It will hardly have escaped anyone’s attention that 2023 is Red Dwarf‘s 35th anniversary year. And as tradition dictates, every five years we gather as many fans as possible, from every corner of the internet, to construct the ultimate ranking of each and every episode, and determine once and for all that the winner is Back To Reality again. 2013 was the Silver Survey. 2018 was the Pearl Poll. And now, 2023 is the year of the Coral Canvass.

But hold your horses, G&T regulars, because we’re doing things a little differently this time. We’ve previously always asked people for a big list of episodes ordered from best to worst, but we ran into a problem last time round, in that for whatever reason, not everybody included the most recent series in their rankings. This resulted in several submissions that had Twentica to Skipper as the bottom twelve, in broadcast order, which we don’t think affected the overall rankings, but certainly skewed the scores. Also, while putting together and tinkering with a huge list is an ideal way to spend an afternoon for the likes of us, it’s no doubt too daunting a task for many fans.

And so, we’re simplifying the process this year – we just want you to give every episode a mark out of ten. If you haven’t seen an episode enough times to make a judgement on it, just leave it blank. We’ll take an average of all the scores submitted for each ep, and then we’ll have our golden figure. Bear in mind that you’re judging these episodes against each other, rather than against other comedies or television in general. So even though Dwarf is your favourite programme, not every episode will be a 10 out of 10 – save that for your all time besties, and don’t be afraid to give your all time worsties a 1 or a 2.

We think this is a good solution that will make the poll as inclusive as possible for all Red Dwarf fans, but also give a fairer evaluation for the Dave era. And if we don’t like the way it works out, we’ll switch back for the 40th anniversary. Who celebrates a 35th anniversary anyway? It’s rubbish.

So go and vote vote vote! It’s fairly straightforward. Just select your rating for each episode from the dropdown. Any you don’t want to score, leave blank. If for some reason you need a reminder of which episode is which, tap or click on it for a synopsis, a Smega-Drive powered random image and a link to the pertinent Refresh For The Memory forum thread. Your entries will be automatically saved, and you won’t even need to submit – you can tweak your ratings up to the last minute should you wish, and it’ll automatically lock them in when the vote closes.

We’ll need an email address to help prevent spam and duplicate submissions; we won’t use your data in any way whatsoever, other than to send you a link that will allow you to transfer your progress to a different device if needed. There are optional demographic type questions to answer too, for use in the big write-up.

The Coral Canvass

If there are any technical issues you come across, please let us know in the comments or via email. The Coral Canvass closes at one minute past midnight on Wednesday 1st February 2023, and the results will be out two weeks later on Wednesday 15th February 2023, appropriately enough. VOTE.

76 comments on “Introducing the G&T Coral Canvass

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  • I should point out that Cappsy did approximately 98% of the work. I should, but I won’t.

    It’s very early days, but I’m already happy with the new system:

  • As fun as the coloured building blocks were, this makes more sense. For the rewatch I’ve been intuitively rating out of 10 first and then slotting them into the ongoing ranking, but the scores can shift a little when I see them ordered, so making a list and checking it endlessly until the deadline could help.

    I have a shitload of 7’s.

  • Looks cool! Will be interesting to see what happens when people are forced to give so many episodes equal score. Feels like it wouldn’t necessarily make a big difference to the final ranking, but maybe make it more tightly packed at the top?

    Clicked on one of the synopses, and a thought occurred to me… is there a chance that using the summaries from the G&T Complete Guide might influence the voting? 😂

  • Ha Jenuall’s meme is spot on for me.

    I’ve never participated in a poll before, couldn’t be bothered.  But sat down recently and decided to rank everything.

    I’ve now got to revaluate everything again.  Shouldn’t be too much of a problem but now I’ve got everything lined up 1-74, going through and scoring from 10 will cause a bit of internal debate with myself.

    oooooh, just divide the list by 10 and every 7ish episode get a score higher than the 7 before.

  • I’ll admit, I’ve been on the fence about the 1 – 10 system right up until last night when I actually did my real scores and found it incredibly natural and easy to do. Taking away worrying about other episodes when you’re trying to work out what you think of another episode is quite freeing.

  • Just to clarify something about the new system, are the rankings standardised? E.g. if Person A scored all episodes between 1 and 5, and Person B scored all episodes between 6 and 10, would A’s 5s count the same as B’s 10s, or would B be recognised as ranking the entirety of Red Dwarf higher than A?

