What happened?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Murray, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    I'm not sure the writers have understood what made Red Dwarf classic. None of the characters are feeling like themselves in these first two episodes. Lister, who was always a sensible guy who's moments of silliness always stemmed from his vices is now a farcical character who gets obsessed with ordering a Stirmaster or acting like his own dad. Cat seems almost interested in things other than himself. And none of them seem to be taking the piss out of each other like Red Dwarf is known for; they all seem to almost like each other ... it's like watching Top Gear where none of the presenters are ripping on each other, it just doesn't work. Why are all of the crew participating in a zany charade to help Rimmer save face in front of his brother again?

    No character humour and supremely weak gags (since when did "what's that whiny sound?" "it's you, you're talking" being repeated three times qualify as a joke worth making the final script of a Red Dwarf episode?), and we're two episodes in. I think it's safe to say this hasn't worked. It's not as bad as Back To Earth (it would've been difficult to achieve that anyway), but it's still an affront to what made Red Dwarf great.
     
  2. MacabreMagpie

    MacabreMagpie Catering Officer

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    RE: The "whiny sound" joke. It reminded me a lot of Future Echoes when Lister asks Rimmer if he could see the weird thing in the Rimmer and Rimmer replies "... it's you, you ugly goit". Except that was far funnier because it wasn't overplayed, like the whiny noise joke. If Rimmer had have used a different word - ie "there's this annoying drone I keep hearing" - then it might have worked.

    But, besides that, I disagree with you. I've enjoyed the series so far and think it has a lot of the classic elements of Red Dwarf.
     
  3. blaggard

    blaggard First Technician

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    Depends what you want from the character development kind of thing.

    Do you want it to remain in (aha) stasis for it's entire run, like the Simpsons? or allow for growth and change of the characters? I'd prefer the latter - there is obviously a real passage of time and it seems to me that a small group of people, contained within a finite space, will naturally find some sort of accord eventually. they'll still argue and bicker (as they have thus far in X) but it's very hard to maintain such a high level of loathing.

    Also - "writers"? there's only one writer.
     
  4. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    I think the last point about the writers is the key one. When Rob Grant left all of the characters did change and they are not the same as they were in the first 6 series now. Maybe a key to really enjoying these new episodes is accepting that but I find it impossible to do. When I see Robert doing the OTT Kryten stuff it pains me to watch it for example.

    I agree that characters shouldn`t stay exactly the same but I think for the first 6 series they evolved naturally. Since Series VII they have been completely different (the actors` performances plays a part too of course).
     
  5. Murray

    Murray Second Technician

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    This isn't growth of characters. They've devolved. Lister's become mind-numbingly stupid. Nobody seems to loath Rimmer. The Cat doesn't even seem to be self-obsessed much anymore. There's barely anything distinctive about their characters, like they're just shadows of what they're meant to be.

    Apart from that, the gags just aren't there. The characters and the witty gags were basically the top two things which made Red Dwarf a cult classic. Take them away, and I don't know why they've bothered.
     
  6. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    I don't.
     
  7. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    And I disagree that the characters are totally different in series VII and VIII. I get what people mean about them becoming caricatures of themselves in series VIII (while I didn't think int hose terms at the time, I did find some of the stuff a bit OTT. That scene with Rimmer and the mallet for example.) but caricatures by their very nature involve playing on actual traits of a character.

    As far as Series VII is concerned, with the possible exception of Kryten (and that's debatable, as I see this more a evolution of the character rather than a contradiction, I thought the characters were pretty spot on.

    I do see more changes with the new series, and I'm not sure how I feel on that aspect, although I've enjoyed both episodes. I think the core of the characters are still there though. Lister seems the most different to me.
     
  8. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    I think this is an excellent post, Murray, not to mention a brave one.

    I agree on so many points. Why isn't Lister immature and slobbish anymore? Why doesn't he wind Rimmer up? Will Rimmer ever misquote a Space Corps Directive again? I want Rimmer and Lister sat in their quarters talking bollocks.

    I think, in short, I want it back at the BBC where they have 80 years of broadcasting experience.
     
  9. currymonster

    currymonster First Technician

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    I'm going to attempt to defend the characters here, one by one, based on both episodes we have seen so far.

