RDXI EP 6 - CAN OF WORMS - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Seb, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    I agree i don't know why the emotion tuck machine was even involved, it feels like dougs mixing in too many concepts at once this series

    I mean the cat and the cat lady was an interesting concept, the cat being pregnant could have been an interesting concept and having 8 polymorphs onboard could have been fun but all 3 in one episode? they don't get fully explored and often feel wasted
     
  2. Cloud

    Cloud Console Officer

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    I really liked this episode. I thought it was good and had good laughs. Really enjoyed this whole series cant wait for the next. But for XII please god get a different bit of ship transitional music.
     
  3. Cloud

    Cloud Console Officer

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    I really liked this episode. I thought it was good and had good laughs. Really enjoyed this whole series cant wait for the next. But for XII please god get a different bit of ship transitional music.
     
  4. sundayforsammy

    sundayforsammy Deck Sergeant

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    I'm not sure about this one, I was left a little disappointed but maybe that is because I know the series is now over and it is another year before we get to see RDXII.

    That aside I think this episode had so much happening that it could have been a 45-60 minute episode and that would have been great for the series finale. The story just felt so condensed into the 30 minute slot that none of the plot ideas got fully explored. For that reason alone this episode ranks in my bottom two. If it had been expanded into a 45-60 finale episode I think it may have got to be my favourite episode of the series.

    All in all though RDXI has been a great success and I do look forward to RDXII.
    Thank you Doug and everyone else involved in making this all happen.
     
  5. mtullock

    mtullock First Technician

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    When did lister stop eating curry? So far he has eaten canapes,sunday lunch, english breakfast but not one vindaloo!?! Also einstein was wrong? Well obviously.....red dwarf passed the speed of light 28ish years ago!

    Also i am assuming lister has given up on Kochanski....."the prisoner might be human" ladt series he thought every shadow might be Kochanski
     
  6. Underdunn

    Underdunn First Technician

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    Blimey I hope I'm never in a Mexican stand-off with you! Naaa it wouldn't work, one person fires then they all fire. :twisted:
     
  7. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I've a couple of thoughts on that.

    Firstly, while I personally liked the continuity, the reaction everywhere else to those mentions seemed to be one of dread, including from certain "superfans" of the show. This may be a case of the writing being swayed by feedback.

    Secondly, Its my understanding that series X was originally meant to have an appearance by Kochanski but this episode was never made due to the much talked about production problems that led to Dear Dave and The Beginning.

    Lastly, an in-universe explanation. Time has passed between series. I doubt Lister has forgotten or given up on finding her but, as with the flickering flame of any dead relationship, he's stopped seeing her in every shadow and started moving on with his life.
     
  8. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I think your memory might be playing tricks on you! I can think of one episode, Entangled, where Lister thought that Kochanski might be present or within reach. The only other mentions in RDX are:

    Trojan
    Lemons
    Dear Dave
     
  9. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Well, I was a bit disappointed in Can of Worms. IMO, it's the worst of the Polymorph trilogy. However, it did have some good redeeming features.

    I loved Cat's description of the lady cat's "moves". For those mulling over continuity in that regard - I think it's well established in classic Dwarf that Cat is a virgin, who (when the Dwarfers first encounter him) doesn't know what sex is.

    It's also suggested that, by Justice, he's picked up a basic mechanical understanding of sexual intercourse.

    My interpretation was, when faced with the polymorph pipe-thing, he was stupid enough (and vain enough) to think he'd unlocked some kind of "special sex" - like a bonus round. That's why he boasted to Rimmer and Lister about "moves" they wouldn't have seen themselves.

    Anyway - having enjoyed the new GELF in Krysis, I was really pleased about the thought of a Polymorph callback (btw - I'm guessing that anyone who dodged the Radio Times spoiler realised what it was when they read this!).

