Breaking News : The Series VIII Debate is Settled

Once again, a user on Youtube has shown us the way.

P.s. Stop bad mouthing series 8, it added a great new twist onto red dwarf ans allowed for the pete episodes and the back on red trilogy, how can you diss them? if you wana diss it just thing, how many other sitcoms had a better last line than “only the good die young” after Rimmer kicks death in the balls?

Well, that’s told me. Ah, where would we be without them?

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36 Responses to Breaking News : The Series VIII Debate is Settled

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  1. *sigh*

    I haven’t seen series VII or VIII since they were first broadcast, but I do remember thinking that at least series VIII was better than VII! Which of course means absolutely nothing! Both were lame, watered-down versions of Red Dwarf.

    Hmmm. Thinking about Series VII and VIII makes me think that Doug Naylor just really wanted to make a RD film. Taking the series up to 52 episodes meant it could be sold to the US, making money and popularity that could help get it made. Makes you wonder if Rob just wanted to do something new but Doug felt betrayed by him not wanting to continue RD… Of course Doug also did The 10%ers by himself in series two… So maybe not. Weird! (Sorry, just rambling because I’m tired!)

  2. > Makes you wonder if Rob just wanted to do something new but Doug felt betrayed by him not wanting to continue RD?

    Not really, given the statements the writers have made subsequently.

    > Of course Doug also did The 10%ers by himself in series two?

    Of course, he also did series ONE by himself (hired-in writers aside). Rob left after the pilot.

  3. Yeah I think it’s fair to say there was just a little more to the Rob and Doug split than Rob saying ‘I want to do something else’ and Doug saying ‘well I don’t’! Although, as Doug says in one of the DVD interviews (not sure which series but it’d make sense if it was VII) Rob had threatened to leave the series before that point.

    > Hmmm. Thinking about Series VII and VIII makes me think that Doug Naylor just really wanted to make a RD film.

    You can’t deny that the way series VII was shot and pushing for the 8 episodes to make syndication weren’t related to the prospect of a Dwarf film. But I don’t think it’s fair to say that Doug was only interested in the movie so the series’ suffered. If he was only interested in the movie why go back to the more conventional style of VIII after the filmic VII? Granted, it’s only a couple of episodes in VII that are really ‘filmic’ (which, in retrospect, is a great shame, but exactly how far can you stretch the budget of a BBC sitcom?).

  4. P.s. Stop bad mouthing series 8, it added a great new twist onto red dwarf ans allowed for the pete episodes and the back on red trilogy, how can you diss them? if you wana diss it just thing, how many other sitcoms had a better last line than ?only the good die young? after Rimmer kicks death in the balls?

    Makes me wonder why we don’t all just shut down our respective sites/weblogs in ths face of this unique revelation. We can’t hope to create anything that could be compared to such a singular insight. The more I look at it, in fact, the more it astonishes me.

    Sorry. Smartass mode cancelled.

  5. Exactly.

    Series VII, I don’t find AS enjoyable but there are justifications for issues; the CG/Model shot debacle. The lack of Chris Barrie, the lack of Rob Grant. The change in direction to lead us to fuchal (erm…the movie).

    I ask this genuinely what was really going against series VIII? I suppose you have the fact that series VII had gone down like a lead Cristiano Ronaldo. I was on a couple of Dwarf mailing lists back then and the level of the backlash should not be underated, but what else?

  6. > P.s. Stop bad mouthing series 8, it added a great new twist onto red dwarf ans allowed for the pete episodes and the back on red trilogy, how can you diss them? if you wana diss it just thing, how many other sitcoms had a better last line than ?only the good die young? after Rimmer kicks death in the balls?

    What a fantastic grasp of the English language.

  7. Ah, yes. Isn’t Pete fantastic? I especially love how in close-ups it looks like almost real, but in wide shots it looks like the T-Rex from Tomb Raider 1.

  8. Tomb Raider 1?

  9. G&T Admin

    I love the Back On Red trilogy. I thing it’s the best episode evur.

  10. > Tomb Raider 1?

    Referring to the game there, I do believe.

  11. Ah! Thought I’d seen a different movie for a moment, there. :)

  12. What a fantastic grasp of the English language.

    Pretty much the IQ of someone who gets enjoyment out of VII and VIII.

  13. > Pretty much the IQ of someone who gets enjoyment out of VII and VIII.

    Oh, cos the same site’s anti-VII/VIII postings are just sooooo eloquent. :-)

  14. Oh, cos the same site?s anti-VII/VIII postings are just sooooo eloquent. :-)

    Anyone who disses VII and VIII is replete with stunning intellectual prowess and is almost always sexually alluring to both genders, including animals. And that’s a fact as proven with science.

