RDXI Ep 1 - TWENTICA - DISCUSSION THREAD

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

  1. misterjohnsparks

    misterjohnsparks Second Technician

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    My head-cannon rule is: if, by the beginning of the next episode, the crew are fine and everything's back to normal then it all simply sorted itself out in the end.
     
  2. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    That. Was. Brilliant! :-D I don't want to get too carried away because generally speaking idealistic expectations are disappointments/resentments waiting to happen, but my initial reaction to Twentica is that it feels like classic Red Dwarf and could perhaps be the beginning of a new golden age. The acting is on-point (including the guest cast), the writing is tight, the gags are great and the production values are fantastic. I kind of felt like I was watching a mini-movie (on that note I do wish it were a bit longer). Most of the comedy lines made me smile or chuckle, and the bar scene induced three full-on belly laughs in quick succession, which is quite rare for me (even during my favourite episodes).

    I particularly enjoyed the sci-fi element in this one. And the fact that fast-paced adventure mode is fully engaged. Loved the simulants too. And the period setting. And the lighting on Starbug. And the...heck, everything about this ep is just brimming over with awesomeness! Nice bit of social commentary too. I liked series X a lot but this really does feel like a major step-up in quality. It seems to me that (if this episode is anything to go by) Red Dwarf is well and truly on top of it's game right now. And as such I'm happier than a unicorn eating angel cakes on a rainbow. Such an exciting times to be a Dwarfer! :-D
     
  3. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    I'm unsure what to make of that. I want to like it, I do, and may on re-watches, but just can't right now.

    It reminds me of Doctor Who.

    Which, to a lot of people is no bad thing, but I was wondering where the comedy had gone. Don't get me wrong, there were some amusing moments, but a lot of the jokes were either repeated or telegraphed in advance.

    Okay, the good things first. And the bad mixed in. I think there were three bits that made me laugh out loud, those being Kryten's method of recharging (via his nipples, obviously - why not when we accept his groinal attachment - and getting his dynamo working by walking very fast - great visual of him power-walking around Starbug checking consoles at the same time), Kryten's "I went bobbing for apples in a cement mixer", and probably the villains bickering amongst themselves at the end.

    On the other hand, the science speakeasy was full of the same nerdy joke repeated over and over. I do have to admit that Bob the Bum's announcement of his name was amusing. The science lady pretty much repeated the same joke over and over and basically became that joke. The exonoids (was that their name?) however were redeemed by Lister pointing out their cliches, and their spat at the end (basically reminding me of Ross and Rachel's "we were on a break" from Friends). But other than that they were pretty ineffective characters, only used as an excuse for the plot to happen in the first place.

    I should also mention Cat's "that's the guy you're looking for" at the start, which was very good. And of course Lister pointing out the cliches.

    I guess, when you consider all that, the episode was good, but I'm still not feeling it. It sat somewhere between Meltdown, Tikka To Ride and Lemons for me. The story lacked impetus - I always liken the Red Dwarf crew to that of Farscape - they generally don't do adventuring unless they absolutely have to, and even then they only really care about themselves. There really wasn't much drive in the story to get going. Tikka To Ride followed a similar theme but set events up brilliantly and, I feel, accomplished a lot more. As I say, the storyline was like a compressed, mediocre Doctor Who episode. Look, a villain to stop or they'll destroy the world. Let's go do a bit of detective work then save the day. Which I guess Lister would say is a bit of a cliche.

    The production values, however, were top- notch. Can someone who saw it being filmed tell me which parts were recorded in front of the audience, because if they were all actual sets in front of the audience then that is amazing. I had heard one of the episodes of 11 used some amazing sets but these seemed too big to to in the space (as someone who saw an episode of series 12 recorded). They were bloody amazing and the whole thing was utterly convincing.

    Quick mention of Starbug too, good model, bit unhappy at the speed of the crash but overall good. The crash itself was pretty good, especially the view of it coming to rest from the front.

