Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum After 17 Years, Do We Need Another Fucking Opinion Piece On Series VIII?

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  • #216064

    Yes.

    Netflix has allowed me to rattle through Red Dwarf in record time and without fanfare, I arrived at Series VIII. I hadn’t watched it from start to finish for at least ten years and back then, I was in the company of new viewers who genuinely chuckled away but recently, I faced the abyss of VIII alone, cosy and tucked up in my bed but alone and boy, did the abyss stare back at me.

    I can’t fathom VIII to be entirely honest. It strikes me with a strange fear as I realise I’ll be watching characters that I have seen grow and go on unreal, deep-space adventures over the years be reduced to reactionary elements in a hostile, rather brutal environment from which there will be no escape for some time. The premise of VIII is rather jarring. Doug Naylor purposefully took us back to the mining ship Red Dwarf and with it, back to characters we barely glimpsed in fifteen minutes of the first episode, a few scenes here and there across the rest of the series and alongside them, fucking shocking parodies of prison inmates and staff straight out of Carry On Strangeways.

    We watched the boys (and later, gal) from the Dwarf do battle with enemies, humanoid, temporal and blob-like, we watched them fall in love with a pleasure GELF and quibble with each other but we could always rely on them banding together and never fearing the path in their wander back to Earth. We saw Lister grow up, still a space-bum but with his heart in the right place. Rimmer begins to reflect on his life, know he is a broken soul in many respects but try and indeed, succeed so resolutely when his back was against the wall. The Cat, of course, is the Cat and he doesn’t have to grow up, just be there when a woofer is needed. Then there’s Kryten, whose personal journey took him from a meek service mechanoid to not only a valued member of the crew but a friend and a sounding board with advice born from experience and his unique perspective.

    Then Doug threw them in prison. Now the technicalities and legality of the JMC judicial process have been so well discussed in previous articles, forum posts and podcasts, so I find myself unhappy and anxious in many respects when I watch Series VIII. The crew, who were alone on a mining ship in deep space, still had freedom and the freedom to explore the universe and in that, explore the inner-self with the weighty philosophical and metaphysical questions that come with it all tied-up in well-written, well-plotted comedy. Now our main cast has to react, and confine themselves to situations which are forced upon them through the overarching theme of the prison and they are wafer-thin, horrible situations to begin with.

    Doug wanted to bring back Red Dwarf, he wanted to bring back the crew. Now I can’t recall an interview where his reasons for choosing the prison setting are fully explained but I can only assume that he thought just bringing back the crew would be boring as we’ve already seen them in little glimpses here and there over the years. So for some fucking reason, he thought ‘I’ll put them in prison and I can populate that prison with one-dimensional, one-scene characters who do nothing but growl and punch and threaten’. There is no reason for the prison theme other than to completely remove the main cast from the familiarity of the preceding seven series. Doug wanted to mix it up and try something new, that’s perfectly understandable. Well, just bringing the crew back was change enough. We only have a grand total of thirty minutes television with Red Dwarf before the radiation leak and we know nothing about them bar stories and banter.

    The prison setting does not remove the main cast from the familiarity of their previous surroundings and allow them another path with the same freedoms to explore humour and story. All it does is severely limit what you can do in storytelling, breadth of character and the overall colour of the humour. As I watched Series VIII, I felt tense and very aware that all the main cast can do is line-up the humour through the prison setting almost always. I can’t even think of a scene where the cast aren’t butting their heads against the prison theme, they have zero freedom to give their opinion and reflect without it being filtered and cajoled through this horrible and enveloping element. As much as fans of the show shouldn’t try to interfere with the production and writing of the show, we do expect that we can ride along with the cast and not have to feel anxious that there’s some fucking dickhead a cell or guarded wing away from doing them real, serious damage.

    So the crew comes back, and we primarily deal with a gang of ruthlessly shite, psychopathic, sociopathic, violent and mentally unwell arseholes. That’s our lot I’m afraid. Every episode, every scene is reaction against what would be in real life, a very demanding, stressful, dangerous situation. You’re constantly getting punched in the head as you watch it with THIS IS PRISON, THIS IS SHIT, THESE ARE BASTARDS, THEY’LL HURT YOU, THEY’LL MURDER YOU, THEY’RE PEOPLE WHO IF YOU LOOK AT, LET ALONE SPEAK TO THE WRONG WAY, THEY WILL ASSAULT YOU AND GUT YOU AND THEY DO NOT FUCKING CARE AT ALL.

