I think I prefer X to XI

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by jmc2000, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I did enjoy XI - and rank it higher than VII/VIII/BTE - but I'm re-watching Entangled on Dave, and it feels really strong in comparison.

    I liked this episode the first time round, but thought it was one of the weaker outings for X. Now, every episode of XI left me scratching my head to an extent. Returning to Entangled makes it look like a really solid standalone story, and I'm finding lots of stuff to chuckle at. For instance: Rimmer/Lister's early contretemps; the book reveal; "there's been an *accident*?"; the appearance of the groin-exploder ("it sure is!"); "we just don't really use it much any more"; the entrance of the monkey, etc., etc..

    I do struggle a bit to suspend disbelief and accept they're on a spaceship. There's a corridor scene where a lot of the floor is in focus, and it looks like concrete (I keep thinking there's English soil below). But that's a problem I have with all Red Dwarf nowadays, and stage sitcoms in general, tbh. Lister at the window and the discovery of ERRA, at least, are moments with a good "deep space" feel.

    I'm not saying Entangled is the best episode ever, or even the best episode of X. But I think I'd rank it over all of XI, except for Officer Rimmer.

    What does everyone else think?
     
  2. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    It's my personal opinion that XI was used as a way to get out some of the weaker ideas they'd ever had, what with the guaranteed coming of XII and all. But, they also threw in some good ones because you can't just waste a series altogether.
     
  3. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    Well, you can't without then going on a ten year hiatus.
     
  4. sundayforsammy

    sundayforsammy Deck Sergeant

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    Yeah I also liked RDX a lot and thought it felt more real early Dwarf. RDXI was also very good and moved on from X in a positive way. I felt RDX was more S3 while RDXI felt more in the S4-5 direction.

    Personal opinion or not I find that a ridiculous statement. I couldn't disagree more. :roll::roll::roll:
     
  5. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    You're all wrong. RDX doesn't even exist in my head - that's how bad it was. How anyone can even suggest it's better than XI genuinely baffles me.
     
  6. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Entangled suffers from what alot of XI does oddly enough, Doug is trying to do so much in the episode that it doesn't become complex and cool it becomes complex and over complicated.

    For me in 1-6 the complex stories were great but with Dougs solo stuff its the simplistic ones i prefer because he over complicates the complex ones and just throws too much in.
     
  7. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    I wouldn't say they were weak ideas but more strict quality control wouldn't hurt.
     
  8. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Bearing in mind I make no claim that RDX is perfect, I think it has the following in its favour:

    - Standalone stories that make fairly good sense (few gaping plot holes or lingering head-scratches)

    - Stories that grow the personal histories of the characters, in a Better Than Life/Thanks For The Memory kind of way

    - Lots of chuckles with one or two big laughs per episode

    - Charming special effects
     
  9. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I didn't mind the ideas actually... I thought the execution was imperfect in some cases. But I guess I'll have to set up a sister-thread in the other conference for notes on RD XI.
     
  10. Callisto252

    Callisto252 Supply Officer

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    I thought X was great at the time (low expectations and all that) but I think less of it now, particularly in the light of XI. Even though it has some brilliant moments, I just don't find it as convincing as a whole.

    Series XI immediately felt like 'proper' Red Dwarf, almost as if it had carried on from Series V. I think the performances had a lot to do with this, they were definitely better than in X. And I did find it much easier to believe that they were all on a massive spaceship!
     
  11. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Season X was very variable in its quality. I loved Fathers and Suns and Entangled, but Trojan and The Beginning didn't do much for me, and the other two episodes were mediocre. It's a season that's gone down in my estimation with repeated viewings. The dialogue and acting are off too. I can sense it in every Lister and Rimmer conversation - all of them coming across as if Doug, Charles and Barrie were struggling to recreate the great two-handers of old. The equivalent conversations in XI though...they felt right. I couldn't fault them. It was also a funnier season with superior plots and better visuals.

    But the most important aspect was this: season XI really felt to me like Red Dwarf. And that's not a feeling I've had for a new episode since season VI. It actually felt like a sequel to season VI. XI is what season VII should have been.
     
