Red Dwarf X: Entangled Review

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During the Entangled Instant Reaction DwarfCast I proclaimed this episode  to be my favourite of the series so far, which is something that’s endured over a number of rewatches.  Every other episode has undoubtedly had stronger elements and, in the case of Lemons, had a neater and better story. But what I think Entangled has in absolute bags is a pleasingly familiar, traditional feeling with the best main cast performances of the series so far and tonnes of great laughs.

Surprisingly, given the controversial elements of episodes 2 and 3, I think Entangled has seen the most extreme splitting of fan opinion. In general, people either rate this as their favourite thus far, or the worst of the worst. If at times this review seems to be going to address criticisms from a straw man, that’s because I think more than ever I feel I need to explain exactly why I like this episode so much and why some of the things that are bothering others are not bothering me. Whether I can achieve that without being reduced to screaming “BUT I LIKE THIS BIT YOU WANKERS I HATE YOU ALL” remains to be seen, but I’ll try.

First broadcast: 25th October 2012, 9:00pm, Dave

Written by: Doug Naylor

Directed by: Doug Naylor

Main Cast:
Chris Barrie (Rimmer)
Craig Charles (Lister)
Danny John-Jules (Cat)
Robert Llewellyn (Kryten)

Guest Cast:
Steven Wickham (Begg Chief)
Peter Elliott (Chimp)
Nik Williams and Jun Matsuura (Chimp Puppeteers)
Sydney Stevenson (Professor Edgington)
Emma Campbell-Hones (TV Character 1)
Nick Barber (TV Character 2)

Synopsis:
Lister loses Rimmer in a game of poker to a group of Biologically Engineered Life Forms and in return gets an unwanted gift: a groinal exploder programmed to detonate in 24 hours unless Lister pays his debts. Meanwhile Kryten and Cat become quantum entangled and do everything in perfect unison.

Set Report | Discussion Thread | Dwarfcast

The first scene of the episode features, as always, Lister going about the his daily routine until the plot comes along and hits him in the face. It *would* be nice if there was a little more variety to this formula, but I do like these little glimpses into the working life aboard ship, which is something we got loads of in series VI.  Special mention here must go to the first big laugh of the episode when Lister discovers his huge kebab “on the monitor”, which really sets the tone for the episode.  If it’s delivering one of my favourite gags in the first scene, then it’s a safe bet it’s going to make me laugh throughout.

I’ll admit to being fairly worried when Rimmer started on his Health and Safety spiel, but it settles down very quickly and avoids being predictably tedious because of how right it all feels for Rimmer.  Anything that allows him to be overly officious is always a good avenue for him, and it’s used well here especially how nicely it’s tied in to the drive plate accident.  This desperate sort of pointless officiousness, flying in the face of the fact that everyone is now dead, brings his morning roll calls brings Bodysnatcher to mind, which is strengthened by the fact that Chris’ performance this series and in Bodysnatcher occasionally have similar quirks.

It’s interesting to note that if the accident dialogue between Lister and Rimmer is to be taken at face value, then this is indeed the ‘old’ Rimmer, or at the very least a combination of the two, melded together by either an in-universe explanation or narrative convenience.  If I was to be totally honest, though, I’d hazard a guess that Doug doesn’t give two shits as to which Rimmer this is.  He’s just Rimmer and that’s all that really matters.  If the mystery itself *does* matter to you, thought. then it is nice to have it remain a mystery with just the odd clues for us to piece together.  What I do know for sure, though, is that the Rimmer we see in this scene is certainly the closest Chris has come to truly recapturing the old magic.

In his Lemons review, John made special mention of the ability of Red Dwarf to push the boundaries of the traditional sit-com form and reach beyond the three walled sets to provide a story with huge scope.  Red Dwarf has almost always managed to do this to some extent through the use of model shots and clever location filming, but the task of widening the scope of the setting has been made a lot harder for this series by dint of the fact that there was simply no money for the traditional two weeks of location shooting. In the first four episodes of Red Dwarf X we have had a grand total of one (1) location scene, but that in itself is part of an episode that with the use of one incredible and economically built set and just one matte painting, managed to convincingly set itself in India, 23AD.

