Where do I begin? First, no laughter track. Trust me, it needs one. CGI. Cheap CGI never looks convincing. CGI Scutters I could take. They made sense, in this modern age of being lazy and doing everything on computers. But EVERYTHING is CGI. The ship, most of the corridors. They couldn’t even be arsed to open a REAL vortex, so that’s CGI as well. Apparently they also did a “making of” episode, but since I presume that’s just 30 minutes of the cast and crew standing around wall-to-wall green screens and pissing on DVDs of the first 3 series, I didn’t bother with it.
Next – that random attractive Russian hologram – just appearing from nowhere for no reason. And who is miraculously a higher rank than Rimmer, which gives her sufficient cause to threaten to switch him off. Again. The bit where they return to earth, and everything that happens there – awful. Just a poor (and unsuccessful) attempt at a really highbrow concept, which totally falls on its ass because it’s so hackneyed and obvious. The constant references to Bladerunner are annoying too. If only because they’re actually referenced in the dialogue. And the bit with the typewriter is just awful. I’ve not seen series 7 or 8, and I don’t know what happened with the 2 writers there. Based on the Back to Earth episodes, my guess is that Doug Naylor wanted to come back and do more, the other guy didn’t, so no more episodes were made. And Doug Naylor has finally managed to resurrect the show (when I say resurrect, obviously I mean drag kicking and screaming from its grave), and the result is that the other guy was right to let it lie. The crew of Red Dwarf on Coronation Street? Really? What is this, a Comic Relief sketch? Referencing the “Dave” freeview channel. Really? What happens when it changes its name six months down the line to “Go On Watch Top Gear Daily”, whereupon nobody will get the references. Not that it matters, since nobody but the most desperate Red Dwarf fans will ever give these new episodes a second glance.
In short, and in conclusion, it was a lazy, half-arsed, pointless attempt to cash in on the relative ratings success Red Dwarf has been on the aforesaid freeview channel (and if you consider its competition, that’s not surprising…surely there are only so many repeats of Dragon’s Den that a person can stomach). If I find out that in watching it, I have contributed in any way to paying any of Doug Naylor’s utility bills or latest tax return, I shall be mortified beyond belief. More so than I was when I realised just how much of my time I’d wasted watching the return of a show that died on its ass about 4 years before it ended originally.