Episode 5 - Dear Dave

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Slainmonkey, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. suekay87

    suekay87 First Technician

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    Random question, but do you think Rimmer might be a third technician now after last week?
     
  2. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    Wrong.
    It is my opinion of the episode.
     
  3. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Ah there's nothing wrong with the odd soap boxey post every now and then :-) I too loved the return of Dwayne Dibbley in 'Emohawk'. In fact I have no complaints about that episode whatsoever. But yeah, for me the 'Dibby family' bit took it one step too far. But as I mentioned some fans, including members of this forum have said they really like that whole sequence, which is fair enough. I think we Dwarfers tend to be almost as diverse as the characters themselves, which is certainly not a bad thing. But obviously we all have at very least one thing in common.

    It is interesting that some hardcore fans dislike the Blue Midget dance so much, especially since the reasoning given is not always the same. And especially because in the context of the story, much like with the Tongue tied segment, it doesn't actually happen in the show's in-universe 'reality'. In the case of the former it was a dream Cat found on the dream recorder, and in the latter case it was all part of a simulation cleverly designed to test their responses. And thus both examples were just a lot a silly fun to keep things entertaining, and entertaining it was, well, for some of us at least. And as you mentioned Danny was certainly in his element in both scenes too. :-)

    Also, if I were a betting man I would bet a fair amount of money on my friend and her 10 year old son loving that scene when they get to it (they're currently making their way though series 6 for the first time).

    So yeah, Doug has quite a diverse audience to cater for, and while I'm not trying to say he hasn't made the odd mistake here and there (as we all do) I don't think it possible for him to please us all, all of the time.

    Hypothetically speaking, I'm speaking hypothetically here...I can only imagine how confusing it would be for him if he were to read these forums (which he may or may not do) with the intent of of judging where he should take the show next. He'd be like;

    "Ah, interesting. So 'they' love that part".
    Response to the next post; "Ah, no 'they' don't, 'they' hate it with a firey passion!". And so on and so forth.

    The poor guy wouldn't know if he was coming or going if he were base his scripts on the opinions of the hardcore fans. :lol:

    Although obviously I'm sure he could get a basic idea of what certain fans like and dislike, but I don't think it would be wise to base too much on that. His audience is not just made up of us hardened fans after all. At the end of the day...it's nightfall. But at the end of the night, he must surely have to go with his heart, so to speak - to do what he feels is right...but not in a Tony Blair "I just did what I thought was right" kind of way. ;-)

    Does Doug need another writer to bounce ideas off? Possibly. But I'm not fully convinced of that to be honest. However, perhaps it may be worth bringing in a certain current script editor as co-writer, even if for one single episode, to test the waters so to speak. I mean sure some may disagree and say that a writer with more long-term experience is needed, but I would suggest that even (some but certainly not all) long-term experienced writers, of whom do not feel the same passion for the show that Doug obviously does, may or may not be able to fully grasp the feel for the show, and what does and doesn't work, you know?

    Although I also realise that there may be a counter argument to that. In that one with so much passion for the show could potentially become unintentionally biased in certain ways. So obviously a certain air of professionalism and balance would be needed. But I think the afore mentioned script editor seems to have that quality, so I don't think that would be an issue in this case personally.

    I will admit that I do personally feel the writing suffers at times during series 8, but I certainly don't think can be simplified in the way many do; eg:"Doug can't write good Red Dwarf without Rob". I think that's a bit unfair, there are many other factors to take into concideration beyond that theory, and indeed I do think it's little more than a percieved fan theory.

    And yeah perhaps the performances may get a little 'hammy' at times too, possibly more so in series 8, but it's certainly not limited to episodes subsequent to series 1-6. But I also feel the series has got some pretty harsh treatment from hardcore fans over the years. And in some (but not all) cases I feel this is due more to not liking the new premise the series sets up, as opposed to it being a technically badly written series over-all.

    In-part I think a worthy comparrison could be made to ones favourite band trying something quite differnt to what came before. Take Metallica for example, some of the long standing fans are not so keen on the black album, and/or their subsequent albums. In fact I'd say that some probably hate it in the same way some Dwarfers hate series 8. And this, I feel, to a certain degree, has less to do with how technically good or bad the album/show is, but rather how so very different from the older stuff it was. So in this sense, I kinda' agree with Doug. I feel it was inevitable that some fans would love it and some would hate it.

