RDXI Ep 2 - SAMSARA - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Seb, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. BetterAnythingThanThatToupee

    BetterAnythingThanThatToupee Third Technician

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    Much better than Twentica (in some respects), for the following two reasons:

    1. The cast were back in character (specifically Craig and Chris — and especially Chris, who was FINALLY back in the driving seat with Rimmer). Danny and Robert are always pitch perfect (though Cat’s dialogue could’ve used an edit in places).

    2. The lighting. The cast didn’t look noticeably ‘aged’ in this episode (and I mean ‘aged’ in comparison to how Chris and Craig look in real life in 2016). This is something that’s bugged me since X, and it’s mostly to do with the lighting. Great job on this episode — it really helps with the immersion.

    On the whole — pretty damn good. Some elements of the plot and the pacing could’ve benefited from a trim or a restructure, but that’s the most minor of minor quibbles when they got the rest so earth shatteringly right.
     
  2. sundayforsammy

    sundayforsammy Deck Sergeant

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    I very much enjoyed Samsara and it was even a major improvement on Twentica which was very good anyway. Cat and lister with the R'chimedes chatting dribbled on far too long though and apart from the monkey line I didn't find it funny. That time could have been used better. I'm not keen on these middle sections with a long drawn out repeated joke (Twentica had the same with the science bit in the middle).

    That aside, Samsara was a great episode and Ican't wait for the next. :-D
     
  3. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Just watched this. I'll give a proper review after a second watch, but my first impressions are that this was a good but not great episode. Like Twentica, it looked really good, and it was a bit of an unusual episode with all the flashback scenes.
     
  4. mtullock

    mtullock First Technician

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    Far better then Twentica IMO. Very much enjoyed it. I enjoyed the flashback sequences and thought they were well handled. I agree the Archimedes dialog was far loo drawn out and the end was far to sudden and needed some proper closure. However, overall this is the first ep in a VERY long time that I have had numerous laugh out loud bits and also a grin on my face from ear to ear. Also the framing and camera distance was a marked improvement over X. Lastly the new science room looks great and actually gives them room to move as opposed to the old new drive room which was a glorified cockpit and made no sense on a ship the size of the dwarf.
     
  5. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I think I preferred it to Twentica, but will only know for sure when I re-watch it a few times.

    Pros

    - It looked gorgeous - not just the SFX and sets but also nice creative decisions, like the use of different coloured cyalumes for emergency lighting.
    - It felt like they were on a spaceship rather than (as per Twentica) a stage.
    - Interesting and ambitious plot.
    - Two solid laughs: the evolution gag and Kryten punching Lister.

    Cons

    - Why was the camera so wobbly for close-ups of the cast? It was really noticeable if you glanced at the background when someone was talking.
    - Abrupt ending. It was like, "Well, we worked out what was happening here - bye." It needed a Final Thrilling Sequence where they actually got back to Starbug in one piece (ideally interspersed with flashbacks of the crew facing their own doom). Imagine if Rimmerworld had just finished with Kryten going, "Oh - I get it - we have to be nice to Mr Rimmer" - and then ended before they took off.
    - I didn't find a lot to laugh at. It was more like Doctor Who-style enjoyment, where I was curious to see what happened.
     
  6. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    It wasn't bad, I think the character interactions were funny even if Archimedes stuff went on longer then it should. The episode seemed to kinda lack a climax and the flash backs felt pretty stiff to me.
     
  7. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    This was a mixed bag for me. The Rimmer and Lister scenes early on were pretty good, but the Lister and Cat stuff was mediocre. A bit of an unusual episode too with all the uncharacteristic flashbacks - especially so since we don't often get scenes without the main cast. I'm surprised some of you prefer this to last week's episode - Twentica was both funnier and Dwarfier to me.

    Various thoughts:

    • The acting has improved noticeably. Chris and Craig are much better than in 10, and Danny and Robert are back to their very best.
    • Kryten has recovered from his seasons 7 to 10 bad period and reverted to his 3 to 6 best. This is how Kryten should always be - not screaming into a phone because he's been put on hold, but restrained, composed and delivering great lines straight-faced like: "About the same odds of being killed by a tangerine."
    • I wish it had been Rimmer trapped with Cat. It would have made more sense for him to be driven mad by Cat's stupidity and would have given us some rare Rimmer/Cat scenes.
    • The Archimedes conversation was excruciatingly long and unfunny. An early contender for my least favourite season 11 scene.
    • I love Red Dwarf's new interiors. They're a great improvement on season 10's look.

