Last RD ep. you watched recently

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

  1. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

    Messages:
    17,262
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    10.6 The Beginning

    Most fans like this more than I do. I think it's all right, but episodes 2 to 5 of this season appeal much more to me. It's a bit of an unusual episode (the Rimmer school stuff, a social visit by a rogue droid, long scenes without the main cast, etc), which I find disconcerting - like the feeling I get when I watch Back to Earth. There's plenty of good stuff here though. There's a decent plot, and the external shots are easily the best they've ever been. There's one or two moments when the CGI looks a bit dodgy, but at least it's a billion times better than the series 8 CGI (also, I can't watch Blue Midget flying into the asteroid without thinking of when I used to do the same in X2: The Threat). The guest cast is good: young Rimmer, Mr Rimmer, the simulants, Hoguey - it's nice to see Richard O'Callaghan back. I mentioned in my Entangled review that the Cat/Kryten combination was unusual and now here we get a Cat/Rimmer scene. Apart from a couple in series 1, I can't recall any other lengthy moments featuring these two. Prior to series 10, Cat only ever seemed to share these two-handers with Lister.

    Overall, series 10 holds up well to repeat viewings. All ten series of Red Dwarf have their own unique look and feel, and 10's is a bit more unique than most. What bothers me is that the characterisation, which has never been quite right since Grant left, is still noticeably poor.

    And so that concludes my Dwarfathon. It's been a great experience, and I'll probably be doing it again sometime after series 12 has aired. See you all again in this thread sometime around 2018.
     
  2. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

    Messages:
    11,623
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Now you need to do re-mastered, Bodysnatcher and That cat episode!
     
  3. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

    Messages:
    459
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Fathers and Suns this afternoon.

    I remember on original broadcast three years ago this was an immediate favourite of mine and I still find it to be an excellent episode. For the fans who wanted more episodes based on Red Dwarf back in the early 90s then here is your answer as the only bit off ship is when Lister is ejected through the air lock. Some people say this is a lot like a series 2 episode and yes the new computer is like a more extreme version of Queeg, but for me Pree having predictive technology provides a strong sci-fi foundation to the plot so it also feels somewhat like a series 3 to 4 episode too. I suppose having a computer that can predict is similar to series 8's Cassandra but whereas the Geraldine McEwan played one sees visions of the future this old idea is elaborated on as Pree predicts through seeing the crew's past behaviours. Also Pree uses these predictions to counteract the Dwarfers every move whereas Cassandra was only targeting Lister to punish him for destroying her in the future.

    This is yet another series 10 script that isn't lightweight and is again quite complex with several sub-plots. Obviously one is about setting up the new computer but there are also others about Lister being his own dad (Father's day card etc.) and his broken tooth. In fact generally this is more a Lister-centric episode whereas Trojan was based more around Rimmer. Back in series 7 I did not like the whole Lister being his own dad thing because it is simply not scientifically possible (i.e. too silly) and as others have said it is a bit creepy that Kochanski is also his mum. But anyway with Kochanski nowhere in sight, I feel this episode gets maximum humour out of this paradox and I don't mind it in this case. In fact the scene in which Lister is giving himself some "daddy discipline" has got to be one of the funniest of the series and up there with some of the best RD. I love the bit where he picks up his guitar only to find it is a cutout:lol:.

    I also find amusing the bit with Rimmer chosing what the new computer should be like in such a shallow way and it rightly got an appropriately loud laugh. I also thought the "you got to think ahead" bit was funny too as it shows how so many years into the future in series 10 the Cat remains as self-orientated as ever. The bit where Rimmer has his movies deleted by Pree just because she predicted he would not like them is comic too.

    While the rest of the script is very funny and entertaining like the first episode it is not completely watertight, however. I think the "Chinese Whispers" sub-plot in the way it is written is probably not racist but what I do object to is that Taiwan Tony is voiced by the same actress as the other dispensing machines and that is a bit dubious to be honest IMHO. Also as plenty of others have said the MediBot (is that what it's called?) - while I didn't mind it at the time for some reason - does look a bit too cheap for RD and dated even just a few years on now. Additionally, the plot isn't quite completely perfect too as how can Lister breathe when he returns to the ship after he had had his oxygen supply cut off earlier? Though I suppose because he is in the same area as the Cat upon reboarding that is why he receives air again (I think?).

