Why Red Dwarf?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Laylora, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. Laylora

    Laylora First Technician

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    What is it that attracts you?

    I personally can't explain it. Sure it's hilarious, but so is plenty of other stuff. By all standards, it should be awful. It's cheap and dated but I can't get enough of it. Maybe it's the nostalgia, I don't know.

    What makes this worthy of being the second longest running sci-fi show in history? Thirty years later, unlike Doctor Who, it's barely changed. Same familiar characters, same settings, same juvenile humour.

    Tell me what you love about it.
     
  2. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    The main thing is definitely the characters. At its heart Red Dwarf is a character-based show. All those wonderful Lister/Rimmer conversations work because of the show's fantastic characterisation - and the main characters' personalities are often the driving force behind the storylines. The show has been blessed by some wonderful casting and performances. Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kryten (the Robert Llewellyn version - I thought David Ross was utterly dreadful) are all perfectly cast - I couldn't imagine anyone else doing as good a job in those four roles. If you want to know how awful the show could have been with bad casting, then have a watch of both American versions.

    Ultimately, for me it's the perfect fusion of great characters, acting, storylines and some wonderful, highly imaginative and often very original science fiction concepts.
     
  3. Pembers

    Pembers Deck Sergeant

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    For me its a mixture of many things. First of all it is funny, there are funny jokes, funny scenes, it makes me laugh. As Bluey says the characters are great, I like them all. One thing I like is that they aren't 'space adventurers' they are a bunch of lads stumbling and bumbling their way through deep space and several adventures. It's relatable.

    Also in the 'classic' Red Dwarf days it was quite a cool show, Lister was cool, the Cat was cool, they flew spaceships, they drank beer, they shot monsters with bazookoids, it was fun.

    Whilst its a fun show there has also been some very emotional, poignant moments, as outlined in a recent thread. Finally its just an interesting premise, the last human alive, stranded in deep space, kept company by a small rag tag crew, knocking around a ship the size of a city. Its brilliant is Red Dwarf.
     
  4. Diet_coke

    Diet_coke Science Officer

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    I think Bluey hit the nail on the head with his post on this subject, I'm in full agreement.
     
  5. Sarah

    Sarah Console Officer

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    Everyones reasons above and it brings back great memories of watching it for the first time which makes me feel a happy bunny:-D
     
  6. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    The uniforms
     
  7. Laylora

    Laylora First Technician

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    Agreed on most counts.

    I'm sure David Ross is a fantastic actor and great guy, but he's no Kryten. Maybe that's because I saw his version after getting used to Bobby's, but nah. He was extremely generic I thought, I'm infinitely glad we ended up with the Kryten we know and love today.

    You're right though Bluey, the casting is spot on. I can't fathom anyone else. I loved Alan Rickman, but imagine? To think the amount of acting experience those guys had between them too!

    Pembers, I see what you mean. It's kind of like a space version of Top Gear, a bunch of blokes being blokes.

    Sarah, do you find it oddly comforting to watch? I certainly do. I have such fond memories of my dad having it on. I distinctly remember seeing the series 8 flour gag when it aired for the first time. I must have been about 10.

    As for the uniforms, Rimmer in his series 1 and 2 garb? Yes please.
     
  8. Stephen

    Stephen Console Officer

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    Just like everyone has said there's a number of reasons. The casting is second to none. The characters are so interesting each has their own personality which somehow compliments the others. The comedy is very good, most of the time, and for me one of the draws was the setting. I love Astronomy/Astrophysics and this made Red Dwarf nearly perfect for me!
     
  9. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    For me, RDX is best when all four of the main cast are in on the same plot. There are various points during RDX that they're not (and, I think, 8 as well).

    But, in any case, I think Bluey said it best. Red Dwarf is unique in its setting, but doesn't rely on that - the humour mostly manages to keep up. It kinda defies definition. It's a traditional sitcom, but with action portions in a sci-fi setting. It's a sci-fi, but funny - and not funny "just to stand out" - its definition IS "it is funny". It doesn't quite fall into either. And whilst we can say "it is, first and foremost, a comedy" (which it is), the science fiction IS GOOD. It's not just there to make it weirder, wackier and "funnier". Somehow, Rob and Doug hit the sweet spot between the two, and I think it's because the science fiction ISN'T the usual Star Trek aliens and teleporters and saving a planet every week. And yet, there are some pretty good ideas (Future Echoes, Backwards, Timeslides being some of my favourites).

    As others have said, the four main cast ARE the characters. Nobody else can, or should, play them now and if one of them decides to leave (or dies) then that should be it - no replacements, no new characters, Red Dwarf literally is Craig, Chris, Danny and Rob. Their characters are now so refined that I seriously questioned Red Dwarf when revelations about Rimmer came about in The Beginning (character development? In Red Dwarf? How dare they!), yet the characters are so good that they can get away without big plot revelations, characters developing or maturing or anything.
     
  10. FeeBee

    FeeBee Deck Sergeant

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    I saw my first episode in 2009 and was hooked after one episode. I have always been a sci-fi fan and this turned out to be what I didn't even know I was looking for at the time.
     
  11. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    For me, as with HHGTTG, it's the sci-fi premise. There are lots of funny sitcoms - some I find much funnier - but none that have kept my interest over time as much as Red Dwarf has.
     
  12. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I disagree with this - I would very much be interested in seeing a recast or rebooted Dwarf at some point, even if it was for a different medium (e.g., radio play). Not at the expense of the main show, obviously. But it would be fascinating to see, might be good in its own right, and wouldn't take anything away from the classic show.

    I think the best stories and characters are the ones that live indefinitely and can be retold over time. Sherlock, Batman, King Arthur, etc.. If there are incarnations or attempts I don't like, it doesn't detract from the ones I do like.
     
  13. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    As a kid it was probably the models and explosions that did it for me!
     
  14. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    I'd hardly compare Red Dwarf to Sherlock etc...It would NOT work with a recast!
     
  15. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    I have to agree. We've already seen a couple of recasts (both American versions), and seeing other actors trying and completely failing to make those characters work was a depressing experience. One of the biggest reasons Red Dwarf worked and has been so successful was the fantastic casting.
     
  16. Laylora

    Laylora First Technician

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    Agree, agree.
     
  17. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I didn't think the one I saw was awful.

    But I'm not thinking of those, really. It does feel a bit pointless to remake Red Dwarf in the same medium, and same format, to have at the same time as the classic version.

    But I'd be very interested in seeing a film, say, with different cast. And if they announced a TV reboot in twenty years time, I'd certainly check it out with interest.
     
  18. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    HHGTTG is a good example for me. I saw the TV show first, so, for me, that's the "proper" cast. But I didn't mind having a different Ford or Trillian when I bought the radio shows, and I even enjoyed the movie. The changes were part of what made it so interesting (e.g., the new take on Zaphod's extra head). Some of the casting was true to the spirit of the original - like the voice of the book, the voice of Marvin, and Slartibartfast - and other choices gave it a new feel of its own - like Mos Def and Zooey Deschanel, and the visual design of Marvin. It's not my all-time favourite take on the story, but it certainly has a place in my heart.

    I also liked the illustrated version of the novel, and seeing how they departed from the visuals set by the TV show (e.g., the different Zaphod and decidedly droopy-looking Marvin - and the guide looking nothing like a Gameboy).

    And I think we're overdue a retelling of the story. I'd love to see David Mitchell have a go at Arthur one day...
     
  19. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    Well neither will EVER happen.
     
  20. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    No chance. An element of its success is the case. Imagine if they had changed Rimmer half way through series 7.
     

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