RDXII EPISODE 2 - SILICONIA - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Seb, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Second "Happy New Red Dwarf Day" into this 2017 twelfth series and I approached this episode with a lot of anticipation given the tremendous ratings it had received from various critics and all the fans on Doug and Richard's twitter who adored it. However, I have to say I feel a bit let down by Siliconia to be honest.

    There are several positives about the episode, however. For a start, it is a new sci-fi concept that Doug has used obviously with the other Dwarfers being transferred to the mechanoid bodies. That is a real positive for sure for there to be a brand new idea in a near thirty year old sci-fi sitcom. Additionally, although I did not laugh out loud quite as much all the way through - unlike with Cured which was constantly hilarious - I generally found the episode to be very funny. Although there were some recycled old jokes, because the show has continued for so long now I didn't mind their reuse and they still were pretty funny to hear again interwoven amongst other new material. Though it would be even better if Doug could have written more new material. I suppose even my favourite scene - the counselling gags - was an expansion of the scene with Rimmer confiding in Snacky about his past in Give and Take. But it was just so immensely funny and made me laugh the loudest in the entire episode and like I said it did take the humour from that psychology scene in series 11 even further! So that scene was simply vintage Red Dwarf.

    However, I do wonder whether the beginning of the episode was not as fast out of blocks as Cured was in terms of humour and pacing, though still fairly strong. Also the Inbetweener James Buckley did not really stand out in my humble opinion because there were so many other androids obviously, though the fact that he did not shows how all the guest performers were pretty good.

    Generally the plot of the abused and taken for granted mechanoids turning on their human/humanoid masters was pretty fine but what really let the episode down in my opinion was the ending. The worst part of a story to be weak is the resolution so that is why I felt somewhat frustrated by Siliconia by the end. For a start, the mop "gladiator" duel scene was good for some time but I do wonder whether it went on slightly too long again and perhaps is a bit too far out and silly. But anyway Kryten was about to be jettisoned into space and then we get such an abrupt and fast pay off. I noticed on Dave how it had the "up next Zapped" text on the screen and suddenly thought before the resolution came how it was surely going to be too fast and it was. Why does Siliconia happen to just appear at that right very exact time to save Kryten and the other Dwarfers - it feels too fast, fluky and coincidental (have I missed something?)? Also how is Rimmer transferred back into his hologrammatic body successfully when he appeared to be taken over virtually completely by the android's programming? Though I suppose the key word is virtually and after all he made an emotional speech which I quite liked about wanting to stay a machine and it was a nice example of a dramatic style being used by Doug in Red Dwarf again but not too much.

    Overall, though I thought most of Siliconia before the end was pretty good the problem is series 11 had a lot of clever pay offs, this feels too simple and without a strong end to an episode it simply unravels all the goodness of the rest of the half hour. So though I laughed reasonably frequently ultimately after watching I wondered whether the critics who gave it scores of 10/10, 5/5 and 9/10 had watched the same episode? If when I rewatch Cured when the blu-ray is released the possible issues like whether the mad scientist trusting the Cat to eliminate the other Dwarfers makes sense then I personally feel that first episode is the strongest out of the two fairly significantly. I personally think Cured if it does indeed make enough sense and hold together on re-watch is surely the more like series 4-6 and funnier all the way through.

    To be honest with you I feel not just series 11 but also most of series 10 has been stronger than this twelfth series so far. I don't want to over-commit to this opinion yet as obviously the whole of series 12 has not been broadcast yet but I do worry that series 11 is so much better because Dave said to Doug we want a second series at the same time and so he had to rush write another six episodes. But still like I said I have not seen the whole series yet though next episode, Timewave, does concern me because that was the second episode filmed last year that got mixed set reports though admittedly there was some misbehaving from audience members too.

    I do hope though given that I enjoyed most of the rest of Siliconia until the end that when I rewatch it I will enjoy it more as I will be more used to its fast resolution and might appreciate it more as like a Russell T Davies Doctor Who series 1 (my favourite series of new Who) style simple pay off. I'm really hoping it will grow on me more upon future viewings when I am more used to it but for now though I enjoyed it fairly well up until the resolution I feel ultimately somewhat frustrated by this episode and just cannot see how it is as one fan said: "the best of the Dave-era so far!" Five of series 10's episodes and five of series 11's episodes are significantly better than this. Hopefully it might well indeed grow on me after this first viewing but for now it is more Sillyendconia than Siliconia.

    7.5 out of 10.
     
  2. BigOleDummy

    BigOleDummy Deck Sergeant

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    Well, it FINALLY came on BritBox so I can give my take on it. From a cursory scan of the other opinions I guess I'm again going against the grain so to speak. I liked it a lot. 1000 times better than Cured imho. I actually laughed more than once and the episode seemed to fly by. I hope the rest of XII follows the "arc" of XI in that to me at least each episode was better than the first. Yeah, I still think Twentica was terrible and way over-worked and over rated.