    Funniest line:

    Rimmer: "I was nine years old and this busker claimed he was an alien and wanted to sell me some lucky space dust. Even at nine I was no fool - I knew he was real."

    Overall: The first half was good, but I found the second a bit of a slog. The Karma Drive was a nice old-fashioned Dwarfian concept, but the execution wasn't too great and the episode should have been better.

    Rating: 6/10
     
  8. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Robert plays kryten more like a goofy lovable robot in recent series so he gives cheeky smiles alot more then he used.
     
  9. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    Like Twentica, Samsara had a really strong concept, an even better one even. Like that episode though, it didn't flow perfectly the whole way through. Overall, much closer in feel to classic Dwarf than the bulk of series X, but that lack of flow is what holds them back. I have to say though, the Archimedes bit was inspired! Not at first, because it does seem way too drawn out for it's own good. But after the plot reveal is resolved, and Cat says "And he got to spend quality time with me!" the pay off from that line justifies the drawn out inanity from Cat. And makes Lister's crying out to Kryten for help hilarious!

    Like Twentica, the ending seemed rushed and anti-climactic, overall though, I though Samsara was the better of the two new eps aired so far. And I'd take both of them over most of Series X.
     
  10. Oddheads

    Oddheads Second Technician

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    Anyone else find this episode quite dark? The scene where Lister gets trapped in the food waste grinder made me jump. Plus the entirety of the flashback scenes gave quite a uneasy vibe, especially towards the end when it's shown how much the couple were getting screwed over by the Karma Drive. Wouldn't feel out of place in Series V.
     
  11. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    The more I reflect on this episode, the more I actually appreciate it's attempt at world building. So while I might not be bathing it in praise at the moment, this might be an episode that grows on me over time.
     
  12. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    It is a dark episode, and that definitely is one of it's strengths. One thing that confused me though, Kryten said the rest of the crew survived by being immoral. But they didnt survive, they were flash heated to death. I think I missed something there...
     
  13. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    After the promising start of Twentica my initial feelings after watching Samsara are of resigned disappointment.

    Wheras the latter felt like a potentially lost episode of VI, this dross came straight out of Series VII's playbook of poor characterization, laboured jokes and a potentially good idea wasted.

    I will give props to the execution of the flashback style exposition which was a new technique for Dwarf...its just unfortunate that it's resolution was nothing memorable. The Cat and Lister interaction was painful and the fan-service attempt to piggyback on Justice (a truly classic episode) only highlighted how poorly constructed this episode was in comparison.

    Everything felt like the poor imitation of classic Dwarf we've seen Doug attempt time and again in series 8, BTE and parts of X. I've heard this was the "bottle" episode to counter the higher budget of Twentica, yet that doesn't excuse the poor quality of the jokes ("killed by a tangerine" - seriously Doug?). I didn't laugh once in the entire episode.

    I suppose there wasn't anything outright offensive in it (unlike X) but in comparision to the last series it is far behind the likes of Lemons, The Beginning and Trojan in terms of quality. A disappointing effort.

    Side note: I'm not convinced that were ever going to get a decent Rimmer performance out of Chris Barrie again. His hammy overacting and shouty panto style performance just gets worse with each advancing year. I wish someone involved in directing would take him to one side and offer him some critique on what made the character great in the first place. I love Chris's work over the years but Rimmer used to have some subtelty. Granted he isn't helped by weak material (like the stuff he got in the first scene) but it's still sad to see. In fact, all of the actors bar Robert seemed somewhat out of sync with their usual performance in this episode.

    Maybe I'll like this better on a second viewing but for now it's seriously levelled the hype I felt after viewing Twentica. Also worth noting that this is the second flat ending to the show in the series. Doug really seemed to struggle for good punchlines in this one. :crying:
     
  14. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    Well, I thought that was much better! For me, Twentica never did feel as though it would fit with the earlier series the way some people felt it would, but Samsara did. It was the throwback to 'classic' Dwarf that, in the Twentica thread, I said we'd probably not find in the new series.

