Probably going to disappoint
As much as I loved Red Dwarf, or at least the earlier series', I don't think this will end well. It could if they do it intelligently and not make it silly, but my hopes aren't high.
The cast of Red Dwarf are poised to reunite for a new series of the cult TV sci-fi series, twelve years after the spacecraft finally ran out of fuel on the BBC. Co-creator Doug Naylor has, according to Wired, confirmed Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewellyn are on board for a further six episodes. …
The humour of the original series was punchy and tight. The special was all over the place.
I owned all the DVDs of the original series and normally I would have bought the rest of them purely for continuity; but this time the special was so bad that even continuity couldn't move me to part with the cash.
Dear god let this new series be several factors of ten funnier than the three episodes they did a couple of years ago... either that, or let them never see the light of day.
If there's ever been a good demonstration of the maxim "quit while you're ahead" that series was it. Truly dire, and I speak as a big fan who watched from the very first episode.
That "special" was f***ing atrocious. If Naylor had wanted to make an appalling Blade Runner/Corrie Street crossover then fine but why the hell did he have to bring Red Dwarf into it as well?
I will watch the first episode of this new series with a laser glare and if there's even the faintest whiff of turd about it I'm reaching for the remote.
As a fan of the original 6 series of this, I managed to sit through series 7 and 8, and just managed to force myself to watch the mini-series on Dave (though it took me several months and a fair amount of alcohol to get through it).
Don't think I can stomach another series though
Actually, whilst people often moan about the later series, I don't think it was all that bad. I loved the episode "Beyond a joke", as well as the three-parter of series 8. Even though it wasn't consistently as good as the earlier series, I'd still rather see more of that, than nothing at all.
But it's the 2009 specials that were dire. I think I smiled once during the entire thing. Some parts I just cringed at - the mocking of the stereotypical fan, where he recites the joke about Rimmer quoting from the regulations book; except it's not funny when people do that. And I try to forget the dire Coronation Street tie in...
There was a reverse episode where I think it was the cat that did this, and emerged from the toilet cubicle with hair spiked and a VERY shocked look on his face.
And I STILL want to know what happened after Rimmer kicked Death in the nuts on the burning ship. AND IT HAD BETTER BE FUNNY!
You bunch of depressing smegheads! Have some optimism for once! You're acting like someone just told you there's no silicon heaven!
This is quite possibly the best news I've heard since... since they announced the Back To Earth special.
Which, admittedly, wasn't as good as everyone hoped, but i enjoyed it. It was a lot better than the last series of the show, even if it didn't hit the highs of the all time classic episodes.
Still, whatever they produce, it'll be a HUGE amount better than the dross that was Hyperdrive and anything else sci-fi that's been on telly recently.
So have some faith you lot! It'll be great! It says so in Space Corps Directive 34124
To be fair, I actually didnt mind the Dave Special - but... I do think that there was too much CGI and it all seemed to take itself a bit to seriously, inlcuding the music. Now, if the new series can go back to the old school sets and we see the general silliness come back then I think it will do well.
Space Corps directive rubbish that ruined the show IMHO. Series 1 and 2 were by far and away the best, series 3 was very good and had a higher production value but all the Space Corps Directive rubbish started creeping in from there.
Best episode is IMHO Marooned, season 2, which must have cost about as much as an episode of Biker Grove to make. More effects, silly gags and whatever didn't make it a better programme, it was the writing that made it brilliant.
Pretty sure that Marooned was series 3 (actually I am sure since I just checked).
Really can't agree that 1 and 2 were better than 3 - 6. They were different certainly, and I can see why they might appeal more to some people, but I think the changes made for 3 were an improvement, and it just got better through to the end of 6. Nothing wrong with a good "space core directive" line or three IMO.
Pity they never made any more. I SAID THEY NEVER MADE ANY MORE.
...in comparison to series 3 and on. The comedy was brought to the fore and just got sillier as time went on and as a result it lost its edge. I think that darkness and sense of isolation made the jokes and jibes all the more funny.
Anyhoo - I hope the cast and crew do a sterling job and look forward to seeing what they come up with.
In my mind saw the switch from a sci fi comedy to a comedy sci fi. In the first couple of series the humour came from situations that usually originated in science fiction concepts, in season 3-6, the humour came from jokes (the endless litany of Space Corps directives being the obvious train of mediocrity). Series 7 onwards just didn't have any humour in it.
