Red Dwarf XIII Not Yet Confirmed

In the last decade or so since Red Dwarf slowly creaked back into production, certain traditions have been established. The frantic hunt for audience tickets. Scouring the social media feeds of the cast and crew for teasers during production. The carefully orchestrated promotional campaigns culminating in something important being accidentally leaked early. And, of course, the complete inability of the main cast to keep their mouths shut.

This last one has lead to a confusing and mildly irritating secondary tradition in more recent years, as blogs and entertainment sites vie for clicks in an increasingly crowded market: announcing that a new series is confirmed before a new series is actually confirmed. You can track the development of this phenomenon by noting the increasing levels of weariness in our coverage of it happening for Back To Earth, Series X and the Series XI & XII couplet – twice. So imagine our delight when we saw an article on the otherwise excellent British Comedy Guide loudly proclaiming “Red Dwarf Series 13 confirmed”.

Except that when you get to the fourth paragraph:

UKTV channel Dave, which has broadcast the comedy since it returned in 2009, has yet to officially confirm another series

Well, quite. Here’s the thing: we don’t doubt that Red Dwarf is coming back for a thirteenth series. It seems highly likely that a lot of the details in the article, divulged by Danny and Robert at a convention, are true, or at least presumed to be correct at the time they were said. The possibility that they’ll start shooting in early 2019 seems perfectly feasible (especially as Robert also spilled that particular bean on Twitter the other day), and the series being broadcast towards the end of that year sounds about right. The suggestion that the proposed stage show will follow, and the inference that this is the reason why there doesn’t seem to be a second series double-banked this time, remains speculative, but we’ll give them that too.

It’s just that until it’s announced by UKTV, GNP, Baby Cow or a combination of the three, it’s not official. With the best will in the world, the cast can get the details wrong, and plans can change over time – take a look back at those initial news reports for the last four series for proof of that. You can’t say something’s confirmed in your headline, and then admit in the copy that it’s not. A lot of people will just see the headline, or more likely just the accompanying social media post, share it in a pique of justifiable excitement, and before you know it, the unverified and unofficial news has spread across the internet as if it’s solid fact. And then when an official announcement is made, it’s old news; it must be incredibly frustrating for the people who are working hard to bring the fans the news they want to hear, only to see it leaked all over the place before it’s ready.

We know we’re being a bit grumpy about this. And we know that in the grand scheme of things, this is hardly the worst consequence of inaccurate information disseminating on social media, but it’s an interesting example of how these things work, on whatever scale. Maybe we’re just still scarred from the years of endless Movie rumours that never came to pass. Nevertheless, the fact that the cast are talking about these things, and that they’re clearly working with specific information in terms of dates, is an extremely positive indication that an official announcement of Red Dwarf XIII is just around the corner. As per usual, we’re just keeping the champagne on ice until that happens.

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209 Responses to Red Dwarf XIII Not Yet Confirmed

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  1. WHERE CAN I APPLY FOR TICKETS????

  2. Cue the scores of fans declaring how much they’d like to see some fantasy big-budget recreation of ideas the show has already done, ideally revolving around obnoxiously uninteresting continuity porn.

    The best I’ve seen was a recent YT comment asking for, among other confusing things, a “Back to Earth TV Movie Trilogy” and a Series IX specifically made to solve the VIII cliffhanger and bridge the gap to BtE.

    Debate amongst yourself what the hell a Back to Earth TV movie trilogy is even supposed to mean. I’m sure whatever you imagine would be more interesting than this guy’s fantasy.

  3. They probably just mean another Back to Earth-style miniseries with the format, scope and lack of audience that had. Honestly I wouldn’t mind seeing that. Making a Series IX would just be weird, it might be interesting as like a book or an audio but I don’t see the need for it to be made on television, despite the fact that I quite enjoy continuity porn (the likes of which we saw from Capaldi Who). But I’d also like to see longer episodes, less gags and more muted performances, none of which we’ll get (he says hoping to anti-jinx it into reality)

  4. I’m fine with keeping 30 minutes shows. i know some have commented that the shows need to be longer to help Dougs stories work better but really Doug just needs to do his story priorities better

  5. I think the old-sitcom-style runtime flexibility, as previously discussed around these parts, would be the perfect solution to any pacing issues. Allow the episode to run to 35 minutes if the story needs it.

    I love continuity porn but not when it replaces strong stories. Sometimes Moffat went a bit overboard by just referencing old stuff for the sake of it. When I get a nice, continuity-rich PDA or something it’s fucking great, though. Recently read a Fifth Doctor one with a whole flashback section about the Doctor, the Master, the Meddling Monk, the Rani, Drax, the War Chief, Runcible, Azmael and Borusa during the Doctor’s time at the Time Lord Academy. I wouldn’t want it in an episode, though.

    Back to RD, I really wouldn’t mind a series with no callbacks this time.

  6. Do you think we should print out the Idea for an Episode thread and post it to Doug to give him a few ideas to get started with?

  7. Certainly. Nurse, could I have an extremely long piece of paper please.

    I’ve no idea if that quote is accurate or not but I’m fucked if I’m going back and watching that episode to check.

  8. They probably just mean another Back to Earth-style miniseries with the format, scope and lack of audience that had.

    No, see, that would make sense and lack any recycled ideas. Here’s the full text, which I had to transcribe manually because mobile is garbage. That’s why I didn’t initially do so. Typos and bizarre grammar retained.

    “I’m looking forward to Red Dwarf Seasan 13 aka Red Dwarf XII. I also hope they do a Movie Trilogy and Video Games and also A Series IX that explains what happens in between Series VIII and Back to Earth. and a Back to Earth Trilogy which is a TV Movie Trilogy and sequels to Back to Reality.”

  9. The effort is appreciated, G+T is extremely slow on my phone and typing is a nightmare but i get it done.

    I, too, want endless amounts of red Dwarf content, but man, that post is a ride right from the word go. “Seasan 13 aka Red Dwarf XII” is a strong start. Back to Earth already sequels Back to Reality so i have no idea what they could possibly be envisioning, and would genuinely like them to elaborate further.

  10. In a follow-up he seems downright indignant towards Doug for ignoring the cliffhanger, insisting that “the fans” want an explanation. I don’t think he realizes that that catering to the demands of fanboys who’d love anything with “Red Dwarf” written on it would just alienate the other 99.7% of viewers. Which is exactly why Doug ignored that cliffhanger in Back to Earth, I’m trying to explain to him.

    It’s my weekend and I finished Breaking Bad. What else is there to do?

    If nothing else I can at least try to get him to explain his fantasy Series XIII.

  11. To a certain extend i get why Doug ignored the cliff hanger ending but i also think Doug has used it as an excuse not to have too explain it at all and hopes the fans desire for it will just go away over time.

    There has been a couple of times in the last 3 series where i wondered why he couldn’t have thrown in a quick explanation to that ending and got it out the way instead of all the other past references we have had.

    But then when you look at how Doug left series 8 and how Doug quickly hit that reset button for BTE how could you even explain that ending?

  12. In addition to the 100% official confirmation that some sites are offering, I can exclusively reveal that XIII will be co-written by people who have messaged Doug on twitter asking him to DM them as they have some ideas that he might find interesting.

  13. Well someone did say to Robert that they would love to hear kryten with a Australian accent and Doug said he was on it so thats close enough.

  14. I’d love an ‘official’ resolution to the VIII cliffhanger, but don’t want Doug to actually do it unless it somehow ties into the story well. But, frankly, The Beginning is Doug’s way of saying he’s not going to tell us. He’s not going to tell us because he hasn’t a fucking clue how to get out of it. I don’t like the fact that he hasn’t a clue, because it’s symptomatic of the ridiculous way the cliffhanger was made in the first place.
    But we’re now 21 episodes on, I don’t see quite how it’s still on some people’s minds. Might as well get bothered about how long Rimmer was in quarantine for, or how Duane Dibbley unfroze everyone at the end of Emohawk, or what happened to the second Polymorph*, or when Lister is marrying Kochanski, or when we’re going to see Old Lister from Future Echoes.

    *no Remastered explanations, please

  15. Slap a skutter over it.

  16. Wasn’t the movie supposed to be a reboot? So the cliffhanger never would have been explained anyway, right?

    And isn’t giving the fans what (Doug thinks) they want exactly how we ended up with VIII in the first place?

  17. But we’re now 21 episodes on, I don’t see quite how it’s still on some people’s minds. Might as well get bothered about how long Rimmer was in quarantine for, or how Duane Dibbley unfroze everyone at the end of Emohawk, or what happened to the second Polymorph*, or when Lister is marrying Kochanski, or when we’re going to see Old Lister from Future Echoes.

    As you say the way Doug ended series 8 was fairly ridiculous and alot of people probably want some stability out of the shows continuity rather than having series 8 end of what many felt was a dark and dire cliffhanger for a good 9 years and then suddenly BOOM its just the 4 guys on red dwarf again, Rimmer appears to be a hologram again, the ships changed shape again and a fair amount of series 8 has been forgotten.

  18. >Wasn’t the movie supposed to be a reboot? So the cliffhanger never would have been explained anyway, right?
    yeah it was stated pretty early on in the movie’s production that the movie would be a reboot set in a different continuity. although at one point during the whole movie fiasco i think doug mentioned he “might” explore the VIII cliffhanger through “other media”

  19. I’d prefer 33 new episodes of Red Dwarf over the film, anyway,

  20. Yeah in 2001 Doug didn’t sound interested in doing anymore series. he said he wanted to stick to movies and that maybe they could conclude series 8 in a graphic novel or something.

    Now days Doug makes it sound like he had always had it planned to do a movie and then another series but thats not what he told the fan club magazine back in 2001 lol

  21. Rimmer appears to be a hologram again

    Are you implying that he might not actually be a hologram anymore?

  22. >It’s my weekend and I finished Breaking Bad. What else is there to do?

    Better Call Saul, naturally.

    YouTube comments get the benefit of the doubt, because they could be a 12-year-old Doctor Who fan discovering Red Dwarf for the first time who need a bit of time to calm down.

  23. Yeah in 2001 Doug didn’t sound interested in doing anymore series. he said he wanted to stick to movies and that maybe they could conclude series 8 in a graphic novel or something.

    Now days Doug makes it sound like he had always had it planned to do a movie and then another series but thats not what he told the fan club magazine back in 2001 lol

    My pet theory is that Series VIII only existed to further the movie.

  24. Well it’s not a theory, it’s been openly written about – Doug only agreed to 16 new episodes after Rob left because Charles Armitage laid out a business plan for the brand, involving getting the series to a neat 52 for US syndication with two more series mostly written by new writers, a closer eye on branding and merchandise quality, and making a glossier, redub-friendly version of the back catalogue to build the brand internationally. This would have all culminated in a big budget movie which would see Doug return in a hands-on role in a field he was interested in.

    Were it not for the prospect of the film Doug was happy to walk away completely after 1996, and that would have been that. Strange that if the film had never been mooted, the brand would probably be dead, and if the film had happened, ithe brand would likely have died before now also. The Schroedinger halflife of the Movie through the late 1990s and 2000s powered the brand to a kind of immortal status.

