Does Red Dwarf deserve another series?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Murray, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Breaking the fourth wall is stuff like Shakespearean asides and acknowledging the audiance while still staying in character (Kryten's talking to the viewer in series 8, or did you forget that) or the sort of stuff you get in Robert Rankin novels where characters acknowledge they are characters in a book but it doesn't affect them in any way.
    While the show appeared to be going to break the fourth wall all the way up to the last episode, its resolution showed that the whole thing was merely a hallucination and that the characters were not after all merely characters in a TV show.
    You seem to be basing the whole thing on them reading a DVD cover of the "episode" they were in now but that DVD doesn't exist in our reality anymore than series 9 or 10 do or anymore than a giant Tyrell building exists in London populated by Rimmer Munchkins.

    The fact that we watch a TV show called Red Dwarf might have tricked us into thinking that this was the direction Doug was ending Red Dwarf on (which WOULD have been awful) however the resolution reaffirmed the status quo and as a result we can laugh at the irony while the characters remain safely walled in.
     
  2. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    I respectfully disagree. Getting viewers for a TV comeback is, as somebody has already quoted from a certain meerkat, "simples". But just because it got viewers based on the hype in no way translates into a viable future. If it was that good, then it wouldn't have lost around half it's viewers over the course of the weekend, hefty competition or not. Individuals do matter; the ones who don't like it just aren't going to come back.

    You seemed to be implying that because we're on this site, we're bound to be experiencing a higher level of negative feedback because "people can instantly post their distaste to anything". I don't think that's very logical; apart from the fact that people who were completely turned off by it aren't even going to take the time to look up a website based on the show they just turned off, on this site there's obviously going to be a biased view towards it being a success. After all, we are on the Red Dwarf fan site and it contained an inexcusable level of fan service, to the point that it was alienating those who were not hardcore fans of the series (note the best things to be said about BTE seem to all contain the words "it was great to see them back"). That may have pleased people here, but the word-of-mouth on the street is that it was an appalling storyline, with little-to-no laughs to be found. And that's the word that the executives are going to be listening to when they decide Red Dwarf's future.

    Was it a good little money-maker for a one-off special? Obviously yes, given the amount of hype bringing back a much-loved cult series after 10 years. But producing what feedback is undeniably going to describe as a flop, and then going on to make a series out of that flop, is not what TV producers are in the business of doing. They'd be committing themselves to producing a series which they have every indication would not gather a significant number of viewers over the course of a series. You can't live on a cult fanbase; you need mainstream viewers.

    It's not that I wouldn't want a new series of Red Dwarf. I just think this experiment has gone too far down the road of soiling Red Dwarf's good name. No more wrecking Red Dwarf for the new generation, Naylor. Like in Tikka To Ride, JFK needed to die to take his rightful place in history.
     
  3. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    But in a science-fiction show, was any of that stuff ever made to be not believable? So yeah, you can't in your mind imagine how a machine would turn creatures into other creatures by altering their DNA, but nobody ever thought "that's just stupid, because how could that be?" Because we were in Red Dwarf, and silly science was just part of the fun of a science-fiction comedy.

    Then BTE happened, and the illusion of believe was shattered. It's one thing juxtapositioning cultural references within the futuristic setting, but actually taking the characters and putting them outside the show, then have them talking about the show and trying to find out what happens in their last episode? It's a writing technique which is nothing short of amateurish. And while I'm bothering to put this all into a coherant structure which makes it seem like I'm over-analysing it, this is the basic reason behind the simplified version which you will hear from many others: "The story was crap".

    Apart from anything else, the fact that they couldn't seem to think of any new storylines to do in their natural setting which has worked (on and off) for eight series doesn't instil confidence in any new servings of Dwarf.
     
  4. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    Shakespearean asides do not break the fourth wall. They never make any reference to them being characters in a play, they merely converse with the audience. It would be breaking the fourth wall if they made reference to the audience being an audience in the play, or (as I have seen in one play before) the character makes reference to something like rehearsals (i.e. "He'll be coming back, he always did in rehearsals.")