Despite Red Dwarf always managing to break free of feeling like a restricted, claustrophobic studio sit-com, I think it was most successful during the Starbug set series simply because of the fact that Starbug feels like it’s covering larger distances, and at a greater speed, than Red Dwarf. In Emohawk, one minute the crew are dodging an Enforcement Sphere and the next they’re crash landing onto a GELF moon. Because first contact with these elements happen while they’re on board Starbug, the action can escalate much more quickly than if they’re starting on Red Dwarf, and then have to leave the ship to investigate further.  This also allows the story to cram in more encounters, because in the back of our minds they’re in a nippy ship to surface vessel, and encounters are expected in that environment in the way that they’re not when the crew are trundling through space on Red Dwarf. What Entangled has done is bring that sort of quick fire encounter to life on Red Dwarf itself, when really we’re not expecting it. This had lead to some people thinking space seems a little crowded, but that’s because finding a GELF moon and a space station right next to each other is absolutely fine when they’re seemingly zipping along in Starbug, but less believable when they’re on Red Dwarf, whose size and slow nature gives more of a feeling of loneiness in vast, empty space.

This clash of styles between the day-to-day survival of the Starbug series and the more easy going, automated existence previously seen on Red Dwarf has given this series, and specifically this episode, a unique feeling. In the very first scene of the episode, we see Lister apparently starting his shift in the drive room, scanning the local space for any sign of life. This active searching and quest finding would never been seen when the crew’s MO was simply “get back to Earth, I suppose”, but it’s something that was pervasive through series VI and VII because they had the more immediate goal of finding Red Dwarf. In Series X that immediate goal is finding Kochanski and this, with the added absence of Holly (previously the literal face of Red Dwarf’s automation) provide moments like this when we see the crew actively piloting and operating the ship in the same way they previously did with Starbug. For that reason, I *expect* them to have more encounters, because they’re actively looking for them. And, despite Kryten’s comment about this only being the second inhabited moon they’ve found in a decade, Lister’s discovery of the populated BEGG moon sat perfectly comfortably with me. In addition to this, with the search for Kochanski always in the back of the viewers mind, I think it gives an added layer of excitement because any discovery like this could be vital to that mission.

Next up, I’d like to talk about Lister’s cock and, specifically, the device rigged to it.  It’s not big, it’s not clever but it *is* quite amusing (the joke, that is, not Lister’s cock).  If we really need to search for a reason why they specifically rigged up his nads, then consider the Blerions from Doug’s solo novel Last Human. They were a breed of GELF which highly prized sperm because they’d been (in the main) bred to be sterile.  This is pure fan wank, but if the BEGGs had any similar inbred sterility, then it would make sense that they’d target Listers most valuable organ.  Also, you know, cocks are also funny, so there’s that.

Now that the series has properly settled down, we’re starting to see more assured performances from everyone.  I think Chris is only *properly* starting to nail the character in this episode and, above all, Danny and Robert put in absolute blinders.  Robert does still occasionally stumble over a line or two, but I think that’s entirely a production issue given that most of the scenes are wrapped up in one or two takes which sometimes is clearly not enough to get his more complicated speeches nailed down, but the synchronous Kryten and Cat lines are really excellently performed throughout the episode, especially considering most of these scenes were done live in front of an audience.  This is definitely not something they could’ve as comfortably pulled off in the first few weeks when they were all finding their feet, so it’s nice to see how assured and confident the performances are getting.

