Introducing the G&T Pearl Poll

It will hardly have escaped anyone’s attention that 2018 is Red Dwarf‘s 30th anniversary year. Five years on from the Silver Survey, our attempt to canvas the opinions of as many fans as possible to create the ultimate ranking of every episode ever, it’s time to do it all again. How will Series XI and XII compare to their many and varied predecessors? Has opinion on the then-recent Back To Earth and Series X changed in the intervening years? Is the Series 1-VI bubble still a thing, now that those 36 episodes are outnumbered for the first time? Will there ever be a survey in which Back To Reality and Pete (Part Two) aren’t top and bottom?

It’s time to find out.

It works the same way as before – we want as many Red Dwarf fans as possible to order each episode of the show from best to worst, which we’ll then compile into one mega list, with lots of stats and interesting observations. Ideally, we want this to reflect the opinions of the entire fan community, not just our lovely G&T regulars, so please do spread the word as much as you can. Everyone is welcome – all that we ask is that you’ve seen every episode, and that your rankings are honest and considered.

To take part, simply head to the Pearl Poll page and start dragging each episode from the chronological list on the left to your ordered list on the right. It’s easiest to do this on a desktop, but it does also work on mobile – tap the three dots to the right of the episode lozenge to bring up the options for where to put it. If you get bored or sleepy, you can save your progress and come back to it later. Once you’re done, we just need your e-mail address – this is required to help prevent duplicate submissions, and will not be used for any other purpose. There’s also some optional personal information to fill in, for the purposes of statistical analysis. This is by no means compulsory, but it will really help to make our analysis a little more interesting.

If you have any issues, please do get in touch. The Pearl Poll will close at midnight on Thursday 1st February 2018, and the results will be released two weeks later, on 15th February 2018. Make your opinion count, and vote now!

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387 Responses to Introducing the G&T Pearl Poll

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  1. Pearl’s a Smegger
    She stands up when she replays the shows
    In a fanclub

    Pearl’s a Smegger
    She ranks shows for the lost and lonely
    Her job is entertaining folks
    Listing shows telling best jokes
    In a fanclub
    Pearl’s a Smegger
    And they say that one show was a winner
    in a contest
    Pearl’s a Smegger

    Right Duct Soup get in last place you bastard, I’ll sort the rest of you out over Xmas.

  2. I look forward to giving Timewave the sound drubbing it deserves.

  3. been sat here for about an hour and a half sorting my episode order, just submitted. hope that’s not too early of me

  4. I loved doing that (first time I’ve ever done one!) and once I got going it was surprisingly easy, I did two full rewatches about two years ago so my opinions were fairly simple to reconcile, as there’s no subsequent XI/XII episode I haven’t rewatched at least once. My rankings are what some may call obnoxiously egalitarian – Timewave isn’t in my bottom ten (though only just) but of those ten, five are Grant Naylor scripts. And there are three Dave episodes in my top ten. So, you know where you stand with me at least.

  5. So easy to place some of the big hitters in at the top first.
    So easy to leave moving some of the real durge across until the end of the exercise.
    Ranking the large middle area is like punching a room full of much loved friends repeatedly in the face to make them move in line until you work out who is sitting where in the middle of the room, not on the top table and not behind the pillar in the smelly corner with the bloke nobody likes.

    Doing the ranking on a phone is clearly more time consuming but interesting cus as they climb up the ladder of what you’ve already ranked you have to consider what they are stepping over each time, which is leading to more consideration.

    Just one question for the programmer (Danny?), ive got Duct soup last, bottom of the column but it still offering me the option to move it down. How do i stop repeatedly clicking this for eternity?

  6. This really is my idea of the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Hurrah.

  7. Urggh the bottom of red dwarf according to my current pending pearl poll,
    Is a can of wormduct soup! Yuk that sounds truly dreadful!

  8. Done!
    Six post-Rob episodes penetrated my top 36.
    Interestingly they were two each from X, XI and XII.
    Blue was the only non-Rob, non-Dave episode I gave a top 50 placing to.
    My bottom 10 were, unoriginally, all of VIII, Timewave and Beyond a Joke.

  9. This is so difficult to do… and also so dependant on mood. If I retook this survey in a week I’m sure the above mentioned “middle ground” would probably look completely different (though the top and bottom ends would likely be identical). Some of these episodes are separated by such tiny margins in my opinion that ranking them is like throwing a dart at a map. I’m sure whatever I end up submitting will also look totally different to my silver survey submission too.

    I wonder if Timewave is going to knock Pete Part 2 off. (Although Pete Part 2 hasn’t made my bottom 5…)

  10. It’s OK, I wasn’t intending to do any work tomorrow, anyway.

  11. G&T Admin

    > How do i stop repeatedly clicking this for eternity?

    Ah, yeah that’s a bit of a usability snafu. But you should be able to click on Cancel to close the window.

  12. Done. Got it out the way, before I spend forever reordering everything.

  13. > How do i stop repeatedly clicking this for eternity?

    Ah, yeah that’s a bit of a usability snafu. But you should be able to click on Cancel to close the window.

    Yes you can. Cheers.

    I was only joking. I meant i desire to vote my 73rd choice, down to a massively lower figure below 100th like Infinityxshit .

  14. G&T Admin

    I must say, refreshing the results page over and over again is a hell of a way to waste a Sunday afternoon. Very very early days, but it looks like one new entry could make the top twenty. And that another new entry could fail to make the top seventy. And that the winner is not a given this time.

  15. Fuck me Series V is good, isn’t it?

  16. Lovely new interface this time. Vast improvement over last year.

  17. Twentica made my top tentica. Quarantine has got sick dropping from my silver survey top spot. I’m still thankful for the memory.
    A top middle and bottom 25, is roughly how i now see the show (+storyboards)

  18. And that another new entry could fail to make the top seventy.

    Is there a prize for guessing which one?

  19. Think there’s also six Dave episodes in my top 36. All the X-XII episodes ended up quite close to each other – there’s a big block of eight of them all adjacent to one another, another block of five later on, and a final two next to each other even further down.

  20. I’m mid-semi-out-of-order-rewatch right now (currently on II) so I will slowly fill this in as I go through. Might be hard for me to put Timewave anywhere but the bottom once I get there.

  21. Just finished watching all of Red Dwarf recently after being put in a Dwarfy mood.

    There are in my opinion 5 episodes from X-XII challenging 1-VI, and 3 troubling VIII in the shitter

    Should be interesting, I think X will do quite well in comparison to XI and XII, that’s my bold prediction.

  22. Fuck me Series V is good, isn’t it?

    I think it’s more of a mixed bag really, i put 3 Series V episodes in my Top 10, but then the other 3 ended up a lot further down the list.

  23. G&T Admin

    Lovely new interface this time. Vast improvement over last year.

    This is lovely to hear. Ian was advocating for a double list for the Silver Survey five years ago, but I went for technical convenience that time round. This time I listened to him.

  24. I’m ordering within each series before I try to make the full list. I hit Series IV and I’m struggling because it’s so evenly good. Back to Earth is also difficult on account of how much better it is as a single entity, and because I haven’t watched it in separate parts in years, and THAT was just for the cast commentaries.

  25. So, wait, I’m just supposed to order everything in the order I think it should have been broadcast in the left column and leave the right one blank, right?

  26. I think it’s more of a mixed bag really, i put 3 Series V episodes in my Top 10, but then the other 3 ended up a lot further down the list.

    Well I’m sorry but I’m afraid I’m going to have to start calling you names. Hope you understand.

    To be fair Demons & Angels is quite low on my list. Comparatively.

    I’m ordering within each series before I try to make the full list. I hit Series IV and I’m struggling because it’s so evenly good.

    I did that first, too. Listed them all in order, by series, then just thought “is this episode better than that one?” Much easier.

    I concur on the design, it is rather nice.

  27. I had a pretty easy time arranging VII/VII and the Dave era. It’s combining that list with everything else that’s difficult, and I’m finding myself ranking things in ways I’d never have expected just thinking off the top of my head. Series I has especially taken a pounding, and I really like Series I.

    There’s that bias for the new, because just in terms of which I’d rather put on right now, I’m going to side with the episodes I haven’t seen as many times.

    Series XI and XII are really messing up the old Top 36 bubble. Episodes like Emohawk and Parallel Universe are falling behind a fair few Dave era episodes on my list.

  28. This interface is sorely missing numbering on the list. I’m having to manually count.

    Also, I seem to find myself punishing episodes I consider overrated.

  29. It’s tempting to do that, isn’t it.

    It’s tempting to put Tikka to Ride at number one and put my comment as “fuck you”, but I won’t.

    But on a more serious note, I do find myself wondering if an episode is bad or overrated, and what that even means.

  30. My system was first, is it leaping out at me as a really good one, or a really bad one, so that gave me a top and a bottom 5 or so to deliberate over order wise, and then second for the ones in between it was basically “would I watch it all if it was on TV or deliberately put it on”.

    There are always some in a series where you don’t really bother, the one you check your phone through.

    I also went on “Ooh that had a nice model shot” because that’s an area of interest for me.

    I found myself wanting to watch Skipper over more episodes than I thought I would, and Fathers and Suns made me think that some of the newer ones would score higher if they had better endings. The biddy wagon death crush scene in particular is a bad ending to an otherwise excellent episode.

  31. Ooh, I like that system – would you put it on deliberately? I certainly wouldn’t put Cured on if I fancied some Dwarf, for example. Nice. Maybe that will help me get through the middles.

  32. Legion just dropped about six places thanks to your system, Tokyo. I hope you’re happy

  33. “How much would I want to put this on?” for me would place the more recent episodes a lot higher than they probably deserve, just because I don’t have them committed to memory the way I do with many older episodes.

    I just don’t know how to compare something like The Inquisitor to something like Thanks for the Memory. I adore them both, but for entirely different reasons. It gets especially hard when I’m trying to compare a I-VI episode to a Dave era episode when they appeal to me in different ways.

    Then, when you get right down to it, I just LIKE Dave Dwarf a lot more than most of you do. My rankings feel so “wrong” even though I think they reflect the way I feel, because I’m fairly sure Pete would try to strangle me if he saw where I put Samsara.

  34. For me the freshness of new ones in my mind manages to create equilibrium with the older ones because I know them so well having seen them all countless times.

    I feel like with Red Dwarf though that I concentrate so much when I watch it that I have a sort of “Red Dwarf viewing mode” that comes on so I watch any episode with all the episodes loaded for the continuity filter and Mike Tucker in the corner like the sign language person shaking his head when there’s a shit model shot haha

    Pete knows where he belongs, its down at the bottom with his shitty mates Timewave, Krytie TV and Back in the Red.

    It is hard to separate some, I think when the stories are as good you just have to look for something else that makes it stand out. A particularly good performance, some nice attention to detail, set, model shot.

    I love Craig in the first two series though, he’s so real, so for me that put a lot of the earlier episodes up with the big hitters of IV, V and VI which I don’t think is generally the case.

    I do like a lof of new Dwarf, Mechocracy, Fathers and Suns, Officer Rimmer, Give & Take, Skipper, and M Corp are great, and up in my Top 40 and a lot of the other episodes are very decent, it’s just that when they miss they miss by further now, more corner flag than woodwork, so personally I am a bit down on Dave Dwarf.

    To be honest I’d probably forgive everything though if they paid the model unit to do the models and made the Starbug cockpit spherical and covered it in grime.

  35. I’m fairly sure Pete would try to strangle me if he saw where I put Samsara.

    I think Pete would just shit on you the way he shits on everyone else.

  36. >Thanks for the Memory or Inquisitor
    Inquisitor. Sorted.

    My opinions fall broadly into line with accepted wisdom, I feel, just with a couple of very notable exceptions. Episodes I’m hard on that nobody else seems to be, and episodes everybody seems to hate which I think are just lovely. But they’re the exceptions and the rest of my opinions seem boringly predictable. I think the Dave era is worthy of the name Red Dwarf, but not flawless.

    >Mike Tucker in the corner like the sign language person shaking his head when there’s a shit model shot
    Hahahahaha I can picture him doing that as well. I did it when I saw that shot of Starbug entering the Dwarf from a bizarre low angle in XI.

    Was the Starbug cockpit circular, before? I
    The set, I mean. I feel like it might have been but I never really thought about it. I’ll need to watch again, Starbug changed significantly between 3 and 6.

    My “red dwarf viewing mode” is the same for any other piece of fiction I really care about – headphones on, door locked

  37. Looking at my list right now, there is a noticeable drop in my opinions of the episodes as we reach the bottom, for me nineteen. Every other episode is “yeah this is good because x, hard to really place” then all of a sudden it’s like oh. It’s you.

    And now of course I’m starting to doubt myself, thinking no wait that’s actually quite a good one, ahh

  38. That wasted a good morning here in work. As usual my top is series V and III. I love them both. Usually my bottom is pete part 2 which I am usually content with…but the wound of Timewave is so fresh…

  39. I really want to do this this time around as I didn’t do the silver survey, but I have literally no idea where I’d put most things.

    I know what I’d want near the top, and what definitely belongs at the bottom. After that everything else is a bit of a headache to try and put into any order.

    Will give it a shot though if I find some time …. which I most definitely will in the next couple of weeks

  40. I have currently got a Series II then a Series I at the topand a Series I then a Series II at the bottom.

    Which isn’t a very hard thing to do when I’ve only ranked ten episodes, all from I and II.

  41. We’ve known these episodes so well for so long, that I think we have a certain opinion about them that’s not always open to discussion. So I think I need to rewatch before putting Queeg, Marooned, and Back To Reality up around the top somewhere.

  42. Having just watched Queeg it deserves a high spot just for that reveal.

  43. Thanks, G&T. In the last year, I’ve watched pretty much all of Red Dwarf except for series VIII. So now I’m having to watch that to refresh my memory and make sure the poll is fair. Grrrrr.

    I’m currently watching Krytie TV and despite having expected to put it above Timewave, Pete and Only The Good, it’s making a bloody good case for itself to be relegated to the bottom of the list altogether.

  44. I was surprised that Queeg didn’t even make it into my top 20 by the time I’d finished. It was all quite brutal. Skipper placed lower than I thought it might too.

  45. Was the Starbug cockpit circular, before? I
    The set, I mean. I feel like it might have been but I never really thought about it. I’ll need to watch again, Starbug changed significantly between 3 and 6.

    Spherical from III-Back in the Red. There’s a bit on the series III documentary I think with Peter Wragg talking about Mel Bibby not being best pleased that Peter got to Starbug first because it meant he has to match the spherical outside.

    It extended backwards for Kryten and Rimmer to have seats, and the controls changed a bit but it always remained spherical.

    The Series VI Starbug set in particular was fantastic. Any feature film would have been lucky to have something so detailed.

  46. Kryten is really not going to benefit from the fact that almost none of the Esperanto is spoken correctly.

  47. Krytie TV is really not going to benefit from the fact that it is shit.

  48. Nah, no way am I watching any cack episodes just to remind me how cack they are. Maybe for the Coral Canvass.

  49. Spherical from III-Back in the Red. There’s a bit on the series III documentary I think with Peter Wragg talking about Mel Bibby not being best pleased that Peter got to Starbug first because it meant he has to match the spherical outside.

    They seemed to stop caring about that after a while.

    The 3-7 starbug cockpit and midsection really work for the Starbug model but things at some point started to get abit out of proportion

    Thats a disappointment i have with the current starbug set which is that it doesn’t have a connected midsection

  50. Spherical from III-Back in the Red. There’s a bit on the series III documentary I think with Peter Wragg talking about Mel Bibby not being best pleased that Peter got to Starbug first because it meant he has to match the spherical outside.

