Unintended recurring themes in episodes/series

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  • #239479

    Warbofrog

    Have you ever noticed a Red Dwarf episode being preoccupied with something, seemingly obliviously and random, that’s not the actual focus of the story? Here are some I catalogued before immediately losing interest in thinking about this after series 4.

    Fish

    Series 1

    Theme: Goldfish shoals nibbling at my toes
    The End: I am a fish
    Future Echoes: Robot goldfish / Little fishy song
    Balance of Power: Trout a la créme / Fished to death
    Confidence and Paranoia: Fish rain

    Series 2-4

    Better Than Life: Gone to the same place as me goldfish / Cat orders an aquarium and sings / Half woman, half fish mermaid
    Polymorph: Silly old trout / Fish puns
    Timeslides: Junior Angler / Luigi’s Fish ‘n’ Chip Emporium
    Dimension Jump: Fishing holiday / Smoke me a kipper / Kippers

    Chicken

    Series 1

    The End: Chicken soup machine (basis for most recurring chicken references in Red Dwarf) / No, it’s a chicken
    Balance of Power: 140,000 rehydratable chickens
    Waiting for God: Chicken vindaloo (recurring variant) / Quagaar Warrior
    Confidence and Paranoia: Chicken Marengo

    Series 2

    Kryten: I think I’ll try the chicken / cleaned the gunk out of the chicken soup machine / Chicken __Nugget
    Better Than Life: I’d prefer chicken

    Stasis Leak (big time): You should apologise for the chicken / Half man, half chicken / Who’s eating this chicken?

    Also prominent in DNA: Turned into a chicken / Boiled chicken ovulations / Changing a mutton vindaloo into a chicken vindaloo

    Bodyswap: Sexual organs

    – “Why have I got male sexual organs?” / in orbit around the nearest planet
    – “It’s the sound you get when you get your sexual organs trapped in something.” / Mimes
    – Rimmer shocked by Lister’s schlong
    – “You’ve given me breasts.”

    Dimension Jump: Salt

    – “I’ll be down in the mess with the salt-of-the-earth engineering boys as per usual.”
    – Salt, an Epicure’s Delight / Extracts x2
    – “Series 4000 mechanoid, am I right? Salt of the Space Corps.”

    Back to work.

    #239482

    tombow

    someone who watched the show for the first time commented on how they like classic American culture, and how it kept popping up in subtle ways, Marilyn Monroe, noir VR games, etc

    #239483

    Warbofrog

    And all the Blade Runner references, before Back to Earth pointed out how influential it was.

    Hudzen’s death. The aesthetic of Back to Reality. Nothing else. All the Blade Runner references.

    #239484

    By Jove its holmes

    I’m surprised Backwards went with the reverse shit. surely the absolute worst would be reverse vomiting. Also, would a reverse blow-job s u c k for the woman?

    #239485

    Dave

    They’ll never top Round The Twist for a reverse-vomit scenario.

    #239486

    By Jove its holmes

    I love Round the Twist.

    The poor kid whose just vomited screams “NO, NO, NO!” when Pete picks up the remote.

    Pete, Linda and Bronson then simply say “Yes”, “Yes”, “Yes”.

    #239488

    Warbofrog

    I always assumed Round the Twist was a boring Byker Grove-style teen drama and would switch off when the theme started. I feel regret.

    #239490

    International Debris

    Round the Twist used to really unsettle me as a kid. The mix of ‘every day’ and grotesque was so uncomfortably strange.

    #239492

    clem

    Remember the one where Pete has a tiny mouth? Or the boy with extra fingernails growing on his hands? I’m not squeamish when it comes to bloody violence and gore but strange body horror stuff like that really rattles me.

    #239494

    International Debris

    The one with the mouth is the one that stuck with me the most I think – wasn’t it caused by an evil Santa character or something?
    Also I’m sure there was one with some yellow gunk that actually made me sick.

    #239497

    clem

    Yes, the little mouth episode is the one with the wish-granting Santa. Another one that shat me up was the Eerie, Indiana where girls get a beauty treatment that turns their faces into weird doll-like plastic masks. Fucking horrifying.