    Punch, punch, punch. There is no escape for the main cast and therefore, no escape for you. You have to find humour in the bleakness and the bleakness of the situation is all around, in every line, shot, scene and episode. It is a game of survival at this point and the comedy has to fundamentally scour down to the very bottom. I could easily see the prison deck become one episode of an alternate Series VIII, set on-board Red Dwarf and with the main cast out of their element but ironically and happily in many respects, back amongst the people they love and adore. Old friends, old love interests, old enemies but none of them so unapologetically horrible as the characters within the prison itself.

    There are no redeeming features to Series VIII, the overall theme was completely broken from the get-go, from the moment Doug thought to put them in prison. The comedy, every line of it, revolves around prison and the brutality of prison and as much as I don’t demand realism in comedy, it is such a fucking parody of prison that all I can do is see Series VIII as a strange spin-off that is in no way part of the main lineage. Series VII has big flaws in concept and writing but it still keeps the heart of the show ticking and still wants to explore the characters. I was watching Series VII and genuinely liking a lot of it but in the back of my mind thinking ‘fuck, soon I’m up against VIII’ and I shouldn’t be thinking that with comedy, let alone the show that has united us all and brought us all such joy and friendship and common purpose over the years.

    If Doug wanted to change things, he could’ve brought back the crew and in that, explored life on a tramp steamer in space, amongst people who weren’t parodies or brutal, violent characterisations that didn’t have the shelf-life of one scene let alone eight episodes and we could’ve seen how the main cast felt finally being home. Maybe not back on Earth, but back amongst the hustle and the bustle, back on Z-shift, back to the day to day and in that, new adventures, new perspectives and a new era for Red Dwarf.

    #216066
    cwickham
    Participant

    I’m sure this has also been discussed many times before, but what exactly is going on outside the prison? Hollister is aware that the ship is now 3 million years into deep space, and Knott asks Cassandra if he makes it back to Earth… but is life just continuing as normal for the employees of the JMC? Is management still trying to keep this from the rest of the staff? Isn’t the version of Holly with the stupid massive forehead trying to do something about this? Hollister is in every episode of VIII bar one, and he should really be a bit concerned about this, but those two mentions are the only time it ever comes up.

    (Of course, had “Earth” been made as planned it would have come up again… but it’s still surely a bigger concern than organising an inmates vs. warders basketball match.)

    #216072

    I’ve tried, many times, to come up with an explanation for series VIII. None of it makes sense. From Kryten and Cat being consigned to prison despite being creatures from the crew’s future, through to the crew seemingly carrying on with their duties (Rimmer being on probation in Only the Good suggests they’re in prison for more than enough time for the crew to realise they’re no longer in the solar system), and the absurd size on The Tank, given that it’s only one floor on the ship. Obviously.”, it’s easily possible to make genuine dramatic and/or comedic criticisms of every scene in the whole series, but the basic concept of the series is just totally ridiculous. Like many, I was looking forward to a return to the status quo (in fact, the escape on Blue Midget in BitR3 actually had me thinking the series would see them in even more dire straits than in VI; I was also really relieved to be free of the revived crew), but even if the crew had to be there, a far more intriguing scenario could be played out with Lister returned to Z shift duties after years of autonomy, and Cat and Kryten facing restricted access due to research. There are so many potentially interesting character studies to be made from reintroducing the characters to a routine situation after several years of adventures, as well as them helping the crew cope with being so far from home. But no, we get erection jokes and Kryten in a Jeremy Beadle beard.

    #216073
    srmcd1
    Participant

    It would’ve been so much better IMO if they had just parodied the whole Star Fleet Federation thing with the Dwarfers still going on their zany adventures, but now they have to actually follow the Space Corps directives, and all that bureaucracy Rimmer tried to force down their throats suddenly becomes what’s expected of them. I envision a series where Red Dwarf’s sudden influx of humans sparks the interest of all the GELFs and Simulants of the galaxy, and Lister, Rimmer, Cat, Kryten and Kochanski become a special on-board task force utilized by Hollister to advise on and deal with these outer space baddies and repair the vending machines in between.