    I have to admit I probably overhyped this too much in my head. I've just seen it the once. The Lister/Kryten bit at the end reminded me of if Justice had been in series 7. It looked terrific but overall, in terms of story and jokes it was mostly forgettable. There wasn't much of the characters bouncing off each other. I think the episode was probably rushed in trying to do what it set out to do - which was tell a mediocre Doctor Who story. The characters didn't have time to argue with each other and converse, which for me is where Red Dwarf shines.

    There is however a moment of pathos when the crew urge Lister to stay, even Kryten even though he will be killed. Rimmer, on the other hand, has other ideas. Still a good moment.

    But better is coming. The trailers and snippets released so far have some very good bits in them. But Twentica, I feel, is... well, it's just there. It was more adventurous than anything in RDX but lost a lot of the humour in the process.
     
  4. barnaclebill

    barnaclebill Third Technician

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    I'll start by saying that I, like 99.9% of people here, have watched every episode of Red Dwarf. In my personal opinion it has been going steadily downhill since series 6. While I enjoyed series 7,8,BTE and X, I liked each one less then the previous. X felt to me like they were trying too hard to recapture the 'classic era' but it seemed that spaceship has long since hit hyperdrive. Most of the actors, especially Chris Barrie, felt too removed from the characters we know and love. Don't get me wrong, there were some good moments as with every series (in X I particularly like the final episode and the Young Rimmer part - that was so well done and the young Rimmer actor was great. I hope we see more things like this - maybe a prequel series one day if Red Dwarf ever reaches a conclusion - how about it Doug?). But overall I feel sad to say that Red Dwarf has been missing that 'magic' for a long time.

    That is why I am happy to report that I LOVE this episode and the magic is very much back! I found the writing to be better then it has been for a long long time! Unlike some I thought the scientist lady was great and very funny, her dialogue and delivery were spot on. I laughed a lot throughout the whole episode. Rimmers character felt more restrained and more like the old Rimmer, (a goit, but not a total smeghead like he was in X). Cat is as good as always and Kryten - if a bit more rotund, still feels like the old Kryten (not the whiney one that was irritating in 8 ), as does Lister, still has that chirpiness about him.

    I also thought the set design is also the best it has been for a long time and the plot was clever, with a nice end message/gag about technology that made me laugh.

    Maybe the only downside was that a few of the gags punchlines were still a bit 'easy to guess', as has been the case for most of the last few series. Apart from that one little thing this is the best episode of Red Dwarf I have seen since Series 6.

    Well done all, If the other episodes live up to this one, this will be a true return to form!
     
  5. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Welcome back
     
  6. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    Everything inside the Lady be Good Club was filmed in front of the audience - they replaced the non-bunkroom "main" set (not naming it because I don't think it's been officially named/described yet!) with it, so that they could do it on the night.

    The main "outdoor" street was an interior set that was, I believe, built in place of where the audience seating would normally go - so that stuff was all put together during the week and then played in on VT. And the bit where they're outside the doorway of the club was actually done on an outdoor Pinewood lot.
     
  7. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I found myself enjoying it while also finding it a little hard to keep up with the pace at which it was delivered. It was very series VI-ish in the way it rattled off joke after joke and I do feel it could have settled down at some point and was perhaps missing some of the slower scenes that gave the original six series their moral compass.

    The jokes generally felt fresh with only a couple of them going back to the outright puns of series XI (Mars bars in Scotland being one of them). I recall laughing out loud twice but I can't recall what at because, again, everything was delivered at such lightning pace.

    Chris Barrie does need to calm down a little though and start playing Rimmer as a human character again...his performance here wasn't written as a series 8 pantomime but did feel like it was played as one. Barring the final scene I found Robert to be excellent and back to full form as an understated Kryten.

    The only thing I came close to disliking was the final scene which brought back uncomfortable memories of the way Kryten and Lister were written in series VII and which felt very unlike the Lister we grew to love in the early series who emboldened Kryten. I don't like the idea that Doug is returning Kryten to nanny mode and Lister as blindly accepting of this. Presumably its only for this one rather weak joke about Lister having learned nothing...but still. I'd have rather it have ended with a simple action shot of them escaping ala Gunmen or back to reality...although I get that Doug prefers to end on a joke.

