Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Does RDVIII get a raw deal? Is it time to re-evaluate Series Eight?

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  • #270524
    si
    Participant

    No.

    No, you’re right.

    #270525
    Moonlight
    Participant

    Well, maybe, but, y’know, the thing about that is…

    Yeah, no.

    #270526
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Seeing Smega-Drive snaps from Back in the Red has been making me uncritically nostalgic for when that was new and ongoing. That says nothing for its actual quality though and might just be 1999 nostalgia.

    I still think Cassandra’s genuinely good. The only episode from VII & VIII I can watch and enjoy as a random Red Dwarf episode, rather than for some kind of experiment.

    #270528
    Dave
    Participant

    I’m old enough now that I have a daughter who loves Red Dwarf too, but Series VIII is the only Red Dwarf I’ve never shown her. I just don’t want to ruin the show for her.

    #270529
    RunawayTrain
    Participant

    I … *takes deep breath* actually enjoy some bits from it. I even laugh at some of the jokes.

    However, as I’ve said before, had I been a proper fan at the time* and had to wait a decade for any more Red Dwarf, my feelings towards it would have been quite different. But as things stand, on the whole I tend to view it as a frustrating blip in the timeline (frustrating because of so much wasted potential) and thank goodness we got some good Dwarf from X onwards.

    Oh and we got bunk room scenes, which were a bit of comfort after VII. Also the first time I watched it through, I was just relieved to have Rimmer back for VIII.

    (*the first time I saw Red Dwarf at all was with a friend on their DVDs between BtE and X, and I remember really enjoying it but we lost contact for a bit and I had no way of watching it myself. I caught some of X-XII over the years, but it still didn’t capture me until I watched the BBC era again all the way through on Netflix.)

    #270536

    I think you’d have to be an extremely hardened VIII hater to deny the presence of some good moments. There are still loads of good gags, it’s just they’re surrounded by horribleness. If I had to do a top 20 Red Dwarf jokes list, I’d certainly consider putting “you’re finished,” “dinosaur bowel movement frequency tables,” and “cell inspection ten minutes,” in there. And two of those are from the worst episode. Maybe I should drag up my old “Good things about VIII” thread.

    #270537

    As John Hoare so frequently pointed out, series 8 can be very funny.  Taken in isolation some scenes are really good.  It can make you laugh.  But it isn’t the sort of show or comedy Red Dwarf had been to that point.  SO much of it is very sketch like, with a plot linking one sketch to another (especially in the multi-parters).  Its far too broad, it breaks the concept by resurrecting the crew, it put them in prison to balance out the ship is now populated, but then gives them the Canaries so they can continue to have the same adventures.  There’s far too many characters and it makes Kryten and Cat less important characters than Hollister in some regards.  Its all very broad, and too easily something that could be in a comedy that isn’t Red Dwarf, i.e. maybe Doug should have use the concept in another sci-fi sitcom idea.

    Thats not to mention the really bad attitudes towards women throughout that is again something else Red Dwarf had never really had an issue with until now.  The tone of the entire show just drops to “lol erections, lol naked women, lol dinoasaurs shit”.

    And its all completely unneccessary.

    #270539
    Jenuall
    Participant

    Yeah there are definitely some gags in VIII, it’s just that so little of it is in tune with the actual characters we are used to. None of it really rises from the characters and relationships that we have grown to know and understand up to this point that it’s harder to get excited about the odd funny line.

    Plus the aforementioned tonal shift, gender representation issues, diluting of the core cast, poor change in setting etc.

    #270540
    Stilianides
    Participant

    Ah, I nostalgically remember the decade or so before Back to Earth came along where one of the main disputes among fandom was seemingly the 50/50 split between those who thought Series VIII sucked and those who thought it was at least as good as the Rob/Doug years. The tone of the DVD documentary is positively laudatory and it wasn’t until some new Dwarf came along that the attitudes of some people changed (Doug included).

    Series VIII has its moments, but there is a desperate lack of quality control. I prefer it to the previous series simply because it’s not quite as depressing as some of the Rimmerless episodes, but it was a huge wasted opportunity. Some of the decisions were probably taken with an eye on the movie in mind, but it now seems such a strange anomaly to have all of those extra characters when they could have just used the classic 5 cast members together for the first time.

    #270541
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.

    #270545
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    #270547
    Moonlight
    Participant

    Hall of Fame.

