Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum What's the most you've laughed at Red Dwarf?

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  • #237489
    Warbodog
    Member

    A feel-good thread for the sake of it. Has Red Dwarf ever made you laugh uncontrollably for minutes on end, preferably to the point of pain or letting a bit of wee out? (The only time TV’s achieved the latter was when watching Reeves & Mortimer as a sleep-deprived teenager).

    The classic years are full of great character comedy and ace jokes (“and then they did a jigsaw”), but I probably spoiled the big reveal gags for myself (Nova 5 crew, Cat Camille, Duane Dibbley et al) by reading about them in the novels or dry programme guide synopses before seeing most of them on screen. So my fond memories of being surprised by jokes tend to be more tangential and easily forgotten things that slip through. Such as:

    – The low-effort punchline to the luck virus bit in Quarantine, where Kryten flatly states the long name of the resistor he needs and Lister unceremoniously hands it to him from out of frame without bothering to speak, because we’re all up to speed now and don’t need to trip over props any more. Really tickles me.

    – Watching the series II DVD round a friend’s house, Lister’s “Smegorama!” surprisingly got the biggest laugh. Something about the way it sounds unnatural and forced, and the unclear etymology (panorama?) that makes it seem as random as an Alan Partridge exclamation.

    – The animal heads in Out of Time when I was eight, probably.

    – The clearly fake Kryten head exploding in Beyond a Joke when I was eleven. I thought the obviousness might have been an intentional gag back then, but now I realise that would be too fourth-wall-breaking for this programme. It’s just inept and… beyond a joke.

    – “Stone” *knocks on plywood set* is a smeg-up anyone can enjoy for a knowing chuckle.

    #237490
    Katydid
    Participant

    When I was watching Skipper for the first time with my family, we fucking lost it at Mr. Rat.

    #237495
    Dave
    Participant

    For the older series, it’s really hard to remember my original reaction now because the jokes seem so familiar that it’s hard to imagine a time that I didn’t know them.

    In the newer series, probably Snacky has been the thing that has tickled me the most, just for the absursity of the character. The longer it went on, the more I was laughing.

    #237498
    tombow
    Participant

    I think the most laugh was when I was listening to the audio book of the 2 novels and God was revealed to have a northern Ricky Tomlinson type voice. I knew God was coming (as I’d read it before) and I was curious as to how CB would portray him, expecting a stereotypical booming Shakespearean voice.

    #237499
    tombow
    Participant

    as for the show, I think Kryten/RL’s performance is the one thing that has me actually laughing loud. I mean, I softly chuckle if Lister and Rimmer are fighting or something wacky happens, but Kryten is the one character/actor who can make me crack up just by his performance/mannerisms. I did LOL at Sparky being made in MK, because I live in MK.

    #237500
    tombow
    Participant

    Sparky – i meant Snacky, I was mixed up with the Babylon 5 AI which is called Sparky

    #237501
    Unrumble
    Participant

    Another one from Quarantine, I love it when Kryten struggles with the psi-scan, and the inane stuff he says about it while he’s waiting for it to work. “passes 8 out of 10 bench tests…” (might not be verbatim).

    The ‘LOL’ moment for me is the punchline, they way he pauses “and we are going to…. live”. Masterful timing and delivery.

    #237502
    Warbodog
    Member

    Oh yeah, Chris Barrie’s voice choice on the audiobook made me and my brother laugh too. Especially the Z-shift tobacco chewer whose voice sounded absurdly deep and raspy in my memory, but when I listened again recently he was just gruff.

    I’ve only watched X onwards by myself, apart from a completely failed experiment to get the wife on board with Twentica, so no big group laughs for those, but still lots of little laughs.

    #237507
    Toxteth O-Grady
    Participant

    Robert is consistently hilarious throughout V and VI, but Rimmer has do be the source of my most LOLs over the years:

    – ‘Out of Time’ when looking through the CCTV monitor at Lister’s brain in a jar. “Ohhhhhh dear!”
    – ‘Demons & Angels’ after conspiring with (or rather, at) Kryten about how they don’t need oxygen. The look he gives when he turns back round and smiles at Lister and Cat.
    – ‘Back to Reality’ “Well how were we supposed to know that, you brummy git?”
    – ‘Parallel Universe’ “A further thought occurs.. that we haven’t budged a smegging inch.”

    Basically, smug or sarcastic Rimmer is my favourite type of Rimmer.

    I really wish Doug would still write the character like this, and that Chris could still play him that way.

