Let’s Talk About M-Corp (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.

Prepare to be upgraded. It’s the time of the week where we like to sit around refreshing UKTV Play, get anxious if the episode isn’t there at *exactly* 10:20pm, spend the next few minutes pondering whether it’s worth tweeting about it given that it’ll probably turn up imminently, give in and tweet about it, realise that the episode was released while we were typing, then receive replies for the rest of the night telling us it’s there, as if we’ve *just* tweeted that it isn’t. Anyway, the product of all the above is this link:

THE EPISODE IS NO LONGER INVISIBLE!

Fill your boots in the comments below, but save some space for our LIVE Instant Reaction DwarfCast at 9pm on Friday. Please join us to listen and chat along live; the link will appear on here, on our Twitter feed and our Spreaker page at 8:40pm.

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207 Responses to Let’s Talk About M-Corp (on UKTV Play)

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  1. This one might be good.

  2. This one might be .

    (IMAGINE how funny this would’ve been if the comments didn’t reduce multiple spaces to one)

  3. But why did you combine three spaces in one–

    Oh, what’s the point? Lemme watch the damn episode.

  4. so according to the Radio Times review, this episode takes place on Lister’s birthday. i think that’s the first time any of the characters have celebrated their birthday on the show, isn’t it?

    i guess they did Rimmer’s Deathday in Thanks For the Memory, but that’s not really the same thing

  5. Sounds like we’re addressing their aging again.

    Also, I will die happy if this episode features Lister tripping over a skutter because he can’t see them any more.

  6. it’s up

  7. Now I get to wait until like 2:30 AM EST for it to show up where I can see it. SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE.

  8. Chippy is nine hundred times less annoying than Epideme. At least you can understand him, and “I’m sure there’s no cause for oh dear” was well delivered.

  9. first half done. not bad

  10. jesus this is almost venturing into sci-fi horror

  11. After the adverts…this is different.

  12. YAY. Liked it a lot.

    Crammed with ideas, and with a great pace to it. The laughs dried up a little towards the end, and I’m not too keen on the “easy” resolution to the M-Corp issue, but that’s the best of XII so far. Not sure about the recreation of The End; there are probably funnier ways of selling the idea that Lister is 23 than simply recycling a scene, although I guess the fangasm from the audience was hard to resist.

    Nice to say Ray Peacock / Ian Boldsworth. Although he, and the rest of Lister’s ‘friends’ was covered a bit too hastily. They could have done slightly more with Lister’s virtual world although I can’t think of anything that they could have cut out to make room. The episode moves a mile a minute, as it is. I’ve disagreed with pretty much every assertion so far that certain episodes would have been better as 2-parters…but M-Corp is the exception. Bags of ideas.

    An episode that proves once again that, when the story works and the characters are true to themselves, the show seems quite effortless in charm and becomes funnier.

  13. That was another belter! And a reasonable ending!

  14. very different. not in a timewave way thankfully. not sure what to make of it after first viewing. not as funny as episode 4, but an interesting scifi plot. nice callback to the end.

  15. Enjoyed that one abit more than last weeks and the week before.

    It reminded me abit of Siliconia in terms of ambition but i would argue that maybe it falls into that abit too ambitious category.

    The idea that earth was taken over by M-CORE which apparently can manipulate everything and anything is horrific but also abit too big a fantasy concept for future technology.

    I was actually waiting for the pay off to be that M-CORE went under as a failed company.

  16. the callback to The End was nice

  17. Some great ideas in there, and worked through very effectively. Lots more proper LOLs, too. Although Dwarf is my favourite show, nay, *thing*, it’s not always necessarily my favourite sitcom. But Mechocracy and M-Corp have reinstalled my trust in Doug. Good solid laughs, and well thought out.
    Definitely worth another watch in the next couple of days.

  18. I liked that, not hugely funny but very watchable and it kept my interest.

  19. I do wish Doug wouldn’t back reference things just to have Rimmer re-adjust the joke in a new light and we hear the characters talk about it some more.

    Did we really need the uncle frank thing to come up? couldn’t it be something else from Rimmers childhood that we don’t know about?

  20. Another cracker of an episode. Really enjoyed the plot, some great gags there and had a genuine proper laugh out loud moment when Chris did the LIster impression to Chippy. Only one Cat hates Rimmer gag this episode, which is good.

    Only thing i’m not a fan of is the constant fan service lately. I didn’t need a recreation of the scene from ‘The End’, there were better ways they could have done that end scene. All the references to Uncle Frank, Ohm song in previous eps and other things really don’t need to be there. At least the Talkie Toaster return was part of the plot though i suppose.

  21. Well, really enjoyed that one!

    Random thoughts in approximate order:
    How meta that Lister appears to be wearing a Red Dwarf shirt at the start! That’s certainly Rimmer on it.
    Where did all the M-Corp stuff appear from? It’s not like they have replicators.
    -love- chippy. SO happy they didn’t have a cheesy animation on the panel. The puppetry? was great!
    Invisible stuff done really well. No dodgy edges anywhere.
    Where did they transport to? Guess the same place the stuff transported from?
    Over clever way to come to an abrupt end. This really could have been longer :(
    Slightly disturbed by Lister having personality of 23 year old. I presume he’ll be fixed by next episode?

    Oh, and it did have nothing to do with Mega-Core/Corp in the end :)

  22. Well that was pleasant viewing. Another slightly weird concept for the second week in a row but I’m enjoying Doug trying new things, and it had me hooked right to the end so that’s good. A few hearty laughs and a lot of snorts. Nothing overly negative to say either which is nice.

    Though I do have to ask as I may have missed this. Where did the update come from and more importantly, where did all the M-Corp products that get beamed into the ship come from?

    I think this is the closest any of the characters have been to being themselves in a while, not one mis step there really.

    Loved The End reference there … although when Kryten said they’d have to reboot the ship to factory settings I was expecting you know who to appear as a little surprise considering we know he is due an appearance next week.

    Anyway, over all, one of my favs of the series. Possibly second behind Cured, followed by Mechocracy and then Timewave.

  23. >I presume he’ll be fixed by next episode?

    Kryten said he’d fill in the memory gap of the last 27 years using CCTV footage over the next month, so I’d expect so.

    >where did all the M-Corp products that get beamed into the ship come from?

    Wizard.

  24. couldn’t it be something else from rimmers childhood that we don’t know about?

    Like St Trembles.

    The puppetry? was great!

    I thought it looked like one of those squeeze mops.

  25. Well, really enjoyed that one!

    Random thoughts in approximate order:
    How meta that Lister appears to be wearing a Red Dwarf shirt at the start! That’s certainly Rimmer on it.

    And Kryten is on the back.

  26. Where did they transport to?

    It was said to be a virtual world. although that doesn’t exactly explain where they went too.

  27. Did we really need the uncle frank thing to come up? couldn’t it be something else from rimmers childhood that we don’t know about?

    When St Trembles came up in Timewave, we thought it was ridiculous that this previously-unknown part of his life was thrown in; I don’t think we can complain when a reference is made to something previously known.

    Loved the episode. Definite re-watch needed as there were some great bits that I now can’t remember, but this is certainly not a usual “episode 5”. The callbacks were great, the comedy was great, the special effects were simple but great. It was a nice treat to see Ray Peacock in there (I trust all of the M-Corp stuff was VT’d? Did he announce he was going to be in it or was that a nice audience surprise to see him appear in the VT?).

    I feel like the perfect running order, short of Skipper being a damp squib, would have been Cured, Mechocracy, M-Corp, Siliconia, then dump Timewave in the dreaded “episode 5” slot (or preferably, the bin) and Skipper as the finale. If Skipper is half as good as the previous two episodes, I think XII will top XI for me. If Skipper turns out to be duff, I think XII and XI are about equal.

    On a separate note, do we assume – given that we’re 5/6 of the way through XII – that the Red Dwarf game(s) are dead in the water?

  28. >Did we really need the uncle frank thing to come up? couldn’t it be something else from rimmers childhood that we don’t know about?

    If it was just a repeat of the story, I’d agree. But they squeezed a couple of new gags out of it, so I’m letting them off.

  29. Well, really enjoyed that one!

    Random thoughts in approximate order:
    How meta that Lister appears to be wearing a Red Dwarf shirt at the start! That’s certainly Rimmer on it.
    Where did all the M-Corp stuff appear from? It’s not like they have replicators.
    -love- chippy. SO happy they didn’t have a cheesy animation on the panel. The puppetry? was great!
    Invisible stuff done really well. No dodgy edges anywhere.
    Where did they transport to? Guess the same place the stuff transported from?
    Over clever way to come to an abrupt end. This really could have been longer :(
    Slightly disturbed by Lister having personality of 23 year old. I presume he’ll be fixed by next episode?

