Let’s Talk About Back To Earth Part Three

It’s the end of the specials as we know them. So this is your thread to post all your latest and greatest opinions during and immediately after the show. It’s struck me that despite everything we’ve seen in the last two days, we still know very little about what to expect tonight. Regardless of your opinions so far, you can’t help but to be fascinated at the prospect of what’s ahead.

You can also use this thread to discuss the Making Of, which follows on directly after Part Three. Once again, we’ll be using a selection of your comments in the accompanying podcast, which you can expect to hear a few hours after the episode finishes. Simple people, simple tastes…

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401 Responses to Let’s Talk About Back To Earth Part Three

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  1. the podcast, which you can expect to be complained loudly about for a few hours until it posts. ;)

  2. G & T
    enjoy part three
    The last new Dwarf
    Until the DVD.

    :-)

  3. So… is tonight’s episode “make it or break it” for our beloved show?

    I mean, another dip in ratings would have to be considered a disappointment, no matter how much you say it’s “better than Dave usually gets”… because it would show that interest in the show dwindled during the course of the run, be it unmet expectations, disappointment in the quality, lack of intrigue for the casual viewer, or simply that the 2 million rating for episode 1 was just a result of all the hype. That makes it a risky show to recommission.

    Even if those factors aren’t true, and those who watched Pt 1 would have watched Pt 2 were it not for various factors (didn’t realise it was on, strong competition on other channels, out on the piss because its bank holiday weekend etc. etc.) how many will tune in tonight? And how big a rating will Monday’s complete run get? Because I know a lot of people who are eagerly anticipating new Dwarf, yet won’t be watching until Monday because they are unable to watch at least one of the episodes over the weekend and therefore wish to see it uninterrupted in one block.

    So, take away the ratings, and this is STILL potentially a “make it or break it” episode. Lots of Dwarf fans I know weren’t fussed on Pt 1 yet loved Pt 2. Conversely, some feel the opposite. Only a few loved both. This has to be a concern, if it is even a slight representation of a cross-section of the viewing public. On the plus side, I haven’t spoken to anyone I know who actually disliked both.

    There’s no point getting 2 million viewers if most of those viewers were left underwhelmed and unlikely to come back. But if Pt 3 is a satisfactory conclusion, and appetite whetting, then I think that – no matter what criticisms are levelled at the humour and characterisation – BtE has left the show in a healthy condition for the future.

    There are ways of making the show funnier in the future, there are ways of adjusting the characters, but if a large audience of Dwarf fans (specifically casual viewers, not those who will watch it no matter what) leave Back to Earth Pt 3 feeling cheated, confused or unsatisfied by the story, then that could be too damaging to overcome, and tonight could literally turn out to be the last Red Dwarf we ever get.

  4. Yeah I think a further ratings drop tonight would be a disappointment. Hopefully they’ll be over 1m tonight and/or tomorrow.

  5. >There are ways of making the show funnier in the future

    Do tell.

  6. >There are ways of making the show funnier in the future

    Holding a gun to Rob Grant`s head and forcing him to co-write it?

  7. Whatever way this goes, I agree Jonsmad, they really demonstrated some good ideas: the micro bunkroom with Rimmer carefully examining the carpet samples was inspired.

  8. It’s not make or break, it’s been a success already! I’m not going to be disappointed whatever the final Episode is like. I’m just going with the flow!

  9. Last night’s installment also had something Friday’s episode didn’t… direct competition in the sci-fi market, with an unseen episode of Doctor Who Confidential going head-to-head with it. I can’t imagine many serious Red Dwarf fans choosing Britain’s Got Talent over new Dwarf, but I could see some choosing Who.

    Tonight’s major sci-fi(ish) competition is a new episode of Lost on Sky 1.

  10. >I?m not going to be disappointed whatever the final Episode is like.

    So if it was just 30 minutes of Doug Naylor curling one out, you’d be satisfied? Welcome to the world of unconditional love.

  11. Just going to throw in a quick theory. Something in this alternate dimension likes to collect things it sees on the TV and keep them there. It has already stolen Coronation street, Blade Runner and possibly others we’re yet to see. Now its after keeping the Red Dwarf crew for its collection. Shite theory i know but watching it again the comic book guy saying this sort of thing happens all the time makes me think its happened with other shows.

  12. > I can?t imagine many serious Red Dwarf fans choosing Britain?s Got Talent over new Dwarf,

    No, but plenty of regular folks will have done. Don’t imagine for a moment that the RD audience is mostly made up of fans – the figures for either night are massively unlikely to simply be one ‘fannish’ demographic. The show’s always picked up all ages, genders and classes among its viewership. And a lot of them will watch popular, regular TV.

  13. >Tonight?s major sci-fi(ish) competition is a new episode of Lost on Sky 1.

    Aw bugger, if it’s the one I think it is, it’s going to be pretty big.

  14. > Something in this alternate dimension likes to collect things it sees on the TV and keep them there. It has already stolen Coronation street, Blade Runner and possibly others we?re yet to see. Now its after keeping the Red Dwarf crew for its collection.

    I like this.

  15. The trouble with good sci fi competition is that the new RDs will be repeated very soon, so people may decide to wait a day and watch something that won’t be rebroadcast as quickly. I guess the extent to which this matters depends on how important the immediate, as opposed to long term, ratings are…

  16. /smug mode Britan may perhaps have talent, but if it declines to watch RD then *clearly* no taste./smug mode

  17. So if it was just 30 minutes of Doug Naylor curling one out, you?d be satisfied? Welcome to the world of unconditional love.

    Would it make any difference if he did? It’s already in the can.

  18. I can see about 1.2m tonight. There are those of us who will be watching whatever we’ve thought of the other episodes – and there have been some varied thoughts.

    Personally, I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve given the impression of blindly loving it simply because it’s Red Dwarf. So I’ll concede it hasn’t felt like ‘traditional’ Dwarf – the stuff on the ship wasn’t as good as the classic stuff, and, ironically, some of the best stuff in part one was once Katerina turned up. Episode two, which was as far from ‘trad’ Dwarf as possible was, on the other hand, hilarious.
    So this is what I now think: No, it’s not the same. But series III-IV weren’t the same as series I-II. V was different – more hard SF. VI had no bloody Red Dwarf in it, for fuck’s sake. VII was filmed differently and got rid of a main character. And VIII inverted the central premise, and repopulated the ship.
    Every series is different.

    But it is “Red Dwarf”; it is written by Doug Naylor, who has written or co-written every other episode; and it is funny.

  19. I think it will depend less on ratings and more on DVD sales. Though still 2 million and even 1 million and that is not even the final BARB figure.

  20. > There are ways of making the show funnier in the future
    > Do tell.

    New co-writers? I wouldn’t want more non-Doug penned Dwarf, but a comedy orientated co-writer could go a long way. Let Doug handle story and sci-fi duties, let a co-writer handle the gags and comedy. Not that Doug isn’t funny in his own right, but even if were still writing with Rob, their 80s style sitcom humour maybe isn’t right for 2009 Dwarf anyway.

  21. > No, but plenty of regular folks will have done. Don?t imagine for a moment that the RD audience is mostly made up of fans – the figures for either night are massively unlikely to simply be one ?fannish? demographic. The show?s always picked up all ages, genders and classes among its viewership. And a lot of them will watch popular, regular TV.

    Which is why I said “serious” fans. ;)

  22. If part 3 gets good reviews then it’s possible that those who didn’t stick around for part2 (or didn’t watch at all) may watch the whole thing on Monday. Maybe.

  23. >Would it make any difference if he did? It?s already in the can.

    HUH?

    >Not that Doug isn?t funny in his own right, but even if were still writing with Rob, their 80s style sitcom humour maybe isn?t right for 2009 Dwarf anyway.

    HUH?

  24. >>Would it make any difference if he did? It?s already in the can.
    >HUH?

    Pete, stop molesting the animals.

  25. >Not that Doug isn?t funny in his own right, but even if were still writing with Rob, their 80s style sitcom humour maybe isn?t right for 2009 Dwarf anyway.

    In Series VI the style changed to a more American Sitcom feel, not 80s, I think they are capable of adapting to change.

  26. One wonders if Dave would have been better blasting the whole thing out as a feature-length special on Friday…

  27. >Would it make any difference if he did? It?s already in the can.

    HUH?

    Can? Toilet? Whatever I see isn’t going to make any difference. I’m happy it’s on television. I can moan like hell on every forum if it’s not to my liking, but will that make any difference to you or anyone reading? No.

    It’s not like I can do anything about it now. What do you love Pete?

  28. >What do you love Pete?

    Red Dwarf I – VI. It’s well-written, crammed full of excellent ideas and is fucking hilarious.

    >I can moan like hell on every forum if it?s not to my liking, but will that make any difference to you or anyone reading? No.

    But YOU are not going to moan, because you’re apparently already satisfied by an episode you haven’t seen. What do you dislike, James? Because I’m not sure how you can have a critical response to anything, if you’re already satisfied by something before you’ve actually watched it.

  29. So wait, I just realised, this could be the last Red Dwarf ever, I feel sad now…

  30. For all my dissatisfaction so far, part 3 really does have a good shot at redeeming itself. A good ending can go a long way toward getting me to reappraise everything that came before. I DO have a hard time believing that this needed to be a three-parter.

    I get the strong feeling that everything important/particularly funny from eps 1 and 2 could have been squeezed into 23 minutes without feeling overstuffed.

    I look forward to the Pete Martin fan-edit.

  31. Has Rob Grant ever written any telly on his own? What was it like….?

  32. What do you love Pete?

    Red Dwarf I – VI. It?s well-written, crammed full of excellent ideas and is fucking hilarious.

    >I can moan like hell on every forum if it?s not to my liking, but will that make any difference to you or anyone reading? No.

    But YOU are not going to moan, because you?re apparently already satisfied by an episode you haven?t seen. What do you dislike, James? Because I?m not sure how you can have a critical response to anything, if you?re already satisfied by something before you?ve actually watched it.

    This is why I haven’t made any critical response to any of the shows already aired, I leave things like that to you, who can embellish their statements with one word answers.

  33. >So wait, I just realised, this could be the last Red Dwarf ever, I feel sad now?

    I thought that a few minutes ago and my mood dropped. I really hope it isn’t but at least this time we are more prepared for it.

  34. A critical response doesn’t necessarily have to be negative, James…

  35. >So wait, I just realised, this could be the last Red Dwarf ever, I feel sad now?

    I’d be very sad indeed if they didn’t go on to make more.
    I’m just hoping that part 3 lives up to our hopes and expections. That would be a great way to end the show.

  36. No Series 10? He said it was the best by far!

  37. Nah, Series IX was the best, I mean the episode with the pan-dimensional liquid beast was just so good.

  38. I liked the part where Holly lost his ball.

  39. >Nah, Series IX was the best, I mean the episode with the pan-dimensional liquid beast was just so good.

    That was the 1992 Christmas special.

  40. Here we go, people. The End is nigh… for a ninth time, no less, and surely not the last. Hit it!

  41. I’d like to see Lost as well,so I was tempted to catch the next episode of RD on Dave Ja Vu but since I’ve read the ‘ja vu’ isn’t considered with ratings I’ll skip Lost. Hopefully Lost will repeat anyway later.

  42. >but since I?ve read the ?ja vu? isn?t considered with ratings

    Chris, YOU’RE not considered with ratings.

  43. That was an improvement over last night methinks, as far as the meta stuff goes.

  44. > Which is why I said ?serious? fans. ;)

    Sorry, I thought you were talking about what would affect the ratings. Which isn’t necessarily going to be something swayed by that group alone. No matter!

  45. Funny so far laughed at the priory line. Enjoying it, what are we about to see next…….?!

  46. Err… ok. Very early ad break. Couple of funny lines so far, tiny bit too daft in the Kabin and the “information droid” sections.
    Starting to feel a bit too lost with the Blade Runner references – last night, I enjoyed them without knowing what they were; tonight, knowing that they’re Blade Runner references, it feels rather different. Why did you have to tell me they were references, you lot?

  47. They’re decided to gloss over the whole location/studio issue that the Coronation Street thing conjures up.

  48. They?re decided to gloss over the whole location/studio issue that the Coronation Street thing conjures up.

    That’s the trouble, once you’ve started deconstructing where the hell do you stop?!

  49. Blade Runner inspired their creation? Guess that might explain why Doug wants to use it now…

  50. I have no critical response….Except Fucking Kochanski!

  51. Might need to process this. Not entirely happy.

    But, bloody hell, they kept Chloe quiet, didn’t they!

  52. Initial Response, Brilliant. ‘I’m going to eat you little fishy, coz i like little fish’Dont blame the dog with this one

  53. I thought the despair squid was a bit of a cop out because we all kind of guessed it as soon as we saw the ink and thought, ‘no, it can’t be that.’

    If it creates joy – why did the writer want to kill them etc? Where was Rimmer’s, Cats and Kryten’s joy? (Lister’s was Kochanski) The fantasy seemed more complex than just a ‘Better Than Life’ game, which this joy squid should have produced…

    But I genuinely like the setup for the next series – the search for Kochanski. Seems BTE was the movie that never was, now we’re ready for a series.

  54. Happy. Very.

    Again, I laughed. Again, I was impressed. Kudos to Doug and Co. for such an impressive production.

    >Blade Runner inspired their creation?

    Thought it was Dark Star…

  55. My critical response: That was fucking awful. Great to see Chloe again for mindfuckery reasons, but that was the weakest of the trilogy in comedy and a mess in story terms.

    Blade Runner inspired their creation? Um, since when Doug? Since you decided to rip it off and wanted an excuse?

    This completely undid the plus points of Part Two.

  56. I fucking Loved it! It all made sense in the end!. And yeah i know its been done before but its a nice twist on a already good idea. I thought it was all absolutely perfect. Craigs line about the priory nearly killed me, i couldn’t breathe.

    THANK YOU DOUG!

  57. Thats about what i expected from tonight. Less jokes as your tying up the plot but that was a reasonable concession and i loved it.

  58. Wow! I’m moved Brilliant!

  59. Hello Kochanski. Who called that. Someone did. At least 3 good endings there.

    And now a legitamate reason for taking drugs. It was all part of the build up promotion ha ha.

    Loved it. That’s going to make a great dvd.

  60. It has been left open, very wide, very good.
    Kochasnki! Fuck yes!
    ‘Back to Reality’, more refrences than ‘Attack of the Cybermen’.
    Well that was some mind-blowing stuff, fantastic.
    5/5

  61. I agree was moved by Lister’s plight. And Kochanski makes such a better character when she’s not a regular member of the crew. I’m genuinely keen to see the next series – The Search for Kochanski. It has so much potential.

  62. Kinda confirmed that this Rimmer is series I – VII Rimmer. (He had resistance to the squid ink.)

    I’m very satisfied with it, I didn’t even mind that it turned out to be the squid… seemingly too obvious but the way it panned out was fine. The Joy Squid makes perfect sense.

    More thoughts after The Making Of, as if you care.

  63. > Hello Kochanski. Who called that.

    Ahem… cough…

  64. *sigh* and a *facepalm*

    The potential for three new episodes, totally totally wasted. This has been done better already within Red Dwarf itself in Back To Reality, and by the League of Gentlemen movie.

    What a laugh free, derivative, pantomime performed waste of time.

    I’m thrilled to bits to see Dwarf back on telly… I just wish it had something to offer.

  65. Anyone else think the bit with Lister and Kotchanski was a little bit like the novel Better than life?

  66. That is the biggest kept secret ever, well nearly, well…
    Still I was fucking suprised, pleasently.
    Oh and who loves the little Rimmer things, like the munchkins.

  67. Well I was only half right it seems. Still, Chloe was in there.

    But I’m even more not knowing what to think as I was after last night. I did like part 2 more and more each time I watched it, so hopefully the same will happen here.

    Immediately, though:

    – Blade Runner references seem even weirder given they came from the crew. I guess one of them must have seen it…
    – the Carbuug landing procedures were kind of funny and yet seemed really bad at the same time.

    Okay, so it’s clear what direction further Dwarf will take, but the ending here itself wasn’t that great.

    HMMMMMM.

  68. Though the squid was predictable it makes a nice companion to the best RD episode ever. The female squid who creates joy. A nice little package.

  69. woah! that was a huge improvement, and felt like classic dwarf again

  70. I liked the fact that BTE had a heart. Lister’s emotions for Kochanski. I think that made it quite powerful.

    Still don’t quite understand how it makes sense though… the joy squid surely should just create a Better Than Life type thing.

  71. The way I see it this was still a 21st anniversary celebration so makes sense it’s linked with a previous episode. Definitely a new direction but one I liked. I’m sure a lot of old fans wont like this new direction but I thought it had a bit of everything and looked fantastic!

  72. Had a ‘Duct Soup’ type ending, in ‘Duct Soup’ it turns out Kryten is behind all the bad stuff and they get angry at him, in this it turns out Cat is behind it all.

  73. Watching the whole thing in one go will be absolutely brilliant. I cant express how much i loved it! I had the classic Red Dwarf feel all the way through that episode. I didn’t like part 2 much but after seeing that i feel much better about it. The whole thing is amazing.

  74. >the joy squid surely should just create a Better Than Life type thing.