    #237512
    clem
    Participant

    Watching Meltdown with the commentary on, I lost it at the climax of Elvis’ “Arnie Rimmer’s death machine” chant, and the cast’s reaction to it. IIRC it’s Danny absolutely howling with laughter and you can hear Hattie really giggling as well. I guess I just found it very infectious.

    #237516

    Classic era memories: the ‘stone’ smeg-up definitely. Kryten’s head exploding in Beyond a Joke first time. I would guess the phrase ‘dinosaur bowel movement frequency tables’, simply because just writing that phrase now still makes me laugh out loud. ‘Ah, so you’re a waffle man’ and the whole ‘so, what is it?’ scenes in White Hole.

    Dave era: Cat walking into the bunk room in Trojan. The bio-printer jam in Officer Rimmer. ‘Margh’. The entire wrong decisions section of Skipper. Mr Rat. The montage in Skipper that includes Blue Dwarf, the elephant trumpeting, and the classic era model. Probably lots more, but those are the ones that come to mind.

    #237519
    Dave
    Participant

    Cat walking past the door later on in Trojan was a huge laugh for me.

    #237520
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Since I watched them all so young, either I didn’t laugh at homes because I didn’t understand them, or I just can’t remember my initial reactions from so long ago. Mr. Rat and the realisation in Mechocracy that Kryten tricked Rimmer are two things I remember laughing a lot at. And I have to say the biggest single reaction I remember Red Dwarf soliciting from me was Cat’s infamous droopy line in Timewave, which was not only laughter but also visceral shock, and I also distinctly remember feeling anger during the end credits.

    I also remember getting emotional at the endings to Holoship, Tikka to Ride and Stoke, and even the dream sequence with “but you spell Kryten with a K” got me a few years ago

    #237521
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I didn’t laugh at homes, yes. I meant jokes, obviously

    #237524
    Unrumble
    Participant

    Yeah, re: the commentaries. There’s something giddily pleasurable about hearing their genuine laughter, especially Robert.

    #237529
    Dave
    Participant

    the realisation in Mechocracy that Kryten tricked Rimmer

    Oh yes, this.

    The silent opening with Kryten pulling oddly serene faces got a big chuckle from me too.

    #237530

    Yeah, that Mechocracy moment was one for me. Part of it might have been joy that the clunky bunk room scene had a point and wasn’t just a shit obvious joke for the sake of it.

    #237531

    Read Toxteth O-Grady’s comment again but imagine my username next to it. That’s my post.

    #237544
    unclerubbish
    Participant

    From Quarantine.

    “It was just a test, a test to see if you’ve gone crazy…… HEEEUUUUURGGGGGHHHH!” Always has me howling.

    This next one is a real guilty pleasure and probably an unpopular opinion. ” because he likes instant custard why do you think” from Pete inexplicably makes me piss myself laughing.

    #237545
    Hamish
    Participant

    When we first got the Series II DVDs ten years back I remember Lister reading to Rimmer the letter about his father’s death got a great response, especially “Your father is dad” and “Passed away peacefully in his jeep”. To then have it be topped by “I’d prefer chicken!” just a few scenes later was glorious.

    #237548

    Can’t remember my reactions to the classic series, but oddly enough the joke to get the biggest laugh from me was the size doesn’t matter gag from Can of Worms.

    #237561

    This next one is a real guilty pleasure and probably an unpopular opinion. ” because he likes instant custard why do you think” from Pete inexplicably makes me piss myself laughing.

    Nah, that’s a brilliant line, delivered with perfect scathing from Chris Barrie.

    #237564
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    I’ve been trooping through a rewatch for the best part of a year. I’m sure I used to giggle at I-VI, but I can’t really remember what made me laugh originally. I can remember my parents laughing at stuff when I originally watched them, simply because it was validation that the show I was watching was actually good. For example, my Mum laughed at Lister being served champagne in a pint glass in Better Than Life about 24 years ago. (How random a memory is that to retain?).

    I think I laughed at the opening of Tikka, when it first aired (yes, the bit where the camcorder explodes). But that was probably because I was just glad that Red Dwarf was finally back on the telly, and assumed there was more hilarity of that calibre coming my way. Hmm.

    More recently, the bit with Cat waking past the doorway in Trojan (which Dave has already mentioned) made me laugh at least the first few times, and still makes me smile.

    The way Chris pronounces “Lady”, while attempting to gain entry to the club in Twentica makes me laugh, simply because of how silly it is.

    Rimmer pouring his heart out to Snacky in Give & Take is amazingly broad, yet I like it. The ridiculous design of Snacky works so well.

    The bit with the 3 sets of Rimmer, Lister and Kryten in Can of Worms made me laugh on the first couple of watches, and I’m stll impressed by it.

