Sci-Fi Storm

Mini-reviews of Doctor Who, Red Dwarf

by on Apr.13, 2009, under Television

I’ve managed to watch the new episodes of Doctor Who, “Planet Of The Dead” and Red Dwarf, “Back To Earth”, so I thought I’d throw together a review. Read More for some insights…

I am trying to keep this spoiler free…there may be a few things only to really establish what I am talking about.

Doctor Who – Planet Of The Dead

This was fairly disappointing. There didn’t seem to be anything special about the special episode – rather it was just another episode. In particular, the special effects were quite poor – they were obvious CGI constructs, and not very high quality.

Michelle Ryan provided an intriguing character in high-tech thief Lady Christina de Souza, but I think I still missed the point of her theft in the first place or her place in the episode other than to provide a “companion” who could match the Doctor off the bat.

Lee Evans, as scientist and self-proclaimed fan of the Doctor Professor Malcolm Taylor was just over the top, and there just wasn’t anything to make you care about any of the other ancillary characters.

At the end, however, we do get a bit of exposition about the future of the Doctor, which about the only thing that moves forward the overall story of the Doctor. And there were quite a few humorous lines. “Before I die of old age, which in my case would be quite a feat…”

Red Dwarf – Back To Earth

I had no idea what to expect. I was not thrilled with Season 8, which just generally seemed flat to me, so I was hoping it would be better. Although an interesting twist to the plot, it also seemed flat to me. Even my wife said it needed a laugh track – sometimes it was tough to know if a line was meant to be humorous.

The show basically picks up some nine years after something – it wasn’t clear if it was after Season 8, or the apparently unseen Season 9 that they self-reference as part of the plot. But basically they are back on board Red Dwarf, alone and sans Kochanski, almost returning to their roots as if the last several seasons never took place.

Minor spoilers as far as the plot: Essentially the crew manage to return to Earth, but in a present day alternate universe version, where Red Dwarf is in fact a TV series which is coming to an end, apparently with the death of all the characters. So they seek out the show’s creator (NOT played by either Rob Grant – who was not involved – or Doug Naylor, who wrote the show) to find out how many shows they have left to live.

The ending was very flat. It seemed to be there more as an excuse for them to do this “reality crossover” than as an actual plot element.

I’m afraid that after Season 8 and this special, Red Dwarf has over-stayed its welcome.

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