  • At the moment, we’re not addressing that in the formula, the thinking being that everyone will have their own internal consistency, but if someone is voting no higher than 5 then that means they don’t like those top episodes as much as someone who votes 10 so the 5s will contribute less to the placing.

    All we’re doing is taking each episode’s total score and dividing it by the amount of people who submitted a score for it and looking at the current list, that is working well.

  • I’ll admit, I’ve been on the fence about the 1 – 10 system right up until last night when I actually did my real scores and found it incredibly natural and easy to do. Taking away worrying about other episodes when you’re trying to work out what you think of another episode is quite freeing.

    Where as what I’ve found now is a system that feels ludicrous to be marking some episodes in the same ranking because the scoring is so limited.

    I’m sure it’ll all work out, but by splitting the 74 into groups of 7, there’s stuff at the top and bottom of each ranking that feels wrong to be given the same score.

    For example Epideme and Nanarchy are of course better than Timewave, but they all have to score a 1.

    Of course could move those two up into the 2 scores, but then are they as good as Cassandra? Of course not.

  • I’m sure it’ll all work out, but by splitting the 74 into groups of 7, there’s stuff at the top and bottom of each ranking that feels wrong to be given the same score.

    The quality of jumbled Red Dwarf won’t be even, you should just change some numbers to what feels more right and don’t worry about group sizes. I’ve got (up to series X) seven 10s, eight 9s, three 8s, twelve 7s, eight 6s, seven 5s, five 4s, three 3s, four 2s and four 1s. It makes sense to me as much as it ever can.

  • OK, non-standardised it is then, cool.

    I’m definitely on board with just being able to group episodes together without having to stress about their exact rankings. The only major drawback is it’ll mean I can’t give The Last Day the special recognition it deserves.

    The division among us is in how willing we are to let go of the idea of our submissions being our own definititve rankings. Once you let go, Quinn, you will be at peace.

    For example Epideme and Nanarchy are of course better than Timewave, but they all have to score a 1.

    Of course could move those two up into the 2 scores, but then are they as good as Cassandra? Of course not.

    Well the solution here is obvious: give Epideme a higher score than Cassandra, as is correct.

  • I like how quick that was to do. Done


    i hate that I had to give duct soup as much as 1. Can you please move that down a few decimal places in the comments ! 

    Good luck and I look forward to reading February’s results.

  • I did find coming up with a ranking for all of them much easier than expected, but it’s going to need a couple of checks over before I’m totally happy with it I think!

    Is there a final submit button or is it just a case of whatever we’ve got on their come deadline day is what is taken?

  • The latter. So you can enjoy several sleepless nights between now and February 1st, agonising over whether or not to have just one more check through.

  • Amazing.  I haven’t had chance to rewatch but I can easily fit it into the entirely empty next few weeks (I’m not even joking – March-November are the months with always something more important happening for me) and this method sounds so much simpler than an overall relative ranking.  Woohoo!

  • I’ve rated up to and including X, but definitely need the refresh of the re-watch before doing XI/XII.

    Already been side-eyeing where i have matching ratings on episodes from different series (Holoship and Tikka with the same score? Doesn’t seem right…)

  • What if the scale went up to 11, but you could only give 11 to 1 episode.

    Admittedly, people would probably just waste it on Back to Reality.

  • Done. May revisit before deadline but….. must admit thats not likely lol. Have watched all episodes so many times I have a real good idea of where they stand with me. 

    I wasn’t signed in here when I took it, hope that doesn’t matter………….

  • Nah, that makes no difference. I can see your submission, you’re grand.

    *whew* Thank you for easing my mind on that. I’d have worried about it for a few days then signed in and re-did it lol. 

  • Ok, been going over my answers anyway lol. I’m struck by how many times I’ve said to myself “no, wait! I can’t have____ the same score as ____ , can I? Then I read the synopsis and remember “Oh yeah, that sub plot sucked” or some other drivel of my old age induced need to level everything off. Ruminating along those lines brought me to the conclusion  that Red Dwarf walked a fine line between utter greatness and cheesy Benny Hillishness (minus the pretty girls) for the most part. Sort of like we are all a combination of those 2 states of being. Maybe that’s why I love this show so very much.

  • This is the first poll where everything’s fresh in my memory and I haven’t been relying on hazy memories going back to the early 2000s in some cases (maybe even late 90s).

    Even some episodes I know inside and out I’ve changed my mind on after catching up again, realising I don’t rate them so much any more or am only now appreciating their greatness.

