Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Refresh For The Memory: Series VIII Byte 2

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  • #279723
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    You asked for it. Ahead of the forthcoming 35th anniversary poll, the G&T community is embarking on a big old rewatch, tackling half a series (or one feature length special) per week. This is your designated thread to make notes, share observations and start pondering your rankings.

    This week, we’re watching KRYTIE TV, PETE (PART ONE), PETE (PART TWO) and ONLY THE GOOD. Have at it!

    Previous threads:

    Series 1 Byte 1
    Series 1 Byte 2
    Series 2 Byte 1
    Series 2 Byte 2
    Series III Byte 1
    Series III Byte 2
    Series IV Byte 1
    Series IV Byte 2
    Series V Byte 1
    Series V Byte 2
    Series VI Byte 1
    Series VI Byte 2
    Series VII Byte 1
    Series VII Byte 2
    Series VIII Byte 1

    #279726
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    #279727
    Dave
    Participant

    Well at least it can’t get any worse than last week. Right?

    #279729
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Well at least it can’t get any worse than last week. Right?

    Pete Part One had me crying with laughter at various points. Genuinely the funniest episode so far, even if not in the ways intended. Kind of hard to rank, based on that experience… actually, no it isn’t.

    #279731
    Stilianides
    Participant

    Krytie TV

    The remainder of this series is, in one sense, about as far removed as you can get from what you would expect from Red Dwarf, but I guess there were moments during the early years that hinted at this stuff. Statis Leak featured Hollister in a chicken costume and we also heard tales of Lister pranking Rimmer with the Freaky Fungus and (in another episode) by putting his name down for experimental piles surgery. The difference being that everything is now OTT and cartoony.

    The early Rimmer/Lister scene isn’t exactly a classic and I think jokes about Reader’s Digest and Australian soaps were old hat even by this stage. Lister singing ‘Om’ just reminds me of a much better episode than the one that I’m currently watching.

    While it doesn’t really fit with Dwarf, the moment where the men cross their legs does have some comedy value. As does Holly’s, “It’s time like this I’m glad I’m just a head.” The fact that Chloe disappears from the scene actually means it makes more sense. They couldn’t really have had the conversation if she’d remained.

    I must give credit to Rob and Doug for going to the trouble of making the Invisible Aliens clip. Not that I think it adds much.

    The self-raising and chess gags are both rather forced, but I can understand why the studio audience go crazy for them.

    I don’t enjoy the partially adlibbed nature of the Tim speech, and it’s the sort of thing that I don’t think would have been considered for one of the early series.

    Great timing to the “Their mine” scene and Chris still had it at this point.

    A pet peeve is that the pubic hair would be funnier if it more convincing and grotesque. I guess the BBC might have disagreed.

    It’s quite a nice structure to the episode that it concludes with the guitar strings that were mentioned right at the start.

    I completely understand why some people talk about Krytie TV as sexist. For me, the characters undoubtedly behave in an appallingly sexist way, but the episode itself is fairly innocuous. I don’t think the story condones their behaviour, particularly with Chloe’s reaction, but it’s still not the kind of plot I would ever really have wanted the show to tackle.

    #279733
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    International Debris if you’re reading this please consider not watching all 4 episodes today. I’m worried for your mental wellbeing.

    #279736
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    I must give credit to Rob and Doug for going to the trouble of making the Invisible Aliens clip. Not that I think it adds much.

    I don’t think Rob would want the credit for that.

    #279737
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Krytie TV

    I was never a big fan of this one, which came across as a deliberately SF-lite counterpart to the heavier Cassandra, like Balance of Power after Future Echoes.

    This time, I’d hoped it might at least have a few good gags and decent banter, since the last couple of episodes had their share. Not so much, but at least it held together well and was watchable. It’s not Red Dwarf, but by its own low standards, etc. It’s somehow not even in my bottom 5 so far, but that’s hardly to its credit!

    – The return of Naked Kryten stretches an already weak joke beyond its elastic limit. It’s now a standard alternative costume.

    – Any idea why Rimmer is regularly receiving death threats via post? Some kind of obscure reference to the sexual magnetism hi-jinks?

    – Why is the “2 days later” caption necessary?

    – Kryten seems to boast that being a Series 4000 mechanoid gives him status above human women or something like that. Bizarre!

    – Oh yeah, it’s the implication that this was supposed to take place after Pete. That would make Ackerman more established, but probably best to space out the tedious multi-parters.

    – Funnier than anything in the episode was being reminded of an old forum thread where someone thought Ackerman’s eyepatch was the gaping hole for a huge glass eye or something. (Disappointingly, it turned out to be not quite that silly).

    – The B-movie pastiche is funnier than ‘Androids.’ It has a strange sense of actually being a clip from Harry Enfield or some other sketch show from the time, even though I knew it was from this.

    – With all the smut, there was always something quite cute about Red Dwarf’s ideas of the height of titillation being things like women showering, boxing topless, wrestling in treacle, covering themselves in syrup, dressing up as nurses/superheroes etc. rather than anything more hardcore.

    – Is there evidence that Kill Crazy was actually involved in the reprogramming, or could it have (preferably) been others who overheard or had it passed on? His reaction in the cinema seems like surprised delight, but could work either way.

    – “I know that Kill Crazy’s reprogrammed you; turned you into a ruthless entrepreneur.” Has Doug started writing ad breaks into his syndication package?

    – Is the waterproof pogo stick the most over-explained joke in the series? Left at the obvious implication it would be funny, but they’re really concerned about it not being a joke you don’t/didn’t get.

    – The whole prank part was okay on its own merits. Good tension and the sympathetic laughter of the prison audience. And the guitar strings hold it together. Not as bad as I expected, but still an episode best forgotten.

    I don’t think the story condones their behaviour, particularly with Chloe’s reaction

    They’re probably having their cake and eating it, but it didn’t feel in the same league as Back in the Red.

    #279739
    Jimboid
    Participant

    I haven’t posted on here for a very long time, but wanted to log in to say that everything in this half of 8 is fucking terrible.  Especially Pete.

