The Day Red Dwarf Died

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Rageofangels, May 17, 2013.

  1. Rageofangels

    Rageofangels First Technician

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    simulant37's signature got me thinking, where he says "RIP Reddwarf", and looking back over the history of RD I found some of the changes really difficult to stomach.

    By far the worst change for me was series 2 to series 3. I loved the style, feel and world created in series one and two. i.e. not much in the special effects department, all very army grey space ship and quite a lot of character based episodes where the four guys would just chat and not much else happened. Series 3 brought in way too much special effects and monsters compared to the first two series and the ship changed how it felt due to all the new sets. It really put me off the series for a while and I stopped watching for a couple of episodes because of that. Forunately some of series 3, 4, 5 and most of series 6 was excellent and it pulled me back in and I just ignored how the sets and feel of the show had changed.

    Series 7, 8 and 9 really lost me with the introduction (in series 7) of Kochanski as a main character. It didn't seem to work at all, and the fact that series 7 was all linked to Rimmer leaving it felt like the show had lost its way. This was continued in 9 and the series again wasn't that cohesive. Again I felt that RD was dying through those series, although some of the episodes were great (Tikka To Ride etc.)

    Fortunately for me series 10 basically jumps the show back to series 6 for me and although it will never be as clear cut and unique as series 1 and 2 series 10 has so many of the elements that it has missed for years that I am excited to see what will happen in the future.

    So, in short I think RD died a number of times, but it's come back each time and continues to be a very funny show.

    RAGE
     
  2. Kittypaws

    Kittypaws Flight Co-Ordinator

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    How do you mean it died? :shock: You might as well spank me as I must be in the minority as I liked all the episodes. :-)
     
  3. dodgebizkit

    dodgebizkit Deck Sergeant

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    I think red dwarf just had a few teething issues in the middle of series 8 but no where near close to death.


    If they had ad back in the red part 1-3, Cassandra, only the good, a cliffhanger resolve and two episodes on empty dwarf it would ave been much better but it was definitely more than a dead show.


    Bte was a nice change of format - I can see why people don't love it but I do
     
  4. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    It's been a fascinating experience for me observing the show's evolution through the years. It's never 'died' as far as I'm concerned, though I've often been disappointed at the direction the show's taken.

    I got into Red Dwarf from series 3 onwards and remember thinking that it had got too special effects obsessed in series 5. Though when I watch 5 now it doesn't seem all that bad.

    Becoming familiar with series 1 and 2 after watching 3 to 6 first was a revelation, and I loved the low-key look and feel. I hated 7 at the time (I, too, couldn't stand Kochanski) but love it now and find 8 very watchable. For me, I think 9 was the closest the show ever came to dying. It just didn't feel like Red Dwarf and left me with a strong feeling of disappointment. I can't say I'm all that happy with series 10's look and style but some of the writing, performances and comedy are so good that it doesn't seem to matter much. It's going to be interesting to see what 11 brings.
     
  5. Rageofangels

    Rageofangels First Technician

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    When I say 'died' I mean that 'you think you're going to give up on it and stop watching it.' Meaning it died for you personally. Like I say I really didn't like the change from series 2 to 3 and it almost made me stop watching it (even though some of series 3 was quite funny). To me the best thing about RD was being alone in space. Too many monsters and special effects doesn't really do it for me. However I sort of got used to it, and series 6 was a brilliant series even though deep down I still wanted the basic sets back. Then series 7, 8 and 9 lost its way a bit and I even though the complete series' made me stick at it, some of the episodes I really wasn't that keen on. RD 10 is back to how it should be, and I hope that's how it continues.

    RAGE
     
  6. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    i'm fine with red dwarf having a fair bit of special effects in 1 -6 as its a sci-fi show, but series 8 and BTE felt like it was guided by the special effects
     
  7. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 Console Officer

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    I too got into Red Dwarf in Series III having caught the tail end of one episode on TV and was pretty hooked after that. I saw I and II for the first time when they were initially released on VHS (1993, I think) and whilst they were different, they were still great although seeing a male Holly came as a bit of a shock when I was so used to Hattie.

    I do think it declined noticeably in Series VII and much more-so in VIII. I still have trouble thinking of BtE as "Series IX" but that to me marked the low water mark for Red Dwarf, even then though I don't think it was as nearly irredeemably terrible as it seems to get slated in some corners but it's easily the poorest Red Dwarf offering IMO followed by VIII.

