Revisiting Series I with fresh eyes

Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Revisiting Series I with fresh eyes

This topic contains 84 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Ben Saunders 2 days, 14 hours ago.

Viewing 85 posts - 1 through 85 (of 85 total)

Jump to bottom

  • Author
    Posts
  • #223648

    Captain No-Name

    Howdy-doodly-doo

    I’m one of those forum pervs who watches but never joins in. Been enjoying visiting G&T for years and never intended to make an account. However…

    With Series XII having recently preached to us all about the value of criticism, and with Skipper promising to having a very Series I flavour, it seemed like the time was right for me to share the following link with you all.

    Basically, I haven’t watched any 20th century Red Dwarf in a very long time (well over a decade in most cases) which puts me in a prime situation to re-evaluate those old episodes which the rest of you will know inside out.

    So, while everyone is enjoying Series XII, I’m going back to 1988 and scrutinising those first 6 episodes as a self-contained entity.

    You’re welcome to tell me why my opinions are wrong, or otherwise chip in, if you can do so without being a total arse.

    DISCLAIMER: Blog posts will be subjective and waffly, with a tone that probably leans more towards analysis than trying to be especially funny myself. Red Dwarf is a comedy, my blog posts not so much.

    Anyway, for those who might be interested…

    https://reddwarfishcomic.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/red-dwarf-i-the-end/

    #223650

    Captain No-Name

    P.S.

    My website was originally created as somewhere to stick an old comic strip (set in the Red Dwarf universe) which I made back in the Space Year 2000 when I was a kid.

    As juvenilia, I don’t expect it to be of interest to anyone other than me.

    These are literally the doodles of a child, and were never intended for public consumption.

    That said, I enjoyed seeing that Si Bromley has similar vintage (although better drawn) fan doodles on his own blog, so there may be a small glow of recognition for any other fans who spent rainy childhood weekends indoors amusing themselves with a biro and a Woolworths pad of paper.

    #223658

    Manbird

    Welcome to G&T, Captain No-Name!

    (No one said that to me when I joined but, y’know – fuck ’em.)

    Nice blog. Maybe cut the number of rhetorical questions, but it’s definitely one I’d follow. Like the breakdown of character tics (Rimmer’s exercise regime, for example) and how you place the show into the context of the late ’80s TV landscape.

    Oh, and:

    >”Blog posts will be subjective […] with a tone that probably leans more towards analysis than trying to be especially funny myself. Red Dwarf is a comedy, my blog posts not so much.”

    This is refreshing and certainly not something to apologise for. Everyone seems to think they’re a bloody comedian these days.

    #223659

    International Debris

    Oh, this looks fun. It’s so hard to watch any I-VIII episodes these days, what with the scripts being burned into my memory, but my ongoing love of those shows continues through fan criticism of them, so this sort of thing is always welcome.

    #223662

    Manbird

    >”Oh, this looks fun. It’s so hard to watch any I-VIII episodes these days, what with the scripts being burned into my memory, but my ongoing love of those shows continues through fan criticism of them, so this sort of thing is always welcome.”<

    Agree totally: it’s always good to step back and find a fresh perspective. I’ve been doing the same thing recently with the first two seasons (actually, bollocks to that – they’re *series*) of The Simpsons. Glad I did, too, as they’re bloody delightful.

    #223665

    Manbird

    Anyway, yeah – Red Dwarf, Series One: it’s always a pleasure to return to it. Waiting for God certainly grows in the mind, and the imagination, as the years go by. Criminally underrated in my view.

    #223666

    Pete Part Three

    Welcome, Captain. I’ve bookmarked it for a nice long read when i’m at work on Monday. :-)

    #223668

    Ben Saunders

    Do you have a link to your modelling portfolio, by any chance?

    #223669

    International Debris

    Waiting for God certainly grows in the mind, and the imagination, as the years go by. Criminally underrated in my view.

    Oh, I love Waiting for God. Definitely prefer it to the two episodes bookending it for a start.

    #223678

    bloodteller

    series I is still one of my favourite series of Red Dwarf in general, tbh.

    also i really like the point made in the review about how the crew’s death would really be a surprise for the average viewer in 1988. i’ve often thought that at the time that sort of thing must’ve really come off as quite shocking

    #223683

    Captain No-Name

    Cheers guys, really appreciate your interest in my ramblings!

    Maybe cut the number of rhetorical questions

    Fair point. I’ll try not to let that get out of hand. Although it’s staggering the sheer amount of questions that The End throws up if you adopt the mindframe of a 1988 viewer. I mean, what the hell is this programme!?