    They seemed to stop caring about that after a while.
    The 3-7 starbug cockpit and midsection really work for the Starbug model but things at some point started to get abit out of proportion
    Thats a disappointment i have with the current starbug set and that is that it doesn’t have a connected midsection

    They decreased the window size on the model for series VII to account for that, but yeah the scales are a bit out. Particularly noticeable in the bug separation from Xtended, but sometimes you have to fudge it to make it work.

    I think the series VI is actually quite believable, the 25th scale model is 30″ long, so that makes Starbug just over 19m long and the mid section 6.35m tall, which is more than enough room for two stories without having to have a domed roof upstairs.

    The “Starbug 19” set in XII is joined to the cockpit, and from design drawings seems to be ‘the midsection’ though Ed Moore says it’s the upper deck, either way I don’t like that set. I’m pretty sure it has a round monitor because of the Interactive Starbug Playset which is just awful if true haha (on the design document shown on the lighting tour extra, the Playset is there but no interiors from previous series)

    The thing that annoys me most about that Starbug 19 set is the free standing shelving. Just looks weird. Maybe if it was floor to ceiling like in VI but the way it is just makes it look like the forgot to put it up against the wall.

  51. I’ve done it. I’ve probably fucked it up but whatever.

  52. I’m on to Pete Part One now. Jesus. Timewave, you got lucky.

  53. In case anyone cares what a stranger on the internet thinks (hey – that’s why I’m here!), here’s my highest rated episodes per series.

    Series I – Me2 (ranked 14th)
    Series II – Thanks For The Memory (9th)
    Series III – Bodyswap (4th)
    Series IV – Camille (15th)
    Series V – Back To Reality (2nd)
    Series VI – Out Of Time (1st)
    Series VII – Tikka To Ride (41st)
    Series VIII – Back In The Red pt1 (64th)
    BTE – Back To Earth pt1 (51th)
    Series X – The Beginning (27th)
    Series XI – Officer Rimmer (21th)
    Series XII – Cured (17th)

  54. 71. Pete Part 2
    72. Timewave
    73. Dear Dave

    Dear Dave will be given a free ride from a lot by the sounds of things.

    Shan’t post the rest. Particularly since #5 on my list will make some spit feathers.

  55. Dear Dave was down at the bottom of mine too. There’s like an offensive 5 that live down there by default.

  56. You know I always used to feel Only the Good… was part of that group of misfits at the bottom but it has grown on me a little. Still just about 1/10 but I now like it more than a few others when before it would probably have been second or third from bottom. I think it is the fact that it is no longer the end of Red Dwarf and now I can just appreciate the funny bits for what they are.

  57. I will be kicking Dear Dave in the balls, alongside Samsara, Back to Earth, Timewave, Ouroborus, Entangled, Series VIII and Stasis Leak.

  58. Only the Good is not a high point for the series, but there are several other episodes that are worse.

  59. Haha. Just kidding. It was a Christmas joke. Do you see?

  60. I’ll just say that the series with the single biggest gulf in quality between episodes for me is VII, in that it has the longest distance between its highest rated and its lowest rated episodes. Followed by Series I, i think. Smallest gulf is IV. Would be V if Demons and Angels didn’t exist.

  61. Actually the smallest gulf is VIII but that’s because they’re all a bit shit

  62. I don’t know why everyone picks out Demons & Angels for criticism all the time. I still really like it. A great concept, a good story and some cracking gags.

  63. Stasis Leak and Out of Time are my #1 and #2 respectively, and for the same reasons I had them that way on the Silver Survey; one for the best comedy episode, two for the best dramatic episode.

    I think most of you will be crying at how low I have placed the vast majority of Series V so far. I am going to sit on my results for a while before sending them in though, just to give me more time to examine and think.

  64. I dislike Krytie TV with a passion, but it’s a much better-constructed script than either part of Pete or Back in the Red Part 3 on account of being an unmolested single entity.

    Unmolested was probably the wrong word for this episode.

  65. As things are looking right now, half of Series V is bowing out to help give the best of the Dave era their chance to break the top 36. Only one episode from V breaks the top 15, and it is not Back to Reality.

  66. I think I’ve got my top 14 sorted, but I’m still mulling over the middle pack. I managed to find my list from the Silver Survey and was interested to see how much my estimation of some episodes has changed over the last five years. For example, Stasis Leak has moved up 15 places and Rimmerworld has fallen 13 places (as it stands).

  67. I don’t know why everyone picks out Demons & Angels for criticism all the time. I still really like it. A great concept, a good story and some cracking gags.

    Because so many other episodes have a better concept, a better story and some better gags. D+A is still pretty good, just mid-tier

  68. I also went on “Ooh that had a nice model shot”

    It’s a factor for me too. There’s a lot I don’t like about Beyond A Joke but Able’s escape pod crashing looks so darn good that I had to bump the episode up a few notches on it’s account.

    Not a lot of notches mind, but a few.

  69. >I don’t know why everyone picks out Demons & Angels for criticism all the time. I still really like it. A great concept, a good story and some cracking gags.

    Demons and Angels is pretty high up on my list as #23. Above Quarantine and Terrorform. Only a few places below Holoship. The only Series V episode to fall below average is Terrorform.

    Though I think part of it was how much I loved it as a kid. Watching the off air Series V tape I’d usually just watch the last two episodes if I only had an hour as I wouldn’t rewind the tape after I had finished. That being said I did the same with an off air Series IV tape and it didn’t do Meltdown as much of a favour (#41).

  70. All my favorites from childhood, without exception, are nowhere near the top of my list. In fact, a fair few are toward the bottom.

    Yes, I liked Series VIII when I was 12. I adored it. I think it’s because so much less of it flew over my head than the rest of the series.

  71. Wait, 12 counts as being a kid?

    I was 13 when, after finally being able to watch Red Dwarf in broadcast order with the DVDs, the gulf between VII and VIII and what came before became jarringly noticeable. To be fair though, I had only really seen up to Cassandra beforehand, meaning I had “missed out” on Krytie TV and Pete. Plus I had only just seen Series II for the very first time, which is by and large sublime. So yeah.

  72. I will post more comprehensive lists of my shockers once I’ve done my whole sort, but as it stands both Marooned and Backwards are lowish. I like them, but there’s plenty better, also Marooned has multiple moments which make me feel genuinely bad which I don’t like.

  73. I know most of us are probably finished already, but ranking this time around was much easier than it was last time, and it was because of something someone said here after the last survey.

    I took advice from (I think it was) Si. Last time he said he took the first episode, The End, and then looked at Future Echoes, and decided whether or not he liked it more than The End. If he liked it more, it went above. If he liked it less, it went below. It makes sense, but treating each episode that way helped me find homes for them pretty easily. Only once or twice did I really feel deadlocked in terms of which of two episodes I liked more.

    Last time, I think I just kind of threw the ones I loved at the top and the ones I hated at the bottom, and then tried to screw around with an overall sequence until I drove myself nuts. It was much more painful a process that way.

    So thank you (I think it was) Si. I only spent an hour on this, as opposed to a week!

  74. Meltdown is at #2 for me and much of Series VI is shockingly low given that 6 was my out and out favourite all through childhood.

  75. Enjoyed doing that a lot.

    There’s a Dave era episode in my Top 10 (4 in my Top 20). There are 2 episodes from VII in my Top 30.

    In my Bottom 10, there are 2 Dave era episodes and a Grant/Naylor one.

    As for how the most recent 2 series fared –

    XI – 1 in my Top 10, another just missing out on Top 25. 1 in my Bottom 10, another just missing out on that Bottom 10 (3 of them in my Bottom 20). The remaining XI episode probably slap bang in the middle.

    XII – 0 in my Top 10 but 3 in my Top 25, 2 slap bang in the middle somewhere and 1 in my Bottom 10.

  76. I knew this would be ridiculously difficult so have had mine all prepared in a spreadsheet which I’ve been constantly changing over the last couple of months! 🤓

    * 1 Dave era episode made my top 20 and a further 4 are in my top 25, I think in time these could rise even higher?
    * 5 episodes from VI are in my top 10, I do love VI!
    * VIII and BTE make up the my entire bottom 11 ranked episodes, closely followed by Duct Soup, Time Wave and Dear Dave!

  77. If Back to Earth was counted as one episode it would have ranked higher, for me. So would Back in the Red, at least a bit.

  78. That was really difficult but enjoyable. The worst episodes was easy, the top 10 took some fiddling and the middle section I could have changed over and over again into eternity. Happy to report that some Dave episodes made it into my 36 list, but alas, none of them made it into the top 10. My top spot has also changed since last time we did this, but the bottom spot remains exactly the same.

  79. >I took advice from (I think it was) Si. Last time he said he took the first episode, The End, and then looked at Future Echoes, and decided whether or not he liked it more than The End. If he liked it more, it went above. If he liked it less, it went below. It makes sense, but treating each episode that way helped me find homes for them pretty easily.

    This has always been my way of doing it. I could be wrong, but conversations with Cappsy et al years ago about how best to rank long lists like that (I remember doing it for various NTS things) might, I think, have inspired how the left-to-right system works on this voting!

  80. Needed a task over the Xmas holidays so giving the survey the effort it deserves ie watching every episode again prior to rating. Hard to ignore dwarf cast commentaries whispering in my ear as I watch each episode!

  81. Howdy. Just a couple points/questions:

    1) Did the poll. Didn’t get an email. Was I supposed to get an email? Just want to make sure it went through (or that i didn’t put a smegging typo for my email).

    2) In the hypothetical world where we get an email, does/can it include our own rankings? Last time for the Silver Survey we got emails that provided us with our personal rankings, which we could then use to compare and contrast each other’s rankings, mainly so I could admonish my unsophisticated friends for putting Polymorph WAY too high and Thanks For The Memory WAY too low.

    3) The episode colors for XI and XII are the wrong way round. As the self-appointed Red Dwarf DVD Cover Color Police (see needlessly convoluted forum thread), I figured it was my duty to point that out.

    4) If my math is right, when all the points are tallied, as a whole for me, XII edges just above Series I. Is that true for anyone else?

    Anyways, great poll. Excellent job, can’t wait to see the results!

  82. I could have sworn the silver survey had an initial thing where you could organise each series in order. I think I’ll do this with a spreadsheet next week, during Chrimbo limbo.

  83. The episode colors for XI and XII are the wrong way round. As the self-appointed Red Dwarf DVD Cover Color Police (see needlessly convoluted forum thread), I figured it was my duty to point that out.

    I think the colours are pretty much spot on. Most of the XII cover is definitely a lighter shade of blue than XI and even has a slight purple tone in places.

    II = medium blue
    XI = dark blue
    XII = light blue

  84. A thrilling joyride of a poll where I eluded to Jesus riding in on a path of palm leaves for my most beloved episodes and for the more trying, difficult half-hours, I slung them to the bottom of the heap with my eye ever glancing towards that bastard named Timewave.

    Out of Time went to the top, then Legion and as I progressed, I realised that episodes that I do love were actually finding themselves further down the list. The first puncture of the ’88 to ’93 era was shockingly Ouroboros at 22 followed not long after by Tikka and three episodes of Series X sneaking into the top thirty. The weaker episodes from the original era really took a beating and the lowest placed of them was Terrorform and Waiting for God.

    My top ten is –

    OUT OF TIME
    LEGION
    MELTDOWN
    BODYSWAP
    KRYTEN
    THE INQUISITOR
    PSIRENS
    BACKWARDS
    JUSTICE
    MAROONED

    Whereas my lowest placed episodes are –

    GIVE & TAKE
    SAMSARA
    BACK IN THE RED – PART 3
    ENTANGLED
    EPIDEME
    CURED
    PETE – PART 1
    PETE – PART 2
    ONLY THE GOOD…
    TIMEWAVE

    There you go, Series VIII, you are no longer the unforgivable bastard you once were. You’re now just a bastard with an even shittier sibling.

  85. G&T Admin

    I could be wrong, but conversations with Cappsy et al years ago about how best to rank long lists like that (I remember doing it for various NTS things) might, I think, have inspired how the left-to-right system works on this voting!

    I think this is right. Also, your DNA is still in the code for this. The big variable that collates and assigns points to each episode in the rankings is called $SebRank since we’re still using your scoring system but adapted for the new amount of episodes. FUN SEB VARIABLE FACT.

    Also, thanks to everyone that’s given feedback on how the system works. The right hand list now has numbers next to each episode to help you keep track of things.

  86. Top 10 –
    1. Justice
    2. Thanks For The Memory
    3. White Hole
    4. The Last Day
    5. Quarantine
    6. Gunmen of the Apocalypse
    7. Stasis Leak
    8. Legion
    9. Meltdown
    10. Holoship

    My favorite always ends up being Justice, which kind of bores me, actually (the General Tso’s Principle in action). Justice is one of those episodes that’s just solid throughout, so when I add up my subjective points, it’s always at the top even though a lot of other episodes have better individual scenes. I’m always disappointed but then I do a mental recount, and yeah, Justice is technically my favorite.

  87. Even though my rankings are still not final yet, I could not resist some doing some analytics comparing my current list with the one I compiled for the Silver Survey five years ago. Here are the biggest movers (every episode that moved by at least five places) for me from each era of the show:

    Grant Naylor:
    Confidence and Paranoia (+7)
    Emohawk (+7)
    White Hole (+10)
    Legion (+10)
    Camile (+11)
    Holoship (+11)
    Balance of Power (-6)
    Psirens (-7)
    Back to Reality (-14)

    Series VII and VII:
    Tikka to Ride (-6)
    Duct Soup (-6)
    Stoke Me a Clipper (-7)
    Pete Part 1 (-11)
    Pete Part 2 (-11)
    Krytie TV (-11)
    Back in the Red Part 2 (-12)
    Cassandra (-16)

    Back to Earth:
    Back to Earth Part 3 (-16)
    Back to Earth Part 1 (-22)
    Back to Earth Part 2 (-23)

    Series X:
    Dear Dave (-7)
    Lemons (-14)
    The Beginning (-14)
    Entangled (-17)
    Father’s & Suns (-18)
    Trojan (-21)

    As you can see Series X definitely took a hit for not being the latest thing, but it is still the highest ranked of the Dave era for me, and has two episodes breaking the top 36. Back to Earth really took a beating as well. Shows that were already low moved less as most of the new entries were ranked from the mid-thirties to the low fifties, with two exceptions, one of which has so far, yes, taken worst place. Meanwhile all of the Grant Naylor episodes I mentioned are still comfortably in the top 36, with Back to Reality still breaking the top 30, if only barely.

  88. God, I’d forgotten how weak Polymorph is. “Let’s leave the ship.” (Immediately goes to the cargo deck to fight the Polymorph)

  89. Highest rated of each series:

    I: Future Echoes (10)
    II: Thanks for the Memory (4)
    III: Marooned (8)
    IV: White Hole (1)
    V: Quarantine (2)
    VI: Out of Time (3)
    VII: Blue (50)
    VIII: Cassandra (65)
    IX: BtE Part 1 (56)
    X: Entangled (33)*
    XI: Give & Take (22)
    XII: Skipper (18)

    *the first 20 minute of Entangled were the moment I realised I could absolutely love Red Dwarf again. I KNOW how horrible the last ten minutes are, but the feeling of joy that comes from the opening two thirds always sticks in my head for the episode.

