Who doesn't like Only the Good, and why not?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by jmc2000, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    The mirror universe is definitely an example of "space fantasy" - i.e., fantasy that happens to be set in space, where the "magic" is styled as pseudoscience but is still just magic.

    The difference is one of jargon. Harry Potter says expecto patronum; Doctor Who says reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. In both cases, the spell works because a fictional law of nature allows it to.

    There's a continuum between space fantasy and sci-fi. Doubly so because our understanding of science deepens over time, and yesterday's speculation resembles mere whimsy now. For instance: the earliest text to be described as "sci-fi" dates to the second century, and features people being blown to the moon by a whirlwind.

    I think space fantasy has been part of Red Dwarf since day one. Timeslides and the mirror universe are cut from the same cloth, but Timeslides isn't the only "golden age" example. In science terms, the plot of Confidence and Paranoia is utter nonsense. "Pneumonia" is a symptom of many diseases. It isn't an organism and can't evolve. Even if they'd used a specific pathogen, how would hallucinations manifest themselves as flesh? Where does the matter come from? How does it organise itself?

    There's also Backwards and Parallel Universe. Like the mirror universe, these settings have inconsistent logic. The priority is to drive the plot and supply humorous set pieces. The writers didn't reverse a single variable and project plausible outcomes. It isn't scientific speculation and ceteris paribus doesn't apply. The backwardness of Backwards is all over the place, and there's only a visual punchline (and proverbial logic) to justify Cat getting a dog for his counterpart.

    Other episodes have elements of space fantasy too. Scientifically speaking, why would a triplicator distil good and bad elements based on human conventions - like edibility and empathy? A metaphor can link rotten food to cruel behaviour, but the story suggests there are laws of physics to link them.

    This is basically why I felt Only the Good was business-as-usual, when a lot of RDVIII wasn't!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
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  2. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    This is one of the things I love about Red Dwarf. It's never too pretentious about its science, even though it deals with scientific concepts. When a couple of the crew of the Enterprise are out of phase and can run through walls, I want to know how they have friction with the floor enough to run at all, or how the ship's artificial gravity doesn't drag them through the decks, or if the AG doesn't affect them, why they're not floating about with the ship passing through them. I don't care about such things with Red Dwarf, because it's a science fantasy show. The mirror universe is nonsense, but it's just part of a story. I'd have been fine with it if the result had been funnier or better thought out.
     
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  3. Goit_84

    Goit_84 First Technician

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    Backwards used to drive me insane because it makes no sense at all if you watch everything backwards, until I realised it's a backwards universe, not just a universe where time is running backwards. Not just time running backwards, but logic, spelling, causality, history, physics, absolutely nothing makes sense there which is why it is impossible to stay. They realise it isn't their Earth with time flipped, but a completely alien reality altogether. That's when I started to enjoy it again and even think of it as a rather genius idea.
     
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  4. Oddheads

    Oddheads Second Technician

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    i probably would've liked Only The Good if it weren't for the poor editing choices. the scene where they explain where the mirror universe actually comes from was cut- why? and the original ending was cut and replaced with the Grim Reaper showing up- again, why? the original ending where Rimmer saves the ship and the revived crew are left out in space, it at least feels like a conclusion to the "revived crew/prison" story arc, as well as actually fitting in with the episode's recurring theme of Rimmer's ambition. Talia also is entirely unnecessary, and is in the episode for no real reason. You could cut her scenes out and it wouldn't make much difference- plus this would leave time for the Mirror Lister scene.

    so yeah, if the episode was edited a lot better, i'd say it would be a fairly decent episode. there was actually a fanedit of the episode a couple of years back that fixed all the problems i had with it, but i don't think i can link it here without getting into trouble or something
     
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  5. FeeBee

    FeeBee Deck Sergeant

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    I would actually like to see 8 re-edited with the footage that they already have and see what they'd come up with doing it now, like with what they did with 1-3.
     
  6. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    TBH, when I last rewatched all Red Dwarf series in chronological order just over 2 years ago, when I got to Only the Good... although I still thought it was average RD I didn't mind it too much tbh. I think because the infamous cliffhanger was not the final RD ever and like Ant said it is quite emotional I see it as not as bad now.

    Though I must say the original ending is far, far superior, crucially funnier, more of a feel good one and definitely should never have been replaced!

    But generally I found the story to be a bit better of them being on probation and then being threatened by the chameleonic microbe (?) and I thought the things like the robbed snack dispenser weren't as annoying when I rewatched it while I have always loved the "drunk" scene - "who fancies a Kebab?"

    Still while I did not mind Only the Good... as much and did not see it as a total as bad as Pete disaster that I used to feel it was, it is still average RD really.

    If it had included other scenes with the mirror Lister that were edited out, which were really funny, added to the story and crucially the original ending had remained, it might well be seen by me as an above average RD episode.

    Generally though I love half of series 8 and hate the other half of it - it is very inconsistent in quality!
     
  7. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    From what I've read, the film was going to be a reboot, so that cliffhanger would not be resolved by that.

    While the cliffhanger isn't really that important, I do hope we get some explanation. I was hoping 'Skipper' would deal with this if only in passing. I have my doubts about that now, (if you read the synopsis you'll see why) but we'll see.

    As for the episode Only The Good, I didn't mind it overall. Death did seem a bit out of place . I guess it could be a metaphorical way of saying that Rimmer cheated death by becoming a hologram again.*

    * I know that's not technically true, since I think a hologram contains a copy of a person's personality rather than being the actual person's personality downloaded, although I could be wrong about that. Me2 does seem to back this, though.
     
  8. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I agree. A hologram is just a simulation of someone. We have to assume the underlying AI is self-aware/knows it exists and has emotions - i.e., it's not just a more complex version of a chatbot - or none of the Rimmer-centric stories make sense.

    On a semi-related note, this is why I find "which Rimmer" questions slightly maddening (although I'm sometimes guilty of posing them, lol). He's an app. We can talk about how up-to-date a Rimmer is, or whether two instances of Rimmer are out-of-sync, but there isn't a single indivisible "person". Just some software that simulates Rimmer, based on everything it knows about him.
     
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  9. Radio Pluto

    Radio Pluto First Technician

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  10. Oddheads

    Oddheads Second Technician

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    thought: how exactly did they escape the prison so easily in Only The Good? they mention that security is more lax in the medibay, so they should be able to escape- but how? and if it was that easy, why didn't they just escape in any of the previous episodes?
     
  11. Asclepius

    Asclepius Supply Officer

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    I don't like it and I probably won't ever like it. It has very weak plot. They have been in life danger many times since The End and now they want to run away just because of some fat bastard is angry at them.

    Mirror universe is also one big peace of smeg. It gives no sense (Lister should be captain, Hollister should be thin...), it's made because it could be funny.

    Also the escape of crew is rubbish. They have enough Starbugs & Blue Midgets to save whole crew and almost all prisoners except our 5 heros...
     

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