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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    It's on Youtube in pretty good quality.

    The edit is indeed flat and shows just how important the production team and crew were to the U.K. version.
     
  2. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on Balance of Power.

    I can understand why some people may not love Balance of Power, as it is essentially an instalment of a sci-fi show without any science fiction.

    But, as Paul Jackson discussed in the recent Zoom commentary, the crux of the show is in this episode. The idea of Rimmer being the best person to keep Lister sane is one of the central premises of Dwarf and you get to learn so much about their disparate characters here.

    Chris was superb from the beginning and he has some great withering lines that he forcefully delivers towards both Lister and himself: “You rectum-faced pygmy", “You’ve got the brains of diarrhoea” and “Rimmer to rhyme with scum” to name but three.

    I’ve always enjoyed the croquet hoop story too, and I like the invention that’s involved in having Rimmer physically fighting with himself and of him requesting his own nipple.

    Not the most dramatic of plotlines, but these earlier episodes provided the foundation for the show’s success.

    A high 7/10.
     
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  3. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

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    Glad you enjoy this episode very much too. Like I stated in my review a few weeks ago I gave it 10/10. It has plot inconsistencies, but it's fine if you interpret them in the same way as those in Backwards and Doug - and Rob too - have never been massive fans of continuity anyway. I loved this ep. on first broadcast back in 1997 and it remains my 2nd favourite of the Doug-solo era behind Give and Take.
     
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  4. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

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    I think you’re great
     
  5. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on Mechocracy.

    Obvious parallels can be drawn between this and Balance of Power as they both feature a battle for status aboard the ship. The main problem with both episodes is that they lack a dramatic plot and there is no real sense of tension. I don’t think the vending machines have been a particularly worthwhile part of recent series, and I couldn’t care less about their political leanings. :-)

    The idea of parodying an election feels like a topic that Doug wanted to tackle, but it is a little forced in Dwarf and rather sketchy. It does have some merit (Rimmer’s smile to camera being my favourite moment of the episode) and I can appreciate the references towards abortion and all of the other topics that politicians are asked to discuss. I don’t really get any huge laughs or insights from it though.

    The opening scene featuring Kryten simply waiting in silence is also rather nice. Perhaps it says something about my feelings regarding recent series of the show that my two favourite bits both feature no dialog. :-)

    The conversation about Lister’s grandmother was taken from another episode I believe and really slows down the pace. That was a moment that needed a little bit of tension and energy, but that sketch sucked the life out of things.

    And finally Talkie Toaster’s return… He was a one-joke character in White Hole, but I can understand his popularity due to David Ross’s timing and due to the amusing premise. Unfortunately the joke here is identical to the one in that episode save for substituting a few bread products. It is a very lazy return and one that any fan could have written by googling the name of some pastry products.

    Purely hypothetically, what might have added more drama is if Kryten and Lister had realized that the only way to win the election would be to get Holly back up and running. It certainly would have raised the stakes and given something for the episode to move towards.

    4/10.
     
  6. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

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    Yes, series 1 was the foundation (the comedy is first rate though the plotting is just getting cooking) and then series 2/3 were the benchmark for the future RD IMHO.
     
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  7. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

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    I certainly don't view myself as great but thanks once again for the nice words.
     
  8. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on Rimmerworld.

    Interestingly the concept of a “Rimmerworld” was mentioned in the Bodysnatcher script that was started in 1983…

    Typically for Series VI this ep has stacks of good one-liners, the cast are on top form and the production standards are quality (the explosion of the simulant ship, for example). The introduction of the Chinese worry balls also provides another fine running joke and it’s nice to see Liz Hickling back and playing it straight again.

    I do have some reservations about the plot though. Not only does it have hints of Terrorform, but the idea of Rimmer’s character being pretty much unchanged despite spending years alone seems very cartoony. When a show does a passing of time gag, it might get laughs or move the plot on. But sometimes to the detriment of the characters…

    And just to show that there were a few really duff jokes even during the classic era, the “less choice than a Welsh fish & chip shop” line always felt lame. Probably based on Rob and Doug’s personal experience I guess, but observational comedy based on something that almost nobody has observed.

    A very strong conclusion to the episode with the legendary teleporter joke, and then Lister’s absence in the final scene hinting at what’s to come in Out of Time.

    8/10.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  9. Pembers

    Pembers Console Officer

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    The promotion/demotion stuff? Oddly it was taken from Officer Rimmer where it would have fit much better with the story. That’s why at the end of OR when letting Rimmer through the gate Lister calls him ‘Technician two point zero’ cos of the 2.5 stuff.
     
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  10. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on The Last Day.

    An underrated episode in my opinion…

    Robert had really grown into the role by this point and he was clearly popular with the writers. Not only does this episode focus on him, but also the first two episodes of Series IV.