    I missed the RD shirt, but could it have been one of Rimmer’s campaign tee shirts from last week?

  30. When St Trembles came up in Timewave, we thought it was ridiculous that this previously-unknown part of his life was thrown in; I don’t think we can complain when a reference is made to something previously known.
    Loved the episode.

    That would only be a big deal if there was nothing left from Rimmers childhood to talk about and in which case thats not good for the show if everything has been told already lol.

  31. That was fucking great!

  32. when Kryten said they’d have to reboot the ship to factory settings I was expecting you know who to appear as a little surprise considering we know he is due an appearance next week.
    .

    I was expecting Kochansky to appear, actually I was expecting her to appear when M-Corp lady kept asking Lister if he was sure there was nothing he wanted to buy. I half expected her to produce Kochansky.
    I’m glad she didn’t mind you.

  33. I am currently unable to watch the episode so will not read anything else in the thread, but was it certainly same as the Samsara Mega Corp with an invisible s?

  34. Oh, and I LOVED Lister wandering around without the others for company. The bit where they slowly disappear to him is both funny and chilling in equal measure. The sort of thing that only a very few shows can do.

  35. The design on Lister’s shirt – hasn’t it appeared on his jacket before? Is it still there, for that matter? I know I’ve seen it before. Series X or XI?

    Did we really need the uncle frank thing to come up?

    After the thorough set-up there, I thought it would turn out that the answer Rimmer had put on his security question would be that his first kiss had been with Marilyn Monroe or something.

  36. Thing that seemed abit too ambitious imo was that it played on magic based tech so technology has evolved to the point where you don’t even need logic based science because everything can be replicated out of nothing.

    Thats a pretty ambitious jump in terms of technology for the show and You can pretty much guess Earth probably went to hell with M-Corp around.

  37. I missed the RD shirt, but could it have been one of Rimmer’s campaign tee shirts from last week?

    Nah. Here’s a screeny – https://i.imgur.com/sTew5AN.png

  38. Very good.

    Only criticism, I really don’t like it when they just brush massive things off like they don’t completely change the universe that Dwarf exists in, like thought tax and the entire earth being purchased by a corporation.

    And the levels of back referencing is off the charts in this series. There’s continuity but this is like a Now that’s what I call Red Dwarf compilation at times. Makes me wonder if there’s a reason, like they’re packing it in after this, can’t really see why they’d do it otherwise.

  39. Only criticism, I really don’t like it when they just brush massive things off like they don’t completely change the universe that Dwarf exists in, like thought tax and the entire earth being purchased by a corporation.
    .

    I was really waiting for the pay off to be that M-Corp was a failed company and the JMC took back over.

  40. YES PLEASE: Give & Take, M-Corp, Officer Rimmer, Krysis, Mechocracy
    OK, THEN : Twentica, Cured
    NO THANKS: Can of Worms, Siliconia
    FUCK OFF: Samsara, Timewave

    Your move, Skipper.

  41. That was fantastic and will easily be making its way into my top 36. Great concept which only Dwarf could do and they managed to get some great jokes out of it. This felt like everything Dwarf should be to me, with no notable negatives, for the first time in the Dave era.

  42. That was very Black Mirror-esque…. Red Mirror?

    Not the funniest episode (nor did it seem especially concerned with being so) but an interesting one and well executed too. Happy with it and XII makes it 4 out of 5 episodes hitting the spot for me thus far.

  43. I really liked that but it was chilly as fuck and one of the few times I’ve felt a degree of actual jeopardy in the programme. Possibly due to it reminding me of the Black Mirror episode with all the exercise bikes in it. The bleakness!

    Tbh I’m not remembering much I found particularly funny in it this week but I think I really liked the story an awful lot.

    Oh, Chippy was pretty great as well (although I kept thinking he was going to turn out to have upgraded and be the cause of all Lister’s M-Corp perception stuff at the end).

  44. That was very Black Mirror-esque…. Red Mirror?

    Not the funniest episode (nor did it seem especially concerned with being so)

    Red Surface that was cheaper than a mirror but also reflects

    And I always prefer Red Dwarf when it isn’t straining for a joke, natural humour derived from conversation or situation is king with Red Dwarf, rather than some of the more convoluted set ups Dave Dwarf has given us. I realise I’m saying I prefer a comedy without jokes in it but I hope you all know what I mean.

  45. ALSO nice that all Lister’s friends looked like Apple store employees.

    ALSO I thought Helen George was fantastic. Very subtle shift from smarm to horrifying malevolence. Who needs simulants?

    ALSO it did occur to me that they should all have held Lister’s hand or hugged him or something after they vanished, just to reassure him that they were still there. I think that would have been VERY NICE and QUITE SWEET. In fact I can’t believe Kryten WOULDN’T have done that.

  46. Had the pleasure of seeing this one filmed and liked it quite a bit. Little did I know it would be the best of the series (so far).

    One interesting point – On the night, the ending felt like a cliffhanger (so much so that I assumed it might be the last ep of the series) but on broadcast it felt more like a joke ending. Hmm.

    On the whole, I love that this is peppered with jokes that almost all hit their target (unlike the rest of the series) and has several funny moments that are all true to the characters (also unlike the rest of the series).

    Loved, loved, loved Rimmer’s impression of Lister, the passing of the invisible “electric toothbrush” and the fact they allowed a few minutes to show Lister all sad and lonely without fear of it undermining the comedy.

  47. As seems the consensus here, certainly not the funniest episode ever, but a superbly dark one that explored a sci-fi concept in a way only Red Dwarf could. There seems to be a bit of ‘heart’ missing from it (can’t quite put my finger on it), but I don’t think this brings it down.

    It was a nice treat to see Ray Peacock in there (I trust all of the M-Corp stuff was VT’d? Did he announce he was going to be in it or was that a nice audience surprise to see him appear in the VT?).

    Ray wasn’t the warm-up on the night (Patrick Monahan took the reins) so it was a lovely surprise to see him appear on the VT.

    Infinitely small point: for some reason, I thought he was called Billy (not Steve), but it is almost two years since the recording so I may have misremembered / incorrectly noted that down.

  48. Wait, Cat’s not a product, how come he becomes invisible?

  49. Absolutely LOVED that ending!

  50. Wait, Cat’s not a product, how come he becomes invisible?

    you could ask the same for why the entirety of the ship doesn’t disappear for Lister- after all, m-corp didn’t make Red Dwarf

    you could also ask the same for how the baked beans are visible but the can isn’t even though m-corp doesn’t make the beans

    i think you just sort of have to go with it and not ask too many questions

  51. Because the episode is less interesting if it’s just 30 minutes of Lister greenscreened over stars.

    LOVELY to hear that unused Series I music cue finally find a home.

  52. Wait, Cat’s not a product, how come he becomes invisible?

    you could ask the same for why the entirety of the ship doesn’t disappear for Lister- after all, m-corp didn’t make Red Dwarf
    you could also ask the same for how the baked beans are visible but the can isn’t even though m-corp doesn’t make the beans
    i think you just sort of have to go with it and not ask too many questions

    The perception filter obscures everything that isn’t an m-corp product or owned by m-corp.

    The ship is owned by m-corp so he can see that, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten aren’t owned or employed by m-corp so he can’t see them. He can apparently see the contents of things, like the beer the cat sprays at him and the one he knocks over, don’t know what that’s about. Perhaps a good old plothole.

  53. Strong sci-fi premise. Light on laughs but I enjoyed it very much.

  54. That was great. Excellent premise that I wish could have been explored more but alas the old ‘hasty conclusion’ reared its ugly head again. Minor niggle this time though.

    After Timewave I couldn’t see XII salvaging anything. 2 solid episodes later I’m really really looking forward to Skipper (that’s probably the kiss of death). Fingers crossed the series can go out on a massive high.

  55. Skipper has to be the best episode of the Dave era. It HAS to be.

  56. I was going to point out that Lister should be older than 23, based on his age in Future Echoes. Then I remembered that 25 minus 18 months service can make 23, so I didn’t post it.

  57. Only thing i’m not a fan of is the constant fan service lately.

    Second reuse of the cat, oh i plug in hair aids thats what i do. As well. And yeah before Skipper does some series I one stuff next week we get this ending. The toaster, and holly being back are one thing, but red dwarf by numbers with lets mention the past has got very on the nose in XII.

