RDXII EPISODE 4 - MECHOCRACY - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Seb, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Each to their own i guess but personally i fail to imagine an episode in series 4 where Kryten and Rimmer would run for machine president, while Rimmer blackmails the cat because he doesn't want people to know he needs glasses and lister helps kryten because he wants tv back. and so zanyness happens with so much effort being put into Rimmer and Kryten trying to get one over on each other (aswells as cat and lister for some reason).

    Its like lookin at an episode like justice and Doug thinking that because Kryten was trying to make a case for Rimmer to be released from jail it would be hilarious if Lister and Cat got joy from Rimmer being in jail because it meant they would finally be rid of him and wanted to make a case that Rimmer is guilty just because it would make a funny scenario to watch Lister and Kryten act like lawyers.

    And remove the simulant stuff and make that the whole episode.

    Series 4 was certainly not like that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  2. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Like you say it’s just a difference of opinion. Some people say Red Dwarf has been mostly rubbish since Rob departed, some say it has been variable in quality and some people like myself still think it remains a cutting edge, razor sharp sci-fi comedy (though I personally would agree it is not one hundred per cent like the series 2-6 peak years) and obviously that’s just the way it is.

    But certainly there are enough people still enjoying Red Dwarf for it to reach an expected thirteenth run.
     
  3. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    I'm not sure whether I'd associate Mechocracy with series 4, especially - but I certainly think the plot points evoke classic Dwarf (i.e., Doug and Rob era).

    Obviously the plot points can't be identical or it would feel derivative. But the ones I picked up were:

    - The basic premise shared some themes with Queeg. In both stories, AIs don't want to be taken for granted. Both stories involve a power struggle with no lasting consequences. Both have a similar kind of storm-in-a-teacup feel, where a dispute escalates to the point of farce when isolated characters make their own drama (Balance of Power also has elements of this).

    - The structure of the episode reminded me of Bodyswap. In both cases, a disaster is averted at the beginning of the episode. A minor detail of the "near-miss" is the germ for the main story (in fact, both episodes are a little bit "Family Guy" in that regard, because the main story is a unexpected tangent from an early set piece).

    - Lister teaching Kryten to misbehave is a commonplace of the classic run.

    - The political broadcasts made me think of mock footage from classic episodes like Kryten ("Androids"), Timeslides ("Lifestyles of the Disgustingly Rich and Famous"), and The Last Day (the Hudzen 10 infomercial).

    Also, I know it's not part of the Doug and Rob era, but Mechocracy reminded me a lot of Krytie TV. In both cases, a character turns into a unlikeable caricature - one of a showbiz arsehole, one of a two-faced politician - and some of the story is told through pretend TV broadcasts.
     
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  4. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    The original series also had a lot of those jokes that took multiple scenes to pay off, and Cat's thing with the glasses sort of fits with the idea from earlier series that's really come out as he's aged where he's concerned about the only friends he has left possibly not seeing him as cool.
     
  5. Eddiebadassdavis

    Eddiebadassdavis Supply Officer

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    I wish they should talk about the event in the future series
     
  6. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Same here to a certain degree

    I feel like there are 2 ways the cat would react to glasses

    1. Panic that he isn't cool anymore

    2. Embrace them and totally redesign them in a fashionable cool way

    The cat in the past has shown he doesn't really care what people think because he feels he is the expert of whats cool and fashionable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  7. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    Need I point you to Rimmerworld, where the whole crew were literally about to die, and he felt it more important to clarify that he wasn't wearing the same clothes twice than to actually survive? He cares quite a lot about what other people think.
     
  8. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    But lets face it if the simulant told the cat his outfit looked silly in that outfit he wouldn't suddenly get insecure and decide he needs to change because he was told he didn't look cool.

    Id say the cats self image to himself is more important than his self image to others.
     
  9. Abe

    Abe Deck Sergeant

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    Maybe that's true in earlier series, but in those the Cat is younger. As he gets older, it's easy to see him starting to worry about whether he's as cool as he once was, and becoming insecure in his image to others because of it. Characters are allowed to change. They're also allowed to have mid-life crises of sorts.
     
