Red Dwarf X – Episode 5 – Set Report

setreport5

Half an episode of Red Dwarf has been recorded in front of a studio audience. Kris Carter reports reports reports reports.

This article discusses Red Dwarf X whilst adhering to G&T’s spoiler policy. Please ensure your comments do likewise…

Another week, and another horde of Red Dwarf fans descend upon the Shepperton Studios service entrance – their mission: to clog up the tiny roundabout by the gates in as quick a fashion as possible. Well, maybe they were for another reason…

After parking up near the bizarre western town facade in the free car park, we trekked through the now familiar muddy back path into the audience holding area. Plenty of time to grab some refreshments, share some expectations of the night, and meet up with Team G&T. Just after 6pm we started funneling into the studio, to be greeted by a candled and black curtained episode-specific set (which as it turned out, wasn’t used in this episode – at least, not in the parts we saw!). The standing sets remained as they were from previous recordings – the new Drive Room-esque set with it’s sharp looking displays and funky self-lit seats, the standard (and very cleverly reconfigurable) corridor, and the new bunk room, in all its wonderfully detailed glory. Previous set reports have detailed how impressive the new sets are, and in person they look great. On the monitors, they look fantastic.

Ray Peacock immediately began his warm-up routine for the audience, this recording being his final warm up for the show, as someone else takes the reins next week. Ray did re-use some gags and material from previous recordings, but it’s delivered with such cock-sure confidence you can’t help but laugh at the man. He did another excellent job of keeping the energy levels up in-between takes, and two unfortunate audience members who’d brought food into the studio quickly found their snack snapped up Ray, and dispersed throughout the crowd. This was a source of much frustration for me, as the chocolate digestives made it as far as the couple sitting next to me, and they had the last one. Booo! Another fun highlight was seeing Robert and Danny steal another audience members seat while he’d gone to the toilet. The look of awkward confusion upon his return was brilliant.

The audience approaching the studiosBefore the recording started proper, Doug popped up to reiterate the now-customary plea for non-spoilers, and the cast were duly introduced to rapturous applause. The nameless episode 5 recording then kicked off with a very good exchange between Lister and Kryten, which excellently played on (and played up) one of the show’s oldest conceits, and shared thematic similarities with series III’s ‘Timeslides’. The action then moved across to an equally good Lister / Rimmer exchange. At this point I was struck by how much more assured the cast seemed this week compared to last week’s recording – out-takes and line flubs were minimal, and the atmosphere on set seemed very relaxed. Especially interesting as Robert had tweeted on Monday that they’d not seen a page of script yet!

The show’s only guest star appeared as a voice-over in the next scene, a pre-recorded corridor scene that again mined its comedy from great character interplay, and didn’t rely on just one-liners.

The main plot of the episode started to take shape in the following two scenes (the first of which was pre-recorded), but there’s no B-plot as such. Some inspired Cat lunacy kicks things off, and there was a definite sense of some cast improv in the pre-record, not dissimilar to the comic shop scene in Back To Earth (but much funnier). The next scene brings in the plot progression in a manner that evokes series II’s “Better Than Life”, and this Lister-centric episode continues to provide some well realized character moments between Lister and Rimmer – including one particular revelation that elicited an audible gasp from the audience on the first take, which unfortunately wasn’t repeated on subsequent takes as the surprise was now lost.

The story continued with a funny (if somewhat predictable) Cat & Lister scene, that has the virtue of a gag that is wonderfully rude and banked some classic woofers for Danny. Doug then took to the floor to advise that the middle portion of this episode hadn’t yet been filmed, but gave the audience a very brief and very vague description of the missing scene(s). The production moved on to film the final scene, which pulled no punches in giving Craig a tonne of dialogue to learn and a great last line, while the rest of the cast simply supplied appropriate reaction shots.

It’s hard to fully appraise an incomplete episode (the same goes for last week), but this story felt very simple and straightforward, but that’s no bad thing. It’s one straight story, start to end – no secondary plots, and Cat and Kryten get very little to do in this episode – in fact, Kryten could quite easily have not been in it at all, and the plot would not suffer. It really does feel like a sort of offshoot of series II & series III writing styles, with the humour developing naturally through some good character comedy, and with less emphasis on shoe-horned one liners.

It’s not all peaches and cream though – while the writing and dialogue feel like a welcome return to earlier series form of sorts, some of the performances could be taken as being a little over the top, or pantomimey, in that series VIII sort of way. It’s not apparent all the time, but there’s flashes of it occasionally, and it’s slightly jarring. Some more contemporary pop culture references creep in too, but are generally quite funny, so it’s okay. Again, no model sequences, and no storyboards either, but seeing as this ep feels very ‘bottle show’, it’s no deal-breaker.

