Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions

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  • #232869

    Piplup2003

    The title says it all. What opinions do you have about Red Dwarf that no-one else seems to agree on?

    For me, it’s that VIII is my second favourite series (behind V) and that I prefer Chloë over Claire as Kochanski (this may be partially influenced by the fact that I’ve met Chloë).

    And please, no arguing.

    #232871

    Stephen R. Fletcher

    Series VII is one of my favourite series. I like Ouroboros and Duct Soup. And Nanarchy is one of my favourite episodes. THERE, I said it.

    #232872

    International Debris

    Gunmen of the Apocalypse is an average episode.

    #232874

    Piplup2003

    >Gunmen of the Apocalypse is an average episode.

    I feel like this for the majority of VI if I’m honest.

    #232875

    Taiwan Tony

    Series 1-4 are top tier
    Series 5 is mid tier
    Series 6 is lower mid tier

    Johnny Vegas is shit in everything he has acted in (but is a great stand up).
    Duct Soup is an okay episode. No worse than the rest of VII.

    All IMO, obvs.

    #232877

    quinn_drummer

    I don’t think endings like Officer Rimmer are rushed or cut short. I think they work fine. It’s an odd edit but I don’t lose sleep over it.

    And I largely think most of the Dave era is just as good as the first 36. Only exceptions are Dear Dave for obvious reasons and Timewave for obvious reasons.

    Mechocracy is a bit shit but no worse than some of the mediocre early eps.

    Cured is one of my all time favourite episodes.

    #232878

    Dax101

    Red Dwarf X,XI and XII are abit poop.

    Mechocracy is a weird episode that feels nothing like Red Dwarf

    My possible unpopular opinion.

    #232880

    bloodteller

    my unpopular Red Dwarf opinions are:

    -i really quite like Waiting For God (why do people dislike this one?)

    -i really rather like Series VIII (except for Back In The Red Part 3 and the latter half of Only The Good)

    -Series XII isn’t very good, and i don’t like the constant satire of current events in it. did we really need an episode of Red Dwarf parodying the US election?

    – Dear Dave is okay, i like the vending machine romance plot. it’s very cute

    -Series VI isn’t that great. i mean it’s good, but not anywhere near as good as anything from I-V. Emohawk and Rimmerworld are bad (the latter’s only redeeming feature is the excellent teleporter gag imo)

    #232882

    Piplup2003

    > I really quite like Waiting For God (why do people dislike this one?)

    I don’t know, I love this episode!

    #232883

    GlenTokyo

    Series VII is better than BtE, X, XI and XII for the simple fact it feels more like the Red Dwarf that went before imo.

    The new Starbug is fucking awful, although I appreciate the cockpit looks nice, it’s just not Starbug

    #232885

    Ben Saunders

    Series VII is good, for the most part
    M-Corp is nowhere near as good as people seem to think

    I will say I quite -like- a good chunk of VIII, I won’t argue about it being “good Dwarf”, though

    #232888

    Pete Part Three

    Moving the show to Starbug in Series VI doesn’t actually benefit the show in any way, beyond the opening 10 minutes of Legion. Emohawk and Rimmerworld have such half-arsed second halves that they might as well have had Moe Szyslak hurriedly wrapping things (“And the crew were saved by…let’s say, Kryten”).

    Holly coming back is a shit idea, as Doug hasn’t written anything worthwhile for the character for 30 years.

    The show falls spectacularly on its arse now when it does scenes of character comedy that do not specifically drive the plot forward, whereas up until Series IV, that was one of its greatest strengths.

    Series X looks like they spunked the budget up against a wall. With the exception of the bunkroom, all the sets look crap; especially the much-lauded market in Lemons and the Simulant ship in The Beginning. Trojan is the only episode that’s a notch below good, and the rest are a few drafts beyond being evenpassable. Entangled is horrendous long before the finale, and its scripting problems were clearly evident long before we found out about them on the DVD.

    When the cast say the “show is back to its best”, they don’t have a fucking clue what they’re talking about, as they’ve been pedalling that bullshit since 1999. The Cast commentaries are shite for much the same reason and aren’t worth a second listen.

    Samsara is a load of wank. Skipper aint all that.

    Chris Barrie has been on autopilot since VI.

    Kevin Eldon was wasted in Twentica.

    Most of the Smeg-Ups aren’t remotely funny.

    Give & Take and M-Corp are the only two episodes that convince me that Doug can write Red Dwarf without Rob.

    #232890

    bloodteller

    >M-Corp is nowhere near as good as people seem to think

    i’ll side with this. it started off okay but fell apart completely in the second half. it felt like it was setting up a theme, with the beginning of the episode showing age is catching up to Lister- yet he turns into an old man late on in the episode, and absolutely nothing is done with this idea at all. Kryten buying a virus that shuts M-Corp down is an incredibly lazy solution to the plot, and the ending with Lister losing all his memories of the past 30 years just so they can do that scene from The End again is stupid. i also generally don’t like the idea of social/political commentary in Red Dwarf.

    #232891

    bloodteller

    another unpopular opinion- Rimmer is dreadful in the Dave Era episodes, in terms of both performance and writing. Chris overacts almost every line (SHAKESPEARE, IT’S OVER!!!) and the majority of the time it feels like i’m seeing a pantomime version of the character. coupled with the writing of the Dave era where Rimmer is constantly portrayed as a truly nasty bastard with absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever, he’s a character that becomes genuinely unlikable most of the time. no wonder Cat makes so many jokes about wanting him dead.

    he doesn’t at all feel like the Rimmer from 1-8, where yes he was a bastard, but you liked him. you could relate to his struggles, you could tell he genuinely cared about the crew and there were enough sympathetic moments for him that you actually liked the character.

    #232893

    Dax101

    The Cat has his moments of being way too dumb, whiny and degrading in XI and XII.

    Unpopular opinion.

    #232895

    Bargain Bin Holly

    -I think Series X is legitimately the best series of Red Dwarf

    -Timewave wasn’t that bad

    -Rimmerworld was a shit episode

    -Have your opinions about Doug writing solo; after reading Backwards (the novel), I don’t think Rob going solo would be good either

    -I still think a movie could work

    #232896

    International Debris

    Moving the show to Starbug in Series VI doesn’t actually benefit the show in any way, beyond the opening 10 minutes of Legion.

    Yes. And keeping this as the case for VII as well was a terrible idea.

    Waiting for God is one of the better episodes of the first series.

    Duct Soup isn’t the worst episode in VII.

    The Inquisitor isn’t a particularly funny episode in general.

    Back to Reality, although excellent, is nowhere near the best episode of Red Dwarf.

    #232897

    Bargain Bin Holly

    >he doesn’t at all feel like the Rimmer from 1-8

    That actually kinda works for me lol, since I like to think the Dave-era Rimmer is nano-Rimmer that only has the memories but not the actual emotions of the original Rimmer

    #232899

    Ben Saunders

    >The Inquisitor isn’t a particularly funny episode in general.
    Very strong plot, though, very good science fiction.

    >I think Series X is legitimately the best series of Red Dwarf
    Oof

    Talking of Barrie’s performance, I thought he was -really- on point in parts of XI and XII, but off in a couple too.

    #232901

    Bargain Bin Holly

    I’m a little biased, it was my first series of Red Dwarf, but I always enjoy every episode (even Dear Dave)

    #232903

    GlenTokyo

    Red Dwarf doesn’t need to be funny to be good. Although by that I mean ignore ‘jokes’ altogether and write good sci-fi or character moments and let the comedy come if it comes, don’t shove 10 jokes in because you think you’re missing a woofer.

    #232904

    bloodteller

    really unpopular opinion- the Pete duology isn’t that bad. yes it has some dodgy moments- that awful VFX shot where the dinosaur breaks through the wall, See Ya In 10 Minutes etc. but there are so, so many moments that make me laugh- i especially enjoy when it becomes apparent, after much conversing about the mechanics of airplane toilets, neither Rimmer or Lister have any clue what they’re on about.

    even the really silly gags like “The whole hog? Like it wasn’t hard enough getting the whole cow…” made me laugh, and i don’t mind the episode being about repeated trips to the captain’s office- it’s a funny idea, and it plays out almost like a sci-fi version of A Shot In The Dark. it’s an episode that’s really grown on me over time, and i don’t think it’s the worst episodes of Red Dwarf. i used to, but i think that was just because the general opinion of it was that it was awful.

    #232905

    Piplup2003

    >The Pete duology isn’t that bad.

    Pete is probably one of my favourite episodes.

    #232906

    GlenTokyo

    Pete would move up at least 10 places in my own personal rankings if they’d done the frozen canaries with effects and not li-i-i-i…ive – I get that there’s an audience but we know that there needs to be effect shots. Oh and if the time wand looked less like a rampant rabbit from the 22nd century I’d bump it up another one or two.

    #232907

    clem

    > Chris Barrie has been on autopilot since VI.

    See, “autopilot” suggests he’s phoning it in, whereas I think he tries a bit *too* hard if anything, at least in the Dave era. I can’t tell whether Chris thinks a broader performance is what’s required based on the way Doug writes the character these days, or he’s just… forgotten how to play Rimmer properly. Bit of both probably.

    Based on the Pearl Poll results I agree Waiting for God is very underrated. And Polymorph is very overrated.

    #232908

    GlenTokyo

    Thought Chris was great at times in XII, but that moves segment and Shakespeare bollocks for example was horrendous material to work with. Nobody can do anything with that. It’s like Doug was working on some terrible stand up for an English Literature convention and shoved it in when he ran out of time.

    #232909

    Ben Paddon

    Back to Earth is a lot better than people give it credit for. Beyond that, the single-camera studio-audience free take works very, very well indeed. I think, meta story aside, BTE provides a template for which a single-camera comedy-drama version of Red Dwarf could be like.

    I feel much the same about some of the Xtended versions of VII. Not all of the jokes land, but the show works a lot better without a studio audience than people seem prepared to admit.

    #232911

    Dave

    The original theme and opening sequence used in Series 1 and 2 is miles better than the rock/montage version from III onwards.

    #232913

    Warbofrog

    Parallel Universe is an VIII quality episode and the worst of I-VI by a long way, even if the banter at the start is good.

    I don’t see what’s so amazing about Marooned. Lots of good lines, but I prefer the average Lister-Rimmer interactions in series 1-2.

    Marooned and The Last Day aside, Series III is a bit frivolously zany and needs to calm down. IV was an improvement.

    Possibly in a contradiction, I like the running gags in VI bringing back a jokey tone after peak gloom in V, even if it’s diminishing returns after Legion.

    #232914

    Dax101

    Balance of power is still fairly forgettable to this day.

    The remastered colour grading is actually better then the original.

    Roberts performance as Kryten has been abit off for the last few series.

    I prefer the series 3,4 to 5 bunkroom to the series 1 and 2 version.

    I actually didn’t mind the CGI skutter in BTE.