    Other than those criticisms it is a great RD episode though and I forgot to mention about the previous episode that Holly isn't missed in 10. Though I personally did enjoy Norman's lines in series 8 in terms of the humour, in nearly all of that series (apart from the end to Back in the Red part 3) he was basically a joke cracking tool and in the early nineties series Hattie wasn't even that and just had dialogue about opening doors etc. So really the fact that series 6 is best series and that also has no Holly shows how the computer character is not essential for good RD. Though saying that I thought Rebecca Blackstone acted the part well of Pree and if she had been the new but "nice" computer instead for the whole series maybe for 11 and 12 it would be welcome to have a new computer character by someone other than Norman and Hattie if the two former Holly stars are not available. But ultimately for the new material I do not mind either way because like I say having a computer character is not vital.

    Once again, the models and HD in this episode look fantastic and I hope the quality of the image looks as good or better still in the upcoming material. Also once again the pay off is excellent writing by Doug once again with all the sub-plots - the Chinese Whispers, Lister being his own dad and dental treatment - combining at the end for Pree to be shut down by the medibot earlier registering Lister as his own son as a crew member. Although it is a bit contrived (with the vending machine mentioning the word "stasis" as part of the whispers) as someone else a few months ago, it is a sufficently effective, sophisticated enough conclusion to the episode. Overall Fathers and Suns is even better than Trojan and there or thereabouts up there with some of the classic RD - a kind of blend between series 2 and some of the sci-fi aspects of the middle series - and is perhaps series 10's finest IMHO. Though I will have to see if my opinions change about the next four episodes, however. But so far I feel series 10 is a return to form after the mediocre BtE and half-great, half-abysmal 7 and 8 and this episode has likewise aged well.
     
  4. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

    Messages:
    17,262
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    I'll probably be giving Bodysnatcher and Identity Within another watch sometime. But I wouldn't touch the remastered episodes with a ten foot bargepole.
     
  5. Pembers

    Pembers Console Officer

    Messages:
    3,451
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Location:
    London
    I watched Back to Earth last night as its the 'series' I generally re-watch the least.

    Its better than I remember it, the first part ok, I found the scene where they are in the diving bell and Rimmer goes from hysterical coward, to oblvious buffoon to smug 'hero' quite funny.

    The 2nd part is where it gets a bit silly but I liked the scene on the bus where the kids tell Lister he's cool.

    The ending is ok as well, at least it set up Series X and signified the boys were back and as hapless but loveable as ever.
     
  6. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

    Messages:
    459
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Lemons this afternoon.

    I must admit when I watched this episode today I actually enjoyed it quite a lot more than I used to. I remember Doug compared this to Tikka to Ride at the time and it is a re-write of that episode in a different kind of way in that this time the future is not changed because it isn't the real Jesus. In fact a quite funny sub-plot of the Cat eating Lister's removed spleen harks back to both of them eating the dead man in that 1997 episode.

    To me this episode is more reminiscent of a series 2 one or series 4's Meltdown (with the real Jesus and Judas appearing at the end) with some decent comedy but there is some strong sci-fi in it too. Initially I thought the rejuvenation shower was a bit out of place as a time travelling device in RD but now upon re-watching today I see it is not completely illogical as after all its beams were projecting outwards and reverting the world around it back in time to the 1st century. I still don't think it is sophisticated enough as a time travel device in RD but it does make sense to an extent in how it works, though I want to see something more clever used in 11 and 12. But at least it is something new.

    The other sci-fi in this episode is literally sourced from Lemons and to be honest I don't mind the episode being named after them too much as after all if they hadn't been able to build a battery out of them then they would have been stranded back in the 1st century and never got back to Red Dwarf. Also if they hadn't travelled to get the Lemons from India then the Dwarfers would not have met the main guest character, Jesus of Caeseria (?), and if the episode had been called Jesus then that might have offended people.

    Though there is also another sub-plot about Jesus of Caeseria being ill with a kidney stone the main plot strand in Lemons has to be the religious one and in that sense it is a bit like series 1's Waiting for God too in that it references wars being caused by faith when the main guest character at the end tries to put people off it by hilariously breaking the "ten commandments." However, although that is the main story in the episode, once again the sub-plots all gloriously combine (well done Doug again) with Jesus of Caeseria thinking he is the real son of God after reading about him in a book back on Red Dwarf when recovering from his operation in the kidney stone sub-plot.