    The scene with Kryten testing what Lister can and can’t see in M-Corp is the sort of thing that only Red Dwarf can do, so I probably clapped.

    The Cat and Lister stuff at the beginning of Skipper. I’d have been up for a whole episode exploring that idea, franky.

    So, in conclusion, the silly stuff tends to make me laugh. But if the show goes too silly I get awfully upset. It’s a fine line.

    #237565
    Warbodog
    Member

    my Mum laughed at Lister being served champagne in a pint glass in Better Than Life about 24 years ago. (How random a memory is that to retain?).

    My mum laughed at Hollister spraying air freshener to cover up the smell of his poo in Back in the Red and nothing else. She didn’t come back. My first memory of Red Dwarf is my dad laughing at lager killing a vindaloo and having to explain it to me.

    #237566
    MANI506
    Participant

    The Vindaloovians in Gunmen and Mr Rat are probably my two biggest laughs.

    #237567
    Toxteth O-Grady
    Participant

    >I think I laughed at the opening of Tikka, when it first aired (yes, the bit where the camcorder explodes). But that was probably because I was just glad that Red Dwarf was finally back on the telly, and assumed there was more hilarity of that calibre coming my way. Hmm.

    The moment when Lister’s distress call comes back on and he says “Oh by the way, we’re in space”, is one of the funniest moments the show’s ever done for me.
    The follow-up of him describing a moon/planet with his thumb and finger sort of ruins it though (as does the rest of that episode, series, and well, I could on..)

    #237568
    Unrumble
    Participant

    Can’t remember which episode, but this commentary intro, specifically Chris:

    Chris: Hello, I’m Chris Barrett, the star of Red Pilot.
    Craig: I’m Craig David.
    Danny: I’m Daniella Westbrook.
    Bobby: And I’m Roberta Lou-Ellen. I was in Dallas. ”

    #237569
    Dave
    Participant

    “Or we could just use the teleporter” is pretty perfect as Dwarf gags go, and the tension-release of the laugh benefits from all the build-up of the elaborate plan before it.

    #237571
    Warbodog
    Member

    Oh yeah, that was another that caught me by surprise after not having seen Rimmerworld for years. Especially as I’d already been set off by the wording and delivery of “weaved from strands of this hessian.” That scene saves Rimmerworld so much.

    #237573
    Dax101
    Participant

    A joke that went over my head as a kid but i laughed at as an adult once it hit me what i missed.

    RIMMER: No, look. I’m you from the future. I’ve come to warn you, in three million years you’ll be dead.

    PAST RIMMER: *gasp* Will I really?

    RIMMER: Yes. unless you do something about it now.

    PAST RIMMER: Well, what do you suggest, give up white bread? More roughage!?

    #237578
    John Hoare
    Participant

    “I need it to turn the lights on and off” in Legion had me rolling around the floor in absolute hysterics.

    #237580
    Dave
    Participant

    I agree. I like it much more than the red alert bulb gag earlier in the episode (not that the bulb is a bad gag, the switch is just funnier to me – a lot is in the delivery on that one).

    #237583
    Hamish
    Participant

    The light switch is probably the finest gag that show ever produced.

    #237585
    unclerubbish
    Participant

    I was going to mention the teleporter gag, one of the best.

    A couple from series 2

    – Nova 5 crew reveal
    – Holly reveal at the end of Queeg

    #237586
    Unrumble
    Participant

    I wouldn’t want to change Bobby as Kryten for all the fun-sized Crunchie bars in the world, but this exchange makes me feel that we’d have been in safe hands if David Ross had continued in the role:

    (Copied from IMDb as I couldn’t be arsed typing it all out)

    Kryten: Is anything the matter?

    Rimmer: Anything the matter? They’re dead.

    Kryten: Who is dead?

    Rimmer: *They*

    [indicating the “surviving” officers of Kryten’s ship]

    Rimmer: are dead. They’re all dead.

    Kryten: My God! I was only away two minutes!

    Rimmer: They’ve been dead for centuries!

    Kryten: No.

    Rimmer: Yes!

    Kryten: You a doctor?

    #237587

    “Or we could just use the teleporter” is pretty perfect as Dwarf gags go, and the tension-release of the laugh benefits from all the build-up of the elaborate plan before it.

    Ah, how’d I forget that one? I saw Rimmerworld on broadcast, but my off-airs of VI were from the repeat run where they showed Dimension Jump instead, so I didn’t see it again until the DVD. Having a ‘new’ Red Dwarf gag of that calibre in the mid ’00s made me feel blessed.

