Red Dwarf XI: Krysis Review

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I think it’s safe to say that Krysis came with a fair bit of baggage. Out of all series XI episodes, this is the one people thought most likely to be shit, and not without some good reasons. At this point in Dwarf history, many are terrified of the the concept of the Kryten-centric story, with Duct Soup and Krytie TV weighing heavily on minds. Add to that the unenviable ‘episode 5’ position usually reserved for the weaker episodes and the striking visual of a Ferrari Red Kryten and we pretty much had the perfect storm of terribleness just waiting to tear through the fandom.

Shit or good, Last Day or last straw, Krysis certainly does continue the tradition of defying pre-broadcast expectations, and for good or ill the thoughts I had coming away from the episode ended up being a million miles from my expectations going in.

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As with all of Kryten’s past episodes, this one touches on the character points you’d expect: his programming, his ability or lack of ability to subvert it, and his lifespan. The problem is that these are character traits that have a hazy continuity at best. The show’s grasp on the passage of time has never been a strong suit, and the episode starts off by asking us to swallow the fact that mechanoids are built to last six million years. Never mind that Hudzen 10 was dispatched to replace him thousands of years previously. Continuity isn’t everything, especially with Red Dwarf, but this feels like a stretch when all it’s servicing is the establishment of a few mid-life crisis gags.

 First released: Thursday 13th October 2016, UKTV Play (by accident)

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:
Dominic Coleman (Butler)
Robert Nairne (Gelf Chief)
Daniel Barker (The Universe)

Synopsis:
Kryten has a mid-life crisis and changes his body cover from Mech grey to Ferrari red. The posse try and show him how much he’s achieved in life by taking him to visit a mechanoid from his old fleet.

Set Report | Let’s Talk About | Talking Points

We’re also here for the comedy, though, and this opening scene in the bunk room doesn’t disappoint there. Personally, the quality and delivery of the gags has been one of this series’s biggest strengths. Specifically, the sudden reveal of Cat right after Kryten’s “stupid stupid stupid” rant probably ranks as one of my favourite moments this series, and before then a small snippet of yet more Rimmer and Lister bunk room bantz worked very well, too.

It’s during the scene in the Science Room where we get our first encounter with Kryten’s new red suit, and it’s where a bulk of the previous fears for this episode start to melt away, ready to be replaced with new ones. The mid-life crisis concept isn’t a terribly original one, and the observations about the red sports car are even less so, but I’m happy the scene exists if only for the great spinning around drinks serving trick. Thankfully, and crucially, Kryten’s behaviour is only slightly erratic in this scene and for the rest of the episode he remains consistently and believably Kryten, without any recourse to the depths of some of the Duct Soup or Krytie TV atrocities.

When the crew decide it’s in Kryten’s best interest to find another of his kind the plot unfortunately hits another rough spot. The problem here is that not only do we have an entirely new and greatly significant bit of technology thrust at us after all these years, but we’re also asked to accept the very cheap use of the stasis booths. Before now stasis has been used very sparingly. In Future Echoes Lister is spending days and weeks preparing for his jaunt, and his ultimate goal is to only reemerge when Earth is found. In Nanarchy stasis is also used, but again it’s for a grand purpose; to bring the crew back to Red Dwarf. Now, apparently, it’s being used as a cheap narrative teleportation device. Stasis feels like it should be dangerous, a last resort, and to see it used here to facilitate the grand quest of making Kryten feel a little bit better about himself is jarring to say the least.

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And that points directly to another central problem with this episode’s plot, and that is there’s no compelling reason why the things that happen happen. Having Kryten’s mid-life crisis being triggered by the happenstance discovery of the Nova 3 would’ve avoided the logical stretch that mechanoids are supposed to last an impossible amount of time. Alternatively giving some life threatening danger to the crisis would’ve helped necessitate the drastic action that’s taken here, and at least given some more weight to Kryten’s journey into accepting his place in the universe. But Kryten’s in no danger, his situation isn’t placing anyone else in danger. There’s absolutely no reason why the rest the crew couldn’t just let him get over this all naturally.

