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Reader reviews "Red Dwarf" Series 8 premiere !!!

Glen here...

...with a little news about the eighth "series"..."season"...whatever...of Red Dwarf.

MR. HIPPO just sent in this review of the latest installement of the Red Dwarf saga, which is just starting to make the rounds in the United Kingdom (today, I believe).

American readers might be interested to know that quite a few Public Television Stations around the coutnry should begin carrying the newest Red Dwarf episodes here in the States sometime 'round mid-March.

Here's what Mr. Hippo had to say:


Mr. Hippo wrote:

Thought you would like to hear a quick review of the new (!!!) Red Dwarf VIII series which premiered tonight here in the UK on BBC 2. To cut to the chase, let me just say 'Brilliant'! Red Dwarf is back to its smeghead, kicking ass funniest after the disappointment of Red Dwarf VII.

Primary reasons are three-fold - one: Chris Barrie is back as Rimmer (the real Rimmer - see below) and the comedic chemistry between him and Craig Charles lives on still; two: they are back into front of a studio audience after the disaster of Red Dwarf VII's laugh track - yes, you heard right LAUGH TRACK; and three: the writng is spot-on and funny, which is all you ask for from Red Dwarf. For all those Dwarfers in the good old US of A, let me tell you that (based on what I saw tonight), you have something to look forward to!

Given the long stint between Red Dwarf VII and VIII, let me just recap where we are. The hologram Rimmer left last series to become the new Ace Rimmer (Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast), Kolchanski was back, albeit in the form of Chloe Annett rather than the wonderful, beautiful J.P. Grogan (I think that's her name). In the last episode of Red Dwarf VII, Holly (the original Holly - Norman Lovett) was found and the nano-robots had reconstructed Red Dwarf (sort of).

At the start of Red Dwarf VIII, it turns out that they have also reconstructed the long-dead crew, including...that's right...Rimmer! This leads to the arrest of Lister, Cat and gang for stealing and destroying Starbug.

This results in some hilarious medical and psychological testing including a 'so funny it will make you cry" medical examination of Cat's coloured-coordinated internal organs and 'rhythm is going to get you heartbeat and pulse'.

Also, there is an hilarious scene where Kryten undergoes psychological evaluation. But of course, the real charm comes in the interplay between Lister and Rimmer as Lister tries to enlist the now-alive Rimmer's help to escape from confinement, promising him access to the resurrected crew's record and a quick ride up the ladder to promotion via blackmail, manipulation, etc..

This leads to the best interplay with Rimmer commenting:

"Do you really think you can win me over with promises of power and stature? Do you really think.. all right, I'll do it."

Rimmer goes to the now almost completely destroyed Starbug to access the crew records Lister has left behind and while he is there finds the Luck and Sexual Magnetism Viruses the crew picked up from the mad Dr. Linstrom in the classic Season 5 epsiode, 'Quarantine'.

Part One of this episode ends with Rimmer taking a little test sip of the Sexual Magnetism Virus and walking through Red Dwarf with every female crewmember looking at him hungrily and saying 'Hi, Arnold' with bedroom eyes. Part One ends with a classic shot of Rimmer with a smug smile on his face and him commenting 'Everybody loves a bastard.'

In short, fantastic! Red Dwarf is back to its best and I - for one - can't wait for the next seven episodes in this series.


Glen again...

Coaxial related questions, comments, praise, ridicule ?

CLICK HERE to e-mail Glen

Or call:

(512) 347-1992

Mail can be sent to:

Glen Oliver

P.O. BOX 160812

Austin, TX 78716-0812


Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 18, 1999, 7:59 p.m. CST

    You lucky British Bastards...

    by Dolfanar

    Can't wait to see it on PBS... WHy the Hell don't any Canadian Stations carry this little Gem?

  • Feb. 18, 1999, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Info Needed

    by Lord_Darth

    Hell ive never seen a Red Dwarf Episode someone inform me......