    As well as the "ten commandments" scene at the end I also find really funny the twist that comes straight after it when Rimmer sees the "real" Jesus with Judas and the rest of the Dwarfers shout "sit down" - it is another laugh out loud moment IMHO and rounds off the episode nicely. Other comedy that I enjoy in the episode includes the "calculator" scene - though I know quite a few won't agree with me - as it really emphasises and gets the maximum humour out of the Cat not being able to work out how old Jesus would be in that year AD. Additionally, I personally find Lister trying to fight with and calling the fake Jesus "a bit of a knob" even funnier than "twat" from the first episode as it is just such insane, good RD silliness that Lister thinks Jesus of Caeseria is the son of God and calls him that. But anyhow, because it isn't the real Jesus of Nazareth when the main twist occurs at the end no one can be offended and I feel Doug has pulled a religious-themed Red Dwarf episode off quite fairly successfully.

    Other things I used to criticise about the episode I didn't mind too much now upon re-viewing today to be honest though I still feel they are imperfections. Firstly, an old joke of medical equipment being re-deployed by the Dwarfers for other purposes from Polymorph is re-written for the Lemons script but it is at least almost as funny and does not matter too much as the original gag is from an episode broadcast 23 years previously. Also Jesus' north-east accent is a bit questionable too but the main issue is a huge plot hole near the start of their return to Earth. I like the way the woods from Rimmerworld were re-used - this time in glorious HD - but the fact that only a map appears after this scene and you don't see how at all the RD posse make it from Albion to India is similarly awkward. However, I didn't mind it too much for some reason today and I suppose maybe this albeit gaping hole in the story maybe should not be taken too seriously as after all RD is a comedy but I hope in the new material writing this haphazard will not be the case.

    Overall, although I didn't like it too much on first broadcast, now three years on I appreciate it more and think it is a pretty good episode. It is rather funny and despite a massive plot hole just about holds together as a religious-themed episode. I would probably say I might prefer it to Waiting For God. However, although once again it has a feel of the late 1988-1993 Red Dwarfs it is not as incredible as its predecessor Tikka to Ride (a post-Grant episode up there with RD's best IMHO), still the weakest episode of 10 so far and not really up there with series 2 to 6. Still though, despite its flaws I did thoroughly enjoy watching it today and it's another episode that has actually matured with the passage of time.
     
  7. DivineVarod

    DivineVarod Supply Officer

    Messages:
    632
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    The interviews are up, you can find them here https://chrisbarriefans.wordpress.com/
     
  8. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

    Messages:
    17,262
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    Thanks. I'll have a read of them when I get some spare time.
     
  9. DivineVarod

    DivineVarod Supply Officer

    Messages:
    632
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
  10. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

    Messages:
    459
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Entangled.

    This episode for me is one of them from series 10 that most resembles the Red Dwarf of the early 90s and quite a successful recreation of the heavy science of series 5. I like the way there is continuity in that it is the quantum rods from the SS Trojan that cause the Cat and Kryten to be entangled in coincidences at times of heightened emotion. It may look basic when the two of them talk in unison but it is really comic and shows what great actors they still are to speak in synchronicity. The groinal exploder is really funny too and I like the Cat's "you never used them anyway" one-liner, once again showing a theme of sexual frustration in Red Dwarf and getting humour from it. I love the jokes too about the ERRA institute when Kryten says how people who were present included "referees, weather men and TV critics" due to their wrongabilty.

    Another thing I notice in series 10 too that I have forgot to mention so far is Rimmer and Lister's relationship is a bit more mature and there is less sparring. I know some people don't like this as their winding each other up produced some incredible comedy in the earlier series but to be honest I don't mind it too much personally. Firstly, as others have said after all these years together there is likely to be a less nasty relationship between them as they are older and secondly, it is fine because the comedy comes from other things. Finally, the relationship still isn't what you would call warm and friendly anyway and there is still animosity because in Entangled for example Lister is pleased that he lost Rimmer in a card game when he speaks to Kryten and Rimmer "takes pleasure" in Lister being in the "knacker attacker." Additionally at the start, Lister blames Rimmer for the radiation leak that killed the original crew of Red Dwarf rather than "the system" when really as the events of D.N.A. show it was the latter so really Lister is still derogatory towards Rimmer. So in a way not only is there plenty of comedy from other things there is still some dislike between Rimmer and Lister anyway.

