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  • in reply to: Unanswered Questions #263585
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Who would win in a buttle-off, Gilbert, Butler the Nova 3 android, or Hillary the butler as played by Chris Barrie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider?

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #263580
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Good point, well made. Thanks all.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #263569
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Here’s a question that probably does have an answer but nevertheless I’ve always wondered… When Rimmer moves out in Me2 and Lister revels in his absence and decides to relocate to Rimmer’s bottom bunk, he calls it “the big bunk,” but is it actually bigger? The bunks looked pretty modular, at least to me. Is it a script thing where it just says it’s bigger but the set doesn’t match that but who cares, or is it possible that the bottom cubby is measurably slightly larger?

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #263350
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    But then you’d lose the continuity callback to the twins in Future Echoes.

    The idea that Act One of Parallel Universe is pretty great but deteriorates quickly upon their arrival on the female Dwarf seems pretty well-agreed upon (that disco scene too goes on FOREVER, like a quarter of the whole episode is them twatting about at the disco).

    What’s weird to me is that each series is usually pretty consistent, at least in the Grant/Naylor era, like even if there are ups and downs, the tone, production, and general quality are pretty static series to series. But unlike the other five Grant/Naylor series, Series II has this weird outlier where it’s like GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, A BIT RUBBISH.

    It’s weird, because even other “not great” episodes of the bubble are of a type with the rest of their series. Waiting for God gets some guff, but it’s still pretty firmly a Series I episode, not too far off from the rest. And Emohawk is clearly the weakest VI episode, but it’s not part of a series where every other episode is a stone-cold classic. But Parallel Universe is just a bizarre anomaly, weighing down what otherwise is essentially a perfect series.

    in reply to: Your Popular Red Dwarf Opinions #263119
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Patrick Stewart seems really sincere when he recounts his heartwarming tale about Red Dwarf.

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #262982
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    The Pilot was weird because it was Moffat and Capaldi’s third and last season, so they could’ve just doubled down on what was already established, like a trilogy. Even with a new companion it didn’t need a reboot, especially since there was about to be a creative overhaul with a new Doctor. It always struck me as weird when they’re like, oh it’s a reboot, because did anyone ask for that?

    I guess no one asked for the Series VI reboot either, but one could see how it was headed that way with Kryten and Holly fighting for the exposition role and it becoming more of an action adventure each week. Hell, Series V has them starting out on Starbug half the time anyway for no particular reason. Always kind of thought it was interesting how Series I through VI was a gradient of 100% Red Dwarf/Bunkroom, 0% Starbug/New Locations in Series I to 0% Red Dwarf/Bunkroom to 100% Starbug/New Locations, with II-V being an almost perfect gradient from I to VI. Cutting the Red Dwarf cord completely for Series VI sort of made sense even if I preferred the earlier series.

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #262976
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I never see Psirens high up on many lists and it doesn’t seem to get talked about that much since I guess it’s not like staggeringly great or stupid so it falls through a lot of cracks by just being decent.

    And that’s fair enough. But whenever I revisit it, I’m always impressed by how well it serves its role as a soft reboot episode. As someone who studies story structure a lot, when a show wants to readjust and reset a bit, having a premiere that balances overarching plot and episode of the week is tricky, and Psirens deserves props for executing that well (whether or not you agree with the actual changing of setting and tone).

    The show’s always been well structured (give or take Series VIII), but devoting the first act to reestablishing the characters and establishing a new status quo, and then getting down to business and hitting the ground running for the next two acts, it’s just well done.

    So, yeah, I think my unpopular opinion is that Psirens is a little underrated or at least falls through the cracks of popular opinion in a way that it shouldn’t, though maybe I’ve misread popular opinion on this, which would then make my take on the popular opinion of Psirens my unpopular opinion.

    in reply to: Your Popular Red Dwarf Opinions #262975
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I’m gonna put my love spuds on the barbecue and say that Series VIII has some flaws.

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #262834
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Another unpopular opinion: As someone who’s enjoyed multiple versions of Pride and Prejudice, the AR sequence in Beyond a Joke still cracks me up, even if the episode falls off in quality after that. But even though it’s rightly placed low on everyone’s rankings, I think there are still a couple things to enjoy. Cat’s reaction when Kryten’s head explodes and bits fall onto the table is pretty fantastic and continues to be fantastic even after having seen it in the VII intro montage a bazillion times. And maybe it’s just me, but I also sort of enjoy the “cartoonivore” line, stupid as it is, and Lister saying “you smell nice” under the tarp and Cat replying “thanks!” And then Cat speaking English during the haggling with the Simulant (which is otherwise a dumb concept because he deals with Gelfs all the time, you can’t bullshit your way through that with fake Gelf-speak). So yeah, I guess my unpopular opinion is that, due mostly to some okay Cat bits, I might place Beyond a Joke… (*looks around nervously*) one rank higher than the average.

    in reply to: Bootleg Merch #261785
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Someone online tried to sell a Topic bar without a single hazelnut in it.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #261605
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I thought the bar manager hired them for real in the dressing room, and “before” that was negotiating a contract with Kryten. “Something about a fight” and “they’ll never work the pub circuit again,” could be interpreted as “Wow that fight we just had was crazy. Anyways, welcome, and good luck, since you don’t seem to have worked the pub circuit before.”

    Also, “after” the bar room brawl, Lister ate the guy’s pie, presumably as a taunt, and the guy punching him was the “last” punch in the rumble.

    Always thought the implication was that it’s fine if there are logical plot holes in terms of backwardness vs. forwardness, since all that can be explained by the fact that there’s an orange swirly rip in spacetime that exposes forward and backward universe to each other and is just there in the sky. Time anomalies are afoot even from the backwards “POV” of the denizens of Backwards Earth, as if the backwards natives were experiencing White Hole shenanigans.

    It would be interesting to see an episode where the reverse happens, where a time hole brings “backwards” space travelers into the forwards world.

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #261465
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    and why would he decide to paint his entire feet during the prison’s dedicated toenail painting hour

    Painting his foot sportscar red was just his midlife crisis starting to manifest.

    in reply to: The Best Bits of VIII #261096
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    As someone who tells his friends getting into the series to skip from VII to IX, I thought I wouldn’t have much good to say, but after thinking on it, I do think that Series VIII does indeed have a (relatively meager) “pile of good things” as a wise man once put it:

    1) Chris Barrie is quite good throughout the series, and Rimmer in general is on fine form, give or take some simulated sex crimes. His sarcasm and delivery are much appreciated even in the stupider episodes, and seeing old Rimmer be reintegrated with the newer set of Dwarfers was fun. “The big picture involves you, no clothes, and a haystack.”

    2) Cassandra is a pretty decent episode top to bottom. The gags of them trying to shield Rimmer but he falls down a hole as well as the Cat attacking Lister after learning he can’t die but Lister remarking that he can still feel pain are solid. The good bits of VIII can be disheartening because it make you realize the squandered potential and missed opportunities. If more episodes of VIII were as good as Cassandra, I wouldn’t be whinging.

    3) Back in the Red, Part 1 vaguely flirts with being sort of great in terms of storytelling. In particular it plays with some interesting concepts, although it only touches on them and the series never really follows up. But Lister talking to old Rimmer and explaining how he’s matured from the pre-accident days, as well as the visual of Series VI-VII-era Lister setting foot back in the original sleeping quarters. There’s a satisfying full-circle-ness that the episode sporadically hits upon. Even the shoutouts to Legion and Lanstrom sort of provide a scenario where everything the Dwarfers encountered in their earlier series adventures is being brought back and applied to their original pre-accident status quo. That’s a cool idea that hopefully a parallel universe’s Series VIII would have expounded upon instead of pivoting to a prison arc.

    4) That said, the prison set was pretty cool-looking. And with the Canaries and Hollister, the setup was there to do a sort of hybrid Dwarf where you get the bunkroom scenes with Stasis Leak-esque check-ins with the Captain combined with the investigating of derelicts and sci-fi shenanigans of the middle series. There’s a good series in there somewhere.

    5) Lister and Rimmer. One of the best things for me about VIII was the new Lister/Rimmer dynamic, which was refreshingly not purely adversarial like the olden days. Lister is genuinely glad to be hanging out with Rimmer, and their partners-in-crime schtick actually sort of works on occasion. And some of the bunkroom exchanges are legitimately decent. The Argyle Somerfield carpet-burns scene, while far from perfect, was a genius way to open the series, reestablishing the tone and priorities. It was all downhill from there, but gotta give credit where it’s due.

    6) No matter how thankless the story or dialogue could get, if was always, always a treat to have Mac McDonald around. He’s very good in Series VIII even despite the fact that the character has been kind of Flanderized into Dennis the Doughnut Boy, whereas the Series I-II Version, while a source of humor, largely seemed to be a competent, down-to-earth leader and officer. It’s a testament to how game Mac is that the sillier version of Hollister is still a welcome presence.

    Those for me are the “Best Bits of VIII.” While there are isolated gags and one-liners that are decent, for me the “best” bits of VIII are the moments that reveal glimmers of potential that it woefully underdeveloped but are still sporadically there.

    in reply to: Misheard lines #261069
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I never knew growing up what Daz was, or that powdered detergent was even a thing, which threw me off twice in Series II.

    Only after the fact did I learn in Kryten that Lister is saying “you’re the one whose Mum does do that biological biz” which is apparently a reference to advertisements for detergent. But even so, I always misheard it as “you’re the one whose montage use that biological biz.” Didn’t even get the gist of the joke besides it being a really specific putdown of some kind.

    And then in Stasis Leak, Rimmer goes “You might as well marry a box of Daz” which makes sense in relation to powdered detergent. But I always heard it as either “You might as well marry a box of dams” or “box of dabs” which of course made no sense to me, but I thought dams or dabs were some kind of edible candy or something. The box threw me off because I never really thought of powdered detergent because as far as I knew, detergent comes in those massive jugs with the handles or more recently in those delicious Tide Pods. “Box” made me think of food, but the context of the joke at least made it clear that Rimmer was making a comparison to something powdery. Partial credit?

    in reply to: Red Dwarf VIII is flawed #261028
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    The worst part of VIII is discussing it on G&T, again

    See you in ten minutes?

    See you in ten minutes?

    See you in ten minutes?

    in reply to: Misheard lines #260914
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Beryl Bonjella, got it, thanks. I think I was thrown off by the fact that I never really hear the name Beryl anywhere.

    in reply to: Misheard lines #260857
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Speaking of VII, Princess Bonjella. So I’m to understand that Bonjella’s a gum ointment right, that’s where the theoretical humor comes from, like just a generic household object brand? Like she might as well have been Princess OxyClean or Princess Febreze?

    Again, American here so some of the specific brand references go over my head (didn’t know what a Topic Bar was for ages). But then…

    Bonjella’s like “Oh please, Ace. Call me Beryl.” And then we get an audience laugh. And granted it wasn’t filmed in front of an audience, but my understanding is the laughter was from an audience being shown the recording instead of pre-canned laughter, but is her name being Beryl significant? Did I even hear that right? Is Beryl just a generic name and that’s the joke, or does Beryl have something to do with Bonjella?

    Also another misheard line: I must’ve watched Better Than Life three dozen times before I realized he was saying “Yawn-o-rama City.” Before that I assumed it must’ve been some sort of reference I didn’t get but still couldn’t make out. I was like, is he saying “You’re no Rama city” or “Your neurama City?”

    Another misheard line from the same episode, with Lister reading the letter. I had subtitles on when watching the Rob/Ed/Paul Zoom commentary so I finally realized it’s “Maybe it’s your father-stroke-dad.” Which I guess makes more sense. I swear I heard him say “Maybe it’s your father’s strobe dad.” And then I was like what the hell is a strobe dad and dismissed it as another reference lost in translation.

    in reply to: Misheard lines #260834
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    For years I could never make out what Lister said to Kryten after they leave the AR detective simulation, and only after getting Son of Soup did I learn that he’s saying next time he’ll give Kryten some money and send him to the pictures. Even knowing that, I still can’t really make it out, but there’s still an audience laugh. Now I’m an American, so do I just not have the ear for it and the audience did understand it and laugh at it or was it added later?