    Now, if we all hated it and the viewing figures were terrible, yet Doug ignored this fact, then yes, that would be a problem. But in the wider scale of things, that's simply not the case here.

    Anyway, perhaps that's enough about series 8 from me...and about Metallica ;-) But yeah, dem's my slightly longer than planned soap boxey thoughts on the matter. :-)


    Oh and I completely agree with what you said in an earlier post about how nice is it to be able to discuss these new episodes (and old one's in a slightly off-topic way every now and then ;-) ) with fellow fans. I'm gonna' feel a bit sad when it's all over really. Although I am of course looking forward to seeing episode 6 muchly.

    It's been a great time to be here - the odd slightly frustrating debate aside on the F&S thread, ahem. But even that was quite insightful in certain ways. Well for some of us at least.

    But yeah, over-all it's been most enjoyable indeed.

    Anyway, I'm gonna' give 'Dear Dave another viewing later (along with last weeks ep). So I may come back a ramble a bit more about that in a bit.

    Edit: Okay I'm done editing now. I'm sure there are still some minor mistakes, but hay, what is freedom if it doesn't allow for the freedom to make mistakes?..or something along those lines, but said betterer by that Gandhi fella ;-)
     
  4. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I agree that most people were happy with the way that Series 8 started (although that may just have been a sense of relief that it felt more like Dwarf that the flashy, more dramatic VII) but less so with that particular scene. For me it was comedy by numbers. There seemed to be some mentality going into series 8 that restoring bunk room scenes would magically make Red Dwarf funnier after the criticism VII got for being less funny; you can hear most of the cast and Doug going on about this on the DVD.

    To me: that's really odd logic considering that VI was one of the most joke packed series and didn't have a single bunk room scene. Restoring a "Bunk Room" doesn't magically restore the humour, the humour came from the chemistry of Charles and Barrie and the fantastic material they used to get to work with (see Marooned, same players - no bunks!)

    As for G&T, I seem to remember a review of the episode in question bemoaning the fact that BITR part the reviewer wait five minutes for a laugh. Which is kind of how I felt...there was a nice sense of nostalgia seeing Rimmer and Lister in classic setting...but also an uncomfortable realisation that nothing being said was actually particularly funny.

    The Argyle Summerfield stuff, the jokes about Rimmer being tight...comedy by numbers with no insight, genuine wit or cleverness about it...and that sort of set the tone that later episodes would follow, at least for me.
     
  5. RobeH56

    RobeH56 Third Technician

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    It's your persona on this forum - 'BOY, I HATE RED DWARF X, AND HOW! COME READ ALL ABOUT IT!' We can take the fact you don't like the series as a given at this point.
     
  6. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Are people still derailing threads to complain about simulant37's negativity?
     
  7. ben996

    ben996 First Technician

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    I agree with you that the they are the 4 worst series without a shadow of a doubt, although many of this forum think that Series 10 is one of the best series
     
  8. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    Ah.. I suppose not. lol :-)

    "Emohawk" is a wonderful episode overall, like all of seires 6, in fact. The return of Dwayne... it just worked, as everything that Dwayne is, is the opposite of who the Cat is. So as well as being a great nostalgia moment for us old school fans, it totally worked on a plot level too. As Dwayne is exactly what the Emohawk would have turned Cat into, by taking away his grace, style, and elan! :-) It is fair enough that some people loved the "Dibbley family" sequence, but it just didn't really work for me. The return of Dwayne in "Emohawk" totally worked as a plot device, whereas in BITR, the whole sequence just came across as forced to me.

    As Kryten would say, "Precisely!". ;-) The reason you gave is exactly the reason why I'm so perplexed that the scene is so hated. It has so many similarities with Tongue Tied, which strangely enough, is I think a very favourite scene to the majority of fans. The Blue Midget dance however, is nowhere near held in the same affection with most fans, which bewilders me a bit to be honest. Danny is on fire in both scenes, to be sure!

    All I can say is, I'm in total agreement with all that! hehe

    Regarding your first point, I totally agree with you there. I think there was more to the writing quality suffering post-series 6 than just Rob leaving. Though I think that was a factor. Just how a big factor it played, will probably always remain unknown. However, I have always said that the writing would probably have suffered equally had Doug been the one to leave, and Rob was left to write the show on his own. It might not have suffered in the same way, but I think it's likely it would have suffered in some way. Also, there has been some good Dwarf post-Rob Grant, so it's not as if Dwarf suddenly turned to rubbish when he left. There is some wonderful moments, and even episodes in series VII, and to a lesser extent, in series VIII too. I think the quality of the show did dip after series 6, and I think most Dwarfers are in agreement with that. I think the thing that really divides the fans regarding series 7 & 8, is exactly how far the series declined during that time.