However, with every frustration of plot contrivances comes more solid comedy, and this time it’s in the form of a wonderful performance by Dominic Coleman as Butler, the Series 3000 mechanoid (and yes, I’m letting one that go). The stage is set perfectly for a David Ross tribute act, and while not mimicking that early performance at all, you can easily see where the two mechanoids diverged from, presumably, being incredibly similar during their time serving on their respective ships. Butler is instantly easy to watch and listen to, and his pomposity and huge amounts of smugness are wonderful to behold. Every single time he turns to Kryten to ask him if he writes, or paints, or “dabbles in medical science” and then pulls that shit eating smirk, it is a unique joy.

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Thematically, it’s easy to see where this episode is coming from. This is, in part, Kryten’s Dimension Jump. At the point where both of their ships crashed, the two mechanoids can be assumed to be functionally fairly similar. In Butler’s case it seems to have been easier for him to break his programming (possibly due to being an earlier model?) and pursue the equivalent of his ‘garden’ dream unfettered by guilt, where Kryten was trapped in the loop of servitude, long after his masters had died and only managed to even begin breaking his programming when he was already almost three million years old. So Kryten being continually tortured by the accomplishments of Butler seems a tad unfair, but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of comedy to be mined form the situation. The encounter with the (stunningly recreated) GELF is probably the highlight, culminating in a ridiculous chorus of “Maaaaaaaah”s that pretty much had me helpless with laughter. I’ve thought long and hard about why this is, and it’s almost certainly Kryten’s face throughout, one that he keeps for pretty much the entire scene.

Kryten’s increasing discontent feels like it should be building to some sort of climax, and we do get that to some extent, but again it feels like the episode really sells us short on the plot. After discovering that Butler’s alteration to Starbug is sending them into a long, slow death dive Kryten’s delight at this apparent fuck up could’ve created some very effective tension in the episode, but instead it’s resolved and over very, very quickly. As such the episode that has failed to set up any sort of credible threat or situation, now heads towards an equally failed resolution, because apart from a few niggling feelings on Kryten’s part and a jealousy chip in danger of overloading for all of five seconds every now and then, there is absolutely bugger all *to* resolve.

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And what better way to resolve absolutely nothing, than to have one of the most jarring and baffling scenes in the show’s history? I mean, it’s definitely funny enough and technically very impressive, but the idea of a sentient Universe doing a Morgan Freeman impression is just a little too beyond the pale for me. The far too on the nose performance aside, it rubs up against one of the show’s core tenets. Sure, the Universe re-establishes the fact that Earth is the only planet with intelligent life, but the problem is that the world that Red Dwarf has built up over the years fundamentally does not jive with the fact that the Universe is sentient, because it strips away at the loneliness and the constant assertion that everything – no matter how bizarre – has an origin, and an explanation. I’m almost inclined to believe that this isn’t really the Universe, but it’s not presented in a way that allows much doubt.

Not only that, but it’s a concept that’s almost entirely wasted. There’s a “Mr. Universe” joke that made me laugh, but the plot’s core problem of barely existing is brought to the fore here, as Kryten shares with us a revelation he’s had off screen about the Universe containing love, therefore there is a point to everything. Great. Brilliant. Undermine the show’s entire concept and tone to tell us that all we need is love. Utterly baffling. What’s so frustrating here is that all the parts are here to tie this episode together beautifully. It could be said that Kryten’s talk of love speaks to the fact that while Butler chose a life of accomplishment but ultimate loneliness, Kryten chose to surround himself with friends. Kryten could’ve talked about how breaking his programming through Lister’s friendship and tutelage actually allowed him to feel love in a way that maybe Butler couldn’t, again making his life more worthwhile in the long run. But no. Kryten essentially said “aaah but love” to the literal Universe, and then everyone went home.