    Another thing I like in this episode is - although there is a lot of it - all the jokes about "Health and Safety" as they are a great way of showing Rimmer's continual pettiness. Also incorporating them into the twist at the end by Professor Edgington tripping over the forms and into the airlock which Lister hilariously says he couldn't be bothered "twatting about with" is genius and is once again a good combining of a sub-plot at the end by Doug. Also so that the pay off for the exploder was not too predictable using the quantum entanglement to mean that the coincidence is that the Professor's nickname "Irene E" means ironically she is right for the final combination is also a skilful combination of that sub-plot at the end by Doug and good RD writing IMHO. The fact that it is quite hard to explain in the previous sentence does show how this episode is indeed a lot in the series 5 style in its complex sci-fi.

    In terms of the guest actors I actually don't mind the Professor Edgington actress to be honest - I wouldn't say she was one of the greatest of all time but she does perform the wrongability role in a comic way IMHO. While the BEGGs are essentially the GELFs renamed and it is an old idea, it is a positive that the same actor is used as in 1993 for the main garbage gobbler and he remains funny especially with what he says about Rimmer.

    Not everything is one hundred per cent vintage in this episode, however. While Lister spilling the kebab in the drive room is quite funny, as others have said really it looks too deliberate when it should have appeared more accidental. Also him eating it after it has dropped from the wrapper on to the console is a re-use of an old joke from series 4 (3?) when he eats the waffles that Kryten had put in the bin. Also the BEGGs look a bit too cheap compared to how the GELFs appeared in series 6. The only other criticism I have is again although very funny and witty too with "the Powers of Coincidence," the comedy is not quite as awesome as the Rob Grant co-writes.

    But anyway these are mild criticisms to be honest as I feel overall Entangled is one of the episodes in series 10 that most resembles 4-6. The journeying off ship in this episode not only looks really good in HD yet again but also helps balance the series from not all being on Red Dwarf like the first one. Doug was write to say at the time that most of the series is set on the mothership but really that is only true to an extent as there are quite a few places the crew visit. The only other thing I would say about this episode is I do agree with others that IMHO you don't find it ever more enjoyable with repeated viewings. For me other episodes like Lemons and the next one is more what you would call "growers," but this is a pretty much excellent episode and a pretty successful attempt at bringing the "heavy science" back to Red Dwarf. Hopefully in series 11 and 12 there can be some more episodes like this as well as others that are slightly closer to the sitcom style again too. But after not watching Entangled since January 2013 it is another that has definitely stood the test of time and I am really enjoying rewatching series 10 so far.
     
  11. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

    Messages:
    459
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Thank you Strat-tastic. Sorry it has taken me a few days to respond. Everyone else's reviews are great, I am really enjoying series 10 again and looking forward to the new RD material also.:-)
     
  12. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Flight Co-Ordinator

    Messages:
    7,749
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Location:
    Scandalous Grace
    And I should think so too! What with all this watching Red Dwarf and writing detailed reports you really should have made the time ;-)
     
  13. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

    Messages:
    459
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    Dear Dave this afternoon.

    I must admit after re-watching this episode I wasn't sure what to make of it. But overall - despite some naff scenes - I feel it is just about above average and a reasonable attempt at making a series 1/2-esque episode in 2012. Obviously, it is Red Dwarf back in complete sitcom style and it is all set on board the mothership like the early 1988 run. I understand originally the final couple of series 10 episodes were going to be about Kochanski's return and when that didn't happen Dear Dave was written at the eleventh hour.