  • Feb. 18, 1999, 9:22 p.m. CST

    It was funny the first time...

    by Dolfanar

    Uh, Beakman this Talkback thing ISN'T like TV, ie we (or atleast I) do NOT appreciate Repeats. BTW It wasn't THAT funny the first time anyway...

  • Feb. 18, 1999, 9:42 p.m. CST

    LORD DARTH needs informing....

    by mckracken

    NEW RED DWARF??????? SEASON 8!!!!!!!! YEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! THE ENTIRE CREW ALIVE????? WEEEEEEHOOOOOYAAAAAAWWWWW THATS GREAT!!!!! When the hell will the california people get it???? I WANNA RED DWARF!!!!!!!! I HAVE TO WAIT??????? breath....breath....inhale....exhale.....inhale.....exhale....HAHAHAHAHAHA YES!!!!!

  • Feb. 18, 1999, 10:20 p.m. CST

    info for San Jose, CA showings

    by Jamison

    You didn't say where in California you were. If your in the San Jose region KTEH 54 is running the *entire* series on sunday March 7 at 7pm then they're reairing it over the next two saturdays with a couple specials "Can't Smeg, Wont Smeg" on the 13 after eps 1-4 and 5-8 on the twentieth with "10th Aniversary Special" following.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Cool stuff he missed out

    by pete23

    Just a few points that weren't mentioned. The nanobots rebuilt Red Dwarf to it's original specification, before cutbacks made it the creaky old rust-bucket that we know and love, and consequently it actually looks pretty cool (in a BBC sci-fi kind of way). The effects are very good (for Red Dwarf - still not a patch on US TV shows), especially the shot of the flying rat with Starbug up it's rectum (with the corniest punch-line in television history). There were strange hints that Lister has become a changed man during the six (that's what he said) years since the crew were killed, and he actually appeared kinda mature. This could be a worrying sign of things to come. As someone who hasn't really enjoyed Red Dwarf for the last four seasons, this was a much needed return to form. I just hope it can keep up the quality.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Back on Form!!!!!!!

    by reaf

    Yep, the man is right. I echo his every sentiment. Not only is the script back on fine form but the effects have been de-evolved in a certain sense to recreate the fantastic plastic cheapness that Red Dwarf is so loved for. Jeeez.....the rat bit....can't spoil it for you, sorry....The last series I understand was written especially with a US audience in mind hence the JFK story.......What did you guys actually think about this? That and the introduction of Kochanski....grrrrrrr....instead of beloved Rimmer made us fume. Anyway, back to series 8, its very, very good. Did anyone alse notice the amount of makeup they were all wearing? It would seem the crew are getting a bit long in the tooth for these inter-galactic shennanigans.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 3:19 a.m. CST


    by Salamander

    Having seen it last night it must certainly has returned to form including being filmed in front of a live audience. It looked slick and was bloody funny especially a good return for noman lovett as holly a half deranged nit wit computer. Excellent kryton examination scene and a welcome return of not only the crew but iron balls arnie! Top notch better so far than their last outing and judging by the synopsis of whats to come, we're in for a right old treat! Apparently the crew will be used as canaries on new worlds prior to the crew going there to make sure air is breathable and that there are no hostiles ! I have to say i am looking forward to the Cat's dance with blue midget scene . Here's to a cool series and I hope it will go overseas for all to enjoy now (thankfully as white dwarf the american version was no were near as good)

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 3:57 a.m. CST


    by John Shaft

    It's C.P. Grogan, also known as Claire Grogan. She was also in Gregory's Girl, and Eastenders. Was also a V.J. on VH1 in england. So now that you know, can you diggit?