    #270551
    Dave
    Participant

    Excellent.

    #270552

    BRAVO

    #270570
    Jenuall
    Participant

    #270581
    RunawayTrain
    Participant

    It has taken 22 years, but perhaps it has finally found its purpose: meme fodder!

    Which possibly answers the Inquisitor in quinn_drummer’s post which I can’t seem to quote
    https://www.ganymede.tv/forums/topic/your-red-dwarrf-memes-for-safe-and-courteous-disposal-out-the-nearest-airlock/#post-270565

    (All the VIII memes here and on the other thread have had me laughing out loud – you guys are great!)

    #270583

    #270586
    Dave
    Participant

    #270588
    Jenuall
    Participant


    #270591
    Rudolph
    Participant

    It was the first run of Dwarf I saw live, so I have some nostalgia for it and find a few of the gags very funny. I’ve always quite liked the ‘wrong number’ gag.

    It is, however, very broad and does have the feel of a sketch show at times. Only the Good… especially has very little plot until the last ten minutes.

    #270592

    #270593

    #270594
    Dave
    Participant

    #270596
    Jenuall
    Participant



    #270597

    #270600
    Unrumble
    Participant

    #270601
    Unrumble
    Participant

    #270602
    Ridley
    Participant

    Christ almighty. We’re in the middle of three separate discussions about the merits of Series VII and VIII. Do we need a new series right now?

    #270603
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Why did you divide one opinion into three separate threads though?

    #270622

    #270623
    Dave
    Participant

     

    #270630

    #270631

    #270632
    loadoftottnumb
    Participant

    The deleted/alternate (well and the broadcast one briefly) ending to VIII always makes me a bit sad, it could have been a pretty nice looking series. Sadly they spent most of it in purple overalls in a big boiler room.

    #270633
    Jenuall
    Participant

    Fans react to Doug’s plans to release a new Blu Ray of just series VIII:

    #270634

     

     

     

    #270635

    #270636

    #270638
    Dave
    Participant

    #270639

    #270641
    Warbodog
    Participant

    #270642
    Jenuall
    Participant




    #270643

    #270645
    Dave
    Participant

    #270646
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    I know someone who might think that.

    #270652
    Stilianides
    Participant

    – “I know someone who might think that.”

    This wouldn’t have anything to do with a quickly deleted Tweet would it? ;)

    #270653

    #270659
    Jenuall
    Participant

    #270680
    si
    Participant

    To be fair, when I started this thread, it was just so I could use the generally accepted ‘no’ as a punchline. Really, there are actually a few things I like in/about Red Dwarf VIII. And there are other things are maybe not too great when I look at them now, but when they first aired, I was glad of new Dwarf and happy with a lot of it. I had an edited audio recording of ‘Back In The Red’ on a C90 tape. I was 20 years old, for fucks sake.
    I think there’s a fair amount in BITR that I enjoyed – Kryten’s scene with Dr McClaren, for example, that’s good. I mean, obviously, the Blue Midget dance is embarrassing (saved only by “Come back, Mr Sucks”), but I drooled over the RDVIII scriptbook.
    We all enjoyed Cassandra, and I think Krytie TV has the most unfulfilled potential – the idea of the crew being in prison and Kryten being corrupted is great, it just runs in the wrong direction with it.
    I’m sure there are other bits of worth, gags in RDVIII, but when you’ve got what are essentially filler episodes with BITR3 and Pete part 2, as well as Only The Good… which I’m sure could have been fine had it been afforded some more time and money to hone to script and record it.
    One of my big plusses of series eight is that it’s the best Kryten’s head’s looked since series V in my opinion.

    #270681
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    Yeah yeah whatever, put it in a meme.

    #270683
    si
    Participant

    It’s all meme meme me with you.

    #270685
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    TLDM

    #270688
    Dave
    Participant

    MEME²²

    #270700
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Aww, it’s just jokes. We all know we love Series VIII really. Well, it’s not perfect if course. There are a couple of changes that could have improved it:

    1. Kill Crazy needs to be louder, angrier, and have access to a time machine.
    2. Whenever Kill Crazy’s not on screen, all the other characters should be asking “Where’s Kill Crazy?”.
    #270742
    somecallmejames
    Participant

    Having recently re-watched series 8 for the first time in years, I can confidently say in my opinion, no, series 8 is the worst Red Dwarf has to offer.

