RDXII EPISODE 6 - SKIPPER - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Seb, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. DAN_JMC

    DAN_JMC Catering Officer

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    Lucky! Dammit I hate twitter but that would have indeed been fun, I could have pestered Danny again. Actually probably best I didn't turn up haha
     
  2. hubbard

    hubbard Deck Sergeant

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    Easily the best episode of the 6, but they still can't escape rehashing old ideas. Sure its nice to see some old faces and sets but we've been there and done that too many times.

    My two questions are, why didn't Norman return as Holly for the entire series? And when do we see series XIII? (will it be the last ever?).
     
  3. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Because Norman contacted Doug fairly late in writing about wanting to be in the show again and Doug wrote him in the show where he could.

    It sounds like Doug wants to do XIII, then a live stage show and then Series 14 after that.

    I agree about rehashing and call backs, it does please a fair amount of fans but they do feel abit tired and reflect that way on the show IMO

    Especially when the early 1-7 rarely ever did that but in the Dave era it's very dependant on hey remember this?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  4. BigOleDummy

    BigOleDummy Console Officer

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    Which was very nice of him actually. It was really great seeing Holly again and sorta miss his more prominent role's from earlier. A "call back" I could live with!

    It sure does, which kind of worries me actually. I mean the break between XIII and XIV for the live show. I can't understand his eagerness .......... insistence ........... compulsion ...........Mania, for a live show. It just sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Is playing that O2 place REALLY that special? Anyway......

    I agree mostly. Not a huge fan of the call backs , more smile than laugh if you know what I mean, but can live with some as long as it doesn't become a parody of itself. I don't really think the show's become dependent on them either but wouldn't want to see them get out of hand. I almost think some of the call back/re-hash could be a way to get newer fans of the show more interested in its "back story" and maybe ...... you know, keep it going.

    :-DI mean, SOMEBODIES gotta pay for that live show! :-D
     
  5. sundayforsammy

    sundayforsammy Deck Sergeant

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    And where did that info come from, do you have any links to this :-)
     
  6. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Here
    https://screenmayhem.com/doug-naylo...ew-series-and-returning-the-show-to-its-peak/
     
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  7. sundayforsammy

    sundayforsammy Deck Sergeant

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  8. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Although I am a bit more lost now in terms of new TV until Doctor Who and the Crystal Maze return at Christmas, this final episode of Red Dwarf for at least a couple of years left on a high note and was an absolute triumph. I personally think Skipper - while still very clever - was more of an accessible episode of the two series filmed back to back in 2015 and 2016, compared to the more complex Cured, Siliconia and M-Corp in series 12. Admittedly, this is for me the one episode of Red Dwarf in this 2017 run where the main plot and sci-fi idea is more about harking back than innovation, but that is what makes Skipper feel a lot like classic Dwarf. This concept of the multi-verse where there are numerous other versions of Rimmer, all leading altered lives due to different decisions made at various key moments in their lives, is very much like series 4's Dimension Jump but the fact that it is our Rimmer who can swap between these universes gives it a twist of something new. But yes the fact that it has such a strong inspiration from that series four episode and contains some of the ideas of series 2's Parallel Universe and even - but much better written - of series 8's Only the Good... is what makes it vintage Dwarf!

    The first half of Skipper is more based with the Dwarfers in their current situations and the dialogue about Rimmer being a loser is really funny and even though there has been so much of it throughout all the series, Doug still keeps it sounding amazingly fresh enough too. It is just great to hear the character-based banter between the Dwarfers, like with Mechocracy.

    Though unlike that fourth episode the plot soon thickens quite speedily, leading up to the crew's discovery of Kryten's work on a device that can access the multiverse. The idea of the opposite action occurring is both quite simple but also clever at the same time and crucially very funny with The Cat ending up serving Lister constantly and Lister repeatedly eating the same meal all because the alternative is what plays out. While it becomes slightly repetitive towards the end of these scenes, it is simply classic series 4-like Dwarf too and it is great to see them ending up in different parts of the Red Dwarf (even the stairs!). This second half of series 12 with them being based more on Red Dwarf compliments really well the first three episodes where there was the frequent travelling away from their mothership. When Lister and Cat eventually get to the science room, my favourite line before the discovery of what is causing this opposite action phenomena is Rimmer saying in different moments the jokes about the increasing weirdness of Michael Jackson while I also found rather funny the dialogue from Rimmer about words like "anomaly."

