What improvements can be made for XIII?

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    John Cleese’s Bitch

    XIII hasn’t officially been announced yet, however, it seems likely it will be and as such we all want it to be the best thing ever made cause after it airs I’m sure the sentiment will go back to “Red Dwarf will never come back, end times are upon us, pile on the sacrificial orgy” and so on (Unless they end up on Earth or something conclusive occurs of course)

    Now I have a list, I loved XI and XII and I legitimately only have nitpicks to contribute to this:

    1. Don’t put fucking fans in the corridors so the characters’ are suddenly cast in shit lighting, I don’t care if its realistic, blow me

    2. The lighting overall, while good, was way too damn blue. Please tell the lighting dude to restrain himself this time around

    3. Rimmer’s uniform needs a redesign, he’s had it since X. He can remain blue, just give him a different uniform please

    4. Kryten’s mask needs to have sharper edges, he looked too soft in XI and XII. Just bring back the mask from Back to Earth and we can solve this issue of fans flipping their shit everytime images of the new Kryten are released

    5. New bunkroom? Least luckily and most understandable due to things like budget possibly being a hindrance but you know, a change would be nice

    Feel free to contribute you lazy cunts


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    Oh, I wonder who this is.


    Captain Star

    A return to the original “real” version of the ship would be nice, using a combination of the original model footage in HD and new matching miniature/CGI version for new shots where needed.

    The ships the current model might be the right length, but I till hate the details. It looks like the small series 5 model & Star Destroyer had a baby that grew up & collided with the Clangers moon.

    Just use the dimension hopping in Skipper as an excuse.



    Bigger Starbug set obviously. Holly returns. Rob as well if you’ve got ’em.

    BBC return so I have an excuse to pay the telly tax again…..nah fuck it I’d download. Mwah.



    More balanced, filtered and better-written stories with sharper, less silly comedy.

    When it comes to visual appeal… I dunno, maybe give Starbug a midsection? otherwise, i don’t really mind as long as the writing is better.

    Visual appeal is nice. but it’s not gonna make or break the episodes.


    Captain Star

    Richard Ayoade guest staring as both Jim & Bexley for an episode or two would be interesting, with Bexley being a hologram to acknowledge Future Echoes.


    Ben Saunders

    Less jokes.

    I mean it.

    Less jokes. Allow serious moments to be serious, allow what jokes you do have to pack more of a punch. Don’t feel the need to keep the gag rate 100-per-minute, throw out all the shite ones. Less jokes.



    More jokes. This is a sit com not a drama. I wouldn’t mind a new Science room and/or Drive/navigation room either tbh. I REALLY dis-liked the huge “alert” signs, thought they looked quite cheesy tbh. Except for keeping Kochanski far far away that’s about all I have.



    For me, the main change I’d like to see wouldn’t be about the sets or the costumes or the models, or any of that aesthetic stuff.

    It’d be a fairly subtle change in the performances, just to tone down the broadness very slightly. I think the show needs to stick closer to the idea that these are actual real characters who happen to be in a comedy series, not broad comedy characters who have to play to the crowd the whole time.

    I don’t know if it’s possible though, as the last time we had that kind of take on the characters was Back To Earth, and that was ten years ago. I really don’t know whether it would be easy for them to switch back after three series of the slightly broader versions.



    Yeah, ban the audience!

    Vive la série sévolution!

    Do you hear the people laugh?



    More heart. Fewer callbacks and fan-service type moments, or rather more emotionally satisfying ones, and more acknowledgement of character development. Fewer ideas, by which I mean a focus on one or two good main ideas in each episode, instead of cramming loads in.



    I think Doug has been very wise to stick to what works after the format experiments of VII and VIII. More of the same please. Rob coming back and a Kill Crazy episode are on my wish list.


    International Debris

    I’m with most of the suggestions so far: less of the broad, on-the-nose jokes, subtler performances. That said, I think the tone of the jokes has been slightly off since Rob left, so I don’t really imagine it changing any time soon. I’d love some non-comedy villains, some more low-key plots, fewer guest stars, and more realistic performances, but given the success of XI and XII, I don’t see it coming.

    Better structured episodes would be good though. Scrapping X’s b-plot approach showed Doug was able to see that the stories didn’t flow as well, so something like that for the rushed / unbalanced plots of XI and XII would be great. A bit more pathos would be nice, at least to the extent of X if not the classic era. A balance of stories: at least one for Lister, Rimmer and Kryten, and some ensemble ones. Lister was too under-represented in XI and XII.

    Visually, an overhaul would be nice as I’ve never really liked the X/XI/XII red sets. Starbug is fine for me, although a midsection would certainly be nice.


