What's wrong with Series VII and VIII?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Cepillo, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Cepillo

    Cepillo Third Technician

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    As per the title really, if you're not a fan of series 7 and 8 - what exactly is it that you don't like about them?
     
  2. brautigan

    brautigan Third Technician

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    I liked series 7, but series 8 was dreadful. The novelty of them returning to the new, larger Red Dwarf and being reacquainted with the crew wore off midway through the second episode. 'Never go back' I think is the key here. The 'Pete' episode(s) failed to hit the mark, the acting was really quite camp and the main characters had all become caricatures of themselves. I actually think Kochanski was one of the best things about the show. Hollister was passable, but the peripheral characters were just silly, pantomime silly!
     
  3. Cepillo

    Cepillo Third Technician

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    I've always struggled to to remember these two series, or differentiate betweent the two. Despite the fact I've seen them both at least twice and fairly recently. I recall that I found VII passable, and VIII really quite dreadful. My residing memory is that both were just a bit...souless and the makers got very wrapped up in their new-found ability to use CGI. Changing the whole dynamic of the show, putting them back on RD with a crew was pretty ill-judged in my opinion as well. Because I really like the solitude of being alone and lost in the universe, and the kind of realtionships which ensued. Abandoning that was a fundamental change...a change that probably wasn't needed, after what I thought was an excellent 6th series...
     
  4. garfie

    garfie Catering Officer

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    I don't dislike 7 and 8 but I don't think they were as good as earlier series.
    7 had some great ideas but it was lacking in something. I think it was partly the audience - I think the actors work better when there is an audience reacting and giving them feedback to how things are working.
    8 was more polished than 7 but was a bit short on ideas. Out of 8 episodes it had a 3 parter, a 2 parter and a cliff hanger. Too few ideas spread over too many episodes. The return of the audience did help lift it some but it was too stretched.
     
  5. Madwolf

    Madwolf Catering Officer

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    I found much more to enjoy in seriies 7 than 8 as I gravitated to Red Dwarf primarily because it was sci-fi rather than comedy so the darker tone, not dissimilar to the novels,was a natural progression of the show for me. I'm not a fan of sit coms in general. Red Dwarf is so much more than a comedy. It a solid foundation of intelligent plots, superb characterisation and action with a very healthy dose of comedy.

    8 is my least favourite, and I regard 50% of it as brilliant, 25% the worst Dwarf episodes and the remainder unbalanced.It promised a return to the pre series 7 glory days by being filmed in front of a live studio audience together with the heralded return of Chris Barrie to the ensemble. After the critical reception given to the cinematic style of series 7, perhaps it was inevitable it would revert back. On paper it was probably a good idea to increase the on board crew numbers and have larger upgraded sets. It would have worked as a novel but hasn't translated as well as expected to the small screen. The dynamics of a small eclectic group were diluted with Red Dwarf populated by so many anonymous bodies. The basketball game in Pete 1 and the audience in Krytie TV serve to illustrate this. Series 8 for me is a roller coaster ride. The first episode, Back in the Red, opens in a truly thrilling style with unforgettable moments including the genuinely hilarious rat sequence culminating in Starbug's spectacular crash. The whole episode is satisfying but for me Part 2 has to be the most disappointing episode of Red Dwarf ever only marginally beating part 3 to this claim. The story arc would of benefited from being compressed into two episodes rather than protracted over three. Cassandra and Krytie TV are genuinely funny episodes and the highlights of this series.Cassandra in particular is as close to an episode from series 4/5/6 as 8 gets. Pete 1 & 2 manages to combine amusing with lacklustre, the second episode in my opinion the better of the two. The series conclusion, Only the Good like Cassandra,comes close to a story from the glory days. Overall the problem is that the science fiction has largely been shelved to concentrate on the situation comedy (remember not a fan of). But in my opinion it is paramount that both elements are present in good proportion for Red Dwarf to succeed. Slap stick and farcical comedy with too much toilet humour are uncomfortably present. It does not live up to the expectations that it would emulate the high standards set by series 5 & 6 and consequently I consider it a disappointment. Instead of looking like a BBC2 comedy it resembled a mainstream BBC1 show. In isolation Red Dwarf 8 is much funnier than other more lauded and overrated contemporary comedies but it will first and foremost be judged against its predecessors.

