M-Corp (Red Dwarf)
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|Red Dwarf episode|
Kryten, Rimmer, and Cat attempt to rescue Lister from the M-Corp simulation
|Episode no.||Series 12|
|Directed by||Doug Naylor|
|Written by||Doug Naylor|
|Original air date||9 November 2017|
"M-Corp" is the fifth episode of Red Dwarf XII and the 72nd in the series run. Originally broadcast on the British television channel Dave on 9 November 2017, it was made available early on 2 November 2017 on UKTV Play.
On his birthday, Lister is awaken by Kryten with breakfast singing Happy Birthday. As Kryten goes off to fetch Lister his birthday present, Lister suffers what is believed to be a heart attack while eating and is sent to the science room to recuperate.
At the science room, Lister is conscious again on a stretcher with Rimmer mocking him for being a sloth. Kryten returns and reports it wasn't a heart attack, instead it was a "severe indigestion attack," but as a precaution inserts a monitoring chip into Lister's bloodstream named Chippy. Chippy is able to communicate with the crew through a computer console and, following a "tough squeeze" down Lister's arteries, experiences a system failure and shuts down.
Following an investigation by Kryten, he discovers Chippy had corrupted files due to Chippy running-off old software, and that Red Dwarf's system updates haven't been automatically installing for several years. Cat reveals this was due to him unplugging a connection between the consoles to power his heated curling tongs, which prevented the software updates from installing. Lister proceeds to order Kryten to install the updates.
The crew return to the sleeping quarters to watch the updates install, and following it reaching 100%, a message broadcasts informing them a large corporation known as M-Corp has purchased Red Dwarf's parent company, the Jupiter Mining Corporation (JMC). Instantly, new M-Corp-owned products materialize onboard including microwaves, TVs, beer, and more. As Rimmer and Kryten begin taking some of the equipment back to the science room, Lister and Cat examine the new M-Corp lager which Lister goes to put in their fridge, only to discover the lager in there previously has disappeared. When questioned on the fridge's apparent lack of lager, Cat bluntly tells him its there before taking out a seemingly-invisible lager, shaking it, and getting it all over a disbelieving Lister.
Afterwards, the crew rendezvous back in the science room, where Kryten holds up several objects, varying from the newly materialized M-Corp products to objects that were onboard Red Dwarf previously, and asks Lister to identify which he can and can't see. Kryten deduces that the new software updates have installed a perception filter to filter out non-M-Corp-owned products, and that due to Lister being the only registered employee of the ship as well as Kryten and Rimmer not being owned by M-Corp - Kryten, Cat, and Rimmer all disappear from Lister's perspective.
As Lister copes with being essentially alone only able to see M-Corp products; Kryten explains to Rimmer and Cat that he discovered M-Corp had purchased Earth in the late 26th century, from its animals to its quicksand, it got to the point where M-Corp began to tax thinking as well resulting in the populace not able to afford conjuring even the most elementary of thoughts to fight back. Kryten formulates a plan to reboot Red Dwarf back to its factory settings by accessing the ship's mainframe, as well as loading a backup drive for Rimmer so he'll only lose a month's memory following the ship-wide reboot.
Meanwhile, Lister, sitting solemnly alone in the sleeping quarters, overhears an M-Corp broadcast advertising a trial weekend served by a personal artificially intelligent assistant. Lister ponders if this assistant can help him get the guys back just as an M-Corp teleporter materializes next to him. Lister decides to use it and is teleported to the M-Corp simulation, there, he is met by an AI of the woman on the broadcasts, Aniter. She proceeds to milk Lister dry by spawning fires before announcing simultaneous sales on fire extinguishers and giving him stomach pains forcing him to buy pain pills, a cup, and water all separately. Aniter then spawns digital friends available for purchase, as well as additional accessories, charging Lister in life following his lack of funds.
Back on Red Dwarf, Kryten retrieves Captain Hollister's master reboot box for Rimmer, as the stand-in senior officer onboard the ship, to insert his password. After Rimmer enters it the ship reboots and Rimmer is brought back using the backup files, they proceed to the M-Corp teleporter to retrieve Lister, tracking him down using Chippy, still in Lister's bloodstream.
Kryten, Rimmer, and Cat then teleport to Lister's location in the M-Corp simulation where they discover Lister, now having aged considerably and surrounded by digitally-generated friends and products. Aniter then confronts them, attempting to coax them into purchasing some products before Kryten requests to buy a malicious virus, which causes the simulation to corrode and shutdown, reverting Lister back to his age prior to purchasing any M-Corp products but still unable to see or hear the others.
Back in the science room, Kryten deduces the perception filter is in Lister's brain and not the ship, patching into Chippy and communicating with Lister. Kryten suggests essentially rebooting Lister's brain and installing Lister's memory files from the ship that is used to generate holograms, however the last save was when he was 23 prior to the radiation leak that killed the crew. However, Kryten says he can rebuild Lister's memory using CCTV recordings, though it'll take at least one month to fully restore Lister's memory.
The episode ends with Rimmer and Lister walking through the ship's corridors, where Lister annoyingly pesters Rimmer as a reference to the first scene of the show's first episode.
The final scene referencing the beginning of "The End" wasn't able to be filmed on the night of the recording in-front of the live studio audience, however Doug Naylor and the crew still wanted the audience members to experience it and so shot in anyway, the audience laughter was taken from that and edited into the later version.
- "Series XII Production", reddwarf.co.uk
- Harrison, Mark (3 November 2017). "Red Dwarf XII Episode 5 Review: M-Corp". Den of Geek.
- Saunders, Steven (3 November 2017). "Red Dwarf XII Episode 5 Review: M-Corp". Screen Mayhem.
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