    #232915

    Plastic Percy

    Back to Reality really doesn’t deserve to be the best episode of all time, at this stage it’s almost entered Doctor Who ‘recieved fan wisdom’ level that its the greatest episode ever

    I really don’t have a problem with Dear Dave. The word doesn’t bother me.

    I think III, for all its whizzbang new changes, actually looks horrible. Kryten’s mask in particular looks dreadful.

    I quite like Kryten’s costume in X. The shoulder hoops in particular give it a very III – V feel, especially now the shoulder pads are part of the main chest piece again.

    #232916

    Ben Saunders

    >Red Dwarf doesn’t need to be funny to be good
    >Back to Earth is a lot better than people give it credit for
    I really don’t have a problem with Dear Dave. The word doesn’t bother me
    Agreed

    >The original theme and opening sequence used in Series 1 and 2 is miles better
    Agreed but the rock theme really does suit III-VIII more. Maybe the old theme would suit X?

    III is a bit wacky and looks like utter shit at points, but it’s still very funny. Kryten looks so sweaty.

    I don’t think Red Dwarf needs an audience. I think the comedy drama angle works. I think they should calm down on the gag rate, Rob and Doug going off to America and learning about one-liners was a mistake.

    #232918

    Bargain Bin Holly

    I think the Series I and II theme fit their respective series but wouldn’t clash well with any other series (minus maybe BTE)

    Since the theme helped convey how depressing the concept was, but after Series II the premise got a bit more peachy (if that’s an appropriate way to describe it)

    #232923

    Katydid

    Backwards is profoundly overrated. Polymorph is an average episode with an exceptional third act. Outside of Marooned (which is basically the best episode of Series II delivered a series late), I’d have to rank Series III in the lower half of the first six, definitely not one of the best. It’s a bit overly silly in many places, clearly very excited to play with its new toys and so hasn’t yet developed the restraint of IV, which far more successfully balanced sci-fi and character comedy.

    #232925

    Jimboid

    Back to Reality is overrated.

    Dear Dave is one of the best episodes of X.

    Cat was at his best in V and VI and has been shit ever since.

    The cast are good performers but aren’t naturally funny people.

    #232926

    Jimboid

    Oh, and they probably should have called it a day in 1993.

    #232940

    Flap Jack

    ‘Dear Dave’, ‘Entangled’ and ‘Can of Worms’ are perfectly decent episodes despite their problematic elements.

    ‘Stoke Me A Clipper’ is outright bad.

    Hayridge’s Holly is easily better and more definitive than Lovett’s Holly overall (actually, this might not be an unpopular opinion at all, but Doug doesn’t seem to agree or realise).

    Kochanski has the potential to be great as a regular character.

    ‘Bodysnatcher’ is nowhere near as good as ‘Me^2’, and as far as unmade episodes go, I feel we lost more for not getting ‘Identity Within’.

    The phrase “THE END? THE SMEG IT IS.” (along with most other instances of over-reliance on “smeg”) doesn’t actively annoy me, outside of it being an unresolved cliffhanger.

    The 2 Grant/Naylor novels are just OK.

    ‘The Last Day’ is the best episode of Red Dwarf ever.

    #232942

    GlenTokyo

    White Hole puts Hayridge over Lovett for me. She’s got range, and gave them far more options but they just didn’t use them. Norman has some classic lines don’t get me wrong, and Queeg but he’s playing himself really, I think Hattie could have done Queeg well, but I don’t think Norman would have been as good in White Hole and Demons & Angels. It’s a shame she’s sort of an outsider.

    #232948

    bloodteller

    possibly unpopular opinion- the show really ought to end soon. just have an episode where they finally get back to Earth and be done with it. Red Dwarf is one of my favourite shows, and i don’t really want to see it last forever and progressively get worse as it goes, like the Simpsons.

    i wouldn’t really want to see Red Dwarf continue past XIII, imo. honestly, it could have ended after X and i would’ve been fine with that.

    #232949

    Flap Jack

    I don’t think there’s any real chance of that happening. The Simpsons’ longevity is due to:

    (A) It being a global mega-franchise, so merchandise and syndication sales are too great to want to stop – not true of Red Dwarf.

    (B) The actors only being needed for voice work, so it’s easier to get them to record 20+ episodes per year: no need for costumes, lighting, lengthy rehearsals, live audiences, getting all of them on set at the same time etc. – not true of Red Dwarf.

    (C) The writing/direction being shared by dozens of staff rather than forever tied to 1 or 2 people with a specific personal connection to the show – not true of Red Dwarf.

    I wouldn’t want RD to overstay its welcome either, but limiting it to just 1 more series seems too soon. It’s got more potential life in it than that!

    #232950

    Dave

    Hmmm, this may be an unpopular opinion in itself but I think I’d prefer it if the show never had a ‘final’ episode in that sense. The whole setup is so nihilistic and laced with the inevitability of loneliness and eventual death that I can’t imagine an ending feeling true to that while still being satisfying and enjoyable.

    I prefer an ending like Skipper, with a certain acknowledgement that the situation of all these characters is hopeless and unchanging, that they’re stuck with each other, but which leaves them still out there, three million years in the future, chugging along without ever reaching the end.

    #232951

    Ben Saunders

    Given that Red Dwarf has been getting -better- in recent years (in my opinion), I see no real reason for them to pack it in just yet. As long as it’s good I’ll welcome it.

    #232953

    bloodteller

    >Hmmm, this may be an unpopular opinion in itself but I think I’d prefer it if the show never had a ‘final’ episode in that sense. The whole setup is so nihilistic and laced with the inevitability of loneliness and eventual death that I can’t imagine an ending feeling true to that while still being satisfying and enjoyable.

    the originally planned finale for VIII called “Earth” would’ve been a fitting ending, i thought. The crew finally getting the ship back to Earth to discover the human race miraculously survived that whole time, only to wipe out the entire planet as they land- there’s quite a nice bit of irony to that, and it probably would’ve been really a really funny and epic way to go out.

    The Beginning was also a fitting ending, imo. the final line being “the slime’s coming home” as they head back to the ship felt like quite a nice way to end it all- it’s as if the ship itself has become home for them.

    #232955

    cwickham

    I thought the ending of “Earth” was meant to involve the race human beings had evolved into.

    If VIII had ended with “Earth”, might Doug have considered the matter closed? Would he have never even tried to get Series IX off the ground? When UKTV came asking, would he have declined? Whatever the failings of The Beginning, Skipper or even Back to Earth, they’re still better ways to go out than Series VIII.

    #232956

    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    Last Human is better than Backwards.

    #232958

    Katydid

    Red Dwarf doesn’t need to be funny to be good. It just needs clever science fiction and good characters, and jokes can spring naturally from the story where appropriate. An episode like The Inquisitor is absolutely brilliant and one of the best ever despite not being close to the funniest episode even in its own series.

    I also don’t dislike a single episode of VII. That’s not to say it isn’t among the weakest series, but there’s no episode in it that feels like a boring, unwatchable slog to sit through the way the majority of VIII does. I don’t tend to go back to VII, but I don’t sigh in frustration when it comes next on a complete run-through.

    My unpopular opinion about VIII is that Cassandra is an unfunny, sloppily plotted rehash of Future Echoes that spunks its only interesting new idea (invulnerability by fate) in favor of more sex jokes and perving.

    #232959

    International Debris

    If VIII had ended with “Earth”, might Doug have considered the matter closed?

    Given that he spoke in early-’00s interviews about handing over the series to other writers and just focusing on the reboot films, it definitely seems that he was done with the TV version at the time.

    #232960

    Dax101

    Doug wanted to close the show off after series 8 so they could jump onto movies. its just they didn’t have the budget to pull off the “earth” ending they wanted to do. so Blessing in disguise? not sure.

    Then again Doug may still have made Red Dwarf X by continuing in some sci-fi parallel universe idea. after all its not like Doug has shown all that much care about the ending to Series 8.

    #232962

    Hamish

    I am okay with the Blue Midget dance.

    Gary Martin is not annoying as Epideme.

    Series VII gets better towards the end after Rimmer leaves, in spite of the fact I still do not like Kochanski as a main character.

    Series V is the weakest of the first six series.

    Kryten’s costume in V is shit.

    X is better than XI and XII.

    #232966

    clem

    Kryten’s whininess and jealousy of Kochanski in VII don’t bother me at all. In fact I think quite a lot of funny stuff comes out of it.

    #232967

    GlenTokyo

    Red Dwarf is too precious to end. There’s so much shite on TV now, even this version of Red Dwarf which is a bit of a diet version is still vastly superior (mostly) than many alternatives. Even though Doug doesnae give 2 shits about the universe he created with Rob when it comes to continuity, it’s actually a really interesting one, maybe have a series where there’s an arc over the entire thing, like the xindi series of Enterprise. Try something different, maybe introduce some new characters that aren’t Dave sitcom characters that could be translated easily into Zzaped or whatever it’s called, or an episode of My Hero haha.. if it’s successful get a spin-off going. Maybe they get a signal about the fate of a human colony and they hunt for it, meeting some challenges, an asteroid belt, some none comedy simulants, Gelfs that aren’t inexplicably called Garbage Gobblers.

    #232968

    bloodteller

    >X is better than XI and XII.

    i agree with this, i liked X much more than XI/XII.

    >Red Dwarf is too precious to end.

    i feel the opposite honestly- it’s too precious not to end. i’ve been watching these characters for most of my life, at the end of it all i do want to see them succeed and finally get back to Earth. i don’t feel like i’d be happy if the last ever episode was just them continuing to be stuck in space forever and ever and ever, unless it was done like the Backwards novel, where Lister realises he belongs with Kryten and Rimmer and Cat-they’re his family, and Red Dwarf is his home. because that was really quite a fantastic ending, i thought.

    #232972

    flanl3

    Getting back to earth and there being any people there (and earth being real, of course) as a series finale would be worse than any bad episode.

    #232974

    GlenTokyo

    By too precious to end, obviously it will end in it’s current form – Robert the poor sod is almost a pensioner and at some point it’s just cruel to keep making him wear the Kryten costume, I just hope it doesn’t end full stop. The seam is still there to be mined with Red Dwarf, lots of unexplored avenues, different media, Red Dwarf Extended Universe sort of cross over business would be great. Old man Cat telling us the story of the cat race would be amazing with a budget.

    #232975

    besbvesdy

    Krytie TV is my favourite episode of 8

    Dear Dave is my favourite episode of 10

    They’ve both got problematic bits for sure but the show is riddled with them, and for that matter so are most people. The difference with Timewave is that it’s a shit episode in the first place with some genuine ugliness thrown in to make it worse

    Never understood why Waiting For God gets so slated – great episode among great episodes

    #232976

    bloodteller

    >Krytie TV is my favourite episode of 8

    i prefer Cassandra myself, but i do also think Krytie TV is a great episode. all the elements established at the beginning tie up in a funny and interesting way- the appeal, ackerman’s date, kryten’s tv station, they all come together at the end of the episode and i really liked that. most XI/XII episodes didn’t have that- they ended with a lot of plot threads left hanging, stuff that was completely unexplored, unsatisfing endings.

    it’s also just a really funny episode. “A breakup is very much like a bereavement…it’s usually followed by a cremation and some sandwiches” was a particularly funny line i thought, but the whole episode is filled with stuff that makes me laugh anyway so it’s hard to pick.