    Part One and Part Two.

    Part Three is a treasure, obvs.

    Rimmer kneeing Death in the balls at the end of OtG is the runny turd frosting on the shitcake that was this series.

    I can firmly say that if this was the only (of first) Red Dwarf I had ever seen, there is no way that I would be a fan of the series today.

    #279742
    Stilianides
    Participant

    I must give credit to Rob and Doug for going to the trouble of making the Invisible Aliens clip. Not that I think it adds much.
    I don’t think Rob would want the credit for that.

    Gah! I meant to write Doug and Ed. Brain fart.

    #279754

    International Debris if you’re reading this please consider not watching all 4 episodes today. I’m worried for your mental wellbeing.

    That kind of thing has never stopped me before. 

    Kryten TV 

    Opens with Kryten painting his entire foot and holding an umbrella in the shower. It’s not a great start. 

    Always fond of the post gag. 

    ”Other 12 zillion people” three minutes in and the first over explained gag. 

    “Busy with his funeral” four minutes in and the first stupid Lister gag. 

    Om Song. Another unnecessary callback. 

    So, basically, I like the appeal plot, on paper at least. It’s the only time the prison setting is actually used. There’s so much potential there. 

    Killcrazy’s return is tedious. 

    The “turgid monotony” of showering with the girls. As opposed to showering with men, which would have been exciting. 

    The conversation in the ship about watching showering women, my girlfriend responded with “sad little men”. That sums up VIII really well. 

    The guy who stole Ackerman’s eye looks like a beefier Ed Bye. 

    Nobody noticed that Kryten just disappeared. 

    Attack of the Giant Savage Completely Invisible Aliens is fun. 

    Chris’s George Formby impression is also pretty good. 

    The whole “we’ve gotta go” bit is reasonably funny for about three lines, but goes on way too long. 

    God this is fucking horrible. 

    Good to see the prisoners have series 4000 gold plating to hand. 

    Pogo stick gag is really hideous. 

    Can’t take my eyes off the hideous golden head in the background this time. 

    The Cat has had about four lines in this episode so far. Has Holly had more? 

    “Have you heard the news?” is two or three lines too long. A great joke totally ruined.

    Kryten’s whiny “it’s so unfair” is hideous. 

    Fucking bottom draw gags from Holly. Ointment and cremation. 

    Rimmer’s “How’s this?” should have just been the gag, it’s much funnier than the chess joke that follows. 

    Kryten’s list of uncool things is funny, but hearing him say words like “dweebmeister” is cringy. 

    As mentioned in Back in the Red, the prison is impossible to escape from. As is shown here by Lister, Kryten and Rimmer easily popping in and out of the main ship as if it’s nothing. 

    Rimmer yelling “the appeal” can fuck right off. 

    Would the Krytie TV team really hand in footage to Ackerman to show who it was that sabotaged his room? The cleanup seems fairly unnecessary. 

    The final scene is really good. There’s a good episode there somewhere. Shame about the sad little men stuff. 

    Good gags:

    False teeth. 

    Flour, flours. 

    “You’re just… you”

    Lister handing Rimmer the pubes.

    Strings on their guitars. 

    #279755

    Pete Part One

    What is it with sex in Batman outfits?! 

    “Truth serum”.

    God, Rimmer and Lister as the sniggering schoolboy best mates is fucking abysmal. 

    WHY ARE PRISON ISSUES BEING TAKEN TO THE CAPTAIN?! Surely it’s up to Ackerman to deal with this shit. 

    Absolutely everything about the basketball game is terrible. Before the ‘boing’ and especially after. The actual concept of it. This is actually embarrassing to watch. Kryten polishing the ball, Jesus Christ. Cat’s sped up climbing. 

    Who the fuck made the cons and guards shirts for one game? 

    Join the dots is probably the low point of Stupid Lister. I fucking hate this. 

    The aeroplane toilets conversation is the only bunk room chat which actually feels like earlier series. It’s not the same quality but it has that inane disagreement chat which feels very Dwarfish. 

    Wrong number is such a cheap gag but it’s quite funny. Doesn’t deserve applause though. 

    “Oh creator.” Does Kryten ever say that before or since? 

    Holly has another round of terrible gags here. 

    Oh GOD the time frozen people. Hideous hideous. Worst performances on the entire show. 

    Kryten’s head. Yes, nobody would notice that. Good job he can just extend the size of it on a whim. 

    Oh yes, the realistic looking potatoes. 

    I love the way you can follow Chris’s eyes as someone walks up and hands him each potato. 

    Fucking hell the harmonica music, like an outtake from a mid 90s Grid album. 

    Fucking hell this is all shit. 

    Baxter is an enjoyably horrible character. He’s the first prison character who doesn’t feel like a cartoon. The way he elbows his mate in the face is brutal. 

    They’ve frozen the crew, so they decided to get dressed up and have a big roast dinner in the cargo bay. As you do. 

    On the whole, I don’t think ‘there’s a dinosaur loose on board’ is an inherently bad idea. It’s a shame this is how it was done. 

    Perez’s sneeze. Doug stealing jokes from Jurassic Park now. 

    I think that’s the first time I’ve noticed the roar at the end of the titles. Probably cut off on my off airs and never watched on DVD due to the extended version. 

    Good gags: 

    Nicey Ackerman. 

    Athlete’s hand. 

    My mother’s buttocks deep fried in old chip fat. 

    Because he really likes instant custard. 

    #279756
    Dave
    Participant

    Fucking hell this is all shit.

    This thread is delivering exactly what I expected. 

    #279757

    Pete Part Two

    Why are the fonts in this series so horrible? 

    I love the way that after the recap section they still end up repeating the final minute of the actual episode. 

    The model dinosaur looks nothing like the CG rendering. 

    Why does Kryten throw Bob the time wand? I don’t actually have any idea what’s going on here. This is utter nonsense. 

    “We’re finished” is awful but justified by Holly’s punchline. That’s the first good Holly gag in a while. 