    Have a series where they have people to answer to, deal with the human race existing again, and then in the finale, have the resurrected crew decide to settle on an S3 planet and terraform it into a new version of Earth, leaving Lister and co Red Dwarf to continue the journey back to actual Earth.

    And give nano-Rimmer the memories of the holo-Rimmer so all that character development gets hurled out the window.

    But no, I suppose “Porridge in Space” makes for gripping sci-fi comedy, right?

    #216074

    I remember seeing Ronnie Barker talking about the original idea of Porridge, in which he suggested something much more Carry On-like, with them smuggling women into the prison etc., and then it ended up being much more hard hitting and dramatic, obviously for the better.
    VIII feels almost like that original idea.

    #216076
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    The biggest problem I had with VIII is that where the JMC felt real in the earlier series, it didn’t in VIII.

    #216077
    Taiwan Tony
    Participant

    Well done for watching and thinking about VIII in such detail. I didn’t bother to watch it all when it was originally broadcast.
    It really does seem like Ronnie Barker’s original idea for Porridge. Written by a child.

    >The Cat, of course, is the Cat and he doesn’t have to grow up, just be there when a woofer is needed.

    Irony.

    #216298
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Whenever I recommend Red Dwarf to people, I always say to skip VIII. Only VIII, because I do think that VII has its merits. Nowhere near the I-VI era, but if the jokes aren’t there it at least stays true to the hard sci-fi world and shows a laudable respect for the show’s narrative. Similarly, BTE is hugely flawed with parts that fall flat but similarly shows a respect for the narrative. Simply put, I believe that VII and BTE, while flawed, are at least worth watching whereas VIII isn’t, to the point where it’s a negative and detracts from the show, which is why I make this recommendation to newcomers…

    When watching Red Dwarf, skip right from Nanarcy to Back to Earth.

    You lose absolutely nothing by missing VIII. They’ve still never explicitly explained holo-Rimmer’s reappearance. And tonally, BTE is similar to VII. Both series also actually give Chloe Annet something to do. If you cut right from Starbug flying into a giant Red Dwarf to Nine Years Later with Lister at the grave with a pic of Chloe Annet and a Pride & Prejudice reference, it just works. However you fill in the gap between VII and BTE is certain to be better than VIII.

    To be fair, you lose one thing by doing that: the gag about the corrosive micro-organism in The Beginning. But that’s a price I’ll gladly pay.

    The ultimate tragedy of VIII is the wasted potential. The prison storyline was likely a bust, though if you squint and tilt your head you can maybe see comic potential in the chaotic rebel Dwarfers teaming up against “the man.” If you’re gonna bring the crew back, it should’ve been in a competent hard sci-fi fashion. There would still be room for jokes. Just look at Samsara, which just aired. The tone of the human crew was played fine. It is do-able. Hard sci-fi and funny. You could’ve kept Rimmer and Lister in the Montague bunkroom, and then put Kochanski in the drive room to hang out with Hollister to be used Series I-II style as often or as sparingly as required (it still boggles the mind why her rank didn’t have any clout in VIII. Dave Lister you stole a Starbug along with Kristine Kochanski… what? She’s a navigation officer. Her stealing Starbug is a bigger deal than Lister. Whatever.). And then since the Dwarfers had experience with the future, Hollister could have sent them on missions, which could be considered a shit job one rank up from repair man, so you could’ve hybridized the I-II era with the V-VI era in glorious fashion. But alas, it was not meant to be.

    For the years VIII was the final season, I did kind of appreciate how it was kind of a culmination. Regardless of the execution, it’s a season that brings back positive viruses and name drops Legion and Future Echoes. There’s a theme of Lister, having been on his own for so many years, now a space adventurer, coming back to the pre-accident setting. BITR1 explores this, and it’s actually kind of cool that Lister has to sell Rimmer on how he’s changed. The imagery of Lister in his Series VI-VII adventurer clothes returning to the Montague bunkroom is actually really well-done.
    (There’s a pic of Doug in the VIII script book where he’s working on his computer at the table in the recreated Montague bunkroom. I used to think that was a cool picture. Now I think, that’s probably when he was creating the masterpiece that is Pete Part Two.) There are some cool things about VIII, but obviously the execution isn’t one of them. Just some neat ideas on the fringes that could’ve been explored more. But… yeah. My policy is to skip it.