    I probably shouldn’t have been watching as late as 1am. This fact itself a product of the fact i’m less hungry for new dwarf of late than i have been previously up until now over the years. Feeling the shows age as much as Lister was feeling his birthday watching this. (Though nice to oclock up another Marilyn Monroe reference!)

    Its not packed with ideas that interest me. Or jokes. It is executed well doing what it does. The cast are good with whats there. The jeopardy very little weight to it. Though Lister’s isolation works best of the moods that it tries. But the corporation digs at software and such, they are nice enough. But Micheal McIntyre in terms of observational depth to be honest about corporate use of software. Mixed with a few mimes that 60s invisible man shows etc would do. There isn’t a lot more to it. And while as a whole this episode glides with out clunk to comment upon, Johnny vegas and the tutting man in timewave are far more comedic meat to me to be remembered and enjoyed than the nourishment of watching this entire episode pass to be honest. Yeah chippy epideme or nanobot whatever. seen the feel before, this might be the most boring episode of red dwarf for me, except for my nemesis that i wont dip into again now.

    So ray peacock is under a real name? That bit i liked purely cus of audience recording joy. was he added in a VT? not there as warm up that week?

    Looking forward to the finale, with high hopes. X to XII probably all score a 4 good eps out of 6 overall these 3 full dave series. But it’s XI, X and then XII I think in terms of enjoyment order for me.

  58. Am i the first to say “Yay” Ganymede & Titan song then?

  59. Rimmer is an employee of JMC too – why isn’t he affected? This could be explained by holograms and their software being considered property or something, but it would’ve been nice to cover it.

    Also – when exactly do the updates date from? Is it simply taking a long time for them to reach Red Dwarf and these are updates from millennia ago, or is the implication that the JMC takeover only happened a few years ago and the human race has survived in some form?

    Other than that (and the second one doesn’t really bother me TBH, although it is a potentially interesting talking point): Good stuff. A rather disturbing concept but the laughs keep coming, and show that Siliconia could have done with a bit of gagging up its similarly disturbing premise.

  60. Rimmer is an employee of JMC too – why isn’t he affected? This could be explained by holograms and their software being considered property or something, but it would’ve been nice to cover it.

    Also – when exactly do the updates date from? Is it simply taking a long time for them to reach Red Dwarf and these are updates from millennia ago, or is the implication that the JMC takeover only happened a few years ago and the human race has survived in some form?
    Other than that (and the second one doesn’t really bother me TBH, although it is a potentially interesting talking point): Good stuff. A rather disturbing concept but the laughs keep coming, and show that Siliconia could have done with a bit of gagging up its similarly disturbing premise.

    It was implied in a line of dialog that like Kryten, Rimmer’s light bee was not property of M-Corp. Also the M-Corp update came from the 26th century, again this was in a line of dialog mentioned by Kryten. I guess like the mail, updates seemed to take along time catching up to Red Dwarf.

  61. Surprised by the positivity on here, I thought it was really disappointing. Not quite Timewave levels of smeg but not 3 million years away either.

    Had the episode focused on Lister aging and overcoming his health issues or perhaps trying to reverse the process in some way, that would have been interesting. Instead we get another weak bit of social commentary on corporate advertisement and consumerism that is just so out of step wth this universe that it stretches the integrity of the world to breaking point. Why is Red Dwarf still getting software updates 3 million years into space? How does all that M Corp stuff just magically appear? Where is that teleporter actually taking them? The entire concept of the show has to be manipulated in the same cheap, careless way that we saw with Timewave, just to find a way to express Doug’s lament with an issue that shouldn’t have any bearing on a ship stranded at the edge of deep space. Like that godawful call centre stuff in Trojan.

    The biggest problem for me is that having built up this big evil corporation that took over the Earth and everything on it, Kryten is able to destroy it all with the kind of cheap trickery that just lays bare the fact that there wasn’t really time to explore the concept in sufficient depth.

    There were some funny moments and I loved the last 30 seconds, perhaps whetting the appetite for next week. But for me this was another example of how the Dave era has too often strayed from the central premise of the show and populated the universe in an articificial and unsatsifying way to sate Doug’s appetite for the kind of broad social commentary you might expect to hear from the amateur stand up comic at the local rugby club.

  62. Well, I guess I’m waiting for next week when this episode hits BritBox – UKTV appears to have found a way to detect my VPN. Boo.

  63. Well, I guess I’m waiting for next week when this episode hits BritBox – UKTV appears to have found a way to detect my VPN. Boo.

    Is it invisible?

    >Wizard

    I just assumed they were already in a cargo bay awaiting the update.

  64. Best episode of the Dave era. Even previous contenders like Siliconia and Cured felt a bit stilted and like I was having to be kind and loyal to the show to give it a pass. This was just about perfect.

    There were big, proper laughs. I don’t say this lightly either. I don’t even mind when Red Dwarf isn’t full of laughs as I’ll take atmosphere or concept or creativity above laughs. But this had loads.

    Oh, and I LOVED Lister wandering around without the others for company. The bit where they slowly disappear to him is both funny and chilling in equal measure. The sort of thing that only a very few shows can do.

    Me too. This was my favourite scene of the era. Weird and emotionally resonant. Reminded me a little of the the scenes in the book where Lister is back from Stasis but he’s not encountered Rimmer or Cat yet. I think this is the way Red Dwarf should go – more quiet bleakness please (and less mugging).

    Its ultimate success, I think, lies in that it felt like a good writing day for Doug. It was playful and loose, didn’t feel overly-redrafted and certainly not tossed out for mileage or squeezed out of a constipated brain like some episodes we might mention.

    Just great. 4.5 stars. Might even get into the top 36.

  65. this episode takes place on Lister’s birthday. i think that’s the first time any of the characters have celebrated their birthday on the show, isn’t it?

    i guess they did Rimmer’s Deathday in Thanks For the Memory, but that’s not really the same thing

    I love that it starts with Lister’s birthday. I like when age is mentioned but only when done right (I don’t like the wacky-hacky shit about Cat’s glasses or whatever but I like the sense that time is marching on). It’s also classic ‘pre-adventure/everyday life’ stuff requiring little explanation. Besides, it’d be weird for us to spend so much time with these characters without witnessing a birthday.

    As for on-show birthdays, we see Kryten’s birthday party in Timeslides but it takes place on the Nova 5 in the ‘past’ of the mutated photographs.

  66. Helen Keller’s family used to spell words out in her palm when she was a kid. Could they not have done that to Lister to (laboriously) communicate with him? And also moved him to a big empty room so he wasn’t tripping over stuff all the time. They did seem to abandon him a bit once the update kicked in. Poor little guy!

    Anyway, it was still a great episode and I still think Chippy was really funny. Just the way his little monitor started struggling and trembling was brilliant.

  67. The biggest problem for me is that having built up this big evil corporation that took over the Earth and everything on it, Kryten is able to destroy it all with the kind of cheap trickery that just lays bare the fact that there wasn’t really time to explore the concept in sufficient depth.

    It felt like social commentary about how the world is today.

  68. We’ll see what Skipper brings, but this might be my favourite of the series. Both this and Mechocracy are tapping in to what feels like Classic Dwarf* but doing something new with it. Might not be perfect but it’s damn good as it is.

    Additional: Just realised my favourites of the last two series were both third episodes (Lemons, Give & Take). This series’ third episode was Timewave, so we can safely say this streak has been broken. All hail episode five!

    *the back-references admittedly are a huge part of this, but i’m liking how they’ve been handled.

  69. SKIPPER is the last ever episode isn’t it?

    It all makes sense now.
    :(

    no Doug is working on a series 13

  70. That was brilliant, like others have said it does have a chill to it the M Corp spokeswoman was creepy in a way, It had some good laughs but it was clear that wasn’t the focus

  71. Helen Keller’s family used to spell words out in her palm when she was a kid. Could they not have done that to Lister to (laboriously) communicate with him? And also moved him to a big empty room so he wasn’t tripping over stuff all the time. They did seem to abandon him a bit once the update kicked in. Poor little guy!

    Anyway, it was still a great episode and I still think Chippy was really funny. Just the way his little monitor started struggling and trembling was brilliant.

    My immediate thought was the BTL scarring in the books … but then realised that was impractical. Better than either of those suggestions though is to just get M-Corp pen and paper and write stuff to one another. Kryten, Cat and Rimmer and still see M-Corp stuff, it’s just Lister that can’t see them or JMC stuff … so that should work perfectly

  72. Doug is already writing the back references for series 13.

  73. My immediate thought was the BTL scarring in the books … but then realised that was impractical. Better than either of those suggestions though is to just get M-Corp pen and paper and write stuff to one another. Kryten, Cat and Rimmer and still see M-Corp stuff, it’s just Lister that can’t see them or JMC stuff … so that should work perfectly

    The ‘taranshula’ scene, part 2!

