Is Back To Earth now accepted as being terrible?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Murray, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    Now that Series X has come along and it's clear that there's new Dwarf about, and so we don't have to defend Back To Earth on the basis of just wanting new Red Dwarf, have most people who so rabidly defended it now accepted it as being terrible in comparison to proper Red Dwarf?

    After all, the cast themselves make jokes at cons about how crap they think Back To Earth was.
     
  2. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 Deck Sergeant

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    Not me, I'm afraid. While I regard BtE as the weakest Red Dwarf offering to date and I think there's a lot to find fault with and a lot of room for improvement there, I still don't think I'd consider it "terrible".
     
  3. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    I'm having trouble comparing it to proper Red Dwarf. It's a different kind of show, nowhere near the same. I guess it's like comparing Blackadder and The Royle Family.

    I went and got BtE on DVD. Still watch it from time to time. It does have it's moments - the last half of the last episode was decent, and I've got to say that it did look fantastic for the most part.

    But, of course, it's not proper Red Dwarf. The jokes aren't as fast. There's no audience. There's a much bigger emphasis on plot and, something which I feel series X suffers a bit from too, it just isn't as tight.

    It's not proper Red Dwarf, but it's not terrible. It's different, and not as good. However, we do have to remember that, without BtE, we may never have gotten series X.

    (man, I've waffled a helluva lot there)
     
  4. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Do they really? I'm surprised as they all seemed really positive about Back To Earth at the time. Craig and Robert in particular.

    I also don't recall anybody rabidly defending Back To Earth. From what I remember at the time of its airing, about 40% thought BTE was pretty good, while the opinions of the other 60% ranged from "that wasn't very good" to "that was absolutely the worst thing in history".
     
  5. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    People often blame the lack of audience for BTE not being that great but i disagree and say while BTE could have worked on story alone and been appreciated for it sadly it has a really silly story that while i can see why doug done it as it was something thats very different and could be done on a low budget i find alot of it quite frustratingly annoying, all the self references and the we are just characters in a tv show stuff

    sadly when you look at back to reality which is just half hour and yet alot better written and more funny.. and then you look at BTE which doug felt needed to be told in 3 parts i remember at the time doug said he felt was the best story they ever told... yeah sorry no :-(
     
  6. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    the cast make out its the lack of audience that was the problem and why fans didn't like it, but an audience wouldn't have made much difference

    i personally like the idea of 1 filmic red dwarf special but BTE kinda was a let down in that respect
     
  7. Claire_C

    Claire_C Third Technician

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    No, I don't think "BTE" is considered terrible at all. I think the majority of fans respect it as an attempt to do something different with the franchise and more importantly, the return after a decade which led to the very enjoyable Series X.

    Which isn't to say I don't enjoy parts of "BTE" very much. I do, but I prefer the traditional Dwarf feel of Series X. :-)

    As for the cast slagging off "BTE", they didn't at this year's DJ. What I remember them saying is that it was an attempt to do something different and they liked the idea of that, but preferred working with an audience and were glad to go back to that for Series X.

    There's no need to put down "BTE" to make Series X look better. They can co-exist.
     
  8. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    First I've heard about this.

    I love Back to Earth. Frankly there isn't a universally accepted opinion about any of Red Dwarf. Some people hate Series VI. Some people even hate Series III onwards. The Introcast guys absolutely hated Backwards, for crying out loud!

    Everyone reacts to things differently, and while it's true that your opinions can change over time, I think it's hugely disrespectful to try and claim that people were "pretending" to like BtE. I liked it then, and I still like it now. Admittedly I think Series X was better, but that doesn't mean I think BtE is bad.
     
  9. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    At the Wales Con last year someone asked the cast what their favourite episode was, and Chris Barrie said "Back To Earth!". Cue much guffawing from everyone, Chris going "Nonono, I'm joking." and Craig launching into an explanation of why BtE didn't work. They were even agreeing with Norman's assessment of it, and we all know how viciously the Red Dwarf fanbase attacked Norman for his views on BtE back when it was made.

    Yeah, but that's a bit of a cop-out. There's no universally accepted opinion on anything in existence. There's a universally held consensus of what the majority thinks though, which is what I was asking after. For instance, most people (especially in the "general public", i.e. viewers outside of hardcore Dwarf fans) think Series VI was awesome and that Series VII was a huge come-down from it. If you have a different opinion, that's fine ... but I'm just asking after what the generally held consensus is.

    Most people outside the core Dwarf fans already had come to the consensus that Back to Earth was terrible. I was just asking after whether time and RDX had caused the hardcore Dwarf fans who defended it to come round to that way of thinking too.
     
  10. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    I still don't agree with that assertion, at all. Where are you getting "most people" from?
     
  11. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    there is a fair amount of negativity towards BTE
     
  12. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I enjoyed it then and I enjoy it now. It's Dwarf Jim but not as we know it! 8)
     
  13. Sammy Psycho

    Sammy Psycho Deck Sergeant

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    I have grown to like BTE for what it is, and to me that is a good, hour long special. I have been critical of it in the past but I have been known to choose BTE to watch more often than I realized I did.