    #232978

    Hamish

    > all the elements established at the beginning tie up in a funny and interesting way … they all come together at the end of the episode and i really liked that.

    Strangely enough that is the exact reason why Cured is my favourite episode from XII, even though Krytie TV itself was placed as my second worst episode in the Pearl Poll.

    #232980

    bloodteller

    opinion- Cured would have been approximately 996% funnier if they’d used Toto’s Africa in the jamming scene as originally intended, rather than The Happy Wanderer. would’ve just made for a much more amusing scene, imo.

    #232982

    Ben Saunders

    >A breakup is very much like a bereavement…it’s usually followed by a cremation and some sandwiches
    Wrong thread but what the fuck do you cremate after a breakup? Pictures? What do sandwiches have to do with it? What the fuck does this line mean?

    #232983

    bloodteller

    the joke is that Holly is talking bollocks, no? the line starts off as if it’s going to be some sort of actual analogy on the similarities between breakups and bereavements…only for Holly to make a remark that is utter nonsense and shows that the two aren’t at all alike. lister calls him out on this “You haven’t got a clue what you’re on about, have you?”

    #232985

    MANI506

    I think Epideme is an excellent episode and the line about coat hangers is a great Cat gag.

    #232988

    Pete Part Three

    >What the fuck does this line mean?

    It’s a shittier version of the Olivia Newton-John line from Stasis Leak.

    #232989

    Hamish

    Which was already a fairly shit line anyway, if only because it is not really funny if you do not know who Olivia Newton John is.

    #232995

    bloodteller

    >I think Epideme is an excellent episode and the line about coat hangers is a great Cat gag.

    i don’t think Epideme is excellent (it’s not bad though) but yeah, that is a good line. in general i think Cat gets the funniest lines in VII

    #233000

    PFMC84

    Most of VIII was rather meh. Anything after VIII has been mainly rubbish. BTE was shite. X had a strong start with Trojan and the rest, bar The Beginning, was crap. XI was OK in parts but mainly awful. Same with XII. The acting/characterisation is all over the shop, the plots are weak, the jokes are bad, Doug is destroying the show by being the only one in charge and has lots of yes men at the production company who will let him do whatever he wants. But hey, it wins the odd comedy award so lets just keep flogging this dead horse another few years, eh?

    Having said all that, I’ll still watch any new episodes. Perhaps that’s the problem…?

    #233003

    besbvesdy

    i think you might be looking for the ‘things everyone agrees about’ thread

    #233004

    Ben Saunders

    Epideme would probably be an excellent episode if the virus itself didn’t make me feel like I was physically ill

    #233007

    International Debris

    That’s generally what viruses do.

    #233008

    Toxteth O-Grady

    The BTE bunkroom looked way better than the X/XI/XII bunkroom.

    #233009

    bloodteller

    >The acting/characterisation is all over the shop, the plots are weak, the jokes are bad

    i agree with this to be honest. i’m really not a fan of the Dave era, and at least for me the majority of the new episodes simply aren’t very funny. and i do think Red Dwarf needs to be funny to be good- the humour has always been a key part of the show for me. so it definitely feels rather disappointing when a show that, for the first 8 series was consistently funny and made me laugh in every episode, has turned into a show where i can go through a whole episode and not laugh at all.

    to go from brilliant stuff like “They’re tying ’em to the stake…it’s Winnie The Pooh!” to “SpitOnHerWrist” is a pretty fucking steep step down.

    #233011

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Unpopular opinion: I think this thread has more popular opinions than unpopular ones

    #233018

    Ben Saunders

    >That’s generally what viruses do.
    That’s what I was going for, you see

    #233019

    Flap Jack

    Series VIII is better and funnier than Series VII, and is truer to the spirit of Red Dwarf, which is meant to be a TV sitcom, not a cinematic comedy-drama.

    I don’t actually hold this opinion, by the way. I just figured I’d save John the trouble of posting it.

    #233024

    Dave

    My unpopular opinion is that Chris Barrie doesn’t actually play Rimmer, it’s been another actor all along. You wouldn’t believe how unpopular this opinion is, which obviously makes it really interesting and valuable.

    #233027

    Taiwan Tony

    Feels good to get it off your chest though, doesn’t it.

    #233030

    Ben Saunders

    Good, Flap Jack, because otherwise I’d have to fight you

    #233033

    Pete Part Three

    Series VII isn’t comedy drama. The gag quotient is just as regular as most of the earlier series, they just don’t land as often and there’s no studio audience to bounce off.

    Absolutely no Red Dwarf story has benefited from being longer than 29 minutes, and even the recent ones which people said “could have done with another 10 minutes”, would have just had 10 extra minutes of padding.

    None of the space corps directives are funny, and should be put out to pasture along with jokes about Cat thinking more about his clothes than his health, remarks about the long list of Rimmer’s negative attributes, and shitty old similes.

    Hogey the Roguey was crap.

    99% of the original strips in the Smegazine were rubbish.

    Tongue Tied is crap, is shoe-horned into an episode to which it has no relevance, and is utterly bizarre to watch with someone who’s never seen the episode before.

    #233037

    Dave

    When my daughter started watching Red Dwarf about a year ago she loved Tongue Tied, and probably asks to watch that bit more than any other.

    Maybe you have to see it when you’re young to like it.

    #233039

    Pete Part Three

    First future echo:
    the mirror I stare into
    shows my father’s face.

    #233040

    Dave

    I’m not personally a huge fan of Tongue Tied, especially these days, although I think it has its moments.

    It’s actually been interesting how different we are in terms of the bits she finds funny. Cat is the absolute standout character of the show for her by miles.

    (Thanks for introducing me to that haiku though, I like it.)

    #233042

    bloodteller

    >None of the space corps directives are funny

    i liked the one in White Hole where Rimmer goes “Yes, but Rimmer Directive 435 states just as clearly- No chance, you metal bastard”. but outside of that they weren’t at all funny, imo. especially in VI where the exact same gag of Rimmer getting it wrong and Kryten correcting him is repeated ad nauseum- it’s just crap, and it’s the same thing repeated with almost no change to it.

    same goes for Cat’s “We’re deader than [clothing item” gags, they can fuck off too.

    #233043

    Ben Saunders

    Deader than tank tops is the only one that lands for me, but I do find that particular one absolutely fucking hilarious and one of my all-time favourite Cat lines, alongside the two-month waiting list for birds to appear every time he is near. The fact that the other deader-than lines are shit doesn’t mar the good one, imo.

    #233044

    Warbofrog

    I like them, but both running gags peak early in Legion (“oral sex in zero gravity” and tank tops followed up with the enjoyably specific “A-line flares with pockets in the knees”). That whole Legion opening is just so good (space weevil/raw carrot, verrucas/mint imperial, Thursday with an F, blue alert, including Welsh/sorry bye sorry, and my personal favourite, stop your blathering and get in the damn tube).

    #233045

    GlenTokyo

    Lemons is fucking awful despite Jeff Lynne doing well to get a Middle Eastern market set halfway to convincing with budget restraints.

    The Dave episodes have only had one good guest character, Pree, the rest are at best pretty forgettable even though they’ve managed to get a couple of well respected guest actors on board, and no I haven’t forgotten Mark Dexter. I just don’t get why everyone raves about his performance.

    Robert’s issues with remembering lines needs to be accounted for because it’s affecting the quality of the shows. Whenever he gives a techno babble speech, it always sounds like he’s panicked or like he’s reading it off something he can’t quite see.

    #233046

    flanl3

    The space corps directives not being particularly funny is another thing wrong with Timewave.

    Is that unpopular? Probably not.

    But it might be unpopular for me to say that Timewave is the only bad episode of Red Dwarf.

    #233047

    curtis

    Backwards is better than Last Human.

    Danny John-Jules is the most consistent performer and the best thing about the Dave era.

    Continuity does matter

    Mr Rat is probably the show’s funniest moment full stop

    Hard light made Rimmer less interesting.

    #233050

    Pete Part Three

    >i liked the one in White Hole where Rimmer goes “Yes, but Rimmer Directive 435 states just as clearly- No chance, you metal bastard”.

    Yes, nothing wrong with the one and only Rimmer directive. But after Quarantine, they should have done one joke of Rimmer getting it wrong, being corrected by Kryten….AND THEN STOPPED FOREVER.

    The fact that they’re so interchangeable and, unless you’re a Red Dwarf mastermind, you’d have no idea which one is from which episode, makes me think that Rob and Doug just got together at the beginning of the series and rattled out a bunch of them and then picked them out of a pot as they wrote each episode.

    #233051

    Piplup2003

    >the one and only Rimmer directive

    What about the Rimmer Directive that clearly states Never tangle with something that has more teeth than the entire Osmond Family?

    #233053

    bloodteller

    >Pete is probably one of my favourite episodes.

    not trying to be a dick or anything, but why? i mean, i don’t dislike Pete myself- it’s a very funny set of episodes and there’s always something in every scene that makes me laugh- but i wouldn’t be putting it in my Top 10 or anything.

    #233071

    Ben Saunders

    >Lemons is fucking awful
    Thank you

    #233074

    bloodteller

    i liked the bit in Lemons with the fruit merchant- “this one here? is it famous?” and “you walked halfway across the known world…for eight lemons.” but the episode just kind of falls apart after Jesus shows up.

    #233076

    bloodteller

    i suppose him being amazed by bags and other relatively simple things that we take for granted in the modern world was rather funny-but that bit where he goes back and takes the piss out of the Ten Commandments is just dire. it’s not clever or original and it’s not funny. lots of comedians have done routines on religion before that were actually comedic and this wasn’t one of them.

    #233079

    GlenTokyo

    The thing about those jokes is, while amusing, are standard sitcom jokes not really Red Dwarf jokes. If those jokes were in an episode of Not Going Out they wouldn’t be out of place, that’s not to cast aspersions on Not Going Out, it’s not necessarily my thing but I’m sure it’s fine, but I feel like Red Dwarf and Not Going Out shouldn’t have interchangeable lines. I feel like Doug doesn’t want to write a sci-fi show, he wants to write jokes and satire and more traditional sitcom setups and I’m not so keen on that, and his satire is a bit World According to Clarkson occasionally unfortunately.

    I feel like he needs what him and Rob were when they went to America, he needs a wave of negativity because I think he’s surrounded by the equivalent of the fake laughing executive types.

    #233080

    quinn_drummer

    I really like Lemon’s for what (few IMO) faults it has. I really like the twist that it isn’t actually Jesus … in fact first time seeing that made up for the fact the biggest gag, Lister “jesus!” Jesus “Yes?” was given away in trailers.

