DwarfCast 88 – Only The Good… Commentary

It can’t have escaped anyone’s attention that things have been a bit slow on the old DwarfCast front of late. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get sufficient numbers of us together in the same room, but we managed to gather three on a Friday night last month. And how did we mark this rare and joyous occasion? By watching the fourth worst Red Dwarf episode of all time. You’re welcome.

So join Jonathan Capps, Danny Stephenson, Ian Symes and the Fan Club’s Jo Sharples as we discuss mostly the bad bits of Only The Good…, covering such diverse topics as how to amuse yourself in prison, multiple piss-poor fonts, Danny John-Jules’s cracking set of pins, having it off with Hollister, what the opposite of lemon is, and Richard Naylor’s first producer job.

DwarfCast 88 – Only The Good… Commentary (34.2MB)

Our mission to hoover up the remaining commentaries for shit episodes didn’t end there. Stay tuned.

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101 Responses to DwarfCast 88 – Only The Good… Commentary

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  1. Ah a sunday treat. I might well enjoy this dwarf cast more than the episode given it lives at the arse end of my own ratings of the series. Given i dont hate on the dino like so very many of you, and now we have a more movie edit of back in the red, this episode probably is my least fave of VIII and not too far of the VII eps i hate the most in terms of dreggs dwarf.

    Giving a listen now.

  2. Yep definitely a better ending to this Dwarfcast than the episode,
    like the double period gag too. There is clearly some isolated bits i like in the episode that memory places in other parts of the series, probably because they were cut from other episodes and put into this episode.
    Whats original to this script is weaker stuff and you point more holes into its concept than i had ever bothered to look for since I knew held together so poorly.

    Head cannon: The prisoners all drowned in the ship flood that wiped out Holly.

  3. Without having listened to a second of this, I already know it’ll be better than the episode itself. Can’t wait.

  4. Oh shit YES.

    I’ve been waiting for more Series VIII commentaries ever since I starting listening to DwarfCast. It’s inherently more interesting to talk about why something doesn’t work than why it’s brilliant, and “Only the Good” is one mess of an episode.

  5. On the note of Rimmer not quite fitting into the prison dynamic, I’d argue that if he’d been portrayed correctly he absolutely would have.

    Rimmer would be the prison snitch, sucking up to the guards and betraying his fellow inmates for privileges. I’d go as far as to say you could take Krytie TV and make it about Rimmer gaining power and influence with the guards by just betraying _everyone_, essentially working himself into the “upper class” of prison. Gaining respect and prominence by screwing over everyone around him, including his friends – which leads them to want to take him down.

    It just seems like a huge wasted opportunity to have given that plot to Kryten instead of Rimmer, who naturally fits it. Kryten had to have a literal in-universe personality change for it to make sense.

  6. Not *quite* as bad I’d remembered, until the mirror universe stuff which is just abysmal. Is Kryten’s line about “imperfections in the prism” just there so Doug didn’t have to concern himself with making any of it follow some kind of logic, and could just write Rimmer’s the captain and has a big cock etc?

  7. It really does work on cartoon logic.

  8. Hooray for new Dwarfcasts! I hope the series 8 round up is suitably long winded.

  9. Rimmer would be the prison snitch, sucking up to the guards and betraying his fellow inmates for privileges. I’d go as far as to say you could take Krytie TV and make it about Rimmer gaining power and influence with the guards by just betraying _everyone_, essentially working himself into the “upper class” of prison. Gaining respect and prominence by screwing over everyone around him, including his friends – which leads them to want to take him down.

    I think in that scenario, Rimmer would be calling out staff for not following protocol either so he advances nowhere while getting stuck in a cycle of hate that’s of his own making.

  10. Not listened to the episode, but the mirror universe logic is a bit off – Rimmer was the second lowest ranking on the ship, so surely he’d be First Officer to Captain Lister? And Hollister, by being the Captain, would be the Lister of that dimension.

  11. Yeah but that’s just what happens when your magic door-opening machine is faulty. Like Kryten says, it’s down to imperfections in the prism.