Following the completion of two thirds of episode 5, Craig and Danny were carted off for a costume change to perform a pick up for the beginning of episode 3. Bobby was brought in to record a reshoot of a two-word sentence from another episode (would it be too much of a spoiler to note the line? What the hell – “Enjoy, sir!”), and Craig and Danny then emerged to redo the opening scene of episode 3 (and fill the studio with the smell of freshly cooked meat – mmmm!)

Finally, by way of apology for us missing a chunk of the episode, we were granted a viewing of the rough cut of episode 1. For an-depth stab at that one, check the earlier set report. Cut together though, it’s a good episode, better than pretty much all of series VII, certainly better than anything in VIII, but maybe not quite reaching the heights of the earlier series in my humble opinion. Still, on screen it looked fantastic, and there were some great running gags and character comedy. Still no model shots yet, but storyboards made up for it. The audience laughter from us was recorded again over this, and presumably will be used to beef up the existing laughter track on the episode. It’ll be interesting to see if other edited episodes are shown to the audience next week.

And so, recording over, we all trooped out into the open air, queued for the portaloos, and head off back to reality. I enjoyed this recording much more than episode four’s recording, which left me feeling a bit worried about that show. Having now seen episodes one, four and five, I’m confident that the series will be a good return to form – perhaps not as red hot as III to VI, but much better than VII, VIII and BTE. September can’t get here quick enough!

TINY TEASER: Death Worm
INCREDIBLY MASSIVE APPROXIMATE SCENE COUNT: 10 (Total so far: 71)
SMEG COUNT: 0 – I think, forgot to keep count. Sorry. I’m a bad guest writer. (Total so far: 6.5)

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126 Responses to Red Dwarf X – Episode 5 – Set Report

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  1. >some of the performances could be taken as being a little over the top, or pantomimey, in that series VIII sort of way. It’s not apparent all the time, but there’s flashes of it occasionally

    oh dear someone wanna tell the cast to be more subtle, cant help but fear they think the more over the top they are the funnier they are… can only hope its not that bad

  2. Do you just go through each report looking for the one negative line and focusing on that, Dax?

  3. Well it’s good to have a hobby. :)

  4. id rather see no negative lines

  5. I’m sure we’d all love to see glowing set reports with no downsides whatsoever, but you need objectivity in these things. The recoding was great, and the show was great – but if somethings didn’t quite sit right, then they deserve to be reported too.

  6. I was at the recording last night. Pleased to say that the positive buzz surrounding RDX on Twitter & G&T is very evident when you see it for real. This is a more confident Red Dwarf – back on true form and vastly superior to anything we’ve seen since the mid 90s. It could almost slot in after series V and pretend the other series were all a dream.

    The screening of episode one was a lovely treat and although it has a similar feel to an earlier episode or two it’s still a great 30 minutes and a joy to see Naylor’s writing concentrating on the characters rather than the situation. I’m sure I’m wrong but it feels like ages since a plot has revolved around a single character so much.

    It has already been said but the sets are stunning and the costumes are perfect.

    Oh yeah, and what about that ‘explosive’ movie teaser….

  7. That movie teaser was insane!
    I never thought we’d EVER get to see a trailer for the RD movie – let alone the opening five minutes!
    Incredibly ballsy of Doug to start by blowing up the ‘dwarf though although it looked amazing, I still don’t know how I feel having watched it…

  8. I wasn’t going to say anything about that movie teaser. You’ve completely ruined it now, you fucktards.

  9. >the opening five minutes!
    Five minutes!?! When I read about it on Twitter I assumed it was like a normal movie trailer on a TV ad – about 30 seconds.
    So… what is the spoiler policy on the movie trailer? Can we learn what else was in those 5 minutes?

  10. >I wasn’t going to say anything about that movie teaser. You’ve completely ruined it now, you fucktards.
    Hmm. I had the same thought at first. But if it was off-limits, surely Doug would have made that as clear as the rest of the spoiler policy? Also, surely the people who tweeted about it would have been reprimanded?

  11. >I’m sure we’d all love to see glowing set reports with no downsides whatsoever, but you need objectivity in these things. The recoding was great, and the show was great – but if somethings didn’t quite sit right, then they deserve to be reported too.

    Absolutely. I had a fantastic time and there was an amazing atmosphere in there so there is a danger of being swept up a little too much in this. In the second scene, Rimmer called Lister a term which he’s been referring to him by since Series 1 (not an insult, just a general term) and it got an instant laugh from the audience. I laughed along too because “hey, it’s the real Rimmer saying a Rimmery thing!!!”. Then the scene was reshot a couple more times and again the audience laughed along and warning bells started ringing in my head. The term itself isn’t particularly funny, there’s just this nostalgic rush. It would be lost on anyone who doesn’t know the show well.

