What is the best 'final' episode so far?

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  • #255187

    Dave

    Thinking about the new specials, I was wondering what we think is the best ‘final’ episode of Red Dwarf of the existing candidates.

    I’m tempted to say Out of Time but then again that cliffhanger begs for continuation. I guess The Beginning and Skipper both work quite well.

    But for me I think it’s probably Back To Reality. It sets up a very definite ending for the show, then snatches it away after using it to really say something interesting about all of the characters. It would work brilliantly as the very last episode – but I’m obviously glad we got more.

    #255188

    GlenTokyo

    Only the Good…

    ;)

    #255189

    Dave

    THE SMEG IT IS

    #255191

    Hamish

    Parallel Universe. Obviously.

    #255192

    cwickham

    What defines a “final” episode? Because Nanarchy and Can of Worms are the only series closers that were definitively never going to be the last one ever.

    #255193

    Veni

    Out of Time, just remove the ‘To Be Continued’ and it’s both a tragic and epic conclusion.

    The Beginning is a close contender, as well.

    #255195

    Warbodog

    I think they say on the DVD documentary that at least some of the people involved expected series three to be the last while they were making it. If it had been, The Last Day would have seemed like a revised title to express sorrow, especially with it breaking the series naming convention like that.

    #255196

    Hamish

    In all seriousness, yeah, it has got to be Out of Time. Even without the “To Be Continued” caption it would have left the door open for more without necessarily needing there to be, which is how Red Dwarf should end.

    #255197

    Warbodog

    I didn’t realise you were joking about Parallel Universe. It would have been a damned shame to end so soon (I know there’s a ‘series 1 & 2 only’ camp of comedy snobs), but also a tight and satisfying ending, leaving us imagining Lister’s impending agony and with the happy ending of Stasis Leak and the (sometimes less happy) future echoes mapped out.

    #255198

    Dax101

    Series 5. Back to reality. The ending with “we are on our way sir” with starbug blasting off. No laugh. Just. The crew off to the next adventure

    #255199

    Veni

    The thing is, a final episode for me can only be good in this way:

    – The entire episode was focused on the entire crew (or Lister/Rimmer; since they are unarguably the two major characters) and opens a new and climactic dynamic to them/him that satisfies a long-acknowledged part of their character(s) and/or their goal(s) in the show.

    So that ticks Back to Reality, Out of Time, and The Beginning for me as satisfying conclusions.

    Skipper is nearly there, but for me feels less focused on Rimmer and more as fan-service with paying tribute to a return from Holly, Captain Hollister, and the old Red Dwarf and original bunkroom.

    Only the Good… has an incredibly (albeit ending with a pretty funny gag) unsatisfying ending that ends the show on a giant cliffhanger.

    #255200

    Pete Part Three

    Don’t see how Out of Time can be in contention. I think the “To Be Continued” is wholly unnecessary, and they should have kept in ambiguous. But it’s there…and It only felt like the end, when 2 years later, a continuation had severely reduced chances of appearing.

    So..it’s Back to Reality. By virtue of the fact that it aint shit. And it’s Back to Reality.

    #255207

    (deleted)

    M-Corp. Not my fault they showed it fifth.

    #255215

    Plastic Percy

    I’m going to fly the flag for The Beginning. Not just because of the parallels with The End, but I like the Dwarfers working effectively as a team and Rimmer taking charge successfully and throwing off his daddy issues.

    #255216

    (deleted)

    Less facetiously, I agree, it’s clearly The Beginning. The whole thing is a masterclass in closure. It’s probably the nearest thing we’re ever going to get to a true finale.

    Actually quite astonishing to think just how much permanent character development the main cast have had in the Dave era. For anything you might throw at its gag quality or storytelling coherence, at its best it’s served the characters in a way that hasn’t been done since the BBC Manchester years.

    #255218

    Dax101

    Problem with alot of the Dave era “permanent” development is that the reset button is clearly hit at the end and while Doug may acknowledge it like in say Give and Take, it now has to evolve it to keep the characters in similar situations they were.

    Many thought Rimmer was gonna be a different character after the beginning because the whole dad thing and the realization he did not have to live up to anything special. but Doug has said in interviews that there wasn’t gonna be any change for his character because if you take their flaws away then they are no longer Funny. so it makes the development kinda temporary. to the point where maybe it was easier not to explore these aspects if you are just gonna take it away and pretend it didn’t happen.