I blame getting the series wrong for Marooned on my daughter, she had me up at 4am yesterday.
Yes, I did own a Dwayne Dibbly Duke of Dork t-shirt at university :D
You're 11 days late with the April Fools post, Lester... It's not? Oh...
The specials weren't a "big hit", they were embarrassingly awkward and not very funny. Like watching a drunken uncle attempt to dance at a wedding...
Let Red Dwarf die with dignity, not dribbling in the corner like an old incontinent dog.
Doug is still a great writer, but when Rob Grant left the team something was lost. They tried too much to make big jokes of entire episodes, losing a lot of the little quirks and witticisms which made Red Dwarf Great - Tshirts telling us to Give Quiche a Chance, playing pool with planets, Triple fried egg, chilli, chutney sandwiches - you just don't get touches like that in the later series
Dave can't release these episodes Mr Flibble... Who'd clean up the mess?
Well it’s a slow day so…
I liked the original series up to 6, I even grew to like 7 and even 8, with its silly use of CGI and the whole nanobot recreating the ship and the crew storyline, which was beyond stupid. I was given the behind the scenes book for season 8 for chrimbo and its a good read which made me appreciate that series even more. (Asking the BBC tech team how much to create an animatronic skutter - a few quid in the 80's since some bloke just did it because he wanted too, to be told anywhere between 5-10K each, it’s no wonder they went with CGI, not to mention the whole dancing Cat and Blue Midget scene).
However, the Dave specials were a shocking mishmash of poor scripting, bad jokes delivered badly and out of place tie-ins (Corry). I think I smiled once, and that may have been just at the opening credits.
The success of this is going to depend on what the story will be (personally I hope they make a completely new 6 part show based on the books; Last Human, which is the way the series should have gone and not most of series 7 to 8.
Will await with hope.
its taken me since 2009 when they put that rubbish on dave to "forget" it ever existed...
I was a fan of red dwarf from the very first episode. and have watched the series over and over several times. I think the only real measure of how good each individual episode and series was is to make note of all your favourite moments of the whole red dwarf experience, then make a point of all the scenes or gags you can remember,, then a list of as many episode titles as you can remember....
afterwards, on a table mark out the above, and where the most dense collection of marks are has to be your favourite episodes or series.... I
I would lay bets that series 7 & 8 and the "dave episodes" will not feature...
All in all, what killed red dwarf was when Craig Charles was arrested and held on remand on false allegations. It took a long time for him to make a TV comeback after that as people will believe there is no smoke without fire
ET, because i blame the Quagaar warriors myself !!
I'll believe it when I see it. They've been saying there would be more episodes on Dave since the three Easter episodes a couple of years ago, but nothing has come of it. No more than the film version, which has been about to go into production any day now for the last 20 years.
The same applies to Blake's 7, which has been poised for a comeback for just as long.
I thought, given the budget, the recent Red Dwarf production was not only great, but highlighted how good for its time the original series was. However, the story or direction was a bit weak and it wasn't as funny as it should be. Episode 2 was the best but let down by a slow start in episode 1 and a disappointing resolution in 3.
I liked the idea that Lister had become so bored in the intervening years that he was passing his time spending *days* setting up the 'tomato sneeze' ironing scene just to get a simple sneer out of Rimmer, but the direction meant it dragged too long on-screen.
Perhaps the remaining bloke behind it now needs to take a back seat as an executive producer and allow other writers and producers to provide up-to-date comedy and plots, while he ensures it remains faithful to the original and maintains its relatively high production values?
I thought the way they faked elaborate corridors on the ship by putting intricate scaled models in front of the camera and then using a huge depth of field as the actors did their stuff further away was inspired! Obviously it limits the shot to a fixed camera angle, but it's better than a moving camera showing a set that looks cheap.
It'll be nice if it comes back again, but it needs to build on the last three specials. Otherwise, it'll turn into a Norman Wisdom of a TV show, where a small set of people just cheer for the sake of it, knowing deep down inside that what they're seeing is a pale shadow of what once was.
in as far as it was a big hit for Dave the channel.
Apparently it drew in record numbers of viewers for the channel. Probably not close to the numbers that watched the show in BBC3 at it's peak, but for Dave it did well. And that translates directly into record numbers of viewers of the adverts that were showing in those slots, which allows Dave to charge more from the advertisers, and so fund the new series.