    #216300

    Yeah, that idea pains me now because done right, an alternate VIII based around the main cast settling back into life with the resurrected crew could’ve been great as it would’ve served as both a far more natural continuation of the series and also a thematic insight into pre-accident Red Dwarf without all the bollocky prison pish.

    Some ideas for episodes.

    – Back In The Red becomes a solid hour-long special that deals with Z-shift getting used to the day to day after seven years of being motley space adventurers.

    – Lister, Petersen, Selby & Chen go off on a piss-up and inadvertently discover the prison deck. Hijinks ensue involving trading temporarily trading Rimmer for cigarettes and Kryten becoming the ideal prison councillor and upon conclusion, WE NEVER HEAR OF THE TANK AGAIN, THANK YOU.

    – Kochanski tries to help Rimmer’s career along, acting as a go between for Rimmer and Hollister while Lister and Kryten grapple with a particularly troublesome after-effect of nanobot reconstruction, there are duplicates of the Boys from the Dwarf running around the ship.

    – The long delayed Cat episode, may as well really, it’s either that or he becomes the compere for Parrots and there’s a philosophical sub-plot with the karaoke machine.

    I wonder if Doug would have the nerve to write a full crew series for XIII or XIV, it miiiiiiight just work.

    #216304
    locusceruleus
    Participant

    Good posts here. I loathe 8 and quite like 7 (yeah, didn’t use your poxy roman numerals there and I didn’t even capitalise roman. Didn’t like that did you?) and I think the points raised are pretty much why I feel that way.

    I can’t let any reference to 8 go by without mentioning how UTTERLY SHIT the comedy was though. Nevermind the premise, the fact that the mains no longer have autonomy etc. The jokes are beyond pathetic. It’s quite remarkable that the show has come back from that, especially after such a long absence.

    #216305
    locusceruleus
    Participant

    Watching Pete because I can’t sleep, my fiance’s asleep and I don’t love myself.

    The sentence was apparently 2 years.

    Why are we supposed to find Cat getting punched in the stomach and beaten with a truncheon funny? Why do the studio audience find this funny?

    #216306
    locusceruleus
    Participant

    God, they actually get sentenced to play basketball against Ackerman. For fuck’s sake. It’s National Lampoon’s Space Bollocks.

    “Boing, The Virility Enhancement Drug”….Jesus Christ…..

    Ah yes, Kryten’s ‘skin’ suit. I remember that pissing me off when it aired. I mean, what’s the virtue of that, technologically speaking?

    It’s a shame Mac is wasted on such lame material, because he’s consistently great.

    Lister just called Rimmer a gimboid. Is that the last use of gimboid to date?

    God, Craig looks about 25.

    The thing with Lister & Bob the Skutter conspiring to get him vindaloo was kind of cute.

    #216307
    locusceruleus
    Participant

    Oh God, the spuds scene. Pure Benny Hill. If you can program the bots to eat the potato skins, program them to get you out of there! “Potato Paradise” gets a huge laugh, Seriously.

    The Morse Code pipe tapping gags remind me of Bottom Live 2. That was broad as anything and still better than this.

    Oh, Holly’s suddenly in it, 16 minutes in.

    Time Wand, a.k.a. Bernard’s Watch, the allegedly adult sitcom years.

    Little Chef waitress gag. Sigh.

    Cat has an Afro. Ha. Ha. “You look like the Turkish entry in the Eurovision song contest.” Yeah, those Turks and their Afros. It’s funny because it’s uh…..true?

    Kryten has a huge head. And spare latex apparently. God this is so bad.

    Harmonica nudity montage. The whole shows nadir.

    “THAT’S IT! TWO MONTHS! IN THE HOLD!!!!” I don’t even know what this show is. It’s not Red Dwarf and it’s bloody awful. Even Mac can’t do it anymore. It’s the Simpsons Animal House parody.

    One of Kochanski’s few lines and it’s about wanting a boob job. No, Doug. No,

    Oh now Cat is having his face scalded with hot soup. That’s funny isn’t it. No one likes Cat. Up yours, Cat. Get your face burned, you feline arsehole. By the way I wrote Danny a fan letter when I was 10 and had measles. He sent me back a cool signed photo.

    Is it just me or is this Birdman in the hold scene ripping off Rik Mayall with Mr. Rat and Mr. Key in the first series of Blackadder?

    Birds are descended from dinosaurs. Yeah, so it makes sense that using a time wand makes a bird turn into one. Totally.