    Lowest rated of each series:

    I: Confidence and Paranoia (41)
    II: Better Than Life (35)
    III: Backwards (44)
    IV: Dimension Jump (25)
    V: The Inquisitor (43)
    VI: Emohawk: Polymorph II (52)
    VII: Beyond a Joke (66)
    VIII: Pete Part 2 (73)
    IX: BtE Part 2 (58)
    X: Dear Dave (55)
    XI: Twentica (54)
    XII: Timewave (64)

    Statistically, IV is my favourite series, with my favourite episode, two episodes in my top five, and my highest rated least favourite, at 25.

  90. > I think the colours are pretty much spot on. Most of the XII cover is definitely a lighter shade of blue than XI and even has a slight purple tone in places.

    Well change my head and call me Stanley, I was wrong. XII is indeed lighter (and purpler) than XI. I sort of forgot how dark blue the XI cover actually was in comparison to the actual cockpit in-show, which I’m pretty sure is lighter than depicted on the cover. So I withdraw my previous comment about the colors.

    Also, am I the only one who is NOT a fan of Dimension Jump? It’s a cool concept and performance but not a lot is done with it, Rimmer is insufferable, and they don’t really hang out with Ace all that much. Definitely not enough for Rimmer and Ace to make categorical judgments about each other. The admittedly great “How’s the Cat” scene and Ace explaining how he was kept down a year are what salvage it, but the episode as a whole is easily in my bottom six of “Episodes from Proper Series That Have Exactly 6 Episodes.”

  91. God, I’d forgotten how weak Polymorph is. “Let’s leave the ship.” (Immediately goes to the cargo deck to fight the Polymorph)

    it’s been a while since i’ve seen Polymorph, but i’m pretty sure that they go down to the cargo deck the first time to grab some supplies for when they abandon ship.

  92. God, I’d forgotten how weak Polymorph is. “Let’s leave the ship.” (Immediately goes to the cargo deck to fight the Polymorph)

    it’s been a while since i’ve seen Polymorph, but i’m pretty sure that they go down to the cargo deck the first time to grab some supplies for when they abandon ship.

    Yeah, “let’s load up Starbug and get out of here” is the line.

  93. > Even though my rankings are still not final yet, I could not resist some doing some analytics
    > Series VII and VII:

    And this time I did have an edit button…

  94. Highest ranked per series
    I: Me2
    II: Thanks for the Memory
    III: Backwards
    IV: Dimension Jump
    V: Back to Reality
    VI: Out of Time
    VII: Tikka To Ride
    VIII: Krytie TV
    IX: Back to Earth Part 2
    X: Fathers and Suns
    XI: Give & Take
    XII: Skipper

    Worst ranked per series:
    I: Waiting for God
    II: Parallel Universe
    III: Bodyswap
    IV: Meltdown
    V: Terrorform
    VI: Rimmerworld
    VII: Duct Soup
    VIII: Pete Part 2
    IX: Back to Earth Part 1
    X: Dear Dave
    XI: Krysis
    XII: Timewave

    I think it shows how good or consistent III, IV, V, VI and XI that the lowest ranked are still great.

  95. the thing in polymorph that doesn’t make sense doesn’t make sense but the episode is overridingly good. maybe it’s actually necessary to have things that don’t join up like that for the episode to trick you into feeling it makes sense of something… i don’t quite believe that but it is really good – something can change into anything and suck out your emotions, a weird war machine like the despair squid. i like backwards, polymorph, justice, m-corp, skipper for the same reason – they’ve all almost got like a gimmick. thanks for the memory is #1 though

  96. I ended up putting Backwards and Polymorph uncomfortably low, especially poor old Polymorph which started out near the top and just went down, and down, and down….

    Also not a massive fan of Dimension Jump. Glad to see others feel the same

  97. I would like to note that I tried to judge on how much I enjoy watching a given episode, trying to set aside whether I feel it is objectively better or worse than personal enjoyment-based ranking would place it. This obviously gives a bias to new favorites over middling older episodes, but as this is a poll capturing fan opinion in the immediate months after XII has aired I feel it is appropriate to rank this way.

    I’ll be more objective about XI and XII by time we hit the Molybdenum Poll in 2020.

    Highest Ranked Per Series (as of reranking using the non-stupid way, prone to further change):

    I: Me2 (#12 – Strongest Doubles Episode)
    II: Thanks for the Memory (#2 – Strongest Character-Based Story)
    III: Marooned (#1 – Best Episode of Red Dwarf & Best Bottle Episode)
    IV: Justice (#7 – Best Episode for Fans of Watching Physical Harm Befall Craig Charles)
    V: Holoship (#4 – Episode I Least Liked as a Tween That I Now Adore Beyond Measure)
    VI: Out of Time (#8 – Strongest Series Finale)
    VII: Stoke Me a Clipper (#46 – Best VII/VIII Episode & Episode Most Hurt By Poor VFX)
    VIII: Cassandra (#65 – Worst Best Episode)
    IX: Back to Earth Part 3 (#33 – Most Successfully Dramatic & Most Filmic Episode)
    X: The Beginning (#24 – Best Model Effects of the Dave Era)
    XI: Officer Rimmer (#22 – Best Dave Era Episode & Funniest Doubles Episode & Worst Episode Ending)
    XII: M-Corp (#26 – Best Episode That Really Should Have Been Better Than It Was)

    Lowest Ranked Per Series:

    I: Balance of Power (#53 – Worst Episode I Really Hate to Call Worst Anything)
    II: Parallel Universe (#55 – Earliest Episode to Have a Really Dumb VIII-Style Gag That’s Distractingly Absurd)
    III: Backwards (#54 – Most Overrated Episode)
    IV: Dimension Jump (#39 – Best Worst Episode)
    V: Demons and Angels (#46 – Weakest Doubles Episode)
    VI: Emohawk (#47 – Best First Half That Leads to an Underwhelming Second Half)
    VII: Beyond a Joke (#66 – I’m Sorry, Robert, We Still Love You & Worst Non-VIII Episode)
    VIII: Pete Part 1 (#73 – Worst Episode of Red Dwarf & Worst VII/VIII Episode & Most Boring Episode)
    IX: Back to Earth Part 1 (#58 – Most Successful Use of Pure CGI VFX)
    X: Dear Dave (#60 – Worst Bottle Episode & Best Episode in Which Nothing Actually Happens)
    XI: Can of Worms (#57 – Episode I’m Most Embarrassed To Actually Kind of Like)
    XII: Timewave (#64 – Worst Dave Era Episode & First Episode I Ever Outright Disliked On Airing)

    Top 10:

    Marooned (#1)
    Thanks for the Memory
    Queeg
    Holoship
    The Inquisitor
    Back to Reality
    Justice
    Gunmen of the Apocalypse
    Stasis Leak
    Out of Time (#10)

    Bottom 10:

    Timewave (#64)
    Cassandra
    Beyond a Joke
    Back in the Red Part 1
    Only the Good…
    Back in the Red Part 2
    Krytie TV
    Back in the Red Part 3
    Pete Part 2
    Pete Part 1 (#73)

    Biggest Gap: Series I

    Me2 (#12)
    Confidence and Paranoia (#42)

    Most Consistent Gaps: Series IX

    Back to Earth Part 1 (#58)
    Back to Earth Part 2 (#45)
    Back to Earth Part 3 (#33)

    Highest Ranked Cluster: Series V

    Holoship (#3)
    The Inquisitor (#4)
    Back to Reality (#5)

    XI and XII are entirely in my Top 36 if you ignore Can of Worms and Timewave hanging out substantially lower down, at #57 and #64 respectively. X edges 3 episodes into the Top 36: The Beginning at #24, Trojan at #30, and Fathers and Suns at #33. Back to Earth Part 3 edges just inside of the bubble as well, at #33. This means VII and VIII are the only series that do not have an episode in the Top 36, but the whole of VIII falls into Bottom 10. Rimmer-heavy VII (Tikka, Stoke, Blue) falls between #48 and #56, but the rest of VII falls between #59 and edging into the Bottom 10 with Beyond a Joke at #66. II-VI cluster at the top of the list, with weaker outliers falling well outside the Top 36. Series I has taken a major pounding, much to my surprise, with only Me2 into the Top 36 at #12 with the rest of the episodes falling between #42 and #53.

    I consider the quality drops between ranks to grow substantially larger once we get into Rimmerless VII, Timewave and VIII. I consider the Bottom 10 to be as separated in quality from what’s immediately above it as the Top 25.

  98. G&T Admin

    I’d rather people didn’t give too much away about their rankings at this stage – I wouldn’t want it to influence anybody else’s vote, and also I don’t want all the interesting discussion about results to happen before the actual results are out!

  99. Backwards, much like The Inquisitor, I think is a great plot and idea, but just doesn’t actually make me laugh that much.

  100. I’d rather people didn’t give too much away about their rankings at this stage

    I just wanted to get it all written down because I assumed I wouldn’t see my rankings after I submitted them – which doesn’t make much sense now that I think about it.

  101. The Inquisitor might not be the funniest episode, but it’s so lovely and dramatic it has one of the best plots the show ever did, so I still rank it very highly. Backwards has the backwards gimmick, which is zany and out there but once you’ve seen it a couple times the novelty wears off.

    Thank you KyoSo for pointing out Pete I is worse than Pete II.

    I just do it by how much I personally like the episodes, because I don’t really believe art can be held up to any sort of objective standard. Something that’s “good” can still be shit, ticking boxes doesn’t make anything worthwhile.

    Also, Dear Dave or Blue for Best Episode Where Nothing Happens, hard to choose really

  102. I love the Inquisitor. Glad to see someone else speak up for it.

  103. I did notice recently how there are almost no laughs for a good 5 minutes, and when the laughs do come back they recycle material about swimming certificates etc, but I also realised how little I care. Kryten getting his head crushed and timey wimey shenanagins, plus the trick Lister pulls on Quizzy is just too good

  104. Don’t get me wrong, I think The Inquisitor is great, but there are so many other episodes with similarly brilliant ideas and more jokes that it just falls down a bit for me. It’d be one of my favourite episodes by most TV shows’ standards.

  105. Personally, I would happily watch an episode of Red Dwarf with no jokes at all if the story is good.

    Precise number of woofers didn’t really factor in for me.

  106. That’s a thought I had during XII, with Siliconia in particular if I recall correctly. Fuck the jokes. Give me a good story. I feel like Doug might feel pressured to throw in a gag every twenty seconds so that people don’t think he’s just doing a VII again, even thought VII had plenty of jokes.

    Obviously don’t “fuck the jokes”, but don’t throw them in when they’re not necessary. Same complaint with The Last Jedi – a lot of the jokes in that film undermine the drama, and when the jokes are actively damaging your story, get rid of them

  107. Although now I mention it a lot of people did complain that Siliconia didn’t have enough jokes. The plebs.

  108. Personally, I would happily watch an episode of Red Dwarf with no jokes at all if the story is good.

    You would happily watch an episode of Red Dwarf if it was just model shots and music cues if both were good.

    Then again, so would I.

  109. Timeslides would have made a good Series III finale, wouldn’t it?

  110. Personally, I would happily watch an episode of Red Dwarf with no jokes at all if the story is good.

    You would happily watch an episode of Red Dwarf if it was just model shots and music cues if both were good.
    Then again, so would I.

    Yeah probably haha..

    I had a think about it and an example I thought of was House MD, almost every episode of that has humour in it, but no-one would ever say it’s a sitcom, or com of any kind really, the odd episode of Red Dwarf with a really meaty story where the story takes centre stage rather than the need for gags wouldn’t make those episodes a failure. Not to say there wouldn’t be jokes, but just lean on the situation in the situation comedy if that makes sense.

    Of course I could be talking bollocks.

  111. I remember thinking at some point, maybe before the show was definitely back for good, that Doug Naylor could do a Doctor Who. That has some nice meaty sci-fi stories, and some pretty funny jokes, but isn’t a comedy. Moff could do a Dwarf, it would be like wife swap.

    Actually I think it was around Series 6 I thought this because there was a particularly Dwarf-y episode, or concept, in Who. Fuck if I remember exactly what it was, though.

  112. Let’s Kill Hitler has a shape-shifting love interest, the Justice Department and, well, Hitler, so it’s sort of like Series IV all in one episode.

    Doug Naylor could write a killer Doctor Who. I’ve always enjoyed Last Human more than Backwards, as it’s more epic in scale and narratively ambitious. He sometimes dips into RTD-style humor, for better and worse, so tonally he’d fit right in. Though I feel like Doug has some seriously untapped dramatic chops. Back to Earth moved me emotionally way more than the entirety of the Moffat era of Who which, while clever and sophisticated, is definitely a left-brain sort of show as opposed to the right-brain heart-before-logic philosophy of the RTD era. Chibnall should give Doug a call.

    And conversely, Moffat would write the most Series V-ey Dwarf episode that ever existed. Steven Moffat himself is like if Series V of Red Dwarf conceived a human out of midi-chlorians.

  113. I have finished through Series III now, and my list goes Bodyswap>Queeg>Timeslides>Me for the top four.

  114. Although now I mention it a lot of people did complain that Siliconia didn’t have enough jokes. The plebs.

    people complained about Siliconia? for me it was the only episode of XI/XII that was in my top 20.

  115. Siliconia has plenty of jokes. The fact that they don’t land and the rest of it is a bit of running around does not mean it’s comedy drama.

  116. It was Let’s Kill Hitler, Rob, yeah.

    I disagree with Moff Who lacking emotion (Christmas Carol, Angels Take Manhattan, ToTD, Last Christmas, Raven/Heaven/Hell, Doctor Falls) but agree with the Series V comparison

    And yeah bloodteller, but it, Give & Take and Officer Rimmer rank pretty highly for me

  117. The only Who episode that’s ever made me cry is The Girl in the Fireplace, so I’d say Moffat can do emotion pretty well.

    And yeah, I’d love to see Doug write a proper drama. He’s definitely hinted that he could do it, and I’d love to see him try it.

  118. I work behind the scenes in TV Drama. I’ve not worked on Doctor Who yet (sadly!) but if I was to ever find myself in charge of that show, I have a list of writers I’d love to hire. Doug Naylor is right up the top.

    Brilliantly inventive with sci-fi ideas? – Check
    Does great comedy? – Check
    Writes emotion well? – Check
    Great at handling tonal shifts? – Check
    Can deliver edge of seat drama? – Check

    I think he’d fly at Doctor Who.

  119. G&T Admin

    1) Did the poll. Didn’t get an email. Was I supposed to get an email? Just want to make sure it went through (or that i didn’t put a smegging typo for my email).

    We definitely did get your submission and you were SUPPOSED to get an email but on closer inspection it seems these just aren’t going out… email me on cappsy@gmail.com if you want a confirmation of your order and I’ll send it through while I look at why no bloody emails are being sent.

  120. > I took advice from (I think it was) Si. Last time he said he took the first episode, The End, and then looked at Future Echoes, and decided whether or not he liked it more than The End. If he liked it more, it went above. If he liked it less, it went below.

    That’s what I did for the Silver Survey, and it works fine, but I found it snowballs rather quickly, and I had to end up taking the list I ended up with and polishing it a lot anyways. What I did this time around is:

    1) Made a Keynote/PowerPoint on my phone where each episode is its own slide and had that vertical view of the slides acting as a list (not unlike the Silver Survey). It’s the easiest way I found to drag episodes up and down for my convenience. I start with the episodes in order of course, color-coded by series.