    Making Rimmer an officer in Officer Rimmer for example is giving Rimmer what he has always wanted in the shows history. but does that mean Rimmer is now gonna stop talking about his desire to be an officer? or we just gonna go back to pretend that didn’t happen? or move on from it?

    Doug very much wants to explore the characters desires and issues in a way the show never has. but honestly i think there was a good reason why Rob and Doug never did previously.

    #255220

    Warbodog

    I found the end of M-Corp so strange and almost annoying, but took comfort in the certainty that it would be immediately forgotten.

    #257003

    bloodteller

    >Actually quite astonishing to think just how much permanent character development the main cast have had in the Dave era.

    If by that you mean “absolutely none at all”, then sure. In XI/XII they’re all just absolutely two-dimensional cartoon caricatures of who they used to be. Rimmer is just an absolutely nasty and unpleasant prick 99% of the time (he was nasty before at times, but now it just feels utterly mean-spirited) and Cat flip-flops between being semi-intelligent and sarcastic to a whining idiot depending on the episode. It honestly feels like all the characters regressed after Series X

    #257006

    Veni

    Calling them “two-dimensional cartoon caricatures” is overkill honestly.

    I’ve heard you say Rimmer is evil in these new series before, but I don’t see it, unless you have some examples. Just a reminder, he’s always been an asshole (Ex: Tossing Kochanski’s handbag across the room for getting in his way in ‘Balance of Power’, leaving the others to die on the Simulant gunship in ‘Rimmerworld’). He doesn’t have as much sympathetic moments to balance it out, sure, but nothing in his portrayal here makes him more evil than what he’s already done prior.

    Cat has always been inconsistent ever since VI, that’s more a problem with the Doug’s writing of him than XI/XII. He could be a cool-headed pilot in VII and getting bullied relentlessly in VIII the next minute, however I will say in XI/XII he IS consistently written (apart from that one moment at the end of ‘Can of Worms’ when he, for whatever reason, switches from being jolly to master marksman but whatever).

    Lister hasn’t changed at all, and neither has Kryten. Unless you have some examples I may have forgotten.

    #257015

    Dax101

    Id say alot of the humor now days seems to take joy in Rimmer’s nastiness. He pushes Katerina in front of a car in BTE. he shoots at Captain Herring’s ship, and he watched his brother die and could not care less, infact they cut a scene where Rimmer was gloating about it.

    Officer Rimmer is about Rimmer becoming an officer, ordering Kryten around rubbing it in everyone’s face. mechocrazy has an element of Rimmer wanting to be machine president which is meant to be for his own pleasure in making Lister’s life hell, while also blackmailing the cat. there is that whole trying to manipulate lister by mentioning his Gran which is quite an uncomfortable scene in my opinion. there are actually quite a few moments where Rimmer is out to spite something.

    That is not to say he is always like that. and i have come to appreciate when Doug doesn’t write Rimmer like that, because i feel Doug has overdone that side of Rimmer now.

    With Rimmer’s cowardly escape in RimmerWorld, i think its more that Rimmer is just a coward and thats it. i worry that if Rimmerworld was made today, Doug would have Rimmer in the background rubbing it in the crews face that he was about to escape without them. because yno its funnier!

    The Cat used to be my favorite character as a kid. but somehow i found him annoying in 11 and 12. he become more stupid then he has ever been previously and more insecure and whingy than the character ever should be.

    Lister really is the only one i think has been kept fairly consistent. Kryten i ain’t sure about.

    #257016

    Veni

    I advise against posting on Red Dwarf fansites and instead seeking emergency services when having a stroke.

    #257018

    Dave

    The Cat used to be my favorite character as a kid

    Part of that is the character’s style of humour I think. When I watch with my kids (who are both under 10) they often tend to find his parts the funniest – it’s accessible, silly, easy-to-understand humour done very well. Perfect for kids.

    I’ve never seen Red Dwarf as a young kid due to my age, and remember always warming to Lister more as a young teen when I started watching it. I still liked the Cat stuff but he was never my favourite character and as the writing got weaker in VII and VIII I began to be actively irritated by him at times.