    Pete Part Three

    A realistic down-to-earth show that’s completely off the wall and swarming with magic robots.


    Stephen Abootman

    And also, you should win things by watching.



    First, I want them to hire an editor who knows there’s more than one fucking model shot. Secondly, I want them to hire people who actually know how to shoot miniatures and give them what they need – or just use CGI. Clearly, something went wrong on some level with the XI / XII model shoot because they seem to rely on the same shots. Nobody knows how to film Starbug, so let’s just make it 2D! Move 2D layers around, nobody will know the difference!

    Just make a CGI Starbug. I don’t like it when VFX shots in Red Dwarf look like the Photoshopping I whipped up in High school in Art class. Series X had better-looking model effects and its production was a mess. XI/XII’s production wasn’t. What’s their excuse? And why did insist on throwing out Howard Goodall’s score for Series XII in favor just recycling music cues off the Series I DVD and library music. I, by some miracle of a connection to somebody who talked to Howard Goodall, have a copy of the XII suite and it’s brilliant. They wasted so much good music. You know that one cue they use on _every_ fly-by? In M-Corp’s climax, there’s a specific cue for that estalbishing shot. But nope. Throw out the soundtrack and just slap the same exact fucking music cue over it. Skipper’s radiation leak scene had a good dramatic music cue that was just replaced was nothing.

    Seriously. Fix the editing.



    Speaking of editing, I need to learn to proofread my posts.


    By Jove its holmes

    swarming with magic robots.

    More Series 4000 mechanoid episodes? ;)



    I want Dear Dave done right. If you’re going to have Holly back anyway, give us a nice grounded low-key episode evocative of Series II. After being stuck with no money you got to play with all your new toys in Series XI and XII just like you did with Series III, so now it’s time to play IV and get a little less silly and a little more character-focused. And tell Cat to shut his damn trap when Rimmer is talking about fish.

    I say this as a big of fan of XI and XII, but there _are_ in fact series besides V and VI you can harken back to. Please give us a little II.



    It would be nice also if Doug knew when its time to cut a joke. you don’t have to turn it into a sketch show. sometimes shorter stints are much better. its not about how long you can keep the laughs coming.

    Also know when some jokes are too silly to use. the bonking of the dispensing machine joke is probably IMO one of the worst jokes the show has ever done. it doesn’t work as an idea and i still don’t know how that ever got put on screen. the polymorph boxer shorts one worked it was filmed better and was structured to work better.

    And Less to very few throwbacks. i can watch red dwarf greatest hits by watching the earlier shows.



    To be fair, the bonking of the vending machine was part of a last-minute ditch effort by a single writer to hurriedly cobble together a script one plot thread at a time using just the main cast and sets without any chance to really think it through or to revise everything based on how well it worked as a whole. If any episode was going to have a sequence like that slip through, it was that one.

    Lister humping the vending machine probably seems like it’ll be a good idea when it’s 2 AM the night before shooting and you just want to get a fucking draft done in time. It resolves the Rimmer plot, it caps off the Lister vending machine plot, fine. Good enough. At least there are words on a page now.



    I just don’t understand how Doug pictured it in his head for it to work. how do you picture a scene of lister trying to pick it up while also looking like he is humping it? Doug must have thought it made sense at the time he wrote it in the script, but watching craig trying to make it worked really showed it probably wasn’t do-able.


    Ben Saunders

    It only really has to look vaguely like it in order for Rimmer to be able to make fun of Lister for it, I’m sure we’ve all been in situations where we’ve made fun of our mate for doing something vaguely suggestive or whatever only to be met with “no I wasn’t it doesn’t even look like that” and a little back and forth, it’s just banter innit. It’s not like Rimmer genuinely thinks Lister is attempting intercourse with a vending machine, he’s just taking an opportunity to rip the piss out of him.

    It’s also a bit shite and I shouldn’t be defending it but hey


    International Debris

    The main problem with it is Lister is too intelligent to think trying to pick something up while lying on top of it is going to work. Regardless of Rimmer’s reaction, Lister’s actual actions are nonsense. I wanted to really like it, because it’s actually relatively well set up and is a rare occasion of the two main plot strands tying together properly, but it just doesn’t work at all.



    Mr Rat


    Pete Part Three

    >It’s not like Rimmer genuinely thinks Lister is attempting intercourse with a vending machine, he’s just taking an opportunity to rip the piss out of him.

    Seems a bit unnecessary when there’s a valid opportunity to rip the piss out of him for simply forgetting how gravity works.


    Ben Saunders

    Nothing will ever top Mr Rat, cwickham, if that’s your goal you might as well pack it in now tbh



    I think Mr Rat should be in every episode, and also remastered versions of all the previous ones with him digitally inserted in should be released.