    Oh, this looks fun. It’s so hard to watch any I-VIII episodes these days, what with the scripts being burned into my memory, but my ongoing love of those shows continues through fan criticism of them, so this sort of thing is always welcome.

    Glad you think so! I know these episodes have been endlessly debated over the years, so I hope my re-watch brings something fresh to the table.

    Red Dwarf, Series One: it’s always a pleasure to return to it.

    It’s been lovely to immerse myself in it again after all these years. The empty, desolate, loneliness of the first series gives it a wonderful and unique feel. And pretending that I’m a viewer in 1988 has given me a new appreciation for quite how unpredictable it is. Which you can lose sight of when you know how things pan out in Series II-XII.

    the crew’s death would really be a surprise for the average viewer in 1988. i’ve often thought that at the time that sort of thing must’ve really come off as quite shocking

    Yeah, I agree. If you’d avoided being spoilered by adverts or the Radio Times, it would’ve been a real bolt from the blue. Pretending to be a 1988 viewer has also brought a few other things to my attention, like the way Kochanski has no real significance in The End, whereas Todhunter feels like he’s being set up as an important character.

    Do you have a link to your modelling portfolio, by any chance?

    Damn, you’ve rumbled me. Was it really so obvious?

    #223756

    Captain No-Name

    More reviews…

    FUTURE ECHOES: In which I look for signs that a format might be starting to emerge, after the deliberately wrong-footing nature of The End. There’s also talk of why future echoes are not a Sci-Fi idea; how long-running sitcoms have a guarantee of eventual crapness; and a clumsy simile involving a bizarre alternate universe version of Fawlty Towers…
    https://reddwarfishcomic.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/red-dwarf-i-future-echoes/

    BALANCE OF POWER: In which I debate the music of comedy; Holly’s monitoring of conversation word-counts; the nostalgic power of disco dance floors; and the presence of women in the series. Incidentally, I really like Balance of Power. It is better than Future Echoes, so there.
    https://reddwarfishcomic.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/balance-of-power/

    #223762

    Darrell

    It may be a slower burn, but nudging Future Echoes to after Waiting For God (as originally intended) works so much better. I think one of the reasons Balance and Waiting are knocked so much is because they’re divorced from The End which they’re basically ‘parts 2 and 3’ of. And Echoes works better when you know the characters more anyway.

    #223764

    Dave

    Although it does open up the plot hole of ‘why don’t they just turn the ship around and then go back into stasis’ for a lot longer.

    #223788

    Lily

    Reading through the Balance of Power review, it’s interesting to read about jokes that haven’t hit the mark with younger viewers.

    The changing room saloon doors one resonated with my chubby teenager self, who hated them only fractionally less than the horror of communal changing rooms that were trendy at the time.

    Likewise, the “parental advisory” sticker had just become a thing to much fanfare, so stepping it up to health warnings seemed totally right for the future.

    #223796

    Captain No-Name

    the “parental advisory” sticker had just become a thing to much fanfare, so stepping it up to health warnings seemed totally right for the future.

    Ah, of course! It’s obvious now you’ve pointed it out, Lily. It’s a satire of parental advisory stickers, of course it is. Thank you for pointing this out.

    The changing room saloon doors one resonated with my chubby teenager self, who hated them only fractionally less than the horror of communal changing rooms that were trendy at the time.

    Right, I see. That makes me wonder whether one of the writers (Rob Grant?) had a similarly passionate hatred of the things, and so the joke had a hilarious resonance to him which is lost on me. Also, I spend very little time in clothes shops, so I was actually braced for people to say “what are you talking about, it’s not an 80s thing, Top Shop is full of them!” or something…

    nudging Future Echoes to after Waiting For God (as originally intended) works so much better.

    I didn’t know this was the intention, that’s interesting. I’ve perversely decided not to do any research around the production, on the basis that I am trying to recreate the perspective of someone watching the episodes on TV with no wider (or future) knowledge. I welcome people educating me along the way.

    Perhaps controversially, I think Future Echoes makes for a better and more confident Episode One than The End. Although I admire The End’s eccentricity and boldness.

    Dave Wallace, you’re right that the question “why doesn’t Holly just turn round and leave Lister in stasis until they are back at Earth” is one that flags up pretty early, and Future Echoes has more of a stab at addressing this than either Balance of Power or Waiting for God, so I can see why they would put Future Echoes before those two. But, you know, the question “why Rimmer’s hologram?” was really prominent in my mind on this re-watch and I was surprised that is left unaddressed until Episode 3.

    #223808

    Dave

    I really like the way the question of ‘why Rimmer’s hologram’ is addressed in the novels. Putting Lister in a more dire state (both mentally and physically) really helps in justifying Holly’s decision to resurrect Rimmer to sort him out.