    The talk about scientists dragged a little, but it still amused me. The ending was abrupt. I suppose that was due to time constraints. Everything else I enjoyed. Great fun! Fun concept (I'm not going to criticise because of the re-use of the justice field technology, because they've woven an interesting story around it). The jokes all made me laugh or at least amused me. Samsara has fewer flaws than the best of series X (and I mostly liked X), and feels like the return to form I hadn't hoped to see.
     
  15. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    Just watched it again, and I enjoyed it more the second time around. Knowing how the story resolves at the end made the beginning part with Rimmer throwing a one and a two 7 times in a row more satisfying and funnier than at the first time of asking. Although I did enjoy that part when I first saw it too. That whole bit with them playing "Mineopoly", and then the bunk scene felt very much like early Dwarf. I still think Cat talking about Archimedes having a bath dropped on his head, shouting "Formica!" and inventing gravy was probably the funniest part, particularly due to how exacerbated Lister becomes during the conversation. I laughed out loud more than once during that part!

    Kryten and Rimmer were back to their prime too, both of them truly shone like their old selves. I still think the ep ended too abruptly, but the part itself was very funny, and clever too, as Cat's anger at Lister's cheating, and Lister's cheating itself would have ensured their safe passage home due to the immoral behaviour. lol If the rest of the series is of similar quality, then I will be content. :-)
     
  16. jaybo1973

    jaybo1973 Catering Officer

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    I think I am in agreement with a few other comments I have read. I enjoyed it more than last week but the bath gravy joke went on far too long. Cat is better at one liners; I was willing it to be over. The other stuff was OK, better than the likes of 7 - bte but still not the glory days of 1 -6.
     
  17. misterjohnsparks

    misterjohnsparks Second Technician

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    Nope, just the two crew members having the affair survived remember. She tampered with the morality drive so it rewarded immoral behaviour, hence the two cheaters survived. Until they decided to ward Red Dwarf (a morally virtuous idea) and the drive killed them.
     
  18. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Hmm, like Bluey this was one was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I liked it but didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much as Twentica. I love the general concept of the "Karma" drive though. It fits quite nicely into the previously established Red Dwarf world (what with Justice world and all), so that was muchly appreciated. But part of me can't help but feel that such a great concept could've perhaps been used to greater effect...and yet, at the time of writing I'm not sure how, so maybe I'm talking a load of old smeg.

    There was much to like about the episode but I can't deny that there were parts that fell kind of flat for me. Most notably the flashback scenes with the guest cast (although it served the story well and the transitions from current day to flashbacks were effective). And I wasn't really feeling some of the scenes between Cat and Lister either. Although I did like the most excellent evolution argument and Cat's line about not being able to bring a hearse to water. And the Rimmer/Lister bunk scenes were most pleasing. And for me lived up to the quality established in the early series'.

    The bunk room looks better this time around and I must say the science/medical room looks beautiful. So much better than the cockpit in series 10. I think I actually missed some of Cat and Kryten's early dialogue due to admiring the set so much. With that said I felt the blue lighting was a bit too similar on the SS Samsara.

    So, yeah, overall I have mixed views about Samsara. Much of it I liked but...I dunno... there were just too many moments that left me feeling...well, not much at all really. Nothingness? Boredom? I'm not sure. Perhaps my views will change a bit subsequent to further viewings. But maybe not. It's interesting that so many here feel it was better than Twentica. Which again just goes to show how diverse our personal tastes are. And it's always reassuring when Doug is able to cater for such diversity. :-)

    Oh and on that note I'll just add that I'm impressed with Doug's directing and the general production values so far. A great improvement on the direction/production of most of series 10.
     
  19. p_hill3000

    p_hill3000 Third Technician

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    Yeah I noticed that as well, especially in the opening scene and a bit in the middle.
    I've never noticed that before in Red Dwarf, it makes it looks like a home video and a bit cheap which is a shame because the sets are amazing. I'm really liking the new lighting they are using.
     
  20. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    The whole of series 3 was shot handheld :?
     

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