Tonight sees Dave airing Fathers & Suns, the second of the all new Series X. Bearing in mind that last the online reaction to Trojan last week managed to crash nearly every Red Dwarf website, we’re once again putting this post up now as a standby of everyone to pass comment on the episode. Remember, for instant reactions to the show, Ganymede & Titan is the place to be tonight and we’ll be starting our coverage properly in a few days time to take account of reviews, online comments and the ratings.
Don’t forget, we are also on the lookout for comments on the show for the next episode of The Garbage Podcast, so if you’d like something included this is the perfect place to post it. You can contact us by email at GazpachoSoupRD@gmail.com or message us on Twitter and Facebook. We are also open to MP3 submissions should you be so inclined. We’ll be recording very soon, so if you’d like to be included it’s better to email sooner rather than later. We look forward to hearing from you!
So, you know what to do, start commenting!
I thought Fathers and Suns wasn’t as impressive as Trojan (which I *really* liked, no matter its flaws), it felt a little draggy in places, and I’m not sure what to think of Lister’s attitude toward Kryten – he seems to treat him more like a lackey, tho’ humourously so – but it was still amusing and more than passably clever. I may be alone in thinking this but a few things seem “off” about this as Red Dwarf, yet considering all the years since the last regular series (*and* the years since it felt as Dwarfy as it does now) that’s probably nitpicking particularly considering the differing incarnations from series to series and book to book.
Craig Charles seemed more comfortable as Lister this weak and despite my qualms about Naylor linking back to Ourobouros the whole Father’s Day concept was imaginative and amusing. The secondary plot with ship’s computer Pree and her dubious predictive powers (yes, predictive technology will still be useless in the future) was fitfully amusing but really took off when it became the primary plot. The not-unattractive Rebecca Blackstone did a good job as a digital nutcase and the scene when she cocks up repairs to save Rimmer cocking up was priceless. Even tho’ one could almost hear the plot mechanism grinding away, Doug did a pretty neat (too neat?) job of meshing it all together and paying off at the end. Most importantly it was pretty funny: cut-out guitars, Rimmer boob jokes, Dave Lister Senior, outrageous “Asian” accents and all. It was flawed but not in any way *bad*. Nice effects, too!
I loved Trojan but didn’t enjoy this half as much… Fewer gags with little pay off, felt I was forcing myself to laugh at times. A recycled mix of Queeg and Cassandra, and how many times have they nearly crashed into a sun now? Excellent Lister scenes, but the Chinese whispers running gag was cringeworthy! Really hoping I’ll feel different after a rewatch?
This was a mostly great episode, weighed down heavily by the Chinese Whispers.
The best subplots reflect or echo the themes of the main plot. The main theme of Fathers & Suns is a control of fate.
* Lister must take control of his life, he must force himself to make decisions that will benefit him in the long-term.
* Rimmer and Kryten install Pree, it takes decisions and the control of the ship away from them, ultimately leading them into trouble.
These two plot threads compliment each other and become entwined.
In this episode, the Chinese Whispers added nothing to these themes and stuck out awkwardly, all the worse for not being very funny. This is a shame, because I think Kryten playing the game with the machines aboard Red Dwarf is inherently humorous and a whisper becoming more and more lost in translation may have worked well. However, the extra layer of irony seemed misplaced and unnecessary here. If written into an episode with Xenophobia as a theme, it may have been more appropriate.
Just read this with regard to themes…
Andrew Ellard @ellardent
#reddwarfx ep 1 plots were themed to the risks of time/lives wasted, ep 2’s to the influence of outside perception…..
So, I suppose that makes some kind of sense.