    That might’ve kicked in their immune response a bit quicker… ;-)

  75. The dramatic stuff here with Lister and then Kochanski was good though.

  76. I suppose watching Blade Runner tonight would’ve been a wiser choice on my part than watching the conclusion to BTE. But as a loyal fan, I gave it a shot. To everyone who enjoyed it – good stuff. I hope you’ll enjoy the show if it gets brought back. As for me – that was not the Red Dwarf I’ve known and loved for 15 years. BTE part 1 actually made me laugh quite a bit, part 2 only made me laugh 3 times but tonight’s did not make me laugh ONE SINGLE TIME. And without the laughs, there’s little in it for me anymore.

  77. Also, I reckon there will be quite a lot of extra stuff from this that will be in the extended version. A lot of it seemed like it was supposed to go on a little longer.

  78. >Isn?t ?Back to Reality? repeated tonight?

    Wasn’t it just on?

  79. I guess the people who are wondering why the eletion squid made out they were being killed, was to help them reach even more elation once avoiding death.

  80. > Isn?t ?Back to Reality? repeated tonight?

    >> Wasn?t it just on?

    No. That was a re-hashing of ‘Back To Reality’ with all the humour sucked out of it beforehand and replaced by segments of dialogue from Blade Runner. But I can see how you’d have been confused by this.

  81. The more I think about it the more I like it. It’s a very nice little package and I loved the more emotional parts. That’s Doug’s RD, rather than Grant Naylor’s, and if that’s comedy drama I’ll have some more please. The Search For Kochanski should suit him, in this case.

  82. It was Back to Reality, in the style of 2009. If Red Dwarf started now and not in 1988, Back to Reality would’ve took the form we have just watched this weekend.

  83. So rimmer created Katerina like his usual fucked up self, and then his joy was getting to stay alive by defeating Katerina?

    What was Krtyen and Cats Joy?

  84. Ha ha Danny played bob the skutter! ace!

  85. I would imagine it was a group hallucination so one of them pulls the rest along in this case Lister….maybe….!

  86. Well I thought it was fucking awesome!
    And the inclusion of the surprise guest was brilliant!

  87. So, I shall see you in 2010 for talk of episode 1 of Series IX (and not Series XI because Series X and IX were in the Dwarfers minds).

  88. Oh Andrew narrated the behind the scenes, noticed that in the credits.

  89. Wow, the Making-Of ended suddenly too! Hope we’re getting an Xtended release for the triangular video release… or is that Tri-Vid?

  90. I can’t actually concentrate on the Making Of as I’m in shock. I wasn’t disappointed by Part 1 or Part 2 as I had low expectations, but Part 3 has just depressed me.

    Doug has clearly run out of ideas so is just content to rip off his and Rob’s previous work and fashion a three parter that is fan-fiction. And not particularly good fan fiction. An illogical Blade Runner cross-over that made no sense…and then used its own plot to excuse this.

    And where was Chloe in the Making Of?

  91. >Chris, YOU?RE not considered with ratings.

    I typed that when the programme was about to start. Pardon the bad English. ;)

    I have mixed feelings, (parts I liked, others not so sure) but overall it was good I think. I found myself wincing at the bit in the Tyrell building when Lister sort of becomes God and enforces the others to his will (although some of it make me chuckle), but the very ending (which I think most of us guessed) somehow through that silliness into perspective.

    Lovely to see Chloe again. In Rachel mode too which was amusing.

    While I wasn’t keen on the Bladerunner stuff last week, I’ve changed my mind. The idea that RD was in some way inspired by Bladerunner somehow make the parody worthwhile. I seem to remember it being mentioned in one of the commentaries.

    I’m not sure I see how though as the two don’t seem to have much in common apart from this episode. I thought Dark Star was the main inspiration but anyway…. I guess both worlds spring out of the idea of massive corporations taking over the world, and AI features in both. And they’re both essentially alienless universes.

    I don’t get the idea that the world continues after they left though. So it wasn’t just a group hallucination? Does that mean the Despair world from Back To Reality came into being out in the multiverse when they were infected by the Despair squid? How? If it’s an ‘all possibilities are played out in the multiverse’ deal which Kryten seemed to be suggesting, then it wouldn’t have been created by them would it? But then there’s the godlike powers and… burrrrr….

    I think I’ll watch it again.

    Loved the shootout gag. Heh. And while I guessed squid might be the source for their ‘trip’ I never guessed it’s origin. Heh.

  92. >Ahem? cough?

    Ahem ahem ahem! Ya fucker.

    Anyway, I loved it. I don’t suppose there’s much point posting that since the wave of negativity is washing over us all, but I confidently predict re-assessments from the doubters in time. When they’ve seen it in one feature length chunk perhaps.

  93. And in terms of gags, loved Lister making Rimmer groin-butt the table for five minutes :P

    Still don’t understand why a joy squid would create a hallucination where they are characters in a TV show that don’t act like themselves – where’s the ‘joy’ in Lister being okay with murdering someone or reading Chinese?

  94. Having considered through the making of (which definitely felt far too short), I’m more at ease with part 3 than my immediate reaction suggested. The very early bits were a bit too daft, and the ending seemed a little bit too pat (oh, it was the despair squid, oh, Lister’s staying for Kochanski, oh, Lister’s going back, oh, everything back the way it was), but I’m still, overall, quite pleased with the episode. There were some good moments of humour, some good moments of pathos and emotion, and it didn’t quite disappear up its own arse, as I might have feared.

    The writing out of Katerina in part two seems even more abrupt and silly after all three, though.

    So, that “Woman With a Face” DVD cover was probably Chloe, then…

  95. >No. That was a re-hashing of ?Back To Reality? with all the humour sucked out of it beforehand and replaced by segments of dialogue from Blade Runner. But I can see how you?d have been confused by this.

    Damn, and after you’ve invested so, so much. I don’t know whether to pass you your remote, throw you some tissues, play you the violin or point you to the nearest cliff.

  96. >Still don?t understand why a joy squid would create a hallucination where they are characters in a TV show that don?t act like themselves – where?s the ?joy? in Lister being okay with murdering someone or reading Chinese?

    The whole world made Lister feel happier about himself. I think killing the guy let him get his frustrations out. I think the chinese thing was supposed to show us that something isn’t right about this world. Kinda like when Cat became really smart in the AR machine.

  97. >Lovely to see Chloe again.

    It certainly was. Even though I’ll always love Claire’s Kochanski, it was nice seeing a familiar, not to mention stunning, face.

  98. Hmm. I liked it, I think. Slightly disappointed at the “Back to Reality Part II” cop out, but otherwise really funny and good. Very pleased to see Chloe back – excellent of them to keep that so quiet!

  99. I have to say – I know the G&T crew will probably bemoan it in the inevitable podcast – but I loved parts 2 and 3. Great stuff. The metafiction was hilarious, and the Blade Runner stuff didn’t bother me in the slightest (if you’re moaning about that stuff because you haven’t seen Blade Runner, fucking hell, go and watch Blade Runner! It’s a CLASSIC).

    Rimmer knocking his testicles into the edge of a table was HILARIOUS, and nothing in Part 1 was anywhere near as funny. Also loved Craig being able to take a few gags on the chin about being a wreck and in the Priory.

    Massive headfuck to see Kochanski back. Not sure that the whole making her into Sean Young worked; the “ice queen” Kochanski won’t endear the character to any fans who previously didn’t like her, but still: you could hear Dwarfers jaws everywhere dropping open when she walked in.

    The interesting bit: if this hologram Rimmer is the newly resurrected and newly dead Rimmer, then he surely couldn’t remember the despair squid because it didn’t happen to *him*. This must be “old” Iron Balls himself.

  100. so this is original rimmer hologram then yes ???

  101. I think it should be seen as more an expansion of Back to reality than a cop out. It was a nice twist of the idea.

  102. Erm…hmm….Good question. Maybe he stopped being Ace and returned at some point during ‘series 9’.

  103. Watching ‘Back to Reality’ I must say Lister, Kryten and Cat down with the squid (well its ink) and Rimmer telling them a blob the size of new Mexico is heading for them, reminds me of something, why didn’t we see this before?

  104. >I think it should be seen as more an expansion of Back to reality than a cop out. It was a nice twist of the idea.

    Absolutely. People have been waiting for a return to the despair squid since that episode first aired and ended on such an ominous ‘is it or isn’t it’ note. Now they have it.

  105. And I think she’ll make a great Kochanski when she’s not a regular member of the crew, but someone leading Lister through a new series or movie.

    I guess it’s confirmed that Doug’s up for writing a new series, then? As I doubt the movie script is The Search for Kochanski. (though it would make a great movie).

    Still some unanswered questions, though. Which Rimmer is is?

  106. God I hope Chloe isn’t on the DVD commentary. If she spent the whole thing going on about her hair in Series 7 and 8, how the HELL is she going to respond to this!? Her hair was terrible, ha.

  107. It was Rimmer that wanted to get one over on a hologram or officer.

    In back to reality all 4 of them had clear plots, in the group halucination of despair. Perhaps Kryten’s joy is in relieving his guilt about lying.

    Still havnt worked out what was in it for the cat though.

  108. Well, it was certainly the weakest of the 3. As a more serious 3rd act it works well but as a distinct episode in its own right…

    Hmmm.

    Think the whole thing really REALLY suffered from being sliced up.

  109. >As I doubt the movie script is The Search for Kochanski. (though it would make a great movie).

    It would indeed make a great movie for all 13 people who are interested to know.

  110. “Get your keks on, lads, we’re ready!”

    Genius

  111. Oh, and I also loved the well thought out explanation to the Series VIII cliffhanger. Glad that wasn’t glossed over at all!

  112. Oooh. I liked the Rimmer munchkins.

    Though the creator of Red Dwarf living in a massive pyramid on the Thames…none of it makes sense.

  113. I thing Doug is writing the spin off with Kryten and Lister going back in time and Kryten being burned as a witch.

  114. >Oh, and I also loved the well thought out explanation to the Series VIII cliffhanger. Glad that wasn?t glossed over at all!

    To be honest I’m not bothered about finding out. I’m sure we will eventually but it couldn’t be explained here. There wasn’t enough time.

  115. This is the third time I have watched ‘Back to Reality’ this week, once on tuesday on my MP4 when I had a spare 30 minutes.
    Once when I was watching all the episodes.
    Now again on its repeat.
    Never gets old.

  116. This is the third time I have watched ‘Back to Reality’ this week, once on tuesday on my MP4 when I had a spare 30 minutes.
    Once when I was watching all the episodes.
    Now again on its repeat.
    Never gets old.

  117. One thing though, this seriously shouldn’t have been split into three. It works so, so, so much better as a whole. I hope it hasn’t affected the ratings too much.

  118. >Anyone else think the bit with Lister and Kotchanski was a little bit like the novel Better than life?

    Or the ending to the theatrical cut of Bladerunner. ;)

    I know what you mean though. It’s Lister’s fantasy after all.

  119. >Anyone else think the bit with Lister and Kochanski was a little bit like the >novel Better than life?

    Very much so yes.

  120. >One thing though, this seriously shouldn?t have been split into three. It works so, so, so much better as a whole. I hope it hasn?t affected the ratings too much.

    A thousand times ditto. It should have been aired as a TV movie.

  121. Still some unanswered questions, though. Which Rimmer is is?

    As a pedantic, continuity flaw spotting fan I say:

    Who cares? Doug was right not to spend any time on it.

  122. I like the new timer, though wouldn’t it be for Series IX since Series IX and X in the episode were in their minds.

  123. Though the creator of Red Dwarf living in a massive pyramid on the Thames?none of it makes sense.

    Makes sense to me. It’s all just part of the hallucination being inspired by Blade Runner (which presumably one of the crew must have seen).

  124. I guess most people think I’m gushing too much, but I honestly feel like we finally got our Red Dwarf movie. And it was fucking great.

  125. I liked the bit with Kryten and the rakes, though it was funnier when it was a very famous joke on the Simpsons.

  126. Who else very much wanted it to be Doug himself in that building? Every time they ask him a question, he goes ‘yeah, neuur’ and the crew are like ‘Is he saying yes or no!?’

    Hey comeon….it’s funnier than a lot of what was in the show wasn’t it?!? :P Joking ;)

  127. It’s was so great to see Chloe again, i was genuinely convinced that she wouldn’t turn up, even after she was mentioned during the bus scene my heart nearly stopped when she appeared.

    Brilliant Episode, just, brilliant, i just felt all fuzzy at the end(no orgasm jokes, please) it’s hard to explain. Put the three parts together and you’ve essentially got a brilliant red dwarf mini-movie,

    The Behind the scenes was bloody good, if a bit short, but who cares?

    Roll on the DVD release.

  128. Liked how the Cat gave his James Brown “OWWWW!” when he was hit with the rake.

  129. I guess most people think I?m gushing too much, but I honestly feel like we finally got our Red Dwarf movie. And it was fucking great.

    Im sure Doug doesn’t agree with this, but I would say that in reality this is as close to the film as we are ever likely to get, and that is a shame, as this showed that it could work very well as a film (though less well when split up as indeed any film would be).

  130. After seeing the final episode… I think this is one of the best RDs ever. I really do. I rewatched all the old eps this past month and this one is really, really good. Especially for the pathos.

  131. > Damn, and after you?ve invested so, so much. I don?t know whether to pass you your remote, throw you some tissues, play you the violin or point you to the nearest cliff.

    Your continuing argument of ‘Stop criticising and go watch something else then’ got pointed out in last night’s DwarfCast as a bullshit argument for a Red Dwarf fansite. Clearly you missed this point. As you constantly miss the point that many of us who didn’t enjoy BTE have been devoted Dwarf fans for years and therefore DO have a lot invested in the show.

  132. My thoughts:

    I really enjoyed Part 3. Very funny tonight – everything in the Creator’s room was brilliant.

    The return of Kochanski was a wonderful moment.

    Ultimately what I want to do know is watch Back to Earth the whole way through as I’m hopeful scenes like Nose World – which last night were fun but advance the fucking plot for fuck’s sake there’s fucking two minutes left! – will become the humorous fluff before the drama of Part 3.

    Each episode really should have been about ten minutes longer. Characters make decisions that needed to be reacted to – Why lie Kryten? And the choice of Lister returning to reality would have been much more interesting if Kochanski had been dead or back in her own dimension.

    Despite this, I loved tonight’s episode. I loved the crazy logic of the hallucination, loved the fast pacing, loved the ‘Good Evening JF’ tiny Chris Barries… I’m pretty hopeful for the future of Dwarf.

    And even if there are no more episodes, at least we can stop worrying about the Only the Good… cliffhanger.

  133. >Personally, I?ve really enjoyed it. I?ve given the impression of blindly loving it simply because it?s Red Dwarf.

    Sod that. Really disappointed tonight. And yet everyone who hated last night loved it – Excuse me, sir, I must be in the wrong class.

    The stuff on Coronation Street was fine – not overlong, and some funny stuff (loved the ‘Nowt On Telly’ magazine – that was the best scene by far). After the Rimmer Munchkins led them into the Creator’s office, it just became…what? It wasn’t even because it was too much of a mindfuck, I just didn’t have the same, content, inane grin on my face that I’ve had on my face for the past two nights.

    The Creator was just…bad. Maybe that was a major Blade Runner reference? If not, it was bad. I’m going to watch Blade Runner this week, then watch Back to Earth again, see if it effects how I feel about it. (By the way, of the fanclub team, I spotted Jo, and noticed that sequence repeated in the Making Of – well done you.)

    I think keeping Chloe quiet was possibly the biggest surprise – yes, we had our suspicions after last night, but still – but her hair, in both scenes…my god. From Horse and Rider to…oh, I don’t know.

    I can cope with RD being Comedy-Drama, but there were periods of that second half that just went too long without a laugh. The resolution of The Cat bringing the threat aboard originally was a little flat, and I would have liked a chuckle at the end, which I didn’t get.

    At least we’re back to the status quo. We can have a new series, if enough people want one, and if they don’t – well, I’d rather Red Dwarf end like that than Only The Good…

    And it was better than Pete part two.

    Rating: Part three – 4/10, overall – 7/10.

  134. Richey I think it’s sad that a devoted fan is dissapointed with the new shows. It’s a shame but the show’s moved on so i suggest you do as well. It’s clearly not your cup of tea anymore and that’s all there is too it.

  135. Mr Flibble: As a pedantic, continuity flaw spotting fan I say:

    Who cares? Doug was right not to spend any time on it.

    .THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.

    Let the fans decide

    Either way there’s comedy,

    Rimmer makes it off burning red dwarf, then dies in some hilarious fashion OR…

    Lister finds Ace who’s not been saving the universe instead he’s been stuck on some planet for the last ten years doing something i dunno rimmeresque, like watching telegraph poles, or something

  136. Seriously though, my final opinion on the whole thing is a bit mixed. I can TOTALLY understand why people like Richey really think it was a disappointment, i personally thought it was 50/50, but i really did enjoy it. It had some great writing in places, mostly fantastic production values. A few bits here and there which i really didn’t like, but overall i’m so glad it was made. And Chloes involvement despite me hating her in Series 7 and 8 was very welcome. I think as a character who appears occasionally and Lister pines for is the best way for Chloe to be around. If it ever continued in that vein, i’d very much appreciate Chloes involvement in future stories.

