Reddit's favourite episode of each series

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    In case you’re interested in what a slightly different segment of fandom thinks, r/RedDwarf have been picking their top episode from each year.

    These will then fight until Back to Reality or Gunmen wins, but I was more interested in the series picks.

    Behold the negligible variations from ‘consensus’ of an inadequate sample size! (I think series 1 was based on less than 20 votes.)

    I – Future Echoes (25%) (same as Pearl Poll)
    II – Queeg (44.26%) (=PP)
    III – Marooned (43.08%) (=PP)
    IV – White Hole (37.84%) (=PP)
    V – Back to Reality (40%) (=PP)
    VI – Gunmen of the Apocalypse (45.71%) (=PP)
    VII – Stoke Me a Clipper (37.21%) (1 higher than PP)
    VIII – Cassandra (54.29%) (=PP)
    Back to Earth – Part 2 (53.33%) (2 higher than PP)
    X – The Beginning (34.21%) (=PP)
    XI – Give and Take (50%) (=PP)
    XII – still voting, but it’s going to be Skipper (currently 47%, =PP)

    Biggest margins for Cassandra, BTE part 2 and Give and Take with 50% or more of votes in their series. (Skipper may join).

    Smallest margin between Future Echoes and Me² for series 1, with Me² even overtaking as the favourite after the deadline.

    Then, it’s… the, the – whoever wins, then we’re through to the final. Who’s that going to be?


    Ben Saunders

    Not bad for Reddit, eh?



    I’ve got no idea what the differences and variables are, and this poll ending up basically the same doesn’t help.

    My top picks for I-VI are all different from G&T/reddit, though subject to shuffling every few years, but I’m more likely to fall in line for the series I’m less close to.



    Its about average for favourite episodes



    This isn’t a bad list, but I can’t help but notice they have accidentally included a Series VIII episode. I sure hope somebody got fired for that blunder.



    Took four whole replies before VIII was reflexively picked on out of nowhere, standards are slipping.

    Skipper’s at 50% now, so another “obvious” best of the year. I wonder if they’ll drag out the rest of the voting or just get on with it.



    Back to Reality won.

    That was worth dragging out for another month, in nail-biting bouts like ‘Back to Earth Part 2 vs Marooned’ (0% vs 100%). And worth me updating you about.

    The three other finalists were Marooned, Gunmen and Queeg, so almost the Pearl Poll top 5 again with the “one per series” rule only knocking out Quarantine.




    I really wish we could find some more variety in these polls. I’d like to see how Dave era newcomers consider rank the episodes when the classic six don’t necessarily hold the same weight they do with us who came on board many years ago. I’m interested in how people who first encounter the show as all twelve series think of it.



    I only came to Red Dwarf when VIII was first broadcast and was already an adult, so don’t have any nostalgia for the older stuff. My list is different to the standard, but I’m just one weirdo rather than a representation.



    Individual weirdos are good too. I skimmed through a guy’s top 10 video on YouTube recently, only watching the parts where he justified including Pete and Identity Within (the non-existent episode). He’d thought it through, but may have been trying to look clever a bit.

    These reddit threads had people backing pretty much every episode and the OP doing the polls said they were coming out really differently than they’d expected, so maybe the accepted favourites aren’t that well known outside of places like this. I somehow knew that Back to Reality was the popular favourite long before I saw it (must have been mentioned in the Programme Guide or Smegazines I had), but that might have counted against it and made me a bit underwhelmed more than anything.



    My list is different to the standard, but I’m just one weirdo rather than a representation.

    You have a good list. Although you seem to have accidentally included Cassandra at #15. I assume you’ll clear this up and move it down to a more appropriate spot.



    Just because I never thought to check before, here’s the IMDb user ranking of Red Dwarf episodes, presumably the largest ongoing international survey there’s been (most episodes have 300-500 ratings and some over 1,000, so more participation than the Pearl Poll).

    Looks reasonably fair. Interesting/different: Skipper 13th, Trojan 14th, The Beginning 21st, Fathers & Suns 22nd (I’m all for new series representation, but this one is madness), Future Echoes bizarrely low at 34th but whatever, all of Back to Earth + Timewave below Pete Part 2 at the bottom (the only episodes rated below a 7). BTE is the wider world’s VIII.