    #239499

    Dave

    I like the microwave pants one.

    #239500

    Pete Part Three

    Round the Twist was brilliant without my pants. I used to love watching that without my pants. I really fancied the second Linda without my pants. I enjoyed staring at her without my pants without my pants.

    #239507

    By Jove its holmes

    In the original Paul Jennings short story, the kid keeps adding “without my shirt” to every sentence.

    Another Jennings short story is where a boy gets some wishes and he wishes his favourite young female singer was there. She appears in their Australian lounge room all right… teleported right from the middle of a concert, still holding her microphone! She’ has to be sent back when she starts screaming.

    #239537

    bloodteller

    VIII has the recurring theme of Anal Penetration

    Back In The Red
    -Starbug goes up a rat’s arse
    -“Well, considering what the future has in store for your jacksy, a couple of zillion volts is gonna be easy street”
    -Anus Soothe Pile Cream
    -That woman who does Rimmer up the arse
    -Part 3 ends with Rimmer about to be fucked by a load of homosexual prisoners, who will presumably be doing anal with him

    Krytie TV
    – (When discussing Lister’s guitar) Didn’t you get a clue that time I tried to insert it in you?”

    Pete
    -Archie goes up the Cat’s arse (deleted scene)
    -Archie goes up the Captain’s arse (deleted scene)

    #239539

    Berlin

    So essentially, Red Dwarf is a nod and wink to Rob and Doug’s sexual perversions?

    Oh we knew that for years.

    #239540

    Katydid

    VIII has the recurring theme of being vile and vapid.

    #239547

    Berlin

    Let’s talk about Series VIII again!

    I’ll start.

    Series VIII is collectively shite but there are episodes in there that are arguably not shite, just very poorly executed.

    #239554

    bloodteller

    >VIII has the recurring theme of being vile and vapid.

    Well yeah, but if I were to list every time VIII mentions genitalia, semen, shit, toilets, sex etc. we’d be here all night, and I’m pretty sure nobody would read a list like that anyway

    #239556

    Berlin

    Are toilets or toilet related bodily functions mentioned once in Marooned?

    No cheating by looking at the script.

    #239558

    Dave

    Dysentery springs to mind.

    #239604

    Berlin

    I can accept that answer but only in spirit, you lose a point.

    #240218

    bloodteller

    VIII and the Recurring Penis

    Back In The Red
    -Kryten is classified as a woman for his lack of penis
    -Rimmer hits his penis with a hammer

    Cassandra
    -Warden Knot crushes Rimmer’s penis with his bare hands

    Krytie TV
    -Lister cuts some pubes off his penis to sprinkle on Ackerman’s soap

    Pete
    -Kryten creates Archie, a penis

    Only The Good…
    -Rimmer goes to a parallel universe and looks at his massive penis

    What’s up with that? Was Doug just really horny when he was writing all the scripts for VIII or something? Unlike most people on this site I don’t entirely hate VIII, but thinking about it, it’s utterly bizarre that there are so many jokes about sex and toilets and penises etc.

    #240220

    Warbofrog

    Doug is ultimately responsible, but from the Red Dwarf wiki:

    When the time came for Series 8, Naylor hired Alexander to be script editor and oversee all the writing. He also co-wrote the episodes Krytie TV and Pete II. Alexander submitted his own script, RD: Phwoaarr, which was never produced.

    The episode was ultimately unproduced as Doug Naylor felt it was a little too inappropriate (in a series already criticized for its lewd tone).

    #240223

    bloodteller

    Yeah, the VIII DVD booklet talks about Phwoaarr.

    “Paul Alexander had submitted a first draft of a script with the working title of Phwoaarr. It told of a ship where a new perfume was being tested that was so effective it caused insatiable attraction between those who smelled it- the result being some nocturnal activity between Rimmer and Kochanski, and much subequent Lister jealousy. The tone and content of the story-including sight of piles of nude, dead bodies- was unsurprisingly considered inappropriate.”

