Monday, April 13, 2009

How Hard Could It Be?

I have tried to be my normal giving self, but Jesus, the Red Dwarf 'specials' were utter crap. They weren't funny, they weren't original and they left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. If the people behind it thought that a *yawn* despair squid scenario #3 combined with some ridiculously clumsy Blade Runner pastiches and the plot of the League of Gentlemen film was going to be entertaining, they ought to be shot.

I liked the fact that they jumped two series to escape the nightmare of Season Eight. I liked the fact that Kochanski was MIA, presumed dead. However, I think they missed a trick. This should have been the massive geek fest send off that I think people wanted. The cast are not getting any younger and it showed. This was not a pitch for a new series, this should have been a nostalgia fest.

So, here is the alternate Red Dwarf special. By me. Aged 38 and a half.

  • You have all of the cast, including Holly etc. Splash the cash.
  • Mysterious ship is seen on the scanner
  • Its from Earth! But before it can be contacted it is attacked by a Replicant fleet
  • The Replicants have been hired by the Gelfs to avenge the insult done to their High Chief's daughter by Lister. The Gelfs are holding Kochanski as she is Listers 'false wife'
  • Realising that Earth is NOT destroyed and that Holly has been a total smeg head, the gang have to flee the replicants and trace the flight of the ship back to Earth.
  • They realise that between them, they do not have the skills to get themselves back to Earth but they know people that do!
  • Use a number of old RD devices to summon up Uber-Intelligent Hilly, Ace Rimmer, The Female Lister and Dwayne Dibbly.
  • Hilly expires calculating the final route to Earth, through Gelf Space
  • Ace Rimmer holds off the Replicant fleet in Starbug but never makes it back...
  • Female Lister and Dwayne act as a diversion for the Gelfs
  • The crew rescue Kochanski
  • The crew manage to plot their way back to Earth, falling through the mother of Black Swirly things.
  • They get back to Earth as heroes and throwbacks.
  • Everyone gets their happy ending. Dave is made King of New Liverpool, with as much lager and curry as he wants - and settles down with Kochanski
  • Cat discovers that there is a Feline Outpost on the Moon, producing the finest fashion
  • Kryten is given a position as a cleaning droid, ala WALL-E
  • Rimmer discovers that holograms and humans have integrated and he is actually quite normal now.
  • Everything is going great, apparently, but we discover that the heroes are getting ... bored and lonely without their companions. Especially Lister and Kochanski
  • They decide to resign onto the next Jupiter Mining Corporation ship, the refitted Red Dwarf.
  • The series ends with everyone going about their duties and the Captain coming over the tannoy stating that the nozzle on the Chicken Soup Vending Machine on G-Deck. Could Senior Technician Arnold Rimmer please go and fix it.
  • Lister turns to the camera, shrugs and says 'Here we go again!' as everyone dives for the Statis chamber!

OK, so its not perfect, but its better than League of Red Runners bilge.

Dr Who was ace, however.


Fandomlife said...

I watched the first one and then didn't bother with the rest.

Anonymous said...

Ba, I'm watching them all tonight on Dave as they're doing all 3 in a row.

I'll just hope that you're being overly negative (though somehow I doubt it)


Anonymous said...

Ok watched part 1.

Yes, it's trash, but it didn't take me long to work out a huge, huge difference.

Canned Laughter.

The lack of canned laughter makes a huge, huge difference, the jokes per minute (and, admittedly I should say "jokes" at times) is actually as high as series 1 or 2. The lack of punctuation through the use of canned laughter makes the episode soulless though, indeed, a complete lack of any background sound of any kind... Couldn't they afford a sound engineer?

Most people would realise that sound, either background or, especially for sit-comedy which needs punctuation (Think Friends for example), in the form of canned laughter (or a live audience) sound is key. Not for Red Dwarf it seems.

And yes, the jokes are flat, the humour was flat, but it looked and felt think an unedited version tbh. (despite the fact that, amazingly, it isn't). I'd love to watch an episode of Friends without the laughter inserts to see if the effect is similar.

That all said on the sound front, while the Laughts per minute attempts (classically what Red Dwarf was good at) was high, they seroiusly missed the target. (again, some due to lack of punctuation, though truely, the attempts where lame at times)

In all, I think this is something to show Directors of the future in Media & Film Studies classes to explore the important nature of sound in TV.


(amazed himself that he could actually MISS canned laughter)

Anonymous said...

I hate canned laughter. I can't say I missed it at all in the specials.


Vodkashok said...

It was, within the first minute of the show, the thing Chris and I both turned and said to each other was missing. I'm not a great fan of it either but it was jarringly obvious when it was missing from a show that used it so well.

Of course, the fact that everything within the three shows except the sequence in the comic shop simply wasn't funny didn't help!


Anonymous said...

I've been a huge fan of RD for years, ever since episode 1 first aired. I was sitting in the lounge of my local trying to be cool with my mates when this weird new sketch show came on behind the bar and was a hit with almost everyone in the room.

So RD specials for Easter 2009...woot! I've read the books, I've got everyone's signature and yes I can quote more space corp directivetives than any sane person should.

'Disappointed' but in truth I kind of felt the series had run it course. The blade runner spoof was the highlight but rather flat in its delivery.

RD to me was at a time a funny witty and fresh pastime. It was rather sad to see the final episodes void of real comic situations.

Maybe its just me but it felt like they had run out of ideas. Parodies can be fun but not when its just a spliced collection of old parodies around a tired plot.