    Or even any basic instant messenger programmes, now that I think of it.

    I don’t normally give a flying fuck about whether Lister is happy or comfortable or alive or not, but I really felt for him in this one.

  74. Does anyone else feel that this would have made a brilliant last ever episode? Especially if it was called ‘The Beginning’… I can’t help but think that Doug thought Series X would be the last ever when he wrote it, but I guess any series could be the last (with the obvious exception of 11)

    I’ll admit I’m excited as to what might be in store for us next week, even given the spoilers we do know! Especially if the person in Stasis is the person I think it might be from the trailer………..

  75. Excellent episode, think it may be my favourite of the Dave-era, interesting concept and some great laugh out loud moments.

  76. Not all of us are aware of ‘the spoilers we do know’ about Skipper so please be careful.

  77. Can anyone explain to me why Lister was getting these updates in the first place? Was it something to do with Chippy being in him?
    I can get onboard with the concept of his vision being effected so that he can’t see certain things/people based on some kind of implant (Black Mirror’s done this). But how can an organic lifeform be suddenly physically aged by a program/company/software? Was the ageing supposed to be an illusion that affected only him?
    If everything that happened to Lister had happened to Kryten instead, it would make sense. But as Lister’s a living thing I don’t understand how/why all these things were able to affect him.
    Maybe I got distracted during a Kryten technobabble speech that explained it?

  78. I’m pretty convinced that M-Corp doesn’t really stand up to close scrutiny plot hole-wise, but like Officer Rimmer, it’s so good I didn’t let it bother me. But yeah, my headcon has reasoned that Chippy got the update and affected Lister. Still figuring out a reasonable explanation of why it’s referred to as a virus in the third act though.

  79. That was fucking brilliant. That’s the first time in the Dave era where I’ve felt the script could have come from the first 36. Much like Krysis, the humour was strong and consistent but without huge belly laughs, but that was more than made up for in a very rich story.
    Literally my only criticism came from the ‘women speak 20,000 words’ line, and even that I can imagine coming from the first 36.
    Excellent.

  80. >But how can an organic lifeform be suddenly physically aged by a program/company/software? Was the ageing supposed to be an illusion that affected only him?

    Well, it’s a virtual world so that’s not his real body I guess – just an avatar, though that should have been a little clearer.

  81. >But how can an organic lifeform be suddenly physically aged by a program/company/software? Was the ageing supposed to be an illusion that affected only him?

    They took time from him, so his life skipped along to the point where he became that age. When they gave the time back, the process reversed.

    >Well, it’s a virtual world so that’s not his real body I guess – just an avatar, though that should have been a little clearer.

    It’s a physical world, he teleports there.

  82. >It’s a physical world, he teleports there.

    Then who are his ‘friends’? They’re obviously not real people.

  83. >They took time from him, so his life skipped along to the point where he became that age. When they gave the time back, the process reversed.
    You’re saying that as if it makes some sort of sense.

    If it was a virtual world I could understand it (though it still doesn’t make sense in a broader scope – how would aging an avatar have any real kind of effect on the actual user?)
    But you’re saying it’s NOT a virtual world. That he really physically went there and was physically aged and de-aged…. by a company? How?
    How does a company take time and give it back to a physical organic thing? This isn’t like White Hole or Future Echoes, where the time effects are caused by time dilation and light-speed and all that theoretical-science stuff. This is a company that just says “Now you’re older / Now you’re younger” and it actually happens to the person (and that presumably person alone) immediately? Wha?
    I’m not knocking the concept, but Red Dwarf’s science fiction usually has some scientific explanation when it comes to these things. This seems more like magic.

  84. G&T Admin

    REVIEW SPOILERS:

    I liked it and enjoy the fact I don’t have to write a 5000 word diatribe about how shit Red Dwarf is.

  85. REVIEW SPOILERS:

    I liked it and enjoy the fact I don’t have to write a 5000 word diatribe about how shit Red Dwarf is.

    In some fandoms, they don’t let that stop them.

  86. Unless I missed something (which is highly possible), was the shoe-shining clip between lister and the cat in the opening sequence NOT in m-corp as it was expected to be? Must be from Skipper then…?

  87. Unless I missed something (which is highly possible), was the shoe-shining clip between lister and the cat in the opening sequence NOT in m-corp as it was expected to be? Must be from Skipper then…?

    it wasn’t in m-corp, no. quite a lot of the clips in the opening titles seem to be from Skipper (the one of Kryten polishing a security camera, Lister and Cat suddenly appearing in a corridor, a Starbug flyby, the Science Room going all shaky with a bowl of fruit in the background) , which makes you wonder exactly what Skipper’s going to be if it has all that stuff in it

  88. Not going to spoil the consensus. Absolutely brilliant. XII is redeemed.

  89. Unless I missed something (which is highly possible), was the shoe-shining clip between lister and the cat in the opening sequence NOT in m-corp as it was expected to be? Must be from Skipper then…?

    it wasn’t in m-corp, no. quite a lot of the clips in the opening titles seem to be from Skipper (the one of Kryten polishing a security camera, Lister and Cat suddenly appearing in a corridor, a Starbug flyby, the Science Room going all shaky with a bowl of fruit in the background) , which makes you wonder exactly what Skipper’s going to be if it has all that stuff in it

    Maybe some of those clips in the opening title sequence are from series IX

  90. Cat and Lister materialising in mid-air, Kryten and Rimmer in the science room with fruit, Rimmer/Kryten/Lister all shouting in the science room, Cat pretending to shine Lister’s shoes, Starbug flying towards the camera, Kryten/Lister/Cat all dressed as monks about to sacrifice Rimmer, Kryten cleaning the security camera and of course Rimmer fleeing the fireball are all stuff we haven’t seen in an episode yet. Although I think there was a suggestion in the Mechocracy thread that that penultimate one might be from a deleted scene from that ep, so possibly one or two of the others are too?

    On another note: after the first half of the series had virtually no scenes on the mothership at all, to the point that Timewave was the first ep outside of VI-VII to have no scenes there at all, we’ve now had two episodes nearly entirely set on the ship and with no Starbug at all, which must be a rarity for a series with a Starbug set.

  91. >I’m not knocking the concept, but Red Dwarf’s science fiction usually has some scientific explanation when it comes to these things. This seems more like magic.

    Yeah i think overall the episode would rank abit higher for me if the concept had some technical logic to it rather then future earth tech is basically magic and can do anything with fairly no limits.

  92. Cat and Lister materialising in mid-air, Kryten and Rimmer in the science room with fruit, Rimmer/Kryten/Lister all shouting in the science room, Cat pretending to shine Lister’s shoes, Starbug flying towards the camera, Kryten/Lister/Cat all dressed as monks about to sacrifice Rimmer, Kryten cleaning the security camera and of course Rimmer fleeing the fireball are all stuff we haven’t seen in an episode yet. Although I think there was a suggestion in the Mechocracy thread that that penultimate one might be from a deleted scene from that ep, so possibly one or two of the others are too?
    .

    I kinda hope most of them are deleted scenes otherwise thats gonna be alot for episode 6 when you get the sense its gonna be a Rimmer dimension skipping episode bringing back some characters.

    But i suppose there is a shot in the opening which does look like there will be something else going on within the episode.

  93. “some of your arteries have more fur than an Eskimo clothes shop” :D

    Well THIS is what Red Dwarf should be. The acting is back up to scratch, the jokes are just fine, and the call-backs aren’t laboured or overdone (Omm Song, the types-of-bread speech by Lister to TT, etc.).

    And yes, I’m willing to suspend my disbelief for some of those plot holes, because it makes for good comedy. I nit-pick far less when the comedy itself is good enough to carry it through.

    This and CURED are my top two so far. I hope SKIPPER can join them.

  94. Kryten and Rimmer in the science room with fruit was also in the trailer, as is Rimmer fleeing the fireball, so it would be very odd if they were deleted scenes (particularly given what the trailer’s version of the latter also reveals). Kryten/Lister/Cat re-enacting the classic Fighting Fantasy gamebook House of Hell is definitely in Skipper as per the official site article previewing the rest of the series that went up after Cured.

  95. I bloody love Red Dwarf and have done for years. Although the old episodes (and new) make me laugh anymore I find real comfort in it but I’m pleased to say that M-Corp was a very special episode. It made me laugh out loud whilst watching alone and made me feel incredibly nostalgic. So so good.