    To be honest, I don’t see how Doug thought that was any more inappropriate than all the sexual magnetism shit in Back In The Red. I mean, it’s basically the exact same thing

    #240276

    Hamish

    Because of the nudity I guess.

    #240277

    Flap Jack

    To be honest, I don’t see how Doug thought that was any more inappropriate than all the sexual magnetism shit in Back In The Red. I mean, it’s basically the exact same thing

    Uh…

    The tone and content of the story-including sight of piles of nude, dead bodies– was unsurprisingly considered inappropriate.

    Yeah, no idea. Basically the same level of inappropriateness as Back in the Red. Mmhmm.

    For real, though, would Phwoaarr have existed alongside the sexual magnetism virus subplot from BITR? Seems more like a Bodysnatcher/Me^2 situation to me.

    Thank goodness it didn’t happen, anyway. There was quite enough magical rape and voyeurism in Series VIII as is. We didn’t need an entire episode dedicated to characters not-quite-consensually shagging each other. Respect to Doug for at least having that much sense.

    #240294

    bloodteller

    >Yeah, no idea. Basically the same level of inappropriateness as Back in the Red. Mmhmm.

    Well I was imagining it like Samsara, where the dead bodies were skeletons or something. Or maybe they’d just be lying face-down or something so you could only see their bums

    Why are all the VIII episodes about sex though? Like surely there must have been some reason behind it, it can’t have been a coincidence

    #240330

    Warbofrog

    Why are all the VIII episodes about sex though? Like surely there must have been some reason behind it, it can’t have been a coincidence

    I was proposing that Paul Alexander added it into every episode of the series he script-edited because he thought that stuff improved episodes, but there isn’t firm evidence to back up that libel. Lister cutting off his pubes in Krytie TV is such an un-Red-Dwarf thing though, I have to blame the co-writer.

    #240331

    Ben Saunders

    I thought that in particular was pretty funny, though, and Lister has done similarly disgusting things previously. Definitely not the most egregious example of what we’re talking about, I would say

    #240332

    bloodteller

    >I was proposing that Paul Alexander added it into every episode of the series he script-edited because he thought that stuff improved episodes, but there isn’t firm evidence to back up that libel. Lister cutting off his pubes in Krytie TV is such an un-Red-Dwarf thing though, I have to blame the co-writer.

    The story behind Krytie TV is a complicated one, so it could have been either of them. According to the VIII scriptbook, Paul wrote the first two drafts, Doug did a third. Everyone involved (Doug and Ed included) thought the script was absolutely shit. About twelve drafts later he showed it to his wife, who told him “It’s stupid, immature, and mostly unfunny.” In response, Doug went off, holed himself up in a hotel for the weekend, threw out 80% of the original script and came up with the appeal subplot etc.

    Honestly, that makes me kind of curious as to what exactly was in the earlier drafts of Krytie TV that disgusted everyone and Doug’s wife so much, especially considering the finished episode is still plenty crude and immature

    #240337

    Warbofrog

    Missing/synthetic body parts

    I was going to speculate about the reason for this, but that was getting to a 💩🚽 level of insensitive.

    Future Echoes: future Lister’s false arm
    Balance of Power: Rimmer’s rogue arm and breast
    Thanks for the Memory: broken legs
    Queeg: Rimmer’s legs detach
    Parallel Universe: Lorraine’s metal nose
    Polymorph etc.: Kryten’s groinal attachments
    Bodyswap: Rimmer pretends to lose Lister’s arm
    The Last Day: Marilyn Monroe droid kit
    DNA: Kryten’s detachable heads and hands
    Terrorform: Kryten’s legs are crushed beyond repair
    Epideme/Nanarchy: Lister’s amputation, false arm and rebuilt body
    Krytie TV: Ackerman’s glass eye
    Pete: Kryten’s DIY cock

    #240342

    Flap Jack

    Well I was imagining it like Samsara, where the dead bodies were skeletons or something. Or maybe they’d just be lying face-down or something so you could only see their bums

    I mean, it’s possible it would have ended up that way, but in my experience if people are describing a skeleton, they say “skeleton”, not “dead body”, and they don’t usually need to explicity say that the skeletons aren’t wearing clothes.

