Back to Earth: The Whole Thing

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Andrew, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. STAR_PIRATE

    STAR_PIRATE First Technician

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    Ah yea!... but RD ain't Dallas, at least there's some good story lines in RD than was in Dallas... LOL :twisted:
     
  2. MyMindIsGoing

    MyMindIsGoing First Technician

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    Location, Location is a TV show about houses.
    Then Patrick Duffy screams and asks what the hell they're doing in his bathroom...
     
  3. MrsAceRimmer

    MrsAceRimmer Second Technician

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    Certain ly would have been interesting :-)
    Mrs AR xxx
     
  4. Smegged

    Smegged First Technician

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    Well!

    I had not watched the specials since they came out in April as YouTube just didn't seem to do them justice.(nowhere in Canada carried them, so I was stuck watching low-fi versions on the internet). But my wife came through and got me the DVD for Christmas.

    Red Dwarf is my all time favorite show, has been for 15 years since I first saw it at the age of 10 when a friend of mine had taped the BBC marathon. From the second I heard about Back to Earth to the moment I saw it to the moment I got the DVD, I've been giddy about it. It didn't disappoint, in my humble opinion. Great laughs, great gags, great look, everything. I hugely enjoyed it. The only thing that didn't sit 100% well with me was the lack of a laugh track; even if it's piped in, I've just grown so accustomed to the familiar laughter that just always gave Red Dwarf this feel good vibe. In some ways, it felt like watching a dress rehearsal for a play--the bits you know the audience will laugh at on the big performance night. But this is really nitpicking, as I quite enjoyed the special.

    A few of the jokes went over my head as I have seen neither Blade Runner nor Coronation Street, but that did not taint my enjoyment of this in any way. Maybe it's because North American humor can be so painfully low brow, but I absolutely cracked up at bits like the PsiScan penis jokes, the giant testicle, and so on. Red Dwarf, in my opinion, has always quite elegantly handled toilet humor to make it splendidly entertaining. I found Back to Earth to be no exception.

    I didn't find the absence of Holly to be disappointing, as we had already experienced a few seasons without him/her. I'm not opposed to the character returning, but I do not think it's essential as long as the key four are there.

    Naylor and Co. did a fantastic job on this considering the rushed schedule and the shoe-string budget(figuratively speaking). The humor was there, the old Red Dwarf feel was there, the witty dialogue and banter(Rimmer dispatching Katerina was a highlight)...I just enjoyed it immensely from start to finish.

    Color me as one happy Dwarfer, and one wishing and hoping that they will continue to make more. RD is a gateway to my childhood and many fun memories watching with friends and family and always laughing.
     
  5. pole85

    pole85 First Technician

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    As a whole I thought it it was pretty good it had a lot of the original flare that I liked from the older shows. The only bit I didn't like was the look of the creator for some reason that bothered me. I was very excited when i heard of the new mini series and am glad to say I wasn't disappointed. As for the laugh track that didn't bother me in the least i think it helps people find the humor themselves rather than have it shoved in.
     
  6. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    While I can understand Corry going over many people's heads (particularly RD's large international audiance who sadly probably didn't get the majority of that section and missed many of the in-jokes) one thing that has surprised me most about BTE is hearing that so many people have absolutely no familiarity with Blade Runner.

    The whole point in the creator's "look" was that it was the same as that of the creator in Blade Runner.

    I'm sure Doug probably took it as read that most sci-fi fans would have seen the movie and got the references as its one of the most iconic sci-fi films out there.

    At first I thought it must be generational thing...but even the people from GnT hadn't all seen it.

    Extraordinary...I assumed it was one of those iconic films like The Matrix where even if you havn't seen it you feel as if you have anyway due to the endless homages.
     
  7. pole85

    pole85 First Technician

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    oh ok been a while since i seen B.R.
     
  8. dvd3500

    dvd3500 Catering Officer

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    Nearly there for a 1 year anniversary!
     
  9. midgetjesus

    midgetjesus Skutter

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    This is my first post, I imagine I am just repeating what alot of people have said on this thread! As it was over a year ago that Back to Earth aired.

    I was so excited when it was announced that there was going to be a one off Red Dwarf trilogy, they had been talking about doing a movie for years but never seemed to happen so this seemed just as good. I first started watching Red Dwarf when I was 5 or 6 back in the early 90's. It was such a magical show for me back then, partly and mostly I suppose due to my young age, but loved it, didn't get half the humour I'm sure but just loved the whole story. I even loved series 7 and 8, as many fans believe these were the worst series. Also to add aswell I read all the books when I was younger and absolutely loved them, the stories were brilliant, the storyline for BTE though. Awful.