    There was one pantomime bit in the same scene and it got a great response from the audience. And to be honest I don’t think that helps as during the inevitable reshoots it just got BIGGER.

    >I’m sure I’m wrong but it feels like ages since a plot has revolved around a single character so much.

    My chief problem with Episode 1 is the character it affects and changes. I don’t think we need to be messing with backstory to such an extent. And something monumentally emotional happened to him and it was greeted with indifference. The ending is great, though.

    >So… what is the spoiler policy on the movie trailer? Can we learn what else was in those 5 minutes?

    Something blows up.

  12. The movie scenes were good, but the explosion wasn’t as good as seeing the Dwarf blow in Demons & Angels. You can’t beat BBC VFX!

  13. Hopefully they’ll put the movie trailer on the Series X DVD.

    Great report as usual. Very much appreciated, especially as a guy not going to any of the recordings.

    Nice to hear that, even if you don’t like it as much as III-VI, you are pleased with what you have seen. Hopefully that will be the same with most of fandom.

  14. > including one particular revelation that elicited an audible gasp from the audience on the first take, which unfortunately wasn’t repeated on subsequent takes as the surprise was now lost.

    If the gasp sounded good they can always paste it into the final scene.

    I think I’m looking forward to this episode more than the others (so far). Maybe it’s the idea of it being more a ‘talkie’ one or somewhat of a throwback to series’ 1-3 with less one-liners and more character stuff. Despite V being pretty much perfect and around half of IV and VI being awesome too, 1-III remain my preference.

    A question to those who have seen any of the recordings – are any of these episodes going to be as good as or better than ‘Cassandra’?

  15. Im lost is this movie trailer a joke?

  16. I’d rather watch X.1 again than Cassandra right now – but Cassandra isn’t in my RD top 10 so I’m not the best person to ask.

  17. >are any of these episodes going to be as good as or better than ‘Cassandra’?

    The thing about Cassandra is that there’s a ton of shit bits with the crew that ruin it and overshadow the fact that it has a smattering of good lines (including two GREAT ones for Kochanski) and it’s a good plot, even if it is Future Echoes revisited with a truly odd cop-out ending.

    Episode 1 doesn’t match it in terms of clever sci-fi plotting and smart ideas. What we’ve seen of Episode 5? Definitely not.

  18. >In the second scene, Rimmer called Lister a term which he’s been referring to him by since Series 1 (not an insult, just a general term) and it got an instant laugh from the audience. I laughed along too because “hey, it’s the real Rimmer saying a Rimmery thing!!!”. Then the scene was reshot a couple more times and again the audience laughed along and warning bells started ringing in my head. The term itself isn’t particularly funny, there’s just this nostalgic rush. It would be lost on anyone who doesn’t know the show well.

    many may not agree with me but i hope there aint alot of nostalgic momments as 1 to 6 rarely eva made call backs and it never suffered because of it, while BTE was seen to do it to much

  19. Oh, don’t get me wrong; I had no problem with Rimmer using the term. My point was that the response to it seemed to be purely because of the history of it being used in the show 20 years ago. I don’t recall it getting any response in Series 1. And so it shouldn’t. It’s just a single word.

  20. G&T Admin

    Excellent report, Kris.

    I actually liked the fact that this episode was so plot thin. I wouldn’t put it up there with Marooned, but it was nice to see long scenes with two characters just chatting about themselves and the whole thing is driven by a little personal quest of Lister’s which I thought held it all together nicely. Obviously it’s going to have a great deal more substance once the missing scene is in there. I’m starting to think more and more that they’ll have some extra audience viewings of rough cuts so they can get genuine lols for the missing scenes (which is a list that’s getting scarily long, now) and to give more options when editing the existing ones.

    Seeing episode 1 all rough-cut together was fantastic, though. They cut out one particular sub-plot that consisted of two scenes and that was definitely for the best, too, and now the episode skips along at a great pace. Happy to see that what I remember being the standout scene from the recording is still just as (if not more) as effective.

    As I consider Cassandra to be almost as wretched as the rest of VIII, I don’t think it comes even close to touching the quality of the series X episodes I’ve seen. The performances, jokes and, crucially, the setting are all miles ahead of anything VIII had to offer.

  21. >They cut out one particular sub-plot that consisted of two scenes and that was definitely for the best, too, and now the episode skips along at a great pace.

