Tag Archives: Red Dwarf

The TV shows to see in 2017

2017 looks set to bring a lot more to the TV front than I think we can even handle. Whether it’s the return of Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, the continued fight against Negan and The Walkers or even the Scout Regiment taking on the man-eating Titans, there will be so much for you to get into your schedule in the next 12 months. Without further ado, here are the shows you need to watch out for…

The Walking Dead

Season Seven started with the death of two series regulars at the hands (or bat) of new bad guy in town Negan. The series did need a bit of a breather after the frantic opening episode, but now we are about to go straight to war. Rick has been brought to pieces, seen some horrific sights and powerless to stop this new enemy. With the group reunited, it looks like the atlanta survivors will bring all their resources together to take down the nasty Negan once and for all…but will they succeed?

Samurai Jack

It is always horrible when a show finishes without it having a proper ending, but we are finally close to getting a finale to this brilliant cartoon. After 13 years, we will finally get the conclusion to Jack’s story of revenge against Aku. From the information I have seen, it is believed that the story will follow a much older Jack as he looks to finally rid the world of his evil. I can’t wait to see the epic conclusion and await the episodes that shall be upon us soon.

Not Going Out

Sadly, there isn’t many UK sitcoms which really hit the mark. Not Going Out has been a good source of laughs over the year, and I am glad that it is coming back in a few days time. The comedy follows Lee (Lee Mack) and his wife Lucy as they continue through their life a number of years after the last series, now being the parents to three children. Look out for favourite characters such as Daisy and Toby in the new series and many more hilarious moments to come (plus we know there will be another two series after this).

Red Dwarf XII

Red Dwarf has proved to still be a very popular sitcom, and last year’s Series XI gave us some truly fantastic episodes. With situations such as Lister losing his kidneys and a Rimmer Quartet, the show really hit a stride which it hadn’t seen for over 20 years. Filmed at the same time as Series XI, there will be a lot more laughs to come when Dave airs the next six episodes of Britain’s longest-running sitcom. Also, if you want to know what the episodes will be called, check out the cock-up on the series XI Blu-Ray with the episode titles (99% sure they are Series XII titles).

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Iron Fist

Netflix and their partnership with Marvel has paid off incredibly well so far. Daredevil was indeed a revelation to TV, Jessica Jones gave one of the greatest hero/villain dynamics I had ever seen on screen and then we also had Luke Cage’s own series and the introduction of The Punisher! Coming in March, Iron Fist will be the last piece of The Defenders puzzle to be released. Focusing on Danny Rand, a man who calls upon an ancient power to help him fight his enemies. The early previews look just as promising as the previous Netflix series and I can’t wait to binge on this one.

Taboo

This show I probably know the least about, but it does look very interesting. Tom Hardy leads the cast in this drama about a man who returns to Britain from Africa with a handful of stolen diamonds and revenge in mind after the death of his father. The show was actually conceived by Hardy and his father, and the previews look mesmerising. The eight-part series begins in just a few days and I look forward to providing my views on the show when it finally airs.

The Punisher

Earlier I mentioned the last main character we had yet to see from the Netflix/Marvel agreement, but this is indeed a show that so many people begged and pleaded for since Jon Bernthal was cast in the role. The show will bring Bernthal’s Punisher front and centre and see him reunite with Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen and joined by another impressive cast. This show already looks to be a must watch for 2017, but there is yet another Netflix one that people will be flocking to.

The Defenders

Netflix and Marvel have been building towards this since the beginning, and we are now just a few months away from seeing Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones leading the cast as the titular Defenders. Plus, we have Sigourney Weaver taking the role of the main villain (how could you not love that?). With a huge number of returning cast members and the promise of a truly epic crossover, 2017 will indeed be a high point for Marvel TV shows.

Game Of Thrones

Is there a bigger show in the world than Game Of Thrones? This show has for the fifth year in a row been the most illegally downloaded TV show and still attracts millions of viewers on each episode. Following the latest shocks in Westeros, we are finally getting to the last few episodes and a shortened Season Seven (with a six episode Season Eight next year) will see The Starks rise once again and the big battle with the Targaryen army and the white walkers being huge obstacles to come to the land.