    But nothing could compare to my dissapointment of this trilogy... The storyline was just awful, it can be summed up as when you were a child in school and you were asked to write a story and you can't think of an ending so you just cop out and say 'And he woke up and it was only a dream'

    I mean I thought we were going to get some real closure, but instead it just goes off on this stupid tangent. It was so cringy when the smartcar was going through coronation street.

    Alot of people seem to be making reference to the humour and how it doesn't work so well with canned laughter. I do find this with a few dated comedies where the canned laugter track has been removed, it does feel like it doesn't work aswell. One thing that red dwarf used to do quite alot was when there was a funny moment it wld often consist of silence and them looking at something in pure disbelief which seems to work alot better with the laughter track. But then tbh not alot of funny things happened, the crew dynamic didn't really seem to be there, they didn't seem to have the same kind of relationships you were used to them having.

    But as said before they just used a very similar storyline to the despair squid episode.

    I do find this very unforgivable really, they had years to come up with ideas for the story, they have old episodes and books to refer to, but they just chose a very random storyline that is almost completely seperate from some of the original episodes.

    Anyway, I have ranted long enough!
     
  10. SoundableObject

    SoundableObject Catering Officer

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    Red Dwarf never had canned laughter. It was always studio laughter or pre-recorded laughter added in (in the case of 'Bodyswap' and Series VII), never canned though, the laughing is people reacting ot the show and not something else.
     
  11. midgetjesus

    midgetjesus Skutter

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    Whatever, you know what I mean. The background laughter.
     
  12. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    So...what...you never saw the episode "Back to Reality"? You know the one that...um, this whole trilogy was themed around and who's ultimate explanation and reveal is completely central to?

    I can understand how you might have missed this episode given that it is commonly regarded as one of the worst episodes and hardly anyone remembers it...Oh wait...what?..it was voted "Best Episode Ever" by Red Dwarf's own fans and given a special screening on the BBC to celebrate the achievment? It's constantly been repeated and is often regarded as one of the best examples of viewer gripped-ness in the history of the show...

    Well colour me surprised.

    On a less sarcastic note, I too was hoping for closure when a new Red Dwarf was announced but certainly wouldn't have been happy if the closure had been the reveal hinted at in Episodes 1 and 2 of this Trilogy and, following the powerful, supremely emotional and well written/acted finale I left the show feeling anything but the desire to see closure. Also are you aware that this most probably isn't the last we are going to see of Red Dwarf and that due to its success we are likely to get a new series?
     
  13. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    There were things in BtE I wasn't keen on. But the idea that it lacked closure wasn't one of them. In fact as far as the character of Lister of concerned it was all about closure. Not in finishing with the character and his adventures (although if there isn't any more Red Dwarf that wouldn't be a bad note to end on), but in terms of his coming to terms with himself and moving forward with his life.

    And that overshadowed the stuff I wasn't keen on, which to be fair wasn't that bad anyway.
     
  14. midgetjesus

    midgetjesus Skutter

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    Yes I have seen Back to reality, and it is one of my favourite episodes. I think I just got carried away in my rant there, because I do make reference to the despair squid later in the post, so in that sense the storyline isn't random. To be honest I haven't watched bte since it first aired on TV so my memories of it are slightly hazy.

    I say that I want closure because, as you say hopefully this isn't the last we see of Red Dwarf, but this seemed to be a long time coming so it does make me worry.

    Some aspects of bte I liked I guess, I just felt they could have done so much more. Just the sheer brilliance of some of the earliar episodes such as better than life and later where they travel back in time to Dallas and are at the JFK assasination and when they 'warp' ? lol in Lister knocks Lee Harvey Oswald out the window and they change history, I suppose I was expecting some kind of world like that where something they'd done had made the world completely different in some surreal way.

    They make reference in early episodes to all life on earth being wiped out except for a sausage that Dave left on the kitchen counter when he left to join red dwarf and now has evolved and makes up 98% of life on earth. I suppose I am just fantasising now lol.
     
  15. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    (scratches head)

    um...I still don't get your point I'm afraid. You say want closure, which would mean some sort of satisfying conclusion to the show, but you also want more Red Dwarf?

    Or are you saying that you would like more Dwarf but as it took so long to get new Red Dwarf last time you are worried about its likelihood then you would rather BTE had closed the show with a definitive ending?

    If its the latter then I think I agree with Maiden that for me at least, BTE did bring about some closure; in my case closure on what I believed to be a horrible final season and a truly awful cliffhanger. Back to Earth left us where we started (more or less), back to the core crew (albeit Kryten replacing Holly), back on red Dwarf and back to the original dynamic of the show.

    Not ultimately back to Earth but in a situation 3 million years more satisfying to me as a fan than where I was left 9 years earlier by probably the worst episode of Red Dwarf ever written for a series that I believed to have lost its heart, soul and direction...most probably forever.

