RDXII EPISODE 4 - MECHOCRACY - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Seb, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Callisto252

    Callisto252 Supply Officer

    Messages:
    698
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    This has turned into the 'Which Rimmer?' thread from a while back! My own personal preference is that there is no part of Nano Rimmer in the current version, because I really disliked that Rimmer (I love Rimmer from series I, but the one from VIII doesn't really come across as 'Rimmer how he used to be' for me).

    The only event that we know current Rimmer 'remembers' is saving them from the corrosive microbe - and perhaps he doesn't even remember that, since surely the others would have discussed those events and he was just appropriating that Rimmer's seeming 'heroism' (of course he would, it was still a version of him after all).

    I still wish they'd gone with the original ending, it would have made more sense. Then we could just assume that Nano Rimmer died in some unrelated incident and then they rebooted him as a hologram. What it wouldn't explain is why the ship changed shape again or what happened to the rest of the crew.
     
    The Cat likes this.
  2. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    1,517
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Yep - that would be totally in-character for Rimmer!

    I think there are multiple options here, and we can all pick our favourite theory - until Doug Naylor settles it on-screen (and I suspect he won't!).
     
  3. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    1,517
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    I hope the revived crew somehow got stranded in the past or something. So they're still out there in space and time, but Lister remains (chronologically speaking) the last human. That would be my preferred resolution.

    Have the nanobots been mentioned since the show came back? It would be pretty good if they were the shape-shifting microbe all along, and all that stuff about the revived crew and secret prison was just their shenanigans!
     
  4. The Cat

    The Cat Third Technician

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2017
    Location:
    Trying to eat Lister’s robotic fish
    Sorry for confusing people, I just saw earlier someone saying that Doug said that but maybe I misread it so yeah. It did sound bizarre for him to say this but I assumed it was fact. Oops, anyway, almost time for M-Corp!
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  5. AJ Smegface

    AJ Smegface Second Technician

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    London
    Just finished the Dave watch of Mechocracy. I go into the discussion threads not reading the previous comments until I've posted first, and then I look back and see what everyone thought. I had heard a few positive things about this episode going in though, but seeing it for myself I definately do think this is a great addition to the Red Dwarf canon, and it's certainly in the top two episodes of series XII so far (with another two to go). It felt to me like something which could have been an episode five in a six-ep series run, the calm-before-the-storm-type episode, but that random observation aside, let's get to it...

    In terms of the set-up of the episode, for me it falls into the Duct Soup/Dear Dave category; self contained and "just them" essentially. I love these episodes, as a fan it's great to see the characters explored in a sort of day-to-day type scenario. What Mechocracy has over Duct Soup and Dear Dave though is a better all round story, and I certainly think this ep is better than those ones. It turned into a great parody on today's election systems, yet at the same time I like how candidate Rimmer was his own character and, not say, just an imitation of Donald Trump... Or the great Alan B'stard even!

    The big plus point for me was the way the dynamics of the crew were explored. Lister and Kryten's relationship is awesome when it's shown like this (Lister's continuing attempts to give Kryten freedom/power/independence shows what a cool dude he is) and Rimmer and the Cat's strained alliance was also fun to watch. I'll add too that Kryten in XI and XII has been the best he's been since series IV in my eyes. I love Krtyen when he's honourable and thoughtful, and Mechocracy, Siliconia and Krysis have been great episodes for him.

    I don't know if this will sound like a weird critcism, but I didn't like a couple of the audience's reactions in the opening moments. This was one of those episodes which had a calm vibe to it throughout, quiet-ish and peaceful, and Kryten just waiting in the first scene exemplified that. I wish that moment could have played out without laughter... Also, I wish the round of applause could have been held 'til the reveal Kryten was manipulating Rimmer, it was a worthy moment but the applause for when Kryten left Rimmer with the mop initially was a bit jumping the gun. And the return of Talkie Toaster was brilliant, BUT I do wish something else would have happened there instead of a rehash of Lister's "and definitely no smeggin' flapjacks" bit from series IV. Still, I feel I'm being pedantic here so I'll move on swiftly...

