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Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by talkie3000, Nov 8, 2012.
I've enjoyed series 10 immensely...
Four excellent episodes, One average one, and one Dire one.
After rewatching them all I give the following scores...
Fathers and Suns 2/10
Dear Dave 4/10
The Beginning 9.5/10
The Beginning really was excelelnt. Enjoyed every moment of it and it was great to finally see more of Rimmer's Childhood, in a scene that made me laugh, and then paid off well at the end.
Overall series score... 7/10
Some dodgy bits, but overall a (near) consistently funny and enjoyable series. Roll on seires XI!!!
I can completely understand why some have enjoyed this series but the style of it was far too pantomimey for my tastes and there were huge problems with the plotting and characterization.
Doug still clearly has some good ideas but I think he needs other creative people to work with such as a new co-writer, new director and maybe even other new production staff also (no offence to Richard Naylor but how many other TV shows has he worked on?). There were massive chunks in every episode that should never have made it to the screen and I cringed on countless occasions.
Danny did a great job as Cat and Craig was solid too but Chris was patchy as Rimmer and Robert seemed to struggle to remember his lines at times (something that the people who attended the recordings attested to). They moved in and out of character an outside director may have been able to get better performances out of them.
The look of the show was excellent considering the budget however and they did a great job with the models, sets and costumes (Kryten excepted).
I would rate the series as similar to Series VII and VIII. Mediocre.
I would say it was my fifth favourite series. Wasn't perfect by any means, but after an absence of 13 years, what were we expecting? It had problems, sure, but every series of Dwarf does, and like every series, it had many strengths. I think an 11th would be better as Doug has become more familiar with doing it and knows what people liked and didn't like. I think RDX was really good, overall. Acting, sets, backgrounds, models, costumes, and most parts of most of the stories were all brilliant. I think if you don't overthink it, and don't nitpick, it's really enjoyable. Not perfect, or 'absolutely classic', but enjoyable.
There were good and bad moments in terms of comparing it to other series. Over all though I enjoyed every last minute of it because it was Red Dwarf. Amongst all the utter crap that's on TV nowadays, there was something to look forward to every thursday!....now,back to the DVDs I guess and wait for my RDX DVD to arrive!
From my blog, which you can view here.
For me, the Red Dwarf canon ended on November 11th 1993 with the words “To Be Continued...” scrawled across flaming remains of a recently exploded Starbug 1. Since then, it has been one crushing disappointment after another. I knew right after the first episode of Red Dwarf VII that things had changed. It had been less than four years years since the last series, but this was the first new Red Dwarf I had ever been excited about (series 6 ended when I was about 9 years old), but there was something missing.
Then series 8 was announced and I prayed for a return to form, only to be let down again. Back To Earth surfaced a few years later and though it was somewhat better, to my lowered expectations at least, it was still far away from the glory days. So, it was no surprise that upon hearing the news of a new series, I was ambivalent, to say the least. Then the release day came closer and the reviews of the first episode started appearing in the papers. They spoke of a “return to form” and of “going back to the old days”, they spoke of a new dawn for all those broken-hearted Dwarfers. Even those who didn’t like the show originally found something positive to say. Surely they couldn’t all be wrong. Right?
Well, time and age had made me cynical. We lived in a post 9/11 world where the ravages of terrorism, so long the domain of Western governments or restricted to faraway lands, had been turned upon us. Now nothing was certain. There were stories across all news networks of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. All were fabrications based on dodgy dossiers, misinformation and outright lies. Yet the unquestioning press ate it all up, when even the most cursory of examinations showed all these tales to be patently false. All they had to do, was to do their job. If they were so blatantly wrong about something so massive, how could they possibly be trusted to evaluate the quality of a mere TV show? So, I went into the show with no expectations, my heart hardened from too many broken promises. It was only then did I discover the truth, the truth I will now share with you.
To be honest, it wasn’t that bad.