    “Dinosaur bowel movement frequency tables” is my favourite joke on VIII. It’s an inherently funny phrase and also a great subversion of the all-knowing/best guess Kryten stuff. 

    It’s like a parody of Red Dwarf. They get a dinosaur on board so what’s the first thing they do? Feed it a curry. 

    Big brown bags with “bran” written on the side in a sci-fi font. Brilliant. 

    Dinosaur shaped hole in the wall. Incredible. 

    How does a dinosaur eat ice cream, ice pops and Coca Cola? These are all in tiny, human-friendly packaging. 

    It’s like Doug and Paul went back over the show’s history, watching classics like Marooned, Me2, Thanks for the Memory, Back to Reality and White Hole and thought what the show needs to do next is have the captain resurrected and get him to do a five minute routine about a dinosaur shitting on him. 

    Giving Rimmer and Lister the time wand. Superb storytelling here. 

    Seeya in general minutes is the most baffling thing Doug has ever been involved in. 

    Oh God I forgot about Hollister behind Rimmer. I love how Doug and Paul manage to keep one-upping themselves in the awful comedy front. Although Mac performs “yes he is” perfectly. 

    The Archie scenes flown in from another episode to add to the bunch of random scenes thrown together feel. 

    “None of my suits will fit.” They’re making the most of Cat as ever. 

    The Alien parody always felt shit to me even on first watch. 

    Rimmer and Lister’s bodies are on a different time stream to the rest of them. And yet they manage to get changed with no problem. Admittedly the delayed fight is pretty good, by far the highlight of the episode. Why the fuck do they change out of Canary costumes just to go to the captain, only to change back straight away? 

    Ah yes, humans are evolved from gorillas. 

    Ah, Lister is now adept at using the time wand. 

    And of course then they destroy the time wand and a dinosaur egg hatches on the same day it was laid and it manages to be physical enough to go into a lift, ride it to the captain and start licking his back because this episode was written by a nine year old who’s never watched or read anything with a plot before. 

    I love the way PTSD gets a laugh. Sympathetic audience. 

    The final scene… er, structurally it works, which shows that although this is easily the worst episode in the whole show, Doug still knew how to end it better than a lot of XI and XII.

    Good gags: 

    You’re finished. 

    Dinosaur bowel movement frequency tables. 

    #279759

    Only the Good

    If I remember correctly, this was shown in some graveyard slot on a Sunday. 

    Shape changing weird space thing and spell checker. Not an auspicious start. 

    Actually, a chameleonic microbe arriving onboard is the first and only time an VIII episode begins with something that feels like Red Dwarf. 

    “The nanobots must have resurrected you too.” Right. 

    That opening scene has Hollister actually behaving like Hollister since BtE Part 1, which is its only redeeming feature. 

    Tony Slattery’s vending machine is pretty good. “He stole some chocolate!” always makes me laugh, it’s said with such joy. Why Rimmer tries to cover up the microphone rather than the speaker I’ll never know. 

    Rock, rock, rock. Fucking hell. 

    Kryten has been living in the women’s wing for many months now, and he’s only just learning what a period is. 

    Have a fantastic period is a fairly good gag, but ruined by the return of “he was lying”. 

    “I’ve hacked into the ship’s computer system.” Says the ship’s computer system. 

    Brylcreem is a shit gag, but there’s some fun in its naffness. Then it’s properly ruined by being overexplained. 

    Duel. This is so shit. 

    Ah yes, Kryten gets his own back for being embarrassed by doing something that could get Rimmer and Lister beaten up or totally bollocked. What a great idea. 

    5 minutes ssshlater. Fucking hell what is going on. Why the different font? Just what

    Nice subtle drink acting here. 

    I’ve honestly forgotten what proper Red Dwarf is like by this point. This makes VII feel like a masterpiece. 

    “You’re gonna squeeze their rolls?” is a classic Cat misunderstanding joke. I think this might be the first time the character has made me laugh since VII. 

    Kochanski got into the hospital by putting a saucepan on her head, meanwhile Cat has to get beaten up (as if that hasn’t happened enough times this series). 

    Danny sat there with chips, sausage, drink and desert all together sat in his cheek always makes me queasy. Especially the way you can see it when he’s talking. 

    By this point in the episode one would imagine the plot is “Baxter is out to get the characters”. 

    Good to see the inescapable prison has a hospital where the security is lax and where a prisoner can just walk in and dress up as a nurse, and everyone can simply leave and get to the cargo bay without anyone noticing. 

    “The microbe that destroyed the Hermes” – good to see the prisoners have been informed of all the comings and goings of escape pods landing on the ship. 

    “There’s nothing in Yellow Pages.” And so ends Holly’s role in the show for years. He’s had at least four good jokes since he returned. 

    Ah yes, the ship is being destroyed, time for them to change into their normal clothes. 

    “At last, things are looking up!” God, as soon as the VIII status quo disappears, it starts to actually feel like Red Dwarf again. 

    Absolutely everything about the mirror universe is so fucking abysmal it doesn’t even deserve in depth commentary, especially since it’s been so over-discussed before. Ultimately, it’s as nonsensically cartoony as Backwards, but without the inventiveness, originality and good jokes that makes that episode good. 

    God, when Rimmer comes back into our universe it’s very dramatic. Visually the first genuinely impressive scene in the whole of VIII. 

    Kicking death in the balls. Ugh. 

    The end… the smeg it is. Double ugh. They couldn’t even use the same font. 

    How the hell did Doug think he could write his way out of that? Or was it really meant to be the end of the TV version? 


    Good gags:

    He stole some chocolate!

    That blue stuff you’ve got to pour over things. 

    Cell inspection, ten minutes. 

    It’ll put hairs on your lips. 



    Sooooooo yeah. That was fucking terrible. The first half of VIII is bad, but the second half is a totally different level of bad. Almost irredeemably terrible television. I still find it hard to understand how Doug thought that was broadcast quality. Even the saving grace of the Dave era doesn’t make that any more watchable than it used to be. I think that will probably be the last time I ever watch VIII. 