    Also speaking of laughter, how did Series VIII tapings work? Was there legitimate audience laughter? If so, what were they even laughing at?

    in reply to: Red Dwarf VIII is flawed #260150
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Looks like this discussion is building to a climax.

    in reply to: Red Dwarf VIII is flawed #260082
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Series VIII is intentionally flawed because, in a Steven Moffat-esque stroke of genius, the entirety of Series VIII was a mere feint to serve as the first phase in Doug Naylor’s 13-year-long master plan to set up that one joke at the end of Series X.

    in reply to: Worst episodes of series 3-5? #260025
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Polymorph is a sloppy episode. Funny? Sure, at times. But far from Dwarf at its best. While I can appreciate that it’s Dwarf intentionally letting it’s hair down and is often referred to as part of a one-two punch with Marooned, I still think it’s my definite low point for Series 3-5 because even when Polymorph is funny, it’s not the kind of funny of I look for from Red Dwarf.

    Series 4 and 5 are largely perfect, and even entries I don’t prefer like Dimension Jump or Demons and Angels I still respect as objectively good episodes.

    Series 3 though is tough because even in classic episodes there’s usually something dodgy about the execution somewhere in the ep. Polymorph is dodgy throughout, but even a classic like The Last Day has a sloppy battle at the end. Hudzen himself is a fine enough performance, but that whole Hudzen sequence is so haphazardly shot once the action starts that it takes me out of the scene, like I barely even registered the gibberish Hudzen was saying, etcetera, which is a blemish in an otherwise classic episode.

    The plotting is looser in Series 3 which I don’t much prefer either, with the storytelling being much more polished and tightened in subsequent series. So whatever the weak point is from the Series 3-5 range, for me it’s gotta be somewhere in Series 3, definitely Polymorph in particular, but that whole Series 3 as a whole is a low point in just the way it was executed.

    in reply to: good or near-perfect line readings? #259976
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Rimmer: “Oh, THAT.”
    From Justice, not the similar gag from Terrorform, which has a decent delivery, but not as perfect as in Justice.

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #259897
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    To me the actual “red alert” bulb gag isn’t even as funny as when they first turn on the blue alert and Kryten just sort of points at it. It’s all in service to the characters, with Rimmer insisting on the formalism and Kryten’s bemused pointing at the alert bringing it home. The “red alert” follow-up is just the icing on the cake.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259838
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    The AR Machine lie never bothered me because the only two people who might actually believe it were Rimmer and Cat. This may be giving the episode way too much credit but it never crossed my mind that Kryten was fooled by that lie, maybe because when he detected “Ace” sounding more weasely, he put what was happening together not long after that.

    Rimmer was fooled enough to take it seriously, I mean he believes in aliens and has encountered many strange things so why not. All Lister had to do was generate an immediate threat. But mainly, the Cat bought it, at least long enough to allow Rimmer to have a dignified farewell not undercut by the Cat’s insults and quips (i.e. the Cat being a dick to Rimmer in Promised Land, which is the last thing Rimmer needed if was gonna become Ace).

    Whoever didn’t realize Rimmer became Ace by the end of Stoke must’ve either been told or figured it out immediately. In Blue, Lister seeks Kryten’s medical help after his dream of kissing Ace, so it might not be a stretch to assume he explained his whole dream.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259813
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    The light bee not being a thing until they met Kryten makes a great deal of sense. I’m officially incorporating that into my headcanon.

    Now I have to mentally go back and see if any holograms from the “past” had light bees, which still wouldn’t be a contradiction if it was just something the Dwarfers themselves didn’t have access to at the start.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259778
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Just how did the GELF bride’s ship infiltrate non-space?

    And what WAS the reason why whatever passes for Kryten’s subconscious converted the struggle into a Western?

    Also, the talking toilet from Balance of Power… was that their go-to toilet during their whole stay in that original quarters? Like when they talked about “aliens” using the bog roll, it was really the bog roll associated with that toilet, right there in the quarters? There wasn’t a bathroom they used just down the corridor? And since holograms can have sex and have heart attacks, do they also have to use the little boys’ room? (Is there holo-pee?)

    Why does Rimmer go crazy for food in Bodyswap when he has access to holo-food like the chutney sandwich (which must taste enough like the real thing that he can describe the taste in detail and Lister gets it)? He couldn’t have just pigged out on holo-mashed potatoes?

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #259777
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I agree about Stoke Me a Clipper showing Lister’s maturation and being legitimately touching. It was a very good sendoff overall and the coffin sequence still holds up pretty well even with the subpar VII-era CGI, and I’m glad to see others enjoy it too, as it’s held up as a classic among my circle of friends (in isolation, the Ace opener with the smash cut to the rock theme song is a fuck yeah moment). It’s interesting to think of Lister and Rimmer’s relationship in VIII as Lister relishing in it. I think that’s spot on, but when Rimmer taunts him when he first shows up again, it’s the last thing Lister needs. The scene where Lister explains how much he’s matured to the old Rimmer is one of the few VIII scenes I legitimately like, where you see the glimpse of what could have been if the idea was better-executed.

    Another Unpopular Opinion: When people cite the “first 10 minutes of Legion” as being classic, does that include the peanuts/dancing moose bit? Because while the “red alert” sequence is classic, the changeover stuff before that is only very good and not classic. There. I said it.

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #259759
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Aww thanks. I’m a big fan of your opinion on my opinion. But since this is a thread on unpopular opinions, I’m clearly doing a crummy job.

    The Simulant thing didn’t bother me because it’s good structure. They need to deal with the pod problem, they cross the threshold into the Justice Complex, master it’s Justice Field, then use that to rectify the problem that brought them there in the first place.

    I’m in the US and I’ve never heard anyone pronounce Michigan with a hard CH. I’ve also never heard anyone use the phrase “It’ll be a whole lease of line for both of us.” Lease on life, sure. But lease of line? Why would you take out a lease on a 1-dimensional object? It just isn’t done.

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #259748
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    “Red Dwarf doesn’t need jokes. Today is not the day to find out why it has so many.” -Eleventh Doctor (paraphrased)

    As a fan of Series VII, I obviously agree that doubling down on the VII format for VIII would’ve been preferable. The funny/sad thing is, for brief moments in VIII, some of what was missing in VII can be glimpsed: the Rimmer/Lister dynamic, the audience, and I’ll admit, Mac McDonald is game no matter how bad the episodes got. Much like the prequel/sequel trilogies of Star Wars compared to the original, VII/VIII are like triplicated half-copies of the classic 36 eps, with VII having the structure and pathos and VIII having a zany energy and swagger.

    I also agree that Red Dwarf’s best humor is plot/character-based instead of gag-based (although some gags still hold up obviously). The gags can work but usually when they do it ties into the character involved. The boxer shorts scene (my unpopular opinion of the day) isn’t that funny really because the setup is so contrived to get to that point. As genuinely fun as it is to hear the audience flip out, the groundwork laid to make that scene happen is a stretch, and not really character-based or even plot-based. Contrast that with, say Stasis Leak, where Cat freaks out at the “dog” strangling the woman in the lobby and attacks it. Isolated gag, sure, but it gels with Cat’s character and him being in the past, which is why I’ll take that over a million boxer short gags.

    Another Unpopular Opinion: Duct Soup is genuinely decent. Any episode that’s trying to be a spiritual successor to Marooned is at worst well-intentioned, and I’m surprised it doesn’t get more respect. While I get people not enjoying it, Duct Soup would be a good episode of any other sitcom. That kind of close-quarters bottle episode format is a trope for sure that both sitcoms and dramas do (like 17 People in the West Wing or Cooperative Calligraphy in Community) and while Duct Soup clearly isn’t as awesome as either of those examples, it’s gets at least partial credit from me for at least knowing to aspire to that (as opposed to VIII which aspired to dinosaur shit).

    Yet Another Unpopular Opinion: Justice is the perfect episode of Red Dwarf, and while I see it’s in a lot of people’s Top 20 or so, I’m flabbergasted that it’s not in more peoples’ Top 5 or even Top 10. It doesn’t really put a foot wrong. It’s one of the show’s most solid outings start-to-finish and while it maybe doesn’t have a memorable singular boxer gag to make it distinct, it’s pretty consistently stellar with a solid plot and intriguing sci-fi concepts, embodying the very best of Dwarf.

    One More Unpopular Opinion: While Holoship is one of my favorite Dwarf episodes, it does irk me whenever I watch it that the movie they’re watching at the beginning is so parallel to what happens at the end. Maybe Rimmer’s mentally using it as a template for his actions and even sort-of-quotes it, but the fact that the movie matches his situation exactly is so on the nose that I’m like oof, even though I love the episode overall.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259747
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    (Can’t get blockquote to work, so imagine blockquote:) “Given that in Dimension Jump he’s told he won’t ever be able to return to his own dimension, presumably it’s anywhere but.“

    Very true. Although Bongo may have just been referring to how the Wildfire’s Rimmer-based navigation system works, since obviously Ace can’t seem to jump to a dimension with no Rimmer (i.e. the home dimension he left behind). He may not have taken a wormhole into account, since that’s how they reach the coffin planet.

    Another question: How is it that Rimmer is randomly affected by everything that affects the other Dwarfers? Even Kryten explicitly has organic components, but how is Rimmer just as susceptible to despair ink or a Polymorph attack?

    Yet another question: What did they ever do with D.N.A. ship after that episode? Holly or Kryten would clearly crack it eventually. Even considering Series IV-era Lister’s moral sanctimoniousness, surely they didn’t just release it into space because no one can be trusted to use it? The applications are too plentiful. With just a hint of DNA, they could have made up to five strawberries a week!

    Even Another Question: How can a machine, an adapted teleporter, create copies of an object or person with the “best” and “worst” aspects, when that’s a value judgment and not really a scientific thing? It’s not like when Kirk got split in classic Trek where there was a nice and jerk version but there were pros and cons to each implying it was a relatively even/arbitrary split. Also, how are maggots a “worst” trait since they’re not even part of the strawberry, they’re a different life form, and maggots aren’t inherently bad, it’s all in your point of view, since a maggot is just going about it’s day. Unless there were maggots in the original strawberry and super-tasty ones in the divine strawberry that we didn’t see. But otherwise, that joke just seemed rude to maggots. They’re just livin’ their life, man.

    Now that I think of it, while I can appreciate that the High Dwarfers were all similar and the Low Dwarfers were all distinct, sort of symbolizing oneness versus individualism… considering that Kryten and Lister had a whole discussion on why and how the High Dwarfers were smarter than they were, how is being so gullible and naive to let themselves be killed by the Lows indicative of them being the “best” versions? Being zen-like when killed is one thing, but their statements showed they were incapable of even acknowledging the malice of the Lows. Besides being kind of funny, what was the point of that? Is the implication that naivety is a virtue?

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259739
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    In Stoke Me a Clipper, is the dimension with the planet with the ring of Ace Rimmer coffins implied to be Ace’s home dimension from Dimension Jump since theoretically he’s the “first Ace?”

    Also, do hard-light holograms really need major orthopedic surgery?

    In addition, I’m a bit fuzzy on the succession of Ace’s. I remember the deleted scene where the Ace in Stoke Me a Clipper explains in the medibay that he was originally a Series VI-era Rimmer in his dimension who abandoned his crew and was tracked down by his predecessor, but when he said “I took over from him,” he was talking about the Ace from Dimension Jump. So was that shorthand for, “your Ace was a thousand Ace’s ago and I took over the lineage” or did he really take over directly from the Ace from Dimension Jump, which would imply that the Dimension Jump Ace isn’t actually the first Ace either?

    Also, what happens if an Ace is killed instantly and doesn’t have a chance to pass on the lineage, instead of limping to the nearest Rimmer mortally wounded (ex: being instantly vaporized by a neutron tank in Dimension 165, which makes zero sense if there are infinite dimensions, like why even bother numbering them?).

    Why were Ace’s wig and shades real but the rest of him was part of the hologram?

    Since it’s implied (and even explicitly stated in Backwards) that the Wildfire can and does time-travel when dimension-jumping, why would it hone in on Series IV-era Rimmer when a) Rimmer’s dead and the hologram is a simulated consciousness, and b) both earlier and later in that dimension’s timeline there are actual living Rimmers?

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #259712
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Back to Reality is a very good episode but nowhere near my favorite. It’s a superb piece of television but short on the laughs.

    Last Human is better than Backwards.

    Series VII is actively good and severely underrated, and Nanarchy is ahead of its time and a well-executed mythology episode.

    Back to Earth is lovely. Short on jokes, yes, but a decent reunion special. Ranking it with other episodes is sort of unfair because it’s a reunion special and not meant to be a “normal” story, and it was so great seeing these guys after ten years in a story way more respectful to the franchise than Series VIII, that I’m surprised it doesn’t get more respect.

    Series III is way overrated. For some reason, way more so than Series II or IV, there’s something about III that’s sloppy and doesn’t age very well. The effects, the humor, and even the storytelling (which can be really stream of consciousness) seem sort of loosey-goosey and not in a good way. Series III is often held up as one of the best, but it’s fine. Also, Polymorph, while having some good jokes, is a piece of shit and definitely not a classic.

    Dimension Jump has some cool ideas and execution, but also it’s way overrated. Watching Rimmer be cringier than usual is not fun.

    EDIT: Just realized this was an old thread and I’m repeating myself. Womp womp.

    in reply to: Break a Red Dwarf Episode #259682
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    THE INQUISITOR

    The Inquisitor replaces Lister with an alternate Lister, who like the prime Lister, is also his own father. But when the Inquisitor kills the alternate Lister in cold blood, this creates a paradox since now the alternate Lister doesn’t live long enough to conceive himself with Kochanski in the tube, and the resulting paradox catches the attention of the Infinity Patrol who arrest the Inquisitor for time shenanigans and undo the whole episode.

    ME2

    Rimmer, remembering he can take the form of any other hologram from the events of Balance of Power, has one of his selves become Yvonne McGruder’s form, and with the sex relieving most of the tension, the two Rimmers form a lovely long-lasting relationship.

    GUNMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE

    The Simulants, instead of upgrading Starbug, abduct the Dwarfers and subject them to prolonged torture thanks to their vast food supplies which they use to keep their victims in a state of perpetual agony.

    Alternately, Kryten’s subconscious converts the struggle into literally anything else for an an actual reason.

    BACKWARDS

    Upon entering the backwards universe, Starbug immediately reverses back through the time hole, but then goes through it again once back in the normal universe, and Starbug is just stuck in that loop forever.

    JUSTICE

    Upon arriving at the penal colony, the Dwarfers ask the AI about any other galactic civilization in its databanks, like where the prison ship was departing from, etc., and the helpful Justice AI directs them in the general direction of Earth and the remnants of humanity.

    THE END

    Red Dwarf is long decayed after three million years and Lister dies in stasis in the interim since it’s crazy that things would actually be functional and intact three million years later.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259671
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    That actually makes a lot of sense. I bet Future Kryten is actually hanging around the background of Stasis Leak, but no one can tell because his toupee is just that good.

    So here’s another question: How does the table in the drive room eject canisters of ashes so quickly? You’d think they’d shoot it out an airlock or something, not a table in the center of a room. The whoosh sound happens immediately, which might just be the vacuum of space as it’s released into the ramscoop, but still.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259621
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Why does taking a life drive Kryten to suicide when he’s already killed the crew of the Nova 5 without provocation?

    in reply to: Break a Red Dwarf Episode #259619
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Of course. I get that they steal the curry from themselves which is why they don’t have it in the first place. But more to the point, they could have at least warped back to Red Dwarf before it got stolen just in general. Now let’s see if I can think of any more…

    BETTER THAN LIFE

    Lister and Rimmer DO manage to guess Holly’s news, even without any clues.

    POLYMORPH

    The Polymorph breaches the hull of its containment pod only to immediately suffocate because it still can’t survive open space.

    JUSTICE

    Kryten doesn’t let slip to Lister that there’s a pod on board and nobody screws down his diodes or calls him Frank.

    D.N.A.

    Rimmer announces to the D.N.A. Ship that they don’t want Glenn Miller and to go away, and the ship acquiesces and leaves.

    CAMILLE

    Holly, who’s presumably still projecting her AI into Starbug, notices right away when Kryten brings Camille in board that she doesn’t see anyone there, and Kryten and Rimmer immediately figure out she’s not what she appears.

    THE INQUISITOR

    The Inquisitor, manifesting as Lister and Kryten, is thereby convinced by their arguments since they’re being judged by themselves and would thus not doom themselves to oblivion.

    Alternately, Kryten isn’t even judged because he’s a mechanoid, or even if he is judged and erased, wouldn’t have a different CPU ident in an alternate timeline and Holly immediately lets him in.

    MAROONED

    Starbug doesn’t happen to have random food items stashed on board and Lister dies.

    JUSTICE

    Lister, instead of miraculously deciding not to shoot the Simulant because of bullshit morality, tries to actually shoot the Simulant and blows himself up.

    Alternately, when the Simulant chases the Dwarfers into the Justice Zone, at least one of the five people involved actually notices the red forcefield and AI announcement and adjusts their tactics accordingly.

    WHITE HOLE

    The Dwarfers, after all the Queeg shenanigans, conclude that Holly is still plenty smart and opt to not try and increase her IQ.

    in reply to: Break a Red Dwarf Episode #259616
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    THE END

    Following the radiation leak, Holly pilots Red Dwarf safely away from doing any damage to the rest of the solar system, but upon getting just out of range, fucking stops moving into deep space and just chills out nearby orbiting a moon or something. Also, not long after the accident, the JMC sends a retrieval team to get Red Dwarf back since it’s presumably a big investment.

    BALANCE OF POWER

    Rimmer uses the Black Card and Lister immediately respects it and relents.

    THANKS FOR THE MEMORY

    When the black box Holly recording says to not play the recording and Holly says he knows what he’s talking about, he actually decides to listen to himself. Alternatively, the Dwarfers realize burying the black box with a gravestone is stupid and just fire it into a sun.

    BODYSWAP

    Carol Brown, upon being booted up in Lister’s body, does what Rimmer has always feared and takes command after the bomb is revealed to not be a threat instead of just fucking off between scenes.

    DIMENSION JUMP

    The alternate Space Corps. realize sending their best pilot and experimental ship on a one-way trip to never return is inefficient and stupid and decide to keep Ace on the payroll because why the fuck would you banish your best pilot?

    BACK IN THE RED

    Upon being resurrected in deep space with a vastly altered ship, Hollister decides, “Hey why don’t we hear these guys out and not be dicks. There are clearly existent circumstances, and since they’ve been around maybe they can help us get our bearings.”

    FATHERS & SUNS

    Upon Rimmer inquiring if Chinese Whispers are racist, Kryten tells him to fuck off with that bullshit since it’s the future and that shouldn’t even be a consideration. But then the telephone C-plot doesn’t interfere with the climax to give Lister the idea on how to stop Pree, and the Dwarfers die as Red Dwarf flies into the sun as part of Operation: Sizzle.

    LEMONS

    Upon meeting Jesus, the Dwarfers follow up by asking what his last name is.

    TERRORFORM

    Rimmer isn’t randomly made flesh on his psi-moon, thus rendering him invulnerable to all the the Self-Loathing beast’s machinations.

    Also, since Kryten is a mechanical intelligence with actual organic components, the Psi-Moon also uses him as a template.

    Alternatively, Kryten doesn’t randomly know what a Psi-moon.

    QUARANTINE

    Dr. Lanstrom CAN shoot straight. Final episode of the whole show.

    TIMESLIDES

    Holly says the developing fluid must have mutated and everyone stops everything and asks follow-up questions. Because what? Is developing fluid alive like pneumonia?

    CONFIDENCE AND PARANOIA

    Rimmer adheres to his daily goal list, allowing him to decontaminate the ship in a timely fashion.

    PARALLEL UNIVERSE

    Upon doing the Holly Hop, Red Dwarf warps directly on top of its parallel counterpart instead of weirdly next to it, resulting in a Watchmen-esque explosion that kills both Red Dwarf crews.

    Also, Lister doesn’t become magically able to give birth by being in a female universe, or even if he is, it’s reversed upon going back to his home universe, thereby averting his pregnancy.

    TIMESLIDES

    It doesn’t occur to Lister to walk into the projector screen, and they never realize they can use Timeslides to travel in time.

    in reply to: Break a Red Dwarf Episode #259592
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    DEAR DAVE

    Lister whinges about the lack of human company, then immediately remembers he literally just encountered Irene Edgington and the citizens of India in 23 A.D. and proceeds to shut the fuck up.

    THE END

    The JMC assigns an actual engineer to repair a drive plate.

    BACK TO REALITY

    The Dwarfers learn from Kryten that they’re dealing with despair ink that’s possibly hallucinogenic and then after being sprayed with ink and waking up in a dystopia, immediately realize they’re in a hallucination while admitting that, yeah, it is a freaky coincidence that Hope defeats despair and the ship is actually called the Esperanto.

    STASIS LEAK

    In the past, Rimmer is visited by a hologram version of himself coming out of a table, which the past Holly immediately detects since Red Dwarf is what generates the hologram, and Hollister and the proper JMC authorities are notified.

    QUEEG

    Holly decides to be clever and awesome BEFORE almost killing Lister with a yellow cable.

    MAROONED

    Upon being hit by a meteor, Lister and Rimmer immediately signal for help well before crashing.

    TIKKA TO RIDE

    When they go back in time, they don’t randomly show up in the exact place and time to knock Lee Harvey Oswald out a window. Also, instead they might decide to just time travel back to Red Dwarf which presumably has enough curry lying around.

    OUROBOROS

    Lister realizes that flossing with wood glue already in his mouth is stupid and doesn’t do it, ultimately dooming Kochanski to die slowly in non-space.

    EMOHAWK: POLYMORPH II

    Lister honors the fucking agreement he made and actually sticks around for a bit in an otherwise nice village with reasonable GELF inhabitants.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259568
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    The whole series is just an unreality bubble inside a despair squid hallucination inside a Red Dwarf snowglobe on Hollister’s desk.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259544
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Here’s one that I have a personal answer to but it’s not spelled out per se in the episode proper: In White Hole when 12,000 IQ Holly gives them the pool-with-planets plan that Lister chucks in the bin in favor of his own pool shot, was that the intention all along? In other words, did 12,000 IQ Holly in all her geniusness give them intentionally flawed plans knowing that Lister would reject them for his ultimately successful shot? Or was Holly’s plan real and Lister rejected it anyway and just got lucky? Or were both plans valid? (I tend to think it was all Holly’s plan, much like how the Oracle in the Matrix bullshits Neo by telling him he isn’t the One so as to mentally get him where he needs to be.)

    In addition, how fucked would they have been in their no-power situation had they not happened to drift near a White Hole? And what’s to stop them from trying the IQ compression again if they (mostly) don’t remember the timeline? Or was one of 12,000 IQ Holly’s last actions before powering off to direct Red Dwarf in some way in the direction of a White Hole (through Holly Hop or otherwise) so as to act as a reset button for the crisis? Not sure if that reasoning works considering the implication is that they were operating in the White Hole’s time influence even before that start of the episode, though 12,000 IQ Holly could have done some timey-wimey stuff to affect the ship in the past to ensure that it found its way to a White Hole. But that’s a stretch.

    Also, and most importantly, if a White Hole is the opposite of a Black Hole, what with its spewing of matter and energy and time back into the universe, wouldn’t there be an opposite event horizon that’s impossible to enter because it just pushes everything out including light and time, etc. such that nothing in the universe could push past that point? And if so, how do you fill a White Hole with a planet, if theoretically it would just bounce off the event horizon?

    Also, what IS a White Hole?

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259474
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    There aren’t a lot of episodes that wouldn’t have been improved by an opening SOS Holly narration laying out their current fruit supply situation. Not too much to ask for.

    Also something I never was clear on: Were the vending machines it was their job to repair meant to be some version of a replicator? They could comprehend custom milkshake orders but also just dictate what the fish of the day was. So was the food molecularly assembled each time or was there actual food stuff being conveyed throughout the ship? Chicken soup nozzles were clogged after all, which struck me as weird since why wouldn’t they be more generalized nozzles for any kind of food? If the food was premade, how did it last 3 million years, even if it had been dehydrated like in Back to the Future 2? Because if it’s replicated then really there’s theoretically infinite fruit, but probably with the problem of finite generalized “food matter” reserves to assemble the food from, so a triplicator would still help.

    As a side note, I’ve been using the lockdown as an opportunity to watch the original Star Trek, which I had never seen properly before, and in the episode Tomorrow is Yesterday, the teleporter operator impresses their onboard guest who’s from the 1960’s by using the food machine to instantly summon chicken soup when the guest requests it. I wonder if this very episode inspired that aspect of Red Dwarf, because of all the foods, they both used chicken soup (a food I’ve never actually seen in vending machines in modern times).

