Red Dwarf : The Promised Land

Discussion in 'RED DWARF: THE PROMISED LAND' started by Jape of The Decade, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. Jape of The Decade

    Jape of The Decade First Technician

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    To be fair I gave up on Red Dwarf Continuity a long time ago...

    Even before it's revival on Dave the show had a history of ignoring or retconning previous events that have happened to the posse.

    Almost as if each 'era' of Dwarf were set in alternate time lines.

    It used to bother me but now I just smile, enjoy it and try not to think about it too much :-)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
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  2. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Yeah because every tweet will have the exact same words. people do phrase things differently yno.
     
  3. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

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    Oh for heavens sake
     
  4. Curryman

    Curryman Deck Sergeant

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    I enjoyed it a lot. Sure there are some things that don't work, but there's more good than bad. People are saying it should have been more Cat oriented, but I don't think so. Cats are generally very singular creatures and the fact that Cat doesn't feel the need to get to know them very well is quite probably. Also, Cat is very selfish and vain.

    I thought the method of escape by the rebels was great. Wonderfully cat-like. I agree the whole sex change thing was awkward and ill-conceived, but Rimmer's reaction to the signal was just right. I nearly died when I saw the Holly back-up disc, but I'm old enough to remember 8" floppies.

    Norman Lovett's return was okay in the beginning and he was better the second half, but I was rather hoping Hattie Hayridge would have popped up during the reload sequence. That was a wasted opportunity, I think.

    The biggest laughs for me came when Cat was converted by Cloister's followers. Seeing him sing and dance about Lister had me laughing so hard I had to stop the programme. And this was after Kryten's already great scenes trying to dissuade the followers, twice.

    The biggest disappointment for me was the Lister/Rimmer scene on Starbug. I think Lister should have come out and said he liked Rimmer. Sure it was implied, but he should have said it all the same. Kryten was once again wonderful for his reaction to the question as to whether he liked Rimmer.

    The rest of the story was generally funny and kept me smiling until the end. It's not perfect, but still a wonderful addition to Red Dwarf. I hope we do get at least one more series to finish things off.
     
  5. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Heaven has nothing to do with this buddy!
     
  6. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

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    I’m insulted :sulk:
     
  7. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    I honestly feel the stuff that worked best was everything while they were stranded. That portion of the special showed the side of Dougs writing where it’s at it’s best. Hell, I even felt bad for Rimmer when Cat was making himself question his own existence, even contemplated suicide to not waste any more of Starbug’s energy...honestly that stuff was deeper, and even a little more tragic then I actually expected the special to get!
     
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  8. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Not as far as I'm aware. It's just a special - not a full season.
     
  9. Jape of The Decade

    Jape of The Decade First Technician

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    So was BTE. I still bet Doug would call this Red Dwarf 13 given the chance.

    I think it's grown to a point where we can stop counting them as series and just see them as Specials. The same way Only Fools went.

    I was dubious.. . but I think it's fair to say that this payed off.

    I'm hopeful for more :-)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
  10. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Back to Earth was broken into three different parts when it originally aired in 2009. A version in which the whole thing plays out as a single episode is available on the DVD, but as far as I'm aware BTE is usually considered a three-part story.
     
  11. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    At this point i am questioning whether there will be a series 13. now we got this 90 minute. i could see the preference being more of those. at least 1 or 2 more before retiring the show.

    I have a feeling they abandoned the stage show idea some time ago.
     
  12. Pembers

    Pembers Console Officer

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    yep continuity errors or Retcons are part of the charm
     
  13. Jape of The Decade

    Jape of The Decade First Technician

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    Agreed. A new 90 minute format gives Dougs brain a chance to breath. Instead of thinking up 6 different stories and them cramming them into 30 minute episodes.

    You're just focusing on one story over an extended amount of time.

    After BTE I wasn't sure if I wanted them to carry on in all honesty, and whilst things improved, the feeling grew over the years. So a vast improvement to it's predecessor.

