Author Topic: Red Dwarf rewatch  (Read 113892 times)

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1440 on: January 17, 2021, 10:37:36 PM »
Duct Soup- KK says she grew up in Glasgow, without the faintest hint of a weegie accent, or am I nitpicking? I'm just watching episodes in a random order until I'm left with Krytie TV

This is alternate dimension Glasgow, where Kochanski has her own Dave.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1441 on: January 17, 2021, 11:24:57 PM »
S09E02 - Back to Earth Part 2

The wormhole starts dragging everyone except Bartikovsky in, including Rimmer even though he's also a hologram. We cut to a TV store... where people are watching Back to Earth on TV! The wormhole appears on the TV and the crew fly out of the screens with some of the shittiest special effects ever seen.

Personally, I hate metafictional plots like this, because they're often a vehicle for self-indulgent jokes. This is no exception - the first thing that happens is a guy in the TV store mocks Red Dwarf for having too much silly exposition (he's right, so if Doug's aware of this WHY DOESN'T HE STOP IT) and then we get the counter-joke about how the guy who hates Red Dwarf has a critically small penis.

We're in London, 2009, Kryten identifying it as "the early part of the 21st century." Lister replies - "twenty-first... isn't that when all the banks went belly-up and money became useless?" Rimmer agrees - "I read about that in history!" Really weird lines, why would Lister know about the 2008 crash? It doesn't even lead to a punchline or anything.

The gang go for a wander and the public dig them, believing them to be the actors from Red Dwarf in costume. They discover Red Dwarf DVDs. "It's a TV series about us!" Rimmer reasons, and Kryten notes that the DVDs "recount all our adventures, every single one of them!". Everyone has a wobble over the realisation that they're not real and are merely TV characters come to life. The funniest thing about all this is the huge Red Dwarf display at the video store. I have never seen such a thing in real life. I think I saw a Series 8 DVD at CEX once in the corner, covered in shit.

We get a bit of explanation of the mysterious gap between Series 8 and Back To Earth - apparently, in the world the gang are now in, Series 10 has already come out, and featured Kochanski's death. Reading a synopsis of Back to Earth, they also discover that they're doomed to die at the end. The only way to escape is to do a bit of Blade Runner shit, tracking down their creators to beg for more life. "Oh no, not a three-parter," Rimmer moans. "I hate three-parters." Me too.

After finding some money, they check the synopsis again and find out that they're meant to go to a really naff sci-fi store, the interior of which looks a lot like Forbidden Planet, which I've SHAMEFULLY been to (not by my choice, I swear to god). Lister tries to explain the situation to the guy in the store, who... already knows about the dimension squid, I think. It's a weird scene.

Anyway, like the video shop, this cult store is inexplicably very very very big on Red Dwarf with a huge display and shelves full of Red Dwarf DVDs, and is even showing Polymorph on a TV. "Zoom enhance sharpen enhance reflection sharpen zoom pan right rotate 220" etc joke. Yep, it's another Blade Runner joke, but it is pretty funny even if it's been done before.

The crew head off to catch a bus to meet a guy called Swallow who can apparently put them in contact with the actors who play them. Lister sees an article about Chloe Annett in a magazine, and gets all emotional about Kochanski. A couple of kids who are Red Dwarf fans show up to talk to Lister about how cool he is, and give him their fan-theory - Kochanski isn't actually dead, she stole a Blue Midget and ran for it because she was sick of living with Lister, and Kryten tried to spare his feelings by claiming she'd been sucked out an airlock.

Bartikovsky shows up out of absolutely nowhere, and accuses the gang of trying to evade her even though she was there when they were uncontrollably and inexplicably dragged into the wormhole against their will. Alright. Rimmer shoves her in front of a car, killing her (did the car hit her light bee or what?), and then we cut away pretty quickly.

Arriving at Swallow's place, the crew aggressively grill him for info, for some reason really hostile all of a sudden. He gives them a terrible Starbug-themed car and directions to Coronation Street, where they can meet Craig Charles.

Well, as I said, this kind of meta-plot very rarely appeals to me and this isn't an exception. It's an excuse for a lot of self-indulgent jokes and self-referencing which I've never really understood the appeal of. This part also drags with relatively few jokes (ones that land, anyway). I've never seen the director's cut, but I imagine this would fare a lot better as a slow middle section of a larger episode, and also with a lot of cuts made.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2021, 11:50:35 PM by Lemming »

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1442 on: January 17, 2021, 11:30:07 PM »
I think I saw a Series 8 DVD at CEX once in the corner, covered in shit.