    Thankfully, I found this a blip on an otherwise strong series opener with none of the head shaking moments that were scattered about series X. The whole thing felt like a tighter, better edited affair.

    Now onto a plot point: Did anybody else briefly suspect/worry/hold their breath that the kidnapping reveal was going to be Kochanski? I'm a little confused as to what it meant for Rimmer. Was he kidnapped seconds before returning, taken back into the past and then returned in the present?
     
  8. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Seb, two things;

    Did you notice that the dialogue from one of the cops (that took about twenty takes) was cut?
    As was a funny blue screen scene of them driving?!? Guessing it'll make the DVD!!
     
  9. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    The storyline was a good one, but for me it was the visuals that utterly dominated the episode. They did an incredible job: the costumes, the film noir look, those wonderful sets, the crash sequence. And the inside of Starbug has never looked this good. It wasn't hilarious, but there was some good comedy along the way - as well as some lame lines that shouldn't have made it to the final script. I also wish Doug would dump these tired joke formats that lead up to an outcome you see coming a mile off (such as Rimmer's "Why do you always ask him?" speech). Would this episode have fit into seasons five or six? Possibly. Will this be an episode I'll come back to often when in the mood for some random Dwarf? Almost certainly.

    Various thoughts:
    • I was wondering if one of the simulants was Kevin Eldon, and sure enough when the credits rolled he was there. I'd been wondering in recent months if there would ever be someone who's appeared in my two fave TV shows, Red Dwarf and Game of Thrones, and now there is.
    • Doug seemed to be giving Cat more lines than usual. Was this deliberate do you think?
    • The guest cast was great. Nice to see Rebecca Blackstone back. It always strangely pleases me when Red Dwarf re-employs actors in new roles, such as Steven Wickham and Richard O'Callaghan turning up in season 10.
    • Much to my surprise, the acting of the main cast was pretty much perfect. I hope they maintain this standard throughout the season.
    • The audience sounded different to season 10. Are they using a different recording technique? They also sounded less hyped up this time, though I could have done without the over the top reaction to Danny's dancing. It immediately brought to mind the reaction to Dwayne's appearance in Emohawk.
    • They don't use the word 'pram' in America. Am I getting pedantic now?

    Funniest line:

    Policewoman: "Hey, what the hell happened to your face?"
    Kryten: "Who, me? I went bobbing for apples in a cement mixer."

    Overall: The episode looked great. It wasn't hilarious, but there were some funny moments, and all the other elements were up to the standard of the classic era.

    Rating: 8.5/10
     
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  10. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Good review blueychops
     
  11. Sarah

    Sarah Console Officer

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    Finally able to watch when son got back from.I thought it was really good so pleased that I enjoyed and wasn't let down and from the reviews I've read on hear on the whole it's positive bring on more:-D
     
  12. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    While I liked it and thought it was a good episode on the whole, I wish I was as positive about it as most of you are. I do feel the episode ended on a disappointingly rushed note....but for what it's worth, it probably will grow on me more since the ending probably mainly disappointed me largely based on how much I enjoyed the rest of it....much like Rimmer World it just felt like the episode ran out of time.
     
  13. currymonster

    currymonster First Technician

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    That was fantastic. Loved every minute of it, genuinely.

    Something I noticed though which is a little bit of silly fun to discuss … whenever there is a major change is the shows production, the first episode of the series is set on earth.

    S03E01 – Backwards. Huge set re-designs, new costumes … set on Earth.

    S07E01 – Tikka to Ride – 3 year gap in production New Starbug set, not filmed with an audience, going for a more filmic style etc … set on Earth.