    May as well watch part 2. It can’t get any worse, he said with a voice laden with doom.

    #216308
    srmcd1
    Participant

    I think the “Kryten’s Corrupted Files” bit from BITR would’ve made an interesting episode all its own. Some Space Corps regulation forces him to submit to being reprogrammed – without Lister’s knowledge – and he loses all his science-y knowledge right when they need it, like some sort of GELF appears and he can’t translate, or he has no knowledge of the latest wibbly thing in space.

    #216311
    Moonlight
    Participant

    When watching Red Dwarf, skip right from Nanarcy to Back to Earth.

    I thought of this too, but you came up with more reasons than I had. And the idea of using the resurrected crew to do a true series in pre-accident Dwarf is another one I’ve always wished they’d done.

    I do think though that the Series VIII ending, minus the Death stuff obviously, could have held a lot of weight in an episode that wasn’t one big pile of nonsense. Need to cure for a virus? JUST FUCKING WALK THROUGH THE MIRROR, THEY’LL HAVE IT. Just build a portal machine using — no, fuck it, just cut to it completed. And by “everything’s opposite” we mean operating on cartoon logic. Mirror Cat is a genius, because at that point Cat’s only personality trait was being stupid. Thank god X and XI came along. Where did Cat even stay in prison, anyway?

    And don’t even get me STARTED on how fucking stupid the Remastered Blue Midget was, and VIII even added little arms so it could do air guitar. Because of course they would design shuttlecraft not only with legs but able to dance. And before you go “It was a simulation!”, why the fuck would a simulation that was meant to otherwise mimic reality let you do a fucking dance number with the shuttle craft? So, logically, we must assume that Blue Midgets are just able to dance like that in real life.

    You know I’ve seen people claim “Red Dwarf never took itself seriously.” Series VIII is what we get when Red Dwarf doesn’t take itself seriously. It threw all narrative integrity out the window and turned into one of those shows that thinks having jokes excuses it from adhering to any kind of internal logic. That’s the kind of shit Family Guy pulls, and NOBODY should want to be like Family Guy.

    #216313
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Whenever I recommend Red Dwarf to people, I always say to skip VIII.

    I misread this as “skip to VIII” and nearly fainted with disbelief.

    #216348

    Fuck’s sake, the suggestions by Renegade Rob, Pete Tranter’s Sister and srmcd1 just highlight how much of a wasted opportunity it was.

    My favourite is still the one I developed from the idea I had halfway through BitR, of where I thought it was going: the main cast have escaped on Blue Midget, and have to live alone, possibly pursued by the ship’s crew, until they can put together a water-tight case. They hunt for the nanobots, have a few adventures, and eventually come across some sort of space-menace that they have to save the crew from. As thanks, they are allowed freedom of the ship – just in time for the nanobots to realise the mistake they’ve made, and wipe out the crew once more. A bleak ending, and a reset.

    Or y’know, they could have just arrived back on Red Dwarf and continued in series IV/V style.

    #216414
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    There’s a lot of logical inconsistencies that never made sense to me in some of the premise.

    – Lister had the run of the ship after the nuclear accident and points out to Rimmer that he’d had access to all sort of stuff like the crew’s confidential files, medical records, psychiatric reports etc. How did he not discovered the Tank whilst wandering about, reading the files or even just Holly letting it slip? Especially as there appear to be multiple wings and

    – If there was a prison aboard the ship already, what was the point in sentencing Lister to eighteen months in a stasis booth?

    – Surely the very existence of Kryten and Cat corroborate Lister’s story about the crew’s death to an extent.

    – Holly mentions that the prisoners were being transported to a prison colony on Adelphi XII, which is presumably a planet. Seeing as Red Dwarf was a mining ship and officially mining the outer reaches of the solar system, it would be a little difficult to hide from the crew that they were leaving the solar system for another planet.

    – I’m sure the female prisoners only showering three times a week in Krytie TV can’t be right. Even if it is a three hour long shower. Especially bizzare as Rimmer and Lister have a shower in their cell.

    My biggest criticism has to be how the rest of the crew – Captain Hollister, Doctor McLaren and Warden Ackerman in particular – are presented as just as incompetent and eccentric as the Boys from the Dwarf. Hollister especially goes from being an authorative, intelligent officer to a bumbling idiot concerned with only stuffing his face or getting his leg over.