True, it wasn’t great, certainly not a patch on the glory days of series I-VI, but it was the best series since the departure of co-creator Rob Grant. The show still misses him, desperately. This is not to suggest that he was the driving force behind the show’s brilliance or that the show would be better if he were to write it alone, for having seen some of his subsequent work, I doubt that very much. But as a pairing he and Doug Naylor worked perfectly. They created a foil for each other to bounce ideas off, to refine ideas, to trim them back to the best bits and to shoot down the rubbish ideas. Without that, there is just one man and his ego. We’ve all got a favourite band of old which have split up to pursue their own musical interests with disastrous results. This is the same.
The series was awash with recycled plots, stupid set-ups and worse gags than the result of being locked in Lister’s sock basket. If there was one episode in serious need of proper script editing, this was it. For example, the first episode contained a joke about Swedish drivers and moose, which referenced several times in the first 15 minutes. It was drawn out, as if he couldn’t think of enough material to fill the episode otherwise. Defenders might argue “but it was funny” and to a point they are correct. But when you have to sacrifice any sense of coherence and common sense to get to the punch line, then it’s just not worth it. Personally, I find it difficult to laugh with a sour taste in my mouth. Then there is episode two with the “this obviously isn’t racist because we say it is racist and are therefore being ironic” subplot about whether the phrase Chinese whispers is racist or not, with predictable results. This is not the Red Dwarf I know and love. Prolonged pieces of observational humour shoe-horned in about being kept on hold, the problems of predictive technology (where you can literally imagine Grant staring at the incorrect word on his phone and thinking to himself “that would be a funny Red Dwarf moment”), IKEA, and health and safety legislation.
Then there are the recycled plot lines. Rimmer’s light bee crashes because of years of built-up resentment in episode 1 is exactly the same as Kryten’s head exploding (series VII, episode, “Beyond A Joke”). The insane computer applying the letter of the law in episode 2 brings back memories of Queeg (series II, episode 5, “Queeg”). The gross out humour, though funny in episode 3, brings back memories of the opening of Polymorph, whilst assembling the rejuvenation machine is like reassembling Kryten (series V, episode 3, “Terrorform”). Episode 4 has coincidence instead of luck and episode 5 has mechanical humping, again a reference to Polymorph. Then there are the expansions on the older jokes, which by defining and solidifying them, take away from their magic. Sometimes hinting at something is funnier than actually showing it. Expanding on the Lister as his own father bit, on the Judas name bit, a not-so-funny twist on the Kryten’s groinal attachment bit. All of these feel as if they were rejected from earlier episodes and that this series has been put together from the leftover scraps from previous series.
This is without mentioning all the various plot holes. For example, Jesus being able to understand modern-day English writing when anyone who’s ever read Shakespeare knows how difficult it is to understand something 600 years old, let alone a thousand years old. As for that, why would the device not only take them back in time, but transport them millions of light years through space? There is also the running out of anaesthetic. How would they use enough of it for 1,000 or so people, but have toilet roll to waste? And don’t get me started on that coincidence nonsense...
I also have particular distain for Rimmer’s brother not being a captain in the Space Corp, which goes against everything that makes Rimmer who he is. And all for a gag that wasn’t particularly funny to begin with.
Even though I have been unrelentingly bitter about the whole thing so far, there are some redeeming features. There were quite a lot of good jokes and the humour certainly did seem a bit more old school. In particular, The Cat was more like The Cat, and Kryten, who had been stripped of every last visage of self-respect and realistic character development, seem more like his old self, not whining in the most horrendous fashion every five seconds. I particularly enjoyed a lot of the quips, with “slower than the speed of dark” being a personal favourite.
It is also worth pointing out that this is Red Dwarf X. Before this, it was Back to Earth and before that it was Red Dwarf VIII, but that it was explicitly pointed out that Back to Earth is not and should not be considered to be Red Dwarf IX. There is essentially a missing series, which one would presume, would resolve the situation found at the end of series XIII where the ship is disintegrating. It might also shed a bit more light on why Kochanski left and how hologram Rimmer returned and if he, or indeed if any of the crew are the original characters from previous series, or just a close approximation in a parallel universe. Also, where is Holly? But these are questions for hardcore Dwarfers and needn’t play too heavily on the minds of the casual viewer.