Lister: What d'ya think of Betty?
Cat: Betty Rubble? Well, I would go with Betty... but I'd be thinking of Wilma.
Lister: This is crazy. Why are we talking about going to bed with Wilma Flintstone?
Cat: You're right. We're nuts. This is an insane conversation.
Lister: She'll never leave Fred, and we know it.
Nitpick - BBC3 didn't exist when the original Red Dwarf series were airing. It aired on BBC2. I think the later seasons were BBC2's top-rated regularly-scheduled (i.e. not sport or something) show ever, or something like that.
agree with all the other naysayers, this will likely not be good. I'm one of the few willing to stand up for some bits of series 7, but overall agree that the general trajectory was downwards from series 5 or so onwards, with a giant drop when Rob left. The funny thing is both Rob and Doug can write well alone, check out their novels, but Doug just doesn't seem able to write Red Dwarf TV scripts alone and make it stick.
...the minute they brought back the entire ship's crew for series 8
WTF is the point in a sit-com about three guys who hate each other and are essentially locked in a small box on their own together forever if they suddenly aren't locked in a small box or on their own together forever any more?
Sorry folks, but it's long past time we loaded up our shotgun and took ol' Red for a short walk round the back of the ol' barn and didn't bring him back. He's been blind and incontinent and stinking pretty bad for quite a long time now and it's not a kindness keeping him here beyond his time. Please, for the sake of all our happy memories, let him rest in peace now.
Can't say much more than that... the final series (not the special) was utter drivel. The other series had their ups and downs of course, but the final series had nothing going for it except the grateful realisation when the final episode went past and you realised there were no more.
There are two reasons why they should not do that...
1) They lost their way after season 6
2) They lost their way after season 6
I thought it was such an important point it deserved mentioning twice.
Oh, and no more canned laughter, it's not big, and it's not clever!
For Back to Earth Naylor seemed to have fallen into the trap of making Red Dwarf look as slick as real sci-fi. The cheesy FX were part of the charm.
It's comedy not pure sci-fi. We don't need slick visuals.
I can tolerate the last couple of series where it was just Doug Naylor writing, but I really wish the partnership would be reformed.
Still, I will watch it but I'll probably be disappointed even after repeat viewings. I'm sure it will work better than a film would.
There appears to be enough Red dwarf fans here all in agreement that after series 6 it went down hill faster than (insert some comment from Kryten)... so why not get a few of us together to come up with a series plot... then outlines of each episodes that will follow the above plot... then get suggestions for scenes.... and right down to scripts.... then put it all together...
I think there is a definite possibility that a good script can be devised this way that can encapsulate why we all still love series 1 to 6 (inclusive) of red dwarf...
...the early episodes were often brilliant but occasionally mirthless. And although the latter stuff was of a lower quality, it still beat much of what was produced elsewhere. So I'll cross my fingers and hope : if it's crap I won't watch it, but it won't ruin my memories.
On a related point : why have they never marketed a "Talkie Toaster"?
up at City Hall don't like it, well, they can park their overpaid fat asses on this mid digit and swivel, swivel 'til they squeal like pigs on a honeymoon!
Hmmm, season 7 had it's moments, one of my favourites is Kryten in 'beyond a joke' picking off the characters from Pride & Prejudice - brilliant imo.
It was sad to see the quality dip as the show progressed but I have to keep believing that given enough time to come up with a decent script it can be good again. If they make them I will be watching regardless. I'm off to fire up the old vhs to watch my copy of the 'tongue tied' special video (signed by norman lovett.)
Btw, if you get a chance to see norman do stand up - grab it with both hands - he was excellent when I went to see him a few years back.
I'll drink to the memory of Red Dwarf.
The first two seasons of Red Dwarf remain some of my favourite comedy. Because there was no budget to speak of, and a limited range of settings, characters and so on, the writers were forced to use actual humour, and the actors were skilled enough to present it well. This is the heart of all the best comedies. 'Fawlty Towers' did the same, restricted as it was to just a few people in a hotel, and Cleese and Booth knew to stop on a high note. 'Dinnerladies' did it: excellent, sharp scripting, some ingenious wordplay - and, again, knowing when to stop. 'Blackadder' pushed it - and I say this as someone who loves that show: although it was still excellent throughout the fourth series (and I won't hear a word of criticism about the ending), there's only so far you can force 'as-cunning-as-a...' and increasingly flowery insults. After a while it stops being clever and starts grating.