Attack On Titan

Why is it taking so long for this show to come back? This was the anime that hooked me from the very beginning and was only narrowly beaten by Death Note as my favourite anime of the 21st century. The show about the survival of the human race from the man-eating Titans has been a hit worldwide. If you read the manga, you know what is to come. If you follow on a TV level, season two will follow straight on from that last shot of the Titan face in the wall. Eren, Mikasa, Levi and all your favourites will be back from April…but any update on when the western audiences can see it?

Better Call Saul

Very rarely a spin-off show could hold as much interest as its original programme (Frasier being a great example of it done right), but the Breaking Bad prequel/sequel focusing on Saul Goodman has indeed made for captivating viewing. Following from the season two finale, Jimmy/Saul has just been caught on tape by his brother Chuck admitting to his actions of stealing custom from the rival firm. Bob Odenkirk keeps this show exciting and Rhea Seehorn also is a fantastic part of this winning cast.

Silicon Valley

This HBO sitcom took me a while to get into it, I admittedly had to push myself into it three times to get through the first season. But, I was glad I did. T.J. Miller is a brilliant actor and his character Erlich Bachman is truly one of the greatest characters on TV. The show saw the gang having control of their own company and they become a video chat company thanks to the application created by Dinesh. The show may have taken a few episodes to settle on me, but I will be eagerly ready for this.

Star Trek: Discovery

Set before the original Star Trek, this new show has attracted quite a lot of attention before it even shot a second of film. Bryan Fuller (American Gods, Heroes) begun as the mind behind the new show, but then left the project. Then we had the awesome casting of Sonequa Martin-Green taking the lead role as Rainsford. Doug Jones also takes a part in the show and this will be the first Star Trek show which will mostly be online-only broadcasted. Though the details are still minimal, I guarantee so many people will watch it when it is on.

BoJack Horseman

Possibly one of the biggest surprises to many Netflix subscribers, this show almost never had the legacy or fanbase it now has. The show following the actor who made a Full House style show is just engrossing, funny and at times rather heartbreaking. The show had a brilliant season 2 and 3 (Season 1 was hit and miss at best, but can be forgiven). Animation for adults may not be at its peak, but this show is truly above any competition it may have.

American Gods

The adaptation of possibly my favourite ever book will be making its television debut in a few months’ time, and it looks good. Ricky Whittle takes on the role of Shadow Moon, a man recently released from prison who finds himself in the middle of a war between the gods of old and the gods of new. Honestly, this show looks great so far. Bryan Fuller is behind this and I look forward to seeing how he will bring the character of Mr Wednesday to the screen (played by the legendary Ian McShane).

Inhumans

Originally conceived as an entry to Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Inhumans will definitely be event television later this year. Black Bolt and the Royal Family will finally be introduced to us in live-action and the series will actually see its first two episodes released in IMAX! Need more convincing to see this show? It will be part of the MCU (so give us some damn crossovers please) and Scott Buck (Dexter, Six Feet Under) will be the showrunner, and there must be faith from Marvel in him after he lead the upcoming Iron Fist.

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Twin Peaks

Kyle MacLachlan is back…is it actually coming back this year? We don’t know much, but I know people will be happy to see the show come back.

Doctor Who

I had already mentioned why I thought the extended absence of Doctor Who was a bad idea and I still agree with that. ‘The Return Of Doctor Mysterio’ was a fun Christmas special and the trailer for the upcoming series 10 was intriguing. Peter Capaldi is back as The Doctor, this time he will be joined by Matt Lucas continuing his role as Nardole (can we all agree he was brilliant in the newest special?) and Pearl Mackie as Bill. It has been a long wait, but luckily it isn’t too long now till we finally reach that easter (sure it will be easter) start date!

I know there are hundreds of shows coming back and new ones coming in the next 12 months, but is there anything in particular you are hoping to see? Hope you enjoyed this list and let me know what you are planning to watch this year.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Red Dwarf – Krysis. Review (Mild Spoilers)

Red Dwarf – Krysis (Series XI Episode 5)

As we have followed these characters for nearly 30 years, it did seem right that at some point we would see them at a certain age of maturity…or something like that. In this episode, we find Kryten experiencing a mid-life crisis. After finding the joy in his usual tasks fading, he begins to question his existence and his friends decide to help him get through these feelings. In an attempt to feel young, Kryten starts to act differently and gives his body a Ferrari-red coating with twin subwoofers. Later, the gang look to find a way to help Kryten to show that he has done a lot with his life and make contact with another Nova ship (similar to the one the crew met Kryten) and get him to meet their service droid, Butler.