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I like this episode, I really do. At its core it’s a funny and tremendously enjoyable half hour, with one of the best guest stars in years, an excellent central performance by Robert Llewellyn and the consistently funny dialogue that I’ve come to expect from this series. Unfortunately, it’s let down by a plot that failed to convincingly set up or conclude the central premise, and an ending that did not even come close to justifying the drastic tonal shift that it contained.

TINY TEASER: Subwoofer – Kryten has one installed in his new suit. Presumably in his ARSE
ACTUAL SCENE COUNT: 19 (Series total: 116)
ACTUAL SMEG COUNT: 2 (Series total: 11)

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64 Responses to Red Dwarf XI: Krysis Review

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  1. Indeed. Like other episodes this season, all the elements are – frustratingly – right there, and with some careful rewriting/restructuring, wholly satisfying stories could be told.

    However, for the most part, we’ve ultimately got fun, even solid episodes, with some reservations.

  2. That last sentence pretty much sums up how I feel about every episode this season… the sum of the parts don’t add up to a solid episode overall. What’s frustrating is that most of the issues Series XI has can be solved with five minutes of basic script tweaking.

  3. The comedy is of a better standard this series, would you agree?
    I’d also say that the episodes seem to be a lot tighter than series X, too. Overall.
    If it is recommissioned for another series perhaps Doug should employ someone to check his facts and continuity like George R. R. Martin.

  4. First smeg-less episode since Back To Reality, and only the third one ever. I like it when they don’t say smeg.

  5. Krysis is the most frustrating episode of the run for me. I actually prefer it to Twentica and Samsara, but can’t help thinking that with a bit of re-jigging it could have been really great – especially consider Robert and Dominic Coleman’s performances. In complete agreement that, had the meeting with Butler been the catalyst for Kryten’s MLC (rather than Lister’s attempt at fixing it), the story would have flowed better.

    I’m not keen on the crew popping into Stasis, although I at least found this a bit more forgivable than Nanarchy which essentially meant giving up the search for Red Dwarf (and Earth) because of Lister’s wish to find the nanobots.

    The Universe is odd and troublesome. I don’t hate it outright, and liked bits of the scene…I just don’t know what it’s doing in this particular episode. It’s too big an idea to be shoved into a single scene.

  6. “ACTUAL SMEG COUNT: 0”

    And yes, I think Doug might need a more objective script editor if XIII happens. Everything in XI so far has been one draft away from excellence.

  7. If ‘Discovering the Nova 3’ were the episode’s starting point, it would remove several issues, to the extent that it’s baffling it wasn’t done in the first place.

    It would allow for a ‘normal Kryten’ prologue, to establish the starting point of the journey the character’s about to take (Not totally essential in a long running series, admittedly, but preferable from a purely structural POV) and remove the whole ‘previously unmentioned tech’ issue and subsequent stasis section, both of which only exist as a blatantly plotty way to move the story on.

  8. Pretty sure there were two Smegs in this episode…? Or are we only counting Smegs in its singular use and not variations like smegging or smegged?

    Lister and Kryten both say it just before Rimmer lifts the phone to speak to the universe.

  9. I agree this series could use a better script editor.

  10. Great review. Got to the heart of some things there.

    I wish i had found the “Maaaaaaaah”s” as amussing as you, glad that all hit the spot. I just was left cold, maybe i missed a beat and didnt laugh at the first one, it was a tedious ride watching it overplayed when I didnt enjoy it’s first mention.

    Looking at the universe watching set now after watching the return of the crystal maze, i now want kryten to shout.
    Start the fans please.

  11. “ACTUAL SMEG COUNT: 0”

    There’s at least one when Lister exclaims “What the smeg was that?’ when Butler’s upgrade fails. Pretty sure Kryten says it too at some point.

