In possible the most exciting move in the history of everything ever, Dave have revealed the episode synopses for Back To Earth. Oh, and in case that wasn’t enough, they’ve just thrown in a shot of A COMPLETELY NEW BUNKROOM for good measure.
If you’re sensitive to spoilers, don’t click on this link, and don’t read this article or the comments. My personal policy is that things that are put out there by the production team and/or the channel don’t count as spoilers, as they’re things that we’re supposed to know at this stage. Nevertheless, it’s pretty mind-blowing stuff…
I’d settle down with a cup of tea if I were you – this is one of the longest news stories G&T have ever done…
Let’s look at this episode by episode.
Back To Earth – Part One
Nine years later the Red Dwarf crew are older but still none the wiser. Lister’s busy day of annoying Rimmer is interrupted by the discovery of a dimension-hopping leviathan in the ship’s mile-deep water tank.
Excellent. For starters, confirmation that the action will start several years after Only The Good. Also, a leviathan, eh? Some kind of squid? Now, from this point on, things get a little bit confusing…
Back To Earth – Part Two
Rimmer’s replacement, Katerina (Sophie Winkleman), is determined to guide Lister back to his home planet. But Earth in 2009 is not everything the boys had expected, and Rimmer has no intention of being replaced.
Right, Earth in 2009. Hence the visit to a contemporary comic shop and all the rest of it. Presumably the dimension-hopping elements of the aforementioned leviathan are in play here. Interesting that Katerina isn’t mentioned until Part Two – is this when she turns up for the first time?
All sounds fairly straight-forward so far. Let’s just read on a little bit…
Back To Earth – Part Three
Knowing they are destined to die, the Dwarfers – in best Blade Runner traditions – track down those responsible for their creation to plead for more life.
WHAT THE MERRY FUCK?
OK. Breathe. So, it looks like confirmation of the metafictional elements that we’ve been anticipating since the Coronation Street pictures emerged. Hence all the Dwarf stuff in the comic shop – they get back to Earth and find out that they’re all fictional characters. Bloody hell. Blade Runner? Sounds more like The League Of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse to me.
So much to take in here. What does this mean for the long-term future of the show? If this is going the way we think it is, then it’s going to completely change the scenario forever. But then, people said that exact same sentence in 1992, when details of Back To Reality emerged. So is this some sort of despair squid/unreality bubble/all a dream thing? If so, with the Dwarfers-as-fictional-characters thing, it’s a bit too close to the bone. But then again, all the way through this production, we’ve been constantly told that we don’t know what the fuck is going on and how it’s all going to play out. I guess that’s still the case.
Also – track down those responsible for their creation? Who’s going to play Rob and Doug, then? I’ll put a fiver on Colin Baker and Seb Patrick respectively.
Well, that’s all the excitement for one day. Oh no, I forgot – IT’S A NEW FUCKING BUNK ROOM. My first reaction was utter shock, but after about three seconds of adjusting to it… well, it’s bloody beautiful, isn’t it? A mixture of the architecture of Series III onwards, and the details from the Series I and II era Drive Room. Plus, there appears to be a TARDIS console in the middle of the room, which is always good. This really is brilliant – a tribute to Mel Bibby’s style, without just being an impersonation.
That’s the general view out the way – let’s all open up the big version and dissect it to fuck, shall we? Firstly, the malfunction message on the far left. Is that where Holly should be, do we reckon? Lister’s bunk – alongside the classic London Jets poster, pics of Jim Bexley Speed and Lister’s gran, plus a Mugs Murphy postcard (a beautiful touch), there are a fair few pictures of Kochanski Mk II. She is so dead. On top of that, there’s a picture of a woman in a white dress riding a horse. Impeccable attention to detail.
Rimmer is reading a …For Dummies book. We can’t see what it is, but it’s got to be Astro-Navigation, hasn’t it? Again, a brilliant touch. On his bunk, you can just about see a revision timetable too. Oh bloody hell, I’ve only just noticed the costumes! Kryten seems to have just returned from a trip to Hawaii. As you do. Lister’s in his now familiar posh get-up, and Cat’s all bedraggled and pissed off, which we’ve seen glimpses of before. Presumably, this still is from the first episode, given that there’s no sign of Katerina – has Cat just been having a fight with the big leviathan?
And, providing the gentle early-hours-of-Sunday-morning comedown from the all-night-rave that was the synopses and the picture, there are details of what’s going to be shown over the weekend. As well as an airing for the broadcast version of Smeg Ups, we’ve also got repeats of Gunmen, Quarantine, Tikka, Polymorph, Emohawk, Back To Reality and Marooned. All fine choices – even if you’re not a Series VII fan, you’ve got to admit that Tikka is a fine example of the time-travel-twistiness that only Dwarf can do, and your casual viewer isn’t going to be too bothered by the plot inconsistencies that drag the episode down for the hardcore.
And finally, the Making Of will now be shown on the Sunday, directly after Part Three, and all four new half-hours will be repeated on Monday night. Excellent. I can’t even begin to comprehend how utterly excellent this weekend is going to be.
UPDATE : So apparently, Dave weren’t supposed to have posted the plot synopses. Whoops. Good job they took them down before any fansites reproduced them in full, eh?