Why 'New' Red Dwarf Doesn't Work (for me)

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by OurJud, May 20, 2016.

  1. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    All I can say is, I don't see it.

    Series one and two had a definite loneliness about them, which I enjoyed - but a lot of three through six was quite frothy. The balance shifted towards wacky sci-fi plots and "monster of the week".

    Since the first hiatus in the mid- to late Nineties, Red Dwarf has jumped erratically from point to point on the spectrum. Tonally, I think elements of seven harked back to one and two (while still being very different in terms of plot and presentation). As I think I said earlier, eight was the most pantomine outing and BTE the most serious.

    In terms of relative "lightness", I think RDX (purely from memory) is as follows:

    Trojan - somewhere in the middle by Dwarf standards. The plot is nowhere near as wacky as Timeslides, but nor is it as heavy as Back to Reality. Roughly equivalent to most of series three to six.

    Fathers and Suns - I think this is actually towards the darker end of the spectrum. The scene with Lister scolding himself is very funny, but there's some serious stuff going on throughout - both in terms of character (with Lister drinking himself into oblivion, to try and create a strong "father figure" for himself) and peril. Pree, certainly, has moments where she is genuinely quite chilling.

    Lemons - towards the wacky end, but not as wacky as Timeslides. The discussion of religion, and Lister's pragmatic approach to it, balance the time travelling shower a bit, and hark back to Waiting for God.

    Entangled - another fairly light one. Lighter than most Dwarf, with Douglas Adams-esque moments.

    Dear Dave - not the most successful episode, but actually quite introspective in places. It's not up there with Marooned, but it's no Meltdown either.

    The Beginning - even with the comedy villains, this feels (again) like it's somewhere in the middle. The ending is very exciting, and Rimmer's holo-message reminded me of the delayed letter from Better Than Life.

    As I think I said already - taking everything together, I'd put the whole series on a par with three, in terms of tone.
     
  2. Diet_coke

    Diet_coke Science Officer

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    I like all episodes of red dwarf so that makes me the best fan right?
     
  3. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    No, it just means you have what's commonly known as 'blind faith' :-D
     
  4. Diet_coke

    Diet_coke Science Officer

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    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm no I don't think so. I think I like more red dwarf episodes than you therefore I'm a bigger fan
     
  5. dibbleysmeghead

    dibbleysmeghead Second Technician

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    Just to try and put a positive spin on things here, there hasn't been any series of RD that I've disliked enough to not chuckle still and appreciate the show. My fav series' are 1 though to 7 and I really like BtE a lot but I don't feel that the other's weren't any good, they just weren't as strong.

    I agree that the writing in the first few series was fantastic, and was wittier and clever enough to not rely on in-your-face jokes or slapstick. I wish the later series had that same thinking but then again it wouldn't do the fans any justice if it didn't take risks and try new things.

    I totally get the feeling of wanting it to try and "recreate the magic" of the earlier stuff and maybe the new series will. Maybe we'll get a "J.J. Abrams Star Wars" thing and it'll feel like coming home?
     
  6. Kittypaws

    Kittypaws Flight Co-Ordinator

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    I like all the episodes. *hides in laundry basket*
     
  7. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    HEATHEN! This is a Red Dwarf forum, you're not allowed to actually like the show!
     
  8. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    let's just hope so, eh?
     
  9. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Everyone else has pretty much said quite a lot of my opinions too in this thread. But I too feel it is inevitable without one of its co-creators post series 6 that the quality is not going to be quite up there and superlative like the peak late 1988 to 1993 years. But still despite the fact that it is largely played in a lighter, somewhat hammier, more slapstick way in the Doug-solo years I still mostly enjoy it (half of series 7/8, BtE quite enjoy for plot but not so much the comedy and most of series 10) and I think it is very commendable that Doug has kept quite a lot of it up to a good standard on his own though obviously apart from some episodes it is not up there with the Rob co-writes.

    True it is Doug on his own still who has written the new Red Dwarf material but although I perhaps am not expecting it to be totally 100% like late 88 to 1993 all over again who's to say that some episodes or quite a number won't be vintage or pretty classic when only the audience members in the studio have seen it so far? Just have to see what it will be like but I expect it to be at least as good, probably better than series 10 judging on a lot of the responses to the new material filmed back in the autumn/winter just gone.
     
  10. JohnnyPlanet

    JohnnyPlanet Skutter

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    I couldn't agree more with this post.

    To me, more recent series have seen the 4 main actors rely more and more on this over-the-top pantomime delivery - with funny voices, shouting, 'funny' facial expressions, etc.

    Why?

    Well - its as if they know the script isn't really good enough - so they're trying to do everything they can to get that laugh. Rimmer can make a mediocre put-down a little bit funnier with a certain grimace, but usually, it just ruins the tone of the show. It becomes corny and cheesy. Forced.

    But I can't really fault the cast for this. If the script isn't good enough, what options do they have?
     
  11. OurJud

    OurJud Deck Sergeant

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    I'm glad you agree, Johnny, but I wouldn't give up on all of the later series. Series VII, despite Rimmer's absence, hits that perfect tone of Series 1 - 3.

    But on the whole, you're right. I've said why, countless times, so I won't go over old ground again.
     

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