    As this was the last script to be written for the series, Rob and Doug had had the chance to see what would work for Kryten and you feel like they had the characters nailed by this point. The dialog is pretty much spot on imo and ideas such as Uncle Frank, Silicon Heaven and Lister being found under a pool table have all become pretty iconic within the history of the show.

    Rimmer’s Samaritans story is a classic and was so good that it was repeated almost word for word in an episode of The Brittas Empire.

    The show also didn’t take itself too seriously at this point and I love the “Don’t give me the Star Trek crap” line.

    Perhaps it’s not so popular due to it being a bottle show and not having an awful lot of action. But the writing and acting were both top quality at this stage.

    9/10.
     
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  11. UltraDevotee

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    I'm glad you really enjoy this too - in fact, I even gave it a full 10/10 a month or so back. I remember when I was a child and watched The Last Day I could see why others felt it was the least strong 1989 episode and felt the same. Then round about 2005 when watching the first DVD release of series 3, I suddenly realised this is an absolutely excellent episode with so much all time great Red Dwarf comedy material. Another last episode - like the one to finish the previous series - that finishes the run with a party atmosphere (especially appropriate when it was first broadcast before Christmas 1989). It does lack the dynamism of the other series 3 shows but the simultaneously sinister and comical Hudzen 10 bit at the end compensates for a lack of action and rounds off the episode well.
     
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  12. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on Red Dwarf Radio Show: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Part One:

    As a change of pace, I decided to have another listen to the BBC radio shows…

    While it might be sacrilege to admit it, I kind of prefer these to the full unabridged audiobooks. I like Rob and Doug’s two Dwarf novels, but I don’t love them in the same way that I love the episodes from the classic era. The stuff prior to the accident – including the descriptions of other holograms – feels a little long-winded and they made a smart decision to trim a lot of that for this radio release.

    I’m impressed that they kept in Rimmer’s visit to a brothel and his manhood nearly being torn off, but this isn’t my favourite depiction of the character. Obviously the novels represent a different universe to the TV show, but the first introduction that we get to Lister and Rimmer doesn’t quite match my image of them.

    The use of the sound effects is pretty effective though, and helps to create a little of the atmosphere of Mimas.

    There isn’t an awful lot of humour as it wasn’t written for the radio, but I like the fact that we get some of the back story behind Lister joining the crew.

    6/10.
     
  13. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on Beyond a Joke.

    Not for the only time in Series VII, an episode that feels like a mess of ideas and rewrites…

    There are a couple of obvious problems that immediately hit you with Beyond a Joke. One is the absence of Rimmer who leaves a massive gaping hole in the show, and the other is just how out of character Kryten’s portrayal had become. He is an annoying cliché here, and it makes the whole Pride and Prejudice idea very difficult to enjoy. I can appreciate the achievement of the tank explosion for the production team, but I would personally have preferred some decent characterization and laughs.

    The plot then has some interesting ideas, but I don’t think it flows as well as it should and there were clear production issues. For example, The CG looks very poor at times, they even had to save some money on the model shots that they did use and Don Henderson was sadly too ill to really enunciate his lines properly.

    Impersonating the Gelfs feels a little desperate and (again) they get the language wrong. It’s also slightly odd that they would have such perfect costumes just lying around…

    Robert’s performance as Able isn’t particularly good, and the whole Nega Drive concept feels rather crowbarred in. Something that conveniently turns up for one episode to drive the plot before being quickly forgotten again…

    The biggest flaw to the episode though is simply that it isn’t funny.

    3/10.
     
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  14. BruceFivesyth

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    My thoughts on Red Dwarf Radio Show: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Part Two:

    Kudos to the person responsible for doing the music for these radio shows. Not only do we get to hear what hiphopabilly reggae (?!?) sounds like, but we are also treated to ‘Press Your Lumps Against Mine’. Using the latter in the TV show at some stage would have been preferable to hearing the Om song repeated ad nauseum.

    This section also introduces the idea of Lister dating Kochanski, and she has always been depicted much more successfully in the novels than in the TV show.

    I also like the extra time and detail that is given to Rimmer’s back story. I find the idea of him taking 7 or 8 hours to make a revision timetable sdly relatable.

    Chris did a pretty good job with the voices at this stage, but his Lister impersonation had improved a lot by the time he did the Bodysnatcher DVD recording.

    8/10.
     
  15. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on Bodyswap.

    It’s harsh to criticize Rob and Doug for being too ambitious, but I think they overreached themselves here. The overdubbing makes this an awkward watch and it doesn’t even make physical sense. The vocal chords wouldn’t have changed, so they could simply have used Craig’s voice for Rimmer and Chris’s voice for Lister.

    I was also briefly confused as to why there’s a slight lack of energy to the performances, until I remembered that it was filmed without a studio audience. They really should have learned their lesson later for Series VII.

