RDXI Ep 1 - TWENTICA - DISCUSSION THREAD

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

  1. SweatyChimpBoy

    SweatyChimpBoy Third 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
     
  2. 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".
     
  3. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    I suspect he was too busy panicking.
     
  4. Abe but more Halloween themed

    Abe but more Halloween themed Deck Sergeant

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    He wasn't going to return unless they gave up the Casket.
     
  5. 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.
     
  6. 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!
     
  7. 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.
     
  8. 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.
     
  9. 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).
     
  10. karnie

    karnie Supply Officer

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    Any chance we can get the input from someone who has seen the script? Also, a proper spelling of the Casket of Cronos (the mobile game spells it differently than the DVD Captions) and Harmony's last name?

    Just for my own personal knowledge, not because I'm updating anything... ;-)

    EDIT: Sorry, just saw your followup about the mobile game, does this mean that the mobile game is considered canonical (over the DVD subtitles) when it comes to spellings?
     
  11. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I notice the DVD subtitles have "expanoids". However, I trust "exponoids".

    I get the impression DVD subtitles are done by external contractors who don't have access to the scripts. Often, unclear bits are skipped entirely (I note that "up, up, up the ziggurat" - with the odd pronunciation of "ziggur-aught" - was glossed over as "up, up up..." in at least one episode of one DVD release). The Micro Bollington, too, was left off the Dimension Jump subs. I've seen clear mistakes in DVD subtitles where the transcriber seems to have misheard something.

    EDIT: The problem is the possibility of a "second generation" compound word. If that's the case, there's no guarantee that a coinage will make etymological sense.

    First gen compound words are fairly straightforward. Consider:

    al kuhl ("the eye make-up" - later, "the distilled substance") + ic = alcoholic

    andro ("male") + oid ("of similar shape to") = android

    The problem is when compound words get chopped up at arbitrary points, to make new morphemes, which aren't necessarily "watertight" in terms of etymology.

    E.g., suffixes like -oholic (addict) and -droid (robot) contain redundant fragments of morphemes, which don't always relate to the coinage at hand (namely, the ohol from alcohol, and the dr from andro). Words like "chocoholic" and the (decidely not man-shaped!) "omnidroid" don't make etymological sense, unless you know their somewhat convoluted history.

    The simplest explanation is that the antagonists in Twentica are called expon-oids. However, it's possible that mechanoids gave -anoid as a suffix (similar to -droid) - making exp-anoids a possible coinage, in the same camp as "chocoholic" and "omnidroid".

    However, without access to the original scripts, I cite Occam's Razor in favour of exponoid. If future episodes of Red Dwarf have piganoids and cowanoids, I might reconsider :-)
     
  12. karnie

    karnie Supply Officer

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    This is why I don't trust captions to save my life.... Having gone through the entire run with captions on, it's clear they can't be relied on for accuracy. My favorite is in Series VIII when Kill Crazy called Kryten "Droid Boy", and the captions said "Toy Boy".

    It just makes my job all the more difficult.

    [EDIT]: Smack my head.... moving on to Samsara, they spelled Mine-opoly "Mynopoly"... despite the fact that it's SPELLED RIGHT THERE ON THE DAMNED GAME BOARD! AND, they spell Rimmer's nickname, the Mine-otaur, "The Minotaur", which is how you actually spell the mythological creature's name, making the joke fall completely flat for anyone actually dependent on the subtitles.

    I give up.
     
  13. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Please don't; you're doing a cracking job 8)
     
  14. karnie

    karnie Supply Officer

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    LOL... Oh, It's all tongue-in-cheek... I just give up trying to understand where they get these spellings from. Is it too much to ask that they get a copy of the script to work from? :-D
     
  15. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Actually, I give that a pass - I think respelling puns to make them clearer is optional, not mandatory.
     
  16. karnie

    karnie Supply Officer

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    It's one thing if the pronunciation were the same ("Sole vs Soul" for Lister's shoe story, for example) but in this case the pronunciation was what made the joke work, and without making that clear, it doesn't make sense. Why would they call him a Minotaur?
     
  17. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Aha! It is the same :-)

    In British English, "minotaur" is normally pronounced "mine-uh-tor". "Minner-tor" is more common in US English. Rimmer would have pronounced it like that either way.
     