  12. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    The episode of XI i have the least issues with s krysis and thats because i think the performances are good, its funny without being loud funny and its simplistic.

    Only part that hurts the episode abit for me is when they meet the universe as thats when it goes abit far into complex territories where the dwarfers have technically kinda just met god even though they pretty much say he isn't god but for some reason he sounds like morgan freeman who coincidentally played god in the almighty movies.

    Sometimes it feels like doug makes the rules up as he goes.
     
  13. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    You're not winning me over, jmc. I hate RDX, therefore everyone else should :-)
     
  14. Asclepius

    Asclepius Supply Officer

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    I don't know, which one is better, but they are very different. Series X is like series II and XI more like V. In X is lot of humour, but lack of action and XI is full of action scenes and there's lot of humour scenes, but not so much like in X.

    When I watched XI for the first time, I thought, X is better, but then I rewatched both X and XI again and eleven feels to me more Dwarfy.

    And also sets and tricks. In X everything on ship is old and dirty, XI is more beautiful and also trick scenes are better (I think budget on XI was bigger).
     
  15. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    As someone whose favourite series is 1 and 2, I find this comment borderline offensive.
     
  16. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Apparently it was less then X but better spending allowed for better production values
     
  17. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I have mixed views about 'Entangled'. I like the basic concept and the way Doug stays true to the theory informed by the book featured in the episode (although the theory itself is a bit wacky, but interesting wackiness nonetheless! :-) ) .

    I liked the BEGGs and the scenes with Cat and Kryten, but was less keen on all the monkey business (apart from the initial entrance which did make me laugh). Also, the attempt to be all dramatically suspenseful towards the end didn't quite work for me. Still an enjoyable episode for the most part though.

    But overall, I personally think series XI was generally of better quality than X. For me, (almost) everything seems to click so naturally with XI, and it just feels like it slots in nicely with the 'golden years', almost if were made just a few years after series VI (and with better production values).

    With that said, 'Fathers & Sons' and 'The Beginning' are among my personal favourite episodes of all time, so I'm quite partial to X too. :-)
     
  18. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    X feels a lot more substantial somehow. Are the episodes longer? It feels like they're longer anyway. And we get continuity and plot developments, which I like. We meet Rimmer's brother in Trojan and he seems to allude to the accident, hinting at the unseen story post-accident. We get Fathers & Suns where the implications of Series VII's Ouroboros are explored. Entangled re-iterates Lister's search for Kochanski. And The Beginning is an epic episode, filmic in scope. It was, afterall, based on the film script. We learn Rimmer's father wasn't his father, and Rimmer seems to turn a corner because of it and his battle strategy works. Lemons and Dear Dave are weak point for me.

    XI feels like a frothy sketch-show by comparison. It seems visually more clunky and cheap, whereas X looks really polished. And the epsodes seem shorter. They may or may not be, but they seem it to me. They seem to have a lot of sudden, quasi-deus ex machina resolutions. Officer Rimmer has him resigning to get through a door. Can of Worms has the Cat suddenly reappear to kill his children depsite refusing to earlier, with weak explanation of "a mother knows her own". Nothing really happens in the series plot/continuity-wise. Krysis and Can of Worms come the closest I suppose. But I don't like the talking to the universe bit. Maybe it was funny at the time, but the point of Red Dwarf is there's no one out there, space is an oppressive black void. Now we find out the universe is a nice bloke who sounds like Morgan Freeman. X has a proper cliffhanger ending where it feels like it's the end of a series. You couldn't have that episode anywhere else. Whereas Can of Worms could have been slotted in anywhere. Not to say I thought XI was terrible. It has Give & Take in it with the great kidney-paradox. Officer Rimmer is fun.
     
  19. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I don't, it's nearly the end of coffee break.

    Anyhow, on the subject of cliff-hangers, I was a tad disappointed not to have a cliff-hanger bridging series XI-XII; it seemed an ideal moment with time to write it properly and know it's going to be resolved, but it was wasted.
     

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