1. Gregory Greenwood says

    It’s cold outside,
    there’s no kind of atmosphere,
    I’m all alone, more or less…


  2. marcoli says

    Yahoo! I have all but the last season on VHS, and can gush like a fan boy about my fave episodes. But I thought it definitely went downhill near the end.

  3. blf says

    Why not bring back the original cast of 1915’s Birth of a Nation? It would be just as ridiculous & appalling, about as unwanted & appalling, and probably cheaper & still appalling.

  4. Menyambal says

    It started off rough, became marvelous, and then was kind of straining. I still look for the dream sequence when Cat was dancing so amazingly – later edits covered his best moves with Holly wiggling his ears.

    As for age, there was a later ep where nanobots reconstructed Rimmer from original specs, but he still looked like an aging Chris Barrie. All of them aging should be fine, if the writers can make it go.

    Back to reality …

  5. says

    Eh, watched the first episode on Netflix a while back, and I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The Cat character is just annoying. Actually, pretty much all the characters were annoying. Perhaps Menyambal@6 is right, but I was sufficiently put off not to feel like making the effort to get further into it. De gustibus and all that….

  6. says

    Cool, one of my lecturers in the early 90s played Yvonne McGruder.

    She couldn’t start a lecture without the class calling out “Hi Tiger!”

  7. gog says

    Everybody sing it with me!

    It’s cold outside
    There’s no kind of atmosphere…

  8. Hoosier X says

    I want to lie
    shipwrecked and comatose
    drinking fresh mango juice
    goldfish shoals nibbling at my toes

    Fun fun fun

    Anybody who declared it a fail after one episode is a smeghead.

  9. komarov says

    Anybody who declared it a fail after one episode is a smeghead.

    Indeed. The first episode is, in my mind, not representative of the show at all. It sets the scene for everything else and then (thankfully) it’s done. The entire show is a bit of a mixed bag. Some fans prefer the first few seasons, others like the later ones. Personally I’d judge each episode individually, with some great ones and some … meh. The pilot does not score well at all.

    More Red Dwarf would be fantastic but after the not-so-great Back To Earth I’ll just wait and see before getting my hopes up.

  10. woozy says

    Um, how can it be “back” with the “original cast” if it never went away not ever had a replacement cast? Did anyone actually think Red Dwarf was over? The last season was only three years ago.

    Some fans prefer the first few seasons, others like the later ones. Personally I’d judge each episode individually, with some great ones and some … meh. The pilot does not score well at all.

    I like all the “original” seasons (1988-1993; and the pilot was fine) but the “revivals” (every three or four years from 1997 to 2012) were very strained.

    More Red Dwarf would be fantastic but after the not-so-great Back To Earth I’ll just wait and see before getting my hopes up.

    So you, like me, haven’t seen the 2012 season?

    Read more:

  11. says

    @13 et al: Fair enough; perhaps we’ll give it another try. It’s all about resource allocation — if the pilot of any given show leaves a poor impression, is it worth investing the time in more episodes to see if it improves? Sometime it is (eg. ST:TNG, whose pilot was excruciating), but there’s no way to know. And there’s no shortage of series old and new out there.

  12. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    woozy asked:

    Um, how can it be “back” with the “original cast” if it never went away not ever had a replacement cast? Did anyone actually think Red Dwarf was over? The last season was only three years ago.

    hint, hint, that embolded part of your question, partially answers your question.
    PZ assumed we could hear the tacit part of his announcement: Red Dwarf is back on TV.

    I keep hearing how Red Dwarf was the pinnacle of SciFi comedy. Tried, but couldn’t quite ~get it~. I look forward to them being able to try again.

  13. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    oops, forgot to include:
    including ‘original cast’ was to emphasize that they are not bringing it back with different cast members, not to imply they had been replaced previously.

  14. dexitroboper says

    Red Dwarf doesn’t need the original cast to be good, it need the original writers. Too bad it won’t happen.