  25. DS are running their usual “Series XIII confirmed – and here’s when the filming starts” article.

  26. mostly written by new writers

    Well if that was the plan it went off without a hitch

  27. There’s an early ’00s interview with Doug where he talks about wanting to do more than one film, and then let the series continue on TV written by completely new writers without his involvement. Obviously it’s A Good Thing that this didn’t happen.

  28. There’s an early ’00s interview with Doug where he talks about wanting to do more than one film, and then let the series continue on TV written by completely new writers without his involvement. Obviously it’s A Good Thing that this didn’t happen.

    yeah, i remember reading this a while ago. it seemed kind of odd that he wanted the TV series to continue after VIII at that time, considering VIII was originally going to end with an episode where they all returned to Earth, which you’d assume would prevent any further series from happening.

    then again i think he also said in that interview that “I don’t consider Red Dwarf to be a sitcom” so maybe he was just talking bollocks that day

  29. Lots of people want an explanation for what happened at the end of Series VIII, but at this point it’s easier just to pretend Series VIII didn’t happen. I know it’s counterintuitive for a fan, but go on, give it a go… feels nice, doesn’t it?

    Seriously, there are significantly fewer niggling continuity questions if you just skip from Series VII straight to BtE than if you watch Series VIII in between them. That’s actually kind of impressive.

  30. Well this is what he said in the Fanclub magazine back in 2001 i think

    Where does the movie leave a potential series IX?
    I think the truth of it is that if the movie’s a hit, we would like to do movies. That is the truth. It doesn’t mean to say that we won’t go back to TV, but given he opportunity to work with some of the people we’re working with right now, we’d be absolutely barking mad to say, ‘Oh no, we don’t want to work with [production designer] Allan Cameron any more’! It’s just not going to happen. He, [co-producer] Pat [Carr], Jim [Cornish] and [cinematographer] Harvey [Harrison] and all those people have been fantastic. The knowledge, understanding and attention to detail – it’s been incredible.

    So will we ever have a resolution to that cliffhanger?
    Having said that…! (Laughs) We could do movies and then go back and do a TV special. That would be a possibility, doing some specials.

    [Another idea that has] been mooted for a long time [is] ‘the graphic novel on TV’. Never say never, but that’s where we are right now.

  31. That Back in the Red set report is fascinating, and really highlights how chaotic the production was on Series VIII.

  32. It really makes so much sense if you assume Doug was just trying to appease the fans who called Series VII “too dramatic” by going completely silly. If his only motivation to write VIII is because he has to, then it’s not remotely surprising it’s barely even pretending to be Red Dwarf and then totally gives up on as much as that superficial semblance after Cassandra.

    If Doug was really into the idea of writing Red Dwarf the science fiction sitcom with three dimensional characters at the time, then you know we’d have a Marooned-style two-hander in a prison cell instead of a Pete Part 2. I mean it’s not like it’d have any less happening plot-wise.

    Actually can someone explain to me why the fuck they didn’t do that? It would’ve saved so much time, budget and padding.

  33. Chances are Doug wanted Series 8 to be something vibrant and fun since that would certainly help financers show interest when it came to making the movie.

    I mean when you look at what the original ending was that they couldn’t afford to do it was probably abit ambitious to have Red Dwarf crash to earth making a tidal wave destroying most of the worlds Monuments. (at least i think thats what it was)

    I think alot of decisions with 7 and 8 were helped along by Dougs excitement for the movie.

  34. >This is the interview i was thinking of.

    Wow. Pretty much every question/answer is, er, “bemusing”. Doug’s choice of Polymorph as his favourite comedy episode would be unremarkable but for the fact that he specified it’s the Remastered version. I guess the dubbed Mrs Rimmer scene is worth a few extra chuckles.

  35. It’s the hilarious epilogue that makes it.

  36. If Doug was really into the idea of writing Red Dwarf the science fiction sitcom with three dimensional characters at the time, then you know we’d have a Marooned-style two-hander in a prison cell instead of a Pete Part 2. I mean it’s not like it’d have any less happening plot-wise.
    Actually can someone explain to me why the fuck they didn’t do that? It would’ve saved so much time, budget and padding.

    I recall reading something interesting by John Finnemore, saying that bottle episodes are always the hardest to write because you have to write about being bored without being boring and have a plot but keep it hidden from the audience, whereas it is much easier to, say, stick your characters on a space station with a good version of Hitler. Given what an absolute shambles the production of VIII seems to have been it’s not surprising if Doug found it was easier to expand other stories.

  37. They should have planned for a bottle show and not spent so much money on dancing Blue Midgets. But we could play the “they should have” game all day.

  38. Dani asks: “Do you have a planned release date for the film?”

    Doug Naylor: “2001.”

    Paul Barrett asks: “Is the Red Dwarf movie going to be a remake of the first series or a continuation from series VIII?”

    Doug Naylor: “I don’t know.”

    Always wise to have a release date but not a plot.

  39. Let’s just have a moment for this one too. Particularly the last sentence. But also everything else about it.

    “In terms of writing scripts this is going to be my last season. After that it will be the film and new projects. I’m trying to put together a team of writers who will then write future series of Red Dwarf. The BBC would like a series of eight delivered once every 18 months from now until 2020.”

  40. the “these women are HIDEOUS!!!” in the Back In The Red set report deserves some recognition too, i think. what woman was he looking at that got such a reaction out of him?

  41. >Always wise to have a release date but not a plot

    1. That does happen quite often with movies, to be fair.
    2. He was probably lying so as to avoid having to directly answer “What is the plot?” in an interview before the movie even starts production.

  42. Best guess is that Doug knew the film was a reboot even before he started writing series 8. After all he was planning on having the show end on 8.

    I also kind of think thats why Doug brought back the crew for series 8 because he had it planned to have the crew back for the movie and prematurely wanted to dip his toes back in that water to try it out.

  43. The BBC would like a series of eight delivered once every 18 months from now until 2020.”

    What the fuck?? It sounds like he’s just talking out of his arse. What a bizarro interview

  44. I’m glad that this whole thing was just a weird middle transitory phase of Red Dwarf.

  45. The BBC would like a series of eight delivered once every 18 months from now until 2020.”

    What the fuck?? It sounds like he’s just talking out of his arse. What a bizarro interview

    To be fair, Doug had just delivered 8 million viewers for the channel, so for all we know the Beeb’s stance, at the time, could well have been ‘just keep doing this indefinitely, please!’

  46. Until 2020, though? Doctor Who only gets five years at a time. That’s such an unbelievable prospect I’m having trouble believing it, unbelievably.

  47. the “these women are HIDEOUS!!!” in the Back In The Red set report deserves some recognition too, i think. what woman was he looking at that got such a reaction out of him?

    I’m horrified by it. Mainly because I wrote it. Christ 17-yr-old me was a prick.

  48. I’m just glad it’s still online. It’s fascinating; particularly the confusion about it being the last episode of the series. The obvious question is what did you think of Back in the Red when it made it to telly/ now?

  49. Until 2020, though? Doctor Who only gets five years at a time. That’s such an unbelievable prospect I’m having trouble believing it, unbelievably.

    i think doug may well have been exaggerating when he said 2020.

  50. I’m just glad it’s still online. It’s fascinating; particularly the confusion about it being the last episode of the series. The obvious question is what did you think of Back in the Red when it made it to telly/ now?

    It’s nearly 20 years ago so memories of the night are very fuzzy but no effort was made to explain to us they were ‘refilming’ the first episode. From those dark early days of the web I knew that it was the last filming date and that was about it. This led to confusion as to why the episode appeared to pick up from the end of series 7 – I knew TV filmed out of order but this seemed odd. In retrospect I know now that the planned final episode was ‘Earth’ and the budgets etc had led to that being dropped and they had to stretch the two-part Back in the Red to three and we were seeing the ‘new’ scenes.

    I was a hugely excited teen, finally seeing their favourite TV show being filmed so I could have sat through the filming of Pete or Timewave and told you they were AMAZING! But yeah, Cassandra aside Red Dwarf VIII is my least favourite.

  51. Rewatch Cassandra. It may be better than the rest of VIII, but it’s no Series I-VI/X-XII(I).

  52. Yeah, it’s better than the rest of VIII by having a plot that doesn’t fall apart at the slightest touch, although the closer you inspect it the more flimsy it seems. It’s still got some fucking shit writing and production values and some really broad performances though.

  53. am i the only one on here who doesn’t actively despise VIII?
    i genuinely thought Cassandra and Back In The Red Part 1 were quite good episodes, and Krytie TV is alright too. maybe that’s just me

  54. Cassandra rehashes a lot of well worn ideas. The one truly good and original concept it introduces is the idea of invulnerability by fate, but they quickly move onto to making purile sex jokes and treating Kochanski as an object. The entire plot seems to hinge on contriving a setup where Rimmer thinks he’s going to get laid, and resolves with a huge cheat. Kryten figures it out off screen so you don’t notice that there’s no possible basis for his theory.

    It’s a very clumsily constructed story, and it only compares favorably to your plotless Petes and your nonsensical self-contradicting Back in the Reds. Cassandra’s focus on the core characters does do much to alleviate the problems caused by VIII’s massively overstuffed cast…and yet Holly still has almost nothing to do.

    No doubt having an actual plot from which jokes can naturally arise puts it well ahead of other VIII installments, but it’s just not very funny outside of a few choice moments. The news that Rimmer will die in 20 minutes is probably the best joke in VIII, being a genuinely good punchline to a plot development. Most of VIII’s isolated funny moments, like Pete’s delayed fight (which I maintain is the only worthwhile sequence across both episodes), are irrelevant side tangents whose absence would have no impact on the story.

    So much of VIII feels like random stuff just happening because they thought it’d be funny, even if it makes no sense for the character or in fact the laws of reality. A Blue Midget dance happened because they thought it’d be neat, even though (like several plot points in Part 3) it completely violates the established logic of the story. Cassandra has the least of this sort of thing going on.

    It does however have that uncomfortablly pervasive VIII thread of violating and objectifying women for a cheap laugh. Back in the Red does so disturbingly with Rimmer using the sexual magnetism virus to become a rapist (altering women’s state of consciousness to make them uncontrollably want to have sex with him – forced consent isn’t real consent), Cassandra tries to force Kochanski to have sex with Rimmer through predeterminism, and Krytie TV is all about how voyeurism is hilarious. Five episodes in a row where this sort of creepy pervy attitude towards women is a major component of the plot. You can argue the merits of any one of these, but the fact that it’s a massive overarching theme across the majority of the series just leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. I have to spend a lot of time online fighting off desperate pervs who lunge their dick at any girl in sight, and it just pains me to see my favorite show indulging in that sort of attitude. Same goes for such moments in any series, although Irene’s introduction from Entangled had the sense for Lister to intervene in the others’ leering.

    Anyway, obviously Cassandra stacks up well against VIII. But go find any given episode of a similar setup from III-VI and tell me it even remotely stands up in comparison. Even Emohawk.

