If Doug had left instead of Rob...

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by "Christmas rubbish", Apr 29, 2009.

  1. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Honestly just enjoy the better episodes of 7 to BTE and all of series X. Just enjoy the fact that in the 2010s 25 years on from the show's pilot there is new RD. True, it's not as amazing as the first 6 series but if you don't compare too much and just enjoy it in the here and now, X is a very good series and the closest we've seen to Doug Naylor-solo RD resembling anything like the show's 88-93 peak. Also as you say despite the really terrible weaker episodes of 8 and the lack of humour in 7 and 9 Doug has done a fairly decent job and probably if Grant had stayed on instead of Doug we would have seen a similar result. But anyway it is impossible to know but with the prospect of a series XI I will still adore series I to VI but will also really enjoy the fact that there is hopefully new RD all these years on.

    But yes the two co-creators sharing the writing did ensure that there was nothing too silly and that not a single line was wasted. But anyway hopefully XI can hone the style of X further and I am very much looking forward to it.
     
  2. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Agreed, Lemons had its plot weaknesses but the actual comedy is a pretty funny religious satire. I would give it a 7 out of 10. Dear Dave similarly I found weak at first but that too grew on me and had some of the funniest dialogue and comedy in the series. Another 7 out of 10. But yes both should have been more refined.
     
  3. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Stoke Me a Clipper is a classic! It was after the first two episodes of 7 that the series nosedived in quality apart from Epideme. These first two episodes not coincidentally included Rimmer and the 3 other usual cast. This shows how the inclusion of Rimmer and absence of Kochanski in X ensured that it was more successful critically and a commercial hit because it was back to its roots. Please no Kochanski in XI or if she is included please can it not be for a major role.
     
  4. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I don't think you can say with certainty that Jesus didn't exist. Doubt his magic powers all you want but it seems quite likely that there was a guy called Jesus that all these stories are based around.

    Also, wasn't the whole payoff of Lemons that this WASN'T the biblical Jesus but just some guy with the same name. In that sense I don't think Rob would have necessarily dismissed it anymore than he dismissed the idea that Red Dwarf was just an AR computer simulation.

    Lemons works fine for me as, despite the initial awkwardness of the story-line before the pay-off, the payoff makes it all okay.

    Well...not ALL okay, but it neatly does away with any potential arguments over the inclusion of "Jesus" as a character.
     
  5. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Now if you're going to pick faults in Lemon's continuity, that really isn't one of the biggies. ;-)

    Personally I thought it was nice that Doug even bothered to explain why the lady could speak "Albion" (even if there is a whole unopened can of worms with the difference between 23rd century English and the English of that day).

    For a half hour comedy it wasn't a bad bit of attempted exposition and there's only so much time to explain it all. In a novel I imagine Doug could have filled his boots with that stuff. Either way its an evolution from what he would have done in Series 8.
     
  6. Goit_84

    Goit_84 First Technician

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    Oh yeah totally, I do always try and forget about all this nitpicky stuff, I just used Lemons as an example of an episode where I have to try really, really hard to forgive it's rather nonsensical parts. The whole Jesus thing didn't bug me as much as the characterisation of the crew and their reaction to finally getting back to Earth - actual Earth. This wasn't Meltdown or Backwards, this was actually Earth. This was the dream, wasn't it? But Lister didn't care. The requirement for Lemons at all and their need to trek across the planet was like something from a silly sketch show. The expedition amounted to a beard and some dusty clothes. All stuff I just think would have been called into question by a second writer but weren't because the sole writer was not only going primarily for laughs but also was juggling production tasks. I don't blame Doug at all for any shortcomings, but it is evident he won't ever achieve the quality of 1-6 without major help.

    Also as for everyone speaking English in Lemons - I just assumed that was like a Doctor Who babelfish translator thing provided by Kryten. Less believable in Red Dwarf since The Tardis is quite an advanced piece of kit, and Kryten is just Captain Bogbot.
     
  7. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 Deck Sergeant

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    I'm another of those who would rather have had no explanation and been able to provide my own, I guess most of us would have been relatively content to assume that they had discovered a Bablefish type device or that Kryten had activated some kind of real-time translation mode and even if Doug felt he had to offer an explanation in either case Kryten could have even used a few words to that effect to quickly establish how they could communicate and move on. The problem with the episode explanation is that it's historically inaccurate and nonsensical in the context of the setting and since it is established that the lemon seller can understand them because she's been to Albion, it's much more difficult to provide my own explanation.

    I'd draw a parallel between this and Kryten's exposition of the alternative history timeline in Tikka to Ride. A small part of me can't help but wonder exactly how he could tell all that from simply scanning the front page of a newspaper, but I don't really care because in the broader context of the episode it doesn't really matter and it's a quick, effective way of establishing what had happened and moving the plot along.

    As an piece of exposition in a historically based episode though, the lemon seller's example is a pretty poor one really because it's fundamentally wrong.

    I would agree though that taken as a whole it's just one issue in an episode where pretty much every significant plot point from the moment the crew arrive in ancient Britain is flawed. It's a shame because the humour in Lemons is pretty good IMO, it's just a pity Doug couldn't use that in an episode without all the historical inaccuracies and plot holes of Lemons.
     