  12. It really does work on cartoon logic.

    So do Backwards, Parallel Universe, Rimmerworld, Better Than Life, DNA, Dimension Jump, Legion, Timeslides and Out Of Time.

  13. Future Echoes, on the other hand, is 100% scientifically accurate.

  14. Rimmer would be the prison snitch, sucking up to the guards and betraying his fellow inmates for privileges. I’d go as far as to say you could take Krytie TV and make it about Rimmer gaining power and influence with the guards by just betraying _everyone_, essentially working himself into the “upper class” of prison. Gaining respect and prominence by screwing over everyone around him, including his friends – which leads them to want to take him down.

    Yes, an Officer Rimmer style characterisation could have worked really well, instead of him just being Lister’s bezzie mate to get into scrapes with.

  15. the mention of Cat having very little to do throughout VIII made me wonder: if Rimmer and Lister are sharing a cell throughout the series, and Kryten and Kochanski are also doing so, where does Cat go for the majority of VIII? does he have a cell of his own or is he just in prison with some random hairy bloke for the whole series?

  16. I wondered that at the time. Cat’s so underwritten in the series that he’s not given a cell or a cellmate, nor is it even mentioned.

  17. Although to be fair, Cat’s quarters aren’t really shown at all during any of the previous series. I could be wrong but I think Can of Worms is the first time we actually *see* it.

  18. Actually, there is that bit in Emohawk that establishes Cat shares the Series VI sleeping quarters with Lister.

  19. Cat’s … not given a cell or a cellmate

    I always liked not knowing where Cat lived but you’ve made me realise what a shame that is that we don’t in VIII. if any of them would experience difficulty it would be him with us investigating feet and needing to be alone. A missed opportunity, I think.

  20. I really don’t care about knowing the resolution of the cliffhanger but there are some things that massively bug me…

    1) What happened to the prisoners left on board?
    2) Are Hollister and the rest of the crew who fled still out there somewhere?
    3) How do they now have Starbugs and at least one Blue Midget if they all got taken in the evacuation?

    Am I the only one who cares about this? 🙈 Head cannon explanations welcome!

  21. My assumption – the ship they’re on from Back To Earth onwards is not the same Red Dwarf from VIII. It’s either from an alternate dimension or is the original original ship from a point in time before the nanites shat all over it. The one from VIII and everyone on it got destroyed. There was then another period of time VI style where they were sans mothership and reality hopping, where Kochanski fucked off and faked her own death, our original Rimmer reappeared, and the ship last seen in Back To Reality was re-boarded.

  22. If Doug would have let Big Finish have the rights when they asked we’d know all this!!!

  23. I like that! It being the mirror universe ship could make sense, or maybe it was actually themselves who went back in time and stole the original Red Dwarf before the nanos did! Just need an explanation for the rest of the crew who escaped now? 😂

  24. Cat not having quarters in the first five series fits with me, as I imagine he probably slept where and when he wanted to (including Rimmer’s bunk from time to time). But in VIII it’s kind of symptomatic of the fact that the other four prisoners get a fair amount of “struggling to cope with the limitations of prison” plots, whilst Cat is just sort of… there.

    I’d imagine if the story ever goes to novels or whatnot after the conclusion of the TV series, there’d be a story where they stumble across the evacuated crew. If thought about, it’s a pretty big elephant in the room, but it’s very clear that Doug wants us to forget about the Only the Good cliffhanger, so it’s just best not thought about.

    What intrigues me is the fact that it was set up as a ‘to be continued’ with no real plans to continue it. At that point, Doug seemed focused on the film rather than continuing the TV series.

  25. Listened to this on a plane yesterday. Well, I assume I did. I remember the pips, some slagging off of the “rock, rock, rock!” joke, and hearing it end.

  26. I always wondered if maybe Cat lived down in the cargo decks, he does tend to spend a lot of time down there in the first series. Either that or he only bothers to go back down to visit the Cat Priest once in a while. Although given the contempt he has for the man who raised him, it’s unlikely he feels any sort of responsibility to visit him.

