Last RD ep. you watched recently

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

  1. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    Yeah, I can understand why some people like the episode as it has a decent plot idea and it has some ambition.

    I can't rate it alongside the classic era though due to the recycled jokes and some of the cast members not being quite the actors they once were.
     
  2. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on M-Corp.

    For me, this is the strongest episode of Series XII. It has the kind of plot that no other sitcom could do and crucially Doug decides to focus on only one idea. If only he could do this more often…

    I think most people can probably sympathize with Doug’s obvious fear of big companies becoming ubiquitous, and it is dealt with fairly well here. It does get a little heavy-handed during the long scenes regarding Dave’s remaining credits, though.

    It was a nice touch for Doug to continue the tradition of giving warm-up acts an onscreen role, but Ray Peacock’s acting ability is a tad limited and he isn’t exactly subtle. Chippy is over the top as well, and it’s a relief that Helen George plays it straight as Aniter.

    One pretty major fault for the episode is that there are long sections without any laughs. During the sections that are intended to be dramatic, that’s understandable. But there are some feeble jokes crowbarred in elsewhere:
    “Some of your arteries have more fur than an eskimo clothes shop.”
    “They even bought all the stuff no one likes. Maggots, quicksand…even the American chocolate.”

    The jokes about Cat hoping that Rimmer will die have also been repeated again...and again...and again.

    While this isn't up there with the classic era, it's an interesting idea and pretty well executed.

    6/10.
     
  3. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on White Hole.

    I think I might be one of the only Dwarf fans in the world who doesn’t love Talkie Toaster. While David Ross is a fine actor and his timing is impeccable, I find the toaster’s conversations incredibly predicable and I don’t particularly enjoy rewatching them.

    There are a couple of Holly moments that I also find irritating…

    Hattie banging her head on the screen feels to me like the show getting a little lazy, by having a character act in a way that they never have before in order to get a laugh (In Series VII Kryten’s “I’ve got a perfectly sensible walk” before walking in a way that he never had previously, is another example).

    And Holly, despite her high IQ, forgetting the decimal point is just a sloppy bit of writing. The easy solution would have been to have 225 on the screen. When Talkie Toaster asked whether it was 225 years, Holly could have clarified that it was 225 seconds.

    Anyhow, the rest of the episode is high quality and has plenty of memorable moments. The “So what is it?” scene being the most famous, but there are stacks of other good character moments and jokes.

    A solid 8/10.
     
  4. Jape of The Decade

    Jape of The Decade First Technician

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    M-Corp is one of my favourites of the later series. It's a very different type of show and whilst there were fewer laughs it was a great concept with some fine acting. It's the first time I felt Doug was trying something new and almost feels like we are leaning more toward Black Mirror territory.

    Not too fond of Chippy but thankfully he wasnt there too long to be a problem and yes the Uncle Frank Strory really didn't need to be told again.

    My only let down with M-Corp on first watch was toward the end when they rooboot the ship. I got quite excited thinking a familiar face was about to return: given that we knew he was coming back for the final episode. Sure that would have taken away from the reveals in Skipper or TPL but at this point it would have made perfect sense.

    I wasn't too fond of Series 12 but M-Corp stands out as one of the better shows in recent years...

    7/10 :-)
     
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  5. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

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    I wish they would remaster series 4
     
  6. Asclepius

    Asclepius Console Officer

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    we miss the terrible CGI and skutters appearing out of nowhere
     
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  7. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    I meant to mention that when they were planning to remaster Series 4, they were thinking of having Talkie Toaster sing the end titles with loads of bread references.

    Would have been interesting if they'd done that with Mechocracy instead...
     
  8. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on Timewave.

    And so it’s come to this…my least favourite episode of Dwarf up to this point.

    I think it’s fair to say that the reaction to this episode was overwhelmingly negative when it was broadcast and I try to fathom how it all went so wrong.

