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Literally no one asked for it, but yet here we are anyway – a whole podcast devoted to Wafflemen, our regular segment from the commentary episodes in which talk about whatever Dwarfy topic you, the listener, so desires. So, join Cappsy, Danny and Ian as they desperately search for something we can cancel Red Dwarf for, finally settle on whether it was Rob or Doug who was the real funny one and generally just, well, waffle on.

Wafflemen Special #1: Maturity, Memories and Moore (76.9MB)

Next up in your feeds will be Part 4 of our Backwards Book Club, which at the time of writing will be recorded at the slightly delayed time of next weekend so you still have time to catch up and get your thoughts in in the discussion thread. Meanwhile, our doors are always open for more waffle topics for our pile, so if you have a burning topic you’d like us to get to in a future episode then feel free to leave it in the comments.

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49 comments on “DwarfCast 141 – Wafflemen Special #1: Maturity, Memories and Moore

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  • I want to believe that you can still have that childlike, all-consuming passion for new entertainment after 30… I just lack much evidence. I’m always finding new favourites – in a mature, beard-stroking way – but I’ve only addictively blissed out to fairly simple things like the early series of Taskmaster and retro synthwave.

    The last thing that properly made me feel like I was 11 again was Matt Smith era Doctor Who – in the watching, rewatching and staying in my thoughts – and that was in my mid to late 20s. I guess it’ll be mainly vicarious joy of passing things down from now on.

  • Watching a much-loved comedy with someone who’s never seen it before is a good way of recapturing at least some of the joy of it (as long as they enjoy it too, of course).
    I do still get those moments of childlike wonder and joy at new stuff, but they’re fewer and farther between as time goes on, and depressingly more so since being on anti-depressants (there’s an irony).

    Oh and yeah, a reverse Timeslides would be bloody great and actually a really good way to do something totally new with an old concept. The Dave era has relied on old ideas slightly too much for my taste, but that’s one I could definitely get behind.

    A lovely Dwarfcast as ever (I totally forgot I had a stale waffle!), and I’m looking forward to the forthcoming Captain Butler and A Prince Among Men commentaries.

  • Celebrating ten years of Coffee Lounge Cock action. I’ll never forget the street I was walking down when I first heard that amazing jingle. Ian’s Curiosity In A Junkyard blog inspired me to jump into classic Who and I’ve even bought a few of The Collection blu rays. I think it’s the television production angle which I find most interesting. Looking forward to S Club but too chicken to click on the YouTube link.
    The podcast Shipwrecked And Comatose is especially good at spotting things which haven’t aged very well although their conclusion seems to be that on the whole Red Dwarf has matured like a fine wine – at least up to series V.

  • Some delicious waffles, well done gentlemen

    I went straight to the computer games well with regards to the concept of being able to forget and re-experience something again for the first time, I think there’s a mechanical element to games where you can be pretty sure you’ll still really enjoy something even when experiencing it fresh in a new context. Morrowind was a good shout, I’d love to be able to play that again without knowing what’s coming. A lot of the games I really love are fun to replay and find new things that you missed before but even so nothing can compare to the sense of discovery of that first “blind” play through – games like Thief, System Shock, Deus Ex etc. that’s the kind of thing I’d be prepared to Eternal Sunshine my brain to try again for the first time!

    Although all that said in some ways there’s possibly a greater fear with games that modern me might simply dismiss older stuff that I loved because I’m now experiencing it in 2021 context – will I really still adore all those clunky Spectrum games, or wonky early 3D pioneers when I’m comparing them against the best games of today. The risk may be too great!

    I definitely agree with the sentiment that it’s harder to achieve that deep passion for something new once you pass a certain age/stage in life, almost everything I really care about in terms of hobbies or pop culture has some basis in my childhood, teens or twenties at the latest. Part of it comes down to time, it’s much harder to invest in something in quite the same way as your life gets busier. Also I guess in some ways our lives and social circles get smaller over time, we interact with others who are passionate about things less often and so there isn’t that same scope for bouncing off each other and building up quite the same level of devotion to a subject. In some ways the internet helps to counteract this to an extent of course.

