RDXII EPISODE 5 - M-CORP - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Seb, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. SweatyChimpBoy

    SweatyChimpBoy Second Technician

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    We all have our nit picks about the new series and things we would change but it has been mostly good. I don't see how you can call episodes like Officer Rimmer, Mechocracy, Give and Take and Samara as not funny or original. I think Doug has done some pretty good stuff and I just hope there's more to come
     
  2. AJ Smegface

    AJ Smegface Second Technician

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    M-Corp's left me pondering quite a bit. By that, I mean I'm intrigued (very intrigued) about what's in store for Skipper. But for now, M-Corp...

    The first half of the episode was great. It was funny, the premise was good (I like how it played on Lister being isolated, which hasn't been explored in Dwarf for ages now, plus how long has it been since we've seen a Lister-centric episode?), and going into the commercial break, the first half of this and Mechocracy (in retrospect) made me think maybe XII would have been best as some sort of quiet series. When the focus falls on the four dwarfers, it just kinda always works.

    Any way, the second half rolls on and I personally think things began to slow down. I enjoyed how the story was unfolding, but I feel like the comedy in the process had to take a back seat, so to speak. To put it another way, the first half of this episode felt like Series I to me, while the second half had a Series VII vibe to it. Lister's plight in M-Corp reminded me of an anthology story from something like Tales of the Crypt. I do like those shows, and Lister's situation here kept me engaged.

    And then there's the ending, with Lister being "reset". I'm really hopeful there is a deeper meaning to this that will be expanded upon in Skipper (I'm assuming it will be: Lister's reset, they've discussed Rimmer resetting, this is building towards something, right?). Again, I'm super intrigued to see where this is all heading. Can't believe there's only one new episode left on the horizon!

    So... I'm not quite sure score-wise what I want to give it. Based on first viewing (and I've only seen the previous episodes the once as well), as a standalone ep I preferred it to Cured and found it less problematic than Timewave, but Mechocracy and Siliconia were better imo, so I'll give M-Corp a 6.5 out of 10.

    [I gave Cured a 6, Siliconia 7, Timewave 7.5 and Mechocracy 7. Looking at it now, I'd swap the Timewave and Mechocracy scores (Mechocracy's my favourite of the five thus far, and Siliconia edges Timewave too).]
     
  3. neilold

    neilold Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Good concept, let down by the usual problems of modern day rd
     
  4. BigOleDummy

    BigOleDummy Deck Sergeant

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    Liked it and think its a solid episode. Loved the "Cat entrance" and "Owwww", its been too long and I always liked it. Plenty of decent one liners and as mentioned earlier a mostly Dave episode, which is nice. Not so sure about the ending though. It was ........ nice ....... seeing the re-creation of the early scene but really hope the next/last episode isn't just Dave trying to remember everything else that's happened.
    As an aside, I don't feel the "build up to something big" for the last episode. Lol, I think it airs tonight for some of you guys but I won't see it till next week.
    Anyway, Liked it a lot and can tell it will be one of the more re-watched of the newer episodes. I'd give it ...oh.........8/8.5 /10
     
  5. Rameses Niblick the Third

    Rameses Niblick the Third Skutter

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    Didn't find this episode all that funny although it did resonate with me and I enjoyed the social commentary behind it all. Many years ago as a naive youngster I would probably have embraced the idea of the amalgamation of body and technology. These days being more cynical and a dedicated skeptic I would likely be the last to have any kind of chip implanted in me I think. With corporations getting increasingly more aggressive with their seeming desire to dominate, I don't doubt the microsofts of this world would jump at the chance to have a more invasive connection to the hard drives in the heads of the masses. We are after all talking about companies that invest millions into psychologically manipulating people into buying their products. I would have scoffed at the suggestion that they could ultimately control the population in such a manner but history has shown that there are ways to keeping people subservient.

    The more integrated we become the more vulnerable we become also. Imagine if technology can be adapted to become one with the body and utilised by the brain, one can logically surmise that door can also be used the other way. People with malicious intent could theoretically hack people imagine instead of zombie computer networks those nodes in the botnet were people. Not to mention the likely nefarious use the corporations themselves would make of in pursuit of the almighty currency of their choice. Seems like a ridiculous paranoid fantasy, perhaps not beyond the realms of possibility in the future. Hell I see enough zombies already walking down the street with their iphones glued to their face crossing roads without looking, oblivious to their surroundings. Yeah the only thing that I have really learned over the years is that lot are as trustworthy as far as you can throw em. Anyway a good episode if not the most amusing, but food for thought.
     
  6. Jod

    Jod Third Technician

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    I think the actors drift in and out of character, personally. Still got a big problem with Craig Charles. I miss the Lister of old.
     
  7. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    So after reading all the adoration for this episode from fans on Doug and Richard’s twitter accounts, does M-Corp deliver for me personally, on sadly the penultimate Happy New Red Dwarf Day for at least two years? Largely it is very strong once again and I can see how the fans who have compared it to a series 5-style episode are correct as it is a heavy science story with chippy being put into Lister and the ship then being upgraded to the M-Corp. Like quite a lot of the other episodes in this two series production block it is also heavy sci-fi because it is very cerebral and so it contrasts to the previous weeks’ episode, which was more back to basics.