    #279761

    – Oh yeah, it’s the implication that this was supposed to take place after Pete. That would make Ackerman more established, but probably best to space out the tedious multi-parters.

    I prefer it as it is, if only because it has the suggestion that Baxter and Killcrazy are basically now stuck as apes for the rest of their lives. A very VIII ending for them. 

    Apologies for the numerous autocorrect errors in my posts. I’m not sure whether I prefer “Perez” or “see you in general minutes”. 

    #279762
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Pete, Part One

    Maybe I was just in a weird mood, but I had a great time hating this. Part Two’s long service as the Worst Episode Ever and its more infamous failings made me forget how equally appalling Part One is and how much Series VIII they pile on like a Buckaroo. I even thought this was a pretty good one at the time…

    – The flashback to their first meeting with Ackerman seems like a revision of Back in the Red, like they’re actually reusing an older, overwritten take because they’re so desperate for filler and don’t give a shit. Not a promising start.

    – I was worried that the basketball scene would feel completely random, but it came up so organically, didn’t it? I remember when I considered the metaphorical battle scene in Terrorform to be “pretty far out for Red Dwarf.”

    – Rimmer playing draughts against himself is relatable, but I’m more of a Carcassonne wanker.

    – Kill Crazy is the new Petersen, apparently.

    – Chris Veale just had a cheap UFO knocking about like the dinosaur, didn’t he?

    – Holly finally shows up over half-way through to provide some weak observational comedy about an experience he can’t possibly have had.

    – Did anyone manage to make it through the Mex scene without hurling abuse at the performer?

    – Time being slowed imperceptibly to the point of appearing frozen was a 1997 Sonic the Comic plot point.

    – They are children now. This is a familiar feeling from Emohawk, tbh.

    – That potato mound never looked 3D.

    – I remember when I considered the basketball game earlier in the episode to be “pretty far out for Red Dwarf.”

    #279763
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Pete, Part Two

    This completely lacked the delirious hilarity of part 1 for me, being much more focused in its gratuitously padded runaround. But a few more gags landed, and deadly peril brought out more familiar characterisation, particularly from Rimmer.

    These slim positives elevated it above the insane Part 1 for me (and the loathsome Back in the Red Part 2). Bask in the faintest possible praise of not quite being the worst episode, even though you probably objectively are.

    – I can see the Archie introduction scene opening Cassandra. The guard’s voice at the end is clearly dubbed on, and Kochanski’s surprise at receiving the package makes sense in that context. At least something mildly interesting’s come out of this.

    I love the way that after the recap section they still end up repeating the final minute of the actual episode. 

    That always made me think the dino foot would have been a better ending to part one, but then we’d have to wait a week for Kryten to explain the joke. And they’d have to come up with more padding.

    Why does Kryten throw Bob the time wand? I don’t actually have any idea what’s going on here. This is utter nonsense. 

    Kryten had ample zapping time all through the episode to that point, then they suddenly obsess over getting their hands on the Time Wand again, apart from when they forgetfully put it down and need it brought back to them, then lose it and need to find it again.

    #279764
    Rudolph
    Participant

    There’s no actual plot to Only the Good, is there? It’s just a collection of sketch ideas Doug has had, filling up twenty minutes until he can get to the cliffhanger stuff of Red Dwarf being destroyed.

    The mirror universe logic is a bit off. Hollister and Rimmer swapping statuses doesn’t make sense, as one is the highest ranking member and the other the second-lowest. Logically (as if that fucking matters, now), it should be Captain Lister and First Officer Rimmer.

    #279765
    Dave
    Participant

    Logically (as if that fucking matters, now), it should be Captain Lister and First Officer Rimmer.

    AKA the Skipperverse.

    #279766
    Stilianides
    Participant

    Pete – Part One

    The opening scenes again remind me of Stasis Leak, but with everything turned up to 11. The performances lack any of the subtlety of the early series.

    Knot surprisingly makes a reappearance which gives the game away that they were cobbling together episodes by this point.

    The basketball section does indeed come out of nowhere and it can’t even have been cheap to shoot. I have no sympathy with Doug’s complaints of penury when they were wasting money on a massively expanded cast and dozens of supporting artists.

    Lister has never been quite stupid enough to struggle at join the dots, and the aeroplane stuff feels like bad stand-up. The wrong number gag is amusing, though.

    The programmable viruses and time wand are both big sci-fi ideas that are just tossed away.

    It’s so odd to have the guest actors dodgily playing musical statues. I presume that Ed thought it would be the most comedic way to shoot the scene.

    It must also have been bizarre for the poor man whose face Rimmer drew all over, only for his scene to be deleted. 

    Kryten hiding the time wand in his head is another of those ‘Who cares if this makes any logical sense?’ jokes.

    The little “Vimto” girl is played by Holly Earl. I guess that few people would have predicted at the time that she would continue to get work for the next 20+ years, whereas Chris Barrie’s TV career would be (Dwarf apart) close to being over.

    The country music is preposterous, but Chris’ and Craig’s bald wigs are quite impressive. Mac MacDonald’s performance could have been a little more naturalistic, but the material didn’t exactly help him.

    The dinosaur foot then looks completely unrealistic and immediately the concept of including a dinosaur looks a little dubious (and that’s even if you overlook the dubious idea of a bird becoming a dino).

    Rimmer running in the wrong direction is a mildly amusing old joke.

    #279767

    Whilst a lot of Debris’ write up is (possibly rightly) doom and gloom, it does remind me I like a lot of the jokes (mostly bunk room) in isolation. 

    The join the dots is ridiculous but funny. Yes it isn’t Lister and yes it’s probably work better in something that wasn’t Red Dwarf, but it’s a laugh. 

    flour, flours is great  shame it goes on too long and we end up with the self raising gag.

