"There wouldn't have been a Series 6, 7 or 8…"

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  • #221266

    Me Own Stunts

    Whenever I watch the ‘Dwarfing USA’ feature on the Series 5 DVD, this line from Craig pops out. He says that if the USA series had gone ahead, there wouldn’t have been a Series 6, 7 or 8. And then I wonder if I would miss Series 6, 7 and 8 being removed from the Red Dwarf canon.

    Yes, Series 6 is amongst many people’s favourites, but it ends on a cliffhanger that pulls with it Series 7, which in turn ends on a cliffhanger which pulls in Series 8. It sets in motion Rimmer being a hard-light hologram, which some might argue should never have been a long-term thing. And it swaps character-bound comedy for quick-fire one-liners, which are great when they are funny, as they are in Series 6, but the rot sets in once they’re not funny in Series 7 and 8, and you’re left wondering why on earth the reality of the show is bending around the world of Beadle’s About (Lister initially doesn’t recognise Kryten in a prank scenario because the latter is wearing a disguise).

    Then I think back to the early 90s, when we got all our Dwarf news from the Smegazines, and that’s when we first learned about a possible American series. At that time all we heard was that they were trying to get things moving, and then a few issues later we discovered it had all collapsed into a heap of arse.

    Here’s something: I always felt that Series 6 came too soon. I loved the world of Series 3-5, with all the walls cream coloured and the crew living in the Officers Quarters; I think they got everything right then, the design of Red Dwarf’s interior, and the balance between time spent onboard Red Dwarf, Starbug and exploring beyond that. I could have stayed a little more in the world of Series 5, but they decided to strand them on Starbug in Series 6. An altered Starbug that lacked the claustrophobic potential of the Series 3-5 one.

    The first American pilot used modifications of the Series 3-5 sets, but had a shit script and everything went wrong. We know this.

    So here’s a little proposal for you. Would you trade Series 6, 7 and 8 for an unknown number of American Red Dwarf seasons? We’re of course talking about an alternate dimension in which the pilot had succeeded, which means the pilot had all its problems fixed, and the show had potential to be good.

    Here’s what you get if you accept:

    1) Series 6, 7 and 8 removed from history, so that UK Red Dwarf of the 90s ends with ‘Back to Reality’.
    2) Your memory of these are removed, so you will never know that Series 7 and 8 were shite, and instead are left with the high of ‘Back to Reality’ before the US series took over. In the back of your mind you could be wondering ‘what if’ about the UK series just as much as you currently wonder ‘what if’ about the US one.
    3) An unknown number of US seasons. First season probably six episodes, then over a dozen for each season after that. The quality of these can’t be foreseen, but we’re talking about a parallel dimension in which the pilot worked sufficiently for the series to go ahead. Maybe five seasons would be made, but you are trading for something unknown here.
    4) This trade doesn’t effect the Dave era of the show, except that Chloe Annett wasn’t cast as Kochanski in the 90s, so there would be no reason to cast anyone but Claire Grogan in Back to Earth. Back to Earth also wouldn’t feature call-backs to Kryten doing his jealous shrieking thing. A 2009 special would focus on however many years had passed since Series 5 rather than since Series 8, and Series 10, 11 and 12 would be called Series 6, 7 and 8 respectively.

    Yes or no then; come on.

    #221267

    Ben Saunders

    Absolutely not, what the fuck?

    #221268

    Me Own Stunts

    Red Dwarf USA could be as good as early Simpsons for all you know. You absolutely certain you won’t take the gamble?

    Don’t be so anxious; at the very worst you’ll only be trapped in an alternate dimension forever.

    #221270

    Ben Saunders

    Nothing in any universe is worth trading for Kennedy assassinating himself, the opening and ending to Stoke, and BOTH CHEEKS MAN, sorry. It’s just too much of a gamble for something that -might- be good. Red Dwarf IS a British show – Americans aren’t really into the whole self-deprecating shtick quite as much as we are.

    #221271

    Me Own Stunts

    Blimey, somebody who thinks BOTH CHEEKS MAN is good.

    I never thought I’d live to see the day!

    #221272

    Ben Saunders

    I like Lister winding Rimmer the fuck up, shoot me.

    An 83 year old dad….

    #221276

    John Hoare

    G&T Admin

    I seem to recall me and Ian having EXACTLY this thought experiment a while back. But this was before BTE, which means it’s a whole different ballgame now.

    Personally, I couldn’t give up VI… but I’d sure as hell give up anything past that for the chance of a brilliant Red Dwarf USA. Which, given the right tweaks and the right creative team, could have been marvellous.

