The Last Day (Red Dwarf)
|"The Last Day"|
|Red Dwarf episode|
Lister throws Kryten a last day party
|Episode no.||Series 3|
|Directed by||Ed Bye|
|Written by||Rob Grant & Doug Naylor|
|Original air date||19 December 1989|
"The Last Day" is the sixth, and last, episode of science fiction sit-com Red Dwarf Series III, and the eighteenth in the series run. It premiered on the British television channel BBC2 on 19 December 1989. Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Ed Bye, the story is about Kryten's expiry date and how Lister decides to give him a last day to remember. The episode was re-mastered, along with the rest of the first three series, in 1998.
A message pod reaches Red Dwarf from Diva-Droid International, manufacturers of Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and the 4000 series of mechanoids. It announces that Kryten's built-in expiry date is almost up and his in-built shut-down chip will automatically activate in twenty-four hours time. Kryten resigns himself to his fate, telling Lister (Craig Charles) he's going to get his reward in "Silicon Heaven". Lister tries to tell him there's no such place, to no avail. Lister is sickened that Kryten is forced to shut himself down just to make room for a newer model and is determined Kryten's going to enjoy his last day in a profitless and non-practical way (Kryten's definition of fun). He even goes to the trouble of building the robotic Marilyn Monroe kit that's been hanging around the ship for years, whilst Holly (Hattie Hayridge) knocks up a special android home brew using Vimto and liquid nitrogen.
At the party, presents are shared, stories are told and jokes are fired, much to Lister's chagrin when his heart-wrenching story of being abandoned by his parents takes a nasty turn after Rimmer explains his abandonment was because his parents were likely brother and sister.
As they sleep the next morning, Kryten inadvertently plays the rest of the message from Divadroid, explaining that his replacement - Hudzen 10, is en route to the ship. Waking with a hangover, Kryten realises that he had experienced true pleasure for the first time and decides that he would much rather delay his departure. He can override his shutdown programme, but the catch is that his replacement mechanoid comes fitted with instructions to kill its predecessor if necessary. But Lister, Rimmer (Chris Barrie) and Cat (Danny John-Jules) will not let him on board. They're going to stand by their shipmate.
The replacement mechanoid Hudzen's ship lands on the landing gantry, and the crew prepare for his appearance. Lister tells Hudzen that Kryten is staying put and that he should leave. Hudzen refuses to go away and advances down the corridor as having spent million of years travelling alone he has been driven dangerously insane and he tries to kill everyone. Just as Hudzen is finally upon Kryten and about to deliver a killing blow, he is told by Kryten that Silicon Heaven does not exist. Hudzen's mind cannot cope with this revelation and shuts down. Lister quizzes Kryten about why Hudzen's mind (a later model) can't cope with this revelation, whilst Kryten's can. Kryten replies that he had a distinct advantage over Hudzen: Kryten knew that he was lying.
Gordon Kennedy almost didn't appear in Red Dwarf as the character of Hudzen 10 was actually a last-minute addition to the script. Robert Llewellyn makes a brief, unmasked, appearance as Jim Reaper, the Diva-Droid executive and Julie Higginson plays the Marilyn Monroe kit android.
In the opening credits of Season 3, there is a picture of Kryten in a suit, moving his body to his left, and turning his head to his right, with a smile on his face. This picture is also shown in the Red Dwarf pictures screensaver. It was supposed to be from this episode but was never shown. It was also the only scene from "The Last Day" to be shown in the opening credits.
This was the last episode of Red Dwarf to be recorded in the BBC Manchester studios. Shortly after recording the third series the studios were closed for refurbishment. This meant the Red Dwarf production had to move to a new studio for the fourth series, with production relocated to Shepperton Studios.
Brigitte Nielsen is referenced by Lister regarding Silicon Heaven that Kryten mentions. He then says that the notion of Silicon Heaven is "completely wacko, Jacko" referencing Michael Jackson's nickname. Kryten quotes a line from the Electronic Bible ("the iron shall lie down with the lamp"), which is a parody of a passage in Isaiah 11:6: "the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid".
Using a build-it-yourself kit droid Lister assembles a Marilyn Monroe bot as a leaving present for Kryten. Kryten is compared to Action Man in reference to his lack of genitalia, when asked if he would seduce the Monroe bot. Rimmer's present to Kryten is a tube of General George S. Patton's sinal fluid.
Star Trek is mentioned by Lister following the crew's decision to stick up for Kryten when the replacement arrives, Kryten regards this as true friendship, but Lister replies with "don't give me that Star Trek crap, it's too early in the morning".
Hudzen's POV "Hologram. Ex-human. VIABLE TARGET" parodies the Terminator's similar POV.
Rimmer mentions 1 Corinthians 13 from the Bible, referring to a (fictional) group called the Seventh Day Advent Hoppists (A play on Seventh-day Adventists who actually observe Saturday as the seventh day, not Sunday) that based their doctrine on a misprinting that gave the verse (v13, although this is not stated) as "faith, hop and charity... and the greatest of these is hop". In reality, apart from the obvious - 'hop' being 'hope' - the verse actually states that 'charity' (rendered as 'love' in most modern English translations) is the greatest.
The episode was originally broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 19 December 1989 in the 9:00pm evening time slot. Although the episode gained a decent number of viewers, the episode has been considered by fans to be the weakest from Series III.
The remastering of Series I to III was carried out during the late 1990s with the intention of bringing the early production values up to a standard suitable for international television. General changes throughout the series included replacement of the opening credits, giving the picture a colour grade and filmising, computer generated special effects of Red Dwarf and many more visual and audio enhancements.
There have been changes made specific to "The Last Day". The opening shot of the post pod approaching Red Dwarf has been replaced with a CGI sequence. Hudzen's ship approaching Red Dwarf has been replaced with a CGI version.
Upon its release on VHS the new re-mastered episodes were generally received poorly by fans of the show, although it has been stated by critics that they are "actually an invigorating new take on a classic series". The re-mastered series was later released, along with other material, on The Bodysnatcher DVD boxset, in 2007.
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- "TV.com - The Last Day summary". www.tv.com. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
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- "Remasters of the Universe". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
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- Remastering Crew (2007). The End Re-Mastered DVD Commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset Red disc: BBC.
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- Remastering Crew (2007). Last Day text commentary (DVD). Bodysnatcher DVD Boxset, Green disc: BBC.
- "Sci-Fi-London Film Festival - The Bodysnatcher Collection". www.sci-fi-london.com. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- "The Bodysnatcher collection". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
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