What did you prefer, Series 1-2 sets or the latter Series onwards?

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    Some say Series 1-2 sets were the best, others disagree and claim that they prefered the sets of later series. We know that the early series sets were dirt cheap, they look as though they were going to fall apart; That the colours were too dull. However I believe that these sets really gave the early shows that certain atmosphere which I certainly missed in later series. The colours gave it a very monotonous look sure, but hey this is a big mining ship, not a luxury space cruiser. It gave it a sense of greatness. Lister and Rimmer’s bunkroom had a great design, as did the other rooms seen in the first two series. Later series, did have great designs, but I felt it was missing something that the earlier series had. The simple clean look which I felt should have been retained. Sure it was cheap, but hey, some things in life don’t cost much to be great. Anyway tell me your views, which do you prefer, or are you indifferent?


    Jonathan Capps

    G&T Admin

    Series 1 and 2 sets cost the same as the series III sets onwards.

    Ad for the topic… I think I prefer the later sets more. Series 1 and 2 do a great job of giving the atmosphere of a dank, life sapping, procedural mining ship, but the later inventiveness of Mel Bibby manages to give a much nicer contrast with nice, clean Officer’s Quarters and some brilliant dank and dark engine rooms and the like.

    That and series 1 and 2 *is* too gray.



    Yeah I know, same cost, different designer, Mel Bibby, radically different way of design. I liked the Officers quarters, if it were used more for scenes with Rimmer and Lister. However as you know, the actors did not particulary like one another, and rehearsing those bunk scenes was a major problem. They just weren’t used that much Jonathan. Sure in series 3 there were some gems, like the Wilma scene with Cat and Lister. The frog description by Rimmer. The whole scoffing at night scene in bodyswap and some others. However after that, come series 4 and 5 while the boys were still on the dwarf, the officers quarters were used less and less, until it became more corridor based look at the Inquisitor. However thanks for your comment.


    Jonathan Capps

    G&T Admin

    I’m not sure if you’re trying to prove my opinion wrong, or just win a competition for regurgitating as much documentary information as possible…



    lol I sure love the doccos Johnathan. But no I think we are all entitled to our own opinions, and I think you have valid arguments. It’s just I feel that the officers quarters could have been used more. Like the early series, which would have been great. However I agree with you about the whole contrast the sets had with each other. Mel Bibby is a very very talented designer. Paul was great too I feel.


    Jason aka Smeg4Brains

    I see what you mean about the bunkrooms. My favourite bits of the first two series are when a story is being told just to build up to one big laugh (Eg. Lister’s ‘Smart Shoes’ story and Rimmer’s ‘Lemming’ story).



    Yeah It feels more homely, less of the danger that was heavily focused on in later series. Just those two talking bollocks, it was when dwarf was a two man gig, I love that aspect.


    Jason aka Smeg4Brains

    And when Holly was senile not just a prat.



    Haha, good old Norman. Yeah when he became a she, Hattie came in etc. I agree the whole character was different, less practical jokes on Lister, like the Norweb federation. Change of actor made Rob and Doug write the part for her rather than retain the personality established in the earlier series. However Hattie did have her moments, even though she was a prat some of the time, like the fall when she sees Ace and when she acts up in White Hole.Most of the time though she just wasn’t the same, dialogue was obviously different, because there were just too many characters,lines had to be shared, Kryten became the expositionial man, the man of reason, while Cat was given the more dumbfounded lines that Holly would usually had.The solution in series VI was sensible, to get rid of her. Then come Series VIII, the whole problem started again, the Cat became a background character. Still Norman did shine when he had the chance in series VIII.And of course it was back to the senile familiar holly we had known in series 1 and 2.


    Jason aka Smeg4Brains

    I still dont think he was the same in VII and VIII. They tried to hard to make him senile and he just ended up being stupid.