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 5:16 a.m. CST


    by macker

    Claire Grogan's first incarnation was as lead singer for 'Altered States' (late 70's early 80's britpop). She also had a one off on Father Ted as a Sinead O'Connor pastiche.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 5:37 a.m. CST

    My two cents: Not good.

    by VShael

    Just throwing in my comments on the new series. In short, "not good". Anyone who's read The Last Human by Doug Naylor can probably already see where this season is going. Rimmer the nice guy. Rimmer the reformed hero. Rimmer and Yvonne McGruder, instead of being a one-night-stand with a boxer, becomes the lost love of his life, complete with son from the Space Corps. IMO, humble or not, Grant identified with Lister while Naylor identifies with Rimmer. When they collaborated, Rimmer was a git. He had his moments, but basically, deep down, he was a dysfunctional smeg-head. So were the rest of the crew. When Naylor took over in Series 7, the balance was gone, so the view we get is very one-sided. We got a Kochanski that was a public-school reared high-flying career gal. The sort of ideal woman a man like Rimmer (or Naylor) would call perfect. C.P. Grogan, and her portrayal of Kochanski were completely different, and more beliveably Lister's only love of his life. Kryten became less of the "saner" head of the four, and more of a whinging ninny with a Lister fixation. And Arnie became a hero. Not just an alternate universe hero, but our Arnie. A hero. Unbelieveable. Series 8 looks like continuing this trend. We get the *real* Arnie, complete with sexual charisma, and presumably, a real Yvonne McGruder somewhere on board. And from the first scene of the show, it's pretty obvious that Lister actually *wants* to be Rimmer's friend. He *needs* him. Before long now, we'll have Lister "looking up to him" and "complementing him" before basically saying "Arnold, you're all right in my book" or something the equivalent of. It's a bit sad that Naylor needs this justification to come through fictitious characters.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 5:55 a.m. CST

    Next Week

    by Dishani

    I thought last night's show was an excellent return to form too.Just to tease all of you in the states here is the description of next week's ep as per our TV Guide: Rimmer is invited to dinner withthe captain.To make the evening go with a swing he douses himself with a sexual magnetism virus - making himself irresistable to the female crew. Speaking as a brit - it's nice - just for once - to see something before everyone on the other side of the atlantic.EG Star Wars,Trek,Bab 5 ,etc,etc,etc.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 6:36 a.m. CST

    FUN! FUN! FUN!

    by orac_uk

    Wow! This episode was superb!!! Great jokes ie: a minuture Starbug flying into the arse of an unfortunate rat! Great CGI and effects all round proving that us Brits can produce something that visually matches the standards set by X-Files and Babylon 5! Question is...if Red Dwarf can look this good, then why do the beeb feel they need millions to bring back Dr Who and Blake's 7???!!! Something doesn't add up! In short, last nights Red Dwarf was a huge improvement over the awful seventh season and the story was first class. Great to see Rimmer back too!!!!!!!

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Need some informed opinions...

    by Achilles

    Hey folks, I could use some help from someone. I am a great fan of British comedy and watch it whenever I can find it on cable somewhere. I have seen Red Dwarf several times (although not in the past few years) and I have always liked it. I have not been able to watch it because it is so hard to find where I am. I sometimes find it listed in the TV Guide as being shown on a PBS station at like 3:00am on Saturdays, so I either stay up or set the VCR to tape it and lo-and-behold, they don't show it. Anyways, I have a Suncoast video right next door to me and they stock a huge selection of Red Dwarf tapes. Can anyone tell me what is the funniest series, or what are the funniest episodes? I would like to see more of this show and have decided to invest a little money on tapes.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Re: Achilles

    by Welsh

    In my opinion Series three was the best probably followed by four. All the others are quite good aswell, but I'd give six and seven a miss if I were you. Also for whoever wanted to know the first episode of eight is repeated on Sunday at about tenish I think.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Red Dwarf 8, Lister and Rimmer in Love?