    In a similar way, I’d not seen any Red Dwarf USA footage until the DVD documentary, and my God ‘I’ve been reading that fire exit sign over there’ made me laugh a lot.

    A couple of poo-based Bobby smeg-ups too: “Do I have permission to… poo myself, sir?” and “I’ve just cacked me pants” really set me off.

    #237590

    Oh God, that light switch gag, it’s perfect. I also love “I’ve come to regard you as people…I…met.” It’s a funny line in itself but the fact that it’s Chris Barrie as Rimmer delivering it makes it one of the most hilarious.

    #237593
    Taiwan Tony
    Participant

    For me it might be that bit from the episode that dare not speak its name. With Johnny Vegas.
    The first of Cat’s lines, before the nadir of the droopy ass titties or whatever it was.

    But yes I get most pleasure from Chris being a bastard. But let’s get out there and twat it, and the whole Give Quiche A Chance character were very, very good.

    #237602

    The episode that dare not speak it’s name? But it’s the Ideal episode.

    #237606

    I remember this one deleted scene that made me laugh more than anything in the show now that I remember it. Its the deleted scene in Holoship right after Rimmer is told he’ll have to face-off against e member of the ship for a position, is the funniest thing ever.

    The thing that sells it is the Captain’s dramatic walk towards Rimmer, how Rimmer is so confident, Chris Barrie flinging his fucking legs in the air, way funnier than that Ministry of Funny Walks or whatever stupid bullshit from Monty Python. Amazing, never laughed harder.

    Also Timewave was a good episode, fight me.

    #237608
    clem
    Participant

    Yeah, little wonder Legion finished second in the World Cup of Guest Characters. Excellent performance.
    The Surfboarding Killer Bikini Vampire Girls stuff always gets me, starting with Lister’s description of the plan as ‘truly award-winning’. Then there’s the shot of the back of the sculpture they’ve dressed up as Lister, then Rimmer lying to Legion unconvincingly, then you see the front of the sculpture with the face drawn on, and finally Legion’s brilliantly delivered ‘schlock plan’ line coupled with Lister behind him in his long johns struggling with the other sculpture. It really builds beautifully.

    I hadn’t seen the VIII smeg ups til the DVD and remember laughing a lot at them, especially the one where Craig’s doing his ‘You’re gorrrrrrgeous, I want to run naked through your underwear’ nonsense, and Chris plays along but then gives a ‘wtf?’ look to the camera, and Craig catches him doing it.

    #237611
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Legion is the funniest episode.

    #237613
    Warbodog
    Member

    Ministry of Funny Walks or whatever stupid bullshit from Monty Python

    I like to imagine I witnessed a generation gap when year 7s failed to be entertained by my mate’s Monty Python best-of video on a school coach trip to Germany we were supervising as year 12s. It got through New Cooker, Silly Walks and half of Dinsdale before they demanded it was switched off and replaced with some stupid bullshit film or something.

    Alternatively, it might have just been the comedy nerds vs. the general public.

    #237617
    tombow
    Participant

    I always find with much loved old comedy that the pressure of “you have to like this because it’s so loved” kind of ruins the humor for me. Like if Fawlty Towers or Morcambe and Wise comes on, I feel like I’ll be an un-British arsehole if I don’t laugh. And that kind of distracts me. Whereas with new comedy I can just enjoy it for what it is.

    #237619
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Just watching Cured. Not a classic, but Ryan Gage has made me laugh out loud a couple times on the 4th (?) time of watching the episode, particularly his delivery of “You are scheißering me!”.

    #237620
    Dave
    Participant

    “It’s because I’m Hitler, isn’t it” has worked multiple times for me.

    #237622
    RealBigOleDummy
    Participant

    The scene in “Legion” where they’re trying to knock out Rimmer. When he’s pounding his head into the wall while Kryten’s bopping him on the head has me laughing even as I write this.

    The scene in “The End” with Captain Hollister “what’s in it for the cat?”.

    #237623
    Hamish
    Participant

    Thinking on things from XI/XII, while it is a little bulky in it’s delivery, I still love this Lister/Cat super-seey cat’s eyes exchange from Samsara.

    Also “I’m just a snack dispenser, I just dispense snacks”.

    And while the Morgan Freeman God is a bit on the nose, I do laugh at how Daniel Barker delivers the line “Wait, you mean I’M GOING TO DIE!?”

    #237624
    Hamish
    Participant

    I also now find the line “There’s an ANDY Hitler!” hilarious simply because I was playing around with a SNES emulator and the name just fits the dude in the censored Hitler portraits in the Wolfenstein 3D port perfectly.