    I think it’s the first novel that suggests he sleeps above a supply locker along a stretch of corridor. When Lister wakes him for the mining mission, Cat takes milk, a crystal goblet and robe out of the locker before urinating within it.

  27. > My assumption – the ship they’re on from Back To Earth onwards is not the same Red Dwarf from VIII. It’s either from an alternate dimension or is the original original ship from a point in time before the nanites shat all over it. The one from VIII and everyone on it got destroyed. There was then another period of time VI style where they were sans mothership and reality hopping, where Kochanski fucked off and faked her own death, our original Rimmer reappeared, and the ship last seen in Back To Reality was re-boarded.

    How about, at some point after series 8, the crew travel back in time to the during the time Back to Reality is taking place, steal Red Dwarf and take it into the future.

    At some time after the crew eventually die, the nanobots take the ship back in time to the during the events of Back to Reality, turn it into an Ice Moon, creating a paradox that can never be broken, so there is always a version of Red Dwarf going around and around in time.

    They HAVE to turn it into an Ice Moon so that the crew go off looking for Red Dwarf and find the Time Drive in series 6, allowing for Lister to become his own dad. Without the time drive that wouldn’t have happened, and without them following the nanobot Red Dwarf across space (until it stops in Lister laundry) they never would have stumbled across it. The nanobots are helping preserve the complicated time lines and Lister’s destiny as the last human.

    So…

    Future boys from the dwarf steal series 5 Red Dwarf ship, take it to post series 8.
    Future nanobots, long after crew die, take ship back to end of series 5 and turn it into Ice Moon.
    Nanobots lead series 5 Starbug crew on merry goose chase to discover the time drive.
    Lister becomes his own father.
    Crew find Ice Moon and get nanobots to return future Red Dwarf ship to normal.
    Pencil shaped ship is created and promptly destroyed 8 episodes later.
    Future boys fromt he dwarf steal series 5 Red Dwarf ship …

    etc etc

  28. Maybe the ship just got shrunk a bit.

  29. Remastered Dwarf splits in two from chameleonic microbe. Captain Ace Rimmer comes out of the mirror when nano!Rimmer goes in and saves what is left of the ship in time it takes Rimmer to come back. Dwarfers go with Ace to wait out danger. Rimmer dies and his nano!corpse, with the last ‘bots only just now finishing off Rimmer’s nostrils or whatever, reconfigure ship into a workable design. Rimmer revives as hologram.

  30. Sometimes it seems like even Doug is trying to hide from Series 8.

    It sounds like the Rimmer in the new series is the original Rimmer from 1-7, or at least if you go by alot of the logic in the last 3 series then you notice that dougs not writing this Rimmer as if he didn’t experience everything that happened in this 7 series.

    Plus i think even doug verified it was the original rimmer at a DJ didn’t he?

  31. Given Dave Dwarf’s tendency to hit the I-VI nostalgia button, it would be odd if this wasn’t meant to be the Rimmer from that era, but rather the Rimmer who only appeared in one series that wasn’t very good.

  32. The most simple explanation is that Series VIII Rimmer dies due to the chameleonic microbe and is then revived as a hologram but the hologram that they have on board is the 1-VII Rimmer (a backup from before he left as Ace and recovered from the crashed Starbug). This hologram version of 1-VII Rimmer then saves the ship. This fits with all comments from Back to Earth and Series X.

  33. > The most simple explanation…

    Thing is, any theory for current Rimmer being a “new” hologram (and the old one still off being Ace somewhere) has to explain how come he’s hard-light. The implication of Legion is that the upgraded bee he was given is one of a kind…

  34. Howard Rimmer was hard-light too. Clearly Red Dwarf had a soft-light hologram because of budget cuts and since the nano-bots rebuilt the ship before said cuts they included a hard-light hologram.

    When Legion says he created the hard-light drive he is only referring to the specific device he puts in Rimmer’s light bee rather than the whole concept of hard-light holograms.

  35. Rimmer seemed fairly surprised by hard-light, so I reckon it’s something that came along not long after they left the solar system.