    by carterx

    Pete23 : Your comment about Lister being a changed man... Seems to me that situation he was a tad desperate for help even turning to Rimmer and trying to persuade him he had changed... ( note the porridge line in the cell would appear to confirm he hasn't changed all that much ) And V'Shael I think if you watch that scene again it wasn't a case of wanting to be friends with Rimmer it was a case of Lister having to be friends with Rimmer. ( having started living away from home with 6 other people last year, when I started University, I know how he feels ) Besides which he didn't try and get him to talk by being nice as you would if you want someone to be your friend. Instead he tried to get right ( and I do mean right ) under rimmers skin and seriously ( expletive deleted )'ed off... Anyways just my two "Pence" worth there and just to annoy the American readers a little bit more. I have to agree with whoever wrote about the Rat scene earlier, beats absolutely anything comedy wise I have seen in my entire life. ( not bad considering I'll be 20 tommorow :> )

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 10:59 a.m. CST

    The original Red Dwarf.

    by Edge

    I was just wondering about the redesign. Well I remember RD having a single engine exhaust out the back and now it has several exhaust ports. This can be explained as the proper RD schematics being built by the nanos as said in the ep. However in the 'special edition' RD eps that are/were running on Mondays RD had multiple ports too? What the hell is going on if anyone knows? Btw I think that seasons 3 to 5 are excellent and the most funny. The dove program ep was in s5 right? I loed backwards too. s6 was okay and leans to more Sci Fi/action/FX tendancies. s7 is dreadful though..I couldn't even bring myself to watch the whole season!!!

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 12:40 p.m. CST

    The Trailer

    by Ortega

    Ok, the trailer for the new series is up on the official Red Dwarf homepage. But, the connection is slower than Christmas, so I was wondering if anyone knew of a good fan site that might have the trailer and other Red Dwarf news on a better server? BTW, in case you didn't know the official homepage is at:

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 1:59 p.m. CST

    My coupla quid-oh and V'SHAEL!

    by TABALF

    V'SHAEL!!-About Lister and Rimmer-although Lister was trying to piss Rimmer off (and win some money), Lister has always needed Rimmer for his original hologramatic purpose-to keep Lister sane-someone to keep him from falling apart and to laugh at. As such he has always felt a bond between them and a need for Rimmer. Still, I take the point about series VII - a severely disappointing series. Rimmer was an integral part of RD and to lose him and replace him with Kochanski! And a shit Kochanski as well! The original KK was clearly a slapper-not someone of any breeding. That is exactly why this Kochanski is so wrong for RD. It was always a requirement of a Red Dwarf character to be a truly terrible representative of your species-certainly no-one of breeding! Another point: The other requirement of RD main characters was that they were very human-like but still not a real, live human, so that Lister was always the last human. With Kochanski added to the team this is screwed up! This series looks much better (although it is sad to see many people ,especially Rimmer, looking so much older - compare this episode with "The End" (the 1st ever episode)and you'll see!) On the subject of the new Red Dwarf (the actual ship): I think the new special effects in the special editions are shite. In particular the Red Dwarf spaceship. The multiple exhaust ports are stupid and the whole ship looks wrong. It is far too long and far too sleek, with none of the original bobbles or black grimy bits. Edge- the dove programme ep, "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", was in s6.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Everybody loves a bastard.....

    by Phazer

    ...will become the catchphrase of this series. Absolutely bloody marvellous. Good to see Glen covering this too. I'd just like to add my support to this series. I liked Red Dwarf V and VI, but they lacked any of the character comedy of the previous series and became a series of puns. Good puns, but puns none the less. I think this was the reason Red Dwarf VII went back to more story based episodes, but unfortunately it wasn't funny. From what we saw last night the series is returning to fine balence between the two that made the series such a hit in the first place. Everybody mentioned all the good gags above, but if you guys in the States haven't seen the 5 minutes long episode 1 inspired trailer (Every generation has an idiot....) you should. Incidentally Sonoarous Star, it's repeated on Sunday night as you missed it. As for Edge and his comment about the sudden breeding of the dwarf's engines - annoying isn't it? It's a continuity bloop. The guys who did the new CGI effects for this series and RDVII decided that it looked better with lots of engines, rather than the one on the original model. Which got dropped on the floor (you thought loosing the Dwarf was a coincidence...). The 'remastered' episodes of the previous series now have the CGI effects, and so the extra thrusters. As for you guys in the States having to wait, well just console yourselves with the fact you get to see Episode 1 two months earlier than we do!