    #221279

    Seb Patrick

    You can prise Legion, Gunmen, Out of Time and Tikka out of my cold, dead hands.

    Also:

    This trade doesn’t effect the Dave era of the show, except that Chloe Annett wasn’t cast as Kochanski in the 90s, so there would be no reason to cast anyone but Claire Grogan in Back to Earth. Back to Earth also wouldn’t feature call-backs to Kryten doing his jealous shrieking thing. A 2009 special would focus on however many years had passed since Series 5 rather than since Series 8, and Series 10, 11 and 12 would be called Series 6, 7 and 8 respectively.

    We’d also lose Fathers and Suns, as well as having to go through ever-more-increasing workarounds to account for Rimmer still being soft-light throughout all the recent series.

    It’s a pass for me.

    #221280

    Dave Wallace

    A 2009 special would focus on however many years had passed since Series 5 rather than since Series 8, and Series 10, 11 and 12 would be called Series 6, 7 and 8 respectively.

    Surely they’d be called 7, 8 and 9, with 6 serving as the “lost” series instead of 9.

    #221282

    Taiwan Tony

    I’d chuck series 6 for a season 1. Because presumably Rob and Doug would still be on board with script ideas (ideally to exec produce, same as Gervais and Merchant.) So Legion, Gunmen etc wouldn’t necessarily be lost. And as you say, series 6 is more American in style with its one liners anyway.

    And Rob wouldn’t have walked.

    I say do it.

    #221283

    International Debris

    I’d not be happy to lose Legion or Out of Time, but otherwise I’d be tempted. On the other hand, the show’s UK legacy wouldn’t be the same and I doubt BtE and the following series would ever have happened anyway.

    Red Dwarf IS a British show – Americans aren’t really into the whole self-deprecating shtick quite as much as we are.

    Only when it does it – Seinfeld, The Simpsons – it does it as well as, if not better than, the Brits.

    The possibility of five series of Seinfeld quality Red Dwarf USA over 6, 7 and 8, though, is very tempting.

    #221285

    si

    Nothing in any universe is worth trading for […the…] ending to Stoke.

    Bit unfair on the good people of Stoke.

    #221292

    Ben Saunders

    I’d happily trade the people of Stoke for another Series IV

    #221293

    bloodteller

    i don’t think that’s a very good idea

    #221294

    International Debris

    Are there ‘good people’ in Stoke?

    #221296

    Dave Wallace

    Not any more. Coincidentally, six lost episodes of Red Dwarf have just been discovered.

    #221297

    Me Own Stunts

    This is true, but for me only the scene with Lister playing back the footage of his ‘Dad’ matters to me, and it’s nevertheless polyfilla over the horrible crack of Lister not only being his own Dad, but his own Grandfather, Great Grandfather and so on to infinity. He is infinitely inbred; an idea I entirely hate.

    It would have been lovely if Lister had just had ordinary parents who’d abandoned him rather than a science fiction background. That’s what we had before Series 7 started looking inwards for what to do next. A show that runs for several series runs the risk of becoming stale and formulaic, and around this time they sometimes start to look inwards for ideas to reincorporate and put surprising spins on. Eureka – Lister’s parents were never explained so let’s have him be his own Dad in a surprising time-loop twist! I hate it, and after it had emerged in Series 7 I didn’t appreciate them going back to it in Series 10, albeit for one good scene.

    So yeah I don’t mind that subplot going from Series 10.

    I actually wish Rimmer had stayed soft-light anyway. It was good for Legion, and it was perhaps necessary to make Rimmerworld work, but I can’t really think of anything in Series 10 that absolutely needed Rimmer to be hard-light (a few things, but not in the sense of enormous workarounds). It’s just more convenient for the writers (as well as Chris Barrie and the prop team) to allow Rimmer to touch stuff. But for me Rimmer was so much more effective when he couldn’t do things his own way without the assistance of Lister, Cat and Kryten. So officious yet depended on the cooperation of people he struggled to have any respect for and vice versa. It added so well to his layers of neuroses, and I always felt that once he became hard-light a lot of his character was lost. I think in the back of my mind there was the sense he only really stayed hard-light to make it easier for everyone producing the show, as well, which rankled a bit.

    #221298

    Me Own Stunts

    Arrgh what happened to that post?? I thought I was quoting Seb and it ended up like that.