    The one area I think it falls down a little is bringing Jesus back to Red Dwarf. I know it’s somewhat necessary for him to see a bit of the future, find out about Christianity etc … but with a little creativity they could have done that with the crew still stuck in the past.

    The kidney stone operation is funny up to a point but definitely the weakest bit IMO, and once you remember it isn’t actually Jesus, just seems a bit silly. Especially as there are less intrusive ways to remove kidney stones even now, you’d think in the future they’d have advanced a little on that front

    But overall I like it. That’s my 2 cents.

    For another actually unpopular opinion. I think Kryten’s costume (Series 2 aside) progressively gets worse as the series goes on. I prefer the really industrial, advanced yet a bit scrap heap look of series 3. As they try to make it look better, (and especially once they hit series 7) it starts to look cheap and more like a man in a cosply robot costume of Kryten then it looks like Kryten.

    And whilst we’re on costumes, I said higher up I think Siliconia is shit. They definitely shouldn’t have made that episode unless they could suit up enough people in enough proper outfits, and not black underalls with a mask and a chest piece etc

    Imagine Camille but with future Mrs Bobby in a similar suit. It wouldn’t have worked.

    #233081

    Bargain Bin Holly

    I say we all go on Twitter and cyberbully Doug so he can write better episodes

    #233085

    GlenTokyo

    He needs a writer that knows the show to say no occasionally, not bullying, but if you think taking the piss because his hair’s nearly completely fucked off will get us another Back to Reality then maybe it’s worth a try haha

    #233087

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Its a risk I’m willing to take

    #233090

    Ben Saunders

    Jesus himself was utterly shit, which I think qualifies as an unpopular opinion given what I’ve read here. And the whole IKEA flatpack time machine thing felt a bit obvious and silly. The whole episode felt a bit obvious and silly. Walking the incredibly long distance they did just to realise they need something from back where they came is pretty funny, the set is quite impressive, etc, but most of the jokes are a bit eh. I’d rather re-watch Dear Dave.

    #233091

    Ben Saunders

    There are a few “traditional sitcom jokes” (read: lazy jokes) in Dave Dwarf, yeah. Smaller than the salad section in a Scottish supermarket may have some nice alliteration to it, but it’s the kind of joke you’d expect from post-Boyle Mock the Week, not Red Dwarf.

    #233092

    Flap Jack

    OK, I may have another one:

    The Red Dwarf interior in Series X is the best it’s ever looked.

    #233093

    Dax101

    >I feel like Doug doesn’t want to write a sci-fi show, he wants to write jokes and satire and more traditional sitcom setups and I’m not so keen on that, and his satire is a bit World According to Clarkson occasionally unfortunately.

    Doug likes to do doing more Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy style sci-fi these days.

    The Dwarfers meeting the Universe for example feels wrong in my opinion. it abit too close to being God.

    Storylines wise Doug does come up with interesting ideas but they come out as abit messy for some reason.

    #233094

    quinn_drummer

    The best that particular interior has looked or the best interior they series has ever had?

    I’ve said this before, but I’m not a fan of the updated techy feel to the RD interior. It’s a big bulky mining ship, it should feel more like an industrial submarine or a oil rig, not a fancy futuristic space ship. Starbug suffers from this more then the Dwarf does too (well the cockpit anyway). The medical/science bay in the last series is just far too Star Trek for my liking for example.

    However, I think the sets for the last 3 series look best in series X, though that is mostly down to the lighting and the lack of ruddy great big bunk numbers painted on the walls … out of no-where. WHY?

    #233095

    Dax101

    The Driveroom in Series X was shit. it looks like a Cockpit that they didn’t do a good enough job hiding.

    Krytens Costume in X and XII is also Shit. not very flattering on Robert and looks cheap

    #233097

    GlenTokyo

    I thought the boilersuit and chestplate mechs of Siliconia looked better than Kryten did to be honest. Robert needs less costume because the costume makes him look like like he’s a XXXL and he’s probably an L. The cyberman legs have got to go. I think a series V esque redesign could be more flattering.

    #233099

    Flap Jack

    The best that particular interior has looked or the best interior they series has ever had?

    The best the collection of Interior sets for Red Dwarf has looked overall.

    I don’t mind the more Star Trek-esque aesthetics of certain sets or series – mining or no, it IS a giant, high-tech, futuristic spaceship with a lot of varied facilities – but I just really like the red/orange colour scheme of X in particular.

    #233100

    bloodteller

    >The Driveroom in Series X was shit. it looks like a Cockpit that they didn’t do a good enough job hiding.

    i didn’t mind it- technology is advanced enough now that you have these tiny portable phones that you can do all kinds of assorted stuff with. it seems reasonable enough that you could control a big mining ship with a very small room.

    #233103

    International Debris

    Hard light made Rimmer less interesting.

    I’d agree if they’d done anything interesting with him as a hologram since Bodyswap, but other than a couple of light bee jokes his character might as well be human by the time Legion comes along.

    Series VII isn’t comedy drama. The gag quotient is just as regular as most of the earlier series, they just don’t land as often and there’s no studio audience to bounce off.

    Agreed. I think at some point somebody must have mentioned it moved in a ‘slightly more dramatic direction’ – which I’d say is true, overall it feels less overtly sitcommy and it does have a few scenes that are played completely straight – and then that got turned into ‘it’s a comedy drama’ through Chinese Whiskers. It’s still very much a comedy throughout, just with different production values.

    I enjoyed the running gags when I was a kid, but these days they feel really cheap. I can almost forgive the Space Corps Directives though, because I absolutely love the Timewave line.

    Ok, here’s an unpopular one for sure: Timewave is a funny episode. The plot is shit, there are several problematic elements, some of the performances are terrible, but there are a lot of very funny jokes. It makes me laugh loads more than Cured and Twentica for a start.

    #233104

    flanl3

    …there were funny jokes in Timewave?

    #233105

    bloodteller

    …there were jokes in Timewave?

    #233106

    Dave

    …there was Timewave?

    #233111

    Dax101

    …Timewave?

    #233112

    quinn_drummer

    > I enjoyed the running gags when I was a kid, but these days they feel really cheap. I can almost forgive the Space Corps Directives though

    I see the Space Corps running gags as a character development of Rimmer’s. He gets the Space Corp Directive book in Quarantine, he studies it, becomes obsessed with it and tries to fold it into his “acting captain head of the crew” position he have sort of made for himself. Problem with Rimmer though is that he is crap, and as much as he may study them, and sort of remember what some of them are, he has no fucking clue really and so he tries to use this new found knowledge and just fucks it up time and time again.

    It is one of the running gags that actually makes in universe character sense.

    The others are literally just repeating the same old joke for no real reason other than the laugh.

    Even Cat’s disdain for Rimmer to the point he’d like to ditch him leave him behind, which is a character trait, would be funnier if it was done once. The more it happens the less affect it has because its just the same joke.

    At least the space corps directive jokes allow for some funny and utterly ridiculous directives.

    What DOES bother me however, why are things like parking spaces right next to POW rules?

    #233114

    Ben Saunders

    One of the things I noticed about VII when I re-watched it is the apparent sudden re-emphasis on character after the action-heavy VI. Kennedy dying, Rimmer leaving, Kryten thinking he’s being replaced etc are all touching, character-heavy moments. Coupled with the lack of laughter and the film effect, and the fact that literally nothing at all happens in Blue, it does feel more like comedy drama and/or mindless action than what immediately preceded it.

    #233115

    Ben Saunders

    Oops, that should read “less like mindless action”, obviously. Not that VI is mindless.

    #233116

    Dax101

    Jokes about the cats distain for Rimmer are something that’s been happening since series 1. But I agree that they shouldn’t become a regular habit in 1 series alone.

    #233117

    Ben Saunders

    “Timewave… [has some] very funny jokes… I laugh(ed) loads more than Cured and Twentica….”
    Absolutely. Cat being hostile to Johnny Vegas and completely oblivious to why he shouldn’t be was very funny. Captain Asshole made me snigger, and I have to say I find the droopy titties line a real rib ticker. Sorry, everyone.

    #233118

    Dax101

    or *disdain even.

    #233120

    quinn_drummer

    His disdain for him I’ll allow, that is part of his character. It’s the jokes about leaving him behind, letting him die etc are over done and lose something each time a new one is rolled out

    #233122

    bloodteller

    “Quick, let’s get outta here before they bring him back!” was funny because it’s a subversion of the typical reaction you’d have to someone being kidnapped, it’s a good character joke as it fits into the crew’s dislike for Rimmer, and generally the structure and delivery of the gag is excellent.

    after that, they haven’t been funny. and when Cat rolls out 4 of them in one episode in Timewave, you’re just internally thinking “shut the fuck up already!”

    #233126

    International Debris

    I like those jokes, but I agree they should be few and far between. I wouldn’t mind any of the running jokes if they turned up once or twice a series and were instead spread out over a longer period of time. Timewave is a particularly bad one for Cat wanting to leave Rimmer to die.

    …there were funny jokes in Timewave?

    Next time I watch it, I’ll make a list.

    #233131

    Ben Saunders

    “We’re all deeply sorry, bud. Apart from me and him and him” is classic too, if overplayed in the trailers

    #233135

    Flap Jack

    I suppose it’s inevitable that an ‘Unpopular Opinion’ thread would ultimately lead to “Timewave is good, actually.” but… sorry, I… seriously though?

    Really we could close the thread at this point, but I would like to at least see if anyone’s going to come out as a fan of Pete Part 2.

    #233137

    Piplup2003

    I honestly didn’t realise how much hate the fandom has for Timewave.

    #233139

    bloodteller

    > I would like to at least see if anyone’s going to come out as a fan of Pete Part 2.

    i don’t think it’s a great episode, but i don’t really think it’s bad either- it’s rather funny; the delayed fight sequence, “we’re not going in ’til we know what we’re doing.” “…that could take years…”, “dinosaur bowel movement frequency tables” and “you’re finished/bye” were particular highlights of it. i definitely wouldn’t call it an amazing episode, but i think it’s at least good. i couldn’t really hate a Red Dwarf episode that makes me laugh so much. the “see you in 10 minutes” bit is shit though, i can’t defend that. why does that scene exist?

    imo, Back In The Red Part 3 is the only VIII episode i’d consider to be bad. 8 minutes of bloody recap, dennis the donut boy, irrelevant claymation sequence, conehead Holly were particular disappointments.

    #233142

    International Debris

    I still don’t think Timewave is good – the bad elements outweigh the good – but there are plenty of jokes that make me laugh in there, which is why I rate it above, say, all of VIII.

    #233151

    GlenTokyo

    Timewave made me actually angry and should be deleted from history, though for my relationship with Red Dwarf it wasn’t as bad generally as the double whammy of Krysis and Can of Worms which made me not touch anything Red Dwarf related for months and had me questioning whether Red Dwarf was ever going to be worth watching again.