    Although even in Samsara the sexually suggestive skeletons were enough to up the DVD rating to 15. The BBC might have been OK with that level, but definitely wouldn’t have been OK with piles of naked, dead arse-cheeks.

    Of course, they could have just not shown it or cut around that part, too, so it’s clear the whole story was just too disturbingly sexual and violent.

    #240344

    Ben Saunders

    Should have thrown out 100% of Krytie TV and just made Appeal or No Deal. If anything, the title would have been prescient.

    #240345

    Ben Saunders

    >I was going to speculate about the reason for this, but that was getting to a 💩🚽 level of insensitive.
    Is Rob Grant Obsessed With Synthetic Body Parts Because He Has A Tiny Cock?

    #240346

    bloodteller

    >I was proposing that Paul Alexander added it into every episode of the series he script-edited because he thought that stuff improved episodes, but there isn’t firm evidence to back up that libel

    Actually come to think of it, maybe it is Paul Alexander’s fault there’s so much sex in VIII? Both his VII scripts (Stoke Me A Clipper and Epideme) involve sex in some way (Lister fucks the Queen, and Caroline’s rotting corpse tries to fuck Lister). Whenever Paul is involved, there’s sex. That can’t be a coincidence, surely?

    #240347

    Ben Saunders

    He does seem the type

    #240348

    clem

    According to the recently updated VIII section of the Complete Guide on TOS, the appeal and guitar strings stuff came from a script Doug wrote called No Strings Attached based on discussions he had with Craig about Craig’s time in prison. That was combined with material from Paul Alexander’s Phwoaarr.

    #240349

    Ben Saunders

    Phwoaarr Alexander.

    I wonder what No Strings Attached was like. Incomplete, probably, and still an VIII episode, so it couldn’t have been that good. But income a world without Krytie TV……….

    #240350

    Flap Jack

    Series IV: Stuff happening to Kryten

    Camille – Kryten falls in love with a Pleasure GELF.

    DNA – Kryten gets turned into a human.

    Justice – Kryten becomes a lawyer.

    White Hole – Kryten repairs Talkie Toaster.

    Dimension Jump – Kryten becomes human again, and travels back in time and to a parallel universe, all for the opportunity to fuck Ace Rimmmer.

    Meltdown – Kryten is conscripted into a wax droid war.

    #240351

    Flap Jack

    “Rimmmer” is his name, yeah? 3 Ms. Pretty sure that’s right.

    #240352

    International Debris

    V is a very Rimmer-oriented series, isn’t it? He’s the central character in Holoship, Terrorform and Quarantine, and even in Demons & Angels his low counterpart is the most striking and memorable. Rob and Doug were obviously having fun exploring his character at that point.

    #240355

    Warbofrog

    IV had Justice, Dimension Jump and Meltdown that I’d say are Rimmer episodes too, since he drives the plots. Maybe two of those count as more ensemble though, but he’s overtaken Lister in prominence by that point after III made a point of them co-starring.

    #240356

    Warbofrog

    I wonder if Kryten’s even overtaken Lister by IV & V, if you counted up screentime and lines. Lots of exposition about super-light-speed particles – tachyons – passing through wormholes and stargates and the like.

    #240357

    bloodteller

    >V is a very Rimmer-oriented series, isn’t it?

    Most episodes that aren’t ensemble episodes are Rimmer-oriented, aren’t they? I don’t think Lister ever really gets an episode that’s got him as the central focus. Timeslides, maybe? But even then Rimmer is very prominent in there, and Lister vanishes halfway through

    #240358

    Dave

    Thanks For The Memory is arguably more about Lister than Rimmer, I think.

    (Also, I’m guessing we’re just talking about the original 36 here, as obviously later you have stuff like Ouroboros.)

    #240359

    bloodteller

    >(Also, I’m guessing we’re just talking about the original 36 here, as obviously later you have stuff like Ouroboros.)

    Actually that was just me being an idiot and forgetting that Ouroboros existed

    #240363

    International Debris

    Fathers and Suns and Dear Dave are also very Lister-oriented. As are Epideme and Nanarchy. Also Confidence & Paranoia. And Psirens and Back to Earth, to some extent. And Give & Take. And M-Corp.