    One thing i think this has proved is that a new Red Dwarf full series could definitely work, despite the massive gap. But Doug has to get other writers in, ones that didn’t write Spiceworld too. I do wish he’d somehow get hold of Rob Grant, as with his help i think the series could be better than modern Doctor Who. Well Russell T Davies Who anyway :p

  137. I did wonder why Kryten had to have rakes hitting him when Sideshow Bob already did it to perfection. Though I could forgive it when Chris was slamming his balls into a table so magnificently.

  138. i admit i loved ep 1 was a little disapointed with ep 2.
    but ep3 for the first few minutes i sorta watched in utter dread that this was gonna be the nail in the coffin for red dwarf. then it hit its mark red dwarf as we love it was back. the whole story made complete sense! i admit i think this shoulda just bin run as a feature length episode. but at the end of the day it is a great red dwarf story line when you see all 3 parts.

    totaly worth the trip 2 be here in england to see it and more then enough for me to make that imortal request as i’m sure we all will.

    ANOTHER SERIES PLEASE !!

  139. > Richey I think it?s sad that a devoted fan is dissapointed with the new shows. It?s a shame but the show?s moved on so i suggest you do as well. It?s clearly not your cup of tea anymore and that?s all there is too it.

    It is sad, yes, cos I was so excited about these specials. But I don’t see why both ends of fan opinion can’t be represented here, why the people who enjoyed it are so insistant on dismissing the people who didn’t.

  140. I did wonder why Kryten had to have rakes hitting him when Sideshow Bob already did it to perfection. Though I could forgive it when Chris was slamming his balls into a table so magnificently.

    I have to admit laughing at this, and then wondering out loud to the friend I was watching with “Why am I laughing, this is stupid?!”.

  141. And the Making Of was at least 50% too short! Hopefully it will be much expanded on the DVD, and we’ll get to hear from Chloe (a talking head would be best – not more hair-obsessed commentary).

  142. It is sad, yes, cos I was so excited about these specials. But I don?t see why both ends of fan opinion can?t be represented here, why the people who enjoyed it are so insistant on dismissing the people who didn?t.

    You have been whining on about it like Doug specifically made it just to piss you off though. There is room for sensible debate on the pitfalls and problems, and others here who don’t like it (like Pete) are managing that, without sounding like a broken record.

  143. >as with his help i think the series could be better than modern Doctor Who.
    It is better than new Who, it is better than Classic Who, hell it is better than Big Finish.

    My rating is –
    1 – 8/10
    2 – 10/10
    3 – 10/10
    Overall it is 10/10

  144. One thing is clear to me: this style of RD is what Doug is suited too. And if he writes more RD he shouldn’t try for the sitcom thing again (see Series VIII) – and that means no studio audience – Doug does comedy drama best, the pathos was touching here, and even though it’s different, it works. BTE played to all Doug’s strengths, judging by the quality.

  145. The rimmer munchkins were great, creepy.

  146. > You have been whining on about it like Doug specifically made it just to piss you off though.

    I have never said that and it has never been how I’ve felt about it. So you’re basically just making that up out of thin air.

  147. Despite my overwhelming optimism for Back to Earth, as I sit here watching Back to Reality, I would say this:

    For me at least, overall, the story for BtE was, for lack of a better word, insular. It seemed to primarily address RD fans. In BtR, however, there are all these little nods to genuine concerns that affect us all in… well, reality.

    Don’t get me wrong. Still enjoyed the specials. And long may they continue. Just think this might be one of the issues for those that didn’t enjoy them.

  148. Yes but in all fairness Richey…you ARE just whining really.
    If you hated BTE so much, surely you’d just be better off going to bed and forgetting that it ever happened. Instead of pooping on everybody’s party…

  149. I would say that Doug can write heavy and very effective pathos, but can’t do it without leaving the comedy behind.

    But it CAN be done – see the observation dome scene in Better than Life. A belly laugh every few seconds, yet the whole scene is heartbreaking.

  150. Rimmers line about “I only wanted a sitcom” he was channeling a lot of fan’s lament of the format changing right there.

    I have to say overall I thought the emotional depth of some of this I found really good, It would have worked better if the comedy around it was less wacky though.

  151. I loved it! Very fitting set up for a new series and I was genuinely surprised and in joy at Chloe’s sweet sweet face – I wasn’t expecting THAT! The Bladerunner thing was a little overdone but I liked how it was all worked into the story.

    On another note, I spotted my very brief appearance in the episode so I can finally say I appeared in Red Dwarf! *Squee!*

  152. If Rob returned, I worry we might lose that emotional punch that made BTE so special, for me. Those scenes of pathos (Lister crying and so on) were real welcome additions to RD. And The Search For Kochanski promises to continue in that direction.

    Would Rob want to make it more into a sitcom again?

  153. Just finished watching the ‘Making of’ and i think it needs to be pointed out that Doug has clearly made this as a labour of love as has probably everyone who was involved in it. I mean Doug purchasing Carbug himself really shows the enthusiasm for the project. You’ve got to respect the dedication of the creators of these new shows even if you hated the shows themselves.

    That’s why i hate such negative comments on sites like Outpost Gallifrey, because I’ve made programmes that have been on BBC1 before (although i admit nothing anywhere near the scale of Dwarf, and only regional BBC1) and it absolutely pains me that after all the work that goes into creating TV programmes, after working your nuts off for so long, all it takes to ruin it is for some twat who couldn’t make a entertaining 5 seconds of TV if he/she filmed themselves sticking a knife in their jugular to say on a site like Outpost Gallifrey ‘Well i thought it was f*cking awful, what a waste of my time it was watching that’.

    So hope Doug reads this, mate you and everyone who worked on these new shows are f*cking geniuses. I thank you :)

  154. If you hated BTE so much, surely you?d just be better off going to bed and forgetting that it ever happened. Instead of pooping on everybody?s party?

    That’s not what I mean at all. Sensible discussion about what is good and what isn’t is very welcome. This place has always been pro discussing the “bad side” of Dwarf.

    But saying “I don’t think Red Dwarf is for me it’s not funny any more I grew up with this show and now it’s shit” every five minutes is just a waste of everyone’s time.

  155. > Yes but in all fairness Richey?you ARE just whining really.
    If you hated BTE so much, surely you?d just be better off going to bed and forgetting that it ever happened. Instead of pooping on everybody?s party?

    I didn’t hate it, I was disappointed by it. Because it wasn’t funny to me. But clearly everyone with a contrary opinion to your own is a ‘whiner’ and a ‘party pooper’. If you don’t want to hear any opinion other than your own, don’t come to a discussion forum. I’ve read everyone’s opinions and had some damn good conversations here with people (including those who’ve enjoyed the new shows) but there are always people like yourself who refuse to accept any criticism of something they like.

  156. Part 1 9/10
    Part 2 7/10
    Part 3 10/10

    Overall 9/10

    And watching it all in one go will probably make it 10/10

  157. More Kryten bumpers. Do we think there will be cat ones tomorrow?

    “More reality bending squid action it’s back to reality”

    “Heated disscusion on a frozen planet now in marooned”

  158. Liam Fretwell. Are you my mummy?

    Only joking Liam, well done. Tell us more.

    And well done Carl on both guessing the correct ending and also on working out which Rimmer this is. I missed that bit, but totally agree with you.

  159. Jonsmad – Do you know how much I’ve heard that over that picture?! I’ve been described as ‘Hagrid looking for his mummy’ more times than I care to admit!

    What’s to tell? The shoot was cold, late at night but all good fun. We had the lights being knocked out, alarms going off and the set was (weirdly) next to the stage where Ridley Scott is making his new Robin Hood epic!

    There is a write up in the new Fan Club magazine…. ;)

  160. After watching it again I enjoyed it a little more. However there were still a few things that bugged me about it, mainly when Lister was at the typewriter.

    I haven’t watched the making of yet in favour of coming back here every half hour or so. From the sounds of things though I am positive it’ll be longer on the DVD.

    Ahh, the DVD. The extended cut will do a lot of favour to BtE, which was hurt considerably by being split in three. I think there will be quite a bit more despite everyone saying “what we filmed is what you’ll see,” and I am glad it’s not too long of a wait.

    The drama aspect was really good, actually. Some of my favourite moments are when things suddenly get serious and I think potentially BtE had the best dramatic moments. Although that may be an over-statement. Anyway, I found myself welling up a little at the end there.

    As far as Rimmer is concerned, for me i’s definitely our Rimmer, i.e I-VII Rimmer. I know that VIII Rimmer would have been around in Lister’s life about as much (not counting deep sleeps), if not longer, but when the development is off screen it isn’t the same. That was definitely our Rimmer right there, aside from the fact it blatantly is from a couple of his comments (Polymorph, despair squid) for the most part it just felt like it was him.

    And concerning the squid/BtR ending, it almost makes sense, especially given the 21st celebration motif if these specials.

    So I’ll reserve final final judgement until the DVD arrives, but for now I will say that while Back to Earth wasn’t fantastic, it was still pretty good.

  161. Liked – Chloe’s appearance, Rimmer’s testicle/table interface, the Corrie scenes, the general air of pathos and emotional wallop.

    Not so keen on – Overt Bladrerunner references (would have made more sense if one of the crew had mentioned it/watched it recently), the Corrie scenes being the “real” world (would have preferred another fictional universe), the slightly too tidy\quick wrap up.

    I enjoyed Part 3 (although Pt2 will remain the favorite installment of this story) and have my fingers crossed that the DVD will have an extended cut that fleshes out things like Kryten’s reasons for lying.

    Good to have it back, and I hope there’s more to come.

  162. Yeah, I really don’t want to lose those more serious scenes that, in a sense, seemed to be the core/heart of BTE. I hope they’re present in anything new, because they made the episode so much more special (and they were also part of what distinguished BTE from ‘classic’ RD, which while very funny rarely strayed into emotional territory, and when it did, nowhere near as much as BTE).

  163. Part 1 : 4/10
    Part 2 : 6/10
    Part 3 : 2/10

    >If you hated BTE so much, surely you?d just be better off going to bed and forgetting that it ever happened. Instead of pooping on everybody?s party?

    I’m sorry, but you’re making us feel like Atheists at a Prayer Meeting.

  164. BTW, anyone caught the new G&T countdown..? :-))))

  165. Part 1 6/10
    Part 2 9/10
    Part 3 8/10

    Build up promotion 10/10
    Production design and Vis effects on the budget 11/10
    Costuming 10/10
    Performance of cast 9/10
    Adventure factor 9/10
    Comedy 6/10
    Story over all 6.5/10

    As a whole I think I like this more than Duct soup, Krytie TV, waiting for god, Balance of power, pete, beyond a joke, Epideme,

    It’s about level with Back in the Red, and ourroborous, blue.

    It cant touch most of II to VI. It’s not fit to be mentioned as closely as it will be to Back to reality, thanks for the memory or better than life.

  166. As a whole I think that BtE was a success. Not entirely, but for the most part.

    For me, it felt like it was trying to cling onto the traditional sitcom format whilst move forward with the pathos, satire, real dramatic performances, and style of this new episode. Notice how the funniest and most credible bits were the underplayed ones. Just about every ‘joke’ in it fell totally flat. The clever wordplay and self-referrential stuff was far superior.

    I don’t miss the dated laugh track and anyone who suggests that a scene would be better with a laugh track is idiotic. If you go to see a comedy play with no audience, it should make you laugh regardless. If it doesn’t, it’s a bad comedy. Same applies here. If you edited the laughter out of the old Dwarf eps, they would still be funny. Furthermore, if you remade the old eps now with the same scripts and no live audience, they would still be funny!

    So to some up, I think that Doug should leave the dud ‘jokes’ at the door, and go for something a little more sophisticated. It’s just a shame that he doesn’t feel like he has the support of the die-hard fans to push into uncharted territory.

  167. Hm. Twenty Two years since a certain TV show began. Nice.

    I’m holding you lot to that – Series X is on it’s way…

  168. i think it should be 257 days .. thats when the christmas special that dave are soon to comission will be on ;) i think its 257 anyway

  169. I REALLY liked it, I have to say. I was actually crying a little, er no I mean I was nearly going to have something nearly in my eye…a little during some of the Lister stuff. Kochanski was such a brilliant move. At that stage it didn’t matter that it didn’t make much sense for her to come walking in. Everything was in Lister’s subconscious. It was GREAT to see Chloe there, all Sean Young hair and everything!

    Even though there was KIND OF an explanation for the Blade Runner stuff, it still doesn’t make sense because the Creator was just an hallucination. If one of the Dwarfers knew Blade Runner THEN it would have worked. I liked the Cat ending though. He has definitely been the most Cat-like since the good old days. That’s how Cat should always be!!

    A great shame that we didn’t see Katerina one more time. Though Kochanski being in it made up for that.

  170. What day is it in 307 days?

    I’m such an idiot, i’ve realised now.

  171. Mind you, now it’s over what’s the problem with doing series IX? Unless Doug is counting BtE as series IX…

  172. Because series IX included Lister getting drunk and miserable and Kochanski buggering off. Sounds hilarious.

    Actually, it sounds better than Series VIII. Make the fucker.

  173. Better than Pete? Worse than Pete? Doesn’t matter, because the rake scene was without any question the most embarrassing sequence to witness in ALL. OF. RED. DWARF.

  174. > I don?t miss the dated laugh track and anyone who suggests that a scene would be better with a laugh track is idiotic. If you go to see a comedy play with no audience, it should make you laugh regardless. If it doesn?t, it?s a bad comedy. Same applies here. If you edited the laughter out of the old Dwarf eps, they would still be funny. Furthermore, if you remade the old eps now with the same scripts and no live audience, they would still be funny!

    Agree with you 100% on that one. The lack of a laughter track may be jarring at first, but so long as the material is funny then its absence should not matter in the slightest. For myself and others, the comedy was too weak in BTE. So it got little to no laughs out of me. But it was nothing to do with the lack of a laughter track.

  175. Liam says…

    >the set was (weirdly) next to the stage where Ridley Scott is making his new Robin >Hood epic!

    Yeah? Did he pop over at any point while Doug was hurriedly finishing the script and say “Here’s a few ideas that worked for me once”, ?

  176. >Mind you, now it?s over what?s the problem with doing series IX? Unless Doug is counting BtE as series IX?

    didnt the events with kochanski leaving happen in “series ix” i am assuming that is why doug said if they do another series it will be series x

  177. I liked the rake scene. It was a bit silly but worked in context.

  178. Skimming through the comments… I really need to post something.

    Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I loved It! I really did.

    MY FUCKING GOD I was shocked to see Kochanski! BRILLIANT SECRET! I never thought id be happy to see her in it, but the way It was done… exceptional. Very emotional.

    I literally wanna run to Dougs house and shout “THANK YOU!!!”…

    Im very sad to hear that many people didnt enjoy It. I simply dont know what to say to you. Rather than have ago at you, Im gutted that you did’nt really. But, like many have pointed out… it’s your opinion. So just enjoy old Dwarf like you always have… but dont give up completley.

    So, new series? PLEASE GOD new series!

  179. It was certainly weird and deserved more time to explain the overall idea fully…

    Chloe’s arrival filled me with Joy and her characterisation here seemed to depict what I would expect her to be in life away from JMC..

    This has been a weird and wonderful trip, comedy I want more of…

    Loved every minute, a full blown 10/10 for me, even allowing for a couple of small ‘WTF’ moments, it was just beautiful…

  180. Even though there was KIND OF an explanation for the Blade Runner stuff, it still doesn?t make sense because the Creator was just an hallucination. If one of the Dwarfers knew Blade Runner THEN it would have worked.

    I’ve just been explaining that one to myself with the same idea for Better Than Life in the books that once your in your mind covers up how you got there, or in this case the plot of the film. Hey, clutching at straws i know but works for me.

  181. Nevermind, I was briefly under the impression everything since VIII was a hallucination. I don’t know why, probably because I’m a SILLY ARSE.

    Series X it is.

  182. It did have an ‘Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers’ feel to me, since that is the best book ever made that is a very good thing, once again Lister left Kochanski to survive though here he will search for Kochanski.

  183. You’re sort of missing the point though. The point being that I don’t especially believe that the future of Dwarf is all-out comedy. It could, in actuality, be so much more. It needs to be more New Who, albeit with a more adult, smeggy, doesn’t-take-itself-too-seriously tone. If Doug writes the stories, then the comedy will come naturally. But it shoudn’t be forced to please the old-school fans, as I believe it was in BtE.

    I for one don’t laugh-a-minute whilst reading the novels…

  184. The only thing I didn’t really understand was the overall point of Katerina. I thought the character was grossly underused.

  185. I love these shows! I hope that everyone agrees that, even those who disliked it, that these specials were better than never seeing any Red Dwarf again? at least we’re not stuck with them in a mirror universe with Rimmer kicking death in the nuts!

  186. > the rake scene was without any question the most embarrassing sequence to witness in ALL. OF. RED. DWARF.

    It’s on a par with the Midget dance and some choice moments from Pete. Atrocious for the most part, but most of the rest of Bte was good.

    Also, re: the laugh track comment above somewhere… agree completely. After the first few moments, I didn’t miss it one iota.

  187. >Nevermind, I was briefly under the impression everything since VIII was a >hallucination. I don?t know why, probably because I?m a SILLY ARSE.
    >Series X it is.

    It was hallucinations, but it was created by minds that had been through events, so anything they mentioned about events that happened before meeting the joy squid can be considered as events that happend.