    #216417

    Percy, I was going to try and explain away your queries but I can’t.

    Cat flies Starbug into the nanobot rebuild of Red Dwarf, some rather HILARIOUS off-screen escapades take place and ten years later, we watch Lister head towards the bunkroom with a bag of tomatoes and a sly grin on his mug. Series VIII is not part of continuity.

    Are we all agreed?

    All those in favour, say aye.

    All those against, say ‘Sexual magnetism is essentially date-rape and that’s fucking lulzy. Oh boy, how I love dancing Blue Midgets that eat up 25% of the budget and more so, gimme some of those cheap, derisory plot elements that mean even the most well-intended episodes turn the cast into tedious and warped facsimilies of themselves’.

    I – II – III – IV – V – VI – VII – BTE – X – XI – XII

    #216418
    Dax101
    Participant

    Like all things, it depends whether a series stands the test of time.

    #216419
    Dax101
    Participant

    Fanclub magazine 2002 (i think) ;p

    #216420

    Yeah, and I remember once liking my ex who punched me in the stomach and then accused me of assaulting her.

    But unlike that situation, Series VIII’s dad will never come round to my house and profusely apologise to my mum for his daughter’s behaviour and ask that the police don’t get involved.

    That was a strange, sad time.

    #216422
    MANI506
    Participant

    Fan Club magazine 1999 surely. I was still a member then. I will re-join one day, just gotta get my ducks in a row.

    #216424
    Dax101
    Participant

    Yeah you are right it is from 1999, for some reason i didn’t think i had joined the fanclub in that year, i thought it was much later

    #216430

    Crazy. Even as a mid-teen with more time for nob gags and without the cynicism of adulthood that provides the knowledge that even the best things can go utterly shit, I remember finding VIII uncomfortable viewing at times and it was always at the bottom for me. Too many flat jokes, broad performances, non-plots and really tacky production values (I’m completely with Chris on the ’70s sci-fi font he mentions in the commentary – it stood out to me as really cheesy on first watch).
    Actually, the look of VIII is something I don’t think gets mentioned so often, but I really hate it. It has a garishness that makes it look more like a cheap set than the first two series ever did.
    Also, Kochanski’s outfit and hair dramatically changing between scenes on either side of the cliffhanger winds me up so much.

    #216436
    NoFro
    Participant

    I did a complete Dwarf run through with my girlfriend earlier this year. She thought the actress for Kochanski changed between VII and VIII.

    #216492
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    I remember being very excited when the then-current series of Gimme Gimme Gimme ended and the first trailer for RD VIII aired. I was so ready for a new series.

    I don’t remember laughing once over the following six weeks. Not once.

    I mean, VII still holds up for me. I know a lot of people don’t like it – outright loathe it, in fact – but ropey CG and bad models shots aside, I still dig it. VIII, though? Oof. Embarrassing. I’ve rewatched X more times than I’d ever admit to having watched VIII.

    #216494

    A reworked VII with newly shot models, edits for pacing and the odd duff gag, insertion of some vital deleted scenes or even single shots, a tweaked laughter track and going back to the original tapes and using the 50i look as with I to VI instead of the processed 25p version we got would actually bring VII right back up.

    There’s nothing inherently bad with VII, it just needs a good polish for the 20th anniversary.

    Tikka To Ride, Ouroboros, Blue, Beyond a Joke and Nanarchy are really funny. Now imagine them with some right good model work, a few edits made in hindsight and playing along at 50i.

    #216495

    I honestly find the humour in VII really lacking. I know a lot of people rate Tikka, but I can’t stand it. Just full of the crap I hate about late ’90s Dwarf – sentient confused video cameras, ‘wacky’ Kryten, lol curry, nonsensical cheap shit like the pizza gag, the cannibalism scene, a plot that makes literally no sense.

    Most of Blue and the Holly stuff in Nanarchy is about as far as I can get in VII without sighing and / or cringing.

    #216498
    Jimboid
    Participant

    I still think that Back in the Red Part 1 is decent and Cassandra is actually very good.

    The rest can sod off.

    #216509

    Funnily enough, I’ve been introducing my partner to Red Dwarf recently (before we attended the Twentica screening in Edinburgh), and she really loved watching the show … right up until Back In The Red, whereupon she said, 8 minutes in, ‘wow, I never thought that they could get Red Dwarf wrong…’. She didn’t want to watch the rest of the episode, let alone the rest of the series. Ironically, she loved BTE (in a ‘it’s like the best Children In Need Special anyone ever made’ kind of a way).

