Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum X or XI?

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    Personally, XI was a step down from X. Just wondering how everyone else feels?


    I dunno. I think I enjoyed XI more than I did X. I thoroughly enjoyed five out six, the only niggle for me being Officer Rimmer, and even *that* had some great gags in it.

    Chris Stokes

    On reflection, the episodes in XI which I liked, I liked them more than the episodes I liked in X.

    But the episodes in XI which I disliked? They disappointed me far more than anything in X.

    So, overall, I’m saying X over XI


    Series X was a real mixed bag for me, some of it I actually hated. XI was a fun series that aimed to be far more adventurous, it’s not without it’s problems but I enjoyed it. For me while not quite as solid as the first 6 series, XI was much better then X!


    XI. It’s heights felt closer to classic Dwarf than anything in decades, and it had fewer lows than X.


    Loved X when it went out. Have loved XI as it’s been going out. Difficult to make a balanced call when you’re still so wrapped up in it. But I rewatched X a few weeks ago, and found different things funny, and some stuff not as funny as I remember.
    However, I do think I’ve loved this series as it’s gone out more. Had lots of real belly laughs every episode, and have thought almost every episode was the best of the series at some point.
    Get back to me in six months or so, and I’ll try and give a slightly better balanced view.

    Pete Part Three

    XI, no question. Never sunk to the lows of Entangled and Dear Dave and had one truly great episode (Give & Take). While I’ll never like Samsara, my next ‘least favourite’, Can of Worms still had a few things going for it.


    XI for me all the way. Loved it and sorry it’s over. Not a perfect series by any stretch but funny, ambitious and packed with ideas. There are a few niggling things that bug me and doubtless always will but alongside Trojan, it’s the best of the Dave era. And Officer Rimmer is probably in my top 36; worth it for that alone.

    Chris Stokes

    I’m delighted XI is pleasing so many of us and has been a success. I just really, really wish I held it in the esteem others do. I let myself get swept up in how much I enjoyed the first 3 episodes and then felt supremely let down by 3 in a row that just left me cold.

    As a result, I enjoyed X as a whole more than XI. If I’m being honest with myself, I don’t think I’ve felt as disappointed in a series since VIII. Obviously I’m not quite THAT disappointed, just I’m more frustrated with XI than even BTE.


    XI without a doubt!

    I like X a lot less now than I did when it first came out, so whether the same will happen with XI I don’t know. Ask me in 4 years time ;-)


    In terms of script and jokes, only the first half of Twentica shared the same problems as X for me. Otherwise I felt the general writing was considerably better – funnier and more believable. The plots were more imaginative and interesting, the whole thing looked better.
    XI hasn’t been perfect by any means, but there’s been very little that’s made me cringe or feels embarrassed to be watching. X I like, but I definitely get those moments.


    Four years have passed since X and I’ve done all my thinking about it so I’ll probably need the same distance from XI to compare them fairly.

    I will say – there’s nothing in XI which has the ‘shit! It’s back!’ impact of Trojan (had Give & Take been first then that criticism might not have applied), the raucousness of Lemons, the watertight quality and genuine heart of The Beginning or the sheer consistency of the whole of X. I also don’t think XI is quite as tight script or performance wise as X, and XI has an episode and a half that I just don’t enjoy whereas I strongly like all six of X. Further, I also think the lighting, gloss and visual texture of XI on the whole doesn’t work half as well as X’s cosier, more traditionally sitcom look and that’s important to me as well (you just can’t have an audience, cinematic/artful lighting *and* 25p all at the same time – one of the three needs to go). Other elements mark off against XI as well, such as its bad sound mix and half-asleep audience, the ill-advised and ugly cod-Marooned shaky cam on Samsara, the insanely irritating transition shots between every scene with the same two music cues, half the episode endings being jarring, the odd bit of weird/jarring vision-mixing, its counter-intuitive episode sequencing which did genuine damage, and the complete ignoring of two huge story arcs from the previous Dave runs (which feels like an unforgivable selling out of an audience who have been deliberately courted to be invested in what happens next – even the VIII cliffhanger got a gag return which sutured the wound if nothing else, but dumping both the unresolved ‘search for Kochanski’ which they spent SEVEN CONSECUTIVE EPISODES setting up, *and* ‘Lister’s self-betterment’ plots for XI seemed as callous as it did messy).

    All that said, right now I think XI is more interesting, more rewatchable, better crafted, more ambitious, braver, more varied, more confident, something I’m keener to rewatch, and at this exact moment in time preferable to X. It’ll be interesting to see which direction my opinions go in over time, whether up (VIII), down (VI) or surprisingly unchanged (VII/BTE/X). I think that because the majority of XI’s flaws come from genuine, hard-worked efforts coming unstuck, rather than creative neglect or avoidable pre-production problems, it’s much, much easier to forgive them. But if they film another block next year or 2018 I would like them to look closely again at what is and isn’t working, and strip back or rethink any elements which are creating problems. I’d hate for this to be considered a ship-shape, well-oiled Red Dwarf-making machine because I still don’t think it’s there yet – the irony this time being that I think they’re overthinking and over-making it in places rather than the other way around. Not enough instinct and intuition on screen.