    I see what you mean, he should have been brought in earlier in series VII, or at least have him more in Nanarchy. His awrite dudes was great though when he materialized at the end. but I liked the whole become a dog strategy for Lister. His try not to get crushed to death in Back in the Red extended. He should have been better written to hark back to the glory years. I love how the mirror on the early sets in Listers bunkroom doubled as a viewscreen.


    Jason aka Smeg4Brains

    I’m not saying that he couldn’t be funny in VII and VIII but it just didn’t seem like the same Holly we all know and love……not in a homo-erotic way.



    Yeah more senile holly, that’s what would have made series VIII miles better. Not that it doesn’t have it’s moments mind you.



    Where are you from Smeg4Brains, and how long have you been in the Red Dwarf posse lol?


    Jason aka Smeg4Brains

    I’m 18 and I’ve been watching Red Dwarf from an early age…probably from around series VI. I think that may be why I have more tolerance for the later series, because that’s what I grew up watching.

    And I’m from Rotherham (near Sheffield)



    I think the sets managed to match each series perfectly. Sure, the sheer greyness of the series 1 sets and the, let’s face it, crapness of the props don’t make the show particularly appealing to a viewer, but the strength of the show shines through in that you soon get sucked in and forget about these things. The episodes worked very much like dialogue-driven two/three-handers which could have been performed on a stage with a black cloth background and it would still have been great.

    The funniest sets are in series 2 where it’s basically the grey 1 sets but with various bits of COLOUR (in capital letters) thrown on. Also, the Observation Dome set…classic. It reminds you of dodgy ’80s BBC chroma key, which can only be a good thing.

    What you have to keep reminding yourself is that this is a SITCOM! The sets were amazing for a sitcom, especially when they brought the corridor in (which to me never seems like they’re running up and down the same one)


    Danny Stephenson

    G&T Admin

    > the Observation Dome set?classic. It reminds you of dodgy ?80s BBC chroma key, which can only be a good thing.

    Ah, the old “background stays the same, regardless of camera angles”. Bless them.



    Loved the music in the background of that scene. Sometimes just put the DVD in to listen to it (searches for soundtrack CDs so far proving fruitless).

    Also has the best line of series 2

    Cat- Aaaaaaooooow! I am so hungry, I’ve just gotta eat!
    Lister- Shhh! Rimmer’s Dad’s died.
    Cat- Well, I’d prefer chicken.

    Also the “Rubber Nuclear Weapons” reference later on in the bunkroom, priceless.

    I personally prefer the first two series, I think the writing was so much sharper. Perhaps I’m just being nostalgic.



    Yes my fellow dwarfers, the Observation Dome set was grossly under used, it’s criminal frankly. One of the best sets ever created for Dwarf.


    Seb Patrick

    >(searches for soundtrack CDs so far proving fruitless)

    *cough* I’ve never made one of those.



    Danny Stephenson

    G&T Admin

    Yes, you have, you made the…


    *sits back in corner*


    Jonathan Capps

    G&T Admin

    “Ted, what about that ?200 you won on the horses?”


    Seb Patrick

    “Actually, Ted, I forgot you had the money. I was just going to say, your flies are undone.”


    Jonathan Capps

    G&T Admin

    Damn, I’m misquoted.


    Danny Stephenson

    G&T Admin

    “once again, you’ve made me look a complete idiot in front of REAL people… Thank you so much…”



    > ?once again, you?ve made me look a complete idiot in front of REAL people? Thank you so much??

    That’s the perfect line to say to your girlfriend after a night out.



    Yes my fellow dwarfers, the Observation Dome set was grossly under used

    Probably for fear of legal recourse as it’s a blatent rip off of the observation dome in the final few episodes of Battlestar Galactica (original series) hehe ;)



    I think you’ll find Dark Star got there ahead of them…


    mick_aka v2beta

    Bit of a tough one to call that as Glen Larson had been actively trying to get Battlestar Galactica off the ground since the late 1960’s.
    I also know for a fact that one of the scripts featuring the Observation dome was written when he was working on The Six Million Dollar Man which would have been in 1973, so he would have at least had no prior knowledge of the Observation Dome on Darkstar.