    #237625

    Although I don’t really like Cured, the three Hitler lines mentioned in this thread all made me laugh a lot, making me want to revisit the episode.

    #237627
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    He also made me giggle at “Oh that it is mine”. Fantastic casting. He elevates pretty much every gag with his performance.

    #237629

    I liked that deleted scene in Cured where Rimmer and Kryten are discussing fictional characters with beards and suddenly out of nowhere Rimmer’s atheism is reestablished. I thought it was funny.

    #237630
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Speaking of reactions to classic comedy, my mate recently made me watch Fawlty Towers and Mr Bean. I found Fawlty Towers loud and ridiculous and boring, but holy hell, Mr Bean is some of the most finely crafted comedy I have ever seen. As a child you just think “lol what a silly man”, but as an adult you can appreciate just how well set-up and well-developed every single shot of that show is. A lot of the gags you see coming from a mile away, but the anticipation of it makes the payoff that much more rewarding.

    #237631
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    >I found Fawlty Towers loud and ridiculous and boring

    Wow.

    #237632

    Legion is the funniest episode.

    Goes without saying, if I was ever to show any of my fellow Yank friends Red Dwarf for the first time, it’d be that episode cause all the jokes land and are hilarious.

    The End is funny cause it subverts expectations, but it isn’t the funniest episode by miles. Back to Reality, while good, would make for terrible first viewing cause the jokes are better when you are already familiar with the characters especially for the bit in the Recuperation Lounge. Gunmen of the Apocalypse would probably give them the wrong idea about Red Dwarf, as it did to Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek-parody”).

    Legion and maybe Trojan would be my first choices to get someone into Red Dwarf.

    I found Fawlty Towers loud and ridiculous and boring

    I think its funnier if you have had experience with incompetent management and/or management that doesn’t give a shit about you prior to watching it.

    #237633
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Trojan as a first, yikes. I know a girl who decided to try out Red Dwarf after me banging on about it for years, and sat down to watch the first episode of Series X as it first aired. She switched it off at the ad break. I like the episode but I don’t think it’s the best, or a great “welcome to Red Dwarf”, despite the moose gag. It’s another one where that gag is funnier because you already know Cat is an idiot, and the stuff with Rimmer’s brother is obviously more affecting if you’re familiar with the backstory.

    It’s a genuine problem, what episode to show somebody first, because all of the best ones, like Holoship etcetera, are most effective if you’re familiar with the characters, Series 1 might be a bit slow/dated looking for some people, etc. Legion does seem a good choice, though. The hard light thing won’t have much of any impact, however, since I’m not sure if the fact that he is soft light is even brought up earlier in the episode.

    And Fawlty Towers is just a bunch of wacky shit happening and people screaming about it, innit? The specific episode we watched was the infamous “don’t mention the war” one; perhaps it’s a similar issue of that one not being a great starter.

    #237634
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I also put on the first episode of The IT Crowd after Bean and Fawlty, and was shocked by how unfunny it was. IT Crowd was my favourite show a few years ago so it must get better, but man, the only thing we laughed at in the pilot was Moss putting on bigger and bigger pairs of glasses

    #237635

    Trojan as a first, yikes. I know a girl who decided to try out Red Dwarf after me banging on about it for years, and sat down to watch the first episode of Series X as it first aired. She switched it off at the ad break. I like the episode but I don’t think it’s the best, or a great “welcome to Red Dwarf”, despite the moose gag. It’s another one where that gag is funnier because you already know Cat is an idiot, and the stuff with Rimmer’s brother is obviously more affecting if you’re familiar with the backstory.

    Granted, first time I got into Red Dwarf was watching Series I to Series X from beginning to end back in 2012. So I can’t really say what would make a good first episode since I watched it all in-order (Only time I haven’t watched a Red Dwarf episode in sequence was Officer Rimmer when I got out of RD a few years back and just heard Series XI got released, and watched that cause the episode description sparked my curiosity).

    But yeah, thinking about it again Trojan doesn’t quite set up all the elements of Red Dwarf too well I suppose.

    Rimmer is set up well for a first impression, I believe, the scene with him getting the exam results with Kryten is basically a summary of his neuroses, incompetence, and prone-to-fail character for any new viewer watching for the first time to get familiar with. Though I suppose everyone else kinda takes a backseat and their trademarks aren’t highlighted, since Trojan is a Rimmer-centric episode to begin with.

    And Fawlty Towers is just a bunch of wacky shit happening and people screaming about it, innit? The specific episode we watched was the infamous “don’t mention the war” one; perhaps it’s a similar issue of that one not being a great starter.

