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Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by SweatyChimpBoy, Jan 30, 2018.
Sadly Dimension Jump and Meltdown didn't look as good as these...
Agreed too. It is a shame because it is probably in a lot of people's top Dwarf episodes lists, but like I said again in an earlier post, Dimension Jump was not a very good upscale. Meltdown was slightly better but much the same as Dimension Jump ultimately.
Back in the Red Parts 2 and 3 both looked incredible again on both my larger and smaller TV. Obviously as series 8 is the least old BBC series then that is why these Blu-ray versions are fantastic, along with series 7 on my 32 inch.
In terms of the episodes themselves... I know this is not likely to be appreciated by anyone but I thought Part 2 was excellent but some parts would definitely not be allowed today. One of the strong half of series 8 though - rating 9 out of 10.
Meanwhile - and this is likely to be even more unpopular - I don't think Part 3 is as bad as I can remember it. True, the Midget/Cat dance is padding and too silly while the ending with Lister pouring the sexual magnetism virus on Rimmer is dodgy and unLister-like to be that immoral. But there are some great lines still and it rounds off the clever Artificial Reality story of the crew ending up in the tank okay. Still it is not a particularly good episode of Red Dwarf but it is just about above average in my estimation now. Rating - 7 out of 10.
I think if you accept that most of Red Dwarf series 8 does not offer the most cerebral and heavy sci-fi material that Doug Naylor ever produced - apart from Cassandra - and you just accept it for what it is which is silly, slapstick comedy then what you have is a different fun series to compliment the others.
True only half the episodes are 9 out of 10 and the others are not too good but series 8 - weird thinking it is 2 decades since it first broadcast at this very time - is a half successful, half flawed reinvention of the show IMHO. Series 10 and particularly series 11/12 are much more like it but I don't mind series 8 as much as others though.
Still have to get through both parts of Pete however...
Cassandra and Pete Part 1 both looked wonderful in their Blu-ray versions but Krytie TV was not as good though, but still okay.
Cassandra is an excellent episode because it is the most reminiscent of one from the early 90s with its heavier sci-fi and is viewed by most people as the best of the final Red Dwarf run of the 20th century. Rating - 10 out of 10.
However, I have just watched Pete Part 1 and although it is not as terrible as I remembered it, it is still mostly abysmal and not really Red Dwarf anymore. I liked the scene in the cell with Lister "dialling" the wrong number while I also liked Holly's jokes when they discover the time wand such as the Eurovision song contest and QPR away ones. But while there was a slight plot in that Lister and Rimmer keep annoying the captain more and more and the other one about the time wand, it all feels quite incoherent and more like a sketch show. It's just not Dwarfy anymore and this is probably where series 8 runs out of steam for me. Birdman is certainly the most irritating guest character ever and when Pete transforms into the T-Rex why did Kryten just not press "undo" on the time wand then? Red Dwarf has always been full of silliness - like the mutton vindaloo beast - but a dinosaur on a spaceship is taking thing way too far and is just totally ridiculous. There are a few stronger scenes but this has surely got to be the second weakest Red Dwarf show ever. Rating 5.25 out of 10.
Annoyingly the next episode has to be the worst and I watch that tonight.
Another couple of points I thought I would like to make are this.
In series 7, on the smaller TV where I could recognise the greatest (tremendous!) improvement in quality of the Blu-rays compared to the DVDs, even the CGI looks significantly better to be honest. I will still look forward to watching the remastered version of Tikka to Ride though when this Dwarfathon is sadly over.
In series 8, I personally really like Holly's contributions but it is like others have said he is more of a joke cracking tool - apart from him creating the other set of nanobots that resurrected the crew in Back in the Red - and he gets only a brief amount of screen time ultimately which is a shame.
Finally for now, I just thought I would mention that the Blu-ray box set is back in the charts on the Official Chart Company website. It is currently 66 in the Blu-ray chart and 47 in the TV chart. Although this is probably because the price went down in the previous week, it is good to see there is still a bit of interest despite the mixed response to say the least.
Those who have emailed the BBC to complain have finally received a satisfactory response, the pertinent bit of which is:
Dunno what this means for those who already own them, but there ya go.
Let it be, it isnt THAT bad.
Yeah, I noticed on someone's Amazon review yesterday afternoon an edit in which they stated that they were offered replacement discs. So hopefully they will be provided for all those who bought the box set in its current condition. True, series 3 - apart from Bodyswap and Timeslides - is not as terrible as some people are saying but there is clearly a fault and the BBC have acknowledged that so we should all be entitled to replacement discs for series 3 and 5 if we wish.