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259461
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    If they worked half as hard to get more strawberries as they did to get some fucking lemons, I’d say obtaining any fruit is within their power.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259426
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Yeah, the Fucked Up Timeline Theory (or FUTT). That actually makes perfect sense, and I remember hearing about that years ago, and on some level I’ve actually subscribed to a version of that, which best explains the changing centuries of their “present day” as well as the fluctuating Red Dwarf original crew count, Lister’s history with Kochanski being retooled, and why Lister had his appendix out twice (although that could’ve also been reconstituted in D.N.A.). The Infinite Temporal Flux abides.

    Mind you, that can actually explain any discrepancy the more I think about it.

    Not sure how I feel about Series III onward being a separate continuity from I and II, seeing as they do explain the progression of events in the Backwards crawl.

    I think the more important question is: Did Rimmer always know damn well that sprouts make Lister chuck, or did he learn that by watching Lister trying to eat the raw sprout in Marooned?

    Also, we already know there’s a botanical garden on Red Dwarf, so why would they eat the last strawberry in the universe instead of just trying to plant it?

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259396
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Oh snap… I never even thought of that! You’ve convinced me. Thanks!

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259393
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I’m 90% certain that Rimmer’s mayday bit was at the workstations at the front corners of the midsection. Because he’s trying to send a signal as Lister comes back in from the snow in the background behind him.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259389
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Regarding Stasis Leak, I’m referring to how Future Lister goes, “In five years time, you find another way to go back in time.” But then we never see this followed up on (which is fine, but still an unanswered question).

    If I’m not mistaken, seeing as Lister characterizes his adventuring as around six years when talking to Rimmer at the start of Series VIII, I always wondered, given what we know now, if Lister did end up going back to marry pre-accident Kochanski five years later, from which era of the show does that Future Lister hail from?

    Seeing as how in Series VII, they have a version of the Time Drive that lets them go anywhere & when, and seeing how even in Ouroboros, Lister at the end takes the time to close the time loop and drop off his baby self, one could possibly conclude that the Future Lister and Future Rimmer we see in Stasis Leak are actually Lister and Rimmer at the start of Series VII, at a point between Tikka to Ride and Stoke Me a Clipper since they’d have the newer Time Drive but before Rimmer left Starbug.

    Just generally referring to the unanswered question of “Did Lister ever become the Future Lister we see in Stasis Leak, even if offscreen?” Sorry for the confusion.

    Also, thanks for referring to the novel regarding not going into stasis. Makes sense. And regarding ontological paradoxes, I like Steven Moffat’s concept of those. He was talking about Heaven Sent and basically explained that the first go-around might have played out differently, but once the loop gets going, it “tightens” over repeated iterations until it finally settles into a consistent equilibrium. That for me makes every ontological paradox I see in media much more palatable.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259383
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Good point, well made.

    in reply to: Unanswered Questions #259380
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    How does history buff Rimmer have a hole in his knowledge such that he confuses Christopher Columbus with Colombo?

    Why didn’t they just go into stasis after Future Echoes? Also, couldn’t they have just brought a light bee of Rimmer in there with them if he was afraid of being switched off?

    Why is Lister the focus of the Red Dwarf crew’s inquiry at the start of Series VIII when he’s the least big deal of that Starbug group, compared to say, a senior navigation officer as well as an android and evolved cat that shouldn’t really exist by the normal crew’s standards?

    Why did Kochanski’s hair change from the end of Nanarchy into Back in the Red? (Are we assuming nanobots?) (also, is it fair to even bring up Series VIII in this thread, since it’s basically shooting fish in a barrel?)

    If Lister is his own dad, how can there be an alternate Lister when the Inquisitor erases him from history?

    More to the point, if Lister’s his own dad with Kochanski, meaning 50% Lister and 50% Kochanski, but that 50% that’s Lister is itself 50% Kochanski, then how many iterations of the time loop will it take before he’s just effectively 100% Kochanski?

    Why does that shot out the cockpit window in the beginning of Marooned look so rubbish?

    Why don’t they go inside the cockpit once Starbug crashes in Marooned? Are we assuming it’s crushed beyond repair?

    How long did Gordon wait for Holly’s move in postal chess before he gave up?

    Why do they even still hang out with Rimmer after the shit he pulls in Bodyswap and Quarantine?

    Did nobody from the original crew seriously not stumble into the Stasis Leak just using the shower and wind up as white powder?

    Are we assuming Series VII-era Lister used the Time Drive to go back into the events of Stasis Leak as Future Lister, or has that timeline been averted somehow? And where were Future Cat and Kryten?

    When Holly decided to create Queeg to make a point, was that decision after he almost killed Lister with the yellow cable? Which is to say, was he trolling the whole time, or did he sincerely fuck up in that moment?

    Why did they decide to go back to pursue Red Dwarf when the Legion Station literally had everything they could ever need, both survival-wise and sanity-wise?

    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Nicely done video. It was informative but also nicely streamlined. Also, glad to see someone else has a soft spot for the New Paradigm Daleks. (After the way they got disrespected and humiliated in Journey’s End, the Daleks had nowhere to go but up. And I thought the new colors were cool!)

    At some point Moffat said something along the lines of “Doctor Who can’t have canon,” basically because of the infinite temporal flux and all that. The cracks in time being undone basically means all of Series Five didn’t play out in “canon” the way we saw it, etc. It’s sort of implied overall that the Doctor can save a spaceship of humans in the 98th century but as soon as he leaves a different Doctor could have a battle in an earlier century that would undo the existence of that original spaceship in the first place. Everything is changing all the time and the Doctor is all about just being kind and doing the right thing in the moment. Which is to say, with regards to “canon” everything is valid or invalid and up to the viewer to decide. Doctor Who is squishy and imperfect, so there’s no damaging of the “canon” in a way that will ever destroy Doctor Who for me because there really isn’t a “canon” even from the Doctor’s own point of view. (Even the tabletop game suggests the 8th Doctor can’t be sure of all his own adventures besides the first and last because of ripples from the Time War.)

    The way I see it, Doctor Who is a storytelling vehicle first and foremost, and I care less about the substance of the story itself than whether it “goes the distance” i.e. is it a well-told story, does it reflect a creative point of view, etc. I may not have “agreed” with some of the developments in Series 12, but there’s a swagger and a vision there and that’s what it’s all about. The Chibnall Era is coming into it’s own. Very imperfect for sure, but I still enjoy it the way I unironically enjoy the Star Wars prequels as someone‘s actualized creative vision.

    On balance, I personally had zero problem with Timeless Child. If anything bugged me about it, it wasn’t the Tecteun origin twist (which is fine? I’m meh about it). It’s more the running issue of Series 12’s seeming disregard for Series 9-10 as a whole, namely sidestepping Hell Bent and the entire Missy Arc. The Sacha Dhawan Master mentioned Gallifrey being still in its bubble but in Hell Bent it was already explained to be back in the real universe. That, combined with the John Simm Master’s “mutually kicking me out” line in Doctor Falls leads me to theorize that it was the John Simm Master who destroyed Gallifrey before leaving, and Hell Bent takes place sometime before that from Gallifrey’s pov. But all that’s a nitpick anyway because of the aforementioned infinite temporal flux and squishy timeline.

    Anyways, back to YOUR rant, I thought your video was well-reasoned and I even learned some things about the McGann movie I didn’t know. I’d forgotten how briefly the half-human stuff played into the plot in the end. But overall, good video, hope you do more.

    (Also side note: I’m surprised you used the “Those Words Are Blasphemy” clip at the end, without referencing the fact that they’re saying that in response to Rose’s assertion that they’re part human, basically making it an explicit joke about the half-human controversy.)

    in reply to: Your Unpopular Red Dwarf Opinions #258468
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Series VII is a series I actively enjoy (in a different way than I-VI mind you) but even the Kochanski episodes have something to enjoy in them. And I especially love Nanarchy, which I think is a pretty well-executed mythology episode with a nicely-done Holly comeback. I’ve always been a fan of scenes where characters get together, compare notes, and just work out their plan of action, and Nanarchy has a couple nice examples of that. I think it’s a greatly underrated episode that was ahead of its time.

    Chris Barrie’s a phenomenal actor but Rimmer has lost all his edge and subtlety. Rimmer’s been a caricature since Series VI. He went from being the best character to easily the worst, to the point where I’m surprised someone hasn’t pulled him aside and said “Dude, wake up. Rimmer is a real person with pathos and edge.” Maybe it’s Barrie, maybe it’s the writing. I mean I do love the present iterations of the show, but while Lister, Cat, Kryten, and even Holly have shown glimpses of that old magic, a large part of me is afraid that Rimmer’s spark has gone out forever, unless something drastic happens.

    Back to Reality is a very good episode of Red Dwarf, but the more I think about it, I’m not even sure it makes my top ten.

    I actively think Polymorph is stupid. The autopsy, boxer shorts, “twat it,” and the planning scene at the end are all individually funny scenes in a vacuum, but as a whole I think that episode is pretty eh. Way overrated.

    While Series III is often held up as one of the show’s best, and indeed has some great eps and scenes, as a whole I think it’s aged terribly in a way that Series IV hasn’t, and even in a way that Series I and II haven’t either. Maybe it’s when the show’s ambition really started to outpace it’s budget, but I actively cringe during some parts of Series III (like that early shot of Marooned in the cockpit with the gray background, or the sloppy way Lister’s edited into the Hitler footage).

    I’m not really all that fond of M-Corp, but I can’t really put my finger on why.

    When people online say they like Can of Worms, I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about, because that episode is hot garbage, from the very first scene onwards (although hedgehogs in top hats are always welcome).

    I don’t really like Dimension Jump much at all. Some cool ideas and performances, but it’s hard to watch. Rimmer is an ass in a way he usually isn’t, like they play it up way too much for contrast. I don’t think the sparks between him and Ace are earned in those barely two scenes they were together, and Ace just saying at the end where their timelines diverged was anticlimactic.

    Maybe it’s because it’s the very first episode I ever saw, but I actually really, really like Rimmerworld.

    I think the Cat’s been killing it with all his outfits in the Dave era.

    I don’t understand why in all these polls Justice isn’t ranked much higher than it is. That episode is basically perfect.

    I really love Back to Earth. And I know it’s different with no laughter, but it’s a reunion special, not an actual season, and I was so damn glad to see these guys again in a special that harkened back to the shows better days, and all that emotional stuff at the end worked gangbusters. When people put it at the bottom of their lists, part of me gets it, but part of me’s like, you can’t treat it like normal episodes. It’s doing something different, and I super dig it, just on a sentimental level.

    in reply to: Red Dwarf RPG – Potentially lost books? #258451
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I have all the Red Dwarf RPG books, and have even scanned them for my own use so I don’t have to lug the books everywhere, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable distributing licensed Red Dwarf material.

    The Red Dwarf RPG was actually my first foray into tabletop roleplaying and is still one of my favorite systems. I’ve run/played numerous games on it and had a blast, and it’s a simple system that keeps things moving, which I love, as I think more complex systems take the wind out of their own sails.

    The books are all great and strike the perfect tone, and they’re all incredibly well-written and continue to make me laugh to this day.

    My BFF and I both have copies of the core book, and it’s actually something back in the day we’ve both pulled out on the fly at hangouts and house party get-togethers with fellow nerds, as it really is a cinch to make a character and play a game, so it’s great for parties.

    The 2D6 system is very, very simple but that’s fine. It works well with Red Dwarf’s relatively hard sci-fi setting, and you can actually gauge how skilled someone is, as opposed to the stats and levels in D&D which get a little too abstract. Additionally, sometimes when I’m working on a creative project, I’ll make character sheets of my characters and run a “simulation” to see how things might turn out, and the RDRPG is one of my go-to’s for that purpose.

    In summation, the RDRPG is fun and I love it. I got the core book as a gift years ago but the rest I ordered on Amazon easily and would recommend you do the same. Even if it’s defunct, I’m all for the old adage: “Support your game!”

    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I always thought they should’ve just stayed at the Legion Station. It’s like upgrading to the High Red Dwarf in Demons and Angels and just having that forever. Legion would figure out a way to teleport the whole station to Earth if that’s what really mattered to them.