    I think you make a very good point regarding not liking the premise of series 8, rather than it being poorly written. Although I would argue the writing itself isn't quite as good as the earlier series. Certainly, I've never made any secret of the fact that I felt series 7 suffered a lot with the exit of Rimmer, and the entrance of Kochanski. So this then begs the question, if Rob Grant hadn't left, but this key element of the series was nonetheless altered (which it would have been, as Chris Barrie had to leave the show at the time because of other commitments), would series VII have suffered any less criticsm? I guess this is something we'll never know, but for me personally... I'd probably say Rimmer's replacement with Kochanski played more of a part in series 7 not being as good as the previous 6, than the exit of Rob Grant. As for series 8, I do take more of an issue with the writing in that series. As I don't really have any issues with the premise of series 8, or at least, I had less issues with it than I had with the premise of the majority of series 7.

    Haha, funnily enough, I made that exact point on this forum a couple of years ago. xD I remember saying I didn't like how some people were making out that if you criticsed anything about Red Dwarf at all, then you weren't a real fan. And I made the point that if I like a band with say, 15 albums in their discography, but I find 2 of them to be of lesser quality than the other 13, does that mean I have ceased to be a fan of that band? The answer to that is of course not, and it'd be ludicrous for anyone to suggest otherwise. And likewise, the band/album comparison also rings true for what you're saying. Speaking of Metallica, I love the "Load" album for example. But it's so different to their earlier stuff, I can't say I'm surprised that some fans dislike it, even though I think it's great. Now, this isn't to say the writing didn't somehow decline post-Rob Grant, as I believe it did. But definitely, I think the change in the show's premise definitely did play a part in at least some fans dissatisfaction with series 7 and 8.

    Yep well, I've been equally guilty of taking this thread off-topic, but once I get into a discussion like this, I find it hard to stop myself from responding! hehee :-)

    It has seemed to pass very quickly for me, especially as the first 3 episodes of the new series had already aired before I had the chance to see them, so I haven't been able to engage in as much discussion about the new episodes as I would have liked, but it's been a lot of fun anyway, even if I was a bit late to the series X party! :lol:

    I'm kinda sad that there's only one more episode to go, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing it, and of course, interacting with my fellow Dwarfers about it. :-)

    ...I'm watching you, Ghandi! Sorry, I couldn't resist that! lol xD

    I'll definitely give "Dear Dave" another airing soon, though whether my mind will change any on it, is another matter... :P
     
  9. Sparky

    Sparky Supply Officer

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    Well I very much doubt Rimmer wrote the letters and signed them himself :-p
    It's hardly a stretch of the imagination to realise Rimmer wrote the letters *pretending* to be high-ranking members of the crew...
    OK, so Kryten should/would have realised that since they're all dead they couldn't *actually* be writing the letters, but then the joke wouldn't be as funny, would it? :-p
     
  10. Goit_84

    Goit_84 First Technician

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    I enjoyed this episode. I enjoyed it more than Lemons anyway.

    I don't think I could stick anything from X above any episode from 1-6 though. 1-6 live in their own nostalgic bubble. I've watched every episode over and over for years and the lines are ingrained into my very soul. I only watched Dear Dave tonight so it isn't going to have that same resonance and so I think we will really need to allow time to decide if anything from X is really any good, or if it's just our desire for wanting it to be good that is blinding us.

    It's probably wise to not try to rank anything from X in with the classic Dwarf because to be honest, that wouldn't be fair to either Classic or X.

    Better than anything from 7 or 8 though. :lol:
     
  11. dodgebizkit

    dodgebizkit Deck Sergeant

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    I agree that its better than most of 7 and 8... But I also really like 7 and 8 so don't need time, I already feel that RDX was bloody brilliant.
     
  12. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    First negative review I've read on G&T this series:

    http://www.ganymede.tv/2012/11/red-dwarf-x-dear-dave-review/

    That final line really does seem to have upset an awful lot of the show's female fans. Interesting that there hasn't been that much of a reaction from male fans (although a few like Simmy, have stated they found it distasteful).

