Cat in Series X

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by bedfordfalls, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I thought it would be nice to perhaps have a discussion of individual characters as the series progresses given how divisively they have split the fanbase over the past few series.

    I wanted to start with Danny John Jules and Cat who, so far based on only one episode seems to be the one thing that everyone can agree on about Trojan: Cat was brilliantly written, probably the best since the early series and Danny played him to perfection in the opening episode.

    I'll admit I was a little worried during the opening exchange that we were going to get the "cat is a guy who says dumb things" version but this quickly disappeared as it became obvious that he was subverting this. Everything that came after that was classic Cat. His scene stealing "moose" moment was brilliantly done but little things like his reaction to Rimmer in the dialogue:

    "About this accident?"
    "(Spins around) What accident?"

    recalled the scatterbrained, distracted Cat of series 1 and 2 and were so enjoyable to watch.

    I loved the actual reference to Danny's real life tendency to miss his cues, familiar to us as fans from Smeg Ups that came with the "Gerald Hampton" introduction and, as others have said, the little cameo with the map (the secondary genius of him actually walking around with the 'you are here' map having only just dawned on me) was subtle and really well done.

    You know what was really telling about how well the character was performed and written in this episode though?

    Not one joke about vanity, not one joke about suits or hair or typical characterized stuff. Instead we got little background touches like him wandering in to retrieve a bottle of milk from the fridge. It's like now he has the big empty ship with all its luxuries to play with again he's back to the old Cat of the early series, albeit with more of a bond to the crew.

    The only thing I didn't like was his desire to own a stirmaster, which seemed a bit of a silly fit for him, but I'll let that slide based on just how pleased I was with the character in the first episode.

    I'm looking forward to seeing if Doug and Danny can keep this up in the rest of the episodes. I had reached the point where i no longer enjoyed Cat in Red Dwarf by series 8 but BTE gave a few hints that he was getting it back. This time: mojo definately rediscovered. :P
     
  2. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    For all my big problems with the episode, I think it is the little things like how Cat acts around the ship which was fantastically right. This is the thing that makes me think that with better more cohesive scripts in the rest of the series then it could very well be a return to form. Cat in this episode was undoubtedly the master of the small touches but all the characters seemed more.....in character then they have in a long while.
     
  3. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    in the credits danny does a sharp dance move... danny sure has style
     
  4. Rageofangels

    Rageofangels First Technician

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    Maybe Cat wanted the stirmaster because it was "a shiny thing!"

    RAGE
     
  5. Diet_coke

    Diet_coke Science Officer

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    I agree. Danny john jules delivered jokes perfectly as ever... and the cat was well written. A massive highlight from the first episode.
     
  6. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Well written, wonderfully played and some lovely early series touches. This is definitely the best we've seen of the Cat since series 6. In fact I'd go so far as to state that this is as good as the Cat's ever been.
     
  7. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I agree. It's early to judge but this was the scene stealing Cat I remember from the early series. You knew when he walked on set something funny was going to happen and this is how it felt in Trojan.
     
  8. dazsin

    dazsin First Technician

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    What 'big problems' do you have with the episode?
     
  9. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    the the plot is kinda poorly explained mess much in the way Only the Good was.......only this time the jokes were funny
     
  10. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Another thing is that it feels that Cat has a reason to be in the show, which is testimony to the strength of Doug's writing. During series 7 and 8 I got the regular feeling that Cat had become pointless.
     
  11. Seymour_Clufley

    Seymour_Clufley First Technician

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    Cat has always been my least favourite of the four. The other three have always been more interesting and entertaining IMHO.

    But with Trojan, there is certainly a change. I actually found myself looking forward to his lines. When he entered the "moose" scene, I actually burst out laughing.

    Doug seems to be aware that Cat is a character that can easily be done badly, so he's put some work in to make him smart, and even clever. Yet he's still retained the dopeyness ("what accident?!") that makes him such a reliably funny guy. And the love of milk, of course.

    It's a strangely convincing mix of gormlessness ("don't worry about it! We've got time!") and intelligence ("of course not! They're mooses!").

