Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Should they have continued Red Dwarf after Series VI?

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    I refer to a comment on Den of Geek, which was:

    “Once a story’s been done, characters are explored, there’s no point in continuing something just because you liked what came before.

    Red Dwarf wrapped up in season six really – the departure of Rob Grant and the lack of enthusiasm of Chris Barrie after that should have meant they left it alone. I understand the draw for continuing – it’s similar to our draw towards re-watching it, but it should have been resisted.

    Sometimes it’s just better to leave things well alone and keep them as happy memories. This show should have been quietly taken out to the woods and shot in the head years ago. Since Rob Grant’s departure, laughs have been very rare. It’s obvious from their two separate novels, Last Human and Backwards that Rob Grant was the creative force behind the show.”



    That makes no sense about the books, it’s such an empty cliche that always gets trodden out. “Obvious”? I love both books fairly equally but there is demonstrably more ‘creative force’ in Last Human, regardless of what you think about each novel or what your favourite is. It’s spitting with fresh ideas amongst the recycled bits, even despite the odd stumble in executing them, whereas Backwards is slickly executed but only really has the Agonoids section that isn’t adapted from existing material (and even then they’re amalgam of the Simulants and the Lows).

    Over 20 years since VII was shot and still this bloody argument…


    Thats a tricky one as did Series 7 and 8 live up to the past 6 seasons to the point it makes them worth existing, i dunno how to answer that one, they are bumps in the road of the franchise and BTE wasn’t all that amazing either.

    But we as fans always want more no matter either way.


    I think Red Dwarf is a show that works so well in continuing on, even if the execution hasn’t always been as good as in those first six series*. If they brought Men Behaving Badly back now and Gary and Tony were still doing the same thing it would likely be depressing. Alternatively they might have had kids or something and, whilst such a change to the status quo could be pulled off, many shows have had such a change ruin the whole thing. With Red Dwarf you can return 20 years later and still have the exact same set up. It’s in a bubble, it’s world doesn’t change with ours and there’s no outside force that should be massively changing our characters over the years. That makes it quite unique for a sitcom and is probably part of the reason it feels so natural for it to come back.

    *For me VII is okay, VIII is atrocious, BTE is good, X is okay though with different pros and cons to VII, XI is very good so far. For reference, the first six would be described as amazing.

    Ian Symes

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


    It’s the rule of VII.


    Yes. Yes we fucking do.




    Link to the Den of Geek comment, plz.


    Backwards better than Last Human?



    No, no, nope. Last Human was a much better novel. I enjoyed Backwards, but I didn’t get invested in its story the way I did with Last Human. Plus, it also provided the closest thing we’ll ever get to a true ending to Red Dwarf. The stuff with Rimmer’s damaged light bee felt like a great send off to his character.


    Currently rereading Last Human, not my favourite of the four. Can’t quite work Kochanski in my head. The characterisation is obviously a step away from Claire Grogan’s Kochanski, and towards the way she’s portrayed in RDVII, but when reading it before then, before Chloe was even cast…and found it awkward. I think Backwards is a better novel, really; the adaptation of onscreen scenes and dialogue is much more noticeable in Last Human, Backwards is more about the idea. My main problem with Backwards, though, is the amount of time Lister and Cat spend as kids. Similar to Kochanski in Last Human in that it’s a little more difficult to visualise. But to be honest, neither reach the level of Infinity or BTL.
    I’d be interested to see what a new book might throw up, though. Maybe Robert could have a go.


    I think Backwards is better purely for the Ace Rimmer stuff but both novels are best in their abridged audiobook form I think. That said, unabridged new Chris Barrie recordings are still top of my Christmas list. Come on boffins – sort it out!


    I can understand people preferring Backwards to Last Human (I’m not one of them, although I liked both books) but it seems that post writer is equating preference with creativity, which is smegging annoying and just not true.

    I find Last Human a much more creative novel. And I’m not just saying that because I prefer it. There is just so much more going on. Cyberia. Whole new gelf cultures. Parallels self shenanigans. Plotting and action and… it dares to be sad and poignant too. (Although there’s a bit of that in Backwards as well.)

    I don’t say that to criticise Backwards though. It was a tighter novel and its realisation of a Backwards reality was far better than the episode of the same name. It was a good novel with a lot of merit, but I thought Last Human beat it where creativity is concerned.



    Grazie. Why did you combine three separate people’s opinions into one though?

    Matthew Hewitt [to] George • a year ago

    Seasons 2 & 3 were the absolute peak for me, after that it was a long, slow decline. Season 7 was awful, season 8 only slightly better and the Dave episodes are plain embarrassing. Sometimes it’s just better to leave things well alone and keep them as happy memories. The only idea of interest to me would be to re-cast and turn the first couple of books into feature films.

    George [to] Matthew Hewitt • a year ago

    Yeah, for me it’s 2-3-4 with 5 and 6 being much patchier (probably because Ed Bye was no longer producing).

    I think that once a story’s been done, characters are explored, there’s no point in continuing something just because you liked what came before.