    In more recent years I think he’s had better moments again (he got the biggest laughs from me in Trojan when the show returned with X) but he’s also had some odd, unfunny and inconsistent moments too.

    #257019

    Veni

    I honestly forget about Cat sometimes.

    Though as some contrast, I actually hated him when I first watched the show on Netflix in 2012 as a, 11 year old I think. I thought he was an asshole, how he mocked Rimmer at the end of his gazpacho soup speech, saying he flat-out doesn’t give a shit about Lister in ‘Backwards’, etc. My favorite bits of him were when he got his comeuppance like getting Lister’s space mump goo all over him in ‘Justice’.

    Nowadays, I find him sympathetic actually. My favorite bit of him in recent memory was his foreshadowed killing of Telford in ‘Cured’ and how badass it was, leading to him saying “pokey-face” to Lister right afterwards. I love that juxtaposition of his character.

    #257039

    (deleted)

    I love the XI/XII Cat. Probably a happy accident but it’s in tune with when an actual cat hits middle age, the hunting instinct falters, and they become slightly more vulnerable and slightly less bothered about stuff generally, but everything else ‘catty’ about them exaggerates.

    I still maintain that all four main characters have been through bigger, more life changing experiences during the Dave era than the BBC. Whether these are things that are actively referenced later in script or performance is irrelevant, these are things that are still there for the viewer to accumulate.

    #257042

    Dax101

    >and slightly less bothered about stuff generally

    Isn’t that actually the opposite to how the cat is in 11 and 12? he is actually more bothered by stuff then he has been in the last 10 series. which i think is kinda contradictory of his character abit. the cat works because he doesn’t care. thats why the cat gets away with as much as his character does.

    Nowadays i get the impression Doug can’t decide whether the cat is a cool ego-driven character, or basically a naive child-like character. and so we just get both depending on what the story needs. and often the plots Doug writes seem to work best with naive child-like cat.

    #257043

    Veni

    Excluding that bit, I agree wholeheartedly with Darrell. I like the new Cat, he has a more likable personality for me, compared to the arrogant Cat of earlier series.

    #257044

    Dax101

    Cat is still arrogant in series 11 with Give and Take. infact perhaps more so. Kryten had to trick the Cat because of his arrogance. its just lucky he is a much bigger idiot this time, so he did not question it.

    #257045

    Veni

    That’s not arrogance lol, that’s selfishness. I think you’re pulling at straws there. I’m sure there are better episodes to demonstrate an argument than Give & Take, plus I don’t see why Cat is “a much bigger idiot” there than he normally just because he fell for Kryten’s lie, and even then, he does realize he glossed over his being alive with no kidneys when it’s pointed out to him. How Series III Cat, for example, would manage to not fall for that as compared to XI/XII Cat, I’m not seeing.

    #257047

    si

    Nowadays i get the impression Doug can’t decide whether the cat is a cool ego-driven character, or basically a naive child-like character

    I’m glad that in the last couple of series, he’s got a little bit cooler again. From around series VI on, he’s just got dimmer. He was almost an imbecile in sVIII. XI and XII was better. Back in the first series – sIV/V, he was slick. Post sVI, he was just thick. There’s a difference between naivety and idiocy.

    #257048

    Dax101

    Would you really say though that he isn’t an idiot in XI and XII? The cat has far more spotlight moments in the last 2 series where the comedy depended on him to carry them. but most of those scenes are basically the cat being abit of an idiot. he doesn’t know how to bluff, his history lesson is terrible, he doesn’t know what sex is.

    And what exactly makes the Cat cool again in XI and XII? Danny knows the character well enough that he tries to infuse the cat with style and coolness whenever he can, but in terms of the writing of the Cat… i dunno

    #257049

    Veni

    Obviously he’s not saying Cat isn’t an idiot in XI/XII full stop, being an idiot has *always* been an essential character trait of his.

    #257052

    Ben Saunders

    >he doesn’t know how to bluf
    I just watched Cured, he learns by the end with his pretty smart maneuver on Telford

    #257069

    Dax101

    Whats unfortunate is that they have mentioned in the show having poker nights and whatever, there is even a deleted scene from series 3 which probably doesn’t count, but it says Rob and Doug did not seem to think the cat would have any problems there… then we get to 11 and 12 and he regresses quite abit. yeah i get maybe Doug feels they missed alot of comedy material from Cat learning stuff over the years. but really you have to remember how far along the line the show is now.