    But imagine if you got some bad guys altogether at the Legion Station. I’m talking the Inquisitor, Caligula, Pree, and the Polymorph. Not only would they be a legion of doom, but their Legion would be crazy dangerous. Not sure what they’d call it though: Legion or Inquigula?

    Also, just for an episode, and it would have to be done right, it would be sort of cool to reveal whatever happened to Hollister and the Series VIII crew after they fled Red Dwarf, possibly having found refuge on some other JMC derelict like the Orange Giant or what have you. As much as I detest Series VIII, it played with some cool ideas, such as the fact that, even after the Dwarfers had multiple series of adventures under their belt, they were pretty handily outclassed and outwitted by the more classically competent original crew. It would be sort of neat to revisit that, having Hollister et al be sort of frenemies.

    in reply to: Six of the Best Part 2 #246753
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    BEST EPISODES:
    Tikka to Ride
    Cassandra
    Back to Earth, Part 2
    Lemons
    Give and Take
    Mechocracy

    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    My assumption was that he gets to everyone eventually, even the “new” incarnations of people. It’s just a question of when.

    But that always bothered me about the Inquisitor’s methodology. Why does he pluck you out of the middle of your life instead of the very end (like the Teselecta in Doctor Who)? What if you’re a late bloomer?

    Rimmer actually makes a decent point about “why did no one tell me this before” and pretending to be converted by the Archangel Gabriel. There’s no notice. Why is it important that people live worthwhile lives without being warned of their potential fate? It’s Political Theory 101 that secret laws are bad. If you don’t promulgate a rule, it’s not really legitimate.

    Kryten also makes a decent point about how it’s weird that machines are judged (though we don’t see Holly judged), though it seems like the Inquisitor deletes Kryten and Lister out of spite more than actual fairness.

    The takeaway seems to be that even if the Inquisitor is onto something and even aspires to be fair by having people judge themselves, he’s still full of shit in a lot of ways and subject to impulsiveness and bias in ways that undermine what he claims he’s trying to do. He may be one of the most dangerous and powerful beings ever encountered on the show, but he’s not a cosmic entity, just a grumpy Simulant complete with flaws and philosophical inconsistencies.

    So maybe the new Lister wasn’t worthier at all or just hadn’t been judged yet, but that’s besides the point since the Inquisitor just ends up killing everyone anyway for no reason. He’s full of shit, and the inconsistencies in his stated philosophy versus his actions bear that out.

    in reply to: Post your Pearl Poll rankings #229143
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    My personal rankings. If my calculations are correct, Series XII as a whole very narrowly edges out Series I as a whole (with Series I sandwiched more or less between XII and XI) which for me feels about right.

    Also once again I feel like some kind of Polymorph truther, protesting loudly to a world of deaf ears that Polymorph is stupid and ridiculously overrated.

    1 – Justice
    2 – Thanks for the Memory
    3 – White Hole
    4 – The Last Day
    5 – Quarantine
    6 – Gunmen of the Apocalypse
    7 – Stasis Leak
    8 – Legion
    9 – Meltdown
    10 – Holoship
    11 – Mechocracy
    12 – Me2
    13 – Queeg
    14 – Timeslides
    15 – Out of Time
    16 – Future Echoes
    17 – Back to Reality
    18 – Marooned
    19 – Cured
    20 – Krysis
    21 – Terrorform
    22 – Lemons
    23 – The End
    24 – Give & Take
    25 – Bodyswap
    26 – Skipper
    27 – Samsara
    28 – Kryten
    29 – Camille
    30 – Better Than Life
    31 – DNA
    32 – Fathers & Suns
    33 – Rimmerworld
    34 – The Beginning
    35 – The Inquisitor
    36 – Balance of Power
    37 – Siliconia
    38 – Tikka to Ride
    39 – M-Corp
    40 – Polymorph
    41 – Twentica
    42 – Psirens
    43 – Confidence & Paranoia
    44 – Back to Earth – Part 2
    45 – Officer Rimmer
    46 – Trojan
    47 – Dear Dave
    48 – Backwards
    49 – Emohawk: Polymorph II
    50 – Demons & Angels
    51 – Nanarchy
    52 – Stoke me a Clipper
    53 – Dimension Jump
    54 – Waiting for God
    55 – Duct Soup
    56 – Parallel Universe
    57 – Cassandra
    58 – Ouroboros
    59 – Entangled
    60 – Back to Earth – Part 3
    61 – Epideme
    62 – Back to Earth – Part 1
    63 – Timewave
    64 – Blue
    65 – Beyond a Joke
    66 – Can of Worms
    67 – Back in the Red – Part 1
    68 – Pete – Part 1
    69 – Only the Good…
    70 – Krytie TV
    71 – Back in the Red – Part 2
    72 – Back in the Red – Part 3
    73 – Pete – Part 2

    in reply to: Thoughts on the Series XII Flipside Cover? #225725
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Wow. Fucked that up.

    Block quote fail. Don’t know how to go back and fix it.

    Sorry :(

    in reply to: Thoughts on the Series XII Flipside Cover? #225724
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Wowee! A thread I’ve started has been nominated for Hall of Fame status! Even though I made stupid typos in the opening post that I don’t know how to fix, and even though the conversation drifted into things completely separate from what the thread was originally about, I’ll take it!

    X being “unknown” instead of ten is something I could possibly get behind to settle the dispute. Even though the past couple series have clearly been called ten, eleven, and twelve (not x, x+1, or x+2). But you’re onto something here, because of course the Dwarfers would have at least a couple full “series” of adventures during the nine year gap.

    It sort of reminds me of one of the few things I liked about that stupid miniseries Heroes Reborn, which took place five years after the original Heroes run ended at season four, which was how the showrunner explained that this series was functionally “season ten” because the heroes have actually been having five seasons-worth of adventures during that five year gap, it’s just that we the audience haven’t been privy to those.

    My proposed solution, if you can call it one, that keeps the sequential numbers intact in both continuities, is to employ imaginary numbers. It actually makes sense because the crux of BTE is just a hallucination/alternate reality, as are the “series nine” and “series ten” mentioned within, so the term imaginary is apt. If you think of the joy squid reality’s post VIII-series as imaginary, then the mentioned nine and ten become “Series 9-i” and “Series 10-i” completely separate from “our” series nine and ten. Still with me? Good.

    So here’s my thought: In this paradigm, BTE is a complex number, in this case “9 + 11i”. It’s 9 because it’s clearly the 9th series produced in our world between 8 and 10, and it’s 11i because it takes place after the series 10i mentioned in the hallucination universe on the DVD cover. BTE occupies two different points on the series numerology depending on which reality’s continuity you’re using.

    So saying it’s Series IX is correct in many ways. Saying it takes place “after series ten” is also correct in the context of the special. Both are right. But if we’re just dealing with “our” universe of produced series, then undoubtedly BTE is Series IX. But from a god’s eye view, the proper series numeration for BTE is “Series IX +11i.” I have thus solved the BTE/IX debate for all time. Q.E.D.

    Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t try to contribute something even slightly pertaining to the original topic I started this thread about, so um… The possible good thing about XII being pale blue even though XI is a similar pale blue is that there’s a continuity of color between II and XII, both blue and sharing the “II.”

    Eh. Whatever. It still nags at me, the double-blue. I’m just running out of ways to rationalize it…

    in reply to: Thoughts on the Series XII Flipside Cover? #225624
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Lister reads off the literal cover of BTE which even on the physical copy IRL says it takes place after “series ten.” And that’s clearly bullshit because Series X is definitely continuing off plot strands established in BTE, like Kochanski being alive and all that. Which leads to my conclusion:

    The post-VIII series numbering of the BTE Earth universe do not correspond to “our series.” As funny as it might be to skip series IX, the reference to a “series ten” clearly reveals a separate continuity of series in that universe. So anyone saying IX already happened in the special can’t really be referring to a real series in “our” universe and are unreliable evidence of BTE being separate from IX.

    For “our” purposes, i.e. Real People, BTE is Series IX, as the ninth series produced and between VIII and X.

    in reply to: Thoughts on the Series XII Flipside Cover? #224651
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    At some point I scratched my Series III DVD and had to order another one. So what I ended up doing was putting my BTE discs in the old Series III case and switched out the cover with a Series IX cover I made on photoshop. It’s not perfect but it does the trick, seamlessly connecting 1-8 with X and beyond.

    in reply to: Thoughts on the Series XII Flipside Cover? #224605
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    That… actually makes a lot of sense.

    in reply to: XII on disc (UK) #224498
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    How awesome was Norman on the VIII commentary? Classic.

    in reply to: In Defense of Timewave #224430
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    They’re flummoxed by this robot from the future but have the technology to reset him to factory settings? Wait… No, I can’t let myself get pulled into the Series VIII flaws whirlpool again. Abort! Abort!

    in reply to: The pearl survey #224428
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Seeing someone’s reaction completely renews the experience. It’s why the Doctor has companions. And why I make everyone I meet watch all of Red Dwarf.

    in reply to: XII on disc (UK) #224427
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    They get a third of the way through Timewave and are like, “Nope. Can’t do it. We’re out.”

    in reply to: Casting a new Holly #224402
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    It would be kind of awesome to have both Norman and Hattie at the same time. We got a glimpse of that in Series 2, but how cool would it be to have 2 proto-Hollies running the ship and busting each other’s balls. It would be a great duo and something new.

    in reply to: XII on disc (UK) #224401
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I would actually respect it if the 50 minutes is an Xtended Mechocracy with the final scene with Talkie and Rimmer stretched out 50 minutes with Talkie’s “would you like some toast” non-stop and then Rimmer’s face slowly changing into different levels of anguish.

    in reply to: Hour Long Dwarf? #224400
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    NO

    in reply to: In Defense of Timewave #224399
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Maybe if Kryten had spit on his wrist, his inflated hand wouldn’t have flown away.

    in reply to: The pearl survey #224398
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Pearl Perlustration. Look it up.

    in reply to: XII on disc (UK) #224357
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    One hundred percent.

    in reply to: XII on disc (UK) #224353
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Meh. It’s a decent group shot but one that’s would better belong on the back. As a fan of consistency, I really would’ve liked shots of just Rimmer and Lister. Like Old M-Corp Lister and either Mechocracy Candidate Rimmer or Skipper old-school Rimmer. Even just the two of them as Krytens would have been fine. But four is right out.

    in reply to: In Defense of Timewave #224346
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Jokes in Red Dwarf worse than “spit on a wrist”:

    1. The Blue Midget Dance
    2. Kryten making everyone pull down their pants on the toilet
    3. Rimmer molesting everyone with the virus
    4. The extended Talia scene with Rimmer
    5. Rimmer being happy/unmoved about Howard’s holo-death
    6. You are the sunshine of my life ooooh
    7. The Dwarfers gawking at a naked Irene E and delaying getting her clothes

    I think that might be it, actually. Because damn, spit on the wrist is down there.

    in reply to: In Defense of Timewave #224180
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I don’t think anything in Timewave was intentionally bad, but I think a lot of its badness and stupidity was a function of its concept of things being bad and stupid. This was a “letting its hair down” episode and I think the silly loosey-goosey tone the episode was going for interfered with the quality-control instincts that would usually kick in for any other episode.

    And yes, I do think it’s better than anything in VIII, even though they clearly share a lot of the same DNA. But in my mind the only things elevating it above VIII are the sporadic decent lines, and the plus points mentioned above. No one thing makes it better than VIII; its only elevated slightly by little things across the board.

    in reply to: In Defense of Timewave #224076
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    You’re right about objective, but I stand by “consensus-level.” I think subjectivity is the primary factor but I think on a mechanical level a work of entertainment can be systematically flawed on its own terms, independent of peoples’ enjoyment.

    in reply to: In Defense of Timewave #224073
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Agreed. I think on some level, shows and movies do have an “objective” or largely consensus-level of plus and minus aspects, which can be listed and categorized, but in the end it comes down to one’s subjective model of how many points they give for positives and deduct for negatives.

    in reply to: In Defense of Timewave #224061
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I was criticizing myself more than anything else. I’m my own inner critic.

    in reply to: Feels like… #223428
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I think it’s interesting that even recent reviews and analyses of XII episodes compare it to X. Example: “the vending machines in Mechocracy are very Series X-esque.” My guess is that it’s a factor of time and distance. Each of the classic series’ has its own feel to be sure, but there’s also been many years of analysis that help each series gain their own identities in hindsight. Series X has already started to solidify its identity in the fan consciousness. (I just think of it as “the red one” and XI as “the blue one” but I’m a visual thinker.)