    From the set reports, it seems like the filming was something of a disaster. The warm-up man suffered some abuse, nearly all of the filming was done on sets behind a wall so the audience had to watch them on a monitor and there were numerous pick-ups and re-shoots which meant that the cast were exhausted by the end. Apparently the audience were also immediately uncomfortable with the campness of Ziggy’s portrayal…

    Now the basic concept for this episode – that criticism is a necessary and healthy thing – I don’t have a problem with. Unfortunately, the execution is horrible. In a society without any criticism, you would expect people to act in a thoughtless way because they are unaware of how their behaviour is affecting other people. For example, they may have terrible personal hygiene which could be funny if done in the correct way (eg. Colin in The Brittas Empire) or they might say completely inappropriate things which is another inherently comedic idea. Instead the idea that they will dress how they please is remarkably lame. I wouldn’t say that personally found it offensive, but it wasn’t funny or interesting. And I can understand why some took exception to it.

    Rimmer has always been my favourite character, but this might be his worst ever portrayal. His constant whining about Planet Rimmer is just annoying and Chris’s overacting doesn’t help, the retcon of his schooldays is cringeworthy and then there is the clitoris “joke”. This is such an awful gag that you wonder how it made it to the screen.

    The same can be said for the Cat insulting the Crit Cop’s wife. Not only is the line about her “droopy titties” unpleasant in itself, it is also completely out of character. The Cat can often say and do the wrong thing, but he isn’t outright nasty. It’s another moment that should have been nixed early on in the writing process.

    I think I’m right in saying that Andrew Ellard and Richard Naylor both tweeted at the time of transmission that they were both excited by this episode though, so maybe they weren’t quite as critical of the script as they ought to have been (ironically enough).

    The plotting is also all over the place and there is a distinct lack of drama. The crew are locked up and then try to escape using the isotope samples in Kryten’s arm (???), but this proves to be completely pointless as they are recaptured again…

    If I were looking for positives, I would say that Johnny Vegas’s opening scene is pleasant enough as he lists every simile for complaining. It’s the kind of linguistic humour that Dwarf can do very well at times. There are also one or two other decent gags, but there are also far too many reused ideas such as jokes about Lister playing the guitar.

    A bad episode of Red Dwarf and a bad piece of television.

    2/10.
     
  9. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

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    I’ve not watched Timewave since it went out mainly because I found it so utterly awful.

    @Seb is this the show where the warm up guy got heckled by some idiots in the audience?
     
  10. BruceFivesyth

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    My thoughts on Parallel Universe.

    While this may divide opinion, I consider it a pretty strong episode and admire the intent…

    It starts strongly with the Tongue Tied dream sequence, Rimmer and Lister’s hypnosis conversation and the Holly Hop Drive. The latter might be one of the best props in the show’s history and takes a negative – the fact that the production standards weren’t perfect at the time – and turns it into a big positive.

    The scenes on the female ship aren’t exactly subtle, but they do throw a light on male behaviour at the time. From the time when I first watched it as a kid, I appreciated that Rob and Doug were calling out the kind of macho nonsense that I used to witness all around me. “She thinks seeing two men together might turn me on” is genius, but many moments show how ridiculous men can be.

    A strong ending which, rightly or wrongly, was never really resolved. Well, not until the Dad section on the Bodysnatcher DVD anyway.

    The cast were all at the top of their game at this point which lifts this episode.

    8/10.
     
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  11. UltraDevotee

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    True, although the cast had markedly improved from their performances in BtE, they were still slightly wooden in series 10. IMHO, their acting has been greater and more like their old selves from series 11 onwards though.

    I suppose after series 8 ended Chris Barrie's only real acting work was in the Tomb Raider movies so maybe that is why he was rusty initially back in RD when it was revived on Dave.
     
  12. UltraDevotee

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    So of Doug's villains who played it straight in the Dave-era we have Asclepius, Pree, Professor Telford and Aniter. Well that's slightly more than I remembered - I used to think it was only Asclepius - and I enjoy the sillier ones virtually as much anyway. But these more sinister ones are more akin to the heavy sci-fi of series 3/4-6 though I suppose.
     