    Internally and significantly Red Dwarf no longer looked like an industrial mining ship. The colours and the lighting are too bright and the sets too clean resulting in a style resembling Whitbury Leisure Centre (The Brittas Empire). I see Red Dwarf as a claustrophobic industrial environment like a submarine or a battle ship not a luxury ocean liner as it was transformed into. There were some scenes that managed to convey more familiar interiors, notably in Cassandra when the crew were confined in a corridor set dodging a bullet. That was how series 8 should have looked. Nonetheless I'm grateful to have a series 8 with a few great moments to savour rather than nothing at all.
     
  6. betelgeuse

    betelgeuse Catering Officer

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    I guess with hindsight the audience laughter shouldnt have been taken away until the BTE specials where the CGI and SFX were good enough to make up for what was lacking in series VII and VIII of Dwarf.
    Chris Barrie probably decided to not take part as much in series VII for the very fact that he feared that Naylor writing alone wouldn't be as good as when he wrote with Rob Grant. And really he was right; the laughs sort of fell off compared to how funny the previous 2 series had been, BUT it is worth pointing out that Naylor did get an award for his solo writing on the series 10%ers (so I believe anyway) and so he would have gone into red dwarf series VII qute confident, plus, as the cast point out on the commentaries for series VII and VIII there are actually are some classic dwarf moments in these last two series. I thought it was a major mistake confining the crew to the red dwarf again and bringing back the ships crew in series VIII - this is the worst series, but the ending to the series is again classic dwarf - and perhaps the confinement of the crew to the dwarf again was for budget reasons.
     
  7. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    I think it was more due to the hectic schedule of the previous series and the fact he was juggling Britas at the same time.
     
  8. yeckel

    yeckel Console Officer

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    Both of us (Mr. and Mrs.) agree that the whole prison concept seemed little tiring after a while. It just did not seem to sit well with having a crew back. Not sure why it felt easier to identify without all of the other crew members returning.

    I really enjoyed series 7 though. I believe Mr. Yeckel's favorite scene ever was in series VII - Ace air surfing the alligator?
     
  9. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    I love VII, but the alligator surfing incident was one of my least favourite Red Dwarf moments.
     
  10. Cruel Slayer

    Cruel Slayer Console Officer

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    I think the alligator surfing scene is one of those you either love for it's cheap wackiness or hate for it's cheap ridiculousness. It doesn't do it for me, though.
     
  11. nicky_j

    nicky_j Deck Sergeant

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    Me neither. Makes me cringe lol.
     
  12. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    I'm one of those who loved it. Largely for it's ridiculousness I'll agree.

    I liked the 'Canary' dirty dozen in space idea though. I think they should have done more with that. Some of the best stuff in series 8 was based around those episodes including 'Cassandra' and some of the Time Wand stuff of the later episodes. (Emphasis on 'some of the time wand stuff'. That Hollister repeat gag fell flat for me, but the out of synch fight scene was brilliant in a slapstick kind of way. As for Pete the dinosaur... I confess to largely liking a lot of that, but the gag got a bit repetitive. )
     
  13. Baxters_Hooch

    Baxters_Hooch Supply Officer

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    That was the main thing. He took exception (to put it mildly) to the hours and the pressure.

    I personally love series VII. Beyond a Joke is one of my top three episodes. I don't find it any less funny, although some of the ideas did get a bit too silly. The changes in the size of Starbug also got a bit silly! But by and large, I love it. VIII on the other hand is still good, but I find it almost lost what it means to be Red Dwarf. It's too weird and too different to what we know. I personally think Back to Earth made up for that, and I enjoy it much more than VIII. Both series did suffer from pretty bad special effects, again something Back to Earth made up for. That said, the sets in series VII were very good.
     
  14. mrpezzer

    mrpezzer Third Technician

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    I know this is an old thread but it covers a topic that I have always had strong feelings about from the moment series VII aired back in the day. So, thought I'd air my thoughts being bored at work and having just rewatched series VII and VIII to see if they have got any better with time. I went into watching them both with an open mind; I have watched them both a good few times since first transmission but nowhere near as much as the first 6.

    Like many I have always hated (strong word I know) these 2 series and for years tried to pretend they didn't happen and RD ended for me on an Itailian Job style cliff hanger at the end of series VI; which personally I still think would have been cool! Then when the DVD's were released I couldn't help myself buy them to watch all the juicey extras that the RD DVD's are known for.

    So having watched them again has my opinion changed...

    Well the simple answer is... NO... BUT!!! :-D

    They are not AS bad as I remembered. Firstly I always thought I prefered series VIII to VII but re-watching them now it's clear series VII is far better (to me) than series VIII. Maybe it was the fact that the audience was back and on the surface it was clear they were trying to bring the series back to it's roots that at that I just assumed I prefered it to VII or maybe my anger at series VII meant anything would be better than that. But now I must say series VII is much better than series VIII, it looks better, the characters are more beleivable (just) and the writing is much stronger.

