Red Dwarf : Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

I'm very surprised so many consider 6 the show's peak, it was SO reliant on formulas! The sheer volume of Blackadder 4 simile gags is ridiculous: just compare a character's behavior or a situation to ANYTHING silly (often a long, wordy ramble) and the actor's delivery will make it worth a damn. Especially lazy are the Kryten head comparisons:

"An amusing ice cube"
"A genetically flawed lumpfish"
"An inexplicably popular fishing float"
"A freak formation of mashed potato" (the only one I thought clever)

Then there's the space core directives: just have Kryten say something too silly to be an actual rule.

Quite a few of the plots are refurbished: "Rimmerworld" is just a slight spin on "Terraform" whilst "Polymorph" is retreaded by both "Psirens" and "Emohawk" (the latter also clumsily dragging back Ace and Dwayne, who wasn't even actually a character when he first appears!)

Also, although I think the series may have my favorite dynamic (just the four guys, at times ALMOST chummy and cozy!) it irks me just how much Kryten has taken over by this point: he has almost all the exposition AND the most gags! Lister is also reduced to very little more than a feed man for the most part.

Much as 6 still makes me laugh and isn't completely absent of creativity I don't like giving it too much credit, it's just too chockablock with laziness and it's popularity sorta does the prior 5 series a disservice: beaten by formulas.

Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

In terms of quality science fiction stories it may well have been the show's peak. In comedy terms... I'm not sure, but it certainly wasn't later!

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Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

To me, 3,4,5 and 6 are all the peak.

The show over those series was at it's most dynamic, funny, clever and interesting.

1 and 2 were great but they were still finding their feet.

7 and 8 were something else.

10 was weak.

11 was an attempt to regurgitate the feeling of 3 - 6 (no bad thing).

Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

I love the format of Series 6, with the guys piloting Starbug since Red Dwarf is lost. The flight deck scenes are hilarious as their incompetence as a crew shines through. The chase of Red Dwarf and their more vulnerable state of living make the series more exciting for me and more realistic that they'd meet so many hostile lifeforms. It has the most Star Trek or Blake's 7 feel to it while still being very funny.

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Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

I suspect that most big Red Dwarf fans have mixed feelings about Red Dwarf 6. It was like a reaction to Red Dwarf USA, like an attempt to make a very polished show with many one liners. It was a little less bizarre than it had been before, a bit more like Doctor Who. (Legion could have been a Doctor Who episode).
It feels a bit like a an alternative verison of series 5. Rimmerworld feels like a reworking of Terrorform. If you like Lister, series 6 has got plenty of great Lister moments for you. If you like Rimmer, series 5 had more.
Series 7 reacted against series 6 in several ways. No longer was there a 'monster/villain of the week'. I admire series 6 a lot for how it felt at the time, for the production values, but there's no doubt it's slightly following a slick formula. But it has so many great lines, particularly for Lister 'I'm just going to slip in to something more comfortable. It's called Starbug'. It's primarily Lister's series, a way of making it up to Craig Charles , it would seem, for the Rimmer-centric episodes of series 5. But the writers had an inside joke with Craig as he didn't get to kiss some Jane Horrocks like actresss or be oiled by tenmptresses- he got to kiss a slobbering Psiren and a GELF and become a brain in a jar.

Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

At the time it felt like the most exciting season, given the arc about them having to chase Red Dwarf. The mystery of who had stolen the shop and why? What they'd find when they got back to the ship and presumably would have to fight for survival to get it back from those who stole it, and then after the cliffhanger of Out of Time, were the crew really dead?

The fact that the final recovery of Red Dwarf got such a disappointing denouement in Nanarchy which led to the excesses of Series 8, I think has taken some of the sheen and momentum off of Series 6, and to be honest it does peak halfway through with Gunmen of the Apocalypse, and then the second half of the season is far weaker sauce. So it's more half a great season than a great season.

For me I still think the show's peak is Series 5.

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Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

Having re-watched series 6 recently, I don't think it's as good as series 2-5, though it has its good moments. It has an element of laziness in some of the plots and I wonder if this is partly as a result of Rob and Doug apparently not seeing eye to eye by this point, since Rob left the show after this series.

I agree that Kryten is perhaps a little too dominant in this series and that Rimmer has some of the weakest materiel by this stage IMO ( and I say that as someone who had Kryten as her favourite character when I watched the show first time around ). Whether Barrie's commitment to The Britias Empire was partly the reason for Rimmer's slight underuse I don't know.

Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

though it has its good moments. It has an element of laziness in some of the plots and I wonder if this is partly as a result of Rob and Doug apparently not seeing eye to eye by this point, since Rob left the show after this series.
I'd add a second voice to this notion.

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Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

Series 6 was still funny and had the special effects, the show deserved at the beginning. When binge watching I feel the humour is less forced in series one and the laughs come more easily. Subsequent series have a sense that they must out-Red Dwarf the previous installment.

At the time Rimmer making out with himself was a stand out silly moment that couldn't be surpassed and so the show should have wrapped up on or near that high.

I'll watch S11 as a long term fan. I found S9 too cringe-worthy to sit through.

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Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

What lured him back? Possibly something to do with the new sitcom he filmed A Prince Amongst Men, in which he played a former footballer Gary Prince, wasn't a big hit. Also, The Brittas Empire ended in 1997. He had more time and possibly inclination to devote to Red Dwarf for series 8 than he had for series 7.

I don't remember seeing any particular objection from him to series 6's scripts but I can understand if any of the cast thought that Red Dwarf 6 was a bit like a rewrite of series 5, only set on Starbug. Also , most previous series had been quite Rimmer-oriented. Series 6 was more equal to all the cast, with a bias towards Lister (apart from Rimmerworld, a kind of similar theme to Terraform). I'm not saying that had any impact on him but, particularly with the fast (arguably American-style, following the Red Dwarf USA expeirment) one-liners of Red Dwarf 6, perhaps it felt more like being a small cog in a comedy machine than previous or subsequent series would.

Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

3 and 4 were definitely the peaks for comedy, although I think 5 had more fascinating plotlines. But six was definitely influenced by the American version that was going on at the time. Formulaic is the best way to describe it.

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Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

On first watch, series 6 appears as a brilliant series, as it has everything and made enough changes to refresh the show (series 4 and 5 are a bit "same-y")....always felt if series 6 had continues where sereies 4 and 5 left off, the show would have ended right there, but moving the hunt from getting back to earth to finding Red Dwarf (and build up to this great find with probably a battle with whoever had taken it) was needed.

Problem is, the episodes are really thin when it comes to plot and the whole series is seriously padded out with the same old Krytens Head "shaped like a.....", "space core directive" and "most ice cream vans can go at speeds we can only dream of" jokes over and over again.

Its still probably one of the top 2/3 series of the history of the show, but I feel with the likes of wall-to-wall showings on Dave these days and over kill, time has not been great to it.

Re: Series 6: the show's peak?!?!

I have said many times that far from a peak, I consider season 6 to be a distinct trough, cesspit might be a more apt term, with 5 of the episodes being anything from too wanky and predictable to be anything beyond merely OK, to downright awful (for the same reasons), and even then the one genuinely funny ep had some serious pacing and character issues that I could have fixed if only they'd handed me a copy of the script and a pen.

Rob Grant was clearly so busy chasing the immediate haha that making a half decent episode in which to present the jokes escaped him. I say Rob and only Rob because Doug Naylor took the reins in season 7 and wrote episodes that, while less laugh-out-loud that series 4 and 5, were at least able to justify their own existence as episodes with halfway compelling stories, unlike the vast majority of series 6.

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