    Lister: "mind numbingly stupid" in Fathers and Suns, its he quick thinking (admittedly eventually when he is reminded of stasis and his medical record) that allows him to out-logic Pree. Something he has always been good at. He may be a bum and an under achiever, but thats his choice and what makes his character. He could be really smart but he doesn't have the drive to be (where as Rimmer has the drive but is just a dim-wit, which is why they work well opposite each other). Lister does seem quite stupid and childish in Trojon, based on the stir master story line, however i think this is summed up by his tantrum at the end when he proclaims that as the last human alive does that not count for anything. firstly lister loves his gadgets, don't forget that Talkie Toaster is/was his after all but i also think he is trying to cling to normality. there he is floating through space and suddenly an advert from a (presumably) abandoned/empty space shopping station comes on his screen. its the first outside contact in a long time and he wants to connect with it, however daft.

    Rimmer: "no-one loaths him anymore" the point about them being on the ship together, alone (almost) for such a long time (by series 8 its 6 years, not counting stasis, then the 9 years between that and BTE to at the very least 15 years have past in show since series 1) of course you are going to a) find common ground with someone and b) be forgiving of them what what you find annoying about them. Also Lister has always had the opportunity to switch Rimmer off, but has chosen not to, presumably because he knows Rimmer keeps him sane. And similarly Rimmer has always had the option to switch himself off, or leave, but again has chosen not to because he would prefer a life with Lister than no life at all. Also we don't know what Rimmer this is, if it's series 7 Rimmer, post him become Ace, then they may have more respect for him as is seen at the end of Stoke Me A Clipper both the funeral scene and the final hug between Lister and Rimmer. Lister genuinely wishes him luck and Rimmer seems glad of it. That exchanges suggests friends/pals not enemies. On the surface they hate each other and jibe at each other but in reality, under the surface they genuinely care for each other (to a certain extent) at this point in their lives.

    Cat: "does't seem self obsessed any more" and hasn't done since series 6 once they lost Red Dwarf. I think the G&T podcast last night summed this up quite well. When forced into a much more closed environment, i.e. Starbug, and his survival depends on him working as a team with the other, he takes on that responsibility and grows up a bit. Then once back on Red Dwarf and able to roam freely, he slowly reverts back to his selfish way ... i point you to the waiting room scene of Fathers and Suns where is he going to take the last of the anaesthetic so he has it for when he needs it and is unwilling to share.

    Kryten: the only complaints i've seen are about his silly facial expressions. this may have more to do with the newer masks allowing for more facial expression to Bobby Llew is utilising it. but otherwise he is the same. A robot with a wealth of knowledge but no understanding of how to interact socially and still forced into feeling guilty when his superiorr, Rimmer, order him to do something. Kryten is definitely the most evolved character since series 3, but to keep the show fresh he had to change otherwise it'd just be a very static old, cobwebby, predictable character. Much like Data in ST:TNG, just a logical thinking, intelligent robot, always wanting to be more human but never managing it. Well Kryten in many ways does manage it. He learns to rebel, lie, act on free will etc. which over time changes his character and the way Bobby plays him as a result.

    finally, I know not a character, but Doug ... I wish people would stop hating on him. Everyone wants more Dwarf, so he does his best to write a show he previously wrote as a duo, on his own. Then everyone criticise it to hell and back because they don't like aspects of it. I think Doug has done a fine job so far this series. Admittedly I'm not a fan of series 7 but they are some great stories there is not comedy (clearly Doug has always been the better at / preferred the sic-fi stuff, just look at the books Doug and Rob wrote independently of each other) series 8 is very slap stick but still funny in places, i think he over compensated for the reduced comedy of series 7. BTE was a brilliant story/sci fi adventure. Restricted to those that know and love Blade Runner (i don't) but it was still a good show, not the best RD ever but certainly not god awful (seriously let down being shown in episodes, defo needs to be watched as a whole short film) and now 10 so far is panning out to be full of everything people wanted. traditional sit-com, 4 guys alone in space, more classic RD stories (i.e. character based stories, which most episodes were always about, 1 of the 4 characters and their traits/psyche and more than anything some funny and clever comedy. So far both shows have delivered that, it may not be quite what you're used to but its been 14 years since a series was last written, of course there will be differences. thats Dougs evolution as a writer whether that be from experience or from age.
     
