Despair Squid Got Me

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Laporbo, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Laporbo

    Laporbo Second Technician

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    I'm sad.

    Never got to see BTE last year. I finally got it on DVD and am watching it as I type. I'm about an hour in to the D-Cut and I am still waiting to laugh. Someone please tell me this gets better. The feel just isn't there for me. It feels foreign to me. The look of the thing is great, though (even though at times it seems too different).

    Man its good to see the guys (characters and actors) but if this is as good as its going to get I do fear another series or a movie. I'm sad. Like you all, I've been longing for more for a decade or more.

    Holy crap. It just ended at 1:06. I guess it won't get better. Damn.

    What to say? So disappointed after waiting years for something new and then over a year to see the something new.

    So... how on earth did this get such high ratings? Was it just nostalgia and/or anticipation of something new? I'm baffled. Maybe I'll watch it by episode now and see if I just missed something.

    How did this spur talk of a new series? If this is good enough to do it then Series 8 should have led to more long ago. That was waaaay better.

    If something new does come I'll be eager and waiting. I just hope its something better.

    Anyway, sorry for the rambling. I'm just kinda in shock...and sad.
     
  2. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    I thought it was great up until they left the ship and ended up on Earth; after that it just doesn't feel right to me.

    I can fully understand what you mean by "It feels foreign". I've often thought that series 7 and 8 didn't feel very Dwarfy, but that's nothing to how I felt during Back To Earth. When I was first watching the scene where Lister is talking to the kids on the bus I thought, "This feels as un-Dwarfy as the programme has ever felt to me." This feeling continued, and maybe even intensified, until the end.

    If I were to sum Back To Earth up in three words, they would be: different, unusual, disappointing.
     
  3. Laporbo

    Laporbo Second Technician

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    I just feel like it had some "amusing ideas" that never ripened into "FUNNY!"

    And there were many times I thought "seen this before". For the life of me I can't remember what show or movie or book but I swear I've seen the whole thing before. The classic RD stuff always was funny to me because it was original and 'out there' compared to everything else.

    Oddly enough, I watched both "Making of" shows and found those more entertaining than the show :-)

    At one point in the 'Making of' I almost blew my lid. It was when they were showing how they had re-used Lister's vest from a previous season. My ears popped right up because I have his Season 8 vest so it was a relief when they said it was his Season 3 vest they re-used. (BTW, if Drumjay is still around I'd still love to talk props with you). It also reminded me how happy and lucky I was to meet Craig, Robert, Danny, and Chloe. Those were once in a lifetime for me (well, twice in a lifetime for Craig and Robert). Now if I could just meet Chris.
     
  4. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    Well I guess I should be flattered...!
     
  5. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    You do realise that BTE was deliberatley constructed to evoke memories of classic Dwarf? It was produced for the shows anniversary and tipped its hat very much towards evoking fan nostalgia...it was never meant to reinvent the wheel and as such its silly to criticise it for not doing so or for revisiting old jokes when this was very obviously the point...Despite this I personally believe it took the show forward in a very interesting new direction.

    I felt it was a show that evoked the spirit of early Dwarf while realising alot of the potential that the trappings of a more conventional sitcom format had previously excluded. It had a sense of sadness and melancholy behind its comedy that by season eight the show had all but deserted...its ending remains possibly my favorite RD moment.
     
  6. Smegerama

    Smegerama Supply Officer

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    I feel sorta similar, in the way that I liked it the whole thing but part one was my favorite. Maybe it was because I couldn't get enough of that CGI corridor.
     
  7. Kris-Carter

    Kris-Carter Skutter

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    I've said it before, and I'll say it again... it just needed a laughter track, and that would have solved a lot of the problems...
     
  8. goldy_T_O_T

    goldy_T_O_T Deck Sergeant

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    Couldn't agree with you more.
    Of course every thing in life could use a laugh track. It would actually make life fun. 8) Kind of like cheese on broccoli.