"No manners, but what a critic!"

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1443 on: January 17, 2021, 11:34:42 PM »
Pretty sure most stuff in CEX is covered in shit.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1444 on: January 17, 2021, 11:53:49 PM »
The wormhole starts dragging everyone except Bartikovsky in, including Rimmer even though he's also a hologram.

Obviously there's an in-story reason which would excuse this but even putting that aside, Rimmer's hologram is projected via his light bee, which is a physical object, so he absolutely would be sucked into the wormhole regardless.

Reading a synopsis of Back to Earth, they also discover that they're doomed to die at the end. The only way to escape is to do a bit of Blade Runner shit, tracking down their creators to beg for more life.

A neat touch is that the DVD/Blu-Ray has the same design as the one in the show and the same synopsis that they read out in the show on the back of the box.  Well, almost the same synopsis... there's one word which is different, which annoys me more than it perhaps reasonably should.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1445 on: January 17, 2021, 11:56:17 PM »
Arriving at Swallow's place, the crew aggressively grill him for info, for some reason really hostile all of a sudden. He gives them a terrible Starbug-themed car and directions to Coronation Street.


He's a bit of a maverick. Not afraid to break the law if he thinks it's necessary. He's not a criminal, you know, but he will perhaps travel 80mph on the motorway, for example, if he wants to get somewhere quickly.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1446 on: January 18, 2021, 12:00:06 AM »
we get the counter-joke about how the guy who hates Red Dwarf has a critically small penis.

I can honestly forgive this because I have a lot of issues with Red Dwarf, and my penis is shockingly small.

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1447 on: January 18, 2021, 12:13:32 AM »
speaking of the whole "forcing our dads to explain dirty Red Dwarf jokes" thing, When I was 12 or so, I made my Dad explain the Dimension Jump Ace "I'll be in my room covered in hummus" jokes to me. He didn't want to say, but I nagged and nagged until he gave in and snapped "they're saying he'll lick it off them". I felt kind of guilty for nagging him, but they are stupidly obscure foods. (especially for the time) If they'd just said "chocolate sauce" or something I think I'd have got it.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1448 on: January 18, 2021, 12:19:49 AM »
Pretty sure most stuff in CEX is covered in shit.

I insist on always pronouncing it KECKS.  Anyone else?

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1449 on: January 18, 2021, 12:21:59 AM »
never been in a situation where I've needed to say it out loud

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1450 on: January 18, 2021, 12:22:22 AM »
Obviously there's an in-story reason which would excuse this but even putting that aside, Rimmer's hologram is projected via his light bee, which is a physical object, so he absolutely would be sucked into the wormhole regardless.

Also he is hard-light.  Physical events effect him in the same manner as ordinary people now.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1451 on: January 18, 2021, 12:23:07 AM »
never been in a situation where I've needed to say it out loud

I mean to myself - out loud though - as I walk past it.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1452 on: January 18, 2021, 12:27:34 AM »
never been in a situation where I've needed to say it out loud

Usually arises in the form of something like "let's get the hell out of CEX," or "oh god no, not CEX," or "I'm not going into that fucking CEX" etc.

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1453 on: January 18, 2021, 12:28:35 AM »
I used to know a guy who called it the sexy store.

Lemming

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1454 on: January 18, 2021, 12:37:50 AM »
Obviously there's an in-story reason which would excuse this but even putting that aside, Rimmer's hologram is projected via his light bee, which is a physical object, so he absolutely would be sucked into the wormhole regardless.

It looked odd with Big Suze sat there unaffected while Rimmer was sucked in, though I totally forgot about Rimmer being hard light.

On a related note, for some reason I'd always had the idea that Rimmer was projected by the ship itself while on board Red Dwarf, and the light bee was for when he needed to leave aboard Starbug. Not sure where I got that idea, maybe just trying to bridge the way holograms work in the earlier series with the way they work from Meltdown onwards.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1455 on: January 18, 2021, 01:49:23 AM »
It looked odd with Big Suze sat there unaffected while Rimmer was sucked in, though I totally forgot about Rimmer being hard light.