    To be honest, you can tell that the script was rushed in its creation as there are some really poor moments which should have been taken out and re-written into something better. For a start, the cat playing charades to inform the crew that the mail pod has arrived is clearly padding like Back in the Red Part 3 but fortunately not quite as bad. The other two dreadful moments in the episode are likewise like the ugly side of series 8. I don't mind the first parts of Lister "love triangle" with the vending machines as they are mildly amusing ("That was a move" "I heard what happened...") though perhaps at this point there is too much of the snack dispensers in series 10. But Lister "humping" the first snack dispenser at the end of that sub-plot is as far away from the heavy science like gestalt entities etc. as you're going to get. To be fair, I didn't find it quite as terrible as I used to when re-watching today and at least it concludes the Rimmer sub-plot but it's got to be one of the weakest RD pay offs ever recalling the puerile humour of the 1999 run. It's the way it goes on for quite a long time that also makes it poor and you can't help but feel it could have been slightly less bad if the clip hadn't gone on for a couple of minutes and instead had been briefer.

    The sub-plot about cutting back to make a donation to the medical fund to stop Rimmer's demotion similarly has a literally crap series 8 style ending. In these bad scenes you can't help but feel Red Dwarf is missing if not Rob Grant also but more time on the script to provide better writing as the humour like the bad half of 8 lacks the relentless, sophisticated wit of the peak years.

    However, these are just moments and there are other scenes that help to save the episode from being a disaster like the Pete episodes and Only the Good... were. For a start, IMHO the opening scene is quite good with Lister missing the human race and even Sinead O'Connor is made funny when Lister sings his version of "Nothing Compares to U [them]." I also feel the drive room scene near the beginning is pretty comic too and I love Rimmer criticising Lister for the "sneaky arm round the shoulder in the cinema" move. In fact, when Rimmer ridiculously acts out the "old" moves it reminds me a bit of the gag about his letters to one of the female crew in series 2 ("your hair is like a golden waterfall...) due to them both looking/sounding embarrassingly old-fashioned and out of date.:lol: I also like the scene with Rimmer training his fingers for the Subbuteo tournament as it is great "hand" acting.

    What really saves this episode IMHO however is the main plot about the old letters arriving in the mail pod. Although it is an old idea from series 2 and perhaps the acting is slightly hammy, it is really funny when Lister and Rimmer are competing with each other to find a letter addressed to them with it sounding like a football commentary and it does show there is a bit more banter between the pair in this series. The only other problem with the scene is Rimmer receiving bad news is perhaps too similar to Better Than Life though because that episode is from 24 years previously again it doesn't matter too much and I love Rimmer's sarcasm when he says about Lister's letter that "I presume it's from Hayley Summers." It's hilarious too when Lister recalls "that Roy" that used to work with her in the bank.

    But the scene in which the Cat tries to "counsel" Lister is absolute comedy gold with the "finger wetting" machine and I think it could be up there with some of the best RD ever. It hints too at the ending with Lister realising his ex-girlfriend spent more time with Roy. However, I do feel that while Lister finding out he was not the father at the end is a satisfactory ending to the mail story, the "absolute slag" comment is awkward, too much like Eastenders and misogynistic. It simply should have been re-written and you can see how Dear Dave was a rushed job in moments like this.

    Overall though despite a few scenes recalling the cringeworthy humour of the abysmal half of series 8, ultimately you realise that Dear Dave also has some of the best comedy in the entire 2012 run that takes it to just above average. I remember on first broadcast I didn't really like this episode and learned to appreciate it with more viewings when the blu-ray was released. Despite a few naff scenes, it is a fair recreation of the first two series and has to be superior to a potential series 7-esque episode that could have been in its place if Kochanski had been brought back as planned. Although it has its faults and could have done with more time spent on its writing, I suspect probably if I was to watch it a number more times again I would enjoy it even more. IMHO it is the weakest episode of series 10 but still it is not the trainwreck that half of series 8 was, superior to the most part of series 7 which was bland, still much better than BtE and just about worthwhile RD viewing with some humour which is there or thereabouts up there with the earlier series.
     
