Red Dwarf - Back To Earth

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Red Dwarf - Back To Earth

Post by Renny on 16th April 2009, 08:23

Well, I know the views of some of you but I thought this series was a brilliantly bonkers bit of tv. Enough glimpses of the old Dwarf magic to bode well for a new series, I think.

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Re: Red Dwarf - Back To Earth

Post by rogartheranger on 16th April 2009, 10:39

I was never a huge fan of Red Dwarf when it was first aired on the BBC. I have to admit that I came to the party quite late in the day, and first started watching it during its 6th series, which I really enjoyed and then stuck with it during the subsequent seasons 7 and 8. Since then, I have seen the odd few episodes from some of the early series but couldnt consider myself a hardcore fan or expert on what makes good Red Dwarf. I was however quite keen to see it back and tuned in to see the 3 episodes broadcast over the Easter Weekend.

On the positive side, I was pleased to see it back, and enjoyed the Blade Runner parody that ran through the episodes which was amusing, and thought the script was very creative in dealing with the return to Earth where the characters are able to meet their own actors, look-up missing episodes of the series that we have never seen, (series 9 anyone!), and even script-in their own ending in episode 3. They had even taken what seemed to be a bold move to try and flesh out some of the characters and make the whole thing feel more like a rounded drama with sad, or reflective moments like Lister's grave-side scene in Ep.1.

On the negative side, the character of Holly was absent (which was sad), and I found the new episodes strange to watch at times without the familiar audience laughter reactions. Infact I didnt really feel that there were many laugh-out loud funny moments, as the production seemed intent on creating a melancholic air of doom surrounding Lister and the crew (intentional perhaps as we are supposed to feel that they may die soon) - and so it didnt always feel like the warm funny sitcom I recall watching in the 90's.

Im also not sure it worked for me being transmitted in 3 nightly installments because the end-of-episode moments felt very abrupt and disrupted the flow of the narrative. It was almost as if "Back to Earth" had been filmed intentionally as a single feature and then cut-up afterwards by Dave into 3 episodes, rather then something that was intentionally scripted as such. I also have an issue with the channel's use of ad-breaks during the Red Dwarf episodes because they just seemed to just materialise without any warning which was disorienting. For example, one moment I was watching the Red Dwarf crew in that department store on Earth and the next moment there was a trail for "Have I got News for You" suddenly thrust into my face without any prompt from the channel that they were about to cut to an ad-break. If a new series is commissioned I would prefer it were brought back to the BBC so that we can get a longer episode to fill up those 30 minute timeslots!!!

I understand though that the episodes performed very well especially on Good Friday when they pulled in over 2 million viewers which is a record audience for Dave. Considering the channel usually only pulls in viewers of 0.266 million it wouldn't surprise me if they're begging the cast to come back for more, and I would certainly love to see a full series next time too!
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