Red Dwarf IX

First episode just aired. Impressions??

— Alan

Aired where? Nowhere in North America, I hope! I’d hate to have missed it. No matter how dire the last two series were.

Any chance this will be on BBC America or will we have to wait for the dvds?

(You’ll note that I bypassed the somewhat obvious, uh, other option)

Same, been looking forward to this, don’t want to have to resort to alternative measures.

An R2 DVD is due out in June, no word on anything else yet.

— Alan

I watched it, very average at best. Chris Barrie and Danny John-Jules haven’t aged very well. At least they kept the music.

They removed the laughter. I liked that.

I’ve never noticed BBC America ever showing any Red Dwarf at all, have they? Same as Dr. Who–they used to show it years and years ago in the US, but I think they had quit by the time Colin Baker was ending up his run, and I’ve never seen it on reruns there at all.

<edit> In fact, now that I think about it more, I think those old Dr. Who episodes I watched were on the local PBS station, not on BBC at all. I know I also saw a few Red Dwarf that way back in the 80s or early 90s, but I don’t recall ever seeing any of them on BBCA. <end edit>

I don’t think US market plans have been announced, but I’m guessing that it’s up for bid. So it could end up on PBS or maybe some cable network will buy the rights. Or maybe they’ll go for the straight DVD release. We’ll just have to see.

It lacks something. All the lights are on, and the family is gathered around the tree, but it just ain’t Christmas yet.

It’s missing Rob Grant, but it’s missed that for many many years.

After having seen all three episodes, I can safely say this is the worst Red Dwarf yet. I get the impression that they’ve tried to adapt the typical Red Dwarf style to a modern sci-fi comedy of sorts, where all the jokes have to be easy to understand, all the situations have to be immediately recognisable, and nothing is done in the extreme. No Rimmer in bondage gear in these episode for certain. It just smells of product placement, half-arsed script writing and (dare I say it) a little bit of a cash-in on the Red Dwarf brand to get that very last penny out of it.

Sigh. It really is disappointing. I must admit I didn’t think it would be as good as the golden age Red Dwarf, but I never imagined it would be this bad. I’ve asked around and opinion generally seems to be similar to mine, so I’m curious as to whether anyone liked this three-parter.

Craig Charles complaining about flashbacks was the funniest joke. Because it really happens.

Only saw the first episode - it was distinctly sub-par. It just didn’t feel… right. Chris Barrie seems to have forgotten how to play Rimmer. He seemed a bit monotone, to say the least.

I know continuity gripes are kind of lame, particularly with regard to Red Dwarf, but I found the start of the episode really confusing too. It says nine years later, but nine years after what? Last I saw was the new Red Dwarf exploding and Rimmer kicking death in the nuts, and I thought that’s where it left off. Now we’re 9 years later and back to the status quo. Did I miss something? I was scratching my head a bit.


Anyway, while this still hasn’t aired in the US that I know of and the offcial DVD release seems to be UK only, it turns out the whole thing is on YouTube (broken up into smaller clips, of course) for those who want to see it.

But man, not having a laugh track was a really, really bad idea.

Not having any laughs was a really, really bad idea.

I don’t know if I totally agree. It certainly wasn’t as funny as the earlier stuff for sure, but there were some moments. It’s just that with no laugh track the whole thing comes across as taking itself too seriously and that changes the mood from campy fun to WTF?

And the Blade Runner stuff got old fast as well plus the music was totally wrong.

The only scene I even slightly smiled at was Rimmer killing the other hologram.

I saw a few others. The “little Rimmers” who escort the characters in to see their creator was a somewhat amusing given the Blade Runner theme. Or when the sci-fi shop guy gets excited about seeing Rimmer once again incorrectly quote the Space Corps manual.

It just seems to me that Naylor (the co-creator who has been running things alone since the end of the sixth season) has always been caught up too much in a desire to take what was a brilliant slapstick comedy and make it more of a “dramedy.” This finale to the series is exactly that, and that’s why he didn’t use the laugh track. The problem is that it takes a really, really good writer to pull off something that careens from drama to comedy and back all the time and keeps people laughing. Without the laugh track the jokes just fall flat most of the time, even though they are basically on par with the earlier episodes. It’s just that that isn’t going to work right after a scene that is supposed to be dramatic or heart warming.

Oh well, it’s all kind of sad. And I thought season 8 was bad.