    Less meaningful aggregated scores from various sources (explained on About page). Based on 200-600 votes per episode, scores only vary marginally from 7.44 (Timewave) to 8.34 (Back to Reality). 0.9 stars difference between the best and worst episode! And there I was thinking IMDb ratings were too skewed.

    Do let me know if I’m going peculiar obessing over meaningless minutiae.



    Graph version of the IMDB ratings for people that like visual data

    It’s interesting to me who actually bothers rating shows on IMDB. It’s certainly never occurred to me to do so, so I’d presume the people have to be a step higher in general fandom than just a casual watcher. It’s also a hard way to rate, as you’re comparing to the rest of all TV, not just within the show itself. When ranking in things like the pearl poll it’s easy to shove BTE and Krytie TV at the bottom and work it out from there, but with ratings, even the worst of RD is better than other shows, so most of them get a 7/8/9 with little nuance between them.



    I would’ve expected the newer episodes to get the most ratings because of people wanting to express their fresh opinions and not bothering to go through the archive, but it seems they generally get bored of rating as time goes on, with spikes for BTE part 1 and Trojan. Maybe IMDb was a bigger deal a decade ago, or those revivals just had more publicity / interest than XI-XII.

    The combination of generosity and differing opinions means IMDb ratings seem to start from 5 as the baseline for anything that’s even bothered to show up and be technically adequate (“time passed and something happened”), which I don’t like. Seems you can only fall below that if you’re unanimously considered godawful like Star Trek’s clip show or a rebooted franchise getting brigaded.


    Ben Saunders

    I only bother rating things if:
    1) They’re 7 stars or above (considered excellent by me)
    2) My opinion differs enough from the consensus for me to consider it noteworthy (giving The Trouble With Tribbles a 6)
    3) I thought it was shit (in which case I start bringing out the 4s and below)

    So my ratings list is just a personal archive of amazing things, shite things and reminders of how the general public don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about

    I do wish you could rate more incrementally on imdb, I have so many things marked as 7/10 because I think they’re great but not worthy of an 8 (an 8 requires a strong emotional response from me, usually). And a 10 is reserved for something that is just absolutely astounding, so my ratings do tend to hover between 7 and 9.

    But yes, ratings are definitely skewed towards positive since 5 and even 6 are considered a “bad rating”. And the whole “comparing against everything ever” thing leads to anomalies like me rating The Wrath of Khan on the same level as The Invasion of Time.


    International Debris

    I rate every film I see on IMDB, for my own reference mostly. I’ve never rated an episode of anything, however. Maybe I should do something about that.



    That Rating Graph site is really good (gives you some idea of how truly exciting some days can be around here). I don’t really know the consensus of many shows outside of Red Dwarf and famously bad episodes, so it’s interesting to see some of my decades-only private prejudices confirmed when going through the Treks and things. Yes, FUCK that episode and its character assassination! Thank you!

    They’re on the ball, or at least I can understand why the curves take those shapes even if they’re wrong, bless. And it’s funny knowing instantly which episodes those are way down at the bottom, even when there are plenty of others that are just as bad but in a more forgettable way that doesn’t rile people up.

    “Fun” fact: Episode five is never IMDb’s least favourite episode of a Red Dwarf series. In X, Dear Dave & Entangled are joint worst.

    Ouch, Doctor Who series 11! Hang on, I thought that was supposed to have been a war zone of brigading by trolls and overcompensating supporters, but the number of ratings isn’t much larger than the series always had during its popularity. Capaldi debut: 6,393 ratings. Whittaker debut: 7,717 ratings. So lots of existing fans gave extreme 0s and 10s, sure, but it’s not like loads of people were signing up for accounts just to do that, which is what I read. I guess people really made a big deal out of people making a big deal out of things.


    Ben Saunders

    Didn’t they debunk the idea that “trolls” and “russian bots” were review bombing Who and Wars anyway? It always felt like really sad bargaining in behalf of the supporters. There were of course many votes on the extremes of either side, but iirc Rotten Tomatoes themselves had to make a statement that basically boiled down to “shut the fuck up”.