  12. I think the Mr. Universe stuff confirms to me what I started to think when ‘Back to Earth’ came out. Doug really wants to direct and write serious sci-fi, and not necessarily Red Dwarf. Or at least try different sci-fi concepts. He knows he has the Red Dwarf vehicle to do this, and rather than starting with his characters and trying to build a story around them, i get the impression he starts with a grand sci-fi idea like a sentient universe that he wants to write about and direct, then tries to squeeze the Dwarf characters into that concept.

    I honestly think if he was given his own sci-fi commission, he would happily walk away from Red Dwarf.

    This is of course based on evidence that I have in my back pocket, that i just made up. But still :)

    Having said that, I really liked the episode regardless.

  13. >a more objective script editor

    What do you mean by this? In what way is the current script editor not “objective”?

    I think if you don’t see the processes that the scripts go through, it’s unfair to make assumptions over what is and isn’t done to them in that process.

    As for this:

    >perhaps Doug should employ someone to check his facts and continuity like George R. R. Martin

    … surely if Red Dwarf had someone rigorously fact-checking all continuity references and making sure that everything lined up with exactly how it was before, then that… wouldn’t really be in keeping with how Red Dwarf has been since about 1989? Being consistent would, in and of itself, be inconsistent.

  14. Just a joke, dude.
    Lots of folk in a tizzy over what is essentially a comedy show, which has the right to press restart at the end of every show.
    Though yes, some things do seem a bit obvious and I can sympathise. They’re the sort of thing a fan would pick up on.
    Like in Bottom when Eddie and Richie both can and can’t play chess in different series.

  15. G&T Admin

    perhaps Doug should employ someone to check his facts and continuity like George R. R. Martin

    GRRM’s script editor is famously lax at this point. I loved the last two books, but it’s almost like they weren’t edited at all.

  16. G&T Admin

    And I feel like I’ve messed up on the smegs. My brain didn’t register any and the set report confirmed that for me. I’ll get it updated before the next review is written, as this is clearly a vital matter.

  17. First smeg-less episode since Back To Reality, and only the third one ever. I like it when they don’t say smeg.

    Lister says the universe will be ‘Smegged off’ does that count?

  18. “ACTUAL SMEG COUNT: 0”

    There’s at least one when Lister exclaims “What the smeg was that?’ when Butler’s upgrade fails. Pretty sure Kryten says it too at some point.

    I firgot about this one, thats at least 2 then haha

  19. I enjoyed the episode. A couple of lines short of perfect for me. The series 3000 issue and the Butler voice irked me initially. ( I know red dwarf has continuity issues but the unreality bubble seems too much of a stretch. Also the creation date seems off. But then the red dwarf dates have been changed so much throughout the years I didn’t mind for that much.
    I liked how Rimmer saw an opportunity to convince Butler to join them as he has only ever thought of himself and never liked Kryten (jealousy of his knowledge and the fact Kryten is liked by Lister and even Cat).
    Other than the ending, Officer Rimmer is still my fave of the series so far.

  20. … surely if Red Dwarf had someone rigorously fact-checking all continuity references and making sure that everything lined up with exactly how it was before, then that… wouldn’t really be in keeping with how Red Dwarf has been since about 1989? Being consistent would, in and of itself, be inconsistent.

    Thus making it consistent.

  21. I wish i had found the “Maaaaaaaah”s” as amussing as you, glad that all hit the spot. I just was left cold, maybe i missed a beat and didnt laugh at the first one, it was a tedious ride watching it overplayed when I didnt enjoy it’s first mention.

    Me too. It didn’t work for me, but I think we’re in the minority as most people seem to like that bit a lot.

  22. >a more objective script editor

    What do you mean by this? In what way is the current script editor not “objective”?

    Maybe someone who’s less of a fan of the show and can look at the script from a distance; be able to see inconsistencies and plot holes within episodes. I dunno, maybe I’m being unfair, but it really does seem – as a lot of people have pointed out – that most of the episodes could be improved with only a few small fixes, often just a line or two to see how we’ve jumped from one thing to another. This sort of thing probably should have been picked up by the script editor, and so I’m making a guess that maybe having someone already so involved in the show as a script editor might be an issue. It’s the most desirable conclusion, too, as the others are ‘Andrew’s actually a crap script editor’ or ‘the scripts must have been in a poor state if this is the tightest they could be made’.