    Red Dwarf wrapped up in season six really – the departure of Rob Grant and the lack of enthusiasm of Chris Barrie after that should have meant they left it alone. I understand the draw for continuing – it’s similar to our draw towards re-watching it, but it should have been resisted.

    I like your idea of a recast and turning the book into features. The idea is sound, and “that sort of thing” is easier to do now than it ever was (in terms of an appetite for science fiction, more unusual comedy, etc). Just: no cameos, please.

    Neal Murdoch • a year ago

    This show should have been quietly taken out to the woods and shot in the head years ago. Since Rob Grants departure, laughs have been very rare. It’s obvious from their 2 separate RD novels, Last Human and Backwards that Rob Grant was the creative force behind the show.


    I’ve never been that fond of Last Human. It just feels a bit too populated. Backwards manages to have half the book set on 20th century Earth and still focuses largely on the main four, whereas Last Human has such a large cast despite being set in deep space. Is the title a joke, by the way? Given that it features Kochanski, alternate Lister and Rimmer’s son as important characters. It’s a pretty good SF novel, but I just find Backwards funnier and just overall more Dwarfy.


    Better Than Life and Backwards are just fucking lovely.

    If Doug decided to write an episode based purely on Ace circa the test flight, I would be so happy, he’s a diamond in it.

    Kris Carter

    Yes, they absolutely should have continued Red Dwarf after VI, and I’m glad they did.

    Although, yes, it has taken a very long time to recapture itself after all the upheaval that was wrought between VI and VII, but we’re now into the strongest run of episodes for a long time, and I’m glad we’ve got them and more to come.

    Pete Part Three

    I find the prose in Backwards more similar to Infinity and BTL.

    The tone of Last Human just feels all wrong too. And Kochanski is even worse than she is in VII (though not quite VIII levels of rubbishness.


    Infinity welcomes careful drivers is a great novel, better than life has a slight tone change towards more complex sci-fi but it is still pretty damn good, last human and backwards both are decent but both feel like there is something missing


    It does feel like a star trek or star wars novel in some ways where gelfs, robots and holograms stand in for aliens and Doug fully takes advantage of as many other characters he can fit in as possible.


    Oops i tried to quote someones elses post and somehow my own post ended up quoted and edit doesn’t work, ah well you get the point ;p

    Taiwan Tony

    Yes I believe they should. Because you can ignore series VII & VIII and BTE and great swathes of X and an episode of XI, and enjoy the good ones.
    And who wouldn’t love another book or two.


    I’ll be as honest as ‘Honest’ Bill Honesty here, the most honest man south of Honest-upon-Upton.

    I really cannot stomach Series I. I tend to start at Kryten, race through to Blue, then do ten minutes of Nanarchy and end up at Series X.

    I really do like Series I but it’s never been a must-watch for me unlike Kryten or Out of Time or Dimension Jump.


    After watching the lot of them umpteen times, I find the first series the one I’m less inclined to come back to*, just through it generally being less textured (both visually and in terms of of script and characterisation). Humour-wise it’s fucking excellent, but it’s only at Me² that the rewatchability level really steps up.

    *other than VII and VIII, of course. I’ve only watched those two once in the last, seven or eight years.

    Nick R

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

    It seems that with a lot of fandom discussions, the stuff they hate the most seem to get returned to more often than the stuff they should celebrate.

    Case in point: there’s a brand new RedLetterMedia Harry Plinkett video on The Force Awakens. But it ends up spending nearly 50% of its time reiterating or continuing arguments related to the problems with the Star Wars prequels, which by this point must surely be the most-discussed films on the Internet. (It also happens to be a relatively poorly-argued critique compared to those earlier videos.)

    Fandoms love to hate…


    Oh go on then, I love Series VIII.

    Anyone wanna match me?

    Come on, who put Pete at No. 1 in the Silver Survey?


    As another thought: what would have happened to the franchise if Doug hadn’t decided to carry on after Series VI? Would the revival have happened? Would the DVDs be anywhere near as good as they are? How different would this site, and indeed Red Dwarf fandom in general, be? How would the show be thought of now?


    Good point really, the wind may have went out Doug’s sails if both Rob and himself decided to call it a day after Series VI.

    We’d have vanilla DVD releases with virtually no special features and a foolhardy, limited scrap of fan websites reporting on the most bollocky associative minutae regarding the cast of the show in their post-Dwarf careers.

    Wait a minute…


    Whatever you think of the post-split series (and please to god let’s keep it to ourselves now), if it hadn’t have been for the two-year run of VII/Xtended/Night/Remastered/VIII then Red Dwarf would have basically disappeared. Doug, Ed Bye and the GNP team worked themselves into dust to turn Red Dwarf from a parochial, already-seen-as-past-it, zeitgeisty (and to some extent borderline *disgraced*) cult TV property into a resurrected, reborn, international legacy brand with massively improved sales potential and audience reach.

    What they achieved, with infinitely less resources than they made it appear, wasn’t far off the impossible. How can you not have wanted all that to happen? It’s the reason you can enjoy “IT’S A COMEDY SPRAY” and 16mm footage of Pete Tyler’s hands in the comfort of your own living room, and the reason Sunday afternoon repeats of Queeg can still appear on BARB ratings charts.


