"Red Dwarf" The Beginning (TV Episode 2012) Poster

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If you don't take it too seriously...
jwikstro18 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
then you should enjoy this ep immensely, especially if you're a dwarfer. The opening scene with young Rimmer's response to his fleetingly adoring classmate is classic..as he's writing we know he's coming up with another Rimmer muck-up...which means you're laughing before you even see it, again esp if you're a dwarfer. Like others I also felt some of RD IX was strained at times, maybe because it was too much like scrutinizing under a microscope, looking for tired jokes etc.. If you just let that go and enjoy series X for what it is, you will see what I mean. There are some joke-type retreads, e.g. Rimmer's fear speech and his summary afterwards are a lot like a joke from the original series, but what the heck, it's funny the way he delivers it here...and since it's the type of joke we've had from him before, it seems that much more seemly to hear it again with a new twist. I loved the surprises and the responses. Having these guys back for six episodes helped me get used to them again...the delivery of the lines by all the cast is what makes it for me...OK we know where they're going before many of them, but isn't that half the fun? I cannot wait for XI, sure I am not alone...
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A fine end to the tenth series
Tweekums9 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This episode opens with a flashback to Rimmer's school days where his teacher, who happens to be his father, makes a fool of him in front of the class; the relevance of this scene will become apparent later. Cutting back to the present a simulant named Hogey boards the ship, creeps into Cat's quarters and announces that he will get revenge for the killing of his brother... Cat calmly points out that he is in the wrong room... he wants Lister. When he finds Lister he challenges him to a duel that will be fought across time and space. They resolve that conflict without too much trouble then Hogey gives Dave a map which he stole from a group of psychotic rogue simulants. He assures the Red Dwarf crew that he wasn't followed... just as a Rogue Simulant ship puts a hole in the hull! The retreat to the Blue Midget and flee with the simulants in pursuit... if they are to survive somebody will have to come up with a great military plan... that person is Rimmer!.

This was a fine ending to the tenth series with lots of great laughs; highlights include the way Cat and Kryten casually direct Hogey to Dave's quarters as if the presence of an armed simulant wanting revenge is no big deal and the scene on the simulants' ship where the commander passed his sword to an underling who failed then the underling attempts to commit seppuku only to be told he was meant to clean the sword not stick it in his gut! Another highlight was seeing Rimmer's plan actually work; after all these years of failure he deserved a success that wasn't by accident and the scene where he watches the message from his father was genuinely touching.

When I heard that Red Dwarf was to return after many years away I feared that it would be a shadow of its former self and watched more out of curiosity than anything else... how wrong I was! The cast and writers showed that they certainly still have what it takes; this was a return to form and I'm certainly looking forward to series eleven which is sure to be commissioned given the quality of this.
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Series 10; NOT as good as the first 8, but MUCH better than Series 9
orion_ss18 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When I got to the end of the 8 series DVD boxset I was confused as to why no more were made. It technically hadn't been canceled, but they just didn't make any more. Then came Series 9. I wanted to like Series 9, I really did. But it sucked.

Series 10 is much better. The production is a little different, but it has much of the spark that was present in the original run. I do miss Holly though ( both of them ); Pree just wasn't the same ( can't say more without a spoiler alert ).

If you haven't seen the original, you might be confused as to how Dave & Co got to where ( and when ) they are. So you probably want to watch the original Series 1- 8 to get the feel of the Red Dwarf experience. But, unless you are a real die hard fan, and want to have seen it, skip Series 9.
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Season 10: Amusing but mostly lacks spark or impact
bob the moo3 December 2012
When it was first on I did used to watch Red Dwarf but I cannot remember it that well and certainly couldn't tell you what season I stopped making it an appointment in my schedule (back when you had to be there when it was on TV as opposed to having a million ways to watch it). When the TV channel Dave resurrected Red Dwarf for three episodes, the results were pretty meh but I guess the ratings must have been better because they came back for a full run of 6 episodes. While the special episodes last year tried to be a bit smart and self-referential, Red Dwarf X seems to go back to its roots in terms of its aims. For many this will be great news but as it turned out for me, this was a mixed bag which mostly served to remind me that sometimes comedy doesn't date well.

So on one hand we have the basic comedy and canned laughter that the show always did well, but then on the other hand, well, we have just that and not much more. I found it amusing for most of the season but there was at least one episode where I didn't so much as raise a smile. There is a tiredness to the material that I didn't think it ever shook off – surprising for a show just given a new lease of life. The plots feel a bit recycled and the material and relationships feel stale and lacking inspiration. It does have some funny moments along the way whether it be scenarios or specific lines, but mostly it really bumbled along on the "amusing at best" level.

The cast are not to blame though because their delivery is fairly committed – the lines they have to say and the characters they are playing lack spark but it is not the fault of their delivery. Charles continues to do a good job of playing a slob with poor hygiene, John-Jules is simple and slick, Barrie is stuck-up and pompous and Llewellyn continues to get more than his fair share of the good lines. None of them are brilliant but they all do what they are there to do – just not much more than that.

Fans may love the return of this show and in fairness I can understand that, because it has sort of gone back to its roots for this 10th season, however for me this just serves to remind me why I gradually stopped watching it. The comedy is basic and the episodes, while amusing, seem to lack a spark or inspiration to them.
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