    Back to Earth rediscovered those for me, paralleling the character journey undergone by Lister in the story and although it was flawed, that's why I love it and thank Doug for writing it.

    Incidently...in case you didn't know new scripts have been comissioned so Red Dwarf shouldn't have to endure anything like a 9 year wait this time...hopefully not even nine months :P
     
  16. midgetjesus

    midgetjesus Skutter

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    "Or are you saying that you would like more Dwarf but as it took so long to get new Red Dwarf last time you are worried about its likelihood then you would rather BTE had closed the show with a definitive ending?"


    Yes that is what I am saying, I don't really watch the DVDs too much anymore, just so I don't overwatch them. But I suppose I wasn't too annoyed at the time with the ending as I assumed there would be more red dwarf to come. But yes reading back now the ending wasn't very good at all.

    I didn't realise new scripts had been commissioned is this going to be on Dave? See I believe that's why I really didnt like bte, if I'd have thought something else was coming after it then I wouldn't have been so annoyed by it, but I saw it as the end.

    I don't see why Red Dwarf was so quickly like forgotten by the BBC at the end of series 8, I was watching over the 'Universe Challenge' Red Dwarf special they did, and how they celebrated 10 years of Red Dwarf, then the BBC turned around and said to them we want to move on with other projects. I suppose it's like what they did to the old Top Gear.

    But as I can gather from Wikipedia it seems they are planning to skip series 9 and go straight to series 10, and apparently it will become obvious why later?

    Sounds good, but then again I seem to remember coming onto this website years ago back when the rumours of the movie were coming out and that ended up turning to nothing! However this seems to have been confirmed by alot more people ack will keep on eye on this forum. :-)
     
  17. Smegged

    Smegged First Technician

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    Watched BTE again yesterday...long day of vegging after spending most of Saturday in the hospital with my son.(Croup. Ugh. He's feeling better now, though!) It seems whenever I have a bad day, I turn to RD to pick me up.

    Again, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the special. Dwarf is one of those special shows where the more I watch, the more I pick up on that I had previously missed. I was thoroughly entertained by it and felt it was strongly put together. I would gladly welcome more in this vein although I will say again, I long for the audience.
     
  18. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    That was mainly an in-world gag (or should I say 'in-inworld gag as it was the world within the world. So to speak.) that Doug Naylor made reference to in an interview. We don't actually know what the next series will be called. I'm not really bothered either way.
     
  19. midgetjesus

    midgetjesus Skutter

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    This was the case with the film I found, they kept saying it was coming and they had just had a script read-through with all the cast then it all went quiet for a year or so then it was widely reported that it just wasn't going to happen. The actor with the biggest commitments seems to be Craig Charles with Coronation Street, unless he died in that and I didn't know as I don't really watch the show, so I imagine that takes alot of time out of his schedule.

    But I do agree, the show did not capitalise enough with back to earth, and it is a shame that the BBC decided not to continue with it, they dedicated a night to it on its 10th anniversary and am disappointed that they haven't felt compelled to end the story, as they did with Only Fools and Horses a few years back, a show from a similar era.
     
  20. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    To be fair, OFAH more than likely has a far wider audiance base than Red Dwarf however I would argue that, as good as its "conclusion" was, it needed a conclusion far less than Red Dwarf and in fact that was borne out by the BBC subsequently trying to revive it again with a further special.

    As far as the movie goes, its important to remember that, if I'm understanding the process correctly (and I'm sure Andrew will correct me if I'm not) the movie was never "commissioned"; rather it ws just scripted and then underwent the frustrating process of trying to attract funding and support from the relevent bodies...a process which Doug Naylor himself appeared to be giving up on when he said:

    “At some point though, it will occur even to me, that these people are all lying scumbags, and it’s time I do something completely different, or to do some Red Dwarf specials or Red Dwarf series. And I think we’re pretty close to having to make a decision one way or the other quite honestly.”

    It's been stated, albeit covertly at a conference, that Dave has commissioned Doug Naylor to write new red Dwarf scripts for them. Importantly though that also doesn't give any indication that (a) Dave will like and want to make the scripts Doug writes/has written and (b) won't just decide to pass on budgetry reasons (the current economic situation can't have helped).

    I agree though that if the plan from GNP was to maintain radio silence in order to build hype and anticipation then that window has now long passed and people are simply becoming disillusioned as the cancelation of this years conference might well indicate.
    All the hype and excitement surrounding BTE has now passed and my fear is that the casual Red Dwarf viewers, many of whom appeared to be not that impressed with the new show from my own observations, will regard that as a further sign of failure instead of a promising comeback that showed, as one website put it at the time, "green shoots of improvement".
     

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