DwarfCast 73 – Trojan Commentary

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We estimate that we’re about six to seven weeks away from the first broadcast of Red Dwarf XI. What better way to clear the decks ahead of the new series than by wrapping up our coverage of the last one? Over the next six weekends, we’ll be marking the countdown to new Dwarf by releasing weekly commentaries for all six episodes of Series X. Unless XI starts earlier than we’re anticipating, in which case we’ll either rush them all out or pretend the whole thing never happened.

Join John Hoare, Danny Stephenson, Ian Symes and Jo Sharples from TORDFC as we discuss all things Trojan, including the nature of death and its role in society, The Cat’s facial markings, why the production isn’t to blame for all the faults that come to light after four years, and little red nipples. Plus, a freshly recorded round-up of all the very latest Red Dwarf news. That thing about the t-shirt was totally true by the way.

DwarfCast 73 – Trojan Commentary (46.0MB)

Join us next week when we open up that particular can of worms once more.

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35 Responses to DwarfCast 73 – Trojan Commentary

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  1. Very nice, well done.

    Re Kryten – As I fill endless amounts of sketch pads, I’ve looked at his costume a fair bit over the years. Here’s how I was drawing him in 1997, in his RDVII costume, for example:
    https://bromley001.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/krytie.jpg?w=627
    But compare that to how I drew him from a RDIV promo shot: http://bromley001.deviantart.com/art/Krytes-204998126?q=gallery%3Abromley001%2F29731980&qo=10

    I tend to notice changes to his costume, even small ones. I remember finding the costume change from series V to series VI enormous at the time. The round neck, the shape of the breast plate, the shoulder lights changing from one large white light to three small coloured lights. (I think this was because I’d gotten used to copying Smegazine drawings, so having to learn his new look was a pain) Then the change to a much more silvery shade in VII. Drawing him can be a bugger, basically, because I have to think about how his costume looks. His monitor’s a particular annoying one for change. From RDVI onwards, It gets smaller, higher, then has that annoying black spot in the middle, which actually renders it useless as a monitor. This new costume’s going to be a bastard to draw right, but at least the monitor’s looking better.

    As for the shape of his head… Series III – patchy, but experimental. Series IV – lines more pronounced, but still quite soft looking. Series V was the definitive mask, really – sturdy and very hard angles. Series VI was slightly different – slightly fuller and rounder. Series VII – the forehead was shorter (compare it with the RDIV mask) which contributed to it looking odd. Now, series VIII, I thought was actually great. Great angles, firm lines. BtE was almost there, and Series X was, as we all know, horrible around the eyes and nose. And mouth. And the forehead was a little too low. But apart from that, fine. Series XI? I was worried for about twenty minutes when I saw that photo. But the more I’ve looked at it, although the ears are a bit different, the mouth and lower face only look eversoslightly different, which is mainly due to the flexibility afforded to Robert. And in a way, it’s actually the best design he’s had for years.

    Fuck me, that was quite a mini essay, wasn’t it? Sorry.

    So, anyway…Trojan. And the Dwarfcast just there. That was quite good.

  2. I am literally as excited by the new Dwarfcasts as I am by the new series!

  3. I love these Dwarfcasts. The format makes me wonder if Doug could put together some mp3s of Chris, Craig, Danny and Robert commentating on RDX…

  4. I’ll be honest, Trojan along with Dear Dave is one of the 2 episodes in series X that I strongly disliked. Yes there were a couple funny scenes in it, but by and large it actually felt it suffered from a lot of series 8 pantomime. Also I hated the revelation regarding Howard, he whole thing was very on the nose and was a very weak start to a mixed bag of a series.

  5. Anyone want to put together a nice 10 panel image of Kryten’s changing image from 2-11? Would be nice to compare them side-by-side.

  6. Anyone want to put together a nice 10 panel image of Kryten’s changing image from 2-11? Would be nice to compare them side-by-side.

