Why I love series I and II so much

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by OurJud, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    I've noticed that in all the 'favourite episode/series' debates we have here, series I and II don't fair that well. I think a lot of fans see these series as nothing more that Grant and Naylor et all honing their skills, and to a very large extent this is true. However, as someone who has read all the books, I find these first two series are far fresher and more in keeping with the novels' feel and humour. Furthermore, in that the tv show inspired the novels (rather than the other way round - the usual way) and the books use little or no material from series IV onwards, I suspect the writers might agree. I just find I get something from I and II that I don't with the later stuff.
     
  2. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Which books are you talking about because elements of Gunmen of the Apocolypse is used in Both Backwards and Last Human while the latter contains material from Psirens, Demons and Angels, Quarantine, Legion and Emohawk so I don't think its right to say that they contain little or no material from series IV onwards.

    Also given that the writers pretty much begged the BBC not to repeat series one and go straight on with series 2 that doesn't exactly scream that they are fans of their early work. The reason for this though is more likely to be feelings of disatisfaction with the look of the show and the (at that point) less developed characters. Bringing back the Crew in 8 and the proposed movies ability to reexplore that back story shows, at least to me, that Doug Naylor feels more could have been done with that early premise (something the first book does wonderfully).

    I do agree with you though that, having recently watched 1-5 with my gf who's watching them for the first time, it is noticibly jarring how much more interesting and contemplative those early series can be with their long scenes of dialogue (particularly in things like Thanks for the Memory) and how well they convey the themes of lonliness and isolation.

    That's not to say that later episodes can't achieve similar effects though with stuff like Marooned and, dare I say it, Blue showing that they can take a step back now and again. I believe this was Doug's motivation in series 7 (which unfortunately didn't quite come off) in trying to vary the SCI-FI episodes with the more emotional content of earlier series.

    Rewatching series 5, as brilliant and loved as it is, it is a bit overweighed with Sci-fi plots and perhaps could have done with a slower paced breaker story, although choosing what to drop would have been a terribly hard call and we might have ended up with something like Duct Soup! :roll:
     
  3. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Yeah, well, apart from those references, of course. :eek:ops:

    I can't quite get across what I mean about series I and II - just that they feel so much more like the novels. I love the rawness of them.
     
  4. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Yeah, I agree. The cast and writers have often went to town on the supposed 'badness' of the early sets and location in things like Better than Life, but I love that episode for its surreal quality.

    Somehow emerging into a Hawaian paradise instead of a wind swept beach in Rhyll with two palm trees blowing in the background just wouldn't have been an improvement for me. I guess its the same reason alot of people love the old Dr Who's. There's a certain uniquely British charm to it all.
    There are alot of complaints from cast and crew about how grey everything was in the first series, but again, that's what I'd imagine a mining ship would look like and never saw anything wrong with it.
     
  5. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Indeed. That's another element I love - series I and II feel very 'industrial'
     
  6. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Something else about the first two series that's just struck me. I love Kryten to bits, but don't miss him for a second when watching I and II :shock:
     
  7. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Series 2 is still my favourite series (with 1 and 3 close behind) although i love them all, those early series are just extra special, for me. I like the writing and the sets, which i think BTE has built on and made it look even better.the way it was probably ment to look in the first place. i was never a fan of the bright white 'officers quarters'.
    i agree that the feeling of lonelyness and isolation was at its best during those early series . And id like to think that series 9 will have some of that back to basics-rimmer/lister scenes.
     
  8. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Series IX ? I've been away from the forum for a while. Do you know something, Freeborn, or is it just wishful thinking?
     
  9. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    As i mentioned in another thread a
    while back, i have seen the future, and series 9 will be broadcast in march/april of nexed year. there will be 4 stand alone episodes (one of which is polymorth 3) and 2 extended ep's that make up an amazing 2 parter.


    back in the real world (or at least in our dimention) i guess you could say its just wishfull thinking. although i truely beleive we will have at least one more series. dvd sales of BTE are good, the demand is there, and some of the cast aparently let slip (at a convention) that a 6 episode series had been talked about. also Andrew teasingly said that doug is busy working on 'something'.
    of course he could be working on something other than RD, like a sitcom in a biscuit factory, perhaps :-)
     
  10. steff85

    steff85 Second Technician

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    thats the same for me too, i feel so guilty about it lol

    i love series one and two defintely my fave ones
     
  11. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    Well that's enough to get me very excited!
     
  12. jeremy

    jeremy Catering Officer

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    I agree there is something about Red Dwarf series 1 and 2 that are just different. It could be the set or it could be kryten not being a main character. but there is definitely something different about it which I like. I have to say the series 1 and 2 are my favorite.
     
  13. SixthDwarfer

    SixthDwarfer Supply Officer

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    My main problem with Series 1 and 2 is the sets. There are some aspects of it I like - the fact that it bears a closer resemblance to the corridors of a submarine or a manufacturing plant rather than it does to the slick pastels of 'Star Trek'. However, much as I like these aspects I don't like how some of it was executed and the fact that it does look, frankly, cheap. I know this is down to the fact that 'Red Dwarf' is essentially made on a budget of whatever the head honchos at the BBC can find down the back of their settees, so I try to ignore and the fact that Rimmer and Lister redecorate their cabin with bright trinquets, souvenirs and posters does something to hide the poor wooden sets.