The concept of the crystals themselves are interesting and, apart from the potential for comedy, appear to exist purely to give an in-Universe explanation for plot contrivances, and this is probably the source for the episode’s biggest problems.  As a concept, they’re fine because they’re basically just a new form of the luck virus, which itself provided convenient get out clauses for the plot, but that also brought with it a good source of humour. Where the synchronicity fails, though, is the manner of its execution in two key scenes.  Causing the BEGGs to choke is fine (although it took me a little while to actually notice what the fuck was going on in that scene) but Kryten’s later explanation causes me to think the concept has not been properly thought through.  The fact that the choking was always going to happen but Kryten and the Cat’s increased emotion made them more aware of the synchronicity doesn’t really tally with how I thought the whole thing works.  Does this mean that they would always choke at that exact time or was it originally supposed to happen much later in time?  According to Kryten their presence in the tent doesn’t actually cause the choking, but if that’s the case then surely the crystals have absolutely nothing to do with anything?  Surely the BEGGs didn’t purely choke just because Kryten and the Cat were in a position to notice it?  I’m tempted to follow Lister’s lead and just dismiss it with a “who cares?” but it’s a shame that the actual nature of the crystals’ effect on actual events wasn’t properly nailed down, and because of that its nature as a plot convenience is all the more apparent.

The second iffy scene is the sudden realisation of Irene E / irony connection, but that’s purely because it feels a bit unnatural and forced.  Unlike the BEGGs choking (and later the series of events that leads the crew to the E.R.R.A space station), though, the rules of the synchronicity are much clearer here because the coincidence itself could’ve easily gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for Kryten and the Cat’s heightened awareness, but the way the sudden realisation is crowbarred in there is a bit jarring because, despite it making sense from a plot point of view, it didn’t really seem earned.

But I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit here, as I’ve cruelly killed the BEGGs before I’ve even mentioned how much I enjoy their main scene.  Steven Wickham plays the jocular but dangerous chief very well, and the humour in translating from BEGG to English is well mined, especially the moment when it’s revealed that the chief has eaten someone from an English boarding school.  I’m not sure why, but that concept is just inherently more amusing than if had simply been someone English and the addition of the boarding school detail is a very nice touch.  There’s tonnes of great dialogue here, most notably the description of Rimmer as a “sexy light man with the lady legs” and the Cat as “your scented shiny friend” which are two perfect, basic descriptions of the characters, worded very amusingly.

If anything, this episode probably tries to cram too much into half an hour.  If this was an episode purely driven by the quantum crystals and the situation with the BEGGs it would be fine, but we also have the E.R.R.A institute thrown in there for good measure, which is definitely a concept that deserved more time to be properly expanded on.  The concept of a scientific institute based entirely around people making the wrong decisions is absolutely great (and carries on the long standing tradition of the crew bumping into old research vessels and facilities to make use of the technology therein) and the whole long speech by Kryten is excellently undercut by the reveal that it was, of course, a failure.

However, it’s probably at this point that the episode reaches its weakest section, and this seems to be not without good reason.  Doug recently revealed the original final two episodes this series had to be scrapped when it became apparent that the necessary location shooting would not be affordable on the budget.  These episodes apparently included Kochanski.  I think it’s a reasonable enough assumption that the ape they find in stasis – who will later be transformed into Irene E – was originally supposed to be Kochanski.  The heightened sense of coincidence and Lister’s knackers being in mortal danger are both plots that also fit very well into her return, and I can’t help but think it would’ve made for a much more satisfying conclusion.  If that’s the case then everything that follows this discovery was a (fairly) last minute rewrite.  To compound this, there were further reworkings of these scenes once it became apparent they couldn’t use the ape suited actor as much as they intended, so the slightly troubling character of Irene E was written in to wrap up the episode.  With all that in mind (and, granted, I’ve basically made up the Kochanski bit) I’m more inclined to forgive this episode’s messy and slight unsatisfying closing scenes.