    It wouldn’t have worked regardless, Dona was too petite for the shot and her hands are not of the same hue as Danny’s.

    How distinctly unique and odd it is to discuss rushes from an episode of a cult sci-fi show made 28 years ago in a Manchester hotel.


    Really i think the movie was a driving force for Doug to continue making this show, infact Series 7 and 8 both feel like testers for a movie with series 7 not being filmed infront of an audience and having orchestric music, while 8 brought the crew back which the movie was gonna be a reboot and was likly to have Hollister and Co in and Doug attempted a 3 part story for the first 3 episode which was film length

    If Red Dwarf had stopped after 6 it probably would have came back in some form or another, whether rob would have been more likely to come back or not who knows

    As for keeping the show alive with Series 7,8 and the remastered… thats a tricky one, yay to keeping the show alive but they still sorta feel like bumps in the road.

    Ben Paddon

    Really i think the movie was a driving force for Doug to continue making this show, infact Series 7 and 8 both feel like testers for a movie with series 7 not being filmed infront of an audience and having orchestric music, while 8 brought the crew back which the movie was gonna be a reboot and was likly to have Hollister and Co in and Doug attempted a 3 part story for the first 3 episode which was film length

    You’re half-right, at least according to the Series VIII book – Doug planned VII as a test run for the movie (which is what convinced Ed Bye to come back).


    Here’s another suggestion: in a parallel universe where Red Dwarf’s original run ended with VI and Back to Earth didn’t happen, would the Beeb have considered making a new episode for their recent Sitcom Season? Would Rob and Doug have been up for a reunion for it? (Alternatively: a universe with the same scenario, except VII and VIII did happen?)


    I can’t see how it could’ve ended after VI with a neat or positive ending. There were books, out-take tapes, merchandise, conventions, all sorts that would that in a way, wouldn’t have allowed for Red Dwarf to simply snuff out for a number of years post-1993 bar Doug running in and doing a KLF, namely deleting the back catalogue and telling everyone to sod off.

    Would be interesting though, I wonder what fandom would be like now if we had just six series and the odd bit of archive material along the way.

    Stephen Abootman

    In that universe, doing a version of Bodysnatcher as a one off would surely have been the ideal choice.


    I get so tired of this line of view. I will flame people, but it’s through honest opinion backed up with logic.

    Very simply: The series post VI are not the dismal ‘mistakes’ that they are made out to be. (Apart from BTE which was a step too far – IMO)

    The vast majority of RD’s audience do not care or feel so deeply about this issue, and can enjoy the programmes perfectly well. They are funny. They are different, and maybe not quite as consistent, however anyone that says there ‘isn’t a single laugh’ (or along those lines) is a liar who simply needs to get off their heigh horse and find out what a life is.

    The vast majority will not be 1% as vocal as those that take this ‘issue’ to heart.

    If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. The rest of us will be perfectly happy watching the rest of XI, XII and beyond.

    Pete Part Three

    >Very simply: The series post VI are not the dismal ‘mistakes’ that they are made out to be. (Apart from BTE which was a step too far – IMO)

    So, we’re allowed to say BTE is a dismal “mistake” but not anything else? Just as long as we know how to adhere to the “correct” opinion.


    You can call it what you want. Possibly not my best wording admittedly. But all I’m saying is that many more people enjoy the newer series, which isn’t necessarily reflected on sites like this.

    I never said people can’t have opinions, and I never said it shouldn’t have been made. I may not like BTE so much, but someone out there will like BTE very much. Furthermore it was a restricted production in so many ways, but it paved the way for X and so on. So it was very much worth making for that reason alone.

    Adhering to the ‘correct’ opinions is what these questions always suggest. To the point where people don’t want others to enjoy the newer stuff because it so badly regarded (apparently/allegedly/so I say). That’s what annoys me. Live and let live. We’ve heard it all before. Just don’t watch it – don’t wish to deny the majority the joy of more Dwarf.


    You’re all wrong.

    And so are your mums.

    Pete Part Three

    > I may not like BTE so much, but someone out there will like BTE very much.

    People are entitled to agree with that, but I don’t see how that’s any different to what people are doing here. Your negative opinion on BTE doesn’t change my opinion on BTE one iota; just as negative opinions on VII, VIII and X really shouldn’t bother you.

    Opinions work both ways, irrespective of whether they’re positive or negative. And if you visit a fan-site, you’re going to see extremes of both which may not align with “the vast majority of RD’s audience”.

    I think this thread is odd, sure. Alex S has edited together three comments made a year ago on a different site, and it does seem to be a stirring the pot. However, it’s all been fairly tame and based on conjecture and hypothetical situations. Right up until someone expressed boredom with an opinion and threatened a bout of flaming.

    >Live and let live.


    Taiwan Tony

    >Just don’t watch it – don’t wish to deny the majority the joy of more Dwarf.

    Just don’t read this thread?

    Chris Stokes

    I definitely think I-VI are more consistent but I just can’t agree with the hardline view that ANYTHING post VI isn’t as good.