    Might’ve been funnier at the time, since most Germans nowadays probably have no personal connection to WW2, so Basil’s insensitivity is lessened. I watched all Fawlty Towers episodes, and I think the one about the door getting replaced by a wall by the renovators was the funniest, but that was only cause I have experience in ordering something that turns out to be complete opposite of want I wanted.

    #237636
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    The Germans isn’t an ideal place to start, as Basil suffers a head-injury and hits 11 on the manic scale, whereas he’s normally at an 8 or 9. Meanwhile, Sybil barely features and when she does appear, her scenes are the most dated of the series. I’d actually say it’s one of the weakest, I’d call it a day if you didn’t find anything in it to enjoy, especially “Yes, you did, you invaded Poland”.

    The IT Crowd peaks in Series 2, but I’m fond of the first few episodes.

    #237637

    Never seen the IT Crowd and incredibly little of Back Books to comment, but another Linehan show, Father Ted, I’ve seen all the way through and I enjoyed parts here and there of it.

    Best bit that stuck out to me is when Ted is talking with Dougal and he starts cursing at him, and Ted is in disbelief and asks him to repeat himself. Always made me laugh.

    #237638
    Dave
    Participant

    I like Fawlty Towers a lot, but I agree that it’s a shame that The Germans became its best-known episode. The show is usually such a perfectly-executed farce, firmly rooted in the characters, whereas The Germans feels a bit more extreme and a bit crude and clunky. ‘Turned up to 11’ is a fair description.

    I’m trying to think what would have been the first episode I saw – possibly Communication Problems, as it was the first episode on the first VHS we had. I think they’re all pretty accessible though.

    #237639
    Dave
    Participant

    As for Black Books, I liked it a lot but I haven’t gone back to it that often (unlike some of the other great Channel 4 sitcoms of a similar era like Spaced and Father Ted).

    I feel similarly about the IT Crowd – I watched (and enjoyed) them all when they first broadcast, but have only rewatched them maybe once since. Some bits are good enough that they still stick in my memory though.

    #237640
    bloodteller
    Participant

    >Legion and maybe Trojan would be my first choices to get someone into Red Dwarf.

    If I were to show somebody Red Dwarf for the first time, the episode I’d show them first is Cassandra. It’s got a little bit of everything-A Holly/Lister scene, some bunkroom banter, a sci-fi plotline about exploring a derelict ship, and lots and lots of funny jokes. It’s not the best episode ever, no, but it’s like all the different elements of Red Dwarf combined into one episode and you don’t really need to have knowledge of prior episodes to understand what’s going on

    #237642
    Dave
    Participant

    That’s quite a good choice, although obviously one issue with series VIII in general is the rest of the crew being alive. Part of the appeal of the show is the ‘all alone in deep space’ aspect, which wouldn’t come across quite so much.

    I think The Inquisitor is a pretty good one to introduce the premise and the characters, as well as a fun sci-fi idea. Or maybe Future Echoes.

    #237643
    Taiwan Tony
    Participant

    Fawlty Towers. The best episode is probably the first one, for me. But they are all great.
    Aside from the casual racism they’re pretty much perfect.
    Rimmer had a lot of Basil in him. The chip on his shoulder. Desperation for higher status and laughing at people he sees as being beneath him. The snobbery. The barely suppressed rage at those who actually have higher status. Trapped by circumstance. Guided by avarice. Tortured by misfortune and destroyed by himself.
    Surrounded by people he hates, alone in space / Torquay.
    Lister has a touch of Manuel in him.
    Is Cat… Polly?

    #237644
    clem
    Participant

    The Germans is overrated I agree. Obviously the stuff with the German guests is what everyone remembers but I think John Cleese is right about the first part of the episode with the fire drill etc being stronger. Communication Problems might be my favourite of all. That or Basil the Rat. Some great stuff with the Major in both of those. Or Waldorf Salad. Or The Psychiatrist. Series 2 > Series 1, definitely.

    #237647

    If I were to show somebody Red Dwarf for the first time, the episode I’d show them first is Cassandra. It’s got a little bit of everything-A Holly/Lister scene, some bunkroom banter, a sci-fi plotline about exploring a derelict ship, and lots and lots of funny jokes. It’s not the best episode ever, no, but it’s like all the different elements of Red Dwarf combined into one episode and you don’t really need to have knowledge of prior episodes to understand what’s going on

    Understandable, but I don’t want the person to have to say their first series was Series VIII lol. Tho there is the problem of them being surrounded by other humans, which is a rarity most of the time in the rest of the show.

    I think The Inquisitor is a pretty good one to introduce the premise and the characters, as well as a fun sci-fi idea. Or maybe Future Echoes.

