On the 2nd August we lost our friend Seb Patrick. Please allow us a period of radio silence as we come to terms with what's happened. Goodbye, Seb, we'll miss you.

We're raising funds in his memory to help his family in any way we can. If you're able to spare anything, it would be greatly appreciated.

DwarfCast 113 - Book Club #2: IWCD (Part Two) featured image
Subscribe to DwarfCasts:  RSS  •  iTunes

Well, strap in everyone, because this is a longun. Once again Jonathan Capps, Danny Stephenson and Ian Symes gather within the digital realm to discuss the fuck out of Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, specifically, Part Two: Alone in a Godless universe, and out of Shake’n’Vac. How many times can the book rob the TV show blind? What do Grant Naylor have against Brian Kidd, anyway? And was it Lister or the robot fish that broke the Cat’s tuth? Endure all 2 hours, 12 minutes and 47 seconds of our chat to find out!

DwarfCast 113 – Book Club #2: IWCD (Part Two) (129MB)

Thank you again for your both numerous and voluminous comments. We try our best to mention as many as people in the pod, but they’re so dangerously witty and insightful that any one of us can only safely look at them for five minutes at a time before our brains start dissolving. Speaking of which, it’s now time to put the first book to bed so the comments section for this post is the place for you to discuss Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Part Three: Earth, and we’ll be along with our analysis after we take a short break to watch Samsara.

Show notes

28 comments on “DwarfCast 113 – Book Club #2: IWCD (Part Two)

Scroll to bottom

  • This is perfect to sit and listen to in the park while drinking a couple of beers, he said while sat in the park listening to the episode, drinking a couple of beers.

  • I really enjoyed this. Cheers lads.

    One thing that struck me when reading this part, was how little I was enjoying the parts that I knew from the TV. A few times I considered skipping over because I knew what was about to happen.

    Maybe that’s because I only re-read all the books last year so the content is quite fresh. But I enjoyed part one, that is more or less entirely new material, a lot more.

    It’s interesting seeing how they change certain aspect and weaving thing from different episodes together, but by a large, a chapter from Kryten or Me2 is close enough to the show to not need to read it.

    One thing that did strike me, was how much of this part is focused on Rimmer, because of the Me2 aspect, Lister really doesn’t do a lot at all. It’s mostly Rimmer coming to terms with death, then coming to terms with living with himself etc. Whereas Lister just has a bit of a breakdown, rebuilds Kryten, then goes mining, and that’s all given so little page space compared to Rimmer’s experiences.

  • Remember the other week, when we all started this journey together? And I said of Rob and Doug’s writing,

    that very first, opening, capitalised introduction to chapter One is so striking, it’s actually exciting just to look at.
    […] It all just sounds nice.

    Well, Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers also has one of the finest final sentences of any novel I’ve ever read. It ends with a enigmatic smile and a knowing wink. Just marvellous.

  • Listening to this, and hearing Symes refer to The Cat breaking his “tuth” with an ‘uh’, rather than “tooth” with an ‘oo’, is really bothering me.

  • Re: Danny’s Passage.
    How do you think Chris in particular (and Craig, Danny and Robert in other assorted literary instances) felt about being so… well, abused, I suppose? Having his physical features – his nostrils, chin, nose, adam’s apple etc – picked on?

  • The Brian Kidd thing has reminded me of something I wondered about. In the Omnibus, Rimmer says Lister’s read the same number of books as “Woolfie Sprogg, The Plasticine Dog”. Same in the non-Omnibus version, or Champion the Wonder Horse as per the episode? Part Two Chapter 15.

    I agree the way Lister treats Kryten is a bit off. The Rimmers getting Kryten to eat the glass shows that he really will blindly follow orders. Presumably Lister knows that if he ordered Kryten to help with the mining he’d just get on with it, but instead Lister persuades him to do it. He’s still reluctant of course, and then Lister does whack him on the head with a piece of ore, so it’s really not much of a defence.

    I’ve just read the last chapter again to see what the guys are on about. Ahhh! Never clocked that before. Very clever. Anyway, on to Part Three, but IAWL first. I’m enjoying this :)

  • Anyway, on to Part Three, but IAWL first. I’m enjoying this

    Like Ian (and other G&T-ers, I can imagine), I’d never watched It’s A Wonderful Life before it cemented its place in Red Dwarf lore. And it’s now a big part of my Christmas-time, too.

    Mind you, I’d never actually watched BladeRunner before I was made aware of it’s effect on the creation of Back To Earth (despite it already residing on my DVD shelf), and I don’t think I’ve watched that again since.

  • Listening to this, and hearing Symes refer to The Cat breaking his “tuth” with an ‘uh’, rather than “tooth” with an ‘oo’, is really bothering me.

    You should loooook it up in a boooook.

  • I listened to the audiobook (and BTL) as available on Spotify. Never listened before, but they must be heavily abridged versions.

    Having read the books 4 or 5 times over the last 20 years, I started noticing passages, or whole plot lines missing.

    E.g. They meet Kryten, learn about the Duality Drive, get a summary of Listers mining plan, then bam: Bedford Falls. No second Rimmer, no accidental crushing of multiple scutters as a result of petty one-upmanship.

  • Ah, west midlanders saying tuth. A strange thing.

    I’d like to heap praise on this wonderful DwarfCast but, despite his wonderfully in-depth analysis of the book in the previous thread, I don’t think Dave deserves to be credited for my point about Lister’s lucky pants being both boxers and y-fronts.

    And yes, I always thought it was Zargon warships, not Zygon.

    Looking forward to reading Earth this week.

  • I don’t think Dave deserves to be credited for my point about Lister’s lucky pants being both boxers and y-fronts

    Too late, it’s there for posterity now, I’ve stolen your credit. I’m the Thomas Edison of G&T.

