Red Dwarf X Season Premiere – Immediate thoughts

I’m going to start by saying this is not going to be a usual Mister Six blog post. It’s not the standard writings that are the result of many days deliberations and ponderings over the film/TV show just watched. I’ve literally just watched Red Dwarf X’s season premiere; ‘Trojan’, and for the first time I’m writing an immediate account of my thoughts and feelings on the episode right off the back of the episode ending.

And what I’ve got to say is this; if the season carries on as the episode I just saw did then I will be a happy, happy fan.

It was everything the trailer had made me hope for; ‘Trojan’ was a very funny episode that indicated a return to classic Red Dwarf. At least, that’s how my gut is feeling immediately after seeing it. I laughed out aloud numerous times as I watched it and these were from good, solid, old-skool “Dwarf-y” humour. Four idiots bumbling their way through space with moronic ideas and dumb luck. It was marvellously uncomplicated and therefore highly enjoyable.

The tone and feel of it was just how it should be. A small cast in front of a live audience delivering creatively funny dialogue (I loved the moose stuff) and subtle slapstick/mugging (Chris Barrie may be receding and wrinkly but he can still pull the comic faces) that was legitimately funny.

The Sci-Fi was totally lo-fi… and it worked for me. Lister’s phone was clearly an old chorded handset with a socket wrench socket glued to the top of the aerial and I loved it. I think the ‘back to basics’ approach worked for its return; the better FX and more Sci-Fi storylines in later seasons distracted from the comedy in the vintage Dwarf seasons. The Sci-Fi originally allowed for premises that could bring interesting and outlandish comedy in the better, earlier episodes (rather than over-shadow and kill the comedy like in latter seasons) – and this new premiere was suitably lo-fi, in the hey-day Dwarfer style, and allowed for the interesting comedy to unravel without the FX dominating the jokes.

There were a few downsides. I didn’t like the new Red Dwarf set so much. I can’t put my finger on why – I think it was an aesthetic thing; I just simply didn’t like the way it looked. It may dawn on me as the season goes on why it’s not sitting right with me (any suggestions?) but for now I’m going to have to leave that one as an odd niggle I’m unable to pin down for now.

And I missed Holly. I’m hoping that the little preview of next week’s episode (being on-board-computer-centric) is going to drive towards bringing back Holly. Either will suit me, although I do have a minor preference for Norman Lovett. Old-skool Dwarf just isn’t quite right without either Lovett’s deadpan delivery or Hayridge’s wackiness. Bring back Holly (in whichever form) and the universe will be complete.

So there we go – a positive first impression from me right out the gate. Early outlook from this first episode demonstrates a return to tried & tested Red Dwarf form after the abyssmal “Back to Earth”. I’ll probably cram in a second viewing over the next few days (God knows Dave are repeating it enough!) and may have further thoughts but for now I’m a happy fanboy. Anybody else watch tonight?

Let’s hope the rest of Season X continues on the same form…

“Hey Ho, Pip & Dandy…”

Call it extreme if you like; but I propose we hit it hard and we hit it fast with a major leaflet campaign…


5 responses to “Red Dwarf X Season Premiere – Immediate thoughts

  1. Couldn’t agree more! It felt like classic Dwarf was back and really its as though the gang was never away for so long. I do agree the new RD set was odd but I suspect they’re trying to go for a combination of Series I-II bunks and the Starbug cockpit. Next week’s looks pretty good, although I don’t think it will lead to Norman appearing. He’s said many times he has no intention of ever returning to the show. There’s bad blood between him and Doug over his non-appearance in BTE.

    • That’s a shame; I would have loved his appearance. Do you know if Hattie Hayridge may be on the cards? I steer well clear of coverage leading up to a show as I’m always afraid of spoilers…

  2. I haven’t heard anything about Hattie, although I think having her return would be fantastic (she played the character just as well as Norman, she just didn’t get enough screen time). I would imagine a Holly appearance from her is unlikely but maybe Doug will surprise us…

  3. Yes! That’s what was missing – we need Holly back, I don’t mind which one. I actually thought the Starbug cockpit was ok – different, but something we’ll quickly get used to I’m sure.

  4. Pingback: Red Dwarf X – Fathers and Sons | True Mister Six·

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