Episode 5 - Dear Dave

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

  1. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Hayley and Roy...Doug putting Corrie references into Dwarf again. Now that's controversial! :lol:
     
  2. MacabreMagpie

    MacabreMagpie Catering Officer

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    And Hayley used to be a man on Coronation Street (apparently).
     
  3. suekay87

    suekay87 First Technician

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    I think now the "man" and "foxtrot" comments make a bit more sense...lol!
     
  4. Oswald

    Oswald Third Technician

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    I like this post!
     
  5. suekay87

    suekay87 First Technician

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    We can call it an un-pc show because the characters are...All four main characters are very ignorant and ignorant people say racist things without even realising they're causing offence.

    Legion came on straight after Dear Dave...why is no-one picking it apart for it's both 'racist' and 'sexist' remark about Bulgarian models?

    Anyway, we were told to leave the racism talk alone, so I'm done.
     
  6. dodgebizkit

    dodgebizkit Deck Sergeant

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    Ha! I wouldn't have noticed that but yeah some genius doug writing there :-D subtle stuff, well played
     
  7. ben996

    ben996 First Technician

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    Because Legion is a 5/5 classic episode of RD and one of the best the show has done, and Dear Dave is... well I'll say not as good. But yeah I'm not complaining about racism or anything like that btw
     
  8. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    After asking a question you're "done"? That's nice of you.

    But just so your question isn't left hanging. 'Bulgarian' is not a race. That's why. Along with numerous other reasons that have apparently been missed when drawing poor quality analogies like that one.
     
  9. mccollough

    mccollough First Technician

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    My full review! Enjoy!

    Okay, so episode five and I’ve decided to start writing full reviews. Bit late I know but I’ll go back and do the rest! So this episode is the one I’ve been dreading, the story sounded bad, and whilst I’d enjoyed the rest, I couldn’t understand how humping vending machines could be funny. I was, it seems both right and wrong.

    The opening scene started off badly, but slowly improved. The opening gag about waking up to a mop failed to make me laugh, and I actually missed a bit because I was wondering why the audience found such a bad joke so funny. This led into dialogue about Lister being the last human which felt very expositionary and also wrong… Kochanski?! I thought they were searching for her, so surely if they believe her to be alive, Lister isn’t the last human… Come one, I know continuity has never been important in red dwarf, but they only mentioned her last week!! Then Lister moved on to talking about pictures of the human race, “Them” eating, going to work… and it was a bit funny! Not very, but it raised a smile. As they likened the whole human race to an old girlfriend, I began to chuckle. However, though the “I never thought they were good enough line SHOULD have been funny, I found myself just more having scary flashbacks of whiney Kryten from series VII and VIII. The Human race had legs was a nice joke to end the scene, followed by Lister hilariously bad rendition of “Nothing compares to you.” A slow scene that slowly walked up a steep hill. 5/10

    List starts the next scene monologuing about the futility of life. Nice echo of the mature Lister we were teased with in Back to Earth, the Lister which seems to have been dumped this series in favour of a slightly stupider one. I still like lister, but I liked that he’d matured a bit… His “Dad” persona was a welcome development. And then, the vending machine cuts him off, and I laugh… properly. The episode might be funny yet! The vending machine in this scene is less camp and panto than in Fathers and Suns, different actress? Either way, I found her to sound a lot like Miranda Hart? Don’t know if anyone else thought that? She was definitly chanelling Miranda in this scene. Scene score, 5/10

    Scene 3 starts with an unfunny Rimmer gag about Subuteo. Don’t know why its there, and it isn’t mentioned again. Just an odd, unfunny joke. Then Kryten starts talking about letters to the on board computer… I fight to listen because I know it’s going somewhere, and it does! A good joke is one where the punchline is unexpected, and this is one of those. I laughed excitedly at that, as it felt very Dwarfy, and I didn’t see it coming. Rimmer continues this with a sweary Rimmer moment… Jumbo Buggers! Then Kryten ruins an otherwise decent scene by an out of character moment in which he tells Rimmer he “Hates helping [Rimmer].” At which point they mention the Medibot and I just begin to pray he doesn’t show up… Scene score impossible 5/10, would have been 8 without medibot or Kryten’s evil!!