  14. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

    Messages:
    8,313
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    The Land of Freebornia
    Psirens: Taking Holly and the Red Dwarf ship out of the equation in one go is the kind of bold move I've come to appreciate about Red Dwarf. I seem to recall someone (possibly Doug) mentioning something in the series 6 documentary about fans complaining about the lack of Holly and Red Dwarf in series 5. But nonetheless they decided to remove both.And as is (almost) always the case I think they pulled it off really well. With some great reference gags thrown in to boot. Such as : "Who’d steal a gigantic red trash-can with no brakes and three million years on the clock?". Similarly, I always liked this one too: "This old baby’s crashed more times than a ZX81!" :-)

    I like the feel of the opening scene with Listen waking up from stasis (those dreads! :-) ) and feel it was a great way to kick of the series. lister's reaction when Kyrten tells him the kind of person he is is something I always found entertaining. The whole sci-fi element works well for me too, especially the Pete Tranter's sister scene. I've been known to use the "Are you trying to make me drown in my own drool" line during a...private chat session with my lady friend. Timing is key with that though. Anyway, ehem, where was I? Ah yes, The two guitar-playing Lister's scene is a personal favourite too. At this point in the show's eclectic history the humour definitely feels a bit darker at times, but due to the quality of writing it never feels unbalanced in one direction or the other.

    Additionally, the series 6 sets look great and there's some nice model work and effects here too. Especially the Starbug and asteroid stuff. Overall a really enjoyable episode with a nice balance of sci-fi and comedy. :-)

    Legion: Another great sci-fi plot with a nice balance of character-based stuff and some classic gags such as the famous "red alert" scene and Rimmer mistaking the light switch for a piece of art. I always appreciated a bit a slapstick too, albeit in moderation. And I think things like the flying food, Lister being thrown across and off the table, and Kryten trying to knock Rimmer out all work perfectly here. All in all another fine episode. :-)

    As an aside, I read on some website forum years ago that Stephen Fry was the first choice to play Legion, but was unavailable at the time. Does anyone here know if this is true or not? I can't remember anything being said about that in the documentary or commentary.
     
  15. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

    Messages:
    17,262
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    That's the first I've heard of that. After a big of googling, I've found that the episode's trivia section on the IMDb says the same thing. But then I wouldn't take the IMDb as a reliable source of Red Dwarf info.
     
  16. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

    Messages:
    459
    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    Formby, United Kingdom
    The Beginning.

    Oh well so this is the last episode to watch for now:-( but at least I feel my Red Dwarf spring/summer 2015 has gone out on quite a high:-). This episode feels the most like series 6 with its simulant war cruiser, darker feel occasionally and the crew being for the most part off their mother ship. The biomechanical simulants in this episode are a mixture of sinister and comic at the same time IMHO and the scene in which one of them commits hari-kari (is that how you spell it?) is also a great reference to the 1993 run's blood and gore like in Psirens. Although it is a shame it is not Starbug, I feel the Blue Midget set (a redecorated drive room) looks really good and it is also a positive for there to be yet more balance in the series with the crew journeying into space to get away from simulant ship. The model work looks spectacular and far superior to the CGI of series 7, 8 and BtE and so fully justifies its place in this series and the future.

    Although this is based on the never commissioned RD movie script and so re-written too as the last minute to replace a second Kochanski episode, in terms of the comedy, there is some really strong material in this episode. Although I'm not sure whether the bit based in the drive room of Red Dwarf near the start where Kryten says about looking out the window isn't a re-write of an old joke, it is really funny in terms of RD once again sourcing humour from not following the conventions of more serious sci-fi programmes like Star Trek etc.

    Although I wasn't sure about it on initial broadcast, I now adore the opening scene with the "young" Rimmer (who obviously and hilariously looks like Chris Barrie when he was younger) as it really shows how his early life experiences - which included the person who he thought was his father publically humiliating him - shaped him into the awkward, "utter twat" he became. It shows how series 10 continually resurrects the great character-based comedy of the peak years and I also love Rimmer's response to the girl next to him trying to let him know he was a "guinea pig" too - it again emphasises and gets humour from how he does not understand and cannot relate to females.

    I know some people are not keen on the bit about Rimmer's father not being his real Dad and instead it being Dungo the gardener. But to be honest as it is part of influencing the pay-off to the main simulant plot I at least see a reason for it for the story and so don't mind it too much although it is a shame that Rimmer's backstory has been altered significantly. But still my only major concern with it though is how will they characterise and write stories about Rimmer in the upcoming new series though. If losing his demon of not being approved by his dad has helped him to become more capable and better then Red Dwarf surely won't be the same and it will indeed be "the beginning" of something new. But still ultimately though I feel the new series 11/12 Rimmer can be written in the same arrogantly dumb way as maybe his "battle plan" succeeding is a stroke of luck and he will still be affected by his family history perhaps. Whatever, it will be interesting to see what Doug does next with the Rimmer character as while him becoming more capable works in this story especially as a last episode of the series, we will have to see whether it will work in the new material too if Doug does try and characterise and write stories around him in a different method. But still I just wonder whether he will still be much the same Rimmer and this like the series 8 (and almost series 6) resolutions will be seen as "a total fluke."

