DwarfCast 146 - The Young Ones: Interesting - Commentary featured image
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Once in every lifetime,
Comes a ‘Cast like this,
Oh, we need you and you need us,
Oh my darlings can’t you watch The Young Ones along with us after the pips and then stick around afterwards for a suitably themed Waffle Men?

DwarfCast 146 – The Young Ones: Interesting – Commentary (86.2MB)

We hope you enjoy this little diversion away from mainline Dwarf content as we certainly enjoyed recording it and we’ll hopefully be continuing the trend with other Dwarf-adjacent commentaries, at least for a little bit. And on that note, out next commentary is recording this weekend and will be for an episode of Blackadder The Third, namely Nob and Nobility. As always we will require your waffles on the episode and on Blackadder as a whole so you have our express permission to use the comments thread on this post for that purpose.

Show notes

41 comments on “DwarfCast 146 – The Young Ones: Interesting – Commentary

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  • Two interesting things about the Blackadder cassettes I’ve been listening to, possibly three. The Blackadder Christmas Carol cassette includes the Baldrick gag about nailing a dog to the cross for the Easter play which was removed after initial broadcast. The piano music at the end of Goodbyeee has a montage of dialogue clips from most of the main characters. Nicola Bryant has said that in the Christmas Carol there is a moment where the audience appears to be laughing at nothing because the actors took a few takes to get it right. I haven’t been able to pin point this moment though.

  • Whoa.

    I’m very confused, but probably either this podcast or the last one will explain the Dwarf-adjacency. It being a Paul Jackson produced comedy perhaps.

    The question is: is watching episode 5 with a fan audio commentary alongside it a good way to introduce yourself to a show? I’m leaning towards YES.

  • This one always made me a bit uncomfortable for having bullies invade from something approximating the real world. (Admittedly balanced out by the somewhat more fanciful likes of Cinderella, Father Christmas, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, talking bannisters, etc).

    Great excuse to watch the classics again anyway. Blackadder always felt like the most Red Dwarf adjacent show when I was growing up, for its non-contemporary, geek-interest setting more than any personnel or production wise. Or maybe just all the similes.

  • This was Interesting. Thanks for an enjoyable hour and change!

    If you were talking requests I think it might be worthwhile looking at other stuff the cast has done as well as the Comic Strip Cinematic Universe. In particular I would suggest doing a Brittas. I’ve not watched any Brittas since the actual 90s and I’ve never re-evaluated it. I have this sense that it would be naff but Interesting.

  • I’m on Team Bottom, which might be generational and because I saw it impressionably younger (same time as Red Dwarf, though I don’t associate them like Blackadder), but also what Ade says on that Young Ones documentary about all the cutaways just distracting from the character interaction. Hardly any of those are really funny, some are excruciating. Bottom’s a bit rubbish sometimes (e.g. ‘Finger’), but at least you’re watching Rik and Ade.

    For next time, the inevitable discussion is which Blackadder series is the best, but aren’t all three of them the best for different moods?

    Would this episode (Nob and Nobility) have been even better if they’d put a Flashheart in it?

    Do we need Jem Roberts to write the definitive oral history of Red Dwarf before anyone prominent dies, or do all the documentaries cover it enough already?

  • Mid-90s Friday nights from 9pm on BBC2. Red Dwarf, The Fast Show, Bottom, Blackadder (and admittedly other comedy shows I have forgotten) in varying orders. Best hour of the week most of the time!

  • For next time, the inevitable discussion is which Blackadder series is the best, but aren’t all three of them the best for different moods?

    Trying to figure out which series you’re burning here.

  • OK, I can confirm that making my first viewing of The Young Ones a commentated one is a bit strange, but I had a good time.

    My impression: these lads are quite silly.

  • In particular I would suggest doing a Brittas. I’ve not watched any Brittas since the actual 90s and I’ve never re-evaluated it. I have this sense that it would be naff but Interesting.

    I did a full Brittas rewatch last year (I think it was last year. If it was earlier this year, its been a long year.) and, for the most part, it was pretty enjoyable, though it waned a little towards the end.

    If you want one with an unusual Dwarf connection, there is an episode which features Gordon Salkild, though it’s only a brief appearance as an unhappy customer.

  • For next time, the inevitable discussion is which Blackadder series is the best, but aren’t all three of them the best for different moods?