    #233153

    bloodteller

    Timewave made me feel sad :(

    #233156

    Dax101

    I have only watched Timewave once and sadly I still remember parts of it.

    Once the pink policeman started rubbing his nipples I felt a little part of me die.

    #233157

    flanl3

    …there were funny jokes in Timewave?

    Next time I watch it, I’ll make a list.

    Don’t bother, I’ll do it for you right here in this very post.

    #233158

    flanl3

    I honestly didn’t realise how much hate the fandom has for Timewave.

    Oh, don’t worry, there are all sorts of pro-Timewave groups on Facebook and Reddit. Although even they were at least mildly disappointed.

    #233159

    flanl3

    I honestly think most of the people saying “Red Dwarf ought to be done soon” are just tired of XII being, like, 60% recycled material. If it had been more original, even if less good, I doubt as many of you would be on about “don’t give it more than a couple new series”.

    #233160

    Hamish

    > Krytens Costume in X and XII is also Shit. not very flattering on Robert and looks cheap

    The one in XI however must be excellent.

    #233162

    Bargain Bin Holly

    tbh, I re-watched Timewave since my first viewing and I quite enjoyed it really.

    Sure, some of the jokes don’t land like the spit of the wrist or the save planet Rimmer ones, but others I found to be pretty humorous.

    The lieutenant asshole, the kryten shut up, Chris Barrie’s performance as Rimmer’s Inner Critic, I think Ziggy and the Crit Cop are well-acted with the material they have and they put good effort in.

    The sets might look ridiculous but they are supposed to, the lighting is the best for the two series in my honest opinion. Watching too many XI and XII episodes hurts my eyes after a while due to the blue lighting they have; but the lighting they have on the criticism ship is a nice breather. When the crew are walking through Red Dwarf’s corridors there are always the fans that give off these green reflections; none on other ship. I like the set design, nice costumes all around, none of the characters make me really cringe. The scene on Planet Rimmer looked really good too, the flag and the spacesuits, nice touch.

    If I voted on the Pearl Poll I’d have ranked Timewave a good mid-40s spot. I disliked Cured more; but really I don’t hate any Red Dwarf episode minus maybe Duct Soup which bores me to death.

    Series XIII I hope they do more drama, yeah, but XI and XII had good moments of comedy in-between what I feel are BTE which was drama-centric and X which had an undercurrent of melancholy I can’t describe well. So XIII being similar to that would make XI and XII good for me watching the whole series again just to lift the weight off me.

    #233165

    Pete Part Three

    >Chris Barrie’s performance as Rimmer’s Inner Critic

    This is just a rehash, both in voice and character. The only new thing is the make-up.

    #233170

    GlenTokyo

    >This is just a rehash, both in voice and character. The only new thing is the make-up.

    And a Psi-moon is so much more interesting than a sci-fi contraption that pulls a little version of you dressed as Blofeld out and puts it in a bell jar.

    #233188

    International Debris

    Yes, the ‘science’ behind the critic remover thing is really fucking bollocks. “We’ll make criticism illegal, and also invent a machine that turns an abstract concept in people’s minds into a small person”.

    #233189

    Ben Saunders

    You have to have the same issue with self-loathing, confidence and paranoia, surely

    #233204

    flanl3

    No, at least the explanations for those either make some sense or are interesting enough of concepts to forgive

    #233250

    bloodteller

    i think complaints about the “science” are a bit bollocks, really. red dwarf has had lots of concepts that don’t at all make sense-Backwards World, the Triplicator, the Matter Paddle, the Mirror Universe etc. are all basically magic explained with some brief technobabble, no? and even with the technobabble they sometimes still don’t make sense- the Matter Paddle transports you at the speed of light, they then instantly proceed to go to a planet 200,000 light years away and yet it doesn’t take them 200,000 years to get there.

    that said, the Critiscism Extractor isn’t explored at all in any way and it’s a bit daft and nothing funny comes of it anyway, so it’s still worse. at least all the other stuff was used for good laughs or an interesting exploration of the idea. what’s done with the Critiscism Extractor? turns Rimmer into Bloefeld and they have a bit of a tiff which winds up having no real relevance to the plot.

    #233252

    Lily

    I liked Can of Worms and really don’t know why people hate it so much.

    #233253

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Can of Worms was a fine episode, nothing particularly wrong with it

    #233263

    Dax101

    Its an episode that reminds you why you shouldn’t make a cat episode. If degrading the cat to an insecure Duane Dibbley-esk dumbass is the only way to do it then it might be worth being left alone.

    Although thats probably just my unpopular opinion.

    #233265

    Pete Part Three

    I have a list as long as my arm with things that are wrong with it, but there are a couple of bits that I really like.

    #233271

    International Debris

    I tend to be fine with the nonsense science normally explored, but the criticism extractor is both a bit too nonsensical (why a person?) and also, my real issue, is why it exists at all. It must have come along after the ship decided to outlaw criticism, which means that it was made by people on that ship – difficult to accept without the fact that the ship was run incompetently. Plus, if you could extract people’s inner critic, why not just do that instead of making a law against it? It’s just really lazy plotting – taking a human social concept as the basis of 20 minutes of plot and then just going “oh yeah there’s a sci-fi machine that does that too”.

    #233272

    Dax101

    >i think complaints about the “science” are a bit bollocks, really. red dwarf has had lots of concepts that don’t at all make sense-Backwards World

    Well there were articles going round back in 2016 that said “Scientists Propose a ‘Mirror Universe’ Where Time Moves Backwards”

    https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-propose-a-mirror-universe-where-time-moves-backwards

    Now whether or not thats bollocks or not i’l be shocked if i ever hear scientists feel we can have our inner critic removed and shrunk down into a jar ;p

    #233275

    Bargain Bin Holly
    #233276

    Ben Saunders

    Well if they just used the criticism extractor on everybody you’d end up with a load of little critics running around which you’d need to look after, imprison or kill, which has moral implications, on top of the moral implications of basically lobotomising people who call you names

    #233365

    Hamish

    The things is, despite all of the problems mentioned, there is actually a motive behind the creation of the criticism extractor. I am still more baffled with why anyone would ever go to the trouble of creating a psi moon to be honest. What purpose does it serve other than as an admittedly interesting way to explore Rimmer’s personality?

    #233367

    Warbofrog

    Instant psychic terraforming is incredibly labour-saving. If it’s set up to only mentally link with the first person who comes along (it only seemed to be using Rimmer’s mind), you could send down your expert who’s mentally prepared and create a paradise or whatever you need. Assuming you need ironic personifications of your personality traits.

    There’s a precedent in sci-fi with the worldscapers in Roger Zelazny’s 1969 book Isle of the Dead, maybe others.

    #233375

    International Debris

    I am still more baffled with why anyone would ever go to the trouble of creating a psi moon to be honest.

    Because rich people would pay for it. The ultimate leisure experience: going to live in your own personalised paradise. Bear in mind that Rimmer does not know what the moon is, and is therefore mentally unprepared and thus his subconscious takes over. I’m sure if you pay to go there, you’d have a lot more control over the sort of things you’d want to have there.

    #233377

    bloodteller

    plus presumably psi-moons save a lot of money. if you live on one you could construct houses, buildings, even entire cities just by thinking about them. you’d also be able to create living beings instantly too though, and maybe that raises all sorts of moral implications.

    psi-moons are a bit overpowered then, surely? you’d basically be God on there, and constructing all those buildings free of charge probs wouldn’t be good for the economy either because you could rent them out to friends for a really cheap price

    #233380

    Toxteth O-Grady

    >i think complaints about the “science” are a bit bollocks, really. red dwarf has had lots of concepts that don’t at all make sense-Backwards World

    At the time at least, there were genuine discussions by physicists about the effects of ‘The Big Crunch’ including time itself possibly running backwards as a result of the contraction of the universe. I think this is both what inspired the episode, and might even be the explanation given by Kryten within it? (haven’t seen it for while).
    There’s been subsequent arguments that the suggest this is impossible, but for an episode of Red Dwarf the “science” of it is perfectly acceptable.

    It only become bollocks when they have stuff written backwards i.e. “Nodnol”. There’s no reason for that, given that it’s supposed to be our own universe with our own languages. Even if for some reason text WAS backwards, the letters should be mirrored, not just written in reverse order.
    And the whole newspaper story about a bank robbery that happens “tomorrow”, with guns sucking bullets – none of that makes any sense. The story would be normal, referring to a robbery yesterday, it’s just printed before it happens.

    If time really were running backwards nobody would know, except the Dwarf crew (this is the case in the episode, but the newspaper kinda contradicts it).
    Heck, time could be running backwards for us right now and we’d be completely unaware of it. I think that’s the most interesting part of the concept, but they don’t really explore it in the episode.

    #233383

    International Debris

    Indeed. There’s no real way they could have done a ‘proper’ backwards episode, so instead they just used backwards ideas to make jokes and a generally coherent forwards plot, which is kind of forgivable. An idea of what should have happened in the backwards universe is explored brilliantly in Rob’s novel, too, for those wanting better science there. I love that section of the book, particularly Kryten trying to persuade Rimmer that because the engine parts were rusted, their being stranded there was inevitable.

    #233384

    Bargain Bin Holly

    I think Backwards as a concept is done well-enough in the episode, there’s not much to add upon in my opinion. If you’re looking for a more realistic approach I guess the backwards section in Rob Grant’s Backwards does it good, though I can’t remember if they read anything or not. I thought the bit where Rimmer spoke to the lady and the conversation started at the end and ended when the conversation started was pretty funny.

    #233388

    Ben Saunders

    The logic of backwards is basically totally fucked, but it is a classic, inspired, hilarious exploration of a concept. I got the Impression that the psi-moon was a natural phenomena when I was young, but I don’t know if there’s a line in the episode to contradict that.

    Fucking hell I just realised why the episode is called Terrorform. Another one of those things you just sort of accept when you’re young and never really put any thought into it.

    I don’t think the Mini Critic is a bad concept or worse than Confidence & Paranoia, it just all happens so fast. A speedier opening with less Planet Rimmer stuff and more time spent on the critic would not go amiss.

    #233389

    Ben Saunders

    Also the backwards universe is *a* backwards universe, not *our* universe backwards, so some inconsistencies can easily be handwaved

    #233394

    quinn_drummer

    They don’t go to another universe though, they specifically go through a timehole, meaning they end up at some point trillions of years in the universes future, which happens to be our 1993 with time running in reverse.

    #233398

    Ben Saunders

    But… that… if time… then…

    I don’t want to think too hard about that one

    (If time eventually goes backwards how can they travel to a time past when it all goes in reverse)

    #233399

    Ben Saunders

    I’ve heard a lot of people say “the backwards universe” so assumed it was another ‘verse. Is it a universe in the book?

    #233402

    Dave

    Don’t they access it the books by travelling to a sort of nexus of universes around the event horizon of a black hole (the same one that causes all the problems that the white hole does in the TV show)? It’s been a while since I read them.

