Let’s Talk About Samsara (on UKTV Play)

The following article is intended for those watching at UKTV Play pace. Dave viewers be warned that the content and comments could contain spoilers. More info.

Twentica? Twentica was a week ago. We’re far more concerned about the quite hilarious things that happen in Samsara. Yes, with the first episode safely broadcast in a linear manner, it’s time for episode two to spread its wings and fly to On Demand Land. We’d kind of expected it to go online immediately after broadcast, until Dave clarified last night that they were waiting til Friday morning. We’re massively on board with this; it helps to keep things clean by holding back the new episode until we’ve finished discussing the last one. Anyway:

EDIT: COME ALONG, EVERYBODY! IT’S HERE! IT’S IN ORBIT!

Discuss away below, and we’ll be along with some Talking Points for you later today. And thanks to all those who listened live to our Twentica DwarfCast last night. We were a little rusty in places, but we soon remembered how tremendously fun the experience is. Same time next week, yeah?

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127 Responses to Let’s Talk About Samsara (on UKTV Play)

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  1. Did they actually say it would be up in the morning or could it be evening?

  2. Having been at the screening last night I’ve seen it before quite a few people so anyone reading this who hasn’t been able to view it online yet (owing to it not being online yet) divert your eyes.

    It’s another episode that is absolutely full of jokes. It starts out a bit slower with bunk room scenes but I liked that, got a sense of living on board ship for a little while before the episode kicked in, but regardless I was laughing from beginning to end.

    I new science room set looks awesome, though I do still pine a little for the series 3-5 set. This one is much more clean and sterile. Like with the bunk room it’s going for an updated futuristic look.

    The story had a lot of potential, but I felt it was somewhat lacking in it’s execution. The way they use the flashbacks to explain to the audience what is going on before the crew have any idea / work it out was a bit weird, it probably would have been better with a flash back at the start and then again at the end, maybe in the form of finding crew logs or something.
    Because of the way it was framed it took me a while to really figure out what was happening in the episode (and that maybe intentional, by the time the crew work it out it’s in the last 3rd), and by that point despite there being a little bit of danger, I never really felt the crew was in any peril and they kinda just shrug it off and the episode ends.

    Maybe I need to watch it a couple more times but it’s not as though it was particularly fast paced. Nearly all the scenes are quite long and the one with Cat and Lister talking about Newton/Archimedes went on a little tooo long for my liking, although I’m aware that was kind of the point from Lister’s perspective, and it was funny, just got the feeling of, this joke has been done to death over the last 2 or 3 minutes now, wrap it up.

    But story telling aside, I really enjoyed it, and I’ll enjoy re-watching it throughout the week and hear/read what everyone else to say.

    Twentica was definitely better IMO. I don’t know the production order but if this was intended as episode one, it would have been a great way to re-introduce the characters, especially with the early bunk room / science room scenes, but I can totally see why they bumped Twentica to the top of the series.

    Also, fun facts from the screen. Ian (formally known as Ray Peacock) told us that Chris did keep rolling a 2 and a 1 whilst filming which freaked him out a bit. Not sure how true that is but he seemed sincere.

    Doug told us that series 10 cost more to produce than series 11, and that just goes to show what you can do when you have a competent production team and no/little set backs. He also had this to say when asked what happened at the end of series 8 “…not a fucking clue”

  3. While it might be fan entitlement to have expected it to have dropped by now, I think it’s a little odd there is little consistency with when Twentica landed.

    I don’t mean it should have been yesterday, obviously wait till Twentica has aired on Dave. That’s only sense.

    But I’m fairly sure Twentica was online by this time of the day, so is it unreasonable to have assumed Samsara would be online now? And is it strange that UKTV have played coy with saying exactly when it will land?

    Whichever way you slice it, this whole ‘Watch an Episode a Week Early’ thing is being handled very oddly.

    Isn’t it? Or is this the epitome of fan entitlement?

  4. G&T Admin

    I don’t think we’re in any position to complain, but yeah, it’s weird that it’s not consistent, and that they’re coy about the timings. I mean, I completely understand it – you don’t want to cause the server to fall over by having everyone hammer it at a specific time, plus you don’t want to commit to something specific and end up missing it due to an unforeseen issue. But I’d have thought they’d at least narrow it down to “morning”, “afternoon” or “evening”, and it’s weird that all we’ve had by way of communication is that one tweet.

  5. Oh yeah, I’d never dream of complaining, just thought it was odd and wondered if I were the only one.

  6. The episode is up guys. It’s on the website and Virgin On Demand.

  7. >Ian (formally known as Ray Peacock) told us that Chris did keep rolling a 2 and a 1 whilst filming which freaked him out a bit. Not sure how true that is but he seemed sincere.

    Surely they loaded the dice? Otherwise it could have taken them hours to get all the shots.

  8. > >Ian (formally known as Ray Peacock) told us that Chris did keep rolling a 2 and a 1 whilst filming which freaked him out a bit. Not sure how true that is but he seemed sincere.
    Surely they loaded the dice? Otherwise it could have taken them hours to get all the shots.

    That would make the most sense, I did think that whilst I was watching it, but then I also imaged a Gunman of the Apoloclyse scenario where they just spent hours filming dice rolling

    Additional thought …

    Is the Samsara the furthest a human ship has ever travelled? Bar the Nova 5 of course.

    All other ships are either Stimulant etc or derelicts I assumed had just drifted for millennia. The Samsara was very specifically in that region of space with a human crew.

    If we assume the Nova 5 got there by the tech described in the novel, could we surmise the Samsara has the same?

    Populated space get brought up a lot and for good reason, they are supposedly 3million years from Earth, but clearly there is the technology available to easily get an Earth crew from the 22/23/24th (delete as appropriate) that far out.

  9. The episode is up guys. It’s on the website and Virgin On Demand.

    No sign of it on Sky Go yet…

    And now it is!

  10. It ended fairly abruptly but I had some fun along the way.

    Feels like some stuff could have been trimmed from the beginning to make room for a more satisfying conclusion. Just my initial thoughts.

    Plenty to enjoy though, it just didn’t feel like it coalesced as well as Twentica.

  11. Well i watched samsara and don’t really know how i feel about it…

    its definitely an episode you need time to let settle IMO because the flashbacks during show were definitely new to dwarf and while i didn’t really think they were particularly funny they were meant to obviously help guide the story to the reveal at the end so basically its gonna come down to whether that story was told well and i need to have a think about that.

    I also remember in the set report saying there was some visual that was very rude for even Red Dwarf and yeah i can see what that was.

    Perhaps the episode suffered abit from being a little compacted to get everything across that Doug was trying to do as it was an ambitious story

  12. A good episode, although I agree that the flashbacks could have been executed a little better. It’s an interesting idea, showing us what happened, but is largely made redundant by Kryten explaining it all anyway. Think it would have been better either without the flashbacks, or to use the flashbacks to show the Red Dwarf crew doing the wrong thing that is going to get them killed, Back To Reality style.

    A very Series 6 feeling episode. If they’re all like this I’ll be happy.

  13. Well, I enjoyed that. After about 10-15 minutes in I thought I may end up preferring it to Twentica but the second half was a little flat.

    In general, I’d say the scenes with Lister and Rimmer were very good, the scenes with Cat and Kryten were very good and the scenes with Lister and Cat were a bit crap. Though I did laugh quite hard at the “knighthood” joke. I didn’t mind them re-treading old ground with the ‘justice field’ concept since they did something different to it.

