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Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Andrew, Apr 12, 2009.
This is one of the most lucid and well thought out responses I've read in 25 pages. IMHO. Well done.
Having been in TV production for many years I tend to analyse the plots, story line, productions values and so on from content and technical point of view as well.
I loved the original series of RED DWARF and you can see it took a while for production money to become available and for the characters Lister, Rimmer, the Cat and Kryton to become wholly formed and at ease with the feed and punch lines.
Even the original music score was a bit ponderous and sombre and became more upbeat in later episodes to set the pace for our 30 minutes or so of fun with the crew. Later from Series III Kryton originally played by David Ross and later with a much better transatlantic version by Robert (Scrapheap Challenge) Llewellyn was the catalyst for many situations and Robert's facial antics followed by double takes ( on finding they had time travelled to 1963 to... the book depository in Dallas and on seeing in large letters stamped on the boxes "BOOK DEPOSITORY" is simply pure but very funny slapstick)
For me some of the most memorable episodes were, Legion, Polymorph, Rimmer world, to mention but a few. Marooned was one of the very best. Even the video super of the snow cape and cardboard sets added to the "stuff it this will do" atmosphere of the show. To get reaction shots, audience laughter, punch lines etc synchronised and just so, even with the benefit of editing, takes some doing and never better than here. Classic lines when Lister admits to having sex at age 12 on the 9th hole of Bootle Municipal Golf course to which Rimmer replies
"12! 12! Well you couldn't have been a member of the Golf club then!"
Absolute classic aided by the atmos of the snow storm rageing outside and the howls of laughter from the audience.
Later we had Kochanski for added sex appeal, and greater production value such as exquisite lighting, more effects etc but that didn't do anything for me and just indicated a lack of ideas. The line however when Kryton thinks there is a fault with reality when describing to the crew his soaping down women in the shower of the penal colony being degrading for an android, and the rest of the Male crew listening but very still then uncross their legs with Rimmer saying,
"No Kryton we were just thinking about what you were saying!" Is a HOOT!!
Rimmer got all the best lines and so he should.
And so we come to Back to Earth. All I can say is that I looked at parts of the two new episodes and didn't laugh once. They were over produced with far too ornate effects and modelling, sterile without the audience, much more of a space drama than a space sitcom. Oh why oh why when having discovered a great formula do the TV production companies go over board with the floods of money and treat the new shows as an exercise in merchandising.
Sorry but these new episodes are not for me and the fact the actors (all due respect) are all much older, fatter gits and slower with the punch lines because by now the actors are too settled into the parts, just indicates that the whole series has peaked.
John Cleese and Connie Booth were right to finish the series of Fawlty Towers after about 11 episodes .
I have re played the original series of Dwarf for the Nth time and still get a big laugh from it as I do when I see washing machines made by SMEG still raises a titter in me and triggers instant replay of Kryton saying to Rimmer "Smeeeg.... Heeed!".
So for the sake of the original concept and the great performances leave it alone please and no remakes, Hollywood epics or the like.
But my thanks to Robert Llewellyn, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Chris Barrie, Rob Grant, Doug Naylor, Norman Lovett, Hattie Hayridge Clare Grogan, producers and extra terrestrials that made this one of the best smegging comedy showto hit our screens.
I disagree with you there. I think each series had its very own tone and style which changed accordingly. "Ponderous" sounds like you didn't like it. Which is fair, but I don't think it was a case of finding its feet so much as a deliberate stylistic choice.
I don't follow how improved production values and a cast change indicates a lack of ideas. Are you saying to be smart they still had to look like Thunderbirds? I'd be disappointed if the effects were using twenty-year old technology. I loved the memorial/ observation dome location. An early series concept improved upon for the twenty-first century.
But its always been heading this way. Each successive series has raised the bar when it comes to high Sci-fi concepts.
Merchandising is where the money is. TV production companies aren't in it for the art. At least not anymore. On the other hand, arguing with myself now, BTE was done on a shoestring.
Fair enough. Personally I liked them. I think partly because I set out to not like them. I was expecting it to be as bad as season VII was in my opinion. But I think Doug Naylor and the cast accomodated the expectations of fans AND provided something new. It worked as Sci-Fi, it worked as comedy, with some golden gems in it.
The bit where Cat tells the tale of the giant testicle in the water "coz it was messing up my hair!"
The merciless murder of a hologram: "hologram killing ok."
The sad pathos of what finally did Holly in. (For now at least.)
All brilliant stuff and without any special effects to speak of.
Or indicates that cast and writers are aware they are no longer young men (and women) and are letting that knowledge inform their performance? Rather that than Lister's "maturity" speech from Tikka to Ride. Besides, getting old and fat happens to us all. And was very strongly, very cleverly used in BTE. (In the third episode, I think you may have missed one because you mentioned before about "two new episodes". Which is a shame because the third really wrapped up the insane story of the second very well.
Phew, not just me then.
I thought it was absolutely perfect. I've been a massive red dwarf fan since I was about 6, I'm now 23.
I loved it! I wouldn't want an actual series to be like BTE though. An actual new series would need to be more like 1-6.
I thought the absence of the laughter track made it seem more atmospheric, more EPIC. The only point I didn't like was the typewriter bit, that was too slapstick even for a Laurel & Hardy sketch.
I can't believe the negative responses, I just don't see it. I thought Series 7+8 were beyond absolute garbage btw.
BTE FREAKING RULES SMEG HEADS!
