He’s… dead, sir.

I’ve just watched the final chapter point of Out Of Time. I was worried that it would be slightly spoiled, in my mind, by something I’d done. (You’ll see in November)

But even though I’ve seen it countless times, even though I know every single line and every single shot verbatim, and even without the context of the entire episode, it still sent shivers down my spine.

Is it just me, or is it the best ending to any series of anything ever?

33 Responses to He’s… dead, sir.

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  1. It’s not just you. Blackadder Goes Forth comes a close second, though.

  2. Sometimes I wish that it was the very end of Dwarf, then it would go down as a classic ending. Not that it isn’t good, but I think I would have preferred an ending where they actually are killed. In retrospect, the urine recyc ending would have worked better than what we did get, then there wouldn’t have been any need for the ‘explanation’ at the start of Tikka.

    What I would have done at the start of VII is replay the Out Of Time cliffhanger (complete with Craig voiceover ‘Previously on Red Dwarf’…), then include the recyc ending, then the opening titles.

  3. I don’t mind the urine recyc ending and, with hindsight, it would’ve been much better than what we ended up with.

    But yeah, it’s difficult to beat the ending to Out of Time as it stands. I too have watched it many times and it doesn’t lose its effect – especially the fact that it’s Rimmer that has to think on his feet and play the hero. It’s just a shame the resolution in Tikka was a bit shit.

  4. I don’t find the resolution that bad. Just about anything was going to be disappointing (bringing back characters from the dead is always slighty clunky) and atleast this was short and snappy. What I don’t like is the exposition about Starbug increasing in size to ‘cope with the paradox’ or somesuch bollocks.

  5. One of the things I dislike about it is the fact that its logic gets contradicted in the same bloody episode. The crew can’t be killed by their future selves, as it causes a paradox, which is fair enough. But then Jeff K is killed by a future version of himself, and, for some reason, that doesn’t cause a paradox.

    A shame, as I actually quite like most of Tikka To Ride. It’s just the very beginning and the very end that bother me. Especially Lister getting beaten up. Why the fuck would any of the characters, with the possible exception of guilt-free Kryten, do that?

  6. The smegups have ruined that ending for me. I can no longer watch Rimmer running through the door with the bazookoid? without thinking about the outake where he’s holding it sideways and smacks into the doorframe. Always makes me chuckle.

  7. Smeg! I’m a hero!

  8. What bothers me is that there was a very funny joke in Out of Time about the time drive travelling only through time and not space – “We’re still in deep space, Sir, only now we’re in deep space in the 15th century” – but in Tikka, Doug completely ignored/forgot this and let them travel to 1960s America.

    OK, it can be argued that the changes caused by the paradox also caused a change to the time drive but it’s just too big a contradiction in my eyes and spoils the continuation of the story for me.

  9. And why has the Epicentre become Gemini 5?

    Did Doug Naylor actually bother to go back and watch ‘Out of Time’ when he finally got to write ‘Tikka to Ride’?

  10. I always thought “epicentre” just referred to the area of space within the unreality bubbles, and that the derelict ship was within that area.

  11. That’s certainly the obvious definition of the word but it seemed odd that Gemini 5 was just used without any explanation…and no mention of the unreality bubbles.

    On a similar note, I hate the crew returning to the Esperanto in Nanarchy. No mention of the 200 year trip (which would involve giving up the chase for the Dwarf).

    Grumble, grumble.

  12. Well, they did go into deep sleep, which implied that the 200 year journey took place.

  13. I’m still largely confused at how they could get to Dallas in the ’60s. The whole show is just ruined by that idea because if they could go there they could try and get back to Earth in their own time The time drive should have been destroyed in the paradox after Out Of Time.

    What’s frustrating is that Tikka is still maybe the best episode of VII, despite it treating whole concepts like shit. Rob and Doug were so successful with the science in previous series. Even though the matter paddle and triplicator have little basis in reality, you still buy them somehow. Nothing is worse than the Time Wand though.

  14. Incidentally, it’s Gemini 12, not 5.

    Fuck, I sound like such an anal-retentive bastard.

  15. “I’m still largely confused at how they could get to Dallas in the ’60s.”