    S09/BTE – 9 year gap in production. New sets, mostly CGI … set on Earth. (if you want to get picky, the first episode isn’t in anyway set on Earth, but taking as a whole, most of the action is there)

    and now S11E01 – 4 year gap in production, clearly increased production value, from all accounts to this point a massive improvement on S10 … set on Earth
     
  14. BetterAnythingThanThatToupee

    BetterAnythingThanThatToupee Third Technician

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    I want to update my review of this episode. It works FAR better on the small screen than it does in a cinema filled with giant sized boxes of popcorn and people who laugh obnoxiously loud at every second frame. There's a lot to like and the show LOOKS incredible, and the opening credits are easily the best that the show's had since series 6. In fact, the ONLY things I personally DIDN'T like are as follows:

    1. The opening scene in starbug, although some fine moments (and visually very cool looking), Craig and Chris were quite broad with the performances, whereas Robert and Danny were pitch perfect as always. It's a shame really, as Rimmer used to be the character I loved to watch the most. He does get better as the episode goes on, but at the beginning it's like watching 'Red Dwarf The Stage Play' (which I'd actually love to see) -- in-episode, I just want them to tame down the breadth of the performance a little instead of teetering close to the edge of self-parody (and, no - before anyone puts the word in my mouth - I don't mean 'pantomime' this time around!).

    What's more, I'm not a fan of how the character names are worked into the dialogue in these scenes and the subsequent delivery of said names - - it feels very forced and unnatural to me when Rimmer ends a sentence with 'Lister' (or vice-versa).

    One last point: I'd like to hear the semblance of a Liverpudlian accent from Craig -- it would help, even if it was a minor amount, just to remind me that, yeah, he's been out in deep space, but he's still the same guy we met in series 1-6.

    Finally, random thought: did anyone notice how much more 'in character' Chris and Lister LOOK when they're wearing hats? Odd thing to point out, I know, but it also takes a good ten years off of them. If you were to take Rimmer's hair from seasons 5/6 (which is totally possible with the lace wigs that they use on Red Dwarf now), then I think Rimmer would 'feel' a lot more like Rimmer for a greater percentage of the time (more 'springy-ness', less recession).

    All of that said -- I really enjoyed Twentica on a second watch. Not a classic, the ending was a little flat, but over all a solid start and I've got a feeling that it will probably grow on me even more with subsequent watches.
     
  15. Pheeeeebs

    Pheeeeebs Skutter

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    This is something that disappointed me in Series 10 as well. I guess Craig has spent too long away from home, but for large parts of episodes you'd never even know he's Scouse.
     
  16. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    The episode looked visually incredible from the model shots to the sets and costumes but obviously you seen a good script to go along with that and i thought it was ok, i do think doug sometimes tends to have phase 1 of a joke followed by phase 2 to follow it up and i honestly think he should just stick to phase 1 and then move on, we don't need a joke and a follow up to it.

    The villains started out ok but got abit silly near the end, i think dougs writing of villains isn't all that great these days, i mean the whole we are the good guys and bitching at each other made them seem like weak villains compared the shows great villains of the past

    I also ain't fond of the cliche gag as it felt too on the nose for a show thats on its 11th season and has messed with time travel more times than anything

    And i do agree that some of the jokes almost write themselves with how predictable they are like rimmer moaning about lister not asking him when we all know rimmer is basically gonna say he has no idea

    but on the plus side there was some funny stuff and the adventure aspect was back which is good and it didn't have stand out cringe worthy like some of Series X did

    Overall i am abit mixed on the episode, perhaps going a little more towards liking it
     
  17. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    The nit-picking by sci-if fans... Ugh!!!

    :roll:
     
  18. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    The thing is, Craig has spent thirty years not living in Liverpool. Lister has also spent thirty years not living in Liverpool. It's therefore entirely accurate for Lister's accent to have changed!

    If anything, it would sound weird to me if, after spending more than half his life cooped up with Rimmer, Cat and Kryten, he still sounded like he did in his early twenties!
     
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  19. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Nice to see Paul Taylor and Freeborn back!

    I'll post fuller thoughts soon, but I laughed heartily when Cat chipped in with,"a real big spender!"
     
  20. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Ignored by Seb (again) :?
     

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