    One other point which I think is worth bringing up about XI because it was so surprising – the CGI shots looking better than the model shots. In fact, it hasn’t been commented on enough how solid and industry-standard the digital effects work has been throughout this series. I really didn’t expect XI to end up being an argument for Red Dwarf switching to an all-CGI production again, but if anything the finished model shots have really held the whole thing back visually in all their over-clean, wrong-illusion-of-scale plasticity (is it just me or did X’s look better?). Even the desert crash in Twentica looked like what it was, a plastic toy being pushed across a table. Maybe it’s just a digital/celluloid thing – when not exposed on the gritty magic of physical film and eccentric shutter speeds these things just aren’t holding up. Then again, all the stuff The Model Unit did in the Doctor Who anniversary special (and in unforgiving 3D too) looked *literally real* so maybe it’s just Pete Tyler that they need.

    This post seems more negative than it’s meant to. All the above said, Red Dwarf is still my favourite TV show, so they’re clearly doing more things right than wrong and I’ve loved having XI around. It’s just impossible not to get forensic about it when you’re this personally invested in it and I don’t think any of my criticisms are coming from an unfair place, and when all the big problems come down to being tiny and easily fixable things, it’s all the more frustrating.

    Actually, forget all the above – you know all it actually needs? A couple more industry stalwarts on the production team. I know this is at odds with the commendable nurturing-new-talent passions of the clan Naylor but they need more in the way of grumpy fuckers who already know all the recipes sat there. Look at how the prosthetics improved from X to XI because they did exactly this – they’d do well to employ another veteran or three next time, even if just to advise/mentor all the bright sparks.


    Series X was an odd beast for me, while it’s a mixed bag for me some moments I liked more on rewatch…some I liked much less. However even at the time I felt like I was watching a compromised version of Red Dwarf, and while XI has it’s issues (rushed endings, and digging up old concepts a little too often), this felt far more like the real deal to me.


    X for story, XI for comedy. Maybe.


    >X for story, XI for comedy. Maybe.

    Red Dwarf X has a story, I just thought it had continuing plot threads that they dropped half way through…..and Dear Dave barely even had a self contained story…..it was basically like Only the Good in that it was basically a series of loosely connected skits!


    While I found Krysis to be somewhat uninteresting, the rest of the series had some great stuff in it. Series X, while it had higher highs had lower lows, putting XI ahead of it

    Dollar Pound

    xi > vi, vi > x, therefore…

    Dollar Pound



    I really like both X and XI, but unquestionably I preferred XI to X. I can see what people mean about X feeling more like a unified series, but it doesn’t really bother me that much. For me XI had higher highs, especially in Give &Take, Officer Rimmer and Can of Worms, and didn’t have anything I really disliked, such as Taiwan Tony and the medi-bot (but not the denti-bot), the last third of Entangled and the incredibly boring Rimmer subplot in Dear Dave. XI was more ambitious than X and for me was more consistent in quality.


    Here are my episode scores and series averages for both series X and XI, to really give an idea of how I feel about each. I should note that while some feelings about series X has changed over time, my overall opinions and scores haven’t changed since I first saw it.

    Series X
    Trojan – 3 (really never saw the appeal of this one)
    Fathers And Suns – 6
    Lemons – 7
    Entangled – 7 (I liked this episode, so sue me)
    Dear Dave – 2
    The Beginning – 7
    Average Score = 5.33

    Series XI
    Twentica – 8
    Samsara – 5
    Give and Take – 9
    Officer Rimmer – 7
    Krysis – 6
    Can of Worms – 8
    Average Score = 7.17


    Christ almighty. We’re in the middle of a sixth mass extinction event. Do we need a discussion about the merits of Red Dwarf XI right now?


    >Christ almighty. We’re in the middle of a sixth mass extinction event. Do we need a discussion about the merits of Red Dwarf XI right now?

    Apparently so!

    Dollar Pound

    the eleventh mass extinction event will be better


    I really, really hate that we analyse and critique a sitcom that started 28 years ago.


    >Red Dwarf X has a story, I just thought it had continuing plot threads that they dropped half way through…..and Dear Dave barely even had a self contained story…..it was basically like Only the Good in that it was basically a series of loosely connected skits!

    Yeah but all of X’s episodes have endings, and are not so… similar to previous episodes.


    XI is streets ahead and would be considered a classic series for me if it wasn’t for the poor execution at times in terms of story, editing, repetitive music cues etc.


    So everything then.

    If everything was executed differently or better, it would be good.

    You can’t fix that in the edit.


    *throws down cutlery*

    Are we eating the same stuff?

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