    Except it is done with a bluescreen.



    I hope we don’t get stopped by the cops.


    Spare Hand One

    I think Mr Rat should be in every episode, and also remastered versions of all the previous ones with him digitally inserted in should be released.

    I’m not down on Mr Rat especially, but why do exactly do people like him so much? What’s the joke? Is it just “Rat instead of Cat?” Is that really all it is?


    Spare Hand One

    Allow serious moments to be serious, allow what jokes you do have to pack more of a punch. Don’t feel the need to keep the gag rate 100-per-minute, throw out all the shite ones.

    This. 100%.

    My fave moment in the last couple of series is in M-Corp where Lister is staggering around clumsily with the invisible objects. He looks utterly alone. It’s bleak in the way that Series I did bleak. More of that please! Especially as the guys get older.

    Think of the emotional, quiet moments in Bojack Horseman and also remember that RD is about loneliness. The ramifications of Lister’s situation — death or lonesomeness forever — is built-in. They should use it more.


    Ben Saunders

    Mr. Rat is great because it’s set up so that you’re thinking “oh man, where’s Cat, there must be some big reveal coming up, I bet it’s something absolutely ridiculous”… and then it’s something even more ridiculous than you could have possibly ever imagined. It’s also just a stupid joke, changing one letter, in a way that so many classic Dwarf jokes are incredible stupid (of course, lager, April Fool’s etc). Nothing he does after his reveal is as funny as the reveal itself, I’ll grant you, although it is pretty funny to see Danny struggle to act through such a ridiculous, heavy costume.



    Nothing he does after his reveal is as funny as the reveal itself

    Oh I dunno, the way he looks between people in the conversation with his beedy eyes is hilarious, as is “he’s soo warrrrm and snuuugggly”


    International Debris

    There’s also the underlying idea that Mr. Rat is basically what Cat would be if the show was done really badly. It’s just the most ludicrous extreme you could take that evolved-animal character to.



    It’s the voice for me.

    I mean, the costume is goofy and silly and everything, but without that voice it’s nowhere near as good.


    Spare Hand One

    the costume is goofy and silly and everything

    The costume reminds me of the animal costumes used in modern ballet and theatre. Strongly resembles animals in the Nutcracker and maybe those “on ice” type thing (was there a Peter Rabbit on ice?). I suspect the Rat suit might have been bought or borrowed from a production like that.

    I don’t know this though. Someone else here may be able to confirm or deny.



    That’s crazy about the XII music cues. Never knew that. Does anyone have an explanation for what happened?


    Plastic Percy

    I’d like to see Rimmer get a costume change. At three series now, its his longest serving outfit. I wouldn’t mind seeing a switch away from blue, as I’m not totally in bed with the ‘red = soft light, blue = hard light’ notion. Maybe back to green for a bit.



    I absolutely want a Rimmer costume change. Even if they just went back to the BtE tunic. I really don’t care for the drab non-reflective tunic, and he’s been in it for 18 episodes now. Gimme something else. Literally any of his other costumes are better than this one.

    Additionally, I want the lighting crew to actually make use of more colors instead of just spraying blue everywhere. We don’t need any more blue. We had two series of mostly blue and now I want other colors. Can of Worms had a lovely green-lit corridor. Which begs the question: why only there? Then we need to tone down the lights a bit more to give some atmosphere. Let’s actually replicate the quality of lighting in Series V and VI instead of just making a vague gesture in the direction of it.

    Skipper gave us some other colored corridors, briefly. We should have been using those different colors all along to differentiate the corridor sets as different places. A change in lighting can do a lot to make you feel like you’re not just walking on the same piece of set, although I will give XI/XII’s corridors credit for feeling way more spacious than X. But let’s drop the red from the X corridors. Keep them Skipper grey. That better matched the aesthetic of Xi/XII anyway. Some of the Series X sets didn’t quite mesh into Series XI and XII’s new look. Hopefully XIII can do something about that.

    Oh. And for the love of God, tell your editor you have more than one fucking establishing shot of Red Dwarf.

    That model. What the hell is the point of building this 24 foot behemoth but giving exactly the same scale of detail as smaller Red Dwarf model? To me it doesn’t feel much bigger than the original Red Dwarf fly-bys did, and that model was a third the size.You need to add smaller details to give it a sense of scale. If you just replicate the same model on a larger scale, it’s not going to look that much bigger. And the angles were so boring. What the hell happened with the models? The Beginning has far superior model work over XI/XII, and those two series’ best VFX shots were all full of CGI. For the first time ever in Red Dwarf, it’s iffy model work vs. good CGI. Do these people even know how to shoot miniatures? There’s a fly-by of Red Dwarf used in several places, Skipper the only one I can think of, where the bottom of the ship is out of focus. AND THERE’S A GOOD VERSION OF THAT SAME SHOT FROM X THEY COULD HAVE USED. And the raw effects reel reveals that they shot all the models at 25 fps except for the crash.

