Red Dwarf Too Slapstick Now

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by nealos1, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. nealos1

    nealos1 Third Technician

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    I was watching Lemons last night and I was really enjoying the jokes and the crew interaction. When the plot progressed to them beaming to earth I was happy they'd gotten off the ship, and were on an adventure. But then came the guest stars, and the interacting with other people which is normal. I was not enjoying any of this to the point I couldn't understand why I was actuallu feeling depressed for how bad Red Dwarf was.
    Then I realised what it was that is really making this unbearable for me. The crew are now more normal/inteligent/mature than the people they encounter. What started out in 1988 as 4 idiots/bums (holly) lost in deep space who would have encounters with believable people, serious people has now turned into 4 pretty normal peoplewho constantly find themselves talking to slapstick A.I or stupid people. . How far have the simulants fallen in actual menacing believability since G*Gunmen of the Apocolypse*. Look at the great encounters with other episodes- Justice, Polymorph, Inquisitor, Terrorform, Psyren.
    Everything since series 8 has being like this. The Tank should of never existed. The crew were revived to be as stupid as Rimmer. The captain was really a chef or something. Seriously does this annoy anyone else?

    Any thoughts?

    I will always love Red Dwarf though and hope one day it returns to being capable of throwing out the odd great episode. I really enjoyed Trojen despite what i've ranted here
     
  2. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

    Messages:
    2,935
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    I sort of see what you mean, but I don't think we've seen them interact with enough people in this series to make that judgement. And they interacted with plenty of eccentrics in past series,albeit intelligent eccentrics.

    Sim Crawford did seem a lot less threatening than simulants we've seen in the past. Then again that served as a bit of misdirection for what happened later. I actually thought she was a human survivor, until it was actually mentioned that she was a simulant!

    Even when she showed her true colours she did more cute and kooky than scary* rather than exuding the menace of, say, that other female Simulant who appears in Gunmen... and (more notably) Rimmerworld. Then again she is a newly turned rebel.

    Very small spoiler- nothing that can't be seen outside authorised episode synopses. Please highlight to view:

    {I shouldn't give up on the simulants as a menace just yet.}

    *Although she did kind of freak me out after the Cat inserted that flash-drive into her neck. Dear me, that expression. That new Stirmaster was just... wrong...
     
  3. CaptainHallam

    CaptainHallam Second Technician

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    agreed - so far this has not degenerated into series VIII
     
  4. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    2,121
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Red Dwarf, Deep space
    since series 8 it has felt like doug struggles to write for just the 4 or 5 guys and has to bring in silly over the top gueststars for the comedy

    i mean if you look at the early shows you can see the gueststars ussually playing it pretty straight

    maybe someone should say something to doug for series XI :-)
     
  5. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    1,877
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Confidence and Paranoia, Olaf Peterson, The Cat Priest, Kryten, the Outland Revenue Man and the Parallel universe crew were all supremely silly characters who were definitely not played straight and were the main guest stars of the first two series.

    I'm not sure where the idea that the guest stars used to play it straight came from.

    Probably the only characters I can think of who played their role entirely straight was Legion, Inquisitor and the Simulants from GMOTA. The others have always had comedic aspects to their characters, even when trying to murder the crew. I suppose you can throw in the justice computer as a straightly played "character"...but I can think of few others.

    Oh absolutely! Making Hollister "Dennis the donut boy" is without a doubt the stupidist retcon in the history of the show.

    I think its important to remember that not every encounter has to be a serious or life threatening one though or the show would lack originality and become formulaic (which is one of the few criticisms of series 6).

    The encounter in Lemons is one such and is easily comparable to past episodes like Meltdown or Backwards where you always felt the crew were slightly ahead of the natives (once they figured out what was going on).
     
  6. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    2,121
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Red Dwarf, Deep space
    i mean guest characters putting on silly voices or over the top performances like it makes them more funny

    the parallel universe crew were mean't to be alternate versions of the red dwarf crew and the outland revenue man was meant to be menacing, while the cat priest or at least the actor playing him was playing it pretty straight, and olaf peterson is almost mean't to be another lister type character

    while with series x we got the medi bot, taiwan tony, jesus who played played it straight at first but slowly getting sillier, then there is kill crazy, ackerman and the therapist from series 8

    and you could say what about series 4 talking toaster and id say in comparison again probably not that bad as i hated the voices of the machines in fathers and suns which was just like someone saying hey if this voice funny?
     
  7. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    1,877
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    I don't think anybody is saying that series 8 wasn't pantomime awfulness but I was under the impression we were talking about series X here and comparing it with early series.

    Fathers and Suns certainly had a few annoying characters but it also had the cold logic of Pree to counterbalance them as the threat. The annoying characters were mostly the sorts of wacky AI's and vending machines we've seen in the past. I know they didn't talk but the skutters were hardly something anyone could ever take seriously jabbing Lister in the eye with a thermometer or playing cowboys!