    2) Instead of going episode-by-episode, juggling The End and Future Echoes then throwing in Balance of Power etc., first I rank each individual series from best to worst, while leaving each series in chronological order for the time being.

    3) Next, I rearrange the list so it’s the best of each series followed by the second best of each series, etc. So it’s Me2 then Thanks For The Memory then The Last Day etc. Each set is still in series order. There’s gonna be outliers at the end because VII and VIII have 8 episodes, but we’re talking about Beyond a Joke and Pete Part 2 so fuck ’em.

    4) From this point, I find eyeballing the episodes MUCH more manageable, glancing up and down the lists and dragging episodes up and down as I see fit. There’s gonna be a lot of movement because the worst Series V episode is leagues ahead of the best Series VIII episode. But this general list is a good starting point I find.

    Put simply, instead of continuously adding episodes one by one, I find it easier to sort them in smaller chunks first and then eyeball them at the end. One up, one down, one to polish. Worked gangbusters here.

  121. Justice would go much higher on my list if it didn’t end so shitly. And it’s quite high anyway.

  122. Justice would go much higher on my list if it didn’t end so shitly. And it’s quite high anyway.

    I thought “what, Justice has a great ending, Cat keeling over backwards after twatting the simulant” and then I remembered that pretty inaudible walk in a circle and inexplicable man hole scene. So close and yet so far haha

  123. Although now I mention it a lot of people did complain that Siliconia didn’t have enough jokes. The plebs.

    people complained about Siliconia? for me it was the only episode of XI/XII that was in my top 20.

    Pleb here. It’ll probably grow on me with time, but on first watch I really didn’t enjoy it much.

  124. Pleb here. It’ll probably grow on me with time, but on first watch I really didn’t enjoy it much.

    I was very much in the same boat but I rewatched it last night and it suddenly all clicked for me this time round. It’s really well constructed – Rimmer’s “too much thinking” chat to Kryten pays off brilliantly and the crew slowly becoming Kryten-like is very subtly done. I’m not ashamed to admit I got a wee bit teary when Lister tells Kryten that he’s his Mum.

  125. Personally I thought it started well but fell apart. All that stuff with them turning into Kryten’s, and Rimmer’s and Lister’s heartfelt speeches, that was great. But they got into a pointless mop fight and an under-explained deus ex update station showed up out of nowhere and fixed everything and I was like… meh? Really liked what worked, didn’t care for what didn’t.

    Not to influence anyone’s voting by revealing my own figures, but as it happens, Siliconia is EXACTLY in my #37 spot in the poll. Exactly the middle. So, yeah. Meh.

  126. Siliconia is the first episode in a long while that i think managed to balance character stuff with plot properly, that’s one of the reasons i ended up really enjoying it. it was the first time since Out Of Time that i think i was truly caring about the characters and what happened to them. plus lister telling kryten about how much they really do appreciate him made me cry, and i like it when tv shows make me cry. unless they are tears of boredom or some other crap kind of tears

  127. Siliconia, like M-Corp, really felt like it needed another 10 minutes to really breathe. It really does feel like Doug is struggling to fit some of these stories into the time allotment. It’s a Catch-22 between scope and simplicity.

    Am I only one who felt like buying the virus in M-Corp was as cheap of a deus ex machina as Siliconia just happening to show up? I mean, the Siliconia ship showing up is a cheap coincidence, but M-Corp allowing you to just buy a virus that defeats it doesn’t even make any sense. Why would it let you do that? Even if you could make the argument that the thinking tax prevents people from being able to think up the idea, but it still doesn’t make sense that M-Corp would make it an option or that the system doesn’t have any sort of protections in place to prevent that sort of thing. It’d be like leaving a printout of US nuclear launch codes in a paper folder on the sidewalk and banking on nobody understanding what they were if they happened to pick it up. Yes, random people wouldn’t be able to figure out what it was, but why not just lock them up where nobody can find them in the first place?

    M-Corp really could’ve been one of the best episodes the show had ever done, and it’s immensely frustrating to me that it falls short even though it’s still one of the best episodes we’ve had in the past six series. M-Corp and Siliconia actually make me really feel for the characters in a way that no other XI/XII episode manages to, but the failure of it to build those emotional moments into a truly satisfying arc…

    Rimmer’s fish speech is hands down the best use of Rimmer’s psyche I think we’ve ever had in the Dave era. The fact that not only do we have completely unnecessary jokes killing the mood, but that this _perfect_ use of Rimmer’s character doesn’t amount to much of anything in the story beyond that scene…I feel like I would’ve liked the episode more without my favorite moment.

    I enjoy action-adventure Red Dwarf, but the deep character stuff is what it makes it my favorite show of all time. Having those brief moments of it only for them to amount to very little is honestly so more more frustrating than just not having any of it whatsoever. I really love Siliconia and M-Corp, but I cannot help but feel disappointed that they fall short of true greatness. It’s the same kind of frustration I feel over the disjointedness of Can of Worms and the way it seemingly skips entire scenes to keep the plot moving, only Can of Worms isn’t a very good episode at all. I hate being as frustrated by M-Corp as I am by Can of Worms.

    I mean hell, I actually LIKE watching Can of Worms, but the moment you think even the slightest bit about the structure and logic it falls apart. Why couldn’t we have just had a scene of Cat on his date, watch Antika seduce him and then do the Polymorph reveal there? Do some real body horror shit with her transforming in front of him, and have Cat mistake THAT for how lady cats get ready for sex? Anything to actually show the most crucial plot point on screen instead of just casually throwing it out in dialogue out of nowhere.

    Averaging everything out, I love XI and XII. I think they are unquestioningly the best additions to the show we have had since the original 6 series. But if Series XIII isn’t an improvement and still suffers from the same problems I will be SORELY disappointed. If not the pacing and story issues, we can PLEASE fix the dodgy model shoot and stop using the same fucking music cue over and over and over and over and over?

    We’ve had some absolutely wonderful effects shots in XI and XII, but they’re pretty much all guest ships and such. The standard fly-bys, especially of Starbug, are iffy and they always reuse the same two or three shots. The quality is absurdly inconsistent. 1993 Red Dwarf should not have consistently higher quality and better effects than 2017 Red Dwarf. It just seems wrong that with all the digital tools at our disposal we cannot seem to beat what was created in-camera 25 years ago.

    XI and XII were an improvement on X, and X was an improvement on BtE. I just hope XIII carries on the trend of addressing the problems of the previous series, and if it isn’t going to be another double block, then hopefully XIV can do the same for XIII. I want to see the show continue to grow and change, I don’t want it to settle into just being like Series XI for the rest of the run. I want XIII to tell different kinds of stories, change up the sets, and give Rimmer a new costume because he’s been wearing it for 18 episodes now. Even if you just put him in green or red again, whatever, just make it different. Rimmer doesn’t need to be blue any more, he’s been solid for six series. Nobody will get confused and think he’s softlight if you change the color now. And make a new H, that would be cool. I wanna nerd out over Rimmer’s costume and I can’t if it never changes again.

    Oh, and keep the grey corridors from Skipper. Those honestly fit the new look of the show so much better than the red paint from X. While you’re at it, move Rimmer and Lister into the original bunkroom, bring Holly back and just make a series in the style of II.

    OK now I’m just blathering. Good day.

  128. New costumes all round would be nice. I was thinking how good Chris looked in Timewave in his Bond Villain garb, and his OG uniform, it’d be nice to get something new. The Kryten costume too, am I the only person that loved the Siliconia non Dwarf mechs costumes? Reminded me of series V Kryten, which was a high point for me, and I think softer materials around the arms and gut would be more flattering and comfortable for Robert. Less New Who Cyberman would be great, I like the mask though, the hands are a little ridiculous (which does go along with the model complaints – how could they do something so much better 28 years ago?).

    It’d be nice to see something completely new for Lister. Maybe less leather, more layers, in universe t-shirts, bit of retro uniform perhaps.

    I’d like to see Cat in something more stylish, he looks like a bus seat in some recent episodes.

    As for the models. I think they need to have a serious look at a new Starbug, the model is literally wrong unless they don’t care about what it used to look like.

    After much investigation, I think what makes it look the most off are the front legs, they’re too far around the hemisphere which causes two issues, one, it means there’s no room for the thrusters underneath so you and up with those tiny little thimbles which are supposed to be lifting a space ship, and second it means that the angles of the legs coming out of the front and rear section are so different that it makes it look like it’s doing the timewarp when it’s flying with the legs back, you bring your knees in tight haha

    I’ve also got a suspicion that the rear section either doesn’t have the spacer between the front and back hemispheres or its not thick enough, which again, if you’ve been looking at something for 29 years, is just off-putting.

    That’s not including the stupid little legs, comparatively poor paint job and the ugly bubble engine cowls, and the engines themselves.

    To be frank I fucking hate that Starbug.

    I’m going to send a tenner to Mike Tucker and ask him to sort it out haha

  129. >Am I only one who felt like buying the virus in M-Corp was as cheap of a deus ex machina as Siliconia just happening to show up?

    No, I shouted at the screen with frustration at that one, as I felt cheated out of a proper resolution. Not so much with Siliconia but that was simply because I didn’t actually realise what was going on.

  130. Y’know, if they had just set it up so they _could_ recover Lister’s brain and were just using the original JMC backup as a temp brain while they rooted out the malware, that would instantly fix every problem I have with M-Corp’s ending without actually changing anything.

    I like the ending joke, but the way they set it up really bothers me.

    New costumes all round would be nice.

    We’ve just had two series with the same sets, the same costumes, and the same lighting. By Red Dwarf law it is required we change it all up next time.

  131. Only costume id change is krytens because he looks not only bigger then robert probably is but he also looks very plastic.

    Cat has different outfits anyway, Rimmer i think his blue version of the 3-5 outfit iis probably the best route to go still.

    Listers outfit is fine.

  132. The “deus ex-machina” (a term I think should be banned from the internet because very few people use it correctly – you’re okay though KyoSo) in M-Corp felt fine because it made sense and was funny, almost as if it was done deliberately as a joke. Like if the idea behind Timewave is deliberately making a shit episode and it all went tits up, M-Corp was deliberately doing a deus ex machina but it actually worked

  133. Ignore my last comment because my opinion has changed in the past twenty seconds. Here is my new comment:

    Glad to see somebody else taking issue with M-Corp, honestly. It’s quite low on my list.
    The virus buyout simultaneously felt like a lazy copout, and something that naturally worked with the plot and made sense. Like, it was incredibly fast and convenient, but it was also funny and felt… fine. A wonky resolution to a wonky episode, imo.

    The idea of almost reaching the promised land was established in dialogue earlier in Siliconia, so the arrival of it near the end is just incredibly good timing, and it being an upgrade station that makes everything fine is more of a reveal than an ex machina.

    The episode is so good up until the mop fight that my brain can happily just put the ending aside and focus on the good stuff. But the more I think about it the more I think maybe I should have ranked it lower.

    if there was a pearl poll for individual scenes (god no) the fish scene would rank very highly… even higher if it wasn’t for Cat making stupid fucking jokes throughout it. A problem Siliconia shares with The Last Jedi – “oh, everything’s been a bit too serious for a bit too long, don’t want people to think we’re doing a prequel/VII, let’s throw in a shit joke to lighten/kill the mood”

    I wish you could delete comments

  134. “deus ex-machina” (a term I think should be banned from the internet because very few people use it correctly – you’re okay though KyoSo)

    In which case we should also ban the internet from calling things plot holes, since that is abused even worse than the term deus ex machina. For instance, characters acting in a fashion you would not do in any given situation is not a plot hole. Further, characters acting in ways that go against their own best interests is not in of itself a plot hole. Even characters acting completely irrationally is not necessarily a plot hole. It may still be bad writing, but it is not a plot hole.

    I should probably link this post to Red Dwarf somehow, but I can’t be arsed.

  135. We should just ban the internet, honestly

    Apart from this wonderful website x

    Holly flying the Dwarf 3,000,000 years away from Earth rather than like, orbiting the sun isn’t a plot hole it’s just a bit daft on his part – and he is a bit daft so it’s fine really

    Tikka to Ride has a plot hole which I’m 100% willing to explain away for hours but which is ultimately still a plot hole

    (It’s a hole if you take Lister’s exposition at face value I think)

  136. Only costume id change is krytens because he looks not only bigger then robert probably is but he also looks very plastic.

    Given that it has to fit on the outside of Robert’s body, I think it is inevitable that it will look bigger than him.

  137. If I was a Doctor Who fan I might be able to think of a good joke about this

  138. LARDIS Llewellyn’s Adipose Regions Deeper In Sixties

  139. I’ve put tthe Inquisitor because it’s good on gags and has several really good concepts, not just being judged by yourself, but also I’ve always really loved things where people see the effects of the future before they fully understand them, and it sets up an obvious flaw in Lister’s plan that you think is just going to be a massive error then it instead pulls itself back together as the most satisfying resolution any episode has.

  140. So here’s a thought about The Inquisitor: do the replacements later get judged? Because the replacement Kryten and Lister don’t seem to have done any better in their lives than ours.

  141. I often wondered that myself. Presumably they must, but the Inquisitor has to wait for a bit to let the timeline sort itself out before going back and rejudging them.

    Something else I’ve never considered before is the order in which he judges people. Presumably he has to go back to the start of humanity and judge people in chronological order. Otherwise there would be a risk of going back and changing someone in a way that has knock-on effects that change entire family lines and alter people further down the timeline, including ones he would have already judged and replaced.

    Honestly, being the Inquisitor sounds like an administrative nightmare. I hope he has complex spreadsheets to keep track of it all.

  142. So here’s a thought about The Inquisitor: do the replacements later get judged? Because the replacement Kryten and Lister don’t seem to have done any better in their lives than ours.

    *deep gravelly voice* ALL will be judged

  143. Seems like a really inefficient way of doing it. Imagine having to judge thousands of Listers, all of whom had ended up on Red Dwarf, three million years into space. It’d get really fucking boring.

    Something else I’ve never considered before is the order in which he judges people. Presumably he has to go back to the start of humanity and judge people in chronological order. Otherwise there would be a risk of going back and changing someone in a way that has knock-on effects that change entire family lines and alter people further down the timeline, including ones he would have already judged and replaced.

    Even this wouldn’t cover it, though. Somebody born after you can still have a considerable affect on your life and the way you view things and act.

  144. Also, why does the chap at the beginning get woken up by The Inquisitor’s judgment? He doesn’t even seem to get a trial.

  145. Well the whole judgment happens in The Inquisitor’s chamber and appears to take no time at all, so to any outside observer him waking up and getting deleted would be all that happened.

    Also, presumably he could just judge every replacement as they come in without anybody noticing in the same way. At that exact moment, he judges them, too, so that once he’s left, there’s just the one replacement. “Incredibly inefficient”? All the better. He’s got forever to live, might as well take a lot of time doing something. You’re not going to criticize that guy from Hitchhiker’s Guide who insults everybody for having an incredibly inefficient system (even though he does), are you?

    Poorly phrased question, but you can probably guess what I meant.

  146. Oh, also, doesn’t White Hole pull a bit of a Can of Worms in that it starts loadsof good ideas that it abandons after one or two scenes? What happened to relative time dilation, was that just in one spot? Does time only skip around in one little conversation? &c.

  147. Also, why does the Inquisitor judge people in the middle of their lives and not the end? People still can do great things even if they’re older than Lister was in Series V. And why doesn’t he give people a heads up so they have an incentive to live worthwhile lives instead of springing his own secret rules on them? Political Theory 101: You can’t prosecute people for violating secret laws. It’s not legitimate.