    #240364

    Warbofrog

    Lister feels prominent again in the Starbug series, VIII and the Dave era. Doesn’t feel like he does that much in IV & V, apart from summing up what they’ve all learned today and saving the day in The Inquisitor. I always liked that one for the Lister/Kryten team-up too.

    #240366

    Plastic Percy

    Even ‘Timeslides’, which opens as a Lister episode, ends up being a Rimmer episode.

    #240368

    Bargain Bin Holly

    The End would also be a Lister-centric episode, since he’s the POV for almost the entire episode.

    I think its more interesting to see that most episodes are either focused on Lister, Rimmer, and Kryten or are ensemble episodes of the three including Cat; very rarely is it not this.

    Holly-centric episodes
    – Queeg
    – White Hole (A stretch but she by herself is a major part of the plot)

    Cat-centric episodes
    – Waiting for God (A stretch but his species at least is a major part of the plot)
    – Can of Worms

    Lister-centric episodes
    – The End
    – Confidence and Paranoia
    – Ouroboros
    – Epideme
    – Nanarchy
    – Back to Earth Part III (Possible to argue the entire special but III is the best example)
    – Fathers and Suns
    – Dear Dave
    – M-Corp

    Rimmer-centric episodes
    – Me²
    – Better Than Life
    – Justice
    – Dimension Jump
    – Meltdown (Possible to argue otherwise but the plot is partially based around and entirely resolved by Rimmer)
    – Holoship
    – Terrorform
    – Quarantine
    – Rimmerworld
    – Stoke Me a Clipper
    – Only the Good… (Turns into a Rimmer-centric episode by the half-way point)
    – Trojan
    – The Beginning
    – Officer Rimmer
    – Skipper

    Kryten-centric episodes
    – Kryten
    – The Last Day
    – Camille
    – D.N.A. (Possible to argue otherwise but he is a major part of the plot)
    – Beyond a Joke
    – Krytie TV
    – Krysis
    – Siliconia

    Lister/Rimmer-centric episodes (Where the plot is almost entirely focused on Lister and Rimmer and/or their interactions with each other)
    – Balance of Power
    – Thanks for the Memory
    – Marooned
    – Blue
    – Pete I & II

    Lister/Kryten-centric episodes (Same thing but with Kryten instead of Rimmer)
    – The Inquisitor

    Ensemble episodes (Where all crew are impacted and the plot doesn’t primarily focus on one character exclusively)
    – Future Echoes
    – Parallel Universe
    – Backwards
    – Polymorph
    – Timeslides (Though more focus is given to Lister in the first-half and Rimmer in the second-half)
    – Demons & Angels
    – Back to Reality
    – Psirens
    – Legion
    – Gunmen of the Apocalypse
    – Emohawk: Polymorph II
    – Out of Time
    – Tikka to Ride
    – Duct Soup
    – Back in the Red I, II, & III
    – Cassandra
    – Back to Earth Part II (Since it revolves around the crew exploring the “real world”)
    – Lemons
    – Entangled
    – Twentica
    – Samsara
    – Give & Take
    – Cured (Though it can be argued Cat takes a certain precedence in this episode)
    – Timewave
    – Mechocracy

    I need a life

    #240370

    Warbofrog

    Great analysis! But you forgot ‘Bodyswap’ for Lister/Rimmer, so you’ll never live that down.

    #240491

    bloodteller

    I think Back To Earth is the only one of the Lister episodes that really deals with Lister the way that the Rimmer episodes deal with Rimmer, though. Getting deep into the psychological aspects of the character, their loneliness, insecurities etc.

    Confidence and Paranoia does technically also explore the psychological aspect of Lister, but the way the two of them act makes it hard to believe they’re a part of Lister in any way. They just feel kind of generic and not really characters tied specifically to Lister’s mind. And of course you get the stories about Lister’s childhood in Marooned and Duct Soup, but they’re not really the focus of the episodes and don’t really say much about Lister’s state of mind in the present. I think Lister’s character is explored best in the novels, really. You really get an understanding of how he feels there, and it’s done excellently imo

    #240520

    International Debris

    Lister is a much more grounded character so there’s definitely less to explore – most of the exploration of Rimmer comes from his neuroses in one way or another. There’s definitely a bit of meat to Fathers and Suns though.