Irene herself certainly isn’t terrible, but she’s a character that has barely any screen time so her characterisation extends to nothing more than “she gets everything wrong and is weirdly forward with Rimmer”.  Poor Irene frankly didn’t stand a chance in the survival stakes and after she basically begs Rimmer to fuck her, she duly trips over his box of health and safety forms, in to the airlock, and then proceeds to accidentally flush herself into space.  A slapstick ending fitting for her character.  Her late insertion into the episode made this swift and unceremonious ending sadly inevitable, and it’s a shame that there wasn’t a resolution that was a little less sudden and, well… weird, but I genuinely believe it is entirely saved by Lister’s final “have you got a pen?” punchline, which was sold so perfectly by Craig that I’m willing to forget any misgivings I have about Irene and this very troubled last 5 minutes.

As with the previous episodes this series, misgivings about plot and guest characters can be easily mitigated by good, old fashioned  genuine laughs.  Logic problems aside Entangled has delivered the most interesting and idea-rich plot yet, but also by far the biggest laughs.  More assured writing and ever improving performances have a gone a long way towards elevating this episode above all that came before it, and I really hope this a trend that can continue over the next two weeks and into Series XI.

TINY TEASER: Kebab Instructions – Ah, now. This was obviously referring to the opening scene, but we can’t seem to remember why the word ‘instructions’ is there. We’re pretty sure there was a snipped gag about how the kebab was so massive, Kryten had to give Lister directions for eating it. See it on the DVD, probably!
ACTUAL SCENE COUNT: 26 (Total so far: 98)
ACTUAL SMEG COUNT: 4 (Total so far: 12)

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55 Responses to Red Dwarf X: Entangled Review

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  1. Nice one, Cappsy. My favourite ep so far, too, though I doubt I could express my thoughts so well. As anyone who’s heard Gazpacho Soup’s ‘cast will no doubt testify.

  2. Did Robert voice Kryten in the opening scene, or was it Chris? I feel like it may have been Chris.

  3. This has pushed past Cassandra and Tikka as my favourite solo Doug-penned episode, but kudos where it is due, I never expected a return to form of this nature. Series X overall has been a triumph, with two episodes yet to come. I don’t really have huge hopes for Dear Dave (then again, I didn’t for Entangled either) but The Beginning sounds like a winner too.

  4. Arthur Koestler was a real author, and did write a book called the roots of coincidence. It turns out.

    Now Ive not read it, googling though, says it’s got themes based on Carl Jung’s theories of “synchronicity”
    and it discusses topics of paraphycology.( telekine-what-enesis!) So the fact it’s real writen book. The writing of red dwarf x must at least follow Doug’s understanding of the theories mentioned in it.

    Synchronicity is… a great album by The Police. ;-) But it’s also a theory that events that happen together are not always linked by a cause. But can be grouped by meaning. Our interpretation of events, sees a link. But really it’s co-incidence, just two seperate occurances. Yet we see a pattern still. I think the book goes into quantum mechanical reasoning for this to explain theories that say this doesnt just happen in terms of one person spotting stuff, but in a sort of realm of entire human experience as well. Patterns more often spotted etc by many.

    >According to Kryten their presence in the tent doesn’t actually cause the choking,

    Correct I think, the 2 events are not causally linked. Does the mention of “choking” in the card game, cause the Beggs to choke. No. Because that would be causal. A makes B hapen. What happens is just coincidental. A and B just happen. The words choke are said about the card game. The beggs choke. And we witness both unrelated events. Synchronicity is the theory under which we bring meaning to the 2 events that are not linked by cause. “oh look they said choke, and now they are choking. that is meaningful to me. how weird”. When it isnt. Its just 2 happenings.

    >but if that’s the case then surely the crystals have absolutely nothing to do with anything?

    The crystals have created a telekenesis where by Kryten and Cat are experiencing the same sense of meaning when viewing events that are coincidental. They are heightened to be aware of such things. And it’s freaking them out. Those events always happened but they now seem more meaningful to Kryten and Cat, Therefore it leads their thinking it drives them to react. They notice the relationship between things in a new way. Without the quantum crystals effecting their minds (more so when they are emotional, thats the trigger) they would not notice the choking in the same way. They wouldnt feel any significance of the words on the TV screen, or the pictures on the book etc. They wouldnt find the space station coincidentally at those co-ordinates because they wouldnt look there. They wouldnt find the scientist who’s there to solve the grional bomb problem, and they wouldnt spot a relationship between Irony – irene e and the ironic event of her being right about one of the numbers. So the crystals effect on their minds drives them through all of those decisions. And they just happen to get a good result out ot it.