    Anyway, all of the continuity issues are tied up neatly in the recently passed Paul Giachetti’s wonderful fanfic Homecoming: http://www.ganymede.tv/forums/topic/red-dwarf-fan-fic-homecoming/
    Seems like a fitting enough time to give it yet another read I think.

  36. He was surprised he had a body, not by the concept.

  37. Bear in mind ‘old Rimmer returns from being Ace Rimmer to save the day’ was in a version of the Only The Good script, and isn’t strictly contradicted on screen by the visual metaphor that replaced it. It seems to have still ‘happened’ in Doug’s version of events, and indeed is the only thing that really tallies with the line in The Beginning.

    For what it’s worth I still think resurrected Rimmer died and he only ‘cheated death’ in the most lateral sense possible. The last moment of Only The Good takes place inside his head and is his dying moment. It also works as character development for ‘our’ Rimmer because a ‘regular’ version of himself was as brave as any ‘Ace’ version. This seeds nicely into The Beginning.

  38. >
    Future boys from the dwarf steal series 5 Red Dwarf ship, take it to post series 8.
    Future nanobots, long after crew die, take ship back to end of series 5 and turn it into Ice Moon.
    Nanobots lead series 5 Starbug crew on merry goose chase to discover the time drive.
    Lister becomes his own father.
    Crew find Ice Moon and get nanobots to return future Red Dwarf ship to normal.
    Pencil shaped ship is created and promptly destroyed 8 episodes later.
    Future boys fromt he dwarf steal series 5 Red Dwarf ship …
    etc etc

    Garbled, confusing, and quite frankly duller than an in-flight magazine produced by Air Belgium, but I like it!

  39. >
    Garbled, confusing, and quite frankly duller than an in-flight magazine produced by Air Belgium, but I like it!

    That’s what I was going for. In the spirit of all time travel resolutions in RD.

  40. honestly, if they’d gone with the ending of Ace Rimmer showing up i would’ve despised Only The Good even more. i mean, the episode has enough random plot points and characters thrown in as it is (who the hell even is Talia?) and i think ending it off with another character suddenly appearing out of the blue would feel incredibly forced

  41. Howard Rimmer was hard-light too. Clearly Red Dwarf had a soft-light hologram because of budget cuts and since the nano-bots rebuilt the ship before said cuts they included a hard-light hologram.

    When Legion says he created the hard-light drive he is only referring to the specific device he puts in Rimmer’s light bee rather than the whole concept of hard-light holograms.

    Sadly it becomes very convoluted when you have to make up your own explanation for these things.

    It feels like it wasn’t until series 7 onwards that every hologram became hard light. heck most of the material before 7 (including 3 out of the 4 novels) went with the idea that Hologrammes just can’t touch anything

  42. But there are only three holograms from VII onwards – one is Rimmer from an alternate dimension, one is a hallucination, and one is Rimmer’s brother. We also don’t know what form the Holoship crew actually are.

  43. The Lister from another dimension in Ouroboros was “hard light” also

  44. Because he encountered Legion in the other dimension. He spent most of his time soft-light like Rimmer.

  45. That was probably the idea yeah.

  46. It really does work on cartoon logic.

    So do Backwards, Parallel Universe, Rimmerworld, Better Than Life, DNA, Dimension Jump, Legion, Timeslides and Out Of Time.

    There are big central ideas and character exploration going on in all the examples you’ve given there. Backwards is arguably too cartoonish and lacking in the sophistication of other episodes, but that’s also why I consider it one of the weakest outings of the classic 36. But I assure you, by “cartoon logic” I did not simply mean “they have silly bits in them”.

    Before I go on, I promise that this lengthy post is not one of my famous rants that spend three paragraphs yelling something that could be expressed in two sentences. I’m just very interested in this topic from a writer’s perspective.