IMHO the second half of series 5 was the biggest disappointment. The contrast in quality of the second half to the magnificent first half is enormous and it includes Quarantine and Back to Reality (2 of the giant five best Dwarfs) so they really need correcting.
Hopefully, there will be an official line somewhere about being entitled to new 3 and 5 discs and then the box set will be even better and the finest it can be. Shame, it will take 6 weeks though to re-produce the discs.
I've now reached the end of the box set by yesterday afternoon and both Pete Part 2 and Only the Good... looked as you would expect awesome. Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the Blu-ray versions but I will be even happier if and when the replacement discs are organised. Series 2, first half of 5, 6, 7 and 8 are the best upscales IMHO but Justice and White Hole are excellent too and the most difficult series to enhance (obviously as it is the oldest) - series 1 - is mostly alright now also.
In terms of my thoughts on the episodes...
Pete Part 2...again it was not as terrible as I remembered to be as there are some stronger scenes but it is still the weakest Red Dwarf episode ever. The best moments were the Holly lines about the long version and the short version which is for me personally classic dialogue in a dodgy episode. The scene with Rimmer disrespecting the captain when back in his cell was funny too while the fight catching up with Rimmer and Lister after Baxter and Kill Crazy had fired the time wand at them was pretty comical likewise. There is also one statement I would like to retract which is why Kryten did not press the "undo" button at Pete when he first transformed into a dinosaur. Firstly, it looked like by giving it to the skutter he would have to be closer - which is impossible as the T-Rex is so dangerous - and secondly, Pete is only able to be shot at with the wand once he is sedated in the second episode.
However, the episode is the poorest Red Dwarf ever because the "undo" button is a bit of a weak pay off while the Archie jokes and dinosaur bowel motions are simply puerile. Also again it is lacking in the tight plotting that made Red Dwarf in its earlier series such a great watch and it feels again like more like a sketch show.
Still although this is truly poor by Red Dwarf standards there is the occasional bit of the old magic. My rating though would have to be 5.2 out of 10.
I now have a bit of a different attitude to Only the Good... since 2015. If it had indeed been the final ever episode of Red Dwarf then I probably still would have detested it. But due to there being more Red Dwarf made since - albeit with a massive 10 year hiatus - I now perceive it a bit more favourably. It is nowhere near the colossal standard of Out of Time but there are similarities like the way it fails to signal where it is going and juxtaposing a humorous, down to earth comedy prison life for most part of the episode with a depressing cliffhanger ending.
Kryten and Kochanski setting up Lister and Rimmer with Baxter's hooch is one of the most humorous scenes of this first part to the episode and I especially love the "Who fancies a Kebab?" gag. Even the parts with Ricky Grover's Baxter and Big Meat I find somewhat funnier now and at least the story is - while not classic - an improvement on Pete. In fact the Mirror universe scenes I used to find a bit boring from first broadcast 20 years ago until 2015 because this whole concept was being repeated yet again but now I too find them acceptable. However, it is a shame that the scenes with the mirror Lister had to be cut as it would have provided the episode with a bit more depth.
However, the massive issue is clearly the now notorious cliffhanger end. Until 21st century Red Dwarf came to fruition I used to hate this the most about Only the Good... The kneeing death in the balls was just too surreal for even Red Dwarf and too miserable and clearly the far funnier and entertaining Cesiumfrancolithic... end should have been used instead especially as it would leave it more open and would not drive a lot of Dwarfers mad with the lack of a resolution - apart from knowing Rimmer did something (The Beginning) - still to this day.
It is like Doug ultimately felt he had to imitate the sad but amazingly dramatic and clever - and appropriate as more Red Dwarf landed just a few years later (unlike 10 years) - cliffhanger ending to series 6 again when really an uplifting, feelgood conclusion was more suitable this time.
The Grim Reaper ending was to its slight credit an emotional and even slightly moving way for Red Dwarf to depart our screens for a decade but it was awkward and I am very pleased that since then Doug has written more positive sort of resolutions to the Red Dwarf story but open ended too to allow future Red Dwarf if feasible and no more perplexing unsolved cliffhangers.
Due to the actual ending, I can only give Only the Good... at most a rating of 7 out of 10 and it is a shame because if it had included the original chirpier one then I would have in hindsight - as there has been new and superior Red Dwarf since - been tempted to give it a rating of 7.8 out of 10 as the Cesiumfrancolithic.. pay off could have been one of the all time great scenes too.