  188. Anyone else love Kryten talking to the post box, “Have you over heated, are you always supposed to be that red?”, “Good greif, vandels have stolen the insides and stuck envelopes through its voice box”.

  189. The Corrie scenes worked well IMO. Simon Gregson fitted in perfectly, as we knew he would, and also Michelle Keegan (I was watching Corrie earlier and she actually looked a lot nicer in the Dwarf scene, maybe that’s because she was being ‘herself’). It was interesting in the Making Of when Simon said this episode was his only ever TV job, that he’s been in Corrie since he was 15!

    I hope and PRAY we see a new series. Ideally it would be more sitcom-y with the audience back (even if it’s just screenings, but preferrably some studio shoots) but without sacrificing too much in terms of the overall look of the show. This format and style worked PERFECTLY for a special like Back To Earth (and indeed if a movie was made, this is what we would be expecting x 10) but if Red Dwarf series X/XI/N/whatever is made then IMO it should feel like the sitcom Red Dwarf again.

    I’m convinced that they can make a better sitcom-y series than VIII. A 6 parter with 6 individual stories, each fitting into a 40 minute slot on Dave. Maybe a tough task to achieve, but if Dave commissioned it well in advance (say like NOW for broadcast this time next year) there could be enough time for Doug to pull it off.

  190. > It was hallucinations, but it was created by minds that had been through events, so anything they mentioned about events that happened before meeting the joy squid can be considered as events that happend.

    Yeah I know, I just had a bit of a moment there. Thanks, anyway.

  191. I’ve been saying that I think the story could have easily been trimmed into a two-parter. Having now seen all three, I’m convinced it could have (and should have) been a single 30 minute episode.

    Lose the overhammy sequences like the dancing, the “she’s behind you!!!!” and the rakes, drop the painful reminders of how funny the bunkroom banter used to be, fuck the extended sojourns through “the best of Blade Runner,” and just give us a solid half hour of good storytelling and decent jokes.

    If you’re going to steal the central mechanic from Back to Reality, you should at least make an attempt to earn it. There’s no reason that this could have been trimmed down to 30 minutes.

    I’m tempted to do so, actually. I genuinely think it would improve the episode 10-fold.

  192. > I for one don?t laugh-a-minute whilst reading the novels?

    The novels have always been a seperate entity for me. They are truly fantastic pieces of literature. But they are a different medium and so there is much more room to explore concepts and ideas. In a 30 minute sci-fi comedy show, all I want is a fun and interesting plot and some great jokes. That’s what we got up until series VII, and even that had more jokes than BTE. Series VIII had plenty of jokes too, just a shame they were all awful. But you see my point – a book is a very different beast to a 30 minute comedy.

    Taking the TV version of Dwarf in the direction of the books is certainly an approach that Doug could/might well take. But for someone like myself (and other fans) who love Red Dwarf the sci-fi comedy, it’s not a direction we’re desiring. Personally, in my opinion, Doug should explore such things in more Red Dwarf books. I’d love another novel by Doug. The books can do the heavier drama side of Dwarf and the show can do the sci-fi comedy. That’s how I’d like to see a future for Red Dwarf. But I don’t think it will happen now.

  193. Oh and Cat in the shop trying to talk like the people there “What a load of numtee’s”.

  194. im looking forward to them announcing the new series on the tos update on friday ONE CAN ONLY HOPE

  195. >I?ve been saying that I think the story could have easily been trimmed into a two-parter. Having now seen all three, I?m convinced it could have (and should have) been a single 30 minute episode.

    This. God, this.

  196. The thing is Part One felt like VII, Part Two felt like nothing we’ve ever seen before…and Part Three just felt like VIII. Back in the Red, specifically.

  197. I really don’t think this could of even been done in 2 episodes. 1 episode would be a enormous mess.

  198. > I?ve been saying that I think the story could have easily been trimmed into a two-parter. Having now seen all three, I?m convinced it could have (and should have) been a single 30 minute episode.

    >> This. God, this.

    Coming Friday 17th April – Red Dwarf: Back To Earth! The Phil Edit!! :D

    If you actually do it, I’ll give it a watch mate.

  199. Having now seen all three, I?m convinced it could have (and should have) been a single 30 minute episode.

    Boooooooooooooolloooooooooooooocks. It was FAR too short for the story Doug was trying to tell.

  200. >Coming Friday 17th April – Red Dwarf: Back To Earth! The Phil Edit!! :D

    The only trouble is the .flv files that I can swipe from youtube won’t work in Windows Movie Maker. Any suggestions? I’d definitely give this a whirl.

  201. > Anyone else think the bit with Lister and Kotchanski was a little bit like the novel Better than life?

    I mentioned last night that the scene with Lister talking to the kids on the bus reminded me a bit of the BTL book, and yeah, that scene more so.

    BtE reminded me a lot of the books in that way, as it seemed like lots of little bits from the books that Doug perhaps wanted to see done in live action, or live action bits he may have wanted to try differently from the way they were originally filmed.

    > Oooh. I liked the Rimmer munchkins.

    I really did, too, though being a double reference, it would have gone over the heads of anyone who hadn’t seen Blade Runner and/or ‘Blue’.

    I mostly enjoyed tonight’s episode, though sadly not nearly as much as last nights. Lister’s time at the typewriter just had my husband and I cringing – it could have been done well, but Doug’s pacing is not the best – and for all the build up, the ending just sort of fell flat. Probably due in no small part to the fact that I could see where it was going, and the way they confirmed my suspicions was more like exposition than actual proper dialogue: neither compellingly dramatic, nor sharply witty. Lister’s last line was sweet and ironic, but again, there was no sense of timing or punch to it.

    So yeah, I think I’ll enjoy seeing it altogether, and I’ll be able to better appreciate the ‘creator’ scene – which tonight struck me as crossing the line from unlikely to implausible – knowing how it ends, but again, tonight’s episode just didn’t rate as highly for me as last nights. I do, however, very much hope that Red Dwarf returns, as this has all felt like a new beginning to me, rather than a grand finale. As rusty/flawed as it was in places, given the good stuff in BtE, I do think if Doug gets a bit of outside input, the show could be absolutely *crackin’* again. To be honest, I’ll be quite sad if this is the last we see of it.

  202. >It was FAR too short for the story Doug was trying to tell.

    What WAS the story he was trying to tell? I don’t think even he knew what the fuck he was trying to build toward. The “story,” as I suppose we can generously call it, can be condensed easily. All you’d need to do to reduce it to a 30 minute runtime is drop all the knockabout bullcrap and pointless Blade Runner recreations.

  203. > The only trouble is the .flv files that I can swipe from youtube won?t work in Windows Movie Maker. Any suggestions?

    None at all, I’m afraid. I don’t know how. I wouldn’t even know how to rip the .flv files.

  204. Ha ha i love the bit where Rimmer kicks the dead creator.

  205. The 3rd episode was maybe a slight improvement but I still felt it was generally woeful and the attempts at comedy were horrific. The Kryten getting hit by rakes scene, like so many things in these eps, was just a copy of a much better scene from elsewhere (in this case The Simpsons).

    I honestly thought that Doug would be able to make a success of these specials if he put all of the best ideas that he`s had over the past 10 years into them (as long as it was coherently done obviously). Instead he bolted together Back to Reality and Blade Runner (pointlessly) and recycled so many jokes and ideas it was untrue.

    Very disappointed sadly.

  206. >The only trouble is the .flv files that I can swipe from youtube won?t work in Windows Movie Maker. Any suggestions? I?d definitely give this a whirl.

    There are a few websites like Vixy.net where if you paste the URL in, it’ll download them to AVI files for you.

  207. I want Red Dwarf Unplugged :(

  208. Alright, giving it some thought, I’ve decided I’m definitely up to the challenge of a 30-minute edit. (I now have an idea of how to “cleanly” drop so much that needs to be dropped.)

    If anyone would be able to “donate” the episodes in a format other than .flv, my Yahoo account is “chickenbrutus.” If you can somehow figure out an email address from that, get in touch. You’ll be an executive producer.

  209. >There are a few websites like Vixy.net where if you paste the URL in, it?ll download them to AVI files for you.

    Cheers man! Giving it a test now.

  210. I’d actually struggle to do a fan-edit. There was plenty of stuff I liked in Part Two (the Series IX stuff is genius) but I think this trilogy was a mess on paper, long before it got to the shooting stage. Doug certainly didn’t spend 9 years writing this.

  211. Just checking the chase sequence in slow motion – there’s a bit where Kryten knocks one of the overhead lights with his head. Yet again, this caused trouble as the lighting rig was knocked down and had to be hung back up again!

  212. God i feel like doing a fan edit myself now, argggh must resist temptation…

  213. I really felt that Doug was right to do what he did with Series 7. It was original, funny and, in retrospect, hasn’t dated anywhere near as much as Series 1-6. They are wonderful, but they are of their time. Imagine where Series 7 could have gone if Rimmer hadn’t left. I’m sure fans wouldn’t have villified it nearly as much as they have. I felt series 8 took a step backwards by reintroducing the live audience to a tired old format. Back to Earth has pushed the envelope emotionally further than anything we have seen, only the script suffered by lame jokes.

    I’ll keep saying it, if Doug writes truthful drama, with comedy on the back burner, so to speak, it will become infinitely more watchable, dare I say meaningful and, incidentally, more funny!

  214. Stabby, honestly, yours would be about ten million times as slick as mine would. If you’d really be up to the 30 minute edit, I’d be wise to just throw my support behind your project instead.

    Maybe I’d still do mine for comparison’s sake, but in a way you’ve got a head start with your title sequence. :P

  215. “I like Back to Reality and I like Blade Runner…but which is better?

    There’s only one way to find out; FI…

    Oh, hang on. I’ll just combine the two of them and throw in some stuff with rakes”

  216. I just watched it again and love it even more. The scene with Lister and Kotchanski is brilliant. This has made the ten year wait more than worth it for me.

  217. ”And it was kind of a very difficult scenario personally for me, because I had start writing the script much later than I intended to for personal reasons – I started it on November the 17th.”
    – Doug Naylor

    He didn’t spend a decade thinking about Red Dwarf BtE Shock Horror! This might sound crazy but maybe just maybe he has a life outside of Dwarf….

  218. That’s lovely Mittttt. But as a writer, I’m sure Doug’s mind has wandered towards Red Dwarf (TV Version thereof) once or twice in the last ten years and he’s considered story ideas. He doesn’t seem to have written much else since Red Dwarf VIII.

  219. >”I like Back to Reality and I like Blade Runner?but which >is better?

    >There?s only one way to find out; FI?

    >Oh, hang on. I?ll just combine the two of them and throw >in some stuff with rakes?

    Nice. :-)

  220. Crap, that site turns them into avi, but they still can’t be read. My offer still stands, if anyone can provide me with the eps in a format that Windows Movie Maker recognizes.

  221. You confuse me. You give the second show 6/10 and describe some parts as ‘genius’ yet when it comes to summing up the show you try and be as bitchy as a teenage school girl.

  222. Phil, you may have to install the DivX plugin to make them work in Windows Movie Maker.

    Although i’m severely tempted to have a go at this myself too, especially looking through all the music cues i’ve got of Dwarf and stuff, could be a kewl little project.

  223. >Crap, that site turns them into avi, but they still can?t be read. My offer still stands, if anyone can provide me with the eps in a format that Windows Movie Maker recognizes.

    I can sort you out with them all in the appropriate format in the morning if you message/tweet/e-mail me.

  224. >You confuse me. You give the second show 6/10 and describe some parts as ?genius? yet when it comes to summing up the show you try and be as bitchy as a teenage school girl.

    Reminder; There are three episodes. I didn’t like the first, I had a lot of problems with the second but enjoyed it far more due to the aforementioned ‘genius’ ideas, I hated the third.

    Viewed as a whole, I found it very unsatisfying. Why is this confusing?

  225. >Clearly you missed this point.

    No, I disagreed with it. You have now used ‘Clearly you missed the point’ as a rebuttal to 3 different points on the three consecutive nights. Congratulations at being so tremendously adept at talking and saying nothing.

    Inclusion in a podcast doesn’t make an opinion authoritative. Clearly you miss the point that whinging and whining about how Doug Naylor disappointed your family gathered lovingly and collectively reminiscing over past Dwarf glories around your no-doubt charming Victorian era fireplace isn’t going to make him build a time machine and rewrite the episodes as per your half-baked whims and notions. Constantly restating your opinion which could have been cultivated and surmised during the previews (i.e. you dislike challenging viewing and expect the show to be a laugh a minute, which it frankly never was) achieves nothing other pissing on everyone else’s collective bonfire, as well you know.

    Fine, you didn’t like it. We all get it. The constant ‘I’m so disappointed’ ‘This isn’t the Red Dwarf I knew when I was a lad’ etc. wears a bit thin.

  226. I can’t see how you’d throw together a half hour version of it all. Good luck though, honestly.

    Anyway, the whole typewriter scene with Lister is never going to get any better, but there was nothing else that was as bad as that anywhere in the rest of it.

    As long as the jokes are better, if future Dwarf kept this approach I’d be very happy.

  227. >Oh and Cat in the shop trying to talk like the people there ?What a load of numtee?s?.

    That whole scene really made me laugh. And Chris Barrie’s rather camp Manchester accent was especially funny.

    Silly humour is strange. The above was very silly yet it amused me. The scene at the end with Lister on the typewriter was silly but it rather irritated me (although not so much the second time around. I think part of the irritation was the thought that this might be the reality they would end in. Now I know that’s not the case, it’s ok…. if that makes sense.)

    One thing that didn’t entirely make sense was when Lister stopped typing and they said “You didn’t write that!” They weren’t doing anything deranged or silly when they said that, and the very fact he could take the paper to the fire and sit at the typewriter already should have proved to them that ordinary actions didn’t require typing to make them tick. (Then again they’re a bit slow on the uptake aren’t they?)

    One thing that jarred a bit was the seeming reality of the earlier stuff compared with the last scene. But when you consider that the venom of the joy squid is actually a deterrent to keep predators away, and also it works on peoples subconscious it makes sense. They thought they were in the real world, and that was how the world seemed. It’s a slow build up to the final elation of believing they (or at least Lister) had godlike powers.

    It also explains why they were so accepting from the start. “I’ve felt great since I first got here.” They were in good spirits, they didn’t care. They still had the odd low and seemingly dangerous moment along the way, because their mind wouldn’t accept it otherwise, but the conclusion felt good. Well, not so much for Rimmer’s balls, but that was Lister’s mind at play.

  228. >No, I disagreed with it. You have now used ?Clearly you missed the point? as a rebuttal to 3 different points on the three consecutive nights. Congratulations at being so tremendously adept at talking and saying nothing.

    Inclusion in a podcast doesn?t make an opinion authoritative. Clearly you miss the point that whinging and whining about how Doug Naylor disappointed your family gathered lovingly and collectively reminiscing over past Dwarf glories around your no-doubt charming Victorian era fireplace isn?t going to make him build a time machine and rewrite the episodes as per your half-baked whims and notions. Constantly restating your opinion which could have been cultivated and surmised during the previews (i.e. you dislike challenging viewing and expect the show to be a laugh a minute, which it frankly never was) achieves nothing other pissing on everyone else?s collective bonfire, as well you know.

    Fine, you didn?t like it. We all get it. The constant ?I?m so disappointed? ?This isn?t the Red Dwarf I knew when I was a lad? etc. wears a bit thin.

    You done? Or do you want to edit that one more time to see how much more hillarious material you can squeeze into it?

  229. >Fine, you didn?t like it. We all get it. The constant ?I?m so disappointed? ?This isn?t the Red Dwarf I knew when I was a lad? etc. wears a bit thin.

    Shocker! An alternate view-point. Are we allowed to say that it’s a bit dull hearing about how amazing you found the trilogy or is that a no-no?

    Or can we just accept that this a discussion board on new episodes and there are going to be a real mix of opinions?

  230. > Because series IX included Lister getting drunk and miserable and Kochanski buggering off. Sounds hilarious.

    Says who? Series 9 and 10 were in their heads. They never existed, so any series IX could follow the events of BtE, unless Doug wanted to tie up the ‘Only the Good’ ending with an intervening series between the two… which I doubt.

  231. Now now, children.

  232. locusceruleus: you’ve been tweetered.

    Stabby: Your approach will, I’m sure, be a much, much, MUCH more professional one than mine, so don’t let me put you off! I still want to do it to see if I can get out of it a half-hour episode that I, myself, would enjoy a lot more.

    You, on the other hand, will probably blow us all away and be worthy of a DVD feature.

  233. I enjoyed BTE and found it to be much more successful than many TV returns that other shows have done, which made me a proud fan. I’m really looking forward to the DVD with all it’s wonderfulness and the opportunity (one can assume) to watch the episode as one feature length one.

    I’m also interested to see how these edits come out as though I do agree that bits could’ve been cut out, I don’t think the story could be told in 30 minutes given all that Doug was trying to fit in. I say this because though I think stuff could be cut, I think there were bits where they could’ve dwelled on certain things a bit more. The pace was a bit uneven really.

    But still, good luck with the edits. I’m intrigued.

  234. >Shocker! An alternate view-point. Are we allowed to say that it?s a bit dull hearing about how amazing you found the trilogy or is that a no-no?

    >Or can we just accept that this a discussion board on new episodes and there are going to be a real mix of opinions?