    Also the "doesn't affect them" part is not a stipulation of the fourth wall at all. I'm not sure where you got that from. Typically breaking the fourth wall can lead to the characters changing their circumstances as a result of acknowledging their fictional status. Take PVPOnline, the webcomic: breaking the fourth wall in that allows the characters to summon up lightsabres and the like at will, and even die while safe in the knowledge that what they're doing doesn't matter; it's not canonical.

    I also realise that I have been saying an awful lot of negative stuff about BTE. I apologise for that, it is merely the stuff I feel strongest about. These are some of the things I liked about it:

    1. The banter between Rimmer and Lister in the first scene, and also the Cat exchange (the testicles one). The sneeze joke and the testicle joke were two of the better gags in the show, for me. Was a return to the kind of humour we saw in the early series; the kind that worked.

    2. Rimmer, full stop. Chris Barrie's comic acting is just as good as it always was. I don't really understand how he hasn't had more sitcom work since Red Dwarf and The Brittas Empire. What's he been up to?

    3. Craig Charles' scene with Kochanski's gravestone. Wonderful acting. If they could get the comedy part right, then having that kind of emotional punch combined with the laughter could give Red Dwarf a real boost.

    4. Sophie Winkleman's uniform. But that's just me. ;-)
     
  5. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    Fair enough it did break the fourth wall. It's fair enough if you disagree though. It's not everyone's cup of tea. I wasn't too sure myself to start with, but I went along with it and the ending made sense of it all.

    And how is the ending deus ex machina? And why do people keep using that term for any bit of plot they don't like? There were clues all along right from the point a new hardlight hologram popped out of nowhere! Unless you're referring to the fact that the Cat was the one who brought the squid on board. That's a retcon though, not deus ex machina. We know they went to an ocean moon.* It's a bit of a stretch how he managed to keep it hidden so long but I thought it a decent gag. I certainly didn't see it coming. (I thought simulants or Kochanski might have brought the squid aboard aboard.) It was all due to the Cat thinking about his tummy. Heh.

    Listing the 'breaking of the fourth wall' as a reason for not making a new series doesn't make sense though. As another person said, it's unlikely that the episodes in a new series would do this. It's a special story-line for the specials in celebration of Red Dwarf. That's also the reason for all the self-referencing.

    *I just watched Back To Reality again, and there are a couple of times where the Cat could have grabbled it. They didn't walk straight from Starbug to the Esperanto through a tube or hatch or somesuch thing. They actually walked along the ocean floor in diving suits! You only see them briefly, but the Cat could have looked down, grabbed a little squid at any time.
     
  6. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    Fair enough, it is inaccurate for me to describe the despair squid hallucination plotline as deus ex machina. There were clues along the way. It would probably be better described as a badly recycled plotline; it is the same as Back to Reality, so they basically just used the same plotline as an excuse to include all the self-referencing 21st century story.

    As for the breaking of the fourth wall, it's a reason for not making a new series because they had a golden opportunity to do a new plot, and then fell back on this terrible writing cliche and recycled plotline. It just doesn't give much hope for any interesting new stories in a new series, thus my reasoning for Red Dwarf not deserving one.
     
  7. NantGraylor

    NantGraylor Skutter

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    Errr, didn't say I found the rake scene funny (it was a small part of the scene anyway, so could it be called the 'Arnie smashes his bits against a desk' scene?), I was merely saying that the typewriter scene unfolding showed a decent way of working a plot.....what makes you so superior anyway, your exact knowledge of what an entire TV audience found funny? There's one on every forum. :-(
     
  8. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    I'm going by the released viewing figures, and the discussion of said viewing figures in other threads on this forum.

    The figures were ecstatically good for a Dave programme, but a whole new series can't bring in such audience figures based on hype alone. There has to be a good product behind it. And the fall in viewing figures between Episodes 1 and 2 shows to me that if this new Red Dwarf can't even sustain it's audience over the course of three consecutive nights on an Easter weekend, then the fall in viewing figures over a course of weeks for such a show would be catastrophic.
     
  9. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    Back to Earth could have been better, but I'm willing to watch more series until they are cancelled for good. I no longer get disappointed when a tv show/movie series goes stale. If creative people are inspired, let them create! If it's rubbish, we still have what went before. I think that there is still room for more dwarf. But then I liked Back to Earth, and series 8, even though I don't consider them up to the standerd of previous series.