  55. i mean Cassandra just makes me laugh more than Emohawk, i didn’t really go so in-depth about it. “Become a dog” “I’ve signed you up too” “Complained to the foreman?” “…except for Rimmer, who will be dead in 20 minutes” “I read it on this mission directive here” “That doesn’t excuse my other four senses” etc. all were quite funny, i thought.

    the only funny bits i can remember from Emohawk are “Levi Jeans, man!” and the “Five Hanukkah” gag. plus Emohawk’s got a crap plot. either way, i still really like Cassandra and think it’s a great episode.

  56. I don’t think it’s really an in-depth criticism to point out the plot makes huge leaps without explanation, focuses on ideas the show has already done better and completely throws away a unique idea with lots of comic potential. You could get so much out of, say, using Cassandra’s predeterminism concepts to set up a situation where Rimmer by fate cannot die and must use this preternatural invulnerability to save the day through death-defying means that absolutely terrify him. That could have made a far more satisfactory second half than watching him perv on Kochanski. Maybe it would work, maybe not, but it certainly sounds like a better use of fate.

    If it makes you laugh it makes you laugh, but it could have been a FAR funnier episode if ot had a better plot. Y’know, like the show usually does.

    And sounds like you’ve not watched Emohawk any time recently if those are the only good jokes you remember. It’s only in the second half when the episode really falters, and it’s mainly down to the ill-advised returns of Dwayne and Ace that seem like pure fan service. Series VI already did Polymorph II and it was called Psirens. It was good.

    Emohawk leaves me fairly cold in the second half, but Cassandra leaves me cold most of the way through. It begins promisingly, but with a clumsy plot composed of ideas the show had done before it ends up being like a weak photocopy of past episodes. They even namecheck Future Echoes, as if admitting this was a retread makes it OK. This wasn’t like Samsara where they were revisiting an old idea to dive into its unexplored implications. This was just doing a worse version of Future Echoes, only this time Rimmer is fated to die.

    The most recent time I watched it, in a series run with a friend, I felt horribly awkward that I’d told him “This is the good one from VIII.” Jokes I remembered liking a decade ago fell utterly flat, and I kept saying “I really remember this being better than it is” because I was frankly embarrassed that I had vouched for it. He was seeing Red Dwarf for the first time, and felt that Cassandra was “OK, but the magic is kinda gone”. Considering what episodes were next on the docket, I elected to skip to Back to Earth (but at least show him that awful VIII cliffhanger so he could get that joke from The Beginning, which ended up flying over his head anyway).

    Somebody fanwank an explanation for how Kryten “figured it out”.

  57. Also why does it matter that nobody called him Rimmer in view of Cassandra? He was wearing a jacket with a name badge reading “Rimmer”. How does putting that jacket on someone else make sense? If Cassandra needs to hear a name to know it, how does she know everyone’s first names?

    It makes no sense! And the show acts as if the logic is sound, so it’s not a joke that Rimmer’s plan is nonsense.

    Oh my god, is Cassandra as much of a logical mess as Back in the Red’s use of virtual reality? Well, no, not even close to that fucking lazy insane self-contradicting bullshit, but I liked the way that sounded as an end to the post.

  58. >Somebody fanwank an explanation for how Kryten “figured it out”.

    i’ve never understood the complaints about Kryten figuring it all out offscreen- it’s necessary for the plot to work, as it tries to lead you into thinking rimmer is going to die right until the last minute. if the episode had Kryten going “oh! ive got it!” and explaining the whole thing before lister bursts in with the harpoon gun, the whole thing wouldn’t work because you are meant to think lister IS going to kill rimmer with it.

  59. >He was wearing a jacket with a name badge reading “Rimmer”.

    when they first meet Cassandra he’s wearing his blue Canaries jacket over the top so the Rimmer nametag is not visible. in the next visit he’s wearing Knot’s jacket

  60. >Somebody fanwank an explanation for how Kryten “figured it out”.

    i’ve never understood the complaints about Kryten figuring it all out offscreen- it’s necessary for the plot to work, as it tries to lead you into thinking rimmer is going to die right until the last minute. if the episode had Kryten going “oh! ive got it!” and explaining the whole thing before lister bursts in with the harpoon gun, the whole thing wouldn’t work because you are meant to think lister IS going to kill rimmer with it.

    So your defense for this lazy plot point that makes no sense is that the story hinges on it? The fact that there’s no possible way Kryten could have arrived at this specific conclusion doesn’t at all strike you as a flaw in the storytelling that could have been solved with a better constructed plot?

    I don’t think you quite appreciate why this doesn’t work. And I certainly don’t see how a expository speech by Kryten _before_ Lister shows up with the harpoon gun is the only solution. A very simple solution without altering the episode much would have been to plant hints throughout the episode as to Cassandra’s plan, which Lister could have pieced together for the audience in place of just saying “Kryten figured it out.” That could have easily been done in a script revision before the episode was filmed. I’m frankly astounded this wasn’t how it was written to begin with.

    Bad writing is bad writing even in something you like. Plot holes are plot holes even in a comedy, and Red Dwarf traditionally has exceptionally tight and well-planned plotting. Series VIII has no excuse when such gems as Out of Time and The Beginning were made under much more frantic conditions.

    That said, I think we’ve presented a fairly convincing case that Doug Naylor was not creatively invested in Red Dwarf the sitcom during Series VIII, which would neatly explain away how shockingly bad it gets and how little it often remotely resembles Res Dwarf.

    when they first meet Cassandra he’s wearing his blue Canaries jacket over the top so the Rimmer nametag is not visible. in the next visit he’s wearing Knot’s jacket

    Fair enough, but I notice a suspicious lack of response to my other point about names.

  61. Even as a Cassandra defender, the names thing is bad writing. It assumes we know Knot’s name is Knot, even though we’ve only just met him and his name’s only been said once. “My name’s Knot!”/”Your name’s not what?” doesn’t work as intended, because it just seems like he’s saying “my name’s not [Rimmer],” which is how I took it at first.

    There’s no origin for the knowledge of Cassandra knowing everyone’s names: she knows the names she says because she knows she’ll say them. This error happens a lot with bootstrap paradoxes in fiction – characters in Lost pass a compass down through time that can’t possibly have ever been created, etc.

    >Series VI already did Polymorph II and it was called Psirens.

    I see it more as Camille II, but I guess it’s both.

  62. Its an issue I have with Dougs technical stories in general. They at times tend to move just outside of the boarder of being clever.

  63. I’m glad we’re having another thread about if series VIII was any cop or not though. Good to keep things fresh.

  64. >It’s only in the second half when the episode really falters, and it’s mainly down to the ill-advised returns of Dwayne and Ace that seem like pure fan service. Series VI already did Polymorph II and it was called Psirens. It was good.

    i’ll at least agree on this bit- the first half of Emohawk is generally quite good and it honestly made me feel like they could’ve just lengthened the GELF village stuff to fit a full half hour- “Change of plan! Leg it!” feels it should’ve ended the episode.

  65. My only problem with Cassandra is that Rimmer’s name tag is printed comically large on his jacket compared to everyone elses.

  66. I’m glad we’re having another thread about if series VIII was any cop or not though. Good to keep things fresh.

    If there was a ‘like’ button on here, I would be smashing it harder than Rimmer taking a hammer to his own genitals.
    Looking forward to yet another irrelevant Timewave discussion cropping up before long too though.

  67. G&T Admin

    I’m glad we’re having another thread about if series VIII was any cop or not though. Good to keep things fresh.

    I’ve got some cracking Back to Earth material waiting in the wings.

  68. >
    i’ll at least agree on this bit- the first half of Emohawk is generally quite good and it honestly made me feel like they could’ve just lengthened the GELF village stuff to fit a full half hour- “Change of plan! Leg it!” feels it should’ve ended the episode.

    I like the stuff after that. granted its abit silly in concept but if it was like a one off 15 minute fun ride that brings back Ace,Duane and the Polymorph for then personally i can enjoy it.

    Problem is after series 6 that kind of thing become abit too regular and has kinda tainted the nostalgia value of certain elements.

    I can enjoy watching Chris be ace again for Emohawk but by Stoke me a Clipper something is felt really tired about it. and we won’t even mention the Dibley family.

  69. My only problem with Cassandra is that Rimmer’s name tag is printed comically large on his jacket compared to everyone elses.

    Yes, this always makes me do a cringe.

    i’ve never understood the complaints about Kryten figuring it all out offscreen

    Because people can’t work out how Kryten could possibly have figured it out. All Kryten knows is ‘Rimmer is going to die, Kochanski isn’t, they’re both trapped in the ship’. From that he works out Cassandra made Rimmer dying up so he would sleep with Kochanski to punish Lister for killing Cassandra in the future. Most of Kryten’s ‘best guess’ moments are cheap ways of explaining a mystery, but there’s just no possible way he could have worked this out. What could possibly have even suggested that Cassandra was lying given that everything else she said came true? It’s appalling plotting that makes the name stuff seem tight and well constructed.

    There are plenty of good jokes in the episode, but I honestly think that’s true of the whole series. But there are just as many terrible jokes, if not more.

  70. Tell you what though, Back To Reality was good, wasn’t it? And Marooned. I really liked the Inquisitor too. And Gunmen. And Queeg. So many great Red Dwarf episodes to talk about really.

  71. Tell you what though, Back To Reality was good, wasn’t it? And Marooned. I really liked the Inquisitor too. And Gunmen. And Queeg. So many great Red Dwarf episodes to talk about really.

    Where’s the fun in that, though?

    Tikka to Ride was good, wasn’t it?

    Nah, it was shit.

  72. Tell you what though, Back To Reality was good, wasn’t it? And Marooned. I really liked the Inquisitor too. And Gunmen. And Queeg. So many great Red Dwarf episodes to talk about really.

    yeah, but the topic always spins back around to the episodes considered “not-great” or “shit”- it’s easier have a discussion about how something’s bad rather than how something’s good. there’s not much left to say about Back To Reality other than “this is obviously the best episode of Red Dwarf ever made” and then you give a million reasons why it’s good and basically everyone agrees with that so there’s not much left to mine out of it.

    with stuff like the U.S. Pilot, VII/VIII, Timewave, Back To Earth etc. there’s always more to complain about because they’re topics where people have highly differing opinions on them

  73. If, as a result of a genetic experiment, Doug Naylor grew to 80 feet tall and began rampaging over Tokyo, within 20 replies the comments on the G&T news article would have gone around to a critique of the plot mechanics of Back In The Red Part 3.

  74. It’s the second least interesting online debate of all time, after ‘The Simpsons isn’t as good as it used to be’.

  75. If, as a result of a genetic experiment, Doug Naylor grew to 80 feet tall and began rampaging over Tokyo, within 20 replies the comments on the G&T news article would have gone around to a critique of the plot mechanics of Back In The Red Part 3.

    Look if i had to pick between watching Johnny Vegas rubbing his nipples during a joygasm or an 80 feet tall Doug trampling Tokyo… I KNOW WHICH ONE I’D PICK!