    However, despite that bit of moaning, I really love Series 1 and 2. I especially like 'Balance of Power' just for seeing Rimmer trying to install order and maintain discipline now that he was acting captain of Red Dwarf. The fact that there is a definite power struggle between Rimmer and Lister in early episodes adds another level of claustrophobia to events. Not only is Lister facing eternity trapped on a spaceship with a hologram, a cat and and computer, but he also has to deal with Rimmer trying to boss him around despite there - probably - being no-one left to report him to.

    Also, I love how Cat is more, well, stereotypically a cat. He acts like a delighted child when presented with food and his oddball outer monologues when he's alone. He also shows a detatched sense of vanity and a healthy respect for only looking out for number one (I mean, to him, he's the most important thing in the whole universe... not that he'd be able to spell universe... or 'I'!). This is a Cat completely different to the slightly more restrained, 'human' Cat who sees himself as one of the 'Boyz from the Dwarf'.

    Finally, going back to the theme of isolation, I like how in the first series aside from flashbacks, future echoes or holographic disguises, the action takes place completely onboard Red Dwarf and that the only vaguely real people they encountr are 'solid' hallucinations from Lister's mutated flu. This again adds a level of claustrophobia and of being trapped.
     
  14. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    It will be interesting to see how any new series picks up on these factors now that the Kochanski has seemingly been restored to her rightful place as the elusive dream (at least I hope). As has been mentioned, one of the major things that stops the claustrophobia and sense of lonliness has been Kryten. There's little doubt that the show became funnier with him but it would be nice to see some episodes where he's not in it or barely in it as although he's often attributed to have replaced Holly in terms of exposition, he's an entirely different character and prescence to Norman's morose grimly humourous Holly in series 1 and 2.
    They could even base an episode around how the others have become so reliant on him, what would they do if he was suddenly unavailable?
     
  15. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    I couldn't have put it better, and it's only reading this that helps me make more sense of my love for series I and II. As I've already said, I love the Kryten character, but his regular placement really did change the dynamics of the show.... and not all for the better.
     
  16. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Although I like kotchanski (i know some dont, but i do , damn it ! ;-)) but i have to agree that it would be good for a new series, to have lister pineing for her as he did in the early days. i like the idea of the search for Kotchanski. and maby (imo) some flash backs to her would be good (in a similar way to those of listers friends in series 1 and 2, and Rimmer in series 7)
    I also agree with the kryten thing. though i would hate him to leave permanently, he certainly did detract from the origional concept of the show a bit. maby he could go off on listers space bike, blue midgit or starbug, to track down kotchanski (because he feels responsible for her departure, maby) only to return at the end of the episode
    with his tail between his legs.
    I would also love to see a more cat heavy episode...'YEA !'


    Slightly off -topic (well, theres a suprise ! ;-)) its weird to think that, had David Ross been available for series 3, he could have still been playing Kryten to this day. i love his version of the charactor, but i do think that good old Bobby
    was destined to play him, and has put a good spin on the charactor over the years.
     
  17. jeremy

    jeremy Catering Officer

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    I happen to love the sets of series 1 and 2. It's one of the reasons I like series 1 and 2 so much. And I don't find them tacky.
     
  18. finnobrit

    finnobrit Third Technician

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    Personally I've always preferred I and II to the later episodes. The later episodes seemed a lot more like proper sci-fis whereas the early stuff was more like sitcom episodes with a sci-fi setting (if that makes any sense). I watch RD as a sitcom, I don't watch it as a sci-fi.

    The other reason I prefer I and II is they have the old Holly at his prime. No offence to Hattie Hayridge but Norman Lovett was IMHO better suited to the character. I know Norman came back later but I didn't think he was as good as in the early days.

    The other thing is, there was a nice grim downbeat feel to the older episodes, they weren't quite as wacky. I preferred that.

    ...but it's all personal taste. :-)
     
  19. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    I tell you something else I reckon is better in series 1 and 2. The DVD commentaries. Maybe I'm being a little harsh too early, only being part way into series 4 commentaries but I found the first two series commentaries a lot more intersting and funny. In series 3 and what I've seen of series 4 the cast arn't so much commenting on the show as watching it. There's even one point in one of the episodes where Craig Charles acknowledges this (probably after being shouted at by Doug Naylor) and says "were being told to talk" and they all manically start talking over each other :P.
     
  20. finnobrit

    finnobrit Third Technician

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    That's another problem I have with series 3+, they don't have Norman Lovett. He was such a good narrative tool, he introduced each episode and his comments were always brief but very funny. Some say he was too similar to Kryten but he wasn't at all, Norman's Holly enjoyed laughing at the crew and seemed to play with them purely out of boredom (in fact that was the basis of an entire episode in Queeg).

    People say Kryten replaced Holly but we never ever got any more scenes like this once Norman left the series:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu-LPzVRPh8

    I really missed this dead pan humour and it virtually disappeared from series 3 onwards.
     

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