    The only solid case I could build for something I discovered post 30 and really got sucked into in a deep “re-watching it, analysing it in various ways, seeking out others to discuss it with” kind of way would be Community

  • <

    I want to believe that you can still have that childlike, all-consuming passion for new entertainment after 30… I just lack much evidence.

    I absolutely get this with music – in fact I’m always quite surprised when it does happen because discovering newer music in your 30s is hard, but finding a love for something the youth are listening to and being as excited about it as I would have been at 15 is always nice and thankfully still happens from time to time.

    Not so much with TV. There’s shows I will obsess over a bit and rewatch a lot – like Taskmaster – but it’s not quite the same as discovering something like Red Dwarf as a kid.

    Watching a much-loved comedy with someone who’s never seen it before is a good way of recapturing at least some of the joy of it (as long as they enjoy it too, of course).

    This is definitely the best way to watch something you know inside and out, as it provides a whole new experience and perspective from he other person that you get to enjoy.

  • Watching a much-loved comedy with someone who’s never seen it before is a good way of recapturing at least some of the joy of it (as long as they enjoy it too, of course).
    This is definitely the best way to watch something you know inside and out, as it provides a whole new experience and perspective from he other person that you get to enjoy.

    Unless they hate it in which case you have to immediately disown them!

  • The only solid case I could build for something I discovered post 30 and really got sucked into in a deep “re-watching it, analysing it in various ways, seeking out others to discuss it with” kind of way would be Community

    That’s exactly what I was going to say (well, not word-for-word), but I rewatched Community through about three times last year. Came to it quite late, after much pressure from my sister, and promptly became pretty obsessed.

  • Oh yeah Community is one of the few comedies I can watch again and again and similar have watched it 3 times in the last 12 months (having seen it plenty previously too).

  • Since I’m currently watching Simon from Cracking the Cryptic playing through this at the moment, I would definitely want to erase The Witness from my memory so I could play through it again. Incredible game.

  • Well waffled, Wafflemen. I don’t remember ever hearing about Bread Dwarf. Imagine if that was the next 90 minute special.

    Incredible game.

  • I’d probably erase a show like Battlestar Galactica that I watched too quickly, so I could tease out the experience and wouldn’t be losing any of the extracurricular activity that made watching some lesser shows in real time more of an event.

    With Babylon 5 I read along with vintage companions and tie-in comics to try to pretend I was in the 90s.

  • Say what you want about Lost, but it is one hell of a journey! My mate watched that for the first time last year and it was so cool seeing him relish in this show I’d obsessed over week after week as it airred.

    I’d love that experience again so maybe I’d go with that.

    Though there is definitely reward in watching that show knowing what’s going on too.

  • Yeah, Lost is a good shout but again most of my joy from that show came from listening to fan podcasts and discussing the show with friends. Also, I’m of the opinion (which, by coincidence, is also the objective truth) that it was basically faultless until the last season.

  • I never quite got on with Lost. Well, that’s not strictly true – I thought it started quite well and for most of the first season I was fully on board. But I ditched it toward the end of season 2, by that point it just seemed to have lost any sense of focus and purpose for me

  • Yeah, Lost is a good shout but again most of my joy from that show came from listening to fan podcasts and discussing the show with friends. Also, I’m of the opinion (which, by coincidence, is also the objective truth) that it was basically faultless until the last season.

    Oh it definitely benefits experiencing it at the time of it’s airing. All the extended clues and mysteries and hints and stuff production put out online, along with the fan dissection of the show week after week.

    I’m generally of the opinion that even the final season is good, all the stuff on the island with the character is great, finally bringing some closure to everything and the stuff off island is mostly interesting and a unique way of keeping that part of the show fresh. I have no issues with the ending what so ever and it pulls itself back from what I’ve realised on subsequent watch throughs is a really awful 5th season.

