Is Waiting for God THAT bad?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Nicko1, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Nicko1

    Nicko1 First Technician

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    It seems like whenever there is a poll to nominate the weakest episode from the early series that Waiting for God is automatically chosen but does it deserve such a bad reputation?

    I think there is a lot to commend this episode and many fine lines such as:-

    'My father was a jelly brain?'
    'Petty thinking modo'
    'That Pus-head Hollister'
    'Working class kid makes good'
    'QUAGAARS...it's a name I made up...'

    Chris is excellent as Rimmer and the whole alien subplot is great. It's probably only a few minutes late on the episode where things fall apart a little but, for the most part, I don't think it drops below the standard of the rest of the first series.
     
  2. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    It's a slow, ponderous episode, and in my view it's the weakest show of series 1. The garbage pod storyline is weak, as is the interlude featuring the cat priest. The episode lacks any really memorable incidents for me (Apart perhaps from Rimmer shouting over the end credits) and has little in the way of really sharp dialogue.

    I like the episode, but I can very much understand that many would find it boring and unfunny.
     
  3. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    I hadn't realised it was so disliked!:shock: I knew a lot of people disliked it, but not so much it required its own thread.

    "Waiting For God" is one of my favourite episodes. When I think to myself, "I think I'll watch an episode or two of dwarf," it's one that has a fairly high risk of being chosen. Back in 1988, when the show was first being shown and I was still dizzy at the thought someone had made a science-fiction sit-com, to discover they were also willing to deal with subjects such as religion was stunning. Before buying the dvds, allowing me to return to them whenever I wished, "Waiting For God" was one of the episodes I most often thought back on; it stuck in my memory most.

    I think I may even have chosen it as my favourite of the first series.
     
  4. nicky_j

    nicky_j Deck Sergeant

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    Me neither! Its not my favourite episode by any means, but I quite like it.
     
  5. gem5ie

    gem5ie Catering Officer

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    I love it! Was watching it the other day in fact, and laughed out loud a lot... It has loads of really great moments- Lister reading the Cat books, the Toaster, Lister nicking Rimmer's shirt (it may be me but there's something about the line "just general dirty marks" that *creases* me). The idea of Lister as God and the resultant religious satire really raises the bar of the show, and Rimmer arguing that he too could have been a God had he had Lister's start in life is just such a perfect microcosm of the character. The background of the Cat race is all there; at this point Danny's portrayal of the Cat is so gloriously feline it's good to have some context for it, as well as an explanation of where the others went- hell, it's just good to see the Cat have something to *do* in an episode of series 1.

    I'm not such a huge fan of the Quagaar sub-plot, but it's *very* Rimmer, and it did make me laugh.

    Incidentally, the last ten minutes of Waiting for God was the first Dwarf I ever saw. I don't have a clear memory of it from then though, just a vague recollection of Craig Charles holding up a roast chicken and thinking that I must see some more of this. :roll:
     
  6. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    I love that element of the episode. The fact that Rimmer considers the cat race gullible because of their religious beliefs, but himself is so quick to develop faith in something so daft and unprovable is essential for the episode to make a true comment on the nature of belief and not to just be a bit of religion-bashing.

    Well, that settles it! If the episode has converted someone to the programme, it can't be that bad.
     
  7. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I don't understand the dislike for this episode either. I can, sort of see how, when balanced against some of the more adventurous science fiction concepts of series one, the whole garbage pod sub-plot may seem tame (although let's face it, in terms of sphistication its a million times better than series 8's robot penises and period jokes) however it is what it is, a sub-plot. The core of the episode is a fantastic comment on the stupidity that can be found in modern religion and its desire to take words written thousands of years ago and interpret them literally while often holding bloody and trivial wars over minor insignifigant differences of opinion. This is nicely balanced with Rimmer's creation of the Quaagars and demonstrates pretty aptly how all it takes is one overactive imagination to light the bonfire.

    People seem to criticise the cat priest subplot but I always think its kind of beautiful. It's one of the first episodes where we actually see evidence of Lister's compassion and humanity other than just hearing him talk about it. Not to mention that it resolves an already nagging question of what happened to all the other cats...I get the feeling more recent Dwarf just wouldn't have bothered with that.

    Overall it's the type of story I'd be perfectly happy seeing in series X. An adventure entirely contained within the ship that is both funny, mysterious and poignant...with fantastic material for both Craig, Chris and Danny
     
  8. Nicko1

    Nicko1 First Technician

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    I forgot to mention the, 'Would you steal veruca cream...' line which I really like too.
     
  9. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    In the awful 1990s celebrity quiz show Today's The Day, presented by Martyn Lewis, they played a clip from Waiting For God, ending on Cat's line, "OK, turn this into a woman", which elicited only blank stares from the celebrity contestants, including Dave Lee Travis. I remember thinking at the time that it seemed a strange moment to choose since it isn't very amusing and there are better clip-friendly moments from the episode.

    The subsequent question was, "What is the name of the ship's computer in Red Dwarf?". But since none of the contestants had actually seen Red Dwarf, or possibly even heard of it, they didn't know the answer.
     
  10. gem5ie

    gem5ie Catering Officer

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    Exactly this. It's also a really good character piece for the three protagonists, a very telling insight into what drives them as people. And it's funny. To my mind, if any of series 1 is a "filler" it's Balance of Power. I was quite hurt in the Bodysnatcher publicity when Rob Grant talked about wishing he'd ditched Waiting for God... *is sad*

    I was 10! I wouldn't always trust my opinion now, much less then :lol: It would I think have been when the BBC repeated the whole run after the initial broadcast of series 6. I remember really liking the Brittas Empire (again, 10), randomly switching on to see Chris Barrie playing a similar character, realising this was much more interesting, deciding it was in fact the funniest thing I'd ever seen and after about a month I was hooked- seemingly for life :-D
     
  11. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    The idea that Waiting for God makes a great random episode of Dwarf to watch is also ture for me...up there with another unloved (at the time episode) Meltdown.
     
  12. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    If I wanted to watch a random episode I'd choose Waiting for God over anything from series 8.
     
  13. neilold

    neilold Flight Co-Ordinator

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    yeah, but that's like saying i'd rather be shot than burned.
     
  14. gem5ie

    gem5ie Catering Officer

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    "Flames with peach? I'd rather die." 8)
     
  15. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    An interesting fact about Waiting For God:

    The yo-yo conversation in the corridor is the only moment that Rimmer and Cat appear together in the entire episode.
     
  16. tortexturtle

    tortexturtle First Technician

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    I didn't know it was less liked than other episodes. I love the episode. Fantastic religious satire and great character development. Plus the courage in tackling religion on a tv sitcom!
     
  17. ourrrob

    ourrrob Second Technician

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    I find it tough watching the artists giving their all, and getting nothing in return from the studio audience. It's a bit like watching a nightclub comic dying on his backside.
     
  18. J_Steeder

    J_Steeder Third Technician

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    I actually like Waiting for God.
     
  19. dvd3500

    dvd3500 Catering Officer

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    Actually this show was one that really got me interested into Red Dwarf.
    I love the line "The used religion just as a way to be really horrible to each other" [sic]
     
  20. DAN_JMC

    DAN_JMC Catering Officer

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    I think the weakest from series 1 is The End. But maybe that gets a free pass since it's the first episode. Waiting for God isn't that much poorer than the rest of the series in my opinion.
     

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