    Trying to figure out which series you’re burning here.

    “I love all 6 series of Red Dwarf.” – me in 2007

    Although, maybe I shouldn’t act like these things are universally agreed. I recently saw a comment on the Red Dwarf subreddit from someone who legitimately considered Series IV the last good series. You never know what bizarre tastes people out there might have.

  • I’ve watched Brittas through a couple of times. Last time I tried though I really struggled and gave up … it’s definitely funny. But I’m not sure it holds a lot of rewatch value. I think in part because it ages, like it very much feels like a mid 90s sitcom. Where as Red Dwarf, Blackadder and even Bottom (which I’m no fan of) don’t feel of their time (though two of those are helped by being set in different times) … even Young Ones that is quintessentially 80s as the podcast discussed, doesn’t suffer for being in that setting, made at that time.

    Brittas to me feels like it does in a way I am really struggling to articulate so I’ll give up.

  • I recently saw a comment on the Red Dwarf subreddit

    There’s your problem.

    who legitimately considered Series IV the last good series. You never know what bizarre tastes people out there might have.

    You’ve not lived until you’ve encountered a “the show was only good for the first two series” crank.

  • There’s your problem.

    Haha, well it’s definitely not great but it’s not as bad as it could be. They don’t allow Smeg appliance posts, so they clear the lowest bar at least. (Though I did notice people have casually started posting Smega-Drive memes there, but nobody seems to have posted any links to The Smega-Drive/G&T itself. Disappointing.)

    The most unique find from my brief curiosity about it is that for a while The Cat’s Better Than Life mermaid girlfriend, Miranda, was a big meme there. That was kind of weird.

    I wonder if they’d feel similarly if I made a Reddit post about my idea for a Red Dwarf episode called “CACK IN THE BED – FART 2”.

    You’ve not lived until you’ve encountered a “the show was only good for the first two series” crank.

    Believe it or not, the friend that introduced me to the show was such a crank. Well, maybe not quite, but they did think Series 1 and 2 were the peak.

    I can at least understand the Series 1 and 2 thing, because after that the show did majorly change. If you happen to love Lovett’s Holly (or hate Hayridge’s) and hate Llewellyn’s Kryten (or just prefer a main cast of 4 over 5) then, you know, fine. But if you think that Series 3 and 4 are great yet 5 and 6 are shit, that is just incomprehensible to me.

  • You’ve not lived until you’ve encountered a “the show was only good for the first two series” crank.

    The Young Ones was only good for the first two series. IMHO obvs.

  • For next time, the inevitable discussion is which Blackadder series is the best, but aren’t all three of them the best for different moods?

    Trying to figure out which series you’re burning here.

    I assumed it was the forgettable first one! I think there’s a good case for the best of the three series being the fourth. And it’s more on topic as it has Mayall AND Edmondson in it.

  • “Pete the dinosaur was the best episode” is the gold standard of Red Dwarf opinions I’ve seen in the wild (YouTube comments).

    I’ve tried to appreciate the first Black Adder since the 90s, but I’d still only watch it if I was doing a comprehensive rewatch, and then I just see everything wrong with it and I’m waiting for the good ones. The Archbishop’s probably a good one.

  • “Only I and II are good,” while I obviously disagree, is at least an opinion grounded in obvious changes. Even the highly controversial “VI is not as good” camp has a couple things you could point to if you were so inclined. But I feel like not liking V can only be someone who’s decided, “If they don’t have the same font in the end credits, then what is even the point?”

  • As a regular on Cookdandbombd, I’ve learned to live with the ‘it went downhill after the first two series’ thing, even if the relatively recent thread with loads of people putting Balance of Power above Out of Time, Marooned and Quarantine was utterly baffling.

    A very tiny link between this episode of The Young Ones and both Blackadder and Red Dwarf: David Lloyd plays of the punks at the party, and went on to be Graeme in the CBBC Blackadder, Maid Marian and Her Merry Men. As, of course, was a certain Danny John Jules.

