The pearl survey

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    In anticipation for the pearl survey I thought I’d make a start on re-watching every single episode and giving each a score out of 100. Mainly for enjoyability, gags and script.

    Series 10 to 12 I’ve seen a lot recently so moved onto the dregs first. Back to earth. It was as bad as I remembered with very few laughs and a bad script.

    Next was series 8, and you know what? I’ve laughed a lot. Cassandra was always decent, but I’ve just found myself enjoying large parts of BitR, and even Krytie TV. I suspect these will be ranked higher than the middle of series 7 at this rate.


    Ben Saunders

    I’m currently onto Series VII in my rewatch. Series I is a lot more… boring than I remember it being when I was young, Meltdown and Holoship are the two episodes that stand out as being truly incredible. Series VI is flawed but I love it. Tikka To Tide is one of the best episodes of Red Dwarf ever, fuck you. I’m interested to see if I hate VII/VIII/BtE on rewatch as much as the people on here seem to. Time will tell.



    I rewatched everything last year in the run-in to series XI. I laughed at a reasonable amount of series VIII, too, largely Cassandra, plus the best of Krytie TV and bits of Back in the Red.



    >Series I is a lot more… boring than I remember it being when I was young

    honestly Series I is one of my favourite ones to rewatch, it’s basically “everyday life on a spaceship” and that appeals to me a lot more than “the crew go on a big adventure in space”.

    also, during my rewatch i noticed that Series III is one of the only series (aside from I) where they don’t come across any derelicts or other ships. that was interesting.



    Rewatch if your memories need to be refreshed (to realise that half your favourite quotes come from ‘Holoship,’ etc.), but not because you think your childhood nostalgia needs to give way to your experienced adult aesthetics about what makes a good episode.

    The survey should reflect fan opinion generally, which includes you when you were 12 as much as today. Quarantine was his favourite, and he was more passionate in that opinion than I am in my general preference for the low-key early episodes these days, so we compromise (Me2 second).


    Ben Saunders

    My favourite episode when I was young was whatever episode I happened to be watching at the time.



    I’ve been introducing my daughter to the series over the past few months, and after watching I and II in order we’ve been jumping around all over the place between III and VI (and even a little bit of the Dave era too).

    I’ve actually found the quality to be largely pretty consistent – I think we as fans tend to put a bit too much weight on the individual identities of each series, when watching them out of order you realise that the distinctions are often fairly minor or superficial.

    It’s also interesting to see what she responds to in terms of the comedy. I’ve been appreciating Cat’s contribution to the show a lot more on this rewatch, as she tends to find him hilarious.


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    Pearl *Poll*, fuck’s sake.


    Renegade Rob

    Pearl Perlustration. Look it up.


    Ben Saunders

    Sometimes having somebody else laugh really does make you laugh harder at certain jokes. I don’t know why. It’s not like the jokes are any funnier, but it’s like it reminds you of how funny it is, and you laugh in sympathy. There was one Cat joke that got a smile from me in VI, then when I watched the commentary and heard the cast laughing along with me I just about pissed myself. Huh.


    International Debris

    Yeah, introducing my girlfriend to the show was the most I enjoyed it for a long time, having already committed every joke in the show to memory. The joy in her laughter at experiencing all of those jokes for the first time reawakened my real sense of how funny they were.


    Renegade Rob

    Seeing someone’s reaction completely renews the experience. It’s why the Doctor has companions. And why I make everyone I meet watch all of Red Dwarf.



    I rewatched Quarantine recently. It’s got loads of the problems we mock newer episodes for. Even “telekinewhatinesis?” reminded me of some of the problems with “spit on her wrist”, but clearly not all of them.


    Ben Saunders

    What problems do you think Quarantine has, exactly? Much of the gingham Rimmer stuff is incredibly stupid, but it’s incredibly funny, so it’s OK. The convenient and quick plot resolution is seeded into the story and makes logical sense in-universe. Quarantine didn’t stand out to me as having any issues when I rewatched it recently, heck The Inquisitor has more imo. In that it has one, iirc.



    DNA is a great example of an old episode that has loads of the same problems we complain about today – iffy logic problems, character inconsistencies, silliness for its own sake, an inconclusive ending – but still works for me and still features lots of enjoyable moments.


    Ben Saunders

    Doesn’t it also have “Lister falls down a hole and the crew lock him in there”, which is pretty awful for the same reason people complain about the ending of Tikka etc?

    The ending of Tikka was Craig Charles’ idea, by the way, because he thought it didn’t really have an ending. The idiot.


    International Debris

    The locking him in bit could be seen as a joke – they could well have opened it up ten seconds later – whereas Tikka would have left him hospitalised, possibly even dead.



    Doesn’t it also have “Lister falls down a hole and the crew lock him in there”, which is pretty awful for the same reason people complain about the ending of Tikka etc?

    I think you’re thinking of Justice.


    Pete Part Three

    The ending of DNA is the crew tests the DNA machine with a curry that Lister just happens to be eating (?). This becomes a vindaloo beast which wants to -do something – to the crew and chases them. For some reason.

    Lister then turns into a miniature Robocop (?) and kills the vindaloo beast with lager. The episode then ends with Kryten still as a human.

    It’s cack. Fortunately the preceding 22 minutes are pretty good.



    A lot of the reputation of the whole of IV-VI hangs on three individual episodes which reflect a lot of glory onto the rest.



    Yes, Meltdown, Terrorform and Rimmer world are glorious.



    (I love those episodes, don’t write in)


    Taiwan Tony

    >The survey should reflect fan opinion generally, which includes you when you were 12 as much as today.

    What’s the official take on this? If it stands, can I do the poll twice?



    >It’s cack. Fortunately the preceding 22 minutes are pretty good.

    i think you could say the same about Dimension Jump. it’s a good episode until Ace leaves, at which point you see Rimmer planning to drop a net of kippers onto him (but it’s never really clear that they ARE kippers so you just wonder what the hell he’s doing) whereupon Ace fucks off, then there’s some Star Wars scrolling text (for some reason) and then out of nowhere it cuts to Rimmer practising Hammond Organ with the Skutters.

    i think DNA and Dimension Jump are both right up there alongside Officer Rimmer with really dodgy endings- not that it makes any of the episodes any worse, but it does go to show that the older episodes sometimes have the same imperfections that XI and XII do

    even Justice has a bit of a weird ending, doesn’t it? why did they lock Lister into that big open manhole that just happened to be in the corridor?



    I don’t mind the ending of Justice as it works as a silly joke that undercuts the seriousness of Lister’s pontificating speech.



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