    Out of Time explores what kind of people the crew could be in they gave into their most hedonistic desires, Dimension Jump is about how different of a life one could lead if just one seemingly minor thing had changed, Better Than Life is about Rimmer coping with his deeply ambivalent problems towards his abusive father and the resultant self-loathing he’s been cursed for life with. Yeah, they all have their silly scenes; DNA has the curry monster and Lister becoming a hamster, but the majority of the episode about what it means to be human and staying true to who you are. There is exploration of character, science and philosophy all wedged in there alongside the jokes. It’s what made the show brilliant in the first place, why we all remember it.

    What’s the big idea behind Only the Good? It’s a clusterfuck of different ideas all thrown against the wall, a series of sketches strung together with contrivances. There’s no interesting core idea to center everything around, there’s no character introspection.

    Cassandra is the one episode of VIII with a big central idea that is used for more than an excuse for some cheap jokes before we quickly move onto something else, and furthermore the only one that features the the main characters altogether for any considerable length of time. It is actually structured like episodes of Red Dwarf normally are, while much of the rest of VIII feels like they came up with a bunch of random sketches and strung them together as episodes. It’s a very core, fundamental difference in how VIII episodes were written that goes far beyond the surface-level changes from previous series. It’s something I’d love to see an analysis of from a seasoned professional.

    Now, one could argue Series I comes across as a sketch show at times, but the episodes are still based in big and often introspective ideas that it spends the full half-hour one. Containing some literal sketches sprinkled in there doesn’t change that, especially as they are not strung together one-after-the-other as in VIII.

    I wanted to end this post with “I don’t actually dislike VIII except for” but then I realized I was listing every episode except for Cassandra and Krytie TV, the latter of which I haven’t watched in long enough I’m not even sure. It’s not that I hate it, I’ll still rewatch it every so often (mainly because I don’t have it memorized, so the better jokes catch me off guard), but I’ll argue to the death that it totally fails at being the same show as Red Dwarf except for Cassandra, which I’d consider below average Red Dwarf.

  47. We also don’t know what form the Holoship crew actually are.

    Binks laughing about Lister thinking he can touch a hologram (and Lister having to threaten to resort to a Holo-whip to hurt him) suggest soft.

  48. Only The Good fits in fine with the ‘road movie’ structure of VIII – the whole run is a serial comprising of an episodic series of incidents, deliberately designed to be a one-off departure from the norm, and deliberately unlike older Red Dwarf. It was supposed to provide some surprise and variety, then segue back into some more ‘rollicking around space in an old banger’ adventures afterwards.

    As there’d been a surfeit of Dwarf since the hiatus, with VII, Xtended, Red Dwarf Night and Re-Mastered, Doug obviously thought the timing was right to stretch the format. The production of VIII was never meant to derail so much, and Only The Good was never supposed to become the ‘Survival’ of Red Dwarf. The intentions were grand.

  49. I assume when Doug wrote series 8 he had it in mind that it would be the last series since there was that earth idea that they couldn’t afford to do and so we just kinda got an ending that i don’t think Doug really knew how to end it and just chose a silly ending where he put the subtitle “the end”.

    Doug seemed to be very much about the movie at that time.

  50. Binks laughing about Lister thinking he can touch a hologram (and Lister having to threaten to resort to a Holo-whip to hurt him) suggest soft.

    Well, given that hard-light would also likely be indestructible, I don’t think that’s conclusive.

  51. departure from the norm

    [insert obligatory but-it-was-a-return-to-Norm joke here]

  52. Well, given that hard-light would also likely be indestructible, I don’t think that’s conclusive.

    If they were hard light then Lister could still hurt him in the normal way, surely. Rimmer still feels pain, doesn’t he?

  53. >We also don’t know what form the Holoship crew actually are.

    Yes we do, the ship has no mass.

  54. >We also don’t know what form the Holoship crew actually are.

    Yes we do, the ship has no mass.

    Well, that’s cleared that up then!

  55. Alright, *we* know what form the Holoship crew take, *I* don’t.

  56. Does hard light definitely have mass?

  57. G&T Admin

    God, I love saying mass.