    Although there is not a proper, full explanation given for the series 8 cliff hanger at least it is said that Rimmer saved the decaying ship and it becomes quite a hilarious, running gag in this episode. In fact, that is another thing I feel is a positive about The Beginning is the way there is no miserable cliff hanger this time and instead an open ending definitely allowing for more new Red Dwarf (which is coming in 2016 and 2017 :-D). Despite a few dark moments, this is another reason why this is one of my preferred finale episodes because it is probably the most "feel good" of them all.

    However, I do feel this episode is not as perfect as other people make out though IMHO. For a start, although I love the joke about the weapons on blue midget ridiculously including two forks and a pencil sharpener, I do feel the pay off is a bit too predictable. As the only other thing that they have that is viable is Hoguey's molecular destabilising gun then it is a bit too obvious that is going to be used in the ending. Although Rimmer using his military strategy to align the simulant ships is a bit cleverer though, perhaps the ending - while a glorious, positive one - you can still see coming a mile off. Additionally, while I do find the Hoguey the Roguey droid quite funny, at the same time the humour is a bit childish in its repetition. Also the line about dying badly in which its stated about "losing control of bodily functions" is blatantly a crass misstep by Doug. Although this is based on the aborted RD movie script, you wonder was this dud line hastily written in because of a lack of time due to the dropped final two Kochanski episodes and I guess the answer is probably.

    I must admit the first time I watched this episode on original broadcast three years ago I wasn't impressed and nor was I with Dear Dave. However, each time I have watched it from the Blu-ray's release up until now it has "grown" on me even more and I actually think it is a very decent attempt at a series 6 style episode. I love one of the scenes near the start where Lister gets a drink from the vending machine and it doesn't talk - already it is light years better than the previous episode! However, I do still wonder whether it is slightly overrated by some RD fans who place it in the same league as the 1988-1993 Red Dwarfs because IMHO it just needs a bit more depth to the story so for me I hope Doug has not written any other episodes at the last minute for the two new series. Don't get me wrong - it's a really decent episode with a good, authentic feel of the classic Red Dwarfs and much better than the series 7 and 8 finales. In fact for being the "happiest" and a proper final episode of a series it is probably up there in my top 3 it's just it isn't quite on a par with most of the Rob Grant co-writes IMHO. Still it is a really strong episode and if its opposite title to the first episode (The End) had meant it had been the final RD ever then like my Red Dwarf marathon it would have gone out on a high. But thank goodness there is more new Red Dwarf being produced and on New Years Eve I will think of there being a new series just around the corner...

    In terms of series 10 in general, I don't mean to sound like a parrot but I feel although I don't think it is quite up there with series 2 to 6 for me it is a very good series and the most like the show's glory days since Rob left. Although I am going to be slightly controversial in saying that I do think Tikka to Ride, Stoke Me a Clipper, Cassandra and Krytie TV are slightly better than the best episodes in 10 I do feel overall this is more consistent, feels more Dwarfy and the best overall series since 1993 definitely by miles. IMHO I know I might annoy some people but I actually feel that 10 is superior to series 1. I hope 11 and 12 follow this trajectory but I am worried about what will happen if people like Kill Crazy and Kochanski are brought back in. It would be a shame for it to lose form again but I suppose the Kochanski story from BtE has to be resolved at some point I guess.

    So that's it then...finally my Red Dwarf reviews are finished. To think it all started in the late Spring and ends now just near the end of what is technically summer time. I feel like I've been on a journ...I wouldn't really write that otherwise then I would sound like the X Factor.:lol::evil: I suppose there is new Doctor Who on Saturday but as much as I love it - especially series 1 - the smeg it is as phenomenal as Red Dwarf IMHO. Anyway, I will still watch the Xtended versions of Tikka to Ride (remastered), Ouroboros, Duct Soup and Back in the Red (for some reason I've never watched) though I totally agree with Bluey I won't be reviewing those also. But anyway, thank you everyone for all the replies over the past few months and I am really enjoying reading other people's reviews now and other threads.:-)
     
  17. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

    Messages:
    754
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Strangely, I seem to be one of the few people on the forum that DOESN'T think "The Beginning" was one of the best in series X (for me, that would be Trojan and Entangled). Must watch it again at some point, because reading your post made me look at it a bit more fondly.

