Last RD ep. you watched recently

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

  1. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

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    Krysis, this afternoon.

    This is the other episode in series 11 - after Give and Take and Twentica - that reaches definite classic status. They are all part of the finest series since 1993 but these are the 3 that shine the most. Kryten's mid-life crisis - which reflects obviously how the crew are getting older now - is well handled and I am one of those fans who thought his ridiculous red sports car-like suit was hilarious instead of cringeworthy humour (and it was intended to be the latter anyway). The script is very tight, full of jokes and I especially enjoy the one about Rimmer's ex-classmate. It is skilful characterisation by Doug that Butler (played brilliantly by Dominic Coleman) is pompous but he is not truly unlikable and has a good intention to help Kryten's crisis - if it was the audience as well as Kryten who detested him then it would not be funny and instead annoying. Meanwhile, I like the inclusion of a GELF for the first time since 1997 and another characteristic that Krysis has that is in keeping with Red Dwarf's glory days is it is another episode in which there is so much happening and there are plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep the viewer occupied.

    Admittedly, the pay off for Kryten's midlife crisis with the sentient universe contradicts the premise of Red Dwarf that they are "alone in a Godless universe" but it is successful, humorous and the S.I.U. station looks visually stunning too. The actual resolution with Kryten realising that "love" holds the universe together may sound cheesy but IMHO it rounds off the episode highly effectively somehow. The twist at the end that Kryten has failed to outsmart Butler at anything due to the latter's deliberately tampering with Starbug to contrive for them to arrive at the S.I.U. provides the episode with cleverness. For any Dwarfers that - unlike me in retrospect - are not satisfied with a few of the abrupt endings in series 11, this is a proper and amusing finish to round the episode off nicely.

    There are only a couple of slight issues that I would criticise in Krysis, however. The repeating of the GELF pronunciation bit lasts too long while as the episode is less than 27 minutes I would have preferred if Doug had not deleted the bit where Butler even fixes Lister's ingrowing toe nail. Like with the Mineopoly bit at the start of Samsara and lift conversation at the begininng of Give and Take, it provides an already comic scene with an extra, intelligent purpose later. Overall though, this is an excellent episode and I honestly believe it ranks amongst some of the best Red Dwarf. 9/10.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  2. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on Back in the Red - Part Two.

    I think it’s fair to say that this episode hasn’t aged too well…

    The opening scene featuring Rimmer’s extended salutes and gags about the Captain’s piles is not exactly subtle, but it does at least have some comedy value. Things get much worse from here onwards…

    20 years ago the concept of Rimmer using the sexual magnetism virus seemed lowbrow but inoffensive. Nowadays I can understand why some people take exception to it…especially considering that women haven’t always been portrayed particularly well in the show. When Rimmer starts pounding his own genitalia with a hammer, the shark has been well and truly jumped.

    Classifying Kryten as a woman because he doesn't have a penis is another idea which seemed bad at the time, and seems worse now. It was fairly transparently a device to force he and Kochanski together to do some jokes about women later in the series.

    And the scene with the Dibbley family is one of the worst in the show’s history. Not just for crowbarring in an old reference for a cheap laugh, but also for going completely against the Cat’s character. Literally 30 seconds before we have the good gag of him only wearing a disguise under his normal clothes. Then he actually thinks dressing up as Duane Dibbley is a “great idea” despite the fact that the Cat hates being Duane Dibbley.

    The feel of things at this point was more Confessions of a Space Adventurer than Red Dwarf…

    We also have two more lame “than” jokes in the space of 30 seconds:
    “Our defence has got more holes than my socks.”
    “My handshake is less reliable than a plumber’s estimate.”

    4/10.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  3. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    Sorry, to go back over posts from last month...

    I think the Dad script excerpt on the Bodysnatcher set is great and lasts for 8 and a half minutes. It's pretty amazing that they wrote one third of an episode and then jettisoned most of it (a few lines ended up in The Last Day).

    Rob and Doug explain in their commentary that they didn't complete it because Rob was not yet a father at the time, and because they didn't want to get stuck with a baby on board.
     
  4. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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  5. BruceFivesyth

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    My thoughts on Back in the Red - Part Three.