    I have a whole theory on this that involves mergining dimensional anamalies, the fact that the future crew have a faster than light drive, and the fact that they just happened to lose one in Legion. But, like every continuity error through all the series, it’s really just Monday morning goalkeeping – and very, very dull to boot.

    “That’s certainly the obvious definition of the word but it seemed odd that Gemini 5 was just used without any explanation”

    Given that ‘epicentre’ just meant ‘the middle’, it was The Ship With No Name. I’ve no problem with it being given a name. It’s no different from the ‘student’ in Buffy’s first series who had a couple of lines eventually being known as Jonathan when his character become more important.

    “…and no mention of the unreality bubbles”

    You mean a line like this: “lets navigate those unreality bubbles and do it!” Which Lister says.

    “On a similar note, I hate the crew returning to the Esperanto in Nanarchy. No mention of the 200 year trip (which would involve giving up the chase for the Dwarf).”

    Nanarchy is my official entry for least-favourite Dwarf episode. But the Deep Sleep Ian mentioned does pay lip-service to the distance. (Plus they had the Bug’s speed upgraded 400% in the previous episode – making the trip 50 years or so rather than 200, which admittedly still ain’t a quick walk to the shops.)

    But – given so long without Red Dwarf – while much of the ep doesn’t work for me (the decision that Dave ‘rip Death’s nipples off’ Lister starts sulking when he loses his arm, rather than getting pro-active; but you kinda gotta bow to a writer who’s been there, I guess), I totally buy the decision to give up the chase in favour of keeping the last human fully-functional (and less suicidal).

  16. The thing about Nanarchy is it’s just ‘armless fun.

    Sorry.

  17. > I have a whole theory on this that involves mergining dimensional anamalies, the fact that the future crew have a faster than light drive, and the fact that they just happened to lose one in Legion. But, like every continuity error through all the series, it’s really just Monday morning goalkeeping – and very, very dull to boot.

    I don’t think it’s a continuity error as such, in the ‘mistake’ sense of the word ‘error’. I thought it was Doug deliberately changing the rules, as he and Rob did with the number of crew members and Lister and Kochanski’s relationship. Still definitely a break in continuity, but not in the same way as Lister’s appendix or the number of exams Rimmer has taken.

    Unless you know differently, Andrew?

  18. Thinking about it, whatever enables the crew to travel in space as well as time would have to be integrated into the time drive itself, as they leaped from the Texas Book Depository to Idlewild Airport during the episode.

    Feel free to elaborate on your theory, Andrew, if you have time…

  19. Andrew’s thoughts can not be displayed. Dirty bugger.

  20. “Feel free to elaborate on your theory, Andrew, if you have time…”

    Oh, I forget most of it now. Didn’t I go on about drunkenly on a DJ sofa one year…?

    It had to do with the fact that the future crew probably used the time drive to travel back, journey to Legion’s station and grab the star drive before they originally arrived – which is why they have it in OOT. This would have changed the timeline for the ‘present’ crew, so the ending of Legion wouldn’t have happened.

    So then, when the parodox kicked in merging various dimensions together, it left the time and star drives joined. Or something.

    Garbled, confusing… etc.

  21. Lovely stuff! You probably have ranted drunkenly about it to me at some point, but as I’m usually in the same state when I talk to you at DJ, I’ve forgotten.

  22. Also, you’ve mistyped your URL, unless you’ve started a site about swingers.

  23. “unless you’ve started a site about swingers”

    Man’s gotta have a hobby…

  24. > Did Doug Naylor actually bother to go back and
    > watch ‘Out of Time’ when he finally got to
    > write ‘Tikka to Ride’?

    Probably not and I sincerely doubt he watched any of the first two series either. If he had, he’d have brought Kochanski back as foretold in Stasis Leak (“In five years time, you find another way to come back in time”) and given Lister a robotic arm at the end of Epideme as predicted in Future Echoes.

  25. Probably not and I sincerely doubt he watched any of the first two series either. If he had, he’d have brought Kochanski back as foretold in Stasis Leak (“In five years time, you find another way to come back in time”) and given Lister a robotic arm at the end of Epideme as predicted in Future Echoes.

    Except:

    ” So that’s when we decided to cut Lister’s arm off. I remember Doug was very pleased with this, because in the Dwarf continuum it was well known that Lister was due to lose his arm at some point.”

