RDXI Ep 1 - TWENTICA - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Seb, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    That works. What I also didn't get was how they used it aboard Starbug, given it's supposed to plug into the temporal transporter. I assumed the temporal transporter was something larger aboard the Expanoid ship. I suppose the temporal transporter might also be a small, mobile device and the Casket of Chronos was still plugged into it, but it looks much the same at the end as at the start. However, if you look closely there seems to be a little green thing in it at the end. Perhaps that's the temporal transporter?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. hubbard

    hubbard Deck Sergeant

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    Nope, didn't like this one either. Hated the fact they went back in time to Earth yet again, to the US, yet again, ugh!

    Didn't really like any of the dialog, weak jokes, weak acting by extras, yet more simulants which look more and more cheesy by the season.

    Visually it looks solid for sure, nice to see models back in business and some decent CGI backdrops.

    But overall I just don't like these period set type episodes. It just feels like an excuse for the cast to have a go at acting in different genres because they're obviously bored. Just like in series 6 with the western based Gunmen of the Apocalypse, now here playing slick suits in 1920's prohibition era, USA. I call this type of thing 'Next Generation nonsense' with episodes set in all various Earth bound time periods.

    This isn't supposed to be a US style TV movie, why are you making Red Dwarf this way?
     
  3. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    I also hate it how "time-travel" inexplicably takes them back to Earth as well (Lemons, anyone?). I didn't realise at first that the Twentica planet was actually Earth, because they were in deep space last I knew, it wasn't explained that the Casket of Chronos was a back-to-Earth-machine, just a time-machine. These inexplicable trips back to Earth every series ruin the thrust of the programme for me. Take the crew back to Earth and then come up with a reason for them to end up back in deep space by the end of the episode, ostensibly trying to get back to Earth but throwing their new get-back-to-Earth machine on the pile instead of using it.

    I also don't like crowds in Red Dwarf. The charm of Red Dwarf is the cosy isolation of the crew alone in deep space with one or two antagonists from time to time. It also bothered me that it was America again, we had America in Tikka and Gunmen. This is a British programme, I want the reference points to be British. There's no reason why they should land in America any more than Australia or Argentina. It was a gimmick, like Red Dwarf at a fancy dress party. "Let's do Red Dwarf in Prohibition America for some reason". And why allow technology up till the 1920s? Surely you'd want to stop things in the 1790s before the Industrial Revolution. But the 1790s probably aren't cool, because the point was to go to 1920s America by any plot necessary.

    Plus there were plot holes that niggle me, like does this mean that Twentica actually happened now? Because if it was 1952 and there hadn't been any new technolgy since the 1920s, then World War Two would have played out very differently without atomic bombs. Don't they need to go back and make sure the bombs still get invented to get dropped on Japan? I thought they were worried about changing history, but if atomic bombs weren't invented then isn't that kind of a big deal? And why don't they just use the Casket of Chronos to go back to their own Earth. They can't be worried about changing history when World War Two has just been changed. Besides, they don't have to time-travel, just use the back-to-Earth function. Alternatively, at the end of the episode, why didn't they just stay on Earth but go back to the future, why did they have to go back to deep space?
     
  4. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    They fly through a wormhole to get there, though, it's not exactly a huge stretch. Time holes have been taking them back to Earth since 1989!

    Also, the entire plot of the episode hinges on the Exponoids (thanks to the game, btw, for confirming that it's spelled that way!) going back to an earlier point in humanity to stop technology from being created. Given that the only place humanity lived at that point was Earth, where ELSE could they have gone?
     
  5. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    Lemons was definitely an offender here, but so too was Backwards.

    In a way, Backwards was worse, because the "orange whirly thing" seemed to be a natural phenomenon in space. At least the device in Lemons had a connection to Earth. Maybe there was a timey-wimey reason it defaulted back there. For instance - all the atoms in Lister's body and the shower had been on Earth in the biblical era - so perhaps there was a connection across space-time?

    But I think Twentica itself actually gets a pass. Across fiction, "time machines" generally travel in space too. The Exponoids built theirs to interfere with human history, so it's no surprise it took them to Earth. It was deliberate act, rather than a coincidence.