    Kind of like how the Archie scenes were take out of ‘Cassandra’?

  22. > some well realized character moments between Lister and Rimmer – including one particular revelation that elicited an audible gasp from the audience

    I wonder what this could be? I imagine there are dozens of fangirls with their own “interpretation”…

  23. >A question to those who have seen any of the recordings – are any of these episodes going to be as good as or better than ‘Cassandra’?

    Episode 2. *nods*

    >The production moved on to film the final scene, which pulled no punches in giving Craig a tonne of dialogue to learn and a great last line, while the rest of the cast simply supplied appropriate reaction shots.

    See… that last line, for me, seemed very unDwarfy and I really didn’t like it at all. I’m hoping they’ll re-record with a different choice of language, but obviously we’ll see and perhaps the missing 10-15 mins will give it a little more context, who knows?

    I came out of this recording with such conflicting emotions, I genuinely like the main (and as yet, only) plotline, it’d definitely fit in well to one of the earlier series, but the missing material, coupled with my feelings about that last line of dialogue… I have concerns. I hope to be proved wrong :)

    Watching Episode 1 again as a rough-cut was a real good treat, mmmm! I saw the original recording back in December, so it was very interesting to see what had gone in, what had been cut etc. Yes, it was a VERY rough edit, lots of abrupt cuts and such, but I really like how it’s come out. For me, this is my second favourite episode of RDX (behind Episode 2) – The only Ep I haven’t see recorded so far, was the Sat 7th Jan – I saw a comment on another thread about concerns regarding the guest cast, which I don’t share at all. As Ian already mentioned in his report, this is a Rimmer-centric episode and for me it was spot on… in fact concerns that I’d had regarding a second plot-line are gone now that I’ve seen how it all fits together. So, yeah, I’m waffling but basically – Episode 1: I like it a lot.

  24. >See… that last line, for me, seemed very unDwarfy and I really didn’t like it at all.

    Completely agree. I was going to say it was more akin to Men Behaving Badly, but I don’t think MBB ever resorted to that.

  25. Episode 2. *nods*

    I’d go with that too. Of the three I’ve seen I think that that one is my favourite at this moment in time, though there’s not a lot in it between two and one.

  26. G&T Admin

    Oh, something I forgot to mention, seeing episode 1 and 5 in close proximity really showed how much Kryten’s mask has been tweaked over the weeks. I thought I was just getting used to the look, but the mouth area especially has improved dramatically since that first week.

  27. Cassandra had a great scene (I’m thinking ‘singing tie pin’) but some really ridiculous leaps of plot logic (Rimmer and Kochanski/Kryten ‘figuring it out’. I should hope the new episodes are better than vii and viii which I’ve definitely been over kind to over the years for the sake of a few good moments.

  28. I’m only going from my initial impressions of the episode 1 rough cut (I didn’t see the recording), but it felt like there was some highly ludicrous leaps in plot logic in it that I’ll let slide purely because the episode was very funny.

  29. I should clarify I forgive Red Dwarf pretty much anything as long it really makes me laugh.

  30. >Cassandra had a great scene (I’m thinking ‘singing tie pin’) but some really ridiculous leaps of plot logic (Rimmer and Kochanski/Kryten ‘figuring it out’. I should hope the new episodes are better than vii and viii

    agreed cassandra had a really good classic dwarf concept but i can think of several momments that felt like doug just got lazy

  31. > it felt like there was some highly ludicrous leaps in plot logic in it that I’ll let slide purely because the episode was very funny.

    Oh, that’s nothing to worry about. I mean, we all love Backwards.

  32. i think the leaps of logic are ok when you get into the plot enough that you just dont realise unless you really think about it, but when the logic is so in your face bad thats when its not good :/

  33. >Oh, something I forgot to mention, seeing episode 1 and 5 in close proximity >really showed how much Kryten’s mask has been tweaked over the weeks. I >thought .I was just getting used to the look, but the mouth area especially has >improved dramatically since that first week.

    That would explain why seeing 4, it looked fine to me, and then it looked shit in the photo that’s online now. It’s perhaps been constructive criticism whats been said about it since episode 1.

  34. I’m fascinated by the way the new Series has been set a benchmark of better Than A but worse than C already and now has a defining Episode of Cassandra that they have to pass to be acceptable.
    I can’t remember thinking III was rubbish compared to II because it was so different to the previous Episodes. And III was a radical move from the rest.
    I think it’s easy to be critical and then everyone agree and focus on the negative. Kris has made some valid points, and good should be praised just as much as the concerns.
    I haven’t seen any recordings to date, and can’t really comment on the live stuff but the reports have been good and informative, and do give an overall positive feel. Even though these are personal accounts I’m still getting it could go either way though.
    I thinking the comparison is a problem for me, I don’t compare other shows in this way, and I’ve never done this with Red Dwarf. It’s made, I watch.