  58. So that’s the best idea we have? Saying another mass?

  59. I’ll write the Butter thread, tell him another like himself is being birthed once more.

  60. Holoship and its crew are soft-light because hard-light hadn’t been invented by Rob and Doug at that point. Therefore, as written and intended, they’re soft-light.

  61. Holoship and its crew are soft-light because hard-light hadn’t been invented by Rob and Doug at that point. Therefore, as written and intended, they’re soft-light.

    Yes, of course.

    The question is whether the invention of hard-light later on in the series (retrospectively, as an invention that seems to have been arrived at after the disaster that wipes out the Red Dwarf crew but before Lister wakes up again three million years later) has the possibility to retcon earlier stories featuring holograms that don’t come from Red Dwarf, and recharacterise them as potentially being hard-light holograms.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that those holograms were intended to be hard-light at the time.

  62. Oh yeah, I understand the question, I just mean the whole hologram thing was a fairly well rounded concept before Legion, which means that the option for Rimmer to join to have ‘a physical presence’, the lack of mass etc. was very much intended in a ‘soft light’ manner. To me, the holoship feels totally at one with the pre-Legion soft light version of what holograms are that it can’t really be retconned.

  63. The script for Legion does state that the research station was built in the twenty-third century, and it’s implied that Legion created it when he was a gestalt of Heideger, Davro, Holder and Quayle. So it’s concievable that hard light technology has been around since then.

    Holoship doesn’t necessarily contradict it, as we the episode establishes that they originated sometime after the twenty-fifth century, as that’s when Nirvannah informs Rimmer that Humanity discarded the notion of relationships and family. It makes sense for them not to be hard light, as it’s pointed out by Kryten that their intangible pressence makes it easy for them to travel through wormholes and stargates.

    It does throw up a potential, rather boring continuity error as Kryten mentions that the holoship project was in its early stages when he left the solar system. Back in the Red establishes that Kryten is from the twenty-fourth century and was built in 2340. So the holoship project must have been being worked on for around a hundred or so years. Of course, there’s nothing to say that Kryten didn’t spend the first hundred or so years of his service within the solar system.

  64. The measurement of time in the show’s universe works if you imagine that there’s no real constant or anchor for the measurement of time (or space) that far into the future or in the middle of nowhere. Everything is a guess which is presumably at odds with everyone else’s guess.

    Also, Red Dwarf has elastic continuity anyway – anything can change or happen or unhappen at any time, because it’s a universe in which reality is fluid. If you were a crew member on board Red Dwarf ‘now’ you could suddenly wake up with three legs, and not only have three legs in the here and now but wake up having always had three legs. This isn’t just a convenient way of papering over incompatible story details, it’s real theoretical physics which is more than compatible with the existing metaphysical aspects of the Dwarf universe (God, sentient emotions, reality hopping, reality bubbles, indistinct delineations between reality and hallucination). No continuity errors or wrong answers that way, it’s all ‘on purpose’.

    Basically, I think… *everybody’s* right. Except for me.

  65. Given that Lister’s century of origin is contradicted in the show, these kinds of datings are best taken with a pinch of salt.

  66. Yes, I think it all needs to be taken with gigantic rocks of salt really.

    It’s fun to speculate about the possibilities though.

  67. Yeah, making it all fit is half the fun of this kind of analysis. I just work from the basis that the most obvious date for Rimmer and Lister’s origin is the twenty-second century, as Ouroboros gives enough evidence to date the events of the first half of The End to 2180.

    Although the timeline of the events of the show is all over the place. Lister is twenty-five in Future Echoes, dialogue in Kryten suggests it’s been two years since the accident, Queeg suggests they’ve been travelling back to Earth for over a year and Lister is still twenty-five in Backwards.

  68. If they keep lowering Kochanski’s age to be nice about Chloe Annett’s eternal youth, Lister really will be the Gary Glitter of space.

  69. G&T Admin

    If they keep lowering Kochanski’s age to be nice about Chloe Annett’s eternal youth, Lister really will be the Gary Glitter of space.

    I nominate this thread for hall of fame status.