    That was a pretty weak ending, though, I think I would have preferred it had they not gone back to explain the stuff that happened to them on the ship as it felt like I’d figured it out by then so it was wasted screen time.

    Overall, not a terrible episode, though. I think I actually laughed as much as I did for Twentica (most of the visual gags with the skeletons got a LOL from me) – it just felt like there was a strong start and a decent concept but that Doug didn’t really have an ending. I’d give it 6/10.

  14. Also, this was referenced on the Live Dwarfcast (I forget who by, sorry!) as potentially being the worst episode of the series. If that’s the case, I think this is still much better than the worst of X.

  15. Much better than Twentica (in some respects), for the following two reasons:

    1. The cast were back in character (specifically Craig and Chris — and especially Chris, who was FINALLY back in the driving seat with Rimmer). Danny and Robert are always pitch perfect (though Cat’s dialogue could’ve used an edit in places).

    2. The lighting. The cast didn’t look noticeably ‘aged’ in this episode (and I mean ‘aged’ in comparison to how Chris and Craig look in real life in 2016). This is something that’s bugged me since X, and it’s mostly to do with the lighting. Great job on this episode — it really helps with the immersion.

    On the whole — pretty damn good. Some elements of the plot and the pacing could’ve benefited from a trim or a restructure, but that’s the most minor of minor quibbles when they got the rest so earth shatteringly right.

  16. Also, this was referenced on the Live Dwarfcast (I forget who by, sorry!) as potentially being the worst episode of the series. If that’s the case, I think this is still much better than the worst of X.

    I hope thats the case because i was looking forward to this one and i didn’t find alot of it funny, the lister and cat history jokes didn’t really do it for me

    The idea was certainly rich but i dunno.

  17. the flashbacks during show were definitely new to dwarf and while i didn’t really think they were particularly funny they were meant to obviously help guide the story to the reveal at the end so basically its gonna come down to whether that story was told well and i need to have a think about that.

    I like the idea a lot. I admire the attempt at world-building beyond our fantastic four. It reminds me of how in the novel we’ve got other people’s stories like those of Saunders and George McIntyre and the “game head” couple on Mimas (especially the game head couple, actually, since that’s a true flashback). But yes, the tale of the SS Samsara isn’t especially funny and feels a little bit VIII somehow despite plundering ideas from Kryten and Justice. Not bad though and I agree with you that it’ll need repeat viewings for it to settle.

  18. Has anyone noticed that little logo that appears at the bottom of the screen at the very end of the episode? It says “Albert Sustainable Production.” Maybe not totally fascinating but it piqued my curiosity enough to google it and there’s a likely explanation here.

  19. The flashbacks didn’t seem too out of place to me…. I know it’s hardly considered a classic, but it reminded me of the alternate-universe flashbacks we saw in VII where they explained how Kochanski survived. I know that featured “our” characters, so it was different, but I didn’t mind it (and I also had the urge to shout “AIOTM!” at the screen………. one for the Richard Herring fans).

  20. Anyone else notice the bunks were decorated differently to the end scene of “Twentica”? The gigantic numbers “01” and “02” weren’t there this episode, and the grills that were present in Series X were back.

    I remember hearing the final scene of “Twentica” wasn’t shot on the night, and that subsequently some of the set decoration changed for Series XII – would I be right in assuming the final scene was shot after the Christmas break, when the set had already been redressed for the next series?

    If so, kinda weird as it means we technically saw the Series XII version of the bunkroom on-screen before the XI version…!

  21. Just watching it again on UKTV Play, as I saw it at BAFTA. I feel it fares better on a second watch – I do like that it’s slightly unusual in terms of present day/flashbacks but I do think it’ll be divisive.

    One of the comments made by a listener on the Dwarfcast last night was that they felt that in Twentica the main four didn’t get as many lines as usual and the guest cast were taking up a lot of the screen time. It’s a similar situation here I’d argue, but without the guest cast being in the same scenes. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all – I love having new people that add new dimensions and challenge the main cast – it’s just perhaps so much of a contrast to X that we’re not used to it. That might be why it’s jarring with some.

    Comedy wise, I laughed more at Samsara than Twentica. Cat fan, can’t lie. Quality time with Lister – Cat was so happy! Look at his happy face!

  22. Comedy wise, I laughed more at Samsara than Twentica. Cat fan, can’t lie. Quality time with Lister – Cat was so happy! Look at his happy face!

    I think I did too, and yes the Cat scenes were great.

  23. The flashbacks were certainly ambitious for what doug was trying to do with it and i did remind me of infinity welcomes careful drivers with explaining how the nova 5 crashed and stuff but for the sake of the story i dunno whether it needed abit more added to it or whether the story would have been better without it

    it felt like one of those stories you see where 2 people are in love and they want to be together but ain’t allowed so they do something that accidently ends up killing everyone and themselves but that obviously wasn’t what it was, it was more a twist of the idea.

    As for whether the rest of the episode is funny… i am gonna have to watch it again.

  24. Comedy wise, I laughed more at Samsara than Twentica. Cat fan, can’t lie. Quality time with Lister – Cat was so happy! Look at his happy face!

    I think I did too, and yes the Cat scenes were great.

    And yet it seems the Lister and Cat scenes were the divisive ones! Yes they would have benefitted from a slight trim here and there but I’m not striving for perfection. This is the closest version to Doug’s vision therefore I’m happy.

  25. And yet it seems the Lister and Cat scenes were the divisive ones! Yes they would have benefitted from a slight trim here and there but I’m not striving for perfection. This is the closest version to Doug’s vision therefore I’m happy.

    That whole section won me over with the ‘special hat’ joke. I started to wane the longer Cat’s misunderstanding about Archimedes wore on. “Yes, Doug, we get it, just like VIII’s ‘terrible news about her ex boyfriend Tim’ and X’s ‘moves move’,” but then it felt like he was playing on those expectations. That hat gag sold me on the whole Cat misunderstanding thing, especially with it then annoying Lister so much.

    I can see it’s already divisive but I *might* go so far as to say it was my favourite bit of the episode.

  26. Also, I noticed a few nods to older Dwarf cultural references…… James Last being one, I forget the others.

  27. And yet it seems the Lister and Cat scenes were the divisive ones!

    Those jokes might have been a tad laboured or run for slightly too long or something, but Cat’s interpretation of Earth history is entirely consistent with the Cat People’s sacred texts involving Fiji/Fuschal and Lister/Cloister etc.

    Loved the opening scenes with Mineopoly and there were plenty of Grade A woofers throughout the episode. Loved the monkey/evolution jokes. Adored “rolling in smeg”. A quality script in so many ways.

  28. Oh yes “rolling in smeg” was a great line.

  29. I did feel like the cat history lesson stuff went on abit long, maybe change it up abit and give another reason for the cat to drive lister nuts.

  30. The ending was a little weak but overall I thought this was a much better episode than Twentica. Something different for Dwarf as well, cutting away to the non-crew flashbacks.

    The entire episode would get a pass purely on Rimmer’s “Rolling in smeg” routine. Loved it.

    Also – Dan Tetsell! AIOTM! (aiotm)

  31. i watched.

    i laughed a lot.

    i enjoyed.

    i will dissect it to pieces later on.

    but intimidate reaction after watching is very enjoyable.

  32. I did feel like the cat history lesson stuff went on abit long, maybe change it up abit and give another reason for the cat to drive lister nuts.

    Surprised Cat was more concerned for his foot than his shoe.

    “Somebody, please, get me a tailor!”