    Red Dwarf has never yet come close to me giving up on it, if X had been more in the style of BtE or Series VIII I still wouldn't have abandoned it completely although then I probably wouldn't have made a point of watching the episodes live as they were first aired and probably would have just waited for the DVD release.
     
  8. Seymour_Clufley

    Seymour_Clufley First Technician

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    I seem to be in a minority in that, for me, Red Dwarf died at the very beginning of Series 6. I really think there's a big difference between S5 and S6.

    The writing changed. The jokes were less funny and varied, and there was less depth in terms of psychology, philosophy, morality etc.

    And the acting changed. Just compare Back to Reality with Psirens. It was suddenly hammy and over the top, especially Rimmer.

    So that's when it fell from its perch as far as I'm concerned, and it's never got back.
     
  9. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    I got into RD from the beginning, it DIED after series 6. 7, 8 & BTE are terrible. RD X is also way below par!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Redhead85

    Redhead85 Second Officer

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    I think this is why many fans find it difficult to name just ONE favourite episode. You can't compare, say, series II to series VI as they're completely different set-ups. However, in my opinion, both are fantastic and I have 'favourites' from each of those two series.

    Although I enjoyed series VIII, I feel it took Red Dwarf in the wrong direction. Series X is a bold move to cross out everything from VII onwards that the fans didn't like and try and return to the days of III-VI.
     
  11. Jonsmadd

    Jonsmadd Skutter

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    Sometimes you live, you die, and then you live again.
     
  12. Rue_Dwarf

    Rue_Dwarf Supply Officer

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    I feel a show -needs- to change, or it would them become run so thin, it would become quickly dry, stale, and boring...

    ... mmm, bread~
     
  13. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    Or maybe just end it. Rather than change the show beyond all recognition, as they did in RD 8. Everything has a natural end, even Red Dwarf!
     
  14. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    I agree. There is a lot in the first two series to like (and to be fair they'd already started venturing out and meeting other folk in series 2. They even went through a portal into the past at one point meeting other members of the crew...) but if they'd continued with just that, I think it would have gotten repetitive and boring.

    I think the changes in Series 3 were for the better. I even liked some of the changes in 7, although I don't think it's a bad thing we returned to the format(s) of 1-6.
     
  15. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    Had to log back in for this one (they stopped me from using it at work... stupid people grumble grumble).

    For me, Red Dwarf never really died. I started watching it around series 4 or 5, then caught up when my dad and I got them on video. Kept up through series 6.

    For starters, I can see what some people say about the transition from 2 to 3. It is a change in the show, but one which has worked out for the better. Not to say that series 1 and 2 were bad - hell, I quite enjoy the first series of Blackadder, which is quite different to all the others. But series 3 and onwards did really expand what the show could do.

    Series 6 was a bit of a transition too - I suppose you could call it a bit of a refinement. The characters were cooped up together, getting on each other's nerves and having to battle evil on a weekly basis.

    Of course, after that we come to series 7. Red Dwarf did stop being as Red-Dwarf-y as before. For starters, there was a more obvious budget which I feel took away from the show's "basic" feel. Red Dwarf was part sci-fi drama and part comedy, and in series 7 it went more down the sci-fi drama route and away from the comedy. Trouble is, they can't do sci-fi drama very well. The loss of Chris Barrie, and replacement by Chloe Annett, wasn't a good one. No offence to Chloe, but Rob basically seemed like a natural when he became a regular. Maybe it's just that Red Dwarf seems very definitely a "lad's show". Imagine if a new series of Bottom were to be made, which also starred Eddie's live-in girlfriend who's a PR in advertising. Series 8 tried to steer the show back on course, but I found a lot of both 7 and 8 to be more immature jokes. Camp, even, in some places (I think).

    BTE was a small triumph. No, it wasn't hugely funny. But it looked pretty damn good, the cast looked great and it was a decent way of getting Red Dwarf back on our screens. The story was alright, and I liked some of the self-referential moments (especially the munchkin Rimmers). As an experiment and a way to get Red Dwarf back, it succeeded.

    Red Dwarf X was decent. It looked great. The cast was great. It had some great moments (most of Trojan for me). But it also had some pretty bad moments too (Lemons for me). Rimmer needed some better writing, but if I were to grade it I'd give it a B. Great effort, shame about some of the execution.