    I didn't find anything too over the top in Lemons and Jesus didn't have a "silly" accent. he had an accent. He may have begun acting a little crazy towards the end but have you forgotten the guy had just been transported to a spaceship on the future and told he was responsible for untold wars. Most people would be acting up a bit at that point.

    I didn't find anything he did sillier to the characters in Meltdown or Backwards and there were plenty of background characters acting perfectly normally.

    I'm not going to argue that series 8 wasn't an awful slapstick pantomime because that is pretty much my view of that series. but so far I haven't found series X to fit into that pattern and if anything Lemons was the most sedate, "normal Dwarf" of the series so far for me. I found Trojan far more overacted.
     
  8. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

    Messages:
    362
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    I largely agree with the OP. There has been a difference in the tone of the show and the guest performances in Series X compared to the earlier series. Pree seems to have been the most popular guest star of the series for the very reason that she was played straight but most of the other performances have been too OTT. The problem with Jesus wasn`t the accent imo but the fact that he suddenly started overplaying things. The same goes for the `speeching` character.
     
  9. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    1,877
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    You know its funny but I just watched Me2 and I'd forgotten that Rimmer is very, very broad at times in that episode.

    His angry voice in that episode is exactly as it is in his "Shakespeare its over" line from Lemons...which makes it odd that people see this delivery as "out of character delivery" for Rimmer. It's exactly the way he shouts in Me2.

    Another noticeable thing is Lister/Craig Charles who seems to yell all of his lines for no real reason. And then there is the audience. There have been complaints that in X the audience are overreacting but in series 1 its almost as if they are asleep!
    There were scenes in Me2 that got little to no reaction and also scenes that felt extraneous such as the first appearance of cat which is largely identical to his second appearance. Had that appeared in X I get the feeling people might be picking at it for not being funny or relevant.

    Watching Lemons directly after this, Lister seemed far more subtly played and Rimmer was a much more rounded character than the slightly cartoonish man he is in Me2. I think often maybe we mis-remember these old episodes a bit but a close comparison shows that a lot of the traits we think are new or "modern Dwarf" were there in the originals as well...the audience just wasn't galloping with laughter as much - which perhaps amplifies the slightly pantomime feel of the newer episodes.
     
  10. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

    Messages:
    362
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    No. Can`t put it more simply than that.

    Context is everything. In ME2 he is displaying his self-loathing which is a subject further explored in Terrorform and other shows so it is entirely in character. For him to use a similar delivery (if it is similar) suddenly, out of nowhere when talking about Shakespeare is completely wrong. I`ve always been a huge fan of Chris Barrie`s acting ability but that is his worst moment in Dwarf history.
     
  11. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

    Messages:
    754
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    On the topic of new Dwarf, I will agree that the guest roles are probably too "wacky" now. I'd also say that there was no reason to include the Medi-bot (Kryten could have handled this, or have Lister fill in a form) or the vending machines (that joke went nowhere, though I suspect they may have been included to introduce them before an upcoming episode).

    As others mentioned, a lot of other things in the Red Dwarf universe are serious - it's just the crew that provide the amusing situations within them. The simulants we've encountered before (Justice, Gunmen, Rimmerworld and, I guess, Beyond A Joke) were all a lot more menacing than Crawford.

    Having said, that, Trojan was good. Howard acts as I expected him to act and Crawford's non-menacing-ness didn't really detract from her character. Thankfully the Medi-bot and vending machines were very minor in F&S - if they had been major guest stars in the episode with a lot of screentime devoted to them then they would have detracted from the episode a lot more. Jesus - can't say I really minded him that much.

    Wow - guess we've gone from "guest roles are probably too wacky now" to "can't say I've minded them much". I guess this is because all the guest stars I've minded (Medi-bot and the vending machines) haven't had much screen-time.
     
  12. KrytensPenis

    KrytensPenis Third Technician

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Rimmer is too laid back these days. Middle-agedness is no excuse for someone who's supposed to be an eternal goalpost head.

    He appears as a shadow of his former vexed self. He seems more agreeable with the others these days and will go with the flow with the others a bit more than before. The Lemons episode he just appeared embarrassing trying to suck up to Jesus, it seemed a little too out of character.

    Fathers & Suns Episode.
    Small and maybe irrelevant. When Lister finally defeated the evil computer. I expected Rimmer to come out with a sharp-tongued line, anything just in a deliberate attempt to lessen Lister's accomplishment a little. Instead he just gave a little dance. He just never seems to give Lister a deliberate hard time anymore.

    The others to me so far seem fine, if a little older. Lister cracked me up the most with his fatherly talk to himself and disposing his guitar :lol:
     

Share This Page