    Of course, this episode should never really have existed and was a cheap addition due to production issues. Doug has complained that the series only had the same budget as Dinnerladies which seems slightly disingenuous. For a BBC 2 sitcom to have the same budget as a huge hit show with an all-star cast wasn’t exactly unreasonable and Doug wasted a lot of the money that he’d been given. It’s ironic that three of the most expensive aspects of this series – the massively extended cast, the Blue Midget dance and the dinosaur – were largely unpopular with fans.

    The Captain’s recap takes an age at the start of the episode and the reveal that he is really the donut boy is rather depressing. I block it from my mind when watching Series I and II.

    Many people describe the Blur Midget dance as “filler”, but scarily it was always intended to be a big set piece. I can understand Doug wanting to try something, but they were limited by the CG and it doesn’t help that the storyline is all over the place.

    The entire plot feels forced and now seems utterly pointless. Frustratingly, they could have had just the main four actors with Norman for the first time ever. We had to wait rather a long time to get to see that…

    3/10.
     
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  6. Asclepius

    Asclepius Console Officer

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    I'll have to rewatch Dad. I don't remember much of it, but I don't think it was offensive.
    The reason was probably, as you say, Doug being father and writing all the children jokes. This might actually be the first time, when Richard Naylor influenced the production of Red Dwarf.
     
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  7. UltraDevotee

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    Like I said earlier, the problem was I had read some probable misinformation on Wikipedia regarding Dad stating that it was rejected because it was "possibly sexist." I have never watched the Bodysnatcher DVD so maybe should not have commented about Dad anyway (tbf, I did not realise there was an excerpt from the script on there) but thank you very much for telling me the real reasons why it was dropped, that is most helpful and useful for the future. :-)
     
  8. Bluey

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    I feel pretty sure that Doug just came up with the awful Blue Midget dance sequence in an attempt to create a classic Dwarf moment that the fans would all be gushing about - like the shrinking boxer shorts from Polymorph for example. Except the shrinking boxer shorts moment has a reason to be there. The dancing Blue Midget sequence on the other hand is a completely irrelevant moment that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot. That's what I object to most about it.
     
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  9. UltraDevotee

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    Can of Worms, last night.

    This episode does what it says on the tin - the plotting is like a can of worms with its convolution and various misleads. Initially, the viewer thinks it is going to be a story about virgin hunting GELFs and that is quickly ditched as the rest of the crew obviously realise that the Cat has never really met any females of his species before. But it does establish a start for a welcome Cat episode (for once) in which the main story concerns a female polymorph that intends to breed with him as the victim. Clearly there is a lot of sexual imagery and it is another RD show with a male mother as the Cat is naively impregnated and gives birth to the morphlings.

    Quite a lot of series 11 returns RD back to the heavy sci-fi of its peak years, but this is perhaps a slight step too far. For example, the mind altering machine at the very beginning in the brand new Starbug Upper Deck (filmed during series 12 when the set was complete) is there ultimately to re-use the Psirens gag about Rimmer's personality as it has no discernible effect on the pay off and over complicates it a bit. However, other aspects of the pay off that destroys the polymorphs are intelligent and well thought out writing from Doug. Although the penultimate scene in which the Cat shoots all of them dead is brutal and fast, it is logical because he has lost his maternal protection of them and two of the polymorphs being eliminated earlier (by a particularly greedy one) leads to a bit of the Cat's mind being restored and Kryten said this might not matter as the Cat lived in an emotionless state anyway. So what might appear simple as a resolution is actually fairly clever despite the personality tuck machine being another pointless mislead. Additionally, the polymorphs transforming into tumours that would kill the Cat if they were attempted to be surgically removed before birth and the Mercenoid (a droid with an afterlife fantasy of a terrorist) being executed by the rigged dictaphone were classic, old school genius moments from Doug.

    Also, this episode - despite its negative points - does have some great comedy like the Rolling Stones joke, the repeated "You're a moron!" and the hilarious Mexican stand-off at the climax in the diesel decks that leads to the Cat destroying all the polymorphs. Meanwhile, the final scene in which the Cat has lady Cats with him is comical and effective, because it is not merely the cardinal sin of voiding the whole episode as a dream.