    I tried. What I did looks shit. Well, it looked alright when I stuck the pictures together, it looks fucking horrible online. So if someone can try and do better than me, please do.
    https://bromley001.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/kryten-through-the-years/

  7. Smegging RDX blurays won’t play on my PC anymore, very frustrating. I suspect it’s Windows 10 to blame. BTE still plays fine though and RDX works fine on my PS3.

    I object to my digital rights being managed.

    Looking forward to the commentary’s once I sort this issue out.

  8. Oh. That looks better.

    I found the Red Dwarf USA picture I put on mine on Google, never seen it before. It looks extremely dodgy in a full photo like that, doesn’t it?

  9. The Cat facial markings thing is currently blowing my mind…..

  10. Nice reminder there of how much I hate the series VII Kryten costume – and, for the first time, I get why people were so bothered by the X one. Obviously the X mask was ‘a bit dodgy’, but I’d never noticed the drastic nature of the differences between costumes over the years before now, and the X one in particular.

    Cat’s face markings I will have to come back to another time, I’m not quite sure I even know what’s going on.

  11. > Cat’s face markings I will have to come back to another time, I’m not quite sure I even know what’s going on.

    They are trolling us, right…? Either that or it’s so subtle who has ever really noticed it??

  12. John Hoare said. “Do they really need someone to hold the stir master” & ” sim on the wall with a stirmaster” in reference to the dead sim crawford.

    The dead mechanoid isnt holiding a stirmaster. Cus Lister didnt manage to order one, cus he never got through. She isnt “with a stirmaster” They have put a spoon attatchement onto her removed finger and are using whatever electric circuits still work to move the arm and stir the tea to make the same effect. Or as Ian said it “Salvaged one” in a show that previously has shown Kryten to be a TV, a vacuum cleaner, a volt meter, a square coffee table etc etc etc. As for using a dead Sim, it’s only a little more creepy than using the disembodied hand to open doors in Inquisitor

    Good point about the shopping channle not being the same call as tech support. Hadnt thought of that. .

  13. G&T Admin

    The dead mechanoid isnt holiding a stirmaster.

    You know, I don’t think I picked up on that in all my watches! Fair point.

    As for using a dead Sim, it’s only a little more creepy than using the disembodied hand to open doors in Inquisitor

    I think one major difference – but not the only one – is that in The Inquisitor it’s *acknowledged* that it’s gross. Kryten is appalled. If the final scene of Trojan had had Kryten acknowledge having Sim strapped to the wall is weird and creepy, then I may have found it less troubling.

    Also, there’s a reason for the hand to be used in The Inquisitor, plot-wise. I still don’t get why Sim needs to be strapped to a wall just to use a mock-Stirmaster-type-thing.

  14. Also made worse is that Sim Crawford wasn’t even dead-dead…..just sorta crashed in the same way Rimmer had, and that just makes it even more gross to me…..because not dead she will be traped that way, forever being used as a stir master.

  15. Maybe it”s a restraining precaution, in case she should ‘un-crash’ and try to kill them??

  16. Maybe it”s a restraining precaution, in case she should ‘un-crash’ and try to kill them??

    No but it doesn’t make it feel tasteless and out of character…..it was an all round terrible ending.

  17. Speaking as someone who recently started using a Mac for work, I see the spinning beach ball ALL THE DAMNED TIME. And I don’t do video rendering.

  18. I agree that basically “we’ll take this semi-sentient being and enslave it to stir our tea” is a bit tasteless, especially given it’s effectively a group of men forcing a female to make their coffee. It’s in similar territory to Irene’s death: a snappy way to tie up the plot with a joke, but just too nasty to take comfortably coming from such well-loved characters.

  19. The only reason they just about get away with Sim’s fate is that she tried to kill them all…. Still, it doesn’t sit well… What did they do with her later, fire her out of an airlock??