    Rimmer once again starts off the scene hilariously with a funny line about Brass bands and the deisel decks which beings nostalgia, I remember Rimmer’s holiday in the Deisel decks from Justice. The nostalgia keeps on coming as Rimmer talks about his reports… oh, Rimmers reports, I’ve missed them! Rimmer is perfect this week… Chris Barrie is back on form after a slightly pantomimey start to the series. He makes a nice line about Lister sticking things anywhere wet and melty, which Lister promptly ruins by for some reason likening dunking a biscuit to takign a driving test. Lister is really unfunny this week. Which is a shame, because at his best this season, he’s been quite good. Fathers and Suns showed us how funny Lister can be these days, and this week… well, he seems to kill every joke! Lister’s “Moves” certainly didn’t work on me, and Rimmer’s example of Jacobean move’s was perhaps his weakest joke of the episode… by the time he’s repeated “Dead move, dead move” the joke has been milked dry. The finally, finally Lister redeems himself, The Areolas joke, despite being shown in a clip, was still funny… a sign of a good joke is when I laugh at it on repeat, and I did! Even now though, after Lister’s good joke… Rimmer steals the scene again with his second punchline! Slightly better scene over all, did score it 6/10 in notes, but writing about it has made me upgrade it to 7/10.

    Next scene, more Lister and vending machine and oh god, its another accent. Oh Doug, why… tis is as unfunny as Taiwan Tony. No Listy, it doesn’t matter how many times you flirt with that machine, I’m not gonna laugh. Neither does the vending machine accusing him of “Eating” on her… By the time it’s yelling about him touching her “locko” I’m wincing…Oh lister, what happened to you. Rimmer saves the scene with a slightly funny scene. Oh poor Dave… Scene score: 2/10

    Rimmer and Kryten talk about bribing the Medibot, and the audience laugh. Was there a joke? Plot dialogue, but I didn’t see how it was funny… ah well. Then they start talking about toilet paper and I’m about ready to give up… until Cat enters!!! FINALLY! He’s been perfectly written this series, and his entrance brings light to the episode. His entry joke, in which he asks how best to deliver bad news, then promptly re-enter and does so made me laugh even more than the audience, which is a rare thing in this episode! Then the charades begin, and they go on… and on… and I’m not laughing. I like the premise, its just, not funny. Until Lister, in his second belter of the week says “The mail pod turned into a jacket!” and I laugh out loud. A lousy joke saved by this episodes supposed king of Lousy jokes. Cat ends the scene with a nice one liner, I love his return to form. I haven’t really enjoyed Cat since he got stupid and developed smellovision in series 6… but he’s back on form this series. Scene score – 7/10

    The ad break comes, and I worry that I laugh more at a clip of Lee Mack, whom I generally don’t like, more than the episode.
    The second half starts with a mail pod, a good old fashioned Red Dwarf set up which leads to Rimmer doing a funny voice and announcing his parking fine, only rather funnily claim its still good mail. Rimmer seems to be making bad jokes good this episode… a far cry from his funny little dance in Back to Earth. Lister attempts to copy Rimmer’s funny voice and it isn’t funny at all second time round. Lister tells a nice backstory about Hayley Summers, its not funny, but its nice. A proper little series 1 or 2 emotional story, reminds me of Thanks for the Memory. Doug may have some none slapstick anticks in him, this and the Lister and his dad talk in Fathers and Suns make me confident in Doug’s Lister writing skills despite this episode in general. Hayley’s preganant, Rimmer doesn’t know whether to laugh, or laugh… well I laughed!! Scene score, 7/10

    The next scene is barely a scene, Lister argues with the vending machine, and that’s it. Bit of plot, unfunny, not really necessary, could have been merged into scene 12. Scene scores a measley 1/10

    Scene nine is another short, plot based scene between Kryten and Rimmer. Not much in the way of jokes, but Rimsy gets a nice line instulting lister, and I laugh. Can’t believe the transformation in Chris’s performance this week, its like watching him in the classic episodes! Scene scores 6/10

    Scene ten, second time round and I’ve been waiting for it. I loved this scene the first time round, and I can’t wait to laugh again. Cat enters, being Cat… I love cat this series, did I mention that? This scene feels so right, I can imagine it fitting in with classic dwarf, inserting it in any time pre-stupid Cat. Lister mentions Hayley spending a weekend in the vault, I titter… Cat mentions the Finger wetting machine working overdrive, and I laugh so hard I miss the rest of the scene! Scene scores 10/10!
    Scene 11 is another plot scene. Kryten talks about Lister’s annoying, insane, stupid friends, I really wanted him to say something like “But enough about Mr Rimmer sir….” But alas, he does not. A simple, plot based two hand scene. 7/10

    More venders, oh god let this be the last vending machine scene. “I want to see round the corner!” Finally! The vending machines say something funny! “Everythign I thought it would be and more” Ha! This is almost worth the other dreadful vending machine scenes! Then it falls over, and we get what at first glance appears to be a rehash of the classic Kryten/Lister scene from Polymorph… but Rimmer saves the joke from being a rehash with a different reaction, and Kryten just makes it even funnier with his banter with lister. “I’m just trying to pick her up” “I think you’re past that sir!” 9/10 for this scene, finally a funny vending machine!