    But anyway this is all an introduction for the second half of the episode - similarly well paced and structured - where Rimmer jumps between all his different existences in the multiverses. With all his various lives there is so much incessant comedy and it is so funny with the first "different" version that there is in fact no alternative and the radiation leak still plays out! This is the only bit that is slightly darker but the return of not only as anticipated, Norman Lovett but also the unprecedented cameo from Mac McDonald is what gives it it's feel good feel in this instance. Holly's role is brief but still really funny and satisfying as you realise he is basically still computer senile and the gag about him not opening the test form was the best. Captain Hollister's appearance is similarly shortlived but similarly really fulfilling and the jokes about his cowardice and filling the four seater escape pod are great. It is simply wonderful for them both to reprise their characters for the first time since series 8 - eighteen years ago - and it is genius that the Captain's return was concealed successfully as it was such a magnificent surprise when he reappeared too. It would have been even better if Norman Lovett's return had been kept hidden too, though I suppose it had to be revealed when there were rumours on this forum and also it could then be used to attract more viewers perhaps. But anyway, they were both glorious returns in any case. Although Holly could return somehow in any future Red Dwarf and that would be welcome, either way I would be satisfied as series 10 to 12 have got on really well without him/her and series 6 is the most perfect of all and that likewise has no ship computer in it at all.

    The next universes that Rimmer swaps with - albeit without Holly and the Captain - are really funny and entertaining too. It is comical when he thinks he has found an alternate Lister who he can get along with due to him having a similar character only for the twist to be for him to then discover his pet that has evolved is The Rat! It is another moment in this twelfth series that is far out there and the following numerous multiverses he skips too are of similar type and my other favourites are the ones where he ends up as the ship's computer and even one where he is about to be ritually sacrificed by the other Dwarfers.

    But anyway the main twist in the tale at the end is our Rimmer even skips (hence the title of the episode which I feel is far superior than the original one of Starknot) the final multiverse he ends up in - where he is in fact a successful officer with a wife, children and respect - because Lister is Captain, so outranks him and is also richer than him. This twist is so successful because it reflects the pettiness, envy and resentment of his character so well and Craig Charles is really good in his alter ego as Captain too. It is amazing how despite series 11 and 12 each having a lower budget than series 10, that it has been stretched so sublimely to create the original series 1 and 2 bunk room and captain's office. Despite the lack of money they look amazing, are a great tribute to the set designers and the dialogue/humour is so much funnier in these original sets. With Rimmer then returning to his original situation with the usual Dwarfers it is a decent and proper end to the episode and obviously could lead on to future series.

    My only slight criticism of Skipper is why did all the Dwarfers including Rimmer forget the alternate dimension Ace Rimmer who is the ultimately massively successful version of him due to a different decision made when he was a child? Additionally, there is also another issue because by the end of that first Ace Rimmer episode back in series 4 it mentions how all the other Rimmers Ace encountered were all superior to the one he met on Red Dwarf. In Skipper, all the other Rimmer lives - apart from the final multiverse - are in fact either as bad or even worse than our Rimmer's so that is another contradiction. At the end of the first half of the episode and especially given the title I even wondered whether - like Talkie, Holly and Captain Hollister - Ace Rimmer would similarly make a comeback. But to be honest I am not entirely sure this could be a good idea and perhaps the continuity errors in regards to Ace being forgotten etc. can be excused as the premise of the episode was so strong in its own right and there have been various retcons in Red Dwarf before. Also the fact that Rimmer's other lives are different in Skipper are also what contributes to its twist of something new to add to the heavy inspiration from that series 4 classic, Dimension Jump.

    Skipper though overall is a spectacular finale to two years of largely rather fantastic Red Dwarf and might be the finest episode of series 12. I personally preferred it to M-Corp while it is significantly superior to series 11's final episode Can of Worms and it is one of those times where Rob Grant is hardly missed. In fact, I also love Skipper because it feels like Red Dwarf has come full circle with its nostalgia and returns of old characters/sets so it could even serve as a final episode in the unlikely event that no more is ever made. That is just how I would want any potential final ever episode of RD to be and not a depressing virtual full stop that the end of Only the Good... was - a sort of conclusion but not not a proper goodbye. With Rimmer returning to his original existence by the final scene of Skipper, this fits this description perfectly and also leaves it open for future Red Dwarf which is expected I believe. At the moment I feel series 12 is almost as excellent as series 11 and it may even grow on me further when I get the Blu-ray tomorrow. Really in both series there has only been one less strong episode in Can of Worms out of the twelve - as I am one who actually likes Timewave for now and Siliconia I suspect may grow on me - so really I would be happy to see not just one, but both a series 13 and 14 filmed back-to-back again. The future can remain bright for Red Dwarf as long as sufficient new ideas are created amongst the welcome nostalgia and Doug's writing can stay at the excellent standard it has been throughout nearly the whole of series 11 and 12. But whatever, thanks Doug, Chris, Craig, Danny, Robert, the excellent guest stars and all the other people that worked on the show for a great two years of Red Dwarf!