    >Does this mean that they would always choke at that exact time.

    Yes. The beggs just choke on some old TV’s.

    >but it’s a shame that the actual nature of the crystals’ effect on actual events wasn’t properly nailed down,

    You could call that shit writing. Or you could call it a complex intellectual unfamilar scientific concept not dummed down.
    I didnt get it on the night, and I didnt get it on first viewing. But i feel I’m rewarded by working it out. IF im right in what ive just said. I do love Dwarf tackling concepts like this in the show. Gets you thinking. Maybe the exposition isnt clear. But there is some there. And it is a big head topic quantum mech and causal relationships. I think in television plots we look for causal relationships and maybe we struggle a bit with this episodes concept, because coincidence deals with the lack of that, by definition of what the concept of coincidence is.

    >As a concept, they’re fine because they’re basically just a new form of the luck virus

    Yes. I can see why you point to that. I’d agree it’s worth saying. But if Kryten had contracted the luck virus. He would have just thought about needing a combination to the groin bomb and lucky for him he would get it right himself first time.
    Because the luck virus would have effected his probability of sucess against odds. The luck virus can cause lucky coincidences by reducing the probability of failure. The quantum crystals cant do that. Kryten has to work hard in the team to get the result of that combination lock, and he does ultimately get lucky in suceeding, and without his enhanced ability to see relationships between unconnected things he might not have got there in time, but it’s ultimately more lead by reasoning in a new way.

  5. None of that – and nothing in the script, from what I have seen – explains WHY the Beggs all choked to death. What caused it? Why all of them and why then?

    It’s the only flaw in an otherwise consistently great episode.

  6. i noticed on Robert Llewelyns web site there is a short article on a moment of coincidental synchronicity that happened to him in roughly february

  7. Another excellent and thorough review, Cappsy (I thought Danny was doing it this week?).

    A satisfying episode, all in all; I’m willing to look past some of the more obvious errors such as the confusing BEGGs choking moment and the changing countdown clock on Lister’s groin (there’s a sentence you don’t say every day!) because I really admire this series and this episode, in particular, for trying to be a bit more ‘classic Dwarf.’ I was watching some of VIII the other day, and whilst there were a couple of amusing gags, the plots were vacuous. X so far has at least tried out some wacky and interesting science fiction concepts. I loved the idea of ‘Predictive Pree’ and the quantum entanglement and coincidence on display in this episode was interesting, too.

    So far, I’d say this is the nearest Red Dwarf has got to meeting expectations in a very long time. I’m pleased.

  8. Oh, and the above image of Starbug on the BEGG planet would make an excellent desktop wallpaper! PLEASE Danny! Pretty please Danny!

    Danny?

  9. Enjoying the reviews and the series so far.
    The choking scene played out as confusing at first but the way I have taken it is – The Beggs by their nature and life style would eventually choke to death, due to the crystals influence it was just a coincidence they all died at the same time.

  10. THE BEGGS WERE EATING BIG MASSVIE PIECES OF CABLE, THEY CHOKED TO DEATH ON THE CABLE, AM I REALLY THE ONLY PERSON WHO WAS ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE SCREEN?

  11. G&T Admin

    THE BEGGS WERE EATING BIG MASSVIE PIECES OF CABLE, THEY CHOKED TO DEATH ON THE CABLE, AM I REALLY THE ONLY PERSON WHO WAS ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE SCREEN?

    I don’t think anyone’s confused about that, more about whether Cat and Kryten’s presence actually caused that happen at that exact moment, because Kryten later implies that it didn’t it’s just they were more inclined to “notice it”, which doesn’t make a lick of sense, unlike how they noticed Irene’s name because that could’ve conceivably gone by unnoticed. If you see what I mean.