    I can see Future Echoes, but The Inquisitor is better if you’re already familiar with how much the crew have been wasting their lives getting no further in their goals than two series previous.

    #237648

    Basically a lot of Red Dwarf episodes are better if you’re familiar with the show

    #237649
    bloodteller
    Participant

    >I think The Inquisitor is a pretty good one to introduce the premise and the characters, as well as a fun sci-fi idea.

    The Inquisitor is great, but it’s maybe too great. If you introduced the show to someone with it, they’d go in expecting the entire show to have intense battles with time-travelling rogues and a general horror-movie vibe. They’d then turn on The End and see two blokes wandering down a grey plywood corridor talking about beating the shit out of each other with welding mallets. It sets the expectations too high, I think. Although you do learn a lot about each character from their inquisition, so I suppose it does work as an introduction.

    #237650

    Same reason I think Gunmen of the Apocalypse isn’t a good episode to start with, they’re think they fight in giant space battles every week.

    #237651

    Even then, if you just want your friends to see a random episode of Red Dwarf and not one to hopefully get them into the show; the episodes where the crew either deal with a specific threat or go on an adventure to a new place like Gunmen, Legion, Twentica, Polymorph, etc.

    Work well.

    #237652
    Lily
    Participant

    Fawlty Towers is on UK Netflix. I went through them in order, but got to The Germans (last of the first series) and gave up on that halfway through. Hadn’t really enjoyed them up to that point and had enough by then. Not watched the second series at all.

    #237653

    The Germans is maybe the only Fawlty Towers episode that falls into the ‘you have to have seen the others for it to make sense’ category, I think. For me a lot of the humour comes from Basil being MORE erratic than ever. Pretty much every other episode is an absolutely beautifully crafted farce, escalating at just the right pace. The Germans sort of starts at that pace and goes even further with it.

    I just looked at a list of the episodes for a good first one, but I’d say almost all of the others are. Probably not the final two of the second series, but otherwise you can’t go wrong. I suppose The Hotel Inspectors and Communication Problems would be my recommendations. I’m a huge fan of farce and it just does it better than any other show (although Allo Allo at its peak comes close). I suppose if you find shouting difficult then it’s going to be a problem.

    Speaking of lots of shouting, the first series of The IT Crowd is an odd one, as to me it feels like a totally different show to the rest of it (something Linehan admits himself in the DVD commentaries). I really like the ‘stuck in the IT department’ structure, which disappears very quickly in season 2 and never really comes back. The slightly cut-off weirdos in the basement, with the rest of the building as the main ‘other’ setting works really well for me; once they start doing Dragons’ Den and dinner parties and basically leaving the office every episode it really loses its focus and the characters and humour fall apart. That said, my favourite episode is The Work Outing at the start of series 2. If I was to watch it all again I’d probably just do the first series, the first two episodes of the second and then the finale and leave it at that.

    #237654
    Warbodog
    Member

    My foreign, unimpressed-by-Red-Dwarf wife watched Fawlty Towers recently and LOVED it. Often does a Sybil impression, which does the trick for me. So it doesn’t have to rely on familiarity with the era/culture.

    Fawlty Towers fans should watch the Cleese/Booth/brief-Sachs short film ‘Romance with a Double Bass’ on YouTube for a surreal and surprising experience. I had to check I wasn’t dreaming.

    #237655
    Warbodog
    Member

    As for introducing Red Dwarf, series 3 seems like the best place to me. Those episodes do everything in an accessible way and I think it keeps getting better for the next couple of years at least, so it’s not a downhill experience. Only problem is that series 1 & 2 may look worse and not-there-yet when going back.

    I like how Legion is being recommended as the jumping-on point when the previous episode was consciously crafted for that function, to a time-wasting and slightly patronising extent.

    #237656
    tombow
    Participant

    Yeah I started at series 3 (although I did see Queeg first) and then read the novels/programme guide as I went through 4-6. I didn’t actually see series I until 1997 or so

    #237657
    tombow
    Participant

    I agree that mr Bean looks so well crafted now. That sandwich on the bench one where the hot water bottle stopper pops out of his ear right on cue.

    #237658
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Oh, Psirens is probably quite a good starter. But it’s one of those episodes I completely forget about until I’m reminded of it. But after that I can remember almost everything about it. “I’m almost annoyed” is just stellar

    #237660
    NoFro
    Participant

    In terms of great laugh lines, “I’m almost annoyed” is right up there. Any joke that ONLY Red Dwarf can do tends to get a big laugh from me so Kryten as a cube is great – the line takes it to another level.