    Genuinely, I love this episode for what it is. I know it's only my first viewing but I'm sure Mechocracy will be an episode I think of fondly (hell, I'm one of those weird people who loves Dear Dave!). It's one for the fans I feel, and though it may not have been as ambitious as say Siliconia for example, it was still a well crafted story with a great resolution. It's certainly the best ending of XII thus far, but more than that it's one of those endings I think I'll remember well. I'll give this a solid 7 out of 10.
     
    UltraDevotee likes this.
  6. Goit_84

    Goit_84 First Technician

    Messages:
    180
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    That was one of the best episodes of the new run. Absolutely loved that one. Lot of callbacks to old episodes but did something new and fresh, while keeping everything contained on Red Dwarf. I love the episodes where it's Lister Vs Rimmer.

    Politics wise it reminded me of the last election, with Rimmer playing a slightly Tory esque, smear-obsessed, lying politician and Kryten being the more honest Corbin-esque politician.
     
    AJ Smegface likes this.
  7. neilold

    neilold Flight Co-Ordinator

    Messages:
    5,765
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    above you all in cheshire
    Not bad. As s fan of politics there was stuff to like in it, the best bit was the return of talkie toaster
     
  8. BigOleDummy

    BigOleDummy Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    1,286
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2017
    Location:
    Planet Express Hdg, N. America , Earth, Sol System
    It was alright. I've only watched it once so far but I liked it. Maybe not as much as some here but a good solid episode. Loved the opening .... lol, manipulating Rimmer , beautiful! ........... and really liked that it was (mainly)just the Boys from the Dwarf too. I say mainly because the vending machines DID have co-starring role's to be fair to them.
    Thought the pairing of Cat and Rimmer was absurd actually, especially in light of Cat's newfound outspokenness. I ,for one it seems, did not delight in the return of Talkie Toaster either. More annoying than funny to me, though he toned it way down here. (he still has one of those lines that slay me every time ..... "that was no accident, that was first degree toastercide".... so I'll forgive his inclusion here.)I'd give it 7.5/10.
     
    UltraDevotee likes this.
  9. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    Location:
    Deep Space in the 15th Century
    I wish they'd gone with the original premise, that Red Dwarf had been hijacked by Talkie Toaster, brimming with resentment over his treatment, morphing from nuisance to villain.
     
    SweatyChimpBoy likes this.
  10. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    I had high expectations going into this fourth episode, given that the response to it had been excellent and largely I am very satisfied with it. Mechocracy is a "bottle episode" of sorts and although I really enjoyed the crew's journeying and shenanigans off ship in the previous three episodes, it is great to have an episode purely based on Red Dwarf again with the flashy science room making its debut this series, I think. In fact - though I have obviously very much enjoyed all the guest stars this series - it is great for there to be an episode with just the usual four Dwarfers interacting with each other and plenty of witty, character-based banter being exchanged.

    Also, this episode feels like a series 10 one - specifically Dear Dave - but even better and how it should have been done. The start of the episode is a bit like Dear Dave but much better written by Doug and like I said it is great to have just the four of them chatting with each other on the spaceship and all sorts of great comedy coming from it. I was worried when Richard put the "yellow alert" preview on his twitter that it was just going to be some inane toilet humour but it was actually a really funny joke. Meanwhile, Rimmer is similarly a total git - like he used to be in Red Dwarf's heyday - when he promotes and then demotes Lister while reminding him what he thinks his gran would think about it. It's just great dialogue between just the four of them while my favourite line in the entire episode - while a bit rude - has to be the Doncaster one which is simply comedy gold and made me laugh out loud. In the first half, the whole sci-fi gag about the unintended download of a computer virus was both really interesting as it mirrors our own experiences with our own computers and very funny too given Lister and the Cat's stupidity.