    Absolutely, I’ve no issue with anyone’s opinions. But ‘the show isn’t the same as it was 15 years ago’ reiterated constantly each night seems somewhat redundant, as if we should all have prayed for Doug to tread water for the last decade.

  235. Because presumably your a relatively intelligent man who spends oooh what 4-5 hours in a forum whining and throwing out little waspy comments about a show you havn’t liked for the best part of twelve years. Now call me strange but I don’t see why you bother… the show has changed and you don’t like it why not spend your time learning a new language or doing something worth while?

  236. >You done? Or do you want to edit that one more time to see how much more hillarious material you can squeeze into it?

    Over editing, under editing, too many jokes, not enough jokes…if only you controlled everything you read, watched or heard, eh?

  237. >Says who? Series 9 and 10 were in their heads. They never existed, so any series >IX could follow the events of BtE, unless Doug wanted to tie up the ?Only the >Good? ending with an intervening series between the two? which I doubt.

    Says Doug. In an interview clip he said he wouldn’t do a series nine because of a reason within the shows.

    It’s also clear in the emotional arch of Lister and what Kryten says about lieing and the fact that Kochanski isnt onboard the ship, that there is a lot of truth to the events described by them whilst inside the hallucination. So the mention by Noddy of Lister being in the bath from series nine when Kochanski was reported as being sucked out of an airlock ties together the idea that that real time period for them is marked as Series IX. If you take that as what Doug meant, then Series X or XI would be the next if a series followed.

  238. > Absolutely, I?ve no issue with anyone?s opinions. But ?the show isn?t the same as it was 15 years ago? reiterated constantly each night seems somewhat redundant, as if we should all have prayed for Doug to tread water for the last decade.

    Funny, I’ve never once said ‘the show isn’t the same as it was 15 years ago.’ I HAVE said that I’ve been a Red Dwarf fan for 15 years. I HAVE said the new shows weren’t as funny as they used to be and that this was my main problem with them. I HAVE said that I don’t feel it bares much resemblance to the Red Dwarf I know. But I can’t recall once stating the blindingly obvious fact ‘the show isn’t the same as it was 15 years ago.’ Because, you know, that would be blatant, right?

  239. Oh please just leave it, it has gone on for long enough now, just go and watch ‘Legion’ or something.

  240. Someone really should edit the episodes together into an hourlong AND add laughter, just to see what it feels like.

  241. >Because presumably your a relatively intelligent man who spends oooh what 4-5 hours in a forum whining and throwing out little waspy comments about a show you havn?t liked for the best part of twelve years. Now call me strange but I don?t see why you bother? the show has changed and you don?t like it why not spend your time learning a new language or doing something worth while?

    This argument is getting REALLY old. I’m on a Red Dwarf fansite, I’ve been visiting for a very long time because I’m still passionate about the show and enjoy watching and re-watching Red Dwarf I-VI. I didn’t NEED Red Dwarf to come back in 2009, I was perfectly happy to continue being a fan and enjoying the old episodes.

    But Red Dwarf DID come back. So I’m inclined to watch it. And I have an opinion.

    My apologies.

  242. > This argument is getting REALLY old. I?m on a Red Dwarf fansite, I?ve been visiting for a very long time because I?m still passionate about the show and enjoy watching and re-watching Red Dwarf I-VI. I didn?t NEED Red Dwarf to come back in 2009, I was perfectly happy to continue being a fan and enjoying the old episodes.

    But Red Dwarf DID come back. So I?m inclined to watch it. And I have an opinion.

    My apologies

    Shame on you for not masturbating furiously over your keyboard at the meer thought of new Red Dwarf, rather than loving the show and therefore having opinions about new episodes of it.

  243. >Funny, I?ve never once said ?the show isn?t the same as it was 15 years ago.? I HAVE said that I?ve been a Red Dwarf fan for 15 years. I HAVE said the new shows weren?t as funny as they used to be and that this was my main problem with them. I HAVE said that I don?t feel it bares much resemblance to the Red Dwarf I know. But I can?t recall once stating the blindingly obvious fact ?the how isn?t the same as it was 15 years ago.? Because, you know, that would be blatant, right?

    Given that you’ve been a fan for 15 years, I fail to see much of a significant difference between ‘it bears little resemblance to the Red Dwarf I knew’, ‘it’s not as funny as it used to be’ and ‘it’s not the same as it was 15 years ago’. Ok, maybe you liked series 5 more than 6, 3 more than 1 or whatever else, but the fact remains you don’t like it, largely because it doesn’t resemble what it once was, right?

    Anyway, this has gone far enough. I respect you and everyone else on here. Sorry if that doesn’t always come across. I’ve no wish to start arguments or cause annoyance. I’m genuinely sad to hear you didn’t like the new episodes. I hope you give them a shot on the DVD (hopefully in a feature length format) because I have a feeling it will play off a lot better). I guess we all need to remember that RD is a show that’s had a lengthy and varied history and different eras suit different preferences.

    I’ll ask one q of you now though, if I may. Do you hope for more new Dwarf to follow this, or do you feel that Doug should quit now?

  244. >Oh please just leave it.

    THIS TIMES A THOUSAND.

  245. After watching the making of. I want to have a go at running through sugar glass.

  246. >After watching the making of. I want to have a go at running through sugar glass.

    Or eating it. yum yum!

  247. I’ve already tried running through sheets of gelatin, stretched betwix two pencils with bull-dog clips … to no avail.

  248. I wouldn’t mind if you actually expressed an opinion but you don’t:

    ”Oh, hang on. I?ll just combine the two of them and throw in some stuff with rakes”

    Someone writes – There are ways of making the show funnier in the future:

    ”Do tell.”

    ”So if it was just 30 minutes of Doug Naylor curling one out, you?d be satisfied? Welcome to the world of unconditional love.”

    ”They?re decided to gloss over the whole location/studio issue that the Coronation Street thing conjures up.”

    ”Blade Runner inspired their creation? Um, since when Doug? Since you decided to rip it off and wanted an excuse?

    This completely undid the plus points of Part Two.”

    These arn’t opinions they’re waspy bitchy insults.
    You thought part 2 had plus points!!! Get on the phone to GNP!

  249. > Given that you?ve been a fan for 15 years, I fail to see much of a significant difference between ?it bears little resemblance to the Red Dwarf I knew?, ?it?s not as funny as it used to be? and ?it?s not the same as it was 15 years ago?. Ok, maybe you liked series 5 more than 6, 3 more than 1 or whatever else, but the fact remains you don?t like it, largely because it doesn?t resemble what it once was, right?

    Anyway, this has gone far enough. I respect you and everyone else on here. Sorry if that doesn?t always come across. I?ve no wish to start arguments or cause annoyance. I?m genuinely sad to hear you didn?t like the new episodes. I hope you give them a shot on the DVD (hopefully in a feature length format) because I have a feeling it will play off a lot better). I guess we all need to remember that RD is a show that?s had a lengthy and varied history and different eras suit different preferences.

    I?ll ask one q of you now though, if I may. Do you hope for more new Dwarf to follow this, or do you feel that Doug should quit now?

    Jesus Christ – that’s the most civilised post you’ve ever made to me! Threw me off completely, sir! And for that, I will indeed answer your question as best I can.

    The way I see it, the only way I’m going to enjoy new Red Dwarf is if there’s more humour in it. Doug may not always write storylines that I enjoy and hell, he’s written some that I’ve frankly hated (Series VIII, I’m looking at you). But I DO believe that he is capable of writing good stories. Now…the important question, FOR ME, is whether or not he can write better comedy again. Maybe other people on here are right, that the show can’t ever again be as funny as when Rob & Doug worked together. Personally, I think that’s underestimating Doug. If he really put his mind to it and worked carefully on the scripts, rather than rushing them (as he has admitted he is prone to do), then I think another series of 6 half hour episodes could be a belter.

    But if I’m wrong, and Doug just can’t bring the funny anymore, then my hopes for the future of Red Dwarf do not include further episodes on TV. He should retire the show. A more drama-sci-fi-comedy based Red Dwarf is better suited to the novels, so I’d want to see Doug continue the adventures of the small rouge one in book form. A new book every other year would be grand if that’s the path he takes with the tone of Red Dwarf. But more Red Dwarf on TV with more drama and less comedy? It wouldn’t do anything for me. That’s just me, of course, but I know why I love Red Dwarf and I know what I’d ideally want to see in a TV show of it.

    I hope that answers the question okay and I am glad people have enjoyed the new shows. I would’ve liked to have been one of them, but…not to be.

  250. > These arn?t opinions they?re waspy bitchy insults.

    How old are you??? I think you need to ease off on the vimto and have a lie down.

    Most other people seem to be able to discuss the shows like adults whether they like them or not so try to do the same.

  251. Mitttt, you’re really not worth the effort. Take your copy+paste tactics back to IMdb please.

  252. Guys make the opinions about the shows please. Not about the people posting. It’s dull for the rest of us, come on. A fantastic weekend of New Dwarf. You loved it like a 10 year hug from an old friend, or it’s a culture shock that it’s so different or shit. Post about that, please?

    Can I say James and Jo (and Liam) Well done, spotted you all on the re-watch. Now two of you had to wear gas masks and one of you got your face and hair shown and a cool costume. Why do you think that was now? ;-p

  253. > Imagine where Series 7 could have gone if Rimmer hadn?t left.

    Or Kochanski hadn’t arrived…

  254. I am happy to discuss the show but I see no discussion or opinions from Pete. Instead I read posts about ‘Doug curling one out.’
    If anything can be considered as childish surely it’s that statement.

    Okay no more ranting from me. Hope everyone has had a good easter.

  255. > A more drama-sci-fi-comedy based Red Dwarf is better suited to the novels, so I?d want to see Doug continue the adventures of the small rouge one in book form. A new book every other year would be grand if that?s the path he takes with the tone of Red Dwarf. But more Red Dwarf on TV with more drama and less comedy? It wouldn?t do anything for me. That?s just me, of course, but I know why I love Red Dwarf and I know what I?d ideally want to see in a TV show of it.

    Interesting points and I agree that Doug might be more suited to writing a Dwarf novel again than more TV stuff. I quite liked Last Human when I read it even if some of the character stuff was off.

    For TV though, it feels like Doug believes he has to try to crowbar jokes into the show (the typewriter sequence for example). These clunkers stand out a mile and only detract from the drama imo. If Doug does continue Dwarf on TV then I hope he just focuses on the story and characters and lets the humour come naturally from them.

  256. The more-drama less-comedy aspect appeals to me purely because I’m more interested in that side of the characters development, and also because I really can’t imagine that there’s any more original comedy to be wrung out of the traditional Red Dwarf situations (i.e. stranded on the ship, or monster of the week) that hasn’t been exhausted. I mean, look at series 6 – some fine plots, but without question the most formulaic and repetitious of the lot, gag-wise. I really do think they’ve taken that side of things as far as they can go.

    I can’t help but wonder what the reception would have been if these had been a trilogy of series 6 style episodes, complete with Space Corps directives, Cat’s ‘deader thans’ etc. Possibly more positive, because understandably many fans would be simply happy to see the familiar characters in the familiar setting, after so long.

    Lovers or haters of ‘Back To Earth’ I hope, can at least tip their hats to Doug for trying something new with the show. I hated Series 8 with a passion. By ‘Krytie TV’ I was barely paying attention anymore – but again, at the time it was an attempt at a new style.

    Better dead than smeg?

  257. >Doug believes he has to try to crowbar jokes into the show (the typewriter >sequence for example). These clunkers stand out a mile and only detract from the >drama imo. If Doug does continue Dwarf on TV then I hope he just focuses on the >story and characters and lets the humour come naturally from them.

    It’s like he’ll throw in any level of joke isnt it. There are subtle character and situation type jokes in this, but there is some pretty out of intelligence moments again and some desperate attempts and weird jokes too.

  258. I?ve been saying that I think the story could have easily been trimmed into a two-parter. Having now seen all three, I?m convinced it could have (and should have) been a single 30 minute episode.

    IMO there’s no way that story would have fitted into 30 minutes. It could’ve been a tight 2 parter though. There was a lot of unfunny guff in Part 1 – Part 2 really picked up the pace and the gag quota.

  259. Just viewed part 3 and the making of.
    I don’t want to overanalyze or overthink this episode.
    Will have to let it sink in a little.

    Just these musings and first impressions.
    I found part 3 at first view good, especially the first five ? six minutes were very amusing.

    And Lister about to return to reality is written very much in the style of the novels.
    I think that this story could have been a RD novel in the making before it was this three parter.

    I do hope that Doug Naylor or Rob Grant would write some new RD novels.

  260. > Says Doug. In an interview clip he said he wouldn?t do a series nine because of a reason within the shows. It?s also clear in the emotional arch of Lister and what Kryten says about lieing and the fact that Kochanski isnt onboard the ship, that there is a lot of truth to the events described by them whilst inside the hallucination. So the mention by Noddy of Lister being in the bath from series nine when Kochanski was reported as being sucked out of an airlock ties together the idea that that real time period for them is marked as Series IX. If you take that as what Doug meant, then Series X or XI would be the next if a series followed.

    But if another series was made, it would be consecutively the ninth series, therefore series IX. Doug was just being careful about what he said, knowing there were references to a ninth series in the new shows which hadn’t aired yet.

    But when the squid revelation was made, this ceased to be a problem. BtE was set nine years after series 8. There have no doubt been adventures in the meantime in Dwarf world, but we haven’t been able to see them. Doesn’t mean any potential series IX HAS to be set during that period of time though, because “series IX and X” only existed in their heads, consisting of things that have happened in the interim.

  261. I really felt that Doug was right to do what he did with Series 7. It was original, funny

    Sadly can’t agree with you on the second one there. Or indeed the first. VII was crap.

  262. G&T Admin

    Please, everyone, let’s keep it civil. We’ve done really well up until now, and I don’t want to have to start giving out warnings. Concentrate on the episodes, not personal attacks.

  263. >Doesn?t mean any potential series IX HAS to be set during that period of time >though, because ?series IX and X? only existed in their heads, consisting of >things that have happened in the interim.

    No granted it doesnt HAVE to be. I just get a sense that Doug would like to continue with a myth gap, from his comments.

  264. VII is ok. I really like Duct Soup and Epideme but the lack of Rimmer drags the series down. I now see it as a bit of a prototype for Back to earth.

  265. Series VII was not crap! ‘Tikka to Ride’ was an inspired piece of writing for a start! Return of Ace Rimmer was worth it just for the 007 opening, ‘Blue’-hilarious, ‘Ouroboros’-ok, introduced Kochanski, but the parodox story of Lister being his own father was really clever. It also still looks fantastic. I think it was before it’s time, and hindered by Rimmer’s departure. But certainly not ‘crap’.

  266. Yeah, personally I think series VII did a better job of meshing comedy with drama elements than VIII or BTE did.

  267. I’ll give you that it looks good. But it’s crippled by the departure of Rimmer, the departure of Grant, and the departure of the audience. Gags are woefully low on the ground and vast stretches of it pass in laugh free horribleness.

    Tikka To Ride is full of annoying logic errors that wind me up. Clipper is great for the opening Ace routine – after that it’s poop. Ouroboros is awful, and I didn’t like the “Lister is his own dad” angle at all. Duct Soup is okay, but could’ve done with some more gags. Blue is rubbish apart from the kiss and the munchkins. Beyond A Joke is TERRIBLE. Epideme is middling, as is Nanarchy. It’s just all so underwhelming.

    But hey, these are just my opinions. You are more than entitled to yours. Fool! :-p

  268. Not to say I didn’t like VII or I, I did, I loved them.

  269. SERIES 1 – 3 = comedy comedy comedy sci-fi

    SERIES 4 – 6 = comedy comedy sci-fi sci-fi

    SERIES 7 – 8 = comedy sci-fi drama drama

    BtE = sci-fi sci-fi drama drama

    It’s late/early. Sorry.

  270. V>IV>III>BTE>II>I>VI>VII>VIII

  271. Thanks to the miracle of the Interwebz, I was able to see this in a country where the episode had not yet been shown (God bless YouTube and its globalization).

    I am in complete agreeance that the biggest flaw of the trilogy is that it painstakingly relied on ‘Blade Runner’ to work. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it is in my queue of movies to be mailed to me, now at least.

    ‘Back to Reality,’ of which this is now a companion, worked so well because it made the Dwarf crew doubt their own existance. The crew were despondent, learning they had been wasting their lives in a virtual reality escaping their own failed existances.

    In ‘Back to Earth,’ Doug Naylor forced us to question our own realities: why did we follow a show that turned out not to be the show we knew, for so long?

    For me, it didn’t quite work. It’s new Red Dwarf, so I’ll take it. But in writing tihs, I can’t help but feel so ambivolent towards it. Perhaps this should be Kryten’s foray into that emotion, as he so badly failed at it in Series VIII.

    There’s such an indescribable feeling of “How do I feel about this?” that even beginning to write one of my first, lengthy posts here, I can’t quite pin it down.

    Did I enjoy it? Was it Red Dwarf? Has the show evolved into something? Why does everyone keep saying meta? Are we all even sure what meta really means? Why, since someone called the furniture store bunk scene ‘inspired,’ is everything now ‘inspired?’

    Perhaps the greatest flaw of the return is that this is not a regular thirty minuter. As Rimmer so rightly pointed out, “I can’t stand three parters.” Clearly a jab at Dave’s segmentation of the special and also, possibly, the lengthy return of Red Dwarf in its final, regular series.