    I think the worst offender for this is Timeslides, because they never really explain why they don't use the technology more. Here are the ones I can remember, with notes on why they didn't do it again:

    Stasis Leak - Lister returned to the future and waited there because of what his future self told him
    Backwards - time was running in reverse and it was just a bit rubbish there
    Timeslides - inexplicable (the technology seems very limited at first, in terms of range, but later becomes less so)
    Tikka to Ride - after Out of Time, the crew are scared of visiting the past, and they have a misadventure which reinforces this
    Ouroboros - presumably a one-off exception to a rule enforced after Tikka to Ride?
    Back to Earth - it was a hallucination
    Lemons - it was an accident, so perhaps they couldn't do it twice?
    Twentica - two items were used to get back to Earth, and they were only left with one of them

    All valid objections - but we're into the realms of personal taste here, so there's no right or wrong.

    Well, half of the fun of time travel is that the characters get to visit iconic times in history. Objecting to this, I think, is like objecting to the fact that Miss Marple was around for so many murders. It's sort of part and parcel of the genre.

    I agree that the whole "1920s technology" excuse was full of holes, and you raise just one of them. Maybe the "temporal transporter" wasn't very precise, and the exponoids just played the cards they'd been dealt?

    I'm game - let's try to fix them!

    Well, it seems to me that the exponoids fall afoul of a paradox. In the future, when someone says, "Hey! I don't think humans are mature enough for high technology. Shall we invent some exponoids, to go back in time and stop us ever having it?" - someone else will say, "Er, hello? Exponoid invasion? Prohibition? It already happened, mate. It failed. Weren't you paying attention at school?!"

    Because it's known to be a failure, no one will try it in the first place, and the whole alternate timeline winks out of existence - leaving us back where we were.

    Well, we've sort of been round this one before. If we take the episode at face value, we know that you need a "temporal transporter" *and* a "casket of chronos" to get back to 20th Century Earth - but can make a return journey using only the casket.

    It isn't clear why the return journey is easier (I've made suggestions of my own elsewhere) but we can't really avoid the fact that it is. So there's no reason to think the Dwarfers could get back to Earth again now they only have the casket.

    I'm sticking by my personal fan theory, which is: they simply weren't fast enough to escape the EMP in spatial terms. So they had to avoid it by travelling in time.

    Also, returning to far future suggests that, without the "temporal transporter", they could only use the casket to get back to where they started. Otherwise, they could have dodged the EMP by jumping forwards in time a few seconds.
     
  6. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    And also for teaching us Casket of Chornos.

    :P
     
  7. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    The Exponoids didn't helpfully explain their motives until the end (which I did manage to miss first time around). So to me the episode came across like a Rimmerworld/Meltdown situation:

    - Baddies have a time-machine
    - Swirly thing ahead!
    - Crash land on primordial barren desert planet
    - Kryten explains time dilation
    - Oh, there's a city over there now
    - Wander into genre-world run by Exponoids

    That in mind, I was left wondering what the point was. I don't assume time-machines can go back to Earth, since we had the gag in Out of Time where they find the Time Drive and use it to go to the 15th century, and the crew think it hasn't worked because they're still in space, but Kryten explains that it worked perfectly and they are in 15th century space. Twentica just wasn't for me, too contrived.
     
  8. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    We assume that the Expanoids built it, although we don't actually know that. This brings us back to the discussion about why it took them up to three million years to do the thing they were created for. Were they created on Earth. If so, why are they in deep-space. Or were they created by humans in deep-space? You suggested it was because as Exponoids they were doubling their power for three million years. So rather than inventing the Casket of Chronos, humans invented Exponoids so the Exponoids would invent the Casket of Chronos up to three million years later. But why was it sitting aboard an abandoned ship. The Exponoids on the Thanatos had just invented it and told the other ship to come over, but then the Thanatos Exponoids disappeared for some reason and the Dwarfers salvaged their ship?

    We don't really know what the temporal transporter looks like, whether it's a mobile device or an integrated part of the Exponoid ship. I posted some close-ups of the Casket of Chronos showing that there's a green thing stuck on it at the end which isn't there at the start - unless it was on the other side.

    I was suggesting they stay on Earth, but use the Casket of Chronos to go back to the year 3002343, thus completing their mission of getting back to their own Earth.