    Still haven't seen BTE my self. :?
     
  9. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Then how can you possibly comment?
     
  10. goldy_T_O_T

    goldy_T_O_T Deck Sergeant

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    Well, having no laugh track would be like me watching an anomatic. Its like a preview of a cartoon but it just not fully baked yet since it still has to have all its music and sounds placed in so there are odd gaps where it should be. I would imagine it would kind of give you an incomplete picture. :-)
     
  11. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    This thing is, I love the fact that series 7 feels different from all the series that went before it. But that series feels different in a good way.

    In Back To Earth, the Earth scenes feel different in a really bad way. Even though it's the same characters, I feel as though I'm watching some other programme rather than Red Dwarf.
     
  12. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    See, for me, that encapsulates season eight.
     
  13. SurfboardingKillerBikiniVampireGirl

    SurfboardingKillerBikiniVampireGirl Catering Officer

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    I had really mixed feelings watching BTE. On the plus side, it was great seeing all the characters again. There were some really funny moments (such as Rimmer casually shoving Bartikovsky into the oncoming traffic) and some creative ideas. I thought Craig Charles put in a powerful performance, especially in that penultimate scene with Kochanski, which was impressively creepy.

    On the minus side, I felt that a lot of opportunities for humour were missed. For example, when Rimmer talks about how people in the past put all the freaks on television and made them sing and dance, I thought we'd be treated to more scathing mockery of current pop cultural phenomena but there wasn't too much of that. Overall, I'd have rather seen the characters out in space, but if they had to be on earth in the present, I'd have liked the setting to be used more thoroughly as fodder for humour.

    As others have mentioned, it could have benefitted from a laugh track and it had some distinctly "un-Dwarfy" moments. Overall, I liked it, though I like everything Red-Dwarf-related.

    I've watched all the "making ofs" for each Red Dwarf series - I really enjoy those :-)
     
  14. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    And I'd just like to point out that overall I liked Back To Earth. Though I'd probably place it in the bottom 10 of my all-time favourite episodes list.
     
  15. Julia

    Julia Catering Officer

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    I think you have summed it up nicely for me as well, not the best but not the worst thing i have seen, but as some say i did like the direction it was taking and im the type of person that watches things and gets completly sucked in from begining to end (kind of like reading a book and not hearing the door or someone talking to you) but thats just me:-)
     
  16. yeckel

    yeckel Console Officer

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    For me it took a little adjusting. Since it had a different feeling to it, I spent my first time watching it trying to adjust. I enjoyed the second viewing of it much more.
     
  17. SmegEd

    SmegEd Skutter

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    Personally I thought BTE great, all things considered.

    The four actors did a great job getting back into their characters, and it felt like they hadn't been away (minus afew more wrinkles). I think this was the main satisfaction for me when watching it, and leaves me with hope that with any future shows that could come I will still find a way to enjoy it. And espiecially after a 10 year hiatus, let's be fair, imagaine 10 years later being asked to pass a driving test.
    Yeah, it has the obvious already mentioned dozens of time flaws, but to me BTE was better than no BTE.

    TBH, if they scrapped the whole space thing, and based it in an office or a corner fish n' chip with the same four characters, I'd probably still find it funny.
     
  18. peas_and_korn

    peas_and_korn First Technician

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    What if it was in a biscuit factory?
     
  19. SurfboardingKillerBikiniVampireGirl

    SurfboardingKillerBikiniVampireGirl Catering Officer

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    I had the same experience. On first viewing, I felt a bit discombobulated, but it grew on me during a subsequent viewing - like Season 7. I thought 7 was weak the first time I saw it, but watching it years later, I really enjoyed it. I think watching the "making of" documentary helped to deepen my appreciation of BTE as well.
     