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Ok, around 10 minutes into the episode I think I have only really chuckled a few times. But I promise, this is where it changes. Butler, played by the fantastic Dominic Coleman, really shows up Kryten with his numerous works of art and the various scientific achievements he has made. Kryten then becomes jealous, and suspect that the crew will look to change him for a newer model (they do like Butler). Then we get a return of an old favourite, the GELF. Without giving too much away, the Red Dwarf crew probably get one of their best ever escapes from the man-made beings. Overall, it is worth a watch and finally we do get a much better conclusion than the last episode.

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Red Dwarf is yet again given another episode where there are a great number of laughs (The Cat reacting to the stupid comment, the Blackberry’s going to Silicon Hell). But, like some of the episodes, it just doesn’t feel 100% complete. Visually, this episode looked fantastic and did make good use of its whole cast. It is nice for Robert Llewellyn being given more to do, and an episode centred on him was very welcome. As mentioned earlier, Dominic Coleman does a great job as Butler. He also does make some great moments, including his attempt at teaching GELF words to the crew. I wouldn’t say this was a bad episode, but after ‘Officer Rimmer’ and the fantastic ‘Give and Take’, it does feel a little less impressive. But, with one more episode of Series XI and Series XII to come next year, we won’t be short of Red Dwarf for a while.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Red Dwarf – Officer Rimmer. Review (Mild Spoilers)

Red Dwarf – Officer Rimmer (Series 11 Episode 4)

As we have now crossed the halfway point of Series XI, it is fair to say that Red Dwarf is now nestled comfortably in the Dave schedule and doing rather well. ‘Give and Take’ was for me one of the best episodes for a long long time, and this nearly did just as good of a job. ‘Officer Rimmer’ does give a great Rimmer-centric episode that provides many laughs, but falls just short in a few areas.

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Starting with the crew helping a ship stuck in an asteroid field, it is through the idiocy of Rimmer that the ship is saved and their commanding officer (a bio-printed being, more on that later). The initial printing joke is something of comedy gold, and helps the real laughs begin. It is a simple premise to a degree, but with technology as it is today, it was great to see the problems we all face with printers being brought so hilariously to the screen. Anyway, with Rimmer being promoted due to his “heroic” actions, he begins to purposely annoy the rest of the gang with his new found powers of command. Rimmer decides that he deserves the luxury of his own private elevator and corridor, but isn’t it a shame he has no other officer to share this with?

Well thanks to the lovely bio-printer we see earlier, Rimmer ends up making multiple copies of himself. This for me is where some of the best laughs come, Rimmer gets to have plenty of other “Officer Rimmer’s” with him at the special officer’s club. In this club we meet multiple Arnold’s which includes the brilliant Barbershop Quartet. Hungry for power, Rimmer demands more copies to be made…and this is where we get another classic Red Dwarf moment when all things effectively change for the worse, again highlighting the mix of good and bad special effects that the show does so well.

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I should note that Kryten does get a good few laughs as well in this episode, basically everyone does get to have a good joke or two…but I did feel like The Cat was fairly absent in the script, am sure he has got some great jokes to come this series still. The slight subplot about Lister selling his likeness for cloning programmes got a good laugh, and maybe we may see that come back around one day? And what about that rather abrupt ending? Where do I begin? It was so sudden I thought I had a mini blackout, the episode just finished where I was sure there must have been at least another minute to go. But, overall I did really enjoy this episode. Chris Barrie probably gives his best Rimmer performance for a long time in this episode, and for once it is good to see multiple Rimmer’s actually get along really well with each other. Doug Naylor has given us another great outing, and I look forward to seeing what Captain Bollocks and the rest of the Red Dwarf gang will do next week when Kryten has his mid-life crisis!

Final Rating: 8.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Red Dwarf – Give And Take. Review (Mild Spoilers)

Red Dwarf – Give and Take (Series 11 Episode 3)

Finally…Red Dwarf is back to its best! ‘Twentica’ got us started, ‘Samsara’ gave us some great nostalgia and was entertaining. But, ‘Give And Take’ I will go as far to say it is probably the best episode of Red Dwarf for over 20 years! We get a classic-esque storyline which features some great one-off characters, an extremely funny premise and one of the creepiest foes the crew has ever been up against.