    Let’s get the good out of the way before trashing it. It’s great to see Rimmer again for the full series, Kochanski is less annoying and Kill Crazy is awesome (even if he doesn’t get nearly enough screentime).

    Now, onto stuff that affects the entire series before looking at individual episodes. The CGI. It looks better than 7, but still nowhere as good as model shots. Pretty much every episode having non-consensual sex, or something like it, is uncomfortable and in bad taste. And whole concept feels wrong, prison, the whole crew being back, it just feels so bleak. And of course, alot of the time, the writing just isn’t very good.

    Back in the Red is the UK TV version of the Hobbit, in that it goes on for way too long and should have only been a single installment. The very long recaps and horrific pacing make it agonsing to watch. And why the hell does the home video release contain an extended version!? Why not just recreate the original 1 hour special (Although I still think it should have just been 1 episode)?

    Cassandra is easilly the best of series 8 and feels the most like Red Dwarf (even if the whole ‘Kochanski almsot sleeping with Rimmer’ is a bit gross and somewhat out of character, this is how I think it should have been handeld: https://archiveofourown.org/works/11986125)

    Krytie TV just sucks.

    Pete goes on for way too long.

    Only the Good was ruined by bad editing (such as having a cliffhanger that’s never going to get resolved properly). Here’s the good version of it: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xtspkj

    #270746

    #270749
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Red Dwarf VIII takes are so hot right now.

    #270750
    Dave
    Participant

    I agree, it’s time for a more nuanced debate.

    #270751

    This probably deserves its own thread but there’s no need for another series viii thread right now …

    How would series viii have faired, and what do you think it would have looked like, if Chris hadn’t returned?

     

    If everything else was the same, I can see maybe Lister and Cat being bunked in a cell together and then you’d have Lister & Cat pairing and Kryten and Kochanski pairing, which could affect stories a little more, and certainly affect the comedy.  i.e. having more Kryten & Kochanski interactions ala Archie and ‘have a fantastic period’.

    It’d be interesting seeing Cat take on Rimmer’s role in the bunk conversations.  But also it’d probably look more like Samsara scenes.

    I’m not sure Rimmer’s absense would be felt as much (certainly not as much as vii) given how much the show changes.

    It would help thin the core cast and make it feel a littleless crowded and potentially give Cat a little more to do.

    The stories wouldn’t need to change so much without Rimmer.  He doesn’t particularly behave very Rimmery in a way it affects the plot outside of his role in Back in the Red, and I think you could take Rimmer out of that equation and just remove a level of AR they find themselves in and basically have everything else go as it does, without all the sexual magnatism virus stuff.

    Or, would it have affected Doug’s take on the series altogether and, not having to bring Rimmer back, doesn’t go down the resurrected crew route.

    Thoughts?

    #270753
    Dave
    Participant

    Having Rimmer back was one of the few things that helped it retain the feeling of actually being Red Dwarf, I think. Without him it would be even worse.

    #270754

    I’m not sure I agree it feels any more like Red Dwarf because Chris is in it.  I’m hesitent to even say Rimmer because it’s not our Rimmer and he doesn’t act like Rimmer half the time.

    But I get your point.

    #270758
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Initial reaction to Series VIII was positive – mainly, I believe, because of aesthetic choices rather than anything more nuanced such as looking at the quality of the writing or characterisation. Rimmer and Holly are back full time! The studio audience are back! Red Dwarf is back! The filming style is no longer single-camera! Let’s overlook the fact that it’s a pile of absolute wank!

    I think Chris being remaining absent would have dented the “back to the good old day” mindset or, at the very least, hurried along the mainstream reappraisal.

    #270759
    Warbodog
    Participant

    As discussed elsewhere, having a resurrected Rimmer added subtle tension on the first watch as we morbidly looked forward to his next inevitable death. Though ultimately this was only played with in Cassandra before being completely botched in the cliffhanger.

    #270787
    Loathsome American
    Participant

    VIII being more of an aesthetic return to form actually kind of worked against it for me. When we got VII over here, it looked different and felt different and Kochanski’s there and Rimmer isn’t, so the whole thing felt like it was evolving and that was just something I’d have to get used to. Then VIII comes along and it looks like it’s back to normal in a lot of superficial ways, but it’s also different enough that for me it was in an uncanny valley of being “close but not quite.”