    8.5 out of 10.
     
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  9. Gluben

    Gluben Third Technician

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    I like to think that despite the last-minute appearance of Holly, it actually serves as a taster for a full series return in series XIII.
     
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  10. DivineVarod

    DivineVarod Supply Officer

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    Another chance to watch Skipper again tonight on Dave at 22.00 PM!
     
  11. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    I hate to say this, but I'm actually not sure that I'd want Holly - any Holly - back.

    Red Dwarf has hit a pretty sweet spot for characters. Obviously, when we started, it was Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Holly, with Kryten later added (and a change of Holly), then Holly removed later down the line. Obviously the core four characters - Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat - are immutable and shouldn't be changed.

    However, do we really want to add Holly back into the mix? Truth be told, Holly was always a side-character who didn't do much - more or less like Maggie in the Simpsons (who I've noticed in several episodes seems to be forgotten about for a good while completely). Yes, Holly does get some fantastic lines, but I'd worry that he'd detract from the main crew - who have largely gotten back into a reasonably sweet spot - and be seen as "just another machine" from time to time, like the vending machines, providing a reduced speaking role and occasionally getting in a few good one-liners. Like his role in series 8.
     
  12. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    I don't think it's impossible to bring in a ship's computer once again but the nature of the character would have to be altered to fit in with the rest of the characters. Perhaps a really dry and cold (but still extremely intelligent) computer would answer the need for good lines without impinging on the crew's dynamic. I think the decision to get rid of Holly specifically was the right one. He/she played no necessary role in exposition and his/her ineptitude was of no comedic value among a crew of inepts.
     
  13. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    My only fear about bringing holly back is that Doug will feel pressured to write in little Holly bunkroom sketches at the start of episodes just because the story of the episodes may not involve holly doing very much.
     
  14. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Holly was necessary for exposition before Kryten turned up. And if Holly comes back, maybe we can start toning down Kryten's omniscience. Why does a cleaning-droid have such an encyclopaedic knowledge of history and science anyway. Why can he wiggle his head and immediately know they're in Britain in 23 AD. What would have been funny is a working-class robot who doesn't know anything in particular, subverting the robot trope. Male Holly actually wasn't that inept. He mostly knew what was going on. He progressively became stupider and stupider as the series went on. But for me his humour lies in him being intelligent. A super-intelligent computer stuck talking to Lister and Rimmer makes him come across as so bored, cynical and patronising. Like in Skipper where Holly is looking at Rimmer like he's got better things to do than talk to him. He's intelligent again, and that's where his comedy lies for me. Where being alone for three million years didn't really make him stupid per se, more bored and depressed and rude.
     
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  15. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    According to Doug in the series 8 Documentary Norman didn't like giving out exposition he just wanted to do jokes.

    Which is probably why in series 8 he was useless and just popped up to say stupid things.

    I think if Norman came back he would have to accept some limitations on his character and also accept having to do some exposition dialogue because if Doug has to write for his ego then that will hurt the show.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
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  16. Dwarfer_Stu

    Dwarfer_Stu Second Technician

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    Norman seems to complain all the time, the best seasons of Red Dwarf are arguably 3-5 which are the seasons including Hattie.. it's clear Hattie's still involved in some way, attending conventions etc.. does she not want to come back? Or does Doug just prefer Norman?
     
  17. DivineVarod

    DivineVarod Supply Officer

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    Judging from recent Comic con chats Hattie would love to come back and I really think she deserves a chance; she has nothing but love for Red Dwarf, the fans and everyone involved. Chris especially has been pushing for her return and when they bring it up the audience response seems more than happy. It always seems so sad having her sit with the regular cast and not being able to join in when they talk about recent stuff. She should have been in the Captain Lister universe telling Rimmer about his life/career there.
     
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  18. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Doug probably wanted to keep the setting as series 1-ish as possible and hattie wouldn't have fit that scenario.

    Although i agree Doug could have gave her a Cameo maybe even in the Mr Rat universe.

    I don't think Doug is as fond of writing for Hattie as he is Norman though.

    Sometimes in interviews it seems like Doug has to be reminded that Hattie even exists to play holly again.
     
  19. DivineVarod

    DivineVarod Supply Officer

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    Such a shame as she's been so loyal to the show and is such good friends with the guys. Hope she'll get a chance somehow ...
     
  20. Underdunn

    Underdunn Supply Officer

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    Did Hattie accidentally kill Doug's pet tortoise once or something? He does seem to have a very deliberate blind-spot for her. Personally I'm in the minority in that I always preferred Hattie's Holly to Norm's. I liked there being a female character in the show and she let that happen without losing the concept of the sad lonely men in space.
     
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