  10. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Well if thats how you want to look at it i guess but personally for me i feel its abit of a disservice to the character to play on his insecurities with others like a schoolboy who is worried people will laugh at him for being a virgin or needing glasses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  11. Cloud

    Cloud Flight Co-Ordinator

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    At the end of the episode is the joke that Cat is blending up his glasses to make a glasses milkshake? I don't get it.
     
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  12. Asclepius

    Asclepius Deck Sergeant

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    I just know it probably inspirated Craig Charles to blend things for half a year in The Gadget Show.
     
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  13. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Still not fond of this episode. its not a very Red Dwarfy episode. it feels abit like an american sitcom idea that id see on the Big Bang Theory or something. basically where characters fight among themselves in petty ways. its a comically created burden, but there is no real reason for it. abit like Krytie TV

    The talkie toaster scene made me happy when i first watched it. it was exciting, but in rewatches its just the same scene as in White whole but changed abit...

    The Cat glasses thing annoys me too because i don't buy it for one moment that the Cat would care enough about it. since when did the Cat become a teenage boy who was scared his school chums would find out stuff about him?

    The Cats always been a character who judges himself and cares more about what he thinks of himself. he never needed anyone to think that about him because if that was the case he would never do anything without being paranoid about what people think of him. the moment anyone criticized his suit he would be away changing it.

    I know alot of people think highlier of this episode... but i dunno why personally. Perhaps the jokes are just of higher quality? i ain't sure.
     
  14. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    I must admit I have a bit of a confession to make regarding this episode. While I would award it a rating of 8.5 out of 10 at the moment, IMHO to be considered a true classic it would have to reach 9. When I have said in the past that it is "probably classic" really I am damning it with a slight bit of faint praise. I think the reason why I overestimated at first was due to a lot of Dwarfers saying how much superior to Timewave it was. Perhaps I went into it with too high expectations as a result and to me it just does not quite make it into the excellent, vintage bracket at the moment.

    While it is a decent political story I can see what you mean when you compare it to a US sitcom because to me it is a bit reminiscent of Parks and Recreation. While it is funny I was expecting it to be super funny like give and take and like I said as it had been bigged up so much it fell slightly flat to me.

    Still 8.5 is the same rating as I gave Samsara so that is very decent but is it a classic? I'm not sure.

    Have to see what I think when I rewatch when I reach series 12 in my ongoing Dwarfathon...
     
  15. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    When I watched Mechocracy a couple of evenings ago, I actually thought it was while not a classic still very strong. I think I enjoyed it more because I was watching it without it being hyped up as so much superior to Timewave when I thought that third show was very good anyway. The manipulation gag was funny at the start and I love the way this episode almost half way through changes from being an escape from the Dwarf one to being a political satire. It is such deft writing by Doug to change its direction like that and it is also a very decent episode because there is so much packed into it. While I have personally enjoyed the vending machines in the past, with the election plot they are given a bit more sophistication in the way they are used here. The smear campaigns are obviously both comical and nostalgic with the old clips to boot, while I quite liked the Cat glasses scene because its his vanity - like in some of the earlier Red Dwarfs - that shapes this attitude of his towards them.

    Although it is slightly disappointing that Talkie Toaster does say much the same thing as in White Hole - though I do like the slightly different, demands on Lister for his breakfast - it is still funny and entertaining to revive him for the pay off. However, one thing that I would definitely criticise though is it should have been stated how specifically Rimmer ended up being locked up in the hold with Talkie due to Cat sneakily doing it when they were going to deliver on Lister/Kryten's promise to bring Talkie to the bunkroom. But I suppose you can sort of guess it at least and it is a great gag that the Talkie does not end up in the living quarters showing that politicians often lie to get votes...

    Although I would not describe Mechocracy as a classic it is almost there and very strong. It is similar to an American comedy like Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation etc. but executed in a very British sitcom way obviously. Rating - 8.5 out of 10.
     
  16. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    My favourite episode of season XII. It's a good storyline with some nice moments. And of course the return of Talkie Toaster was the highlight of the whole thing for me.
     
  17. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    My favourite of 12 is Skipper but Mechocracy is yet another quality episode in these two superior series (11 and 12) to all the other post-Rob Grant material.
     

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