    I hear people talk about how the characters are developed and progressing in the dave era. but really they ain’t, they are often going backwards..

    #257070

    (deleted)

    Real cats do regress massively over time in terms of general competence and coolness, though. By the end they are happy idiots and un-self-consciously goofy. I don’t think it’s deliberate character development (the Dave version of Cat is basically a greatest hits maship of the most comedically fruitful elements of his past characters – the naivety and selfishness from s1-2, the wisecracking smartarsedness of s4-5, and the childlike impatience of the s7 version). But it makes me smile.

    #257071

    (deleted)

    Yes, a maship.

    #257072

    Veni

    I’m against speaking in absolutes like that, since most people have their own unique perspectives on the current show, I’d say there is a fair argument presented when you say go either, “the characters have progressed/degressed.” Plus, at the end of the day, it’s a comedy and always has been and will employ Simpsons logic when the comedy calls for it.

    #257073

    Veni

    In replying to Dax

    #257074

    Ben Saunders

    Imo if it’s funny it’s funny, and it was kinda funny. Red Dwarf is ultimately to be laughed at

    #257075

    GlenTokyo

    In my opinion, Red Dwarf in the 80’s and 90’s wasn’t a “hahaha” comedy, there were a few massive gags, your “You’ll bonk anything won’t you Lister”s etc but there wasn’t one every episode, and generally it was a more conversational style, more grounded, and the gags rarely felt like they came before the story.

    It got a bit more lary towards VI with things like the Space Corps Directives being obvious “gags”, but after VIII it started getting broader, and in Dave Dwarf the story and characters are there to serve the gags in my opinion, and the gags aren’t always great. Some of them are shite, like ERRA and Professor upside down glasses or whatever it was. Absolutely pony.

    I think there’s a clear distinction that I find it hard to believe that isn’t obvious to everyone who has watched Red Dwarf for as long as most of us have. Obviously it has always been a comedy, but it used to be more than that too in my opinion, and it’s a great shame that those other elements have been abandoned for more generic gags that could fit into Not Going Out or 2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps with only a minor rewrite.

    When I’m watching Dave Dwarf, some of it feels right, but there are also large portions where it feels as if I’m watching a fanfic with high production values written by someone who doesn’t quite get what Red Dwarf is or who the characters are.

    Cats do get a bit dozy as they age, their brains don’t fall out of their nose. It’s more balance issues, being less feisty, and having trouble getting around rather than becoming dense. A realistic cat story would be one of his fangs being loose and him falling off the settee.

    Rimmer for his supposed father related development is only different when it helps get to somewhere, and is heartless. Which he wasn’t, he was nasty, but he wasn’t cold, and it seemed to be based on not knowing how to have friends and the frustration of loneliness.

    Lister and Kryten are probably closest to being recognisable from the early 90s but do break into caricature occasionally.

    It’s probably not a case of them regressing or progressing, more them just being different characters now.

    tl;dr umbongo

    #257076

    Veni

    The whole situation with people getting in a furor over the upside glasses is pretty amusing to me, I don’t think I even noticed it on first or second viewing. Really the whole controversy with Entangled must be one of those “you had to be there” things cause I don’t mind it at all.

    #257077

    GlenTokyo

    Hardly a furore is it, it was just shite. Year 9 Drama improv lesson level humour.

    #257078

    Pete Part Three

    >Really the whole controversy with Entangled must be one of those “you had to be there” things cause I don’t mind it at all.

    Yeah, you had to see it on its initial airing to realise it was a pile of shite.

    #257079

    Ben Saunders

    Man’s acting like Backwards didn’t happen

    #257091

    bloodteller

    >When I’m watching Dave Dwarf, some of it feels right, but there are also large portions where it feels as if I’m watching a fanfic with high production values written by someone who doesn’t quite get what Red Dwarf is or who the characters are.

    Yeah, this is pretty much exactly how I feel. It’s like that bit in Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy where Arthur tries to get a cup of tea, and ends up with something almost, but not entirely unlike tea. The Dave Era is just that to me, it’s almost, but not entirely unlike Red Dwarf

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