  96. Rather enjoyed that. A couple of jokes that weren’t to my taste and I’m getting very bored of Cat’s reactions to Rimmer potentially vanishing or being hurt, but there was a lot, lot, lot to like in there.

  97. Lister going back to being 23, does that mean he’s got to learn that “Everybody’s dead, Dave” again. Kind of bleak if so.

  98. >Then who are his ‘friends’? They’re obviously not real people.

    Aren’t they? They could be specially genetically crafted people. Or droids.

    M-Corp is presented in the episode as basically the most powerful entity in the universe, with near-unlimited resources. They don’t need to have magic powers. Everything they do in the episode is eminently achievable with the kind of teleportation and time-travel technology we’ve already seen evidenced in the show before (with a bit of Doctor Who perception filter chucked in to boot), just amped up.

    The idea that their HQ is a virtual world is contrary to things that are literally stated and shown in the ep. If nothing else: why isn’t Lister still in the bunkroom when the others follow him?

  99. I think it is virtual but more in an augmented reality sense. In that, they are physically there but the stuff they’re interacting with is computer generated, including the “friends”.

    I mean, I think it’s fair to say that holographic technology is established in this world….. ;p

  100. Is Aniter only named in the end credits, not in the ep itself? And is Aniter a play on words I’m too thick to get?

  101. Retina, spelled backwards? As in, you know…. seeing stuff.

  102. >If nothing else: why isn’t Lister still in the bunkroom when the others follow him?

    You know “teleportation” is a sci-fi concept too, yeah? There’s no rules to it. Having Lister’s matter be teleported into a virtual world is no more or less believable than having his matter being teleported somewhere physical.

    The episode makes no firm declaration of *where* he goes, so it remains open to interpretation but for the fact that it’s a place completely under control by M-Corp. If it’s a physical place then that does open it up to more questions than we’ll ever get answers to.

  103. This is another really short show. The version on the DVD will be missing the ad break bumpers and presumably the ‘UKTV Play original’ thing at the beginning so will presumably be even shorter than the version on UKTV Play – clocking in at just under 27 minutes.

  104. That was my favourite episode of X/XI/XII, I think. No laugh-out-loud jokes, but a good solid comic-sci-fi conceit, a coherent plot with the characters staying in character, and a much-needed acknowledgement that they’ve aged. A good start to the Dave era.

  105. That was bloody great.

    One of my issues with some of the Dave episodes is that they’re constantly chasing the jokes. This one gave the plot and scenario room to breathe, and I think it really helped. It was quite chilling at times, but there were still some very funny moments.

    Some seamless FX shots in there as well, great work from (presumably) Axis Studios.

    For me, this is probably the one Dave episode, aside from The Beginning, that’s up there with the best of the classic stuff.

    Also, who did the giant wavy dildo belong to?

  106. I finally got to watch it. Probably the strongest episode of the Dave run to date. Some of the jokes didn’t quite land, and I’m not sure I much like the swift resolution of Lister’s mind being reset to his 20s (even if they are going to fudge it with the CCTV thing).

    That being said, you could get some good laughs out of Lister’s 20-something self suddenly finding himself in his 40+ body. That’d make a good episode in itself.

  107. I suspect the listers mind thing will be forgotten about by next episode.

  108. Having Lister’s matter be teleported into a virtual world is no more or less believable than having his matter being teleported somewhere physical.
    The episode makes no firm declaration of *where* he goes

    It says he’s going to M-Corp’s headquarters. Which, yes, MAY be a virtual world, but it MAY also be under the ocean. It could be anything that it isn’t said or implied that it is or isn’t.

    You can believe it’s a virtual world if you want but I’m just saying there’s nothing in the episode that suggests it is, nor anything in the plot that says it needs to be.

  109. You can believe it’s a virtual world if you want but I’m just saying there’s nothing in the episode that suggests it is, nor anything in the plot that says it needs to be.

    What about the bit were the woman says “Welcome to M-Corp: a pay-per-live virtual integrated environment.” ?

  110. Well, you can prove anything with facts.

    No, but seriously, I had forgotten that line, and in that case yes, there is something that at least leaves it open to interpretation. I’ll give you (Pete) that.

    ALTHOUGH, we don’t know what “virtual integrated environment” means, that would imply to me that there’s still at least some physical element of space. My interpretation would definitely be that he literally teleports somewhere else but that somewhere else makes use of virtual technology when he’s there.

  111. That was… alright. Deserved the fifth episode slot, honestly. Second worst episode of XII after Timewave.

    I still enjoyed it, though. Mediocre Dwarf is still decent TV.

    People are going to complain about that line about women talking more than men, and I’m going to complain about people complaining about it.

  112. I didn’t like that line but not for any reasons of sexism, just that I saw it coming a mile off and hoped for better. I’d have preferred they subvert a joke that is as signposted as that.

  113. I just googled it and a quick scan of two results gave me “women don’t talk more than men” and “they do”, right down to the 7,000 vs. 20,000 statistic. Would be quite funny if that line was’t even a joke, just spouting a statistic, but we laughed anyway.

    My own experiences/internal biases tell me they do.

    Even 7,000 words sounds like a fucking lot, though. Seven THOUSAND?

  114. Best episode of series XII so far for me. Classic Red Dwarf recipe of good sci-fi ideas plus good jokes=good episode. It doesn’t hurt when they add in some decent character stuff with Lister as well. I liked the return of the Ganymede & Titan song, but even better was the lovely music cue about 10 minutes into the episode. I’m hoping Howard Goodall releases another music cue compilation for XII just for that.

  115. Well, as usual, Howard’s music has gone unused.

  116. Overall another very good episode. Mechocracy still my favourite but this is second or third, can’t decide between it and Siliconia yet.

    Just like last week I really liked pretty much everything except the way it ended. Didnt mind the fan service so much this time but the resolution of the plot felt a bit rushed, like they defeated M-Corp too easily. Also, not sure I’ve misunderstood what Kryten said about restoring Lister’s personality using CCTV footage but, what the fuck? Does that mean Lister’s memories of everything that’s happened off the ship since he was 23 are gone, permanently?

    Few people saying it wasn’t terribly funny but there were quite a few good laughs I thought, especially earlier on. Rimmer finding it hilarious that Lister’s had a heart attack on his birthday was brilliant, as was the Lister impression and the vibrator joke, very well done. Wasn’t keen on Chippy.

    I agree with Pete this could have done with being a two-parter, but I’ve said that about other Dave era episodes. Very good, big concept, could have been explored more and the stuff about M-Corp taking over the Earth was glossed over.

    I really liked Lister on his own using invisible things and I think there was more mileage in that and the loneliness aspect. Funnily enough considering the final scene, I did thing we might get sad Lister sitting on his own at a table, followed by a flashback scene just like in BoP. Not a pre-accident flashback, though, but something newly filmed with just the four of them.

    As regards the science being under explained/seeming like magic, that sort of thing isn’t unprecedented in Dwarf. How does the Justice Field work, for example?

    Lister’s shirt with what looks like Red Dwarf fan-art on it is definitely in XI. Samsara I think.

  117. I liked the return of the Ganymede & Titan song, but even better was the lovely music cue about 10 minutes into the episode. I’m hoping Howard Goodall releases another music cue compilation for XII just for that.

    That music cue is from series 1.

  118. Re the unexplained magic, the fact that they use “telecooridantes” to locate Lister, and then teleport there to get him, suggests that they do go *somewhere*. We just never find out where.

    Having seen it twice I think I now understand it like this (apologies in advance for the long post):
    -Lister’s offered a “no-strings attached” trial visit to M-Corps, which he takes up in order to request the removal of the perception filter which have made things invisible for him.
    -When he is teleported to M-Corp (who nose where?) he’s automatically put into a virtual environment, and when he asks to leave he’s told he doesn’t have enough credits to end the “free trial” he’s experiencing. I.e. he’s trapped in the virtual environment.
    -While trapped he’s repeatedly sold products (including virtual friends, goods, and even words) in exchange for money debited from his account(?).
    -Once he runs out of money, Lister is then charged in time. These time-charges reduce his virtual life, aging his virtual body as he spends.
    -Using Chippy, Kryten et al are able to locate Lister’s telecoordinates and teleport to M-Corp. Lister’s “lifeline” is very weak so they must hurry (??). They too are placed into the virtual environment on arrival and effectively trapped.
    -Deus ex mechanoid allows Kryten to buy a malicious virus to corrupt the virtual environment and everyone escapes back to the recently rebooted Red Dwarf.
    -Kryten then discovers that some M-Corp software is actually in Lister’s brain, and is suddenly referred to as a virus (???).
    -Using Lister’s hologram disk as a back up, they do a system restore on his brain, ridding the M-Corp software virus, but putting his personality back to the age of 23.

