Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Series X Appreciation Thread

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  • #271195
    Stabbim the Skutter
    Participant

    So, Series X will be X years old this year, and I friggin’ love it. It’s my personal favourite of all the Dave offerings. It’s definitely not perfect, and I won’t defend elements such as Taiwan Tony, but I just feel like it has a “heart” to it that XI and XII are missing (but not The Promised Land!).

    I like the attempt to give the series an arc (especially one that follows on directly from Back to Earth!), and the experimental nature of the comedy. Sure not every joke lands, but I’ll take a skullet, “moves move”, and a game of charades (sorry, charades) over a trillionth gag about Cat hating Rimmer and Lister being a bad guitarist.

    The Series VIII finale “resolution” is a beautiful bit of fanservicey meta-humour that I really, really wish we got more of in the decade following X. Also, Fathers and Suns uses a plot element introduced in (and at that point had only been mentioned in) Ouroboros. That’s mad! I really wish we got more “follow-up” stories regarding plot developments like this.

    XI and XII had me so frustrated when nothing was connected between episodes. What happened to Hoagie’s star map or finding Kochanski, DAMNIT?!! Doug Naylor is a very funny man, but I feel he tries too hard to make the stories standalone and keep the classic style of humour, when the mainstream audience of today is a bit more intelligent (and binges a lot more TV!) than in the 80s and 90s, so they can handle deeper cuts.

    And of course, the production issues behind the scenes are fascinating – come on, this is always the most entertaining thing about Red Dwarf! They had to overcome so many hurdles to get this series made, and while the finished product might show its seams, it’s certainly impressive that they managed to get it completed. Gotta love the market set in Lemons!

    So yeah, Series X. A dish fit for a king, or an absolute slag heap? Discuss.

    #271196

    X episodes always end up better than they seem, because the first few minutes are a reminder of how much like a set the set looks, and usually consist of some terrible drive room scenes with Rimmer doing the skullet and moves gags. Almost every episode I started with “oh God, it’s going to be shit” and ended up liking.

    There are still other issues – some VIII-style gags throughout, Chris still being way too broad, Taiwan Tony, the slag line, most of Dear Dave, the last ten minutes of Entangled, Rimmer conveniently taking his holo-message thing when leaving Red Dwarf like he obviously does every week, the b-plot structure never being satisfying – but also a lot of stuff I love. Cat stealing the episode by walking into shot not once, but twice in Trojan, the first 20 minutes of Entangled, the first Jesus reveal, most of The Beginning, “it turned into a jacket,” Operation Sizzle, seeing inside the ram scoop, the generally slower series II/III style ship-based stories, the subtle but pleasing arcs of Lister looking for Kochanski and studying robotics, and the quantum rod. It still feels like a bit of a sketch of a series rather than a fully fleshed out one, but it’s a solid template that XI and XII should have developed, rather than diving head first into more actiony stories again.

    #271197
    RunawayTrain
    Participant

    I liked it. And honestly knowing there were production problems just felt like, ‘typical Red Dwarf’! (Finding out the extent of them in the documentary, obviously there were far more serious problems than usual, but before that, I mean.)

    I will mention that in my mind Lemons is mixed up in series XI, and Officer Rimmer is lumped together with series X – to the point where I actually had to look up the episode list for X, and then saw my mistake.

    My battery and brain are both on 2% so no more musings for now.

    #271198
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    It’s been a good while since I’ve watched it, but if you could excise Taiwan Tony, Professor E and the unnecessary misogyny, and some broad/ ropey/ rusty performances, to me it feels the most closely related to the Red Dwarf that was on the BBC, series VII and VIII like, but still.

    X also has proper models so that’s a big win.

    #271199
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Taiwan Tony was bad, but it was mainly the Medibot that kept me from ever revisiting Fathers and Suns.

    #271200
    loadoftottnumb
    Participant

    Yep I’m another fan of X. I agree with most of what has been said already but one thing I’ll add is I think Norman Lovett would have fit in better than any Holly character has since series 2.

    The JMC onboard computer winding Rimmer up, and the medi and denti bots could have been switched to him delivering the lines (I know tweaks would have to be made) and instead of Pree the whole thing could have been an update gone wrong, though I know Pree was one of the best parts of X so that would be a shame.

    #271203
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Yeah, Series X is still very good overall. Not as good as XI or XII, but still hugely enjoyable. I’m also a big fan of the new red ship interiors. Completely inconsistent with every other series, yet somehow it just feels right.

    However, when it first broadcast I was so happy to be getting good, new, “proper” Red Dwarf after the hiatus and Back to Earth, that I was way too instinctively defensive of its more problematic elements.

    Like, no, 2012 me, it doesn’t matter how clever the broader joke is, if executing it requires a white Canadian to do a ‘comedy’ Chinese accent and expect immediate laughs, it’s just bad. And no, even if Lister so quickly turning on his ex is funny, him using such offensive language doesn’t make it funnier.

    Lemons, The Beginning and the good half of Fathers & Suns are classics though, and Trojan is close.

    #271204
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Trojan is great.  Lemons is reasonable. The Beginning is pretty good.  I appreciate these episodes.

    The rest of it can go in a big bin.

    #271206
    Dax101
    Participant

    I find myself sometimes forgetting Series X exists. I think its because the scripts still feel a little rusty and tired. falling a little under the radar. While I’m not a huge fan of XI and XII i do think they have alot more energy in them.

    I know many like The Beginning. but I’m not a huge fan of how dumbed down the villains are.  Or even the father reveal. it just doesn’t work for me. It feels like the show had set up so much depth for Rimmer as to why he is how he is. And growing up with his past. And the beginning seems to be trying to say something, but I’m still puzzled as to what its trying to say. There seems to be mixed elements of Rimmer is a loser because his father was just a gardener. and the guy he thought was his father being this demon or villain thats holding Rimmer back. Even though in the hologram message the guy says he didn’t tell rimmer because he didn’t want to hold him back. It feels like Doug got abit ahead of himself with trying to resolve a part of Rimmers character in a very short amount of time, presuming the payoff would so cool… when tis just kinda messy and lazy.

    The episode that stands out to me as decent is Lemons. I think Doug’s best stories are ones where he sticks to one idea and doesn’t stuff his stories with too many ideas.

    #271208
    Dave
    Participant

    I still remember tuning in for the first broadcast of Trojan and hoping it was going to be good (after the disappointing mixed bag of Back To Earth), and being relieved when it was really good.

    There’s quite a few bits of X that I don’t like, but overall it mostly works and (crucially) it feels like a worthwhile follow-up to the original series.

    It’s always felt to me like the true ‘return’ of Red Dwarf and the start of the Dave era proper, to me.

    #271211

    I think crucially, even though there’s some rough patches in humour, each episode has a fairy strong and interesting story underpinning it.  Even Dear Dave has a good story it’s just executed badly for reasons known.

    So it makes it a compelling series to watch as the stories keep the episodes rolling when some of the humour fails.  Its easy to look past Tony, when the rest of the concept is drawing you in for example.

    That’s my experience anyway.

    And it really helps that Trojan just hits it out the park and sets the series up as being a show people recognise.

    #271245
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    I think any appraisal of Series X ought to include We’re Smegged as part of it, because the behind-the-scenes problems make sense of so many elements of X that are less than ideal. It doesn’t make it better, but it gives you a mixture of leniency towards several of its flaws, and immense frustration that squabbling and cock-ups got in the way of something that could have been much better.

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