    The shoot looks so haphazard. They do two Starbug fly-bys where they literally dolly past the Starbug and have a guy manually turn the camera as it goes. They’re shakey and unsuable. Nobody with expertise in shooting miniatures would be shooting models like that. At fucking 25 fps. I’ve tried myself to composite some of these shots, the clean ones, and they’re a fucking nightmare to work with. There’s so much crap that needs to be masked manually that it’s not worth the effort. I’m almost convinced the constant recycling of shots was partially due to there only being a very limited number of decent shots to pick from. They don’t do any sort of interesting camerawork with the Red Dwarf bigature. There’s only really one good shot, and it’s the one they use every fucking time. It’s absurd. Why bother with models in the first place if you’re not going to hire the people who actually know how to shoot them? I’m aware that some of the older model people were involved on some level, but clearly this whole shoot was not being overseen the way it should have been considering how incompetently it was handled. And that’s based purely on what I can discern from watching the raw footage. Who knows what fuckery went on in the actual studio. Why didn’t they just hire the Model Unit?

    Music. You hire Howard Goodall and then you throw away 80% of the music he makes for you. You used so little of his music on Series XII that he didn’t even want to release his soundtrack for it because what’s the point? Barely any of it was even on the show. I have a copy of the XII Underscore I got from a friend who spoke with Howard, and there are literally establishing shot cues that were replaced with _that same fucking cue_ from Series 1. M-Corp after they save Lister, for example, has a triumphant cue. It’s replaced with that cue that doesn’t even fit the mood. I’d love nothing more than to post this damn soundtrack on YouTube so everyone can enjoy it but Howard asked my friend not to spread it around. So really I shouldn’t even have it. Some of my fellows from the Red Dwarf Discord can confirm that I have it because I’ve played it for them. It’s really good stuff. The big battle in Siliconia is a musical callback to the GELF ship attack theme from Krysis, but that got swapped for a library track. A fine library track, but still.

    I loved Series XI and XII. But there’s a few points where the production really fucking dropped the ball, and I would hate to see these problems bleed into Series XIII.



    Sets-wise, I’m liking the minor tweaks they’ve made to the XI/XII Starbug interiors for the new AA advert – connecting the midsection to the cockpit directly, and converting the submarine-style swing-door into a more futuristic sliding door. The former helps make the shuttle feel just a little more real, and the latter both streamlines a cumbersome element of the new design while simultaneously bringing it closer in line with what’s seen in the earlier series. Hope both tweaks make it into any potential future series!



    I always got the impression the Submarine style doors helped hide the fact there was no mid-section. as they always focused away from revealing what was behind the door by opening the door towards the camera.



    One, Lisa from the AA needs to be louder, angrier, and have access to a time machine.

    Two, whenever Lisa from the AA is not onscreen, all the other characters should be asking ‘Where’s Lisa?’”



    For modern Dwarf i think the cat needs to go OOWWW everytime he ends a joke… oh he kinda does that already.



    > For modern Dwarf i think the cat needs to go OOWWW everytime he ends a joke… oh he kinda does that already.

    Tbf if he’s not gonna do it at the end of a 30 second advert then what is the point of him, or us, or life?



    Holly to return. They could very easily make a story that could include both Norman and Hattie. Even switch between them. Say a Ratchet Droid or someone manages to restore Holly’s mainframe but cannot completely restore its visual projection protocols so Holly can appear as either Norman or Hattie. Or both on screen as an old married couple or something..

    The lighting just needs to be less blue. The AA advert had it right.

    Maybe some plot hole tie ups thrown in.


    Ben Saunders

    DVDs aren’t 1080p, are they? Making this the only Dwarf material I’ve ever seen in 1080p. The lighting does indeed look more naturalistic and less arty, while I did quite like how XI and XII looked much more expensive than X, almost every scene did seem to have a sort of… filter, over it, rather than genuine lighting. It was all a bit hazy and unnatural, in the dark scenes at least. Then it would get VERY BRIGHT in day, Officer Rimmer or Krysis.



    I still hate the filmic look the show has. They can remove it but have left it in for artistic reasons. For me, it makes the show look too glossy and ruins the atmosphere the show is trying to create. If anything, I wish the next series, if it is going to be final, would just remove it and bring the show back to how it used to look.

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