    It makes me wonder if the word really has a shared meaning between genders.
     
  13. Ally1990

    Ally1990 First Technician

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    I didn't find it offensive. The dictionary definition of slag is 'a promiscuous woman'. I find it hard to believe there isn't a man alive who wouldn't call her a slag. If a woman you deeply cared for cheated on you, you'd have the word 'slag' at the forefront of your mind. Saying she isn't a slag is defending her and cheating is always inexcusable. He said it in anger and frustration, and that's okay.

    I don't see the argument.
     
  14. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    I would agree that in the context that Lister used the word, it wasn't meant to be offensive. However, the problem is, "slag" is a sexist term purely because there is no male equivelant of that word. There are negative words for women who sleep around, but no equivelant words for men who do the same. This is mainly because men who sleep around are generally seen as "cool" by their peers. Whilst women who do the same thing are seen as "cheap", and "whores". I guess the only word that could be classed as a male equivelant to slag is "stud". But I don't think that qualifies, as that is generally seen as a positive thing for a man to be, not a negative thing.

    Of course it's wrong for anyone to cheat, no matter what your gender. But the reason why "slag" is a sexist term, is that it has no male equivelant.
     
  15. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    In my experience, a lot of men don't realise how insulting and degrading words like "slag" and "slut" can be to a large majority of women.
    They are tossed about quite often in male (particularly working class British male) banter often without genuine malice or a lot of thought going into how the receiving party would take it.
    At the same time, however, I can't think of many women I know who would ever be very happy to be called that...even if they were openly promiscuous or the female equivalent of "studs" (i.e. feeling empowered by their varied sex-life) and in fact I know many who would be horrified to hear men using it about anyone they knew. A lot of guys, however, still don't seem to get this.

    I wonder if Doug himself realised he would offend segments of his female audience with this word? He seems to be self-conscious of not wanting to be sexist but he has received criticism in the past for writing what could be viewed as rather poor quality, borderline sexist female characters (Kochanski is one huge female stereotype imo, obsessing over food, being stupidly, transparently girly in series 8 ) and episodes (Krytie TV) and of course there's his rather worn out joke about women wanting to get rid of all of your mates, which mildly humourous as it is in the surreal Kryten dreamscape of Duct Soup, is a reoccurring joke in Naylor comedy and one he doesn't seem to want to let go of.

    He does seem to have (or rather channel) a surprisingly laddish mentality for a guy who is now married with kids and I wonder if this choice of words came from a similar laddish naivety.

    From what people are saying at the recording he apparently considered a different word: "trollop" but decided to roll with his original choice based on the audience reaction on the night. Ironically, I've since heard people who are saying it offended them admit that they laughed at the joke, carried along, as they were by the audience.

    Another potential reason not to judge quality on the guffawing reaction of a room full of excited Red Dwarf fans.
     
  16. dodgebizkit

    dodgebizkit Deck Sergeant

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  17. Seymour_Clufley

    Seymour_Clufley First Technician

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    I agree that the word "slag" is derogatory and I would never use it, even jokingly, about any woman (unless she really was a slag and I didn't like her)... but don't you think that the stereotypes you list are all very true? For example, women are obsessed with food and their weight. Almost every woman I know is obsessed with calories etc. And the thing about a woman wanting to get rid of all her partner's friends, and wanting to deny him his hobbies/interests... I have seen that countless times. I remember hearing the female member on the DwarfCast moan about this joke and calling it sexist, and I thought "well, it's true". It seems that it's perfectly okay nowadays to belittle men - every advert featuring a couple tends to show the man being feckless and the woman being sensible - but anything the other way round and the guilt knives come out.
     
  18. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I wouldn't deny that a lot of women can be obsessed about their weight, I've certainly endured listening to enough wearying conversations about it in offices over the years but it's a rather laboured, one dimensional characteristic to base a whole character about: especially in a sit-com previously known for its character depth.

    If you look at Lister, he embodies a common and reality based stereotype of single early twenties, working class men; they generally are rather slobby individuals who haven't really learned how to look after themselves and are fairly clueless about what would make women run a mile. However...all that being said, the character of Lister is presented with so much more depth and so many other layers to him in those early series that we never regard him as some cartoonishly written guy, even when he's doing those cartoonish things.