    Watching the fleeing population of Tokyo is less painful.

  76. Hang on, if Cassandra can see the future, she knows that Kryten’s going to figure out her plan and Lister isn’t going to be fooled by her lickle scheme and I don’t give a shit

  77. It’s the second least interesting online debate of all time, after ‘The Simpsons isn’t as good as it used to be’.

    Only if you’re not taking part. Join us.

  78. > there’s not much left to say about Back To Reality other than “this is obviously the best episode of Red Dwarf ever made” and then you give a million reasons why it’s good and basically everyone agrees

    Except for me, because someone has to make life interesting.

  79. It assumes we know Knot’s name is Knot, even though we’ve only just met him and his name’s only been said once. “My name’s Knot!”/”Your name’s not what?” doesn’t work as intended, because it just seems like he’s saying “my name’s not [Rimmer],” which is how I took it at first.

    But isn’t that the joke? And if we’d been spoon-fed Knot’s name six times prior to the heart attack scene, just to ensure we definitely know it, then this too would be in for criticism.

    Bad writing is bad writing even in something you like. Plot holes are plot holes even in a comedy, and Red Dwarf traditionally has exceptionally tight and well-planned plotting.

    Does it, though. Clearly we all love Red Dwarf here but we can’t be blind to the fact that, no, it isn’t just episodes in VIII that suffer from poor plotting, plot holes, or bad writing – we just seem to be kinder to series I-VI about it. Is Queeg’s “April Fool” twist any better than “Kryten figured it out”? No, it isn’t; it is actually an example of exceptionally poor plotting and a desperation to write a way out of a hole, but this doesn’t stop Queeg appearing in mine and many other people’s Top 5. Why does the Inquisitor wipe out Thomas Allman immediately, seemingly without even a trial, but piss about for ages when wiping out Lister and Kryten? Poor plotting. And why, for that matter, is Rimmer deemed ‘adequate’ when the gulf between his own hilariously unrealistic life goals and his reality would surely be enough for him to be wiped? Poor plotting. Why would the crew become vile caricatures of themselves who enjoy dining with Hitler and Louis XIV in the future despite not showing those traits at any point in the past or, indeed, since? Poor plotting. But none of this takes away from these being classic episodes of Dwarf. Bad writing is bad writing even in something you like – even in the best episodes.

    I do concede the thread of objectifying women running through the start of VIII, including Cassandra, although I would argue that the comedy isn’t supposed to come from “Kochanski’s a bird, phwoar” but more from the pathetic-ness of Rimmer, in full-on Ritchie-from-Bottom mode. But I still maintain that if you plucked Cassandra from VIII, gave it the necessary tweaks required to fit it into another series, and dumped it in there – people wouldn’t have half the hate for it they currently do.

  80. > Is Queeg’s “April Fool” twist any better than “Kryten figured it out”? No, it isn’t; it is actually an example of exceptionally poor plotting and a desperation to write a way out of a hole, but this doesn’t stop Queeg appearing in mine and many other people’s Top 5.

    The big difference is that Queeg actually makes fucking sense.

  81. And why, for that matter, is Rimmer deemed ‘adequate’ when the gulf between his own hilariously unrealistic life goals and his reality would surely be enough for him to be wiped? Poor plotting.

    Of course, this is actually great plotting, using what we know about Rimmer’s character to justify a twist that confounds our expectations but makes perfect sense given his own constant self-justification. It’s one of the elements that makes it a favourite episode for me as it really gets to the heart of the character: he knows he’s a failure but refuses to accept he is at all to blame for that.

  82. i’m with pi r squared on this one. Cassandra does have its problems with writing if you pick it apart enough, but then so does an episode like Backwards. and you can’t even argue that the events of Backwards make sense. is Backwards still a great episode? yes, of course.

    in the same vein, i also really like Tikka to Ride- and Tikka has even more glaringly obvious plotholes. but just like Cassandra, I still really enjoy it and think it’s a great episode.

  83. The default response to pointing out massive flaws in Series 8 episodes tends to be pointing out a minor comparable flaw in a beloved episode. Even if the criticism of the good episode is valid, that doesn’t magically excuse the bad episode. It just means the good one isn’t perfect, and nobody would expect something written by a human to be perfect.

    “Kryten figured it out” makes no sense because there’s no possible way he could have figured it out. Is there some reason Holly could not have pulled the Queeg practical joke? The reveal is admittedly a bit of a copout, but it makes sense and it’s a funny gag. You can argue it’s cheap, but comparing it to Cassandra’s nonsense plot point is grasping at straws for a defense.

    “Kryten figured it out” is not a joke, it’s a plot point. Elastic reality for the sake of a joke is common in comedy, but breaking reality to cheat a story along the path you want is bad writing. Coherent plots with organic progression are just as important in a comedy as a drama. Would the Dwarfers operating on Jesus be nearly as amusing if the situation wasn’t the logical next step of a story that made sense?

    Kryten figured out Cassandra’s plan in very specific detail…based on what? Can anyone actually explain to me what hints Kryten could have used to piece together that Cassandra to get revenge on Lister for killing her in the future by getting him to walk in on Rimmer sleeping with Kochanski? Kryten worked it out to that level of detail.

    Besides, it’s established that Cassandra is unaware of things she can’t directly witness, so really I don’t see how she can predict anything that doesn’t happen in the room with her – which she does in predicting all the Canaries will die. Obviously as the computer she should be able to see everything in the ship, but clearly she can’t hear anything said in,other areas and only ever appears in the mainframe.

    I mean, there’s all that, but aside from “Kryten figured it out” I could forgive most of these lapses of logic if the episode were actually clever and funny.

  84. The big difference is that Queeg actually makes fucking sense.

    Does it, though? From a story perspective, it doesn’t really make sense that a computer that essentially is supposed to benefit the crew would put that same crew through physical torture (starvation, exhaustion) and emotional torture just for the sake of an April Fool; nor, from a character perspective, does it make sense that a senile computer has the intelligence and competence to mastermind this sheer act of duplicity despite rarely showing such ability before or since. If a member of my family pretended they had a terminal illness, let the ‘joke’ get ridiculously far, and then popped the lid of the coffin open at the funeral and shouted “April Fool”, I don’t think many people would be arguing their actions made sense!

    Again, I’m not criticising the episode – it is Top 5 for me every single time – but just demonstrating that even the best episodes have threads that unravel if you pull hard enough.

    he knows he’s a failure but refuses to accept he is at all to blame for that.

    It works as artistic contrivance and a nice subversion to what we’re expecting, and it makes the episode a cut above the rest because it does play with those expectations, but we still can’t argue it follows a logical, tight plot – there is no way the Inquisitor would deem the deflective, blame-shifting, it’s-not-my-fault-I’m-a-failure behaviour of Rimmer as worthy of existence.

  85. He doesn’t. Rimmer does. Because people get to judge themselves.

    Which you may think of as odd behaviour for the Inquisitor, but it isn’t a plot hole.

  86. The default response to pointing out massive flaws in Series 8 episodes tends to be pointing out a minor comparable flaw in a beloved episode.

    That isn’t what I was doing, though – I was referring directly to the assertion that Red Dwarf has always had “exceptionally tight and well-planned plotting”. It hasn’t – and it doesn’t matter that it hasn’t, because the comedy should come first, and there are some solid and well-researched sci-fi elements in the show that have led to some extremely clever storylines. We are just quicker to forgive loose plotting in earlier episodes. Series VIII has some real flaws and elements of dog shit but I simply don’t believe Cassandra’s storyline is one of them.

    “Kryten figured it out” makes no sense because there’s no possible way he could have figured it out.

    I’m pretty sure I could find ten things that Kryten has figured out as a “best guess, sir” that there’s slim possibility he could have figured out. It’s a cop out, sure – but, again, not unheard of in RD.

  87. but just demonstrating that even the best episodes have threads that unravel if you pull hard enough.

    I think its like a magic trick. its about disguising the trick so you don’t see the strings to unravel it.

    If you notice them right away then its probably not a very good trick.

  88. > I’m pretty sure I could find ten things that Kryten has figured out as a “best guess, sir” that there’s slim possibility he could have figured out. It’s a cop out, sure – but, again, not unheard of in RD.

    Name all ten, please.

    And we’re not talking about “slim possibility”. There is NO way Kryten could possibly work out Cassandra’s plan with the information he has.

  89. Doug could have thrown a line in earlier in the episode that Cassandra has seen the future, including how she herself dies, then you could have acknowledged that she knows lister, maybe have her notice him first before Rimmer, ect ect.

    Either it was just lazy writing or Doug just decided to write a mystery that would surprise the audience but not bother with clues in case by chance people figured it out early.

  90. Shitness of series VIII not yet confirmed?!

  91. I’m pretty sure I could find ten things that Kryten has figured out as a “best guess, sir” that there’s slim possibility he could have figured out. It’s a cop out, sure – but, again, not unheard of in RD.

    To be clear, your point here is that any form of narrative cheat is justified because Red Dwarf has copped out of cliffhangers before, or to hit the reset button like in Queeg, right?

    Kryten’s best guesses are generally a convinient method of delivering exposition quickly so we can move onto the story and making jokes. The crew encounter something, and Kryten explains to us what it is and how it works. Even in Samsara, figuring out that Barker and Green were having an affair is a bit of a jump, but it’s not the basis for how they figured out the KD was inverted. The guess is unreasonably specific, but it’s ultimately not important to the narrative. It’s a guess about why, not how. The how they figured out on screen.

    Again, generally speaking, Kryten’s best guesses are a useful narrative tool to quickly get the audience up to speed on this week’s scifi concept. They introduce us to what’s happening in a short, convenient package. As a robot we can take for granted he has encyclopedic knowledge.

    Kryten’s guess in Cassandra is about piecing together a mystery, not quickly introducing us to the core idea of the episode. His guess is absurdly specific, completely baseless, and is clearly a narrative cheat to move the plot where they wanted it to go. And again, planting subtle hints throughout the episode as to Cassandra’s true intent would have allowed for the same exact progression of events. Lister would just need to take a second to explain how Kryten pieced it together, which could give you some plot-relevant humorous back and forth.

    What elevates it from cheap to lazy on my eye is how fucking braindead simple to fix it would have been. It should have been built into the outline before the episode ever got to script.

  92. >The default response to pointing out massive flaws in Series 8 episodes tends to be pointing out a minor comparable flaw in a beloved episode.

    i’d hardly call the entire plot of Backwards not making any sense a “minor” flaw. Backwards is still a great episode though, despite how nonsensical it is. you could easily make an argument about how the pub owner’s rant to the viewers at home, which is the only moment in the whole of I-XII to completely break the fourth wall, is illogical and there’s no reason possible that he’d be delivering this speech while firing someone. but it’s a funny rant, so whatever. it’s a laugh, innit?

  93. Imagine if in Quaratine, instead of the luck virus Kryten just “best guesses” the door code and gets it right on the first try. Nobody seems remotely fazed by this, and move on without commenting. There is no indication whatsoever as to how Kryten could have deduced the code.