Anyway, now it's on to the 21st century Dave-era Red Dwarf and because I feel from series 10 onwards Doug became more confident in writing solo I am very excited, especially as my Dwarfathon now comprises of an additional 12 episodes!
I don't think the contrast between was first and second half of V was enormous. It was better than I expected. Maybe it is because I have quite small TV.
I don't expect anyone to send replecement discs to the Czech Republic, so I'm glad for these.
You're being very kind towards season VIII, @UltraDevotee. Personally, I hate it so much that I've vowed to just completely skip over the season the next time I decide to go through all the episodes. Rewatching it a few years ago was a depressing experience. There's no episode from VIII that I would rate better than a 3 out of 10. I'd give Only the Good about a 1.5 out of 10.
Fair enough. It's interesting how you mention that those faulty episodes did not look too bad on your quite small TV because I actually saw most enhancement to the picture for both series 6 and 7 on my 32 inch rather than my 42 inch.
So perhaps a smaller screen is better in some cases because the screens in the 80s and 90s were much smaller than they are now and it is best to view the BBC episodes closer to their original size. Then again, other series looked brilliant on my bigger screen too so I think either small or big will do it justice really, when the Blu-ray versions are at their best. Maybe by my next Red Dwarf marathon watch I will have a more modern TV anyway...though I can still see improvement in the best upscales.
But in regards to replacement discs for series 3/5, then if it is possible I will apply because even the BBC have admitted there is a fault now and IMHO the quality for that series and a half should really be better.
Fair enough and even though you do not agree then it is good to hear someone's opinion.
I must admit it does surprise even me how in hindsight my opinion of series 8 has become more favourable. I always did think from first broadcast that Back in the Red Parts 1 and 2, Cassandra and Krytie TV were excellent episodes but Pete Parts 1 and 2 and Only the Good... until 2015 I hated with a passion.
I still definitely think the two Pete episodes are the weakest Red Dwarf ever but there are some scenes/bits that make it not a total waste of time for me now.
I detested Only the Good... for 16 years and then by 2015 because series 10 had come along and it was superior, I started to look on it a bit more positively because kneeing Grim Reaper in the balls was not the death of Red Dwarf with a whimper after all.
Still though Pete Parts 1 and 2 I have rated quite low and really Only the Good... needed its original happy ending to really shine.
I must admit though that now I don't find those last 3 episodes of 8 and Back in the Red Part 3 as abominable is astonishing though but like I said in hindsight with a better Red Dwarf future secured in most of the Dave-era that's perhaps why my opinion has changed and I am not as harsh towards them.
For me its the opposite. because i haven't been that impressed with the Dave era my view on series 8 has soured abit more.
I still look at an episode like Krytie tv and am stunned that kind of episode exists. especially compared to the type of storytelling that came previously to the show.
One thing I must say is even though I don't mind watching some series 8 and I think the Dave material - apart from BtE - has ranged mostly from very good to excellent, series 2 to 6 is highly likely to always be the peak of all Red Dwarf.
So while I have enjoyed quite a lot of the Doug-solo Red Dwarfs, one thing I would agree with you on is the show was at its finest with Rob Grant contributing too.
Does anyone know how we officially go about getting these bad disks replaced ?
You've got to knock on the door of BBC Director-General, perhaps bring him little present and he will give you those discs.
I noticed an edited review on Amazon for the Red Dwarf 1-8 Blu-ray box set which mentioned them writing to the e-mail address DVDSupport@bbc.com to organise their replacements.
So I wrote to that e-mail address myself this afternoon and very quickly got a reply after 6 minutes saying that my details had been "logged for replacement."
In my e-mail I just mentioned the faulty 2 discs, provided proof of purchase with a screen shot of my Amazon orders list (I no longer had my confirmation e-mail because my server does not keep deleted messages long) and gave them my postal address and it was such a speedy response so thank you BBC so far. Much faster than Lister trying to order a Stirmaster which I am grateful for.
So if any other Dwarfers are interested in replacement discs I suggest you get writing to that e-mail address above.
I presume it might take some weeks as Talkie Toaster's reply suggests but I am hoping it should be worth it for series 3/5 - 2 of my top 3 Red Dwarf series - to appear the best they can be!
And after my Dwarfathon finishes - I am up to The Beginning which I will watch shortly - I can do a series 3 and 5 mini Dwarf marathon when the new discs eventually arrive which will be fun.
Anyway, good luck getting your replacements organised boys and girls from the Dwarf if you are interested!