    Admittedly, Can of Worms is quite a difficult (look how long my sentences had to be to attempt to explain the resolution), overly complex episode that lacks sense and is inferior to the 2 great previous Polymorph RD shows. But although it is the weakest offering of the most vintage RD series since 1993, I would disagree for the most part with the groan in the audience towards the reappearance of this GELF, as it is still a very funny half hour with a twist on a famous RD villain and overall a welcome third part of the Polymorph trilogy. 7.5/10.

    BTW, last March it was an 8/10, it's just I did not enjoy it as much last night and saw more of its faults. But it could go back up to an 8 in future though.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  10. BruceFivesyth

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    You're welcome and if you get the chance, you should give Dad and Bodysnatcher a watch. They are both on Youtube.
     
  11. BruceFivesyth

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    If I was being generous to Doug, I would say that maybe he was aiming for something similar to Tongue Tied. They are both dance routines choreographed by Charles Augins and they both have nothing to do with the plot.

    The difference being that Tongue Tied was used at the start of the episode so it didn't slow everything down and it is much funnier due to the performances of all the cast.

    I also don't think it helped that Blue Midget had only started to walk in the reviled Remastered episodes...
     
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  12. BruceFivesyth

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    My thoughts on Entangled.

    As with Back in the Red, there are strong hints of Quarantine with this episode. The coincidence idea, while Kryten and the Cat are initially amusing, rapidly operates in a very similar way to the luck virus. It unfortunately means that the action lurches around too quickly and without enough explanation. One criticism of the later series is that the plots move around too much, and the coincidence contrivance actually encourages this. The BEGGs need to disappear so they conveniently choke, they need some information so the TV turns on…

    The BEGGs scene itself feels like a low budget version of Emohawk, albeit with the smart boarding school joke.

    It’s in the last 10 minutes that the episode really falls apart though and everything about Professor Edgington’s appearance is a disaster. Her being ogled by a bunch of middle aged men is rather sad, the depiction of her as simply being thick and then desperate to sleep with Rimmer is one-dimensional and then there is the matter of her departure at the conclusion. Obviously she was never going to stay on as a member of the crew, but the way she is dealt with in such a perfunctory manner and the way that Lister barely seems to care is insultingly awful.

    4/10.
     
  13. BruceFivesyth

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    My thoughts on Polymorph.

    One of the most influential episodes of the show as it has led to two sequels, a remake of its most famous scene and has spawned a million T-shirts. Perhaps familiarity has led to ambivalence with some fans, but I think this is still a classic when judged on its own merits.

    Series III was when I became a fan of the show - and when many other people became fans as well – and I still think it’s one of the most innovative and impressive series. Not only were Rob and Doug at the top of their game, but the crew were also coming up with ideas like Kryten’s groinal socket and Lister using medical equipment to have dinner.

    The boxer shorts sequence is a great piece of comedy, I’ve always loved Chris Barrie’s performance in the second half of the episode and it’s a sign of the show’s quality casting that they could bring in Frances Barber (who will again be appearing in Rob Grant’s Lockdown Theatre today) to play such a small part as the genetic mutant.

    The use of the bazookoids to kill the monster also wraps things up nicely.

    10/10.
     
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  14. UltraDevotee

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    Cured, last night.

    This is an episode that proved unpopular with a few fans but I honestly feel it is very much classic Dwarf. There is a series 4's Meltdown influence via the droids disguised as infamous historical figures, but it is closest in feel to series 5 IMHO as it is pretty dark with the (skilfully comical too) torture part. Some Dwarfers mentioned how they did not like the presence of Hitler in it but because he has appeared before in RD in series 3 (Timeslides) and 4 I do not think it is inappropriate, especially as it is not the real one. This is also one of the funniest shows - with line after line of continual humour - of the two back to back series IMHO and Lister jamming with Hitler works because it must be the latter who has the lead guitar part due to the former's "limited" musical ability.