    We know that the Casket of Chronos "expands the beam" of the temporal transporter. So if we assume:

    A) the Expanoids plugged the Casket of Chronos into the temporal transporter to "expand the beam", then unplugged it after they went through (and conveniently wore it around their neck for some reason!)
    B) the (unseen) temporal transporter's "beam" remained on the whole time, un-expanded
    C) the Dwarfers couldn't just outrun or dodge the EMP because it was too fast and omnidirectional
    D) the Dwarfers used the Casket of Chronos to "expand the beam" again, but couldn't re-configure the settings for some reason (perhaps those controls are on the temporal transporter), so the only way they could escape was to go back to where (and when) they were at the start of the episode

    But D) doesn't work, because the Casket of Chronos "was an amplifier they needed to plug into their temporal transporter to expand the beam". It needs to be plugged into the temporal transporter to work. If the Dwarfers don't have the temporal transporter then how did they (re-)expand the beam.

    It's Catch 22:
    - If the Dwarfers have the temporal transporter, they can get back to their own Earth now
    - If the Dwarfers only have the Casket of Chronos, they couldn't have escaped
     
  9. Androidsandbeingasleep

    Androidsandbeingasleep Third Technician

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    Didn't like this episode. One of the weakest Red Dwarf episodes ever. A bunch of jokes were recycled from old series 5/6 gags and most of them I could see coming a mile off. Didn't like the plot/setting either. Been enjoying the rest of series xi a lot more though.
     
  10. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 Deck Sergeant

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    Twentica was a reasonably good start to the series IMO. I'm not a Trekkie by any stretch but even I picked up on the First Contact theme and I'm not especially keen on "homage to..." episodes (I found it off putting in BtE as well even though I do like Bladerunner).

    One thing I found odd is why having shot at and wounded one of the contraband smugglers the Police just left him there rather than finish the job.

    I'm a bit pushed time wise so I'm not going to go into it much more than that right now and I don't think there's much to be gained by me rehashing others criticisms, but overall it was an enjoyable episode albeit I think a weaker season opener than Trojan was for Series X.
     
  11. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Which jokes were recycled??!??!
     
  12. SweatyChimpBoy

    SweatyChimpBoy Second Technician

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    Just watched this again and to me its the weakest of the series. It just seems like the 7th episode of series X in terms of overacting, humour and I just cant forgive those annoying american accents :x
     
  13. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    In the opening scene, why didn't future-Rimmer explain who he was and what they should do. Instead of saying "Guys, it's me! They've taken me hostage, you've got to help me!", he could have said "I'm from the future, don't give them the Casket of Chronos".
     
  14. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    I suspect he was too busy panicking.
     
  15. Abe but more Christmassy and all

    Abe but more Christmassy and all Deck Sergeant

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    He wasn't going to return unless they gave up the Casket.
     
  16. smegrightoff

    smegrightoff Third Technician

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    I think Twentica was great in concept, poor in execution, and that is probably why it was so hyped during the recording period by the people who saw it, but has had a poor reception since airing.
     
  17. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    I have not formed a definitive opinion of it yet and will have to see what I think when I get the blu-ray tomorrow and re-watch multiple times over the coming weeks/months. But I am not entirely sure that it wasn't too well received as quite a number of fans like its series 6-ness and also the viewing figures for the following episode hardly reduced at all showing surely that it was rather well received as usually the drop off in viewers you would expect to be somewhat more higher.

    Like I said I haven't come to a conclusion about what I think about it yet after only 1 viewing anyway but I am very much looking forward to watching it tomorrow hoping that I will appreciate it like an early 90s episode like I found Samsara and Give and Take to be.

    If anything the decrease in viewers for the final 2 episodes was much more worrying (neither Krysis or Can of Worms got in even the top 30 for Other channels ratings) though I suppose maybe more fans were previewing those final 2 episodes early on the net by that point. Still generally this has been a very well received series probably even more so than X. But I do hope that at least the first four episodes of XII will be back up there in the above one million number of viewers so that that will give further weight behind the demand for a series XIII, maybe more!
     
  18. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Twentica does seem to be relatively disliked by the fans (many have ranked it as their least favourite episode of the season), and I have no idea why as it was everything that I want from a Red Dwarf episode. It was certainly my favourite episode of season XI and makes my all-time top ten.
     