    What Cassandra does is on par with that. They just hide it off screen in hopes you won’t notice.

    Which evidently worked.

    i’d hardly call the entire plot of Backwards not making any sense a “minor” flaw.

    It’s a contributing reason I really don’t care for the episode as a whole, for as many individual great moments it has. I don’t really find any of the backwards stuff very amusing, but there’s loads of great dialogue.

    But Backwards still makes sense as a NARRATIVE, whether or not the backwardsness is totally inconsistent. It’s not the same thing as Cassandra’s narrative cheat. There’s still a proper flow of events in Backwards’ plot. The inconsistency of the flow of cause and effect is more in the camp of elastic reality for the sake of comedy than a narrative flaw, but it does hurt the episode greatly for me.

    The point I was making is that pointing out a flaw in a beloved episode doesn’t excuse a flaw in another. Cassandra’s plot would still be a mess even if every other episode was no better.

  94. To be clear, your point here is that any form of narrative cheat is justified because Red Dwarf has copped out of cliffhangers before, or to hit the reset button like in Queeg, right?

    No: my point is that narrative cheats are used frequently within Red Dwarf and rarely break the episode they’re in, and that the narrative cheat in Cassandra is really no worse than in other, better-received episodes. Whereas objectional objectification of main characters, immersion-breaking dance sequences and scenes clearly written around the fact that a CGI dinosaur is available, have not been used frequently with RD and do indeed break the episodes they’re in.

  95. No: my point is that narrative cheats are used frequently within Red Dwarf and rarely break the episode they’re in, and that the narrative cheat in Cassandra is really no worse than in other, better-received episodes.

    Is it no worse, or does it just not bother you? I understand that Officer Rimmer’s ending is really poor, but it doesn’t bother me when I’m watching because I enjoy the rest of the episode so much. But it’s clearly a poorly constructed ending.

    You’ve really not contested my criticisms against Cassandra, just claimed that such points apply to most of the show and I guess therefore don’t matter. I did explain how Kryten’s “best guesses” serve a legitimate narrative function that isn’t remotely the same as what was done when he magically “figured it out”.

    Do you disagree Cassandra would be improved as an episode if given a more cohesive plot? Do you disagree that story even matters?

  96. > or does it just not bother you?

    this, at least for me. Cassandra may very well have it’s flaws, but i’m not really too bothered about them- it’s still an episode i really like, it makes me laugh and I can always enjoy it when rewatching

  97. Yeah, but I was never debating whether or not you enjoyed it. Clearly these problems don’t bother you, but they’re certainly there. You never contested that, but I have to insist that you are wrong if you think that level of plot hole is pervasive in Red Dwarf’s finest episodes. Red Dwarf has all sorts of inconsistencies and foibles, but that kind of logical jump is pretty unique to Series VIII. Unsurprisingly, considering how little Doug was creatively invested in its writing.

    There are many different kinds of writing problems and errors, and it seems like you equating all of them together as one single thing. See, unlike most of the internet, I only call something a plot hole when it truly is, and “Kryten figured it out” fits the bill.

    As for cliffhanger copouts, Backwards and Back to Earth deliberately ignored their preceding cliffhangers for the betterment of the show. The episode Dad wasn’t working, and I shouldn’t have to explain why opening Back to Earth with a resolution to VIII’s cliffhanger would have been a monumentally horrible idea.

  98. > No: my point is that narrative cheats are used frequently within Red Dwarf and rarely break the episode they’re in, and that the narrative cheat in Cassandra is really no worse than in other, better-received episodes.

    Please give an example of a narrative cheat in any other episode that you consider to be no worse than Kryten “figuring it out” based on no information whatsoever.

  99. So in conclusion, all of Red Dwarf is shit, init?

    I suppose you could call it an inverse argument from authority.

  100. >Please give an example of a narrative cheat in any other episode that you consider to be no worse than Kryten “figuring it out” based on no information whatsoever.

    the posse building a mirror universe machine out of nowhere with not even a line explaining as to how. oh shit wait, that’s from VIII too! oh no

    (there’s a line in the deleted scenes that explains how they built the mirror universe machine. even as someone who likes VIII, i’ll say it was a truly stupid decision to cut that- it’s necessary exposition for the plot to work. why cut out the one line that explains where part of the plot comes from?)

  101. >Please give an example of a narrative cheat in any other episode that you consider to be no worse than Kryten “figuring it out” based on no information whatsoever.

    the posse building a mirror universe machine out of nowhere with not even a line explaining as to how. oh shit wait, that’s from VIII too! oh no
    (there’s a line in the deleted scenes that explains how they built the mirror universe machine. even as someone who likes VIII, i’ll say it was a truly stupid decision to cut that- it’s necessary exposition for the plot to work. why cut out the one line that explains where part of the plot comes from?)

    Um, yeah, that’s Only the Good. We are well aware that Only the Good makes no sense. They cut the explanation because THEY DIDN’T CARE ABOUT MAKING SENSE IN SERIES VIII. We don’t expect its episodes to hold up.

  102. >I was talking about in episodes people actually like.

    i dunno, i wasn’t the one who said the show frequently uses narrative cheats. that was some other person a couple posts up.

  103. I’m losing track of who people are. I’m on mobile.

    I really want to talk about new Red Dwarf, but right now there’s no news. Unless you count all those “Red Dwarf XIII Confirmed” headlines that then state in the article that they were lying.

  104. I don’t think there’s much left to discuss in Good Red Dwarf or Bad Red Dwarf, it’s the lower-middle Good Bad Red Dwarf tier of stuff like Cassandra and Tikka to Ride that remains the most enduringly frustrating, as I seem to imagine that constructive criticism will straighten these heavily flawed episodes out and help them achieve their potential as if they haven’t already been recorded.

    Bad Good Red Dwarf for me would be something like Demons and Angels (too dark) or Psirens (generic sci-fi episode), which look like Red Dwarf’s supposed to, but don’t quite live up to it.

    Fathers and Suns occupies a special category where I’ll sometimes think about rewatching it, then get a creeping dread when I remember just how many layers that shit sandwich has. Shit, just did it again.

  105. >Demons and Angels (too dark)

    i rather like Demons and Angels, though maybe that’s because it was the first episode of Red Dwarf i ever watched. i was about 6 at the time so maybe it wasn’t appropriate for me to be watching at that age. but it is a bit dark and strange, isn’t it? it’s very sort of Rob Grant-Backwards-novel type stuff where everyone dies in various hideous ways, only not quite as disturbing. i do enjoy the darker episodes of Red Dwarf (V is full of them) so at least for me I found it to be on the same level of quality as any other episode from V (really fucking good)

    plus that model shot of Red Dwarf blowing up is lovely.

  106. I once watched Demons and Angels while under the influence of a perfectly legal but powerful substance, and it was absolutely fucking terrifying. And seemingly an hour long. Unfortunately the fact that I could just turn it off and do something else completely slipped my mind, and I sat through the whole thing.

    I quite liked Ductoxicated Soup, though. The lack of audience laughter gave it a strange bleak early-Dwarf-lonely atmosphere I’m pretty sure was entirely my imagination but added some emotional edge to the experience.

  107. I like Demons and Angels a lot too. I like the concept, it’s not all as horribly dark as its reputation suggests (“Music and dance!”), and there are lots of genuinely funny bits.

  108. I love all the stuff at the start, but not much of what happens when they get to the other Red Dwarfs (Low Rimmer excepted). The same way I feel about Parallel Universe really, except that has less to redeem it and downright annoys me.

    >it’s not all as horribly dark as its reputation suggests

    I wasn’t aware of this reputation when I watched it recently for the first time in ages, and was taken aback by how dark it was! The audience laughter in bits like the tarantula scene seemed really at odds with what was on the screen.

  109. When I first watched VIII I enjoyed it (mostly), but even then I was uncomfortably aware of some uncharacteristically terrible jokes, and some plots moments that just didn’t really make sense. The Kryten bit in Cassandra doesn’t make sense. There are a LOT of sci-fi ideas that don’t hold up to scrutiny, occasional plots that are a bit spotty, concepts that are pushed forward by a ‘best guess’ because it’s more time efficient than actually explaining things – Red Dwarf is full of them, and most of the time they are things that are just part of the show’s universe. Backwards is a difficult one, because it really does make no sense, and that detracts from my enjoyment of it a little, but also it’s Rob and Doug trying to navigate backwards plotting while trying to write a forwards plot, so it’s also slightly forgivable.
    ‘Kryten figured it out’ makes no sense at all. It’s a conclusion reached on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. It stuck out like a sore thumb to me when I was watching my off airs in 1999 before I’d realised just how bad VIII is. It’s not a grand sci-fi concept that was too complex to get completely right, it’s not an explanation condensed down to a ‘best guess’, it’s literally nonsense. Holly’s April Fool makes logical sense – there’s definitely a discussion to be had about how out of character Holly is behaving, but nothing that happens in that episode is glaringly out of step with the whole thing being a joke. In Cassandra, Kryten works out a plot that it was impossible for him to work out. There’s nothing whatsoever, anywhere, to suggest that Cassandra was trying to get Kochanski and Rimmer together, or that she was lying about Rimmer’s death, or that Lister would kill her. Not a scrap of evidence. It could have been seeded throughout the episode to make it an intriguing mystery, but it wasn’t. Kryten just becomes omniscient for a scene.

  110. > That said, I think we’ve presented a fairly convincing case that Doug Naylor was not creatively invested in Red Dwarf the sitcom during Series VIII, which would neatly explain away how shockingly bad it gets and how little it often remotely resembles Res Dwarf.

    I think we should call shit Red Dwarf “Res Dwarf” from now on. Like it is an evil clone along the lines of Wozbit.

  111. Many of the classic episodes only just hold together if you start getting down the nitty gritty. However, because it’s funny and bloody entertaining all that other stuff becomes (mostly) irrelevant. What I find is when there’s such a huge debate over whether something’s good or not, that means it’s NOT good. The episode’s defence is simply clutching at straws.

    Defending VIII is like defending any wank you’ve ever had in your life.

  112. VIII’s most annoying sin is spunking genuinely cool ideas (like Pete Part 1’s programmable virus) on slapstick routines while spending entire episodes exploring such classic premises as “What if we WATCHED Rimmer commit statutory rape?”, “What if we did a shit version of Future Echoes?”, “What if everyone was a voyeur?”, “What if literally nothing interesting happened for two entire episodes?”, and “What if we ended the show on a really garbage, nonsensical cliffhanger that the fans will still inexplicably demand a resolution to?”

    I apologize for being 20 years late to the crapping on VIII party. Like the guy above, I used to not see the difference in quality from other series. Of course I was 12 at the time.

    I think we should call shit Red Dwarf “Res Dwarf” from now on.

    My pitch is “Red Don’t”.

  113. > it’s still an episode i really like, it makes me laugh and I can always enjoy it when rewatching

    This is funnier than anything in series 8.