    When VII wasn’t funny in the same way as I-VI, it felt like a choice to do something different, whereas when VIII wasn’t funny in the same way, I wasn’t sure if it was a choice or if it just wasn’t working.

    #270788
    Loathsome American
    Participant

    I also think VIII pulls a bit of a bait and switch. I’d always found the pre-accident flashbacks in I and II interesting, so I thought the crew being resurrected had a lot of story potential. In Queeg we see that for all the angst of being stuck in deep space, Lister enjoys his personal freedom and would have a tough time returning to duty rosters and regulations. You could have a Rimmer who wasn’t the same one Lister came to know better and missed, Kryten adjusting to more people to look after, Cat interacting with people at all, Kochanski maybe falling into routine a little easier. But instead we get, “There is a space prison, I guess?”

    I am aware this critique of VIII boils down to Doug not making the fan fiction version of the series that appears to live only in my head, you don’t need to point it out.

    #270800

    Yeah, the more populated universe, portrayed in a less obviously sitcommy way isn’t a version of the show I necessarily wanted, but it did feel like a brave move forward and I wish Doug had stuck to it rather than going down the Chucklevision with knob gags route. VII is interesting, if nothing else.

    And yeah, there is potential in the crew returning. Rimmer would be Lister’s actual superior again, Cat might be quarantined because of being an unknown species, Kochanski would have to get used to an alternative version of the crew, but then the Captain would call on them for their deep space expertise any time they came across something unusual, which would really annoy Rimmer as Lister would basically be going over his head, but it would also frustrate Lister as he’d be of major importance, yet still be stuck as third technician. There’s loads of interesting stuff there, but instead we got what we got.

    #270802
    Stilianides
    Participant

    I guess part of the reason for the return of the crew was that Doug was planning for the movie, so that may well have happened even without Chris.

    I agree that the contemporary reaction would have been much worse without Rimmer and, even though it certainly isn’t the character at his best, his presence did at least give the show some of the Lister/Rimmer dynamic which it has always largely been based around.

    It’s true that there are too many characters in Series VIII, but Rimmer is one that it couldn’t afford to lose imo.

    #270803
    Stilianides
    Participant

    I would also say that bringing back the crew was a daft idea anyhow imo (and it seems even dafter now that we have had several further series with primarily only the core cast).

    You have pretty much the perfect setup with the 4 main characters trapped together (with or without the inclusion of Holly) and adding new main characters was always going to dilute that. Not to mention, that it was necessary to force a concept like the Canaries in order to keep them trapped together.

    It must have eaten up a reasonable chunk of the budget, too.

     

    #271011
    Stabbim
    Participant

    Rimmer kneeing Death in the groin with a battle cry of “only the good die young” will never not amuse me.

    and the early episodes did a good enough job of making me miss the dead crew/empathize with Lister missing them that the idea of them being revived was potentially interesting.  All those years of Kochanski being Lister’s white whale only to have her just not like him that much/dump him due to him being smeggy is pretty funny. Fun subversive anticlimax to the “romance” of S1 and S2.  The idea, if not necessarily the execution thereof, feels like a very Red Dwarf thing to do.

    There’s bits of it I like but, yeah, over time, it’s been the series I rewatch the least for a reason.  It’s tough to watch what was done without thinking about what could’ve potentially been done better.  And not surprising that every change it introduced got undone for Back To Earth and beyond.

    “And yeah, there is potential in the crew returning. Rimmer would be Lister’s actual superior again, Cat might be quarantined because of being an unknown species, Kochanski would have to get used to an alternative version of the crew, but then the Captain would call on them for their deep space expertise any time they came across something unusual, which would really annoy Rimmer as Lister would basically be going over his head, but it would also frustrate Lister as he’d be of major importance, yet still be stuck as third technician. There’s loads of interesting stuff there, but instead we got what we got.”

    yeah, the captain/crew having to reckon with the fact that they were actually 3 million years into the future/deep space from where they remembered being, and/or the fact that they had all died and were reconstructions of themselves, could’ve been fun.  And perhaps forced Capt. Hollister to rely on the core Red Dwarf cast as a salvage team (functionally equal to The Canaries that we got) because they know deep space.

    Oh well.  Instead we got what we got, indeed.  At least Chris Barrie was back as Rimmer.

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