    Now I'm not saying this makes VII a good series but time has certainly helped it and it is a lot less offensive now. Series VIII on the other had I think has got worse, although does of course have a few classic scenes and jokes, Doug's not that bad yet. ;-)

    So why do I not like series VII and VIII? Well I won't go into the details as we all know the reasons but here are a few and I'll pull out the main ones for me. In not particular order (apart from point one:-() -

    1 - (MY BIG ONE!) The end of series VI was amazing and I like everyone was waiting for the big answer to the cliff hanger. Personally I thought it was dealt with in a very untidy, throw away way that insulted us as and audience. I didn't mind the way it was done at the start of the episode with Listers piece to camera and the logic was sound/funny, but then to go on using the time drive in a completely different way to how it was used in series VI was stupid; the drive was now handheld as opposed to a huge thing on a wall and could send you over time AND space not just time... I know RD has its continuity errors and I don't mind these but when something was as BIG a part of a story as the time drive was and they'd even used the fact it couldn't send you over space (only time) in the previous episode it just made me as an audience member feel cheated and let down, surely if it could they would have gone back to earth to live rather than to get curry... I'D WAITED 3 YEARS FOR THIS!!! Grrrrrr! :-)

    For me it was just too big a mistake and one the writers would have never let go in previous series. On the documentary on the series VII DVD Ed Bye talks about the guy that came up to him at a convention moaning about the same subject and he dismisses the issue as "we made the time drive up.... it's a piece of plastic". I can see his point but he also knows full well that you can't treat your audience or core audience as if they are stupid. Ok I'm gonna end this here or I could go on for days just talking about this point it annoys me so much. :-D

    2 - More bad/no science... you know what I mean. Starbug interior has expanded etc etc etc... rubbish made up so they coudl show off the new camera/effects work.

    3 - BAD CGI! The CGI in 4, 5 and 6 had increased and was used in an effective way but changing the actual ships to CGI (the majority... I know there are a few model shots) was one of the worst things about the series and time has just made these look worse and worse. Too bright and shiney, they just look like DVD menu animations.

    4 - NEW RD SHIP! At the end of series VII I was so excited to see the old RD float past the stsarbug window and gave me hope for series VIII that things were about to get better. After another long wait I was greeted by the same scene that ended series VII and the RD model had been replaced by the remastered CGI long, weird, unfunny and damn right offenssive thing!

    5 - Ace Rimmer ruined! The start of the episode is bad and it goes down hill from there! Just the whole concept of there being millions of Ace Rimmers that have passed the torch as such and Rimmer (our Rimmer) going off to become one.... RIMMER!!! I don't think I even need to mention the crocodile do I?

    6 - Main Characters. They became spitting images of themselves and more annoying. Kryten becoming a whinging mum for one was most annoying... I know he's been changing over time with corrupted files but come on!

    7 - Rimmer/Kochanski. Losing Rimmer was bad but I could live with it as it was only for a few episodes really. My main problem was with Kochanski, she's just unlikable in VII and really annoying and not in the same funny way Rimmer is annoying; this also made Kryten more annoying whinging about her every second.

    8 - Supporting Characters. Annoying, no soul, you don't care about them, they are silly and stupid = Grrrrr! :-)

    9 - Kryten naked! The deleted scene in series III where he's naked is bad but atleast it wasn't used. Seeing him 'naked' is a stupid idea, he's a mechanoid! The scenes are stupid; for example the Dr's scene and the shower scene.

    10 - The Cats heart beat and pulse... WTF!

    11 - THE BLUE MIDGET DANCE ...do I need to go on?

    12 - The new Blue Midget design!

    13 - The rat sequence... it's not funny it's sh*t!

    14 - The luck and sexual magnatism viruses. Did they loose them... Forget they had them... Like the time drive, to too unbeleivable that they happen to turn up again.

    15 - The dinosaur. Just NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! Bad Mr Naylor!

    16 - Death. Okay, the ending the best of a bad bunch but still it's rubbish. The vending machine is funny but seeing Death and kicking him in the balls!

    17 - The basketball game. No mention has ever been made to basketball, it just comes out of nowhere... these things are like R2D2 flying! :-)

    18 - Ouroboros. Again destroying any mystery or ideas the audience has made over years and years of viewing.

    19 - No audience on VII. Guess it was worth trying but didn't help the jokes and gave the production team too much time to think about jazzy camera tricks/movement.

