Last RD ep. you watched recently

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by sanja, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

    Messages:
    702
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Pete Part I

    This is the point in series 8 in which it rapidly deteriorates IMHO after the first 5 episodes which ranged from good to great. The whole episode - and even more so in the next one - feels less like a story and more like a sketch show which basically means it is no longer the same tight plotted RD. Meanwhile, these incidences of comedy include things like the notoriously cringeworthy basketball game and inane aeroplane toilet humour in a bunkroom scene. I suppose there is meant to be a very basic plot of Lister/Rimmer's actions increasingly annoying Captain Hollister and there is a bit of sci-fi in the discovery of the time wand. But although the time wand adds a - albeit miniscule - bit of cleverness in the delayed timestreams which are slightly funny, ultimately the "mime artists" bit looks too silly and when the entire crew is meant to be frozen you can see a bit of inadvertent movement from a couple of them. The Timewand being also able to change something back to an earlier form produces T-Rex Pete and he is so absolutely ridiculous looking that you wonder why any of the bigger series 8 budget was used on him. Also the insanely irritating Birdman must be Red Dwarf's worst character ever IMHO - what was Doug thinking?

    Still, there is the odd moment at times in which a bit of the old Red Dwarf comedy seeps through and I particularly liked Holly's jokes about QPR and the Eurovision Song Contest. But overall although I have sort of got used to this episode's lack of quality since 2015, this is the point at which I really start to miss witnessing RD in its golden age when I watched series 2-6 a few weeks ago and a very poor effort compared to that era. 6/10.

    The Blu-ray upscale is largely fine again, apart from a few bits which are slightly grainy.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  2. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

    Messages:
    14,331
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Imagine if there’d been a Pete part 3
     
  3. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

    Messages:
    702
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Pete Part II

    Although I do love half of the 1999 run, this episode is Red Dwarf at rock bottom. The plotting in this second part is again weak and feels like a clip show. But most importantly, RD has lost its sophistication from its glory days despite the use of a sci-fi device in the time ward. For example, Lister repeatedly zapping Captain Hollister with it has absolutely no purpose and it is like Doug was running out of ideas and included that bit just to fill up the entire half hour. Previously back in RD's heyday, repeated things like "so what is it?" had a proper sci-fi foundation and this simply is not clever. Additionally, the pay off has to be weakest in RD history ever - the time wand has a magical "undo" button which Lister/Rimmer use so why did none of the Captain's men understand that function when Pete was sedated and why on earth did Kryten not just press it when Pete originally became a T-Rex? But whatever, it is a far too primitive resolution and the glorious, complex sci-fi of old has deserted Doug.

    Meanwhile, the comedy is mostly weak too with an extremely repetitive speech by the Captain about a dinosaur's digestive process but the nadir has to be the embarrassingly daft slapstick from a robotic penis. Still Pete Part II has got a slight redeeming feature in that a bit of the comedy here and there has a bit of quality. Holly's long and short version of the main Dwarfers' predicament in the cargo bay is a bit of the old Doug IMHO while the bunkroom scene with Rimmer disrespecting the Captain and the delayed effects of Lister/Rimmer's fight with Kill Crazy/Baxter are quite amusing too. But overall this is IMHO Red Dwarf's weakest show and with its much dumber nature almost like either a crisis of confidence from Doug or he ran out of time/money to produce a great script. 6/10.

    Apart from a couple of very slightly grainy camera angles, the upscale is again really good.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  4. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

    Messages:
    702
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Only The Good..., last night

    I remember back in 2000 when series 8 was released on VHS, I did not buy the byte 2 one because apart from Krytie TV the other 3 episodes had no effect on me. Well since 2015 - although I still think it is just average RD - because it did not end up being the final ever episode I have been a bit kinder towards it. However, the period banner is shockingly sexist and although there is a story which sublimely transforms from prison sitcom to the destruction of Red Dwarf, it is still quite sketch show like in parts.

    But there is some funny comedy at times and I especially like the "Who fancies a Kebab?" gag and although Ricky Grover had limited acting ability he was quite amusing too in the "squeeze your rolls" scene. While the mirror universe concept is obviously a re-use of the parallel type it is quite comical too with the dumb Kochanski and genius Cat and I quite enjoy the deleted scenes of the opposite Lister too and it is shame they had to be excised as it would have made this part fuller.

