10 things we'd like to see in the next series of Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf will soon be returning to our screens courtesy of Dave. Here are ten of James' hopes for the next series...
It was an absolute delight to see the Red Dwarf crew back for Easter 2009. I even got Freeview, specifically so I could watch it. And now Dave has made an incredibly smart decision in commissioning a six episode series that is due to go into production in 2011.
Back To Earth had its moments, but it was decidedly patchy. In fact, the programme has drifted away from its roots. It's still consistently entertaining, but it's certainly not what it was in its early days.
So, here is my wishlist for Series 9...
A resolution to the end of the last episode of season 8, Only The Good...
Practically everybody wants this. Leaving it open (again) would just be a colossal middle finger to the fans. Also, it might be nice to see Rimmer being heroic in a similar fashion to his "better dead than smeg" moment at the end of Out Of Time.
The resolution I'd really like to see was the one that never was: Ace Rimmer appearing and saving Rimmer and the ship.
Kill Rimmer immediately.
It has to happen at some point, so that the next series ties in with Back To Earth. So, why not do it right from the off?
Personally, I'd like to see him survive the events of Only the Good..., but then die in an incredibly senseless way like at the end of Timeslides.
More bunkroom scenes.
The bunkroom scenes of Series 1 and 2 were fantastically written and epitomised the premise of the entire programme: two people marooned in space together who can't stand each other.
Those scenes really fleshed out the characters of Lister and Rimmer and helped us to see them as more rounded people. Also, they were absolutely hilarious and were a good way of doing a sci-fi sitcom on a low budget.
When they were brought back for Series 8, they were arguably the best part of what was a somewhat mediocre series. It would be a real treat to see them back again.
Another Polymorph episode.
Was the bit of Polymorph skin we saw in Back To Earth: Part Two a not so subtle hint? I, for one, certainly hope so.
The Polymorph is an ingenious concept and it's hilarious to see the characters after they've had certain emotions drained away. The hippy version of Rimmer and the tramp version of the Cat were real highlights of Series 3, for me. So, come on, Doug. Bring the Polymorph back for a lap of honour.
The return of Ace Rimmer and Duane Dibbley.
Duane Dibbley is a brilliant comic creation. The comedy stems from how different he is to the Cat. The same goes for Ace Rimmer. They're both wonderfully funny and are an enduringly popular element of the programme. And having them pop up would surely give a boost to Series 9, especially if the current Ace turned out to be the original Rimmer.
Start using model shots again.
Various factors resulted in the CGI used for Series 7 being absolute crap. In fact, none of the CGI in Red Dwarf holds a candle to the model shots.
If it takes a large chunk out of the budget, so be it. The CGI was too glossy and artificial. Give us back our model shots.
Make the 'lost' Series 7 episode, Identity Within.
A first draft was written, but the episode was axed for budgetary reasons and replaced with Duct Soup. The plot was that if the Cat doesn't have sex, he'll die. It also dealt with the issue of the Cat becoming more and more human and less feline.
The reconstruction on the Series 7 DVD was very well made, but it would be great to see the episode done properly. And it would be nice to finally give the Cat some more depth.
Make Holly useful again.
Right up until the point where he/she was written out, Holly was a vital part of the Red Dwarf crew, particularly in Back To Reality, where she stopped the others from killing themselves.
But after the events of Back In The Red, Holly was pretty much useless and just popped up sporadically to do a few gags. Even with the presence of Kryten, Holly can still be useful.
9. An episode similar to Marooned.
Marooned is my favourite episode of Red Dwarf. It follows that grand old sitcom tradition: lock your characters together and see what they say to each other.
Marooned is basically a two-hander, where Starbug crashes on an icy planet and Lister and Rimmer are trapped together while Lister tries to stave off death. It's full of fantastic moments and a similar episode would be a great addition to Series 9.
One of the things Doug Naylor should try to do is to move away from cramming Red Dwarf full of sci-fi spectacle and return the show a little more to its core. Marooned is a great example of just how well that can turn out.
Use a studio audience.
Having a live studio audience may be considered the hallmark of a bad or outdated sitcom, but for Red Dwarf it seems to work. The cast seem at their best when they're able to play off the audience's reaction.
The best example of this would probably be Rimmer's salute in Back In The Red: Part Two. I doubt Chris Barrie would have taken it to such extreme lengths if the audience had not been present to give him such a positive response.
That's what I want from Series 9. If you disagree with my ideas or think I've missed anything out, please leave a comment. I'll finish by saying, smoke me a kipper. I'll be back for breakfast.
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