    The wrong number morse code is hilarious and very “prison-y”

    Cell inspection, 10 minutes.

    post has arrived  

    All good gags. It actually reminds me a lot of early series 1 and 2 Red Dwarf where a lot of the gags are clearly Rob and Doug writing sketch material and using it as funny scenes in Red Dwarf. Norweb, dogs milk, shoes have soles, worm do etc etc are all jokes not inherently Red Dwarf but work in the situation  VIII is full of a lot of that. Just a shame the situation sucks.

    There’s even some funny, if daft stuff around the initial scenes with Pete. “Whole hog, it wasn’t hard enough getting the whole cow” is brilliant. 

    But as with all of viii Pete is a single joke that goes on too long. 

    #279769
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Krytie TV – We’ll see if the ensuing episodes 100% confirm it, but for me this is the absolute nadir of the whole show. Other episodes may have worse performances, fewer good jokes etc. but the premise of Krytie TV is just so horrible and unpleasant, nothing else comes close. On paper, one could argue that the sexual magnetism virus stuff from Back in the Red is worse than the voyeurism in this (and it is awful, obviously), but as far as I’m concerned it’s not quite as bad. Reason 1, the SM virus was just a subplot / recurring joke, and in theory it could have been removed without impacting the overall plot (or what we’ll charitably call the plot) of Back in the Red, but in Krytie TV, “the male prisoners film the women showering without their consent and broadcast the footage in the cinema, and Lister and Rimmer are complicit” is the plot. Reason 2, technically all of the on-screen rape in BitR didn’t really happen (it was all AR), but the violations of privacy in KTV have no such get-out. Krytie TV makes women a major subject – or rather, an object – but doesn’t even flirt with the idea of giving any of them agency or personality or jokes. In fact, except for Kochanski none of them even get any lines, and even Kochanski doesn’t get many. Just unrepentantly dreadful and offensive.

    – Hate the stupid continuation of Kryten residing with the female prisoners. Even if he has to be in that wing, THEY KNOW HE’S A ROBOT, so I don’t care how funny they think it is, Kryten skipping in an exercise skirt or showering while holding an umbrella is just asinine. I know they need to set up the communal showers for the plot, but I hate the plot even more, so that doesn’t work as a defence.

    – The one bit from the opening that I find OK is the toenail painting bit, because that’s a leisure activity that I can actually believe Kryten would say “sure, I’ll try that, why not” to.

    – I’m seeing some division on this, but for me, both “post’s arrived” and “flours” are groan-inducing. They don’t manage to cross the ‘so bad, it’s good’ event horizon.

    – The post (as in, the mail) is a bit weird because it’s clearly a mix of intra-ship post and delayed post all the way from Earth. You’d think the latter would be rare enough to justify a dedicated delivery, unless Lister’s right and all that was just the guards messing with them.

    – The joke about Lister being an idiot for thinking that Petersen might have written to him about his death doesn’t work, because this is the Red Dwarf universe. Did Doug and Paul seriously forget about holograms??? I don’t know if the nanos resurrected McIntyre (given that his ashes were flushed) or if Petersen would outrank McIntyre, but the idea of Petersen’s hologram being activated after he died isn’t that out of the question.

    – How does nano-Rimmer know about The Om Song? Rimmer very clearly was hearing it for the first time in Timeslides, and it’s an actual plot point in this episode that Lister wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play it to him post imprisonment.

    – The whole twist about the appeal really being about Lister’s guitar strings makes no sense. Lister receives the letter about the appeal mere minutes after first finding out he’s even going to get his guitar, so obviously if he’s already filed for appeal then that appeal cannot be about his guitar strings. (Unless the idea is that JMC assumed he’d want to appeal, and filed it for him? Sure, prison administrators are just really nice like that.)

    – As an addendum to the above point, it seems unlikely that the letter from Petersen about Lister’s guitar would arrive at the same time as the guitar? Given someone had to de-string it.

    – On the Canary shuttle, Rimmer’s name label is completely normal sized. Nothing unusual about that, just felt the urge to point it out for some reason.

    – Where did Kochanski disappear to after her line about Kill Crazy? It’s really awkward how she’s in the scene but then she suddenly isn’t when they realise her being there for their discussion would break the plot.

    – Kill Crazy has never seen a naked woman. Do they just not have pornography in the future of the Red Dwarf universe?

    – Homicide Enthusiast Kill Crazy = love that guy. Sex Pest Kill Crazy = hate the cunt. Ackerman improves this episode with his over the top stuff about his glass eye, but Kill Crazy just brings it down, and his line about a monster being scared of him isn’t funny either. I wonder if he actually gets anything remotely amusing to do in Pete, or if I just fondly remember Kill Crazy because of the idea of him (and him in Cassandra), and not because he’s actually any good for the majority of his screen time.

    – Extremely awkward how nearly half the Canaries on the shuttle are women, and they just sit there in silence while the men loudly conspire to film them showering. They’re little more than props in the scene, which is pretty indicative of how they’re treated by the episode as a whole. Are we as the audience meant to assume they can’t hear the conversation? It’s bizarre, and it happens later with Kryten talking to Lister about “the show” when Kochanski is like 3 feet away from him. And before then too, with Kryten loudly presenting ‘Shower Night Live’ to camera when the women he’s filming must be able to hear him.

    – Oh hey, Holly’s on the shuttle too. So why couldn’t he come with them in Cassandra? At least he gets 2 scenes in this episode rather than 1… I guess.

    – The episode tries to sell the idea that Lister does morally object to the voyeurism, but just finds himself unable to look away due to uncontrollable male hormones or whatever, but it completely undermines that by having Lister be in favour of the plan when Kill Crazy suggests it. What a shit. (It’s creepy just how into it The Cat is too.)

    – Minor bugbear for both this episode and often in real life – “Womens Wing” and “Womens Showers” should have apostrophes in them, goddamnit.

    – Sure is convenient for Kill Crazy and his cohorts that despite the male and female prisoners fraternising all the time, the cinema is gender segregated. And it also has no guard presence whatsoever. And the Wednesday night movie just so happens to perfectly coincide with the women’s shower schedule (although I guess if it didn’t, Kryten could just pre-record).