    #223870

    Captain No-Name

    I read Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers when I was at secondary school and I remember really liking the way it fleshed out things about Series I & II, but it’s been years and I don’t own a copy, so I don’t remember how it justifies Holly’s resurrection of Rimmer.

    I have a dim recollection that Lister traipsed around the ship feeling depressed, wearing nothing but a duvet or something…

    I’d like to own a copy of those first two books. I probably ought to read The Last Human as well (I only got about a quarter of the way through that one and gave up, but I was only about 14).

    I really wish that the Omnibus of those first two books had been re-released with a snazzy cover design to tie-in with the Dave series. The Omnibus has such an appallingly bland cover, I think I’d rather track down second-hand copies of the individual books, even though all copies I’ve ever seen are dog-eared and tatty.

    #223942

    MANI506

    I would recommend the audiobooks on audible as a great way to revisit the novels. Last Human and Backwards are on YouTube in abridged form. They probably shouldn’t be there but they are. I feel they are better in abridged form same as I prefer the fan edits of Back In The Red and Only The Good…

    #223944

    Dax101

    Its a shame Chris Barrie didn’t read the audiobooks for Last Human and Backwards as they were not quite given the same care and attention as Infinity and BTL.

    #223962

    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    Finally got round to reading this today and it’s very good indeed. I had a vague idea of doing a similar episode-by-episode revisiting myself, but I’m glad you beat me to it, Captain No-Name, as it’s so much more interesting from the perspective of someone who’s less familiar with it.

    #224041

    Captain No-Name

    Cheers Ian, I really appreciate you saying that. I’m pleasantly surprised my ramblings have had such a warm reception.

    I gorged on Red Dwarf in the 1990s, but have barely touched it since about 2002, aside from watching all the Dave episodes obviously. So whilst I have seen literally every episode, and read 3 of the novels, and used to draw Red Dwarf comics when I was a kid, it’s all so long ago that it’s not fresh in my memory. And I’ve never properly swotted up on the behind-the-scenes stuff; I’ve picked up the odd detail from an ancient Smegazine here, or a half-forgotten DVD extra there, but compared to my knowledge of, say, 1980s Doctor Who, I am relatively uneducated.

    Which makes it easier for me to synthesise the “I’ve never seen Red Dwarf” mind-frame, compared to a more knowledgeable fan.

    I would recommend the audiobooks on audible as a great way to revisit the novels.

    I’ve heard extracts from these (I’m sure my dad had BTL on cassette tape actually) and Chris Barrie does a great job, as you’d expect. But (whilst I’m a fan of audio, and I love a good Big Finish) I think I’d rather have the physical books, truth be told.

    #224047

    Pete Part Three

    This is *really* good, Captain No-Name. Future Echoes was the first episode I saw, so that one particularly struck a chord.

    I’m not sure whether the analogy of an alternate version of Fawlty Towers quite works, mind. Only because you could watch the entire series in any order and, unless you knew otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to pick out the ‘first episode’. The show never really goes to any effort to set up its format; certainly not to the extent that The End sets up a ‘phoney one’.

    #224052

    Captain No-Name

    The Fawlty Towers analogy is just me rambling, Pete Part Three. If I had an editor, it would have quite rightly been cut, but it amused me so it stayed.

    Allow me to have one more stab at re-phrasing the point I was clumsily trying to make…

    If you watch any episode of Fawlty Towers, it gives you a good idea of what any other given episode of Fawlty Towers is like. Each episode has the same format, which is to say each episode is a tightly-constructed farce that winds towards a catastrophic crescendo, without any overall story arc of serialised plotting. Which means you can watch the episodes in any order.

    But if you watch The End, it doesn’t give you a good idea of what any other given episode of Red Dwarf is like at all. And that means that if you watch Future Echoes afterwards, you *still* don’t know what a standard episode will be like, because you only have The End to compare it to, and you’re not sure which is the more representative (as it turns out it’s Future Echoes, obviously).

    So, yeah, I think we’re in agreement, but I made a pig’s ear of explaining myself first time round!

    Ta for checking out the blog. Interesting to hear you saw Future Echoes first. I think that would be my preferred route into the series, rather than The End.

    #224054

    Captain No-Name

    P.S. The nonsense about Basil and Manuel being on the run after the Torquay Inferno was meant to demonstrate how much you’d have to bend Fawlty Towers out of shape in order to make it give the viewer a similar feeling of unpredictability to that of the first few episodes of Red Dwarf. Like I say, rambling.

