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Red Dwarf: Back to Earth and Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead
Monday 13th April 2009 2:37 pm

I enjoyed both Red Dwarf and Doctor Who this weekend. The former more, of course, since it is Red Dwarf and the first new Red Dwarf for ten years.

However, I have a big, major, non-spoilery problem with each of them. In Doctor Who's case it's the swirly vortex thingy they have in the background of the beginning and ending credits that I couldn't watch because it made me dizzy. In Red Dwarf's case it was Dave's tendency to launch straight into adverts without the usual putting up the logo to warn you. Once I thought something had gone horribly wrong with the signal and once I thought the episode had gone a bit bizarre. It's bad enough watching Red Dwarf with adverts as it is, but that was a bit much.

But, in more spoilery thoughts:
Despite me enjoying Doctor Who I did think they were going to push the bus towards the wormhole and use a bit of momentum to keep it going. Which okay, might have meant sacrificing one of the people, but it's not like any of them had much character anyway. I do have a big bone to pick with it, though: you cannot open the back doors of police cars from the inside. It's logical when you think about it because otherwise criminals would escape all the time. I could forgive that error if it wasn't for the fact that there were plenty of other ways for Christina to escape

When it comes to summing up Back to Earth all I can say is I quite liked it. Which, considering this is the best programme on TV, is damning it with faint praise slightly. Part 1 felt like it was a parody of Red Dwarf when it was old and good, as much as I liked Lister ironing his sneeze and Kryten going on holiday to the broom cupboard.

Part 2 I really liked, but I think that's because it was more of a deliberate parody. I did love how the Cat was the only one to land on his feet - but then of course he would, he's a cat (his outfit was fantastically outlandish too).

The main problem I had with Part 3 is the ending when you find out it's essentially Back to Reality recycled. And I had a horrible feeling something like that was going to happen at some point during the scene with their Creator and I was really hoping it wasn't going to.

So to summarise: It was written solely by Doug Naylor and it showed, the same way it did in VII and VIII. I would like more Red Dwarf, if all the cast want to do it, but I want it to be good again, like it was in IV/V/VI days.

Oh, and I think this one should be released on video.

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