  15. I assume by sexually alluring, you mean that the anti VII/VIII groups seem good at attracting twats! ;-)

  16. LOL! I said both genders, so dicks too.

  17. Series 8 was a welcome treat after the disjointed and poor series 7 (IMHO). Although it takes a different track to the early shows, I think it wraps up the final series pretty well. I personally enjoyed it as much as the first two series. But when it comes down to it Red Dwarf was funny and that was the important thing. There were some weak episodes and some exceptional ones but generally it was entertaining and that’s what it’s there for. If you take it too seriously then frankly you’ve lost the plot, not the shows. :-P

  18. G&T Admin

    >I assume by sexually alluring, you mean that the anti VII/VIII groups seem good at attracting twats! ;-)

    I often feel attracted to the pro VII/VIII camp. Not in the way I’d like, but still…

  19. G&T Admin

    I think it wraps up the final series pretty well

    What, with a cliffhanger?

  20. > If you take it too seriously then frankly you?ve lost the plot, not the shows.

    I know! Red Dwarf VIII wasn’t even *supposed* to be good! Why can’t people just *enjoy* it, even though it’s about as funny/clever as the new Basil Brush series on CBBC?

  21. Honestly, I’m with Andy…up until the same point Ian disagreed with. The cliffhanger doesn’t work for me…

    The Death stuff is absolutely fine, as far as I’m concerned…but I could certainly do without “the smeg it is…” capping it off.

    VIII is far from perfect, but I still enjoy it, and I’ll always remember it as the breath of fresh air after the stuffy series VII.

  22. G&T Admin

    VIII is far from perfect, but I still enjoy it, and I?ll always remember it as the breath of fresh air after the stuffy series VII.

    This is basically how I feel, apart from the fact that you’re a lot keener than I am on VIII. But apart from Tikka and the odd other bit, I find VII largely unwatchable. VIII at least has a comedic atmosphere at times – Krytie TV doesn’t?compare to any episode from the first six series, but sweeps me along with it’s likeability and the occasional really good joke. I tried to watch Ouroboros the other day, and nearly died of boredom.

    My problem is that whilst I can enjoy some of VIII… I’d rather watch Terry and June. Or Are You Being Served? Or a million and one other sitcoms, a lot of which aren’t given the critical recognition they deserve. (Terry and June is *not* a bad sitcom, dammit, and I wish people would stop lazily insulting it, as I bet most people who do haven’t watched it for 20 years.) VIII only looks good to me compared to VII, and shit like The Crouches… and that just ain’t good enough, as much as I wish it was.

    Oh God, I can’t *believe* I’ve got involved in this again. I’m off now. Sorry.

  23. I really want to see The Crouches. I’m keen to see just how awful it really must be to meet with such disdain.

  24. G&T Admin

    From what I remember, it was 28 minutes of HAHA LOOKATTHEMTHEY’REBLACK. There was a similar programme you were ranting about a few months back; what was it?

  25. Why are people still debating this? Didn’t you read the subject line? You lot are hopeless…

  26. G&T Admin

    I think maybe we should get together one person who loves VII and one person who hates VII, do the same for VIII, and do a couple of proper articles which are the FINAL WORD on the subject

    Then this conversation would NEVER HAVE TO HAPPEN AGAIN.

  27. > apart from Tikka and the odd other bit, I find VII largely unwatchable.

    Your opinion is wrong. Tikka has faulty time-travel logic but is nicely cinematic. Stoke and Blue are watchable and enjoyable all the way through, and while Duct Soup has annoying “Chloe performs phonetic mis-hearings of pipe sounds”isms, its structure and characterisations are very good. The rest of VII is indeed overwhelmed by sub-par scripts, a rubbish Kochanski and an annoying Kryten, but again the cinematic feel and pacing worked superbly well. The laugh-free extended episodes actually show the way they should have taken VII.

    VIII, on the other hand, is *totally* unwatchable throughout. There is not one completely watchable episode in the whole lot, nor indeed any single moment that is on a par with Richard and Judy, never mind Terry and June.

    > (Terry and June is *not* a bad sitcom, dammit)

    Oh. Well I was using it as an example of something series VIII is worse than, as well.

    > VIII at least has a comedic atmosphere at times

    Not a good quality to have for a comedy!

    Other than all these things above, please correct your opinion accordingly, thanks.

  28. > Your opinion is wrong.

    By the very definition an opinion can’t be wrong. It depends what that person thinks.

  29. >From what I remember, it was 28 minutes of HAHA LOOKATTHEMTHEY?REBLACK. There was a similar programme you were ranting about a few months back; what was it?

    Took me a moment, but it was Homeboys in Outer Space. Which for some reason is mentioned periodically (not pointing fingers at anyone here, thankfully) as a ripoff of Dwarf.

    I have NO idea who would have initiated such a suggestion, as the audiences for each show can’t have overlapped much at all…but yeah…if The Crouches is just Homeboys On Earth then maybe there IS a Dwarf connection after all. Hmm!