    Watching it on YouTube didn’t help either, but kudos to those galiant enough to take the time to upload it, allowing me to watch it before some horrible PBS Pledge Drive is inserted into it.

    There’s been a lot of talk about the slow beginning, especially the tomato sequence. ‘This is not classic Red Dwarf.’ Well, not everything can be Wilma Flinstone, nor should it be.

    After nine years of hijinks and hillarity, couldn’t it be that, in this one special, they’ve just grown tired of being outlandish? Perhaps Lister, after losing Kochanski in his drunken stupor, realized that sometimes grand gestures of Rimmer prankitude are best done sparingly. Instead, waste a day with nothing better to do by finding some tomatoes and iron his sneeze. It’s practical (he needed to iron his Sunday best) and it also annoyed Rimmer. Most productive.

    It was a lighter, less intensive bunk scene and I for one enjoyed it thoroughly. Perhaps the only irritating aspect of the bunk scene was that the screen denoting Holly’s dissapearance wasn’t animated (especially when we got flashy LEDs on the console table).

    Lister’s maturity being called into question is alarming. Can characters not develop? How can we all be attacking the quality of the writing when, after nine years, Lister begins to show emotions? Why is this something we’re attacking? It’s a way of growing the characters and allowing more freedom. If Lister can cry, Rimmer can change. Certainly, Rimmer got softer towards Series VII, as he finally grew the balls to fly off as Ace Rimmer. It expanded the scope of the show and this can emotion could finally give Kochanski a purpose beyond making Kryten jealous.

    The CGI in the episodes was only ever bad during hallway sequences with Rimmer and Katerina. It wasn’t too bad, just a little noticable when lighting became brighter. I suspect this will be the reason BTE won’t be getting a Blu-Ray: the quality of the CGI against the high-resolution of RED might be too noticable. The diving bell sequence, the cargo-hold, is especially well done.

    I just wish we could have seen more of that new Red Dwarf model. It alone is a character.

    As for all the metaphysical stuff: Lister meeting Craig, etc: I’m sure this will grow with us in time.

    This has become quite lengthy, so I’m going to wrap it all here and maybe post again later with some further thought on the matter.

    Despite our liking this episode or not, it has certainly sparked a debate amongst fans that has caused some genuine interest in the show again. We can all say we did or didn’t like it, but we’re talking about it.

    And finding G&T, after so many years of Dwarfer neglect, has been enjoyable. And reading these comments by you all has been pretty good, too. Even those who have seemed to develop an ego along the way.

  272. This comedy drama direction talk is missing the point I think.

    Series VII didn’t fail because it was comedy drama. It failed because Doug was on his own, Chris was leaving, he didn’t write a good enough Kochanski, Doug neglected the survival aspect and some continuity of Series VI, he had to write 8 episodes, it isn’t ideal to record the whole episode first and then show it to an audience and the jokes weren’t as good. There were plenty of them, they just didn’t work. They wanted us to laugh at the famous one-armed people in history bit but we didn’t! One-armed bandit was shit! End of!

    Tikka’s problems came from neglecting the time drive continuity but it was otherwise great, Stoke’s very good with an amazing, funny opening sequence, Ouroborus did a good job of packing in a load of plot no-one really wanted and introducing a character that didn’t work very well, Duct Soup is a nice episode but it suffers from being clearly filler, Blue is a very good episode with a number of very funny moments and I love Kryten’s Hitler Disc bit, Beyond a Joke is terrible but Pride and Prejudice is good and it’s a good episode up until just after ‘I would’ve say Hey… no I don’t’ but the rest of it failed because it was rubbish. Able’s fucking annoying memory recall noises that go on all fucking night were meant to be hilarious. It failed because it was shit. Epideme is a good episode and the Caroline Carmen stuff is very funny, they thought the amputation sequence would be funny, it wasn’t, shame. Nanarchy was a decent episode, the bit with the arm responding to Lister’s subconscious was funny and they wanted it to be and there’s a nice bit with the sweet that no-one else likes but me but no-one else likes it because they think it’s not funny.

    Now this is a one-off story about Red Dwarf landing in the 21st century. Red Dwarf is highly unlikely to do this again. They want us to laugh, if we don’t they failed because it was rubbish. They want us to like the story, if we don’t they failed because it was rubbish. The closest thing to a new direction that we can take from this is a) no audience, b) new special effects. It was intended to be as laugh-heavy as old Red Dwarf until they realised about the Joy Squid. Out of Time wasn’t meant to be funny after ‘Better Dead Than Smeg’.

    Please stop the doom-mongering. If you didn’t like this, you didn’t like it because it wasn’t any good. And I really don’t think it was shite.

  273. >They wanted us to laugh at the famous one-armed people in history bit but we didn?t! One-armed bandit was shit! End of!

    I laughed at the one-armed bandit bit, it is funny if you ask me.

  274. i really liked it i did laugh during all 3 episodes and found it to be a great story, even though we have sort of been there before i really do hope they make it a 1 feature lengh episode with the deleted scenes added in for the dvd release then i think it will be truly appreciated for what it is .. and i think its brilliant.

    and of corse not everyone is going to like it, each to there own ,but personally i really like the direction doug is taking red dwarf, with the comedy and drama elements. things evolve in time and some people will like some will dislike. either way im sure there pleased to see red dwarf back on the screens.

    i really hope that they do make a series but with craig signed up for corrie for another 3 years( i think thats what i read ) i find it most likely we will get another special of some kind,perhaps soemthing at christmas time ???

  275. >I laughed at the one-armed bandit bit, it is funny if you ask me.

    Sorry man. I’ve actually not seen it in a while. The only episode of VII I don’t like is Beyond a Joke.

  276. >The only episode of VII I don?t like is Beyond a Joke.

    Don’t let Llewellyn hear you saying that…

  277. I liked Beyond a Joke a lot.

    >?And I have to get back to the Priory?

    Heh. It was great the Craig was able to poke fun at himself like that. (I think Lister actually said “Happy cracky” at one point too didn’t he? Right at the end when the reasons for the Elation Squid’s defence was explained. “While we’re all happy cracky she could get away.” (Not exact words.)

    Then again, maybe he actually said “Happy crappy” and my warped mind misheard it.

  278. “Happy clappy” is the line.

  279. Ah. Sick me it is.

  280. > ?Happy clappy? is the line.

    I just love that this is your only input in the entire thread. Btw congratulations on a blummin’ great job on BtE!

  281. TOO MUCH BLADE RUNNER!

    Originally I really liked the look of the little Blade Runner reference with them running through the glass in the trailer but I didn’t want THE WHOLE STORY to be one big rip-off of that film! Doug said this was like the best, most interesting story ever in RD history. Firstly, it wasn’t. Secondly, if it HAD been the best story it would only be because they nicked the damn thing from an absolutely legendary sci-fi film. Bobby Llew said Doug and the story was clever. It wasn’t. Much of the narrative was nicked and the conclusion was pretty much something we’d all guessed anyway (squid ink shenanigans). If there had been an actual, decent reason for all the Blade Runner stuff I might forgive it but THERE WASN’T. It was just “The Creator” deciding to base their final story on Blade Runner for no important or relevant reason. Grrrrr.

    So yes I thought this was the weakest episode of the three. There were some good moments but I didn’t laugh anywhere near as much as the first two. It was great to see Chloe back but that whole section with her was a bit pointless. As was said earlier it went from Lister’s staying with Chloe to Lister’s driving in a car with Chloe looking all happy to Lister’s not staying with Chloe all of a sudden to Lister’s back on Red Dwarf in the space of maybe 4 minutes. It was pretty ridiculous and far too rushed to really make me feel anything. Still the fact that they surprised us with Chloe is blooming impressive considering how often things like that usually get spoilt in today’s day and age. Just wish she hadn’t been wasted really.

    Overall I feel the whole of BTE is something that really should have been done at a point when Red Dwarf was riding high on a wave of success/popularity. If something like this had been done straight after Series VIII we could have gone “Oh that was interesting, it didn’t entirely work but it was quite funny and a cool little experiment. Now lets move on to Series IX and get back to normal.” The fact that it was done NOW is problematic because we can’t say that. Future Red Dwarf absolutely depended on these episodes appealing to a lot of people. It’s much harder to be forgiving to the story in this situation as it was just too experimental, un-Dwarf like, strange and confusing for it to introduce new viewers to the show and have universal appeal. Unfortunately, introducing new viewers and having universal appeal is exactly what these episodes needed to do! They should have been episodes in the classic Dwarf style and set-up to show that the idea still had legs and could be successful today. If those episodes had worked THEN in a few years time maybe Doug could have done this. Now was not the right time. It’s a shame really.

    Anyway. Despite all this I still enjoyed the weekend and was totally glad to see Dwarf on TV again. Though there were problemsa and it didn’t completely work for me it was still funny. If we could have a series of episodes that were all similar to BTE Part One I’d be very happy. Fingers crossed for more in the future!

    Part One – 8/10

    Part Two – 8/10

    Part Three – 6/10

    Overall – 7/10

  282. Not as exciting as last night, but still good, IMO. One of my favorite lines:

    “What about a show about cats?”
    “That’d never work.”

    Pffft! Ha! Set it to music, and he might have a hit.

    FWIW, the Rimmer midgets were freakin’ creepy. I wouldn’t miss them if they never showed up again.

  283. Any reason why we’ve decided Series X will return in 43 weeks, or is that our odd prediction for Dave’s choice of schedule haha!

    [Presuming this hasn’t been mentioned yet of course]

  284. I personally really liked it.

    To be controversial here, I liked the Kryten rake scene better than the one in The Simpsons. I found the Simpsons version to go too long.

    Loved the Rimmer munchkins.

    I’m still kinda digesting the episodes and I’m sure that I’ll only really have a digested opinion in many viewings time.

    …however, I did enjoy it a lot.

  285. any news on viewing figures for part 3 yet ??

  286. Just had a go at removing the titles from episodes 2 and 3, credits from 1 and 2 and tried to splice the re-capped scenes.

    It’s amazing how much better this works in a feature length chunk. It clocks in at 1 hour, 8 minutes.

  287. I’m enjoying all the for and against debates.

  288. Andrew, how are you feeling about the show in terms of the way it was broadcast and the response it’s got from fans and viewing figures?

  289. Double post. Sorry.

  290. Triple post. Sorry.

  291. > Andrew, how are you feeling about the show in terms of the way it was broadcast and the response it?s got from fans and viewing figures?

    And will you be able to tell us what you thoght of the shows themselves…or would that be poltically difficult?

  292. I’m left with a question after reading all the comments.

    I don’t understand the beef some people have against RD series 7 and 8.
    I agree that they are different from the other series but 7 and 8 are not bad series.
    It’s normal that you’d have favourites, but to say that 7 and 8 are crap is exaggerating a lot.
    I for one have enjoyed them as much as i have the previous ones.

    Yes, they are in a different style from the others because Rob Grant leaves, other writers, more CGI instead of models, …
    I think that this is because they tried to adapt the show to what they think was necessary so they could keep telling us new RD stories.

    The Red Dwarf has evolved to something new and that is not a bad thing.
    Everything evolves sooner or later, whether we like it or not.
    Even if the series has evolved to what it now is, it’s still Red Dwarf.

    In my opinion a tv show that remains the same series after series will eventually run out of inspiration and wither away.
    It’s either going out when youre on top or evolve and adapt to new times.

  293. > In my opinion a tv show that remains the same series after series will eventually run out of inspiration and wither away.
    It?s either going out when youre on top or evolve and adapt to new times.

    That`s fair enough. It just depends on whether you think the last 2 series and the specials are a good evolution really doesn`t it? Lots of people do and lots don`t simple as that.

  294. > The fact that it was done NOW is problematic because we can?t say that. Future Red Dwarf absolutely depended on these episodes appealing to a lot of people. It?s much harder to be forgiving to the story in this situation as it was just too experimental, un-Dwarf like, strange and confusing for it to introduce new viewers to the show and have universal appeal.

    Erm…why don’t you let those type of viewers decide for themselves? We don’t know what the overall reaction to these news shows is going to be yet. We won’t really know whether the project has missed or reached it’s goals until the DVD is released.

    > Unfortunately, introducing new viewers and having universal appeal is exactly what these episodes needed to do!

    They’ve brought a lot of media attention back on to RD. That’s undeniable. The success of the repeats, DVD sales and TWO million viewers for Part 1 prove unquestionably that there is still a major level of interest in RD.

    > They should have been episodes in the classic Dwarf style and set-up to show that the idea still had legs and could be successful today. If those episodes had worked THEN in a few years time maybe Doug could have done this. Now was not the right time. It?s a shame really.

    I can’t help thinking that you’d have been making exactly the same arguments in a few years time.

    What we’ve ended up with is a story that broke new ground within the show and genuinely surprised the hardcore following. That’s something pretty smegging good. That’s encouraging and shows something more vital to ‘new’ Dwarf than a simply retread of ‘classic dwarf’ would ever be.

    Don’t get me wrong I’d take Series 2-6 over BTE everytime. However those episodes were off their time and trying to copy them would almost certainly have given us nothing but a tired imitation of the show’s glorious past. A show with no new ideas. If the show is to continue it HAS to evolve and have something to say.

  295. >the central mechanic from Back to Reality

    Timothy Spall?

    I liked it. Based on what I’ve read above I’m not defending or explaining that.

  296. >It was great to see Chloe back but that whole section with her was a bit pointless.

    Not when you consider that the arc (especially 2 and 3, but I’d include 1 as well due to the grave scene) was concerned with Lister’s emotional journey. He’s a bit of a mess (even by his standards.) after Kochanski had died. Now he finds out that this isn’t so, and he has a choice to make. Does he accept all he ever wanted, albeit an illusion?*

    However, he doesn’t take the easy way out. He decides to return to the ‘real world’ and the very fact that he now has something to live for, a focus ‘find Kochanski’, that was the point of the sections with Chloe.

    *Ok, there’s some argument that she isn’t an illusion as Kryten explains that worlds created by our decisions and even our dreams exist out there in the multiverse. However, from Lister’s point of view with his new godlike powers in this world it amounts to the same thing. Should your partner just be everything you want, when you want?

  297. Wow, pitty this poor bastard on Outpost:

    Well, nice that Chloe came back, shame there was no cameo for Norman.

    However if it does get recommissioned for a ninth series, I do hope Doug stays Exec Producing and gets some new writing talent in…

    And just where did Kochanski run off to? To catch up with the crew of RD left off-ship at the end of S8?

    For me, the show’s final end is still the end of S8!

    Poor poor bastard…

  298. Long time lurker posting here for the first time after viewing the specials.

    First impressions: I liked it. This is not Dwarf as it was, but it is Dwarf I can get into. More importantly, it is Doug Naylor Dwarf as it should be, as opposed to the disappointments of Series 7 and 8. I agree the Blade Runner homages were a little overdone, and it could have done with a line from the crew saying they were familiar with the film (else how could they be hallucinating scenes from it?) but all was forgiven when Kochanski walked in as Rachel. That was a brilliant image.

    There’s a definite feeling of the novels about BtE, which gave a unique dimension to the show. For me, the finest emotional (as opposed to comic or dramatic) moment in all of Red Dwarf is the final scene in the IWCD novel, when Lister turns his back on reality, for the sake of what he knows is a fantasy with a not-real Kochanski. By effectively inverting the scene in BtE, with Lister abandoning fantasy-Kochanski for the real world, Doug created what for me is an emotional moment the equal of anything the TV series has ever done, and a fitting ending to the show, if that’s what it is to be.

    In short, I’m happy.

  299. > For me, the show?s final end is still the end of S8!

    I nominate this quote for the recommendations bit on the side.

  300. I thought they just about pulled it off. But my favourite bits from Back to Earth were the more tender moments with Lister (the grave side, the bus, deciding to return to reality). Rimmer seemed to be relegated to a supporting role, which was a mistake in my view, as time and time again the Rimmer character stuff is noted as Dwarf at its best, and there wasn’t anything like that to speak of (I’m not counting the car mag/dancing).

    On the whole I’d have preferred a more straight-forward story as I think the running time didn’t do this more ambitious affair any favours. A lot of exposition felt lazy and rushed. The Coronation Street stuff in particular wasn’t explained very well. Although I understand that it doesn’t take a genius to work out why they were there, I still think that without feeling that the characters are guiding us through the situation, rather than just the plot, it felt crowbarred-in. I think some stuff could have been trimmed down (the Nose world thing added nothing other than more Blade Runner references)and replaced with more Back to Reality style “What the hell’s happened to my teeth?!” sort of scenes, in which the characters could seem a bit more shocked at what was going on rather than taking it in their stride.

    But I did enjoy it and I hope to see more. If nothing else, it’s showcased for me what a remarkable actor Craig Charles has matured into.

  301. Craig has always been good, apart from the first few episodes (in shooting order) of series 1. I think he’s better at dramatic stuff than comedy, and it’s vice versa with Chris, so series VII and now BtE showed Craig at his best.

  302. I’m pleased that so many fans have enjoyed this from what I’ve read on the three monster threads about the Specials, but I’m quite disappointed.

