God, I love you Austin. I love you so much.
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OooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooOOOOOooooooooo. Looking forward to reading this – “…Memory” is my favourite episode, after all…
I can assure you that it will be a massive disappointment.
‘Memory’ is such a great episode. One of my all-time favourite episodes of all-time…maybe THE all-time favourite. I was lent II on video a few years ago (yeah, I’m a cheapskate) and it just clicked with me. It’s maybe the episode that got me crazily into Dwarf rather than being just mildly interested. I remember thinking ‘fuck, this is actually great!’
It’s so well written and acted it’s beyond a joke (not the VII ep…). The crew really feel like a REAL crew, especially on the planet’s surface (or rather, in a quarry in Wales…) and driving back in Blue Midget. And Rimmer’s confession to Lister is just so wonderfully done. And all that’s BEFORE the whole memory thing. In fact, there’s something about the episode that almost brings me to tears watching it (please flame me if I’m being stupid here).
I don’t want to rip Austin’s article as it’s great, but I reckon Rob and Doug would be the first to admit that they weren’t thinking that deeply when they wrote ‘Memory’. Any connections to 2001 might be just because they had watched it and it had rubbed off on them. You can unintentionally steal ideas and concepts from things you’ve seen or heard. But then again they obviously liked 2001 (it’s referenced in one of the Dwarf novels, if I remember) so you never know. There are lots of less subtle homages to sci-fi movies in Dwarf, like Alien, Terminator and even Robocop with mini-Lister’s suit.
I’d say that they were thinking of it – perhaps subconsciously – because there seem (to me) to be too many similarities. But at the same time, they probably weren’t thinking, “let’s go write an homage to 2001.”
Nice job, as usual. I enjoy these articles of Austin’s because not only do they shed new light on Dwarf episodes, but they increase muchly my science-fiction awareness…of which I have very little.
And though I enjoyed 2001 I admit to being utterly perplexed by the ending. I had no idea the strange room Bowman found himself in was a method of communication…classy.
So as a sci-fi imbecile I can’t take issue with any of Austin’s main points.
However, as an author and graduate student of literature, I do take issue with one of his small ones: “It’s a good story, and that’s the point of any piece of fiction.”
Catch-22: an American goes to war and is confused by it.
Tristram Shandy: a man is writing his autobiography but gets very little of it done.
Ulysses: an Irishman walks around Dublin and goes home.
The Good Soldier: the plot is hazy because the narrator doesn’t really remember it himself.
Finnegans Wake: no plot OR characters
All of which are considered great books…but mainly because of the development and attention paid to things exactly opposite to plot, such as cyclical sentence construction and negative pacing.
Yeah, but even in Catch-22 (the only one of that list that I can actually remember reading) there are still stories. All the individuals, as I recall, have stories that develop throughout the story. Otherwise, I see your point.
Well, I’ve never seen 2001 (though I do hope to catch it on Sky Cinema next time its on) so I can’t really make a fair comment.
It is my favourite episode along with probably Quarantine, Justice and Stoke Me A Clipper. Episodes that focus, at least primarily, on Rimmer will always be the strongest because he’s the character with the greatest depth – but it would be buggered if the performances weren’t this spot on.
Ah, true, Austin. If you look at Catch-22 as an assortment of lesser stories that add up to a greater whole (such as yourself…greater hole…pun…hilarious…) you win.
But I still whip the ass at ping pong.
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