    I think I’ll trust my 2023 judgement on the bottom 20 for subsequent surveys though, no need to go through all that again.

  • Two things I don’t like about this poll:

    1. I can score everything out of ten just fine, but when I compare the scores against each other, I just about lose my mind fretting and fussing about it all.

    2. I still have my confirmation email from the Pearl Poll, and I’ve found it incredibly bothersome to have some episodes ranked higher on that list than episodes I’ve given more points to on this one. They’re usually all within a point of each other though, so it’s not too bad. 

    One thing I like about this poll

    1. Different to the other one, innit. (I like the other method too). 

  • Have you all maybe considered that you are the ones that are wrong about what you think of the episodes and it is THE POLL which is correct? It is offering you a window into your souls.

  • Cappsy, I for one find this much more freeing than previous polls. I simply don’t have time anymore to sit and work out my order. But scoring them out of ten? Much more convenient.

    Also, I’m intending to do a Dwarf marathon sometime around Christmas/ New Year so I can adjust my scores until the deadline if I want to.

    I’m surprised at how many 7’s I have overall. And it also looks like XI is my favourite series of the Dave era.

  • Bit bored tonight so I’m sharing my 10’s with you (so far, they may change):

    Queeg

    Justice

    Back To Reality

    Legion

    Out of Time

    Give & Take

  • Future Echoes 

    Me2

    Kryten

    Thanks for the Memory

    Queeg

    Marooned 

    White Hole

    Inquisitor 

    Quarantine 

    Back to Reality 

    Gunmen of the Apocalypse 

    Out of Time 

  • Stasis Leak

    Demons & Angels

    Emohawk: Polymorph II

    Stoke me a Clipper

    Back in the Red: Part II

    Krytie TV

    Pete: Part II

    Back to Earth: Part I

    Dear Dave

    Timewave

  • I was disappointed when plucky underdogs Bodyswap and Waiting for God were finally pushed out of my top 10 by more conventional shite.

  • Cured

    Gunmen of the Apocalypse

    Out of Time

    Justice

    White Hole

    Holoship

    Lemons

    Marooned

    My 10s, also my top 8 

  • American fan here. Registered an account specifically to participate and discuss this poll. Queeg is my number one.

  • Based on my current Coral Canvas conclusions (CCCC), Series II is edging V, 55 to 53. Seems about right, as I’ve long considered those to be vying for ‘best series’ crown.

  • Inside my No 9’s…

    Future Echoes

    Me2

    Kryten

    Thanks for the Memory

    Marooned

    Polymorph

    Timeslides

    Dimension Jump

    Meltdown

    The Inquisitor

    Gunmen of the Apocalypse

    Lemons

    Twentica

    Officer Rimmer

    Krysis

    M-Corp

    Skipper

    and that’s it! It’s the middling ones that keep changing place in my ranking.

  • 10s: Holoship, Back to Reality, Gunmen of the Apocalypse, White Hole, Thanks for the Memory, Quarantine, Marlon Brando

  • Happy New Year all!

    Watched ‘Parallel Universe’ last night. It’s not dated well at all. I think Rob and/or Doug would make a terrific episode (or novel) about that central idea nowadays but ‘Parallel Universe’ is so stereotypical and falls flat. Similarly, I like the idea of the Dog but they go nowhere with it. A bit like the conclusion, really.

    Best scene is the “worm do” conversation with Rimmer and Lister. But the episode as a whole has massively changed place in my rankings.

  • Each to their own, but each time I watch Parallel Universe I enjoy it and I think it has aged pretty well all things considered. It isn’t exactly subtle, but considering some of the other ‘issue’ episodes that Dwarf has done (eg. Fathers and Suns and Timewave) maybe that’s for the best. Many of the criticisms of male behaviour are still valid.

    Love the Lockdown Commentary from Rob, Ed and Paul, too.

  • Yeah, this is kind of repeating myself from the dedicated thread, but the outcome of rewatching Series 2 Byte 2 for me was definitely that Parallel Universe is considerably underrated, and Stasis Leak is considerably overrated.

    In fact, Stasis Leak is now my least favourite bubble era episode. Not sure if it’ll be by enough to be a whole point below the worst of the other 35. Will be interesting to decide that!

  • I’ve never been a big fan of ‘Stasis Leak’. And the ending has always stumped me. It just sort of ends and it doesn’t feel like there’s been any point to it.

    I’m also undecided exactly how I feel about ‘Balance of Power,’ and ‘The Last Day’.