    #216512

    Hmm, Back To Earth does play like a Children In Need special when you think about it, it’s one of the more harmless episodes of Red Dwarf.

    I can almost hear the mixed-in laughter and cheers from the studio audience as the cast step onto the Coronation Street set then some audible grunts from various disabled members of the audience before the mixing desk quickly mutes them.

    #216514

    My girlfriend, knowing Rob left at some point, thought it was after V and really struggled with Psirens. She just made it through VI, but only carried on to resolve the cliffhanger. After Tikka she said she didn’t want to watch any more because it would ruin her memory of the first five series.

    Interestingly, it took her half of III before she could come to terms with how much it changed. She’d never seen a second of the show before, so it was really interesting to gauge her response, and her surprise and laughter really brought new life to episodes which I’d seen 50+ times.

    #216516

    You know the rule, ID.

    Doesn’t like VI? Get her fucking ditched.

    #216524

    It’s ok, VI is by far my least favourite of the classic run so I get where she’s coming from, even if she exaggerated it. There are far more dumpable offences.
    Like when I started showing her The Fast Show and she didn’t laugh at all.

    #216526
    pfm
    Participant

    > Like when I started showing her The Fast Show and she didn’t laugh at all.

    There are only a small handful of sketches/characters that make me laugh, especially now. I don’t think it’s aged particularly well… It was alright when everyone was talking about it at school, though I like darker humour, usually so dark it’s almost black…black….BLACK! Like the caverns where the mome raths hide….the raisins that line your icy tomb!! Mother, shall we dine tonight on Father’s tyres? The rubber rings circle his soul all withered and BLACK!!

    #216527
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    I still think that Back in the Red Part 1 is decent and Cassandra is actually very good.

    As a concept, “Back in the Red” isn’t bad. It falters on the execution, however.

    “Cassandra” worked much better the first time ’round, when it was “Future Echoes”.

    #216536

    I just don’t know you people anymore, prison’s changed you.

    #216537

    Cassandra is obviously the least awful and most Red Dwarf-like of the lot, but it’s way too chock-full of terrible, terrible jokes and nonsensical plot for me to actually find it an enjoyable episode.

    #216539
    Ridley
    Participant

    >As a concept, “Back in the Red” isn’t bad. It falters on the execution, however.

    As a concept, series VIII isn’t bad. Except maybe Kryten becomes Noel Edmunds.

    #216540
    Dax101
    Participant

    It could be worse when you think of the episode called Phwoaarr that didn’t get made in 8.

    #216543
    (deleted)
    Participant

    Phwoarrr was a working title for Krytie TV.

    I like Krytie TV, it’s the least of VIII’s worries.

    #216544
    Ridley
    Participant

    I liked it at the time but I… was a different person then.

    (*Edmonds)

    #216547
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    The problem I find with a lot of the episodes in VIII is that there’s not really a plot but instead a series of sketches vaguely connected together. Only the Good… is prorbably the best example of this.

    #216551

    Only the Good is such an appalling mess of an episode. I actually can’t wait for the Dwarfcast commentary for it. C’mon chaps, get to it, you know you want to.

    #216554
    Jawscvmcdia
    Blocked

    Have you figured a way yet to get us out of here Hol?

    I have actually Dave… you could serve your entire 2 year sentence in just 14 weeks.

    Aw brilliant, what have I gotta do?

    Become a dog…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGs-yxgHMl4

    #216569
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    >As a concept, “Back in the Red” isn’t bad. It falters on the execution, however.

    To be fair, Back in the Red does touch on some neat ideas:

    -The idea of flying through and crashing into a shrinking Red Dwarf.
    -The general sentiment of giving the VI-VII Starbug an epic final goodbye.
    -The return of the Montague bunkroom, however brief, was a genuinely nice touch.
    -The idea that Lister would have to catch up old-school Rimmer and explain how he’s changed.
    -The idea that the crew wouldn’t know how to react to Kryten and Cat’s existence.
    -The idea of using knowledge/gizmos from earlier seasons to try and outmaneuver Hollister.
    -The idea that the Dwarfers are immediately outclassed and outsmarted by the actual JMC crew.