  23. The curse of the script-editor is that the main writer is well-within their rights to ignore any suggestion. It’s a little mean-spirited to praise Doug for the good points, and blame Andrew for the bad points. Andrew may have made suggestions like the ones on this site – it’s Doug’s prerogative as to whether he takes all, some, or none of them on board.

    You’ve also no idea what state the episodes were in when Andrew took a pass. Maybe Krysis was fixed up drastically, and we’d be complaining a lot more if there hadn’t be extensive work done? We don’t know. It’s all conjecture, so accusations are unfair.

    As for noticing plot-holes, I don’t see how someone who’s less of a fan will help on that front either.

  24. Ain’t Ellard the reason we have Howard Rimmer rather than a recast Frank?

  25. >GRRM’s script editor is famously lax at this point. I loved the last two books, but it’s almost like they weren’t edited at all.

    I didn’t mean his editor as such. I thought he had an amanuensis or the like to specifically check names, histories etc. But my sources are a little sketchy… I just googled it to double check and there’s an article about him hiring fans to do it. Like what this thread says about!
    (You should branch out to do a George R. R. Martin fansite. It would be funny. Probably wouldn’t need updating as regularly as this one…)

    >Maybe someone who’s less of a fan of the show and can look at the script from a distance; be able to see inconsistencies and plot holes within episodes.

    We’re fans though, aren’t we. And suggestions on here are solid enough.

  26. Ain’t Ellard the reason we have Howard Rimmer rather than a recast Frank?

    Andrew might be the only reason continuity isn’t messed up every episode tbh, although doesn’t change the fact that abit more strict script editing wouldn’t have hurt this series.

  27. G&T Admin

    I didn’t mean his editor as such. I thought he had an amanuensis or the like to specifically check names, histories etc. But my sources are a little sketchy… I just googled it to double check and there’s an article about him hiring fans to do it. Like what this thread says about!
    (You should branch out to do a George R. R. Martin fansite. It would be funny. Probably wouldn’t need updating as regularly as this one…)

    Ah yeah. I get you. Yeah, he has Elio and Linda for that and they’ve pretty much become co-authors of the extended world stuff because they have an almost inhuman grasp on timelines. It helps that the world has been crafted with such care and he actually has done a great job of being very careful with his continuity from the beginning.

    His main problem is one that Doug also has, and that’s letting his little ticks and foibles show through in the writing too much. Phrases like “much and more” and “as useless as nipples on a breast plate” suddenly show up out of nowhere and are used WAY too much, similar to Doug’s modern life woes or the repeating phrases he likes so much. Luckily, they’re both geniuses too, so fuck it.

  28. So I tweeted Doug about the series 3000 issue and he replied saying Reality Bubble . Good work theorists :)

  29. “… surely if Red Dwarf had someone rigorously fact-checking all continuity references and making sure that everything lined up with exactly how it was before, then that… wouldn’t really be in keeping with how Red Dwarf has been since about 1989? Being consistent would, in and of itself, be inconsistent.”

    Sure, there’s small silly inconsistencies, and there’s changing continuity if it needs to serve the story better, and then there’s just lazy. There’s NO reason Butler couldn’t have been a fellow series 4000 mech instead of a 3000 series. It would have served the point Lister was trying to make better IMHO because they would have started off equal, instead of Kryten already having some kind of advantage. I understand they were trying to push the joke further by saying that even a lower model has surpassed his accomplishments, but then, why not just make him a human looking mech?

    I know it seems petty, it just irks me that in this day and age simple mistakes like that still get through.

  30. So apparently Naylor has weighed in on Twitter; in response to a question about the Series 3000 looking human. His response: “Reality Bubble”.

