Thank God for Only the Good finale...

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by betelgeuse, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    True. I guess it could be argued that while appliances do go wrong from time to time, they don't usually explode in quite that way. It does happen on occasion but it's rare. However that's more 'unlikely' than 'surreal'. However, in Kryten's case an explanation is given in the episode. It's due to a negadrive overload, and his creator actually designed it to do that in petty revenge against her former fiancé! It hasn't happened before because it takes a while for all the negativity to mount up.

    On the other hand, I suppose the camera exploding when Lister records his confusing explanation for the crews return from death could be classed as surreal since recording devices don't react like that. It worked as a good gag though. Red Dwarf has always been just a little unreal. Not as far out a Hitch-hiker's Guide (particularly the books) but closer than a lot of more mainstream drama.
     
  2. ALynnL07

    ALynnL07 Third Technician

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    I actually would have liked it if they showed the alternate ending where Ace Rimmer (probably the Series 1-6 Holo-Rimmer that we got to know and love) came to save his living self. First of all, it would be just like him, and second, well, it's just kind of sad to me that after Stoke me a Clipper, we never, ever see the Holo-Rimmer whom was deeply developed as a character by the moments he shared with the crew aboard the solitary Red Dwarf and later on, Starbug.

    I honestly missed him in Series 8. Yes, his living self was there and I kind of rejoiced, but it felt a bit... hollow to me, ya know? It's like he started over because he didn't have any of his hologramatic memories, and therefore just ended up being the same he always was before.

    I dunno, that's my opinion, I guess.

    I have to admit though, I did get a giggle out of him groin attacking the Reaper.
     
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    Yeah, that's how it happens - you organise reshoots rather than stick with the ending you've got because you don't care and you just want to leave...

    Again, is it really so hard to separate out dislike for a final product with amateur psychology about how things must have been produced with disregard or negative intent? (Like the comment that going for gags that 'didn't work' was about ego. How about it was about trying to get laughs? Funny how you never hear about gags people like being caused by ego - yet they're equally as likely to come from it.)

    The script wouldn't have read "Rimmer hallucinates", but - as Doug's said elsewhere - you only need to have seen The Seventh Seal. It's really not that complicated.
     
  4. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Sorry Andrew but I disagree with you here. One only needs to take a look at how many people didn't get the Blade Runner references in Back to Earth to see why thinking along those lines is a recipe for failure. In the latter case we are talking about hardcore viewers of a sci-fi show not having seen one of the most influential sci-fi films of the last thirty years...to therefore expect that same audiance to have guaranteed knowledge of an unrelated Swedish film from the 1950's that isn't even part of the same genre is, in my view, a foolish crutch to support such an important and potentially misinterprable scene as this one on.
     
  5. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    I haven't seen the Seventh Seal either... but I got Andrew's point.

    As for the Bladerunner stuff... the gags do work better if you've seen the film, it's true. I think they still work as gags otherwise though, although the humour I got from them was variable. (That's not a criticism of Back To Earth as a whole. I liked it overall, but I felt some parts worked better than others.)
     
  6. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    Indeed - the originally-filmed one, that would be. The 'happy' ending.

    Yeah. If only that movie had had some kind of massive influence upon the entire subsequent history of cinema and its presentation of the tussle with death or something. Maybe in Monty Python's Meaning of Life. Or Family Guy. Or Bill and Ted. Or approximately 10,00 other places.

    Once again, I'm not supporting the ending dramatically. I'm saying it's not that complex. And seriously, you're arguing that it's actually really hard to figure out what Death's appearance means? (Based on three people on Wikipedia, a few you've spoken to, and yourself.)

    I mean, it's not automatically bad that something allows wiggle room for interpretation. (As I've already alluded to with reference to what it could be explained away as). People leave movies asking questions about them all the time. What did X mean, what was meant by Y, did Z happen or did he dream it? It's not automatically bad if 100% of watchers didn't nail the specifics if the ride worked for them.