    It's been enough years now, with big enough leaps in the SFX, that callbacks are exciting for me. It's less a case of "oh, I guess they found that old costume then" - which is how I felt about callbacks in VII and VIII - and more, "I can't wait to see what the new one looks like!" I think RD XI has done a really nice job of mixing callbacks with new ideas, so the time felt right for Polymorph III - both in terms of Doug Naylor being "on form", and also the improved SFX.

    With that in mind, you can understand why I was underwhelmed here. We only saw the polymorph itself as a corpse, and I really did think, "oh, I guess they found the old costume then" (I'm not sure whether it actually was the classic prop, but it certainly wasn't a high quality re-imagining).

    Worse, the last act didn't make any sense at all. The personality tuck is a great opening and sets up the end in a really nice way. However, taking Lister's emotions away has absolutely zero effect on the plot. If they stick to him like glue, his "invisibility" (from the morphlings' perspective) is neither here nor there. Also, when it's clearly established that he'll shoot if there's any doubt - no longer caring if one of the crew is killed as collateral damage - how on earth does he get embroiled in a Mexican standoff? Annoyingly, because of the personality tuck, the last act made significantly less sense than it would have done!

    I don't think it's quite my least favourite episode of RD XI, but I will have to do a mini-marathon to put them all in order. Watch this space!
     
  10. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I think it's also implied that Lister interprets the voice he hears luring him into the corridor in Fathers and Sons as being Kochanski. That's 5/6 episodes and probably the only reason she isn't mentioned in The Beginning is that it's essentially a condensed version of Red Dwarf: The Movie.

    Technically speaking this is the 4th Polymorph episode since we missed the one where one attacks Lister in a bathtub! ;-)
     
  11. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    It is - but only one (or one and a half, if we consider Fathers and Suns) where Lister thought that a "shadow" was Kochanski.
     
  12. mtullock

    mtullock First Technician

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  13. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    My favourite episode of the series! Some folk on this message board have mentioned which series they feel certain episodes might have fit into, but this is the first episode I've felt might sit well into older series of the show. There were a lot of ideas which could have been extrapolated into much larger segments, which made the whole thing feel a bit rushed. Much comedy could have been squeezed from the multiple polymorphs imitating the crew. Perhaps it's felt it's been done before.

    I see no reason they would have made Lister emotionless, then risked everything by going with him to track the polymorphs.

    It's been mentioned that the Cat is unrealistically naive about sex in this episode, given his comments in previous episodes. I'm happy to chalk that up to Dwarf's signature continuity flaws. But it occurred to me that there is no way that the libidinous Cat would not have taken full opportunity to use the VR machine they had on Starbug, as Lister did.

    What a fun series! I don't think it's reached the heights of series I-VI, but for an old timer like me, perhaps nothing will. Well done everyone involved with Red Dwarf XI!
     
  14. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    I wondered at that scene when they joined emotionless Lister too... but then Rimmer makes a statement that explains things. "Let's send him in..."

    I got the impression that they were travelling with Lister to the section where they thought the polymorphs were, then they were going to deploy him. But then their plan was scuppered because the polymorphs had already found them, as demonstrated when the Cat morph turns up.

    Overall, I liked this episode a lot. I wasn't keen on the Cat lady's introduction. She did a weird sideways grin that looked unnatural, a pure "hey audience, I have fangs! I'm a cat, get it?" I know she isn't meant to be a subtle character but that was a bit much. She looked the part though.

    That reference to a new kind of vampiric gelf that lived in that asteroid belt was interesting. While part of me was a bit disappointed we didn't get to see them, I actually think that bit of misdirection served the episode. From the synopsis and speculation I guessed the female cat would likely be something else. I thought she might turn outto be one of those vampire gelfs out to prey on the Cat. But that would require that species to have shape-shifting or illusions powers and since we have polymorphs, psirens and pleasure gelfs with those capabilities, yet another kind would be a bit much, and a re-tread of past episodes.

    Instead we got another polymorph episode, but different enough from the others that it worked very well.