  33. Very much enjoyed this episode. Flashbacks were different, but i feel they definately moved the story along. The cat history scene made me laugh, a little too long but not terrible. I was worried Rimmer wasn’t going to say he knew anything about the justice field tech, but when Kryten’s explanation carried on so it wasn’t needed. Loved the opening mine-opoly scene and nods to earlier series, kryten appearing on the screen in the bunk room like in III/IV, Science room looks different but i like it, there was a series VI music cue used, definately used on the dvd menu. Model shots were great! Back to reality underwater shots! These reminded me of the submarine work the model unit did on the series 7 episode of Doctor Who ‘Cold War’. Only thing that was ever so slightly jarring, i remember looking at the runtime running upto it and thinking, wow we’re at 27.30 already how they going to wrap it all up and get back to the dwarf, but the ending was quite sudden. Overall though i quite enjoyed it alot, in a different way to Twentica.
    In reply to McAleeCH, i see what you mean about the bunk room! I have seen the big 01/02 on Ed Moore’s oeoduction stills, so maybe there from XII too

  34. Has anyone noticed that little logo that appears at the bottom of the screen at the very end of the episode? It says “Albert Sustainable Production.” Maybe not totally fascinating but it piqued my curiosity enough to google it and there’s a likely explanation here.

    Comes up at the end of Corrie and if i’m not mistaken Eastenders too

  35. Has anyone noticed that little logo that appears at the bottom of the screen at the very end of the episode? It says “Albert Sustainable Production.” Maybe not totally fascinating but it piqued my curiosity enough to google it and there’s a likely explanation here.

    Even Better, an explanation…

    albert, which was developed at the BBC, is the UK television industry’s carbon calculator. By using albert at the start of the production process to predict the expected carbon footprint, a production team can highlight opportunities for improvement and take steps throughout to lower the actual carbon footprint – thereby reducing the impact on the environment

  36. Loved it. Not quite as good as Twentica but still above average Dwarf. Around as good as Meltdown or The Last Day.

    I think the only reason Twentica went out first was because of the scale of the episode. I can agree with Doug that this episode feels a better opening episode. More character moments which serve to reintroduce the characters well.

    Tiny Andrew Collins must love Red Dwarf now… aside he doesn’t, he thinks it’s shit and only likes it when they say smeg as that is the only reason people watch the show.

  37. i remember looking at the runtime running upto it and thinking, wow we’re at 27.30 already how they going to wrap it all up and get back to the dwarf, but the ending was quite sudden.

    It didn’t really feel like it had a pay off.

    I Seen a similar sort of idea done before in shows like star trek voyager and a couple of things id say about this episode is that the karma drive was fine but it kinda got forgotten about when lister and cat had their history talk and you would think they would have played abit more on the confusing wierd stuff happening around them because of the karma drive idea to keep the mystery going.

    It felt like doug was trying to do a mystery and a bottle show at the same time.

  38. I am interested in the decision to have there be two living humans (at least in suspended animation) who were then immediately wiped out.

    How many humans is that now we have seen since it was decided in Series I that Lister must be the last human alive? I’m not counting any brought into the future via time travel.

    -Rimmer: resurrected through altering the past in Time Slides, killed in explosion, although the lack of reference to this in future suggests that maybe that was undone by a subsequent alteration of the past.

    -Ace Rimmer: from alternate reality, since deceased.

    -Kochanski: from alternate reality, fled alone rather than live on Red Dwarf with Lister, presumed alive.

    -Rimmer: resurrected by Nanobots, fate unknown, presumed dead since we now have hologram Rimmer again.

    -Entire Red Dwarf crew: resurrected by Nanobots, fate unknown, presumed dead.

    -Irene Edgington: survived 3 million years in stasis, promptly sucked out of an airlock after encountering Red Dwarf.

    -Samsara couple: survived 3 million years in suspended animation, promptly incinerated after encountering Red Dwarf.

  39. A pretty flat and under written episode I thought. It ends rather abruptly, yet feels like the story and some of time spent trapped is rather wasted or doesn’t have enough elements to it.

    I was sitting enjoying the mystery of it, and glad that I had read about the episode title wording so I kind of knew from that and one Doug statement that this episode involved either karma or rebirth or something along those lines, so i did have a sort of hint in what the direction of the episode might be about, though the stuff onboard Red Dwarf hints towards something either luck virusy or such early on, so i didnt feel I was spoiled, just that I could follow that some events were significant, to the overall ship or previous crew history, i was watching out for that kind of thing.

    The flashbacks are on another crew I didnt mind too much about that, as I was taking them in a kind of Thanks for the memory framing kind of way, and a bit of a Nova 5 before the crash (seen in timeslides as well) kind of a way. I liked that we were going on a mystery very much, even though it felt a little bit disconnected or unlike dwarf we are used to in those moments, I could still go with that newer approach.

    But then the resolve of it all being a justice field like explanation, fine as a concept the karma drive, I like it’s sci fi, but just so flat as a mystery solved the way it’s revealed, it’s all done in one little bit of dialogue, and no feel of jeopardy really for me at that point even if we are supposed to fear a flash fire. I think they under used the feel that the ship was doing punish or reward as well. Did much bad things happen to Kryten or Rimmer? I suppose we are supposed to think that Rimmer being a bastard to Rimmer has kept them safe from that, but what was their reward then, apart from the not being punished. They should have contrasted lister and cat being nice against rimmer failing to be nice a lot more i think and been funnier with it. I dont really feel they explored and implemented the drive enough into the episode. Episodes like back to reality, better than life have done the action reward or punish thing better, So yeah an enjoyable mystery flattened out for me from that point. And I really dont know what re-watch value this will have for me. Maybe even less than dear dave on future watches. As I can really only list, kryten punching Lister, (out of kindness really), a bit of Rimmers (smugness) and bunk banter at the start as being the things i would want to see again. The rest wasnt funny enough or was servicing a mystery i no longer care about. I could maybe have added the lister sneezes the ashes gag and rimmers “onto the second thing” response, to that list, but im a bit spoiled by Monty python doing that sort of a gag in Aspen, so felt a bit of a borrowed retread that one.

    The skeleton sex joke is very good, and sort of like an orgy version of the nova 5. But its not something I would watch the episode just to see again, where as in Kryten the reveal in that episode and Chris Barries shock i could watch again and again.

    And lastly duct soup is my worst episode ever. Lister and the cast trapped together. Its hard to do that thing of lister being infuriated in his company, as I dont find it funny, i find it as infuriating as lister does really. It happened again in Dear Dave and I didnt like it then again, but I could still probably watch the cat and lister dear dave scenes more often than this exchange about science being all wrong. Yawn city.

    Performances are all fine, it’s was fun mystery and episode following the crew, just wasnt up to par, its going to sit at that point in the overall ranking, just clear of the episode i really dont like or bother with much anymore.

    She must have been a shit computer programmer If a karma drive within an escape pod could kill someone for the nice act of telling someone a warning about a karma drive. She must have been too busy bonking her tutor during computer programming classes or something.

  40. G&T Admin

    I found the first half to be completely on-point comedicially, and things got a tad flabby in the second half (specifically the Cat and Lister conversation) but again, so much ambition and confidence with the directing and production. The flashbacks were a great idea executed very well and the model shots plus the music worked exceptionally well together.

  41. I am interested in the decision to have there be two living humans (at least in suspended animation) who were then immediately wiped out.