    My ratings for Doctor Who series 11 are extremely low and I am neither a troll ‘nor a Russian bot. (for reference: 5, 2, 3, 4, 6, 6, 4, 1 [at this point I was angry], 5, didn’t watch it, didn’t rate it)

    Also for Wars: TFA 3, RO 6, TLJ 2, Solo 5.


    Ben Saunders

    Considering lowering my score for Solo and possibly RO now that the “new thing” bias has dissipated.

    Series X is rated very highly on imdb, what the fuck. Samsara has an 8, wew.

    My ratings: G&T 9, Officer Rimmer 8, Siliconia 8, Timewave 2, Mechocracy 8.
    I’m sure i remember giving Cured a 6 but I removed it for some reason and don’t seem to have bothered rating the rest.



    I dunno why 10 is rated so high on IMDB. maybe it had the first new proper series hype going for it when people voted :/

    Series 12 is quite low considering with Skipper being the only one breaking past the 8.0s



    I don’t really get the Samsara hate. I’ve always rather liked that one. I loved the way that the two timelines were woven together to show us what happened rather than Kryten coming out with a ‘best guess’ (even though he does at the end, but at least the whole premise isn’t just dumped in one best guess). The bit with Cat and Lister in the dark went on too long, but that didn’t make the entire episode awful as far as I’m concerned.



    Samsara was set to be my favourite modern episode before that interminable scene ground it to a halt. Watching again since, I don’t really like the guest performances either.

    I prefer X to XI-XII generally, both in glowing “it’s back!” vibe and content. Trojan, Beginning and Lemons all really good, Entangled I still appreciate the first half of in an Emohawk way. Fathers and Suns is the most complicated RD episode for me, featuring some of the best and worst stuff in the entire series, Medibot and Taiwan Tony being worse than anything in VIII. It’s the only one I haven’t been able to face rewatching since the week it aired. Aside from Dear Dave, which is just there because an episode needed to exist, but maybe shouldn’t have bothered.


    Ben Saunders

    The guest performances in Samsara are pretty awful and that scene goes on far too long (and isn’t filled with the strongest material) yeah



    I’ll go ahead and be one one of the people who stands up to defend Samsara. Right before I go and hide.



    I think the only real problem with Samsara is that it’s follows a really high concept, time travel back to a changed timeline earth story.

    Red Dwarf has a habit with opening a series with stories like that which then makes the run of the mill episodes, which the vast majority of Red Dwarf is made up of, feel a bit weak in comparison.

    Had Samsara came before Twentica, it might be viewed a little more favourable.

    Sure there are little issues with it, but on the whole I think it’s a perfectly fine episode that has a story, is funny, and even tries something a little new for Red Dwarf by showing what happened to the crew of the Samsara in flashbacks throughout.

    If the story had been tightened up a little it would have been a real classic imo



    I much prefer Samsara to Krysis and Can of Worms. Don’t like those, apart from the life signs bit from the XI trailer and maybe other bits of dialogue.


    Pete Part Three

    >I think the only real problem with Samsara is that it’s follows a really high concept, time travel back to a changed timeline earth story.

    That’s definitely not my problem with it. The episode order doesn’t affect how I judge episodes, and Twentica ain’t all that, either.


    International Debris

    I prefer Samsara to Twentica. It’s a bit flabby and I’m not sure the flashbacks are necessary, being a little dull after first viewing, but overall it makes me laugh quite a lot.



    Samsara would have been a great episode with better guest actors. As it is the bits without the main cast are a bit amdram, not even good amdram either. Maybe school play.

    It’s miles better than Can Of Worms and Krysis though, and Timewave obviously.



    The flashbacks were to help explain the mystery and even to a certain extent enhance the mystery. and in concept it’s kinda interesting and unique. Although I do think a few tweaks would have helped to tighten the story up abit.



    >in concept it’s kinda interesting and unique

    Reverse Justice. I really liked the mystery at the start with the dice and the skels, but the second half is unsalvageable.


    Ben Saunders

    The guest performances in Samsara are fucking dire. Many of the guest performances in the Dave era have been. It’s unfortunate

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