    Also, what’s to stop the Dwarfers from trying to make Holly smarter AGAIN after plugging the White Hole, this time without a convenient reset button?

    Also, how does the Triplicator designate what’s high and low? Isn’t that highly subjective?

    Also, does sex work with a Pleasure GELF in reality outside the perception field?

    Also, if they went into stasis in Krysis, Kochanski’s almost certainly dead by now, right?

    Also, did they even change history back to normal after beating the Exponoids in Twentica?

    Also, why does going to a parallel universe where men give birth mean that “you” give birth when you’re a life form from a different universe altogether? Why would “your” internal biology change? Why wouldn’t you just be an anomalous male that doesn’t work the same way biologically?

    This whole show is falling apart in retrospect. Fandom over!

  148. Because he is a prick; nothing, so presumably they do it except for reason whatever reason they don’t mess up the calculations; it must have been built using highly subjectively programmed things which the Dwarfers were unaware got put in it; I mean if you can mess with what someone sees you can probably also mess with what they feel; depends how long they went into stasis for since Kochanski’s younger than the rest of them anyways (on that, she probably just came out of stasis later than Dave); maybe it sparked a bigger boom in space travel which is why they’ve started running into so many more other people; dunno mate can’t knock it till you try it

  149. Seems like a really inefficient way of doing it. Imagine having to judge thousands of Listers, all of whom had ended up on Red Dwarf, three million years into space. It’d get really fucking boring.

    I’m looking forward to the story in Series XIII where we see the Inquisitor judging himself, and realising he wasted his life by coming up with such an inefficient system for Inquisiting. He therefore deletes and replaces himself.

  150. What has stunned me is the number of new episodes I have subconsciously placed above the original 52 over the past few years, without really thinking about it. Coming to this list it suddenly becomes clear just how highly I think of X in particular…. and how my dislike (irrational or otherwise…) of episodes like Legion, Psirens and Rimmerworld make for some ‘interesting’ placements! Right now, the likes of Mechocracy or Trojan are a preferrable watch to those I just mentioned, and indeed others.

  151. Oh, also, doesn’t White Hole pull a bit of a Can of Worms in that it starts loadsof good ideas that it abandons after one or two scenes? What happened to relative time dilation, was that just in one spot? Does time only skip around in one little conversation? &c.

    I always assumed they only lasted a limited time before disappearing.

    White Whole was adapted from the BTL novel and those weird time events were fairly unpredictable if I remember right.

    The episode is just an abridged version of that tbh.

  152. Lister’s biology changing in Parallel Universe works the same way as Rimmer becoming a computer etc in Skipper. Probably.

    But in that case the babies should have imploded or something when they went back to the dwarfers universe

    Also The Inquisitor is a fuck with a God complex, he doesn’t have to have the most efficient system ever

  153. Welcome to Ganymede & Titan, where today’s debate is whether a guy who is going to live infinitely needs ro hurry the fuck up.

  154. The “deus ex-machina” (a term I think should be banned from the internet because very few people use it correctly – you’re okay though KyoSo)

    That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

    Also, can we ban people from using the word “satire” too? They seem convinced it’s just a synonym for parody.

  155. Also, presumably he could just judge every replacement as they come in without anybody noticing in the same way. At that exact moment, he judges them, too, so that once he’s left, there’s just the one replacement.

    So the best replacement for Lister and Kryten he could find are another Lister and Kryten who are in the same situation, who look and act the same. Seems like a shit system to me.

  156. Nobody said best, just the forst worth

  157. *first worthy ones that show up

  158. Crap, I forgot that the edit function works on this half of the site.

  159. i wonder if it’s fair to place episodes up high because of particular scenes and things in it, rather than just judging the episode as a whole?

    e.g. Stasis Leak ended up in my top 20 mainly because of the subtly heartwarming scene where Rimmer says although he doesn’t like Lister, for some “weird reason” he really doesn’t want him to leave. and also the excellent “cornflakes” scene.

    in the same vein, Krytie TV didn’t end up in my bottom 10 (although it was close) because the plotline about the appeal i thought was rather good. shame about the rest of the episode though

  160. Dunno. It’s about which one you think is better

  161. I now disagree with almost every single ranking I submitted.

  162. I’m looking forward to the story in Series XIII where we see the Inquisitor judging himself, and realising he wasted his life by coming up with such an inefficient system for Inquisiting. He therefore deletes and replaces himself.

    Smegazine already did it. Sort of. And apart from the deleting himself bit, or there’d be no episode.

    ‘The Inquisitor’ is mint, but finally getting to see it after a few years, it couldn’t live up to the imaginary version I’d built based on reading its summary in the Programme Guide over and over. Like how some of the novelised episodes suffer when I read the book first (only some).

  163. Better Than Life the novel is practically a full-on deconstruction of the episode Better Than Life.

  164. infinity welcomes careful drivers did it quite well too

  165. Trying to place Timewave has been a firm reminder of just how shit VIII is.

  166. I’ll give Krytie TV this: the moment when Lister casually hands Rimmer the pube always makes me chuckle.

  167. Krytie TV has “the post has arrived” too. The appeal B-story is one of the stronger points in VIII, and one of the only times Rimmer actually feels in character. My dislike for the episode is much more to do with voyeurism plot than specific moments, and it’s worth noting that this is the fifth episode in the series and every single one so far has involved creeping on women without their consent in some way or another.

    Give Pete some credit, it doesn’t involve rape/attempted rape or voyeurism; just erection jokes and a dinosaur shitting everywhere.

    …man, Series VIII really is Red Dwarf becoming a bad American version of itself.

  168. honestly i think i ended up putting Krytie TV at least 6 or 7 spots higher than i normally would’ve, just because i watched it recently and pretty much everything involving “the appeal” plotline is great. even the bit about “the completely invisible aliens” is good.

    it’s just a shame that the episode is tainted by the “kryten exploits women for cash” plotline. why is that even in the episode? the appeal plotline is strong enough for a half-hour story in of itself

  169. Krytie TV has more plot in one episode than Pete has in two.

  170. wasn’t Pete’s original 1-part version meant to end after “See you in 10 minutes?”

    so literally everything after that is just padding. (and it shows. 20 minutes in and suddenly kryten’s got a big flying nob)

  171. Tomorrow’s daily goal list. The poll is on tomorrow’s daily goal list.

  172. 5 non-Rob episodes in my top 36. I need to lie down now.

  173. Well 5 non-Rob episodes out of 37 non-Rob episodes isn’t bad.

    *Cries*

  174. Rob Llewellyn?

  175. Is Beyond a Joke a Rob & Doug episode?

    Answer: No.

  176. PS I am ranking as I write this.

  177. PS I just got off a three hour phone call with Rob Llewellyn. You people are shit, etc.

  178. Jesus Christ, there are a lot of different sounds happening all at once in the audience reaction to Lister kissing the Psiren.

    Also, I’m not entirely sure I’d ever rewatched Back to Reality before last night. Only other episode I’ve never rewatched is Mechocracy, and that hardly counts.

    I would say that, the more I go through watching these, the less it seems fair to fill this out without having recently seen all the episodes. There really are better and worse bits that you end up forgetting about that completely change how you look at an episode. For example, a majority of the IV endings. Makes XI look like the holy grail of episode conclusions.

  179. Justice and Dimension Jump really do have extremely poor endings. We’d be having the same debate if those episodes aired today.

    Justice’s ending is especially weird because there’s zero audience reaction to the punchline, which comes across as a deeply awkward silence. But then Dimension Jump had to edit around the fact that Rob and Doug seemingly forgot Rimmer wasn’t solid, which is just bizarre to me. Besides, the kippers falling on his head isn’t even a very good punchline anyway.

    Officer Rimmer’s ending is better than Dimension Jump’s. Fight me.

  180. I think the Hammond Theme saves it.

  181. We desperately need another end credits remix before the show ends.

  182. Remember that one where they remixed it with a whole extra scene on the end? That was cool.

  183. They missed a trick in Cured by not having Hitler do a cover version.

  184. A Rimmershop Quartet version would have been amazing too – might even have saved all the anger about the Officer Rimmer ending.

  185. The Gunmen remix is so damn good it makes me emotional.

  186. Great idea for the end of Officer Rimmer. Bazookoid blast/fade to black/barbershop quartet version of the munchkin song. That would have papered over the cracks just like Dimension Jump.

  187. Really they could have done one for Twentica also but when it comes to choice of music cues and stuff new Dwarf is abit sketchy on that.

    I ain’t fond of the Music in Twentica because while it sounds like old style music set for the period its played for comedy and imo they should gave embraced the period and gone all the way with it like they did with Gunman of the Apocalypse.

  188. Officer Rimmer’s ending is better than Dimension Jump’s. Fight me.

    i can’t fight because i agree with you.

    tbh, i’d go as far to say that dimension jump has the dodgiest ending in the entirety of red dwarf. it’s like 3 different ideas for an ending all mashed into one bizarre thing.

    at least officer rimmer’s ending doesn’t do a bizarre star wars scroll explaining what happened after, then cut to a completely unrelated segment where rimmer teaches the skutters organ music.

  189. Dimension Jump is pretty bad, but at least it tries, and has jokes. Officer Rimmer still has the ‘what??’ feeling, as if somebody cut the tape too early. Dimension Jump’s feels like a bad ending, while Officer Rimmer’s doesn’t even feel like an ending.

    But yeah, a barbershop It’s Cold Outside or Munchkin Song would have been superb and definitely made it easier to accept.

  190. at least officer rimmer’s ending doesn’t do a bizarre star wars scroll explaining what happened after, then cut to a completely unrelated segment where rimmer teaches the skutters organ music.

    I’d definitely take the Dimension Jump scroll ending over the Remastered Polymorph ending…

  191. As it has turned out, I largely ranked in line with what might be predicted of a long-time fan, that is: Series V is the best series; the Dave era is generally not as strong as the BBC era but has got stronger as it has progressed; the episodes with sexist elements are poor no matter when they were written; Back to Earth was a case of ‘just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should’; episodes featuring all four core characters (whether all present or in flashbacks) are generally better than any other character combinations; and ‘it’s all about Rimmer, baby!’ when it comes to the best material the show has put before us.

    The above said, evidently I have some personal quirks. I’ve placed The Inquisitor at no. 6 – I’ve always wondered why, on average, this snappily-crafted, funny episode has muddled in around the 20th-place mark. I consider Series VII to have three genuinely funny, solid episodes in Tikka to Ride, Blue and Stoke Me a Clipper. I did not find that nostalgia clouded my view of some of the acting in the early days of the show, meaning that several recent episodes were placed above the weaker ones from Series I and II.

    Overall, Series V will likely never be beaten as peak Dwarf. The ‘bubble’ largely persists. But there is plenty of post-1993 material that makes the top 40, if not the top 20. For me this includes Trojan, The Beginning, Skipper and Twentica.

    Best five episodes: 1. Back to Reality; 2. Polymorph; 3. Marooned; 4. Gunmen of the Apocalypse; 5. Quarantine

    Worst five episodes: 69: Timewave; 70: Pete: Part I; 71: Pete: Part II; 72: Parallel Universe; 73: Back to Earth: Part II

  192. Leaving the first half of the show, my top five are

    1 – LEGION
    2 – BODYSWAP
    3 – BACK TO REALITY
    4 – QUEEG
    5 – THE INQUISITOR

    and my bottom five are

    32 – BACKWARDS
    33 – WAITING FOR GOD
    34 – POLYMORPH
    35 – THE END
    36 – BETTER THAN LIFE

    I guess I just don’t find the earlier ones quite as refined. And I really do love even Better Than Life, but it is one of just a few episodes that I genuinely get uncomfortable during.

  193. I was with you until putting Parallel Universe as second worst, and BtE 2 at the bottom when it’s not even the worst part of BtE. Apart from that, basically yes.

  194. Unpopular opinion: I really, really love Ouroboros.

  195. That said, I still can’t stand most of VII.

  196. I never got a confirmation email after submitting my order about a week ago – should I have?

  197. I was with you until putting Parallel Universe as second worst, and BtE 2 at the bottom when it’s not even the worst part of BtE. Apart from that, basically yes.

    It is discomforting to put an early episode of the show we grew to love so low down, but these surveys only come around every so often and I wanted my ranking to reflect my heartfelt opinion. For me, Parallel Universe is unsophisticated in all regards – humour, concept, execution, acting – even if we are just talking within the context of the first two series. When I zoom out and look at it relative to the whole canon, I can see in every other episode (but one!) something superior in at least one of these areas. For me, the episode never builds on the opening ‘wow’ of Tongue Tied (which, along with the ‘dream recorder’ concept, could have been worked into any episode).

    As for Back to Earth, personally, I find the meta stuff cringe-inducing. The first time I saw Part Two in 2009, I felt I was watching Red Dwarf die in front of me. Part Three may be the episode in which they are actually in Coronation Street but that is funnier per se than the self-referential material in Part Two. As I see it, Part Two is the episode which actually damages the show; Part Three gets things back on track, if nothing else, by saying that ‘it was all a dream’. There’s a nice speech from Lister when he says that he will keep looking for the real Kochanski, too.

  198. Parallel Universe follows up ‘Tongue Tied’ with the great “who nose?” scene, “Plato invented the plate” and Holly’s blind spot with sevens. Those things are enough to redeem it for me, even if it’s always been my least favourite from I-VI otherwise.

  199. G&T Admin

    I never got a confirmation email after submitting my order about a week ago – should I have?

    You should! It’s likely in spam but drop me an email (cappsy[at]gmail.com) and I’ll double check your submission is there and send you your list.

  200. Done. Cheers!

  201. I adore the plot of Ouroboros but it’s definitely not the funniest episode in the Red Dwarf pantheon. There are at least three episodes in VII that I rank higher.

    And I will agree Parallel Universe isn’t the funniest either, but I wouldn’t put it second last when we have stuff like Pete, Timewave, Krytie TV and Lemons to contend with.

  202. i can’t remember where Parallel Universe is in my ranking, but i don’t remember putting it very high or very low. it’s just sort of one of those “eh” episodes that’s somewhere in the middle for me

  203. Curious to know if the number of submissions is on track to beat the Silver Survey?

  204. i can’t remember where Parallel Universe is in my ranking, but i don’t remember putting it very high or very low. it’s just sort of one of those “eh” episodes that’s somewhere in the middle for me

    As a Canadian I resent this misuse of “eh”

  205. Eh?

    Thank you.

  206. Parallel Universe goes down four ranks for speeding up Cat’s dance sequence. I don’t understand at all.

  207. Parallel Universe above half way for me. Ah I should have put Me2 higher than The End. That’s the only one I regret but otherwise happy

  208. Parallel Universe goes down four ranks for speeding up Cat’s dance sequence. I don’t understand at all.

    he’s a fast dancer

  209. Why didn’t he dance at 4x speed during Tongue Tied?

  210. Part of the hilarity of his dream was that he was only dancing at a quarter of his normal speed.

  211. Why did he combine four times the speed into one dance routine though?

  212. Why didn’t he dance at 4x speed during Tongue Tied?

    because then his dance moves wouldnt match up with the song.

    plus if he dances at four times the speed then his dance is over 1/4 of the way through the song and he has to spend the next 2 minutes just standing around like a twat waiting for everyone else to finish up

  213. I mean he could just do some extra fast dancing the whole way through

  214. Also, what if Cat’s dance had ended 1/4 of the way through Tongue Tied?

  215. Can Blue Midget dance at 4x speed too?

  216. Can Holly dance at 4x speed too?

  217. I like Epideme. I had forgotten how much I liked Epideme. Still not enough to outweigh the three in the middle of the series that really drag it down, though.