    I enjoyed the first part the most, that actually felt like RD; the rest was a departure into the world of WTF in my opinion. How much squid ink do the characters have to have on their faces for you to realise this is a BTR rehash? This, in itself, I could deal with if the comedy was right, but I don’t think it was. Not enough laughs for me. The pacing was also very odd ranging from ‘get on with it’ (Rimmer’s dancing when the Happy Squid is attacking, bashing bollocks against table/rakes) to ‘whoa! Slow down tiger’ for much of the rest. The Blade Runner references were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over the top.

    I really don’t know what to think. If this represents the end of Red Dwarf then I’ll happily take it over OTG any day. It’s superior, much more satisfying, and getting Chloe in for the cameo was a poignant touch. However, if this is a new direction for a new Red Dwarf series then I’d rather not go there. I think…

    Just my honest opinion.

    Micky

  303. Dude on IICN makes a good point…

    “They must have had a hell of a PR agency to put promo DVD cases and posters that take up entire stores when the script hasn’t even been written yet.”

  304. I’m also quite frustrated that we weren’t given a satisfying ending to Red Dwarf, we were only given a satisfying ending to Back to Earth.

    I don’t want to be pessimistic, but the critical response to these episodes hasn’t been glowing has it? I think despite the strong ratings there’s a high probability these will be the last Dwarfs, and I really hope this isn’t the case because I still feel that the story hasn’t been ended successfully – if the last we see of the characters is on the Dwarf, there should be at least a slight nod to the fact that this is where they belong. Or something.

    I much prefer this to the ending of Only the Good, don’t get me wrong, but I still didn’t feel the sigh of relief that I’d hoped for.

  305. I need Red Dwarf to finish with Lister back on Earth so i can be happy. That has been the goal since the first episode and unless it happens i wont feel satisfied.

  306. >”I much prefer this to the ending of Only the Good, don?t get me wrong, but I still didn?t feel the sigh of relief that I?d hoped for.”

    I totally agree with this statement. I can take this as an ending, plot holes be damned, but it’s not the ending we all hoped for. If we do get a series out of this (and I really hope we do in many ways) then I’d love to see Doug and the cast finish it properly. Even an absurdly tear-jerking HEA. If any TV show deserves it then it’s Red Dwarf.

  307. I liked the end of ‘Back to Earth’ even as an end to the show, it was an optimistic look to the future, even if we don’t see anymore it is an optimistic look instead of everything lowing up, it was also nice just to end with a few seconds of Lister alone on screen, I thought it would have been perfect if he looked out of the window for a few seconds, as if he was looking for Kochanski in the stars.

  308. > I thought it would have been perfect if he looked out of the window for a few seconds, as if he was looking for Kochanski in the stars.

    Yeah, he should have said a line to himself like ‘I will’ or something.

  309. G&T Admin

    There were loads of interesting ideas in BTE, but not much that actually made me laugh, which makes me sad. I respect Doug for going his own way, but have to come to the conclusion that Dwarf from series 7 onwards isn’t the Dwarf that connects with me.

  310. >?They must have had a hell of a PR agency to put promo DVD cases and posters that >take up entire stores when the script hasn?t even been written yet.?

    It is a good point. I think the fact that the corrie guy knows there is only 1 left perhaps means two parts have aired and a third special is to follow. A bit more like the Dr who specials with tennant. And maybe it’s being promoted in a big way because everyone know it’s the last red dwarf ever in this meta universe, the creator says that the plans cant be undone.

  311. Tanya Jones: “There were loads of interesting ideas in BTE, but not much that actually made me laugh, which makes me sad. I respect Doug for going his own way, but have to come to the conclusion that Dwarf from series 7 onwards isn?t the Dwarf that connects with me.”

    Interesting. Because I was thoroughly disappointed by both VII and VIII, too. Not a patch on previous series. But I thought BTE was brilliant, if different, and would be happy if that’s the direction in which it continues. Simply because if we’re getting Doug Naylor RD as opposed to Grant Naylor RD, I’d rather Doug wrote in the style at which he’s most talented.

  312. > Because I was thoroughly disappointed by both VII and VIII, too. Not a patch on previous series. But I thought BTE was brilliant, if different, and would be happy if that?s the direction in which it continues. Simply because if we?re getting Doug Naylor RD as opposed to Grant Naylor RD, I?d rather Doug wrote in the style at which he?s most talented.

    This.
    And also because I’ve always seen VIII as an attempt to recapture the feel of ‘old’ RD, and, despite its funny moments, it didn’t really work. I would much rather have a new format which worked than a repeat of VIII.

  313. The whole thing is about to be repeated in 5 minutes, I will be watching. I assume it will be Cat openings today.

  314. you win.

    Cat: “it’s time for back to earth part one”

  315. Dave. Showing Red Dwarf Repeats. Back to normal then :-)

  316. I was wondering if it would be the longer versions but I think not as it would probably appear as one episode from 9 to 10.35.

  317. Seeing them all in one sitting, despite advert breaks, made the whole thing even better. The pacing was also a lot better than I felt when watching each episode individually and I enjoyed every moment of it more than I had before.

    Really has made me want more.

  318. I too liked it more watching them all together. Though I suppose it does help that I’ve now watched each episode 4 times! It so should have been one feature length broadcast, but that obviously wasn’t practical for Dave.

    I LOVE the part when Lister grabs the Creator and the lines he says about feeling he now has something to live for. All of that could have been terribly melodramatic but Craig sells it so well. The way he delivers the words that the kids said to him to Kochanski by the roadside is brilliant. This is easily the best acting he’s done in anything and he should be damn proud.

  319. Craig was brilliant in it. When that tear strolled down his cheek in the memorial garden I was like “Oh shit!”. Really didn’t know he had it in him, he’s come a long way.

    Also, the dud “No, no, no” joke in the comic book store was made brilliant by his reactions. Especially the smug look he has that quickly vanishes when the guy goes “Who?… No.”

  320. G&T Admin

    I completely agree with this – that was the best I’ve ever seen Craig Charles acting.

  321. Watched Blade Runner this afternoon, then all three episodes this evening. As a result of the former, I’ll give part 3 an extra mark – 5/10. Still not brilliant in my book, but at least I understand a bit more.

  322. > I LOVE the part when Lister grabs the Creator and the lines he says about feeling he now has something to live for. All of that could have been terribly melodramatic but Craig sells it so well. The way he delivers the words that the kids said to him to Kochanski by the roadside is brilliant.

    Yep. Lister spilling his feelings about how he’s “been dead for ages, man, sitting around getting old and fat” was rather poignant really… we think of him as a sitcom character but, when you apply his situation to a real-life person, it becomes incredibly sad and tragic… Lister letting off a bit of steam about it makes you see another layer, the tears of the clown – not something we haven’t seen before, mind, but not overtly since the early episodes. I found it quite a dramatic moment, brilliantly executed by Craig, that hasn’t really been mentioned much. Also when you see the true extent of his love for Kochanski, that he would be willing to die just to be with her even when it isn’t real… and as you said, the reiteration of the boy on the bus… “I’m pretty cool, I don’t take any smeg, and even though I’m disgusting, sometimes I can be quite brave”

    I have to say that in my opinion, whatever you have to say about the quality of the humour, the last 5 minutes of that episode was bloody fantastic from a story/character standpoint, fucking brilliant.

  323. Plus, when Lister made Rimmer do that silly little dance, I was weak. (Even though it was kind of evocative of the Mitchell and Webb sketch with the truth whistle or whatever the fuck it was.)

  324. Yep. Watched Part 3 again and I totally get it now. The end is great. Still think the Blade Runner stuff was overdone but most of it is quite funny and it’s worth it for the ending. Have to revise my score of Part 3 to another 8/10 I think. That’s 8’s for every episode and all for completely different reasons. Wow.

  325. > when Lister made Rimmer do that silly little dance, I was weak.

    Although I enjoyed Lister typing their lines, which was very funny, the slapstick in that scene left me cold. It’s the only scene that did.

  326. Watched it. Actually enjoyed watching it. Will probably much more enjoy watching the DVD, which hopefully will compile the whole thing into one decently sized episode. It’s an episode of Dwarf, there were good and bad points, ranks as better than most of series 7 or 8 (IMHO).

    Not sure if it was a death knell for the series or not. Was this a big push for Dave to produce a new series or a fond farewell for the fans? Were the ratings good enough for more sponsorship to be gained? I dunno. Hope for more, but I feel that this was the long goodbye, even if it does leave it open-ended. Not a bad farewell though, the Red Dwarf flies on.

  327. Just watched it again. Cannot overstate how much I loved the Lister/Kochanski stuff… which is surprising because, with most people moaning about how the new specials weren’t funny enough, the best bits for me were the stuff with more heart and no comedy, and that doesn’t bother me at all.

    Day by day, as I digest this more, I’m really ecstatic with how these specials turned out on the whole. Joined together as one single episode, this would rank quite highly on my personal “Top 53 Episodes” list… not Top 10, but still quite highly.

    Most of the complaints I’ve heard about it (outside of this forum, but from some people here too) are how it wasn’t the same as it used to be during the “classic” days of audience sci-fi sitcom with thick layers of gags and one-liners.

    It’s never going to be the classic studio sitcom everyone remembers from series 1-6 ever again, and it hasn’t been since 1993. I don’t know why anyone would go into this new episode expecting a style which Dwarf hasn’t employed in SIXTEEN YEARS! Ever since Rob Grant left the writing partnership, Doug Naylor has understandably played to his own personal strengths as a writer and morphed Dwarf into more of a sci-fi comedy-drama (well, let’s consider VIII a blip). Anybody who went into it expecting anything different, with no basis for doing so, almost deserves their disappointment. If anything I found it to be better than I expected, but then I can embrace the show for its cleverness, characters and heart and not NEED 80s style sitcom banter and gags to enjoy it.

    If they had produced another episode of early 90s style Dwarf, yes I (and many others) may have actually laughed more at this three-parter, but Dwarf would have been dead in the water for any future revival. That kind of show does not work in 2009, people would have dismissed Dwarf as a show that is stuck in the past or attempting to relive old glories (less successfully than the first time round).

    I see these new episodes as almost a different show, stylistically and comedically (in much the same way as series VII was very different to VI). It’s as simple as working out whether this new style Red Dwarf (with lovely CGI, epic scope, much pathos and character development, clever stories, and a more realistic dialogue which means that maybe it’s a little less in-your-face on the humour front) is something you want to get on board with and follow, and if not, just don’t watch it. Nobody will hold it against you – it’s a different show now, and it won’t be for everyone, and unfortunately that does include some of the old fans too.

    But for me, I still want to watch. I’m more than satisfied, and I want MORE!

  328. Oh, and before anyone says anything…

    > That kind of show does not work in 2009, people would have dismissed Dwarf as a show that is stuck in the past or attempting to relive old glories (less successfully than the first time round).

    I meant stylistically, before any smart arse points out that Back to Earth was basically a love letter to the fans, centred around a sequel to an old story.

  329. I completely agree with everything you just said Carl. I love the new direction the show has taken. BtE isn’t everyones cup of tea, but the show is evolving in order to stay relevant and i welcome that.

  330. After watching them in a row like that it does help a lot, and they are quite good. The Lister at the typewriter scene only got shit when the slapstick started with the fucking rakes, but christ when that started it was terrible. Overall I enjoyed BtE; not great but pretty damn good, and I agree that some of the best moments were the dramatic parts. The Blade Runner thing did make sense in the end, it did annoy me a little just how much of it there was though. But oh well.

    I’ll reserve final judgement until we see the DVD and the definitive version.

  331. The Lister at the typewriter scene only got shit when the slapstick started with the fucking rakes

    The rakes did seem unecessary. And why did it have to be rakes? Doug must have realised everyone would see it and say “the Simpsons”.

    However Rimmer smashing his groin into a table was absolutely brilliant. The funniest thing in any of the three shows.

  332. > However Rimmer smashing his groin into a table was absolutely brilliant. The funniest thing in any of the three shows.

    Even that I didn’t really like. That whole section was easily as shite as some of the worst bits from the last two series.

  333. G&T Admin

    Audience sitcom is not irrelevant in 2009.

    That is all.

  334. > Audience sitcom is not irrelevant in 2009. That is all.

    This.

  335. Having now watched the complete version, I must say that Back to Earth has really gone up in my estimation (not that I ever disliked it). Some of the Blade Runner stuff was overdone, but I do now think there are some truly beautiful pieces of Drama contained within, and I care not one jot.

  336. >Better than Pete? Worse than Pete? Doesn?t matter, because the rake scene was without any question the most embarrassing sequence to witness in ALL. OF. RED. DWARF.
    >

    Just goes to show the variations in what makes people laugh…..as I pissed myself laughing at that. Slapstick has its place in all comedy…in small doses. And that was just a small dose.

    Was it ‘Richey’ saying the lack of a laughter track was a non-issue? Bollocks mate, I find I definitely laugh less when I watch the DVD Xtended episodes that don’t have the laughter track. I’m talking episodes that I normally fall about at. It affects different people different ways…..please, just accept it. You are not the blueprint of the definitive Red Dwarf fan (and neither am I), despite several of your posts over the last couple of days making it seem you *think* you are. You just cannot ignore the hundreds of comments on this forum or others of people saying the lack of the track hurt it. I laugh out loud less at the Royle Family than I do many other comedies I find less amusing. It is not the laughter of other people making me laugh, it is the humour itself, but it is easier to laugh when other people are. It’s like your license to laugh. Not all people need one, but some have been conditioned to almost require it. 20 years of Red Dwarf conditioned me to expect and almost require it, unfortunately.

    Despite the omission, though, I still found it highly amusing…..and I think I’m correct in saying that the majority of fans, on the whole, enjoyed B2E. Clearly Mr Naylor got it more right than wrong.

    Please, Mr Naylor, just make a full series happen!

  337. >I liked the bit with Kryten and the rakes, though it was funnier when it was a very famous joke on the Simpsons.

    The rake in the face skit is as old as the hills – we’re talking silent movies here. For me it never gets tiresome…..whoever does it. It’s just funny.

    In fact, a similar scene in the bastardisation of HHGTTG (the ‘Movie’) was the only thing that made me laugh during that entire film. Fortunately for RD-B2E’s version of the joke….I laughed at a whole lot more than the rather base slapstick….Lister’s typos and everything else just worked a treat. It was very cleverly played out. As was the whole show, for me. I loved it.

    C’mon…whoever never liked the show…..FFS write me something funnier. I lay down the challenge. You’ll understand if I don’t hold my breath, I’m sure. ;)

  338. G&T Admin

    C?mon?whoever never liked the show?..FFS write me something funnier.

    Cmon, not this old argument again. It makes no sense. Just because I’m not a comedy writer, it doesn’t mean I can’t critique comedy.

    For instance, I never say people can’t judge my websites if they can’t create one themselves. (Which is probably just as well, considering the hoops people have to jump through to get to the second page of this thread, but never mind…)

  339. >You?ll understand if I don?t hold my breath

    What if I ask you really nicely?

  340. >Cmon, not this old argument again. It makes no sense. Just because I?m not a comedy writer, it doesn?t mean I can?t critique comedy.

    Fair comment….to a point. Personally, if I can’t do better myself, I keep my comments to a bare minimum “not my cup of tea”. Which of course there have been several, and I respect them. But those who dissect, cuss and moan forever about it wind me up….and, for those people, “can you do better?” is never far from my and many other people’s lips. And for fair reason.

    Changing the subject slightly, someone has uploaded the full show with a laughter track added on a popular free torrent tracker – it works better than I thought it might. If anyone want to see the difference, I’m sure you’ll find it. Of course, I urge anyone that does download it to buy the official DVD, too. S’only fair after all.

  341. >Audience sitcom is not irrelevant in 2009

    Audience sitcom certainly isn’t irrelevant but it seems it isn’t something Doug can write. Doug wrote BtE to his strengths and i admire that. For him the film style was the only direction BtE could take and i personally think it’s the best decision he’s made. Attempting the classic Dwarf style again probably wouldn’t work without Rob on board therefore making the shows standard poorer and turning it into something irrelevant and unfunny.

  342. >those who dissect, cuss and moan forever about it wind me up?.and, for those people, ?can you do better?? is never far from my and many other people?s lips. And for fair reason.

    And yet the world still has a place for television / film / music / video game / art / literature / food / fashion critics. Go figure.

  343. G&T Admin

    Personally, if I can?t do better myself, I keep my comments to a bare minimum ?not my cup of tea?. Which of course there have been several, and I respect them. But those who dissect, cuss and moan forever about it wind me up?.and, for those people, ?can you do better?? is never far from my and many other people?s lips. And for fair reason.

    It’s really about how people present their arguments, rather than “Can you do better?”, I think!

    Audience sitcom certainly isn?t irrelevant but it seems it isn?t something Doug can write.

    I do have a certain amount of sympathy this view, even though it’s not something I’m especially interested in Dwarf doing. I was really just responding to Carl’s comments that “That kind of show does not work in 2009”. Done right, it would.

    Doug wrote BtE to his strengths and i admire that. For him the film style was the only direction BtE could take and i personally think it?s the best decision he?s made. Attempting the classic Dwarf style again probably wouldn?t work without Rob on board therefore making the shows standard poorer and turning it into something irrelevant and unfunny.

    My only thing with this is that the show *was* originally meant to have an audience until fairly late in the day:

    “Quite late into the Back to Earth pre-production schedule it was decided not to shoot the new specials with a studio audience.”