    Not going to talk about the following scene, Cat being smeg. Literally… 1/10
    Poo jokes are unfunny at the best of times, and this scene seems to be full of them. “Won’t be special in a minute” Is about the closest to funny it comes. Ah well, can’t win them all I guess Scene score 3/10
    Final scene, a monologue from Lister to end. I always loved the episodes that ended with a Lister exposition monologue. Funny stuff, and lister gets a final line to rival last weeks pen line…”What and absolute slag!” Scene score: 8/10

    So in summary,

    Lister lost his funny, or at least gave it to Rimmer. Cat is fastly moving from least to most favourite character, and Kryten is... well he's just the same as ever! I don't even notice the mask change anymore.

    For overall plot I give this episode a 5/10
    I give it a funny score of 6/10
    and from the scene scores I work out an average of 5.5/10

    So my final score, mathematically calculated for the episode is…5.5/10



    Thanks for reading!
     
  10. DAN_JMC

    DAN_JMC Catering Officer

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    So far feel like this series has had one top episode, one fairly good episode, 2 average ones and one terrbile one.

    Trojan 7/10
    Father and Suns 6/10
    Dear Dave 5/10
    Entangled 5/10
    Lemons 3/10

    Hope the last one is as good as Trojan, but even if it is overall an average series at best.. Hope next time (if there is one) they use the audience for the sake of the cast's performances - but then wipe their laughter track and use canned laughter - to do the exact opposite of what it's usually used for. The audience laugh too much, you need canned laughter to try and tone it down :lol:

    But Red Dwarf for me has become one of those comedy shows you watch to pass time and have a giggle rather than classic brilliant comedy I have to see and watch again. It's like Men Behaving Badly or something. There's only one episode I really think I would choose to watch multiple times. Maybe 2. And in the last 10 years there's probably 5+ comedies I prefer to recent Red Dwarf, where as I-VI was and still is up there in my top 3 comedy shows of all time.

    I know plenty of people are gonna not like this negativity, but I like episode one of this series and was optimistic, but I feel like Doug can only write one top episode per series since 1997.
     
  11. MacabreMagpie

    MacabreMagpie Catering Officer

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    For those wondering which scenes were the ones added on at a later point, this is from SFX;

    The whole vending machine subplot was a very late addition, and indeed wasn’t even filmed before a live studio audience, but recorded later and edited in. Some scenes were filmed even later than that, in a third reshoot that took place after the sets had been taken down. The whole Subuteo scene and following conversation, for example, were filmed in front of a green screen, though it’s near impossible to spot unless you know. The laughter track for all these scenes is “real” though – the extra footage was shown to a specially-invited audience.
     
  12. dodgebizkit

    dodgebizkit Deck Sergeant

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    I read through it all to see if there was anything you'd caught that i'd missed, and while I agreed with a few of both your positive and negative points, noticed you only judged it on how funny it was, fair enough, you only watch it for the comedy and judge it on how funny you found it, and nothing more than that. Well, it is a comedy, I however like to judge it on everything as a show, but each to their own. Enjoyable read over all, 7/10 (Little review of your review, if I may :P)
     
  13. Ally1990

    Ally1990 First Technician

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    Some points from my second viewing:

    There was a real emotional heart at the centre of the episode, the like of which I don't think have been seen since Back to Earth. Although not as deep, it's just as successful and powerful. I love the list of things Lister missed about humanity - it started serious (slightly) and slowly descended into stupidity. It was very funny (“the human race had legs”). Craig Charles was on fire in this episode and I think portrayed the last human rather well.

    Psychopathic Vending Machine 34 was wonderfully delusional. Her character definitely rang a few bells.

    I'm getting a tad tired of the onboard computer. Although its all automated, it slightly crimps on the idea of the four boys in space. However, in this episode I feel like it is nicely balanced with Lister feeling so alone. That takes some of the 'energy' out of the life of the ship.

    Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and Cat are all fantastic and their characters are developing back into their rhythms as the series progresses. Any changes in the characters I think works well because of great writing and great acting. It's a pleasure to watch.

    All the plots and ideas flowed nicely and were intertwined well. It wasn't perfect, but it worked for me.

    Lister's longjohns. Very nice. 

    Rimmer doing an impression... yet again. I liked this weeks, though. Well, it was okay. The Lister and Rimmer scenes were wonderful.

    The whole charades scene was nice but went on a tad too long. Some of the dialogue from the boys makes up for this and is worth really listening to. However, once again, there's a random mention of Krissy. I think certain somebody is becoming obsessed.

    The letter opening scene had some nice dialogue and play between Lister and Rimmer. Rimmer showed an interest in Lister's life, something not seen too often. However, he still managed to be rude and very Rimmer.

    I can't help but wonder why they have talking vending machines.

    The final scene I felt was perfectly done. Lister signing Hayley's praises, saying she was a wonderful person and would be a wonderful mother, and ends up calling her an absolute slag. I don't think it was out-of-character, I think Lister would've said just that.

    The wet finger machine. Very classy.

    There were numerous examples of what one could consider bad language and filthy lines, but I like it. Perhaps it's just the show going through a punk phase.

    Some of my favourite lines, continuing with the theme of Rimmer getting the best lines:

    Rimmer: “It's time you manned up. Listened to some brass band music”.
    Rimmer: “As long as it's wet and melty, you don't care where you stick it”.
    Rimmer: “I don't know whether to laugh or laugh”.
    Vending Machine 23: “He put his hand on my logo!” (said in a French accent it was rather funny).
    Vending Machine 34: “I've always wanted to see a ceiling”.

    All-in-all, 8/10. Really enjoyed it.
     
  14. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Interesting because for me the vending machine stuff, which I feared would be icky and creepy was actually well done and the most enjoyable part of the show for me. I liked the idea of Lister being wound up by Rimmer about his technique with women being past it to the extent that he tried to see if he could get a vending machine to flirt with him. This was actually my preferred direction for the piece when I read the plot so I'm glad Doug took that route and didn't turn Lister into a genuinely desperate man!
    Strangely and in contrast, I found that the 'letter from home' bit, which I had expected to produce genuine pathos and subtlety to instead be very laboured with "jokes" that reminded me of the notorious "Argyle Summerfield" stuff from BITR...just very generic, boring, often obtuse comedy by numbers...and the Cat/Lister talk seems a very obvious way of filling time as well as a joke we've seen before in Duct Soup.

    Finally: the toilet paper stuff...honestly Doug, please leave this stuff on the cutting room floor.

    Despite these criticisms I still enjoyed most of the episode up until the last five minutes which I found both icky and rather unsatisfying. Oddly the "slag" thing didn't really bother me the first time but watching it a second time it is an uncharacteristically nasty way to end an episode.

    I would have preferred the episode to come full circle on Lister's missing the human race by seeing something that truy revealed it at its worst (in a similar parallel to Blue) but I'm not sure an ex girlfriend cheating on Lister really did this.
     
  15. mccollough

    mccollough First Technician

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    I actually did write a whole half a page more on the plot and how I felt it only half worked. I'm not just in it for the comedy, I do enjoy a good plot. Marooned is one of my favourite episode because of the ommount it tells you about the characters, and one of my favourite bits of tonight's episodes was the Hayley story, I love the more plotty, emotional bits.

    I cut it out of the finished review for the sake of space. I still have the plot a score at the bottom though.
    When I review the end, and go back and do the others, I shall be sure to write more on plot :-)
     
  16. Seymour_Clufley

    Seymour_Clufley First Technician

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    This is my main complaint about RDX. It has no pathos, no subtlety, and no depth.

    LOL. Not the most charming mental image...
     
  17. Reznor

    Reznor Guest

    lol ohhh bed is angry again :P
     
  18. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Well, I've only just caught up with this episode after falling asleep ridiculously early last night. I enjoyed it. But not quite as much as previous episodes, although that may change upon a second viewing. It could have something to do with me still feeling quite sleepy whilst watching it. And I'm not at my best first thing in the morning. But baring that in mind, this episode did manage to make me laugh out loud a few times. Especially Rimmer's annoyingly irritating "You need to man up, Lister. Listen to some Brass band music" (or something along those lines). Although I think Lister was the star of this episode, for me at least.