    It actually does nothing but take the characters around in a big circle to bring them back to where they were in s04. The time travel aspect is really forced and whilst I appreciate the historical stuff fills in some knowledge gaps and gives some answers we’d been building to, it’s incredibly self indulgent and does nothing for the show that a 2 or 3 part story arc couldn’t have done.

    It’s clearly there to fill airtime as they work towards the S06 finale.

    <

    I never quite got on with Lost. Well, that’s not strictly true – I thought it started quite well and for most of the first season I was fully on board. But I ditched it toward the end of season 2, by that point it just seemed to have lost any sense of focus and purpose for me

    There’s two types of people when it comes to Lost. Those enjoying the journey the show is taking you on, and having enough faith in the writing that it’ll be entertaining regardless of what happens. Or those that, understandably I think, get tired of the constant questions and lack of answers around S02. I fucking love it but I can see how you’d want some evidence the show knows what it’s doing. It does keep shifting focus, deliberately so I think, and that’s part of what keeps the show running is that it never stays in one place for too long. Once you think you know something you get whiplashed watching it get ripped out in front of you.

  • it definitely benefits experiencing it at the time of it’s airing. All the extended clues and mysteries and hints and stuff production put out online, along with the fan dissection of the show week after week

    That’s why I specifically didn’t go with Lost, the extracurricular stuff was what really made it rise above the cheese (though that was fun to laugh at too).

    I’m with Quinn in being disappointed by season five at the time, after loving the previous 1.5 years most of all. Introducing unambiguous physical time travel immediately killed a lot of the mystery for me, since anything from the past could just be anyone, take your pick (a bit like Cylons). Digging up artefacts like those creepy orientation videos was my favourite thing about the series, but then they were just interacting in real time. Still kept me hooked though, and I always liked the finale.

  • Lost is a horrible show to rewatch, because it makes it obvious how so, so, so many of the really ‘important’ plots got completely scrapped and/or contradicted at later dates. Even if you ignore the fact that Lindelof and Cuse kept promising they had the whole thing planned out for ages, it becomes so obvious that they’re winging it that it’s kind of embarrassing.
    But it was so much fun first time through, just the wonderful disbelief of “they’re doing THAT?!” every time something else happened. First viewings of the first five seasons were up there with the most I’ve ever enjoyed TV.

  • I think they’re claim that had it planned out is always taken to mean more than they intended. I think they knew what they meant the island to be and the Fait of the characters, but all the stuff inbetween is indeed more or less entirely made up as they went along. Partly because they didn’t know how long the show would run.

    But I’d definitely challenge ideas being dropped or contradicted etc making the show worse

    Very little is completely dropped without any explanation, and contrarians are what the twists are built on.

    I find it incredibly satisfying rewatching it seeing how something in one series is picked up or used or explained a series or two later

    They may not have known exactly what everything they wrote was going to lead to, but they knew how to spin all their threads to be exciting and give satisfying conclusions to thing la

    But more importantly the characters and their growth and journeys are so interesting to watch play out over the course of 6 series and even if something does fall flat they usually makes up for it.

  • I would erase Lost from my memory.

    I would also write a note which said “Don’t watch Lost”.

  • I couldn’t get into Lost. I think my ‘Lost’ would be the X-Files, which I followed avidly as a teenager and which had a similar long-running mystery/mythology element that kept teasing out answers and promising that everything was connected without actually ever really offering anything conclusive.

    By a certain point (around when the movie came out) you realised it was all so convoluted and complicated that nothing really made sense any more, and the creators clearly weren’t going to offer any kind of answers until the show became unsuccessful and was on the downhill slope anyway. And that decline was years away at that point.

    So when Lost came along I told myself I wasn’t going to get suckered by the same thing again and I gave up a few episodes in.

    The first season (or two) of X-Files is still pretty solid though. I rewatched it recently. The standalone episodes are mostly good. Although the overall decline and the reliance on the mythology episodes comes quicker than I remembered, and by the end of season two the show has pretty much become about that more than anything else.