    There are still lots of good lines and the writing is as strong as you would expect from a Series III episode. But this is one of the few times during this era where you feel that the production choices didn’t do the script any favours.

    The opening auto-destruct sequence is a perfect little section though with a fine punchline at the end. And there are plenty of other quality lines to enjoy.

    The Remastered episode is awful due to the laughs being so low in the mix.

    7/10.
     
  16. BruceFivesyth

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    My thoughts on Red Dwarf Radio Show: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Part Three:

    It’s during this section that the crew are wiped out and there are some interesting differences from the TV version. The idea of Lister intentionally going into Stasis in order to quicken his return to Earth is an intriguing one.

    The radiation leak itself has some tension to it, again helped by the sound effects, and I like the following line:
    ‘“What now?” thought Rimmer and was hit in the face by a nuclear explosion.’

    The story then has a chance to breathe with Lister initially alone on the ship with Holly. The latter only deciding to bring back Rimmer’s hologram due to Lister’s hard drinking. A neat way of expanding on the idea of Rimmer keeping Lister sane.

    Despite this being the halfway point in the story, the Cat still hasn’t appeared and the episode ends with life signs being detected.

    7/10.
     
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  17. BruceFivesyth

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    My thoughts on Only the Good…

    “A chameleonic microbe causes damage to the ship which puts the lives of the entire crew in jeopardy.”

    The above synopsis makes this sound like a dramatic episode, but unfortunately this interesting concept is all dealt with in a few minutes. Kochanski says that they need to find a solution in a mirror universe and Kryten simply knocks up a machine to take them there. The plotting and pacing is insultingly bad.

    Prior to this, the opening 20 minutes are wasted on a series of barely related sketches. Some are much too long and some of the comedy ideas, such as Danny wearing women’s clothing and the characters being forced to get drunk, now seem very much of the time.

    To be fair…some of the sketches are amusing such as Holly’s Brylcreem scene, the Cat’s “You’re gonna squeeze their rolls?” and the period prank. The latter is puerile and doesn’t exactly show Lister as a modern man, but it’s not remotely sexist imo and is a decent comedy idea.

    The conclusion featuring Tony Slattery’s OTT vending machine, Ed Bye’s Death and “The smeg it is” is just horrible. As Doug was hoping to make a movie and actually said at the time that he was done with Dwarf as a sitcom and might ask other writers to pen episodes if it returned, they really should have come up with a better ending.

    4/10.
     
  18. UltraDevotee

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    I used to detest Only the Good... almost as much as the Pete episodes but nowadays I have warmed to it slightly more. The story is a bit unfocused but there is some funny comedy in parts. I suppose I have been kinder to it since 2015 because it did not end up being the last RD show ever. If the Dave era had never existed, I suspect I would have remained more negative still because especially with Doug choosing the wrong, infamous ending - the "happier" one was far superior - it would have been an absolutely terrible finale.

    But still it fortunately wasn't and finally 10 years later RD was revived successfully and I rated Only the Good... 6.5 a month or so ago due to a more retrospective opinion and the final scene although naff really was an emotional and dramatic way to bring the curtain down on RD for a decade. Still although I am a little bit more positive towards it presently, it is by Red Dwarf standards mostly mediocre.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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  19. BruceFivesyth

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    My thoughts on Red Dwarf Radio Show: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Part Four:

    You kind of get the feel here of how the TV series might have looked had money been no object. The ship feels huge as Rimmer and Lister head down into the depths of it to discover where the cat race has been developing. A nice touch to also show that the Cat has been spending his time watching The Flintstones.

    The introduction of Kryten also expands on the TV episode and explains how he managed to kill the crew of the Nova 5.

    The novel uses a fair amount from the TV scripts in this section and it was a smart move to omit the Future Echoes material from the Radio Show. There is a lot of necessary exposition here and you can't help wanting them to hurry up and move onto the novel-specific material.

    7/10.
     
  20. BruceFivesyth

    BruceFivesyth First Technician

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    My thoughts on The Inquisitor.

    When I first watched this episode, it didn’t click with me that the opening Trojan Horse story is called back in the conclusion. Lister reading that comic book obviously gave him the idea of giving The Inquisitor his gauntlet back, but that went straight over my head initially. The call backs have been overdone in recent years, but back then they were often quite clever.

    Typically for Series V, this ep is based around a really solid sci-fi premise and it focuses on that one plot idea very well. It’s not the funniest of episodes, it’s quite tightly structured and has some good ideas.

    If I were to be picky, I always thought that the “Enig…” clue was pretty weak. As a viewer, it was blatantly obvious what it referred to. It should have been obvious to Kryten as well.

    Rob and Doug were seemingly writing effortlessly good episodes by this point and I didn't appreciate how lucky I was when I first watched them.

    9/10.
     

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