    Doesn’t matter who had the idea first, it’s who got it out into the popular culture earliest – we’re only talking about cultral influence. And when it comes to influence on Dwarf, Dark Star’s clearly the daddy.



    we?re only talking about cultral influence

    Are we? I jokingly sugested it was for fear legal recourse, neither that or the following posts read to me like we were debating either shows cultural influence or that on Red Dwarf.

    Of course I concede that Darkstar had more influence on the show.
    Aside from the model shots which bare stiking resemblances (see shuttle crashing in ‘The Gun on Ice Planet Zero’) Im willing to wager Battlestar Galactica had virtually no influence at all on Red Dwarf.

    As for cultural influences, well I wont get into that in any depth (perhaps a face to face debate at DJ) but I find very very small ammounts of comedy of sci-fi fans even ‘get’ Darkstar let alone find it ammusing, where as Battlestar Galactica was a massive influence on everyone at a time where it was widely viewed as a TV version of Star Wars.
    I think the Darkstar phenomenon to a certain point comes down to its cult status and the masses of annoying little barstuards wo instantly suscribe to anything with that status attached to it.

    A great example of this is Donnie Darko, I forced loads of people to watch it and all but a few proclaimed it to be shit, until of couse it was given ‘cult’ status then everyone thinks its the best thing since double ply arse wipes.

    I still think Darkstar is terrible, it still puts me to sleep and I have never even once grinned at any of the ‘humour’ contained in it, despite me being a huge fan of both that sort of comedy and the work of John Carpenter.


    Danny Stephenson

    G&T Admin

    I thought Donnie Darko was an awesome film. I’d not heard anythign abotu it beforehand which is unusual for me, because i usually read up on a film before i start to engage in it.



    > Are we? I jokingly sugested it was for fear legal recourse, neither that or the following posts read to me like we were debating either shows cultural influence or that on Red Dwarf.

    Surely the joke that it was a rip-off from Galactica stems from the suggestion that one work of popular culture affected the other?

    I think you just wanted to show off some “Galactica had a scripted Obs Dome dontcha know” triva… :-)



    Not really I mentioned it to about a dozen people at DJ in bedford, all of whom post here, although I think you were all too busy watching my piling pizza on symes and drawing on his face ;)



    > although I think you were all too busy watching my piling pizza on symes and drawing on his face ;)

    Well who WOULDN’T want to watch that?! :-)


    Danny Stephenson

    G&T Admin

    > although I think you were all too busy watching my piling pizza on symes and drawing on his face ;)

    What? Pissed Pizza Jenga? I won the ‘spoon balancing on Ian’s nose’ competition!



    I am so going to have to attend DJ this year…



    > I won the ?spoon balancing on Ian?s nose? competition!

    You certainly did not!


    Danny Stephenson

    G&T Admin












    Danny Stephenson

    G&T Admin

    Do you still have the picture from that glorious night, Mick?



    Oooooooh yes.


    Danny Stephenson

    G&T Admin

    Still got your brick(s)?


    Jonathan Capps

    G&T Admin

    I think now would be an appropriate juncture to state that I love my brick.


    Danny Stephenson

    G&T Admin




    > Still got your brick(s)?

    Yep, one in the car, three in the garage :D


    Jonathan Capps

    G&T Admin

    > one in the car, three in the garage

    The new Murder-Rom-Com from Richard Curtis, there.



    I never really had a preference regarding sets aboard Red Dwarf.

    But I was quite proprietorial about Starbug. I love Starbug. The set was never better than in Series VI. Series VII’s alterations really lessoned the impact of the ship and undermined the story.



    I must admit I have a soft spot for the Series 1 set, but I think had it been developed further it would have been quite effective in terms of portraying a battered mining ship. I also think the Series 8 sets were also pretty good, a nice amalgamation of both the early series and later series sets.


    Pete Part Three

    Jawscvmcdia commenting on a TongueTied thread. Two worlds collide.