    How many humans is that now we have seen since it was decided in Series I that Lister must be the last human alive? I’m not counting any brought into the future via time travel.
    -Rimmer: resurrected through altering the past in Time Slides, killed in explosion, although the lack of reference to this in future suggests that maybe that was undone by a subsequent alteration of the past.
    -Ace Rimmer: from alternate reality, since deceased.
    -Kochanski: from alternate reality, fled alone rather than live on Red Dwarf with Lister, presumed alive.
    -Rimmer: resurrected by Nanobots, fate unknown, presumed dead since we now have hologram Rimmer again.
    -Entire Red Dwarf crew: resurrected by Nanobots, fate unknown, presumed dead.
    -Irene Edgington: survived 3 million years in stasis, promptly sucked out of an airlock after encountering Red Dwarf.
    -Samsara couple: survived 3 million years in suspended animation, promptly incinerated after encountering Red Dwarf.

    So here’s a thought stemming from Ouroborus. Lister abandons his baby self in the past so that humanity may never become extinct etc. What if it’s Lister’s, and only Lister’s fate to survive 3million years past the end of humanity. As soon as any other human comes back, they promptly die.

    We don’t know the fate of the RD:VIII crew, but if we presume dead, we can excuse the fact they survived longer because there is more of them. It too the universe longer to correct that little schism. Kochanski is an anomaly. In her universe, she was destined to survive (maybe to meet Lister in ours and mother baby Lister) so now she is just knocking around our universe still alive. Maybe her fate is yet to be realised.

  42. I think its one of the things some have mentioned about Series X and that is the universe feels more populated and its almost not trying to hide it anymore.

  43. Well the people we saw in the flashbacks were from 3 million years ago so I don’t think they can count towards a more populated “current” universe…….. that only adds up to two people who were in suspended animation in any case.

    Even if it does, though, this is a form of higher population that sits far better with me than the idea of there still being an eBay or phone sale hotlines.

  44. i do think the 3 million years later caption is one of those things where you question why this stuff couldn’t have happened during the 3 million years rather pre-3 million years ;p, perhaps it was just easier to say 3 million years later rather then calculate a certain time period but still.

    Same with trojan you got the idea simulants existed around the time lister went into stasis which makes 3 million year look like only 300 years ;p

  45. I really enjoyed that, much more so than Twentica. Loved the Tangerine line.

    However, nitpicks: The Archimedes section went on at least three times too long. The jerky handheld shots were a bit distracting. Flashbacks weren’t especially funny and didn’t really add much. Ending was rather abrupt.

    Still, great stuff.

  46. Oh, and did we really need the slavery line to spell out the notion of shifting morality? We’re actually quite clever, you know.

  47. So here’s a thought stemming from Ouroborus. Lister abandons his baby self in the past so that humanity may never become extinct etc. What if it’s Lister’s, and only Lister’s fate to survive 3million years past the end of humanity. As soon as any other human comes back, they promptly die.
    We don’t know the fate of the RD:VIII crew, but if we presume dead, we can excuse the fact they survived longer because there is more of them. It too the universe longer to correct that little schism. Kochanski is an anomaly. In her universe, she was destined to survive (maybe to meet Lister in ours and mother baby Lister) so now she is just knocking around our universe still alive. Maybe her fate is yet to be realised.

    Interesting idea.

    I personally tend to forget about Ouroboros because it raises disturbing questions about Listers relationship with Kochanski along with where alternate reality Lister came from.

  48. Really really liked this much more than Twentica. Classic style Red Dwarf about people with nothing in common trapped in a room together has always been my favourite element of the series and we had it by the bucketload here, not just between Lister and Cat (something they’ve done very sparingly over the years) but also Rimmer and Kryten and a great bit of classic Lister and Rimmer at the start.

    You could say that the Samsara story is like a mirror of the Red Dwarf one too. What happens when two people who like each other a little too much are trapped in space together? This created some nice drama as a counterpart to the unending waves of jokes in the Dwarf scenes. Honestly, I think I laughed unbroken for minutes at a time in this episode. I love it and can’t wait to watch it again.

  49. Hmmm. A weird one.

    Liked the Mineopoly / bunk scenes..

    Good central concept though it felt like all set-up and no payoff. Kryten is becoming an exposition machine and it really didn’t need to double-up the explanation with the flashbacks.

    By the end we had a solid, clever premise laid out with plenty of comedy potential in the crew having to be horrible to each other to escape…then it just sort of ended without much of that being played out.

    The Cat / Lister Archimedes conversation was torturous and very reminiscent of the VIII “theory of relativity” conversation.

    Again, it looked great…no complaints there. But, like Twentica…I just didn’t think it was all that funny.

  50. The Archimedes conversation was drawn out. The weak point of the episode. But the pay-off when it returned to them and Cat was talking Lister about Julia Caesar was great.

  51. Doug told us that series 10 cost more to produce than series 11, and that just goes to show what you can do when you have a competent production team and no/little set backs. He also had this to say when asked what happened at the end of series 8 “…not a fucking clue”

    Now THIS is interesting. I’m a TV writer and – while pitching ideas – I find that low budgets are often used as an excuse to avoid anything ‘big’ and ‘ambitious’ … hence the glut of half-arsed flatshare sitcoms and cookie-cutter panel shows that infest our screens. Buuuut If Doug can pull off Series XI on a lower budget than X (which I’m guessing is pretty damn low) that just proves one of my suspicions: it’s not a lack of money that’s the problem with much of British TV, it’s the lack of creativity, vision and even competence regarding how to spend that money.

  52. Wow, this ep is getting a much more negative reception than I expected. Each to their own, I guess, but I absolutely loved it. The Lister/Cat section was overlong, yeah, and more could have been done with the anti-morality concept in the last third. But everyone seemed more ‘in tune’ with their characters than in the last episode, if that makes sense – this really did feel like pre-VII Dwarf again. (I just wish Chris Barrie would tone down those odd growly pantomime flourishes, e.g. “You’re lucky I’m not a SOOOORRREE LLLOOOOSSER”. It’s a weird character tic that he’s been implementing since Series X. Just doesn’t feel like Rimmer to me).

    If the rest of the series is as good as the two eps we’ve seen so far, then I’d argue Red Dwarf IX isn’t just the best series of Red Dwarf in years, it’s the best British sitcom in years.

  53. I personally feel that after watching Samsara, I can safely say that this is going to be the best Red Dwarf series since series 6. Fact. The interplay between the characters, the more complex dialogue as apposed to the more basic jokes we were used of in series 9 and 10. It provided plenty of Laugh out loud moments and a good variety of different sets to accompany that. Very solid 2 episodes so far.

  54. Enjoyed that on the whole. Agree that Archimedes went on a bit too long, the flashbacks could have done with a couple of jokes in & the ending was rather sudden but otherwise pretty happy. First half in particular was very good, especially enjoyed some of Cat’s lines (e.g. the ‘medical report’ and ‘perfect match’ ones)

  55. I personally was laughing a lot at Cat’s history lesson. Cat, in general, is a great character. And there’s something about Lister torture that I enjoy very much. Could’ve used a spot of trimming here and there, but on the whole, I thought this one was quite good.

  56. I loved it.

    The Archimedes bit cracked me up – it didn’t seem to drag at all for me, and I’m someone who often thinks that Dwarf is prone to lingering on a routine for too long (the “Let’s name a series of things connected to physics that could dimly be considered innuendos, pausing for laughs between them” sequence from last week, for example).