  12. I dunno, a few people (not you in the review, but in comments here and on TOS) do seem confused as to what actually physically caused them to choke.

    The way I took it is that they would have choked at that time, but coincidentally the Dwarfers were there, saying the words “choke”, as they did. The power of coincidence didn’t cause the choking – but it caused the characters to be there watching at the time.

  13. Was completely in love with the Blue Midget set. In fact, that scene is my favourite of the episode. Maybe even the series. It was just pure Dwarf from start to finish.

  14. Why would beings designed solely for the purpose of munching household crap choke to death on said household crap, all at the same time? So if the Dwarfers weren’t there, they would still ALL choke to death on the household crap at the same time, despite munching on household crap successfully and efficiently being their ONLY job?

  15. The same lifeforms that can apparently swallow a human being whole choked on a wire?

    And presumably – unless there are other humans, English boarding school graduates at that, running around the universe in the not so distant past – these creatures must be rather old too. As in… hundreds… thousands… millions of years old? Let’s say hundreds of years of swallowing garbage and now they all choke on their own life force?

    I concede that the English boarding school student wasn’t explicitly described as human… but what is an English boarding school student, human or otherwise, doing three million years away from Earth anyway?

    (Well, because it’s a brilliant line of course. But you know full well we Red Dwarf fans like to pick the bones of even our favourite episodes…)

  16. Have had no compulsion to watch this a third time in the last week. And can’t see myself doing again anytime soon. A thoroughly mediocre effort that dangles above being completely shite.

    Lousy jokes (The “I ate an English student” belongs in the “Big Bumper Joke Book 1987” alongside “What’s that big thing on the monitor?” and “The Post’s arrived” ) and the worst guest character since, ooh, Taiwan Tony two weeks earlier.

    The last five minutes is the biggest pile of wank I’ve seen since Series VIII, the Beggs are fucking awful, the coincidence plot is under-developed and, most importantly, not funny and the structure of the whole thing is a complete mess.

    And I want Starbug. PROPERLY, dammit.

    Weak.

  17. G&T Admin

    Lousy jokes (The “I ate an English student” belongs in the “Big Bumper Joke Book 1987″ alongside “What’s that big thing on the monitor?” and “The Post’s arrived” )

    I love all of those jokes, even “the post’s arrived”.

  18. On a completely seperate note, you may be interested to see the ERRA space station prior to a refurb and a lick of paint in this.

  19. i know many won’t agree with me but i think doug is trying to hard to be clever this series, with all the mixing subplots and technical aspects like the entangled stuff where they make coincidence happen… or not making it happen they just more aware its gonna.. um… because its gonna happen anyway… um…

    they seem to be an area where the show falls flat because it always seems half baked

  20. i know many won’t agree with me but i think doug is trying to hard to be clever this series, with all the mixing subplots and technical aspects like the entangled stuff where they make coincidence happen… or not making it happens they just more aware its gonna.. um… because its gonna happen anyway… um…

    it seems to be an area where the show falls flat because it always seems half baked

    i definitely agree that he is trying hard to be clever. That could be seen even with the Chinese Whispers gag as it tried to work on two levels:- A conversation about Chinese Whispers that turned into a game of Chinese Whispers and an ironic comment on racism.

    Unfortunately, as in the case of that joke, too often the ideas fall in on themselves and when Dwarf had 1 solid plot in each episode it was a stronger show.

  21. Lousy jokes (The “I ate an English student” belongs in the “Big Bumper Joke Book 1987″ alongside “What’s that big thing on the monitor?” and “The Post’s arrived” )

    I love all of those jokes, even “the post’s arrived”.

    And me. Wonderfully silly. :)

  22. > And I want Starbug. PROPERLY, dammit.

    Well, pay for the set then, damnyou.