On a related note, for some reason I'd always had the idea that Rimmer was projected by the ship itself while on board Red Dwarf, and the light bee was for when he needed to leave aboard Starbug. Not sure where I got that idea, maybe just trying to bridge the way holograms work in the earlier series with the way they work from Meltdown onwards.

In series I and II, Rimmer was projected by the ship itself (hence Rimmer requiring a "holo-cage" to party on the moon with the others).  However, once Naylor and Grant realised how impractical this would be for the show to maintain, they retroactively created the light bee.

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1456 on: January 18, 2021, 01:51:17 AM »
i saw where you typo'd show as shoe and am thinking of where you have a hologram projected from a floating pair of shoes

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1457 on: January 18, 2021, 02:02:34 AM »
LA Soft-lights

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1458 on: January 18, 2021, 09:40:30 AM »
This is alternate dimension Glasgow, where Kochanski has her own Dave.
Her Dave is blatantly Scouse though lol

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1459 on: January 18, 2021, 09:46:01 AM »
Duct Soup- KK says she grew up in Glasgow, without the faintest hint of a weegie accent, or am I nitpicking? I'm just watching episodes in a random order until I'm left with Krytie TV

Some Glaswegians don't have the accent you're thinking of.

To be fair though, KK being from Glasgow and the way the Gorbals is described in Duct Soup always left me feeling a bit confused.

KK is from Glasgow and was originally played by an actor famously associated with Glasgow. It's okay that they retained this detail after recasting. But Duct Soup's glimpse into future Glasgow as quite a posh place (evidenced by alt-KK's accent, her private school with "perfect CG teachers and perfect CG friends," and a then-notoriously rough area being described as "the trendiest part of Glasgow") is odd. It's odd in that I don't know how we're supposed to feel about all this. Is it supposed to be a joke?

I read it now as a harmless/politically-neutral act of world-building, but it's a bit strange to go so deep on that. It's certainly another unfortunate and needless retcon when we remember our original read that Lister was, believably, drawn to a working-class gal from a post-industrial city not unlike his own.

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1460 on: January 18, 2021, 10:07:02 AM »
S09E02 - Back to Earth Part 2

We're in London, 2009, Kryten identifying it as "the early part of the 21st century." Lister replies - "twenty-first... isn't that when all the banks went belly-up and money became useless?" Rimmer agrees - "I read about that in history!" Really weird lines, why would Lister know about the 2008 crash? It doesn't even lead to a punchline or anything.


Isn't the idea that the 2008/09 crash continued getting worse and worse until money really was worthless and it was a huge historical event remembered for centuries? It doesn't work looking back from a 2020 perspective but would be plausible to viewers in April 2009

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1461 on: January 18, 2021, 10:11:18 AM »
Awful CGI zoom into Lister which is unintentionally funnier than anything in Series 8. Then we get Rimmer yelling at a skutter before Lister walks in. Lister's planned an elongated, elaborate plot to annoy Rimmer, which revolves sneezing on an ironing board.

It's not laugh-out-loud funny or anything, but I love this scene. It's a total return to the core of the show, as if Series 7 and 8 just never happened. And really, it's a return to an era even before that - how many times was the original concept of "two people who don't like each other - but need each other - trapped on a ship together" really explored after Series 3? But here it is again, Lister bored out of his mind traipsing around the ship, and deciding that the best and only way to keep himself busy is by harassing Rimmer.

I don't mind that CGI zoom. It's certainly cheapo but it plunges us into a not-intended-for-laughs in media res moment with just a little dash of pathos as Lister goes about his scavenging duties. "This is his life," it seems to say. I love it.

I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment on the sneeze joke. At first, I wasn't sure about it. Part-way through it all, with Rimmer saying things like "why do you want to eat a tomato if you don't like tomatoes," I was thinking this is interminable, it's Doug labouring everything again, but it pretty much pays off and it turns out that the shaggy-dog-story element was the point all along. Not bad.

A slight nitpick about this sort of thing is that "Lister annoying Rimmer" works better when it's not a willful wind-up and Rimmer is annoyed by Lister simply existing. Trimming his toenails, playing guitar, leaving laundry on the floor aren't practical jokes against Rimmer but examples of how the two characters simply can't live together. Know what I mean? I don't mind the broader stuff really, but yeah.