    Before we got to that, we got an interesting new droid in the mercanoid. (I understand the costume is actually from a Doctor Who episode? I wonder if it was augmented at all?) I loved the scary voice and Lister's method of dealing with him was a cool moment, as well as a funny gag at Rimmer's expense.

    So that's two potential threats, one of which we never met, and one which was dealt with quickly. And that was before we even got to the real threat of the episode. I don't mention this as a criticism. It's a good thing to be misdirected.

    Unfortunately, I saw the female Cat twist coming, but as her role was also very small, yet very pivotal, there was still another threat and plenty of comedy to come. Much of the morphlings section was very silly, but in a good way. It would have been nice if Kryten's plan to use remove Lister's emotions amounted to more. I guess it could be argued that normal Lister would not have blasted the Cat-morph so quickly, which might have saved them, but even so. In the end they'd covered quite a bit of territory in the episode and with the time limit, they had to wrap things up.

    I'm not sure of the resolution with the Cat turning up and instinctively just knowing which beings were the polymorphs, but it was kinda cool nonetheless.

    Overall, a good episode, that took some old concepts and did new things with them. A good mixture of sci-fi ideas, monsters, comedy, and character moments.

    Here's the real pertinent question though...*

    Where did they get those small guns from?

    It doesn't matter. They've spent plenty of time salvaging stuff from derelicts and possibly Red Dwarf has an armoury of more weapons than bazookoids. Maybe they figured bazookoids would be overkill for morphling hunting, or alternatively to unwieldy to take out a number of critters at once.

    They were a cool design.

    *Not really.
     
  15. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Oddly i wonder if that would have made a better story ;p

    That was the highlight of the episode for me
     
  16. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    So late to the party but I just watched it.....and I literally have no idea what my feelings are on this one, there were some laughs but there is a great deal I'm really not sure of. Definitely well need to see that episode again before I really know my feelings on it. I definitely don't feel we needed a Polymorph part 3!
     
  17. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    Part of me was disappointed we didn't see that too. But with the set up, I think it would have been too obvious and people would be complaining that they just saw a rehash of Psirens.

    And before someone says 'we got a rehash of Polymorph instead', I disagree. It is very much Polymorph 3, but they did something very different with it.

    In the end I thought the vampire gelf threat was a nice bit of misdirection.
     
  18. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    As with many episodes this series I enjoyed it more on second viewing (especially as the UKTV website bombarded me with less adverts).

    Perhaps I was a little harsh on Ankita's actress as she was really given very little to do. where does the name come from, by the way?(The joke seems to be that cat's don't have a name but don't want to admit it.)

    There are no real woofers in the episode but it's a consistent smiler, inoffensive and fun. It probably would have been best placed in a mid series slot though.

    One thing I was interested to ask. Given 'Slag-gate' last series, was anyone offended by the inclusion of the term "hoes"? I wasn't but it did cause me to wonder whether or not I needed to change the bulb...
     
  19. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    I really dunno why I was so uncertain of this episode on first watch, having seen it again I actually like this one quite a bit. It's certainly not as good as the original Polymorph episode, but I actually like it a LOT more then Emohawk. I'd rank it as being 3rd best episode this series, but it's still deserving of an 8/10!
     
  20. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    I never criticise an episode for reusing old themes or monsters. I think people tend to do that with episodes they don't much like, but not with episodes they like even though it might be just as relevant. In other words, whether a theme is reused is not an issue, but whether an episode works (for any given viewer) is. This entire series could be dismissed as a rehash of previous Red Dwarf episodes. That would be unfair, but not many episodes in VI have contained concepts entirely new to Red Dwarf. But I think there's been something fresh in every episode, and there's been humour (and a few pretty good laughs) in every episode. There is only so much new that can happen to four dudes flying through space, especially given the rules of the fictional universe already established. Still, a polymorph and a couple of dream characters hasn't fulfilled my wish to see more of the cat species, as I was hoping would happen in this episode. I still want to see what kind of culture they may have established in the last few thousand years (or so, perhaps), a longing I've had since episode 1 in 1988.
     

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