RDXII EPISODE 4 - MECHOCRACY - DISCUSSION THREAD

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

  1. TriggerHappyCathal

    TriggerHappyCathal Third Technician

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    I haven't logged in here for years, but I just had to drop a post about this newest series. As a fan of the revived Red Dwarf (particularly Samsara) I have to say Mechocracy was just flat-out brilliant. It was one of my favourite episodes of the show in years, from the scene were Kryten manipulate Rimmer into doing his mundane work all the way to the return of Talkie this episode had me with huge grin on my face the whole way through!.

    I sure hope the final two episodes are as good as this one, I've set the bar quite a bit higher now though, going to be cautiously optimistic.
     
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  2. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Stay! We miss you!

    Do you remember the following users:
    - Simulant37
    - Tex Rimmer
    - Anti Everything
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    - Harry
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    ???
     
  3. Underdunn

    Underdunn First Technician

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    I think when it comes to Talkie Toaster scenes throughout Red Dwarf you really do have to take it in a kind of 'Fast Show' type way - repeated set-ups, repeated feed-lines, repeated catchphrases. There's nothing to Talkie, he's utterly two dimensional, every moment with him is just him insisting you have some toast whilst you do everything in your power to convince him there's no type of toasted product you want. And the joke, such as it is, is one of recognition and repetition. Simply put, Lister WOULD say all that to him - the deeper comedy behind the toast list dialogue is the fact that Talkie has spent several decades stuffed in the garbage chute, they turn him back on and then immediately just pick up on the exact same conversation they had in 1991 without missing a beat! So whilst I'm often the first to pick Doug up on lazy writing, I do think this particular scene was deliberately done this way.
     
  4. Chris D

    Chris D Engineer

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    Watched the episode again on my lunch break earlier and the episode has only gone up in my estimation. I think this is the best episode for me going back many, many years. I'd have to think it through a bit more but it could be in the top 3 or top 5 of my favourite episodes of all time.
     
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  5. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I agree with @Underdunn - the repetition of dialogue is precisely the point of the Talkie Toaster scene. It's not lack of originality on this occasion.
     
  6. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    But i think sometimes you need to be aware that you are repeating yourself even if perhaps logically it makes sense to do so.

    What ends up happening is that it starts to feel more like effort to try and fit back into old nostalgic shoes rather than be something different.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  7. Underdunn

    Underdunn First Technician

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    Also, in terms of Talkie, I just want to pick up on some of the questions people have raised with regards to why the toaster is still in the garbage chute at the end of the episode.

    People seem to be giving Lister the benefit of the doubt here, suggesting he was going to keep his promise to Toastie and that Rimmer had actually been sent down to collect it when Cat locked them in.

    I say nonsense!!! That toaster was NEVER getting out that garbage chute! Lister had no intention of keeping his promise... Don't forget, Lister HATES Talkie. Absolutely hates him. This is a guy who we know for a fact actually deliberately murdered him at some point between series 1 and 4!!
     
  8. Today's Fish...

    Today's Fish... Third Technician

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    Have been reading this forum for years, never ceases to amaze me how so many people disagree on individual episodes, especially with XI and XII, my own take especially often seems at odds with many forumites - this is great, of course, it would be rubbish if we all agreed all the time.

    That said, I can't remember an episode that seems to have united the fan base as much as this one, though. Eight pages in and I think I've only seen two dissenting voices.

    As for me, best episode in a long, long time.
     
  9. Today's Fish...

    Today's Fish... Third Technician

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    It was so good, in fact, it prompted me to register!

    Have to agree, politicians are habitual liars. Talkie was never getting out of there.
     
  10. Chris D

    Chris D Engineer

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    Welcome!
     
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  11. Rageofangels

    Rageofangels First Technician

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    I've now watched it a second time and I have to say it was even better second time round. It did fit very well in to the old styled RD and felt very much like those series, infact for a few minutes I forgot that it was so new! What really made it stand out was how insular the episode was, as it all took place in a couple of rooms on the ship, but the writing was superb. What I loved about RD right from the beginning was how different it was from other Sci Fi shows. No aliens, no fancy stuff going on, just every day problems for a few guys on a space ship. That's how it felt on this episode, and I was smiling all the way through.