  10. dodgebizkit

    dodgebizkit Deck Sergeant

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    I disagree that any series of rd has ever been bad, though yes some are better quality than others. But yessssss, the rimmer and lister banter was priceless, we saw the odd bit in series 8, which was really good, then we saw the rimmer and lister scene with the ironing sneezes, not as good on are watch but it gets a little snigger at the stupidity of the actual gag, and the thought process of lister thinking it up, the fact that he's done all that, and I'm thinking that before rimmer says it, and then rimmer speaks through what I've just been finding funny, kind of reaffirming it.
    Yes, slobby lister does need to come back. Since series 5 he seemed to become less and less of a slob, but its more obvious in the more recent material and seems kind of like he's been developing, but the comedy of laser revolves around him being a lazy bum with a smeg the system attitude and a way to micky mouse a solution to any problem and have his kick ass brave moments, not to be a semi matured middle age man who gets all "patheticy" over what is going on. It's a shame, and I'd attributed it to being mainly because of kochanskis presence, but now I wonder... We still have 4 episodes for all this to change... Optimism mode.
     
  11. Reznor

    Reznor Guest

    not to mention did turn into a human ... how does anyone ever forget the double Polaroid :P
    so what do you think spare hand? :O
     
  12. SgtSmileyUK

    SgtSmileyUK Console Officer

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    Thats gotta be the funniest thing Rez has said so far- Good show Old chap
     
  13. ben996

    ben996 First Technician

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    I actually agree, while I did think Trojan had a few good gags they weren't memorable and were predictable, and Fathers and Suns is one of my worst RD episodes ever, yes even worse than BTE which had plenty of decent gags.

    As I've mentioned before these episodes have too many flaws and problems and are just nowhere near the quality of 1-6, or even 7-8 in all honesty.

    Why mention racism is my biggest gripe? Never once has the show mentioned race, even Craig Charles, Chris Barrie and Danny John Jules have alluded to the fact that the show never mentions it like racism doesn't exist in the future, and Doug just goes and blows it out of the water, poor Doug, what was he honestly thinking when writing it? There is no good answer to that.

    I know me and you in are in the small minority but who cares haha
     
  14. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I'm sure there are good answers for it and given the number of people it appears to have upset it would be nice if someone involved would comment.
    Andrew sort of has on Twitter but it would be nice to get a fuller response on the forum or on a DVD commentary/doc.

    I hope this request be taken for what it is. I think it would be genuinelly appreciated if someone could elaborate on the thought process behind the segment and share whether or not concerns were raised internally about how this would come across.
     
  15. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Interesting. Thanks for sharing this, Jmc. I haven't been on twitter much just lately. I s'pose I should have been keeping an eye on twittery discussions about this subject really.

    Edit: It's especially interesting that the TT charcter wasn't initially written the way we see him in the episode. I'm not quite sure what to make of that tbh...and I'm too tired to think about it too much now..:-)
     
  16. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    [/quote]

    Those are interesting comments but I don`t think it`s fair to blame the actor. Doug as the writer and director could easily have spoken to him about his performance and asked him to change it. The responsibility lies with him.
     
  17. Kipperbein

    Kipperbein Second Technician

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    Hear, hear!!

    I agree 100%

    I mean no dis-respect to the good people of the forum, but far too much negativity methinks :?

    I am loving the return of Red Dwarf :-D 8)
     
  18. ben996

    ben996 First Technician

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    With all due respect, this may not apply to you but there are some people who were going to like the series no matter what happened on screen, Fathers and Sons is the worst episode of RD ever in my opinion, and this is coming from one of the biggest fans of the series who has adored it since he was a kid, and yes I do like series 7-9 I think they are good, not as good as 1-6 but still enjoyable
     
  19. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    The series would be produced by EXACTLY the same people irrespective of whether it was the BBC or Dave broadcasting.
     
  20. currymonster

    currymonster First Technician

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    I hope I'm not one of those people, I, like you am a life long fan of the show, I've been watching it since I was probably too young to watch it. I'm just trying to focus on the good stuff and the reasons things have changed and finding love for it instead of looking to what is potentially bad (and granted there are some bits that could have been executed better, hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it?) and dismissing it out right. There seems to be a lot of people nit picking at small details (model shots, facial expressions etc) and getting worked up about it rather than enjoying the show for what it is. Fair enough if you don't like it, the are of course always going to be people that won't, I was just hoping people (not necessarily you) would be more objective.

    The show has always changed, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but it's what kept it fresh, new and exciting. If it was always going to be exactly the same then they may as well not bother with a new series and just let everyone watch the old stuff.
     

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