  • The first season (or two) of X-Files is still pretty solid though. I rewatched it recently. The standalone episodes are mostly good. Although the overall decline and the reliance on the mythology episodes comes quicker than I remembered, and by the end of season two the show has pretty much become about that more than anything else.

    It’s in season three when they make the overly clean break between mythology multi-parters with character development and status-quo standalones, to the point that you almost have to consider them two separate continuities with any consequences saved up for sweeps weeks.

    I think the mythology’s solid up to the end of S3 with some of the best episodes in there, then it stalls and gets repetitive so it doesn’t overtake the film. After season five it’s largely bollocks and mainly worth watching for the comedies.

  • I have no issues with the ending what so ever and it pulls itself back from what I’ve realised on subsequent watch throughs is a really awful 5th season.
    It actually does nothing but take the characters around in a big circle to bring them back to where they were in s04. The time travel aspect is really forced and whilst I appreciate the historical stuff fills in some knowledge gaps and gives some answers we’d been building to, it’s incredibly self indulgent and does nothing for the show that a 2 or 3 part story arc couldn’t have done.
    It’s clearly there to fill airtime as they work towards the S06 finale.

    It’s interesting that you should describe it as ‘awful’.

    I’d avoided Lost, as based on the amount of promo/publicity it was getting, I’d dismissed it as vacuous, populist fluff (I had ‘taste’, y’know?)

    But then one evening, I was pressured by my girlfriend into watching the latest ep on TV, which happened to be during season 5. The key scene I remember from that initial viewing is Locke and co. being held captive in an army tent, which disappears around them as they shift in time, leaving them alone in an empty clearing.

    As an absolute sucker for time-travel stuff (boy, was I suckered!), I found myself intrigued enough to go back and start from the beginning. And I loved it, unabashedly, from Season 1 through to 5.

    I did find the final season a bit of a slog, personally. I put that down to partly… it being a slog, and a little rushed and jarring in places, but the fact that it was the first season I watched week-to-week as it aired, after the instant gratification of bingeing the first 5, probably played its part too.

    Erm, in summary, I loved Lost (iffy final season aside, loved the finale). I can see where you’re coming from re: 5 ending up as one long exercise in treading water that doesn’t advance the story much, but what can I say, I enjoyed riding that wave.

  • I think they knew what they meant the island to be

    Nah, they said every aspect of the show would have a hard science explanation on more than one occasion, before going with “it’s a magic island” by season 6.
    They also said, definitively, that they’d never do time travel, as it would push the reality of the show too far.
    Damon Lindelof also said the absolute worst thing the show could ever do would be to have a character sit everyone down around a fire and explain everything the entire thing with exposition, as it’s narrative suicide. And that literal scene happens in the penultimate episode.

    Very little is completely dropped without any explanation, and contrarians are what the twists are built on.

    A good example would be The Others being absolutely obsessed with the whole fertility on the island thing in season 3, to the extent of kidnapping pregnant women and having them die through childbirth on the island. It seems to be Ben’s reason for everything. And then he conveniently forgets about the topic for the remaining three and a half seasons of the show as if it didn’t matter at all.

    There’s loads of other stuff – Jacob is trapped in a cabin and asks Locke for help. And from then on he can just walk around the island with no problems. Ben can’t kill Widmore because of “the rules”, even though he’d like to. And then in the final series he shoots him. Widmore can’t ever return to the island. And then he does. The Smoke Monster’s long term plan was to use Locke – and yet it tries to kill him in season 2. And, of course, Walt.

    The worst thing is, even if we buy the idea that the actual plot of the show is The Smoke Monster wants to leave the island and Jacob can’t allow it to do so (and that doesn’t remotely tie in with anything the monster does in season 1-3, when it judges people and kills them or lets them live), it’s utter nonsense, because it’s Jacob bringing everyone to the island, then telling Jack and so on to pull the plug that potentially allows the monster to leave the island. All the characters ever had to do was Do Nothing and the world would be safe, but they all go out of their way to endanger the world just so they can stop it being put in danger. It’s an absolute shambles of a story and makes absolutely no sense.