    The character of Kochanski however, while she should have plenty of things to make her a layered character, never really outgrows her pineapple chunks in series VIII and in series 8 is just turned into a total girlish sop...worryingly being written as an airhead at times. It shows a very poor grasp of women in my view when you can write such complex layered male characters but can't get beyond such basic tropes with a female one. I'd almost say that Cat has more depth to him than KK!

    As for the "getting rid of friends thing". Yes, I can laugh at this because on a surface level that can appear to be the case, especially for the former best friend who now finds himself neglected after his buddy gets into a serious relationship. I don't doubt there were times in my younger days when I maybe leaned towards this idea so I can see the humour in it from a character standpoint.

    However, having long since has experiences of being the "other guy" in such a scenario I now tend to see it as a rather silly, one sided argument. The reality, at least from my perspective, isn't that women "get rid of your friends", it's something that Lister himself captures much more succinctly in that late night conversation with Rimmer way back in series 1 when he says:

    "It happens you know, Rimmer, you meet people and you move on, like"

    That's what adults do. They fall in love. They find partners and soul mates and as a consequence they spend less time down the pub with their old single friends, not because their partner ex-communicates them but because they make the conscious choice to spend time with their partner instead.

    It can be hard to see that from the outside looking in, but from my perspective, having been that guy in that kind of happy relationship, (and note I'm currently single so nobody is forcing me to write this :-) ) I can totally understand why I don't see my coupled friends as often as I did or why they choose to go home to their partners instead of staying for one more pint.

    Nobody is forcing them to prioritise their time with their partner over their friends. they're doing it because they prefer it.

    They've found happiness...and more power to them.
     
  19. Seymour_Clufley

    Seymour_Clufley First Technician

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    I agree with everything you say there, BF, including that "you meet people and you move on", but I still think you are down-playing the extent to which (many, most?) women try to claim to their husbands by denying him a life beyond "husband". My own brother, for example, faces opprobrium from his wife if he wants to indulge a hobby, or even if he wants to go to the pub occasionally - though I must admit she has mellowed since having the baby.

    I agree with you about Kochanski; she was never a three-dimensional character. What was worse was that, when she joined in S7, Lister became a similarly one-dimensional male stereotype, seemingly so that the two could slot together (no joke intended).
     
  20. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    You are absolutely spot on with all of that. Words like "slag" and "slut" are not only used by men to describe promiscuous women, but are actually used by some men as general put down terms for all women. Many men will use these terms for women they don't like for whatever reason. A woman turning down a man's sexual adavances for example, could result in the man using terms like "slag" for her in front of his mates, just because she spurned his advances. And like I said, even if the words were only being used in their "proper" context, they would still be sexist because there are no equivelant negative labels for men who sleep around.

    Well, I mentioned in an earlier post whether the show being switched to the Dave channel (a channel primarily targeted at young males) has had any bearing on the more lad's mag type humour that infested the last episode, and was also present to a lesser extent in "Entangled". You are right about the sexism present in some of Doug's writing, and maybe now the show is on Dave, he feels no reason to try and reign in some of that more laddish humour, and if anything, maybe bring that more to the fore.

    I dunno if Rob Grant had stayed in the writing partnership, if that would have temepered some of that more laddish humour, but I suspect it probably would have done. As it certainly was far less prevelant in earlier series, although it was still present.

    "Trollop" is yet another negative word for a promiscuous woman. It's weird how there are so many different negative terms to describe a promiscuous woman, but not a single negative term for a promiscuous man. It's beyond me how anyone can fail to see the sexism in that.

    I dunno if I was offended by the joke, but it did leave me feeling cold, and I didn't really find it funny at all. I did let out a nervous laugh, but that was because of the context the word was used in. But it did make me feel uncomfortable, I have to admit.

    Stereotyping, generally, is very lazy thinking. There are lots of negative things that men do to women in relationships (inluding trying to get rid of all her friends, and hobbies/interests) too, so making that out to be a female characteristic that is exclusive to women, is sexist. Men can be just as awful to their partners as some women are. I don't think there is a single negative character trait that is exclusive to only women. Men and women can be just as bad as each other when it comes to being possessive in relationships.

    About the belittling men in the media thing, yes that is a thing I have noticed, and I have to say, that appalls me just as much as sexism towards women. Some women may think that is okay, but I certainly don't. You can't fight sexism, if you are sexist yourself. For me, the thing that needs to happen, is for sexism to be eradicated, not to simply reverse the roles, and have men being the ones belittled and degraded.
     

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