  • I’ve never been a big fan of ‘Stasis Leak’. And the ending has always stumped me. It just sort of ends and it doesn’t feel like there’s been any point to it.

    I’m also undecided exactly how I feel about ‘Balance of Power,’ and ‘The Last Day’.

    it a classic Red Dwarf abrupt ending

    though to be fair to it Lister went back to marry Kochanski and finds out he doesn’t, yet. Rimmer tpwants fo send himself to Stasis and send himself insane.

    there’s not much more after that. They return to the present.

  • I’ve never been a big fan of ‘Stasis Leak’. And the ending has always stumped me. It just sort of ends and it doesn’t feel like there’s been any point to it.

    I’m also undecided exactly how I feel about ‘Balance of Power,’ and ‘The Last Day’.

    it a classic Red Dwarf abrupt ending
    though to be fair to it Lister went back to marry Kochanski and finds out he doesn’t, yet. Rimmer tpwants fo send himself to Stasis and send himself insane.
    there’s not much more after that. They return to the present.

    Yes, maybe I’ve just never gotten on board with it but the standard of Series 2 is generally so high that I’m harsher when it doesn’t hit the mark.

    Actually, as I’m currently dipping in and out to help with my rankings, I’m finding that I’m still hugely impressed by Series 2 all these years later.

  • The only thing that confuses me a bit about Stasis Leak is how comfortable Rimmer seems to be with badmouthing Hollister (even before he thinks he’s an hallucination) but it’s still funny as fuck from beginning to end.

  • Was trying to gather my thoughts on Pete Part 1 as I couldn’t remember how it differed to Part 2 in terms of quality. “What’s Pete Part 1 like?” my brain questioned. Instantly someone on the podcast I was listening to said “it’s really subtle”. 

  • Everything I gave a 10:

    Future Echoes
    Kryten
    Thanks For The Memory
    Queeg
    Marooned
    Holoship
    Quarantine
    Back To Reality
    Legion
    Gunmen of the Apocalypse
    Out of Time

  • The only thing that confuses me a bit about Stasis Leak is how comfortable Rimmer seems to be with badmouthing Hollister (even before he thinks he’s an hallucination) but it’s still funny as fuck from beginning to end.

    Rimmer always seemed to be the top who would suck up to power and then immediately turn heel when that power shits on him. “You’re finished, Todhunter” is an example of this in the first episode. He sucks up to an officer and then switches to yelling about how much they suck after they call him a “smeghead”. In Waiting for God, we get the captain’s personal files with “I’ve always hated that pus-head Hollister” coming off the back of him praising the man relentlessly.

    I don’t think Rimmer genuinely respects power as much as he feels he’s supposed to do so in order to get ahead.

  • Indeed, he admits as much in Thanks for the Memory. He respects their positions, but he hates the people. 

    Still feels a bit off that he’d say what he did to Hollister in the opening scene of Stasis Leak.

  • It wasn’t just badmouthing.

    Screenshot from the Red Dwarf episode Stasis LeakScreenshot from the Red Dwarf episode Stasis LeakScreenshot from the Red Dwarf episode Stasis Leak

    And that was before he actively beat up Hollister later in the episode.

    I honestly feel that Rimmer was more in character for most of Series VIII than past-Rimmer was in Stasis Leak. He just loses his mind, and doesn’t even wait for the time travel weirdness to start.

  • It’s easier to forget about the stuff with the captain at the beginning as it’s mostly contained within a designated “recounting a funny off-screen event that wouldn’t be half as silly if we actually saw it” moment.

  • Still need to rewatch TPL, but the rest has been done. Here are my 10s:

    Me2
    Thanks for the Memory
    Marooned
    White Hole
    Holoship
    Quarantine 

    My 9s:
    Future Echoes
    Stasis Leak
    Queeg
    Terrorform
    Legion
    Out of Time

    And the dregs:

    3s:
    BitR2
    BitR3
    BtE1

    2s:
    Only the Good
    BitR1

    1s:
    Krytie TV
    Pete 1
    Pete 2
    Timewave

  • Averaging out the scores, they are, arranged in order:
    2 (8.5)
    V (8.166667)
    1 (7.833333)
    IV (7.833333)
    III (7.5)
    VI (7)
    XI (5.5)
    XII (5.333333)
    X (5.333333)
    VII (4.875)
    IX (4)
    VIII (2.25)

    It’s a shame that Timewave is in XII (or, indeed, that it exists), as it really drags the series down. Even with an average 5/10 episode in its place, it would average at a 6.