  57. Not reading the above quite yet. Just watching it now.
    Got to the point of seeing Dan Tetsell and the UKTV Play machine stopped working. Aside. Stopping working probably isn’t something that would happen on telly. Aside Aside. That last aside wasn’t really an aside.
    It’s seeming better than Twentica so far. Apart from re-using the sneeze joke.
    At the end does Chris Barrie wear a T shirt with ‘Give Quiche Another Chance’ written on it?

  58. The Lister and Cat being trapped together reminded me very much of Duct Soup Xtended. I thought Lister was going to hug Rimmer when he was freed from being stuck just with the Cat. It does show really how much Lister can spend one on one time with Rimmer and it doesn’t drive him as mad as spending one on one time with the Cat. Overall a very good episode and the science room was a great set. To good that there mixing up the sets so some shows have Starbug whilst others are more Dwarf based. In that regard it reminds me of Series 3-5. Can’t wait for the next one

  59. Okay, so, before I read any of the comments above, which either say exactly the same as I’m about to write, or completely contradict them, here are my initial thoughts.

    First of all: fucking hilarious. Everyone commented on the jokes in Twentica, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t really find it that pant-wettingly funny. The jokes that were coming thick and fast…a lot of them were missing me. But Samsara is terrific, really, *really* funny.
    The flashbacks here reminded me a bit of the ones in Blue, don’t know why. Maybe even the few in series one. Balance of Power.
    Nice look and feel, lovely visual gags, brilliant writing.
    Thought the ad placing was strange. Technically in the right place – the division between Lister & Cat and Kryten & Rimmer a perfect break point – but it seemed to come almost mid-sentence, no kind of, I dunno…cliffhangery?..feel to it. And because the ad breaks have no sting it just seems to…go off.
    Then the very final joke is a bit flat. Feels as though it should set up a final little bit, with Rimmer getting his way over Lister back on the Dwarf, tidying up the opening scene.

    Anyway, brilliant episode. And Kryten looks fantastic, too. Hard to believe all the worry and fuss in the build-up to the series.

  60. I’ve digested and I definitely think it’s consistently funnier than Twentica.

    I still don’t think that, storywise, it hangs together as well as Twentica, though.

    Both good eps with different merits.

    2 for 2 for XI so far.

  61. Really liked it. Didn’t have any shit, should-have-edited-out bits like the hostage/twocking/nipple nuts/Rimmer saying “acting superior premier [etc.] officer” instead of “superior officer.”
    A marked improvement from last week.
    But then I was watching online so not paying full attention.

  62. One thing I feel between this one and Twentica –

    Twentica didn’t really need the epilogue scene between Lister and Kryten. Could’ve just ended with Starbug flying back through the not-time-hole. Samsara actually could’ve used one. If only to see Rimmer’s revenge on Lister. The ending felt a little cut short.

  63. (I just wish Chris Barrie would tone down those odd growly pantomime flourishes, e.g. “You’re lucky I’m not a SOOOORRREE LLLOOOOSSER”. It’s a weird character tic that he’s been implementing since Series X. Just doesn’t feel like Rimmer to me).

    Chris sometimes tends to push his performance thinking it makes him more funnier but often it just makes it look like he is trying to hard

  64. I liked Twentica a lot, but I loved this episode. I always really liked Series X, wrinkles and all, but Series XI is blowing it (like a skeleton) out of the water.

    Samsara really felt like the show Red Dwarf was in Series V in a way we haven’t seen since the original 36, and I really enjoyed the revisiting of the Justice World concept and doing something entirely new with it. Justice always stuck out to me, as many great Red Dwarf episodes often do, as an episode that could’ve gotten a lot more than 30 minutes exploring the premise of morality dictating reality, and this does exactly that without at all feeling like a rehash. At least not to me.

    I also really liked the telling of the story of what happened to the Karma Drive through flashbacks, actually taking a look at the Red Dwarf universe back when people were around. Plus, it was heavy on the bunkroom scenes we’re alll so keen on, just mostly not physically in the bunkroom. Maybe not quite classic (though I don’t think these scenes would’ve felt out of place if they were in a classic episode), but a far cry from Series VIII where basically every bunkroom scene was toilet humor. Overall, to me this episode feels like something that could’ve been a Series V without standing out.

    And next week’s episode is the one I’ve really been looking forward to ever since the trailers started coming in, and looks to be another Series V-type episode. I know I’m saying this while hyped up from a new episode that I loved, but I really truly hope this show gets another two series like Doug’s betting it will. I think Doug’s finally learned how (or maybe just finally been given decent time to write and revise, and the budget) to truly properly make the same show Red Dwarf was from 1988-1993 and not a ill-fated retool like Series VIII or a potentially great series aggressively hindered by production woes like Series X, and it’d be measurably tragic if the show ended on such a high. Not that I want to go bad, but I’d rather it end on something like Series VI where it’s still really good but the cracks are starting to show.

    Oh, and the model shots were also better than Twentica. I’ll always love that shot of the Samsara crashing into the water.

  65. > Surely they loaded the dice? Otherwise it could have taken them hours to get all the shots.

    The clips of the dice on the table landing as 2 and 1 were all cutaways recorded prior to the night and were seamlessly played in for us. However, whilst filming the leadup to those shots (E.G him shaking the cup and such), on his first throw Chris Barrie genuinely did land a 2 and 1 on the table, which threw him off out of surprise that those numbers had come up. I don’t recall it happening more than once though.

  66. I really enjoyed Samsara. I like it better on my first viewing than I did Twentica on first viewing, but Twentica grew on me more and more with each repeat viewing so I still think Twentica is a better episode, but Samsara will likely grow on me too.

    There have been flashbacks on Dwarf before (Thanks for the Memory, Stasis Leak, Ouroboros), but this style of flashback, seeing characters not related to our main four, is something new to Dwarf but not something I’m against. Some of the editing was really clever when transitioning to and from the flashbacks.

    Was that the diving bell from Series VIII they used to access the Samsara? It was difficult to tell. It could have been Starbug, that has travelled underwater before.

    The ending felt a little sudden. I’d really have liked to see more of them being nasty to each other as they made their way back to Red Dwarf. Was something cut from the ending?

  67. I’m increasingly feeling like a right fucknugget in my negativity… It’s great that so many are enjoying XI and I wish I was on board.

    I loved X and really enjoyed Back to Earth…the writing in XI just feels weaker. Maybe it’s just me.

  68. First impression for me is that Samsara was just as ambitious as say back to reality was but it just isn’t as good, well rounded or funny as back to reality IMO

  69. I saw this one on the night it was filmed, and I thought it was good on the night, okay on reflection, and it was still okay when I watched it today. Didn’t enjoy it as much as Twentica, and as I said on the set report thread, I could sort of tell I was watching one of the “filler” episodes of the series. Unsurprisingly it was later revealed that this episode was designed to be low budget to allow for Twentica’s setting. Now of course low budget doesn’t necessarily mean an episode will be weaker in writing or plot. Marooned is a prime example of this. However, when you compare this one to something like Marooned it doesn’t quite stack up for me unfortunately. Some good moments, but nothing stand out I didn’t think. I don’t think it’d be one I’d rush back and watch again anytime soon. That being said, it wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, and I’m still eagerly anticipating next week’s episode.

  70. Was that the diving bell from Series VIII they used to access the Samsara? It was difficult to tell. It could have been Starbug,

    I was wondering that. Hard to tell but it looked like something new.

    Odd that they didn’t just use Starbug as we know it’s submersible.

  71. This has probably already been pointed out (I can’t be bothered scrolling back through all previous comments so sorry in advance), but there was a lot of dialogue or visuals that reminded me of previous episodes.