    We have a habit of viewing Dwarf in the past tense, even when it’s on telly, and as such hold the original 36 up to standards *some* of them don’t deserve.

    This isn’t to say that some of the criticisms of Vii onwards aren’t without merit, but I’d argue that many of those criticisms can be levelled at a chunk of the original run as well, we just tend not to because of rose tinted specs.

    Obviously there was a hey day, obviously it was prior to 1997 and we are unlikely to recapture it but I definitely think VII, Bye, X and XI are criticised under more scrutiny.

    VIII too, I just happen to agree with the consensus on that one. I remember being the only one of my friends having misgivings at the time.


    >Just don’t read this thread?

    A tad silly. Just don’t read MY comments? Just don’t go near a computer? Sit in a corner of a dark room, close your eyes and put your hands over your ears? Where does this end?

    Chris makes a good point: It’s the hard line views that just don’t make sense. That’s what I’m getting at. It’s this line in the OP that invoked me: ‘Since Rob Grant’s departure, laughs have been very rare.’ Objectively, that isn’t true on any level.

    Pete Part Three

    >It’s this line in the OP that invoked me: ‘Since Rob Grant’s departure, laughs have been very rare.’ Objectively, that isn’t true on any level.

    Maybe flame the person who made it then? On a different site. A year ago.

    Taiwan Tony

    >>Just don’t read this thread?
    A tad silly. Just don’t read MY comments? Just don’t go near a computer? Sit in a corner of a dark room, close your eyes and put your hands over your ears? Where does this end?

    Exactly. And that was YOUR argument, you daft cunt. “If you don’t like it, don’t [read] it.”



    Good thread this.


    Haha. I have a feeling that much of the response is down to the fact that I don’t conform to the usual I-VI is holy club. Fair enough. I should have expected that.

    > Maybe flame the person who made it then? On a different site. A year ago.

    Unfair comment. The thread starter did ask for ‘thoughts’.

    >Exactly. And that was YOUR argument, you daft cunt. “If you don’t like it, don’t [read] it.”

    Doesn’t mean that I can’t air my opinion. The thread was started with an opinion, and I responded to it. Nothing wrong here. All I’m saying is that this argument has been done to death, and that there are plenty of people that enjoy the post VI series. You’re not making any real point. You’re just being rude for the sake of it.

    Taiwan Tony

    Dude. As an opinion, it’s fair enough. Don’t watch what you don’t like.
    In turn I suggested that you don’t read things you don’t like. As a kind of “joke”. However, you failed to see the irony (as only a fan of series VIII would do), and took it at total face value. You called it a silly argument. I agree. It is a silly argument. Ahhhhhhhhh.

    By the way this has nothing to do with your not conforming to the views of the ‘holy club’, as you put it. You just seem like a bit of a git.
    Who says they “flame” people?!
    Peace and love. TT.


    Thought I’d just jump in here, especially after our ‘flamer’. Partly because I kind of agree with him… His argument isn’t all that eloquently put, but he makes a point.

    Personally I can’t get into Series I at all. It really feels like a practice run for series II, which apart from the last episode was all superb to me. In contrast, I enjoy VIII. It’s a laugh if you don’t analyse it too closely in comparison to the rest of the series. 8 million viewers can’t be all wrong – especially in the wake of a slightly shaky Series VII.

    The series has had dips here and there, but I don’t feel that they have been so detrimental to the series that I would say that they shouldn’t have happened. If Back to Earth was the new standard for new series X onwards, then I feel it would have crossed the line. Thankfully it was a one-off, and served as a catalyst for something markedly better.


    Red Dwarf is all shit, anyway. I prefer Hyperdrive.


    It’s all went a bit ShaneG in here.

    Pete Part Three

    >I have a feeling that much of the response is down to the fact that I don’t conform to the usual I-VI is holy club.

    Ah, gotcha. VII, VIII and X are fine, because Red Dwarf I-VI was just “fine” too? OK. Wait for the huge swathes of people to criticise you for not holding I-VI to lofty standards.

    Or not. Because no one actually cares. No one is going to bother trying to convince you your opinion is wrong or express exasperation that you’ve decided to air it. They’ll only kick-off if you wade in and get personal.

    >Unfair comment. The thread starter did ask for ‘thoughts’.
    Sure, but this isn’t Disqus with threaded comments. if you’re replying specifically to a quote (from someone on Den of Geek, a year ago) in the original post, it’s probably a good idea to quote it. Your first reply was about 40 posts in, and it just appeared you were dismissing everyone who’s contributed to this thread. If I’ve got that wrong, I apologise. If I got that right, huh.

    As I’ve said, the thread title and first post are antagonistic, but the comments it spawned were interesting. And now it’s been somewhat derailed by talk of “liars”, “high-horses” and “flaming”.

    >Objectively, that isn’t true on any level.
    Objectively, it’s not objective at all. It’s subjective.




    OK. We’re going to get through this.


    No, everybody keep going nuts, it makes me look relatively more reasonable when I go on about shortened DVD extras.


    Since it’s you.


    Listen, I’ve been watching Red Dwarf since 1981, I’m true Dwarf, I was in the audience on the first night and I actually helped rope in drunkards from the pub across from BBC Manchester.