    During all this I've kept watching. I remember thinking that VIII was the best Red Dwarf yet, only to re-watch it and ask myself "what was I thinking?". I remember commenting on another forum that BTE ep2 was completely awful, and that I generally gave BTE as a whole probably a 2/5. Yet I love Red Dwarf as a whole, and the prospect of more has me giddy (must try and get tickets for the next lot). I'm invested in the show. Someone I know has all the DVDs, EXCEPT for BTE (which he says doesn't exist). Me - got them all. I'm able to watch BTE and say to myself "y'know, it's not great, but there's some good moments, it's more Red Dwarf and they were really trying with what little they had, so as a way to get Red Dwarf back it's not bad". I'm currently re-watching 7 slowly (as I haven't really watched much of 7 and 8) and finding the odd few lines which are still pretty funny.

    I guess, if there's a moral, it is that Red Dwarf, as most shows, stumbles. We, as fans, are quick to criticise, but I guess we must remember to take everything into account and go back to things to re-examine them later on. Our moods are as fickle as the show sometimes.
     
  16. Stephen

    Stephen Guest

    It hasn't died it's just evolved. True maybe not for the better some of the time but it's still a good series overall.
     
  17. Diet_coke

    Diet_coke Science Officer

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    Certainly would still watch new red dwarf over any new comedy in a heartbeat, and heartbeat is life.
     
  18. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    I do have to admit that from series 7 onwards, the series was dying a slow death in my eyes. Both Rob Grant and Chris Barrie left the show which changed the writing dynamic, and the chemistry on screen, in both cases, to the detriment of the show. Series VII was worse than every series that came before it, Series VIII was even worse than Series VII, whilst by the time of BTE, I was just about willing to admit that the series was dead in the water and had run it's course. Like truly great music though, a series like Dwarf can never truly die as long as it has fans, and people who enjoy it. Even if you only enjoy certain eras of the show.

    Although Series X was far from being free of flaws, I saw it very much as a resurrection for the show. A couple of dodgy episodes aside, it stopped the rot, and some real quality was brought back to the show. Although in a sense I'd have been happy if no more Dwarf had been made again after BTE, I feel it would have been very sad for the series to bow out at such a low point. In contrast, "The Beginning" was a total delight, an episode that truly lifted the series out of the mire, and recalled the magic of the first 6 series. Although in one way, I would love now for the show to continue from here, and go from strength to strength again, if that did happen to be the last episode of Dwarf, then at least the series would have ended on a very high and positive note. Which is what such a classic show like Dwarf deserves.
     
  19. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    IMHO I think RD has never died though if X had been another BtE then I think that would possibly have been enough. It never has truly died it's just with all things there are its peak years and then a decline. Then if you are lucky a later return to form which is what X was to me though as you would expect not quite back to its peak years though closer.

    BtE was the weakest though even that has some okay bits. I even thought half of 7 and 8 was great it's just the other half was a let down. If all of 7 had been like "Tikka to Ride," "Stoke Me a Clipper" and "Epideme" then it would have been much better. 8 was a focus more on comedy compared to 7's drama and BitR parts I and II, Cassandra and Krytie TV are all fantastic. But yes the final three episodes of 8 are terrible while BtE was average.

    I personally feel series X had enough good about it to give me confidence that there can be another one or two decent series. With BtE and the final 3 episodes of 8 RD almost died but X has seen it revived.
     
  20. Goit_84

    Goit_84 First Technician

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    This is easy: Ouroboros.

    For me, when Rimmer left at the end of Stoke Me A Clipper it was a deal breaker.

    It's a cliche you hear a lot, but 1-6 was always and always will be sacred. Series 7 started well with Tikka To Ride, it felt like Series 6 only slicker and I remember feeling excited about seeing what was to come. I was on board. Then Rimmer left in the second episode. Still, it was Rimmer centric and not all hope was lost. Then Ouroboros happened and it rubbed me the wrong way and it did feel a bit dead. It was sort of watchable but I guess there was something ironically hologram-like about the show from Ouroboros onwards. I only watch episodes after Stoke Me A Clipper out of duty really, I don't really enjoy them.

    If series 7 was Red Dwarf turning into a pile of Daz and being composed thereafter entirely of light, then series 8 was a bit like exhuming the corpse and wearring it as a coat.

    Yeah, Ouroboros. The first episode that I felt genuinely disappointed with a whole episode, from plot to gags and the fact it signified an unwelcome change to the DNA.
     

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