  35. i really want to know, is this movie trailer that talked about is it a sign we are still getting a movie? :/

  36. The Movie won’t happen because Doug doesn’t trust anyone that lives in the southern hemisphere.

  37. I can’t tell if peeps are serious about this “movie trailer” or not. Could it be that the “movie” (perhaps straight to TV rather than a theatrical release) will reintroduce the characters and back story, and Series X will pick up from there?

  38. I can’t tell if peeps are serious about this “movie trailer” or not. Could it be that the “movie” (perhaps straight to TV rather than a theatrical release) will reintroduce the characters and back story, and Series X will pick up from there?

  39. Oh, something I forgot to mention, seeing episode 1 and 5 in close proximity really showed how much Kryten’s mask has been tweaked over the weeks. I thought I was just getting used to the look, but the mouth area especially has improved dramatically since that first week.

    Are we talking about application/shading, or have they actually resculpted?

  40. G&T Admin

    I don’t think it’s a resculpt, it just seems to be fitted better.

  41. Strange to see the words ‘rude’ and ‘offensive’ appear in consecutive reports.

  42. >A question to those who have seen any of the recordings – are any of these episodes going to be as good as or better than ‘Cassandra’?

    I’m assuming from this you’re taking Cassandra as the highest point of Series VII/VIII, yes?

    I can honestly say, hand on heart – and obviously this may change if the final cut is drastically different, but – 10.1 is the first episode since Series VI that I would consider placing above any episodes from the first six series. I really, REALLY like it.

  43. I think it’d be hard to reconcile the movie’s beginning with being set *before* RDX, but hey – it’s sci-fi, stranger things have happened.

    It was really nice to see Episode 1 in its (proto) entirety; there was a scene during the first recording that I thought really didn’t work, and so I was pleased/relieved to see that the production team agreed!

  44. About the whole Kryten’s mask thing;

    I can honestly say the only thing that bothered me about the whole recording was Kryten’s nose. The shape just doesn’t look right. But when you’re sat there seeing shiny new Dwarf in all its glory it’s such a minor pathetic gripe I can ignore it. I didn’t notice any problems with his mouth that posters mentioned after 10.1’s recording.

    Oh, and Lister cooking steak & ribs when I was hungry… they smelt so good.

  45. Clarify – Movie trailer… joke yes?

  46. >Clarify – Movie trailer… joke yes?

    Ah. I bet it is. I bet it is and I fell for it hook, line, sinker… you know the rest. That would explain why there’s no mention of it on the tos forum. Ha! Just call me HelloGullibleMabel. (:

  47. lol Im not even going into a thought process on a movie trailer rite now.

    Great report above… Last one next feel :(.

  48. The reason I mentioned ‘Cassandra’ is that (Last Human aside) I still think it’s the best thing Doug has done solo and if anything in this series reaches that level, or surpasses it, I’ll be a very happy bunny indeed!

    Yeah ‘Tikka…’, the hourlong BITR and ‘Duct Soup’ are alright too, and I really like BtE (as laugh-free as it is), but it’s easier to compare ‘Cassandra’ to the X episodes being shot right now due to it being the only decent standalone, studio-audience-fuelled episode since 1993…

    People looking for an instant switch to the highs of 1-VI were always gonna be disappointed, I think it’s fair to say. That’s not a stab at the production team, who are obviously doing a great job, it’s more like expecting a band to produce another classic up with their best work, 20 years down the line, and with one of their key members leaving some time ago.

  49. A fair comment. I’m gonna put this out there – I’m worried about over-acting.

    Less Is more – as has proven to be for many years.

  50. When it comes to acting, I must say that I thought Craig in particular was right at the top of his game.

  51. G&T Admin

    Everyone upped their game with the acting. Craig has matured SO much as an actor, and it’s a joy to watch. Chris has always been excellent so it’s nice to see Rimmer as we always know him. Doug gives Chris some good opportunities to demonstrate his chops. Danny is back onto excellent form, which encouraged me during every take. Robert is amazingly on form. Didn’t see any ‘guilty’ whiny Kryten.

  52. When I went last week – Craig was superb. He has vastly matured as an actor, he really has.

  53. The point Is – I’m an actor, and from my experience and observation with live comedy It’s common to get ‘caught In the moment’ which Is fine In a live performance, but when displayed on television It does look O.T.T. The boys never had this Issue In the past, but It’s clear since public opinion became easier to access through the internet and such, their acting styles have varied – and they push for the woofers.