    If you have eleven hours – and you almost certainly don’t – there’s an incredible series on YouTube where a guy basically takes every plot strand apart, and it shocked me just how many go absolutely nowhere, and how many characters completely change their perspectives and attitudes on a 180 just to serve the plot. I’d already struggled with its inconsistencies on a previous rewatch, but there are a few I’d missed because the show throws five or six new mysteries in your face in the hope you’ll forget about the previous one.

  • The fertility thing is important to Ben et al up until the point their community basically ceases to exist. Then the continuation of that community through childbirth is no longer the pressing issue.

    Ben can’t kill Widmore because of Jacob’s rules … he very clearly goes through an arc of losing faith in Jacob in s06 and so he stops following the rules.

    I’ll admit the “coming and going” from the island is messy, but Widmore only can’t return because he can’t find it … and then he does.

    Man in Black/Smoke Monster is always seen to spare some people over others. Pulling the plug on the island makes Man in Black mortal and killable … that’s the point of that. Stops him being a threat to anyone after that.

    I’ll admit it’s not perfect, but they’re pretty good at making things make some sense. And I’ll take accomplished screen writers over someone with far too much time on their hands on Youtube.

  • FWIW, I’ve been thinking about this question and I can’t actually think of a valid choice in terms of TV shows, movies or videogames.

    A lot of my absolute favourites are tied into nostalgia with the circumstances where I experienced the “thing” for the first time, how old I was, who I was with, where I was etc.

    The really “formative” stuff (i.e the first things I’d think of when considering answers) went on to shape my preferences and inform my opinions.

    The only thing I can think of are things that were spoiled for me before I got to see them. So to use a Red Dwarf example, I’d like to erase the conversation I had in school in about 1994 where some wanker spoiled the ending of Out of Time long before I got there.

  • Man in Black/Smoke Monster is always seen to spare some people over others. Pulling the plug on the island makes Man in Black mortal and killable … that’s the point of that.

    But he only kills people that Jacob lured to the island in the first place. The process of which ended up killing / maiming everybody on the plane, not to mention his recruitment killing Sayid’s girlfriend, causing Locke to end up in a wheelchair, etc. Jacob ends up being by far the biggest killer in the entire show.

    The rest of it… I get your interpretations, but it all feels wishy-washy.

    As for the YouTube thing… fair enough, but they’re exceptionally good at exposing the myriad problems the show has. I’ll take well-researched fan criticism over writers who repeatedly lied to fans about the ideas behind the core of the show, personally.

  • True that if Jacob just stopped there wouldn’t be the amount of death there is. But not everyone that ends up on the island is lured there – though most we see are, and Jacob always knew Black would be the death of him so he is trying to find the islands next protector and the person who could stop Black. It’s sort of him finding a loop hole in his own rules of not interfering.

    Then he just naively always give Black the chance not to kill … he can always change etc etc

    So yeah Jacob is the driving force behind it but his view is that it’s up to Black and everyone else to just be good (without any input from him, which is the naive thing)

  • It was no FlashForward.

    Ha! I remember all the hype around that before everyone swiftly realised it was crap. That show died quicker than Heroes.

  • It was no FlashForward.

    Ha! I remember all the hype around that before everyone swiftly realised it was crap. That show died quicker than Heroes.

    Which is a shame because the book it is based on is a really good read.

    It’s scientist focused, not cop focused. The Flash Forward is something like 21 years rather than 6 months. There’s no underlying conspiracy bullshit. It just concerns itself with “how would the world react if everyone saw 30seconds of their future two decades from now”. It’s quite short so I’d recommend it to anyone at all interested in that sort of thing.

  • Which is a shame because the book it is based on is a really good read.
    It’s scientist focused, not cop focused. The Flash Forward is something like 21 years rather than 6 months. There’s no underlying conspiracy bullshit. It just concerns itself with “how would the world react if everyone saw 30seconds of their future two decades from now”. It’s quite short so I’d recommend it to anyone at all interested in that sort of thing.