    The Beginning shouldn't work. It just shouldn't. You've got Hogey, the Monty Python-esque simulants, lots of complex model shots (probably too ambitious, but they still look mostly great, especially for the budget), and big changes to Rimmer, plus the Rimmer/Cat conversation. To me, that screams "this episode won't work". But it does.

    Hogey probably would have stolen the episode, in the worst possible way, had he been used for more than one scene. However, he's only in one scene which works well - there's not enough time for him to get annoying. I keep wondering whether there's some merit in an episode where he and Kryten are trapped somewhere and have to figure out an escape plan. As it stands, he's amusing but doesn't overstay his welcome.

    Monty Python-esque simulants - someone else said that Red Dwarf is a *serious* universe, except for the Dwarfers themselves. To me, the simulants (and other things in X, like the vending machines and medi-bot) strike me as a bit too wacky and purposefully funny. Interesting fact I think, this marks the second scene where none of the Dwarfers are present (the first being at the beginning of Inquisitor, so long as we don't count younger versions of the crew).

    Model shots - I think there's some jerkiness but they mostly work. Better than a lot of the CGI stuff (see the Remastered Starbug/Blue Midget chase from Bodyswap), but not quite up there with some of the awesome work from VI. Having said that, there is a lot of it and it was done pretty much last-minute. Looking forward to seeing what they cook up with XI/XII.

    Changes to Rimmer - not a fan. However, I understand that it is a big running plot throughout this episode. Rimmer just happens to have the old message he's never read (really, in all this time?) to take with him, having never really shown sentiment to his family before (except when he got confirmation of his father's death). I don't mind his real father being Dungo and all that, I don't mind the story behind it, but I am wary of "character stories" in Red Dwarf, and how it may change the character in the long run. Rimmer, knowing Rimmer, will probably stay the same but make the occasional reference (like Lister referenced Kochanski all the time this series - God that was annoying). The result is that Rimmer is momentarily confident, and the episode just-about pulls it off. As I say, hopefully Rimmer goes back to his usual snivelling self. The Rimmer/Cat conversation, too, doesn't work for me, because it pulls Cat out of his usual character (which, admittedly, is mainly just a comic relief role - one which I don't want him to change).

    The Beginning works, for me, because it manages to string these all together. Hogey and the simulants introduce some new characters and fresh ideas into the mix. Blue Midget works (love how they've re-used the drive room, and in fact I love the modular set itself, mounted on supermarket trolleys). The jokes are good (yep, the pencil sharpener and "look out of the window". The episode moves at a great pace. It's like a great attempt at something between series V and VI, on a shoestring budget.
     
  18. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

    Messages:
    2,946
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Are you saying The Beginning is a triple fried egg sandwich with chilli sauce and chutney?

    Hee hee. I really like The Beginning. I found Hoagey a bit irritating to start with but wouldn't mind seeing him in future if used sparingly.

    The additions to Rimmer's history never really bothered me. A mind like his will always find other excuses and besides a bit of character development for the positive is not a bad thing. As long as he doesn't go too far.

    I have mixed views concerning the simulants. The subordinates were too camp and ingratiating (not the word I was after, but its too early,) for my liking. But on the other hand they were a great source of comedy. And the ship models were fantastic! And while some of the Blue Midget animation was a little ropey the simulant ship stuff was mostly smooth and lovely.

    Concerning Lister continually referencing Kochanski- I never really got that impression at all this series. He mentions her occasionally (a good thing as it makes the chronology with BtE clear and provides an overall arc) but he seems far from incessant.
     
  19. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

    Messages:
    754
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    I think he manages to shoehorn an "oh it could be Kochanski" or "is Kochanski in danger" or something like that into each episode.
     
  20. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 Console Officer

    Messages:
    2,668
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    What about the opening of Polymorph? I can't recall any crew there.
     

Share This Page