bed and the shadows of it were removed digitally after filming. For the scene where Cat opens a shaken-up, invisible can and it sprays all over Lister's face, a tube was fitted up Danny John-Jules's sleeve to spray Charles for real.
  • The make-up and hair designer, Vanessa White, made the prosthetic face mask for a Lister of advanced age (according to White, she was told by Doug Naylor that Lister was to be around 106 years old). This was done by fitting other pieces from other shows onto Craig Charles' face cast, which the production already had from when they made him into a mechanoid in "Siliconia". Charles' centenarian make-up included old fur for his dreadlocks, a bigger nose, liver spots, and huge ears with tufts of hair growing out.
    • Craig Charles' centenarian make-up took around four hours to apply. Craig joked that "they should of just got me on a Sunday morning after a gig and a night out".
    • Robert Llewellyn said that Charles' centenarian make-up was so good that he didn't realise that it was Craig Charles, and at first thought that he was a new actor brought in.

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Noteworthy dialogue

  • Cat: A think tax?
    Rimmer: You'd have got a rebate every year.
  • Lister: Ah, I don't need a present, Kryts - I got everything I need.
    Kryten: Sir - you've got nothing; no life, no partner, no future... you're so easy to shop for!
  • Chippy: Well, Dave, some of your arteries have more fur than an Eskimo fur clothes shop, but diet and exercise can fix all that. I can also monitor your improvement by giving you daily updates of when you're likely to die. Would you like to know that, Dave?
    Rimmer: [In Lister's voice] Ah, yes please, man.
    Chippy: You'll be sixty-three, Dave.
    Lister: Rimmer, I don't want to know that!
  • Kryten: It's much as I feared, sir.
    Lister: What?
    Kryten: Something really weird is going on!
  • Lister: I can't hear 'im. I can't hear Rimmer.
    Cat: And you're complaining?

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Reception

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References

  1. "The 28 Years Later Affair", Series XII DVD making-of documentary

External links

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