    This has restored my faith.

    I hope they do make of then. And soon. :-)
     
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  14. Jape of The Decade

    Jape of The Decade First Technician

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    I've always preferred watching them as one whole thing. Back in the Red, even BTE. I think cutting them into three separate episodes made them suffer somewhat.
     
  15. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Back to Earth certainly works much better as one whole thing, and that's how I prefer to watch it - everything works so much better than in the three-part version. Back in the Red on the other hand is terrible either way.
     
  16. Jape of The Decade

    Jape of The Decade First Technician

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    I think Back in the Red is underrated...

    Hear me out..

    The first Red Dwarf I watched live on TV was VII, after binge watching the first six series several times with my friends. I was young and disappointed overall.

    Back in the Red felt like a return to the norm, bringing back Holly, Red Dwarf, the Crew, Rimmer! When watched as one episode it's not bad and would have worked better if they'd released it as a 60 min special as planned.

    As for the rest of the series.. :-(

    I really didn't like BTE. None of the jokes were funny, and a lot of people stopped watching after that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
  17. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Supply Officer

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    Well finally after an almost 2 and a half year hiatus - quite long but thankfully not as big as the 4 years between series 10 and 11/12 last time around - we got to see brand new Red Dwarf again, over 32 years since its screen debut which is a sensational achievement.

    Has it still got that old Dwarfy magic? Well series 10 was very good and 11/12 excellent and thankfully The Promised Land carries on that trajectory. This is the longest Red Dwarf show ever and although there was some concern about the length due to Back in the Red Part 3 having padding, the Pete episodes being the weakest Red Dwarf efforts ever and Back to Earth being okay but lacklustre, well IMHO Doug has pulled it off with aplomb this time. For a start, there is virtually no wasted dialogue and a lot of the lines are really funny and engaging. The plot about the Cat race is epic and spectacular and reminds me somewhat of most people's highlight of series 10, The Beginning. But to me it is superior because although The Beginning was somewhere in between very good and vintage, this special with its greater length fully realises the complete potential of that 2012 finale and is even more thrilling. The middle part of the episode with the Rimmer-Lister moon scene does not sag and is actually Red Dwarf at its most thoughtful, deftly displaying the way this greater duration can allow Doug's script to be so diverse.

    The four regular Dwarfers are all phenomenal once again - although they were a bit wooden in the 2009 special (obviously as they were only just reunited after a decade's hiatus), like in the most recent couple of series - and possibly even better - they fully display all facets of the crew's distinctive and famous personalities to the maximum. The guest cast are all marvellous too with the Feral Cats being both humorous and sinister all at once which is skilful writing by Doug. Meanwhile, the clerics are simply hilarious and even though their hymns for their God Lister are sung repeatedly, the songs remain comical throughout the 90 minutes.

    Norman Lovett's return as Holly is well handled and the floppy disc gag was one of my favourites of the night. I like the way he does not remain restored to original settings for the whole of the episode when he is Queeg-like, as it is good to see the contrast with him reverted back to his senile self as part of the first pay off when he performs the next "miracle" and blows up the planet (Rimmer suggesting the load last save was quite like The Beginning too as a solution, with him playing a role in saving them). The Holly that was so great in series 1-2 and his 4 minutes in Skipper is back (though I did even like him too during some of his scenes in the last BBC run) and I enjoy it when he then after spawnily saving the crashed Dwarfers/clerics then forgets to make them aware that the Ferals have boarded their mothership.

    In fact, the only slight thing I would comment is perhaps the Rimmer using his superpowers (to destroy the bomb and eliminate the Ferals) after Lister discovers the sacred dung (?) has something hidden inside it to supercharge the former, is a bit of a deus ex machina resolution. But I loved Russell T Davies’ endings to his early New Who episodes which had this quality too, so I thought also Doug’s using Rimmer’s superpowers gained from the clerics spaceship was absolutely fine - like that former Doctor Who showrunner, simple and resounding. Additionally, Rimmer taking out Rodon by shining a light on to him that attracts all the other feral cats was genuinely clever and satisfying and rounded off the story effectively. Anyway...I have only watched it once so perhaps I forgot an earlier line about how the sacred dung has this power to restore Rimmer's hologrammatic upgrade...will have to watch again, but whatever it is strong enough and the twist with the clerics then worshipping Rimmer at the end was entertaining too.