    To me BTE (even though it is an hour long) has the feel of those 5 to 10 minute special sketches which are penned to fit into charity programs, in the way that the scripts for these don't follow the originals lines neither does BTE. The elation squid was a decent way to be able to arc the plot in a different direction which would distance itself from affecting past or future Red Dwarf.
     
  14. Stephen

    Stephen Console Officer

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    I quite liked it. The "most people" comment is extremely presumptive.
     
  15. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 Deck Sergeant

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    There is no such thing as a universally held consensus, a consensus by definition wont be universally held.

    I also think you're largely allowing your own dislike of Back to Earth (I did a quick check yesterday and IIRC three of the four threads you've started on here are anti- Back to Earth) to prejudice your views here and are making massive assumptions of what other people think. What are you basing this on? To be honest, as this is coming up to five years since Back to Earth I doubt most people outside of Red Dwarf fans or maybe UK based sci-fi enthusiasts would know what you were talking about if you asked what they thought of Back to Earth.

    I have a real issue with the way you're phrasing this. It reads like it's an unequivocal fact that Back to Earth is, in your words, terrible and anyone who thinks otherwise is the TV equivalent of the Flat Earth Society. It's a matter of opinion and as such it should come as no real surprise firstly that fans of the show will probably be more positive about the Easter special than none fans, the same way that if there was another Only Fools and Horses special fans of OFaH would probably like it more than people such as myself who generally find it unwatchably tedious and vastly overrated.

    I would not however suggest that they'd need to accept that it was dross or should come round to my way of thinking, whether it was a general consensus or not.

    And I say this as someone who considers Back to Earth as the weaker Red Dwarf offering and who would definitely consider that RDX was an improvement on both BtE and RDVIII, but no, I still wouldn't say that I think it's terrible and I doubt aside from maybe some anecdotal opinion that you've garnered, that you're in a position to speak on behalf of most people here.

    Maybe not rabidly, but IIRC Bedfordfalls used to be quite strong in his praise for BtE, similarly when he was on here so was Danny, in his case I can recall the words Genius and Inspired being used in reference to it.
     
  16. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    It IS terrible. Simply terrible. On every level.
     
  17. karnie

    karnie Supply Officer

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    In my opinion there is NO bad Red Dwarf. There's not one episode I wouldn't enjoy going back to and re-watching right now.

    That being said…

    There are some episodes that are definitely weaker than others, and BTE hovers closer to that side than the "Brilliance" side. But I can name a handful of episodes that I find weaker than BTE.
     
  18. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    I certainly don't think it would be right for anyone to suggest that Back to Earth (or any Dwarf for that matter) is terrible and that that is an indisputable fact.

    It seems that a pattern has emerged over the past few series though. When Series VIII was first shown it was hailed as a return to form by many and actually got some pretty good reviews.

    Then when Back to Earth was broadcast there were quite a few on another site saying, 'you can't even compare this to Series VIII' such was the supposed difference in quality.

    Then with Series X the reaction from some seemed to be, 'we know we said we liked Back to Earth but we really like this'.

    I guess that is the way with many long running shows. Every new series is classed as a return to form.

    Personally I would say that there is not much difference in quality between Series VII, VIII, Back to Earth and X. They all have some great production standards, some interesting ideas and good spells of writing. But, due to there being no second writer to sift out the bilge, they are also very patchy (the same can be said for Rob Grant's solo writing).

    I would speculate as well that maybe Doug saw Back to Earth as a chance to show that he could make a movie if he were given the chance. The opening shot with the slow pan across the side of the ship would make sense at the start of a movie. It doesn't work at all as the start of a 23 minute episode (which is what this was originally broadcast as) though.

    As Doug could easily have just penned links for a best of show though, it is hard to be too harsh on Back to Earth.
     
  19. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    No its not. Its not hard at all when BtE is so embarrassingly terrible. . .
     
  20. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    Sure there is. It's a universally held consensus that Happy Days was terrible after Fonzie jumped over the shark. It's a universally held consensus that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a travesty in comparison to the original Indiana Jones trilogy. It's a universally held consensus that Phantom Menace is utter tripe in every way. Are those facts that everyone needs to accept? No, of course not. But they are the generally held norm. I was just asking whether those who had defended BtE had come round to that norm in light of RDX or whether they were sticking to their guns (as they're perfectly entitled to do).

    I think maybe you're allowing your own assumptions of what I think and believe to prejudice your views.

    I'm basing my "assumption" on talking to and listening to people, as does everyone else who made those "assumptions" I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Frankly, I think you're coming off as rather self-righteous seeing as how you're demanding I justify myself without offering any justification for your own belief of it NOT being considered bad. But that's your prerogative. It is what it is.

    I don't recall saying that anywhere? You may be reading into things that aren't there.

    I'm not saying people don't have the right to their opinions or that they "need to accept" anything. If you like Back to Earth, good for you. I'm simply asking after whether people's opinions have changed in light of recent events.
     

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