  54. Dwarf is a silly-fest and has been from the start.

    I’m not worried about over-acting at all. I will just sit here in silence and bathe in memories of series I rimmer salutes.

    Go on.

  55. when the acting was subtle it was much more funnier and was a better judge of the quality of the gags

  56. G&T Admin

    Just had to delete a couple of comments re. the Movie trailer, as they gave a little too much away. Remember, Doug told us to be extra careful with the spoilers for this one, I’m not even sure we’re supposed to discuss it at all.

  57. > Just had to delete a couple of comments re. the Movie trailer, as they gave a little too much away. Remember, Doug told us to be extra careful with the spoilers for this one, I’m not even sure we’re supposed to discuss it at all.

    Oh I’m confused =(

  58. i suspect there is a conspiracy here

    can’t help but think its a joke started up by the ep5 warm up guy

  59. > can’t help but think its a joke started up by the ep5 warm up guy

    That’s my thoughts, and I tweeted him about it but he could not confirm.

  60. >Just had to delete a couple of comments re. the Movie trailer, as they gave a little too much away.

    I don’t think mine was that spoilery, but fair enough.

  61. lets not get anyones hopes up now, i really dont think this movie teaser is for real :P

  62. Comment removed.

  63. Nah, it’s just a bit of misdirection for a laugh/to maintain the (fairly ridiculous, IMO – it’s not NATO) spoiler policy.

    Still, looking forward to X – I rewatched BTE recently and really enjoyed it.

  64. I’m presuming that seeing the audience will be recorded on a seperate track, the lost gasp in take one can easily be added to take two? Therefore alternate takes nowadays aren’t such a big deal, as initial reactions can still be used on secondary shoots.

  65. VII is better than you think, or ever will think. Probably.

    More on this later.

  66. VII has two good episodes and one half decent. Btw ‘Blue’ isn’t one of those…it’s got a couple of amusing scenes in but that’s it.

  67. Blue > Nanarchy > Tikka to Ride > Ouroborous > Stoke Me a Clipper > Epideme > accidentally biting your own penis off > Beyond a Joke > Duct Soup

  68. stoke me a clipper is quite low on my list for series 7, i just never liked how they potrayed ace rimmer

    which is sorta why im against bringing back guest characters in red dwarf

  69. And Beyond a Joke would be quite high on my Series 7 list.

    I guess there’s always one, eh? ;}

  70. To me, Tikka to Ride is the last ‘old school’ Dwarf episode. Just the guys going on a self-contained adventure. Even though I’ve defended VII and VIII in the past (and liked BTE) there’s no denying they are an evolution of the concept, whereas Tikka could have been a lost episode of VI if not for the slight genre shift.

    As such it is certainly the best VII episode in my view. I also rewatched Stoke about a year ago and found it much funnier than I once did and now hold it in a higher regard – previously I had always considered it one of my least favourite episodes of the series, somewhere at Beyond a Joke and Epideme levels. I don’t find Duct Soup especially bad, just a little boring and occasionally annoying. A huge example of a VII episode which sorely missed the live audience.

  71. > Blue > Nanarchy > Tikka to Ride > Ouroborous > Stoke Me a Clipper > Epideme > accidentally biting your own penis off > Beyond a Joke > Duct Soup

    And yet…I find Duct Soup to be the best of the bunch but Nanarchy…I’d place it bottom 3 in the ENTIRETY of Dwarfdom (like Blue, some people might love it for one or two scenes, well fair do’s…).

    I enjoy Beyond A Joke more than I used to. I also like sprouts now.

  72. ‘Beyond a Joke’ actually has some fun bits in it. I like Kryten trying to kill off all the Jane Austin characters, even if it’s part of his ‘whiny, jealous’ character arc that i really didn’t like. I really like the tank part as well. Though the whole Able thing i found utterly depressing.

  73. I developed a similar character to Able for the RPG. I rather hilariously called him Kretyn.

  74. >‘Beyond a Joke’ actually has some fun bits in it. I like Kryten trying to kill off all the Jane Austin characters, even if it’s part of his ‘whiny, jealous’ character arc that i really didn’t like. I really like the tank part as well. Though the whole Able thing i found utterly depressing.

    It’s amazing just how wildly opinions differ on VII. I think it’s almost universally ranked low as a whole, but as far as highlights go there doesn’t seem to be much agreement. Case in point I understand and respect your opinion here, but Able’s characterization is about the only thing I personally like about the episode!