I mention this now, because by the end of the final episode, none of these things had been resolved and in fact, more questions were raised. For example, Rimmer died during the drive plate radiation leak, yet it is suggested that he (accidently, or otherwise) rescued everyone at the end of series 8, which leaves open the possibility that he as Ace Rimmer rescued them. But then that simply raises more questions.
It is worth taking a moment to speak specifically of episode 6. Out of a largely uneven series with a fair number of weak jokes and weaker plot points, this was no exception in either regard. Yet, it was by far the best episode of the series. By far. I laughed a lot and felt that they finally got the feel of the show right, even if the set was too clean-looking. It was like a rejected episode of series VI, which is no bad thing. In fact, it makes it the best episode for 19 years.
Before the episode, I was convinced the entire series had enough good jokes for one great episode, by the end of the episode, they had enough for one-and-a-half episodes. It left me nostalgic and wanting more. It restored in me a sense of faith for the future. Yes, the world is still a dangerous place, fraught with uncertainties and pitfalls. And yes, we are still a way away from the heights of classic Red Dwarf, but by god if we can make it this far in such uncertain times then perhaps in the future we can make it all the way. Victory is by no means certain and defeat is all but guaranteed, but as long as there is hope, there is a reason to go on. So I say, bring it on. Let’s see boys fly on for another series.
I have to say, that pretty much sums up how I feel as well. Very good review.
not wanting to get drawn into this particular discussion again, but this opinion is a steaming pile of Hotspur. Shining a light on racism (and other 'isms') is surely the only way to put an end to it. If people had kept quiet about racism we'd probably still think it's acceptable to call footballers names.
(wasn't really a big fan of that particular storyline in Fathers and Suns - so we agree there, a bit - but I couldn't disagree more with that statement )
In a nutshell.........excellent8)8)8)8)8)
The series actually exceeded my expectations and made me care about Red Dwarf again after an absence that saw me miss pretty much everything since Series VI.
A return to form in my opinion, but I have to admit that my perspective of series VII and VIII has been revised for the positive since joining the forum. I feel I may have been a little harsh on those episodes and now realise that I was probably suffering from a resistance to change. Having said that I do feel that the return to a live format for series X has been a resounding success in a way that VII and VIII did not quite manage.
I sincerely hope to see more new Red Dwarf in the not too distant future........
Clearly a lot of people enjoyed it. Wish I could join in because I thought the whole series was pretty much terrible.
Too many jokes like this example below where I'm sitting there watching it, wondering what the joke actually is and why everyone's laughing so hard...
And not enough of moments like this...
True acid and wit, wrapped around a bizarre yet interesting story with the stakes massively against them. The first gag example from series X is something akin to a joke I might make with my 7 yr old nephew. Of course each to their own though. Maybe my expectations were unrealistic .
After a great start RDX swiftly descended into mediocrity, & that is being kind. Episodes 2 - 5 are terrible, the final episode is an improvement but overall X is a woefully unfunny series relying on terrible forced gags that echo previous series' jokes, OTT acting & bland direction. Yes my expectations were low, but still. Ye gods it was painful at times & another example of the fact that Doug really can't cut it working solo!!
RIP Red Dwarf
PS - sorry to go off topic but - "Simulant going to a Red Dwarf forum and hating on everything of Red Dwarf made after series 6 is like Doctor House going into a hospital to trash sick people despite the fact that he liked some of them when they were healthy." Totally wrong.
People are calling Taiwan Tony a "racist stereotype", whereas he was a "racial stereotype". He wasn't racist, AT NO POINT IN THE SHOW WAS ANYTHING USED TO PUT DOWN ANYONE OF ANY RACE OR CULTURE, the jokes sometimes came close to mockery of things that are NOT ASIAN OR CHINESE but STEREOTYPICAL IDEAS OF THINGS CHINESE (laundry, little funny hats), which is the equivalent of them saying "English people invented... Eating crumpets on the patio, drinking tea with their little finger up and... Laying your coat across a puddle for a woman to cross" and everyone has already agreed that that would not be considered racist and that most of you would find that funny in an Asian program, and I have been assured by Asian people that it happens a lot because they don't have all the PC pandering going on over there like we do in the UK.