    I believe that Series IV, for example, has a very distinctive “feel” but a lot of that comes down to realizing how the music and effects are consistent, and also, importantly, how the series compares to ones before and after it (i.e. it’s more assured and less broad than III without being as dark serious as V). Their original airings are admittedly before my time, but I can imagine in the moment seeing episodes like Camille, White Hole, and Meltdown as very different and diverse, whereas now they can be definitely identified as being IV-ey, which again is down to the production and the overall tone.

    All of this is an overly long way of saying, I believe that with some time and distance each of the Dave-era series will become more distinctive. The use of earlier series to describe these newer episodes is more as a solid frame of reference than an indication that these series lack their own identities. If in another 20 years time we’re not using Series X and XII as points of comparison with the newly aired Series L, I’ll eat my crevice brush.

    in reply to: What will be 'XII's color'? #223030
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I didn’t realize it the first time, but when Lister and Hitler are jamming, that’s inside Starbug. I thought it was Hitler’s room too at first, but it’s the Starbug 19 interior. Which makes more sense when Rimmer pulls Lister aside and they have a sidebar in the Starbug cockpit.

    in reply to: What will be 'XII's color'? #223027
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Series I: Red —> Series X: Pale Red
    Series II: Blue —> Series XI: Pale Blue
    Series III: Green —> Series XII: Pale Green?

    A pale off-green is my best guess, with the green coming from the wall of the Starbug 19 interior, which makes sense because (Can of Worms excepted), the Starbug 19 interior is the big new featured set of XII that sets it apart from XI.

    Watching Siliconia though (SPOILERS), there are multiple displays of dazzling bright yellow ships of a color not seen so far in the DVD’s (Series IV’s beige doesn’t really count as yellow).

    in reply to: Rank Series XI #218010
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    That’s my Dave Era megamix series as well and in that exact order, but choosing episode 2 is hard because both Lemons and Twentica are the epitome of Episode 3 romps. I’d say Lemons narrowly gets pushed back to Episode 2 because the middle section is slightly reminiscent of Legion and Better Than Life, whereas Twentica cinches the Episode 3 slot because of the Gunmen and Justice parallels. The other episodes are pretty obviously in the proper slots. A shame though that Give and Take builds on the Beginning’s father reveal or I’d almost recommend newbies just watch that mix by itself (even though I do like Samsara and Dear Dave more than most).

    Actually, that megamix hybrid of X-XI is a pretty damn fine series. It might sit right alongside the original six.

    in reply to: Rank Series XI #217607
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    –DAVE ERA RANKINGS–

    Classics:
    1. Give and Take
    2. Krysis
    3. The Beginning
    4. Twentica
    5. Lemons

    Pretty Damn Good But With Flaws:
    6. Trojan
    7. Samsara
    8. Officer Rimmer
    9. Dear Dave (I like it in a cozy Series I way)
    10. Fathers & Suns

    Has Decent Bits But Mostly Bollocks:
    11. Entangled
    12. Can of Worms
    13. Back to Earth

    I just marathoned XI with my friend and it’s interesting how my opinion’s already changed. I enjoyed Can of Worms on first viewing but upon repeat, while some plot points are clearer, I realize how bollocksy it is now. Inversely I hated Officer Rimmer on first viewing but am really warming to it now.

    in reply to: What would your running order be? #217528
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    My personal preference:

    1. Give and Take
    2. Krysis
    3. Can of Worms
    4. Officer Rimmer
    5. Samsara
    6. Twentica

    Arrangement closest in feel to the classic series:

    1. Can of Worms (Camille + Psirens)
    2. Samsara (Future Echoes + Marooned + DNA)
    3. Twentica (Gunmen)
    4. Give and Take (Stasis Leak + Bodyswap + Quarantine)
    5. Krysis (Queeg + Timeslides + Dimension Jump)
    6. Officer Rimmer (Me2 + Meltdown + Out of Time)

    in reply to: New viewer #217220
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Skip VIII and go right to IX/Back to Earth. Trust me, you’ll lose nothing plot-wise.

    in reply to: Let’s Talk About Red Dwarf XI: The Game #216570
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    So I beat the entirety of Twentica. The update helped, though blimey those car sequences were still tricky. For the life of me I can’t round a corner without getting stuck and losing a lot of health on crates.

    But otherwise, I really do like this game, and I like that it is challenging. The idea of there being multiple mini-games works, and I like the HUD, menu, and sound effects. The whole thing is very crisp and looks and sounds beautiful.

    Question: What do you get for upgrading the ship? Bragging rights? More health?

    Also: Is it Casket of “Chornos?” That spelling kept coming up. I was pretty sure it was “Chronos.” Chornos sounds like a tortilla chip brand or a niche genre of adult film.

    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    >As a concept, “Back in the Red” isn’t bad. It falters on the execution, however.

    To be fair, Back in the Red does touch on some neat ideas:

    -The idea of flying through and crashing into a shrinking Red Dwarf.
    -The general sentiment of giving the VI-VII Starbug an epic final goodbye.
    -The return of the Montague bunkroom, however brief, was a genuinely nice touch.
    -The idea that Lister would have to catch up old-school Rimmer and explain how he’s changed.
    -The idea that the crew wouldn’t know how to react to Kryten and Cat’s existence.
    -The idea of using knowledge/gizmos from earlier seasons to try and outmaneuver Hollister.
    -The idea that the Dwarfers are immediately outclassed and outsmarted by the actual JMC crew.

    The general culmination and full-circleness of Back in the Red had so much potential. I think all that potential was distorted by a need to over-correct for VII’s dryness and also, I think Doug had just seen Dirty Dozen again and was on a Dirty Dozen bent, which clearly inspired the prison setting.

    Speaking of the prison setting (tangent-time!), am I the only one who saw the Kyln sequence in Guardians of the Galaxy and was like “Ohh… I can kind of see what Doug was going for in VIII…” The Kyln is basically identical to the Tank in both structure (both are Panopticons) and color palette. The rag-tag band of misfits teaming up in prison felt like VIII done right. Of course, that whole sequence was only like 15 minutes, and they escaped rather quickly. It makes one wonder what could’ve happened if the Dwarfers had escaped their predicament at the end of Back in the Red instead of Only the Good… Also, the Dwarfers didn’t have Rocket or Groot to make the prison sequences more fun. Just a rapey dinosaur.

    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Whenever I recommend Red Dwarf to people, I always say to skip VIII. Only VIII, because I do think that VII has its merits. Nowhere near the I-VI era, but if the jokes aren’t there it at least stays true to the hard sci-fi world and shows a laudable respect for the show’s narrative. Similarly, BTE is hugely flawed with parts that fall flat but similarly shows a respect for the narrative. Simply put, I believe that VII and BTE, while flawed, are at least worth watching whereas VIII isn’t, to the point where it’s a negative and detracts from the show, which is why I make this recommendation to newcomers…

    When watching Red Dwarf, skip right from Nanarcy to Back to Earth.

    You lose absolutely nothing by missing VIII. They’ve still never explicitly explained holo-Rimmer’s reappearance. And tonally, BTE is similar to VII. Both series also actually give Chloe Annet something to do. If you cut right from Starbug flying into a giant Red Dwarf to Nine Years Later with Lister at the grave with a pic of Chloe Annet and a Pride & Prejudice reference, it just works. However you fill in the gap between VII and BTE is certain to be better than VIII.

    To be fair, you lose one thing by doing that: the gag about the corrosive micro-organism in The Beginning. But that’s a price I’ll gladly pay.

    The ultimate tragedy of VIII is the wasted potential. The prison storyline was likely a bust, though if you squint and tilt your head you can maybe see comic potential in the chaotic rebel Dwarfers teaming up against “the man.” If you’re gonna bring the crew back, it should’ve been in a competent hard sci-fi fashion. There would still be room for jokes. Just look at Samsara, which just aired. The tone of the human crew was played fine. It is do-able. Hard sci-fi and funny. You could’ve kept Rimmer and Lister in the Montague bunkroom, and then put Kochanski in the drive room to hang out with Hollister to be used Series I-II style as often or as sparingly as required (it still boggles the mind why her rank didn’t have any clout in VIII. Dave Lister you stole a Starbug along with Kristine Kochanski… what? She’s a navigation officer. Her stealing Starbug is a bigger deal than Lister. Whatever.). And then since the Dwarfers had experience with the future, Hollister could have sent them on missions, which could be considered a shit job one rank up from repair man, so you could’ve hybridized the I-II era with the V-VI era in glorious fashion. But alas, it was not meant to be.

    For the years VIII was the final season, I did kind of appreciate how it was kind of a culmination. Regardless of the execution, it’s a season that brings back positive viruses and name drops Legion and Future Echoes. There’s a theme of Lister, having been on his own for so many years, now a space adventurer, coming back to the pre-accident setting. BITR1 explores this, and it’s actually kind of cool that Lister has to sell Rimmer on how he’s changed. The imagery of Lister in his Series VI-VII adventurer clothes returning to the Montague bunkroom is actually really well-done.
    (There’s a pic of Doug in the VIII script book where he’s working on his computer at the table in the recreated Montague bunkroom. I used to think that was a cool picture. Now I think, that’s probably when he was creating the masterpiece that is Pete Part Two.) There are some cool things about VIII, but obviously the execution isn’t one of them. Just some neat ideas on the fringes that could’ve been explored more. But… yeah. My policy is to skip it.

    in reply to: Red Dwarf Story Structure Observation #216014
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Hooray for necro-posting!

    So… funny story. I had based my initial seven-segment analysis on the Red Dwarf script books I’d purchased, but I expanded my data set to watching and timing other episodes while also analyzing unofficial online scripts (because I spend my free time wisely). And what I have realized is… I was close but a little off. Red Dwarf episodes actually work in four definite quadrants largely divided into EIGHT, not seven, segments. Look, guys. I was close. I was within the margin of error so smeg off. Obviously the four quadrants is the classic 3-Act structure (1/2A/2B/3). So my seven segments were largely right except that segment four, Approach, would be split into two segments. So then ultimately, based on a disgusting amount of analysis and research, what I have determined to be the EIGHT-sequence Red Dwarf structure is as follows:

    1) ORDINARY WORLD – This is the status quo at the beginning of the episode. It could be the Dwarfers dicking about in the bunkroom, Rimmer droning on with his Risk stories, or even them investigating a derelict. Inevitably, something will happen to end the sequence, ushering them to respond. This is the…

    CATALYST (Somewhere around the 1/8 mark, not exact) The line between Stages 1 and 2, this is when Stage 1 ends and the Dwarfers switch gears to start dealing with their new situation. This could be when the crew decide to meet up in Starbug to discuss the Matter Paddle or have all hands on deck because there’s a swirly thing alert. This leads to…

    2) PLANNING/DEBATE – This is where the Dwarfers “posse” and have to figure out what they’re dealing with and how to deal with it. It could be a Simulant battle-class cruiser on intercept, a distress signal from the Nova 5, or a squid that wants to hump Starbug. Inevitably, the gang either comes up with a plan or is somehow overtaken by the enemy. A Simulant might attack and arrive on board to eventually knock them out with a laser for three weeks, or they might encounter a Time Hole, or talk about being spontaneous right before they encounter a totally spontaneous easily-avoidable meteor and crash into an ice planet. Either way, a threshold is being crossed, and as such, we have the…

    THRESHOLD (2/8 – A hard 25%) – When the planning and debate ends one way or another and the Dwarfers are thrown into their new world, and it’s sink or swim. This line between Stages 2 and 3 is occasionally when there would be a commercial break (at least when I watched it on BBC America). So now in this new world we have…

    3) FUN & GAMES – A term I borrowed from Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat book (which claims to be the last book on screenwriting you’ll ever need, but really it should be the first book. Start there for the basics then move on, and quickly, to figure out how to be actually, substantively good). Basically it’s the “promise of the premise” where the audience has a lot of fun watching the Dwarfers adjust to their new situation. This could include landing on a new planet only to find yourself in Hitler’s war room, exploring the high Red Dwarf, meeting Legion and getting a hard light drive, etc. The Dwarfers sometimes crash their ship at 25% and then spend the next 10% recovering and figuring out where they are. There’s a descent here as the Dwarfers learn and explore their new situation, but there’s also sometimes exploration of concepts that will come in handy later. Once the Dwarfers get their bearings, we reach…

