Favourite Series Of Red Dwarf

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by seanyp94, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    ? Dave didn't write it....:roll:

    I guess you blame the BBC for RD8 being "so utterly Un-Red Dwarf like."...:roll:
     
  2. Hollo_Marx

    Hollo_Marx Catering Officer

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    I wonder if people's opinions of series X is partially colored by the long break between it, and what I would consider quality episodes of Red Dwarf.

    I watched the whole show, from The End, to The Beginning, over a matter of a few months. I had never seen it before, but then I saw it all in one go. Clearly there is a vast difference in quality between the first six series, and series VII, VIII and BTE. Series VII was a marked decline from what had happened previously, what with the lessened part of Rimmer, and the shoe-horning in of poor Kochanski. Series VIII was such an enormous change in setting, characters and the overall feel that it practically felt like a different show. BTE is such a weird little entity, that it's hard to see it as a proper part of the overall Red Dwarf narrative, and more as it's own little, well... weird entity.

    From my perspective, having never seen the show before, after the general weirdness of series VII, VIII and BTE, series X was a welcome return to the more familiar format that series III-VI had followed. It felt much more like Red Dwarf to me, than series VIII and BTE did, and even some of series VII. Sure there were bits here and there that fell a bit flat, but I thought that Lemons and Fathers and Suns were both (for the most part) fantastic.

    I wonder if there hadn't been such a huge gap between "proper" Red Dwarf and series X, if people might have enjoyed it more as opinions on it seem quite mixed. People seem to either have really enjoyed it, or hated it.
     
  3. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Quite possibly, Hollo.

    I'm in the latter camp, of course, but I honestly can't put my finger on why. I just get a terrible, desperate vibe from it. It looks awful - too polished and clean, the laughter track sounds like it was lifted from one of those awful Saturday morning American kids shows. Kryten looks... weird, and the other characters just aren't the same. Lister is no longer the lovable space bum he was in the proper RD series, and Rimmer has lost his neurosis. Cat is probably the most consistent, but then he was never my favourite character anyway (although I do adore him).

    No, I know they didn't.

    No, why on earth would you guess that? I like series VIII, and think it feels quite Red Dwarf-like.
     
  4. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    I do find it interesting that you like series 8 but not 10. Surely 10 was a bit of a return to form and 8 was a badly written and performed mess with few redeeming qualities?
     
  5. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Agreed, Bluey, but as Hollo says, it's probably that gap.

    And besides, it hopefully annoys Simulant when I say things like that. He'll reply to this and tell me I'm wasting my time, before using the 'roll eyes' emoticon, but what's new?

    In truth, though, I hate X for all the reasons I gave in reply to her post.
     
  6. Hollo_Marx

    Hollo_Marx Catering Officer

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    I think the "desperation vibe" is something that we all might apply to something when it's been on for SO long. When we see characters who started off as twenty-somethings now being played by men in their 50s, I think it's probably hard to buck the thoughts of, "Eh, should they be doing this or should the lot of them just call it quits and have a lie-in?" Even though I watched the shows all together so the age progression happened very quickly for me, there is something unignorably (apparently not a real word, but I like it) weird about seeing older men still playing characters that they originated when they were young whippersnappers, no matter how much we might love them and want to see more of them.

    They did a rotten job with the Kryten mask, I'll definitely give you that. I know that Bobby loved it because it was more comfortable and meant less time for him in the makeup chair, but SURELY there has to be some in-between somewhere, where the look doesn't have to suffer quite so much for the increased comfort.

    Lister and Rimmer did seem a bit different, but I chalked that up to them having to show some character growth after so many years in space. We still couldn't have cheeky, upbeat Lister, dreaming of Fiji and his sheeps and his cows. If they'd gone with that characterization, it would have looked like Craig was trying to play the role of a twenty-something, and I don't think that it could have worked. While he lacked the cheeriness that early Lister had, I think they did a good job of still making him be Lister, even if it's an older version of the character. The exchanges with his "dad" KILLED me, especially the bit with the guitar. Plus we had glimpses of the more "tough guy" Lister from the series III-VI era with his visit to the dentist chair, and his refusal to hang up the phone when he was waiting for that damned Stir Master. :lol:

    Rimmer really didn't seem all that different to me. He was still such a smeghead, and we still saw him trying (and failing) to pass his exams. I loved the bit when he was going on about how annoying Shakespeare was, as it reminded me of his Glenn Miller speech. I do think the antagonistic nature between Lister and Rimmer was lacking somewhat compared to earlier seasons, but I chalked that up to them being older and more mellow, and learning to put up with one another after all these years.