But that aside, Blackadder also benefited from restricted sets and small casts, and relied instead on actually being funny (as well as quite thought-provoking in places, especially in 'Goes Forth').
Red Dwarf had that to begin with, but (sorry, Mr Llewellyn) once they decided to start messing around with the formula to extend its life, it started to slide downhill. The introduction of Kryten as a regular character was, I'm sorry to say, a bad decision - not because Robert Llewellyn didn't do a spot-on job, but because he was the precedent that enabled the writers to start abandoning continuity for the sake of dragging out more story possibilities: the 'bog-bot' who became the ship's omniscient science officer (equipped with a joystick 'psi-scan' device*); then the changing back-story, the sudden expansion of settings and scenarios (and effects) that took a clever, niche sit-com and turned it into a standard pulp sci-fi 'monster-of-the-week' space show.
Which isn't to say there weren't good moments. I liked some of the later episodes because there were some great ideas: like many fans, I have a special place for 'Back to Reality', which was a fantastic premise (only spoiled a little by the rushed ending); and the last episode, where Rimmer finally comes good, was pretty powerful. But that was a high point in a pretty weak last series.
The 'Back to Earth' special? Could've done without, to be honest. Actually, I have to admit I did rate the last scenes, when the crew faced their creator; but I've absolutely no time for Coronation Street or any of these other toxic 'soap operas' with their repugnant, vile characters. There's nothing good or worthwhile about any of those shows, and to cross your show with one of them is like deliberately injecting yourself with a disease.
I wouldn't say no to finding out how the situation in the last 'proper' episode actually ended. Did Rimmer succeed? But I can live without, and there's certainly no need to start the whole thing up again, even to end the overall storyline.
Just let it go.
[* It was only recently I discovered it was 'psi-scan': I'd spent years assuming it was a 'sci-scan'. I'm not good with song lyrics, either...]
Don't get me wrong, I am a big Red Dwarf fan, but Back to Earth was terrible, and used a plot that had been done before. The characters realise they are not real and only exist in the mind of their creator so go to talk to him about it. Can anyone else say League of Gentlemen movie?!?!
As good as the series was, the books were even funnier - 'Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers' and 'Better Than Life'.
The two books that came out after that were quite revealing about where the humour came from. Last Human by Naylor was more a novel than comedy, whereas Backwards by Grant was extremely funny.
If Rob Grant isn't involved in the project, then I think the shows will suffer from a lack of humour.
The thing that most annoyed me about the specials, was the CGI used to create Red Dwarf - it was ridiculous as everything looked far too 'shiny' compared to the sets in the previous series, not at all what you'd expect given the cleaning is supposedly down to the crew and the scutters!
Dave only really has repeats of top gear, quiz coms and a few of the more... colourful comedy shows. Very little if anything that was specifically commissioned for Dave has been of even the slightest value, not that they do commission much at all. They're a channel entirely founded on regurgitation so it is only natural that in the few occasions they *do* commission something it will be heavily leaning towards recycling older shows in some fashion, whether directly or otherwise.
I've been waiting (unlike everyone else :/ ) in hope that they would write another series. I recall they left it in a cliff hanger at the end of series 8 (?) I enjoyed them all, my only hate was the rebuilding on the dwarf and crew by the nanothings! that spoilt it.
It would be nice if nothing else if they just used the last series to tie it up and end it properly,no loose or open endedness. Finalise the classic that is red dwarf :)
Probably the only one here who thinks this but hey ho!
... and less like the specials, then we might be onto something. The specials were okay, but not up to the standard of the originals (I liked all 8 series, btw).
I just hope they learned lessons and got feedback from the specials and know what to do to make sure these are good. Especially if this might be the last one that they do... this is one of, if not the (depending on your opinion, the latter is mine), greatest programmes of all time, and it is important it goes out on a high. It did go out on a high at the end of series 8, even though I wanted to know what happened. Series 8 is the standard to beat. That's possible, as it was the weakest series they did, but will still be acceptable, as series 8 was still good.
Now, the bigger question here, what are they going to do with the spine of the DVD when it comes out? I have series 1-8 lined up on the shelf and it makes up the Red Dwarf logo. It needs to blend in some how. :D
Summary: I'm nervously looking forward to it
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