    #221299

    Me Own Stunts

    Just imagine the first chunk being a reply to “We’d also lose Fathers and Suns” and the bit that’s in a quotation box being a reply to “as well as having to go through ever-more-increasing workarounds to account for Rimmer still being soft-light throughout all the recent series”.

    #221300

    Nick R

    Would a successful American Red Dwarf pilot and TV series mean that Jane Leeves would never appear in in Frasier, and Linwood Boomer would never create Malcolm in the Middle?

    I can’t imagine sacrificing either of those things, no matter how much good Red Dwarf it might lead to.

    #221302

    Ben Saunders

    >No Jane Leeves in Frasier
    >No Malcolm in the Middle
    Good God, what a horrible universe to live in

    #221303

    John Hoare

    G&T Admin

    Yeah, I hadn’t thought of all that shit. Fuck that reality, I’ll stick with this one.

    Apropos of nothing, here’s the stage direction for our first view of Daphne in the pilot script:

    FRASIER OPENS THE DOOR TO REVEAL DAPHNE MOON. AN ENGLISH WORKING CLASS WOMAN IN HER MID TO LATE TWENTIES. AT THIS MOMENT, SHE IS REACHING INTO HER BLOUSE AND ADJUSTING HER BRA.

    “AT THIS MOMENT” makes me laugh a lot.

    #221305

    Me Own Stunts

    The pilot would have been a successful pilot with components that worked (at least enough for the show to go to series). There’s nothing in my premise stating that Jane Leeves and Linwood Boomer would have been tied up with Red Dwarf, as we don’t know what differences made the pilot successful, but it’s a gamble.

    I forgot to mention the Rob Grant factor though, and somebody above brought it up so I should clarify.

    In the alternate reality, Rob Grant never formally left Red Dwarf UK. He probably would have ultimately tired of the US version but who knows. Anyway because the UK show never had “post-Grant” period (which he has said he couldn’t really engage with, likening them to seeing your ex-wife out and about with another man), the opportunity in 2009 to make a 21st anniversary special may have appealed to him.

    So yes, Back to Earth and then series 7, 8 and 9 (thanks for correcting that earlier, Dave Wallace) could have all involved Rob Grant, at least until he’d had enough.

    #221307

    Pete Part Three

    And then a blow-job. Blow-jobs for everyone.

    #221308

    clem

    > Surely they’d be called 7, 8 and 9, with 6 serving as the “lost” series instead of 9.

    > So yes, Back to Earth and then series 7, 8 and 9 (thanks for correcting that earlier, Dave Wallace)

    Hang on. Do people really think series X is named X because IX is meant to be the lost series, and not because Back to Earth *is* IX? Even if you consider the director’s cut the definitive version of BTE, it was originally broadcast as a series of three episodes, and it was the ninth one, so it’s series IX. Doug has stated that BTE isn’t Red Dwarf, mind you, but this lost series thing is bollocks, surely?

    #221310

    International Debris

    Given that both IX and X are mentioned as lost series in BtE, it’s obviously bollocks.

    #221311

    Dave Wallace

    I meant ‘lost’ in the sense of ‘there isn’t a series with that official number’, just like BTE being effectively 9 even though it’s not called that.

    #221315

    Seb Patrick

    If we’re just arbitrarily making up rules then can I be in the no-Brexit, no-Trump universe where Victoria Wood is still alive and making a new series of Dinnerladies?

    #221316

    Dave Wallace

    Yes, but in that universe My Hero is now on series 17.

    #221317

    clem

    But does the new series of Dinnerladies have the same budget as Red Dwarf XIII?

    #221319

    Darrell

    Doug should have counted himself lucky to get for series VIII the same budget as a series of dinnerladies that had four more studio recording sessions, a music recording session with a band, and a main cast three times the size of Dwarf’s.

    #221329

    Pete Part Three

    No one gets a 9th series though. Not Red Dwarf, not Windows, not iPhone.

    #221334

    Ben Saunders

    You mean it was Red Dwarf that started this stupid trend of avoiding the number 9?

    #221339

    Me Own Stunts

    No it was most people who listen to The White Album.

    #221342

    Ben Saunders

    I’ve listened to The White Album countless times, but always skip Revolution 9. It’s utter shite.

    #221345

    Me Own Stunts

    Well, I did say “most people”.

    #221347

    International Debris

    Revolution 9 is great. Dad played it to me when I was 10 or 11, totally changed my perspective on music.

    #221349

    Ben Saunders

    It isn’t music, though

    #221350

    Me Own Stunts

    “Revolution 9 is great. Dad played it to me when I was 10 or 11, totally changed my perspective on music.”

