Saturday, September 5, 2015

Red Dwarf : Gumen of the Apocalypse (TV)

Red Dwarf : Gumen of the Apocalypse – British title
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – British title
High Midnite – British title
Les bandits de l’apocalypse – French title
Pistoleros del apocalypse – Spanish title
Red Dwarf : Gumen of the Apocalypse – English title

A 1993 British television production [BBC, Grant Naylor Productions (London)]
Producer: Justin Judd
Director: Andy de Emmony
Story: Grant Naylor (Rob Grant, Doug Naylor)
Teleplay: Grant Naylor (Rob Grant, Doug Naylor)
Photography: Peter Morgan [color]
Music: Howard Goodall
Song: “Main Theme” sung by Jenna Russell
Running time: 30 minutes

Dave Lister – Craig Charles
Arnold Judas Rimmer – Chris Barrie (Christopher Brown)
‘The Cat’/Riviera Kid – Danny John-Jules (Daniel John-Jules)
Kryten – Robert Llewellyn
Lola – Imogen Bain
Loretta – Jennifer Calvert
Jimmy – Steve Devereaux
Simulant Lieutenant – Liz Hickling (Elizabeth Hickling)
War – Robert Inch
Simulant Captain/Death – Denis Lill
Bear Strangler McGee – Stephen Marcus (Stephen Scott)
Pestilence – Jeremy Peters
Famine – Dinny Powell
Nuke - Gerrard Hocks
Cowboys – Bill Jennings, Lee Reid, Lurnas Bull, Mervyn Beeney, John Heldt, Mark George,
                   Mark Banks, Bill Ashby (William Ashby), Brian Spain
Town women – Shirley Ashby, Doreen Jennings
Saloon girls – Jolene Truder, Jane Hardy
Cowpokes – John Truder, John Wilson, Brian Riches, James Banks, Ian Dibin, Ricki Martin,
                     Mic McFarren, Dave Thompson (David Thompson), Colin Winter

Starbug strays into a Rogue Simulant hunting zone and is detected by a battle-cruiser whose xenophobic mechanoid occupants despise humanity. The Starbug crew are captured, but instead of killing them the Simulants upgrade the systems, weapons and armor of Starbug, intending to battle them for sport.

By a fluke the Starbug crew, cripple the Simulant ship, but before their destruction the Simulants transmit an "Armageddon Virus" into Starbug's navigation computer, locking the ship on a suicide course toward a large volcanic moon. Kryten deliberately infects himself with the virus in order to try to formulate a software antidote.

Kryten's battle with the virus manifests itself as a Wild West–flavored dream; he is the cowardly, drunken and burnt-out Sheriff of a town called Existence, who is standing against four outlaws known as the Apocalypse Boys: Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death. The crew uses an artificial reality machine to enter Kryten's dream, taking the roles of characters from a wild west video game with various skills: Lister with knife throwing, Cat with expert shooting skills, and Rimmer with hand-to-hand combat.

All three show off their skills as Lister pins a bully to the wall with his knives, Cat shoots the bullets of two gunmen out of the air simultaneously, and Rimmer fights off several cowboys with his bare hands. As Kryten tries to flee town, Cat stops him by shooting a bullet which ricochets off numerous objects until it hits a sign, which falls and knocks Kryten down. The others try to sober him up by force-feeding him raw coffee. He finally begins to recognize them when Cat returns from repossessing Kryten's guns and finds there are doves inscribed on the handles (a reference to the "dove program" Kryten needs to assemble to counteract the virus).

The trio then confronts the Apocalypse Boys while the still-confused and unsteady Kryten struggles for a solution. Unfortunately, Lister, Cat, and Rimmer are rendered powerless by the virus before the final showdown, but manage to delay the Apocalypse Boys long enough for Kryten to finish his antidote, which appears in the dream as his guns turn into doves which destroy the Boys. Kryten leaves the dream and hastily loads his antidote into the navigation computer, seemingly too late as Starbug crashes into the molten surface of the moon. Several seconds later, it bursts free with the crew giving an apropos "Yeeha!" before flying off into the sunset.

This episode of ‘Red Dwarf’ was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on October 21, 1993 in the 9:00pm time slot. The episode was watched by over 6 million viewers, and it has been described as "the best episode of Series VI". One reviewer described the episode as "an excuse to transport the characters to a Wild West landscape, with results just as contrived as those on the original Star Trek but considerably funnier." The episode won an International Emmy award in 1994.

[The episode won an International Emmy award in 1994.]

   YouTube film clip:  

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