    I get it being more inventive, original and influential, but I’d take Bottom over The Young Ones any day, the first two series of Bottom in particular being among the most beautifully scripted sitcom episodes I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. I do like The Young Ones a lot, but it always feels remarkably distant to me, like you’re watching other people having fun, as opposed to Bottom really feeling like you’re right in there in the thick of it with Rik and Ade. That said, Contest has been my favourite since I bought my first VHS, and I do wish it’d gone slightly further down that slow, less violent approach. Richie’s five minute monologue where he goes to his going away place is absolutely magnificent.

    Blackadder was my second favourite TV show as a kid, behind Red Dwarf. I find its comparative lack of depth means it has less rewatch value, however. Last time I tried to watch it all on my own I was bored because I knew every single gag and there’s sadly little else to it. But that’s because I had all four series as off-airs and watched them all multiple times a year as a teenager. My dad and I did all four in a day once.
    I think the first series has plenty of really great moments, but it doesn’t hang together well at all (another CaB point of contention being the number of people who think it’s the best/only good series). Blackadder the Third is my favourite because it’s the most packed with gags, despite it probably being the least well remembered of the three classic series. It’s so utterly lacking in any real interest in historical accuracy (or even real world accuracy) and just goes head first into daft gags from start to finish that I can’t help but put it at the top of my list, even if my favourite iterations of the characters are the Goes Forth versions. It’s also home to almost all of my favourite Blackadder gags: Mad Jack McMad, The Prince and the Porpoise, Antidistinctlymintymonty, the reversed plate dropping, MacBeth, and this really understated but utterly brilliant exchange:

    George: after all, did the Lord not send a lowly earthworm to comfort Moses in his torment?
    Blackadder: no.

    The best of the first series is the last episode by far (the Black Seal, is it?), just a really well paced daft action comedy with so much more silliness than the rest of the series. Three fingered Pete’s attempt at signalling five always makes my dad crease up with laughter, which is a joyous memory.

    Brittas at its peak was magnificent, basically series 3-5, the latter of which throws in some real pathos. The first two I find very patchy, and the final two have been wiped from my own head canon.

    Cliff Richard-wise, it’s worth a listen to ‘Sci-Fi’ for a proper ‘what the fuck is this’ naff pop moment.

    Nigel Planer is pretty diverse, he did some great stuff in the Comic Strip. He’s so, so good in Spaghetti Hoops.

    Finding that sweet spot on a tape recorder where you could hold down record enough to overdub was an amazing moment, allowing for my first multi-tracking experiments in music.

    Looking forward to the Prince Among Men and Captain Butler commentaries.

    Blackadder waffles:
    Elephant in the room: Back and Forth, how much a part of the show’s ‘universe’ do you consider it? Or: if you were going to do a start to finish Blackadder watching, would you even bother with it?

    Would The Blackadder Five have been any good if it had happened? Would it have undermined Goodbyeeee? Obviously the others end with deaths but that one is very final.

    Which version of Flashheart is the best (I never know, because Goes Forth is the more fleshed out version, but II has “I’ve got a plan and it’s as hot as my pants.”

    Absolutely wonderful Dwarfcast, with “you will be my accountant” the perfect outro. The amount of times I’ve watched that video.

  • Finished! Great episode. Slightly different experience; I just listen to these as audio while I’m driving or washing dishes because I know Red Dwarf well enough that I can usually follow along with the commentary from memory, but I don’t have the same ability for Young Ones (and it’s hard to remember which cutaway gags are in which episode). Should be able to do the total recall thing for a Blackadder, though.

    I have a combo Red Dwarf/Blackadder waffle:

    In the Blackadder Rides Again documentary from 2008, Tony Robinson asks Tim McInnerny if he’d ever consider doing more Blackadder, and he says no:

    “Too old, for one thing. I don’t think people want to see us the way we look now, I really don’t. They want those memories.”

    Dave-era Dwarf has a cast that’s obviously aged since the BBC era, and audiences and fans on the whole seem basically okay with an older cast judging by ratings and demand for more episodes.

    So in your opinion:

    A.) Does Red Dwarf’s continued viability prove Tim McInnerny wrong about aging out of a classic role?

    B.) Is it an apples-to-oranges comparison and audiences might have rejected Blackadder in a way they didn’t for Red Dwarf?

    C.) Did Tony Robinson just catch him at a bad time because they were looking at old costumes that don’t fit anymore and maybe he was feeling a little down?

  • My answer to your waffle question Loathsome is that Red Dwarf has the benefit of the same characters existing and aging in the show, and their aging is just a part of its continuity.