    #233403

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Fuck me I can’t remember it and I only finished reading it a month ago, if I had to guess I think it involved something to do with Holly’s high IQ finding a way to get the crew there.

    #233405

    Dave

    Yeah, Holly pops out the computer disc that gives them the coordinates of Backwards world after Lister dies, doesn’t he?

    #233407

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Something like that I imagine, if I recall correctly I think we go from Lister dying to Lister immediately waking up on the Backwards Earth and then we get a flashback to the crew doing Holly’s tasks before Rimmer figures it out.

    #233408

    Bargain Bin Holly

    BTW, I always thought Better Than Life had the best ending of the four novels; I mean it ends with Lister setting his eyes on the love of his life for the first time in 3 million years thanks to the people he has thought he hated.

    #233413

    bloodteller

    >I’ve heard a lot of people say “the backwards universe” so assumed it was another ‘verse.

    rimmer calls it “a backwards universe” in VIII as well, when he’s explaining his “theories” to the woman who wants to shag him

    #233414

    bloodteller

    >BTW, I always thought Better Than Life had the best ending of the four novels; I mean it ends with Lister setting his eyes on the love of his life for the first time in 3 million years thanks to the people he has thought he hated.

    yes, the ending to Better Than Life is lovely.

    #233415

    Toxteth O-Grady

    In the TV episode, I always assumed they’d passed through a time-hole and reached a point in the (relative) far far future, after the universe had exhausted all energy and began to contract (big crunch). Everything that had happened prior to the end of the universe’s expansion was now happening again but in reverse.
    So 2018 went into 2017, which went into 2016 and so on.
    They arrived via the time-hole in (backwards) 1993.

    Perhaps this mean the same time hole originally existed in the real (forwards) 1993 linking it to a backwards ‘year 3million+’, somewhere nearer the beginning of the of the Big Crunch?

    In other words the time hole exists within our universe, and it links 1993 with a point in the year 3million+ but at the opposite side of Big Crunch. Traversing the time-hole takes you to a point in the life of the universe where time runs in the opposite direction from where you entered.

    I’m pretty sure this is more thought than Rob and Doug ever put into, mind you.

    #233416

    clem

    They do the backwards writing thing in the novels, at least in BTL. The name on Lister’s driving licence is ‘Retsil Divad’. Kryten says the universe they take him to is “almost a mirror image of our own universe, except that time moves backwards there”.

    #233417

    Ben Saunders

    Convenient that there is a time hole basically inside the atmosphere of Earth in that universe/the future/past. You’d think people would (have) know(n) about it (and then forgot) and there would be numerous backwards people coming out of the hole three million years in deep space. Would they even know time was running backwards if they were that far out? And if it’s a short-lived phenomena, how lucky that it lasted long enough for our crew to return to their universe/time.

    #233418

    Ben Saunders

    Backward universes and talking to the universe sort of fucks the concept of free will, doesn’t it?

    #233420

    Bargain Bin Holly

    >Backward universes and talking to the universe sort of fucks the concept of free will, doesn’t it?

    Eh, idk

    The talking to the universe thing in Krysis tho, they did leave that kinda ambiguous if that was the actual universe or not since, as Rimmer points out, “says you”

    Meaning there’s nothing proving it was actually the universe and not like an AI gone computer senile or something, least that’s my interpretation of it anyway

    #233422

    bloodteller

    >Backward universes and talking to the universe sort of fucks the concept of free will, doesn’t it?

    so do future echoes. lister is inescapably fated to live to 171 and dress all in yellow, and there’s nothing he can do about it

    #233423

    GlenTokyo

    The thing I hate most about the universe is that they went with the shit Morgan Freeman impression.

    It’s sort of ambiguous whether or not it is the universe, I think a past Red Dwarf would have made it U.N.I.V.E.R.S.E and thought of something those letters could stand for or a Space Corps research program called Universe and then have the crew fuck it up and then it tries to kill them before they blow it up but that’s not to say that’s better. It’s similar to the Futurama universe, but I didn’t mind that so much because of the more Star Trek feel of Futurama, with all the aliens and stuff. A sentient nebula isn’t unusual in those universes, stands out a bit more in Red Dwarf though.

    #233424

    bloodteller

    bit of an underreaction if it actually is the universe. you’d think he could just send them back to earth or tell them where kochanski is or do literally Anything.

    instead they use the most powerful being in existence to get Kryten to stop being a bit sad

    #233425

    Toxteth O-Grady

    > You’d think people would (have) know(n) about it (and then forgot) and there would be numerous backwards people coming out of the hole three million years in deep space.

    We don’t know how long the time-hole was open for, though. It may have just been a couple of weeks or months, rather than a permanent fixture.

    It’s safe to say that nobody else was flying around the edge of Earth’s atmosphere in that particular region in 1993. And it’s even safer bet that nobody else was flying around that other point in deep space millions of years later.

    #233428

    Ben Saunders

    Is the universe really all Powerful, though, in the way god is, or is it just all knowing? What can it do?

    I wonder how they would have voiced the universe in a universe without Bruce almighty. I enjoyed the reference but it is a bit questionable

    #233429

    bloodteller

    >What can it do?

    well it says in the episode it made the Earth

    #233430

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Side-note, you think the crew are using Hogey’s cloth map during Series XI and XII?

    #233431

    Pete Part Three

    I hope Hogey used that to navigate his way to the fucking exit.

    #233433

    GlenTokyo

    Unpopular opinion. I really like Hogey the Roguey. I liked the relationship.

    #233434

    International Debris

    well it says in the episode it made the Earth

    It never states that it intentionally made it, though.

    #233436

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Hogey the Roguey was quite good. If they overused him than the joke would’ve gotten old pretty quick, but they keep him limited and the times he is on-screen he is pretty funny.

    #233437

    quinn_drummer

    Yeah Hogey is fine. I love the idea of them having this relationship with a bored sim who just wants to play some games in the 9 year period we haven’t seen. If we were to actually see any more it’d be ruined, but it was a nice little “fill in the blank” bit of back story that was quite nice.

    Not sure if this is controversial or not, but I struggle with liking Bodyswap as much as other episodes because of the dubbed voices. Its a bit of a naff effect and really, implanting a mind into someone elses shouldn’t change their voice.

    Though I do love the frantic opening to that episode. How often are you thrown into the action like that with RD?

    #233442

    GlenTokyo

    I do really like Bodyswap but I bet they could improve it a lot with more time and modern audio engineering or whatever it’d be. Just make it sound more like it’s coming out of that mouth in that room with that stuff going on in the background.

    #233444

    Taiwan Tony

    Another arm raised for Hogey being dreadful.

    #233448

    International Debris

    The whole different voice coming out of the body thing is a pretty common trope with body swapping / possession / etc. stories, and I agree that it’s mostly nonsense (the individual sound of your voice being entirely down to the physical structure of your throat and the particular size and shape of your larynx), the realistic route would be if they each did an impression of each other, but I think that would only work well with Chris doing his Craig impersonation.
    That said, it’s something that’s done so often that it doesn’t actually bother me so much. Also I enjoy how well Craig’s voice coming out of Chris’s mouth works, and with the fact that Lister’s outfit actually really suits Chris, whenever I watch it I completely believe that he’s Lister in those scenes.

    Here’s one of those tedious questions we’ve been revelling in lately: where does Rimmer-in-Lister’s physical Captain Emerald costume come from?

    #233450

    Bargain Bin Holly

    >Here’s one of those tedious questions we’ve been revelling in lately: where does Rimmer-in-Lister’s physical Captain Emerald costume come from?

    I always assumed Rimmer wears a standard, high-ranking Space Corps uniform. That said, is the JMC a subsidiary of the Space Corps? Has the relationship ever been fully explained?

    #233451

    International Debris

    It’s been discussed several times in the past, and the answer has always been some variation on ‘we don’t really know’.

    #233452

    Hamish

    > I got the Impression that the psi-moon was a natural phenomena when I was young, but I don’t know if there’s a line in the episode to contradict that.

    KRYTEN: My guess: this is a Psi-moon.
    CAT: Psi-moon?
    KRYTEN: An artificial planetoid. It tunes into an individual psyche and adapts its terrain to mimic his mental state

    Which is about all the explanation for the Psi-moon’s existence that we get. While some of the theories for its existence in this thread are plausible, the episode itself clearly does not give two fucks about this, as all it wants is indeed an admittedly interesting way to explore Rimmer’s personality.

    I still think it is a bit wank though. Just to put this thread back on topic.

    #233454

    GlenTokyo

    I always thought the JMC were the merchant navy of the Red Dwarf universe and the Space Corps were the actual Navy, but there’s not really a military in Red Dwarf, so in my head canon you apply to the Space Corps and if you’re officer class or really good you join the SC and work your way up in a field, and if you’re a bit shit, or need work or harbor no ambitions of joining the Space Corps Navy types or advancing a career then you can just work for the JMC on a contract, in the Red Dwarf Dollar Poundland or whatever.

    #233455

    GlenTokyo

    There’d probably be a cross over too. Like a navigation officer in the JMC could apply for a post in navigation with the Space Corps, but it’d be a bit like going to uni with a vocational qualification instead of A-levels, possible but not as straightforward.

    I imagine there’s other trade and mining companies too, or was, Red Dwarf doesn’t have many brands and M Corp seems to imply its quite easy to own everything.

    #233456

    Dax101

    I think a sense of mystery can be a good thing, so not having to explain everything that exists in the Red Dwarf universe isn’t a bad thing.

    Its just when you do explain it and it stupid explanation then that doesn’t help.

    As for Hogey i remember after that episode was shown there were people saying how Hogey should be a show regular… yikes.

    #233457

    GlenTokyo

    Just for the fact that they covered Richard O’Callaghan in what was I think wood filler and grey primer I’m glad he’s not a regular for his sake.

    #233461

    bloodteller

    >As for Hogey i remember after that episode was shown there were people saying how Hogey should be a show regular… yikes.

    he only works in The Beginning really, because there’s the gag of what looks like a lethal simulant onboard and everyone having a severe underreaction to him until it eventually becomes apparent he’s just some mad old git who’s been pestering the posse for the last decade. also them suggesting a cooking contest a la Can’t Smeg Won’t Smeg really made me laugh.

    aside from that, there’s nothing you can really do with the character. he only functions as a one-off joke

    #233462

    bloodteller

    hoguey always wins the cooking contests with the help of an angry rice stealing droid called AI-nsley Harriot

    #233464

    GlenTokyo

    Ainsley Harribot surely.

    #233467

    Ben Paddon

    Hoguey the Roguey was a brilliant idea undermined by a daffy accent and less-than-ideal costume design.

    #233479

    bloodteller

    opinion- that “tales of the riverbank: the next generation” bit in Camille is a lot funnier than the much more oft-quoted Wilma Flinstone conversation from Backwards.

    #233485

    Pete Part Three

    I like it just for Danny’s fluffed delivery.

    Whatever happened
    Whatever happened to old Hammy?