    GETTING BEARINGS (Somewhere around the 3/8 mark, not exact) – An arbitrary term I’m using to denote the checkpoint between Stages 3 and 4. Often the first commercial break happens here; it’s definitely either here or Stage 2. Once the Dwarfers get the fun and games out of their system and get their smeg together, it’s time for them to delve deeper into their new situation…

    4) ADAPTATION – Joseph Campbell calls this the Meeting with the Goddess. I call it the part where the Dwarfers just hang out in their new world, usually with a guest character or two. With the adjustment out of their system, the Dwarfers settle into their new situation, usually having a chat and associating with some new characters. This is where they hang out with their High selves and call them hippies, discuss art with Legion, talk about the Church of Judas, or discuss the state of Waxworld with Pythagoras. In some ways it’s kind of like a halftime break, after the exhaustion of Stage 3, but before the harder times to come in Stages 5-6. At this point, valuable information and assistance can be found, such as the helpful Legion and High Dwarfers, the realization that Holly’s powered down Red Dwarf, identifying the Psiren threat, or having your resentment drained. The point is, once the Dwarfers adjust, they sort of reach a new status quo (not coincidentally opposite to the status quo at the beginning of the episode on the other side of the circle). It’s typically a pretty comfy stage, but one that exists to prepare the Dwarfers for the next stage…

    MIDPOINT (4/8 – Hard 50%) – In Stage 4, the Dwarfers were adapting to their new world or situation, possibly getting comfy. The midpoint represents the point where they start to receive an internal or external call or motivation to get back to business, which could likely be the main plot of the story. They were comfy playing with the Luck Virus, but then pissed-off Rimmer reemerges and puts in the override to send them to quarantine. They were comfy in the High Dwarf but now they have to get the other triplicator from the Low Dwarf and also receive an ominous signal from them to help (I still don’t get why the High Dwarfers were dumber and gullible). It’s time to get back to business.

    STAGE 5 – APPROACH/BACK TO BUSINESS – Christopher Vogler calls this point the Approach to the Inmost Cave (we’re not quite at the inmost cave yet, that’s Stage 6). Sometimes, Stage 5 is a literal approach to Stage 5, like boarding the Blue Midget on the way to the Nova 5, or setting up the AR Western game to mosey on into town. After the midpoint, the Dwarfers have started to receive the call to advance the plot, and this is them back on the case, confronting the consequences of their new situation, be it investigating the Low Red Dwarf or delivering the gizmo to Harmony de Gauthier in the speakeasy.

    ENTERING THE INMOST CAVE (Around the 5/8 mark – not exact) The Dwarfers have started facing the consequences of their new situation, but here is where the cost of the new situation is directly confronted. Stage 5 was the approach. But now they’ve arrived at the heart, the deepest, darkest pit of their new world…

    STAGE 6 – THE ORDEAL – This is the mirror opposite of Stage 3, Fun and Games. Christoper Vogler calls this the Ordeal. Campbell calls it Atonement with the Father. I call it the “OH SHIT” stage. It’s where the Dwarfers meet their maker. Whereas Stage 3 represented possibly the good side of their journey, Stage 6 is where shit gets real and the bad side of their new world must be encountered. This the Cargo Bay sequence in Polymorph. Or the saloon sequence in Gunmen, or the Nova sequence in Kryten. It’s where stakes are raised, complications are encountered, and where the enemy usually makes his move. Legion was cool back in Stage 4, but uh-oh, in Stages 5 and 6 he reveals himself to be their captor and now the Dwarfers are imprisoned in “cells.” If Stage 3 was “Fun & Games,” Stage 5 is “Shit & Oh Smeg.” The first half of the circle was an entertaining descent, but coming out of the midpointis an upward journey, and it’s gonna be a slog, because exercise is hard and going uphill is hard and exhausting as fuck, with Stage 6 being the steepest part of the uphill climb. And lest you think this applies just to external threats, this can also be an emotional “OH SHIT” stage, such as learning that everybody’s dead, Dave, or getting tetchy with each other after 5 days in Quarantine, or realizing that Camille is not a dream girl but a Pleasure GELF. In the new episode-based situation, things have to get worse before they get better, and this is them getting worse. Basically, the Dwarfers get the shit beat out of them, physically or emotionally, leading to a final decisive low point…

    THE LOW POINT (6/7 – Hard 75%) Stage 6 kicked the Dwarfer’s asses in one way or another, and they’re not in a good place. Maybe Lister’s been captured by the Lows, or it could be lower stakes, like realizing the hot girl on board is actually just a Pleasure Gelf or realizing the Nova 5 crew are all just skeletons, leaving the crew saddled with a new neurotic mechanoid. There’s also usually the second commercial break here. At this point, things are at their worst, but the night is darkest just before the dawn, and the road to recovery is nigh…

    STAGE 7 – DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL – Another Blake Snyder term. Also known as Apotheosis, or The Reward, or as I like to call it, “The Dwarfers getting their shit together.” There’s a licking of wounds, possibly a battle plan or a speech involved. Drunk Sheriff Kryten is force-fed raw coffee. Rimmer vouches for his battle plan. Lister muses on how he gave Kryten a life to lose and works out a plan with the time gauntlet. Rimmer laments how he’s a “tosspot by royal appointment.” There’s usually an airing out of emotional unhappiness and insecurities followed by a resolution and rededication to take a decisive step to deal with the problem at hand, be it villain Wax Droids or arguing with the pub manager on why they’re fired. This leads us right into…

    FINAL PUSH (About 7/8 – Reasonably hard 85%) – This is the beginning of the end, the point between Stages 6 and 7, right where the Dwarfers (or one or more of them) enter the fray, having resolved to deal with the issue at hand. This is right when the Dwarfers escape quarantine, right when the Dwarfers step out of the saloon to confront the Gunmen of the Apocalypse, right when the others start enacting their plan to escape the Psi-moon by making Rimmer feel good about himself. (Don’t forget that more than one stage can take place in the same time/place/scene. In Terrorform, Stages 6, 7, and 8 all take place in Starbug, technically in one large scene). This leads into the final stage…

    CONFRONTATION – This is where the Dwarfers have their final confrontation with the biggest enemy, the threat of their special new situation. If there’s a cool concept or gimmick they’ve picked up over the course of the story, such as Stages 3-4 in particular, this is where it’s unleashed. Importantly, the climax point, where the decisive blow or action is made, is almost universally at the 95% mark, leaving just 5% for a quick epilogue to wrap things up. The end.

    THE END (7/7 – 100%) No shit, it’s the credits.

    So in summation:

    STAGE 1: ORDINARY WORLD (0/8 to soft 1/8 Catalyst)
    STAGE 2: PLANNING/DEBATE (Soft 1/8 to 2/8 Threshold – Hard 25%)
    STAGE 3: FUN & GAMES (2/8 to soft 3/8 Getting Bearings)
    STAGE 4: ADAPTATION (Soft 3/8 to 4/8 Midpoint – Hard 50%)
    STAGE 5: APPROACH/BACK TO BUSINESS (4/8 to soft 5/8 Entering Inmost Cave)
    STAGE 6: THE ORDEAL (Soft 5/8 to 6/8 Low Point – Hard 75%)
    STAGE 7: DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL (6/8 to 7/8 Final Push – Reasonably Hard 85%)
    STAGE 8: CONFRONTATION (7/8 to 8/8 End – 100%, with hard 95% being climax point)

    A major takeaway is that viewed as a circle, the episodes take place in hard quadrants: 25% threshold, 50% midpoint, 75% lowpoint, with the “diagonals” being general trajectories of the quadrants. There’s a lot of flexibility, but often quadrants can somewhat evenly be divided into two sequences, with the transition point in the proximity of 1/8, 3/8, 5/8 etc. Only rarely does a quadrant represent a whole scene (like the 2nd quadrant of Back to Reality, stages 3 and 4, being the whole scene with Timothy Spall). The Dwarfers start in ordinary world and are pulled internally or externally towards a new situation (first quadrant). After the 25% threshold, they arrive in the new world/situation and get their bearings, eventually adapting and getting the hang of things (second quadrant) by the midpoint (50%). At the midpoint the Dwarfers, having adapted to the new state of affairs, are called internally or externally to confront the negative side of the new situation and possibly restore the status quo; the chickens have come home to roost, and these chickens are faced by the end of the quadrant and either achieve a victory or the Dwarfers win but narrowly escape somewhat scathed physically or emotionally at the low point (75%). In the final quadrant, the Dwarfers, having entered a new situation, adapted to it, and fought through the toughest bullshit, are now equipped internally or externally to put things right, improving or restoring their world. Thus this final quadrant sees them using the luck virus to restore the status quo, or buy Kryten time to create a dove program. In many good stories, the fourth quadrant is a culmination, a symphony of the previous three quarters paying off. A psi-virus killer hologram (1st quadrant) plus the luck virus (2nd quadrant) plus asshole Rimmer forcing Dwarfers into quarantine (3rd quadrant) all culminate in one of Dwarf’s finest 4th quadrants with the reveal of Gingham Rimmer, the luck escape from quarantine, the Flibble hex vision, and the luck virus defeat.

    To be more pretentious, I’ll try to go through my steps on the most recent episode: Twentica.

    SPOILER ALERT FOR TWENTICA BELOW. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ ABOUT HOW THE DWARFERS TEAM UP WITH KILL CRAZY TO REBOOT THE DATA DOCTOR, STOP READING NOW:

    QUADRANT 1 (Steps 1-2): Starbug vs. Expenoids in Normal Time
    QUADRANT 2 (Steps 3-4): Alternate Time Earth Exploration
    QUADRANT 3 (Steps 5-6): Harmony’s Speakeasy/Einstein
    QUADRANT 4 (Steps 7-8): Speakeasy/Einstein vs. Expenoids = Return to Normal Time

    STEP 1: ORDINARY WORLD – The Dwarfers in Starbug. This is fast-paced but they’re dicking around in their normal space and time, bickering even as Expenoids mess with them.

    CATALYST – The catalyst, the thing that starts the chain of events leading to Twentica, is the mention of the subject of the trade, the Casket of Chronos (first mentioned at the 12.8% mark). The Expenoids demand a hostage trade using time technology, a transaction which puts the whole show’s plot into motion. (1/8 is 12.5%)

    STEP 2: PLANNING/DEBATE – After the trade the Dwarfers realize (thanks to an actually useful Rimmer) that the Casket of Chronos is a time amplifier and the Simulants are actually cliche-utilizing Expenoids who must be stopped before they change history. The Dwarfers set a course to follow them through time.

    THRESHOLD: In a dazzling sequence of effects, the Dwarfers surf the slipstream before getting hit with an electron wavelet and crashing in the desert on Earth. Time surf is at 22%, crash in desert is at 26% mark. (2/8 is 25%)

    STAGE 3: FUN & GAMES – Everything on Starbug before they Dwarfers actually start exploring Earth. Stages 3/4 largely involve exploring the new concept of the episode, and Stage 3 deals with the EMP wavelet’s effects. Kryten needs to be rebooted with the clamps. Rimmer comes online when they reboot the auxiliary drive.

    GETTING BEARINGS – Kryten explains how they’ve landed years after the expenoids and mentions there’s a township nearby. At the 34% mark they leave to explore the township. (3/8 is 37.5%)

    STAGE 4: ADAPTATION – This is the whole scene on the beautiful street, where Rimmer has no theories, they discover the year, and they realize toasters are banned in an altered timeline. They are soon given the gizmo and a club to bring it to.

    MIDPOINT – After receiving the gizmo and destination, at the 49% mark, they decide to fully adapt and change into 20’s clothes in a fist-pumpingly awesome sequence, then hotwire a car to leave for the club. They’ve adapted and now they’re on the case. (4/8 is 50%).

    STAGE 5: APPROACH/BACK TO BUSINESS – First the Dwarfers take several tries to enter but thanks to having a similar name to Joseph Lister, they enter the speakeasy where they meet best-guest-character-in-ages Harmony de Gauthier and they discuss science and the gizmo to take out the Expenoids.

    ENTERING THE INMOST CAVE – At the 68% mark, off Harmony’s tip, the Dwarfers set out to find Einstein to assemble the gizmo. (5/8 is 62.5%)

    STAGE 6: THE ORDEAL – At a dingy street corner, the Dwarfers find Einstein, a drunk wreck with string. After failing to impress him and promising not to touch his string, they take him with them.