  18. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Like I said earlier on 1st watch I wasn't totally sure but now it is my 2nd favourite episode of the entire 2016 run probably. It shows great progression from the already very good and solid series 10 with its genuine series 3 to 6 feel. Also it is nice for there to be, like Lemons, another even more ambitious episode set back on Earth again and it was great to see the Starbug interior for the first time too.
     
  19. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    Okay, now that I've got some time I'm rewatching all of series XI in preparation for series XII (yes, a bit of a way off, but I've got some time now). I intend to watch all the episodes, and then the bonus features, and basically do my thoughts on all of it. So, starting off with Twentica...

    When I originally watched it, I thought that Twentica looked absolutely fantastic. The sets, the costumes, the sets, the... sets? Yep, the sets. Absolutely brilliant. Starbug crash looked disjointed, I'd say, but had a good bit of gravity when it came to rest. But I have to say the model shots mostly weren't that great.

    The episode itself felt like an average episode of Doctor Who - which would be a good thing for a lot of shows, but not for Red Dwarf. This was always supposed to be the first episode, I feel, because it needs the least amount of knowledge to watch. Samsara probably would have turned off a few people with its complexity, and the others need a bit of prior knowledge about the characters.

    But I really dislike these kind of episodes in ANY show, even Doctor Who. Hey, we've got to travel through time to stop our enemies, and we'll stop our enemies by gathering some clues and doing some sluething. Really dislike them. And that just turns me off completely. Plus the premise of the episode just isn't that great when you get to Red Dwarf - would the Dwarfers really risk everything to save humanity, when it doesn't seem to affect them (which of course led to Lister, I think saying "if this has got rid of evolution, why am I still here?", followed by Cat's excellent "maybe you didn't qualify" - or something along those lines - which was an excellent little joke). We know that the only reason in Tikka To Ride that the Dwarfers helped the situation was because they couldn't return to Starbug.

    However, the idea of an alternative America where technology is outlawed was a good one, and mostly well realised. The sets - good God the sets were fantastic. Having just seen this again, it does look like an average episode of Doctor Who - which isn't bad, considering the difference in the budget. Given that this had no location shooting and was all done in a studio, it is bloody fantastic. The other sets used too looked great, and this is of course our first look at the new Starbug (or, for those of us who managed to get into some of the recordings, our first look at it in proper lighting etc).

    The jokes - what was there mostly worked. There were some flat ones, for me the whole speakeasy theory stuff didn't work. I wasn't keen on the idea (felt it was a bit too wacky) and the ever-repeating sexual metaphors as science jokes were just annoying. Also the whole hostage negotiation bit was, strangely, something which I liked a bit on rewatches, but found boring and predictable first time round.

    But there were some great jokes. Jump-starting Kryten was excellent, and seeing him power-walking around Starbug's cramped cockpit really worked, as well as Kryten's "bobbing for apples in a cement mixer". Cat at the start caving in to the Exponoids. The Exponoids in general. The whole cliche running joke.

    This, for me, feels like another "series opener" episode, similar to Psirens and Tikka To Ride. There's no real need for the viewer to know about the characters (this works in Psirens because they're reintroduced). There's time travel for no real reason. It's good and it's safe.

    Though I dislike the ending scene - felt a bit too "preachy", or just unnecessary. Wish we'd have had another one to round things up and go out on a different note.
     
  20. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    This is a quality review but for me Twentica is definitely in my top 3 of series 11 episodes, might be 2nd. The sets, visuals etc. I totally agree with you about - it is astonishing and unprecedented what Doug etc have achieved with such a low budget for this Dave era episode.

    But for me in terms of plot although it was very Doctor Who I didn't mind that as that might have broadened its appeal (DW is my 2nd favourite TV show of all time!) and also it had plenty of the vintage era series 3 to 6 Red Dwarf to go with it in terms of story and feel, so the DW theme was counter-balanced perfectly IMHO.

    I would also personally disagree about the speakeasy scene as this has a real Backwards feel to it with the bar etc. On first viewing I did find the repeated sexual innuendos overlong and like you say annoying but on future watches they really grew on me for some reason. I agree the hostage negotiation scene at the start was quality and also like you said it introduced the glorious new Starbug set sensationally.

    One other point for me the final scene worked out well IMHO. It gave the episode a proper end and I found the technology gag funny and it linked back well to the main plot.

    But yes you have written a strong review and it is good to hear someone else's opinion.
     

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