Cassandra

I don’t understand how Cassandra is so much better than the rest of Series VIII. I really don’t.

It’s not just that the story is a good one that feels like it could have come from anywhere from about IV onwards, or that it has a top notch guest star. If you look at the quality of the gags in the opening bunkroom scene, and throughout the entire episode, in fact, they’re just much better than anything else the series has to offer. “Maybe you can fault it on the fact that I’m not a dog”. “I had everything, and I threw it all away”. “Cunnilingus”. “The time just flew past”. “I’ve signed you up, too”. “You are the sunshine of my life”. “A man”. “I read it on this mission directive here”. “Aww, but Cassandra promised”. “That doesn’t excuse my other four senses!” “Would it have killed him to take thirty minutes longer? Ten, even? Two would have done…” I could go on, but you get the idea. Most of those gags come from the first ten minutes of the episode, and there are more great lines there than there are in the rest of the series put together.

How? How does Doug manage to put all the best bits in one episode and leave such utter dross for the remaining seven episodes (the notable exception being “Follow the Rimmer-shaped blur”)? Moreover, how much of a crushing disappointment is the fact that “Krytie TV” follows it?

7 Responses to Cassandra

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  1. Interestingly, when I showed Tanya ‘Cassandra’ and ‘Krytie TV’, she much prefered the latter. Possibly because I built up the former and slagged off ‘Krytie TV’ so much that her expectations were skewed.

    (I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Krytie TV myself. I’m certainly not convinced by the direction Dwarf took in VIII – but it has a certain goofball charm to it. “To make up for it and show how truly sorry I am, here’s two bags of self-raising. Something I didn’t need *any* help with yesterday.”)

    Anyway, though, yes – Cassandra is the best one by miles. Possibly because, unlike BITR, Pete, and Only The Good, it didn’t have as many production problems?

  2. “I’m certainly not convinced by the direction Dwarf took in VIII – but it has a certain goofball charm to it” yeah….

    Actually, Cassandra and Krytie TV are definitely the best 2 eps of the series. They’re the only ones that are basically self-contained. Also, they don’t have ‘gag’s involving a Blue Midget dance, the Dibbley’s, a fucking CG T-Rex, or a motherflibbingly awful cliffhanger shitpank. I like the whole messing/clearing up the apartment thing in Krytie TV for some reason, and maybe the idea of Chloe Annett in bed in Cassandra just makes me like the episode more…….there ARE some funny gags in Cassandra. It’s the only episode I would actually choose to watch if I (for what fucked up reason) decided that I just HAD to watch an ep from VIII.

  3. What’s wrong with Krytie TV? It’s a good one.

  4. Any episode that features Kryten doing a piss-take of Jeremy Beadle and has a plotline based on a contrived and wholly unlikely misunderstanding automatically enters my bad books.

  5. I actually really like the Beadle bit. It’s just so out and out *silly*, and Llewellyn plays it fantastically.

    If VIII had done that kind of thing more often (ie. be very silly and very funny), I’d probably defend it a lot more, despite my reservations as to the direction of the series.

  6. One of my favourite lines from Cassandra:

    LISTER: Well, it’s not the first time we’ve been in a situation like this, is it?
    CAT: Hell no, we’ve drunk coffee thousands of times. We’re veterans.

  7. “Any episode that features Kryten doing a piss-take of Jeremy Beadle and has a plotline based on a contrived and wholly unlikely misunderstanding automatically enters my bad books.”

    The clue is in the fact that had this idea been done at a time when it had been relevant (ie when Beadle’s About was on television) it simply wouldn’t have matched the style or content of the series of which it was a part. It feels like Doug had been sitting on the idea for YEARS, and like the Reservoir Dogs sequence could only use it in VIII because he had no other set-piece ideas left. It just feels stale. It worked in Not the Nine O’Clock News but I doubt any youngsters watching series VIII when it came out would have known what the reference was. And series VIII is a kid’s programme, right?

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