    I was actually THRILLED with Cat in series X. I had loved the Cat of series I and II, and had been disappointed to see him grow less and less cat-like as the series progressed and he became just more of a suave sort of cool character. I loved seeing him back to fixating on shiny things, and being uninterested in anything besides his appearance and where his next meal is coming from. Cat's return to a more cat-like state was probably my favorite thing about series X.

    To me, it was much more a return to form compared to series VII and VIII which just had me shaking my head and wondering why on earth they'd decided to make such big changes. I could understand them wanting to somewhat fill the void left by Chris in series VII by introducing Kochanski back into the mix. Even if I think it was a bad choice, I can at least see what they were going for. When they resurrected the WHOLE crew though, and Rimmer is suddenly alive and the whole, "one small motley crew trying to survive and not drive one another crazy in space" vibe was eliminated, it felt like an entirely different (and in my opinion, not very good) show.
     
  7. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Brilliant analysis, Hollo - it made for a very interesting read.

    I can't really argue with anything you've said, other than to say that (for whatever reason) it didn't work for me.

    Your point about them having to 'grow' Lister is a very good one, and not something I'd considered. I just saw this different Lister, didn't like it, and never gave it any more thought.

    All of which would suggest I simply don't like change. I already knew that as it governs my whole life, but I'd never connected it with my dislike of series X. Yes, there was radical change from VII onwards, but I was happy to accept it because the actors still looked like the characters. They were older, but not old, and that, in truth, is the difference.
     
  8. Goit_84

    Goit_84 First Technician

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    Series 2 and 5 are my favourites by far.

    2 is the concept as it began at its best. I love the drab boredom and grounded, realistic misery of the ship in season 1&2. It's the kind of future you can sort of see happening.

    Series V is the revamped format running at full pelt.

    They represent the best of Red Dwarfs multiple personalities.
     
  9. Hollo_Marx

    Hollo_Marx Catering Officer

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    I've been enjoying getting to read your point of view Billy. It's nice to actually have someone talk about what they like/don't like about a series, rather than just throwing up their hands and saying, "It was awful!" :eek: I love hearing other people's take on the show, because everyone seems to walk away from the episodes with different things that resonate with them. I find the polarized opinions on series X to be particularly fascinating.

    I often wonder how much different my opinion of the show would be if I had grown up with it, because I'm sure it would make for a much different experience. Shortly after I started watching the show last year, I looked up the actors to see what they looked like now, so seeing them older when I got to BTE and series X wasn't shocking at all for me.

    I actually found the characters both in BTE and in series X to have a sort of tongue-in-cheek pathos about them. The fact that Lister's pushing fifty but he's still dressing like a high school aged punk kid. The fact that Rimmer is STILL trying to pass his exams even though the Space Corps doesn't even exist anymore. These poor chaps seem to have absolutely NOTHING to live for, no likely chance of ever meeting girlfriends/wives, no chance of ever having kids or a family. Both characters have probably zero chance of ever fulfilling the "dreams" that they had at the start of the show, and they both seem sort of resigned to this mindless existence in space. It was sad enough knowing that Lister would probably never get to Fiji and never have Kochanski, in the early days when he was still young and vibrant. It just adds an extra layer of moroseness when you see that decades later, nothing's really changed for him. He's still alone with his gitty bunkmate, still can't play the guitar, still a bit of a slob.

    When you think of the reality of Red Dwarf, it's actually all quite sad and tragic, but then these ridiculous things happen to them and we just laugh and laugh, most of the time at their expense. It's quite a funny duality and one of the things that makes me love it so danged much.
     
  10. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    It is fascinating, you're right. I don't recall anyone else expressing their dislike of series X to the extent I do, and while I'm not suggesting I'm the only one, I would say I'm in the minority.

    I don't talk about BTE much, but again I seem to be in the minority in as much as I quite like it. I probably said the exact opposite when it initially aired, but it has definitely grown on me a lot since then. There's a wonderful scene, right at the end when Lister is in the car with Kochanski. Just the way it looks and the ambient music that's playing is quite magical. And then that wonderful departing speech he gives her: "No. I'm pretty cool. I don't take any smeg, and even though I'm disgustin', some times I can be quite brave."

    It also features one of Craig Charles finest performances as Lister, when he's talking to Konchanski about how much he misses her etc, and his eyes begin to glaze over... real genuine tears and emotion.
     