    The funny thing is, that actually fixes ANOTHER niggle I had, which was, “If the series 3000 looked human and were all recalled, why then does Hudzen, a newer model than Kryten, look human??”

    I’m entirely sure that’s exactly what he was going for. =)

  31. And wasn’t the Series 4000 series designed by by Professor Mamet’s to look like the bloke who jilted her. Why does the Series 3000 look the same….?

    Nope. I’ve looked everywhere. Under the sofa. behind the fridge. Can’t find one anywhere.

    A fuck to give, that is.

  32. Being a fan or not a fan has nothing to do with being able to spot plot holes — in fact I reckon most of them have been spotted by fans rather than casual viewers (although I’m a fan and I perhaps wouldn’t have noticed some of them if others hadn’t pointed them out). And few minor plot holes that wouldn’t even be that noticeable to a casual viewer or some lines which could’ve been improved on are hardly grounds for firing a script editor. If you want to see poor script editing, take another look at VII and VIII. They have plenty of basic story-telling problems which I would’ve expected a script editor to pick up on. In fact, am I right in saying that VIII didn’t even have a script editor!? I looked it up just now and I don’t see any listed and I assume that Script Associate has a different role. That actually explains a lot to me.

    GRRM’s script editor is famously lax at this point. I loved the last two books, but it’s almost like they weren’t edited at all.

    Did he ever find a copy-editor who has the patience to go through a whole book? I’ve only read the first GOT book years ago and I could almost pinpoint the place where the copy-editor gave up on it a few hundred pages in. From then on there seemed to be typos on every other page.

  33. And wasn’t the Series 4000 series designed by by Professor Mamet’s to look like the bloke who jilted her. Why does the Series 3000 look the same….?

    Well if it referred to Kryten’s physical appearance, I doubt that her ex had a head that shaped, so she was likely referring to facial features, I.e. Robert Llewellyn. Granted they’re largely hidden under the prosthetics too, and the two actors faces do look remarkably similar with the masks, but you can just about see the difference.

    I do wonder though, do all the 4000 series have exactly the same face? The only other ones we’ve met are Able, who, being played by Robert, obviously did, and Camille, and she was female anyway, and not actually a mechanoid. She fooled Kryten for a bit though, suggesting there might be variations in the series, possibly based on gender or the GTI mini upgrade.

    I kind of assumed Mamet modelled the 4000 series on he ex’s personality though, or rather a version of it with the stuff she found annoying greatly exaggerated.

  34. Ok, I could be way off with my script editor perspective then. It’s just so frustrating that these episodes just seem in need of a couple of lines to tighten them up dramatically!

    Inconsistencies with the past series don’t bother me so much – wasn’t Kryten a Series III mechanoid in The Last Day anyway?

  35. >And wasn’t the Series 4000 series designed by by Professor Mamet’s to look like the bloke who jilted her. Why does the Series 3000 look the same….?

    >Nope. I’ve looked everywhere. Under the sofa. behind the fridge. Can’t find one anywhere.

    >A fuck to give, that is.

    ACTUAL [SMEG] COUNT: etc.

  36. >I kind of assumed Mamet modelled the 4000 series on he ex’s personality though, or rather a version of it with the stuff she found annoying greatly exaggerated.

    “she decided to create a droid in his image – a pompous, ridiculous-looking, mother-hen clucking, irascible buffoon”. The “ridiculous-looking” bit suggests that earlier models weren’t ridiculous-looking, like Kryten.

    >wasn’t Kryten a Series III mechanoid in The Last Day anyway?

    Yup. i recall the outcry in 1990 when he was suddenly a Series 4000*. I’ll be the first one to moan when characters act inconsistently, but I don’t think these sort of details make an episode any worse. If Butler looked like a human, would it make the episode better or would it just make people complain about something else?. It’s the second one.

    Butler looks like that because he needs to look like Kryten to sell the idea. And he needs to be an earlier model, because Kryten has to believe that he has a chance to feel superior to him.