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Starting off with Rimmer basically not getting his own way (I know, similar to the previous week. But just wait!) as he argues with an elevator, we then get classic Lister who is apparently nursing a two-day hangover. The crew are then shortly heading to an abandoned space station which really brings the classic feel back (The squabbles from the crew and Kryten’s file for Rimmer being called “Captain Bollocks” was bloody brilliant). The station is said to hold Asclepius, a robot who is a medical genius, and no longer insane like many believed him to be…apparently. The robot then kidnaps Listen and The Cat for his own operations. Then we get the robot which Kryten and Rimmer believe to be Asclepius, but you need to watch it to really get the most of it. There is just so much, and as usual, Rimmer does seem to mess up the day during his and Kryten’s rescue of their crewmates.

Even though it’s not exactly a ‘Bodysnatchers’ script, there are a couple elements when you see Lister having his kidneys taken by the insane robot! The interactions with the cast with the one-off additions really does set a great tone. The jokes about the robots are great, the interactions with the usual foursome is top notch throughout the episode. The mix of smart and funny was indeed pulled off well. The way that the show winds itself back to the beginning of the episode and fill some of the gaps from the opening minutes was indeed entertaining. I could talk about every single thing that made this episode brilliant, but it would stretch to maybe 5000 words on this review. ‘Give And Take’ is indeed a callback to the classic episodes of the 90’s, the story is indeed written so well and the comedy from the usual guys and the “enemy of the week” was so creepy and well made it certainly felt perfectly in place in the Dwarf universe (and I would be happy to see Asclepius come back to antagonise them again!).

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Overall, I loved this episode. Red Dwarf may not beat this peak, and I may be a bit generous on my final rating, but I laughed a lot and the jokes about FIFA and Rimmer being dubbed Captain Bollocks was proof for me that Doug Naylor will still write truly great pieces for the fans. Please keep sending scripts out like this! Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewellyn finally all get to have a great equal amount of time to shine, the location shooting blends in perfectly with the studio recordings and I know I will be re-watching this episode many times over. I will still be laughing hard for a long time to come!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Red Dwarf – Samsara. Review (Mild Spoilers)

Red Dwarf – Samsara (Series 11 Episode 2)

Now we are heading in a great direction. The show definitely is sharper and funnier in this second edition, and hopefully it will continue to improve as series 11 goes on. This week we get some of the classic interactions which always made the 90’s Dwarf such must-see TV. It is also a great thing when I can say that The Cat does get some of the greatest and silliest lines for some time. Also we get a classic crazy premise similar to the shows of old, but let’s talk a bit about that plot!

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So an escape pod from a ship called the S.S. Samsara comes into contact with Red Dwarf, the pod itself carries two survivors (who left the Samsara before it crashed on an ocean moon three million years prior). During this time, Lister and Rimmer are playing a game of Mine-Opoly and Lister’s cheating seems to be paying off no matter what! Later, the crew then go to Samsara to scavenge and see what happened to the crew. We also get to follow the story of the two survivors before they left the ship, which gives a great pay-off to the main twist in the episode. I really do enjoy the episodes where there is a smart backbone to all the jokes…and honestly this sits there with some of the best Series 5 and 6 episodes where I think they reached a peak in clever storylines which would entertain and tickle you. Also, how many episodes do you see the crew get rewarded for being themselves (out for themselves, greedy and vain. Wouldn’t want them any other way!).

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The highlights for this episode is when you finally learn why the Samsara ended up crashed on the moon, the certain positions of them skeletons definitely gave me a good hard chuckle (and with the glow sticks, it was funny again!) and then there was the moments with Lister and The Cat when they are sealed in a chamber together. Kryten and Rimmer get some time together too, but it seemed to be more about the interaction of the two living characters this week. The joke about Archimedes being the inventor of gravy was so funny, and then saying he got a special hat to hide his bruises (a Knight Hood!) was indeed Cat at his best when he is completely wrong, but believes himself to be right. The only comments I would say against this episode is that you do feel a bit underwhelmed by the time the credits roll. This isn’t too say I didn’t enjoy the episode, this is probably one of (if not my favourite) the best episode’s since the show transitioned to Dave. Doug Naylor does still provide some sharp, funny scripts. They need to keep coming more like ‘Samsara’ and less like ‘Twentica’. There is nothing wrong with ambitious, but it needs to be tight and well-rounded too.