    I wasn't keen on the whole toilet roll bit. And Lister's being perceived by the other's as humping the vending machine didn't really work for me either [this gag worked so much better in Polymorph]. And as others have mentioned I found it went on way too long, as did the charades scene. I wasn't overly keen on the ending either.

    I didn't even get the whole wet finger machine gag, although from some of the responses here I think I get where people are coming from...perhaps I'm more innocent of mind than I thought...either that or it just went over my head due to me still feeling half asleep. But either way I didn't find it funny in the slightest.

    Hmm, this may be the most critical I've been of a series X episode so far. Don't get me wrong though I did enjoy many aspects of this episode too. And I get the feeling that in the over-all context of the series this one will sit comfortably for me in it's rightful place of being the fifth episode. I certainly enjoyed the whole notion of being isolated on the ship this episode had.

    I've really been hoping throughout this series that what appears to be blinds above Lister's bed would, at some point be opened to reveal a nice starry backdrop...but perhaps I'm entering a slightly fanatical nitpicky stage now ;-)

    But yeah, a fairly enjoyable episode for me. Not one of my personal favourites at this stage though, but that really could change quite dramatically upon watching it again. Stranger things have happened.

    I've only watched it once so I could be wrong here, but I could've sworn 'she' said "hitting" on her, and touching her "logo". I think you may just be mishearing 'her' words due to the accent.

    Also, I didn't get the impression Lister was literally hitting on 'her'. But rather he was simply testing himself to see if he's "still got it", after Rimmer claiming that his "moves" are outdated. And so he decided to turn on the charm, not realising the potential problems it could cause. I thought it was fairly obvious that 'she' simply misinterpreted his intentions by taking his fun, harmless flirtyness a little too seriously..shrugs*.
     
  19. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    As always, I will watch this episode once more before passing full judgement on it, but from my first watch, I'd say that it was a pretty good episode, although there were some huge, gaping, flaws with it. Probably the most of any of the new episodes so far. The episode lacked any real "sci-fi-ey" elements or sub-plot, and I feel this was the main problem with "Dear Dave". The first 2 series' were far more character driven, and much less elaborate in nature compared to all the series' that followed. But this worked wonderfully, Due to the warmth of the scripts and acting performances. You're completely sucked into the world where Lister is the last human being alive, you feel genuine empathy for the character. And despite the sparse, minimal nature of the sets, and the sci-fi bent of the show, you totally buy into the scenario presented, because there's a basic humanity at it's heart. Which is something "Dear Dave" completely lacked. It was like a very cartoony version of the first two series', and as such, completely bypassed the warmth and depth that actually made those first two series' so endearing, and engrossing.

    It felt like a bizarre mixture of the first two series, and series VIII, which whilst not a great combination, at least gave it a little humanity, which series VIII totally lacked. Like that series though, a lot of the scenes and performances felt forced, and not organic. Which is why I gave a little smile when Rimmer said "Miladdo!", but it should have invoked a more elaborate reaction from me. Aside from the "I want to see round the corner!" gag (which was genuinely hilarious!) the vending machine scenes were pretty awful. The scene where Lister appeared to be humping the vending machine of course evoked strong memories of "that scene" from Polymorph, and whilst inevitably, it did lack the incisive wit and charm of that classic scene, the great reactions from Kryten and Rimmer saved the scene from falling flat on it's face.

    The absolute highlight of the episode was Cat's "you need to forget about it!" scene, which was genuinely funny. I'm generally not a fan of ultra crude humour (probably one of the reasons why I don't like series VIII much), but the "finger wetting" line was delivered so well and with such venemous precision by Danny John Jules, that I couldn't help but laugh out loud at it! :-) On that note, it has to be said that The Cat generally, has been in great form in this new series, and this definitely has been one of the high points of it. Unfortunaltely, his "charades" scene in this episode was a bit overcooked, which was a shame as that had the potential to be a great scene.

    I guess ultimately the main gripe I have with this episode, is it clearly (though whether this was a deliberate move on the part of Doug Naylor, I'm not sure...) tried to capture some of the magic of the first two series'. But for the most part, it lacked the elements that made those series' so great. The biggest problem, was Lister here, was like a cartoon version of his self from those first 2 series. I felt far less emapthy for him, because of the lack of believability, and basic humanity that the character originally possessed.

    I'm unsure exactly how I'd rate this episode atm, but it might just be the weakest entry in the new series so far... :-(
     
  20. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    I'll give a proper review later, but at the moment I'll just say that I liked that a lot. It was a great little bottle episode. I liked it a lot more than Trojan and Lemons.
     

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