    I think Doug’s all too aware of past eps. I just think he enjoys confounding expectations.

  26. ‘Given that ‘epicentre’ just meant ‘the middle’, it was The Ship With No Name. I’ve no problem with it being given a name. It’s no different from the ‘student’ in Buffy’s first series who had a couple of lines eventually being known as Jonathan when his character become more important.’

    Nice analogy, but the whole point of Jonathan was that he was constantly ignored (see ‘Earshot’) and no-one really cared whether he existed. Plus, the bloke obviously had a name even when we didn’t know anything about him. You could call this a flaw of ‘Out of Time’ rather than ‘Tikka’ but it just jars with me along with the other nitpicks about this episode.

    ‘You mean a line like this: “lets navigate those unreality bubbles and do it!” Which Lister says.’

    Hmm. Maybe I should watch the episodes rather than moaning about them.

  27. > Plus, the bloke obviously had a name even when we didn’t know anything about him.

    Not spoken, in the scripts or the credits he didn’t. He was credited as ‘Hostage kid’ and ‘Student’ in various eps. Not for satirical or future plot reasons, just cos at that point he didn’t need a name. He wasn’t even going to BE a ‘character’. Similarly, The Annointed One was first credited as ‘Kid’. When both recurred, much like the Gemini 12, they got named – because eventually dialogue needs to do so.

    It never felt like they missed the name out during OOT – just never came up, just like nobody ever shouted ‘rescue Jonathan!’ during his time as a hostage. But similarly, you need it in Tikka to avoid Lister saying “Let’s get back to that space station. Y’know, the one we got the time drive from.”

    Which is to say that:

    > Plus, the bloke obviously had a name even when we didn’t know anything about him.

    The ship obviously had a name, too, even though we didn’t hear it. (Ships and stations in the Dwarf universe typically having names.) It’s not a flaw in either ep – it’s just the nature of storytelling and dialogue.

  28. Nah, you misunderstood me. I agree that the actor playing Jonathan (Danny Strong) was cast as ‘Hostage’, but within the reality of the show; he obviously had a name. He’s a person, people have names, yadda yadda yadda.

    Space stations don’t *have* to be named. It’s likely that millions of years into the future, the name of the space station had been lost or the crew hadn’t bothered to check it. I thought this had been implied in OOT.

    Admittedly, the lack of any explanation about the station or an establishing model shot of it (now that’s an oversight, surely?) means that, yeah, I guess we just have to accept that it happened off-screen.

  29. > Space stations don’t *have* to be named. It’s likely that millions of years into the future, the name of the space station had been lost or the crew hadn’t bothered to check it. I thought this had been implied in OOT.

    Ah, but my point was that Dwarf ships and stations have pretty well always have named. Indeed, any charted area, humans tend to whack a name on it – even if it’s just stars being called QX117.

    > Admittedly, the lack of any explanation about the station or an establishing model shot of it (now that’s an oversight, surely?) means that, yeah, I guess we just have to accept that it happened off-screen.

    It does get an establishing model shot. In OOT they used a close-up of the Justice World model, and in Tikka they used a distant shot of the Centauri.

    It’s only the remastered Tikka that’ll show the ship as it should look – which is to say, not just a recycled model of somethign else!

  30. “I don’t find the resolution that bad. Just about anything was going to be disappointing (bringing back characters from the dead is always slighty clunky) and atleast this was short and snappy. What I don’t like is the exposition about Starbug increasing in size to ‘cope with the paradox’ or somesuch bollocks. “

    Yeah, I hate that too. And I don’t know what’s served by doing that either. Why did the ship need to get bigger for any of the stories that emerge? They could have done everything in series VII with imaginative use of the sets of series VI, and actually it would have made the series feel more consistent rather than everyone continually utilising spaces that we’ve never seen before. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like Alien Resurrection for example – in that film there’s no clear definition of boundaries in that you have no idea how far they have to go to be out of the ship, they’re just walking around until the point at which a certain amount of time has passed and the next bit of the story happens. The upgrade of the ‘bug pisses me off because it negates the decision to have the crew lose the mother ship in the first place – ignoring the fact that the model was broken, Red Dwarf’s absence makes series VI more claustrophobic and tense. Not so with series VII, even in Duct Soup.

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