    #237661
    tombow
    Participant

    I just re watched Kryten for the first time in years and did a big genuine laugh at Cat being stuck at the mirror. I dunno, I feel now like Cat was more genuine and cute in Series 1-2…because I always think of myself as not really being into Cat, (with the same old fashion jokes and cruel jabs) but I’m really liking him now. Even his voice seems less stereotypically screechy in the early series.

    #237664
    si
    Participant

    I’ve done plenty of rewatches over the years, but can’t remember ever rolling around gasping for breath. Although that’s probably as much to do with my crap memory and the amount of prescribed medication I’ve taken over the past thirty years.

    The first ‘Byte’ of series III is probably the most I’ve laughed at RD. The boxer shorts scene in Polymorph is probably up there, I imagine.
    I fell about at Mr Rat, too. Although I watched Skipper last night*, and I don’t think it’s *quite* as hysterical as I remember.

    #237665
    Dave
    Participant

    The boxers scene in Polymorph is one of those that benefits from the audience reaction, I think.

    #237666
    si
    Participant

    *I know every episode of series one to VIII off by heart. I used to write lists (as all good SF fans and general geeks should) of titles in chronological and alphabetical order, with transmission dates and allsorts. But series X-XII – not so much. Should do some last minute revision before leaving for Nottingham on Friday.

    #237668
    NoFro
    Participant

    I’ve never found the shrinking boxer shorts scene THAT funny. III Byte One was my first exposure to Dwarf though and a lot of it had me rolling. Me and my friend used to always recreate Cat being chased by the bazookoid round to make each other laugh. Was about 9 at the time.

    #237673

    I used to write lists (as all good SF fans and general geeks should) of titles in chronological and alphabetical order, with transmission dates and allsorts

    Fuck, I’ve been doing that several times over the past few months with Red Dwarf now, I need to go to rehab

    #237675
    si
    Participant

    I do still do the lists, by the way, but I have to check details for series X-XII, and I feel that I’ve let myself down.
    There are also more Doctor Who lists than there used to be.

    #237676
    tombow
    Participant

    I think there was a time in the 90s when I could have recited the episode names of series 3-6 in order.

    #237677
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    Quite a subtle one, but I do like Rimmer’s talk about dying in ‘Kryten’. He tells Lister to back up his Captain Rimmer: Space Adventurer charade by getting him to tell the women how brave he is. And instead of saying he died a hero’s death or in valiant combat, his go to is he died and took the news well.

    #237680
    Warbodog
    Member

    I think there was a time in the 90s when I could have recited the episode names of series 3-6 in order.

    This is as underachieving as when I saw Walter “Chekov” Koenig say on a documentary that there are actually some Star Trek fans out there who’ve watched every episode.

    #237682
    MANI506
    Participant

    I watched Fawlty Towers in the 90s and the only episode I properly laughed at was The Germans – specifically the silly walk moment.

    My favourite IT Crowd episodes are Are We Not Men and The Final Countdown. ‘He has spirit this one!’

    #237683
    Dave
    Participant

    I reckon I could name all four of the main characters, maybe even the computer at a push.

    #237689
    tombow
    Participant

    I can still remember all the episodes. I just struggle getting them in order if I haven’t watched classic RD for a while.

    #237690
    Warbodog
    Member

    I’ve gone through episode lists of things sometimes when trying to get to sleep and stuck for other alternatives to counting sheep, I think it works.

    Not Red Dwarf though, that’s too easy because they’re too distinctive and broken up into manageable chunks. Long-running shows with 22+ episodes per year including loads of forgettable filler are better, and I’ve usually bored myself unconscious before getting out of season one so I don’t have to admit defeat.

    #237691
    Warbodog
    Member

    Sometimes I think of an Idea for an episode when going to sleep and am convinced it’s funny, then post it in the harsh light of day out of bewildered duty.

    #237710
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I could maybe write down every Dwarf episode in order and get it 90% right, seems like a fun exercise. I couldn’t do it with any other show – either I just don’t refer to the episodes by name, more as “the one where”, or it’s a serialised show with 24 episodes a season which I’ve only seen once or twice

    #237718
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Standards are slipping around here. I miss the days when we’d be called elitist gatekeepers.

    #237719
    Paul Muller
    Participant

    I’ve never actually bothered to watch the show, but I’ve been hanging around this website for quite a few years now and I think I’ve more or less got the gist of it.

    #237721
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    I don’t even visit this site.

    #237724
    Dave
    Participant

    I reckon I could name the main ship in the series, and maybe the little blue and green ones too.

    #237725

    tombow gets his balls busted: the thread

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