    And as noted (and I hadn't realised this until BedfordFalls pointed it out), there wasn't a single mention of gimmicky "nasal intuition", vanity or clothing. (I was surprised at Series 6 being used as a yardstick; I always thought it showed a marked decline in Cat's characterisation.)

    I think this is the best Cat's ever been.
     
  12. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    Cat I thing still at least has some pace in series 7, he was still doing his thing in the cockpit like he did back in series 6 plus has many of the best jokes in the series. In series 8 however he was completely pushed into the background given nothing really to do except get beaten up but Baxter.......goody!
     
  13. Stephen

    Stephen Guest

    This was most definitely one of the strongest pieces of Cat we've had for a good couple of series (possibly nearly as good as series 5, massive billing I know!).
     
  14. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Calling Only the Good... "poorly explained" makes it sound as if that episode attempted to explain things, which it didn't. It's plot was lazy and insulting to the intelligence.
    I don't get, therefore, why you keep making that unfair comparison with Trojan which offered a brief explanation for all of its plot points even if they were introduced a bit too quickly to fully take in on one viewing.
     
  15. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    While I do quite like certain elements of series 7 and 8, I completely agree with this. Speaking as a big fan of Cat from the start (from the first ep I watched), I do think his character become a little...dull, and lacking in depth in the latter series' (although as slainmonkey said, much more so in series 8, I think). Although "depth" may not be the right word when it comes to Cat ;-)

    Perhaps now would be a good time for Doug to write a full Cat-based episode. I've always felt he was worthy of one, but it's never really happened as I'd hoped it would...although there was Waiting for God of course, but I feel the character has so much more potential...and perhaps more importantly, I feel that Doug is more than capable of writing him a great episode at this point.
     
  16. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    for me Trojan was a bunch of things that were done right and things that were a little underwhelming

    the cat was written well tho, as was rimmer and kryten, while lister was abit to consumed in the phone subplot to really tell
     
  17. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I would rather Cat be written to his strengths which I think he was in Trojan, other than the first scene which was uncomfortably VII-ish for me.

    Cat serves a very specific purpose in Red Dwarf and for me it's to be the slightly stupid, but smarter than you think character that's always there with a surprising one liner or can steal a scene just by entering it as he did in the "moose" payoff.

    Danny may deserve a "cat" episode but I think this needs to be done with subtlety as I don't think the character is funny enough on his own or necessarily deep enough to be the centre of attention. Plus, I think the idea of a Cat episode largely came about because people were realising that Cat had become a superfluous character who nobody would have missed by Series 8.

    Judging from Trojan he is back to being a core part of the show and the comedy that drives it. He is also played far more like the Cat we love than the "vain human" of later series, pre-BTE.
     
  18. Dsnow_con

    Dsnow_con Third Technician

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    Yup, I'd agree that Cat was great in Trojan. For the most part I'd say everyone (expect Kryten maybe) were returned to their root characterization.
     
  19. danatblair

    danatblair Third Technician

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    Cat's triumphant dance out of the room after the moose joke reminded me of his early entrances/exits. Easily one of my favorite moments from the episode. And the fact that he caught on to the question that Rimmer was asking quicker than any of the others amused me greatly.

    edit: it reminded me of "Just Kidding" form White hole.
     
  20. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Cat had quite a limited role in Fathers and Suns although after an absence of one episode he did manage to sneak in a joke about being good looking. I enjoyed the little detail of him reading a magazine apparently solely based on it matching his suit! I've noticed quite a few little touches like that creeping in this series and they are fun to spot.

    I was a bit confused about the idea that he's "always collecting stuff I might need", is that a cat-ish quality? it seemed to fit his overall selfish character but I'm not sure of its relevance. Similarly I didn't really get his repetition of "you got to think ahead" (especially the unnecessary third time he said it. I expected it would resolve itself or turn into a running joke but it never really went anywhere.

    I think the next episode will probably open up more scope for Cat so it'll be interesting to see if he can get back to stealing scenes.
     

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