  114. Defending VIII is like defending any wank you’ve ever had in your life.

    Eh? I’ve had some pretty decent wanks. Better than Pete II or Krytie TV, that’s for sure. And less of a waste of time.

  115. >I was 12 at the time

    There was never a point when VII and VIII were on par with the earlier series for me, even at 11 and 13 they definitely felt inferior (especially VII since it was the first bad one). I still enjoyed them and watched them repeatedly, but mainly because VII Xtended and VIII recorded off TV were the only Red Dwarf I had for a while, and I felt sad that I only had access to the worst. I had the same feeling about the BBC repeating Star Trek TNG from the start, as I’d just got into it and knew I’d have to wait ages before they got to the good seasons. In better news, the Simpsons still hadn’t jumped the shark at that point, at least for UK viewers.

  116. When I first saw Red Dwarf, VII and VIII were part of it. The VIII multi-parters put together on the DVD to my young mind felt like little Red Dwarf movies.

    I’m sorry.

    I’m deeply sorry.

  117. There was a time when I thought Tikka to Ride, Stoke Me A Clipper and Back in the Red were brilliant, and the rest I would all happily watch like it was any other series. I thought Only The Good was epic, but I only saw it once when I was about 10.

    Now I just think Tikka and Stoke and brilliant x

    And I probably appreciate VII more now, but then I appreciate -everything- more because I was like 8 or something when I was first getting into Dwarf and unable to really think about things critically. There are also I’s and II’s I appreciate slightly less than I did when I was an idiot, though, perhaps.

  118. No-one has to apologise for liking or disliking any episodes of Red Dwarf. That way madness lies.

  119. Personally I think it’s really unlikely that domestic cats could evolve into a humanoid form over three million years on a spaceship with limited food supplies and no natural predators. It’s not even like it’s shown on-screen, we’re just told about it afterwards and meant to accept it at face value. (I guess Holly figured it out.)

    Thus the entire premise of the show is fatally flawed and the entire series is one big plot hole.

  120. Personally I think it’s really unlikely that any planet would ever be able to support life. Thus the entire premise of existence is fatally flawed and all human life is one big plot hole.

  121. I am not fond of Stoke me a clipper, i think its a poor use of Ace Rimmer and watching Rimmer put on the ace wig and trying to impersonate him feels like a spoofy dissection of what used to be a real legit character.

    The portrayal of ace is abit too smug early on and some of the plot ideas stand out as really odd like a knight escaping the AI machine (psst like star trek, don’t question it)

  122. i do somewhat like Stoke Me A Clipper, there’s a nice theme in there of “everyone has the potential to become a better person, there’s an ace in even the most unlikely people” which is nice, and it’s all in all quite a moving episode -rimmer and lister hugging when he leaves is really quite sweet.

    of course, it is fucked a bit due to rimmer inexplicably being back 9 years later and behaving like a colossal bellend, despite the character development he went through during Out Of Time- Stoke Me A Clipper. what happened while he was away that turned him into such a prick again?

  123. Stoke Me a Clipper works best as a sudden grand finale for the character of Rimmer, which is what it was written to be. It all feels a bit strange in retrospect when you know Chris is coming back the very next series, and that the original Rimmer has starred in a further 21 episodes with 6 more down the pipeline.

    Shouldn’t Nano-Rimmer be Series I Rimmer? I can’t buy Rimmer at any age being that chummy with Lister and playing pranks on his superiors, let alone a pre-accident Rimmer. For all the big deal they make out of Rimmer being “you as you used to be” in Back in the Red, there’s very little effort to write Rimmer as he actually used to be. And when I say that, I’m only talking about Back in the Red. They at least made an attempt to have him talk a bit Series I-y at times, particularly in his initial appearance.

    Beyond that point there’s nothing remotely resembling early Rimmer in the character, and often times he doesn’t feel like any Rimmer. I cannot stress how much I would’ve liked to see Rimmer becoming a model prisoner by sucking up to the guards and selling out his fellow inmates. You could’ve done a whole episode about Rimmer being the prison snitch, and struggling to fight his inner nature to sell out everyone around him before he gets himself shivved.

    But instead we got Kryten filming women in the shower. They picked Kryten because they could justify the completely out of character behavior by claiming that a group of prisoners with no tools somehow on the fly reprogrammed a robot several centuries more advanced than any technology they could have ever seen.

    Hey, did I ever mention Series VIII’s storytelling is lazy and full of huge leaps of logic to justify sexist plot threads that didn’t need to exist?

  124. Future Echoes, that’s good though innit.

  125. Rimmer and Lister being chummy in VIII was the very first real objection I had to it – it was obviously not as funny as earlier series, but in terms of plot stuff the worst aspects are things that became clearer to me over time – back when I was still in my teens. VIII Rimmer is nothing like The End Rimmer.

    I hated Stoke for ages, but recent viewings have actually held up better than I expected. The knight escaping from AI is a big plot hole, and I don’t buy that even Rimmer would be ignorant enough to believe it; the millions of Rimmer coffins / Ace becoming a multi-dimensional superhero thing is totally divorced from the believability of the IV character; the whole massive AI suite thing is a horrible symptom of the VII TARDIStarbug. But these issues are at least balanced out by a lot of really good character moments that make the episode very watchable. It’s a beautiful episode in places, and is a Rimmer-centric story done well: he has cowardly, bastardy moments, but there are also lots of sympathetic bits too.

    I used to be bothered by Ace being smug at the start, but then this isn’t the same ace we met in Dimension Jump – there have seemingly been millions since him. So the character discrepancies don’t bother me now.

    As for Rimmer’s character reverting to his bastardy self in BtE onwards, once again Karnie’s brilliant Homecoming fanfic explains it well – his entire time as Ace is fucking shit: “Fecalia, a world submerged in raw sewage, where he had been tasked with saving the capital city from a massive fatberg; a near-death experience with cybernetic lemurs on Klithrala; a run-in with Prince Foe and his deadly hunting bees”.

  126. Just because Rimmer went off to become Ace with confidence he could do it doesn’t mean he became a different person. I’m happy to assume that he pretended to be dying to pass on the torch to another Rimmer who wasn’t remotely up to task just so he could go back home.

  127. It just means he failed and came back with his tail between his legs. although that could be seen as making Stoke me a clipper feel abit cheap in rewatches.

    Although i am kinda ok to ignore that episode anyway.

  128. him reminding lister of his dead gran just to be horrible to him in Mechocracy feels a bit too low for any version of rimmer though, doesn’t it? i liked being able to sympathise with rimmer, but in the Dave era episodes he’s been a complete bastard with no redeeming qualities, which just feels wrong especially considering all that the character went through

  129. Rimmer was not that much of a bastard in X though, by and large. I will concede that his reaction to Howard’s death was over the line, but that could have been fixed with just a few dialogue tweaks.

  130. There definitely seems to be a thing in recent series (and series 8) where Doug is increasingly trying to up the predictable joke that Rimmer is a bastard.

    The smugness over his brother dying feels abit like a caricature of Rimmers character through out those 8 and a half series.

    It doesn’t happen all the time but there are moments that Doug saves for the huge Rimmer laughs.

  131. rimmer used to be a much more likeable character though, imo. in 1-8, yes he’s a bastard but there were always occasional moments where he tried to do the right thing or showed sympathy for the others. like in Dimension Jump(?) he’s just trying to get along with the others and be liked, and it’s everyone else who decides to leave him out on going fishing. it just doesn’t sit well with me that he’s just been constantly unpleasant throughout XI-XII.

  132. I never liked Stoke Me a Clipper, because it was the first disappointing Red Dwarf episode I saw and that stuck. I associate it more with Beyond a Joke than the other okay VII Rimmer episodes.

    Do you know what I don’t mind though? Epideme. Mainly because it was the old episode I’d avoided the most and remembered the least about, so when I watched it recently it was better than the abysmal expectations I’d set. Not as good as proper Red Dwarf, and Gary Martin’s still annoying, but I thought it was the whole VII dramatic/moody style done well and the best Rimmerless episode.

    Nanarchy was duller, with good gags like the Venus de Milo being really hammered flat to make sure all the humour’s been extracted by the end of the scene.

  133. I do think Epideme, for all its flaws, is proof that the VII formula could have really worked well if properly refined. I doubt any of us would’ve minded seeing that style further refined for Series VIII over what we ended up getting.

    I don’t think VII done super well would necessarily be the Red Dwarf I want, but it’d be a show I’d like to see.

  134. I do think Epideme, for all its flaws, is proof that the VII formula could have really worked well if properly refined. I doubt any of us would’ve minded seeing that style further refined for Series VIII over what we ended up getting.

    I don’t think VII done super well would necessarily be the Red Dwarf I want, but it’d be a show I’d like to see.

    The best parts of BtE are, sort of, VII done ‘properly’. I’d happily welcome another VII-esque series, as long as it was gonna be good. I know some people hate the idea of the more single camera style, no audience etc. but there have been times during XI and XII when I’ve thought that’s exactly what the show needed. X, on the other hand, is perfectly fine with audience etc. and I wish it was also in 50i (no film effect).

  135. Not as good as proper Red Dwarf, and Gary Martin’s still annoying

    The character of Epideme is supposed to be annoying, though. Gary Martin is an amazing performer – there’s a radio concert version of Jesus Christ Superstar currently on the iPlayer with him as Caiaphas (as he often was, given that very few human beings can sing that part as written), and he’s just *breathtaking* to listen to.

  136. Yes, I don’t mind Epideme anywhere near as much as a lot of people do. He’s maybe a tad more cartoonish than I’d really like Red Dwarf to be, but there are some very entertaining parts to the performance. I still think VII is pretty bad overall, but it’s more of an admirable failure than an outright disaster. It’s also handily split into four categories:

    Episodes I quite like:
    1. Blue
    2. Stoke Me a Clipper

    Episodes I don’t mind
    3. Epideme
    4. Nanarchy

    Episodes I don’t like
    5. Tikka to Ride
    6. Duct Soup

    Episodes I can’t stand
    7. Ouroboros
    8. Beyond a Joke

  137. I quite like Tikka, Blue, Ouroboros and Stoke.

    Duct Soup is pretty crap, and so is Beyond a Joke.

    Epideme and Nanarchy I struggle to split apart. They at least bring a decent end to the two-series arc.

  138. And you can remember my preference for Series VII episodes with that handy poem.

  139. “It’s supposed to be annoying/it’s supposed to be bad” isn’t a very good defense of anything. It’s still annoying/bad. It doesn’t matter what the intent was if you hate the result.

  140. Erm, no, not really. It’d be like complaining that you wish the show didn’t have baddies in because they do things you don’t agree with. The character is an antagonist for Lister, we’re supposed to find him antagonising. The intent is everything.

  141. you can do an annoying character without making them actually annoy the viewer, though.

  142. Yeah, like Arnold Rimmer from Red Dwarf. Difference is the bad guys aren’t being bad to me, just our protagonists, while Epideme is actively annoying me

  143. I was just trying to be nice about an actor to be honest.

  144. Sorry Gary it’s nothing against you personally mate keep up the good work

  145. G&T Admin

    And you can remember my preference for Series VII episodes with that handy poem.

