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Thank you for deciding to install this DwarfCast! Please sit very still while Ian 95, Danny Millennium Edition and the hastily cobbled together Cappsy Pre-Alpha meddle with your precious firmware. The One Where Everyone’s Kryten is the episode in the spotlight this week, before we once again bury our faces in your generously supplied waffles and discuss such topics as Red Dwarf and some other things.

Again, this was recorded before the legal fuckery of recent weeks but also before the excellence that was Holly Hop, the latter of which I’m sure we’ll natter about at some point soon, BUT NOT TODAY.

DwarfCast 128 – Siliconia Commentary (66.7MB)

This weekend we’re recording our next episode of our Last Human readthrough so head over to the post for our last Book Club episode if you’re reading along and want to get your thoughts logged. After that we’ll be commentating on another episode of Red Dwarf XII, but for the life of me I can’t quite remember which one. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

Show notes

32 comments on “DwarfCast 128 – Siliconia Commentary

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  • Taking more than one sentence to explain that Red Dwarf and Aliens don’t take place in the same universe reminds me of finishing university essays and realising the word count is a thousand below the minimum.

    Once again, enjoyed the podcast.

  • Reading between the lines with regards to comments made by BF creatives in various places, I think they went a bit mental around the time they got the licence to do stuff with the new series of Who and started commissioning a bit too much; the amount of content they’re releasing at the moment isn’t viable and they’re restructuring so there will be less overall (among other things, replacing the current monthly Classic Doctors range with a dedicated range for each Doctor, with a different creative team heading up each one).

    I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I still think the final scene of Siliconia was better left in because the “soundproof airlock” line is *such* a weak way to end an episode, and Rimmer’s plot is at least given a degree of closure by seeing him returned back to human form (it’s so odd that we only see the implication that Cat and Rimmer were changed back; Doug mentioned at the recording that there were a few pre-records missing because of Chris’ illness, but there’s nothing in the final version that we didn’t see on the night so I wonder if they had to give up on them entirely).

  • it’s so odd that we only see the implication that Cat and Rimmer were changed back

    Then again, in DNA you have both Kryten and Lister left changed at the end and there isn’t even a clear indication that they understand the DNA machine sufficiently to change them back.

    (Haven’t listened to this latest Dwarfcast yet so apologies if this is already discussed there.)

  • Just started listening to I only have this to say for the moment … Re Lister’s guitar. My understanding was that Lister’s guitars were back on Red Dwarf, but Hitler has a whole bunch of them, so Lister borrows one of his. Why they’re on Starbug jamming isn’t explained but could be Lister would be embarrassed to be seen jamming with Hitler so goes where he thinks the others won’t be for a while.

  • “Red Dwarf and the Alien universe couldn’t be shared because Red Dwarf does not have aliens and Alien famously does” – not to give any more credit to this idea but … if my shaky memory of the later Prometheus films is correct, the Alien is created by Fassbender’s character … who is a robot right, who is the creation of a human. Therefore, the “aliens” of the Alien universe are a subsequent result of human life and like GELFs etc have their origins on/around Earth.

  • Prometheus/Covenant also explain the origin of the “Space Jockey” from Alien, and suggest it was part of a race of “engineers” who were not born on Earth …but created the human race. So, even if the “Alien” was genetically engineered by Fassbender splicing together various lifeforms, the series does not actually move away from the existence of extra-terrestrials.

  • Re: IDW… When I was doing Dr Who stuff there, I tried to get GNP and the editors at IDW on board to do a Red Dwarf comic in 2010. Thinking at IDW was that it was a good pitch but there wouldn’t be enough of an audience for it.

  • Is that accurate, about not being enough of an audience? I was all set to write a tiny rant about how there is obviously a huge fanbase, but I don’t really know what I’m talking about when it comes to the world as a whole. I obviously would think there’s an audience, but that’s only because I’m in it. I’ve only recently become aware that not everyone has heard of every single band I love. Is IDW an American company?