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Red Drawf VII disappointing?

    by Maruku

    I don't know where this came from. About the only disappointing thing about series 7 was Rimmer's absence. Certainly, there were some minor quibbles, but there always has been. Now... I think what we all really want to hear about is a DVD announcement.

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Waiting for Dwarf!!

    by Mojo2020

    I guess we in the States will have to wait a little while longer...did I hear March or something?? Anyway, I thought series 7 wasn't that bad. Sure, only having Rimmer in 4 of the 8 sucked, but that was because he wanted time off to do other projects. Not Grant/Naylor's fault. As for Kristine Kochanski, I think that new chick playing her is great looking and her proper upbringing contrasts the other characters nicely. Anyone know about the feature film they are supposedly working on next???

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Will they play it on BBCAmerica?

    by alucard

    I might be getting satellite soon and I would be getting BBCAmerica with it. I know that channel combines programming from BBC1 and BBC2 but I don't know if it will be airing Red Dwarf. Does anybody know if it does or not?

  • Feb. 19, 1999, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Congrats to all...

    by Dolfanar

    For a polite and civil talkback (That's 2 in two weeks for me...)

  • Feb. 20, 1999, 2:34 a.m. CST


    by MAUS

    Just adding my comments. Red Dwarf still rules. After the disappointment of the last series, this one kicks. Especially the scene with Kryten and the shrink, this is a classic RD-scene, one who ranks up with the Lister Talkie-Toaster scene and the scene of Lister trying to learn Kryten to lie. Lister: Kryten what is Rimmer? Kryten: A smiiiieeee Heeaauu! Hilarious! I can't remeber what episode is in, but someone else probalby will. Ik just can't wait till the next episode. A Smegging Bye from Holland

  • Feb. 20, 1999, 9:17 a.m. CST


    by Ant73

    "Kryton, let's go to Brown Alert!" This was a good episode, but I am sorry, but nothing beats the Season VII episode opener where Ace air-surfs on his croc.

  • Feb. 20, 1999, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Boyz in the Dwarf

    by cockles

    This episode did seem to mark a return to comedy rather then Sci-Fi - was it just me but did the writers seem more interested in the sci-fi concepts the longer the show went on? It's quite funny I always thought episodes like LEGION would have made great 'serious' Star Trek stories. Hey perhaps they can hire the writers to take over from Berman and co! Oh and the quality of the FX shows once and for all that the BBC are talking complete bollocks when they say that the only way Doctor Who can return is via a big-budget US co-production due to the cost of special FX - wake up BBC suits and smell the roses!!

  • Feb. 20, 1999, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Boyz in the Dwarf

    by cockles

    This episode did seem to mark a return to comedy rather then Sci-Fi - was it just me but did the writers seem more interested in the sci-fi concepts the longer the show went on? It's quite funny I always thought episodes like LEGION would have made great 'serious' Star Trek stories. Hey perhaps they can hire the writers to take over from Berman and co! Oh and the quality of the FX shows once and for all that the BBC are talking complete bollocks when they say that the only way Doctor Who can return is via a big-budget US co-production due to the cost of special FX - wake up BBC suits and smell the roses!!

  • Feb. 20, 1999, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Why isn't RD widely popular in the US?

    by Barrymore

    I am just amazed that RD has not become a hugely popular show in the US. It is one of the best shows currently on anywhere in the world, and has been that way for years. It kicks Star Trek's butt for characters, story ideas, and just all-out fun. alucard: I have a satellite dish and get BBC America, and so far, to my major disappointment, RD has not been shown. They do show Chris Barrie's show "Brittas Empire", but it is not nearly as good as RD. Other thoughts: I've always thought RD's FX were quite good, especially as the series went on. I just can't believe RD has not caught on in a major way here in the US.

  • Feb. 21, 1999, 5:59 a.m. CST


    by meatboy

    when will you stupid americans stop calling them seasons. they're called series. so stop being stupid

  • Feb. 21, 1999, 12:52 p.m. CST

    meatboy and a question

    by MIA006

    No meatboy, dork. Here in america we call them seasons, don't try and be smart. You ahve your name for them, and we've got ours. Ours makes more sense anyway, a series is an entire tv show together. A season is one year of a series. Anyway, I live in maryland, can someone tell me if any of the public tv stations are carrying this?

  • Feb. 22, 1999, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Red Dwarf

    by Jayster

    Ok....for those of us in the states who can't wait, or don't have faith in our local PBS station...anyone have NTSC conversions of RD8, they want to send over to the US? J

  • Feb. 22, 1999, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Red Dwarf

    by MadnessR

    AAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I thought I was gonna explode when I found out that season 8 was airing on BBC2. I've got a question for anyone who thinks they can answer......I'm enjoying the first couple of seasons with the new special effects. I live in N.C. and they finally wised up and are showing them on UNC-TV(our PBS station). I was wondering if they will ever show season 8 over here in America, and when. It seems as though they would show 'em, don't you think?

  • Feb. 22, 1999, 7:54 p.m. CST


    by AndyF

    Kryten, would you just double-check that chair's bolted down please? :)

  • Feb. 23, 1999, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Are you all mad?

    by AsaW

    OK, listen up Smeg heads... Having seen the 1st episode of Red Dwarf VIII which i taped sunday night, I will agree with many of you in that it has returned somewhat to the comedy empahsis that it had in the early series' (which made many early episodes seen alomost like a stage play - a good thing), and i quite enjoyed it overall. However... do any of you know good visual effects when you see them? Apparently not. The new CGI is SOOOO bad. The ships look like bad PlayStation renders - the Red Dwarf ship looks like it's made of about 10 ploygons! It's all flat! The models of the Red Dwarf and Starbug were far superiour by anybody's standards. They where detailed with intrecasies that approached Star Wars levels. Did anybody else notice this exelence or have I been seeing things for the last 5 years?? This is a classic example of putting in unnessecary CGI to cater for the US market. There seems to be an increceing prejudice against effects with model in Sci-Fi. Personally I've NEVER seen any large-scale CGI effects used in either TV or cinema that are remotely convincing. The only exceptions to this have been in films that CGI was used PROPERLY: that is not as the be-all and end-all. Witness the asstonishing effects in Starship Troopers (an amazing film on many levels) - and why are they so amazing? Becasue CGI was only used in combination with proper models. Godzilla (DEVILin and Emerich) was dire, the spiders in Lost in Space were crap and even special edition Jabba was shite. Stop looking for good CGI and start looking for good effects. You wont find them in RD.

  • Feb. 24, 1999, 5 a.m. CST

    Red Dwarf

    by gurnster

    Series 8 is looking promising, but it was still nowhere near as good as series 1 - 5. It's too early to pick between this and series 6 but it is already a HUGE improvement on series 7. Also, the new CGI special effects are dire: I never used to watch Red Dwarf and go, "Oh, look, it's a model," but all I ever seem to do with the new effects is go, "Oh, look, some dodgy CGI." Finally, I think the reason that we call each series a series and not a season is that British series tend to be about six weeks long (or maybe eight if you're lucky), and six weeks is hardly a season, is it?

  • Feb. 26, 1999, 7:01 a.m. CST

    Effects, and series vs. season

    by raffish

    Gurnster, you really mean to say that you never watched Starbug take off in the early RD series and said, "Look, a model?" Come on, admit it, it looked *crappy*. Personally, I always thought that was the point, and a big part of the show's charm. Thus I'm not worried about some equally crappy CGI. I don't watch RD because I'm expecting effects on the level of Star Wars, or even Babylon 5. I watch it because, at its best, it's damn funny. And as for series vs. seasons, perhaps the linguistic distinction comes down to the fact that they don't *have* seasons in the U.K. (Hey, if Meatboy can be British Smeghead, I can be American Smeghead...)