  15. unclefrogy says

    unlike most science-fiction they are all just a little bit irritating and clearly out of their depths. That is the charm, what would it like if all the smart brave, educated people were gone and the only ones left of humanity was a cleaner, a humanoid descendant of a cat, an incompetent robot all helped by a wonky computer and a hologram of a fool.
    they are closer to reality Start Wars or sad to say Star Trek .
    that said the past is the past and what will be the outcome of the new episodes we will have to wait and see.
    uncle frogy

  16. Alverant says

    Red Dwarf is pretty good sci-fi. They deal with the human condition in new and interesting ways. Some episodes are just silly fun, but some deal with serious issues like free will, religion, survival, and our own individual identity.

    I’ll pack my bags
    and head into hyperspace
    where I’ll succeed
    at time-warp speed

  17. samihawkins says

    My ranking of the seasons:
    1 and 2- meh. Show hadn’t really found it’s footing yet.
    3, 4, 5 , and 6- great. Just great.
    7- meh. Trying to take a serious turn with the series was a mistake. The show was already doing a good job tackling serious themes while still being all comedy.
    8- good. They realized their mistake and went back to comedy.
    Back to Earth- meh. The whole idea just seemed kinda dumb to me.
    10- Good. Went back to the basics with them alone on Red Dwarf having wacky adventures.
    11- I think it’ll be good.

    I do think the show is getting pretty old though and that this season or the next should be the last one. I’d rather the show end with a dignified finale when it’s still funny than to drag on forever as a shadow of it’s former self. Go watch the abomination that was season 9 of Scrubs to see what happens when a show goes on for longer than it should.

  18. Rey Fox says

    I watched the first two series, and was underwhelmed. It’s more sitcommy than I was expecting.

  19. says

    My wife reminded me that the most annoying aspect of our one viewing was the laugh track (a bit of googling indicates that perhaps this was not in it originally). That could be a deal-breaker right there.

  20. chigau (違う) says

    laugh tracks are an abomination unto … just about everything everywhere

  21. zibble says

    Not to cause more divisiveness in the atheist community, but anyone who likes season 3 more than the first two is wrong. The show replaces all of its heart and character development for depressingly mediocre scifi. They’d have to do a lot to make up for unwriting the entire storyline of the first two seasons in a half-minute illegible text blurb AND losing Norman Lovett, and episodes like the one with the shape shifter really don’t cut it.

  22. Sakura No Seirei, Knight of the Order of the Glittry Hoo Ha says

    And to add to the rifts: I liked all the series for different reasons, and partly because I got to watch them at the time. It’s kind of easy to forget that Red Dwarf is product of it’s time, and it’s time ranges from late 80s to post-2000s. And that’s the BBC 80’s to post-2000s digital TV services, and if you don’t know why that’s important to Red Dwarf it’s perhaps worth researching just what a huge change happened to the Beeb during that time. Red Dwarf: an examination of humanity via comedy, and an examination of an Establishment via comedy, that’s kind of a tricky duo to pull off.

  23. fentex says

    Judging by the quality of the ‘Back To Earth’ three parter I don’t hold out much hope.

    When these things come back for reasons of nostalgia the edge is always sanded off.

  24. says

    I’ve never seen any Red Dwarf, so I have no opinion, but I happened to hear the other day that the BBC’s fiction and drama is being specifically targeted for budget cuts by UKIP, which sounds like an empty threat, but apparently, according to the analysis I have been reading, the “left” parties (including “New Labour”, which is apparently as much “left” as the Democratic Party here in the U.S.) finally screwed over the voters enough to be projected to fail to get a majority, and the various small right-wing parties which will want to have a coalition government can’t do it without pulling in UKIP, which means UKIP will be calling the shots after the election this month. So don’t get too excited about this just yet.

  25. Rey Fox says

    AND losing Norman Lovett

    Oh geez, Holly was probably my favorite thing about the first two series.

  26. says

    @34: Get a grip. UKIP will have between 1 and 4 seats by the end of the week. Even if they’re able to help prop up a coalition government, they’re going to have very little leverage, and what little they have, they’ll be aiming it getting the UK out of Europe.

