Or: I don’t.

Something did occur to me today, though. We all know of a certain kind of sitcom episode – One Foot In The Grave‘s The Trial, where Victor mopes around the house waiting for an entire half-hour, or Porridge‘s A Night In, consisting almost entirely of Fletch and Godber in their cell. In other words: those delicious one or two handers, often in real time. And it’s no coincidence that the two episodes I mention above are considered to be some of the best of each series. See also: Marooned.

So: why didn’t they do one for VIII? Just Lister and Rimmer, in their cell?

It would have solved some of the series’ money problems, for a start; maybe not enough to allow Earth to have been recorded, but it would have helped out a lot. Perhaps more importantly though, it seems that one of the intentions for VIII was to go back to basics – to do bunkroom scenes again, and get to the heart of Lister and Rimmer’s characters. That’s exactly what this kind of episode could have done. And the setup for the series – prison – practically begs for this kind of episode to be made.

I suppose in the end, there would be the danger of the episode being seen as a complete rip-off of A Night In – or, indeed, Marooned. But the episode wouldn’t have had the same character beats as the former; and the situation is completely different to the latter. It could have been really, really fantastic, as these episodes often tend to be.

It seems a bit of a missed opportunity, really.


Scroll to bottom

  • Good point. I COULD say Doug couldn’t do a episode like that without Rob, but I don’t really think that. Possibly he thought it had been done already with Marooned and also the season before with Duct Soup. Personally I’d don’t think the latter episode compares to the others you’ve mentioned but I get the feeling that was the style they were going for.

  • Hello, I’m Doug Naylor’s daughter, and I just want to say I think the comments you made about my Dad being stupid and you knowing more than him are REALLY OFFENSIVE.

    Fuck you, you cunts.

    Lots of love,

  • I’ve often wondered about this. The feeling I get, though, is that the reaction to Duct Soup – itself a replacement, money-saving script – put him off going there again.

    Which is a shame because I think VIII showed a new-found confidence; having THAT Doug Naylor do a lock-down, bored-in-prison episode (which, actually, much of Only The Good’s first half kinda is) would have been a joy.

  • That is a very interesting point.

    The generators could have gone down so they couldn’t open the doors.
    Or since we already had Marooned it could be between other characters. So instead of Rimmer and Lister in their bunk, maybe have Kriss and Kryten resolving their issues in their bunk…or Cat in his…where the hell does the Cat go anyway?

  • I imagine it’s very difficult to do one of these episodes – most of series 8 suggests that the writers weren’t up to it. Having said that – having watched 8 again recently I was very surprised how funny the prison cell bits of Back in the Red 1 were (certainly better than Duct Soup I think). Maybe it would have worked

  • I don’t understand all the hate that Duct Soup gets.

    Alright, so by virtue of being a VII episode, it’s of course nowhere near as good as anything from I-VI. But as far as VII episodes go, I don’t think it’s by any means the worst – and I’d still probably rather watch it than most of VIII.

  • >I don?t think it?s by any means the worst – and I?d still probably rather watch it than most of VIII.

    I definitely think it’s the worst.

    It’s funny how, on the whole, VII is generally considered very weak, but depending who you ask their idea of WHICH episodes are particularly weak is always different.

    I hear people complain about Tikka, but I love it. And I think Nanarchy gets a lot of hate, too. I think it’s hilarious and possibly my favorite of the series.

    I think, in turn, I’ve heard probably each of the VII episodes described as someone’s favorite and least favorite of the series. It’s interesting that the general opinion is pretty widespread, but when you break it down into episodes there isn’t much agreement.

  • I can remember a lot of the hype about Series 8 was meant to be a return to the ‘bunk-room’ Rimmer-Lister dialogue of the early series. So I totally agree an episode based solely on this was a missed opportunity.

    I stand by my criticism that Series VIII often saw the fleshed-out rounded characters become caricatures of themselves for pantomine humour or comedy sketches such as ‘Kryten goes for a medical’ or ‘Kryten sees a shrink’.