    The only other things I felt were worth mentioning are that Kryten's new robot suit didn't look right at first (the colour was a bit too light) but then I got used to it, and also that I did think there were a few series 8-like bits at times. But although I half-detested that 1999 run I also half appreciated it very much too so it did not bother me - I haven't read other people's reviews yet but will soon - and I still found it comical.

    Ultimately, this new special was a fantastic way to escape for 2 hours in these really troubled times at present - epic, very tight and versatile, Doug finally did extended length Red Dwarf justice with plenty of time for the script to breath. Even though there are no charming models anymore, the sets and the CGI all appear amazingly detailed and sharp, on what was probably quite a tight budget again. The only thing I did not really like about it was the adverts but that is obviously what you get when it is on a channel with commercials and Dave/UKTV have been so wonderful to keep a lot of people's favourite sci-fi sitcom on air. Really, I thought The Promised Land was so successful that I wish that Doug had accepted the offer for 2 specials this year in total as not only would that have meant another 2020 New Red Dwarf Day but also it would have made the new material up to 3 hours in length: the same as a full length series to make up for a lack of a full thirteenth run. But the viewing figures appear to be pretty good overnight (and the consolidated BARB ones in a couple of weeks' time should be a bit higher obviously) so perhaps this might pave the way for a future 13th six 30 minute episode run. But if there are never any more entire series from now on I would be grateful to see another special or two made as Doug has finally succeeded in this longer format. But if it is to be the final episode I am really glad with what Doug and co. have achieved and am pleased it carries on with the form that 11/12 showed and possibly even better at times (and I like the way it ends openly with no surreal cliffhangers like Only the Good... which I have only forgiven with hindsight). Even without Rob Grant - although late 1988 to 1993 will probably always be Red Dwarf's heyday - Doug is phenomenal and remarkable to keep producing material of this genuinely really strong quality. I really do believe although the peak of RD is series 2 to 6, this is a really strong effort and am glad that the response from fans on social media has virtually all been positive, with some saying it might be one of the best Red Dwarfs ever. So although it could be last episode ever, the cast are keen to make more so let's hope there is some other new Red Dwarf around the corner and as soon as possible in whatever form, to continue this late period purple patch!

    Rating - like the TV critics at least 8 out of 10, but quite possibly a 9 which is high for a first viewing. I will look forward to re-watching a few times whenever the Blu-ray eventually is released.
     
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  18. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    I enjoyed the special, but I don't think I've been as impressed by it as others. But I thought it was funny and there were a lit of hits among the misses.

    When the cats were shown crawling through a giant cat flap, I thought it was a bit daft for Red Dwarf, and I thought the same when Lister carried in the giant floppy disk, and they then opened the huge floppy drive. I thought to myself that the hard core fans wouldn't like those things. Too silly! Yet, while thinking those things, I was laughing out loud myself, so I can't say they didn't serve a purpose. I found the opening scene aboard Red Dwarf amusing, and didn't feel particularly uncomfortable about the sex change joke as some clearly did.

    The revelation of Cat's brother was dismissed so quickly, I wondered later whether the whole thing was originally going to be longer, with Cat going to live with the Cats for a while before plot and revelations required him to leave. It didn't advance the plot, had no impact on the Cat's character, he didn't much seem to care. It was odd it wasn't trimmed from the script before being committed to film.

    Loved the cats as villains on the whole, would have preferred if they'd been less daft. Villains can have humour, but outside of cartoons they shouldn't feel inept.

    Rimmer with his extension leads was great, and his existential crisis and moonlight conversation were all handled well. The 'fuel... none' thing was stretched just too far considering we all knew the punchline.