    Rimmer throwing a 2 and a 1 reminded me instantly of his Risk story.

    Cat and the One Armed Bandit reminded me of Nanarchy.

    Stealing the money from the charity tub from Backwards.

    The piles of powder from The End and the skeletons from Kryten.

    Did anyone else pic up on these and think that they’re possibly intentional references to past episodes, or am I just looking way too much into things?

  72. This has probably already been pointed out (I can’t be bothered scrolling back through all previous comments so sorry in advance), but there was a lot of dialogue or visuals that reminded me of previous episodes.

    Rimmer throwing a 2 and a 1 reminded me instantly of his Risk story.
    Cat and the One Armed Bandit reminded me of Nanarchy.
    Stealing the money from the charity tub from Backwards.
    The piles of powder from The End and the skeletons from Kryten.
    Did anyone else pic up on these and think that they’re possibly intentional references to past episodes, or am I just looking way too much into things?

    I doubt they were intentional, Doug has pretty much said his memory isn’t that good to remember everything they did with the show.

    Infact it wouldn’t surprise me if the justice zone mention wasn’t actually in the script originally and someone basically told doug how familiar it is to justice and then that line was added after (speculation)

  73. Rimmer throwing a 2 and a 1 reminded me instantly of his Risk story.
    Cat and the One Armed Bandit reminded me of Nanarchy.
    Stealing the money from the charity tub from Backwards.
    The piles of powder from The End and the skeletons from Kryten.
    Did anyone else pic up on these and think that they’re possibly intentional references to past episodes, or am I just looking way too much into things?

    The piles of powder, definitely. The rest, probably not, though I definitely thought of Nanarchy just like you did. 11 series in, you’re bound to see similarities like that, though the skeletons thing I can’t even see as a similarity because they’re just skeletons of dead people, and none of the jokes around them are similar (i.e. jamming glow sticks into one skeleton to keep the room lit, or the skeleton orgy – that is an amazing term).

    I will post my more reasoned, less-hyped thoughts tonight after I watch it again with my dad. Hopefully it won’t turn out to suck.

  74. Loved it. Good strong story and really funny.

    The only thing I didn’t get, and I may just be being thick, but I really don’t understand why the Samsara crew were vaporised. They were stabbing each other, strangling each other and doing lots of shagging. Shouldn’t they have been rewarded given how the karma drive was programmed?

  75. So why were those in the escape pod turned to dust while the skeletons remained in perfect condition?

  76. The only thing I didn’t get, and I may just be being thick, but I really don’t understand why the Samsara crew were vaporised. They were stabbing each other, strangling each other and doing lots of shagging. Shouldn’t they have been rewarded given how the karma drive was programmed?

    So why were those in the escape pod turned to dust while the skeletons remained in perfect condition?

    I think they killed themselves. That’s why they were skeletons and not powder – they weren’t vaporised. They were acting immorally to survive – by having orgies and stabbing/strangling each other. Essentially, they all killed each other.

  77. That could make sense. But Doesn’t Kryten say that vaporising them preserved their positions? Maybe just a few found out what was going on too late perhaps?

  78. This is followed up by a quick shot of Kryten punching Lister in the face. I think it’s possible to figure out which episode this is from, but only if you’ve read some slightly-too-spoilery press reports, so I’ll leave it for now.

    I really wish this hadn’t been spoiled by the montage. It ruined what otherwise might have caught me totally off-guard. Also, what were these press reports, and why the fuck would they explain enough of the episode for that punch to make sense?

  79. I assumed the shagging and murdering was a last ditch effort to save themselves but they just didn’t have time to make up for all their niceness to the karma drive.

  80. Hmm. Maybe my expectations are too high but it’s difficult to love XI so far. Visually this series is fighting between single and multi-camera aesthetics and it’s not working for me. I’d almost go as far as to suggest it’d be better either without the audience or without the gloss. The 25p is really not helping.

    Also agree that the rampant self-cannibalism crossed a line. Everything was photocopied from a better episode.

    It’s the pacing though really that’s getting to be an issue. When the credits started I genuinely wondered if I’d knocked the remote.

    God, I hope it settles down. This is not playing out like I imagined and it’s breaking my heart.

  81. I’d be shocked if the “throw a 2 and a 1” and the one-armed bandit weren’t deliberate references. I even thought you could hear a small wave of recognition in the audience when the Cat mentioned it (or one bloke going “yeeeeeeeeah!” or something at least)

  82. http://noiselesschatter.com/2016/09/23/review-red-dwarf-xi-episode-2-samsara/

    My review. In short, I liked it enough…but it was no Twentica, and certainly was no Justice. Now that I’m reading comments here, though, and seeing that people have said this was the worst in the batch…that’s reassuring. Because while I may not have liked it overall, there was a heck of a lot to like ABOUT it. If it only gets better from here, we’re in good hands.

    XI is promising so far.

  83. When the credits started I genuinely wondered if I’d knocked the remote.

    This.

  84. Another great episode. Very sciency and space-y so already got my vote. Felt the dice thing went on a bit though. Great old school style gags. Cat had a lot of lines which was great. Interesting evolution conversation!

    How did they get to the SS Samsara? Was it the Bug using underwater capabilities ? It was too small to see.

    I don’t understand the negativity either. I loved all the references such as the Karma drive built from the Justice Tech

  85. Also, was this the episode that was supposedly the weakest from the recordings?

  86. I thought it was the Kryten episode people said Might be the weakest

  87. Oh ok.
    Well I loved this one. The ‘knight hood’ line is my fave gag in this episode

  88. “I thought it was the Kryten episode people said Might be the weakest”

    That’s definitely the one that had me the most worried. I am interested to see how it actually plays out, though.

  89. I enjoyed Samsara much more than Twentica.

    I was wrong about the show using Baby Cow’s phonebook for the guest cast though. They’re using Richard Herring’s.

    Plus Asian actors playing people? What a novel idea.

  90. I seem to remember the set reports were least positive on Samsara. In fact I think Alex reiterated as much on the Dwarfcast yesterday.

  91. Kryten’s tangerine line was my favourite.

    I don’t know, I thought this was an ok episode but a bit rough around the edges – clearly very limited in terms of what they could do and show (presumably for budget reasons), but with an interesting flashback structure and some fun ideas to play with, although I don’t think they quite mined them for all they were worth.

    Things felt a bit lopsided to me – it felt like there should have been more material after the twist/reveal to have some fun with the crew having to survive through immorality, which might have made the ending feel less sudden too. As it was, most of the episode felt like a big ‘second act’ – the Cat/Lister stuff could definitely have been trimmed , along with the explanation of events from earlier in the episode (we can work that stuff out), to provide more room to actually address the reverse-karma idea and provide some resolution, rather than just running away back to the ship.

    But I liked it ok – I laughed quite a bit and it had a very ‘classic RD’ feel to it. It wouldn’t feel out of place as a series VI episode.

  92. Plus Asian actors playing people? What a novel idea.

    Unfortunately, Kerry Shale wasn’t available for the part.

  93. Criticisms? Well, it probably could’ve done without the ‘Lister falling over in the dark’ moments. Or, conversely, they could’ve been shot in a better way. Other than that and my thoughts above, I really quite liked this one.

