Red Dwarf XI

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inflatable dalek
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Red Dwarf XI

Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:21 pm

The first episode is on the UKTV app and Sky (though it won't be on TV till the 22nd), so time for a thread!



Really odd episode title considering it was actually set in the '50's (and as there was no reason for it not to be set in the '20's--they'd already worked out it wasn't "Historical" prohibition--the time period seemed random as well).

Great fun. Very much in the Red Dwarf VI vein (even down to being almost entirely Red Dwarf-less), but as that's the run I have the most nostalgia for it was like putting on a pair of comfy slippers.

There were a few recycled gags--most notably the "Rimmer isn't that bothered at least one of them is going to die until it turns out he will be killed as well" bit from Demons and Angels. Though it was more cheeky to reuse the "They think they've met a famous historical figure but it just turns out to be some bloke" thing they only did last season--and there was nothing Earth shattering but it rattled along and did have some great lines you know would have been endlessly repeated in the playground back in the day ("Kryten's more fried than a Mars Bar in Scotland!" "DON'T TOUCH MY STRING!").

And that's all the more impressive considering the basic concept of a Prohibition spoof was a bit random and weird. It almost felt like they had a load of 1920's costumes laying around Pinewood and wrote the script around them.

I think the difference between this and X is I can't imagine anyone getting something out of the last run if they weren't already a well disposed fan (though if you were, it was good cup of tea TV). This feels like something someone who'd never heard of Red Dwarf could be plonked in front of and that's nice.

I especially liked the science gags, a lot of Red Dwarf (especially the more recent stuff) is fairly direct, even lowest common denominator stuff at its worst. Even has gags that took a bit of thinking and didn't hammer them home ("He has a theory about it" "A pram theory?"), great stuff.

The main odd thing--considering the synopsis put out beforehand made it sound like it was the plot--the episode did nothing with the (rather MTMTE idea, amusingly considering the flow of inspiration usually goes the other way. If only Kryten had a holo-avatar to get around the robot haters...) idea Kryten and Rimmer were outlawed on this world.

Actually, they didn't put history right in the end did they? They overthrew Kevin Eldon's regime but all that still happened...

And they presumably now have two (at least, I can't remember what happened to the one they used to meet Jesus in X) working time and space machines aboard Red Dwarf now...

This really was the first time the age of the cast felt noticeable though, at first I thought it was strange they felt so much older than in Back to Earth just six episodes previously, but that was seven years ago!

Lister actually works really well as an older man (again, impressive. He could have been either just dull as a mature sensible character or annoying if he still acted like a mid-twenties slob, there's a balance here). And though Danny John-Jules was looking very haggard in the face the Cat actually made for a cool old guy. Though I'm not sure if him doing his tap dancing from an angle you couldn't see his feet was poor direction or making an allowance for being older. Rimmer of course was always old before his time, and thankfully the wig wasn't as distracting as it looked in the promo picss (though they might be better off letting him have his real greyer and balding hair considering he's otherwise visibly older to the point trying to hide it with a hairpiece feels like it draws more attention to it).

Kryten though... looked terrible. I get it's the reality of being 60 they can't make the costume as tight fitting as it once was (and Llewellyn does not look anywhere near as chunky in real life), but he looked so overweight and uncomfortable in the outfit I genuinely wound up feeling worried for Bob's health. It was a pretty stark reminder that, whilst the others could in theory play their characters indefinitely, there is a shelf life on being in that Kryten costume before it gets too much even with concessions and it feels very close to that here. Especially as if they do any more after the two seasons they filmed in one go he'll be at least another couple of years older.

And thank **** the really half hearted "Quest for Kochanski" crap from X seems to have been quietly forgotten.

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