  • I listened to the audiobook (and BTL) as available on Spotify. Never listened before, but they must be heavily abridged versions.

    Having read the books 4 or 5 times over the last 20 years, I started noticing passages, or whole plot lines missing.
    E.g. They meet Kryten, learn about the Duality Drive, get a summary of Listers mining plan, then bam: Bedford Falls. No second Rimmer, no accidental crushing of multiple scutters as a result of petty one-upmanship.

    Not sure of the options these days, but the unabridged audio books are out there. The abridged ones were available on 2 cassettes, whereas unabridged was..I want to say 5? I never owned the unabridged ones on physical media and remember it being incredibly difficult to find them in shops in the nineties.

    The abridged ones are a terrible way to experience either of them to be brutal. In Infinity, it cuts so much of the post-accident stuff on board Red Dwarf (the status quo the first third of the book builds up to), that Lister appears to be stuck in deep space for a relatively short period. (Ok, we know the twist but STILL).

    The manner of Lister’s death is also changed at the end of BTL as all the Polymorph stuff is removed. It is such a big decision that it’s really quite surprising they went with that.

  • The manner of Lister’s death is also changed at the end of BTL as all the Polymorph stuff is removed.

    SPOILERS MUCH?!

  • I’d like to heap praise on this wonderful DwarfCast but, despite his wonderfully in-depth analysis of the book in the previous thread, I don’t think Dave deserves to be credited for my point about Lister’s lucky pants being both boxers and y-fronts.

    Whoops. Looking back at my notes I had everything properly attributed, I was just rushing to get through it so must’ve omitted your name. SORRY.

  • The versions on Audible are definitely unabridged, as that’s how I listened to them. I believe iTunes has the unabridged versions too, as long as you go for the audiobooks and not the “radio show” versions listed as albums.

    The downside is those storefronts require you to pay money, which is a bit unreasonable.

  • The abridged is 4 hours long i believe. the unabridged is 8 hours long. so there is a lot cut out of the abridged.

  • The abridged is 4 hours long i believe. the unabridged is 8 hours long. so there is a lot cut out of the abridged.

    Yep. I think the unabridged was 4 tapes. Unabridged was 8. I bought the audio book from Audible pre-Amazon buyout so it ended up in a format I couldn’t listen to it in, so I had to convert it to mp3. Which means now I can cut it up into Chapters.

  • Finally finished this Dwarfcast, and I just had to go back and reread that final page with the transition into Part Three to see what the secret giveaway was that you were talking about.

    I’d never noticed that before. Very clever.

  • Some thoughts on ‘Earth’.

    -One question I’d like to ask everyone is: the first time you read this book, how long did it take you to realise that they were in Better Than Life? I can vividly remember feeling very stupid for not getting it until the U=BTL reveal. In retrospect it makes sense, especially given all the weird and wacky shit in Lister’s new life particularly, but up to that point I thought it was just the book suddenly getting very silly and weird and Hitchhiker’s-esque. I AM AN IDIOT.

    -The arrival on Earth in the Sahara feels incredibly cinematic. Another one of those moments that you can’t help but visualise in the imaginary movie version of this story. It’s also hard to not think of the aborted finale to series VIII and wonder whether it would have shared any resemblance.

    -On the handling of Better Than Life in general, I feel like this is the first time the books take something that didn’t quite work in the series (albeit only due to the budget limitations inevitably making it difficult to fully realise) and decides “right, we can do this better”. It’s so gloriously over-the-top and outrageously large-scale in places, and sells the idea of BTL much better than an overcast day out in Rhyl.

    -Like some of the earlier sections of the book, this version of Better Than Life is again a much darker and more disturbing take on an idea from the series. Doing BTL like this wouldn’t have worked in the show even if they did have the budget, but it’s fantastic drama for the book.

    -Did Rob and Doug know they had a contract for a second book when they wrote the first one? If so, the cliffhanger ending makes more sense, but if not then that’s a ballsy way to end the novel, potentially forever.

    -In our current era, there’s something very weird about Rimmer in BTL essentially becoming a parody of Donald Trump (the buildings named after him are the real giveaway). It feels a bit too harsh even for Rimmer. Has there ever been any indication that he aspires to that kind of corporate success? Or was that just society’s shorthand for success in the era when the book was written?

    -In lots of ways, Rimmer’s ideal existence is, curiously, not unlike the alternate life Lister manages to make for himself in Timeslides. So was that TV-Lister’s dream and Bedford Falls book-Lister’s? Or was a statue of himself urinating champagne and being hitched to Sabrina Mulholland-Jjones just an unintended consequence of TV-Lister’s plan?

    -The Solidgram is an interesting prototype of the hardlight hologram, years before Legion. I actually kind of like the elegance of the name, but maybe they thought it was too jargon-y and unnecessary for the TV series, and “hardlight hologram” is more obviously self-explanatory.

    -The one bit of this section that I didn’t really like was the slightly too on-the-nose explanation of Lister and Rimmer’s fantasies and what each of them wanted out of life. But then it acts as a necessary precursor to that great bit where each is jealous of the other’s fantasy, playing off the difference between conscious and subconscious desires.

    -Which maybe explains the Timeslides thing, come to think of it. That’s what Lister thinks he wants, but Bedford falls is what he actually wants.

  • I always thought the paradise the people get trapped in Star Trek Generations was pretty much Better Than Life. Though I suppose false paradise traps were in sci fi before, Alan Moore’s Superman one for example and I’m sure in classic sci fi too.

    As for Rimmer being like Trump I guess that was a pop culture thing, Biff in Back to the Future for example. heck even blade runner.

Scroll to top  •  Scroll to 'Recent Comments'

Leave a Reply

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