    #224059

    Pete Part Three

    >So, yeah, I think we’re in agreement, but I made a pig’s ear of explaining myself first time round!
    >Like I say, rambling.

    No, not at all. It was a cute analogy and I understood what you meant (within your article :-) ) about the format change in The End. I liked the suggestion of the hotel burning to the ground in the last five minutes and the next episode being something else entirely . My only *slight* problem with using Fawlty Towers as an analogy is purely that A Touch of Class does no more or no less “format building” than any of the other 11 episodes.

    Fawlty Towers seems absolutely effortless in setting up the status quo each episode. The End, meanwhile, seems to be doing a lot of heavy lifting; introducing concepts, characters and, in the example of McIntyre, concepts as characters. In retrospect, a lot of it does seem a bit extraneous as that’s 20 minutes of something that’s not the status quo.

    I realise i’m now simply echoing what you’ve said very succinctly in your article. I just thought that series with a more clearly defined “Episode 1” (like The End…but *without* the rug-pull in the last 5 minutes) would be a better fit for the analogy to show how jarring the format break is. That said, I appreciate that it’s quite hard to resist using Fawlty Towers as, well, it’s Fawlty Towers.

    #224065

    Captain No-Name

    It’s interesting, A Touch of Class doesn’t (for example) feature Basil and Sybil viewing the hotel with an estate agent and optimistically deciding to buy it because it will be a lovely relaxing lifestyle. It doesn’t feature Manuel being interviewed for the job, or Polly arriving fresh off the plane from Canada, or other such dreadful ideas. It just… starts. It just does Fawlty Towers from the off.

    I don’t know whether it’s just easy for me to say this from the perspective of roughly 30 years of TV storytelling later, but wouldn’t it be better for Red Dwarf to just jump in the deep end and start with a standard episode of Red Dwarf, and fill in the details via backstory? I’m not sure George McIntyre is needed at all, for example. You should surely establish and explore the hologram concept via Rimmer, rather than a random one-off character.

    Like I say, I admire The End’s bold eccentricity and its ballsy rug-bull. But, yeah, there’s something about showing an audience an approximation of a standard episode ASAP that seems like the wisest way to go when putting a new sitcom in front of people. Especially an atypical sitcom like Red Dwarf.

    #224071

    International Debris

    I think the first half of The End is very much necessary to at least give you a hint of what Lister lost. The sense of shock reflects the way Lister feels when he comes out of stasis. I think that’s quite important.

    #224074

    Hamish

    Not to mention that Holly’s “they’re dead Dave” speech is probably one of the most cultural iconic parts of the show. It crops up everywhere.

    #224080

    Pete Part Three

    As much as I think the rug-pull could benefit from coming; the original pilot of Red Dwarf USA shows how this could have been disastrous.

    In the USA pilot, Lister’s in stasis after 12 minutes, the show has introduced pretty much everything the UK version has AND Kryten. And the backend of the show has brought back Kochanski and given us a future echo (to some intents and purposes). The result is a mess. It’s so hasty in getting us to the eventual format that there’s zero time to explore Rimmer.

    Maybe worth a look if you haven’t seen it, Captain No-Name. It’s on YouTube.

    #224081

    Dax101

    Given the original assemble cut i think we got fairly lucky.

    #224083

    Captain No-Name

    You’re right, it’s certainly important to give the audience a sense of Lister’s loss. I just don’t think you need to do it right at the beginning of episode one. Especially not for half the run time.

    And I’m not even sure that’s what the opening of The End really achieves. The trolley scene and the first bunkroom scene for example, neither of those are really concerned with depicting what Lister will lose. I’ll give you the coin scene, and the fleeting few seconds with Kochanksi, but that’s about it.

    For my money, the disco scene in Balance of Power, and the various lovely scenes in Series II where Lister and Rimmer talk about their respective families are considerably more effective at evoking what Lister has lost. Demonstrating that you don’t need to tell this story in a linear fashion.

    See also, not starting Doctor Who in 2005 with Gallifrey being destroyed in the Time War. A sense of tragic loss is crucial to the character of Eccleston’s Doctor just like it is to Lister, but the episode “Rose” busies itself with showing you what a standard Doctor Who episode will be like, before mining all that emotional backstory.

    I hate to admit it, but the “Everybody’s dead” scene frustrates me. It could’ve been executed so much better. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it on the page. It just frustrates me on the screen. Especially “are you trying to tell me everybody’s dead?” which I would have preferred Craig Charles to deliver shell-shocked rather than like he’s thick and he’s only just worked out what Holly means (I think Norman Lovett’s wonderful delivery of the punchline would have worked brilliantly regardless of how Craig Charles set it up).