    I did kind of foresee Rimmer liking being a Mechinoid to be honest. As soon as they were changed I thought....man, this will be right up Rimmer's alley and so was not surprised one bit when he was the first to fall right in. His reasoning for it was spot on too, totally in character and well said. I actually thought the Cat would be the last to enlist, so to speak, and figured Dave or Cat would be the one to get them all out. Very pleasantly surprised by the way it actually happened though.
    The Gladiator mop scene was probably the weakest link to me, I really would have preferred some other kind of "contest" to see who would stay. Almost anything but a mop off as it were. I mean, wasn't that the whole point for the MILF's in the first place? To break away from the menial task's imposed upon them. On that subject (kinda), the lower ranking Mech's doing the skut work was a little foreshadowed too, I mean just like the one said "somebody has to do it". Question : if they , the lower series Mech.'s didn't/couldn't go to Siliconia then where do all the calculators go? ;-):lol:

    Much MUCH better episode than Cured , to me at least, and a good harbinger of things to come. Good to see them back!
    Overall, I'd rate it 8 or 8 1/2 out of 10.
     
  3. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    I think plenty of others like it too.
     
  4. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    I think plenty of others like it too.
     
  5. RainbowGazelle

    RainbowGazelle Second Technician

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    No, they're still 30 mins, like the classic series.
     
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  6. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    I wonder if a 45-minute in a 60-minute slot sort of thing they do with dramas would help new Dwarf a lot.
     
  7. SweatyChimpBoy

    SweatyChimpBoy Second Technician

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    Doug has plenty of time to tell a decent story and wrap it up in 30mins. He just chooses to use long drawn out jokes and way too many ship scenes with series 1/2 music, then abruptly ends some episodes without a proper wrap up.
     
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  8. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    12.2 - Siliconia

    Acrostic:

    Strange invention lets insurgents convert opposite numbers into androids.

    Limerick:

    Starbug is seized, and the cast
    Are turned into robots at last!
    Now Rimmer is keen
    To remain a machine
    And be done with his miserable past
    ...
     
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  9. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I can fully understand him being left with a few duffers in this situation. But I can't understand why, when both series were filmed back to back, he didn't rejig the order to spread them out. So I guess he regards the quality as even?

    My prediction is that there will be six great episodes in RDXI/XII, which could have made for one great series.
     
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  10. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Apart from myself and a few others - particularly after the Dave broadcast - I must say it does look like most of the response on this forum, critics and other fans has been rather positive. Hey, even though I wasn't sure about the ending and it ruined the episode somewhat for me I still gave it 7.5 out of 10 in my review which is as high or almost as high as others who really liked it have rated it.

    So I just need to see whether it grows on me more on future watches which like I said in my review, it might well do, all being well.
     
  11. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    TBH, I wonder whether I have been slightly harsh on Siliconia in my review though for now that remains my opinion until further viewings. I enjoyed it pretty much until the ending. But I do wonder whether I was more frustrated with the ending because I did not understand it like a few other reviewers have mentioned here. If when I re-watch the earlier scene with the reference to Siliconia and the fact that they had called it and I pick up on it better then although the ending will still be a bit abrupt and fluky, it will come across as fairly better.

    The great thing with both music and even TV to quite a large extent is there is such a concept of things "growing on you." You should always listen or watch something at least two, preferably three times to really decide on your opinion. E.g. I didn't like last series opener Twentica on first viewing but it grew on me to become one of my top episodes of 11. But I still wonder whether Cured is the strongest of the first couple of series 12 episodes though and more vintage.

    But still I love the "more Les Col than Les Paul" gag and lots of other parts of the humour!

    In terms of the general strength of series 12 so far maybe I was a bit harsh to say it is the weakest since BtE because like I said I will have to see what my ultimate opinion is after three watches and after all after only two episodes I really enjoyed Cured.

    But for now obviously these first impressions stand of course.

    In terms of the distribution of the twelve episodes I personally really like it that apart from the less strong Can of Worms, series 11 was pretty fantastic all the way through myself because it is so good for Doug to lay claim to the strongest and most vintage RD run since 1993. Anyway, with series 12 like I said I have only seen 2 episodes, one of which I really enjoyed.
     
  12. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. I see now.
     
  13. Lishus

    Lishus Skutter

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    If the next 3 are as good as Siliconia the next few weeks will be good. I like how it is a serious sci if one with some humor added after
     
  14. sundayforsammy

    sundayforsammy Deck Sergeant

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    The first 5-10 minutes of each RDXII have been good but they then slip into crap pantomime mostly. Awful series so far.
     
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  15. Repo Man

    Repo Man Third Technician

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    I liked this episode. I think everyoune should be kryton in every episode. They should do an episode where everyone is Cat!
     
  16. sundayforsammy

    sundayforsammy Deck Sergeant

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    Kryten, an episode where they are Derick Custer, Kit and Titan may well suit your name spelling better.
     
  17. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    nope
     

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