    Well, I like Epideme for a post-Rob BBC episode.

  218. the bit in Epideme where lister’s going to kill himself and he says his goodbyes to the crew always makes me cry, so it gets points for that. it’s not my favourite of VII, but it’s certainly at least 8 times better than Beyond a Joke.

    Beyond a Joke is shit

  219. I do like the bits in Nanarchy where Lister is just twatting about with one arm all sad. In fact, pretty much the whole of it is made up of nice bits, just not all so nice that it gets many marks above a lot of the other episodes.

  220. I hate the Epideme virus itself, I cannot fucking stand that gameshow host voice, or really the material it is given, but apart from that I do think Epideme/Nanarchy is alright

  221. Seven series in and no “blocks” of one series whatsoever. Might just be a subconscious thing/whatnot. I am also just saying that now because there may be a block of a few at the bottom once this next series finishes. Then again, maybe not. I am trying to give every episode a new and fair judgment, as evidenced by me liking Epi/Nan a lot more this time and Blue a lot less.

  222. as evidenced by me liking… Nan a lot more this time and Blue a lot less.

    What did she do?

  223. I know a lad called Blue. I guess Nan was just more interesting than Blue.

  224. Back in the Red 1 was not quite the worst yet.

  225. THE BLUE MIDGET DANCE MAKES A LITTLE MORE SENSE TO ME NOW

  226. Pretty sure that’s about the 6th or 7th time I’ve watched Pete 2 and I still haven’t gone into an internal rage, wished I’d stared at a blank screen counting nothing for half an hour, or considered giving up on Red Dwarf altogether. I have done all of those things each of the three times I have viewed Timewave.

  227. THE BLUE MIDGET DANCE MAKES A LITTLE MORE SENSE TO ME NOW

    Then you can explain to the rest of us why nobody else is even slightly curious about how the fuck any of this is happening when something as minor as Dibley wigs convincing the guards had already raised suspicion for being unlikely?

    And why the hell a simulation designed to show how they would behave in an escape would completely divorce itself from any kind of reality? How does a spaceship dance number factor into their trial? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to get lucky and find a Blue Midget with the keys in or some shit? That would achieve the same ends without turning into a cartoon.

    Why is a spaceship dance routine even possible in a simulation otherwise mimicking real life as closely as possible, unless of course the idea is that this is literally possible in real life exactly as presented here? Being Series VIII, I wouldn’t be shocked. Pete happens only a few episodes later, and that’s almost as cartoony in places.

    It’s almost as if they forced it in because they wanted to do it and they needed to fill the extra running time, not because it actually fit the story or made sense. I’m so glad they spent that time and money on a Blue Midget dance, because obviously Series VIII wasn’t short on those things already.

  228. I mean, all I did was realize that it wasn’t completely out of nowhere and could be explained just a little by the luck virus as to why they thought it could actually happen and also why it didn’t raise suspicion, but I mean there’s still all that

  229. all the fucking around with ar machines within ar machines which are slightly less realistic than being in the regular old ar machines is the most confusing thing about Back in The Red. whenever i rewatch it im just left baffled as to what the fuck is going on

  230. Series VIII takes a greater hit to the quality of the storytelling more than any other area. As many complaints as I have about the way the jokes are told, and the style and quality of those jokes, I could honestly live with it if they had something approaching an interesting plot to back it up.

    I don’t think Cassandra is a particularly good episode by any stretch, but it is miles above the rest of Series VIII simply by virtue of having a single, coherent, half hour story based in a science fiction concept in which the characters generally behave like themselves. That’s the bare minimum you should expect from an episode of Red Dwarf, I know, but the rest of VIII doesn’t have even that much. Elsewhere, clever sci-fi ideas like that of a programmable virus are introduced for the sake of a slapstick routine and forgotten about immediately. Krytie TV, both Petes and Only the Good are all plots that heavily involve characters pranking each other. In a row.

    Meanwhile, just to make things even worse, there are gags about Rimmer creeping on women without their consent across the first five episodes AND the eighth episode, and most of them are major plot points. Hell, Krytie TV is basically “The One Where Everybody’s Creeping on Women”.

    I really do shy away from declaring sexism, but I cannot escape feeling like there’s a very distinct sexist undercurrent when this much material is devoted to objectifying unconsenting women for cheap laughs. A deleted scene in the original bunkroom (later reshot on a different, more boring set with a load of padding added) features Lister admonishing Rimmer for using the sexual magnetism virus to become a rapist – because HE was saving it to become a rapist next time Kochanski got drunk. Lister, the moral heart of the show who’s time and again told Rimmer exactly how much a monster he’s being, doesn’t have any objections. The show seems blissfully unaware that Rimmer is being a rapist at all, and treats his exhaustion after so much sex like he’s gotten a stomach ache after eating too many candy bars.

    Then he smashes his testicles with a hammer, because if you can’t feel something it can’t injure you.

    …although his numb-legged stumble is one of the better gags in Back in the Red, and not even overplayed.

  231. Back in the Red is clearly a public health warning about the dangers of psychotropic drugs.

  232. surely the whole of Series VIII is “The one where everyone’s doing sexual harassment and penis jokes”. i find it genuinely bizarre that not one episode of VIII goes by without sex or genitals or something being a major plot point

  233. I’m honestly really baffled at the change in humor and storytelling. It just seems like such a bizarre shift in focus from somebody who is CLEARLY capable of writing Red Dwarf in a style roughly the same as the classic era.

  234. Doug knew Chris was back, he knew they had a studio audience, he knew they were back on Red Dwarf and he knew he needed another 8 episodes to get the show syndicated in America. But…he didn’t have 8 “Red Dwarf stories”.

    So we got 5 stories, where the ideas range from “There’s a dinosaur on the ship!” to “Kryten turns into Jeremy Beadle”. And in the absence of any actual wit or clever dialogue, the show decides to go for smut and a bizarre preoccupation with sexual violence.

  235. it’s an awkward feeling when that one really short Smegazine strip (home of lost things or something?) told a much better story about the red dwarf crew being resurrected than doug did through the entirety of VIII

  236. I had a good chuckle at a line that apparently none of the audience did in Fathers and Suns, specifically Lister’s “I didn’t know that was out yet” comment about the Zero Gee Total Football game. It struck me as very strange that’d come as much of a shock, seeing as how everything that’s ever going to have come out has already come out.

  237. Uh… Rimmer is reading a book in The Beginning about SPACE CORP strategy… has the Space Corp been a corporation all along? How are people therefore “in” the Space Corp? Why are there ranks, etc.? Did somebody not know the difference between Corp and Corps? Have the words CHANGED MEANING and PRONUNCIATION over the time between now and Red Dwarf? Does that make M-Corp a corp but Space Corp a corp and a corp and a corps and we still have no clue on Mega Corp but either way it’s spelled like that? I am concerned.

  238. >Did somebody not know the difference between Corp and Corps?

    After looking at the Mega Corp(s) / M-Corp situation from Samsara, the game and smeg-ups, it’s clear that most people involved don’t know the difference.

  239. *Still* haven’t made my list. Really need to rewatch XI and XII first. Wanted to rewatch the lot, but haven’t got the time. I’ll just rely on the first eight series being ingrained in my memory, and a decent recall of BtE and X episodes.

  240. It’s interesting to discover that you have a favorite episode, as you never really think about it until you’re forced to realize that there somehow is one you do enjoy that little bit more than all the others.

  241. I out VII way too low, because I spent so much time listening to people talk about how shit it is that I forgot I actually liked it.

  242. I out VII way too low, because I spent so much time listening to people talk about how shit it is that I forgot I actually liked it.

    It’s mostly good, personally I only find it dragged down by the three episodes from Duct Soup to Beyond a Joke. I don’t even mind the annoying voices that much.

  243. VII was Phantom Menace, so I’ll always bear that childhood grudge and find it harder to watch than VIII, when the damage had already been done.

    I can see sense and put it all above the worst half of VIII, but Tikka’s the only episode I actually like, mainly for the giant pizza and cannibalism bits. I almost like Blue as well, but it’s dragged down by too much VII. I’m happy that not everyone has this problem or is as stuck in their ways.

  244. But that means VIII is Attack of the Clones which is worse

    I think VIII is significantly worse than VII, there are moments and heck, almost entire episodes in VII which if you told me they were still Rob/Grant co-writes I wouldn’t bat an eyelid (in some parallel universe where I don’t already know the truth)

    Outside of Back in the Red and Cassandra VIII really does feel just extremely poorly cobbled together. VII at least feels like a production on which everybody knew what they were doing, even if sometimes they did it a bit poorly. VIII feels like they just… forgot

  245. The plus side of this exaggerated fan sensitivity is that I felt euphoric watching ‘Trojan.’ I still can’t rate that one objectively, because I was so happy that Red Dwarf was good again. Luckily, my ‘Timewave’ gloom only lasted about three days.

  246. I think i have only watched Timewave once and i don’t think i ever went back to watch it again and may not for a long LONG time

    And thats depressing for me as a fan because i have kinda come to an acceptance phase knowing i can’t feel gloomy and disappointed by anything in new Dwarf anymore so i just sideline it from my mind in denial and forget it after 5 minutes.

    Unfortunately i only watched it once and yet i remember alot of it abit too well.

  247. Timewave legit made me feel awful for about 5 hours

  248. I will either never watch Timewave ever again or switch it off after the ad break for part one

  249. So I just re-watched Krytie TV and Pete alongside Timewave to finalize my numbers last night…

    Sorry XII, but Timewave is still worse. It is just so mean spirited.

  250. Well this whole thing has turned into a bit of a bummer for me. I actually skipped the entirety of XII while it was on TV so I could binge watch it all on DVD on Christmas Day. Christmas then turned into New Year’s Day And Some of the Days After, at which point I decided I was in the mood to watch the entire series from beginning to end… or rather, from The End to Skipper, with The Beginning somewhere in between.

    ‘Course, then I noticed the Pearl Pole was coming up, and I’m fucked if I’ve got enough time to squeeze all that in. And the most annoying thing is that it’s the bottom-ranked episodes that feel like they need the most re-evaluating before I’m satisfied with them, leaving me with a prospect of watching nothing but Pete, Timewave, etc. for the next couple of weeks.

    Anyway, I’ve watched XII twice through now, and although a month isn’t enough time to let it settle, I liked it a lot more on second viewing, with Skipper and Cured being the big climbers. M-Corp dropped a little however, since it was really interesting the first time around, but once the set-piece novelty wore off, it wasn’t as funny the second.

    Which leads me to my last point – There was a very long period after X aired where those episodes felt a bit tacked on, like the Dave era was the new “weird bit at the end” in place of the post-Rob VII & VIII run. It honestly took me a very long time to get comfortable with them, for as much as I liked them generally, until one lazy Sunday where I threw the DVD on and caught myself thinking of them as part of the “classic run”, as opposed to the (then-upcoming) new Dave era XI and XII episodes.

    XI and XII now feel like the “weird bit” where I’m not entirely comfortably ranking Twentica or Skipper against the BBC years, even though I love those episodes, but I have no qualms about how much I love Trojan, Lemons and The Beginning, and am perfectly happy to judge them on their own merits against the Classic 36.

  251. Timewave legit made me feel awful for about 5 hours

    6 weeks, here. At least VIII was trying to have fun.

    I honestly think the most likely to move from the previous poll would be (and always will be) ones that were last time marked as new entries, although personally it would be VII since I keep learning to love it by its own merits.

  252. It is away folks!

    And no, I never did come to my senses about Series V…

  253. >At least VIII was trying to have fun.

    yeah. VIII is quite misguided in terms of story (aside from Cassandra) but at least it’s light-hearted and goofy. i can watch more or less any VIII episode and have a fairly good time because it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is occasionally pretty funny, despite how contrived the whole series is.

    in comparison, Timewave not only has a misguided story, but it feels incredibly cruel and mean-spirited. i’m not even sure what point it’s trying to make. we should be horrible to people for wearing fancy-dress costumes and being bad on the flute? i don’t understand at all. it’s the only episode of Red Dwarf that feels genuinely offensive, instead of just being not very good.

  254. it’s the only episode of Red Dwarf that feels genuinely offensive, instead of just being not very good.

    Are we forgetting that VIII is full of rape and attempted rape? And literally every episode except Pete features Rimmer creeping on or forcing himself on non-consenting women? And how a deleted scene from Back in the Red has Lister literally spell out that he’s annoyed Rimmer is using the sexual magnetism virus to become a rapist, because HE wanted to use it to become a rapist?

    Nah, I guess “rape is funny” isn’t as bad as making fun of people for dressing in silly costumes and sucking at the flute. Maybe I’m just really used to getting shit on for my sexuality, but Timewave’s supposed homophobia really comes across as a combination of poor choices on part of the costume and performance instead of ill intent in the writing. VIII paints molesting women as harmless fun, and does it across ALL EIGHT EPISODES.

    If we’re going to judge by offensiveness, VIII still wins. And Timewave is objectively better written than episodes like Pete Parts 1 and 2 when it comes to the actual technicalities of screenwriting. It’s not good, but at least it has a coherent story that moves forward with each scene.

  255. Timewave is like Pete 1 and 2 but with a message.

  256. And Timewave is objectively better written than episodes like Pete Parts 1 and 2 when it comes to the actual technicalities of screenwriting. It’s not good, but at least it has a coherent story that moves forward with each scene.

    The actual plotting of Timewave does not make a lick of sense though. They go on board the ship to warn the crew of the Encomium that they are about to collide with Planet Rimmer, but then forget about the danger they are all in just because some of the people on board were odd to them, and then vacillate back and forth on whether they are escaping or still trying to warn them about the Helium 7 that is about to blow them all to kingdom come. Every one of their escape attempts amount to nothing, and Ziggy is somehow able to repeal ship laws despite not being the Captain as is confirmed in the first scene with him.

    It does also come across as very strange that none of the Dwarfers seem to be able to remember the mission briefings Kryten keeps giving them about not being able to criticize things, especially when Lister calls out the waitress in the diner to specially point out he is criticizing her. Plus there is the fact that the ending never makes it exactly clear what happens with regards to the Encomium going back to its own time rather than being washed up in deep space.

    Timewave is like Pete 1 and 2 but with a message.

    Which is exactly the problem with it. VIII is full of horrible conduct and terrible ethics but it never feels as if it is trying to make you accept that what the Dwarfers are doing is the right thing. Timewave does.

  257. That’s a point – “it never feels as if it is trying to make you accept that what the Dwarfers are doing is the right thing.”

    In Krytie TV for example it always feels like Lister knows what’s going on is wrong, and he does go to confront Kryten about it. Back in the Red is a bit more questionable, but I think it’s clear from the second or third sexual encounter that Rimmer is no longer enjoying himself and it’s becoming a bit of a nuisance. The tables have entirely turned by the time of the “ugly” woman overpowering him. Perhaps this is an attempt at giving Rimmer his just desserts for what he’s been doing, or it’s just a questionable joke.

    Timewave feels like it has a genuine mean-streak through it, and feels like it has a (poorly conveyed) point, while Series VIII just feels like it’s trying (and often failing) to be funny.