    Meanwhile, I guarantee-damn-tee you 90% or more got the meaning. Which is all that actually matters.

    Okay, first I didn't say that one movie was required viewing for comprehension. (You think Seventh Seal's influence ceased when when it left cinemas? Seriously?) Second, though, it's sad to see my point about attacking the psychology of programme makers has fallen on deaf ears. Amazingly, you're still certain about your judgments of the mindset of the makers.

    And third - the plot of Back to Earth makes complete sense without seeing Blade Runner.

    You lose a lot of jokes and references, sure, but less than you'd think don't play at some level. Besides which, by that reckoning we shouldn't do the grassy knoll gag, or talk about Goebbels. You can play to the lowest-experience viewer if you like, make a show only for the dumbest cross-section of watchers - the least experienced, the least educated. But I don't believe you get good telly that way. Not all references you don't get are automatically bad. Hell, I like it when my shows teach me something.

    But, as I say, BTE makes sense as a narrative with or without seeing Blade Runner - if you think that didn't occur to us when we were making it, you're, as-ever, making some pretty wrong assumptions. And the conclusion of VIII doesn't have Bergman on the required reading list for the cultural history of death (which, hey, began long before Bergman) for you to pick up the intent.
     
  7. Almighty_crj

    Almighty_crj First Technician

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    The dissapointing bit is: was that really the best use of the reaper? As much as I like the kicking Death in the nuts, I'd have much rather that chess game be laid out and Rimmer trying wriggle his way out of playing - changing the game etc. In fact if you made it checkers, you could call back the earlier scene by having death tell Rimmer off for turning the board around.

    Mind you, it's easy to criticise.
     
  8. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    That's a genuinely great idea, that callback. Much kudos due.
     
  9. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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  10. betelgeuse

    betelgeuse Catering Officer

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    Lol well you’ve changed your mind from saying elements of sci-fi are not surreal and are just staples of sci-fi, to partially agreeing with me now…
    Even if the concept isn’t original it is still surreal as I pointed out…
    Also I can’t understand the comparison between Kryten (a mechanoid on a fictional spaceship whose head explodes suddenly) and that of real life appliances in the literal sense…Kryten is more comparable with Tinman from the wizard of oz…

    You can also explain a surreal moment in the storyline but it is still surreal…e.g. take inception, its well explained that they are entering a dreamworld but it is still surreal.

    Are you saying that red dwarf fans are less cultured than the audience of Last Action Hero lol
    = I agree with Andrew…Seventh Seal is a hugely iconic film not just a little known Swedish film…I love the parodies in Red Dwarf, most of which are actually pastiche as in the Blade Runner references…perhaps adding pastiche and parody of popular filmic reference is maybe indulgent…but its great in shows like Red Dwarf and Spaced, and I’m sure most fans get the references, and if they don’t it works anyway, plus the fans can look the referenced material up…(much like Tarantino films in that way actually where the references are quite obscure in most places)...its like saying fans don’t get the references to Dark Star, or Alien, or Casablanca etc
     
  11. betelgeuse

    betelgeuse Catering Officer

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    Same here actually…I think Red Dwarf has the problem of what it should be defined as…is it a comedy anymore? Is it a drama? Or is it just sci-fi now?
    In the context of the early to mid series; the gags were free flowing and of such a high quality, then this was sort of coupled by high-end sci-fi concepts that must have intrigued audiences as they certainly intrigue me. In series VII and VIII to me there seems to have been growing pains in what the series was becoming – Doug innovatively took out the audience, and lit and shot series VII in a filmic sense, whilst there were gags still with the best gags propping up the bad ones…but personally I think retracting these elements again to make series VIII more of a sit-com again really was quite daring, but also a few step backwards for Doug I think…These elements Doug reinstated for Series VIII he obviously re-retracted once more for BTE, and I think it worked very well…