    More Red Dwarf!
     
  10. drumjay

    drumjay Catering Officer Fan Club Team

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    Well obviously I can't argue with statements like "the word on the street" as I don't loiter around street corners. You seem to have all the information there.
    Your statement contradicts everything about Red Dwarf. It survived 20 odd years with cult viewing figures!. Even one million viewers on a non terrestrial channel is great, your argument is based on why a supposed 1 million stopped watching, this doesn't make it a flop! Nor the fact that part of the 1 million would only make up a tiny percentage of internet fans.

    1 million comments of "wrecking Red Dwarf" on a internet forum won't have any bearing on whether a new show will be produced, that was my point.
     
  11. cyberkilla

    cyberkilla Second Technician

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    It amuses me to no end that everyone things their opinion is the most valid. I'm no different.

    From what I've heard, most people ended up liking it. Even the "OMFG" guy quietly revoked his distaste on another thread (after seeing all three episodes). It was verbally assaulted after the first episode, because there wasn't enough going on. If they'd aired it in one go, almost all of the complainants would be silent.

    What were the viewing figures in the end? 2.5 million+? More than the average viewing figures for Dave. Whether or not the advertising revenue was large enough to offset the production costs, I don't know, but I think it's a safe bet.

    My reasoning is simple:
    - Naylor wants to make more.
    - The cast enjoy doing it.
    - Most of the fans would appreciate a few more episodes.
    - At least one channel will be inclined to foot the bill.

    Looks good to me. Although... Red Dwarf was pulling an audience when the BBC dumped it. The BBC is not a very good company though. They pay a small number of individuals immense salaries to do a few week's work per year. They are obsessed with the next new thing, even if it's pretty crap.
    They are wizards of the televisual arts though - who else could get the new Robin Hood to draw 10,000,000 viewers? I mean, it's trash! If people will sit and watch that, they'll watch anything;-)
     
  12. lob337

    lob337 Third Technician

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    i think based purely on the merit of 56 (i think thats right) episodes - the answer has to be a simple yes.

    on a side note: does the back of the BTE dvd when it comes out - now have to all the relevant text of "then they goto a sci-fi store called they walk among us" etc.. in order for our own hallucination based reality to make sense? oh no i've gone crosseyed again.
     
  13. smygan

    smygan Skutter

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    NO... based on Back to Earth it does not deserve another series. I had anxiety attacks watching the 2nd ep... i couldn't wait for it to end. I'll stick with RD 1-8. That's enough Dwarf for me to re-watch for the rest of my life anyway. I'm just glad I didn't have to sit in a movie theatre and endure an hour and a half of that straight. It was SMEG!
     
  14. Kingy78

    Kingy78 Third Technician

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    I think the Red Dwarf fans deserve to see a new series even if there is a minority that doesn't.

    I can't understand any true Red Dwarf fans that wouldn't want to see a new series to be honest.

    Ian.
     
  15. garfie

    garfie Catering Officer

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    I have to say that is one of the most articulate and well thought out posts I have seen so far in favour of BTE. Have you ever considered anger management therapy?
     
  16. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    No it didn`t. It ran for eight series because it attracted mainstream viewers. There is no way that 8 million were part of a cult in the late 90s.

    I would say that for the show to come back for another set of specials on Dave would be the most likely possibility. It depends a lot on Doug as well though. Will he try to get funding for the movie again? Will he be discouraged by the mixed reception BtE received? Does he have any new ideas apart from the movie script? Even people who liked BtE couldn`t argue with the fact that the plot was simply taken from an old show and a movie and Doug couldn`t really do that again.
     
  17. 2x4b523q

    2x4b523q Second Technician

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    As far as I'm concerned, it had an explanation that Pure fans would recognise from previous epsiodes, therfore it was a reasonably trilogy. Also, that is not reality. It is another parallel created by their subconscience. The Creator isn't even Doug Naylor. So, - real, yes/no. To be honest - they have to to fill the plot gap.

    THEY HAVE TO BRING IT BACK: THEY HAVE NO CHOICE!
     

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