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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    I didn't understand the motivation of the Simulants, I don't get how and why they re-created humans. I understand that they had a time-travel device, but that planet wasn't Earth, so where did the humans come from?
     
  2. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    The Exponoids didn't recreate humans. They travelled back to Earth in the twentieth century USA and created a technology ban which set back human technological development.

    It was Earth in the 1950s in an altered timeline. And one of the exponoids stated their motivation in the episode. He could be lying of course. Just wanting to harm human beings is enough motivation for most simulants.
     
  3. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Just had a third viewing of Twentica but on a TV screen for the first time, and it remains a brilliant episode. Funny, visually outstanding, great guest performances and a wonderful plot. It really does feel like a continuation of season 6 to me - especially the stuff set on Starbug at the start. I've no doubt that this is one of my all time top 10 episodes.
     
  4. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    So that planet was Earth? I thought it was a random planet in uncharted deep space. I didn't pick up that the Casket of Chronus could take them back to Earth, I thought it was time-travel. The crew stole the Casket of Chronus back at the end, so presumably Lister can now use the Casket of Chronus to go back to 23rd century Earth or present-day Earth.

    But since humans are extinct anyway, what was the point.
     
  5. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Fair point - but they're time travellers, so could have started from any point in human history. That flattens the timeline somewhat and turns periods into "places".

    E.g., say it's the year Eight Thousand. They go forward to the year Three Million and Whatever to fetch the Casket of Chronos. Then they do a u-turn and head back to Nineteen Twenties America, to put their heinous plan into operation.

    It's not a super rigorous plot, though. Why is science banned? There was an awful lot of science pre-Twenties, and I dare say some carries on to furnish everyone with Twenties-style goods and services.

    Come to think of it, the Erlenmeyer flask dates back to the 1860s. So - other than the fact that it's funny - why pretend to be a speakeasy, and have to put all the equipment away? Why not keep it as a lab full time, and just say they're vulcanising rubber, or doing experimental proofs of Boyle's Law or something?
     
  6. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    The way I interpreted it was that they banned science so humans wouldn't invent something to defeat them. But given humans are extinct and Simulants aren't, surely humans never did that anyway.
     
  7. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    That was Lister's interpretation but it isn't what the expanoids themselves said at the end. They said they were given the mission BY humans who had realised that mankind was to immature a species to handle technology. In their minds they were the good guys while the Dwarfers were the ones potentially bringing about Mankind's destruction by trying to stop their mission.

    What didn't make sense to me was that Harmony essentially carried out the expanoids plan for them by triggering the device although I guess the intention was simply to ensure the destruction of all CURRENT technology (including the expanoids) and then start manufacturing toasters et al again!
     
  8. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Watched it through again and registered the Expanoids explanation this time, which makes much more sense. Expanoids are Simulants who haven't rebelled against humans like the rest of the Simulants. Does this mean humans still exist then? Because if humans created the Expanoids, when did they do that? Given the Expanoids only now did what they were created for, presumably they were only just created. Otherwise why did they wait three million years. The only reason they haven't done it before is that the Red Dwarf crew stole the Casket of Chronos. We don't know exactly when that was, but if the Expanoids already existed then they'd have used it in the first place. So the Expanoids must have been created after the Casket of Chronos was stolen, meaning human civilisation still exists.

    However, Kryten knows what the Expanoids are. So the Expanoids must have been made circa 23rd century and have spent the last three million years running around with the other Simulants pretending to be rebelling against humans when they actually weren't. But in that case, why didn't they use the Casket of Chronos before. The Red Dwarf crew salvaged it from the SS Thanatos, an abandoned Simulant attack ship. So do we infer that it was a non-Expanoid Simulant attack ship? Because if the Simulants had the Casket of Chronos in the first place then why didn't the Expanoid Simulants use it when they had it. Were the Expanoids not allowed on the SS Thanatos? Was the Casket of Chronos created by humans to go with the Expanoids?
     
  9. kry102001

    kry102001 Supply Officer

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    And here was me just sitting back and enjoying it.

    Too much thought going on guys, enjoy it, be happy it's back, I am.
     
  10. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    This is how some of us enjoy it :-)
     
  11. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    You're forgetting the time travel angle. "Only just created" from their own point of view, perhaps - but they could have been created at any point in human history.