    Obviously being a fan of the mid series and also shows like IT Crowd and Black Books I know that an audience can be great and often missed when taken away…But I think when reintroducing it to series VIII it was at the detriment to that series…
    SO.. it will be interesting as to whether Doug continues in the BTE vein, or whether he only did that for a filmic feel on the specials (now series IX) and he will reinstate a studio audience for series X.
    (I’ve said this before but I think Doug could get the best of both worlds by recording the reaction of screenings of studio footage in front of a preview audience i.e. in a theater…and then layering that over the finished studio shot episodes in post)

    I completely get what you mean…though rimmer actually ‘reincarnates’ multiple times in the show..infact if you were to investigate and take every nuance literally he like dies, he’s reborn in series 1, he’s actually phased out of time in series IV and replaced by an alternate version, then he obviously leaves in series VII to become the new Ace, then he’s reincarnated by nanobots in series VIII and he must have yet again been killed and bought online by Holly in BTE…
    Basically I think each time Rimmer reincarnates we’re supposed to take it with a pinch of salt as it’s basically the same character

    http://www.reddwarf.co.uk/forum/messages.cfm?threadid=B380D85A-9A70-948F-405998F20EFD7395

    But like you, on series VIII when he was bought back I particularly felt odd because the rimmer we knew was still in space as Ace lol and this was supposed to be much like the original rimmer from series I?!!!!!! I’d rather Kochanski’s character had multiple reincarnations than Rimmers actually.
     
  12. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

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    I agree. But neither does does misrepresenting what I said. I didn't even come close to saying "only four in the universe". I referred to the sources you'd cited thus far. Didn't say they were the only ones. Indeed, since my follow-up unprovable statistic definitely relies on the number being higher than that, that'd be a pretty daft conclusion to draw, don't you think?

    Also, that stat wasn't "people who agree with my take". Go read it again without the assumption - and check out the difference between 'getting the point' and 'nailing the specifics' which I don't wholly disagree with you on, despite your assumptions.

    Seriously, you think you're being wholly refuted. you're not. And the sooner you get to grips with the idea that partial disagreement doesn't need pushing over to total - and that personal taste for the success of a filmed moment doesn't have to descend into accusations about motive and attacks - the better.

    Right, But I haven't said that Death in OTG is a hallucination, have I?

    I've described the arrival as subjective and metaphorical, is all. And you think the other examples are all 100% literal...as opposed to living in the indefinable middle ground to which most incarnations of that character belong? That they get pulled to one side or the other - that some films embrace fantasy as literal - doesn't change my point he's a comprehended, iconic aspect of humanity's struggle with existence. An existential figure symbolic of that.

    I'm pretty sure people generally have an idea of that. They can choose - as I said before - to reach for it being as literal or as figurative as they like. Therein lies a pleasure. I don't think many gave much thought to literal death arriving literal on the ship - one way or the other. I don;t think the majority thought of it in those direct terms...or thought on it much at all.

    You get that Rimmer is warding off death. How literal or figurative you want that scene to be is up to you. But let's not pretend that that much, at least, isn't clearly what's going on - that's it;s not comprehended. (But then, the show hasn't done subjective perspective before has it? That's what you claim?)

    No, you're responding to what you think I'm saying, not what's actually said.

    If someone say they're confused by the use of cyborgs in a movie and I reply "You need only see Terminator", do I mean that that is the one and only place you can get that information, or merely that it is a particularly appropriate source? It's a relevant example, but wasn't presented as the only one.

    But you read it as "Andrew's saying this is how the production thinks, that everyone must have seen this one film". How did you manage to get to that extreme? Why can't we allow for a bit of nuance? And why must every line be approached from an angle "Then they must think this", of motive?

    Um...I didn't say anything about you using those terms in regard to BR's use in BTE.
    "One only needs to take a look at how many people didn't get the Blade Runner references in Back to Earth to see why thinking along those lines is a recipe for failure." That was your line. That BTE's Blade Runner references passing some people by was in some way a problem. I'm saying it's not.

    And brattish responses like this - once again taking wild, inaccurate guesses about motive to extremes - are why this debate is probably better of ended.
     