    For Blackadder, those characters are about the same age in each series. At least there’s no noticeable aging. Back and Forth is the obvious exception but they’re still sort of just “men of indeterminate age” as it were. Where as if you were to do it 10 years ago, or now, their aging would a) be very noticeable and b) probably be in some way a part of the story … i.e. why is it this generation of Blackadder, Baldrick etc as old as they are, when all over generations have died younger. What characters are they playing that suit the age of the actors. If there’s a famous historical character, who would fit the profile.

    So maybe that’s what Tim meant in a way. The memories of Blackadder are of a younger cast of characters, all iteration of them all about the same age, and doing a new version with an aged cast would likely end up being about old men in some way in a way that Red Dwarf has leant into its cast having grown up considerably over the years between 8 and BTE and then through the Dave era.

  • Blackadder the Third is my favourite

    I think I agree with this but it’s a really, really close call with Goes Forth. Both are up there for me because of the prominence of George but then Goes Forth has the advantage of the magnificent Melchett / Darling pairing on top of that. Then again, as you say, Third is just so rammed with jokes and has a lighter tone to it that I just find that little bit more comforting and appealing.

  • I’ve always liked II and Third, those were the series I grew up on and I never tired of watching them. Plus I think they have the balance just right between Edmund being a nasty arsehole but also a likeable lead.

    For me, Fourth is a bit like Red Dwarf VI in that it just veers a little bit towards the formulaic, a little bit repetitive in its gags and character interactions. Still great though, obviously.

  • For me, Fourth is a bit like Red Dwarf VI in that it just veers a little bit towards the formulaic

    I wonder if the setting this plays into it in anyway …

    Despite 2 and 3, and to some extent 1, being only set across basically two main standing sets, 4 feels a lot more like it is trapped in one location because its in the trenches where we know the soliders didn’t move around much. They’re in their small little bunker and occassional at HQ.

    It gives that feel of a lot of action happening in Starbugs cockpit, and their trapped there as they’ve lost RD so nowhere else to go … even though they can land on derelicts and get off … its a made to feel smaller and cramped etc and in that the jokes are bit more repatitve as it’s sort of core cast in one location (trench/cockpit) etc doing the same repetative things

    That make sense?

  • For me, Fourth is a bit like Red Dwarf VI in that it just veers a little bit towards the formulaic, a little bit repetitive in its gags and character interactions. Still great though, obviously.

    Oh, of course, and it has the “jarringly serious and downbeat ending” thing in common too.

    I’m imagining a hypothetical Blackadder V which opens with Blackadder speaking into a dictophone about his last minute secret cunning plan, where he made sure they got killed going over the top – thus forcing their alien masters to respawn them all in a different historical simulation.

  • I’m imagining a hypothetical Blackadder V which opens with Blackadder speaking into a dictophone about his last minute secret cunning plan, where he made sure they got killed going over the top – thus forcing their alien masters to respawn them all in a different historical simulation.

    Baldrick leaves in episode two, to be replaced by Bob from episode three. But George isn’t happy about that…

  • Waffle for the Wafflemen: Which is the best version of Goodall’s Blackadder theme? My favourite is The Third’s closing credits version. Absolute banger.

    I think The Third is my favourite series too. As well as the wall-to-wall gags it feels like the cast are at the height of their powers. The sequence with Fry’s Duke of Wellington where Edmund and Prince George have swapped places is masterful. There’s really not much separating all FOUR series for me though. And Christmas Carol is one of the best episodes.

    Absolutely wonderful Dwarfcast, with “you will be my accountant” the perfect outro. The amount of times I’ve watched that video.

    I’m looking forward to listening to this DwarfCast even more now. “Mars is no place for a dame.”

  • I also associate Goes Forth and VI as they were both the latest and most likely to be repeated series when I discovered both shows around 1994, so the only ones I really saw for a few years.

    Though I did remember seeing the crazy future bit from Christmas Carol around that time, with no memory of the rest of the special for context, and didn’t know what the hell it was for years in the pre internet era, since the specials weren’t even acknowledged in the script book. I started to think I’d dreamt it.

  • Ahhhh man, I wanted to reply to that with the series 6 alt ending, with the urine recyc mustaches. But obviously its not on the Smega-Drive.