  23. Yeah, I think you have to be realistic about the budgetary restraints. The sets are great but having stood inside them at the recording, it’s pretty clear that they’re ingeniously constructed from all sorts of bits and bobs for probably sod all money. The VFX shots are nice but I’m guessing they didn’t have access to a proper motion control camera and that they were under the gun to get the shots finished in time, as some of the final shots look a bit rushed. But as always, they’ve done a spectacular job with a production budget of about 45p

  24. G&T Admin

    I can’t remember who said it, but someone commented that they’ve clearly not done the Starbug set because it’s far more iconic than Blue Midget and if they were going to do it, it would need to be done properly. Presumably that wasn’t possible when they needed two good standing sets for Red Dwarf itself.

  25. It’s also worth noting that the iconic Starbug set up is from VI and VII when it was the main set and was therefore more detailed/had more money thrown at it so they probably think if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly and if they’re going to do it properly it’s only worth doing if Starbug is actually going to play a significant part in an episode.

  26. G&T Admin

    I can’t remember who said it, but someone commented that they’ve clearly not done the Starbug set because it’s far more iconic than Blue Midget and if they were going to do it, it would need to be done properly.

    That was me. It’s just a theory, but I reckon that fans would be less forgiving of the Starbug cockpit being noticeably different than they would of *any* other set.

  27. > That was me. It’s just a theory, but I reckon that fans would be less forgiving of the Starbug cockpit being noticeably different than they would of *any* other set.

    Yep, despite it changing from series to series anyway… Though what people see as the ‘classic’ set is most definitely the VI version.

  28. Why would beings designed solely for the purpose of munching household crap choke to death on said household crap

    Why do people choke to death on tacos or sandwiches?

  29. i know many won’t agree with me but i think doug is trying to hard to be clever this series, with all the mixing subplots and technical aspects like the entangled stuff where they make coincidence happen… or not making it happen they just more aware its gonna.. um… because its gonna happen anyway… um…

    they seem to be an area where the show falls flat because it always seems half baked

    I feel like the half-baked bits are setting me as a loyal viewer up for some tie-together/reveal in the last two episodes, or even just 6. Having seen neither, how do I know different at this point? (Though others here certainly do. They are free to enjoy my ignorance, like I will in a little over a week, LOL.) Just like I still don’t get the Kochanski mania, but I’m hoping it’ll be made clear(er) in Ep 6….

  30. Kochanski mania was all the rage back in series 1. Funny how times change. Then change back.

  31. I think the way Cat and Kryten caused the choking wasn’t really a “cause” per se. The choking was always going to have happened, but it was Cat/Kryten’s presence that made it “always going to have happened.” There’s sort of a time element to it as well. The quantum/psi nature of the entanglement effectively tweaked causality retroactively.

    Or to oversimplify it a bit, since the quantum rod warps spacetime, that’s basically what Cat/Kryten did to choke the BEGGS.

    Also, I liked Irene being weirdly forward with Rimmer because it’s the exact opposite of what someone should do. She was forward with him because she thought he was silent and brave, where in reality he’s loud and cowardly and she should stay far away from him. I mean, duh, but I like how that wasn’t 100% spelled out for the audience and required a little thinking.

  32. >Why do people choke to death on tacos or sandwiches?

    A line of people choking to death on tacos simultaneously and for no particular reason would be just as lousy a plot contrivance.

  33. >I mean, duh, but I like how that wasn’t 100% spelled out for the audience and required a little thinking.

    Yes, subtlety was the true strength of this character.

  34. >Yes, subtlety was the true strength of this character.

    Ha ha, fair enough. My point was that I was glad that the idea didn’t quite reach the bashing-you-over-the-head levels of over-explaining that VIII had. It pulled back, at least a tiny bit. Subtle? Of course not. But I appreciate little stupid things like that because I’m just a gimboid like that.

  35. Kochanski mania was all the rage back in series 1. Funny how times change. Then change back.

    Everything old is new again! ;-)

  36. >Why do people choke to death on tacos or sandwiches?

    A line of people choking to death on tacos simultaneously and for no particular reason would be just as lousy a plot contrivance.