    #224084

    Captain No-Name

    Maybe worth a look if you haven’t seen it, Captain No-Name. It’s on YouTube.

    I have not seen it Pete Part Three. I shall make sure to avoid it for a good while yet, it sounds ghastly!

    Neither have I seen the original assembly, Dax101. Was that on the elusive Bodysnatcher collection?

    #224085

    Dax101

    Yeah it had originals scenes that were filmed for the first episode before they used money for a 7th episode to refilm scenes for it.

    #224086

    Captain No-Name

    Sounds very intriguing. I didn’t even know about the existence of The Bodysnatcher Collection until I read about it on this forum! Shame it’s so obscure.

    #224088

    Dax101

    You probably can find some of the extras uploaded online, although you might have to google them.

    #224093

    Warbodog

    This might just intrude on your viewing time, and you might not be able to get hold of them anyway (though like MANI506 said, the audios are all on YouTube for now, including unabridged Chris Barries). But if you were interested in re-reading the books at some point, it could be interesting to read them in publication order relative to the series, to get more of an insight into where Grant Naylor’s gestalt mind was at.

    I’m interested to know how first generation fans reacted to certain plots and continuity from the books making their way into subsequent series, so this is the next best thing. (First book after series 2, Better Than Life after series 3, Last Human & Backwards after 6).

    #224094

    International Debris

    It’s probably because I’m so used to the show existing in its current state, but I really can’t see flashbacks working. I think the audience need the same shock as Lister to make it work. I’m not saying the opening section of The End does it that well – you’ve pointed out some of the issues with fairly basic, underwritten relationships – but structurally, I have no problem with it. Rimmer and Lister’s pre-relationship relationship is necessary to understand their post-accident relationship, and I don’t think that can be done through flashbacks either.

    #224095

    International Debris

    Also, what are your thoughts on continuing this onwards after I? A few years ago I introduced my girlfriend to the show and it took her until The Last Day to accept the changes in series III. Would love to see if you could continue this series to take onboard all the changes in the show over the years.

    #224096

    Hamish

    > I hate to admit it, but the “Everybody’s dead” scene frustrates me. It could’ve been executed so much better … Especially “are you trying to tell me everybody’s dead?” which I would have preferred Craig Charles to deliver shell-shocked rather than like he’s thick and he’s only just worked out what Holly means

    Is he being thick, or is he is being incredulous? Lister had only just come out of stasis, meaning that as far as he was concerned he had been speaking to Todhunter only moments before. You can only be shell shocked after the scale of the problem has sunk in. Temporally disoriented as he was I don’t think he had the time for that.

    #224099

    bloodteller

    i used to think it was sort of disturbing that Lister never exactly reacted to the death of the crew in The End (the most he gets is feeling a bit sad about Kochanski) but i suppose it sort of makes sense he’d react like that, doesn’t it? after all, “death is not the stigma it once was” and so in the universe Red Dwarf takes place in, death isn’t really treated as seriously- they can just revive people as holograms.

    #224101

    Dollar Pound

    yes but holograms require massive amounts of power to generate. in mechocracy kryten says he’s a machine – but so is rimmer. a tiny flying robot that can project a 3d image and sound. weird they happen before mechs. once you’ve got mechs what’s the point of holograms? just download the personality file into a mech body and they can have a physical presence. also holograms could live together in lightbee communities – the money they save on rent they’d need for the leccy bills…

    #224106

    Captain No-Name

    what are your thoughts on continuing this onwards after I?

    I’d consider it, but I guess we need to wait and see whether the show gets commissioned for a second series ;)

    Is he being thick, or is he is being incredulous?

    Oh he’s being incredulous definitely. That’s clearly the intention of the script, and that’s obviously the reaction that makes sense in the wider context of Lister as a character. He’s not a stupid man at all.

    I’m just suggesting that Craig Charles’s acting is a bit lacking in this scene. Later on in the series his acting improves considerably, but this early on I don’t think he nails it I’m afraid. It’s the only scene in The End where he’s required to really impress us dramatically… and he doesn’t.

    If you gave Craig Charles a scene like that nowadays he’d pull it off, for sure.

    bloodteller, I know what you mean. I personally would prefer a bit more of an emotional reaction from Lister. In my headcanon, it really hits him between The End and Future Echoes. Any normal person would do a fair bit of crying and panicking, but that wouldn’t make for good sitcom scenes!

    Dollarpound, your point about hologram personalities being downloaded into robot bodies is an excellent one. (Kind of reminds me of the question of why Davros doesn’t build himself mechanical legs, instead of that cumbersome chariot).