    What precedes this second half of the episode is just simply genius writing by Doug. You feel as a viewer that they are about to embark on yet another adventure in Starbug to escape danger on the Red Dwarf mother ship - like say Marooned or Demons and Angels - but then there is a sublime twist and all of a sudden the virus guard works and the mechs on the ship - the vending machines - are demanding their rights and striking, as they were going to be deserted. I know some have not been such a fan of the vending machines but I think they always warrant at least one episode in a series as they are such a staple of Red Dwarf and because of the political satire plot in this second half they are crucial and very funny.

    It is amazing after the Dear Dave - but plus - start how Mechocracy suddenly evolves into a political satire and is this quite a new idea for Red Dwarf. So yes like I said in an earlier review, whereas series 11 had more emphasis on the vintage, series 12 has had a bit more emphasis on the new. Though obviously in this episode and Siliconia in particular, there are numerous cool callbacks too but I just feel that politics is quite a new comedy concept for Red Dwarf.

    It is impressive writing from Doug and he shows that like all the greats in fiction, television, music, film etc. he is a genius as the political plot shows so much prescience for the 2017 election and it must have been written at least two years before. The smear campaigns against both Kryten and Rimmer are very much in the now and it was really funny and nostalgic to see all the old classic Dwarf footage. But anyway the political satire was simply a great second half plot and made the episode feel even fuller and took it cleverly in a new direction. I also loved the mech's going on a protest march - that was really comical while the election debate broadcast scene was great too with Rimmer hilariously claiming he believed in Silicon Heaven!

    But what was most anticipating the 2017 election - despite Doug writing it at least two years earlier - was the pay off with Talkie Toaster. For me although it was a deal being brokered with a voter as opposed to another political party, to me it really sort of reminded me of the deal our current government made with the DUP to swing power their way. Okay the Tories and Labour were not quite half and half but the latter got almost as many votes as the former so it is kind of similar in my view. But what is totally like the DUP deal is the way Lister and Kryten promised to satisfy all Talkie's demands if he is to go along with them, like the Tories granted all the DUP's wishes just to get power too.

    In terms of Talkie Toaster coming back granted he did not say anything much new but it was still a really positive, very funny and unprecedented pay off for the episode and to have David Ross back on board was a massive coup! In fact, like Timewave before it, it was a bit more of a simpler episode and pay off to follow and so complemented the more cerebral first two very well. My favourite bit with Talkie Toaster though has to be the final scene with Rimmer being locked in the garbage room and hilariously shouting "No" as it incessantly demands to be asked to make more bread products! It is a great pay back to Rimmer from the other Dwarfers and the fact that Talkie does not end up in the sleeping quarters again highlights how it is also a great political satire as Kryten and Lister have made pledges just to get power - which are not followed through - like loads of politicians past and present.

    While I must say I still do feel Mechocracy was not one hundred per cent as phenomenal as Give and Take and perhaps of series 12 so far I might still prefer Cured slightly, I do feel it was classic Dwarf for sure. It is again another new Red Dwarf idea from Doug with an election satire and like I have said time and time again this twelfth series of Red Dwarf - despite the numerous but very funny and welcome callbacks - still feels fresh for a near thirty year old sci-fi sitcom which is remarkable. While I may still slightly favour Cured over this episode, this is definitely the second strongest so far, could get into series 11 and after four shows in this 2017 run I have very much enjoyed at least three of them so far. So as long as M-Corp and Skipper are really good - possibly even better - then I feel Doug has pulled off writing the massive number of episodes he had to write between 2012 and 2015 and there should hopefully be more new Red Dwarf in the future. But bottom line is that Mechocracy is a very strong, vintage Red Dwarf episode and while I still thought last week's Timewave was very good this is clearly the superior one and I suspect I may well enjoy it even more in the future and it could even become my favourite of the first four of series 12.

    8.2 out of 10.
     
    AJ Smegface likes this.
  11. Chris D

    Chris D Engineer

    Messages:
    246
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    This will piss some people off, I'm sure. Fairly sure the above image of Kryten comes from episode 6! Skipper!
     

Share This Page