Entangled (Red Dwarf)
|Red Dwarf episode|
|Episode no.||Series 10
|Directed by||Doug Naylor|
|Written by||Doug Naylor|
|Original air date||25 October 2012|
"Entangled" is the fourth episode of science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf series X, originally broadcast on the British television channel Dave on 25 October 2012. Lister loses Rimmer in a game of poker to a group of "biologically engineered garbage gobblers", and in return gets an unwanted gift: a groinal exploder programmed to detonate in 24 hours unless Lister pays his debts. Meanwhile, Kryten and Cat become quantum entangled and do everything in perfect unison.
While chasing a space weevil, Cat encounters Kryten conducting an experiment with the quantum rod from Trojan. It unexpectedly causes the two of them to become 'quantum entangled', meaning they are more prone to coincidences such as saying the same thing at exactly the same time, especially when emotionally stressed.
Meanwhile, Rimmer comes up with a complicated new accident reporting system, involving filling out a form several pages long, which frustrates Lister. Lister discovers a moon with signs of life and heads down in Starbug, hoping to find out if his former lover Kochanski passed this way. Much later he returns - minus Starbug. He explains that he played poker with some GELFs known as BEGGs (biologically engineered garbage gobblers) and lost Starbug, as well as Rimmer. Also, the BEGGs have outfitted him with an explosive device attached to his groin that will explode if he does not pay up.
An offer of an alternative deal goes nowhere and another poker game is cited. Unfortunately for Kryten and Cat, their quantum entanglement combines with a stressed Lister's insistence that he does not 'choke' in poker games and causes the BEGGs to choke to death. Hoping to use the quantum entanglement to save his life, Lister gets Cat stressed (by cutting off locks of his hair) and the Dwarfers learn some space co-ordinates that lead them to a space station that Kryten recognises as a science institution that was staffed by scientists who were always wrong. Investigating the station's stasis pods, they discover that one is still functional and contains a professor, Irene Edgington – who turns out to be a chimp because an evolution device she invented went wrong.
The Dwarfers take Edgington back to the ship and use her device to make her human again. She tells them how to remove the device, but they have to do the opposite of everything she suggests because all her instructions (excluding the last one) are incorrect. After saving Lister, Edgington takes a walk with Rimmer (who seems to fancy her) and ends up accidentally trapped in an airlock. She presses the wrong button and is ejected into space. Lister gleefully gives Rimmer the accident report forms to fill in.
The episode was subject to on-set rewrites when it emerged that there were rules and regulations which governed how long performer Peter Elliott could play the role of the chimp without taking a break. The ending originally planned for the episode would have seen Rimmer and Lister bickering like a divorced couple over looking after the chimp . The character of Professor Edgington (played by Sydney Stevenson) was a late addition to the story. The legs of Professor Edgington were actually a model as the actress playing the part was yet to be cast. These problems meant that the final five minutes of the episode were not filmed in front of a live studio audience – the entire episode was later shown (with Dear Dave) at a special screening to provide the necessary laughter track for the final part.
Reviews for the fourth episode were positive. SFX magazine gave it four stars out of five, stating that it was "another cracking episode absolutely filled with comedy gems ... the gag rate is so fast you're in danger of whiplash, and the barmy central plot twists and turns so much you never know [what] bizarre situation you’re going to witness next." Radio Times called it "a smart, inventive episode," and reserved particular praise for the skill of Danny John-Jules (Cat) and Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) "who, as a result of a quantum entanglement, have to deliver their lines in perfect unison." IGN awarded the episode 7.2 out of 10, stating that although the pace was "a little pedestrian at times," there was "enough smart plotting and good gags to ensure it maintains the high standard of this 10th season." Starburst magazine gave it eight stars out of 10, and called it "the best episode of the series since the opener "Trojan" and said that "the whole idea of having the crew go off on an adventure, meet strange life forms and at the last minute figure a way out of a tricky situation with some absurd logic, really gives the proceedings a classic Dwarf feel."
- Red Dwarf 10.4 "Entangled" REVIEW, www.sfx.co.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2012
- Sunday - Dimension Jump XVII, www.reddwarf.co.uk, retrieved 16 June 2013
- Sydney Stevenson - Hamilton Hodell - CV
- Behind the Scenes - Series X - Production
- Red Dwarf X: Entangled review, www.denofgeek.com. Retrieved 28 October 2012
- Red Dwarf Series 10 - 4, www.radiotimes.com. Retrieved 26 October 2012
- Red Dwarf: "Entangled" Review, uk.ign.com. Retrieved 26 October 2012
- TV Review: RED DWARF X Episode 4 'Entangled', www.starburstmagazine.com. Retrieved 30 October 2012