    (notice I have abandoned trying to use the blockquote thing that MADE MY POST GO WRONG EARLIER SO THAT NOBODY READ IT)

    I agree that Revolution 9 is great, but most people don’t love to hear the whole track when they’re listening to the White Album. Usually I am in the mood for it once Cry Baby Cry has ended, because you get used to a certain track sequence don’t you. Personally I’m more likely to skip ‘Helter Skelter’ or ‘Birthday’.

    #221353

    Me Own Stunts

    “If we’re just arbitrarily making up rules then can I be in the no-Brexit, no-Trump universe where Victoria Wood is still alive and making a new series of Dinnerladies?”

    Having Rob Grant onboard for post-series 5 Red Dwarf isn’t arbitrary! I had it in my mind to include it in my original post but I forgot to put it in.

    I’m trying to tempt people over to my alternate universe, alright, and I promise it isn’t as shit as the one where Captain Hollister could play the violin with his left arm because doing that was the opposite of not being able to play the violin.

    I promise it is not the same as that.

    Well alright it is the same as that but Series 8 wasn’t a documentary.

    Alright then it was.

    If you think this has crap comedy timing, blame whoever decided on the maximum one line between paragraphs rule.

    Thank you.

    #221354

    Ben Saunders

    >Personally I’m more likely to skip Helter Skelter
    Heathen.
    I bet you don’t like Tikka, or some equally abhorrent opinion.
    Unbelievable.

    #221355

    Me Own Stunts

    I just never know how to take Helter Skelter. It feels like it wants to be a parody, but also more like it just doesn’t understand what it’s doing. Like a new certain type of music was emerging so Paul McCartney thought “eh up, I’ll do my one of that and show them I can do it just as well”. It feels very self-conscious.

    A lot of “feels like”, basically.

    I’ve already covered Tikka in previous posts. Doug forgot what the cliffhanger of series 6 actually was; that’s where I got off. Also it was where the quick-one-liners model of series 6 started to fall apart. They have to be funny. If they’re not funny, you start to notice the humour isn’t coming from the characters and their situation anymore.

    If you’d like to hear more of this particular drunken trajectory, press ‘red’ now.

    #221356

    Me Own Stunts

    When I say “that’s where I got off”, I meant it like “that’s where I got off a horse”.

    I hope that clears that up.

    (This post was sponsored by Kleenex.)

    #221359

    Ben Saunders

    Helter Skelter was just Paul McCartney trying to be as loud as he possibly could.

    He read an interview with either The Who or The Rolling Stones where they said “we’re the loudest band on the planet”, and Sir Paul thought “Oh yeah? Fuck off, I can do one better.”

    And he did.

    Iirc it was originally a 20-minute jam session, heavily edited down to the little ditty it is today. It also fades out, and then back in again, features John Lennon farting (rather endearingly) on the bass, and Ringo genuinely being in pain when he screams about the blisters on his fingers at the end.

    I have a Beatles-denier friend who gets really upset when I say Helter Skelter was proto-metal, but it sort of was. He likes to think Black Sabbath just shat metal out of their arses one day with no inspiration from anyone.

    Helter Skelter is just some loud fun.

    #221371

    International Debris

    It isn’t music, though

    Yes it is. It’s musique concrete. The musique part of that being French for music.

    I agree that Revolution 9 is great, but most people don’t love to hear the whole track when they’re listening to the White Album. Usually I am in the mood for it once Cry Baby Cry has ended, because you get used to a certain track sequence don’t you.

    It’s exceptionally rare I’ll skip any track on any album. After many, many years of posting on very argumentative music forums (fora, sorry), I generally avoid these kinds of music discussion now, but I do try and speak out when people describe Revolution 9 as shit because it’s a piece of experimental music rather than a pop/rock song. I’ve seen people explain why they think it’s a bad piece of experimental music which is fine, but it’s the ‘ugh it’s not got a tune therefore it’s a load of bollocks’ thing that I hate.

    #221373

    Darrell

    I love Revolution #9, it’s one of the best things on the White Album. So ner.

    #221374

    Me Own Stunts

    “I love Revolution #9, it’s one of the best things on the White Album. So ner.”

    I thought that said “so far”, which I liked. I like the idea of the White Album being a process.

    #221375

    Ben Saunders

    >Yes it is. It’s music concrete.
    I’ll fight you.

    I’m all for non-musical sound art, but not on a Beatles album, not by John Lennon, and definitely not Revolution #9.