    The infamous cliffhanger is clearly the most controversial aspect of Only the Good... and I certainly would agree the more positive, feelgood Cesiumfrancolithic... one should have definitely been used instead. It is like Doug thought he would kind of repeat the shocker ending of series 6 - though nowhere near as strong - again and really this time the happier ending would have been more appropriate and crucially it would have been the funniest moment of the episode. It would have restored the status quo from the beginning of the series and left it kind of final but open as well without any need for fan theories for when the show returned a decade later. Although this notorious final scene of the BBC series ever is depressing, surreal and perplexing it was at least an emotional and dramatic way for the show to disappear from TV for all that time but it is so long now that unless it is addressed in a future special it is unlikely to ever be resolved (which is fair enough I guess).

    Additionally, though I have warmed slightly to the ending because eventually more Red Dwarf was produced if that had been the final scene ever I would never have forgiven Doug because it was so awkward and when I used to reach the end of my old 2000s Dwarfathons (when the show's future was very uncertain) it always used to massively annoy me. Overall, despite the fact that I appreciate Only the Good... as an episode and even it's bizarre final moments somewhat more, it is still ultimately a bit mediocre but it does at least mark the end of an era and was not the real final ever RD show. 6.5/10.

    The Blu-ray version is virtually all amazingly upscaled - nice, sharp and colourful too. The exploding Red Dwarf looks really vivid.
     
  5. Jape of The Decade

    Jape of The Decade First Technician

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2017
    Location:
    nodnoL
    I completely agree they should have gone with the 'Happy' ending. I remember the first time I bought the Series VIII DVD and just thought to myself "why didn't they do this?!"

    It's such a neater ending and ties up the series quite nicely. Gone are the crew and we are just left with the main cast alone on Red Dwarf again.

    Personally, I wish Doug hadn't gone off to pursue the movie as from what I gather at this point the show was pulling in around 8 million viewers and would definitely have been commissioned for a series 9 on the BBC and probably many more.

    I'm not sure a Red Dwarf Movie would have worked anyway... I think over the years it's proved that the show works better as a sitcom. :-)
     
  6. Asclepius

    Asclepius Console Officer

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Location:
    Behind you
    Well, there were 8 million viewers for the first episode. Series VIII was so bad that it had decreased to 4 million for the last one.

    It would be probably written in VIII style, which would be absolutely terrible, but I think The Promised Land proved that Red Dwarf can work in a bigger time format.
     
  7. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

    Messages:
    702
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    If the happy ending had been used then my rating for the episode might have been slightly higher despite the fact that I am a bit more accustomed to the stranger cliffhanger one.

    I agree it is a shame that Doug spent so long trying to get funding for a movie, but I would also say that Asclepius is right when he says that long form RD can work like the one on April 9th this year. However, the lost decade of RD was definitely disappointing.
     
  8. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

    Messages:
    702
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Back to Earth, last night.

    I watched it in its director's cut form because although it was originally a mini-series, I feel it is superior as a whole special as opposed to being split into 3 sub-30 minutes episodes. I remember back in 2009 on first broadcast I thought it was - if not spectacular - okay. It is to me a bit like an extension of the style of series 7 - more dramatic and although still a comedy, not as concentrated on being as funny as it was back in series 1-6. Still generally nearly all the dialogue is mildly funny and there are some absolutely laugh out loud moments and clever gags like the "X-Factor" one and videos joke. Even if there are some cringeworthy moments like the mini-Rimmers, overall Back to Earth is a fair tribute to arguably Red Dwarf's top show (Back to Reality) and Bladerunner with some quite strong plotting and a fine pay off in that they had antibodies from their previous encounter with the despair squid that worked against the female "happy"-inducing one. The most dramatic moment - the Kochanski scene - was a superb idea by Doug to include Chloe Annett again, on this occasion. It is quite touching and emotional, displaying another side to Red Dwarf like the 1997 run did at times when the writing was at its best.