  94. i actually would have preferred they explored the karma drive abit with the crew when they were trapped together when it was still meant to still be a mystery what was going on while the flashbacks slowly answered it so you would have the characters dealing with some real confusing events going on around them but it felt like Doug was making half a mystery episode and half a characters are trapped together and talk random stuff episode

    I wouldn’t really want all that stuff to be explored at the end because it would be abit like terrorform where they had to act a certain way in order to survive

  95. The SS Samsara ship interior sets looked pretty good. I must admit the episodes so far have looked great!!

  96. “I wouldn’t really want all that stuff to be explored at the end because it would be abit like terrorform where they had to act a certain way in order to survive”

    I agree with that, except that Rimmer would obviously get to be himself, which I’m sure he’d relish and could be pretty funny. The Cat, too, could probably be himself, though Doug could take that either way. I think it would be pretty nice to see Lister and Kryten struggling with being worse than usual, while the other two just act naturally.

  97. Well, it probably could’ve done without the ‘Lister falling over in the dark’ moments.

    I was hoping it would end with Cat saying “It’s over there” or something.

  98. A stinker.
    Good Red Dwarf is a perfect synchronisation of great jokes and fantastic, original ideas. This was below par on both. The opening scene was kinda weak, but it at least held my interest. The second half with The Cat and Lister swapping cracker-jokes (“Knighthood?” Really, Doug?) sorely tested my patience.

    The flashbacks would have been nice, if they’d been directed or acted well, but they were flat and uninteresting. And to hang the whole thing on an idea nicked from a far better episode? Urgh.

    Some of the special effects were a little unspecial. I’m alarmed that Red Dwarf (the ship) looks the shade of red it was in Series VIII and remastered.

    Very disappointed in this one. Twentica didn’t knock my socks off, but it was headed in the right direction. This was just completely off the boil. By about the 10 minute mark, I was desperately searching on something to like about this, but…nope. Another episode of Red Dwarf that I can’t really see myself rewatching.

  99. If you hated this episode, consider that Lister and Cat were originally going to be stuck in a lift (according to an interview with Dough this week).

    Watched it twice now. Still feel mostly the same (great start, OK middle, crap end) but that final line really does let it down. Come to think of it, why wasn’t Rimmer the one who found the card? It still would have been a crap ending but it would have felt more like the completion of a plot.

  100. Yeesh. Duct Soup II. It says a lot that the dialogue was funnier in that than Samsara. They even had a bit of peril in there (sorely lacking in this episode).

  101. Can anyone who went to the recording say how much of this was shown pre-recorded? Feels like it would have been almost all of it except the board game scene.

  102. Kryten’s tangerine line was my favourite.

    Agreed. That line (and its delivery) felt like the most ‘old school’ Red Dwarf moment since series VI. Perfect.
    The rest of the episode? I found it a mixed bag. As everyone here has also said, the Mineopoly scene was great, the Archimedes scene was drawn out and painful, and the ending was way too abrupt. The credits suddenly hit you like a bus.

    Some points that I haven’t seen mentioned yet:
    -the supporting cast seemed pretty poor to me. Like it was a local am-dram production.
    -the model of the Samsara underwater was about as convincing as, well, something from a packet of Wheaty Flakes
    -wouldn’t the impact of the ship falling from space into the sea have knocked everything all over the place? Nothing was disturbed when the gang arrived, including the skeletons that were still sat on chairs.

    Overall I preferred Twentica, but I still liked this episode better than a lot of X and all of BTE and VIII. I think the script needed a few more drafts though.

  103. Was that the diving bell from Series VIII they used to access the Samsara? It was difficult to tell. It could have been Starbug,

    I was wondering that. Hard to tell but it looked like something new.
    Odd that they didn’t just use Starbug as we know it’s submersible.

    I’m sure they arrived on the Samsara in Starbug

  104. I didn’t find Samsara as funny as Twentica, but I really liked the way the mystery unfolded through the episode, which was a bit reminiscent of Thanks for the Memory and Stasis Leak for me. I liked the re-use of the music cue from Psirens I think (spaceship graveyard?). Would I be right in saying that the bed in the Red Dwarf medi-bay was the bit of set they recycled from Prometheus? On first viewing I preferred Twentica to Samsara, but I really enjoyed both. If this is the bottle episode of XI, then it is streets ahead of Dear Dave.

  105. Still only watched it the once, but can’t for the life of me think what the tangerine line was. I was a big fan of the dust/fluff line, though.

  106. Still only watched it the once, but can’t for the life of me think what the tangerine line was. I was a big fan of the dust/fluff line, though.

    The dust line is great, I’ve gone off Kryten in recent series, well I say recent, I’ve been off him since 1998, but that line was brilliant.

    The tangerine line is in response to the odds of Rimmer throwing a 2 and a 1 seven times in a row “about the same odds as being killed by a tangerine”, it’s while they’re around the Karma drive.

  107. I hate to use a lazy phrase like ‘proper Red Dwarf’, but yeah….this was proper Red Dwarf. Sterling first couple of episodes and I’d give this the edge over Twentica. Some good laughs. Danny was brilliant. Plus Doug seems to have remembered to put the sci-fi back in his sci-fi comedy these days which is marvellous. Liked the slightly conventional storytelling with the flashbacks etc.

  108. The second half with The Cat and Lister swapping cracker-jokes (“Knighthood?” Really, Doug?) sorely tested my patience.

    The Archimedes stuff didn’t do it for me (and I’ll happily take the claustrophobia and Welsh painter dude stuff from VII) but the knighthood was worth it.

  109. I really enjoyed it. The one on one stuff with Lister and Rimmer and then Lister and Cat was fantastic and I found it quite funny. As mentioned above the ending felt a bit abrupt, but honestly, it didn’t bother me that much. The only issue I had with it is that at times it felt a little too much like the justice field, but the execution was well done so I got past that reasonably quickly.

  110. Really loved it. I honestly think I enjoyed that more than any new episode since VI, and definitely hugely preferred it to Twentica. It captured that essence of IV-V era Dwarf in a way I didn’t think would be possible again. Really rewards a rewatch as well.

    Loved Kryten’s “Bing-Bong”, loads of Cat but especially him thinking he’d gone blind and the monkey arms stuff (particularly as Lister expecting him to have cat-like eyesight was exactly what I was thinking at the time) and obviously the tangerine line. Plus I enjoyed the concept, no problem with going back to an old idea when you’re doing something a bit new with it.

    I enjoyed the Archimedes stuff more than most it seems (I think it was Cat’s correct belief that the invention of gravy was one of mankind’s most important achievements that tickled me) but the bit about the plane probably could’ve been chopped.

    Obviously the main problem with the episode is the ending. Could’ve done with just another minute or two to have fun with them trying to escape the karma field. I can see how it would’ve looked like a good ending on paper, with Lister’s line about Rimmer having an advantage in being dishonest before his moral superiority is undermined by the cheating being discovered, but clearly in execution it felt very abrupt. Just a little tweak could’ve made it work – Lister leaving the room before Cat finds one of the cards dropped on the floor and then a furious Rimmer delivers a “I’m going to do to Lister what Alexander the Great once did to me” type of line might have been more of an exclamation point to end the episode.

  111. Plus Doug seems to have remembered to put the sci-fi back in his sci-fi comedy these days which is marvellous. Liked the slightly conventional storytelling with the flashbacks etc.

    I totally agree with this. The science ideas mixed with the comedy is what I love about RD. Adding peril which- other than The Beginning and F&S- was fairly lacking in X.

  112. For me, what’s most telling about this compared to Twentica, is that at the end of Twentica I had a handful of my favourite jokes in my head, but on this there were just too many. Almost every joke hit the right spot for me. For me, far and away the funniest Red Dwarf has been since Out of Time, and definitely more laughs than some of the weaker moments of the original 36.
    I felt a bit let down by the slow plot at first, but the more I think about it, the more I can compare it to something like Marooned in terms of the plot simply being there to divide the characters and let the dialogue carry the humour. I felt the Archimedes bit was pushing it by the time it ended, but knighthood redeemed it.