    Ok, I live, breathe, and meme Red Dwarf, just don’t go there ok? I’m at every Dimension Jump, every recording, I’ve slept with three of the cast and I’m half-feline sapian.

    Yaron Ru

    McDonald’s should have called it quits after selling their millionth hamburger.

    John should have quit making burgers after he earnt his second star.

    Making Dwarf is Doug’s (and the cast, crew etc) job, his livelihood and a damn fine hobby all in one. Why should he call it quits and do something else less successful, less fun and that earns less just because some people on the Internet who are under no obligation to watch it say so? Should Maroon 5 have calls if quits after their second album? Perhaps they could have gone and got shitty jobs rather than taking in another few million quid performing music, and that would have opened a space for another crappy band to take their place that you’re also not obliged to listen to so I don’t see how it makes any odds to anyone if people who make money creatively continue to make money creatively.


    They should never have done Maroon 7 & 8.


    This is why I think Series VII needs another go for the 20th anniversary.

    New CGI shots which will look great with todays technology, re-edit from the 50i tapes rather than process down to 25p, edit and tweak with hindsight as a guide and present it as the 20th Anniversary Editions, not as the replacements.

    It’s a lovely little series with a real heart and it deserves to go out best foot forward.


    The only thing wrong with VII is the fact it’s performed to an imaginary audience rather than more naturally, particularly as that audience are largely fake in the final dub. Would gave been better to keep it dry and give the performances a bit more pace. (And keep a bit more Howard Goodall in the edit too.)

    Other than that I’ve always loved it, it’s one of my favourite series of the show and I like every episode. The stories are great, there’s tons of variety and texture and colour, the co-writers all work, it looks beautiful, and it’s got loads of brilliant set pieces. I also think some of the less successful parts of VIII would have come out better made the same way, the weirdness of say Only The Good or the second half of BITR would have been allowed to breathe more and there’d have been a lot more charm and coherence to the piece. You’d lose plenty as well but it’d probably change a lot of people’s opinions of VIII if they were to see it made the summer 1996 way.

    I actually like nearly all of Red Dwarf though. I’m fairly egalitarian about the show and the few bits I don’t like are scattered evenly across the show’s history. There aren’t even any episodes I think are unilaterally bad, even my least favourites have a good first half or a killer five minutes in there.

    (See, I’m nice sometimes.)


    Personally speaking, and I’m speaking personally here, I like that there’s a very clear cut-off point between the BBC and Dave eras. Back to Earth reset the show’s continuity, and although the show still occasionally harks back to past glories (Fathers and Suns, Can of Worms, etc) the later episodes themselves largely stand on their own.

    I know quite a few people who’ve gotten into the show via X and XI, and they don’t give a shit about supposed tonal and stylistic inconsistencies in the way you and I do. For them, looking back on older episodes isn’t visiting a by-gone age so much as seeing new material. They don’t have the dangerously proprietorial attitude we long-term fans have.

    Let’s rephrase the title of this thread: would we rather the programme ended after VI just to please a lot of hard-core, joyless fans, or are we better off welcoming new audiences to one of the smartest, most imaginative shows ever to grace British television?


    Why did you combine three separate people’s opinions into one though?


    One of the issues about ending the show after Series VI is that there would be a lot of people sitting 24 years later saying… my word, what would a potential Series VII been like? And we’d have elevated the unknowns and little morsels of information to come out over the years into near-mythical status. We might’ve heard about plot points regarding time travel, the return of Kochanski, catching up with Red Dwarf, intelligent viruses and drove ourselves mental. Doug might’ve even created a few scripts and put them out in a 15th or 20th anniversary book celebrating the show.

    A new audience for the show and new episodes are a good thing and it’s a rarity, if not a singular achievement that a BBC 2 sit-com has persisted and continues to be made to this day after thirty years, but if the writing isn’t up to scratch, then forget about it.

    There’s reasons why the first six series worked.

    And there’s reasons why it began to falter afterwards.

    There’s always reasons, or a reason.


    Had the show ended around Series 6 it probably wouldn’t have the status it has today since Red Dwarf continued to grow bigger even through the late 90s.

    Personally i am abit mixed on it since in a way i am glad the show didn’t end at series 6 but at the same time when i look at Back to Earth for example i just think… this isn’t exactly a example of why continuing after 6 was a good thing.

    Its a shame that continuing after 6 has left the show with abit of a mixed track record in terms of quality.


    The Next Generation Season 6 – A shining light in the Star Trek canon.

    The Next Generation Season 7 – A load of fucking wank bar ‘All Good Things’.

    Paul Muller

    My memories of Series VII are undoubtedly coloured by the fact that I was an excitable 10 year old when it first aired, and aside from a couple of times my parents let me stay up late to watch it, VII was my first proper exposure to Red Dwarf.

    At the time, I was totally in love with it. Explosions, spaceships, robots and loads of jokes that flew completely over my tiny head. Recently I was clearing out a load of old stuff at my Mum’s house and found a sketchbook of drawings of Starbug, Gelf cruisers, various attempts at Kryten’s head and some extremely unfunny fan fiction.