Re: Craig's delivery of "me and the Cat are gonna die," I take that to be (a) Lister winding up Kryten a bit or else routinely over-depending on him to keep him alive, and/or (b) the gang are constantly thwarting death so this is business as usual. A micro-joke! I'm fine with it.

I join the chorus in saying that this episode is far, far, far better than I remember. Almost a return to form even. Maybe not on the comedy front but certainly in terms of palatability. Credit where it's due.

And while I'm not one of those people who think Red Dwarf can't work if the cast aren't young anymore, they look younger than seems possible here. Craig Charles looks the same as VII/VIII Lister to my eyes now and not the bingo-winged grandma of later Dave seasons.

It's surprisingly good, innit? I barely feel embarrassed at all. It feels like an injustice that the BBC wouldn't make this.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2021, 10:42:02 AM by Mobbd »

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1462 on: January 18, 2021, 12:05:22 PM »
It’s quite weird to think that more time has passed between Back To Earth and now than passed between series 1 and series 8, or series 8 and Back To Earth.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1463 on: January 19, 2021, 11:59:59 PM »
S09E03 Back to Earth Part 3

RECAP: The crew have driven to Coronation Street in a Starbug car.

Weird Rimmerworld callback. Kryten tries to talk to a postbox. Aaaaa

Kryten trying the "dialect" is funny. Anyway, the gang meet Craig Charles, who initially thinks that they're just the other actors messing with him, but is soon shocked to see Lister walk in. Craig tells the gang they've only got one episode left - Back to Earth Part 3 - so they'll need to find their creator to secure more episodes. Had enough Blade Runner knockoffs in this thee-parter yet? No? Good, because we're getting the geisha on the big screen now.

The Creator, who is decidedly not Doug Naylor (MASSIVE missed opportunity for us to mock Doug for his acting skills rather than just his writing skills), lives in some freaky Dwarf-themed mansion. He tells the crew that he's sick of them and is preparing to end the series. I really like the crew's increasingly shit ideas for spinoffs to save themselves.

It's all getting meta! Lister accidentally kills the creator, and is horrified, but Kryten finds out this has all been written in the script. Lister uses the typewriter to write a new ending for the crew, but they soon realise the typewriter doesn't actually do shit. Cat's been compulsively making little model squids this whole time, and Kryten realises instantly that this means they've been squidded again.

With that realisation, everyone returns to reality except for Lister, who stays in the dream to be with Kochanski. Chloe Annett's back! Dream-Kochanski encourages Lister to remain in the hallucination forever, but he decides to wake up to seek out Kochanski in real life, certain that they'll be together again one day (even though she explicitly fucked off because she didn't like him...).

Turns out this was all caused by another Despair Squid, but this one is a female who's ink produces euphoric hallucinations, rather than depressing ones. The obvious question here would be how exactly anything that happened could be considered euphoric - Lister gained self-confidence from meeting Red Dwarf fan kids on the bus, but everyone else didn't really have anything good happen to them. Especially Rimmer, who smashed his nuts into a table like 50 times.

There's a great line about how they'll drop the squid off to live on an ocean world to "make some fish happy". Really like it, very Star Trek.

Overall, it's alright for what it is, which is a very atypical feature-length episode. The first episode was the strongest and funniest, with the second being quite slow and dreary and the third being a fast-paced conclusion, albeit still with few jokes. I still can't say I'm hugely engaged by the metafiction plot or the fifty billion Blade Runner references. The pacing feels a bit off throughout, maybe it's better in the cut down version, but in the third part especially, the big meeting with Craig Charles sort of fizzles out instantly, the realisation that they're in a squid-hallucination comes very suddenly, and Lister's switch from deciding to stay in the dream to deciding to awaken and face reality happens too quickly. Coming from Series 8, though, it's a ridiculous step up in quality and characterisation. I assume a big part of this was to test out the potential for new series on Dave, which we obviously ended up getting, and for that it does a decent enough job - reintroduces the characters (who are all generally better written than they have been in a long time) and concept well enough.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1464 on: January 20, 2021, 12:41:55 AM »
There's a scene in part two of Back to Earth where the sci-fi store shopkeeper guy lists various methods of travel the crew have discovered over the course of the series. With that in mind, let's have some overthinking/nitpicking/complaining fun by listing all the extant ways that the crew could easily return to Earth, which they've chosen to totally ignore!