    Oh, probably. But there are people in coffins thanks to doing just that, so it’s not like it doesn’t happen, is my point.

    /now envisioning a conga line of taco-chokers … 15-20, just to make it more festive …

  37. That just makes me think of the Human Centipede, for some reason.

    HORRIFYING.

  38. Can I just check something as I don`t have the chance to watch the ep again right now.

    Did Lister cutting off the Cat`s hair really cause the TV set to come on? My immediate thoughts were that this was one of the worst plotted Dwarf eps in the show`s history but maybe I missed something.

    And why no word from John Hoare on this ep? Always interesting to hear his views.

  39. No, it did not cause the television set to come on. I assume John is busy.

  40. Seriously, how good is it that a new episode of Red Dwarf cries out for plenty of repeat viewings? It’s 20 years since the show was this essential.

  41. Man I don’t have a clue what to expect from Dear Dave this evening. The plot reads like something that could have been really good if done in the first couple of series or really bad if done in VII or VIII. I’ve really enjoyed all the clips so far but this is the first episode that has me a bit unsure going in. The closer we’ve got the more confident I’ve felt about it being a good episode though.

  42. G&T Admin

    And why no word from John Hoare on this ep? Always interesting to hear his views.

    Thanks. Work has been rather getting in the way of me being around for these episodes (12-hour shifts, day and night) – I haven’t watched a single one as it went out. I’m around for the last two Dwarfcasts, though.

    As for Entangled, it was my least favourite so far. I didn’t enjoy it at all. Sadly, I enjoyed it so little that I can’t face watching it again to form some coherent thoughts.

  43. I watched the repeat last night (after I’d watched my Ghostwatch DVD) – I really do love this episode, the niggles that other people have mentioned don’t particularly bother me at all, and so just chancing upon the repeat just starting as I flicked through the channels was welcome.
    I made a point of looking at The Cat’s hair, post-snip (so to speak) by the way, and as far as I could tell, it didn’t regrow. The ribbon was still there, but I couldn’t see the ponytail. ;)

  44. Thanks. Work has been rather getting in the way of me being around for these episodes (12-hour shifts, day and night) – I haven’t watched a single one as it went out. I’m around for the last two Dwarfcasts, though.
    As for Entangled, it was my least favourite so far. I didn’t enjoy it at all. Sadly, I enjoyed it so little that I can’t face watching it again to form some coherent thoughts.

    Thanks for your reply and sorry that you felt like that even if your views did correspond with my own. I hope you will enjoy the last two eps more and that some stage you will write in depth about each episode at some point when time permits. I always find your analysis of both good and bad shows to be more than worthwhile. Still waiting for you to complete your review of Ouroboros Extended. ;-)

  45. G&T Admin

    WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE JUST MARRY JOHN HOARE AND BE DONE WITH IT.

  46. >I can’t face watching it again to form some coherent thoughts.

    When you’re feeling that way you’re always welcome to spout incoherent, reactionary bullshit. That’s what I do!

  47. “WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE JUST MARRY JOHN HOARE AND BE DONE WITH IT.”

    You’re right, we’re nuts. This is an insane conversation.

    He’ll never leave Tanya and we know it.

  48. WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE JUST MARRY JOHN HOARE AND BE DONE WITH IT.

    Isn’t polygamy illegal?

  49. With the first 20 minutes being the most solid since Out of Time, I’m struggling with the thought of anyone disliking this.

  50. Dougs solo writing has alot of flaws which hold it back from being as good as 1-6, and even though i can see some great stuff occasionally that make me think this is classic red dwarf i still feel like there is stuff in every episode thats either been out of place for red dwarf or things that doug just needs to get out of the way as soon as possible rather then really thinking it through

  51. Im more hyped for ‘The Beginning’, but still looking forward to tonights episode.

  52. > WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE JUST MARRY JOHN HOARE AND BE DONE WITH IT.

    Shall we play Snog, Marry, Avoid – John Hoare, Ian Symes, Jonathan Capps?

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