  20. G&T Admin

    If only they’d just reprogrammed her to make the fucking tea out of her own volition, like all bitches should.

  21. G&T Admin

    Also, there’s a reason for the hand to be used in The Inquisitor, plot-wise. I still don’t get why Sim needs to be strapped to a wall just to use a mock-Stirmaster-type-thing.

    Having just relistened to the DwarfCast, I’m reminded that we actually talked about this, and Ian points out that they needed something to tie the Stirmaster plot in right at the end of the episode. Which is true, they needed to do *something*. I can see how they ended up with what they did, it just worries me that nobody thought at any point “Hang on, this is maybe an image we don’t want to evoke…”

  22. Still rather fond of this episode. I share John’s dislike of the denouement with Howard revealed as a vending machine repairman; it’s the kind of crappy Sitcom 101 rule that in lieu of an actual clever ending, we just rely on a bit of irony to flip things round.

    Rimmer tries to impress his brother and convince him he’s not a vending machine repairman / his brother is a vending machine repairman too…. Aaaaah! Do you see?

    Story-structure wise it serves a purpose: ending the story. But I don’t think it’s particularly satisfying or amusing. It also needlessly meddles around with Rimmer’s backstory. Curiously, they then meddle around with it further at the end of the series.

    Would have been nice if Doug had explained away the TV channel and the presence of another manned-ship with the same handwave (the Quantum rod is clearly there for such an intention, but not really utilised).

    Cat walking past the door is probably my favourite bit of Red Dwarf in about 20 years or something fucking stupid.

    In agreement that it takes an eternity to get going and the phone call stuff is weak, but if were to do a quick rewatch of X right now, it would definitely get the nod along with Lemons and The Beginning The others? Not so much.

  23. Cat gets two absolutely massive laughs in this episode, both of which simply involving him walking into shot. That alone made me happy – his character is actually funny again.

  24. G&T Admin

    The great thing about the moose payoff is that after the laugh of him just walking in the room, the characters dialogue builds on that and provides even more laughs without taking it a gag too far.

  25. Yes, I remember having the niggling fear it would go the way of an VIII joke, but the whole thing was immaculately crafted.

  26. The map is still the killer for me. I’m suppressing a giggle just thinking about it.

  27. The assumption that I take from Trojan is that all four Rimmer brothers did equally badly for themselves and all four pretended otherwise.

  28. G&T Admin

    The assumption that I take from Trojan is that all four Rimmer brothers did equally badly for themselves and all four pretended otherwise.

    It’s an interesting conceit isn’t it? That all three of Rimmer’s brothers went off and joined the Space Corps, and their mum was the conduit of all the correspondence, Rimmer being the youngest was getting all the flak of having these letters telling her how well they are doing even though it might not be true. Which is why Rimmer sent similar letters to her which we find out in ‘Better Than Life’.

  29. And maybe all the brothers had different dads.

  30. I’m late to these.
    It would’ve been alright if they just strapped Sim’s hand to a teaspoon wouldn’t it. And dumped her body. Or left it somewhere for a cliffhanger – she could’ve been cursing them, laughing maniacally, and not being able to pick her gun up.
    (Poking her gun away. Poking her gun away… etc.)

  31. The assumption that I take from Trojan is that all four Rimmer brothers did equally badly for themselves and all four pretended otherwise.

    I am not a fan of that assumption, rimmer being the underdog of the family has always been a big part of the character but the idea they are the same just takes something away from that and is abit of a mess really

  32. Rimmer’s guilt complex and his fear of failure were the important parts of that though. It adds, not detracts, to show that. Rimmer’s enemy is his own negative thought patterns, not his ability, integrity or competency, which the show has never questioned. If only Arnold Rimmer had ballsed up then it would imply that he was crap at everything, which isn’t the point of his character.

  33. I’m still wondering if Howard managed to kill his whole crew as Kryten was pointing out in that one deleted scene way back (and in the novel, IIRC) …

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