RDXI Ep 3 - GIVE AND TAKE - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Seb, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    It's taken me quite a long time to right something about this episode but anyway here goes.

    This is simply the best episode of series 11 thus far. It's extremely strong and IMHO pretty much as tight as the series 2-6 scripts with hardly a line wasted. For a start, it's great to have the bazookoids back again and a skutter as well to boot. But what is most pleasing - despite the fact that IMHO the more comical antagonists are good too in a different way - is that there is a more sinister villain a la series 5. Although Asclepius is only present in the first half of the episode I do not mind that really as in a way this demented droid is like series 5's similarly "fruitloop" Dr Lanstrome - only a threat in the first half of the episode and a lunatic medic too. I wonder if Ascelpius is a deliberate throwback to Quarantine's baddie but this time in form of a droid while the skeleton is very series 5!

    The way the power station that is used for the spaceship is lit up also provides a vintage series 4-6 feel for the episode. It's both dark but easy on the eye and bright at the same time - a real improvement once again on series 10. It's incredible what has been achieved on a spend smaller than even the previous series though I suppose using some of the same sets for the Red Dwarf mother ship will have helped cut costs. But still it is remarkable how even better than series 10 this new material looks on screen.

    But anyway as for the story itself - it's simply fansmeggingtastic IMHO. In terms of Doug writing about medical matters this is no equivalent to 2014's crass Over to Bill. The comedy from the missing kidneys is much more acceptable and hilarious too than jokes about bone marrow donation! But as for the main plot itself of the missing kidneys in future Lister due to the time loop it is simply spellbinding - it's very timey-wimey Doctor Who but in a really good way and crucially really funny too. I remember a year or two ago I wrote on one of the threads about series 10 that in the future RD I wanted to see more "heavy science" stories like series 4-6 and with this and Samsara in particular Doug has really achieved the feat with aplomb. Linking the earlier lift slowness to it being the future Dwarfers trying to avoid their former selves to prevent time being destroyed was also very Doctor Who and cohesive and clever writing from Doug. Red Dwarf in series 11 is more cerebral again and all the better for it!

    I also like others feel that Give and Take has the best ending of all the new episodes with the bootstrap paradox pay off but even then it could have been even better IMHO if there had been a punchline about how Asclepius never took Lister's kidneys only the dialysis chip so they never needed to take the former Lister's kidneys anyway. It could have been hilarious! But still maybe leaving it for the viewer to work out could be considered effective too really showing how this episode returns RD back to the sophisticated sci-fi of its peak years. As for the mislead with Asclepius having two kidneys in his lab it is slightly difficult to discern at first viewing IMHO but it works really well once you understand properly. Although series 11's episodes have been a bit harder to follow than the previous series ultimately it is more rewarding as it gets you thinking more and the plots have more depth which like I said is what I wanted from this new material two years ago.

    As for the comedy itself, it is like I said earlier the tightest script in series 11 so far. Snacky is deliberately goofy and similarly another classic Who reference in terms of appearance. I thought he was really funny and the counselling scene/gag was my favourite of the entire episode. As for "Captain Bollocks" I notice a few people have not appreciated it on this board but I am glad most fans on twitter have loved it because for me it is just such simple but really effective humour that it has got to be series 11's "Let's get out there and twat it" or "my duty to be a complete and utter bastard." It's also superior to IMHO "utter twat" from the previous RD run. But this episode is simply packed with incredibly funny dialogue and the only line wasted on mentioning someone Rimmer used to know is due to a scene cut that would have occurred later on in the episode which does not really affect my enjoyment of Give and Take at all.

    While I thought Fathers and Suns, Lemons and The Beginning were pretty excellent too Give and Take is probably the strongest of the Dave era so far! I especially also like how using the stasis booths to time travel is also a reference back to series 2's great Stasis Leak as well as the episode feeling more like it could come from the early 90s era. Snacky helping to initiate this pay off is decent too and after all the humour comes from how he surprisingly ultimately can help as he has learnt the knowledge off the former crew member on Asclepius' ship about using stasis booths to time travel - this is definitely the finest conclusion to all the series 11 episodes so far. I remember a couple of years ago in a what we wanted from series 11 thread I posted that I wasn't sure RD could ever come back into peak form in the future. To be fair I took it back immediately and thank goodness I did as with this especially it is there or thereabouts up there with the vintage years - what an unprecedented return to former glory!

    8.5 or 9 out of 10 on first viewing.
     
  2. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I'm not sure about this episode really, but it appears very popular so maybe it's just me :?

    It was funny at the start, but after that, for me, it was more about the story than laughs. Which if course isn't a bad thing per se, some of RD's finest episodes are more great story than laugh-a-minute hilarity.