    Same with Lister suddenly acquiring a relationship with Kochanski in DNA (when it was restricted to flirting before). It serves a purpose in that story. This isn’t Game of Thrones where continuity is hugely important. It’s first and foremost a sitcom.

    * Aside: I don’t really.

  37. So I tweeted Doug about the series 3000 issue and he replied saying Reality Bubble . Good work theorists :)

    Either that or he has been reading Ganymede and Titan ;p

    Personally i doubt when he wrote it with Out of Time and the reality bubble stuff in mind, its just a line of dialogue in that episode and it probably would have been easier to just avoid continuity errors by not depending on fans to head canon it ;p

  38. We can’t assume anything about how Krysis, and the other episodes, were scripted. There are so many different factors in that script turning out good or not. Look at X; much of Entangled, Dear Dave and The Beginning having to be written/rewritten very quickly due to various issues. There may have been different things happening in the 2nd half of Krysis at one stage or another. It IS the shortest episode, so I’m inclined to believe some craziness has occurred, or maybe just a scene, that wasn’t working, deleted.

    The story itself WAS a good idea! Having the ‘Universe’ in the episode doesn’t bring anything down. I think the way it was done sits quite well in the Dwarf, er, universe. As for Butler, he really could have been a disaster of a character… While I don’t think he was that funny, at least it was pitched right. My fears, as soon as I heard there was going to be another mechanoid in the episode, were a vision of someone doing a lame Robert-as-Kryten impression and waddling about the place pulling funny faces. Thankfully Doug didn’t go down that route. So that side of things did work.

    LOTS of things worked… but it really was one thing, followed by another thing, then another thing, with little threat or resolution. IMO it’s another one that needed 44 minutes (Samsara is the other one I thought deserved a longer running time, with more scenes with the flashback couple and a proper conclusion with Rimmer and Lister back playing Mine-opoly etc.)

  39. A 44 minute Samsara?! Yeah, sure, let’s bung in another 10 minutes into that Cat and Lister scene.

  40. >There’s NO reason Butler couldn’t have been a fellow series 4000 mech instead of a 3000 series.

    Except Beyond a Joke already established that Series 4000 mechs all have the same face/voice as Kryten. Butler doesn’t. So this solution would ALSO be contradictory.

    The reality bubble explanation works for me. In that reality bubble, for the idea that Lister was a mech to work, the fiction that earlier mechs looked humanoid needed to be maintained. But Lister also needed to be a lower order mech than Kryten in order for the gag to work, too. As such, for the time that they’re in the reality bubble, Kryten has false knowledge about what series 3000s looked like. It’s a fudge, perhaps, but it’s an explanation that works.

    I suppose Butler could have been a Series 2000 instead, but then you lose the direct juxtaposition of him being specifically one model earlier.

    And if Butler had had a humanoid face, I don’t think anything about his appearance would have been half as funny.

  41. They should have just called him a 3500 series or something.

  42. It could be like they do with the Terminators – you have a series number and a model number. So Arnie is a T-800, model 101 (or T-850 model 101 in Terminator 3), with the implication that there are loads of other T-800 types that just have a different look to them (model 102 probably looks like Lance Henriksen or something).

    Although Beyond A Joke does seem to contradict that, at least for the 4000 series.

  43. If Doug wanted to he could have thrown in a line to get around continuity but since he didn’t its incredibly likely he didn’t think of that reference in Out of time and has just seen fans mention the continuity error and also speculating with the reality bubble stuff and decided yeah sure lets just go with that.

  44. Ok so radiotimes.com has a review up for Can of Worms and there are spoilers.

    Radio times mentions the return of a certain something from a previous series which does surprise me if this certain thing is returning.

    i can’t say i thought Doug would go back to that concept.

  45. >If Doug wanted to he could have thrown in a line to get around continuity but since he didn’t its incredibly likely he didn’t think of that reference in Out of time and has just seen fans mention the continuity error and also speculating with the reality bubble stuff and decided yeah sure lets just go with that.