  258. >VIII is full of horrible conduct and terrible ethics but it never feels as if it is trying to make you accept that what the Dwarfers are doing is the right thing. Timewave does.

    yeah, pretty much exactly this. it’s as if Timewave is saying the actions of the Dwarfers are justified, even though they clearly aren’t- they spend most of the episode being incredibly rude and uncharacteristically nasty. (why is Lister so fucking horrible to the waitress? why is Cat so cruel to the policeman? why do they elect to leave the crew of the Enconium to die?) and the general message the episode feels like it’s trying to get across is that it’s actually acceptable to behave in such a way towards people. it all just feels a lot more genuinely mean-spirited and unpleasant.

    VIII just sort of exists, to me it never felt like it was trying to really make a statement about anything or justify anyone’s actions.

  259. Alot of the comedy in modern Dwarf is the reactions of the main crew to guest characters

    For example a guest character does something weird and the crew look at each other like wtf and question the ridiculousness of it so the guest character can voice more weirdness.

  260. The actual plotting of Timewave does not make a lick of sense though. They go on board the ship to warn the crew of the Encomium that they are about to collide with Planet Rimmer, but then forget about the danger they are all in just because some of the people on board were odd to them, and then vacillate back and forth on whether they are escaping or still trying to warn them about the Helium 7 that is about to blow them all to kingdom come. Every one of their escape attempts amount to nothing, and Ziggy is somehow able to repeal ship laws despite not being the Captain as is confirmed in the first scene with him.

    It does also come across as very strange that none of the Dwarfers seem to be able to remember the mission briefings Kryten keeps giving them about not being able to criticize things, especially when Lister calls out the waitress in the diner to specially point out he is criticizing her. Plus there is the fact that the ending never makes it exactly clear what happens with regards to the Encomium going back to its own time rather than being washed up in deep space.

    My argument was that Pete is worse written than Timewave, not that Timewave is well written.

  261. Yes, but I think the counter-argument being advanced is that Timewave is worse written than Pete.

  262. It feels like Lister getting uncharacteristically angry at the waitress could be a result of having spent so much time on the ship, unable to criticise anything, that over time it builds and builds before it all comes out. This has the potential to be logical/funny, but given that it’s basically the second scene on the ship, this is either not the intention or it’s just extremely poorly executed. Given a longer runtime or perhaps just a better structure, this idea could work.

    The Cat being a dick to Johnny Vegas I find funny and not necessarily out of character (controversial line aside), as it is not unknown for a real cat to just suddenly decide it doesn’t like someone for no reason and to be a dick to them, and this isn’t something I feel Cat would be a million miles from doing.

    All that said, Timewave is still shite and I pray for the day we no longer need to discuss it – pray, because it will never occur

  263. Campy pretend horse riding, nipple rubbing, its all there.

  264. Timewave has the pretty awful concept of “we’d rather be suicide bombers for our decently right-wing cause than look at bad art” and that’s not particularly nice either. Also “Rimmer thinks spitting on wrists is sex so he does it to a bunch of girls lol” certainly has rapey motivations behind it, about as much as anything in Pete. In my opinion, at least.

  265. Also, and I don’t know if anyone has pointed it out yet, but it really doesn’t sound anything like ‘spit on a wrist’.

  266. Yes, but I think the counter-argument being advanced is that Timewave is worse written than Pete.

    This is rather like asking whether sexism is worse than racism isn’t it?

  267. Timewave is ultimately a more disappointing episode and stands out more because a) it has potential to be good and b) is surrounded by decent episodes. Pete is utterly hopeless on every level and surrounded by shit, so it’s almost like shooting fish in a barrel in comparison. They’re all fucking shite, but I still prefer Timewave to just about anything in VIII, because the characters at least resemble the people they’re meant to be (rather than one-dimensional one-liner-spewing panto performers), and it actually has a fair few jokes that make me laugh.

    I’m not sure which is more offensive. I think Timewave probably came out worse than it was intended, and the rapey stuff in VIII is written and played way too broad and ‘way-hey lads’ to be on the same level as, say, the mesmer-stare when it comes to whether we’re meant to be laughing at or with the characters. And way, way, way too often.

  268. Watched Series 1 again over the weekend to give it a proper re-ranking and I think I’m probably rating The End too highly on its status as “the first one”, but I do like it as an introduction to the series as a whole. I’ve also decided I was grossly underrating Waiting for God, because the very funny garbage pod stuff and Rimmer’s obsession with aliens takes up more of the episode than I remembered vs. the go-nowhere nonsense of the cat race and lengthy scene with the old man.

    One thing I never really noticed before, is Chris Barrie wearing a lot of make up, a’la the way they greyed/paled up McIntyre?

    Additional: Further to the ongoing discussion about the grossness of VIII, have you noticed how people tend to gloss over the scene in Confidence and Paranoia in which Rimmer and Lister conduct an open discourse about the time Rimmer essentially raped Yvonne McGruder then blamed it on her for being concussed? Which Lister apparently knew about enough to provide the counterpoint, but assumedly never went to the authorities?

    Are we to assume that Rimmer was *so* sexually naive that he genuinely thought she was interested in him and just put the whole “Norman” thing down to nervousness on her part? Is the fact they ate pizza afterwards a suggestion that she did actually consent, even if the concussion and mistaken identity meant she didn’t really know what she was consenting to? And did Lister only find out the story after the crew had already been killed? Or do we ultimately just have to accept that between the bawdy sexism, racism, homophobia and xenophobia, Red Dwarf’s writing has always had a bit of seedy undercurrent to it, in the name of comedy or otherwise?

  269. A lot of set bits in Siliconia mention the Mechanoid Liberation Front – how late in the production was the Intergalactic picked up?

  270. Also, I forgot how much I enjoyed most of Can of Worms. Definitely some annoying bits, though.

  271. >how late in the production was the Intergalactic picked up?

    Wasn’t it Craig who noticed this incredibly funny coincidence and suggested it?

  272. where would Can’t Smeg Won’t Smeg have fit on everyone’s rankings, out of interest? i think its a rather good episode but maybe that’s just me

  273. Additional: Further to the ongoing discussion about the grossness of VIII, have you noticed how people tend to gloss over the scene in Confidence and Paranoia in which Rimmer and Lister conduct an open discourse about the time Rimmer essentially raped Yvonne McGruder then blamed it on her for being concussed? Which Lister apparently knew about enough to provide the counterpoint, but assumedly never went to the authorities?

    The difference is Series VIII would play out a full sequence of Rimmer bedding a concussed woman, played entirely for cheap laughs, and then follow up with Lister expressing jealousy before they both mutually agree to creep on Kochanski.

    WHO TAKES A SHOWER FOR THREE HOURS?

  274. Can’t Smeg Won’t Smeg would be like #63 or something

  275. Wasn’t it Craig who noticed this incredibly funny coincidence and suggested it?

    I think so, but there seem to be an incredible lot of lines about it for it to have been last-second.

  276. I recall one of the big “entire series so far” surveys in Doctor Who Magazine a few years ago (the one they did to mark the 200th story I think) also asked us to mark various ‘offshoots’ like Dimensions in Time, Shada, A Fix with Sontarans and Time Crash and then presented them in a separate section, showing us where they’d have placed had they been part of the wider poll.

    We’ve now got Can’t Smeg Won’t Smeg, Identity Within, Bodysnatcher, one third of Dad, the 1998 Children in Need sketch, the assorted Smeg Ups links and the US pilot – would it be possible for a hypothetical future poll to include an “offshoots” section for stuff like that?

  277. I like the Children In Need sketch much more than it is objectively good, I think. It’s just quite nice.

  278. Would novels and potentially a stage show count, or would those just be too far off?

  279. Mechocracy lost some of the magic for me second time around. Timewave was just as shit as ever. M-Corp, on the other hand, lost none of the magic this time and was possibly the only XII episode to convey a clear, good message well.

  280. I’ve finally submitted my rankings. It felt like a bit of an emotional moment after having spent so long on them. I wrote a nice little message about how much I love all of you even though I knew you might never see it because it felt like the right thing to do.

  281. I think my message had the word “cunt” in it.

  282. I am probably one of those rare few that doesn’t like Mechocracy, it just doesn’t feel like a red dwarf story.

    I get very american sitcom vibes from it as its just the 4 characters trying to out petty or spite each other with back references and not all that convincing reasoning behind everything thats happening (imo).

    I did like seeing talkie toaster back but really he offered nothing new that wasn’t just a remix of a classic album.

  283. The reveal of Talkie Toaster was 10/10 GOAT amazing holy shit wow goodington fantasmagoria wowballs, but then all the material he was given was recycled and it was a bit shit.

  284. The reveal of Talkie Toaster was 10/10 GOAT amazing holy shit wow goodington fantasmagoria wowballs, but then all the material he was given was recycled and it was a bit shit.

    the scene also makes no sense, because Lister goes on and on about bread products and starts listing shit like breadsticks and donuts. how the fuck do you toast a donut or a breadstick? that’s like really impractical and why would you even do that anyway.

  285. To be fair you don’t toast muffins, teacakes, baguettes, or croissants either. Plus I gather he was getting a bit emotional and wasn’t thinking straight. Give the poor man a break.

  286. I think my message had the word “cunt” in it.

    I think my cunt has a message in it.

  287. I thought the Talkie Toaster list started well, in that Lister was starting to head off into slightly odd territory, but then it went back to normal. I kind of hoped he’d have started listing anything even remotely bready/carby just to cover all possible bases.

  288. Come to think of it, where does Talkie get all the bread for his toast, anyway? Does he create it out of thin air, making him some of the most advanced tech in existence?

  289. Aaaand done. Maybe I’m just getting soft in my old age, maybe I’ve just misremembered and shoved stuff in anywhere, but I’ve put five episodes of XI/XII in the top 36. So…y’know.

  290. I put 13 Dave-eras in my top 36, including 8 XI/XII.

  291. I put 9 episodes from Series XII in my top 5. Beat that.

  292. I put all 17 episodes from XIV in the top spot or above.

  293. To be fair you don’t toast muffins, teacakes, baguettes, or croissants either.

    you can toast muffins, they do that at mcdonalds

  294. I think we might be talking about more than one kind of muffin.

  295. The reveal of Talkie Toaster was 10/10 GOAT amazing holy shit wow goodington fantasmagoria wowballs, but then all the material he was given was recycled and it was a bit shit.

    Given that Talkie Toaster is entirely a one-joke device, I can’t see how you bring him back without recycling the material. I am almost certain that if he’d been brought back without the “no toast, no crumpets, no…” joke, people would have been slamming it as a missed opportunity and questioning the point of even having him back.

    Most of the joke for me came from imagining Lister had spent years of arguing with Talkie adding products to his already lengthy list of bread-related products, only to find that he still has that one product to come back at him with. Recycled, yes, but “a bit shit”? Not in my eyes, no.

  296. Given that Talkie Toaster is entirely a one-joke device, I can’t see how you bring him back without recycling the material. I am almost certain that if he’d been brought back without the “no toast, no crumpets, no…” joke, people would have been slamming it as a missed opportunity and questioning the point of even having him back.

    I think you could have easily brought him back without recycling the material.

  297. I think we’re missing the point here. The real problem is that Talkie Toaster seems capable of creating and preparing these grilled bread products all on his own, instead of anybody having to put the bread in. I believe that all signs point to Talkie Toaster actually being the true God in the TV series.

  298. By the way the episode I placed in first place might be accompanied by the comment “we’re not sure who ranked this top, but we’re not sure they’re qualified to rank Red Dwarf.” Or something along those lines. I promise you, I’m not joking. It actually is my favorite.

    I’ll let you know if this actually ends up being true.

  299. I’d go for Tikka or Stoke, but then I can imagine at least a few people would do that, and I’m thinking yours might be something completely out of left-field like Waiting For God or Timewave

  300. And yes, Talkie Toaster is obviously defeated by simply not giving him bread products to prepare. It’s the biggest plot hole in the history of Red Dwarf.

  301. I’d go for Tikka or Stoke, but then I can imagine at least a few people would do that, and I’m thinking yours might be something completely out of left-field like Waiting For God or Timewave

    I may be the person who whines the most about Timewave on this whole site, maybe this whole planet.

    Also, betweem the two of you, you guessed seven episodes, and only one was even in the top 36 and it was ranked 35. Thinking about it more, perhaps opinion on this episode is better than I originally thought, although it may still shock you to see “top” on it. I intend to reveal no more until the 15th.

  302. And yes, Talkie Toaster is obviously defeated by simply not giving him bread products to prepare. It’s the biggest plot hole in the history of Red Dwarf.

    Finally, somebody understands the major problems.

  303. It’s Ouroboros.

    Its name is Dave, actually. They just wrote Ouroboros on the box.

  304. Talkie Toaster is just as funny to me as the mildly-irritating background presence that he is in the early episodes, so I definitely think you could bring him back without rehashing the (great) setpieces from White Hole. But those have come to define him so much that anything less than that might be seen be some viewers as a letdown.

    It’s like wanting to see a favourite band play their greatest hits instead of their new stuff, which is a sentiment that runs through XII quite strongly.

  305. It’s Meltdown.
    It’s Demons and Angels.
    It’s Rimmerworld.

  306. To be fair you don’t toast muffins, teacakes, baguettes, or croissants either.

    Whoah whoah whoah oh yes you do. All of those things.

  307. Why does Lister say it like crassoint instead of croissant though

  308. If I ever saw anyone put a croissant in a toaster I would assume they were mentally unwell.

  309. To be fair I always think of tea cakes as Tunnock’s Tea Cakes, but I gather there might be another, more bread-y meaning of the name.

    And a baguette wouldn’t fit in the toaster

  310. A slice of one might.

  311. Very glad to have finally finished this last night. Tried to be methodical but did quite a bit of chopping and changing as I went, noticing certain episodes were above or below certain other episodes and thinking that can’t possibly be right, and then having to check all the ones inbetween as well. Arghhh!

  312. To be fair you don’t toast muffins, teacakes, baguettes, or croissants either.

    Most non “value” toasters come with a croissant warmer. A teacake is a slightly sweet breadcake with dried fruit in it.

    And English muffins dawg! English muthafucking muffins. Gorgeous. Toasted muffin and a poached egg.

    Slice your baguette.

    This lack of bread knowledge has shook me to my core.

  313. Ciabatta, though?

    Also, this still doesn’t explain why Talkie seems able to create bread products out of thin air, including a whole baguette.

    Also, Talkie clearly does not possess a croissant warmer.

    Also, is it just me or does Talkie only have one slot, therefore effectively rendering him unable to toast a bagel the right way?

  314. Ciabatta, though?

    Also, this still doesn’t explain why Talkie seems able to create bread products out of thin air, including a whole baguette.
    Also, Talkie clearly does not possess a croissant warmer.
    Also, is it just me or does Talkie only have one slot, therefore effectively rendering him unable to toast a bagel the right way?

    I can toast ciabatta, that’s more toastable than a baguette really.

    Maybe the croissant warmer comes out of him like he’s a Michael Bay transformer, we’ve never actually seen him in operation.

    Maybe he has cartridges with compacted bread ingredients in it and nanobots assemble the bread as required, one slice at a time, makes the other while you butter the next.

  315. Surely if he insists on toasting so much goddamn toast wouldn’t he run out pretty quickly?

    Also why didn’t its nanobots save it before White Hole unless they were complicit in the toastercide? If they were, wouldn’t that make it unable to make any more toast? I’ve reached the conclusion that either Talkie Toaster is God or infertile.