    And I think the current script – with minimal alterations – *could* have worked well in front of an audience. And this is very different from just adding a laugh track to it – the energy and timing that comes from shooting as much as possible in front of an audience is the crucial bit.

    I understand the reasons why this didn’t happen – partly due to tone, yes, but also due to scheduling and budget – but that doesn’t stop me being disappointed it didn’t happen. Because I think it would have worked better… for me, anyway.

  344. The script writing bit seemed very much classic dwarf humour. Not so much the slapstick, but lines like:

    Cat: Hey, where’s my line?
    Lister: I just gave you one there, I knew you’d be smegged off.

    Or words to that effect. The point is it seemed very Dwarf. Reminded me of the Cassandra scene where they realise everything they’re saying is pre-determined. Although it isn’t, but that’s another story.
    Despite any criticisms of VIII, that scene has Dwarf written all over it.

  345. >The script writing bit seemed very much classic dwarf humour

    Absolutely. And despite my personal misgivings about BtE overall, and the fact that a similar situation was enacted in Futurama–right down the to typos–I adored this scene. It was a good, clever mechanism for both plot and comic reasons. (I’m deliberately pretending the rakes didn’t exist, because otherwise, it really was wonderful.)

  346. > Audience sitcom is not irrelevant in 2009.

    I wish this was true, because I love audience sitcom, but where’s the evidence?

  347. The IT Crowd?

  348. G&T Admin

    Do I really need to list all the audience sitcoms that have been on air in the past two years?

    I mean, like it or not, My Family is still one of the BBC ONE’s most successful shows. And Two Pints has been one of BBC THREE’s. I’ll admit that there’s room for some quality audience sitcom (although there *has* been some – yes, The IT Crowd for one, and I’ll still stick up for Lab Rats even if nobody else will) – but that’s exactly what Dwarf could have provided.

    The point is, there’s still an audience for audience sitcom.

  349. The IT crowd is the best one at the moment in my opinion. I find it hard to watch My Family and i don’t get why people watch it but there’s no doubting its success. There’s certainly been a drop in the quality of them in recent years though. Perhaps Red Dwarf could fill the void but it would need some good sitcom writing talent behind it which it currently doesn’t. Doug writes comedy drama, and its damn good but not to every Red Dwarf fans taste.

    I would expect a new series to have a live audience since Doug wanted to protect the story with BtE but i wouldn’t be bothered if it didn’t. It took me about 2 minutes to get used to its absence and i don’t feel the actors performances were affected either.

  350. > Do I really need to list all the audience sitcoms that have been on air in the past two years?

    Nope. Just the good ones.

    I’ll give you The IT Crowd, and I haven’t seen Lab Rats so I’ll take your word for it.

    I’m not saying that live audience sitcom COULDN’T work in 2009, rather that for the most part it doesn’t. It’s seen as ‘old hat’ to an industry that already looked down its collective nose at it when it was in its prime, and most comedy shows coming through opt for the more filmic feel of single camera shows. Plus, as it appears to be labelled as the more expensive/time-consuming option nowadays, it seems it will only diminish more as an art form in its own right.

    I know it’s a matter of personal opinion, but The IT Crowd is one of the few studio audience sitcoms I’ve actually enjoyed since… I can’t even remember… Black Books had a laugh track, no idea if it was filmed before an audience but for the purpose of my argument, it kinda means the same thing (so we’re talking live audience or laugh track) so I’d say Black Books, or maybe Coupling.

    I’m a huge fan of this genre of television, but there’s no denying that it’s dying out, and as far as I’m concerned the only shows still running that employ this style are absolute pants, bar IT Crowd.

  351. Except I’m not sure if the serious scenes would work with an audience. For long stretches BTE was joke-free – take Lister and Kochanski at the end. I’m unsure a lengthy, jokeless scene in which Lister cries would have been performed before a studio audience (or written knowing a live audience would be there).

    I’m happy to move on from sitcom dwarf, provided the new destination is nice.

  352. > Was it ?Richey? saying the lack of a laughter track was a non-issue? Bollocks mate

    Yes, that was me – but my point was this: I’d have prefered an audience, for all the reasons that having a live audience benefits performance and the show as a whole. BUT I don’t feel the need for a laughter track/live audience IF the jokes are good enough to just make me laugh. BTE falls down on this point, for me. If the jokes had been great, I’d not have missed the audience one bit.

  353. Does hearing other people laugh make you feel better about not laughing yourself?

    I mean, I can see the argument for a studio audience (heightens the performers’ comic senses) and a laugh track (laughter is a shared communal experience and other people laughing can intensify your own enjoyment too) but if you’re saying you would have rather had a laugh track, yet you didn’t find it very funny, that’s a bit moot isn’t it? Wouldn’t you just get annoyed at a bunch of people finding things funny when you don’t? Because surely other people laughing won’t suddenly make YOU laugh at jokes you don’t find amusing?

    I’m not jumping on your back, dude, only sayin’!

  354. > My only thing with this is that the show *was* originally meant to have an audience until fairly late in the day:

    ?Quite late into the Back to Earth pre-production schedule it was decided not to shoot the new specials with a studio audience.?

    That statement doesn’t neccesarily mean they originally meant for the shows to have a studio audience. They could have just been undecided about whether to or not and left it until quite late to make the decision.

  355. In the Making Of, they mentioned how the window in the bunkroom set was a last minute addition to make it four-walled as there was previously to be an audience there.

  356. I couldn’t care less about the audience anymore to be honest. It’s nice enough but the funny bits in BtE worked fine and as mentioned it allows for more dramatic scenes to happen, which were the best bits of BtE.

  357. I do like The IT Crowd, but to my eyes sitcoms with audience laughter are looking increasingly dated.

    The IT crowd is an exception but look at My Family, Last of the Summer Wine, The Green Green Grass, Two Pints of Lager (to a degree)….these are all “old school” broad comedies. Mainstream, please everyone stuff. I’m not saying that Dwarf isn’t able to “please everyone”, it’s just that when it overtly tries to do so it ends up with the broad comedy of Series 8.

    On the other hand you’ve got the more innovative and (IMHO) interesting ‘new generation’ output – from the Office to Peep Show via Phoenix Nights and Spaced.

    I for one don’t mind that new Dwarf is keeping up with these.

  358. I do like The IT Crowd, but to my eyes sitcoms with audience laughter are looking increasingly dated.

    The IT crowd is an exception but look at My Family, Last of the Summer Wine, The Green Green Grass, Two Pints of Lager (to a degree)?.these are all ?old school? broad comedies.

    Are those shows dated, or is the big problem that they’re shit? The IT Crowd is a broad, old-school comedy just like your other examples. The difference is that the others are all ropey, yet successful.

    The IT Crowd, at its best, proves that there is still room for sitcoms with audience. That show wouldn’t work nearly as well without it.

    Red Dwarf doesn’t need to “keep up” with anything except its former high standards. It will never be Spaced or Phoenix Nights.

  359. Phil: Hope this isn’t too late. Use aTube catcher, it does the job really well. ;)

  360. G&T Admin

    There’s nothing ‘modern’ or ‘cool’ about shows without audience laughter, it’s just a style, like any other, and it depends whether it suits the show. I don’t think it suits Red Dwarf, especially as more than one of its performers come from a background where bouncing off an audience is essential. There were funny lines in BTE, but I felt the whole atmosphere was very flat, and that’s something I don’t respond to. Spaced always felt warm, even though there wasn’t an audience.

  361. >it?s just a style, like any other

    Absolutely. And it’s all about choosing the right style for the kind of thing you’re doing. It’s not as easy as laughter good/laughter bad. The laugh track can be just as jarring and disorienting as the lack of one, and vice versa.

    It can either enhance or undermine the experience; it’s just down to the type of humor, and the desired effect.

  362. OK, then – it’s a “style”. But it’s a style that seems to be present in most of the comedies that refreshed the stale sitcom genre in the early 2000’s.

    Before then, there seemed to wave upon wave of poorly received studio-based brightly lit studio audience shitcoms and Biritsh comedy seemed dead on its arse.

    Then the new wave comedies…documentary-style…or subtle comedy…surreal comedy…mostly all without laugh tracks. That’s the style I associate with what has made me laugh in the last 10 years. And it also seems to be the style that suits the more subtle / realistic (I use the term “realistic” with a massive pinch of salt) Red Dwarf of new.

  363. Part of me wishes there wasn’t an audience in series VII or VIII just so I didn’t have to listen to people laughing hysterically at the poorest of jokes. Makes them even more painful to hear.

  364. G&T Admin

    >OK, then – it?s a ?style?. But it?s a style that seems to be present in most of the comedies that refreshed the stale sitcom genre in the early 2000?s.

    >Before then, there seemed to wave upon wave of poorly received studio-based brightly lit studio audience shitcoms and Biritsh comedy seemed dead on its arse.

    No, I’m sorry, this is total rubbish without some solid examples to back it up. The Office was a success and so was hyped endlessly as ‘a new direction’ for comedy, despite the fact that a documentary spoof clearly wouldn’t work with an audience, regardless of whether it was any good or not. Certainly audience sitcom was neglected in its wake, but that’s because of misinformed opinions like yours, and those in power in TV being eager to chase a perceived fashion; which is why film effect was so widely used at one point, due to the idea that ‘filmic’ equaled ‘more sophisticated’, despite it looking bloody awful.

  365. Apologies if I appeared misinformed. No need for nasties, though.

    That’s just what I had perceived to have happened…and it’s a view I’ve heard echoed elsewhere.

    It’s not just down to the office though, is it? Look at the shape of American TV comedy at the moment. All the good stuff – Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Everybody Hates Chris (well, I liked it…) isn’t traditional multi-camera audience stuff.

  366. > The Office was a success and so was hyped endlessly as ?a new direction? for comedy, despite the fact that a documentary spoof clearly wouldn?t work with an audience

    Operation Good Guys didn’t suffer for having an audience (and I liked it).

  367. Actually OGG – which I did love – struggled to find an audience three times over, trying both with and without an audience since, at first, people didn’t realise it was meant to be a comedy…and later the laugh track (not a live audience) just seemed massively inappropriate.

  368. I like all three series, but actually prefer 2 and 3 to 1 (which was laughter track-less). No idea whether it had any bearing on my opinion – I would suggest not.

  369. Sorry Tanya, but your example of using the Office as the start of no studio audience doesn’t work. I think you are following the hype there- look at Spaced. It’s filmic and doesn’t have a laughter track, and doesn’t need it. I find something else in there everytime I watch it, and dread to think what would happen to the pacing and subtle gags if a laughter track had been recorded.

  370. Tanya said it was ‘hyped as’, not that it was anywhere near the first.

    Spaced was a low-rater for Channel 4 when it began (as was The Office, though it took off on repeats) and had a lower impact on the culture and genre. It’s reasonable to talk about how The Office was seen as being a turning point, since it was seen that way. That what it did had been done endlessly before doesn’t change how it’s perceived.

  371. I’m not suggesting it had been done endlessly before- I’m suggesting it had been done better before, using an example that shows audience free filmic comedy. To me Tanya is saying that the Office brought these ideas to the mainstream and is seen as a turning point, but they shouldn’t be applied to sit-coms because the Office is a spoof-doco.

    Therefore, I feel that using a straw-man argument to argue for a return to audience based sit-coms is a bit unfair.

    But true, Spaced didn’t have much of an impact on the culture and genre. What did happen to Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright anyway?

  372. Just because they went onto bigger and better things doesn’t mean Spaced had a massive impact on anything. I remember it getting rather bad reviews and not many viewers when it was on, and even to this day is still a bit of a cult taste… hardly revolutionised televised comedy, did it?

    I remember an old sketch show when Channel 5 first launched called ‘We Know Where You Live’. It was mildly amusing and starred Simon Pegg, Amanda Holden and Sanjeev Bhaskar. All went onto bigger and better things. Doesn’t make ‘We Know Where You Live’ any more fondly remember, groundbreaking or, y’know, funny than it actually was at the time and in the context of its airing.

  373. The problem with audience based sitcoms is more in the perception than the execution. Many modern day single camera sitcoms may have worked just as well with a laugh track or in front of an audience. There isn’t much in, for example, Peep Show which couldn’t have been filmed in front of (a patient) audience. But single camera shows are usually more reality based, which seems to be where most TV comedy (outside of sketch skows) is headed. An audience sitcom instantly lends an air of ‘this is basically a televised stage show farce, with unnaturalistic gaggy dialogue’… done right, this kind of comedy is fan-bloody-tastic.

    Yet it is limiting, and most shows nowadays go for the extended scope and lack of boundaries afforded by not having to many base a show around a couple of main sets and throw in a verbal or visual gag every 30 seconds. If a show can thrive under the limitations of being an audience sitcom, as Red Dwarf once did, then great, I’m all for it, but prepare to be called ‘archaic’ and called up for employing a dated style of presentation in 2009.

    It’s not that quality audience sitcom is not achievable in 2009 – why should this be the case today when it wasn’t yesterday? – but the genre has taken SUCH a battering over the last 12 years that it has preconceptions attached to it (too broad, too unrealistic, just not very funny) which is why shows which could quite easily have been audience sitcoms (such as Peep Show) are no longer filmed this way.

    With Doug’s style of writing solo Dwarf, it seems clear that Red Dwarf specifically should stay away from the studio audience format. It is not that gag-every-30-seconds show that it once was (rightly or wrongly – I like either way) and the presentation is so much aesthetically superior when filmed single camera so in THIS particular circumstance I’m happy to see the audience go. A laugh track I could live with (and certainly love to have the option to choose with or without, at least, on any DVDs)

  374. Don’t forget Asylum, with Simon Pegg, Mark Heap, Jessica Stephenson and some old grumpy bloke called Holly. Not revolutionary, but was the start of a writing partnership.

    I think you are giving the viewer to much credit- we don’t have any right (or maybe we do, it just doesn’t happen) to demand that tv shows be written to match our existing tastes. Writers are always going to write what appeals to them (well good ones anyway- that’s why Doug wrote BTE, and crap ones will write anything they can get away with- Sun journalists, I’m looking at you), and directors are always going to shoot in a way they feel best represents the show. Therefore Spaced has shaped the comedy landscape- (no Asylum?) no Spaced, no Shaun of the Dead, no everything ever after.

    In the end the viewer just receives the end product, and should judge it on that alone. It’s like a bus ride- if it took me to somewhere I wanted to go then good, but if it didn’t then I know I’ve got no right to demand they change their route just for me. And if the bus route changed and didn’t go where I wanted it to go any more, I wouldn’t keep catching it just in case, and complain incessently about the changes.

  375. There’s a subtle RD analogy hidden somewhere in there, I can’t be bothered to gho much deeper.

  376. > the genre has taken SUCH a battering over the last 12 years

    Oh, and if you wonder why I specifically said “over the last 12 years”, I point to a particular time period, in 1997-1998, when the schedules were inundated with studio audience and/or laugh track sitcoms which flopped on their collective arses, and probably led many to believe this format was ready for drowning.

    From the top of my head, I shall list some of these that immediately spring to mind (and bearing in mind, I actually enjoyed SOME of these, yet they weren’t very successful): The Peter Principle, Chalk, A Perfect State, Holding The Baby, Blind Men, A Prince Among Men, Keeping Mum, Sparks, Get Well Soon, Captain Butler, Dad, Pilgrim’s Rest, Heartburn Hotel… there are more too, there were fucking LOADS of new sitcoms being launched at this time, that’s just from memory.

    Other than I’m Alan Partridge, I can’t think of any sitcoms that debuted during those two years that were actually notable for quality or longevity. (Not saying I’m 100% right, just I cannot think of any right now). So when you’re met with a torrent of new shows from the genre and NONE of them catch on, you’re left with the dilemma of “does this format actually still have merit?”

    Which, to me, means its probably no coincidence that it was during the period immediately following that the new breed of shows such as Spaced, People Like Us, Operation Good Guys, The Office et al started arriving.

  377. Indeed, Simon Pegg and Jessica Stephenson have said that their motivation at writing Spaced was as a reaction to all the other sitcoms at the time, which didn’t represent them at all.

  378. >It is not that gag-every-30-seconds show that it once was (rightly or wrongly – I like either way)

    This is bullshit. Go and watch Part 1 again. This is exactly the kind of ratio that Doug is going for here. They may not hit their marks, but there are a regular stream of gags.

  379. > To me Tanya is saying that the Office brought these ideas to the mainstream and is seen as a turning point, but they shouldn?t be applied to sit-coms because the Office is a spoof-doco.

    Than you’re not reading what she’s written. It IS seen as a turning point. Doesn’t mean it was one – though perception does kinda become truth, there, and it affected the genre unlike anything else either side of it – but the description was of the beginning of the hype, not the beginning of audience-free sitcom, which was going on long, long, long before Spaced.

    Operation Good Guys predates The Office, Dream On predates Spaced. Neither show was wholly new. I think we have a little Pegg/Wright fanboyism going on here.

    You can call The Office a spoof docco if you like, since it is one; doesn’t change the fact that a) it’s a sitcom, b) it was made as a sitcom and c) it was received as a sitcom.

  380. I agree with Carl. He said like I done what I said but did it in saying it all betterer.

  381. Ah, but what you have to remember about The Office: R***y G*****s…R***y G*****s is a cunt.

  382. 400th Comment!

  383. >400th Comment!

    Made slightly more sense than the 399th.

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