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Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by DAN_JMC, Dec 22, 2011.
id say red dwarf is marketed for both sitcom and sci fi show
In the early day, yes, but the show evolved into something more story driven, although it never gave up on the good jokes. Come to think of it there were excellent plotted stories in the earlier series too.
For me, I've always been particularly fond of the sci-fi story aspect of Red Dwarf, but I'd welcome some laughs too, although they needn't be belly wobblers. Great success in one will certainly compensate somewhat for the other (by which I mean that if the story isn't too good, being very funny will help it, and vice-versa) but a nice balance is always good.
I know these things are subjective, but you really found nothing Doug Naylor wrote by himself funny?
I'll admit I'm biassed as I'm a fan of series 7, and I don't dislike series 8 either although I think it's the weakest series in some ways. I also thought BtE was overall a triumph, although it had its faults. I can totally understand why people prefer the gestalt entity's (Grant Naylor) output over their individual works though, but I find it hard to accept people found nothing Doug Naylor wrote funny. I wonder if overall series perception influences hindsight in these cases.
Holly when Grant was in on the writing:
"Last's longer than any other kind of milk, dog's milk."
"No bugger'll drink it."
Holly when Naylor did it by himself:
"A group of people who show all the normal life signs, but seem totally incapable of movement!"
"Never seen QPR play away then?"
I can't think of a single gag which Naylor wrote which would hold a candle to any of the jokes in the first six seasons, when Grant was present.
In RD circles I find Rob a bit overrated (Not saying he wasn't good its just the fans talk him up to high heaven.)
This is evidence by his standalone book (Backwards) being more convoluted and less funny than Last Human.
LH still sticks in my mind to this day and it must be nearly 10 years since I read it, Backwards I kinda forget...
i think the way alot of people see it that rob may of been what kept the writing well controlled, like in the documantarys doug says how he and rob wrote a gag and rob would always say no we can do better then that
while you could look at series 8 which is a doug solo series and say wow there are so many bad lazy gags in there
(theory of relativity?... relativity? hmm... relativ - ity.... hmm... sounds like Relatives... theory you only tell your relatives... gag material?)
The QPR joke is a good example of the kind of jokes by numbers I find crop up a fair bit in Naylor's solo work. The mechanics are all in place i.e A+B=C but somehow the end result just isn't funny to me. I think it's exactly as the other poster mentions with the "relativity" gag.
The basic forumla for Doug's jokes are sound but the punchlines would inevitably fit any number of alternatives and this is what makes them less special and funny than classics like the 'Dog's milk' punchline.
In his defence however, there are quite a few throwaway punchlines in early Dwarf too, notably the "Dustin Hoffman" from Timeslides gag later removed from the remastered version. Presumably it was Doug who removed this weak gag which makes it all the stranger that he includes weak unecessary gags of the same sort in his latter series, often of more outdated references.
I agree...except that like most gags in Series 8 the Bryl Cream one suffers from being overelaborated. If Doug had written the Dog's Milk gag in series 8 it probably would have read:
Holly: Lasts longer than any other sort of Milk does dog's Milk
Lister: Why's that?
Holly: No bugger'll drink it. It tastes horrible you see and people don't like drinking the milk of a dog, hence the reason it lasts such a long time.
Okay, I'm exagerrating 8) but did we really need the "you put it on your hair and it makes it stand on end" explanation from Holly in series eight? The snappier punchlines have a lot to do with why they are funnier in my opinion.
True, but there are better sci Fi shows too. There are better dramas. RD is a mix of many different elements but cmedy has always been important, and i don't mind if there's less jokess but i dont want BAD jokes. I don't think Doug is going to give up the idea of Red Dwarf containing jokes so it's either good jokes or bad ones. Of course I'd like some good sci fi plots but Red Dwarf worked when it was a Lister/Rimmer setup without much Sci Fi (Marooned) I can't think of anytime where a lack of comedy wasn't missed..
Also Doug gets a lot of bad press because Red Dwarf has been much poorer since Rob left, but we've never seen a series of Red Dwarf written by Rob on his own. It could be just as terrible or worse. Tikka To Ride is a Doug solo episode that's as good as anything from series 6, so he could write solo. However there was that interview recently where I think Norman said people realised Doug was a creator too or something like that, implying that people did think of Rob as the greater half. But who knows? Rob never did solo Dwarf (as a show) so he has never had to live up to the standards of Grant Naylor.