    I only remember the trippy ending and that the Large Hadron Collider was involved (lol), but I thought it would have made a good Sci-Fi Channel miniseries with some cheap actors. Then it could be remembered fondly rather than as a desperate failure to manufacture Lost 2.

  • There are half a dozen shows all trying to be Lost 2. Remember “The Event” which was on around the same time. With Lost going away people were just throwing money at mystery series hoping to be the next big event TV. Not realising that would come in the form of a school teacher cooking meth.

  • Which is a shame because the book it is based on is a really good read.

    It’s scientist focused, not cop focused. The Flash Forward is something like 21 years rather than 6 months. There’s no underlying conspiracy bullshit. It just concerns itself with “how would the world react if everyone saw 30seconds of their future two decades from now”. It’s quite short so I’d recommend it to anyone at all interested in that sort of thing.
    I only remember the trippy ending and that the Large Hadron Collider was involved (lol), but I thought it would have made a good Sci-Fi Channel miniseries with some cheap actors. Then it could be remembered fondly rather than as a desperate failure to manufacture Lost 2.

    Takes me back, the genuine fear (absolute bollocks) that when they turned the LHC on it’d make a black hole and destroy Earth. I was in a class at college when they were about to turn it on and we all sort of sat and waited. It was a (non)event, but one of those things I’ll always remember.

  • I stopped watching Lost around the third season, as the show seemed to have a tendency to kill off the most interesting characters – Ana-Lucia, Charlie, Mr. Eko etc. – and we were left with the utterly bland Jack and Kate.

    Why was Hurley cursed for using the numbers? How was the Smoke Monster able to appear to Michael on the freighter and Jack in Los Angeles if he can’t leave the Island? How was Jacob’s cabin magical if it was something built by Horace in the 1970s? Who the hell were Nikki and Paulo?

  • Why was Hurley cursed for using the numbers?

    – the numbers are really just a coincidence, something that the show used as a bit of bait to fans for some faux mystery. if you want to be generous and accredit them to anything, they’re Jacob controlling things to guide people to where they need to be.

    How was the Smoke Monster able to appear to Michael on the freighter and Jack in Los Angeles if he can’t leave the Island?

    – He didn’t. Not sure what you’re referring to but that didn’t happen. And the freighter + LA are all events post s03 so you’ve seen more than you think.

    How was Jacob’s cabin magical if it was something built by Horace in the 1970s?

    – it wasn’t, Ben was lying.

    Who the hell were Nikki and Paulo?

    – Two lovers that met a tragic end.

  • Is anyone else still waiting for the explanation of how a holographic virus can cause telepathy and telekinesis? Don’t say it’s just a programme.

  • The difference is that Red Dwarf doesn’t sell itself primarily on its mysteries and plot payoffs. If a show does, like Lost, then it’s fair to hold it to a higher standard of coherence.

  • Something appeared on the freighter before Michael died. Never any explanation for what it was, though.

    That was Christian. And is involvement his very clearly explained in the finale.

  • The difference is that Red Dwarf doesn’t sell itself primarily on its mysteries and plot payoffs. If a show does, like Lost, then it’s fair to hold it to a higher standard of coherence.

    Yeah I think this is the pitfall that shows like Lost fall into, most of the audience probably won’t give a shit about things like plots being dropped or altered, ideas not paying off, holes in the logic of events etc. if you don’t make a big deal of the fact that “everything works! It all has an explanation! Just watch, we know what we’re doing!”

  • Is anyone else still waiting for the explanation of how a holographic virus can cause telepathy and telekinesis?

    It’s just a programme.

    Don’t say it’s just a programme.

    Sorry.

  • Is anyone else still waiting for the explanation of how a holographic virus can cause telepathy and telekinesis? Don’t say it’s just a programme.

    I don’t want an explanation, a best guess is good enough for me

  • Maybe the holovirus had hard light properties, so telepathy would be solidified photons around an object, lifting like an invisible hand.

    Telepathy who knows, maybe it’s predictive telepathy, infects the holosuite and runs possibilities on the stored scans.

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