The problems with series VII and VIII.

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by betelgeuse, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. betelgeuse

    betelgeuse Catering Officer

    Mar 27, 2010
    Just looking at the Den of Geek site and I came across this article;

    I'm currently watching series VII again for the first time in a while, and I've reappraised the series with hindsight,and post-BTE;
    series VII isn't actually 'bad', it is just inconsistant. There are actually funny episodes, I'm talking episodes like Tikka to Ride and Stoke me a Clipper. Then there are episodes that try and make up for the lack of laughs with great sci fi concepts e.g. Ouroboros (the parallel universe where kryten is gold, listers a hologram, cat dresses even better, and kochanski is alive) and Nanarchy (nanobots) etc.
    But these aspects were never consistent enough to make series VII great. Doug Naylor blames the fact he believes he gave in to other peoples ideas and let guest writers on the show, but really, as far as the comedy goes, it was his own dip in performance which left the laughs thin on the ground in places. But as the cast point out here and there on the episode commentaries; there are some classic Dwarf moments...e.g. Kryten's highpitched wailing at Lister over his worries and jealousy regarding Kochanski's arrival etc

    Series VIII is another kettle of fish however; perhaps the series was subject to a lower budget and so Naylor had to adapt and cut where necessary, but high concepts and decent comedy that ocurred in places were completely undermined by episodes of Bread mundaneity, re-hashed motifs from previous series which were overly incorporated just for the sake of it, and poor sitcom writing.

    But whereas the aforementioned and linked Den of Geek article says that Back To Earth was a follow-up too many, I think BTE instilled confidence in fans such as myself that Red Dwarf may not be quite as geniusly funny as series VI, but it could still rise above the mistakes of series VII and VIII and also look and feel like a great sci-fi show, whiilst incorporating great storylines and Bladerunner homage that echoed Naylor's genius that combined with that of Grant's for the earlier Dwarf series. So in my eyes BTE has saved Red Dwarf to some extent.

    What is vital, is that Naylor doesn't stubbornly fall into old habits evident in series VII and VIII and write cliche-d sitcom humour that lacks the laughs and rehashing material already explored in previous series, whilst testing the integrity of the sfx and sci-fi elements of the show.
    I think its vital for the future of Red Dwarf, and a possible movie adaptation that the next 2 series are great and not substandard (not to be 'Captain Obvious' here) if the level of BTE can be kept up then there's hope.

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