  70. She’s a child so wants to drink a child’s drink. It doesn’t scan right (it registers as the wrong “feel like”, i.e. “…a pair of curtains”), not helped by the girl pronouncing it as “WEEEEMMTOO”.

  71. Should be “why do I suddenly want to drink a Vimto?” or “why do I suddenly feel like drinking a Vimto?”. Or cut out (that one).

  72. G&T Admin

    *Why* is Red Dwarf?

  73. The Holoship holograms are soft-light unless Nirvanah switched to soft-light projection mode to shag Rimmer

  74. Should soft-light have continued after Series VI?

  75. For years I wondered what a “wimto” was. Assumed it was just some reference I was never going to get.

  76. > The Holoship holograms are soft-light unless Nirvanah switched to soft-light projection mode to shag Rimmer

    Is it ever established that hard-light can not touch soft-light or vice versa?

  77. >Is it ever established that hard-light can not touch soft-light or vice versa?

    I think the concept of soft-light holograms was pretty much abandoned the exact moment Rimmer became hard-light, given that all other holograms since (I think) have been hard. So it’s just never come up. Fanwank moment in Entangled notwithstanding.

  78. Idea: The Series 9/10/11 Rimmer has to be our original Rimmer because he’s hard-light, and Red Dwarf doesn’t naturally have the capability to sustain hard-light holograms.

    UNLESS it was going to before the budget cuts and now does a la Series 8 etc etc.

  79. Soft-light holograms can touch, per “Parallel Universe”.

  80. Hi everyone just going to dig up something we’ve all moved on from and talk about it for no reason!

    Re: “Only the Good” working on cartoon logic
    “So do Backwards, Parallel Universe, Rimmerworld, Better Than Life, DNA, Dimension Jump, Legion, Timeslides and Out Of Time.”

    I don’t know if that’s even true to begin with — I think just about every episode has cartoony moments, but I’d have a hard time agreeing that the gimmicks of those episodes don’t move beyond cartoon logic — but even if it is, the salient difference is that if one *does* accept the premise of those episodes, they’re rewarded for that suspension of disbelief. Move past the first hurdle of believably (as nearly all sci-fi and much comedy demands) and there’s more there to enjoy, to digest, to ponder, to appreciate.

    “Only the Good” doesn’t really offer much. It really is just a loose collection of comedy sketches with a KIND of thread running through…some of them? I don’t know.

    When someone says “Only the Good” works on cartoon logic, they aren’t saying that the problem is that its science doesn’t check out. They’re saying that that’s the ONLY way it works. There’s nothing deeper or more interesting beneath the surface, and the surface is garbage.

    Accept the premise of “Backwards” and you get a funny episode with great visual gags, an enjoyable plot, and some genuinely interesting exploration of the concept. Accept the premise of “Only the Good” and…then what?

  81. Are there any plans for when you cover Cassandra to do a review/commentary on the VIII deleted scenes, like previous DwarfCasts, given as this is the final show of that unique season….

  82. I always thought they could have used the soft light concept more after Series VI. If something happened to Rimmer’s hard light drive and he was forced to return to soft light for an episode, it could be interesting if that became essential to the plot.

    Speaking of soft light, is anyone else irritated by the line in Ouroboros?

    KRYTEN: [The other dimension’s] Mr Lister was initially a soft light hologram and this makes him sensitive and caring in the way most men aren’t.

    Not only inaccurate but sexist too. Top marks, there, Kryts.

  83. When the majority of his exposure to men is Rimmer and Lister, can you blame Kryten for having a warped view on men?

  84. Yeah, I’ve never understood that line. In the context of soft-light Rimmer being a completely insufferable prick for the past 5 and a half series it makes no sense whatsoever.

  85. Challenging the notion that man are/should be insensitive and uncaring is a great area for something funny or insightful – you can’t do that much with a line or two, admittedly, but the way the line is just bungled in there with no subtlety or humour is just shit.

    I suppose the idea is Lister responded to the lack of independence and ability of being soft-light by softening up, learning to rely on other people and thus showing his affection and love for them more openly. I suppose Rimmer softened a lot also in that time – realising he only had Lister meant that Lister became the closest thing to a friend he ever had.