    The perception filter that the M-Corp update brings to Lister is really quite a new Who idea and it works well in Red Dwarf as there is so much comedy provided from it and that is obviously the ultimate aim for this show. I really enjoyed the scene where the Cat opens a can which Lister (and the viewer) cannot see and the scene with the other Dwarfers disappearing from Lister’s hearing and view was highly comical too.

    But anyway while the previous episode was a satire of politics, the main theme of M-Corp was to make a mockery of capitalism. The scenes with Lister on the M-Corp were very decent and I thought Helen George was so much better in this role than in her part in Over to Bill. Again in this 2017 run, it is a far out and wacky sci-fi concept, but Helen George plays it really creepily and sinister and so that is another thing that makes it comparable to the dark but still very funny series 5 episodes.

    My only real criticism of the episode though is I do wonder whether it wrapped up a bit too speedily. But this is only a tentative opinion for now as I might get used to it more on future watches and secondly, the whole gag is that the capitalist is ultimately swiftly defeated by capitalism. Another reason why the ending I might warm to further more is the fact that there is a second pay off for the bug in Lister’s head which makes the resolution feel more complete. Okay resetting Lister from his hologrammatic disc back to the age of 23 - and the final scene which is a re-enacting of the first ever minutes of Red Dwarf back in 1998 - is not original but it is a really funny and nostalgic pay off. It also makes the ending of M-Corp have more power because it adds some complexity to it that perhaps the first pay off - tentatively I feel - lacked, as it is quite clever especially as the method to then restoring Lister’s post-23 personality is from what the cameras on Red Dwarf have witnessed, though it will take a month of course.

    Overall, M-Corp is a very strong episode on first watch and to be honest I was a bit distracted when I saw it on Dave on Thursday anyway, so that is why I suspect it will especially be on a second and third viewing that I can really assess it. But while it is very good, I do - for now at least - feel it did end a bit too fast. The other thing I feel is - like I said - quite a large number of these episodes have been more cerebral than a lot of RD pre-2016, but I do worry that it has become slightly too Steven Moffat occasionally with a bit too much convolution at times. Hence this is why I would have to say I probably prefer the more down-to-earth previous weeks, Mechocracy, to this. But saying that as I was sometimes a bit distracted perhaps that is why I feel it was slightly too complex this week and that opinion may change to when I am better able to concentrate on it more when the blu-ray is released (e.g. where did Kryten get his money from to defeat the M-Corp, should the script have been better edited with a line making this more clear?). Still M-Corp was yet another very strong episode and crucially, despite being dark and creepy, was simultaneously very funny - like one in the series 5 run. However, while it was very good I am hoping for the very much hyped up finale to be like Cured and Mechocracy, and really stand out, as series 11 had more episodes that I would rate even higher than than the ones in this twelfth series so far, though of course may opinion might well change upon further viewings.

    8 out of 10.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  8. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    Just watching this episode again on Dave. I don't know whether this has been mentioned, bit is anyone else struck by how inefficient a method M-Corp has of transporting lager? It's a huge box with about ten cans in it surrounded by packing material. That's my biggest criticism of this episode.
     
  9. Asclepius

    Asclepius Supply Officer

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    It was thermo-izolation to keep the lager cold... :-D
     
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  10. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    To me, M-Corp is supposed to be emulating the more "high-end" brands around these days - which, to me, means Apple. And sometimes, have you seen the amount of packaging that some brands put their products in?

    On to another point - and I think this applies to new Red Dwarf as a whole, but this was hammered home, I guess, in M-Corp. Now don't get me wrong, I love M-Corp and think it's one of the best episodes of the Dave era, and I would quite happily score it an 8. There are, however, two slightly irksome things about it to me:

    1 - Chippy. And I guess this applies to the whole of Dave-era Dwarf. I'm not keen on all of the machines having personalities. For some reason, I could stand it in Mechocracy, and we need to remember that we have, of course, had Talkie Toaster and Holly in the "classic" era, but then we've also had the vending machine which gave Cat unlimited fish. To me, largely, the "background tech" is meant to be dumb (though I do wonder how much this is eliminated by Kryten stating machines have beliefs and a religion in The Last Day). Either way, Chippy could have been handled better, I think, if he hadn't had a personality, and maybe just was a chip Kryten inserted into Lister which transmitted reports to a computer for Kryten to read and understand.

    2 - the "ending" ending. I'll be honest, I would have been happy if they'd have left it as "we've saved Lister from M-Corp and now he can see us again", but the extra ending, where Lister still can't see them and they have to reset him, sort-of feels unnecessary. This does lead us to recreating the very first scene, which I do enjoy, but I can't quite see the necessity for it. I would have preferred a bit more in the main M-Corp story. This was like Doug realised he had an extra 2 minutes to fill. He did it well, but I would have preferred something else - a more climactic showdown perhaps. It also feels maybe a bit self-congratulatory, and referencing Red Dwarf of past, much as Mechocracy had Talkie Toaster wheeled out. Yes, it was good to see him back, and it makes perfect sense to include him in the story, but I love Red Dwarf and don't want them to wheel out characters from stories past so fans can go "yay, I remember him, this episode is the best yet because it has such-and-such in it for the first time in years".

    These are, of course, nitpicks. M-Corp is still one of my favourite episodes of the Dave era and I would quite happily watch it alongside episodes from the BBC era (well, apart from most of 7 and 8). A completely brilliant idea for an episode, executed very well.
     

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