  27. says

    @#37, tacitus:

    You know, back in 1999, a lot of Americans were saying “George W. Bush will never be president, he’s far too stupid, and even if by some miracle he got in, he would never be able to do anything because the Democrats would still control Congress.” Not that I don’t hope you’re right, but right-wing nuts always vote and their leaders insist on trying to weigh in on everything, and so until the election is over, I’m crossing fingers and knocking on wood.

  28. says

    Okay, did a comment get deleted, or did I just goof the numbering? (Dratted web browser not letting me copy the numbers on these comments, grumble grumble…) That should be “@#36” above, not “@#37”.

  29. whirlwitch says

    @#11, Hoosier X:

    I always thought it was “shitfaced and comatose”.

  30. llewelly says

    I really enjoyed the original seasons back in the day. But my tastes have changed a lot, and suspect if I reviewed it I would find it a lot less enjoyable and a lot more problematical.

    I thought all the returns like “Back to Earth” were among the worst episodes made. I seem to recall none of the original writers were involved in those, and so if they won’t be involved in this return, it will likely be just as bad.

  31. komarov says

    So you, like me, haven’t seen the 2012 season?

    I … *checks wiki* have not? *checks youtube* Yet?

    Chigau, #31:

    I think DeepRifts® are AGoodThing™

    Well, those worked out fine for the cat civilisation, didn’t they? One survivor, hopefully not a fair representative of his species.

  32. zibble says

    @35 Rey Fox

    I liked female Holly in the episode you meet her in (which was also my childhood introduction to feminism) but she was never going to be a good replacement, if only because she was hamstrung having to do an impression of another comedian’s schtick.

  33. Bernard Bumner says

    Series III is the best place to start viewing. The comedy was tighter, the budget was better managed, and the writing was starting to peak (leading up to V and VI). I and II can be safely viewed after perhaps VI, once you’very developed enough sense of the best of the series to be well-disposed to forgive the technical weakness of the first two series. VII requires a lot of good will, but VIII is then much better by comparison.

    Back to Earth was not without enjoyment.

    Series X was a decent return to form.

    @ #42 zibble,

    Hattie Hayridge and Norman Lovett have a very similar style of humour and delivery as stand-ups. She wasn’t copying his shtick. That was why she was chosen to play Hilly in Parallel Universe.

    @ #26 Eamon Knight,

    Red Dwarf was always filmed in front of a studio audience, rather than using canned laughter. Only series VII wasn’the filmed before an audience, instead the laughter track was recorded by playing the series to an audience and recording the results. VII is certainly the weakest series. It had misguided aspirations to break the boundaries of the claustrophobic ship-bound setups of the first six series.

    The series was also remastered at one point, with horrible, horrible CGI redesigns of the original miniature ships – Starbug was largely untouched, but Blue Midget and the Dwarf itself were badly mangled. This made the show look much cheaper and immediately more dated on rewatching (and the interiors were always fairly cheap). The original miniatures were produced by a team including model makers who worked on Gerry Anderson shows, and hence were incredibly accomplished, particularly given the tight budget.

    The versions without the very primitive sub-Babylon 5 video-toaster computer graphics are much more visually satisfying, where the new editions are rather distracting.

  34. ragdish says

    For years I have yet to hear an explanation for this burning question about life, the universe and everything. What exactly is a smeghead? Is it smegma? You know that dirt under the foreskin. Spread that stuff on stale Carr’s English Table Crackers along with slices of moldy cheese. Mmmmmmmm….save seconds for me!

  35. says

    44 Ragdish


    Doug Naylor and Rob Grant crashed out at the home of one of my lecturers (Peter double-barrel surname…is as close as IR) as he was a producer at the time and they were thrashing out the original radio scripts.

    They wanted to use proper swear words as the insults but he kept refusing to allow it for broadcast, so they came up with “smeg” which they told Peter Thingy was a made up word.

    I knew Peter between 89-92 when the programme had become popular and the word smeghead was in common use, he was suitably embarrassed.