    However, the sets although satisfactory especially considering the really low budget, look slightly like a different show and after a 10 year hiatus the Dwarfers' performances are slightly wooden, like they are struggling a tiny bit to get back into character. Ultimately, though it does not quite feel like real RD due to the humour being lighter, it is okay IMHO and paved the way for future, superior RD that was almost back to its best - with a record rating for a non-mainstream channel - and so can be judged a reasonable success. 6.75/10.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  9. Asclepius

    Asclepius Console Officer

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Location:
    Behind you
    I forgot @Andrew was a new Doug's writing partner. I was wondering why was GNP renamed to Ellard Naylor Production... :roll:
     
  10. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

    Messages:
    14,331
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    [​IMG]
     
    Asclepius likes this.
  11. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

    Messages:
    702
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Apologies if I have made a mistake...but I thought someone said in one of the BtE threads that had been revived recently that Andrew Ellard inspired Doug to bring back Kochanski for that scene. Maybe I misread it though...or was it just a joke? But yes Doug is the man in charge and the writer.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  12. Asclepius

    Asclepius Console Officer

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Location:
    Behind you
    Rob looks like an italian mafia boss, Doug like his driver, and @Andrew as a man, who owes them money and will be killed in a minute, but is trying to look relaxed.
     
    Mardroid likes this.
  13. Asclepius

    Asclepius Console Officer

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Location:
    Behind you
    Andrew Ellard is a script editor, so probably his ideas can be usefull for Doug, but I don't think he has much impact on things like guest characters...
     
  14. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

    Messages:
    702
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Fair enough. Have edited what I wrote with a slightly different rating too as it is a bit better than a 6.5.
     
  15. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

    Messages:
    20,460
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    Are you talking about the two that answered the door at the Creator's house? I thought they were great and really weird. The first time I saw them was a bizarre moment for me because for a few seconds my brain just couldn't process what I was seeing.
     
  16. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

    Messages:
    702
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Maybe I wasn't in the right mood for that bit, but I thought it looked a bit too weird and didn't find it so funny. Still the fact that we all enjoy different bits of the humour when RD was past its peak in BtE shows what a talented writer Doug is.
     
  17. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

    Messages:
    14,331
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    I really liked BTE (directors cut)! I know I’m in a minority but I like the more dramatic eps of red dwarf.

    I never understood the criticism for it when episodes like Back to Reality, The Inquisitor and Gunmen are so popular, considering they are really good stories but more dramatic than hilariously funny.
     
    Abe likes this.
  18. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

    Messages:
    20,460
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    For me, the Director's Cut is the best version of Back to Earth. It works much better as one whole thing than chopped up into three different episodes.
     
    Abe, UltraDevotee and Ant E like this.
  19. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

    Messages:
    702
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Trojan, last night.

    Well after around 13 and a half years without a full RD series is the first episode of 10 any good? While the comedy fails to match the series 1-6 Rob Grant co-writes - i.e. a few bits miss the mark - most of it is very funny and it is a significant improvement on BtE in that respect. The moose joke is comical and clever in that it connects to Rimmer's attempts to pass his astro-navigation exam later on. I also enjoy the slapstick when Sim Crawford asks why the SS Trojan is not moving and they all veer to the side to pretend they really are a high ranked crew. But the main thing that this episode has IMHO is superior storytelling to the final 3 episodes of series 8. The sci-fi concepts of the quantum rod that draws things related together and the resentment drain are a reasonably inventive new start for RD in the 2010s. Meanwhile, some might say there were too many sub-plots in 10 but it is sensational the way all 3 (I think) storylines merge together at the end for the pay off. Even if Lister being so desperate to answer the phone when he is faced with an armed simulant may look a bit too ridiculous it works because there had been plenty of silliness in the peak years of RD anyway. Meanwhile, the resolution with The Cat neutralising Sim Crawford with the data stick from the earlier resentment drain(s) makes for a satisfyingly smart rounding off of the episode and the twist at the very end with Rimmer's brother being given the highest honour was hilarious character based humour too.

    The one notable criticism I do have is that the special effect on Rimmer and Howard's eyes when their light bees crash does look slightly tacky but I accept it is the best that the RD team could do given that there was a lack of money and production problems. Anyway, in series 1/2 some of the effects were similarly lacking in polish but it does not matter as the show is a comedy and the cheapness can make it amusing too. But certainly Michael Ralph's sets - although inspired slightly by the bunkroom in BtE - look so much more Dwarfy than 2009 and modern too and are a major success of series 10 despite the issues they had. Overall, though I would not consider this at the level of series 2-6 because it does not totally match that quality due to a slight lack of tightness in the script, it is certainly a very good beginning to a new era that has a marked feel of the vintage years. 8/10.
     
  20. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

    Messages:
    14,331
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009

Share This Page