With episodes still to come such as Kryten having a mid-life crisis, The Cat apparently finding love and hopefully an episode which will very much be the ‘Bodysnatchers’ episode which never came to pass. For now, two in and I am ready for more…

Final Rating: 8.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Red Dwarf – Twentica. Review (mild spoilers)

Red Dwarf – Twentica (Series 11 Episode 1)

Nearly four years since Red Dwarf last hit our screens, we finally get our fantastic foursome back for another lot of adventures. The third series on Dave (eleventh in total) starts with the guys in Starbug as they are about to set out on another adventure. Facing against the simulants, the crew are flung into a mission to save the very fabric of time. From the very beginning of the episode, we get a good number of laughs which fill the 28-minute episode. ‘Twentica’ wastes no time getting into the action as we get a quick introduction to our friends from the past three decades. The show has always made itself resourceful on a more limited budget and one thing I do like is the mix of good and bad effects (yes some of the effects are a little tacky, but it adds to the charm).

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The one thing that has always kept us hooked to this show is the stars. Chris Barrie continues to be the funny yet bumbling Rimmer and Danny John-Jules’s Cat does seem to still get some of the best lines in the show. Robert Llewellyn does make a great return as Kryten, though it is funny how the android seems to be aging just as much as the rest of the cast (that being said, holograms do seem to age quite a bit too). Sadly, I feel Dave Lister was a little underused and I really hope Craig Charles will get more to do in the coming weeks. The comedy does come fast and the jokes do come thick and fast. Where there may be a few that don’t land, most of them do work well and a few lines that really did tickle me. How about the ancient human technique such as knocking on a door? Or “Hey! What the hell happened to your face?”, “I went bobbing for apples in a cement mixer!”.

The fun thing about Red Dwarf is that it has the ability to be both silly and smart at the same time. Making a 1950’s world which outlaws technology, making science and theories like drinking and prostitution was great. The jokes about the possible outcomes for Rimmer near the beginning was classic Dwarf throughout, same for the little silly parts (robot nipples?). Could I say this was the best Red Dwarf ever? No, definitely not. It is true that the best work came when Grant and Naylor worked together on the show. Although the comedy is there and the set pieces are still well executed, it does feel like it could go further. I enjoyed the episode a lot, though I didn’t feel fully satisfied. But, we have got another 5 episodes to go…then another full series again! Red Dwarf is back, and I am happy!

Final Rating: 7.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Red Dwarf returns. What you need to know!

It’s official! Red Dwarf is to return in 2016 to our TV screens for series 11 courtesy of TV channel Dave. Though this is more than just a regular celebration, as we also have confirmation that series 12 will be broadcast in 2017 too! So with the filming of the new episodes due to begin in the autumn, what do we know so far?

To begin with, Craig Charles has announced his official departure from Coronation Street. This is a big move to show his commitment to the future of the sitcom. It has been a while since Red Dwarf X was shown. Many had begun to doubt whether the show was to continue due to the commitments of the main cast. Though, does this mean that Danny John-Jules will be leaving his role in Death In Paradise?  I assume his schedule will let him do both. Chris Barrie coming back as Rimmer gives so many possibilities and Robert Llewellyn needs to be Kryten again!

We have a two series order; this is at least twelve episodes of new Red Dwarf that will be coming to us in the next two years. So, does this double order mean we may be saying goodbye to the boys of the Dwarf? Well, not necessarily. If Series 10 was anything to go by, the show still has a dedicated fanbase and Doug Naylor is able to create fun scripts for his audience. Also, it does look like Barrie, Charles, John-Jules and Llewellyn want to make more on their working friendship. Though, I reckon Norman Lovett should be brought back to play Holly again, really bring the full original line-up back.

Supporting characters? Yes. We should have more from the GELF, simulants and maybe explore that former script about the Felis Sapiens species where The Cat has to find someone of his species to mate with. Ace Rimmer maybe should make a return to lead his more pathetic self to become a hero. Also, how about we get a return for one or two of the Red Dwarf crew? Maybe Captain Hollister and his crew may pop up with the escape pod they took (and finally give answers to the Series 8 finale), or Olaf Petersen finally goes to see his buddy, maybe he has just been drinking in the lower decks of the ship all this time.

Whatever happens, it is sure to be funny and exciting as usual. Though right now we have very little details on what will happen, we can be happy with the fact that it is finally coming back! Lister, Rimmer, The Cat and Kryten are returning to our screens! BRING ON 2016!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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