    The White Album is great. Paul has some fantastic moments on it, Savoy Truffle is good. While My Guitar Gently Weeps. A couple tracks could be cut from it and it wouldn’t suffer, admittedly, but then there would be less Beatles songs – and THAT is a universe I don’t want to live in.

    DON’T PASS ME BY DON’T MAKE ME CRY DON’T MAKE ME BLUE

    #221392

    International Debris

    Well apologies for assuming you were just dismissing it for its unconventional nature. That said, I’d still describe it as music. Frankly I dislike the distinction between sound art and music at the best of times – what is music if not sound art? – but Revolution 9 uses structure and loops in such a way that it’s very clearly musical anyway.

    There’s plenty of stuff on the album I’d skip – the huge focus on blues and rock’n’roll is something I’m not keen on at all – but Revolution 9 wouldn’t be near that list.

    #221394

    Jonsmad

    “Number nine. Number nine. Number nine.”

    – What is it?

    – I’ve never seen one before, but I’m guessing it’s a white album.

    – A white album?

    – Every revolution has an equal and opposite revolution.
    And number 9 sucks your time out of the universe.

    – So that thing’s spewing experimental noise into the universe?

    -Precisely.

    – That’s why we’re experiencing these curious time phenomena on board.

    “Number nine. Number nine. Number nine”

    – What time phenomena?

    – Like just then, when time repeated itself tediously without any catchy melody

    – so its decided then? We consult Holly?

    – yes so we can holly hop to that universe where Ringo is a good drummer.

    #221395

    Ben Saunders

    Proof Red Dwarf isn’t set in our universe: This IS the universe where Ringo was a really good drummer

    #221400

    International Debris

    Yeah, that’s a pretty cheap shot of a joke really.

    #221403

    Jonsmad

    A cheap rim shot.

    #221453

    flanl

    My phone’s being an ass and won’t let me copy things so I’ll just assume you know what post I meant to quote.

    Nobody in Back to Earth called series X the best yet.

    #221454

    Me Own Stunts

    > Hang on. Do people really think series X is named X because IX is meant to be the lost series, and not because Back to Earth *is* IX? Even if you consider the director’s cut the definitive version of BTE, it was originally broadcast as a series of three episodes, and it was the ninth one, so it’s series IX. Doug has stated that BTE isn’t Red Dwarf, mind you, but this lost series thing is bollocks, surely?

    I was personally clarifying that if we had no Series 6, 7 and 8 in the 90s, a special made in 2009 with, at first, a name rather than a series number, would retrospectively be considered Series 6, with the current Series 10, 11 and 12 (although they would differ from the “current” versions for reasons already outlined in posts above) being Series 7, 8 and 9 respectively.

    #221455

    Seb Patrick

    >Doug has stated that BTE isn’t Red Dwarf

    No he hasn’t. He’s said it isn’t “series 9”. Which it isn’t, because it’s a special.

    #221456

    Darrell

    (it is though)

    #221457

    clem

    > No he hasn’t.

    I’m almost certain he has, in that interview with Dan Clark.

    > He’s said it isn’t “series 9”. Which it isn’t, because it’s a special.

    It’s series

    #221458

    clem

    Sorry, that was meant to say “It’s a series of specials, though, isn’t it?”

    #221459

    SoundableObject

    The correct way to refer to Back to Earth is clearly 3,000,000 AD.

    #221462

    Lilly Queen

    An American Red Dwarf would have been excellent if helmed by David Mirkin and David X. Cohen. Mirkin is one of the few American producers who understands what made British comedies like the Young Ones great. Has a sensibility for rapid fire jokes and breaking all the rules of television. Cohen knows how to marry strong sci/fi ideas and comedy. And they both know the importance of giving depth to their comedy characters.

    #221463

    Jonsmad

    David X? Instead of Dave series x? I’m confused?

    #221464

    Ben Saunders

    Doug said something along the lines of “it’s not [really] Red Dwarf”, yes, but I doubt he writes it off completely – he seems very aware of fan reception and takes their criticisms on board, but it’s not like BtE was utterly incoherent, devastatingly shite trash. But then, people can’t “like” or “dislike” things anymore, they have to be the greatest or the worst shit of all time

    #221472

    Ben Paddon

    I rather like BTE. Can VIII not be Red Dwarf instead?

    #221474

    Me Own Stunts

    > Can VIII not be Red Dwarf instead?

    Only if you also lose Series 6 and 7. Them’s the rules.

    #221475

    Pete Part Three

    At least one member of the production has to disown it. You could try Watchdog, but they’ve got bigger fish to fry.

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