    LOW POINT: At the 72% mark, the Dwarfers return with Einstein, their best shot to assemble the gizmo. They’re immediately informed that it isn’t actually Einstein but is just some random bum with string. Right as Bob the Bum decides to give it a try anyways, the police arrive to raid the speakeasy at the 76% mark. (6/8 is 75%)

    STAGE 7: DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL – For the raid, the speakeasy is converted into a normal bar. The police confront Harmony and insult her and then turn their attention to the Dwarfers, who are trying the blend in.

    FINAL PUSH: At the 84% mark, Lister is found holding a flask and the Expenoids arrive to face the Dwarfers once again. (Typical episodes have the Final Push transition at 85%).

    STAGE 8: CONFRONTATION – The Dwarfers confront the Expenoids. At the exact 95% mark, Bob the Bum assembles the gizmos (one potato!) and blasts the Expenoids. In the epilogue (final 5%), the Dwarfers escape back to their timeline and after a brief but badass external shot of Red Dwarf, Kryten brushes Lister’s teeth. The end.

    I hope someone gets some enlightenment/benefit out of this. The thing I got the most out of this analysis (besides the fact that I’m a pretentious egomaniacal git with WAY too much free time) is that the important thing is the quadrants, and the diagonals are freer and looser in a good way. There are a million hack screenwriting books that give you exact page numbers or percentages for every exact point in a story, but I feel like something like this is a lot better and more workable: a balance of hard and soft thresholds. The quadrants are relatively hard, usually with the landmark changes spot on at the 25%-50%-75% marks. Having the rest of it be flexible I think is practical. Limitations can enhance creativity, but there also needs to be leeway for organic growth and potential. Or some smeg like that. Join me in three months time where I realize the above rant was brimming with wrongability and amend it to a NINE-sequence structure. Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast.

    Renegade Rob

    in reply to: Red Dwarf Story Structure Observation #214249
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Thanks. It’s possible a single-parter like Cassandra might fit the rubric, but I really can’t see the Back in the Red 3-parter following it at all. But as I think about it, Back to Earth might be a better example of a multi-parter with actual structure. I haven’t done the math, but I imagine it roughly follows the general beats (as all good stories do. The 7-equal-parts thing is just an observation I noticed about Red Dwarf episodes in particular, but obviously any coherent story will hit the same general beats).

    in reply to: Red Dwarf Fan-Fic: Homecoming #214248
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Nicely done. Very good continuity nods. The idea of the Rimmers branching out of Rimmerworld is an excellent premise.

    in reply to: Red Dwarf Story Structure Observation #214237
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    I don’t dismiss the epilogue. It’s just the tail end of Stage 7. Climaxes in Red Dwarf consistently occur at the 95% mark, leaving 5% for a quick epilogue or cliffhanger or what have you. I guess technically you could consider that it’s own stage, but really that amounts to just a page or so. Epilogues in Red Dwarf are remarkably short, and numerically I thought it made more sense to just incorporate that into the final stage.

    As for multi-plot episodes, I haven’t fully examined every single episode, like Fathers & Suns just yet, but if you look at The End, which has 2 basic plots (Rimmer’s exam and Lister’s cat), those plots both play out in parallel over each stage, though they can weave in an out with one plot taking more focus in a particular stage (Stage 4 is more exam based and Stage 5 is all about getting in trouble for the cat). I think the End fits the rubric pretty well, but I haven’t delved into Series I as much yet. Clearly the hard structure came as Red Dwarf grew into its adventure roots, becoming less of a standard meandering sitcom.

    Stage 5 is when shit hits the fan. Sometimes that’s externalized as a bad guy, sometimes it’s internal or emotional. The end of Stage 5 is a low point, and that can mean anything. It could mean Rimmer’s plight as a result of Lister messing with his memories. As Dan Harmon might say, the protagonists enter a new situation, adapt to it, get something as a result, and then they pay its price. Paying the price is Stage 5. It’s definitely not limited to external threats. It’s a function of the new situation, whatever the episode is about, having good and bad aspects. Having adjusted to a new state of affairs and then sampling the benefits, the Dwarfers have to face the consequences. Yes, it’s cool that Lister seems to be doing well as he studies for the chef’s exam, but there’s a cost: he’s becoming more like Rimmer. It was funny when we and the present-day Dwarfers realized Lister was trying to give Rimmer the “gift” of Lise Yates, but now there’s a cost as present Rimmer is humiliated after finding out the truth, while Lister in the past realizes that he treated Lise badly.

    Marooned is definitely an episode where multiple stages happen in a scene. Stages and scenes don’t have to match up. More than one can be inside another, or a scene could contain part of a stage and switch gears by entering another, or vice versa. In Quarantine, Stage 5 is the Dwarfers at each other’s throats, with Stage 6 being about crazy Rimmer and the gang escaping with the luck virus.

    Since I don’t acknowledge Series VIII as even existing, it would be hard to judge how multi-parters work within this model, but from a cursory inspection it would seem obvious that Back in the Red Part III would be the quintessential epitome of this consistent, coherent storytelling paradigm.

    One of my general points was that each stage in a Red Dwarf episode is its own contained comedy bit, and episodes are a string of seven related comedy bits. Polymorph has the autopsy bit, the trout bit, the boxer short bit, the twat it bit, the cargo bay bit, the alphabetti spaghetti bit, and the give quiche a chance bit. The End has the chicken soup bit, the Fiji bit, the MacIntyre bit, the exam bit, the Hollister bit, the everybody’s dead bit, and the cat bit. These contained bits work on their own, then you can zoom out and see how they work together.

    in reply to: Build your own Red Dwarf #212232
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Where can you procure large amounts of styrene? I’m considering building a 1:1 scale model.

    in reply to: hypothetically making the worst possible ep of RD #212075
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Angry Video Game Nerd Movie? That’s a deep cut.

    I think a worst episode of Red Dwarf would have to be one that was bad while still technically being a ‘Red Dwarf.’ Obviously you could show footage of flies eating poop for 30 minutes and slap “Red Dwarf” on it to make a bad episode, but that’s cheating. The harder task is to make a ‘worst episode’ while still being true to what makes an episode essentially still Red Dwarf.

    If we take the worst episodes, we’d end up with VIII for sure and also some BTE and VII, and dipping into X and the classic series we’d get some Emohawk and Waiting for God as well as the Taiwan Tony stuff. So from all of these, what would make a show the worst while still being Dwarf? Well:

    1) Too many lulls between jokes, with the jokes themselves not being good enough.
    2) Lack of a cohesive plot or theme.
    3) The characters not being true to themselves.
    4) The humor being too broad, off-color, or wacky.
    5) Wasted opportunities and lack of conceptual innovation.
    6) Self-indulgence that amuses the writer or plays to the audience instead of being good.
    7) Leaning towards stereotypes and being racist and/or sexist.
    8) External silliness, when non-Dwarfers are sillier than the universe should allow.

    So off of that, a hypothetical worst episode would perhaps look like:

    Lister finally locates Kochanski, but she wants nothing to do with him. So he locates the sexual magnetism virus and uses that to draw her to his bed and bangs her nonstop. The B plot is that Rimmer and Kryten wonder if Lister’s actions are rapey and sexist, so they ask a bunch of robots, holograms, and vending machines what they think; all of these are female and portrayed broadly as stereotypical girly-girls by Kerry Shale, and all the machines sign off on Lister’s actions as perfectly hey-ho pip and dandy. But while things already are confusing, the third act is incredibly extra-sloppy and rushed. An enemy shows up as part of a completely unnecessary and disconnected C plot, forcing the crew to escape in Blue Midget, including the requisite Blue Midget dance and the studio audience laughing and applauding at gunpoint. Then at some point the crew return and track down the enemy using a fire extinguisher. The scene will be shoddily shot and will involve inflatable golden hot dogs and cardboard hats. But then literally two seconds after the enemy is frozen by the fire extinguisher, the Cat (who has been temporarily transformed into Duane Dibbley) will accidentally freeze Kochanski, who shatters into pieces, dead. Duane will exclaim “What a Dibbley!” and the episode ends as Lister, who has once again lost the love of his life and object of his unethical sexual magnetism, looks down at Kochanski’s shattered remains and replies, “What an absolute slag. Have you got a pen?”

    THE END.

    Thanks everyone. I’m here all week.

    in reply to: Guest Blogger's take on Red Dwarf #211822
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    When I finally get round to writing my Good Psycho Guide, this place is gonna get raves. Accomodation: excellent. Food: first class. Resident nutter: courteous and considerate. Psycho rating’s gotta be four and a half chainflaws.

    in reply to: Red Dwarf VIII? #211821
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    > You are looking too close at it’s detail and questioning it, not going along for the ride and laughing.

    First of all, it’s Renegade Rob. Renegade Bob is my cousin, we’re not on speaking terms.

    Second of all, I get your point about not taking it too seriously, and to some extent, yeah, you have a point. I’ll even admit that, having had a drink or two, I’ve put in VIII and laughed more than once.

    But here’s the thing: it’s not about just looking at its detail and questioning it. I do indeed do that a lot; it’s part of being a geek. But even on a first watch, classic Red Dwarf was always something that took itself seriously and had a coherent plot and well-drawn characterization. Those things aren’t aspects that you consider by picking something apart too deeply; they’re just basic competence. These things are largely absent in VIII. Even on a cursory, non-serious, non-sober viewing of VIII, it just doesn’t hold together. There’s not really a ride to go on. The tracks don’t connect.

    Maybe I can see that VIII has a sense of “fun” that VII lacks. Sure, okay. And yes, the audience is better. And sure there are bunkroom scenes. The highs of VIII might even rival or surpass the highs of VII. But the lows… Jesus. (of Caesarea)

    Your explanation is helpful. I still can’t find it in myself to ignore the lows, because holy shit. But yes, the “sense of fun,” misguided as it is, is there. I still prefer a more dour tone because that’s sort of where Series I began from, finding comedy from a serious sci-fi setting. The bunkroom and audience… those ARE things to grab onto and enjoy. So thank you. I’ll never really enjoy VIII, but your explanations have given me a slight foothold to possibly, with the proper lack of sleep and substance intake, seeing what entertainment value it potentially has. Maybe it’s not zero. It might even be one over infinity.

    in reply to: Guest Blogger's take on Red Dwarf #211771
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Look, it’s easy. Keep imagining the flaw as Queeg’s face.

    in reply to: Red Dwarf VIII? #211719
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    > Every Dog… In particular makes the last episode so much better

    Yeah, I’ve seen it. It’s not bad.

    I feel like VIII’s incoherency gets in the way of any potentially good jokes. It’s the opposite of VII, which was coherent but with less jokes. Almost as if putting VII and VIII in a blender and taking the best of each and mixing them would result in a semi-okay series. I doubt it’s possible, but a VII-VIII edit, reducing those 16 episodes into a single 6-episode series… that I’d love to see on dailymotion.

    in reply to: Guest Blogger's take on Red Dwarf #211715
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Welcome to Xpress Lifts, descent to flaw sixteen. You will be going down two thousand, five hundred and sixty-seven flaws and, for a small extra charge, you can enjoy the in-lift movie “Gone With the Wind.”

    in reply to: Series VIII ~ The Hour Long Version #211714
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    > I feel like I should include scenes from every episode. If I completely cut an episode, it feels like cheating. So I feel I need to include at least two or three scenes per episode.

    Ah, okay. I see now. Yeah, that’s an admirable challenge. 12 minutes for Beyond a Joke is probably still way too much.

    in reply to: Red Dwarf VIII? #211711
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Maybe I’m a snob, but every time I read that a lot of people really liked VIII and considered it a return to form and all that, and even when people say they just have a soft spot for it… I don’t get it. I mean, when people shit on VII, even though I really like large parts of it, the hate’s totally understandable.

    But VIII is utterly devoid of coherent humor or anything to latch onto. Can someone explain to me how the people who enjoy VIII are able to enjoy it? Is it just that they hated VII more? For all of VII’s flaws and unfunniness, at least it knew how to tell a story. How is not leagues ahead of VIII? I’d actually be interested in that perspective; if I ever watch VIII again, I’d be stoked to watch it from a different angle, a more positive one, but I just can’t latch onto anything positive. So what am I missing?

    in reply to: I hate Back to Earth #211710
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Remember that time Rimmer murdered a sapient hologram woman? Oh…. good times.

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