    As we seem to be agreeing in this thread thought the strongest bits in Series 8 were probably the bunk room scenes, the times when Doug drilled down to the core and got the very heartbeat of the show in the Rimmer/Lister relationship.

    Last Human to me proved Doug can, on his own, still write for those characters. It was often the ensemble pieces (from Series VIII)that seemed weaker than in the past.

    It’s set me thinking now though. Is this down to Doug’s writing or the cast’s performance? Perhaps when it’s just Rimmer & Lister exchanging dialogue it’s easier for Chris & Craig to become the parts. Whereas when it’s all the gang together it switched to bieng Danny, Chloe, Rob, Craig and Chris ‘play’ acting the parts.

    That’s a bit harsh, I know. It’s just no matter how often I was series VIII large parts of it feel like it’s been played for laughs, which was never the case before.

    Just to finish off this rant, how about a stage-production of Marooned? A fairly straightfoward two man piece with extra Rimmsy-Listy dialogue inserted.

  • > It?s interesting that the general opinion is pretty widespread, but when you break it down into episodes there isn?t much agreement.

    This is very true. Beyond a Joke & Epideme are probably my least favourites. The way myself and a mate always used to think of series VII was this is what the characters get upto when life isn’t particularly fun or as humourous.

    Not great credentials for a sit-com obviously. Yet once you adjust to the lack of audience, the lack of Rimmer, the arrival of Chloe and the god-awful CG (goodness me Series VII had quite a lot to contend with really didn’t it) underneath it’s still the same show and has some moments which were worthy of any series.

    Sorry to slip back into Series VIII bashing again (I did enough above) but in hindsight the early eps of Series VII could be seen as a dress-rehearsal for the film. (Lack of audience, cinematic look, change of pace etc) which only makes me want to jab nasty pointy things into series VIII even more. Doug listening to “the fans” vitriol over series VII and responding accordingly was all very well but I wish he’d told everyone to fuck off and made an improved Series VII instead of the limbo of Series VIII.

    Almost splitting the first six series and the post 97-efforts into ‘Classic’ Dwarf and ‘New’ Dwarf (a la who) then with two seasons of comedy-drama short films under his belt the movie would have been a natural progression.

  • There is one thing that a potential Lister and Rimmer in a cell episode could have confronted – and that’s the fact that the Rimmer in this series is not *our* Rimmer. It’s talked about in one scene in BITR, but I think it could have been explored a lot more – the fact that this Rimmer is different, because he hasn’t gone through the experiences the other one had. Instead, it’s tossed away as “God, it’s you how you used to be. Urgh.”

    But that may well have ended up too fan-ficcy. Not to be insulting to fan fiction – but I’ve got a nagging feeling it might not have worked that well in the actual series, which is why they didn’t really talk about it.

  • > the fact that the Rimmer in this series is not *our* Rimmer. It?s talked about in one scene in BITR, but I think it could have been explored a lot more

    Absolutely. It was like ‘look, Rimmer’s back, that’s all that matters, forget the details’. And IMO after BITR he was pretty much back to being the pre-VIII Rimmer anyway. Yeah he was a bastard, but he was a bastard through all the series’. It’s only in VII that he got redemption (of sorts).

    Of course, I’m pretty sure IX would have addressed this, or the planned Ace Rimmer ending to VIII. Don’t know what Doug would have done with the VIII Rimmer if Ace had returned. Flushed him out the airlock like on Galactica?

  • > ?God, it?s you how you used to be. Urgh.?

    Except of cause that, well it wasn’t. It was as Lorek says above it was just ‘Rimmer’. I suppose for the casual viewer it doesn’t make any difference at all but to us pedantic goits who follow things through from beginning to end our main cast now features a Kochanski from a parellel dimension and a re-booted version of Rimmer.

    Infact more to the point where is OUR Kochanski? No jokes about playing a Butlins with a regrouped Altered Images please.

  • >Infact more to the point where is OUR Kochanski? No jokes about playing a Butlins with a regrouped Altered Images please.

    Spoil sport :oP

  • Or about doing hideous attempts at Irish accents in the only episode of Father Ted that’s anything less than sheer genius.