    The next few years were an exploration of the previous series, in completely the wrong order. I think I probably watched Series VI first, then III, then I. Eventually I got round to the other series, just in time to be hugely disappointed by Series VIII (even as a 12 year old I found it pretty cringeworthy).

    The point I’m making is that our memories of Red Dwarf are often tied into our experiences watching it the first time round.

    I have happy memories of VII, therefore I’m tempted to look at it through rose-tinted lenses. As my first exposure to the series, it formed my first ideas about what Red Dwarf should be; an exciting, funny, ambitious ensemble show with a different weekly premise and the occasional dramatic and affecting moment.

    With that in mind I was never going to feel much affection towards Series VIII.

    I’m still glad it was made though. Doug’s willingness to change and adapt the style and content of Red Dwarf over the years has probably contributed to its longevity. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to get next…


    Iain Lee put it best…

    “Oh, don’t talk to me about Red Dwarf, I’m not going to listen, it’s rubbish. It’s just ‘smeg, smeg, smeg, smeg, smeg, oh look a cat, smeg, smeg, smeg’. It’s not sci-fi, it’s not comedy, it’s RUBBISH”.

    Buncha bollocks that Red Dwarf, I just bought the complete series of ‘End of Part One’ on DVD from Network. Now there’s a fucking lost gem of a comedy.


    Oh wow, Iain Lee IS a cunt. See I never quite knew who he was, just that everyone here said he was a cunt. Seems that’s a very apt description.


    Ian other news: The Award Winnianing Ian Ian Symes patched thiangs up with Iain Lee on behalf of Ganianmede & Titian years ago followianing his, Iain not Ian, Googlianing of himself.

    We hate Caitlin Moran and Mark Kermode now.


    Why do we hate Mark Kermode?


    Oh, look, a cinema loving Stewart Lee’s let himself go.


    I feel like a lot of people who hate the new episodes with a passion would find many issues with the classic episodes they hold in highest regard if they could rewatch them brand new today. They saw those original episodes when they were young and completely uncritical, but watch these new ones for the first time much older, with profoundly high expectations and more refined tastes.

    I just have to question when I see people who consider Series VIII to be on par with Series III-V, but complain that Series XI “doesn’t feel like Red Dwarf”. If Series VIII feels like classic Red Dwarf to you, then how could you consider something much closer in every respect to not? Or maybe you’d have exactly the same complaint about Series VIII if you hadn’t first seen it in 1999 as a teenager.

    Really I’m just annoyed at the kinds of fans you see in social media groups. They’re either the type who claim their favorite episode is “all of them” or the type who unironically bitch that the new episodes are terrible because they don’t look 30 years old. I wish there was one filled with non-stupid people, but I gave up that search a while ago.

    Dollar Pound

    i thought this recently when i watched polymorph and the fact they leave lister behind and come back makes no more sense than anything in can of worms. i never noticed this before, i was just going thru the motions. it didn’t ruin it for me tho and i defended cow.

    i thought *this* was the place to talk smeg with non-stupid people!


    It is, but I’d enjoy a social media group where we could goof around and share images and the like. Unfortunately all Red Dwarf social media groups are just eight hundred people sharing the SMEG toaster per day and unironically espousing the opinion that you can’t be a true fan if you criticize the show in any way.


    You know, you can always *start* that social media group.


    Or, even better, and this is just a thought, start the Facebook page “the same photo of the SMEG toaster every day”. There’s loads of pages of the like. Not a particularly hard format to keep up with.


    Advertise it in all those groups. You’ll get thousands of likes instantly.


    They like it when you say smeg.


    Honestly, though? I’m concerned by what smeg toast would be.

    Plastic Percy

    I’m glad it didn’t, as it would have been disappointing to end on such a down ending and cliffhanger. Much as I’m glad they didn’t end VIII with the awful idea for ‘Earth’ – Red Dwarf, powered by anti-matter from a parallel dimension, makes it back to Earth and crashes into it, sliding across the world and wiping out civilisations and famous landmarks, with the last scene being Lister climbing out of the wreckage to exchange insurance details with one of the survivors.


    At least with that ending there’s the possibility of wrapping up Series VIII as one of Lister’s mental curry-induced dreams.

    I’ve always maintained that Series VIII is non-canon and is no more than a sideways ‘Carry On’ style look at Red Dwarf and that’s about as complimentary as I can be. For me, the nanites rebuild the ship, there’s a bit of fit and finish to be had in terms of the ship shrinking but it settles down, they escape Starbug and we cut to ten years later with Lister walking down a service corridor with a bag of tomatoes. No resurrected crew, no prisoners, no fucking nonsense.

    I admit, I get a chuckle from Krytie TV but come on, there’s limits.

    Ian Symes

    I might have been able to subscribe to this view were it not for a couple of moments in The Beginning…


    I only consider the Series VIII PBS idents to be canon.


    Yes, those two jokes in The Beginning make it very difficult for me to accept my head-canon that would otherwise allow me to skip from VII to BtE.