Sorry if you already read this post in another thread, but it has come to my attention that fellow board user(s) would like for me to post it here instead. I originally posted this in "What let you down about BTE?":
In a nutshell:
It was too derivative for its own good. I mean, my god at times I thought I was watching a remake of Blade Runner with Red Dwarf characters. There's such a thing as influence sure, but when entire scenes and settings are plucked out from that "influence", I think that goes a little beyond inspiration/influence. Another poster compared these specials to those Wayan's Brothers films (ie. Scary Movie). Harsh! I'm guessing he/she was using hyperbole to illustrate a point. And to that end I can see where he/she was coming from.
Those scenes didn't really work for me. And by "those scenes" I mean the ones with "Swallow" and the creator/Tyrell. The photo-zooming one was brilliant and hilarious. That's because that scene made fun of one little scene of Blade Runner with a perfect amount of tact and it worked for moving the plot along (but "Wouldn't it have been quicker to have just used the phone book?" LOL). The reason why the other ones did not work for me, is because it felt less like genuine Dwarf and far more like mimicry and therefore ultimately, a little superficial. Which makes for a somewhat larger disappointment than you'd at first think. Because with all the creativity and imagination in that brain of his, Doug Naylor gave us an "homage" to Blade Runner? After 10 years?! Come on Doug, we're fans of YOUR stuff, no need to show us "Blade Runner: redone".
So there's that. Then there's this: (which I admit seems trivial, but grated on me over and over)
"This is too weird for words." Why? Why was this line repeated so many times?! I'm not being rhetorical here...Could somebody please tell me?
I thought Back to Earth was very good. A return to form after series 8. It was different, but it worked, particularly if you think of it as a Red Dwarf mini-movie with its own sort of atmosphere. The absence of the laugh track didn't really bother me because it felt like a movie. I think the third part showed certain emotional aspects of the show that we rarely see, which worked well. Reminded me very much of the novels. Anyway, I just hope they make more!
I've been rewatching a recording and to be honest it keeps getting better and better.
There were so many gagas I didn't pick up on the first time(s) round..
Can't wait for the DVD!
Did you leave Chloe Annett out on purpose?
Watched the whole thing in one go. Doesn't get any better, I'm afraid. In fact part 2 which on first viewing seemed funny, now isn't at all. If I wanted to watch Blade Runner, I'd watch Blade Runner. If I wanted to see Craig Charles do serious acting, I'd watch Coronation Street. It didn't feel, look or sound like Red Dwarf. The ship is back to it's old self on the outside but inside it looks like Star Trek. Let's face it, this was really, really poor. Sorry guys, but Back To Earth really proved for me that Red Dwarf has had its day.
Well after all these years to have some new red dwarf is a good thing and mostly it was good . But i felt some of the program lacked something at the start but got better as it got on . i hope more is made but i trust a few bugs could be worked on and what happened after season 8 up until this ? smeg knows
I've waited 10 years to see the boys from the dwarf again. Doug and the chaps didn't let me down, Back To Earth was almost everything i wanted, everything but holly but you cant have everything can you. I loved the way and look of how it was filmed, i loved the the absense of the laughter track and the boys acting was class, Red dwarf has moved on from 90's and into the 21st century with style, It's now a comedy drama and excels in it's new direction, Do you honestly think there would have been a laughter track in the movie if it had been made, this is the look and feel you would have got. Come on people get behind the boys after all it is the best british sci fi comedy of all time, 10 out of 10 in my book, look forward to the a new series in the same style,
But it wasn't a movie, it was a TV special.
Whilst I don't entirely disagree with your point and have, after repeated viewings, come around a little bit to BtE, this is for me an important distinction.
Doug and GNP are obviously entitled to make future instalments of RD however they wish to. And for the moment I will be one of those tuning into whatever they put out. But for me personally BtE would have enormously benefited from a live audience at filming and being cut into 40ish minute two parter as was initially intended.
Just my opinion but I consider these to be valid, constructive criticisms.
I thought it was great, in fact, I gave up 10 minutes of my life to find this forum, register and make this post with positive vibes for BtE. I enjoyed it wholly, some of the jokes were possibly not as legendary as past ones but you can't expect true genius to be in a constant state. I loved it, I want another series, my childhood was largely made up of reading the books and about 3 years ago I found the TV series and have watched them all twice since. Red Dwarf wont die in a metaphysical sense in my heart, don't let it die physically.
To be honest i have a feeling that the reason behind the loss of the laughter track is simply budget, Plus doug was probs trying to give us something similar to what he envisioned the movie to look and feel like but on a smaller budget. Any way Dave isn't BBC 2 and will probs never give him the budget the bbc did, so if we do get more red dwarf i would expect it to be the same no laughter track.
And yes i know dave is part of bbc world wide, still makes no difference, if the bbc wanted it, it would have been on bbc 2 or bbc 1.
Hi I would just liike to say that i have had to re-buy all the series on dvd as i have worn them out. Absolutely brilliant!!!! But I am not a fan of the Back To Earth Trilogy. I cant really put my finger on it but was not all it was cracked up to be. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make more but as they used to be!!! Everyone loved it for what it was, simple, comical, played by the best cast ever!!!! If you try to change it, then you are venturing towards the relms of star trek and everyone knows how much crap that really is!
Sorry to harp on guys
If they had made them l?ke they used to be... everyone would be saying its the same as it used to be and Doug can`t write anymore. The poor guy is damned if he does and damned if he don´t. Shame on you
Shame on who? And for what?
I agree, nothing stays the same you have to move on and adapt to the present,
You. For that. Just then.
Clarivoyant pre-shaming. Spooky. :shock: