October 20, 2008

Smeggin' Mondays: Red Dwarf Series 8

I would have loved to ended this series of liveblogs triumphantly, to have said that the final series of Red Dwarf was a brilliant distillation of previous series; that this was Dwarf at the height of its powers...

...but I'd be lying. This is Dwarf "jumping the shark".

Thanks to events towards the end of series 7, our intrepid band finds itself amongst a newly revived Red Dwarf crew, moving the series from being a smart, intelligent sci-fi comedy to "McHale's Navy in space".

(And, of course, I'm referring to the 1997 Tom Arnold movie, and not the classic series featuring Tim Conway...because this series needed a Tim Conway).

Much of the writing just doesn't work - several episodes are too padded, there's little continuity within episodes (I just now realized that the ending of Back to the Red relates to the beginning...and that's a three part episode). Various past bits are thrown into the season's mix, making this series as much fanwank as, say, Of Gods And Men or the last Doctor Who series finale. Even times when it attempts to reach previous heights (like Cassandra), it falls horribly short.

There are some good bits - probably, though, your best bet is to catch them on YouTube. But there is one flat-out brilliant scene - the scene that, I think, encapsulates Dwarf at its best - and that makes this series worthwhile. And thanks to a slightly seemingly overeager fan, you can watch it - for free:

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