  30. >> Your opinion is wrong.

    >By the very definition an opinion can?t be wrong. It depends what that person thinks.

    Cor, I wish I knew that!

  31. You know, the more I think about it, the debate about VII/VIII may actually be a healthy thing…after all, it’s fascinating (to many of us) to learn about how things work physically in a show (model shots, special effects, editing, direction, etc.), so from a writing standpoint, isn’t it just as interesting to discuss how things work in a qualitative sense?

    Writing might be a different beast from, say, set construction…but there are right ways and wrong ways to do each…each can be handled in very effective ways or laughably distracting ways. There’s a reason VII/VIII gets debated so often, and it’s this: I-VI were so GOOD.

    It’s interesting to us on some level to decide why something that good “stopped working.” If indeed it did. And, if it did, where, and why did it go wrong?

    You won’t find people debating Homeboys in Outer Space. Because there wasn’t anything to it. It appeared, people didn’t like it, it disappeared. But with Dwarf, something that has obviously won over many very devoted fans, a mis-step becomes fascinating. As much as the VII/VIII debates degenerate into utter stupidity most of the time, the urge to debate is at least grounded in a healthy desire to figure out, or even justify, what went wrong.

    If I-VI weren’t so well-received, VII/VIII wouldn’t even be questioned. It’s only because a formula went from working well to working less well that our inner curiosity is piqued, and a true dissection of the mis-step can be quite productive, and every bit as educational in a writing sense as behind the scenes footage would be in a crafting sense.

  32. G&T Admin

    I think the VII/VIII debate is absolutely fascinating, don’t get me wrong – for exactly the same reasons you mention. Really, really interesting. It’s partly why I keep getting sucked back into it.

    I think the problem is that it used to be a *really* sore point with fandom – with all sides feeling that the others are just being a cunt. I think that’s due to faults on all sides. Unfortunately, whilst things have calmed down a bit since then, if someone says something that’s just not very well put, it gets pounced upon. A lot of bad feeling still exists, and that causes problems with the debate sometimes.

    I also think it’s been over-talked about. Not that I think there isn’t more to discuss about it – but sometimes, whenever anything about Dwarf is brought up, it turns into a VII/VIII debate. As interesting as it is, it does get tiresome after a time.

    The worst thing is, though – I don’t think I’ve *ever* truly got across what my problems are with VII and VIII *are*. I think some people on all sides feel the same – and this is another reason why it keeps coming up, I think.

  33. G&T Admin

    The other problem is, of course, that it’s fundamentally an emotive issue.

    Don’t like Demons & Angels? I love it, but I’m not going to get upset that you don’t like it, and presumably nobody will get upset that I *do* like it. It’s just one show.

    But the fact that I’m not keen on VII/VIII *really* upsets me. I *so* want to love those series – Dwarf is one of my favourite programmes, and it pains me to see it turn into something I don’t really like. And the fact that they’re the last two series makes it even worse – if there was a Series IX and I loved it, I wouldn’t be nearly so upset with those two series. And so, if someone is a bit careless with their words, and seems to indicate that I *enjoy* the fact that I don’t like it, or I’m just being stupid, or that I’m a killjoy, then I’m going to get upset with them, because it couldn’t be further from the truth.

    On the other side – if you love either VII, or VIII, or both, then you’re going to be absolutely bemused that someone would suddenly turn against the show. And yeah, the problem is that sometimes, when, say, I’m writing an article or debating the show – it’s easy to slip in a snide remark about VII/VIII, because I find it funny, and it accurately reflects how I feel about the two series. Unfortunately, I can also see why that would piss people off.

    Every fandom has something like this, though. With Star Wars, it’s the prequels. With Who, it’s Colin Baker, or McCoy, or the RTD series. I do think that the VII/VIII stuff overbalances the debate sometimes though – I’d rather have a nice discussion about Series IV for a change, but that doesn’t provoke nearly as much debate…

  34. I’m fascinated by how the VII/VIII issue has almost totally galvanised opinion Series I-VI. There was a time when VI was being talked about as a tired nadir, or I was rejected as ‘before it got good’. I think a lot of those opinions and debates would still be around now if it weren’t for the VII/VIII stuff.

    Certainly it’s changed how people remember things – your podcast mentioned the ‘myth’ that Meltdown was hated. But it’s not a myth – it’s just something that’s changed since Series VI. If you check the period reviews, BTL letters, smegazine comments – not to mention two BTL polls and at least one smegazine one – it was considered a real low point. The cast talk about it because they were there and they remember it. It was certainly considered a ‘truism’ at DJs ’93 and ’94.

    One day, once GNP is done having its way with me, I’d love to contribute to an opinion article. I love most of VIII, much of VII, and have real problems with Series I and VI. Which may show some kind of generational bias…or something.

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