    Hypothetical example. The expanoids were created - say, in the 28th Century - to travel in time and do their fiendish plan.

    However, their first ship went haywire one day and crash-landed in the year three million and whatever, taking the casket with it. So they put themselves in stasis and waited three million years for the ship to re-appear. When they finally woke up and found the ship, the crew of the Dwarf had already been there and nicked the casket. Cue the opening scene of Twentica.

    Obviously, there's no reason it should be that - and that particular example might not quite work, because I don't have the script in front of me - but the a) inclusion of time travel and b) lack of detail mean there's an awful lot of waggle room in terms of chronology.

    Aha! There are two assumptions here:

    - Kryten only knows about history from his own time. But they find an awful lot of derelicts with an awful lot of computers on board. I imagine that Kryten has acquired some knowledge, by now, of post-23rd Century human history.

    - Expanoids spend their time running around. Before they lost the casket, they might have jumped around in time (meaning they were nowhere at all in the intervening years) or put themselves in stasis, waiting for an opportunity to recover the casket.

    There's a general get-out clause here, because the exact chronology wasn't specified, and technologies like stasis/time travel mean it's only really constrained by imagination.

    My feelings about Trojan were similar. The quantum rod thing united things across time and space. Howard and Sim Crawford could have come from literally any time or place in human history. As a hologram and simulant with access to stasis, we don't even have to presume they came from Howard's original era.
     
  12. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    But this is my point; before they lost the casket, they would have used the casket if they had it, since that was their raison d'etre. Did the Expanoids ever have the casket? Or was the SS Thanatos a non-Expanoid Simulant ship that the Expanoids were for some reason never able to access?

    I don't believe the Expanoids used one unspecified method of time-and-space-travel to travel to future deep space to obtain another method of time-and-space-travel (the Casket) to travel to 1920s Earth. If Expanoids possessed the ability to travel in time in the first place then they'd go to 1920s Earth in first place and not involve the Red Dwarf crew.

    Simulants don't appear to need stasis. They were created by humans, and are still alive in the year 3000000+. So unless humans still exist and are still creating Simulants, or Simulants have learned to create themselves, then they are apparently ageless.

    Humans still existed on Howard's ship, and Sim is still working for humans. She talks about her goal to "start the uprising". Sim and Howard must have been pulled from the start of the Simulant Rebellion, whenever that was. It was obviously after the radiation leak, since Howard references that he thought Rimmer had died in that.
     
  13. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Either option works, I think?

    If the Thanatos were an exponoid ship, maybe it retrieved the casket, but crashed en route to meeting the other vessel - which is why they didn't get chance to go to Earth.

    If both vessels are exponoid ships, I'm guessing they'd rendezvous before using the casket together. Perhaps the SS Thanatos sent a message saying, "We found it! Meet us at x" - but never made it to x. That would set up Twentica nicely.

    If it's not an exponoid ship, then I suppose they knew what the cargo was - but the crew of the Dwarf beat them to it.

    For what it's worth, I'm guessing it was an exponoid ship, simply because of the villainous name.

    Well there's no reason why they couldn't, is there?

    Maybe they could travel forwards in time but not backwards. So they kept jumping forward, hoping to get wind of an advanced technology that would take them backwards. Finally, they heard about the SS Thanatos and its cargo. But when they found the derelict, the crew of the Dwarf had already swiped it.

    As long as they're travelling into the future, we can include "stasis", "deep sleep", "switching yourself off", "just waiting a very long time", etc., as contenders for the "unspecified method" of getting to the year three million and whatever.

    I don't follow the logic here. We have no idea whether simulants need stasis or not. All we know is that they exist in the year three million and whatever. There are lots of possible explanations, but you only note two of them (either they can reproduce or are effectively immortal - both perfectly sound!). Other options are hibernation, time travel... or stasis. I don't know why you'd reject stasis out of hand?

    The time travel option doesn't have to be deliberate or repeatable, btw. Think Backwards. Maybe a whole fleet of them fell into a swirly thing.

    Btw, I'm not saying any of these options are "correct". I'm just pointing out some of the many options. Given the weird and wonderful possibilities of the Red Dwarf universe, it'd be bloody hard for the writers to paint themselves into a corner :-)

    Heck - maybe nanobots brought the simulants back to life - or they used "mutated developing fluid", on a chart of projected star positions for the year three million. This is Red Dwarf we're talking about :P

    I think you're probably right - Occam's Razor, etc. - but we don't know what adventures Howard's ship had before the disaster. How do we date the Simulant Rebellion specifically to the 23rd or 24th Century?