  8. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Some good points there. :-) I don't think either of them were especially happy with the look and feel of the first two series (albeit much more so with series 1), which I always find interesting as they're both such awesome series'. But from what I understand Doug was always a little more open to change than Rob was. That said however, I'm well aware that we have heard much more from Doug than we have Rob, so to a large degree we've only really heard one side of things really.

    There were certainly some radical changes between 2 and 3, but bare in mind it was that period when they became full-on credited producers for the show, and hence were able to harness their initial vision much more so than in the previous series'.

    There are some things we know initially came from one of the two. For example, from what I understand it was mostly Rob who never wanted there to be any robots/mechanoids in Red Dwarf. Doug initially went along with that and accepted it as one of their joint rules (along with the no Aliens thing). But as a compromise Doug suggested they do a one-off episode with a mechanoid/robot-type character - Kryten.

    I can't actually remember whether or not Doug said he had to further push Rob to agree to then bring Kryten in as a main character (but perhaps someone else here will know), but either way I think it's fair to say that without Doug we would have no Kryten. Not that I'm suggesting Rob may have got rid of him had he continued the series' alone from series 7 onwards, rather, it would seem that the character probably wouldn't have existed to begin with.

    but yeah, you're right, there were certainly a lot of changes and moments that lacked continuiuty when they writing together, but again from what I understand that had much to do with Doug in the ealy days. He has since mentioned that he's very much aware that he has to be respectful to Rob as the co-creator and try to stay within those initial rules they agreed to. So perhaps that's part of the reason for Doug using so many callbacks to early series'...but perhaps not. I realise I'm just speculating to a certain degree here, but said speculation is based on things I've heard Doug say on various occasions. :-) Again whether Rob would always agree with Doug's memory of events is something we can't always be sure of.

    We should also bare in mind that they both made the odd mistake even when writing together. It's not like all the mistakes and lack of continuity were a Doug Naylor thing. For example in series 3 we saw the "white migit" mentioned, which from what I understand was due to script changes and the speed of the production around the time the Starbug was brought in.

    I think it's quite likely that it was Doug who pushed for the more emotional momments, but again we can't be 100% certain of that. I'm sure there was a lot of give and take, as well as many things they both agreed on from the get go.

    I really like Doug's solo work for the most part, especially series 7 and 10 (the latter much more so). But it sure would be interesting to see them back together again.

    I wonder if Rob has seen series X? I'd love to hear his thoughts on it. :-) I know he's mentioned that he found it really difficult to watch series 7 (unless he was drunk, lol) - not necessarily because he didn't like it, but because he says it felt strange to watch a project he co-created continue without him. But as you suggested earlier in the thread perhaps he would feel differntly now that so much time has passed. I'd like to think so. :-)
     
  9. "Christmas rubbish"

    "Christmas rubbish" Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I thiok Rob Grant described watching series 7 like "watching the honeymoon video of your ex wife". It's a very strange thing whatever happened between Rob and Doug as they are never able to actually say what the problem is... but both have differing versions of what lead to it. Rob says "musical differences" and Doug says "he was stressed and has no idea why he left"... bizzare.

    Think it was just an old fashioned argument myself...
     
  10. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I'd like to think they've both grown up enough now to let bygones be bygones/bury the hatchet/whatever needs to happen to get them both writing together again. A bit like Pink Floyd reunion et al as mentioned above. I have hopes for RDXI! :shock:

    Should it ever go ahead, that is ;-)
     
  11. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Its the solo novels are the best example of what would have happened if either writer wrote the show solo back in 1996

    Last human by doug naylor was a huge change from not only the shows format but the previous novels format and was just more an ambitious adventure story that didn't mind taking risks and mixing up the Status quo, but it did take itself to far away from the original concept and forgot alot of things

    Backwards by rob grants was more dark comedy and pushed into more Complex Sci-Fi but kept more ties to the previous novels and felt like it was embracing the Series 6 tone of the show but sometimes abit to much that it often felt like the Sci-fi diluted the comedy

    Overall they do work better as a team, its a shame they can't work together again
     
  12. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    Agree. Solo they are both terrible.
     
  13. Santa Paws

    Santa Paws Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I know I'm being blunt, but whatever problems they've got with each other, I wish they'd sort them out and get back together.
     
  14. Curryman

    Curryman Deck Sergeant

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    Applauding Kittypaws.
     
  15. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    They wont.
     
  16. Carrie TORDFC

    Carrie TORDFC Second Officer Fan Club Team

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    I wouldn't be too readily dismissive. Although a permanent partnership may be unlikely, Doug said at DJXVII that they'd had "talks", possibly in regards to certain Dwarfy-ness. INTRIGUING.
     
  17. sundayforsammy

    sundayforsammy Deck Sergeant

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    Ohh, that is a tease isn't it. :-D
     
  18. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    Mmmm, if they did it may lead to a decent series of Red Dwarf again, for the first time in years. . .:roll:
     
  19. Rageofangels

    Rageofangels First Technician

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    Yes, two years!
     
  20. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    No. . .21 years. . .:roll:
     

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