I now swear that I will not mention the racist stuff here AGAIN because it keeps going around in circles and is annoying.
Err, his voice was mocking the way people who are not native English speakers speak in our language. How can you not see this?!? It was like something out of Mind Your Language!!! :x
The Mechanoid 3000 series were made in Taiwan, maybe the vending Machines were as well and it's the default language? Anyway, who really gives a stuff. People seem to be influenced by the media's constant 'finger pointing' and using excuses to find faults, even if it means lowering the bar on what 'racism' is. I hope to see more comedy vending machine moments. It would be nice to view a future where these machines exist and nobody bats an eyelid or complains. That's when 'racism' is a thing of the past.
Anyway, loved the series. Looking forward to the next one!
The default language on a Taiwanese made vending machine is English spoken by a Caucasian actor doing an offensive impression of a Taiwanese person speaking English?!? :?
OK now I see where the crossed wires are. I Don't think the accent was the joke, I think it was as people have said, the point that highlights that the machine is a racial stereotype - and that the guys are stupid enough to ask these questions to a stereotype. The actual voice would not be a joke because I don't know a single person that would find it funny and Doug wouldn't think anyone would find it funny. The only accent that I would find funny would be a Jamaican accent, but only because it is an accent that I love, and if that is positive racism, so be it, but I found the reality sux lady funny for her accent out of loving it, not in a negative way. I know I'm derailing, but I do think it is fairly obvious that Doug wasn't doing that for a laugh AT the accent, mate.
This is a true return to form, and what I REALLY like is how it feels fresh. It doesn't feel like a retread of the earlier series' style, it's all new, yet still familiar.
Truly the best series in a long while.
Now that I've seen all 6 episodes, my verdict is that I enjoyed the new series and I'm glad Red Dwarf is back. My opinion on how good, or how funny each episode was, seems to change every time I watch them again. But my current opinion is that nothing reached the quality of the best of classic Dwarf, but they were at least as good as the weaker episodes from series 1-6. And that's not a bad thing, because I enjoyed every episode from those older series.
I guess what I mean is that the new series was more than good enough to be worth making. Like a lot of fans, I was worried that it could be really embarassing, and that I'd wish they'd not brought it back, so I'm glad it turned out to be good. So for me, the new series was a success.
I agree with some other people that Rimmer's character has become a bit too likeable. I'm not against some character development, but Chris Barrie is so good at playing an absolute bastard, it seems a waste of his talent not to give him the material. But Rimmer hasn't changed so much that it spoils my enjoyment of the programme. It's still funny.
Another thing that I said in another thread, is that all the characters seem a bit over-the-top. I think the jokes are a lot funnier when the actors play it straight. You know the jokes are good when the situation the characters find themselves in is enough to have people in stitches, without any gurning and comedy voices. Early Red Dwarf had this serious, depressive situation of Lister being alone in space, with the humour breaking that up. Just like humour breaks up the grim reality of real life, sometimes. I agree with people who say the show could benefit from a co-writer again, regardless of who it was. It's not a slight on Doug Naylor, because a lot of the best British comedy has come from the collaboration of two minds.
But overall, I really enjoyed the series and I'm excited for any new Dwarf that might be forthcoming. My favourite episode was Lemons actually, which I was surprised to find lots of people hating on. It gave me the most laughs.
People who are really (for example) Chinese, trying to speak English, sound nothing like TT. TT wasn't mocking the Chinese, he was mocking the over-the-top accent that native English speakers typically use when trying to sound comically Chinese. It's mocking an impression, and like every impression it's deliberately over-the-top in order to get it's point across.
It's not even language related. It could simply be mannerisms and stuff - for example a British person impersonating a US accent or an Australian accent, or for that matter an Australian impersonating a British accent or an American impersonating a British accent. If the accent is the whole point, then it's usually over-the-top so people recognise the intent.
And of course you get this with regional accents too - a person from Liverpool is unlikely to get offended when their friend from Glasgow does a funny impersonation of them (or vice-versa). There's no real persecution or belittlement involved so it's all fun.