    V strong.

  146. I have never in my life found Epideme to be annoying. How is he really that different from Talkie Toaster?

    And Gary Martin is 100% correct when he says all you have to do to nail a perfect Sean Connery impersonation is use the phrase “Sweaty Bollocks”.

  147. I used to find both Talkie Toasters a bit annoying too, but I always liked the material and White Hole’s one of my favourites, so the performance grew on me and became fine with time. Epideme’s damn cartoonish and trying too hard right down my lugholes and makes me wince, however professional-voice-acting the result may be, without the strong material or the rewatches to wear me down. Not quite as bad as the Medibot, but what is?

  148. I always took Epideme’s cartoonish performance as the virus very deliberately being an asshole.

  149. You know, if dimensions merged to cope with the paradox and the future crew can clearly travel back to Earth, I don’t see why we can’t just assume the new time drive is their upgraded model that’s been merged with the matter paddle or something.

    Starbug changed so there’s no reason the time drive couldn’t be different. I’m not saying it all makes sense, but that would be consistent with the other changes.

    I still think the wind tunnel scene completely breaks the immmersion for me. I don’t care how much bigger Starbug is, it could fit inside this place that is so obviously a wind tunnel I can’t even pretend it’s something else. Where and what is this even supposed to be on Starbug?

  150. Starbug was big in series 6, but Starbug was a tardis in series 7.

  151. Was the rebuilt Red Dwarf made comically massive at the end of VII to hide the fact that the now-massive Starbug couldn’t possibly fit in its landing bays any more, considering it has landing bays of its own?

  152. >Where and what is this even supposed to be on Starbug?

    they are walking around inside the engines

  153. In Dimension Jump, Wildfire crashes into Starbug and is about the same size. In Stoke, it fits inside Starbug.

    With all that and the whole plot of Duct Soup and the AI suite and so on, I honestly can’t work out why Doug didn’t just bring Red Dwarf back earlier. At the start of VII they could have got the time drive back again, travelled to the planet where they discovered the SSS Esperanto and took the ship back – only to realise that they were the ones who stole it from themselves.

  154. Honestly finding the Dwarf works really well as a series finale/cliffhanger and is a really cool moment in Nanarchy, so I wouldn’t want to lost that, plus most of the rest of VII relies on them being on Starbug. We don’t know how late into the game the dimensional anomaly thing was written, either. It would be pretty funny if they only threw it in to rationalise using that (admittedly fantastic) location of the wind tunnel. Stoke, I think, relies on Starbug being bigger to fit the Wildfire inside it, but Duct Soup was written last iirc so it could have been a decision made very late in the game, necessitating more changes to other scripts than anyone would deem worthwile, to set them on the Dwarf instead.

  155. If Out of Time had been a VII episode, would future Starbug have landed in one of present Starbug’s landing bays?

  156. I always wondered what the future Starbug looked like inside since they thought the present Starbug looked like such a shithole.

  157. What we need in Series XIII is a proper monster episode. The closest thing we’ve had in the Dave era is Can of Worms, and I don’t think that counts.

  158. no i already did that one on the Idea For An Episode thread

  159. If Doug really did start writing Series 13 in the months following 11’s airing, that would not only give him a chance to address criticisms of 11 but also give 13’s scripts at least two years to cook. I mean that’s enough time for multiple instances of leaving them alone for a few months and coming back to revise with a fresh perspective. He also presumably would have already made the decision to bring Norman back in 13 as soon as he was made aware he wanted to be involved again.

    That coupled with the extra prep time per episode they discussed in 12’s documentary really gets me optimistic that 13 could very well be to 11 and 12 what they were to 10. These things most definitely promise an improvement on what’s come so far.

    I’m more excited for 13 than I was for 12.

  160. Starbug was big in series 6, but Starbug was a tardis in series 7.

    I know Kryten explained that Starbug is now actually TARDIS like, what with the dimensional anomaly hammerspace but if I lived in a dimensional anomaly I’d stay the feck out of it incase said anomaly collapses and compresses the VII ‘medium sized carpet warehouse’ aft section back down to III-VI ‘Semi detached council house in Norwich’ sized one with me in it.

    As it goes though, I don’t think the idea of Starbug having a vehicle bay is that outlandish even with the 32m long ish OG Starbug, but it’d be the buggy thing, not a faster than reality fighter ship and a huge rotating turntable, I mean, what’s wrong with an airlock and docking port?

  161. The Starbug we see in VI is definitely pretty darn big and I don’t think the scale with Ace’s ship in IV quite works with the VI bug. I can’t remember how much of the ‘bug we’re shown in IV but since VI is my most watched series by far I always assume it’s that size.

    When did starbug gain a second floor?

  162. The Starbug we see in VI is definitely pretty darn big and I don’t think the scale with Ace’s ship in IV quite works with the VI bug. I can’t remember how much of the ‘bug we’re shown in IV but since VI is my most watched series by far I always assume it’s that size.

    When did starbug gain a second floor?

    VI Bug makes sense layout wise, steps down into the midsection, the midsection is tall enough to have one room with enough height to stand in above the main area, and the galley is in under the engine cowls. Under the stairs and towards where the audience sit would be access to the main engine room area, like you see in Psirens and Out of Time.

    The big Starbug model was roughly 32 inches long, and was 1/42 scale I think based on an interview I read, which would make it 34m long, and the midsection bauble 10 metres tall, but about a third of that is below the airlock door, and has engine type gubbins in the cut out sections underneath, so that leaves you between 6 and 7m needed for a console room/staff room/crew area with high ceilings and sleeping quarters above.

    VII Bug is batshit once you leave the cockpit.

  163. I know Kryten explained that Starbug is now actually TARDIS like

    False. Kryten stated that Starbug’s cargo bays had been expanded by 200%. And then they walked through a wind tunnel that even a 200% expanded Starbug should be able to fit inside. They never implied Starbug was bigger on the inside than the outside, they just made no attempt to treat it as a consistent size. It seemed to go back and forth between a normal Starbug and a mobile Red Dwarf between episodes.

    Duct Soup clearly thinks that Starbug is Red Dwarf-sized.

  164. kryten only says the cargo bays were expanded by 200%, he never mentions the rest of the ship. so it’s quite possible the rest of the ship was even further expanded, explaining the wind tunnel scenes.

  165. I know Kryten explained that Starbug is now actually TARDIS like

    False. Kryten stated that Starbug’s cargo bays had been expanded by 200%. And then they walked through a wind tunnel that even a 200% expanded Starbug should be able to fit inside. They never implied Starbug was bigger on the inside than the outside, they just made no attempt to treat it as a consistent size. It seemed to go back and forth between a normal Starbug and a mobile Red Dwarf between episodes.
    Duct Soup clearly thinks that Starbug is Red Dwarf-sized.

    I’ve always assumed TARDIS like just going on the fact that he lists specific areas engineering section, the cargo bay and the maintenance ducts all by over 212% but the rest of the ship is the same size, and from the outside it’s the same size, or at least the sections are still the same in relation to each other in the exterior shots. To me that means bigger on the inside.

    Surely he’d just say it was bigger if it was just bigger, the “anomaly” says to me that it’s unusual and as yet not fully explainable.

    That wind tunnel is ridiculous though, I think we can all agree there. I think it’s supposed to be an engine cowl, which would make Starbug about 400 feet wide haha

  166. If what appears to be happening with Virgin and UKTV goes ahead as threatened, Virgin customers are imminently going to lose Dave, which certainly makes things interesting.

  167. I never thought I’d be relieved about being able to watch new episodes on the app.

  168. Unless I’m not understanding it right I don’t get what Virgin want, seems to me that they’re being slightly ridiculous when it comes to things like Top Gear, which is a BBC program and one of the most famous shows in the world. Obviously the BBC aren’t going to surrender that revenue from Netflix so that Virgin can put it on their own on demand service for nowt except whatever they pay to have the channel on their service.

    I download all the Taskmasters and Red Dwarf episodes the week before on Sky with no arguments so what’s the problem? Is it just a bargaining thing? Knock us a tenner off because we can’t have your shows available for download

  169. I’ve just signed up to Virgin. Had it installed yesterday. Needless to say, I’m a little annoyed.

    These things have been threatened in the past. I seem to remember a few Sky channels were taken off Virgin around 10 years ago. There was also a disagreement with Sky and Discovery recently. Hopefully this has a last-minute agreement.

  170. Can you not just unplug your Virgin box from the telly and watch Freeview through an aerial?

  171. Can’t watch Dave HD though. Can’t record any UKTV programming either. Also can only watch catch-up on laptop if I can’t watch it through Virgin.

  172. Can’t watch Dave HD though. Can’t record any UKTV programming either. Also can only watch catch-up on laptop if I can’t watch it through Virgin.

    Are you unable to get Sky for dish issue reasons or do you just not want it? Or can you only get fibre speeds through cable?

    The whole process of Virgin and Talktalk etc just seems like a bollock, negotiating for access to Sky channels, just doesn’t seem worth the risk when you’re signing 12/18 month contracts.

  173. Sky is a bit more expensive and largely didn’t have different channels other than Sky Atlantic which I’m not bothered by. It just came down to the internet which in the past I have found better from Virgin and they offered a better download speed for the price. It was close between the two which is why I’m annoyed at this shambles because I’d have gone for Sky instead. I will certainly be pushing for a refund on my bill if the channels are not returned though current reports state people are being offered a paltry £2 a month).

  174. I really resent that my first viewing of new Red Dwarf always has to be a godawful rip of the not-great-to-begin with UKTV Play release. I refuse to sit around waiting for new Red Dwarf that’s already out just because copyright laws make international release a clusterfuck, but I do hate that my views and those of other American fans like me who watch new episodes two or three times don’t add to the figures.

    Trying to use Play with Tor just gives you 20 minutes of agonizingly slowly buffering ads only to find the episode simply refuses to even try to load.

    You’d have to wonder how much larger the viewing figures would be if countries like America and Japan could easily join in on the initial release.

  175. Why not just watch it on UKTV Play?

  176. I’m not sure why anyone would choose to go through the effort of ripping Red Dwarf from UKTV Play. It’s fine but when it’s available in HD on Sky On Demand it make you wonder why they don’t have that one.

    Isn’t there a way to watch live in the US on TV broadcast either? Like Kodi or whatever people use these days? If people can watch Saudi sports channels maybe there’s a British TV app knocking about.

    Maybe a less hardcore VPN solution would work better. I’ve used ones on Chrome that I got from the chrome app store to look at region locked videos in the past with no issues (reduces my Mbit/s by about a third but that’s still more than enough for streaming video).

  177. Isn’t there a way to watch live in the US on TV broadcast either?

    BritBox was posting XII episodes the day they aired in the UK, which was nice. Especially as Tunnelbear – which was what I was using to watch XI via UKTV Play – stopped working with UKTV Play.