    Updated scores...
    7.5 Cured
    5.5 Siliconia
    5.5 Timewave
    8.5 Mechocracy
     
  12. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I'm surprised no one in the episode (that I remember) remarked on the fact that Rimmer is also a machine - albeit one that simulates a human.

    Viewed like that, it makes sense for Rimmer and Kryten to be going head to head. As far as I remember, Rimmer is portrayed as making a completely opportunist power-grab. But I can actually imagine him embracing his machine-ness, if there was some prestige or seniority on offer.
     
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  13. Underdunn

    Underdunn First Technician

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    Whilst I'm grateful it didn't get too heavy handed with making some kind of satirical point, it is true that there *could* have been the opportunity to make one here. Rimmer and Kryten are both technically machines, but they are still more privileged than the machines they are campaigning to represent... so they could have gone down the route of them presenting themselves as 'machines-of-the-people" - it'd be like when a politician falls over themself to big up their working class roots, even though we all know that they own two jags and a big house in the country.
     
  14. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Console Officer

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    Just watched it, after putting it off for days. I nearly gave up on this series completely tbh. This episode alone has saved it for me. I think I will see it through after all. Haven't effortlessly enjoyed many episodes after series VI, but this one made up for it.
     
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  15. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I like this.
     
  16. Underdunn

    Underdunn First Technician

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    Welcome to the Mechocracy love-in!!! Oh I do hope we're not let down after this high!
     
  17. Chris D

    Chris D Engineer

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    I'm happy if there's a little dip for M-Corp because I have a feeling Skipper might be something special.
     
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  18. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    "Whatever you thought of the first three episodes of Red Dwarf XII, you're in for a real treat with the back half of the run. And what better way to start than with Mechocracy, a ship-bound character-driven satire which I think has a strong claim to being the first bonafide classic episode of the Dave era" - Den of Geek.
     
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  19. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    The dialogue makes out that the machines united to defeat the virus. But my preferred interpretation is that the machines uniting is actually what the virus does in the first place.
     
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  20. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    That was a far better episode of Red Dwarf than Timewave was (though to be honest, an episode of Antiques Roadshow would be a far better episode of Red Dwarf than Timewave was), but I really need to watch it again. I was tired, it had been a long day, and I don't really remember that much. All I know is that it was a tad boring in places, but that's the worst I can say.

    Okay, a bit more coherent. The first two scenes, with the pay-off of Kryten trying his manipulation skills out on Rimmer, was brilliant. I know that it's just a joke, with an overlong set-up, and I'm not normally keen on that. But this one was so unexpected that it was amazing. I thought at first that there wouldn't be a big joke, it had no inklings of setting things up for something later down the road.

    The remainder of the first half of the episode was pretty standard, to be honest. Red Dwarf contracting a virus, and then the machines working together to sort it out, was alright. Again, I would have to watch it again.

    We then veer into election territory and the video of Rimmer smearing Kryten, followed by Kryten smearing Rimmer. It's impossible not to snicker at "killed himself twice", and this whole bit, plus trying to get Talkie Toaster on side, reminded me of the election episode of Blackadder. Not a bad thing.

    And Talkie's back! Briefly! But he's not over-used, and I'm not sure how I feel about him. On one hand, it's Talkie, everyone's favourite breakfast companion! On the other hand, he's a guest character we've had before, a fan favourite with no particular need to be resurrected, and I get the feeling that both he and Holly are being wheeled out as a "best of Red Dwarf". Hey, remember this character? He's back! Now you've got to watch the episode to see his hilarious antics.

    At the end of the day, this was a standard episode of Red Dwarf. I do need to watch it again to know how I think about it properly. It wasn't horrible like Timewave, and it was about the same level, I think, as the other two episodes this series. I do still think though that series 12 hasn't been a patch on series 11, but I'll see how it evolves over time.
     

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