    Genuinely wondered whether Rimmer had really been written out of the future of the show, again, after his sacrifice, especially as the Cat didn't dismiss it, but genuinely seemed to feel the loss.

    The crew trying to convince the cats that Lister wasn't a god was terrific. Holly was funny. As someone else said, I'd have liked to have seen 'factory settings' Holly deal with suddenly becoming female when he loaded up the backup disks. The nuking the moon segment felt like series 1 and 2 Holly.

    I'm utterly baffled by the Anubis stone thingy. Never mind that Anubis has a canine head, I don't see how Lister made such a leap of logic that he knew what it would do. Nothing about that makes sense.

    Okay, I'll watch it again tomorrow, and perhaps get more from it on a second viewing. It was good, and I look forward to more.
     
  19. hubbard

    hubbard Deck Sergeant

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    After the last batch of previous Red Dwarf outings I wasn't really expecting much here in all honesty. It certainly wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but only marginally better than the last offerings.

    Granted it's still a load of God-awful looking CGI with bloody obvious greenscreen. Some special effects look terrible, some look reasonable. Some makeup looked good, some looked cheap and nasty. Christ I miss the models, the bunk scenes, runnin' around the Dwarf, and the older Kryten suits.

    Comedy wise it was again reasonable. Some gags hit the mark, some didn't. Some had me cringing, some I could see coming a mile off. Harking back to previous (better) Red Dwarf adventures in previous (better) Red Dwarf series merely highlighted how average this was.

    Personally I liked the start with the boys on the Dwarf getting Holly back. After that, the entire cat saga was just pants, overdramatic pants. The cat worshipers were horrendously unfunny and the cat warlord bloke was horrendously over the top. All the henchmen cats clearly couldn't act.

    Not sure why all the cats were dressed like a mix of Romans and Robin Hood extras. Not sure why Kryten was all banged up throughout (did I miss some explanation?). The cat cruisers forming a cat face (and eventual hologram 'H') in space was stupid. Holly blowing up the moon to unbury the Bug was insanely stupid.

    Cat finding out he had a long lost brother was recklessly introduced and dismissed in a heartbeat. The entire 'diamond light' Rimmer thing was a bit too close to Ace Rimmer for me (also getting a bit too close to the whole tiresome modern-day obsession with comicbook movie garbage too). Not sure how Super Arnie was able to create a red laser out of his finger. Just another example of plot conveniences in a long line of deus ex machina moments.

    This really should have been another six-episode series, I really don't like these feature-length offerings. This format just doesn't work for me. Keep the show episodic.

    So overall, a big pile of meh for me. This simply reinforces (for me) how Red Dwarf past its peak after series 5, maybe just scraping past with series 6...except for the daft cliffhanger finale. But overall series 5 is still easily the best of the boys from the Dwarf. Everything past that series pales in comparison.
     
  20. Asclepius

    Asclepius Console Officer

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    I think this was one of the weakest moments. The continuity is just crap here. In Waiting for God the priest mentions that the Cat was born after the others left. This idea was just rushed and not properly explored. Although I liked Cat talking about jis coolnes and referencing Backwards.

    Among my favourite bits, all of the Holly stuff. Norman was great. The reference to 2001was great, so was the upgrading to the original Holly sequence.

    They explored a lot of Rimmer's hologrammatic state, which was cool. All the costumes. Mighty Light/smegy Sprite is good thanks to Chris's brilliant performance, but the idea of him being plugged was even better.

    My favourite part was probably the "marroned on a moon", especially the character stuff between Lister and Rimmer. There wasn't much of this in the latest series. (In Skipper he decided to leave them in a matter of seconds.) It was well-written and well-acted. Really strong part, which made me sorry for Rimmer.

    On the other hand, the Anubis stone stuff in the end was a bit weird. I'm not saying it was bad, but it was quite a quick and sudden way to end the story.
     
  21. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

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    @neilold your close friend supermario is back
     

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