  • It’s still a pretty good episode I think (when she’s on the front of a magazine with the headline ‘Clit Power’ and Ted says ‘Clit Power? I knew a Father Clint Power, maybe she means him.’). Maybe it’s one where you just HAVE to be Irish to appreciate it more, with the Lovely Girls competition and everything. One of the funniest and yet most pointless scenes is when they have to sleep in a tent outside because Dougal gave her the house, Ted leaves a pen and paper by the side of him and says ‘maybe God will write down what we should do’, in the morning he picks the paper up and screams and Dougal says ‘what is it Ted, did God write back?’ and Ted says ‘No he didn’t. Bollocks anyway!’

    Regarding Dwarf, everything post-VI (or is that post-V…? you all know the show jumped the shark when Rimmer got the hardlight drive…) takes place in a bubble anyway so it’s not even worth analysing those episodes. Seriously, analysis of episodes pre-VII usually centres on the story or sci-fi but with VII onwards it’s just discussing the level of crapness. What is there worth talking about in episodes such as Krytie TV? Yeah, there is SOME humour there, but I like it when episodes stir the mind a little more. There’s just SO much more depth to the earlier episodes.

  • Ah. And here was me going to take some notes for a couple of VII and/or VIII episode reviews.

    Absolutely. It was like ?look, Rimmer?s back, that?s all that matters, forget the details?. And IMO after BITR he was pretty much back to being the pre-VIII Rimmer anyway. Yeah he was a bastard, but he was a bastard through all the series?. It?s only in VII that he got redemption (of sorts).

    What about the end of “Out of Time”? I think that counts as such a moment for Rimmer, perhaps even better than his becoming another Ace did.

    And maybe this is just my fangirlism talking, but I do think that perhaps the idea of this being not the same Rimmer we knew from the last several series ought to have counted for a bit more. We went through all that time watching the character evolve, shed the occasional layer of defensive offensiveness and once in a while even be nice to the other Dwarfers–and now he’s been replaced by a version of the same person who has had none of these experiences; Lister, in particular, has seen him with his guard down in ways that this new Rimmer would never dream of showing anyone. That ought to have counted for something. But I guess I can only toss it on the pile of Things That VIII Might Have Been…

  • I’d assume its more the fact that they’d pretty much already done Marooned. Nobody likes repetition. I say nobody likes repetition.

  • > I?d assume its more the fact that they?d pretty much already done Marooned

    Yeah, also the situation in Marooned is much more interesting than how it would have been in VIII with the two of them just stuck in the cell. I KNOW you can create comedy with two people sitting next to each other doing nothing or even one person on their own (the genius of One Foot In The Grave) but I genuinely feel everyone would have been pissed off with a two-hander in VIII just due to the quality of the writing and the fact that there couldn’t really be a payoff at the end, they’d still be in the cell unlike being rescued in Marooned. Oh wtf do I know? Who WOULDN’T see a Chris/Craig two-hander play?

  • Well, he’d hear it, wouldn’t he? If he were a Red Dwarf fan and were able to attend.

  • Yes, but he wouldn’t see it, which was performingmonkey’s wording, hence the completely terrible and quite possibly bad-taste joke.

  • What are you worrying about? He won’t see it.

    Criminy, those jokes are downright addictive.

    Also: Iorek82=performingmonkey? Consider my mind blown.

    Also also: Am I the only one unable to get onto the official webboard? I keep getting “Service Unavailable”.

  • What are you worrying about? He won?t see it.

    No, but his daughter might.

    Also: Iorek82=performingmonkey?

    Uhhh, no. He’s definitely not. Definitely.

    Also also: Am I the only one unable to get onto the official webboard? I keep getting ?Service Unavailable?.

    TOS was down for a bit, I think, but seems to be back now.

  • > You can tell they?re the same person, because they?re both fucking idiots.

    Well if you’re going off that logic, you and John must also be one and the same.

  • Well if you?re going off that logic, you and John must also be one and the same.

    And your mum.

Scroll to top  •  Scroll to 'Recent Comments'

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.