RDXI Ep 1 - TWENTICA - DISCUSSION THREAD

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

  1. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    :-)

    Well, that "plot hole" has been in play since Tikka to Ride. I guess every Red Dwarf fan has to come to terms with it in his or her own way.
     
  2. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    I suspect Doug tried to plug that hole before it opened:

    Lister: We need to get after them, stop whatever they're doing, and get that Chronos machine back.
    Rimmer: So we can utilise its time-travel abilities ourselves?
    Cat: No, so we can prop the pool table back up!


    Rimmer says "It was an amplifier they needed to plug into their temporal transporter to expand the beam". So I thought maybe Red Dwarf weren't able to use it, since it was only an amplifier for a Simulant "temporal transponder" they didn't have. But at the end of Twentica, Kryten says "activating the Chronos machine" before they go back to future deep space. So they obviously can use it.
     
  3. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    *strolls into the thread, 'fashionably late' as ever* :eek:ops:

    A good strong opener, but so fast-paced. I enjoyed it more on second watch, probably I think because I was ready for the pace and picked up lots of things I missed first time round. I may watch it for the third time soon with subs on to see anything else I may have missed.

    A few points: Lister seems very smart now.

    Kryten looks chubby-cheeked, which I just about got used to second time round.

    People mention the Star Trek link. I get the 7 of 9 Borg link, but what about First Contact?

    Kryten nipple chargers. I thought they were supposed to help him tune into Jazz FM? :-D

    On first watching I thought the kidnapped Rimmer's hair was the same as Ace's, but on second watch I saw it was just brushed over the wrong way a bit.

    I enjoyed the Exponoids little spat at the end, and the 'Oooh you're worse than 6 of 241' (or whatever it was) was a good belly laugh for me second time round.

    I felt something missing at first, perhaps familiarity? Maybe I was expecting the series opener to contain a 'moose' gag, which never came. :?

    Yeah, a fab-tastic episode - 7/10.
     
  4. Stugleton

    Stugleton Third Technician

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    Don't know if this has already been mentioned but just thought to bring up a tiny plot hole in Twentica...EMPs are just that, a pulse, an explosion with a finite range, what was stopping the crew, or even the Exponoids, from just getting a safe enough distance then going back when the shock wave had passed? Or did I miss something?


    That aside, loved Twentica, but not as much as I did Samsara, but I'm reserving my thoughts on that until people have had a chance to see it on TV too.
     
  5. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Okay - I think I've got a suggestion that will kill *both* these birds with one (arguably over-complex!) stone.

    First of all, as Deep Space notes - the exponoids already had a "temporal transporter", but needed the Chronos Casket to "expand the beam".

    So let's imagine the procedure is:

    - Use the temporal transporter to shine a "beam" to the 1920s (effectively a time tunnel)

    - Use the casket to make it wide enough to fit a spaceship down.

    With that in mind... how's this for an explanation.

    In the far future, the Dwarfers need to hurry into the time tunnel, immediately after the exponoids (Kryten likens this to "riding their slipstream"). So, we can presume it's going to close soon.

    Even though they enter moments after the exponoids, they come out years later - due to the curvature of space-time. If they'd waited a few seconds more, we can assume that their arrival would've slid by several months. In other words, even though the *far future end* of the tunnel was open for moments, the *1920s Earth end* stayed open for years. From that frame of reference, the temporal transporter created a long-lasting link. We can assume the beam was still "shining" when the Dwarfers made their escape at the end of Twentica.

    So, I propose the following. Let's imagine Starbug wasn't fast enough to escape the EMP's range in time. However, there was still a "beam" shining to the far future, so they used the Chronos Casket to escape down it - whereupon it finished closing after them (because, from the far future point of view, it was only open for a few moments).

    EDIT: To be clear, once it closed, they couldn't use the Casket of Chronos to return to Earth because there wasn't a "beam" in place to "widen" - and they couldn't make a new one because they didn't have their own temporal transporter. In this proposal, they basically rode the exponoids' slipstream two ways, in a round trip.

    How's that?

    Also, here's a blanket "waiver" I give when time travel is involved: it's going to be complex, with nuances and rules we don't know about.

    Imagine you're watching a show set in the current day, and the heroine's dream is to run a beach bar in Australia. The story takes her to a conference down under. You don't think, "Well - *that's* a plot hole - she could have stayed and opened a beach bar!" In practice, you know it's more complicated than that. Someone on a short stay visa wouldn't have the permission or capital to just settle down forever and start a business.

    Given that we don't know the ins and outs of time travel, we can only assume there are all kinds of "gotchas" we don't know about. Doctor Who, for instance, has hand-waved a lot of stuff away, with variations of "it's more complicated than that" (fixed points, etc.).
     
  6. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    When Rimmer talked about "expanding the beam" I interpreted it to mean "so it reached the 1920s" rather than literally widening the beam to fit a spaceship down.
     
  7. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Me too, initially - but I suppose that would be "extending" the beam. I guess it could mean either.

    EDIT: I guess the key proposal is less about what "expanding the beam" means, and more the idea that, for the return journey, the original "beam" was still in place - and they used the Casket of Chronos to ride it back the other way. How exactly that works is up for debate :-)
     
  8. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    What I'm a bit lost on is, if the beam was still there, then in what sense did Kryten "activate the Chronos Machine" when they went back? They didn't need to expand the beam because the Expanoids already expanded it. Do we infer that it had started shrinking? Additionally, how did they even use it, since it needs to plug into a temporal transporter.
     
  9. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Well, if it works like a normal (audio) amp, the amplification is only in effect when the amp is on. If you turn it off, it goes back to normal.

    So imagine the beam is analogous to a signal - too faint to use without being "amplified". You would turn the casket on if you wanted to amplify the "signal" and make it usable.

    Just a theory, anyway.

    EDIT: So the "temporal transporter" created a link to Earth, and the exponoids used the casket to amplify it and get to Earth. When the Dwarfers were escaping at the end of Twentica, the link was still there, but (like the first time) it needed amplifying with the casket before they could use it.
     
  10. 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]
     
  11. 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?
     
  12. 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?
     
  13. 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?
     
  14. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 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.
     
  15. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    And also for teaching us Casket of Chornos.

    :P
     
  16. 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.
     
  17. 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
     
  18. 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.
     
  19. 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.
     
  20. Ant the Dragon

    Ant the Dragon Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Which jokes were recycled??!??!
     

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