    But I don’t think it’s a plot hole yet, because there don’t appear to be any humanoid robots in this fictional universe. Obviously if a humanoid robot turned up, that would change things. But for now, the service robots with the good union mentioned in The End are seemingly the skutters; while Holly, the vending machines and the Talkie Toaster are all distinctly non-humanoid.

    #224108

    Captain No-Name

    Hot off the press…

    WAITING FOR GOD: “There is an absolutely pivotal moment that happens right at the beginning of this episode. It will fundamentally change the viewer’s expectations of the remainder of the series, and yet it it is such a small and fleeting thing that it is actually invisible if you watch the episode in isolation. It only reveals itself when watched in sequence with the previous episodes. And that moment is this…”
    https://reddwarfishcomic.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/red-dwarf-i-waiting-for-god/

    #224124

    International Debris

    That’s made me happy. I really, really like Waiting for God, and never understood why it’s often rated among the – if not THE – worst of the original 36.

    #224125

    International Debris

    On your hot dog point, I think Lister’s comment is more at the quality of cinema hot dogs in particular, not hot dogs in general.

    #224126

    Captain No-Name

    That’s made me happy. I really, really like Waiting for God, and never understood why it’s often rated among the – if not THE – worst of the original 36.

    Really!? It has a poor reputation? Worst of the original 36 you say??? You see, this is where it benefits me not having a thorough knowledge of Red Dwarf fan consensus. I’m astounded. It’s clearly an outstanding episode!

    On your hot dog point, I think Lister’s comment is more at the quality of cinema hot dogs in particular, not hot dogs in general.

    Ha ha! Fair enough. I’m no hotdog connoisseur. They’re just crap rubbery sausages aren’t they? I’m sure Lister’s donut diner would have divine hotdogs better than I can imagine.

    #224128

    Ben Saunders

    To be fair, none of us have ever experienced anything on the magnitude of waking up 3,000,000 years into the future with everybody you ever knew or loved having died, so we don’t really know what a “normal” reaction would be. I always thought he was being incredulous though, and the scene is very funny, so I give it a pass.

    He does get a bit mopey about everyone being dead later on.

    #224129

    Ben Saunders

    Hot dogs are nice but everybody knows they’re made of chicken feet and gristle

    #224143

    bloodteller

    >bloodteller, I know what you mean. I personally would prefer a bit more of an emotional reaction from Lister. In my headcanon, it really hits him between The End and Future Echoes. Any normal person would do a fair bit of crying and panicking, but that wouldn’t make for good sitcom scenes!

    oddly enough you’re exactly right about it really hitting him between The End and Future Echoes. in the “lost episode” of Series I called Bodysnatcher (intended to be the second episode of the series) Lister has a line that goes something like “I know what I’ve lost. Everything. Friends, family… for all we know, the planet Earth no longer exists. No more trees, no more human race…” so i guess he does begin to understand the gravity of the situation sooner or later

    #224177

    International Debris

    It’s telling that vegetarian hot dogs taste EXACTLY like real ones.

    #224209

    McAleeCh

    Very interesting read – glad “Waiting For God” really worked for you as I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for that one. Looking forward to reading your take on the remainder of Series I, and hoping you’ll consider continuing into subsequent series once you’re finished with the first! = )

    #224222

    Dave

    I’ve never understood why Waiting For God is so maligned. I think it has some of the most fun and clever ideas of the early era of the show.

    I think the image of Lister dressed in a golden doughnut with a golden sausage in his hand just kills the whole thing for some people.

    #224246

    Captain No-Name

    If my blog only achieves one thing, let it be that lovers of Waiting For God no longer feel the need to hide in the shadows, but can find the courage to speak out against the oppressive consensus, come out of the closet, and say with pride:

    “I think on balance I might prefer this to Future Echoes.”

    #224247

    bloodteller

    honestly i really like Waiting For God, though maybe that’s just because i find the scene with Lister and the cat priest really heartwarming.

    #224250

    Captain No-Name

    I think the image of Lister dressed in a golden doughnut with a golden sausage in his hand just kills the whole thing for some people.

    What strange reasoning these people must have. Religion in the real world is full of strange stuff about specific foodstuffs and plenty of outlandish costumes. Wine turns into the blood of Christ you know, I was once confidently told this by a Priest in an unlikely hat.

    #224252

    Dave

    If my blog only achieves one thing, let it be that lovers of Waiting For God no longer feel the need to hide in the shadows, but can find the courage to speak out against the oppressive consensus, come out of the closet, and say with pride:
    “I think on balance I might prefer this to Future Echoes.”

    Now steady on, that might be going a bit far.