    S5 Starbug interior looked great, if they was kept but with the extra seating in the cockpit it would have looked brilliant I think, but wouldn’t have fit in with the overall theme of the series of a long passage of time, the ship falling into disrepair etc.


    International Debris

    1 & 2 sets are my favourite.


    Dollar Pound

    i done the lounge up like the starbug midsection circa series vi, the kitchen series iii/iv and grey in the bedroom. just depends what i’m doing i guess. how has everyone else done their yachts?



    III to V sets no question. Then I and II. I love the lighting in the new era and the detail but that’s about it.



    The new sets a little too modern / futuristic aren’t they? I don’t think there would have been any shame in keeping the sets looking a bit out dated. It meant to be a big industrial mining ship, not a high tech space craft.

    I appreciate they are suffering the same fate as Star Trek, where modern technology has caught up with the tech shown on screen in some cases, but it is a comedy, and the little knowing nods to things like using VHS in the future are quite nice. Star Trek needs to look flash and advanced, Red Dwarf doesn’t and never really did. It should look like an oil rig in space.

    It can afford to look a little more old a decrepit, that’s part of it’s charm. It doesn’t need to look sharp. Other ships they discover can, and should, but not Red Dwarf.

    Thats not to say they don’t look fantastic, just that it’s unnecessary IMO. Starbug for example has had so many updates over the years it’s gone from a crappy little ship to surface vessel to a full blown intersetella space craft in its own right.


    Ben Saunders

    I like them all. Why do we need to fight?

    There’s something incredibly homely about the old military/ocean grey I sets. I actually preferred them before they chucked bananas and shit all over the walls to give it a bit of colour. Series III i quite homely too but the Dwarf seems to get progressively less inviting and more rundown and cold as we go on and on. I love the camaraderie and adventure of VI and VII but know I wouldn’t want to live entirely on Starbug. I used to love the look of VIII but now it just looks like overlit sets, X was a bit ugly and XI and XII are too damn dark.



    i like the Series I sets the best, they really do make it feel like it’s actually taking place on quite a large mining ship, which is something you never really quite feel in the later series. plus the basic grey walls and the simplicity of the Drive Room sets feel like the type of thing you actually would see in the future-with how small technology is getting, it makes more sense that you’d only need a tiny little room to control a huge ship

    plus the Series I sets don’t have school dinner trays plastered over absolutely fucking everything, which is something that really started to look a bit weird, especially in VIII and XI. what are the dinner trays for? are they just decorative wall items, or is meant to be some tech thing that’s part of the ship?



    I believe the dinner tray thing is to give the walls some shape and texture, which is crazy as you’d just create flat walls as far as you can. If there has to be anything behind them, you wouldn’t wind the wall in and out around it, you’d just make it slightly deeper and have a flat wall. I’m sure there’s reason for it looking better on camera or something, but it make no logical sense



    Because flat, matte walls wouldn’t look nearly as interesting? And the only reason you even notice them as being dinner trays is because they explicitly explained as much on We’re Smegged.


    Ben Saunders

    I feel like the ship felt biggest in IV, possibly II thanks to the elevator. The obvious re-use of one corridor in V makes it all feel like it takes place on one floor and th-thank modern series’ all take place in two or three rooms.

    Back to Earth is cheating.


    Ben Saunders

    and the modern series’*



    III also makes the ship feel fairly big imo, there’s loads of different areas of the ship seen in it. the huge gantry areas and the sauna used in Bodyswap, as well as the cargo bay in Polymorph really sell it to you that it’s a big place

    lots of different areas of the ship in VIII as well but they’re somehow just not quite as convincing. they also try to do a big cargo bay in Pete but it’s not really very good and at one point a random bloke just wanders into frame seemingly unaware that there’s filming going on


    Ben Saunders

    Oh now you mention it VIII does make the ship seem pretty big, with the big reveal shots of the prison thing and the cargo deck. It doesn’t make the ship feel like anywhere I’d want to be, though. I-IV do, V-XII don’t.