  • Waffle for the Blackadder Waf’lm’n:

    Following on from Chris Barrie’s cameo in this episode, which other members of the Dwarf cast (as opposed to the Dwarfcast) would you like to have seen in Blackadder and who should they have played?

    Waffle for the Wafflemen: Which is the best version of Goodall’s Blackadder theme? My favourite is The Third’s closing credits version. Absolute banger.

    This is the correct answer.

  • Possibly the opening of Back and Forth for me, something about the minor chord near the start of the chorus as played by the full orchestra really gives me goosebumps. Also the end of Goodbyeee is lovely.

    A rarely talked about episode for Wafflem’n to discuss: The Cavalier Years. In particular, the wonderful Stumpy O’Leg McNoLeg.

  • Great DwarfCast! I enjoyed listening to you guys dissecting something else for a change and very much look forward to other “Dwarf adjacent” episodes (Robot Wars when? :D )

    Also thanks for giving some great responses to what was a fairly flippant waffle contribution from myself! I don’t really think it’s ‘pure tot’ but it is a show that has never quite found a slot in my comedy appreciation faculties. In all honesty I’ve almost certainly not given it enough of a chance though. I bounced off the few bits I caught on TV growing up (“oh look Rik Mayall is shouting and people are hitting each other a lot, how subversive” said my jumped up little brain) and the few times I’ve caught bits since have been when I think the prevailing comedy culture of the time has made me not want to or not able to connect with it properly. E.g. watching bits at uni when Spaced was the show for “my generation” just made it seem out of place and unrelatable.

    Basically, I’m going to give it another shot and this time try to watch it properly with an open mind!

    Blackadder ranking for me:

    4 = 2 > 3 > 1

    I think 4 just absolutely nails the incredible tightrope that is finding humour in a fucking atrocious situation without belittling or diminishing it.

    2 is a masterclass in so many ways – they laid the formula effortlessly and every episode is full of excellent gags and moments. This was also the first series I experienced and so it sticks in the mind more because of that. I say “experienced” rather than watched because my introduction to Blackadder was via the aduio cassette tapes rather than watching on repeat broadcast or VHS and I think that format really reveals the strength in the structure and dialogue of the show.

    3 is great but I never quite held the same affection for it, I think it’s because it’s relatively similar in setting to 2 and so perhaps felt a bit samey? Like I say it’s still very good and I’ll happily rewatch it whenever I get the chance.

    Blackadder waffle: what other era would you have liked to see them tackle with the format? Would a futuristic sci-fi version have been able to work with those characters? Would it have been able to distinguish itself from Dwarf?

  • Ahhhh man, I wanted to reply to that with the series 6 alt ending, with the urine recyc mustaches. But obviously its not on the Smega-Drive.

    Although… the urine recyc alternate ending is also in Smeg Ups, right? That’s maybe a more feasible thing to add to The Smega-Drive (in the long term, I must stress).

  • A rarely talked about episode for Wafflem’n to discuss: The Cavalier Years. In particular, the wonderful Stumpy O’Leg McNoLeg.

    The Cavalier Years is my favourite of the specials, a great little bonus era. I wondered if the civil war was considered for a potential series III setting and the script was salvaged from that, since it’s a lot better than required for a Comic Relief bit.

    It’s a shame Red Dwarf never did any similar specials at its peak. I guess that by the time it reached the required level of recognition, Grant Naylor were either too busy or breaking up?

  • I really enjoyed this chat and look forward to other “spin off” episodes in the future.

    Curious if any of you have ever watched (heard of) the Australian sitcom DAAS Kapitol? I listened to an Australian podcaster who did an episode about it a few years back and it convinced me that I needed to watch it. Its a sitcom set on a submarine (I think season 2, the submarine is in space for reasons) and stars the Doug Anthony All Stars. I describe it as a perfect cross between Red Dwarf and The Young Ones. It’s got that melancholic loneliness vibe Red Dwarf has whilst also being visually similar in its aesthetics. But it also has the anarchic comedy style of The Young Ones.

    Apparently, it was big in its day in Australia, but didn’t travel well…

  • Yeah, it’s been a while since I actually logged in and posted. I’m still listening to and enjoying the casts though. Often intend replying, but never seem to actually get around to it.

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