  13. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Yes, that was my line and as clearly illustrated it makes no mention of the plot of Back to Earth not "making sense", this is merely something you've interpreted in my point that isn't actually there if you read it carefully. The point was used to illustrate how the Blade Runner references might have gone clean over some people's head, just as the reference to the seventh seal that you allude to Only 'The Good...' making would therefore have gone over their heads too. it was not a comment on Back to Earth's storyline being redundant as a result. The overarcing point is that while their is nothing intrinsically wrong with a joke relying on a point of reference; to casually adopt a "one simply has to have seen..." attitude to writing, seems to be setting yourself up for the exact sort of potential miscontrual that I am arguing occurred with Doug's desired interpretation of the reaper sequence.

    I hope that is now clear for you.
     
  14. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    i havent see blade runner, and i can say the plot makes sense
     
  15. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    red dwarf should stay how it was at series 3/6, it had the right balance of sci fi, comedy and a hint of drama, even though 5 and 6 started to push towards more action it still felt balanced and the storys were always interesting, and then 7 and 8, 7 was drama film like comedy which was struggling to pull it off and the fact on the series 7 dvd there is talk of story lines involving the gay ray and all the characters become krytens pretty much just says it all :/

    and series 8 was just one big farce, even the trailer feels like its trying to warn you about the series before it was shown saying "some things were never meant to make sense"
     
  16. tortexturtle

    tortexturtle First Technician

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    ok, first off it's "surreal" not "sureal" and secondly, you're not using the word right. Or if you are, I'd hate to have your dreams.
    A synonym for surreal is "dreamlike".

    "Unreal" or "unbelievable" or "bit of a stretch" or "beyond my willing suspension of disbelief" are NOT synonymous for the word "surreal". I'm just saying. Look it up if you don't believe me.
     
  17. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Read the whole thread again. Nobody said it didn't. The argument was that you wouldn't get all the little references without having seen the film (indeed many people on this forum and others reported confusion over them). Nobody said these references were necessary to understand the overall plot though...that's a blatent misinterpretation of what was said, unfortunately introduced into the discussion by another poster as if it was fact. There's no need to reply to it as if it was. it wasn't.
     
  18. betelgeuse

    betelgeuse Catering Officer

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    I do agree with you on several points...it is my personal opinion that Doug ran out of steam creatively, or rather felt the pressure heaped on him by Rob Grant leaving, trying to move Red Dwarf on innovatively, then having/deciding to maybe treat Red Dwarf more conventionally by taking it back to square one in hope of a movie being made subsequently...
    Perhaps, considering that I love BTE, series VIII mayhave been a learning curve, or rather an experimentation in the wrong direction...of course the latter statement I've just made maybe completely undermined if 'series x' turns out to be a studio-audience based 'classic-style' sitcom with flippant gags (as in series VIII) - however considering the difference between series VIII and IX (BTE) I can't see Naylor reverting yet again to the aesthetic and style of series VIII.


    Red Dwarf to me has always combined the following; great character arcs and development, a goal for the crew to achieve (e.g. a series arc in the future perhaps), elements of high-concept sci-fi as well as great dialogue and gags.
    - as I see it, when grant left, Grants amount of gags he bought to the table fell out...therefore the lesser gags were made up for by innovative FX and even more dramatic sci-fi (series VII), but for series VIII both of these suffered really with stand out episodes being Cassandra and Only the Good.. as they still pertained the aforementioned elements I stated which made Red Dwarf great...Krytie TV was also quite good to an extent as it finally developed Kochanskis somewhat or pertained to 'feminine humour' and also further developed Krytens persona.
     
  19. tortexturtle

    tortexturtle First Technician

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    I greatly prefer Series VIII over BTE.
     
  20. betelgeuse

    betelgeuse Catering Officer

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    I'd be interested in making/taking some kind of big red dwarf poll where people say whether they prefer BTE or Series VIII
     

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