    The things that still aren’t really explained are:
    -how M-Corp got into Lister’s brain (i can only assume it has something to do with Chippy being in him and getting the update too)
    -where M-Corp actually is when everyone teleports there
    -how all the M-Corp products magically appeared on the ship (maybe they were teleported too?).
    -how aging a customer’s avatar has any benefit to M-corp (if he dies how do you get money from him?)

    But this is one of the best episode they’ve done in years, so I don’t really mind these tiny little plot holes.

  119. Overall another very good episode. Mechocracy still my favourite but this is second or third, can’t decide between it and Siliconia yet.

    Similar to me in favorites. I picked Siliconia as just edging this one over M-Corp. So Siliconia and Mechocracy are my favorites so far. I really liked Cured too. I think besides the weaker link Timewave its coming across as a really strong Series. The plotline and Story to M-Corp was excellent.

  120. As regards the science being under explained/seeming like magic, that sort of thing isn’t unprecedented in Dwarf. How does the Justice Field work, for example?

    I think it helps when certain ideas follow rules set for it rather than having a concept that do anything like turn things invisible to you, create people, products, age people, create environments, all with very little explanation of what it is or how it works.

    And all from a software update.

  121. John Hoare’s radio jingle rage is giving me all sorts of ‘what a guy!’ physical sensations.

  122. Mechocracy and M-Corp have been a lovely one-two. I really enjoyed them both. I think Mechocracy might just pip this one to being favourite of XII but it’s close. Mechocracy made me laugh more but M-Corp has a really great idea and is told very, very well. With the last 2 episodes I’ve felt very lucky.

    In fact, XII hasn’t been bad at all really. I liked Cured, I liked Siliconia a touch less but still liked it, I thought Timewave was poor and would honestly place Mechocracy and M-Corp very highly in my own personal RD chart – high enough to make other fans angry about it, I suspect.

    So yeah, with Timewave as a bit of an outlier, XII has been a good run so far.

  123. Only one Cat hates Rimmer gag this episode, which is good.

    Cat said the idea of rebooting the ship (I think) was starting to grow on him after Kryten said it meant Rimmer being erased, and there was also “And he’s complaining?” when Lister said he couldn’t hear Rimmer. And probably some more that I’ve forgotten about.

  124. Anyone else find Lister’s invisible razor/toothbrush routine nicely reminiscent of Rimmer’s old “Shower, Holly!” mimes in series I?

  125. Interesting how strongly this episode brings to mind I & II, in a number of aspects, given what is coming next week. If the order the episodes were in on the XI steelbook is an alternative running order Doug had in mind, then this one was originally going to air second – was he considering putting space between them for that very reason, but then decide they complemented each other nicely?

  126. >clem: Does that mean Lister’s memories of everything that’s happened off the ship since he was 23 are gone, permanently?

    That’s how I took it, which is pretty depressing but doesn’t bother me that much because it’s not like it’s ever going to be mentioned again.

    The same thing happened to Uhura in an old Star Trek episode. Her memory was wiped by a probe and they re-educated her over the course of a few days off-screen so she’d be totally back to normal and able to open the hailing frequencies next week.

  127. Doug could have solved that very easy just by saying he would gradually get his memory back over time.

  128. >Deus ex mechanoid
    LOL

    It doesn’t make sense that Lister can’t hear The Cat, does it?

  129. I agree that it does not. Unless M-Corp has a sinister laboratory somewhere creating synthetic pet cats.

  130. I can’t believe we’ve got this far without anyone mentioning the fact that THERE’S A JOKE INVOLVING A CLOCHE.

  131. They backed up Lister’s mind in Bodyswap. Was he 23 then, then?

  132. In Future echoes doesn’t Lister say he was 25?

    Perhaps he was 23 when they scanned him for hologram stuff

  133. Maybe the MILFs still have a copy of his brain from the other week.

  134. Doug could have solved that very easy just by saying he would gradually get his memory back over time.

    this would’ve been much more satisfying than “we can rebuild his memory using CCTV footage”. like, what does that even mean?

  135. I think Doug was simply using the same idea from Fathers & Suns with Pree being able to predict the crews actions due to reviewing the ship’s CCTV footage.

    Though it is very much a ‘fuck it, it’ll do’ plot point…:p if you say Lister will gradually regain his memories that suggests he could end up right back where he started before his reboot, so…what can you do??

  136. Presumably the CCTV footage was of the opening of The End which allowed for the lister thinks he is 23 call back joke to end the episode.

    Although I still think a line should have been thrown in to say Listers memory would over time return.

  137. Having Lister’s matter be teleported into a virtual world is no more or less believable than having his matter being teleported somewhere physical.

    The episode makes no firm declaration of *where* he goes
    It says he’s going to M-Corp’s headquarters. Which, yes, MAY be a virtual world, but it MAY also be under the ocean. It could be anything that it isn’t said or implied that it is or isn’t.
    You can believe it’s a virtual world if you want but I’m just saying there’s nothing in the episode that suggests it is, nor anything in the plot that says it needs to be.

    He arrives. Shes calls it a “pay per life virtual integrated environment.” It must therefore be virtual in some way cause she just named it on screen as such. It must also be integrated with something that isnt virtual other wise it would just be a virtual environment. So lister is there eating unreal cake, and also having it. Then probably being charged twice.

  138. Another great episode, with again the only criticisms being that it felt like it needed another pass to tie events together a bit better. Probably a symptom of the back to back production giving less time per episode?

    The special effects and mime acting were fantastic, and the concept is quite chilling. I absolutely adored the sequence of Lister going about his day interacting with everything he couldn’t see and love that it was allowed to breathe and really do that concept justice.

    The Chippy plot feels like an entirely different episode jammed into this one. I agree with the people who say they are just mentally retconning this as Chippy being taken over and altering Listers vision. Feel like that concept could have been taken even further. What if Lister was the only person who could see these new improved products and they aren’t actually there, or the ones that are are him seeing altered versions of real objects. My mind probably just went there however since the moment when Lister chooses to stay in Better Than Life at the end of IWCD is one of my favourite things in all of Red Dwarf and I’ve long wanted to see the show explore the concept.

  139. This is another really short show. The version on the DVD will be missing the ad break bumpers and presumably the ‘UKTV Play original’ thing at the beginning so will presumably be even shorter than the version on UKTV Play – clocking in at just under 27 minutes.

    Because the resolution is so quick, or doug didnt have anything more he wanted to get across in the episode, and yet loads of people are saying they wanted “more” of this one. Ironically i dont hear anyone yet mentioning any deleted scenes from this one, when the episode everyones hating on has a whole musical number missing from the end.

  140. >In Future echoes doesn’t Lister say he was 25?

    Lister gets his mind-scanned upon joining Red Dwarf as he’s just about to turn 24. 8 months pass and then there’s the accident.I don’t think it’s ever established how much time has passed between the end of, er, The End and Future Echoes….but let’s say 4 months?

    >Presumably the CCTV footage was of the opening of The End which allowed for the lister thinks he is 23 call back joke to end the episode.

    Alternatively. he’s just acting the same way instinctively without any specific memory of that earlier moment.

    >however since the moment when Lister chooses to stay in Better Than Life at the end of IWCD is one of my favourite things in all of Red Dwarf and I’ve long wanted to see the show explore the concept.

    You should watch Back to Earth.

    I can’t believe I just said that.

  141. >
    You should watch Back to Earth.
    I can’t believe I just said that.

    I completely forgot that the idea was used there, it’s been quite a few years since I watch BtE.

  142. >Although I still think a line should have been thrown in to say Listers memory would over time return.

    There was. Kryten says “It’ll take about a month.”

  143. I think it helps when certain ideas follow rules set for it rather than having a concept that do anything like turn things invisible to you, create people, products, age people, create environments, all with very little explanation of what it is or how it works.
    And all from a software update.

    Sorry, but this is bollocks. You’re intentionally applying different standards to older episoes and newer episodes. There is far more rationale for what happens in M-Corp than there is for the Justice field. As I said above, everything that they do – teleporting things on and off the ship, hiding stuff behind a perception filter, ageing Lister – is achievable through established sci-fi technology that we’ve seen in the show (or Doctor Who) before.