    Those jokes are related to events now off-screen and unseen and that’s why the context of them has changed because we’re told of Rimmer being the hero and yet he isn’t given a platform to brag about it. He’s cut off by more pressing matters such as actually being the hero onscreen in ‘The Beginning’.

    See? There you go, fixed! Now go into the night and write a comprehensive fan-fiction about the twelve year gap between Series VII and Back To Earth.

    Issues to be resolved…

    Why is Rimmer back? Could he not hack it as Ace or is this a new Rimmer generated by Lister to keep himself sane?
    Why did Kochanski hop it? She seemed settled in by the end of Series VII.
    Where did ol’ half-eaten lollipop head go for his first holiday in the ship?
    Why didn’t the nanites resurrect the crew and long-rumoured prison population while they were at it? That would’ve made for the best series of Red Dwarf yet.

    Good call on the PBS idents, they are funny. I remember someone posting a BBC-era Red Dwarf IX trailer years ago using the ident footage, pre-Dave revival and it was heartbreaking to watch as it seemed like another series of Red Dwarf was very unlikely at that point.

    Plastic Percy

    It’s interesting to speculate on the origin of this current Rimmer. Personally, I like to imagine he’s the original Rimmer returned from adventuring as Ace Rimmer – breaking the cycle by retiring whilst he still had a chance to get out ‘alive’ and not killed in a heroically silly manner as his predecessors. If that’s the case, perhaps he did return as Ace to save Red Dwarf and sent the Rimmer clone off as his replacement (or, more hilariously as I read in one fanfic, sent Kill Crazy off as the new Ace).

    Of course, if he’s had a couple of years of adventures as Ace Rimmer, it would be a little odd that he’s still hung up about his lack of a sex life and his failure to be an officer (and also ignores how he was posthumously promoted to First Officer).


    He was the one Rimmer in an infinite number of universes who couldn’t cut it as Ace Rimmer and couldn’t shake his neuroses and hangups.

    I also consider the Drunk feature from the DVD to be canon. And the weblink. And the comic relief thing filmed on the DNA set. Nothing else though.


    Phobos and Deimos, stop calling the nanobots nanites in a tedious discussion about continuity.


    We should make a comprehensive list of shows with nanobots, nanites, or both.

    But knowing this site, we’d only come up with a list of the ones with neither.


    I see Dwarf as split 5 ways, and in theory you could like only one of these, and/or treat each of them as separate canon.

    1 & 2 – it’s own thing

    III to VI & X to XII – the heyday and ‘proper’ Red Dwarf

    The novels – totally their own thing

    VII – a neat comedy adventure series with slightly dodgy execution

    VIII – the ‘I took Prozac for a laugh’ year

    BtE – okay


    Okay it’s split 6 ways, but seeing as I can’t edit I’m gonna chew on a tulip instead.

    N.B. there’s some mad fuckers in the Dwarf community, right?


    It’s my Trek background, y’see. Nanites, nanobots, nanos, they’re all nano-bastards in the end. I’m pretty sure there’s no nanotechnology in the third episode of series one of ‘Agony’, a sitcom starring Maureen Lipman.

    There’s no easy way to reconcile the return of Rimmer and we should vote to just treat the entire show and the majority of the cast and crew as non-canon. Saves a lot of headaches and repeat broadcast payments.

    Series I & II – Feels like theatre productions directed towards the audience because they mostly hang around the bunk and there’s a lot of back and forth. That’s not me dismissing the humour though, they’re mighty fine episodes and I like the slow build of them. You could imagine a third series of Red Dwarf along the same lines of the first two but I don’t think you could’ve got away with a fourth as Series II has moments in it that are clear nods towards what the cast and crew wanted to in the future such as ‘Better Than Life’.

    Series III to V – The Boys from the Dwarf. We’re taken on merry adventures, both on the ship and beyond and we can really see how Rob and Doug wanted to branch out and not only use locations and more expressive studio sets, but push the concepts that will drive the episodes.

    Series VI – It can easily be grouped with III to V but it does have a distinct feel. We’re off the ship, there’s an immediacy and cosiness to the sets and it feels like a weekly serial. Plus it has ‘Out Of Time’, my favourite episode.

    Series VII – I like Series VII, I really do. It has some duff moments but it has a heart to it and in terms of design, scope, the shift from comedy with some drama to comedy-drama, it holds up. If you take off the film filter and tighten some of the editing and remove some of the right dodgy moments, I’ve always maintained that Series VII is a good candidate for the title of Series VI – Part II.

    Hell, I’ll say it right now, take out Emohawk in Series VI, push it as the first episode of Series VII and put Tikka to Ride into Series VI and rename it Out of Time – Part II and have Series VI end with a bumper double episode, cliffhanger intact and everything. It bloody works.

    Series VIII – Fuck off.

    Back To Earth – Fuck off, slightly less.

    Series X – Lovely stuff.