    – Rimmer grasses up the eye thief because he thinks it will help with the appeal, so surely grassing up Krytie TV would help even more? But nope, he’s too horny for that I guess.

    – How and why does the shower footage show last for 3 hours??? Even if we’re going with the “lol, women take ages in the shower” stereotype, this is about a communal shower in a prison. No way are they letting them luxuriate in the showers for that long.

    – It’s a sign of how bizarrely lax the brig security is in this episode that Kryten could pretend to have been reclassified as a man, and nobody is able to tell that this is a lie. Then later on it’s taken to even further extremes, with Kryten just being able to freely move around the normal ship and break in and out of Ackerman’s quarters, and stash cameras in there.

    – The Tim conversation: drawn out and tiresome.

    – Fair play, “Have you been going through my things?” is a solid gag, even if it’s the only good laugh in the whole episode for me.

    – Lister scratches back an ounce of likability by telling Kochanski about what’s going on, but then throws it all away by pathetically trying to excuse his complicity in it, because he only cares about his own romantic prospects with her, and clearly has no concept of how badly he’s wronged her. “Ooh, I couldn’t help it, you were naked, I couldn’t control myself because I’m a heterosexual man”. Shut the fuck up. Kris will have forgotten and forgiven by next episode, but she would be justified in never speaking to Lister, Cat or Rimmer ever again. (And Kryten too, depending on how she interprets his culpability.)

    – Why did Lister not leave Ackerman’s quarters the same way he entered? If the situation was what he thought and he was actually trashing Tim’s quarters, why would he think just strolling out into the corridor as an escaped prisoner would be fine?

    – It’s funny in a very much non-‘ha ha’ way that the stuff they do in this
    episode is far worse criminal behaviour than their original charge, but they don’t get any punishment for any of it. Rimmer should be grateful that “Lister has guitar strings now” is the only negative outcome for them.

    – It feels like there’s a scene missing at the end, where Kryten actually does get put back to normal, and is overcome with the immense guilt of everything he’s done. I mean, it’s only his defining character trait, so sure, we can shrug this one off.

    – I forgot that Mac McDonald isn’t actually a regular in this series, and that this is the episode in which Hollister doesn’t appear. It’s a shame, because the strength of his performance does tend to elevate the episodes he’s in, even when the material he’s given is dire. Krytie TV doesn’t even have that going for it.

    #279770

    The prison post comes let’s say weekly. Petersen found the guitar, sent the letter. Then heads off to whoever he needs ti give the guiat too to be passed on.m. The guitar has the strings removed. Petersen knowing this files an appeal on Lister’s behalf. The appeal letter is sent. That all sits in a post room for a few days and all arrives together. 

    #279771

    Re the shower show length. There’s 500 prisoners. Let’s be generous and say it’s a clean 50/50 split. That’s 200 women showing in a communal shower

    If there’s 20 showers, they’d get through 200 prisoners at around 10mins each.

    you can mess around with the ratios but it’s obviously not that outrageous it could take 3hours for them all to shower 

    what gets me is them having a shower night! Rather than just, some showers for them to use. 

    #279772
    Dave
    Participant

    Krytie TV

    Ah, that classic British sitcom trope of the usually-pleasant lead character getting involved in sex crimes, like the Fawlty Towers where Polly sets up a people-trafficking ring or the episode of The Good Life where Tom becomes a pimp.

    Joking aside, there are two really disappointing things about Krytie TV. One is obviously the central premise and all the horrible grubbiness that goes along with it, somehow managing to make every lead character except Kochanski complicit in filming naked women against their will and screening it for male prisoners for profit. Classic Red Dwarf!

    The other is that, somehow, watching it again you realise that there are actually the bare bones of what could be a good episode in here. The whole appeal plot is a pretty decent skeleton to hang a prison episode on, and there are even some decent moments and gags in amongst it all – I’m one of those people who likes “the post’s here”, and the stuff with Rimmer winning the holiday and the lottery is a pretty funny routine that cleverly subverts your expectations and could have happily sat in Series 1 or 2.

    But it’s all just dragged down by the horrible central premise of the episode, and all the male characters essentially conspiring to let it happen. Just an awful decision and I’m still baffled that the episode even got made.

    (Especially as Kryten doesn’t actually get reprogrammed at the end. So the whole thing is left entirely unresolved.)

    So yeah, a pretty shit episode that’s made all the worse by the occasional glimmers of potential for something much better.

    #279773
    Stilianides
    Participant

    Krytie TV – Where did Kochanski disappear to after her line about Kill Crazy? It’s really awkward how she’s in the scene but then she suddenly isn’t when they realise her being there for their discussion would break the plot. 

    Wasn’t this the scene where in the documentary they discuss Chloe Annett being ill and unable to film?

    There must have been some explanation originally in the script for her walking out (either that or they cobbled together two different ideas).

    #279776
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Re the shower show length. There’s 500 prisoners. Let’s be generous
    and say it’s a clean 50/50 split. That’s 200 women showing in a communal
    shower

    If there’s 20 showers, they’d get through 200 prisoners at around 10mins each.

    you can mess around with the ratios but it’s obviously not that outrageous it could take 3hours for them all to shower

    That’s a good explanation of shower night lasting 3 hours, but not of the ‘Shower Night Live’ show lasting 3 hours. Because Kryten has to be there filming the entire time, and he’s just 1 prisoner. So if he hung around like that he’d be risking blowing his cover. (More than he’s already risking it by shouting “Welcome to shower night live!” in the middle of the shower room, anyway.)

    Wasn’t this the scene where in the documentary they discuss Chloe Annett being ill and unable to film?

    There must have been some explanation originally in the script for
    her walking out (either that or they cobbled together two different
    ideas).

    Maybe I’ll find this out when I get to the special features, but it seems unusual for someone to fall ill halfway through a scene. In-story they’re in the confined space of the shuttle craft with nowhere to go, so I’m not sure how they could have explained it.