    Or maybe he thought of that reference in Out of Time, and then thought “why the hell am I worrying about something from over 20 years ago, when I’ve always played fast and loose with continuity?”.

  46. >Or maybe he thought of that reference in Out of Time, and then thought “why the hell am I worrying about something from over 20 years ago, when I’ve always played fast and loose with continuity?”.

    Same could be said for anything like referencing justice world or referencing that Rimmer has had a bad past with other Rimmers, why worry about something from 20 years ago when continuity isn’t important?

  47. Nope. The Series 4000 boreathon is addressing a plot-hole that only a small contingent of hardcore Red Dwarf fans would notice, and an even smaller contingent would be bothered about.

    The Justice World reference needs to be made, as it’s reusing the same basic idea. Better to address that the Karma drive is based on Justice World technlogy, rather than ignore it and suffer the backlash from anyone with even a passing familiarity with the previous episode.

    And the Rimmer stuff? That’s just characterisation. Kryten’s make and serial number is superfluous detail, Rimmer’s self-loathing and inability to enjoy his own company is characterisation.

  48. “Except Beyond a Joke already established that Series 4000 mechs all have the same face/voice as Kryten. Butler doesn’t. So this solution would ALSO be contradictory.”

    Well, there are ways around that, too, but at this point it just becomes a discussion of “who’s retrofix is better” and I think you’ll agree it really doesn’t matter. Naylor’s explanation works fine, even though it nullifies a neat little bit of in-universe history.

  49. And lets not even get into the fact that the idea that the universe is expanding and accelerating exponentially nullifies the whole concept behind Backwards, even though it is just reflecting modern theory…

    I call plot hole!

  50. To be taken into consideration on the actual Smeg counting.

    I’ve just spotted Lister’s customized shirt, in this episode. It’s been pointed out before that his jacket or clothing something features the actual crew cartoonized. But I havnt seen anymore point this out yet.

    Rimmer with a H on features on the shirt, and underneath him is a white box that says Smeg Head, and there is an arrow from the box pointing back at Rimmer. So Lister has Smeg on his clothes!!!

    I like it when they wear smeg

  51. Also. add to the Red Dwarf Food’s list. Choco-comets. I want a bowl.

  52. And lets not even get into the fact that the idea that the universe is expanding and accelerating exponentially nullifies the whole concept behind Backwards, even though it is just reflecting modern theory…!

    Because the backwards world was in an alternate dimension you can get around this by assuming that the universe in this dimension went by the rules of the big crunch theory explained by Holly where everything starts contracting? What Kryten explains in Krysis is just the most believed theory for their own universe?

  53. Because the backwards world was in an alternate dimension you can get around this by assuming that the universe in this dimension went by the rules of the big crunch theory explained by Holly where everything starts contracting?

    Nope, they went through a Time Hole, they went far into the future of their own dimension. =)

  54. Nope, they went through a Time Hole, they went far into the future of their own dimension. =)

    Good point… Well made! Even though it is referred to as a time hole in Backwards it could have been misidentified and actually been a hole into an alternate universe (like one which Starbug goes through in Twentica)? That’s what I’m going with anyway! :)

  55. Using Backwards to criticise another episode about plot holes is flamenco dancing on pretty thin ice.

  56. They were only in stasis for a few weeks. All those locations they passed were all really close together. Done.

    Also, they should’ve gotten David Ross to play Able. Head canon.

  57. Me too. It didn’t work for me, but I think we’re in the minority as most people seem to like that bit a lot.

    Minority of three now. That went on for much too long and I cringed harder each second.

  58. I laughed even more at that scene on second time of viewing, loved it.

    Dwarf Fact: The guy who plays the Gelf Chief played one of the infected at Secret Cinema’s 28 Days Later production this summer. The army doctor was trying to rehabilitate him with predictably unfortunate results.

  59. Nicely updated, Cappsy.

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