    Kind of the opposite of Twentica for me, really, which was an excellent plot-driven adventure, but too many flat jokes – this was absolutely hilarious, with an underdeveloped plot. In the short-term, at least, that’s going to make it my favourite of the two. I’m genuinely excited to rewatch this, just because I haven’t laughed that much at an episode of something in ages. I might also be able to make a list of favourite jokes then. The aforementioned dust, tangerine and knighthood were definitely standouts, but I’m sure there were 20 or 30 others I thought were brilliant.

  113. The jokes were much better on Samsara than they were in Twentica, which a week on I still feel needed more polish in the gag department. What Samsara made up for in comedy, though, it sorely lacked in plot. This was, some respects, “Justice World” meets “Marooned” – not strictly speaking a bad idea, and I don’t mind the callback to the previous story (Red Dwarf is one big universe, why wouldn’t we encounter the same sort of technology twice?), but my biggest complaint is that it just sort-of stops. It’s a Series IV era story right up until the last four minutes when it suddenly and inexplicably becomes a Series II story. Separately those two things work, but together they disappoint.

    The flashbacks didn’t work. Sorry, but they didn’t. Maybe for a novel, yes, but they didn’t work here. They were the least entertaining, least funny bits of the show.

  114. I’m not sure I feel “Lister gets on better with Rimmer these days” or “Lister gets on worse with Cat these days” so much as “Lister gets on with or is annoyed by whichever character is required for these week’s story and for the best gags”. And that isn’t a problem: after so long together, it’s inevitable that sometimes a given pair will get on and sometimes they’ll wind each other up – Quarantine basically said as much.

    The Cat/Lister scene may have gone on a bit too long, but I can excuse it because (a) if you re-watch it, it’s really only the plane stuff that drags it out unnecessarily – if you cut out from “a plane, dummy!” to “and because everyone was so happy”, the to-and-fro is actually consistently funny – and (b) it gives you a better feel for Lister’s frustration, where if there’d been one minute of gags and all of a sudden Lister’s desperate to escape the Cat, it would feel somewhat out of character. (Which in some ways, Lister’s “KRYTEN!” after Cat says they could be stuck for months, just the two of them, kind of is).

    As others have said, I loved the direction on the transitions between past and present – really nice touches. Futurama often used to do the same with its transitions between flashbacks to the C20 and the current events of the C31, but it’s much easier to do on a cartoon than a live action TV show so full credit for that.

    Finally, after all of the other references and allusions to former episodes, I don’t know whether to credit the bad maths on display as an allusion to Quarantine and its incorrect ‘four Aces’ maths, or whether Doug just can’t do maths properly despite his love of science. Probability of rolling a 2 and a 1 is, indeed, 18:1 (well technically either 17:1 or 1/18, but that’s a common mistake not limited to RD). Doing it three times on the bounce is 1/5,832 (not, as Rimmer calculated, 5,382). I can excuse Rimmer getting it wrong in-story, but then Kryten’s calculating the chance of it happening seven times to be 62,000,000:1 is unforgivable, especially in an episode where he is The Exposition Machine™, funny tangerine gag or no funny tangerine gag.

  115. Finally, after all of the other references and allusions to former episodes, I don’t know whether to credit the bad maths on display as an allusion to Quarantine and its incorrect ‘four Aces’ maths, or whether Doug just can’t do maths properly despite his love of science. Probability of rolling a 2 and a 1 is, indeed, 18:1 (well technically either 17:1 or 1/18, but that’s a common mistake not limited to RD). Doing it three times on the bounce is 1/5,832 (not, as Rimmer calculated, 5,382). I can excuse Rimmer getting it wrong in-story, but then Kryten’s calculating the chance of it happening seven times to be 62,000,000:1 is unforgivable, especially in an episode where he is The Exposition Machine™, funny tangerine gag or no funny tangerine gag.

    What are the odds of being killed by a satsuma?

  116. They really should bring Holly back. Kryten is way too much of an exposition machine now. Which doesn’t help as Robert really seems to struggle with it.

  117. It would have been fine had “bing bong” not been a callback to Series I Remastered. Why you hurt me like this Douglas?

  118. Another thing about Kryten. What is wrong with the Series VI-VIII body design? It looks the best, and looks the most comfortable, too. Just keeps getting worse and worse.

  119. Overall, on first viewing, I liked this a lot more than Twentica. It was actually rather good in places and felt like classic Dwarf. Still have a way to go, but this is promising and if this is considered one of the worst of the run, then that can only be a good thing.

  120. The music was especially good this episode. Noticed one old track from…Series VI, somewhere? But it was nice hearing some different sections with new Howard Goodall music, something that we haven’t gotten a lot of in Series X or XI yet.

    I do notice that’s literally the only shot of Red Dwarf we’ve seen so far. Trailer, opening montage, Twentica, now Samsara. I really hope the next episode offers us some new ones, because the models shots have been superb in this episode especially.

  121. >Another thing about Kryten. What is wrong with the Series VI-VIII body design? It looks the best, and looks the most comfortable, too. Just keeps getting worse and worse.

    I think I mentioned this in one of the set reports. It’s looking awful close-up, which I don’t think was really apparent in Twentica. I’m guessing it’s made of the same material as before, but the panels are so badly defined this time round.

  122. Rewatched it last night while doing my physio and up until they actually get onto the Samsara it’s 100% on form (the stuff on board ship is X quality), then it just trips over itself in a weirdly stalling mix of frustratingly rushed exposition linking into really dragged-out scenes.

    Never liked ‘Cat is stupid’ dialogue either. He’s tactless, vain, ignorant, egocentric and selfish – he’s not mentally subnormal. This isn’t the Space Corps Survival Manual. Some of the best moments of VII, VIII and X were ‘the Cat tries to make things better but makes things worse’ scenes. Here he suddenly turned into Alice from The Vicar Of Dibley, which is a shame as the evolution stuff early on was brilliant.

    The crew are very passive observers so far this series, aren’t they? They’ve done, said and been through very little, they’re just floating through other people’s stories and not affecting the outcome. It was an issue with X as well in places – things are superficially happening around them and then sorting themselves out on their own with minimal intervention. I’m hoping the oddness so far is a side effect of poor episode sequencing in XI and not endemic to the whole block of twelve.

  123. Never liked ‘Cat is stupid’ dialogue either. He’s tactless, vain, ignorant, egocentric and selfish – he’s not mentally subnormal.

    Yeah, that’s what I always say. He suddenly became stupid in series VI, and has been since. So I’m being really contradictory in saying that I thought that whole scene was great.

  124. I don’t mind Cat being stupid and there’s plenty of examples of that in I-VI. That scene wasn’t really about him being stupid anyway; it was showing just a lack of general knowledge; which is totally fine for a character.

    I don’t know why I’m defending the scene though. It lasted for an eternity and wasn’t remotely amusing.

  125. Something that tripped me up on first viewing, and now just annoys me… When Rimmer starts rolling a 2 and a 1, I originally assumed that Lister had loaded the dice, since we’d already seen him cheat once already. Maybe that was the intention but it sort of undermines the mystery element. We’re not as surprised as Rimmer is because we think we have an explanation already.

  126. Cats had moments of stupidity in almost every Series if not every series.

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