    Just looked up IDW on wikipedia to see if they were the ones who published Angel: After the Fall, and also looked up what they did publish in 2010. The section on Phantom Jack: The Nowhere Man Agenda (possible spoiler for anyone who has an interest in reading this series) has two sentences, the second saying it is notable for killing off the main character. That’s a bit odd, isn’t it? Or is it a situation like The End where death is actually a beginning? Do we have anyone able to answer this for me? If not, why not.

  • Prometheus/Covenant also explain the origin of the “Space Jockey” from Alien, and suggest it was part of a race of “engineers” who were not born on Earth …but created the human race. So, even if the “Alien” was genetically engineered by Fassbender splicing together various lifeforms, the series does not actually move away from the existence of extra-terrestrials.

    well fuck

  • A problem with the idea of any new Red Dwarf being solely in game form, is that hardcore fans, with a blind loyalty to all things Dwarf, will want to enjoy it, but if they’re shit at gaming, they’re fucked.
    Or maybe they’re epileptic or something.
    Yes, of course I’m talking about me, it’s that obvious.

  • One reason the main cast look more like themselves in the masks seems to be because the mouths seem to be left fairly intact, rather than having the rubbery lips.

    I have every Big Finish story up to some point last year on my computer, in release order. I’ll be going through the whole lot at some point, and I’ll be buying my favourites.
    I can’t fathom being the sort of person who’d buy every single one, some of them are ludicrously niche… The Robots, set in the same society as Robots of Death; Lady Christina from that shit flying bus episode; there are also spin-offs from characters created for other BF Who episodes.
    We know BF would be up for it, and if the TV version did end up stopping (Bobby, age and the mask no doubt) then I would love for Doug (or indeed Rob!) to write a series of six new stories every year. Without the production issues, he could put more time into the writing and there could be some really good stuff.

    A Red Dwarf game, I think would have to be a point and click adventure game, which would allow for a fair amount of script and amusing interactions.

    I can’t imagine watching Red Dwarf on demand without BTE, mostly because of the Kochanski issue, especially as it comes up a lot in X.

    The rebranding of UKTVG to Dave was weird at the time, but every bloody channel has a one word name now as a result. Always strikes me as odd.

    Shared universes on TV are always difficult because you end up with different showrunners. My partner and I have been working through the Arrowverse over the past few months, and even though that has characters from different shows popping up regularly and a yearly crossover event that encompasses all the shows, the individual programmes are so utterly different that it’s impossible to imagine the ridiculous sitcom-esque meta daftness of Legends of Tomorrow existing in the same universe as the grimdark angst of Arrow.

  • Is that accurate, about not being enough of an audience? I was all set to write a tiny rant about how there is obviously a huge fanbase, but I don’t really know what I’m talking about when it comes to the world as a whole. I obviously would think there’s an audience, but that’s only because I’m in it. I’ve only recently become aware that not everyone has heard of every single band I love. Is IDW an American company?

    Yeah, basically IDW are an American multi media firm who specialise mostly in licensed IP, although they’ve branched out in recent years.

    Red Dwarf has a decent audience in terms of viewing figures, but I think the issue was in terms of a comic buying audience it’s actually a bit limited. And it suffers from a similar sort of thing to a few other licensed books where your main buyers of the book tend not to buy other comics, so there’s not much potential for extra revenue (I’m guilty of this. I only picked up Transformer comics, I couldn’t give a toss about comics otherwise. I like Marvel books when they’re made into films…).

    Plus there’s licensing costs, likeness costs, production costs and distribution costs, which makes comics a very front-loaded gamble so I can understand the reluctance at IDW. (Same thing happened at Titan and Panini in the UK when RD was pitched there).

    I do wonder if a crowd-funded type dealio would work nowadays.

  • This Dwarfcast crystallised why this episode doesn’t register higher in my favourites. There’s some good stuff in there, especially early on, but in the last act the whole thing just falls apart. Nothing about the climax really makes sense. And then it just ends.

