You have to hand it to Dave over the last six months they’ve commissioned some pretty entertaining shows. Argumental has proven to be a hit in our house and that history thing with John Cleese wasn’t too bad. If they carry on like this they’ll be outputting more self produced TV than Sky, not that that would be a hard target to meet!
And so Red Dwarf returns to our screens, I must admit I missed all of the hype revolving around this coup and most of the discussion online. Presumably the BBC felt it wasn’t worth the effort – not even for BBC Three, or maybe Dave offered Grant and Naylor a better deal? Who knows? Who cares?
I sat down last night to watch the first installment with a clear and open mind, I always enjoyed “Dwarf” but I was never a big enough geek to be too critical.
Though I was a little disappointed, It’s not that the show doesn’t look impressive the production values for the most part were pretty good (odd bit of CGI excepted) it’s the lack of a comedic plot-line, perhaps it will develop but the opener felt like a drama with comedy rather than a comedy with elements of drama.
Older episodes always had a well defined comedic plot and device, this new story seems to be centered around some fan-boy realisation of returning Lister to earth with bits of comedy stuffed in for old time’s sake.
Sadly it just doesn’t feel like it’s enough and I felt compelled to “find” reasons to like this new adventure. Performances are generally strong Craig Charles seems implausibly younger and more spritely than he did in Corrie and Chris Barrie returns to form as Rimmer.
Danny John Jules at times struggled to reach the lunacy of “Cat” which having worked in theatre with him once surprised me as he’s well known for his energy and commitment – personally I put this down to the writing he just didn’t have enough material to play with and re-establish such a vibrant character: his entrance in particular was poor – this is “Cat” I wanted him on full throttle, glammed-up and funky, not drenched in water and scared of a squid.
Let’s see what tonight brings!