Why was their a second weird shaped Holly in VIII

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Cloud, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    So do I. I find it incredible that a man who co-wrote some absolute classic episodes such as Marooned, Back To Reality, Gunmen and Out Of Time could be the same person who came up with series 8, and I worry that Red Dwarf needs an unlikely return of Rob Grant to make it even half-great again. There are so many things wrong with series 8 I could spend all day listing them, but I'd find it too exhausting. Luckily, somebody else wrote an excellent breakdown of series 8 and all its ills here.

    As for Pete part 2, it really is the most absurd, pantomime-like, poorly thought-out half hour in Red Dwarf's history. It actually makes the rest of series 8 look relatively decent. Unlike part 1, it was co-written by Paul Alexander, and I wonder how much of the episode's descent into absurdity can be attributed to him.
     
  2. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    agreed you would almost think series 8 was written by someone else

    wasnt it just an excuse to use a CGI dino? because at the time it was shown on bbc2 the thought of seeing that in red dwarf was like wow thats incredible, and doug seems to always have a thing for bringing in the most advanced technology
     
  3. Nicko1

    Nicko1 First Technician

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    I'm happy to be corrected here but I believe Paul Alexander co-wrote both parts of Pete. I think he was only contracted to co-write 3 episodes (is that right?) though and so he was only credited for one of them.
     
  4. Nicko1

    Nicko1 First Technician

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    A sad thing I think is that if Series VIII were just a brand new show and Series 1-7 didn't exist, then I don't think there would be any reason to include Cat as a character. He serves no purpose and really shouldn't be there.
     
  5. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    This has been discussed before. The Cat rarely gets good episodes, and even more rarely gets good lines, but his purpose always was about group dynamics. Sometimes you just need an ordinary Joe there to be carried along with the audience, and to keep the absurdity of things in perspective. The Cat will always be in some ways seperate from the rest of the crew, because his purpose is merely to exist, but he is also a part of their lives, and their relationship with each other is mutually important. Red Dwarf is a sitcom, not a preachy science-fiction adventure like Star Trek where every character has to play a part in saving the day to prove some moral about how we all have different talents and should value ourselves and other people, or whatever. The Cat's main role is to deliver lines, set up other characters to deliver lines, and sometimes just to engravitise the situation by increasing the number of people involved in it to the tune of one.

    One of the words in my post is entirely made up, but I like it anyway!:-D
     
  6. gem5ie

    gem5ie Catering Officer

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    The trouble is, in series 8 there are too many additional regular characters, all also filling that role- Kill Crazy, Baxter, Ackerman, Hollister. The Cat feels completely superfluous, which is annoying because he was a lot of fun in series 6 and 7.

    To be honest, Red Dwarf has always focussed so much on the relationship between Lister and Rimmer- no complaints about this, by the way- that there's a limit to how much else you can fit into 30 minutes anyway. I'm currently watching series 1 and it's basically the Chris and Craig show but even then the Cat (and Holly) has more to do than in series 8, purely because there are few-to-no other characters. Expanding the regular cast in the way they did for series 8 left all of the other main characters sidelined to a lesser or greater degree, in my opinion. This then isn't helped by the fact that the Lister/Rimmer spine is deliberately and overtly emphasised in 8, again at the expense of the other characters, presumably to compensate for Chris Barrie's absence from 7.

    However, as it stands the wealth of Lister/Rimmer scenes are about the only reason to watch series 8 ("Both cheeks, man"), so I mustn't complain about them. It would just also have been nice to have, y'know, some actual structured plot...
     
  7. Nicko1

    Nicko1 First Technician

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    But the group dynamic in Series VIII had changed.

    Cat isn't an ordinary Joe.

    Not sure why you're talking about other sci-fi shows. Nobody said that every character has to play a part in saving the day. They just have to play some role in the comedy.

    In Series VIII I can understand why the likes of Kochanski, Hollister, Holly and some of the others are there. But not Cat.
     
  8. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    I suppose because I feel the Cat was playing a role in the comedy in series VIII. Perhaps because I felt the Cat played a perfectly good role as a sit-com character in that series, I interpreted this statement;

    ...as implying the Cat had no important role in the dramatic narrative of the show, in the way that characters are specifically chosen in other shows for their uses in the narrative including but beyond their uses for comedy and group dynamics.

    Clearly, I misunderstood. Soz! But it means that this point comes down, once again, to whether a person likes series VIII or not. I liked it. Most didn't!:lol:
     
  9. Nicko1

    Nicko1 First Technician

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    No need to apologize obviously and I can understand where you are coming from.

    How much somebody likes Series VIII will clearly affect how they feel about each character. But I do feel that quite a few Cat scenes in that series are there because Doug had to include the character. Necessity rather than inspiration. I agree that characters can be in a sitcom purely as comic relief and you could say that about a few in Series VIII. The best things about the peripheral figures though is that they didn't have to appear in every episode. Cat did.

    I do wish, and I may well be alone here, that Doug had never had the idea of making a movie and instead had spent the past 15 years working on non-Dwarf related TV stuff. If Series VIII had been a new show then I think that I might have found it more interesting...
     
  10. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    Of course the Cat did aid in breaking Lister out of hospital with the help of a nurses outfit...

    He tried anyway. I can't help wondering how in character that was though considering how fashion conscious he was in previous series. I guess it could be taken as character development that he put something before his own fashion sense...
     
  11. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    This is a good point and one I once made before to little or no response from the forum. Doug is clearly an ideas man but trying to put all of your ideas into one project is never going to work. While I admire his dedication and love for Red Dwarf I'm surprised that he has not apparently shown much of an interest in creating new shows and characters since the split with Grant (his recent pilot excluded).