    All this stuff with kidneys! Asclepius must have removed them, as that's what's stated in the episode synopsis, surely?

    Talking of Asclepius, yes, very good monster of the week. Good looks, slightly manic voice, maybe could have focused a bit more on the knives to increase the terror.

    Now, about the scene where Lister asks Cat for a kidney. I guess it's to drive the point home about how selfish he is, but for me, somehow, it all seemed very sad. I'm not used to sad scenes in RD. Cat's hair was wrong too, and his eyebrows too thick, which added to its oddness. So, I really don't know about that bit at all...

    Is there a series theme, perhaps, of characters becoming more than they think they are? Snacky here, and non-Einstein in Twentica?

    Snacky - great line = Please! I'm a stasis booth technician :lol:

    Liked the bazookoids firing, power station set, the space station. I can't wait to get it on Blu-Ray so I can appreciate it all in HD.

    So, overall = 5/10.
     
  3. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    I don't think one should take the episode description as a statement of fact. A good portion of the episode had the Dwarfers operating under the assumption that Asclepius had taken Lister's kidneys so the description merely reflected that.

    Without spoiling too much, there is another episode whose description you will find even less accurate (if there is such a thing as gradations of accuracy, but I'm sure you understand what I mean). One character states something, and that somehow becomes the description of that episode...
     
  4. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Got to be honest. I'm struggling to see how your written review equates to 5/10...but then I struggle to see how anyone could dislke this episode.
    I don't get why you find the cat Lister scene to be sad, its clearly played for laughs (Cat shouting about rock salt?) but there have certainly been sad scenes in RD before.
     
  5. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I was confused by that too...it's not even a particularly great joke. It just made me worry for no good reason about something that would have undermineone of the show's central premises.
    Thankfully the episode found another way to almost undermine another central premise...but I digress. :roll:
     
  6. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Yeah I can appreciate some of the jokes, but it kind of dispels the boys from the dwarf/ all in it together feeling of camaraderie, at least for me.

    Maybe I can watch it again and improve to a 6...?
     
  7. Androidsandbeingasleep

    Androidsandbeingasleep Third Technician

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    Good episode. Particularly enjoyed the scenes with Cat and Lister when Lister asked Cat for a kidney and liked how the end linked up with the opening scene.
     
  8. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 Deck Sergeant

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    Another good one for me, although I wasn't quite as blown away by it as some others seem to be.

    I've neither the time or inclination right now to read through the rest of the thread so apologies if this has been mentioned, but there were a couple of things that stood out for me as seeming a bit out of place within the context of the episode. The idea that the actual stasis engineer killed his future self for trying to warn him just doesn't really fit for me, I appreciate that we know next to nothing about him but the idea of stabbing someone to death for trying to give a warning, however far fetched it may seem just seems wrong for me. The guy must have had massive anger management issues.

    Regarding Asclepius himself, whilst suitably menacing for the monster of the episode his appearance seemed a bit out of place for his originally intended purpose to me. I've had surgery in the past, I can't imagine that if something looking like Asclepius appeared by my bedside it would exactly put me at my ease. Maybe by then people are much more comfortable with doctors looking like deranged torture droids though ;-)

    As for the issue of the kidneys, I don't feel it was at all obvious at any point that the ones we saw weren't Lister's. I personally think that if it was supposed to be a bit of misdirection, maybe it should have been made a bit more obvious later in the episode. If so many people seem to have got the wrong end of the stick there, maybe it isn't their fault.

    But relatively minor quibbles aside (None of these really make a massive difference to the plot IMO), an otherwise pretty good, solid episode for me.

    Can't help wondering what happened to Snacky though, but then Red Dwarf is huge and seems full of machines with varying levels of artificial intelligence so he's probably wandering around somewhere, either that or he's left to pursue his new career as a stasis booth engineer.
     
  9. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Maybe Snacky is finally repairing the stasis leak on floor 16.
     
  10. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 Deck Sergeant

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    I'd always assumed that the stasis leak had self-sealed shortly after the episode, that's the best explanation I can come up with for why they've never tried to use it again.
     
  11. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    Well, the third episode of series XI was on my re-watch tonight, and by God it's good!

    Give and Take is a rare episode these days - heck, even managing to beat out some of the older Red Dwarf. The premise again involves some timey-whimey shenanigans (hey, haven't we just had two episodes of that) but in a rather brilliant setup. Each of the three episodes so far have involved time in one way or another, and all differently:

    Twentica - crew go back in time to stop the Exponoids

    Samsara - admittedly time is only used in flashbacks

    Give & Take - the crew go back in a circular loop, creating their own bootstrap paradox

    Yep, I noticed right at the start of the episode Lister's operation scars and plasters. It's right there, yet nobody will have paid attention to it the first time through. Absolutely brilliant little detail, completely unnecessary but appreciated.