  20. Madwolf

    Madwolf Catering Officer

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    I've been meaning to reply to this for a few weeks but life kept getting in the way:-( I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that your primary attraction to RD is the comedy, you think series 7 was a pile of smeg and have probably not read the novels or, if you did, maybe didn't enjoy them. At one of the DJs in Daventry Northampton in 96/7 the audience were asked to raise their hands if they watched RD for the comedy or the sci-fi. The comedy won hands up so if that poll was truly representative and still pertinent,you are in the majority. I was a big fan of HHGttG at the time so my hand went up for the sci-fi because that was the initial attraction and there were quite a lot of us too. I'm not a big fan of sitcoms, much preferring thriller/drama. I do however have what my English teacher described as a "strange" sense of humour. My favourite stand up is Stewart Lee.

    RD is so very much more than just an outstanding comedy.The genius sci-fi concepts melded with clever humour are both constructed on top of the solid foundations of complex, dramatic plots played out by well thought out characters. It has to appeal to two broad but overlapping fanbases. For me it's at its best when the three elements of plot,sci-fi and comedy are in relatively equal balance. Series 1 was sci-fi lite for me, just being set on a spaceship doesn't make it sci-fi. The characters and the situation however had appeal and here was a seam of comedy running through it. All the right ingredients but the recipe not perfected. Series 2 got the meld much better right from the opening shots. The Nova 5 crashed on a moon signalled a very different show. My personal favourite series is 5 closely followed by 6 where everything for me was at it's zenith in terms of the balance of the three fundamentals. I mentioned earlier I'm not a big sit com fan. My favourite type of programmes are where drama and comedy is skilfully interwoven and played out in a solid plot with plausible characters I can empathise with. RD ticks all those boxes along with West Wing and Boston Legal. There are times when I can watch and enjoy any episode of RD not as a comedy but as a drama.

    Series 7, 8 and Back to Earth I believe are the most contentious and divide opinion because the equilibrium was altered and they appealed more to one sector than the other. Series 7 was much more like the novels in that the comedy element was diminished in favour of the sci-fi, a good dose of drama and a re-development of the characters. Not only did it explore the loss of Rimmer and introduction of Kochanski to the established crew but there was also Kochanski's loss of her crew and integration into a crew that was the same but very different. I personally like the seriousness of the situation, the darker themes that were examined and 7 appeals to the sci-fi sector of the audience. The special effects are more important to this sector also. RD could so very easily be a serious and successful sci-fi series.

    Series 8 dramatically reversed the polarity and the comedy situation became paramount and the sci-fi diminished - as I said before just because it's set on a spaceship doesn't make it sci-fi. Whilst 8 is geared more towards the comedy fan base, I found the comedy a little too farcical and lavatorial for my tastes. Series 8 is perhaps my least favourite series for a variety of reasons outlined in my review of the dvd on Amazon. Back in the Red part 2 has the dubious honour of being the first episode I ever disliked closely followed by BitR 3. I only really liked 4 of the episodes, thought 2 were ok and hated 2. In fact I was so profoundly disappointed with 8 I didn't watch RD for a long time but became a born again Dwarfer with the release of series 1 on dvd. Having watched every episode twice this year, I can say that I'm much more receptive to series 8 and found it has improved with age and view BitR as mostly okay. Im always mindful that just because I didn't like it doesn't mean it's rubbish.

    BtE went in a different direction to 8, closer to 7, but distinctly its own style with more than a nod towards Blade Runner so again it is best appreciated by the sci-fi sector.I had to watch BR again to get the best out of BtE. No surprise that overall I liked it (see Amazon review) but I would like to see the recipe that worked so well in series 2 to 6 used again for a new series. One day you my see BtE differently but I can understand why you dislike BtE so intensely. I think it had a huge amount of expectation to live up to, didn't do so but was never going to without Rob Grant's input. Those days are gone, but for me it was a welcome addition, as any Dwarf is better than no Dwarf.

    I would urge you to watch it again once the dissapointment has worn off and before you do watch the documentary with Doug Naylor explaining things. It's very insightful and may enhance the repeat viewing.
     

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