    #233486

    Dax101

    Doug likes his funny accents.

    #233492

    International Debris

    Still think Hogey’s map should return. Touches like that, hints at a larger arc – like the quantum rod – are lovely, but seem to just die off. C’mon Doug.

    #233494

    Lily

    Unpopular opinion – not ever sci-fi show needs to have an arc and I think Doctor Who has suffered for it in the past.

    The only arc I want to see on Red Dwarf has Cats on it.

    #233495

    Warbofrog

    Series 1 & 6 had good arcs that enhance those series. I’m wary of arcs because of how VIII turned out and X’s chaotic production that kept the set-up but ditched the pay-off, but I’d still love to see something more ambitious mixed in, rather than just playing it safe with Polymorphs and Backwardses until the end.

    #233496

    GlenTokyo

    It’s a shame that arcs/ multiparters are seemingly not an option though on Red Dwarf because Doug blames the format and not the fact that Back in the Red and Pete were not naturally long enough to be three episodes and shit respectively, even a series before, Epideme and Nanarchy weren’t bad, not classics but fine.

    I don’t really want multiparters/arcs that much but a little persistence would be nice, so something could happen and it maybe gets mentioned in passing at some point. I feel like the Dave series lack identity and having some kind of arc, or theme would help.

    #233498

    Jonsmad

    Entangled is mostly genius writing of highest standard ever achieved by the whole of Red Dwarf,
    its exposition including the beggs choke scene makes total sense, is consistent with Koestler it’s source material and the episode is unique among the rules of television plotting as a result of it’s non causal approach. Everything is good until the monkey/naked stuff.

    #233499

    Dax101

    The beggs choking is either totally silly or actually kinda clever… But If you go by the episodes logic that Kryten and cat were just aware it was gonna happen then that’s where it gets silly

    3 characters all choking at the same time seems lazy

    #233510

    International Debris

    I honestly think Entangled is fantastic until the chimp shows up.

    And yes, arc-wise I was definitely talking more about subtle hints and occasionally recurring ideas rather than a big, detailed single plot. The map just seems a very strange thing to have introduced and then just completely forgotten about.

    #233511

    Dax101

    Id have been happy if the whole episode of engaged was just the crew on the hunt to find something or someway that they could remove the groinal exploder.

    I agree that the moment we get to the chimp it feels like Doug is biting off more then he can chew with throwing in so many different ideas and trying to bring them all together by the end.

    Oh and that ending with her tripping over some boxes sideways into the airlock which conveniently shuts behind her and is unable to be opened from inside is so bad IMO. even if the final line is kinda amusing it is still what Doug had to do to get to that point that is kinda stupid.

    #233512

    Dax101

    I mean *entangled, not engaged…

    #233514

    Bargain Bin Holly

    >and is unable to be opened from inside is so bad IMO.

    Actually Professor E accidentally kills herself in that event, paraphrasing Rimmer, “Don’t press that!”

    #233520

    GlenTokyo

    Professor E was so shit anyway, and as an ending killing her was just ridiculously cold. She did everything wrong, why not make it obvious she’d be great with Rimmer and then have her make the wrong decision and leave? And if you really want her gone have her borrow a shuttle and say don’t go near that wormhole and then she goes down it. At least she’s alive. Also the upside down glasses were a particular low moment in Red Dwarf history.

    #233523

    Bargain Bin Holly

    lel, I didn’t think it was that bad.

    #233535

    International Debris

    The upside-down glasses are terrible, Irene E / irony is weak and largely nonsense (I suppose it kind of ties in with the quantum entanglement / coincidence thing, but even then it’s pretty shit), and the idea of a person who does everything ‘wrong’ is really one dimensional and cartoony. It really goes to shit once they arrive at ERRA, which is a shame as there’s LOADS in the first 2/3 of the episode that I absolutely love. Losing Rimmer in a poker game feels like a really classic Dwarf idea, ‘apart from me and him and him’ is a great Cat line, ‘English boarding school’, the BEGGs’ descriptions of the crew, ‘Did it work?’ ‘No’. All that stuff was the point where it really felt like Red Dwarf was fucking great again, after three episodes that were almost there for me. And then the ending threw it all away.

    #233536

    genericnerdyusername

    Cat’s “except for me him and him” is a shit line.

    #233537

    Ben Saunders

    I know the OP said no arguing but I’ll meet you outside after school and fight you for that one

    Entangled was incredible until it was shit, it was a real shame. I loved Kryten’s speech about the institute, it felt really magical and like Red Dwarf really was back. Briefly.

    #233538

    Ben Saunders

    Upside down glasses though, fucking hell

    #233540

    bloodteller

    i wonder if Entangled would’ve been thoroughly brilliant had they kept the original second half of the script (iirc it involved the chimp simply staying a chimp, but they couldn’t work around chimp actors only being able to do 45mins work at a time) or if the script would’ve fallen apart around that point anyway. kryten and cat’s entanglement never seems to get resolved in the episode either, so what was the point of all of it?

    #233543

    Pete Part Three

    I wonder how many other episodes of Red Dwarf would be improved by a man in an unrealistic chimp costume turning up for the last ten miniutes.

    #233544

    Hamish

    Officer Rimmer.

    #233545

    quinn_drummer

    Waiting for God …. Lister follows Cat into the bowls of the ship only to find Cat has a pet chimp chained up and he is feeding him bananas.

    Lister stands up for the chimp, releases him, and he goes onto causes carnage, destroying everything it comes across before reaching the garbage pod and tearing through the waste, much to Rimmer’s horror.

    #233548

    bloodteller

    Pete Part 2 has two chimps for the price of one

    #233554

    bloodteller

    >I wonder how many other episodes of Red Dwarf would be improved by a man in an unrealistic chimp costume turning up for the last ten miniutes.

    timewave. a chimp comes onboard and leaves a banana peel on the floor for Ziggy to slip over and break his neck. he is then later killed by malpractice owing to the hairdressers doing the spinal reconstruction surgery injecting him with 500cc’s of TRESemmé

    #233557

    Dax101

    >i wonder if Entangled would’ve been thoroughly brilliant had they kept the original second half of the script (iirc it involved the chimp simply staying a chimp, but they couldn’t work around chimp actors only being able to do 45mins work at a time)

    I can’t remember where Doug said it but i swear he talked about the idea of the chimp playing a big part in either that episode or another episode where Rimmer and Lister were gonna be acting like parents to this chimp as Rimmer wanted to use the chimp to help him pass the officers exam and Lister was gonna be against Rimmer using the chimp like that.

    I don’t know how i feel about that idea though.

    #233561

    Bargain Bin Holly

    >I can’t remember where Doug said it but i swear he talked about the idea of the chimp playing a big part in either that episode or another episode where Rimmer and Lister were gonna be acting like parents to this chimp as Rimmer wanted to use the chimp to help him pass the officers exam and Lister was gonna be against Rimmer using the chimp like that.

    I heard about this too, from where tho, can’t remember

    #233590

    International Debris

    I honestly can’t really see any ending working well. ERRA should have been the climax of the episode, and the quantum entanglement plot should have been used to wrap things up there – somehow involving Kryten and Cat relaying the code to remove the groin exploder by talking at the same time on different ends of the ship to each other, for example. It could have ended on Kryten going ‘owwwww yeah-yeah!’ or something.

    #233599

    GlenTokyo

    I think the og chimp plans are relayed via Richard Naylor on the documentary.

    #233630

    Taiwan Tony

    Would now be a good time to do my monkey impression….?

    #234165

    Katydid

    Series XI is one of the best series of Red Dwarf.

    #234167

    Ben Saunders

    It’s definitely in the top 6

    #234170

    Bargain Bin Holly

    >It’s definitely in the top 6

    Which Rob Grant-involved series did it overthrow?

    #234174

    Ben Saunders

    The first one

    #234180

    Hamish

    No

    #234182

    Ben Saunders

    Grr

    #234184

    bloodteller

    The first series of Red Dwarf is one of the best series of Red Dwarf

    #234190

    Ben Saunders

    Most of the series of Red Dwarf are one of the best series of Red Dwarf, honestly. There are only 12 and most of them are quite good.

    #234193

    Dave

    Apart from *that* one. Oh, and *that* one too.

    #234219

    Hamish

    Yes.

    #234228

    Flap Jack

    Red Dwarf Series 1 is easily in my Top 8 Red Dwarf Series.

    #234243

    Taiwan Tony

    Series 1 and 2 are the best series of Red Dwarf

    #234244

    Ben Paddon

    Back to Earth, while not perfect, is genuinely brilliant.

    The worst part is, a lot of people agreed with me as it was going out. We loved it. And then at some point after the shine wore off, people started to talk as if it had been an unmitigated disaster on all fronts. The idea that BTE is a bad show became accepted wisdom, and I don’t get it. I don’t get that transition at all, from adored to deplored in under five years.

    It puts me in mind of Avatar, a film that is universally reviled (and one I’ve somehow never seen) but managed to make nearly $2.79 billion at the box office. It’s still, still!, the highest-grossing movie in history – if nobody liked it, how come every bugger went out and saw it eleven times each?

    For my money, BTE is still some incredibly strong Red Dwarf, and a good template for how a complete reboot/reworking of the series as a single-camera dram-com could work. Certainly it’s a lot better at the comedy/drama balance than VII (which I also like, though nowhere near as much). For its flaws, BTE is the Dwarf I have revisited the most in the near-decade since its broadcast, and whenever people bash it – on here, on Twitter, at Q&As, wherever – it always feels like they’re squinting at a Magic Eye picture that I can see and they can’t.

    I can see the sailboat… I wish everyone else could, too.

    #234245

    bloodteller

    Back To Earth was quite good outside of the Coronation Street stuff and that crap scene where they drive Carbug to some ill-fitting music, I thought.

    Back To Earth is quite a strong character piece, especially for Lister- and it balances the comedy and drama fairly well- e.g. the scene with the kids on the bus is funny (“even in that Bible film, she said “Jesus? He’s not dead!”) but it’s also quite a good bit of character analysis on Lister and what sort of a guy he is.

    also, the chinatown chase scene is epic. it’s intense stuff, that

    #234246

    Dax101

    Funny enough i remember BTE got a very Meh! reaction after the 3rd episode, and i remember being quite saddened about it at the time as i thought it might effect Dave putting money into making a new series since a fair amount of the criticism was that it felt like a tired self-referential comeback.

    In reflection though, i don’t like story because it feels like a fourth wall breaking parody with jokes about the Fans, the show in itself and the cast with one of the worse moments in Dwarf history in part 2 where the crew discovers they are characters in a tv show. its so surreal and ridiculous but is played as straight as the cast could make it work.

    Reminds me of the Dispensing machine bonking scene in Dear Dave since maybe it sounded good in Dougs head but it really does not work on screen at all.

    #234248

    Dax101

    >Back To Earth is quite a strong character piece, especially for Lister

    Problem is the character stuff with Lister feels like an afterthought. and its possible it very well could have been since wasn’t it Andrew Ellard that came up with the idea of having Kochanski appear at the end?