    #224260

    bloodteller

    something i noticed when rewatching Series I recently was that in Me2 when we see the vid of Rimmer’s death, one of the last things he says is “I take full responsibility for ANY consquences”. in The End, the first thing he does when he’s brought back as a hologram is blame Lister for the accident.

    nothing noteworthy i guess, but its a nice detail i hadn’t picked up on before.

    #224264

    Ben Saunders

    That’s just Rimmer trying to suck up to the captain and talk down to Lister, respectively

    #224267

    Captain No-Name

    Yeah, I think Ben is right.

    #224269

    Captain No-Name

    With just under 2 hours to go until I watch M-Corp for the first time (and on the evening some of you will be watching Skipper) I thought I’d fill the gap with this…

    CONFIDENCE AND PARANOIA

    https://reddwarfishcomic.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/red-dwarf-i-confidence-and-paranoia/

    #224271

    KyoSo

    It’s telling that vegetarian hot dogs taste EXACTLY like real ones.

    Beef hot dogs are the real ones and with chili and cheese and cayenne they are orgamsically good. Everything else is the rubbery crap you speak of, particularly the hospital-grade kind made of chicken.

    #224272

    KyoSo

    It’s telling that vegetarian hot dogs taste EXACTLY like real ones.

    Beef hot dogs are the real ones and with chili and cheese and cayenne they are orgamsically good. Everything else is the rubbery crap you speak of, particularly the hospital-grade kind made of chicken.

    #224273

    KyoSo

    Also you _have_ to fry them. Preferably with butter. If you boil them, you’re a fucking idiot and I refuse to speak to you.

    #224274

    KyoSo

    Quadruple post?

    Shame mode.

    #224275

    Captain No-Name

    People boil hotdogs!? I had no idea.

    #224276

    Captain No-Name

    At long last I feel like this is a proper G&T thread!

    It’s been running for days and I haven’t yet had a single person ask me why I combined three separate cloches into one though. Finally people are doing the decent thing and derailing the thread to talk about hotdogs.

    All is well with the world.

    #224277

    flanl3

    Why did you combine your opinion into four separate posts though?

    #224278

    Captain No-Name

    Well done flanI3

    #224282

    International Debris

    Still really enjoying these, some of the most interesting and entertaining reviews of Red Dwarf I’ve read in ages. I’ll be genuinely disappointed if you don’t continue with the remaining series.

    My only niggling criticism is I wonder if you’re maybe picking up on things that are vaguely signposted that you know aren’t going to happen a bit more than a viewer at the time would.

    #224293

    Captain No-Name

    Thank you very much International Debris!

    It is of course entirely impossible to tell whether or not I would have reacted this way in 1988 without the foreknowledge I now have. But it’s a fun game to play.

    That said, I genuinely do think the impending return of Kochanski feels seeded. And from what others have recently told me in the comments, Kochanski was possibly going to appear in one of the drafts of Episode 6 (which I didn’t know) so it’s feasible I’m picking up on some kind of faint trace of what Rob & Doug were actually planning at some point.

    #224295

    International Debris

    When Bodysnatcher was penned in for episode 2, Confidence & Paranoia was the last episode and was due to end on a cliffhanger of Kochanski coming back.

    I have absolutely no idea what the hell that would have done to the show (I’d love to skip to another universe and find out), but it feels bloody surreal in hindsight. But yes, you’re right on that.

    #224308

    Captain Bollocks

    A while back, I actually watched the entire run with someone who had never even heard of Red Dwarf (she’s American, and hadn’t seen it on PBS or whatever station carries it there).

    Vicariously watching it “for the first time” through her eyes was a lot of fun, but although this thread makes me wish I’d kept a record of her reactions to it, she’s a handful of years younger than me, and of the generation that exclusively reads fan-fiction where every male character is suddenly a sexual deviant who ravenously bangs every other male character.

    Consequently, her main takeaway from the show was that Rimmer and Lister are, definitely, positively, absolutely, you can’t tell me otherwise, ner ner ner, “space husbands” who should immediately commence to fucking each other at every waking moment because they are clearly soulmates, not to mention that one anxiety dream Lister had when Rimmer left providing three million times more concrete proof of their totes gay desires for one another than any actual documented interaction between Lister and Kochanski, or his protracted longing for her.

    She also thought Tongue Tied was so side-splittingly hilarious that she actually started hyperventilating and asked me to stop it so she could watch it again from the beginning, and it was only about halfway through.

    #224329

    Captain No-Name

    That’s wonderful, Captain Bollocks.

    I bet you sighed before you stuck “Blue” in the DVD player, knowing what was coming.

    Just goes to show there are as many ways to view a programme as there are people in the audience. More in fact.