    20 - Change of filming style on VII. I can forgive this and if it wasn't for everything else I think it would have passed without really worrying me. VII does look much better than VIII from a cinamatic point of view.

    21 - TOO bright. Series VIII was over lite. Like most modern BBC programmes (Dr. Who for example) everything is covered with bright light giving no shadows on anyone or anything and making it look fake.

    22 - Original Rimmer. Meaning Rimmer in series VIII is the Rimmer before the drew died. Now this isn't a problem though apart from the first scene the writers seem to forget this and write him like he's been with them all these years on their adventures. If it was the original Rimmer he'd be a lot more p*ssed about being in sent down to level 13 with the rest of them or wouldn't be able to relate to them like he does.

    23 - 8 EPISODES???? Why did they suddenly decide to make 8 instead of 6 as per normal. I mean they are obviously low on ideas in these series so why drag it out. Also Rimmer would be less missed in VII.

    24 - No Rob Grant and different writers. Along with point one I think this is a BIGGIE. It can't be just a coincidence that when they split up the show went down hill. They obviously had different skills they brought to the relationship that made RD what is was and without one it's just not the same. Then to add other writers into the mix just made it worse and didn't help the episodes hang together.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh that feels so much better! :-D

    So I don't think I've made any points that are anything that others haven't already stated and I know it's each to their own; some people will like things that others don't. People think series III was terrible for how it changed compared to I and II.

    RD has always changed and I like that every series is slightly different, but for me I think it was too many changes at once, too many relevant points from previous episodes ignored and in the same respect too many points from previous seasons shoehorned into for no reason. Also losing Rob Grant had a huge effect and I hope that if there are going to be more RD's then he might return.

    I'm happy to watch these series still and will do many times in the future along with BTE (not evening going to talk about that here) :-D but if I had he power then I still would have loved RD to end after series VI from a story point of view. Not that I wouldn't love more RD...

    X
     
  15. thecogre

    thecogre First Technician

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    wow, every thing you bring up i liked
     
  16. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Quite an entertaining rant, mrpezzer.

    I think you managed to list most of the things I hated about those series, though you forgot one of the very worst moments: The Dibbley family/Reservoir Dogs sequence. Just when you think it can't get any worse, a couple of skutters appear at the end wearing false teeth and mop heads.
     
  17. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    series 8 for me is the worst series of red dwarf as the characters were badly written and it felt like a spoof of the earlier shows, and infact back when it first aired i was in denial about how much i disliked it because i wanted to like it so much

    one problem i think with series 7 and 8 was that they both felt like lazy testers for the red dwarf movie

    series 7 for example was filmed differently, had no audiance and movie like music

    series 8 had flashy CGI dinos and dancing spaceships, and brung the original crew back (remembering the movie would of been a reboot so the original crew would be in it), and we had the back in the red trilogy which felt like a test to see if red dwarf could work as an hour and half story

    i think if anyone was more excited about the movie idea it was doug naylor

    im just glad it didnt end on series 8 because i wouldnt be able to forget that series eva happened in my mind :-)
     
  18. tortexturtle

    tortexturtle First Technician

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    For everything that is wrong with 7 and 8, they are manna from heaven compared to "Back To Earth".

    For the record, I like about half of 7 and half of 8. Which I guess means that there was one good series between them. 7 has a very clearly defined divide for me though.

    Here are the good episodes (imo) of 7:
    1. Tikka To Ride
    2. Stoke Me a Clipper
    3. Ouroboros
    4. Epideme

    The rest are a bit crap.

    8 is harder. It's like the bad bits swam around with the good bits.

    I liked
    first and foremost:
    1. Cassandra
    for the most part:
    2. Only the Good
    and if they cut the crap out of
    Back in the Red down to a 1 or 2 part episode, it could be good.
    same if they cut Pete down to a 1 part episode.
    I didn't really care for Krytie TV.
     
  19. mrpezzer

    mrpezzer Third Technician

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    Do you mean you agreed with my points or that you liked those parts of the show? :-)

    Thanks, tbh I could have gone on for hours. :-D

    I agree I did miss the Dibbley family moment. Just Awful!

    There are good points to both series and but when you weigh them up against whats bad it's judt not enough. Also agree that they were using both as tools to try and convince film companies to support them with the RD movie. I think he needs to let this idea go... be happy making one of the most acclaimed TV shows and get on with it. :-D
     
  20. thecogre

    thecogre First Technician

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    i mean those were parts i liked about the shows
     

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