RDXI Ep 1 - TWENTICA - DISCUSSION THREAD

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

  1. 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!
     
  2. 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?
     
  3. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    This is how some of us enjoy it :-)
     
  4. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC 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.
     
  5. 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.
     
  6. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC 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.
     
  7. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    I've missed this, lol :-)
     
  8. 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.
     
  9. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC 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 :-)
     
  10. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC 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.
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC 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.
     
  13. 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.
     
  14. 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.
     
  15. 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.
     
  16. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC 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.).
     
  17. 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.
     
  18. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC 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 :-)
     
  19. 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.
     
  20. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC 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.
     

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