    It is clever when it is revealed that the Cat is a psychopath too and although it might appear to some silly at the climax with him continually swapping sides, ultimately the pay off is successful IMHO. Admittedly, you wonder whether Telford should have just shot all the other Dwarfers apart from the Cat and then held him at gunpoint to force him to reveal the Starbug ignition sequence. But really he did need the Cat's trust because Telford must have anticipated that the former (despite his naivety) would realise that even if he did assist he would then be murdered too and if he did not obtain the startup from anyone then he would perish also in the space station due to the future collision with a planet. But anyhow, Professor Telford - underappreciated a bit as one of the rare more malevolent antagonists in the Dave-era (Adrian Lukis plays his part straight) - has the air of unpredictability of a villain and is too trusting that the Cat is a fellow psychopath anyway, when the difference between the pair is that the latter is not of the killer type (except when facing a legitimate threat obviously). Meanwhile, I loved the poker face element of the resolution and IMHO the opening scene to series 12 is the best of the Dave-era so far as it is both funny (due to the Cat's amusing incapability to play cards), but crucially has later purpose to the plot.

    Although it is not 100% at the level of the Rob Grant co-written Demons and Angels or The Inquisitor, Cured is an excellent opener to the 2017 run that recalls the feel of the vintage series 4-5 years and has a story that is relatively more streamlined than the previous all over the place plotting in Can of Worms. 9/10.
     
  15. Asclepius

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    Let's face it, if it wasn't for the terrible Blue Midget animation, it would be much better (but still pointless for the episode).
     
  16. Asclepius

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    For me, Cured is just a middle of the road Dave era episode with its typical faults. There are few blind spots in it and the ending once again feels rushed.

    They needed to get rid off the evils → oh, they are all droids.
    They needed a real antagonist → oh, Telford is a psychopat.
    They needed to get rid off Telford → Cat shoots him to the head.

    I also remember that I found it very predictable when I've seen it for the first time.
     
  17. UltraDevotee

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    Siliconia, this afternoon.

    This is another RD show that a few fans have taken against and yet again I feel it is very much vintage RD. With its concept of the entire RD crew becoming androids - another new idea in the slightly more experimental and far out series 12 - it was one of the episodes that was most anticipated by Dwarfers and IMHO Doug pulled it off. It is certainly one of the best looking Red Dwarf episodes ever with an epic, great cast and I particularly enjoyed the counselling scene. It is all very funny and my other favourite bit was the line comparing Lister's guitar playing to Yoko Ono's finest musical moments. Although there are a few more recycled old jokes from RD's past compared to Cured, they are overall welcome and a bit like a greatest hits as the show approached its imminent 30th birthday. In fact, there is even a more dramatic moment of pathos in the episode when Rimmer reveals his preferred intention to remain a robot with no emotions of resentment and envy of his brothers anymore - a fine psychological insight from Doug - and this cleverly connects back to series 10's opener, Trojan.

    The mop duel to the death between Lister and Kryten is definitely an absurd climax but it is comical and it works because this silliness is one of the facets of classic Dwarf. The ending is definitely slightly rushed and a bit deus ex machina but I personally find it successful as it is similar to Russell T Davies' early new Who similar simple and resounding pay offs. Anyway, it is quite intelligent too because the viewer has to notice one of the MILFs mentioning that they were travelling to Siliconia earlier in the episode to understand this resolution, something I failed to do on first viewing which provided a rewarding, superior re-watch.

    Ultimately although I was not very impressed on first viewing, this rapidly became an excellent, thrilling and diverse RD episode IMHO with a valuable anti-slavery, equality message as all the mechanoids become the same Mark 4s at the end. 9/10.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  18. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

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    Even though I am in a minority in that I quite like most of the rest of Back in the Red Part III, the Blue Midget dance is indeed terrible. Whatever it was intended to be as a big set piece falls flat and it ultimately just feels like it is there to stretch the episode to the full half hour slot.
     
  19. UltraDevotee

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    Fair enough, even if we don't agree it is interesting to hear your opinion so thanks for the reply.
     
  20. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    Out of interest, what did you make of their new struggles to start Starbug?

    It all felt a little contrived to me in order to fit into the plot later on and stop Telford from escaping. They could have thought of a subtler way of doing that...

    Anyhow, looking forward to reading your thoughts about Timewave. That should be interesting. ;-)
     

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