    I have trouble defending Nanarchy, however much I might (relatively) enjoy it. The “arm, pick up the ball” scene and the sweet-unwrapping scene are heavy on physical humor, which usually leaves me cold, but since VII seems almost devoid of humor overall I’ll take it gladly.

  75. My favourite bit of Beyond a Joke is the noise one of the Bennett sisters makes when she’s hit by Kryten’s blow-dart.

    It’s not dialogue and it’s not physical humour (it happens off-screen). A 1 second sound-effect of someone dying is MY FAVOURITE BIT OF THIS EPISODE.

  76. How did a report on the filming of the fifth episode of the tenth series of Red Dwarf turn into a discussion about Red Dwarf VII?

  77. Because it still hurts!

    I’ve always liked Epideme plot wise and Cat gets a couple of good lines in it as well – yo yo tournament/I need some hangers.

  78. i can see many reasons why series VII didnt turn out that great with actors leaving and new characters added and one of the main writers leaving and new writers coming in

    while VIII there was no excuse for how bad this turned out in my personal appinion

  79. > How did a report on the filming of the fifth episode of the tenth series of Red Dwarf turn into a discussion about Red Dwarf VII?

    Sorry. Thank you. Sorry. Bye. Bye. Sorry. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  80. > the sweet-unwrapping scene

    *shudders*

    VII is the only series where I want to fast-forward through various scenes. I never want to skip anything elsewhere, not even in VIII.

  81. I will defend a lot of series VII. It’s mistake was trying to be experimental and envelope-pushing after a MASSIVE gap (for the time), while trying to cope with big changes to the cast and the writing crew. But it’s got solid plots, and while it tones down the gags in favour of comedy-drama, it’s still funny.

    I can’t however defend “Beyond A Joke”. That episode is truly god-awful, only beaten to the prize of ‘World’s Shittest Telly’ by “Only The Good…”.

  82. I really don’t see what’s so terrible about Beyond A Joke. Quite a few good laughs, and the concepts aren’t too bad. The only thing that always irked me about it is wondering where the hell they got GELF skins from. To me it’s certainly better than Epideme, Nanarchy and all of VIII.

  83. Who was it who did that rather good (read:critical) video about Red Dwarf VII for the DVD competition – and even got a mention from Robert?

  84. Ah, that’s right. Am I wasting my time trying to find it on YouTube?

  85. Probably. If it was for the DVD competition, they’re all owned by GNP, so won’t be on YouTube.

  86. >http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLUotqWmXCs

    Thank you kindly.

  87. Oh.

  88. Gussets to scrub, Sir?

  89. Rest assured, I will never put the full version of ‘Afternoon of the Polymorph’ on Youtube.

  90. *soils gusset, brother*

  91. …Although I may put it on the VCR on Saturday afternoon.

  92. Been looking for Mick’s rant for a while. Thanks Mr Capps. I remember Mick’s rant inspired me to buy the Hitch Hikers movie to remind myself how ‘not that bad’ that was.

    It’s a good comparison. The movie isn’t that bad but it’s also not Hitch Hikers the way the radio, tv and book versions are.

  93. G&T Admin

    The Hitchhikers movie is not that bad when you compare it to world hunger or AIDS. By any other criteria, it’s a massive pile of shit.

    Fun fact: I currently work in the exact same studio where the Hitchhikers movie was filmed. Along with The Tweenies.

  94. G&T Admin

    > The Hitchhikers movie is not that bad when you compare it to world hunger or AIDS. By any other criteria, it’s a massive pile of shit.

    Mellowing with age, there.

  95. It does have the only decent version of Trillian ever, though.

    And the soundtrack’s good.

  96. >Fun fact: I currently work in the exact same studio where the Hitchhikers movie >was filmed. Along with The Tweenies.

    Why are you working with the Tweenies?

  97. G&T Admin

    > It does have the only decent version of Trillian ever, though.

    I prefer her in the radio version, but… well, Zooey Deschanel.

  98. Vogon’s in the movie are excellent, the judges look. Bill Nighy is brilliant, I really like sam rockwell’s Zaphod and alan rickman as Marvin is perfect choice, There’s a lot right about it before it falls apart as a script and becomes a bit like the red dwarf usa pilot is to the previous versions of Red Dwarf.

  99. > Zooey Deschanel

    Overrated

  100. G&T Admin

    She’s no Katy Perry. Oh, hang on.

  101. I would destroy Zooey. That is all.

  102. New Girl is brilliant!!!

  103. Not seen it. The trailer last week put me right off both watching it and ZD. I used to think of her as the geeky girl who happened to be cute. After that I got thinking is she just a gorgeous actress whose been playing it geeky. Yes this is the stuff my brain ponders.