  11. Hollo_Marx

    Hollo_Marx Catering Officer

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    That scene kills me EVERY TIME. And I don't even like whole Lister/Kochanski pairing, but damned if Craig didn't make me fall for it. If I ever meet him in person, I am going to compliment him on that scene, because he always makes me well up.
     
  12. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    I need to download BTE. I don't own it and it's so long since I've seen it.
     
  13. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    For me I think series I was very good and great comedy but more Red Dwarf getting going rather than it being at its peak.

    Series II for me to series VI are the peak of the show for me! Series II had better sci-fi stories to series one combined with even more razor-sharp comedy.

    Out of series II to VI my personal favourite series are III, V and VI. Absolutely incredible and great evolutions of the show with it having even heavier science and more action and monsters as the show progressed. But if I had to choose one series it would be series VI. I love the way it all linked together (there's the simulant craft we bumped into two weeks ago like the two weeks between broadcast, Lister's fate etc.) and while I think every line in series I to VI is incredibly funny and not one wasted the gags per minute style of comedy writing for series VI by Grant and Naylor is somehow even more perfect. And some great "heavy science" plots like series V as well. Also I think the production values/visuals and atmospheric music from Howard Goodall was at its most incredible in VI also.

    Those three series though - III, V and VI - had a lot of the very most brilliant episodes like Backwards, Marooned, Polymorph, Quarantine, Back to Reality and Gunmen of the Apocalypse.

    But series II to series VI are all brilliant it's just series III, V and especially VI are even more fantastic!
     
  14. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    Don't bother...:roll:
     
  15. seanyp94

    seanyp94 Third Technician

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    I didn't HATE Back to Earth, it had its good moments and its bad moments (more bad than good however) but it wasn't terrible. I was also a big fan of series X, i thought it was a brilliant return to form and the exchange between lister and his dad (lister) was the highlight of the series!
     
  16. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    As I've already said, S1 and 2 are my favourites, but over the last few times I've run through the series as a whole, I've started to analyse what it is that I feel is missing from S3 onwards (despite them still being very good).

    Obviously, S3 is where we lose Norman Lovett's Holly, and that for me was a big loss, but one thing I've never paid much attention to until recently is how little Red Dwarf's sleeping quarters are used from III onwards. It was this set - and the scenes within it - that I now realise were so integral to my love for the first two series. It appears from time to time from S3 onwards, but not in the same way it did in the first two. With this set gone, we lost the simple and wonderfully pointless 'bunk bickering' between Lister and Rimmer.

    This, in a nutshell, is what I miss from S3 onwards.
     
  17. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    Is it the location that you miss though? Or simply the fact that Lister/Rimmer scenes were not there at all so much anymore? Sorry if that sounds pedantic but I think it`s one of those things that has irked fans over the years with regard to comments about the later Series VIII. (Doug and Ed talking about having bunk scenes again but forgetting that they were all about the quality of the writing)

    Personally I think the only thing that was a slight negative between Series 3 and 6 was the move towards more traditional science fiction with robots, monsters etc. The more populated universe meant that some of the more interesting ideas in the first couple of series were lost.
     
  18. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    As far as Series X goes, it will be interesting to see how it stands the test of time. Series VIII had some very staunch defenders when it was the most recent Dwarf (among the cast and staff as much as the fans) but seems to have a much lower level of popularity now.
     
  19. Rageofangels

    Rageofangels First Technician

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    I'm with you on that Billy Casper! I loved the bunk scenes and that was one of the main reasons I wanted to watch the series. It was the fact that they were lost in space, all alone and just chatted to one another in their quarters. When series 3 came on I really couldn't stand it (even though Backwards is great) and at the time I stopped watching for a number of episodes.

    I miss the basic, rawness of the first two series. By the time series 5 had come out I sort of had forgiven the writers for the change in set and direction, and I put series 6 as good as the first two.
     
  20. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Fair question, and I can say with confidence that it's a combination of the two. I agree with the second part of your post - when it lost it's simplicity, tried to get too clever, it also lost some of its appeal.

    There's not a single sentence in this post I don't agree with. It might just as well have been written by me.

    It's a shame that writers feel pressured into 'evolving' their series, for fear that people will start to complain that 'nothing happens'. I understand how people in this profession want to hone their skills and improve their craft, but I loved the sleepy pacing of the first two series, where boredom played a real part in the characters' behaviour. I just find them incredibly relaxing to watch.
     

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