  13. UltraDevotee

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    Although I am one of the few fans who quite likes Timewave, you have mentioned something a week or so ago I remembered but could not be bothered to edit into my review of the ep. from a couple of weeks ago. The Helium 7 isotope samples bit is absolutely pathetic writing as it is simply pointless and incoherent.

    Another thing I forgot to mention but could not be bothered editing in too was about the diabolical Clitoris joke. I enjoyed the acronym gag of it in Polymorph massively (that was clever and witty), but this word being used in Timewave just sounded really stupid, lazy writing from Doug to rhyme it with spit on her wrist.

    I still do personally - and I know I am one of the select few - think Timewave is very good overall but there are glaring faults.
     
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  14. UltraDevotee

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    I'm glad you enjoy it too. It's a 10/10 classic to me - a real feel good, literal party atmosphere finale and the darker end with Lister being pregnant provides some continuity for once (I don't mind it too much when old things are changed/retconned too) from Future Echoes and rounds off the first RD era spectacularly.
     
  15. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    Yeah, I wonder how much Polymorph influenced the inclusion of that joke.

    It's slightly bizarre to me that from that ep there have been references to the golf game at the start (Lemons), the boxer shorts sequence (Dear Dave), the CLITORIS joke (GROPE in Back in the Red and MILFs in Siliconia) and the Polymorph itself (Emohawk and Can of Worms). They may as well have done a shot for shot remake. :lol:
     
  16. Asclepius

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    This was probably one of the worst jokes in the history of Red Dwarf. Even series VIII can do better than that.
     
  17. BruceFivesyth

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    My thoughts on Red Dwarf USA.

    The contemporary comments in the old Red Dwarf Magazine are remarkably frank about the production of this pilot and Craig Bierko’s casting. “He just didn’t work out as a slob and the powers that be at Universal soon realised that they had made a mistake.”

    Despite that, I think the interactions between Lister and Kryten are the high points of the pilot and Craig Bierko could have actually gone on to become a very good lead actor for the show (as his subsequent career indicates).

    Jane Leeves isn’t quite right as Holly, but they probably could have written for her had they been commissioned, and Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black) might have made for a strong captain.

    Rimmer and the Cat are the weak links and I think you can see just how important Danny was to the U.K. show. Hinton Battle’s performance is a little painful to me and there is nothing amusing about the character at all.

    Doug’s memories differ a little with Rob’s and Robert’s, as the latter two have both said that the recording went very well and the audience reaction was ecstatic. Rob has said that it was in the edit that things went wrong, and it definitely feels stilted and awkward. They also made some strange decisions such as using the animation to try to explain the history of the cat species.

    There are some good new jokes along with the lines re-used from the original episodes, and bizarrely there are some moments that have hints of the Dave era.

    For example, the 2nd mini-pilot features the line, “roaming around this ship somewhere there is an armor-plated genetic mutant who wants to impregnate us all with his demon seed.” Shades of Can of Worms there.

    I don’t think the pilot quite fits together properly, and I don’t compare it directly with the U.K. show obviously, but it probably could have worked if Rob and Doug had been given a series.

    An interesting curio and 5/10.
     
  18. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Red Dwarf USA is pretty awful but then it was just a pilot episode. It would have been really interesting to see what a whole season of this would have been like if it had been commissioned. After all, you could never get a proper impression of the English Red Dwarf from watching The End.

    This US version though is far too Lister-centric. I think I'm right in saying that Rimmer gets just half a scene and two mini appearances before the accident. As someone else wrote, when Rimmer returns as a hologram many people's reactions would probably be 'Now who was that character?' Craig Bierko puts in a good performance, but he's just not Lister. Not the Lister we all know anyway. The rest of the cast (apart from Robert of course) are very poor.
     
  19. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

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    Tokka to Ride
    One of my faves.

    9/10
     
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  20. UltraDevotee

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    Red Dwarf USA I should not really comment on because I have only ever seen brief clips on the series 5 extras DVD...but what I did see seemed really flat and left me cold. Still I'd have to watch the whole pilot to really judge it but I am absolutely delighted we got series 6 instead, IMHO the finest of the lot.
     

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