    Anyway, I guess she’s the perfect Hollywood Kochanski.

    This is an awesome thread.

  104. To be fair, I only watched the pilot. But I watch a lot of pilots and can usually size up whether I’m going to like the series. And it irritated the shit out of me.

  105. That’s a great idea! Especially as a lot of elements in American pilots don’t make it into the second episode onwards!

  106. >Especially as a lot of elements in American pilots don’t make it into the second episode onwards!

    You’re right. A pilot should actually consist of three episodes or however many it takes for the writers to stop dicking around and get their act together. And the audience should just give them the benefit of the doubt until this happens on the strength of the central idea or the cast and keep tuning in whether they’re actually enjoying it or not.

  107. >And the audience should just give them the benefit of the doubt until this happens on the strength of the central idea or the cast

    …both of which are also subject to change at any point within the first few episodes. Or season. Or run of the series.

    PETE YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO WATCH EVERY SECOND OF EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU CAN HAVE AN OPINION OKAY

  108. I genuinely can’t think of anything great that wasn’t either good or, at the very least promising, from episode one*. My big problem with The New Girl was Zooey’s character which is a pretty fundamental issue.

    *Oh hang on. The Office (US). The pilot of that was SHIT. And then it got really good. But I guess I was inclined to give that more of a chance due to the UK version.

    (Of course, then it got shit again by about season 5. But that’s another thread. Or maybe this thread as it’s already way off-topic)

  109. To be fair, I only watched the pilot. But I watch a lot of pilots and can usually size up whether I’m going to like the series. And it irritated the shit out of me.

    On the strength of the original Red Dwarf pilot, would you have carried on watching the series? I certainly wouldn’t have :)

  110. The first episode I saw was Future Echoes. I’d bought the first series on VHS by the time Confidence and Paraonia had aired simply on the strength of the first episodes.

    So, unless you think The End is radically different in quality compared to what immediately followed; almost certainly, YES.

  111. >On the strength of the original Red Dwarf pilot, would you have carried on watching the series? I certainly wouldn’t have :)

    I watched the first episode of Red Dwarf when it first came out and I didn’t any more for a good while. (Okay, technically it wasn’t a pilot but the same principle applies.) As a whole I really didn’t like it, although I think even then there was the odd line I found amusing.

    If I’d just stuck around I’d have seen the excellent Future Echoes. Anyhoo, I actually don’t mind the first episode now, but point taken. I didn’t see another episode until Marooned and that changed my mind.

  112. >On the strength of the original Red Dwarf pilot, would you have carried on watching the series? I certainly wouldn’t have :)

    I’m not at all a fan of The End, but I’d argue that it’s at least “promising,” as Pete mentioned, if not especially good. Rimmer and Holly would have caused me to give it at least one more shot. And as the next episode was Future Echoes…then yes, I’d say I’d be pretty well hooked. :)

    My first episode was Meltdown, which many people seem to hate, and I absolutely adored it and set out tracking down the other episodes.

    Make of that what you will.

  113. Sorry, when i meant the pilot, i meant the un broadcast first recording of the first episode. If it had not been for the extra recording day, that would have been the recording that would have been broadcast. Had you watched that recording as the first episode, would you have carried on watching the show?

  114. Ah, apologies. In my warped little mind, The End is “The Pilot” since the videos publicised it as such. Haven’t watched the Assembly cut in a while, actually. Remember it being very rough around the edges but the ideas, the potential, is the same. Any show that kills off most of the cast after 15 minutes is going to get my attention.

  115. G&T Admin

    My first episode was Meltdown, which many people seem to hate, and I absolutely adored it and set out tracking down the other episodes.

    That’s because Meltdown is great and anyone who hates it is an idiot*.

    * Yes, an idiot.

  116. Now, obviously, I’m looking forward to seeing ‘my episode’ on the box, not least because we missed a large chunk of it.

    Of course, we’ve seen certain pick-ups from the night in earlier episodes (the opening of Lemons, for instance), but there is something I’m curious about.

    Bobby was brought in to record a reshoot of a two-word sentence from another episode (would it be too much of a spoiler to note the line? What the hell – “Enjoy, sir!”),

    One would assume that this would be from one of the first four episodes (I was kind of expecting it last night), but I can’t say I’ve seen it. Has it been on? Was it cut? Is it inexplicably actually part of episode 5? Or even episode 6?

    I suppose it’s these little mysteries that keep life interesting.

  117. Was it him talking about the kebab?

  118. G&T Admin

    > Was it him talking about the kebab?

    That’s what I assumed, too, it’s just they decided not to cut away to Kryten for the line.

  119. Aah. That makes sense.

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