    #279779

    Great timing to the “Their mine” scene

    *they’re

    #279781
    Stabbim
    Participant

    Krytie TV has my vote for nadir of Red Dwarf’s entire run

    #279785
    Unrumble
    Participant

    Great timing to the “Their mine” scene

    *they’re

    #279787
    Stilianides
    Participant

    *they’re

    You don’t do it to be popular. :)

    #279789
    Stilianides
    Participant

    Maybe I’ll find this out when I get to the special features, but it seems unusual for someone to fall ill halfway through a scene. In-story they’re in the confined space of the shuttle craft with nowhere to go, so I’m not sure how they could have explained it.

    I just checked. According to the doc, Chloe was unable to attend any of the studio filming for the episode, so they filmed her bits later. 

    #279791
    desbug
    Participant

    Krytie TV is the tipping point. BitR was dodgy, Cassandra gave a glint of hope, Krytie TV is the point where I watched the rest of the series because it was ‘Red Dwarf’ but it was a chore rather than something to look forward to. As a few others have noted the whole premise was offensive (and I think it was dodgy even back before we all got woked) rather than just tonally broad compared to what had come before.

    #279792
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    I just checked. According to the doc, Chloe was unable to attend any of the studio filming for the episode, so they filmed her bits later. 

    Ah I see, thanks Stilianides. I’m not sure if there was a better way, but the cut we got, where Kochanski is inserted into a scene where the group shots clearly show she isn’t there, obviously didn’t work.

    It’s seriously unfortunate that Chloe would be too ill the record the episode where Kochanski is meant to be a focal character (for better or worse).

    #279793
    Dave
    Participant

    It’s seriously unfortunate that Chloe would be too ill the record the episode where Kochanski is meant to be a focal character (for better or worse).

    I’m glad they included that scene with Kryten where she initially laughs about the idea that some of the girls had agreed to it, only to horrifiedly realise that they hadn’t – but it does rather hang a lampshade on just how unpleasant the whole concept is.

    #279794
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Only the Good

    If I remember correctly, this was shown in some graveyard slot on a Sunday. 

    Yes and no – it was a Monday, as the usual Thursday slot was taken by some golf. But it was the usual 9pm time. 9pm-10:30pm on Mondays and Fridays were both designated Comedy Zones on BBC Two at the time, so it was a good slot, just not the usual one. Viewing figures suffered though, partly due to the change to the regular schedule (pre-PVR and catchup, obvs), and partly because the regular Sunday repeat was pushed back a week. Back then, repeats that happened within the same week got added to the total viewing figures – but because OTG’s repeat didn’t happen until the following week, it didn’t get that boost.

    #279797

    Ah, that makes sense then. I remember my friend had been away for a week and he phoned me up to ask what happened in Red Dwarf so I told him the plot of OTG and he was totally baffled because he wanted to know what had happened in Pete Part Two. Funny how these things stick in the memory. 

    #279798
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    So most of Red Dwarf VIII was not in a Comedy Zone. Makes sense.

    #279806
    Stabbim
    Participant

    Krytie TV is the tipping point. BitR was dodgy, Cassandra gave a glint of hope, Krytie TV is the point where I watched the rest of the series because it was ‘Red Dwarf’ but it was a chore rather than something to look forward to. As a few others have noted the whole premise was offensive (and I think it was dodgy even back before we all got woked) rather than just tonally broad compared to what had come before.

    Even if put into a less terrible casing, the basic premise of “Lister does something boorish with the lads to alienate Kochanski, now has to beg her back” was still some Every Sitcom, Ever horseshit.

    #279809
    Dave
    Participant

    #279810
    Unrumble
    Participant

    Pearls of wisdom there from Mr. Curried-vindaloo-diarrhoea-dinosaur-face. 

    #279812
    Dave
    Participant

    Oh Jesus, Pete Part Two is somehow even worse. Just utter bollocks, disjointed and illogical and without even following basic structural rules like having scenes happen in any discernible order or actually resolving the plot.

    It’s clearly cobbled together from loads of parts that don’t match up, but even the connecting tissue of the Captain’s Office scenes barely make any sense. 

    It’s really Mac that I feel most sorry for here, as out of everyone it feels like he’s doing the most work to try and hold it all together while still delivering a pretty decent performance. But it’s too big a mess for him to save alone.

    I really hoped this rewatch was going to reveal some hidden gems among the VIII episodes but actually it’s all even worse than I remembered. It’s not just unfunny and offensive, it isn’t even competently made TV.

    I don’t think I ever need to see Pete and Krytie TV and BitR ever again. Ever. Ever.

    #279813
    Dave
    Participant

    Although it was almost all worth it for this gem of pop-up trivia on Amazon Prime:

    #279814
    Dave
    Participant

    Seeya in ten minutes is the most baffling thing Doug has ever been involved in. 

    Yeah it’s bizarre. I genuinely feel like they just added as many rotations as necessary to pad the episode out to broadcast length.

    #279815
    Stilianides
    Participant

    Pete – Part Two

    Controversial opinion time, but I don’t think this episode is the worst in the history of Dwarf. The reason being that, while it is undoubtedly garbage for the most part, it contains what is probably my favourite moment from the whole of Series VIII.

    After Holly says, “You’re finished”, Danny is brilliant as he waits a couple of seconds for the audience reaction to die down, his eyes move from side to side and he feeds, “What’s the short version?” Norman then gets the big laugh, but it’s a masterful display of timing and the kind of thing that you lose when you don’t have an audience.

    While it was a stretch to include a dinosaur on board ship, I don’t think the concept had to turn out as terribly as it did. If it had simply been used as a monster rampaging around the ship (mainly using sound rather than visuals to indicate its presence), with the crew having to find a smart way to get rid of it, it might not have been so bad.

    As it is, we have the very long recap to start, Kryten inexplicably throwing the time wand to Bob, and the crew making a giant laxative meal in the Dino food dish (which they just happen to have lying around). There is a small amount of base comedy to be found, but it just shouldn’t be a part of Dwarf.

    “See you in ten minutes” is reminiscent of a scene that didn’t make it into White Hole and, especially in this episode, it feels like filler.