    Series XI – Well…


    I really don’t get what it is people enjoy about Tikka. From the opening section of cameras exploding because of (not actually very complex) complex science to the over-egged curry scene, the totally unnecessary introduction of the TARDIS-like interior of Starbug, the start of lolrandom Kryten, complete non-jokes like ‘picking on the chickens’ and the giant pizza, the crew brutally jumping on Lister and the most ridiculous plot-hole in a Dwarf episode tying it up, it suffers from absolutely everything I hate about VII. The last few times I did a start-to-finish run of Dwarf it just totally sucked the joy from the show within minutes. Blue is the only VII episode I ever particularly want to watch.


    I’ve had a fan-edit of Tikka running around my head for a while and I might just give it a shot.

    – You trim the opening down, you start the episode with a stylised, widescreen recap of the final scene of ‘Out Of Time’ without any dialogue by utilising the soundtrack audio and then you fade to black and onto the Lister camera scene. Trim out the fat, trim down the camera explosion and just tighten it up.

    – New in-episode title – ‘OUT OF TIME – PART II’

    – The larger Starbug scene can be halved in running time or thereabouts. Shots of them climbing down stairs and so on can be whipped out.

    – The chicken joke is great, you need to show how far the other way Kryten will lapse when not fully moralised up in the head.

    – Fat Basteria, come on, the delivery is great even if the joke’s a bit iffy.

    – Trim the ending down to one kick or punch each and freeze at that point. It’s funny with one or two smacks but I agree, the prolonged beating is a bit crazy. Hell, even fade out from the beating into a final scene taken from the extended edition, there’s plenty of ways to go about it.

    – Reformat the titles and credits and remove the bloody Times New Roman font. Every time I see it, I feel like I’m watching an episode of Keeping Up Appearances.

    Plastic Percy

    Tikka to Ride also has the awfully acted police officers, who manage to deliver some of the worst exposition I’ve ever heard. They try to cram Kennedy alive, Oswald dead, foiled assassination into just two sentences. Not to mention firing guns that are clearly just sparking and not damaging or impacting anything they’re aimed at.

    It’s also bizzare that suddenly Lister has no knowledge of or interest in twentieth century pop culture. I mean, he can play a Michael Jackson song on the guitar and knows who Marilyn Monroe, Brooke Shields, The Flintstones are. Not to mention having seen every episode of St. Elsewhere.

    TARDIStarbug is something that’s annoyed me. It’d been creeping in since VI where you had engine decks and sleeping quarters in a ship that had previously been established as being little more than two rooms. VII takes it to ridiculous extremes with having multiple cargo bays, two miles of air ducts, a VR suite, stasis booths and even an entire landing bay so Ace can land his ship inside. Worryingly, X and XI seem to continue the trend – the way the characters leave Blue Midget’s cockpit makes it look like there’s a whole corridor outside, and Starbug in XI has multiple entrances in its midsection and even mentions having a games room with a pool table in it.


    The thing about ‘picking on the chickens’ is it isn’t a good joke. I like the idea of a Kryten with no moral guidelines, but given that all it seems to do is make him say “you bet your ass” and make “observations” that are little more than very poor picking/chicken wordplay it seems like a wasted attempt. I’d prefer something more insidious in which he gradually leads them down a very bad, dangerous path rather than just some very broad comedy.
    The pizza joke is unforgivable. A few minutes on from being so scientifically knowledgable that he confuses a video camera into annihilation, Lister suddenly can’t tell a corpse from a pizza? Horrible, horrible rubbish.

    Ugh, Plastic Percy’s reminded me of the whole shooting scene. Those cops are absolutely terrible. Not to mention “I’ll carefully take this cable off but very deliberately leave my foot in a loop” followed by “look, some cable is moving, everybody pull it for no reason!” Absolutely appalling plotting, just characters doing incredibly unlikely or stupid things for no reason other than to achieve a plot goal.

    re: TARDIStarbug in VI, I either have head canon or have actually read that it’s suggested Kryten spent the deep sleep period remodelling the ship from the inside to make it more liveable as it was their permanent home for the foreseeable future. It’s a push, but I can just about forgive it. But the whole idea of “dimensional anomalies” causing the ship to expand on the inside only seems to exist so Doug would write in stuff including a VR suite (as opposed to the much more believable headset version in Gunmen), cargo decks etc., not to mention including that scene in the turbine room which looks cool, but is totally unnecessary. And obviously the whole of Duct Soup, in which miles of ducts are cleaned with water and then dried on a regular basis – on a ship-to-surface transport vessel.
    If only Doug had had a simpler, more straight-forward way of having the characters in a much larger, labyrinthine ship – say a mining ship of sorts.


    I mean obviously there’s really funny stuff in Tikka (“just programming it now, matey boy”, “Texas Book Depository”, “his was just… higher up”) but as an overall episode it feels like a horrible convoluted mess and no better than the bulk of VII.


    I always thought the Starbug expansion between Series VI and VII was down to the future Starbug and present Starbug somehow amalgamating in some space-wacey, time-wimey dimensional hoo-hah resulting from the temporal paradox. I assumed the future crew had a dimensional expansion machine that gave them more space within Starbug to fulfil their decadent ways.

    As with between Series V and VI where they lose Red Dwarf and go into hyper-sleep, I thought Kryten spent the best part of a few decades completely retrofitting the ship to accommodate a permanent crew.

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