    Even the Joy Squid feels abit like an afterthought too since by the end the concept of the “joy” squid doesn’t add anything to whats happening until they realize that it is infact the joy squid and then Kochanski suddenly appears to keep lister there.

    Yeah lister throws a line in about feeling great since they got there, but they were trying to find their creator so they wouldn’t die? pooping their selves in the elevator ride up there and then thought they killed the guy… such joy!

    #234249

    Flap Jack

    Just to join in with the “at the time it went out” perspective, I distinctly remember how I felt when Back to Earth first broadcast. I was delighted to see ANY new Red Dwarf, but I was also really underwhelmed.

    Outside of episode 2 the laughs were very thin on the ground, and the lack of a live audience – despite there still being gaps left for their reactions – made it feel especially awkward. The performances in a lot of scenes – such as the sneeze ironing scene or Rimmer dancing while the others were attacked by the squid – just felt kind of forced, illiciting a “this seems like it should be funny – why isn’t it funny?” reaction from me.

    I still firmly enjoyed it overall – the comedy in episode 2 and the atmosphere of episode 3 helped with that – but I still couldn’t avoid being disappointed that it didn’t feel like proper Red Dwarf.

    #234250

    Dave

    It’s quite common for initial enthusiasm for a series to give way to a more measured opinion over time. The same happened with VIII to some extent.

    For what it’s worth, I now enjoy BTE slightly more than I did when it went out. Initially I was quite disappointed but now I at least appreciate what it was trying to do and the limitations it was operating under, and it has some good gags in isolation.

    #234255

    Warbofrog

    The weird fan episode polls after VII and VIII are probably the best evidence of the recency bias.

    You can see it with a lot of things. If you look up reddit discussions of Doctor Who’s arc-tastic episodes from 2011 that most people have decided they hated now, they were well into it at the time.

    I always thought BTE was fine for a special, but not something I’d feel like rewatching. It didn’t disappoint me like VII & VIII, but it didn’t fill me with over-optimistic confidence like Trojan either.

    #234256

    Plastic Percy

    I still bloody love Back to Earth, me.

    #234262

    Bargain Bin Holly

    I always agree with the suggestion they should another special in the vain of BtE, improve on it with newfound experience.

    Plus, I always liked that deleted bunk scene, wish they kept it. But yeah BtE was fine, I remember being disappointed with it when I discovered the whole show and binged on it back in 2012; but now I think it’s fine.

    #234267

    tombow

    I liked BTE mostly, I liked it’s ambition and the jokes were fun, I liked the silly stuff like the Starbug car and the big ideas it had. I really think it needed some kind of audience laughter on its TV broadcast though. To be honest, I feel the same way about any sitcom-style banter being put in a movie context, like the Rising Damp film from the 70s – that kind of banter just doesn’t work without an audience to bounce off.

    And silly stuff like the car and going to Corrie is the kind of stuff that needs camaraderie and other fans with you to enjoy because it’s only really funny because it’s silly fun, it’s not like the most witty conversations from series 1-5 that I would enjoy in any format.

    Speaking of the Rising Damp film – it would have been similar to the RD film in that it was a reboot that started again and re-made the origin story.

    #234268

    Ben Paddon

    I really think it needed some kind of audience laughter on its TV broadcast though.

    Every time someone’s tried to do this, it’s been terrible. It wasn’t written with an audience in mind, and showing to an audience after the fact a la VII wouldn’t have worked. BtE is better without one.

    That being said… so is VII, sometimes. The Xtended versions are a brilliant exercise in showing us why stuff that winds up on the cutting room floor should probably stay there, but awkward pauses aside VII fares a lot better without the audience laughter.

    #234270

    Dax101

    >It wasn’t written with an audience in mind

    Well according to Doug the thought of having an audience was there, its just they couldn’t afford one.

    One idea was to have the audience for everything before they go “back to earth” and then the laughter track would be gone for their earth adventure. which would certainly add an even more meta feel to it.

    #234271

    Jawscvmcdia

    I prefer the captain as “Dennis the Donut Boy”.

    #234272

    Pete Part Three

    I’ve started to enjoy Jawscvmcdia’s forum threads.

    #234280

    International Debris

    I thought BtE was worse than VIII when it went out. After watching the whole run through with my girlfriend and getting a bit of an ‘experiencing the show for the first time’ thing vicariously through her, I remembered what made the show great and BtE suddenly felt light years ahead of VIII. I still don’t think it’s especially good, but it is at least Red Dwarf, and listening to Doug’s commentary was a wonderful optimistic moment that made me think he’d rediscovered the show he was writing 20 years before again.

    #234281

    Dax101

    You do get alot of insight into Dougs mindset in the commentary. for good and for bad IMO.

    #234294

    Flap Jack

    To me, the lack of an audience was really felt in episode 1, but it wasn’t too noticeable in episodes 2 and 3. So doing it either way wouldn’t quite work.

    Actually, imagine if episode 1 had a studio audience, but then the audience was absent from the moment they go into the “real” world? That could have been an amazing way to add to the misdirection of the plot.

    Or it could have been terrible. I don’t know, I’m just some asshole on the internet.

    #234296

    International Debris

    It’s been suggested before, and yes, I think it would be brilliant. Suddenly not having the audience would really give such a strange change of tone that it would really drive home how odd the moment is.

    #234298

    Dax101

    It would drive home that the crew just stepped out of the tv show boundries and into the real world.

    Basically the same as what it was, just more meta, and just as silly.

    #234300

    bloodteller

    yeah, that would’ve been quite good.

    #234303

    clem

    It’s mainly the Blade Runner stuff that drags down BTE for me. I agree having an audience until they get to Earth could have been really good. Doesn’t it go a bit handheld and less sitcom looking when they enter the “real world”?
    That might only be because a lot of the Earth stuff was filmed on location, though.

    #234304

    clem

    Which of course was done out of necessity, so it’s not necessarily something they were going for.

    #234307

    Dax101

    Personally i am glad they just didn’t have an audience at all. i really wouldn’t want the audience acknowledged like that no matter how more meta it is to convince the audience they were in our world and not the tv show world.

    #234308

    GlenTokyo

    I really hate the Blade Runner stuff it just doesn’t go for me at all. I know Doug loves Blade Runner, I love Blade Runner, but that doesn’t mean I try and crowbar it in to my work. A little reference is ok, a pinch of salt to some caramel, it can enhance the flavour, but Doug poured a tin of Carnation caramel onto a grit silo.

    #234330

    Hamish

    And I am not even particularly fond of Blade Runner.

    #234331

    flanl3

    I am not a massive fan of blades or running, myself.

    #234384

    Ben Paddon

    One idea was to have the audience for everything before they go “back to earth” and then the laughter track would be gone for their earth adventure. which would certainly add an even more meta feel to it.

    I always thought that was a fan-idea rather than one that’d come up during production, but it was something I always liked the idea of.

    #234387

    Plastic Percy

    I just never took Blade Runner to be a massive influence on the film. I thought Grant Naylor was fairly adamant it was Dark Star.

    #234423

    Ben Paddon

    The Blade Runner stuff didn’t bother me any more than the Terminator stuff in “The Last Day” or the Casablanca stuff in “Camille”. I think it worked just fine.

    #234430

    tombow

    The voice swapping in Bodyswap is fine and works well for the idea.

    #234439

    Warbofrog

    I don’t mind them doing Blade Runner, I just hate the line about Blade Runner being THE inspiration for Red Dwarf when it’s far from evident outside of this one and Back to Reality (unless it’s supposed to be some further squiddy link between those two episodes).

    It makes even less sense in-universe – if they’ve seen Blade Runner, hearing that their lives were based on it would just seem nonsensical. I’d be fine with Alien, maybe 2001, haven’t seen Dark Star.

    #234440

    bloodteller

    >The Blade Runner stuff didn’t bother me any more than the Terminator stuff in “The Last Day” or the Casablanca stuff in “Camille”

    there’s also the Alien stuff in Polymorph, and the Westworld stuff in Meltdown. Red Dwarf doing direct parodies of things isn’t anything new, so it didn’t feel at all out of place in Back To Earth for me.

    #234441

    Hamish

    Meltdown borrows the premise, but is not a direct parody.

    “Clues” is not a parody of “Thanks for the Memory”.

    #234445

    Pete Part Three

    The way Red Dwarf typically handles references compared to the way it handles them in Back to Earth, is like comparing Spaced to Ready Player One.

    #234447

    Dave

    Also Robocop in DNA.

    #234448

    Ben Paddon

    The way Red Dwarf typically handles references compared to the way it handles them in Back to Earth, is like comparing Spaced to Ready Player One.

    I think that is more often than not the case, yes, but the show has plenty of overt examples of parody. “DNA” is one of them, specifically the Jaws reference, and the Casablanca stuff in “Camille” isn’t exactly subtle.

    Granted, BTE is the only example I can think of where the show actively states the name the thing it’s parodying, and we can argue about whether or not that was appropriate until the cow’s come home (or not, let’s actually not do that, please for the love of God) but it’s not something that bothers me, it doesn’t stick out much more than other overt parody in the show, and I’m fine with it.

    #234451

    Dave

    “DNA” is one of them, specifically the Jaws reference

    Dimension Jump, surely.

    DNA has mini-Robocop and a Die Hard gag though.

    #234452

    Dave

    Oh, you mean the bit with the lager can – I thought you meant the parts where the show explicitly references an existing property by name, like Jaws in Dimension Jump and Casablanca in Camille.

    #234454

    Ben Paddon

    I can’t believe I said BTE was the only example etc. etc. wow, I’m an idiot.

    #234455

    Ben Saunders

    >Granted, BTE is the only example I can think of where the show actively states the name the thing it’s parodying
    Camille does as well

    #234456

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Rimmer’s death is a reference to Citizen Kane in Me² and gazpacho soup is a reference to rosebud

    Later in the episode, Lister tells Rimmer he and Cat are watching Citizen Kane at the cinema

    #234457

    International Debris

    The subtle-as-a-brick referencing of Blade Runner in BtE is obviously different to previous homages because of its meta nature, but it does seem a bit heavy going, outright copying sections without even a joke attached.

    The idea that Blade Runner was the main inspiration behind Red Dwarf is absurd. They don’t really share much. You can see Dark Star and Alien in Red Dwarf, but not Blade Runner.

    #234458

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Mimas in IWCD always gave me Blade Runner vibes

    #234460

    tombow

    Little off topic but, I read William Gibson’s Neuromancer recently and I was surprised at how RD-feeling it was, everything from the writing style being similar to the novels, VR worlds where people are tempted to stay with lost loves, A.I.s with cheeky personalities running ships, even afro-Caribbean guys with dreads being main characters.

    #234461

    bloodteller

    >Mimas in IWCD always gave me Blade Runner vibes

    it reminded me more of New York, especially with the descriptions of the traffic

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