    Was the movie really that much of a time eater? If so it must be terribly disheartening which perhaps prompted his "lying scumbags" rant on the DVD.
     
  12. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    This was my partner's exact question by the time we'd got to Krytie TV on her first series marathon.

    It went out the same year as the BBC's "Walking with dinosaurs" so it does seem coincidental. The problem is that Red Dwarf is a show set in space...in the future...which requires an extremely convoluted plot to magic up a dinosaur...probably one of the reasons it was the worst plot in Red Dwarf history.

    I would say that show's shouldn't be built this way with a storyline being spun around being able to do something flashy with the special effects...but then I seem to recall hearing that Marooned got it's start because Rob and Doug were told that it was easy to do a good looking snow planet.
     
  13. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    While I thought some areas of the Pete episodes were among the weaker stuff of Series VIII*, I liked the Time Wand gimmick. I like it when Red Dwarf plays with futuristic stuff and takes it to a daft extreme. I quite liked the gag of a sparrow being de-evolved into a T-Rex too. Sure it's daft, but no more so than a humanoid evolving from a cat. (Okay, a bit more so, but point is, they did what Red Dwarf does well, take theories- birds being descended from dinosaurs in this case- then pushing it to the ridiculous extreme.) And I confess I like a good monster, (and who doesn't like dinosaurs?) and there hadn't been that many after being spoilt by them in Series VI.

    This episode also includes a brilliant bit of slapstick when Rimmer and Lister's out of synch pasting catches up with them. Not typical Dwarf humour, but I thought it worked well.

    *The repetitive stuff with the Captain grated a bit. It was quite funny to start with then...
     
  14. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    Basically, I agree with all this. The horrendous nerd in me still watches that epsisode and screams, 'Birds evolved before tyrannosaurs, from earlier theropods!' but I shut him up by saying, 'And you're quite happy with them lowering a live cow into a giant vindaloo in a spaceship three-million years into deep space?'

    Also, for those who question whether a whole episode should be based around a special effect idea, a story is often seeded by merely a conversation or a scene. Whole novels have been written on that basis; successful ones, too. That, in itself, is not a fault in the creative process.
     
  15. Nicko1

    Nicko1 First Technician

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    Well, Doug said in 2004 that he couldn't commit himself to another project because he always needed to be on call in case the movie got funding. He also said though that if he did decide to give up on the movie that he wouldn't go back to making Dwarf on TV. Instead he had one movie script with Miramax and another that he was planning to work on independently. For whatever reasons these things obviously never came to pass. He also said that he had a novel that was almost complete but strangely this has also not appeared.

    It must be strange for Doug that he is now in exactly the same position, writing a new Dwarf series, as he could have been 11 or so years ago if he'd taken up the BBC's offer of continuing the show at the time. I presume though that he saw BTE, and maybe the new series, as the means to stir up more interest in the show in the hope that it will secure movie funding...
     
  16. Nicko1

    Nicko1 First Technician

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    I think this is the problem that I have with those 2 episodes. If the idea had simply been to use the dinosaur as a monster then I think it could have worked and I could have ignored the whole, bird-to-a-T-Rex problem. If the dinosaur had been used as a genuine threat to the crew then maybe it could have been interesting. Instead the plot revolved around trying to get said dinosaur to take a big dump.
     
  17. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    I know what you mean, I think. Part of the Cat's role was always that he was the one who'd always been apart of this three-million years in the future world. Lister and Rimmer, who are both basically ordinary people thrown into an unnusual situation, are met by this character who has always lived there, and so the ordinary people (as is so often the case in a story) are the outsiders. As time went on, Cat became less that, and more just a part of a crew. The fact he has so little to contribute doesn't really help. I wouldn't say he was that much fun in series VI-VII, as that kind of comedy didn't appeal to me as much, but I think he was essential.

    He finally lost his status as the character who'd always been there, who saw the others as outsiders, in series VIII because they were in a ship full of people who thought they had always been there. But the Cat still has things to offer as the one who has a very simple outlook in the group. But, as much as many don't like series VIII, I feel they'd be much less worthwhile without the other characters to flesh them out.

    The Cat being medically examined in that cringe inspiring scene. The Cat talking about rock over and over again. The Cat getting himself hospitalised. The Blue Midget dance so many fans hate. It's really impossible to argue with you that the Cat's scenes were shoe-horned in. His fate couldn't have been ignored, but he was not essential. I still think he added weight to the plight of the crew as a whole just by being there. Just having Lister moralise his way through, Kochanski adding her 'feminine empathy', Rimmer always looking for the overall payoff, and Kryten pushing through with logic, compassion and ability, we'd lose that sense that sometimes people need to be preserved just because they're there.

    In the end, the episodes would probably work fairly well with just Kryten and Lister; without Kochanski (many wouldn't miss her, I know) or the Cat, and perhaps with Rimmer being nothing more than another self serving character who was in Lister's way.
     
  18. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    The time wand gimmick on its own might have worked as a strong episode on its own.

    The dinosaur as a threat on its own might have worked as a strong episode on its own.

    The "crew have the run of the ship while everyone else is frozen in time" could have been a FANTASTIC episode on its own.

    The "Captains Office" idea could have been funny as a solo idea.

    Instead these and numerous other plotlines were all thrown together. None of them were properly developed and the resultant two parter felt like a sketch show...and not a very good one.
     
  19. 57194q

    57194q Guest

    Check the series 8 deleted scenes. There's an explanation there.
     
  20. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    I thought it was supposed to be dead people rising from their crypts around Halloween. I didn't realise the same was true of long dead threads.
     

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