  19. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    I wasn't entirely sure about this episode on first view but guess what...now I thoroughly enjoyed it on 2nd watch when I received the blu-ray. It is like another poster said Doug has made a Red Dwarf while still very, very funny of course, a bit of a crossover to new Who. I think it is like a resemblance of Steven Moffat-era DW (the timey-wimey abduction of Rimmer) but more so at the same time like a RTD-type episode with the Casket of Chronos, device that cancels out the Exponoids all combining together superbly for the pay offs at the end.

    But at the same time I also found it to be very much a Red Dwarf episode too and like I said highly comical. It kind of carries on from where the very solid series 10 left off - a bit like this series' Lemons (e.g. not the real Einstein) - and also mixes it with the glory days of series 3 to 6. To me although it is closest to say series 5 to 6, I feel it is kind of like series 11's Backwards with the wibbly-thing they travel back in time to Earth in and the speakeasy/bar scene. I also love the new Starbug set, the other spectacular sets (great work from the new set designer) and it all looks as classy as series 5 to 6 and a genuine upgrade on the already easy on the eye series 10. I actually even thought the exponoids looked pretty excellent and it was great to see Kevin Eldon in the role also.

    I remember when I first watched Twentica on the 22nd September on Dave I was somewhat underwhelmed with the pay off with not the real Einstein putting together the device that sends out (or should I say reverses) an electronic pulse to destroy the Exponoids as I felt it was a bit too simple and did not make sense with it being Bob who assembles it. But on this second watch on Friday, the episode really grew on me as I realised it was actually really funny that it was not a real scientist and in fact a bum who gets it right. It's funny because you wouldn't expect it to be someone who appears on face value to lack intelligence. What also makes it a strong enough pay off is also because it is kind of IMHO possibly making comic also how the intellectual scientists lack the common sense that Bob has needed to put the device that cancels out the Exponoids together. It's basically drawing humour possibly IMHO from how some intellectuals while extremely bright lack a bit of common sense while at the same time following a similar theme as Give and Take's Snacky in that the lower intelligence human/droid can actually achieve great things with a bit of encouragement - a nice message from Doug too.

    In terms of the humour while I agree there are a few recycled jokes in the Starbug scenes they are still really funny and sufficiently different. Strangely, while I found the science innuendos from Harmony a bit flat/overlong on first watch on this second viewing I really enjoyed Lucie Pohl's performance and found the jokes as one of the funniest parts of the script for some reason a bit like some posters enjoyed the Cat-Lister chit-chat in Samsara more on future views. However, my favourite moment of Twentica was the science club sublimely funnily transforming into a speakeasy - very Backwards-like and ridiculously funny with them all pretending to be flappers etc and Cat's dancing. Although the exponoids ultimately are more of a comic villain unlike the more sinister Ascelpius two episodes later I still found it fine that Doug was continuing his way of including these types of antagonists as after all the two of them bickering was also really comical.

    I always enjoyed the first half of Twentica on first watch but it felt more complete for me on second viewing a few days ago as I actually enjoyed the second half as you would expect even more. It's like I said IMHO, kind of carries on from where series 10 left off while mixing it with a helping of new Who and even more so like the vintage 1989 to 1993 Red Dwarf. I really enjoyed it much more second viewing and I am not sure that others agree but I thought the ending of this one was not really either flat or abrupt IMHO. You get to see the Dwarfers fly back in Starbug using the retrieved Casket of Chronos back to their time and then the final scene which provides a a first viewing of the mother ship for this series and its glorious new more subtle lighting provides the punchline of the episode with Lister's over reliance on Kryten as technology contradicting how the humans had created the exponoids in the episode to prevent technology from ever being a threat. It's simply a fine end in my opinion although I think some others might not agree. Out of the first three episodes of series 11 that I have returned to a second time so far on the blu-ray this has gone up in estimation as my second favourite and I now feel it is pretty excellent. I hope on further watches - with series 10's blu-ray I ended up watching each episode four times when released four years ago - I might even love it even more!

    8.5 out of 10.
     
  20. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I watched again on Blu-Ray and still loved it. Initially I gave it 7/10 as I didn't know where the series was going, if you know what I mean (which ended up with me giving a shocking 5/10 for Give & Take :eek: ).

    Now I currently rate it 9/10. Top Dwarf 8) Shame they had to cut short the Starbug scene (see deleted scenes).
     

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