    The old ‘He’s standing behind you’ gag is a little painful and features some of Chris Barrie’s worst overacting.

    The delayed fight scene is a good idea badly wasted in this episode. There is still some decent physical stuff, though, from Chris and Craig.

    The remainder of the ep feels like a mess of ideas crammed together. The dinosaur having a baby is another stretch (even if the deleted scenes did confirm that it is female), Archie is on the loose, Baxter and Kill Crazy are transformed and, all the while, Mac MacDonald is in full Dennis the Donut Boy mode.

     

    #279816

    Ah I see, thanks Stilianides. I’m not sure if there was a better way, but the cut we got, where Kochanski is inserted into a scene where the group shots clearly show she isn’t there, obviously didn’t work.

    For what its worth, and I was 11/12 when it first aired, it took me probably until the DVD doc to point out to me that she wasn’t in the group shots of that scene.

    #279817

    Yes and no – it was a Monday, as the usual Thursday slot was taken by some golf.

    Perfect for John Hoare then

    (see BtE part 3 almost instant reaction to understand that reference)

    #279821
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Pete Part I – Abysmal of course, but after Krytie TV, I may as well have accidentally put on Holoship. PP1 is more like a series of loosely collected sketches than anything approaching a cohesive sitcom episode, and essentially none of it is funny or inventive, but hey, it holds my attention, and it isn’t disgustingly offensive like Krytie TV, or agonizingly convoluted like Back in the Red, so all in all this just about qualifies to be Top 50% Series VIII Dwarf.

    It does go with a unique A plot/B plot structure, where Lister and Rimmer do prison shit, and Kochanski, Cat and Kryten do Canary shit, and the two groups of characters don’t interact at all until the end. Obviously everything sucks in this episode including the structure, but I don’t know, if Doug was so committed to answering “should Series VIII be conventional adventure episodes where they explore derelicts and such, or should it be a prison comedy?” with “yes”, then the idea of having split parties had some potential. Unfortunately in this case, the Canary team don’t have any kind of dynamic going without the other two, and the Prison Pair do have some of their usual character chemistry, but it’s hugely undermined by Rimmer and Lister suddenly being best buddies who do high school pranks on the warden.

    – Rimmer giggling with Lister about their pranking of Ackerman is probably the most out of character he’s been since Stasis Leak. Though on the upside, Graham McTavish is the MVP of this episode, with Ackerman’s theatrical insistences about how nice he is being the closest I came to laughing. And, now we have confirmation that he has a glass eye and is asthmatic, he’s also breaking new ground for disabled characters in comedy…. maybe.

    – I kind of suspected this before I looked it up, but it turns out that Sodium Pentothal is not actually a magical truth serum, and taking it won’t make you volunteer all of your deepest secrets. In fact, good chance that Ackerman wasn’t having an affair or changing out of a Batman costume. That was probably just gibberish he was spouting while high.

    – The flashback to their introduction to the Tank and Ackerman feels very much like a deleted scene from Back in the Red, but that episode was so padded it’s incredible it would have more to share with other episodes.

    – “You’ve broken the rules, so as punishment we’re going to make you play basketball” has got to be some of the laziest writing in the entire show. I would think they were legitimately going for self-parody with that line, but it isn’t played for laughs. It would have been less awkward if Hollister had just said “we’re going to make you play basketball against the guards because it says so in the script” and then pulled out the script from under the desk and looked directly down the camera lens.

    – Them trying to sell us the idea that winning or losing the basketball game has any stakes whatsoever is incredibly weak. “If we lose this game, the other prisoners will beat us up!” What? Why? There is no reason at all why any of the other prisoners should give a fuck. The only way I can imagine the other prisoners beating them up for this is if they put them on the team and waste their time with this shite. It is not worth getting caught drugging the opponents and just getting further punishments.

    – Lister and Rimmer’s cell conversation feels more like misplaced miscellaneous stand up material than Red Dwarf dialogue. Given they talk about both bad food and aeroplanes,, I’m surprised they didn’t literally do a “what’s the deal with airline food?” bit.

    – Lister reprises Tikka Xtended with his enthusiasm for eating cold, uncooked curry.

    – OK, so Holly is fully with them on the Manny Celeste, which means he definitely could have been with them on the Silverburg, but he just wasn’t.

    – They find a device which exerts full control over the space-time continuum, and Kryten just starts confidently pressing random buttons and pointing at people. Was he always like this and the better surrounding material just made it less obvious?

    – Holly’s japes about Little Chef waitresses and QPR are very lame, but the worst is definitely him following up “you look like the Turkish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest” with “you still look like the Turkish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest”. Groundbreaking comedy, this. They should have just made the 70’s hair and clothes 1 joke rather than stretching it out into 2 separate zaps of the wand.

    – Seems kind of shitty that Kochanski would get Kryten to erase the other Canaries’ memories with the time wand. Why not bring them in on the plan? Surely they’d want to end their sentences early too.

    – The scene where Bob gives Lister the programmable virus as they pass each other in the corridor is so badly staged. The guards are right there behind him! There’s no way they didn’t see that.

    – The music choices are incredibly obnoxious and out of place, particularly when the virus is eating Rimmer’s clothes and hair, and when they’re wandering around the ship and noticing all of the people frozen in time. Howard Goodall please come back.

    – Considering the programmable virus was designed to eat potato skin, how does it not at least occur to them to be concerned that it might, you know, eat their skin, not just their clothes and hair?

    – So why weren’t Lister and Rimmer taken to the medi bay to have the virus cleaned off them first, before being taken to the captain? I guess these are the same incompetent guards that didn’t see Bob giving Lister the virus?

    #279822

    I guess these are the same incompetent guards that didn’t see Bob giving Lister the virus?

    If I had to guess, it was the one that looks kinda like Robert Patrick.

    Given they talk about both bad food and aeroplanes,, I’m surprised they didn’t literally do a “what’s the deal with airline food?” bit.

    Yeah… but what actually is the deal with airline food?

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