  86. I always took it to mean that because the pair had been in a relationship but not able to express their love physically, it had led to hologram-Lister becoming much more attuned to the emotional/spiritual side of romantic love, because that was the form their relationship had to take.

    I don’t think there’s any reason why Rimmer would have enjoyed the same benefits in such a different situation, without a sensitive partner to help bring out that side of him.

  87. There’s a potentially interesting comparison there with “Bodysnatcher”; Rimmer’s inability to touch anything drove him insane, whereas Parallel Lister found a new angle on life.

  88. I have wondered if there’s anything to be said for a new episode where they find a station or ship with soft light hologram capabilities that hasn’t been used before. Would they react similarly to Rimmer about being dead? Would he enjoy lending them the benefit of his experience or tell them to just deal with it? Would they adapt to it a lot easier than him, thus winding him up no end?

  89. On Kryten’s ‘more caring than most men’ comment, I’d actually say this is perfectly in line with the bits on his character from Beyond a Joke. Who he was designed after would also explain why it might make sense for him to have been programmed to think men are nasty.

  90. Interdimensional Women’s Day? When’s etc.

  91. I was thinking about this the other day – if you think about it, Rimmer KILLED Lister in Bodyswap. Taking over Lister’s living body and turning Lister into a soft-light hologram. It’s quite messed up if you think about it, and is perhaps another example of cartoon logic in Red Dwarf. A lot of stuff in Red Dwarf is rather fucked up if you give it too much thought.

  92. For me its like Back to Reality vs back to earth because by the end of back to reality you feel like you understood why everything happened the way it did to the characters, even if there was some silly stuff here and there, but now if we go to Back to earth you kinda get the sense that the whole joy squid was just a reset button and actually didn’t make any sense to any of what was going on at all.

    The crew find out they are just characters in a tv show and must find their creator… and the joy squid was used to put them in this scenario that doesn’t quite make sense when the creature is called the joy squid…

    Cartoons get away with more sillier logic because they are cartoons and you are more likely to accept it but live action is abit harder unless you are turning it into a spoof.

    Series 8 had many moments of cartoony.

  93. Yeah the joy squid doesn’t -quite- make sense with some of the things it decided would elicit joy from the Dwarfers, but it was a nice bit of continuity porn in an anniversary special and worked to retcon the wacky events of BtE. I thought it was a nice twist. Just don’t think about it too hard. They were just getting their fly in the for another series anyway (;

    Maybe it’s down to how the Dwarfer’s own sense of self pity and worthlessness, similar to how the Better Than Life game rebelled against them and caused them suffering, the joy squid had the same effect.

  94. fun fact: the japanese broadcast of Only The Good completely cuts out the “cat’s prison bitch” scene, and it makes absolutely no difference at all to the pacing or quality of the episode, further showing just how redundant some of the scenes are

  95. It strikes me that, although VIII is well-established as shit, the recordings must have been absolutely fascinating to go to – the first time Dwarf had been done in front of a live audience in five and a half years, after the last series dispensed with a studio audience. They had to get around Chloe being ill on the night of the Krytie TV record. The people who saw the studio recordings of the hour-long version of Back in the Red and Pete Part One are the only people who really know what the original versions of those episodes were meant to be like.

    There’s a thought. What exactly did the people who were in the audience for Back in the Red Part Three and Pete Part Two see? Was it just a collection of retakes and new scenes, rather than a complete story?

  96. The laughter in series 8 sounds much more excitable and louder in series 8 than previous series and i dunno whether that was done in post-production or what.

    They even left in the audience clapping at the end of Only The Good.

  97. G&T Admin

    There’s a thought. What exactly did the people who were in the audience for Back in the Red Part Three and Pete Part Two see? Was it just a collection of retakes and new scenes, rather than a complete story?

    Yep, it was basically the middle half of Part Three as broadcast, along with Hollister’s recaps, the extra bunk scenes from the start of Parts One and Three, and assorted other bits of filler.

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