  316. Talkie Toaster mk.1 has two slots, doesn’t he?

  317. Surely if he insists on toasting so much goddamn toast wouldn’t he run out pretty quickly?

    Also why didn’t its nanobots save it before White Hole unless they were complicit in the toastercide? If they were, wouldn’t that make it unable to make any more toast? I’ve reached the conclusion that either Talkie Toaster is God or infertile.

    They’re cheap nanobots programmed to reconstruct bread, not computer chips and metal, that’d be needless expense.

    Maybe they’re in the cartridge and the cartridge fell out.

    I reckon you can get quite a lot of bread ingredients into something quite small. You can squash a loaf of bread to the size of a fist I reckon, that’s a lot of bread. 1 cartridge a week? Normal bread consumption.

  318. Also, this still doesn’t explain why Talkie seems able to create bread products out of thin air

    Nothing implies that Talkie’s magic. You put bread products in your voice-activated, pointlessly self-aware toaster, just as you put wee and poo in your voice-activated, horrifically self-aware toilet (now I’m thinking of that Better Call Saul scene with Tony the Toilet Buddy).

    Talkie’s faulty or 3,000,000-years-deranged so nags you until you go and get any suitable product to insert in him. Then after a long sought-after minute or two of toasting bliss, immediately asks you if you’d like some more, as Lister presumably discovered the day he finally caved in and had some toast that led to the lump hammer incident.

    (If Talkie could produce endless toast autonomously, Lister wouldn’t have complained about only being allowed a pea on toast in Queeg. He could have had a pea on many toasts. Did Talkie Toaster make the toast in Queeg?)

  319. A toaster with a croissant warmer. What is going on with the world?

  320. Made it past the episode where Lister drugs Rimmer by spiking his food with magic mushrooms and Hollister sees fit to give him two weeks PD rather than 15 years in the brig, as per Rimmer’s suggestion. What a thoroughly pleasant show out favourite little spacecom is!

  321. god series II wouldve been really fucking weak if it was just Lister serving 15 years in prison

  322. Surely the lump hammer incident occurred before Queeg. That’s why it’s not in its usual place

  323. Made it past the episode where Lister drugs Rimmer by spiking his food with magic mushrooms and Hollister sees fit to give him two weeks PD rather than 15 years in the brig, as per Rimmer’s suggestion. What a thoroughly pleasant show out favourite little spacecom is!

    lister is a dick

  324. Surely the lump hammer incident occurred before Queeg. That’s why it’s not in its usual place

    Every time I break metallic silver appliances and put them back together, they come out as red plastic.

  325. I would rank the Back to Earth Director’s Cut higher than any of the three episodes on their own. Back to Earth Part 1 is by itself one of the weakest episodes of Red Dwarf, but it’s structurally Act 1 of Back to Earth the TV movie that was split into three episodes. It’s the set up for the events that play out in Parts 2 and 3, ending right as things actually get started.

    Back to Earth’s story structure makes infinitely more sense as a single entity, and I feel it’d fair considerably better in any episode poll if judged as such rather than three separate episodes.

  326. Then we’d have to start asking if we wanted the feature length versions of Back in the Red and Pete as those also make infinitely more sense that way.

  327. Back in the Red and Pete don’t make sense period.

  328. So I helped my brother’s girlfriend make her rankings last night. She has only seen the show twice, but has seen every episode, and some of her opinions are quite unorthodox so I felt they would be worth submitting. The hard part was explaining which titles belong to which episodes without being too biased in my descriptions of them. A sincere effort was made not to colour her impressions, but even then Krytie TV and Timewave came last. So there.

  329. The feature length edit of Pete is literally just the two parts pasted onto the end of each other, and it’s still shit

  330. who the fuck even wants to watch both parts of Pete one after the other? i have to take a break after Part 1 whenever i watch it, its too much.

  331. Surely to be feature-length you’d have to have at least three episodes. So you’d have to edit both parts of Pete together and then something else on the end. Maybe Krytie TV.

  332. I remember Back to earth part 2 was a painful first time watching experience for me because I just couldn’t get over the fact we was watching the crew talking about themselves as fictional TV characters and seemingly being ok with it.

    I sometimes think Doug gets abit ahead of himself with some of these ideas

  333. I remember Back to earth part 2 was a painful first time watching experience for me because I just couldn’t get over the fact we was watching the crew talking about themselves as fictional TV characters and seemingly being ok with it.

    You know sometimes when someone expresses just the exact opposite point of view that could possibly exist from you? That.

  334. You know sometimes when someone expresses just the exact opposite point of view that could possibly exist from you? That.

    Thats why i said “for me”.

    It allows others to have other points of views ;D

  335. I actually agree with Dax on that part, it was somewhat jarring on a first watch. Fine with it on subsequent viewings with the knowledge of what’s going on in mind.

  336. Yeah, I fucking loathed it at the time. It still wasn’t clear that the fourth wall was definitely going to be patched up properly, so it felt very much like a legacy pissing story. I’ve never been angrier about a TV show before. It wasn’t until I bought the DVD a couple of years later that I could actually enjoy the good parts of it.

  337. Meh. I was OK with that. I didn’t mind it when they did it in Back to Reality either.

    Ahem.

  338. Back to Reality was totally different though. They didn’t go to Corrie haha.. it was still in a sci-fi universe and the technology and look was the same. You could imagine that those kinds of regimes and companies existed on the Earth and human populated planets and moons they left, which made it more believable as a group hallucination as, apart from the Cat, they would have shared some knowledge of that kind of environment which would make it more real to them.

    I was absolutely not impressed with the fourth wall shit in BtE, even after they fixed it.

  339. “We’re characters from a TV series who have somehow escaped into the real world”

  340. i don’t mind them breaking the fourth wall in BtE, but back to reality handles the exact same thing much better in a third of the time.

    plus the orwellian fascist dystopian earth is a more interesting setting than simply “london in the 21st century”

  341. BtE also features a shot of katerina typing with her fucking elbows on a computer, which is ridiculous and it annoys me that it’s even in there. why is she doing that?

  342. I’m annoyed that I don’t have enough time before the poll ends to re-watch everything, because I’ve noticed I’ve been underselling some episodes. Camille for example is one that sits in my mind as “Eh, it’s that slushy one that parallels Casablanca” and I rate it lowly, but watching it back I remembered how much I like the sci-fi element of their confusion over thinking they’re all talking about the same person, and some of the bigger deposits at the Woofminster Bank, namely Lister’s Spider-Man costume line and Cat’s suggestion that Camille looks like she dropped out of the Sphynx’s nose.

    I found the same to be true about Waiting for God, in my mind it’s a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo mythology that has no bearing or consequence over anything else in the entire rest of the series, but then I watch it and realise how much I’m underselling myself on the amusing Quagaars subplot. “It’s a smegging garbage pod!”

    Basically, I’m quite happy with my list based on what I’ve ranked over the last couple of weeks, but I’m having to convince myself that the mess of VII / VIII / BTE episodes that make up most of the bottom of my poll don’t really matter in terms of getting a fair shake from a fresh re-watch because they’re almost all shit anyway.

  343. BtE was never going to win the comparisons it invited by being a Back to Reality sequel, but it’s clear it was never really meant to. Doug had limited time and a shoestring budget to make the first new Red Dwarf episode in a decade, so he came up with a premise that would allow him to shoot cheaply. And hey, it’s an anniversary celebration, so why not make that premise an acknowledgement of one the all-time fan favourite episodes? Back to Earth was not great on its own merits for sure, but it’s a miracle it even exists, it’s impressively odd, and we wouldn’t have Series X-XII without it!

    The “joy squid” reveal is still baffling, though. Who would have thought the life of Roy Batty would be so enviable?

  344. I remember in SFX Magazine Doug said he felt BTE was one of the best Red Dwarf stories they had ever told…

    The joy squid feels like it was used as a reset button but the idea of the “JOY” squid didn’t actually make sense to the events that had gone on previously.

    What the Better than life novel did with premise of BTL probably would have worked better with the joy squid idea

  345. Trying to cram in a final once-over for my list and I’m having to tell myself that it’s okay to underrate the far lesser-seen XI and XII episodes on account of it taking me countless re-watches over a 2/3 year period to really get comfortable enough with holding X up against the BBC years.

    Why couldn’t this damn show have premiered in September? Hell, March would have done.

  346. Everyone says that every episode. Series VIII documentary, I bet you Craig says “y’know, I think this is right up there with the early series, Pete is some of the best Dwarf we’ve ever done”.

  347. I remember in SFX Magazine Doug said he felt BTE was one of the best Red Dwarf stories they had ever told…

    The joy squid feels like it was used as a reset button but the idea of the “JOY” squid didn’t actually make sense to the events that had gone on previously.

    Ha! Well the man is a canny promoter, and he was probably genuinely very proud of Back to Earth, but given how trying it was to make with such limited resources, I’m sure he knew in his heart that it wouldn’t be breaking anyone’s Top Fives (… or did it?! Tune in to find out!).

    The thing about the despair squids is that it would actually make more sense if the hallucinations they caused were really boring and just about the victim continuing with their normal life. They would never even question the fantasy, and so would never break out or become a threat again.

    Though at least with the original despair squid, it made some sense to compel a predator to commit suicide if they’re still physically running around and could hurt you by accident. The happiness variant can apparently knock people into a coma, yet evolved to give them fantasies which specifically make them want to wake up? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  348. Though at least with the original despair squid, it made some sense to compel a predator to commit suicide if they’re still physically running around and could hurt you by accident. The happiness variant can apparently knock people into a coma, yet evolved to give them fantasies which specifically make them want to wake up? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I suppose it was based on what the person was like when it first attacked them, and Dave has grown by that point in the story to where he’s stronger than he was at the start.

  349. plus the orwellian fascist dystopian earth is a more interesting setting than simply “london in the 21st century”

    Considering a story set in 21st century London was necessitated by the budget, I don’t think that’s really a fair point of criticism. Even if is completely true.

    It’s easy to point out where Back to Earth falls down, but the real question is what would have been a better alternative possible within those same restrictions. And as far as I see it, the meta fiction was the best option for a story they could film much of just out on regular locations.

  350. Surely to be feature-length you’d have to have at least three episodes. So you’d have to edit both parts of Pete together and then something else on the end. Maybe Krytie TV.

    “Feature length” means “the length of the feature” in this context, but if you’re the sort of pedant who thinks it should mean “the length of a feature film,” it still actually passes – the minimum length of a feature film according to, y’know, official bodies an’ that is, I think, 45 minutes, which the feature-length cut of “Pete” surpasses by about 6:34.

  351. Depending on who you ask, there are various definitions of feature-length, ranging from about 45 minutes to 90 minutes.

    But I don’t really care about that, I was just using it as an excuse to make that crap joke about ‘improving’ Pete by tagging Krytie TV on the end.

  352. It’s easy to point out where Back to Earth falls down, but the real question is what would have been a better alternative possible within those same restrictions.

    Something set entirely on Red Dwarf. A character based story that got to the heart of the characters we know and love, with some callbacks to the original series.

    I mean I don’t even mind BtE compared to a lot of people, but if the budget was really restricted, I can’t help thinking a small scale ‘bottle’ story would have been wise.

  353. >a story set in 21st century London was necessitated by the budget
    but Back To Reality creates a convincing fascist dystopia using just a parking lot and and alleyway with some posters in it, which surely can’t have been that expensive

  354. even Back To Earth could afford alleyways, they had them in Part 3

  355. It’s easy to point out where Back to Earth falls down, but the real question is what would have been a better alternative possible within those same restrictions.

    Something set entirely on Red Dwarf. A character based story that got to the heart of the characters we know and love, with some callbacks to the original series.
    I mean I don’t even mind BtE compared to a lot of people, but if the budget was really restricted, I can’t help thinking a small scale ‘bottle’ story would have been wise.

    They’d have had to build sets, multiple corridors / drive room etc which is really expensive. Most of BTE is shot on ‘found’ locations – i.e. places they just had to dress. I think the only real set with any detail to it that they built is the bunk room. The CGI corridors / water tank are v impressive but couldn’t be interacted with much. Going “out and about” into the 21st C seems to have been the only real option.

    Bottle episodes are only considered cheap when they use sets that have already been bought and paid for.

  356. They only could afford 1 set apparently and Doug bought the Car himself that was turned into Carbug so everything was pretty much on the cheap.

    Doug clearly wanted BTE to stand out as something special and to a certain extent it did with what they managed to pull off on a low budget… But to another extent it’s pretty forgettable and the story is jarring to say the least.

  357. They only could afford 1 set apparently and Doug bought the Car himself that was turned into Carbug so everything was pretty much on the cheap.

    Doug clearly wanted BTE to stand out as something special and to a certain extent it did with what they managed to pull off on a low budget… But to another extent it’s pretty forgettable and the story is jarring to say the least.

    There’s doing it on the cheap and then there is Back To Earth – which, IIRC, for all it’s faults is 3 episodes of something that often looks cinematic done for the equivalent budget of a clip show with a few in character links. I think much of the CGI was provided free / cheap in return for publicity / letting students do it.

    It has a lot of lumps and bumps storywise but I can see why Doug is so proud of BTE. It’s amazing it exists at all.

  358. From what I remember reading/watching, Doug wanted Back to Earth to be an event, and thought fans wouldn’t be satisfied with just a dotey little bottle episode with little-to-no spectacle.

    And, for me, Back to Earth WAS an event. It felt grand, it felt epic. Whether I would have gotten those same feelings over an entirely bunk-room-and-two-corridors-story, I can’t really say, to be fair but it certainly did feel like an event to me.

  359. From what I remember reading/watching, Doug wanted Back to Earth to be an event, and thought fans wouldn’t be satisfied with just a dotey little bottle episode with little-to-no spectacle.

    And, for me, Back to Earth WAS an event. It felt grand, it felt epic. Whether I would have gotten those same feelings over an entirely bunk-room-and-two-corridors-story, I can’t really say, to be fair but it certainly did feel like an event to me.

    Me too. The emotional stuff with Lister still totally knocks me out. I wouldn’t want Red Dwarf to be like BTE every week – but I’m bloody glad we have it.

  360. I’ve cried three times in the last year and they were all watching Back to Earth.

  361. I got quite emotional last time I watched it too.

  362. The ending with Kochanski gave me vibes of the Better than life novel… its just it was part of the same story that involved the Dwarfers finding out they were characters from a tv series and Lister having to track down Craig Charles on the set of coronation street.

    The corrie stuff feels abit dated now but i can understand why it seemed like a cool idea at the time as what other shows have filmed on the Corrie set? so it made BTE feel unique.

  363. what other shows have filmed on the Corrie set?

    Corrie.

  364. I liked BTE. It’s not perfect, and it starts off on the wrong foot, but when it works it works very well.

  365. I ranked the average BtE episode in the top 36.

  366. I’m more impressed with BTE with every passing year tbh, in terms of what it achieved.

    I’ve been looking for the magazine article from 1999 promoting VIII (Starburst/TV Zone?) in which Ed Bye claims that all the episodes in VIII are great with ‘not one duffer’. Does anyone know what I’m going on about?

  367. You could forgive him if he meant from a directorial standpoint, but then no you couldn’t, because even the direction in VIII was a bit shit. Nothing on IV or VII, anyway.

  368. This is unacceptable. I am going to find Ed Bye at Dimension Jump and tell him I’m never watching Pete again.

  369. I’ve just had a one-hour phone conversation with Ed Bye, who was very upset…

  370. Google has 136 results for ‘”Ed Bye” modelling portfolio’, all of them disappointing.

  371. Do you do the whole ‘good Bye’ thing around here?

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