    P.S. As a fellow Captain we really should be discussing this in some sort of Officers’ Lounge away from hoi polloi.

    #224666

    Captain No-Name

    We’ve reached the final episode already.

    So if you’re in the mood for more of my long-winded & subjective ramblings, be my guest and click below…

    ME²

    https://reddwarfishcomic.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/red-dwarf-i-me%C2%B2/

    #224669

    bloodteller

    i’d love to see you do one of these on Series II

    #224687

    Captain No-Name

    Thank you bloodteller. And thank you everybody else further up the thread who have said similarly.

    It was my intention only to do a close reading of Series I. My reasoning being that it is the only series where the audience has to completely learn everything about what the programme is from scratch. Whereas everything from Series II onwards acts as a kind of sequel series, and there is much less to learn.

    That said, the unexpectedly positive reaction these reviews have received has been very encouraging. I only expected one or two people to have a look, so this has been a really nice surprise. It’s inspired me to think about carrying it on further.

    The thought of doing all 12 series is a bit daunting at this stage. But I’m open to cautiously extending the project further, so long as it maintains interest among people.

    I can well imagine that Series III would be well-suited to my blog’s approach, due to it being an effective reimagining of the show. So I ought to do Series II just to bridge the gap really.

    So that’s my announcement tonight: I’m thinking of taking a “Re-mastered” kind of approach to my blog – by which I mean pouring a needlessly large amount of energy into a niche marmite project that probably won’t get as far as Camille!

    Cheers for the encouragement guys. It’s much appreciated.

    #224699

    International Debris

    The thing that makes Red Dwarf so suited to an ongoing project like this is the amount of changes it has. While some series are bigger changes than others, each one manages to redefine the show in a way that very few shows – Blackadder being a rare exception – have ever done. III, VI, VII, VIII, BtE and X are all massive jumps in their own right, each of which has confounded expectations – for better or worse – and brought surprises. I’d absolutely love to revisit the show anew, and your blog is probably the closest thing to being able to do that, which is why I’d love to see it expand as far as it can.

    #224703

    Captain No-Name

    You’re right that Red Dwarf regularly experiments, and this is part of the reason for its longevity. Although I think (from what I remember; not having seen it in years) that Series VI is only superficially different from Series V. Losing Red Dwarf and Holly look like a huge shift, but in terms of the format of the show I’m not sure it had that big an impact. Maybe I’d feel differently if I watched it again now.

    I suspect there’s not much for the audience to learn during Series IV-VI. From what I remember the show takes a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach during that period, and not much changes after Series III really.

    VII, VIII and BtE are three distinct experiments.

    But there’s a reason the main Dave era (X-XII) becomes an exercise in recreating that middle period of BBC Dwarf.

    #224713

    International Debris

    My girlfriend thought Rob Grant left after V, so great was the difference between it and VI for her on first watch. I do think the tone of the show alters quite a bit, with catchphrases and running jokes.

    That said, I agree that, plot-wise, most episodes of IV-VI wouldn’t feel too out of place if shifted around a bit.

    #224720

    Captain No-Name

    Intriguing. I remember thinking VI was really good when I was a kid. Maybe it will shine less brightly when viewed through adult eye.

    I’ve only just bought VI on DVD actually (doing this blog brought it home to me that I only owned 3 classic Red Dwarf DVDs!) but I shan’t be watching it just yet, as obviously I’ve got Series II lined up next.

    #224747

    International Debris

    A lot of people rate VI as one of the best series, but there are a few who find it feels a little like the show is running out of steam. Personally it doesn’t surprise me that Rob left when he did.

    #224756

    Ben Saunders

    VI is just as good now as it was when I was a kid, but V is better.

    #224768

    MANI506

    VI was the first series that I got hyped about for over a year, devouring every bit of info I could from the smegazines, fan club magazine and of course Primordial Soup. For me it doesn’t hit the high mark of 2 & V, but it is the most excited I ever was on first broadcast.

    #224775

    Ben Saunders

    The most excited I ever got watching Dwarf on broadcast (bearing in mind I could only watch from BtE onwards) was Rimmer changing to softlight in Entangled, then suddenly realising midway though Officer Rimmer that I was watching a new episode of Dave Dwarf that was ACTUALLY good on its own terms and could stand up to the old stuff without any degree of fudging or saying “oh but we have to forgive it for [x].”

    I got the same feeling during Krysis, Siliconia and Mechocracy – note I say “during”, no comment on whether or not I still thought that as the credits rolled ;)

Jump to top / Jump to 'Recent Replies'

Viewing 85 posts - 1 through 85 (of 85 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Comments are closed.