I agree with the summation of Red Dwarf‘s return to the small screen from Graeme McMillan over at io9. I’m a fan of the series, not a huge fan, but I’ve seen most of the episodes and I was hoping this would spell a return after some poor later series.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like this will be the case. Let’s start technical. The old Red Dwarf was defined by risqué, low and dirty humour mixed with clever insights and twists, this was added to by the cheap sets and physical special effects. There weren’t bad, but models were often fairly obvious and the sets small and cheap. This, like Star Wars ‘used’ universe, added depth and character, a certainly reality that much of Science-Fiction lacks, being too clean and sterile. This also meant that effects could be done on set with the actors, so the actors could shoot in front of an audience. Now they’ve gone with CGI and while some of the effects are better, some still look decidedly cheap and nasty, but in the wrong way now, plus the move to a slicker shooting format just doesn’t suit the grungy sets and outfits. The biggest thing missing is the audience’s laughter. Bring back the laughter track!
As for the story, well, relying on your characters finding out they’re just that, characters in a TV show by having them step out of the TV and spending the rest of the time recreating scenes from a movie that bears no resemblance (Blade Runner) isn’t just lame, it’s plain lazy. It lead to a terrible story that didn’t showcase the best of Dwarf. Frankly, if this is the best they could do, they don’t deserve to be back on our screens, I’ll stick with the re-runs, they’re funny than the new stuff no matter how many times you’ve watched them.