  • My 10s:

    Future Echoes

    Thanks For The Memory

    Marooned

    Justice

    Dimension Jump

    The Inquisitor 

    Back To Reality

    Legion

    Out Of Time

    ——–

    Feel like I’ve maybe been too generous with so many given top marks, but in each case I can’t think of anything significant that doesn’t work or which could be changed to make them better.

  • Me2, Thanks for the Memory, White Hole, Dimension Jump, Quarantine, Gunmen of the Apocalypse, Out of Time. White Hole flickers between 10 and 9, but I might as well be positive.

  • Me² wavers between 9 and 10 for me. Having just rewatched it again recently (since recording my CC scores) I agree it probably deserves full marks.

    White Hole is a 9 for me. I love it but the disjointedness of the parallel plots counts against it ever so slightly for me.

  • Nothing in I-VI gets less than a 5 (only a few of those); nothing after gets more than a 7 (only a few of those). This is how I was rating things before I knew we were supposed to. I’d say it’s more rating on the potential of how good Red Dwarf can be, rather than a balanced spectrum of how good it actually was… but maybe that’s just the same thing.

    8 is a very select grading that seemingly only applied from series I-III.

    Series VI has the most balanced bytes (5 7 10, 5 7 10). XI byte 1 is the most consistent byte (all 6s, all adjacent and almost interchangeable in my ranking). Can’t think of more meaningless stats right now, but eagerly awaiting those in the results.

  • Finally stopped procrastinating and put in my initial scores. Gave Stasis Leak the dressing down it deserves, but I couldn’t bring myself to score it lower than any episode in Series VIII. I’m not a monster.

  • Don’t think my opinions have really changed much since The Pearl Poll, so I’ve just worked my way down my PP list on my laptop, splitting it up appropriately – 10s to numbers 1-10, 9s to 11-25 or something like that, right down to Timewave and its 4. Then I’ve just gone through and rejigged the odd episode by a point or so if I think they deserve it. 

  • Not sure where to put this (it’s a mundane observation but specific to the CC), but The Last Day has thrown my ratings into confusion.  For me it feels like a 9.5 – excellent, just not quite to the level of enjoyment to be a 10.  So if it’s a 9, that means the other 9s are lower, push those down to an 8 and that means everything else has to be pushed down by 1 too … hmm.  This is a sticky wicket.

  • In my mind you shouldn’t need to rate your other 9s lower just to create a score difference between them and The Last Day… but clearly the optimal solution is to give The Last Day a very correct score of 10.

  • … clearly the optimal solution is to give The Last Day a very correct score of 10.

    That may well be the simplest – and probably fairest – solution 😄

  • I still maintain that Series XI is the very next best thing we’ve gotten to classic Red Dwarf even if it doesn’t do everything I’d want from a series.

  • I still maintain that Series XI is the very next best thing we’ve gotten to classic Red Dwarf even if it doesn’t do everything I’d want from a series.

    XI is definitely my favourite of the Dave era.

  • I love XII a lot but Timewave drags down the average so fucking hard. I wanted to give it my only ranking of 1 because I think it’s that bad. However, Skipper is probably the funniest episode of Dave Dwarf even if it’s not my absolute favorite. That seems to be Officer Rimmer just based on how many times I’ve thrown it on.

    The reveal of Mr. Rat might actually be the funniest joke in all of Red Dwarf. I think I’ll be bold enough to suggest that just based on my first viewing of it being the hardest I can ever remember laughing at this show.

  • If you were to combine the first half of XI and the second half of XII you’d have a series that could rival one or two of the weaker bubble series.

    The best thing is since they were the same production block and look you can basically just watch those halves and pretend that Timewave doesn’t exist.

  • I love XII a lot but Timewave drags down the average so fucking hard. I wanted to give it my only ranking of 1 because I think it’s that bad. However, Skipper is probably the funniest episode of Dave Dwarf even if it’s not my absolute favorite. That seems to be Officer Rimmer just based on how many times I’ve thrown it on.

    The reveal of Mr. Rat might actually be the funniest joke in all of Red Dwarf. I think I’ll be bold enough to suggest that just based on my first viewing of it being the hardest I can ever remember laughing at this show.

    The Lister and Cat decisions section of the first half and Mr. Rat are definitely in my all time top ten Red Dwarf moments, and are only matched by “so what is it?” and the Munchkin song in terms of how much the laughter has hurt.

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