    #240551

    Warbofrog

    Red Dwarf as horror movie according to someone/s on TV Tropes. Occasionally stretching and with omissions (no Back to Reality), but good that the novels are covered.

    #240582

    International Debris

    The wording of this made me laugh a lot

    There’s a good reason he’s considered the most evil character in the entire franchise, which is saying something considering that Adolf Hitler is a semi-recurring character.

    #241061

    bloodteller

    VIII and Days Of The Week

    Back In The Red
    -“I was hoping for a manicure and a leg wax tomorrow, how about Thursday?”
    -“See you on Friday. Incidentally, it’s black tie.”

    Cassandra
    -“Give me a chance, it’s only Monday!”

    Krytie TV
    -“It replaced the Wednesday night movie.”
    -“I have a date with Miss Patricia Carling from Supplies on Saturday night”

    Pete
    -“I did, we’re meeting for drinks on Thursday!”

    #241101

    Warbofrog

    It might say more about you, bloodteller, that you interpreted Rimmer’s “insert it in you” as being about Lister’s arse.

    Because it follows VI’s similar “fridge-free diet” bit, I always assumed the guitar was going in the mouth.

    Pop guitar in mouth. Not up the arse.

    Maybe this is another of those Bodyswap / Only the Good cock dilemmas?

    #241102

    bloodteller

    >Because it follows VI’s similar “fridge-free diet” bit, I always assumed the guitar was going in the mouth.

    I thought that bit was about the arse as well…

    #241103

    bloodteller

    How the fuck did Rimmer wrench a fridge out of the wall and lift it up anyway?

    #241105

    Warbofrog
    #241106

    Ben Saunders

    I always thought he was talking about shoving them up Lister’s arse, as well. But I never cared for the VIII joke, it felt like retreading old ground.

    #241108

    clem

    Either or both of those lines might well have been inspired by Basil Fawlty threatening to “insert a large garden gnome in [O’Reilly]”. When he sets off to do so at the end of the episode, it’s pretty clear from the way he’s carrying it and the shape of the gnome’s hat where we’re meant to think he’s gonna shove it.

    #241109

    Warbofrog

    The “neck end” follow-up could go either way. Since it’s VIII, I can see it being more anal fixation, but the idea of Rimmer struggling to turn Lister around and pull down his pants while wrestling for control of the guitar and then referring to this incident later without shame makes it harder to swallow.

    #241111

    Katydid

    According to the recently updated VIII section of the Complete Guide on TOS

    I’m going to take credit for that, because I made a thread on TOS pointing out the VIII section was still living in 2007.

    #241112

    bloodteller

    >The “neck end” follow-up could go either way. Since it’s VIII, I can see it being more anal fixation, but the idea of Rimmer struggling to turn Lister around and pull down his pants while wrestling for control of the guitar and then referring to this incident later without shame makes it harder to swallow.

    To be fair, there are a lot of off-screen incidents in Red Dwarf it’s hard to imagine the characters actually doing. Although yeah, it is particularly hard to imagine Rimmer trying to shove a guitar up Lister’s arse. Maybe he tried to do it while he was asleep?

    #241115

    Ben Saunders

    I’m in the boat of thinking he wasn’t talking literally with either “insert it in me” line, but this is an interesting discussion nonetheless

    #241147

    Warbofrog

    Most people think it’s the arse, it seems.

    Hopefully we find at least one new thing to discuss about Red Dwarf in 2019 too.

    #241149

    Warbofrog

    Do we ever see Rimmer in a proper explosive rage outside of series 1? That’s the early Rimmer I can imagine lunging at Lister.

    “Alphabetti spaghetti” doesn’t have the same force, though it looks like he’s still trying to hold some of it in. The “nooo!” when the mind patch fails in Holoship is pretty weak.

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