    And I completely agree about the Lister-Kryten relationship being the second most interesting in the show. There was the potential for more here, and for this to be as significant an episode on that front as Camille. But it throws it all away for the sake of a stupid gladiator fight at the end instead.

  • > I can’t fathom being the sort of person who’d buy every single one, some of them are ludicrously niche…

    They’re not as bad as that.

  • I’ve not listened to the ‘Cast yet so apologies if this comes up there, but does anyone else feel slightly awkward watching this episode because of the way Craig Charles gets kind of whitewashed when turned into a mech? The Cat mechanoid keeps an appropriate skin tone but Lister seems to end up looking basically the same as Kryten and Rimmer.

    I dunno, maybe it’s just me but it was definitely something that played on my mind when watching.

  • It is mentioned a little in the Dwarfcast, and yes it always stood out a little bit to me too – particularly given the effort made to give the Krytenified Danny an appropriate skin tone.

  • It is mentioned a little in the Dwarfcast, and yes it always stood out a little bit to me too – particularly given the effort made to give the Krytenified Danny an appropriate skin tone.

    My point somewhat undermined by forgetting that Rimmer has a H on his forehead.

  • Is the Lister droid skin tone the same as Rimmer and/or Kryten or does it just look the same in relation to lighting and what have you?

    (Not that I think he looks like Lister in that get up anyway without squinting, closer to the Cocoon alien.)

  • It is mentioned a little in the Dwarfcast, and yes it always stood out a little bit to me too – particularly given the effort made to give the Krytenified Danny an appropriate skin tone.

    My point somewhat undermined by forgetting that Rimmer has a H on his forehead.

    It’s not really the idea that they look identical or even similar – even without the H, you can tell them apart – just that Lister’s skin tone is the same as Rimmer and Kryten.

    It reminds me a little of Universe Challenge – “that is not Craig Charles”.

  • I totally felt a bit uneasy with the Lister mech skin tone, it does seem very light compared to Craig Charles normal skin. Like the podcast says, it maybe wouldve been offset if some sort of mechanical dreads were in place somewhere, or maybe a stylised version of the deerstalker…

  • it maybe wouldve been offset if some sort of mechanical dreads were in place somewhere, or maybe a stylised version of the deerstalker…

    Stuff like this was probably tried and ditched when it looked even more weird. I don’t know about feeling uncomfortable about the ‘skin’ tone. I’m sure Craig signed off on it, after all. If he had any problem with it they could easily have sprayed a new colour. I really don’t look at it as whitewashing. I initially imagined the masks would be pretty much identical to Kryten’s, tbh.

  • well fuck

    Does Red Dwarf’s sentient universe count as alien or, what, omni-terrestrial?

    I’ve brought this up multiple times and people ignored it then too. Except for one person, who said I was being ridiculous for suggesting it but didn’t explain why.

  • it maybe wouldve been offset if some sort of mechanical dreads were in place somewhere, or maybe a stylised version of the deerstalker…

    Stuff like this was probably tried and ditched when it looked even more weird. I don’t know about feeling uncomfortable about the ‘skin’ tone. I’m sure Craig signed off on it, after all. If he had any problem with it they could easily have sprayed a new colour. I really don’t look at it as whitewashing. I initially imagined the masks would be pretty much identical to Kryten’s, tbh.

    Given the budget constraints on the show these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t have the chance to do a proper screen test for it, either.

  • Dare I ask, where is the G&T Easter egg in TPL? I keep looking out for that but can’t see it? Do you need a really big TV to see it?
    Thanks for making 2021 start well with the continued DC and BC 👍

  • Finally got this listened to today. Lovely stuff as ever, Danny explaining what actors are being a particular highlight.

    I don’t see the hardware/software thing as a problem. Isn’t the idea that through the software upgrade they all reach a kind of enlightenment? It gets rid of the Mk 2s’ feelings of inferiority, and the prejudices of the Mk 3s. So it doesn’t change them physically, but it changes their attitudes to their physical differences.

    St Elsewhere is on All 4 for anyone who would like to see that last episode’s ending.

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