Going into stasis (from Future Echoes) - Lister and Cat can go into stasis and Rimmer can go offline for the entire duration of the journey home. It's never really explained why they don't do this, and is never mentioned again. Starbug also has "suspended animation units" which can do the same thing.

Stasis Leak (from Stasis Leak) - a portal that leads to three weeks before the disaster (and seems to stay at that point, no matter how much time passes). About a million different ways to avert the disaster and save the crew, or simply just use it to return to Earth and live out the rest of their lives there. Never mentioned again.

Holly Hop Drive (from Parallel Universe) - allows the ship to move across space and dimensions. Functionally useless in that Holly doesn't really know how to operate it, so they're at least justified in not bringing this one up again.

Mutated Development Fluid (from Timeslides) - like with the stasis leak, about a trillion different ways to get home here. Probably justified in never using it in that, as far as I can think of, there's no way for Rimmer and Lister to get home without dooming Cat to nonexistence. Never mentioned again until Back to Earth, which confirms that they still have the ability to use this.

Matter Paddle (from Meltdown) - lets you travel over extraordinarily vast distances and can locate habitable planets with life, and teleports the crew to formerly human-occupied space on the first try. Never mentioned again until Back to Earth, which (again) confirms it still exists and is operational.

Time Drive (from Out of Time) - add-on for Starbug that allows travel to any point in time or space. Repurposed into a handheld version in Tikka to Ride, I think?

Handheld Time Drive (from Tikka to Ride) - lets you travel to any time and any place you want. Used by the entire crew to go back to Earth once, then by Lister to go back to Earth again to place himself under a table. Never mentioned after that, as far as I remember.


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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1465 on: January 20, 2021, 06:48:21 AM »
I've never seen Blade Runner, would that have hampered my enjoyment of series 9? Was it very reliant on references?

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1466 on: January 20, 2021, 07:33:00 AM »
I've never seen Blade Runner, would that have hampered my enjoyment of series 9? Was it very reliant on references?

I guess.  You watch it and go “that’s lifted from Blade Runner” rather than “what’s that?”

I wouldn’t say it necessarily brings any deeper joy to appreciate the references, though.  It’s just certain things where you go “oh yeah like in Blade Runner”.  Stuff doesn’t suddenly make more sense because of it - it’s all pretty arbitrary.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1467 on: January 20, 2021, 07:53:06 AM »
But you should see Blade Runner though.

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Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1468 on: January 20, 2021, 07:59:43 AM »
Always found it weird how the show creator character tells the crew "Blade Runner inspired your creation so it will also inspire your end", or something to that effect. Was Blade Runner ever really a particularly major influence on Red Dwarf? Surely stuff like Dark Star, Alien, Silent Running and even 2001 would all rank higher on the list. Not to mention Porridge and whatnot. Suddenly making everything about Blade Runner and going "aaah it's all come full circle" just feels like a bizarre non-sequitor.

Re: Red Dwarf rewatch
« Reply #1469 on: January 20, 2021, 11:40:14 AM »
Always found it weird how the show creator character tells the crew "Blade Runner inspired your creation so it will also inspire your end", or something to that effect. Was Blade Runner ever really a particularly major influence on Red Dwarf? Surely stuff like Dark Star, Alien, Silent Running and even 2001 would all rank higher on the list. Not to mention Porridge and whatnot. Suddenly making everything about Blade Runner and going "aaah it's all come full circle" just feels like a bizarre non-sequitor.

Good point, I never thought of that but you're right: I mean Blade Runner's not even set in space! While it definitely influenced the aesthetics and some of the guest characters of series 3-6 ish, I would say not any more than the Alien series did. And I can't see any connection between Bladerunner and series 1/2 Dwarf whatsoever. As you say even 2001 is more of an influence: only just realised both feature a lead character/sole human called Dave (intentional nod or a co incidence ?) And 'Holly' ain't too far from 'Hal' come to think of it.

Total digression here but I always wondered why Holly had a girls name and why no one ever remarked on this (obviously this became less notable during the Hattie Hayridge era: strange to think that when I first got into Dwarf in the early 90s Hayridge seemed like the 'real' Holly like Llewellyn was the real Kryten and Lovett was some kinda not quite there Pete Best figure, before later series reversed that state of affairs).

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