Legion (Red Dwarf)
"Legion" is the second episode of science fiction sit-com Red Dwarf Series VI and the 32nd in the series run. It was first broadcast on British television on 14 October 1993, was written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor and was directed by Andy de Emmony.
|Red Dwarf episode|
|Episode no.||Series 6|
|Directed by||Andy De Emmony|
|Written by||Rob Grant & Doug Naylor|
|Original air date||14 October 1993|
To maintain constant pursuit of Red Dwarf, Dave Lister and Cat handle the piloting of Starbug through shifts. However, Kryten informs Arnold Rimmer that the ship is running low on food and water. As the ship passes by a deserted space station, the crew find its being pulled towards it by a tractor beam, and thus opt to explore the station for supplies. When aboard, Kryten notes that his scanner has put up a life-form, despite not registering one earlier, which soon appears before them as a mysterious entity called Legion. After explaining that he was a creation of the greatest minds that inhabited the station, he offers a token of good faith by demonstrating his incredible technological intelligence. Legion gives Lister an instantaneous emergency appendectomy, while also modifying Rimmer's light beam, allowing him to alternate between a "soft light" and "hard light" hologram – the latter form allows him to be able to touch and feel. Impressed, the crew try to recruit him, but Legion insists that they stay with him
The following morning, the group admit that they have become Legion's prisoners, despite each enjoying accommodations tailored to their unique personal tastes and requirements. When they attempt to escape by overpowering him, they find Legion is a gestalt entity – a combination of all active minds present on the station, melded together to form one, who became a mindless, formless entity when the station's original occupants perished from old age. Discovering he is now hostile to them, Kryten notices that Legion loses a persona when one of them is unconscious, and so convinces the others to be knocked out, forcing Legion to have his persona only. Legion admits relief when this happens, wishing not to share their assorted neuroses, and helps Kryten to return them to Starbug, providing them with a stardrive that the scientists had created to help them catch up to Red Dwarf. However, when the crew attempt to use it, the drive shoots out of the ship, leaving them to struggle with the sudden decompression it creates.
The working title for the episode was "Call Me Legion", and later shortened to "Legion". This episode introduces the hologram Hardlight – an indestructible physical form which Rimmer could form into. It was becoming tiresome for the writers that Rimmer couldn't touch anything, so it was retained for the remainder of the series.
Nigel Williams played the character of Legion, whose costume was so tight he had to be sewn into it. Once he was in it he had to stay in it until the shoot was finished.
Audience laughter can be heard when Kryten mentions "Quayle" in a list of "the most brilliant minds of the 23rd century". In 1993 the name conjured up the image of Dan Quayle, the former U.S. Vice President who was popularly perceived as being incompetent. He also mentions "Davro", most likely a reference to singer and comedian Bobby Davro, as well as “Holder”, a reference to Slade singer Noddy Holder.
The episode was well received by fans, and Rob Grant has described this episode as one of his favourites, and has said that "I think that's the funniest start to a show we've ever done, [also] it's got some great set pieces in it, the chopsticks scene..."
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- "TV.com - Legion summary". www.tv.com. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
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- News From The Dwarf, Red Dwarf Smegazine, volume 2 issue 1, May 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603
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- Cast and Crew | Series VI | Guide | Red Dwarf, www.reddwarf.co.uk, retrieved 11 May 2013
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- Robert E. Gilbert, (1998), The Mortal Presidency: Illness and Anguish in the White House, page 290. Fordham Univ Press. ISBN 0823218376
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