    The Justice field is basically magic and there’s no attempt to explain how it actually works in practice. You can’t say you’re fine with that and that it has consistent rules but that M-Corp is somehow hard to buy. That’s nonsense.

  144. I think it helps when certain ideas follow rules set for it rather than having a concept that do anything like turn things invisible to you, create people, products, age people, create environments, all with very little explanation of what it is or how it works.

    And all from a software update.
    Sorry, but this is bollocks. You’re intentionally applying different standards to older episoes and newer episodes. There is far more rationale for what happens in M-Corp than there is for the Justice field. As I said above, everything that they do – teleporting things on and off the ship, hiding stuff behind a perception filter, ageing Lister – is achievable through established sci-fi technology that we’ve seen in the show (or Doctor Who) before.
    The Justice field is basically magic and there’s no attempt to explain how it actually works in practice. You can’t say you’re fine with that and that it has consistent rules but that M-Corp is somehow hard to buy. That’s nonsense.

    This is bang on, Seb. I’ve often thought present Dwarf gets held to different standards from past Dwarf and have struggled to articulate it but I read that like it had been prised from my brain and just redrafted way better.

  145. Newer things always come up for more scrutiny than older things.

    Or, rather, things you’re consuming now will be viewed through a more critical lens than things you enjoyed when you were younger.

    It happens, and it’s important to be aware of it, so you can slap yourself in the face and stop doing it.

  146. G&T Admin

    It was all hammered out in the Dwarfcast, but I marvel at my ability to not mind plot holes when the episode makes sense (to me, at least) and is so much fun to watch. Most of the problems are due to the running time, I think, so if a film ever WAS made, I think this is a strong enough idea to hang it on. That genuinely makes me really happy after the experience of Timewave.

  147. G&T Admin

    John Hoare’s radio jingle rage is giving me all sorts of ‘what a guy!’ physical sensations.

    I entirely approve of this crush, btw. It’s wholly adorable.

  148. Is he as attractive in real life as he is when he’s talking about incidental music and established broadcast procedures, Tanya?

  149. Sorry, but this is bollocks. You’re intentionally applying different standards to older episoes and newer episodes. There is far more rationale for what happens in M-Corp than there is for the Justice field. As I said above, everything that they do – teleporting things on and off the ship, hiding stuff behind a perception filter, ageing Lister – is achievable through established sci-fi technology that we’ve seen in the show (or Doctor Who) before.
    The Justice field is basically magic and there’s no attempt to explain how it actually works in practice. You can’t say you’re fine with that and that it has consistent rules but that M-Corp is somehow hard to buy. That’s nonsense.

    A lot of the red dwarf stories have a more fantasy sci fI concept that could be seen as magic and honestly I don’t have an issue with entangled with its coincidence stuff even though the rules were abit all over the place but at least it had some rules.

    Same with samsara and the karma drive.

    The show often at least tried to ground itself to certain concept rules even if they seemed like magic and maybe I missed them but the moment objects starting popping out of no where on red dwarf you don’t really get a sense of where they came from.

    Honestly it doesn’t matter to me all that much but a few more concept lines couldn’t have hurt :)

  150. M-Corp have some sort of nanobotic 3-D printing process which very quickly draws together atoms in the air or from localised space phenomena, draw them into pre-set product templates and then deposit them on ship. The teleportation technology is also generated from ATOMS AND MOLECULES and a little manipulation of physical space. It’s all very fast but that’s how it happens and they would need quite impressive tech to have such a monopoly on earth anyway, I suppose. It’s all good and very nice and plausible.

  151. Well thats better then nothing :)

  152. Not a huge fan of this episode either to be honest. Also, has every episode of XII started with the same music cue over a shot of Red Dwarf? Do we really need a flyby of RD with the S1/2 music playing? It seems to happen about 5/6 times an episode now. If they brought back the logo style from the early series they could have just used the style of flyby’s from 3-6 where it was just the ship moving with engine sounds, no need for the instrumental music every time, especially not the same one every time!

  153. I agree with what somebody (all credit to somebody) said in the Dwarfcast, that the teleporting cargo would have been much better if it featured some nice VI-style wibbly effects to indicate it was, in fact, being teleported, and not conjured out of thin air. But then the jump cuts are kind of funny?

  154. Glad to see 1 (one) other person who wasn’t too impressed by M-Corp. Trouble is I’m struggling to come up with a real reason as to why I didn’t. I can’t really think of any big criticisms of it, it just kind of went along in a mildly entertaining fashion then ended.

    Maybe I only liked Mechocracy so much because I hated Timewave and it seemed like Citizen Kane in comparison, and then the reverse was true for M-Corp, and if M-Corp had followed Timewave I would have appreciated it more. Or maybe it was just the hangover. I look forward to re-watching the episode and enjoying it more.

  155. According to the Gazpacho Soup set report, there was another dialogue exchange deleted from an XI episode and rehoused here (in similar fashion to “officer 2.5” in Mechocracy). Anyone know what this was?

  156. G&T Admin

    On the name Aniter:

    Retina, spelled backwards? As in, you know…. seeing stuff.

    …I now can’t help thinking of retina displays, given the repeated Apple motifs in the episode.

    It’s probably nothing to do with that at all, though.

  157. According to the Gazpacho Soup set report, there was another dialogue exchange deleted from an XI episode and rehoused here (in similar fashion to “officer 2.5” in Mechocracy). Anyone know what this was?

    it’s the password scene where he discusses his kiss with Uncle Frank, it was originally from Samsara apparently.

    (this scene is still present in the Samsara section of the XI mobile game, oddly enough)

  158. It would be nice if we could see the original Officer Rimmer version of Officer 2.5 and the Samsara version of Uncle Frank on the XII DVD.

  159. The more I think about the end of M-Corp the more horrific I find it. Last night I had a nightmare that I’d spent most of my adult life just going through the motions, walking and talking but not feeling or thinking anything. Remembering being in life or death situations but not having any fear, or any other emotions. There were also big chunks where time seemed to have passed, but I had no recollection of it, but my friends would reference stuff we did down on a planet that I simply can’t recall.

  160. Going back to all the stuff that’s meant to be in Skipper we haven’t seen yet: Didn’t Danny say in the SFX interview the cat people are touched on again at some point this series? That would fit with what else we know about Skipper.

    Also, the episode’s original title of “star knot” is presumably still somehow relevant…

  161. I hope Doug streamlines the next episode in a way that is not gonna be a rushed mess of nostalgic coolness taken from a different perspective.

    Bringing certain back characters in a dimensional Rimmer story while giving Lister,Cat and Kryten something to do in the story seems like alot.

  162. It doesn’t make sense that Lister can’t hear The Cat, does it?

    M-Corp sells friends, so it blanks out non-M-Corp friends.
    This is something I’ve found frustrating in the Dave era: a good, thoughtful joke, rushed through when it could have been given a bit more time to sink in, maybe by cutting time from a milked physical gag or silly-accent joke. Same with the loophole in Asimov’s First Law last week (without us, the humans will die, so we’re obliged to upload them into immortal mechanoid bodies… and now they’re not human, we can torture them.)

  163. Going back to all the stuff that’s meant to be in Skipper we haven’t seen yet: Didn’t Danny say in the SFX interview the cat people are touched on again at some point this series? That would fit with what else we know about Skipper.

    Also, the episode’s original title of “star knot” is presumably still somehow relevant…

    maybe Skipper is an episode where lots of things happen

  164. After listening to the set report yeah i am thinking a fair amount goes on.

  165. I’m very nervous about Skipper. I’m really hoping it’s good but I feel like it’s an episode that I’ll either love or hate. At best I think we could get a really great character episode – at worst a bunch of sketches about alternate universes where things are silly. I could be wrong in both cases but I’m hoping this episode feels significant and has a strong plot. It seems to be an episode they’ve pulled out all the stops on though, so I’m hoping that started with Doug’s script.

  166. Nah, Doug Naylor strikes me as the kind of guy to just phone it in, write any old shite and go for a pint.

    Sarcasm mode cancel.

  167. I am nervous about it also.

    TBH the idea that Skipper may be the episode that adds something on the Cat race is abit more worrying then it should be because i can’t imagine how that would work unless it involves Frankenstein and then its like… where can you go with something like that?

    Hopefully no where silly.

  168. Well that was a surprise, in that it was head and shoulders above the level I’d come to expect from latter day Dwarf. M-Corp, nice work! The first episode of the Dave era I can categorically say I enjoyed without caveating it to death.

  169. I am nervous about it also.

    TBH the idea that Skipper may be the episode that adds something on the Cat race is abit more worrying then it should be because i can’t imagine how that would work unless it involves Frankenstein and then its like… where can you go with something like that?
    Hopefully no where silly.