  178. Doug on twitter: “Red Dwarf XIII at this point has not been recommissioned by @UKTVPress”

  179. More from Doug: “To clear up BBC article confusion – Red XIII hasn’t been commissioned yet but we’re in active talks with UKTV. Hoping @UKTVPress + @virginmedia can work something out as a Virgin customer I can no longer watch @RedDwarfHQ or any other UKTV show so it’s bye bye @virginmedia 4me!”

  180. Surely Red Dwarf XIII couldn’t be recommissioned until it had been commissioned a first time.

  181. I’d have thought Doug would be a Sky Q man, you never really know someone do you.

  182. I’m happy to lend him a couple of Red Dwarf DVDs until he’s back on his feet again.

  183. Surely you can never recommission Red Dwarf XIII, you can only commission Red Dwarf XIV onwards?

  184. It would be cheaper to recommission Red Dwarf XIII as Doug could just hand the same six episodes in again.

  185. In their latest news item about the Virgin/UKTV row, BBC News said:

    A further series – Red Dwarf XIII – has also been commissioned but will not be seen on Virgin unless a new deal is struck.

    Which is either bollocks, or they know something we don’t.

  186. Wouldn’t that be the article Doug’s tweet is addressing? I can’t imagine XIII would be commissioned without him immediately jumping on Twitter to spread the good news.

    I’d like to see them negotiate successfully for a higher budget based on the success of the revival up to this point. I want to see more location filming in XIII after how downright incredible XI and XII’s few big location scenes looked. Hell, they look so good I’m tempted to wonder how cinematic the show could look in returning to the VII setup of single camera on four-walled sets. Even Back to Earth’s most dynamic scenes don’t come close to competing with something like Siliconia’s gladiatorial battle or Give & Take’s opening few minutes.

  187. Yes, that’s the story Doug is referring to isn’t it?

  188. I think a return to the VII form of filming would be beneficial tbh, if Doug is planning stage shows anyway fans could still watch the show live then. idk

  189. I see Red Dwarf looking like a movie but with studio audience reactions to be the ideal logical conclusion of the show’s visual evolution. The standard multi-camera “sitcom look” has always struck me as an unfortunate necessity born of technical and budgetary limitations.

    I harbor nostalgia for the aesthetic of cheap BBC sitcoms, but on a show like Bottom I often felt that they sacrificed the chance to really properly set up and execute the more elaborate slapstick gags for the sake of doing them live. I could write a list of conceptually great gags that were killed in the execution for me by techinical limitations. Then again, that very cheapness is a major appeal and source of amusement to many.

    I found the reaction to new Red Dwarf not looking like a traditional sitcom to be a weird one. On the Dwarfcast I believe for the initial reaction to Samsara, I heard comments to the effect of “a sitcom that doesn’t look like a sitcom is jarring and puts distance between you and the comedy”, which personally rings about as hollow to me as blaming VII’s film effect for it not being as funny.

    I had exactly the opposite reaction: “This is a sitcom that doesn’t look like a sitcom. It looks BETTER than a sitcom, and that makes me feel less like I’m watching a couple actors on a cheap set in front of a crowd of people.”

    To my ears, wanting modern Red Dwarf to look more like a traditional sitcom comes frighteningly close to those people who complain about new episodes not looking cheap enough. I never understood the idea that Red Dwarf’s low budget was integral to its comedy. Those people I’d wager straight-up believe the cheapness is a joke you’re supposed to laugh at and see the entire show as a parody. I guess the comparison is extreme, I only believe the people who want it to look more like a sitcom are nostalgic for old Red Dwarf and its brethren of classic BBC sitcoms. People who think Red Dwarf can’t look good and be funny are just idiots.

    I can never stand for the idea that video look could ever be better than 24/25 fps, though. I grew up only seeing video look on low budget old sitcoms from before my time, your Monty Pythons and All in the Familys and such, and so I cannot undo the connection between video look and incredibly cheap shows in my mind. Comments about it feeling more immersive than film are simply baffling to me, because I feel exactly opposite.

    Basically old people like things to look the way they’re used to, whereas I see those things as looking old-timey and cheap. I could have expressed that in one sentence but I’m using this post as an excuse to take a break at work.

  190. Which is either bollocks, or they know something we don’t.

    As others have said, it’s bollocks, and it’s that to which Doug was responding.

    But what happened was that a few months ago – well, the thing that the original news story we’re all commenting on here on this page happened, i.e. a load of sites picked up stuff the cast had said as “official confirmation”. So then someone writing a BBC News story googles “Red Dwarf” and sees these stories (Digital Spy still have their “everything you need to know about Red Dwarf XIII” post clogging up the SEO charts, which perpetuates the myth), and so naturally assumes that it’s been commissioned because what idiot would write an article saying a TV show had definitely been commissioned if it hadn’t been?

    I really resent that my first viewing of new Red Dwarf always has to be a godawful rip of the not-great-to-begin with UKTV Play release. I refuse to sit around waiting for new Red Dwarf that’s already out just because copyright laws make international release a clusterfuck, but I do hate that my views and those of other American fans like me who watch new episodes two or three times don’t add to the figures.

    Trying to use Play with Tor just gives you 20 minutes of agonizingly slowly buffering ads only to find the episode simply refuses to even try to load.

    You’d have to wonder how much larger the viewing figures would be if countries like America and Japan could easily join in on the initial release.

    It’s worth noting that if broadcasters in other countries chose to join in on the initial release, I don’t think they’d be stopped from doing so. It’s also worth noting that Series XII was day-and-date released on Britbox!

  191. G&T Admin

    To my ears, wanting modern Red Dwarf to look more like a traditional sitcom comes frighteningly close to those people who complain about new episodes not looking cheap enough. I never understood the idea that Red Dwarf’s low budget was integral to its comedy. Those people I’d wager straight-up believe the cheapness is a joke you’re supposed to laugh at and see the entire show as a parody. I guess the comparison is extreme, I only believe the people who want it to look more like a sitcom are nostalgic for old Red Dwarf and its brethren of classic BBC sitcoms. People who think Red Dwarf can’t look good and be funny are just idiots.

    Yes, I clearly believe that Series 1-6 of Red Dwarf don’t look good. It’s not like I’ve written loads of articles and spoken on loads of DwarfCasts and banged on for years about how good they look, or anything.

    Video-look stuff does not look cheap to me. It just looks *different*. And one reason it looks more immediate to me is because they way your eyes perceive motion is far closer to the way 50fps looks than 25. I feel at more of a remove to the programme because the programme doesn’t look like the world around me.

    (I should probably write that article I’ve been planning for literally years about this.)

  192. It’s only when they cut to grotty BBC film stock in Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers etc. that ever made those look ‘cheap’/sub-par to me, not video. Though I like that old film look when it’s all-film, like Ripping Yarns and Comic Strip Presents, when it sets a fittingly murky, grimy tone. I’m glad we don’t have the film/video dichotomy in early Red Dwarf, I don’t know if the series was unusual for using outside broadcast or if that was standard by that point.

  193. To me, you only need to watch something like the Doctor Who story Planet of Evil to see how shit video really is. The grottiness of 16mm film it is just one reason I prefer it, obscuring cheap sets and backdrops and makeup in a pleasant way. Another is how light interacts with the camera on video – badly. A third is the lower frame rate. But some people prefer the cheap and nasty look of video, including apparently some Who directors who lamented the fact that they were required to shoot parts of their show on film (the horror!). [Christopher Barry I think disliked film]. Who switched to entirely video, including location work, for Colin Baker’s era, and suffered because of it. Compare the location work in The Mysterious Planet to… any Tom Baker serial. I choose Seeds of Doom.

    Film also allows for re-scanning in 1080p/4K and not having to deal with 576i at best picture quality for when your productions come out on some futuristic disc-based format in 30 years time on screens the size of a wall. Compare Spearhead from Space with… Red Dwarf.

    The arguments on either side of the fence for this kind of stuff are so opposite one another that it really isn’t worth trying to change anybody’s mind, it is a matter of taste after all.

    As far as just shooting with the current cameras at 50 fps (assuming it’s possible)… I’d rather they didn’t, because 50fps distances me from the action and makes me acutely aware that what I’m watching is actors on sets in makeup under hot studio lights. It wouldn’t really be video, either, to be fair, I haven’t seen much modern digitally shot footage in high(er) framerate.

    And we do sort of “have the film/video dichotomy in early Red Dwarf”, all the model work was done on film. It’s not as jarring, though. By the way have you ever seen model effects done on video? Fucking hell.

  194. We all know that the UKTV Play VPN block only lasted like a week, right?

  195. G&T Admin

    It’s also worth remembering that my argument on this has never been “we should shoot *everything* video-look”. We talk about Red Dwarf on here, and I happen to think it suits video-look very well, for a variety of reasons. Other things wouldn’t suit it as well.

    My point has really been that we should embrace *every* way of making television, not force all TV to look the same way and be made the same. I’m actually as wary of the people arguing everything should be shot at 50fps as people who think everything should be at 25fps. I want a mix of both, depending on what suits each programme.

    Which suits which? Now that really *is* getting into tricky stuff. What I find fascinating is when the same programme tries both methods – not VT interiors and film exteriors, but whole programmes shot on VT, and others shot on film. Survivors did this, and Boon changed production methods between series. Very odd, but interesting.

  196. I think Red Dwarf IV, V and VI look as good if not better than X, XI and XII. They’re not as clear obviously in terms of resolution, but everything else is fantastic, it’s like looking at a Monet painting from across a room vs a decent drawing 6 inches from your face, one is clearer but it’s not better. That’s not to say XI and XII are basic or anything but generally the old episodes have more depth in their visuals, the grot, the level of detail and complexity in the Starbug set for example has yet to be beat in my opinion.

    As for film vs video, video is more than fine. Sure, it’d have been nice to have film masters for 2018 but in 1987 they were roughly 20 years off mainstream HD TV adoption, regular HD broadcasts wouldnt even be a thing for another 7 or so years and even then only in Japan. They had a budget and that ultimately made their choice anyway, tape and make it or film and don’t.

    Also a lot of the special effects relied on tape didn’t they? So you would have had no special effects on the film masters, and they’d need doing again like TNG, which would have almost guaranteed the BBC wouldn’t release them in HD.

  197. I forget, and I’m also too tired to check, but: Were X-XII shot at 50fps or 25?

  198. I think IV-VI look very good despite being shot on video, particularly in low light situations, which is most of the time. I can imagine it would look better on film, and would love to be able to see it that way (not made to “look like film” like VII.) I guess video technology kept getting better because VIII for all its faults looks nice and clean, making it a shame how flat the lighting and direction are compared to previous series.
    You needed video to do CSO in-camera, assuming they ever did that for the audience’s benefit, but in the 80s they switched to doing effects in post-production if I’m not mistaken, so I don’t know if Dwarf really needed video for its effects. Obviously movies have been using blue screen on film since the seventies. Possibly makes it easier to be able to do things in-camera for something like Dwarf. And it’s no doubt much easier/cheaper to shoot an audience sitcom on video, given that that’s what they did.

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