    Are there people who prefer the two-hander, character-driven style of I & II but wish they’d had the Mel Bibby sets back then? Or who prefer the ensemble, antics-driven style of III-V but wish they’d kept the Montague sets? It seems to be part and parcel of the era you like best (or saw first?), down to the preferred Holly. Or I could just be speaking for myself, as I probably prefer III-V by all metrics.

    Since the new series aren’t polluted by nostalgia, I prefer X’s warm, reddy sets to XI/XII’s cold blue dinginess, but maybe that’s more of a lighting issue.


    Ben Saunders

    I saw Series One first and those are my favourite sets and that is my favourite Holly. But I like the action oriented III-VI stories the most. There are aspects of every (yes, every) series I like, however. Whether or not I’d prefer to have the One/Two sets in III-IV, I couldn’t possibly answer, as the sets used in a series are such a large part of said series’ identity. Rimmer writing his notes all over his body in the III bunkroom doesn’t look right in my head, but of course it would if that was the way it had always been. V couldn’t be done on the Series One sets, imo, the atmosphere and lighting gets so much darker at that point.


    International Debris

    I would have preferred them to gradually update the look at the show went on, rather than going with the rather jarring contrast between 2 & III. And I wish IV onwards had more dialogue based, less actiony plots. I don’t necessarily think either is better than the other, but a gradual blend of the two would be lovely.



    Given they move from their quarters to the officers quarters, it’s easy to accept the change in style as just being a different part of the shop. Especially as, canonically, Lister’s bunk is still the same in Back in the Red.


    Ben Saunders

    Abandon shop

    This is not a daffodil



    >Given they move from their quarters to the officers quarters, it’s easy to accept the change in style as just being a different part of the shop

    i think this is stated in one of the books- when lister first arrives on Red Dwarf, he notices the whole place is a huge mashup of different styles due to the decades it took them to build the ship.



    I just presumed it was nicer because of rank. Officers get swish white rooms, third level technicians get plain grey ones.

    Although as the bunk rooms have gotten bigger over the years they make increasingly less sense. Most people would prefer to have a smaller room privately, than an enormous room they have to share. The amount of space taken by the bunk-suite in XI/XII could be used by two double bedrooms quite easily.


    International Debris

    Given they move from their quarters to the officers quarters, it’s easy to accept the change in style as just being a different part of the shop.

    Oh yeah, it definitely makes sense in-universe. I’d just prefer a gradual change as a viewer.


    Plastic Percy

    The guide on the Red Dwarf website, apparently taken from an extract from the corporate publicity video, mentions that the officer quarters are deliberately more luxurious than the technician quarters as there’s no reason for the high-fliers to slum it.

    I figured that the Boys from the Dwarf have customised the new sleeping quarters extensively and that it might have been a large storeroom previously. Or that it’s the equivalent of the Officer’s Quarters in the rebuilt Dwarf, with the red colour being a holdover from the colour coding used in I & II – White Corridor 159 etc.



    It’s kinda sweet in a slight slash-fic way that in all these years and with a spaceship five miles long, it’s never occurred to them to have separate bedrooms.



    Except in Me2.



    to be fair, you wouldn’t really want to live in a room on your own, would you? they keep each other company and stuff, and they’re the only two people onboard the ship who realistically can share a room together- Kryten’s always busy cleaning and stuff, and Cat is too selfish to share a room with anyone (plus lister gets sick of the cat after spending like an hour with him in Samsara).

    or maybe the two of them are gay for each other, I don’t know.



    They could just become, you know, neighbours or something.



    but that wouldn’t be nearly as interesting



    What do you use the second bunk for?



    >What do you use the second bunk for?

    i stayed at a hotel once that had a bunk bed, and whoever had used it last had put a load of danish pastries in the second bunk. so maybe thats it


    International Debris

    In my head, they spent time apart living in other rooms / floors / areas of the ship, and ended up realising that being alone was even worse than being together.



    As someone who does have a bunk bed, I can assure that the correct answer to the question of “what do you use the second bunk for?” is in fact: Cats.

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