    Cat impregnates Frankenstein becoming his own great great great great grandfather or something

  170. *Nervous Laughter*

  171. one of the set reports i read mentioned that at some point in Skipper, Danny wears a full-body costume that “almost looks like CGI” so i’m guessing that’s something to do with the Cat part of the episode?

  172. I get the feeling that, like The Beginning, this finale episode has been written as a potential Last Episode Ever. So I think it’ll have been worked on to ensure it’s pretty good while also trying to do something pretty ‘big’ as far as the overall story of the show and its characters are concerned.

  173. Long-time reader/listener, first time poster. This annoyed me enough to create an account, since no one else has mentioned it:

    When Rimmer vanishes, why does the Cat react? Rimmer doesn’t disappear to him, so what’s he reacting to? Lister’s reaction? Gurr.

  174. Mentioned on the Dwarfcast, I think.

    Short answer: Danny fucked up.

  175. G&T Admin

    Short answer: Danny fucked up.

    Probably too busy wanking.

  176. Well, really enjoyed that one!

    Random thoughts in approximate order:
    How meta that Lister appears to be wearing a Red Dwarf shirt at the start! That’s certainly Rimmer on it.

    And Kryten is on the back.

    The shirt, which he’s been wearing since XI, I presume was made by Lister himself, like his jacket is. It’s a subtle callback to his ninety-seven minutes at art school. That was the reasoning behind Howard Burden’s creation of the original Wilma Flintstone jacket.

  177. It was subtle until Hitler made a massive deal of pointing it out, anyway.

  178. Subtle is a rare thing to find in Red Dwarf these days.

  179. I do usually wince a bit at the more gratuitous fan-servicing but the closing moments of M-Corp really worked for me and I was trying to work out why I was so for it when usually I’m not and so I showed the episode to a Red Dwarf novice just to see. They knew the rough premise of the show beforehand and that was it.

    It really worked for them as well because, in both the scene from The End and the reprise here, Lister is just being so damn immature. Really immature; it was the slapping of the cheeks that really worked for my control experiment guinea pig and so it totally sells that Lister has gone back to being 23. What’s more, it was the added line of ‘bagsy top bunk’ as a kind of punchline which helped sell that to her even more.

    So I did get a warm little fuzz from the reprise of the very first Red Dwarf scene without cringing at it because it also works on another level for those who may not have seen it.

  180. It’s plausible that the Cat was reacting to something Rimmer’s just said but we can’t hear.

  181. That’s a good point, Chris – that scene works to show that Lister has regressed in age and become more immature, even if you haven’t seen The End, but if you have, it also works as fan service. All of the references to The Om Song require you to have watched Timeslides to understand it, anyone who hasn’t seen it will just be left thinking, what the fuck is the Om Song.

  182. It works as a reference to “it’s a shit song Lister has written”.

  183. You’re intentionally applying different standards to older episoes and newer episodes. There is far more rationale for what happens in M-Corp than there is for the Justice field.

    Everyone keeps pointing to the Justice Field, when the Psi-Moon from Terrorform is far more guilty of this. How does it work? Why does it work? Who would build such a thing? Why does such a thing exist? WHAT’S A PSI-MOON!?

    M-Corp sells friends, so it blanks out non-M-Corp friends.

    Cat disappearing really bothered me on first view, when only Kryten and Rimmer’s light bee were mentioned as being rival products, but this does just about make sense of it.

    Going back to all the stuff that’s meant to be in Skipper we haven’t seen yet: Didn’t Danny say in the SFX interview the cat people are touched on again at some point this series? That would fit with what else we know about Skipper.

    Is it possible that he is just confusing this with Can of Worms from XI? I would not blame the cast for thinking of the entire filming block as one series.

  184. The OM Song and Uncle Frank call backs are indeed fan service and i don’t see the point of them.

    They don’t necessarily hurt the original joke but they do dilute it abit.

  185. Everyone keeps pointing to the Justice Field, when the Psi-Moon from Terrorform is far more guilty of this. How does it work? Why does it work? Who would build such a thing? Why does such a thing exist? WHAT’S A PSI-MOON!?

    “An artificial planetoid. It tunes into an individual psyche and adapts its terrain to mimic his mental state. In this instance I believe it reconfigured itself using Mr. Rimmer’s subconscious as a template.”

    Why does it exist? now thats indeed questionable but its kinda the opposite with I-corp as you get what the message was that Doug was getting at when it came to social commentary but you don’t fully get how any of it works.

  186. That quote just explains what it does, not how it works, or why.

  187. Well “It tunes into an individual psyche and adapts its terrain to mimic his mental state.” you get the idea and probably don’t need a scientific analysis for it.

    Now you could look at i-corp and you have all these products appearing out of no where which if you wanted to say they were virtually created as a concept you would probably be like ok i dunno how that works but there is a basic idea there and il accept that.

    Perhaps it also doesn’t help that if you wanted it to be a mystery like Red Dwarf picked up a virus like adware from some space station and suddenly all this stuff started happening you would be less likely to question it the way you would when its earth based social commentary 3 million years in the future.

    Or maybe i am just over thinking :)

  188. one of the set reports i read mentioned that at some point in Skipper, Danny wears a full-body costume that “almost looks like CGI” so i’m guessing that’s something to do with the Cat part of the episode?

    Ooh. Felis erectus, maybe?

  189. The OM Song and Uncle Frank call backs are indeed fan service and i don’t see the point of them.

    They don’t necessarily hurt the original joke but they do dilute it abit.

    At this point the Om song references maybe over doing it, but I really liked the Uncle Frank reference as it is canon. I know RD doesn’t usually concern itself with such things but, when asking who was Rimmer’s first kiss, we know that Uncle Frank is the real answer.

    Cat’s follow up labours the joke a bit, but I don’t mind too much as it is there as a reminder to people that maybe don’t know the show as well as us, and it doesn’t over explain the joke int he was that other episodes or series might have done

  190. The CCTV solution of restoring Lister’s memories of everything that’s happened since the show began really doesn’t feel right 😏

    Head canon: Shortly after restoring Lister’s 23 year old self Kryten remembers there is still a recent backup of Lister’s brain on the memory stick used before undergoing the personality tuck in Can Of Worms, so after restoring that Lister has only actually lost his series XII memories which Kryten fixes as best as possible with CCTV footage 👍

  191. how the fuck do you “restore memories” using CCTV footage anyway? it’s not really clear *how* Kryten does that

  192. I’m happy enough with the concept that memories and minds can be digitised (see Thanks for the Memory and Body Swap), but not the CCTV stuff. Memories are so much more than walking and talking. There’s all these thoughts and emotions missing. Not to mention the huge chunks of time that he wouldn’t be in CCTV surveillance.

    I like Ali’s head canon, I’ll use that one from now on.

  193. how the fuck do you “restore memories” using CCTV footage anyway? it’s not really clear *how* Kryten does that

    How do you restore memories from backup? How do you backup memories in the first place?
    That’s a very slippery slope you’re heading down there, there has to be some suspension of disbelief. Kryten says they *can* do it, so they can!

  194. The same way you can store Lister’s mind on a tiny little cassette tape, and put it back later. The “put it back later” process is what’s important here, and surely if you can store a mind on tape, at that point it’s just digital data, 1s and 0s, which can be edited, therefore using digital data from the CCTV footage you can combine that with the data you already have and voila, Lister’s mind is restored.

    This also opens up the avenue for implanting false memories or removing them from real humans, not just holograms.

    Basically, it is established in Timeslides that one could do this, so if yo have a problem with it, take it up with Timeslides.

  195. BODYSWAP. NOT TIMESLIDES.

    And also, if it’s all just digital data, Kryten could physically just type in the extra information needed – stuff that happened off-ship, emotions, thoughts etc (as much as he actually knows, at least)

  196. Just do a factory restore but keep data :P

    Although you wouldn’t be able to do the lister is 23 joke but i dunno throw in some technobabble

  197. They could just have Lister watch all the Red Dwarf DVDs they found in Back to Earth.

  198. I loved this episode, easily one of my favourites. That’s all I wanted to add.

  199. this one bowls along confidently enough. more like a kind of series iii or v ep than a dave one

  200. the gendre wordcount line is wrong because no-one asked. the rebate line is strong but there is something goofy about how the audience laughter is too emphatic or the actors pause too long afterwards or something. and does cat go into london accent on ‘if this isn’t a beer’? that’s how nitpicky you have to be with this one

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