    The story involves a good few plot points, but requires all the crew. Something I've liked about series XI is that there are no "sub-plots" going on at the same time, such as Lister's phone plot in Trojan or Kryten/Cat in Entangled. It is all one big, cohesive plot through the episode which changes and evolves as the situation warrants.

    Visually, this episode is mostly great. The model work - some of which I believe is CG - is good, though I'm not keen on the fast-moving shot as Starbug approaches the station. Also, Starbug leaving through the exploding station just looks off on a few levels. The character design for Asclepius is great, but you can tell it's a bloke in a plastic white gown (with admittedly a great mask). A pity he wasn't in it more often or given a body of more substance, like say the Inquisitor. Snacky, however, was perfect.

    Speaking of guests, every guest character was spot on, apart from the lift. I found the lift okay in the beginning and when it was encountered again towards the end, but found the ending (and again the lift's involvement) unnecessary, and... well, lazy. Again, Snacky was spot-on, and Asclepius too - just a shame about his costume.

    The writing of this episode was great - the jokes weren't the best, but they were consistent. I know there's a lot about this episode that I liked, but struggle to remember a lot of it even an hour after watching. The whole "Captain Bollocks" scene was a high point, but other than that I struggle to remember a lot of really stand-out, laugh-out-loud moments. I just know that they were there, and I wasn't bored.

    When I decided I wanted to re-watch XI and do a write-up, I wanted to include my thoughts then vs my thoughts now, and to be honest I really don't think I want to now. Give & Take is a good episode of Red Dwarf, full-stop. Back when I watched it I thought it was easily the best since series 6 (except Tikka To Ride, perhaps - somehow that one has a fond place in my heart), but not up there with a lot of the pre-series-7 Dwarf. I did wonder if they'd manage to keep the momentum going. Thankfully, I now know that they did (with, in my opinion, the exception of Krysis).
     
  12. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Speaking of timey-whimey shenanigans, the last eight months of posts have vanished.
     
  13. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    I didn't like Captain Bollocks. It was too new, if that makes sense. XI series of Red Dwarf, we've never heard Kryten call him that. It was like it's supposed to be funny because it's the word bollocks. I'm aware of the origins of the joke from an old smeg-up. Maybe it was meant as an in-joke.

    The other niggle I had was the way the plot relied on Snacky and Asclepius both happening to have their names on their backs. Asclepius is wearing his jacket backwards because he's crazy (and wearing jackets backwards is the first thing crazy people do!). But why would a vending machine have its name in big letters across its back.
     
  14. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Which smeg up is that from?
     
  15. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    I can't remember, but there's a clip where one of them says "Captain . . ." then messes up and says " . . . bollocks!", and everyone starts saying "Captain Bollocks".
     
  16. Zombie Smurf

    Zombie Smurf Supply Officer

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    Oh, thank you!
     
  17. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Another decent review and I agree with nearly all of it. But I would have to say the ending with the lift getting its own back on Rimmer is really funny. Though maybe the end should have been a punchline joke about how Asclepius was not the actual organ stealer and how they instead ended up with a pointless bootstrap paradox also just to satisfy the fans who did not read Doug's tweet about how the kidneys in the deranged droid's medical lab were a misdirect. For example, I noticed how in SFX's letters section how some fans had said that the plot did not make sense as obviously without knowing about the misdirect they thought that Lister's organs had already been removed via the bootstrap paradox before Asclepius even touched Lister.

    The other thing I would have to say is the reason why I feel that Give and Take is simply now in my estimation the finest Red Dwarf episode since series 6 is because IMHO it is like with the Rob Grant co-writes, every line (bar the wasted one about Snacky serving one of Rimmer's ex-crew mates) is really funny and worthwhile. There is no fat and it is IMHO as watertight as Red Dwarf was during its late 1988-1993 glory days. As I mean, I think it's even more awesome than Tikka to Ride as while that had a similarly phenomenal timey wimey time travel plot the dialogue in Give and Take is simply far funnier. Each time I have watched Give and Take it has grown on me ever more and yes it is clearly my favourite episode of 11. Hell, I even find the "Tuck, tuck, tuck, tuck, tucky, tucky tuck" line really funny too!
     
  18. Abe but more Halloween themed

    Abe but more Halloween themed Deck Sergeant

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    I thought it was originally a scripted insult which got scrapped from another episode, wasn't it?
     
  19. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Yeah its from like this rare smegs up video on youtube and the gag feels lazy to me because its a cast joke from 1991 that everyone went crazy over like it was something cool and original.

    At the 9:05 mark
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
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  20. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    I ain't fond of the tricking the cat stuff in this episode either because again i think it plays way to hard on the cat being gullible in order to work, but thats just me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017

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