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

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    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?

    Phobos And Deimos

    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.

    Phobos And Deimos

    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…

    Phobos And Deimos

    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?

    Phobos And Deimos

    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.

    Phobos And Deimos

    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.

    Phobos And Deimos

    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?

    Phobos And Deimos

    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.

    Phobos And Deimos

    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.

    Phobos And Deimos

    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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