    The general culmination and full-circleness of Back in the Red had so much potential. I think all that potential was distorted by a need to over-correct for VII’s dryness and also, I think Doug had just seen Dirty Dozen again and was on a Dirty Dozen bent, which clearly inspired the prison setting.

    Speaking of the prison setting (tangent-time!), am I the only one who saw the Kyln sequence in Guardians of the Galaxy and was like “Ohh… I can kind of see what Doug was going for in VIII…” The Kyln is basically identical to the Tank in both structure (both are Panopticons) and color palette. The rag-tag band of misfits teaming up in prison felt like VIII done right. Of course, that whole sequence was only like 15 minutes, and they escaped rather quickly. It makes one wonder what could’ve happened if the Dwarfers had escaped their predicament at the end of Back in the Red instead of Only the Good… Also, the Dwarfers didn’t have Rocket or Groot to make the prison sequences more fun. Just a rapey dinosaur.

    #216573
    locusceruleus
    Participant

    > It could be worse when you think of the episode called Phwoaarr that didn’t get made in 8.

    Please be joking.

    #216702
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    That was a working title for KrytieTV, I believe.

    #216703
    Slainmonkey
    Participant

    Apparently the skeleton orgy in Samsara was actually a joke lifted from the script of Phwoaarr….or so I have been told.

    #216704
    Slainmonkey
    Participant

    I should say I can’t confirm the validity of that!

    #216705
    Taiwan Tony
    Participant

    >That was a working title for KrytieTV, I believe.

    Darrell done that earlier… http://www.ganymede.tv/forums/topic/after-17-years-do-we-need-another-fucking-opinion-piece-on-series-viii/#post-216543

    Am I the only person taking notes?

    #216723
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    Yes.

    #216724
    Taiwan Tony
    Participant

    >Yes.

    *reaches for scrapbook*

    #216728

    Brown Dwarf.

    #216779
    Jawscvmcdia
    Blocked

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    #216781
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Just a few more times, and it will start getting funny, Alex.

    #216787
    Hamish
    Participant

    > Apparently the skeleton orgy in Samsara was actually a joke lifted from the script of Phwoaarr….or so I have been told … I should say I can’t confirm the validity of that!

    If you are referring to the note on the Tongue Tied Wiki, I just said that the skeleton sex orgy was reminiscent of Phwoaarr, not lifted from it.

    Strangest sentence I have ever written.

    #216794

    Krytie TV: if it’s so easy for them to escape the tank and get into somebody’s quarters, why the fuck has nobody else done it? They do it twice with absolutely no trouble at all, and yet the series is based around them being ‘stuck’ in the prison.

    #216796
    Dax101
    Participant

    Well they are in a classified prison onboard the ship thats on a need to know only basis, i guess its just lucky the vents take them to wherever they need to go on the ship ;p

    And somehow the captain of this mining ship spends most of his time dealing with 2 prisoners from a classified prison… surely you would have someone else to deal with that stuff while you have other captain duties to take on ;p

    #216798
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    WHY IS THERE A FUCKING PRISON ON A MINING SHIP ANYWAY?

    #216799
    Jimboid
    Participant

    And why is it simultaneously 100 decks high and only on one deck?

    They haven’t thought this through.

    #216803
    Dax101
    Participant

    Because the thought the design of the prison looked futuristic and cool i guess.

    Its funny because in Krytie TV lister isn’t allowed his guitar strings for safety reasons but then there is a shot of lister and kryten talking while looking down at a 200 foot drop.

    #216804
    Jimboid
    Participant

    You can forgive these logical inconsistencies when the show is just so gosh damned funny.

    #216805
    Jimboid
    Participant

    Oh.

    #216813

    How did the nanobots bring the crew back if their remains had been flushed into space?

    #216816
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Where is the other Kochanski?

    #216821

    Why / how are there two independent Hollys?

    #216824

    I wrote this piece while I was in a shitty mood and the biggest injustice in my life or anyone else’s at that point was a fucking series of Red Dwarf.

    #216825
    cwickham
    Participant

    Are the nanobot-resurrected crew actually the original crew, returned from the dead? What are the metaphysical implications of this? What is the distinction between the holo-Rimmer, who is “dead”, and nano-Rimmer, who is “a lot less dead”?

    #216827
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    I guess they *did* cure death the instant they left Earth.

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