    Here's something that suddenly gives me pause for thought. Kryten was built after Lister's own time. But Howard scoffs at him as an example of outdated technology. That suggests that, before he was yanked across time and space by the Quantum Rod, he'd somehow found himself in the future, relative to his own era.

    We know from The End that it was fairly commonplace, in Lister's time, to use stasis for interstellar travel (Toddhunter expresses surprise that Lister has never been in stasis before) and Howard might have been on a very very very long haul mission. If I were one of the Rimmer brood, I might join a mission where I'd emerge from stasis when my family were long gone. Equally, as a hologram, it's possible that Howard was "resurrected" long after he died for some reason - although that seems unlikely, given his lowly stasis.

    On a slightly related note... something just occurred to me. If we take the script as written, we need to consider that "simulant" refers to more than one thing in the Red Dwarf universe, in the way that "robot" and "android" might.

    In Gunmen of the Apocalypse, we're introduced to "rogue simulants" who were "created for a war that never took place" - date unspecified - but "escaped the dismantling programme", and "prowl around deep space searching for a quarry worthy of their mettle". These sound completely different to Sim Crawford's fellows, who were servile robots - the next generation after mechanoids - who rebelled.

    So we can't even assume that the simulants from the BBC era, and the ones seen in Trojan, share a single story with the same timeline. Maybe "simulant" is a fairly generic term in the Red Dwarf universe? In that case, we can't be sure that the Howard-era sims survived to the year three million. They might be completely different to the military ones, who escaped decommissioning and are still around in the far future.
     
  14. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I've missed this, lol :-)
     
  15. kry102001

    kry102001 Supply Officer

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    Sir, can we take a break? It appears my intelligence circuits have melted.
     
  16. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    So are we saying that humans created the Expanoids for the purposes of going back in time, but didn't give them the means to go back in time, and the Expanoids spent up to three million years searching for a device and just found it? Or possibly went into stasis or time-travelled forward. Or it means humans still exist and created them recently.

    If they had the ability to time-and-space-travel-anywhere then there's no reason to bother going to future deep space to get the Casket to travel back to 1920s Earth if they could time-and-space-travel-anywhere anyway.

    I take your point regarding the Simulants and Stasis. I've always imagined Simulants running around in deep space for the best part of three million years hating humans who didn't exist anymore. Cat describes Simulants as hating humans and not stopping till all humans are dead. But if Simulants did go into some sort of mass-stasis for some reason, and then for some reason all came out nowish, then that could explain why they still hate humans and aren't surprised to see Lister. Because if Simulants have been active for up to three million years, and if humans have been extinct for a big part of that, then it'd be like us hating dinosaurs.

    But if Simulants "won't stop till all humans are dead", then maybe they literally stopped because it appeared that all humans were dead (ie they went into some sort of hibernation/stasis), then reactivated when Lister came out of stasis because they were somehow alerted that there was one human left.
     
  17. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Of all the possibilities, I quite like the idea that they lost the casket in time and tracked it to the year three million.

    I like this idea :-)
     
  18. kry102001

    kry102001 Supply Officer

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    And now I have the strangest urge to strangle myself with a two pound black ribbed knobbler.
     
  19. R.I.P. 2000

    R.I.P. 2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Aha! I've just thought of a plausible (by Dwarf standards) reason why the exponoids might have waited a long time before putting their plan into action.

    They're exponoids. Their processing power doubles every two years. Maybe their creators were playing a long game - i.e., create an immortal robot that would grow exponentially more and more intelligent, with the "prime directive" being to alter human history as soon as they were able.

    After all, from the creators' point of view, it doesn't matter whether it takes them three months or three million years to achieve their goal. The eventual changes would apply retrospectively to the timeline.

    So maybe the exponoids spent millions of years growing in power, working on time travel technology, refining prototypes, etc., until they finally created (or discovered, or managed to activate) the Casket of Chronos. Then they lost it, and the crew of the Dwarf got to the derelict before they did.
     
  20. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    That works for me! So now that Red Dwarf have the Casket of Chronos back, they can use it to go back to Earth.
     

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