Red Dwarf -Series 1 Grades

Prior to some more in depth material on this great British show, I will list my grades for each and every Grant/Naylor episode (1988-1993(

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SERIES 1 –

The End – *B+* – Does a fine job of establishing the show’s premise. Lister is immediately likable and Rimmer the perfect foil for him. The Cat gets very little to do here owing to the structure of the episode, but still makes a notable impact. Better was to come, but this is must-see viewing.

Future Echoes – *A – * A clever story with many great jokes. The regulars are settling and Holly gets to provide many dead pan one liners that hit the mark well. This episode took some very careful planning and timing to achieve the right effect, and yet the beauty lies in the simplicity of the concept. A very intriguing ending too that opens up all sorts of routes to take Lister’s character to.

Balance of Power – *B* – A special episode for me as it was the first one I viewed more than twice out of impatience before the next repeat showing in the early 90s. VHS was the bomb! But looking at it now, there are some labored jokes and it all gets a bit too maudlin at times. The Kochanski storyline though is very well done.

Waiting For God – *B-* – The weakest episode thus far, but still somewhat underrated IMHO. The Cat gets a whole lot more backstory added, although still much room for character development persists. The ‘Quagar’ subplot is a bit too painful to watch, with Rimmer’s desperation for being alive again striking sympathetic chords with the audience. The Cat Priest stuff though is great – satirical yet moving also.

Confidence And Paranoia – *C-* – By no means bad, but definitely the weak link of the maiden season. Much of it seems thrown together, and the contrivance to have new guest stars on the ship isn’t achieved via an interesting sci-fi idea at all. Paranoia is played very well and forms a great double act with Rimmer. Confidence is however grating and not really reflective of Lister, with quite a nasty edge to him. The closure of the main storyline is quite rushed too. However the cliffhanger involving the real contents of Kochanski’s hologram box is the best joke of the whole episode.

Me 2 –  B+ * — Mostly hilarious, and with some crucial character development for Rimmer as we learn of both his death, and the reasons for his last words. Lister and the Cat have also developed a stronger bond by the final scenes. Chris Barrie really plays a blinder by having two subtly different versions of Rimmer. Yet this is marred by over-egged scenes where the new Rimmer turns into a mental torturer; for which I blame the writers. Wonderful last scene though where Arnold J tells all and then has to endure taunts for the months to come.

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Retro Zone — Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes – THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES

Chapter 7  -The Stapletons of Merripit House

Watson told Sir Henry about the sobbings that he had heard during the night. They then discover it was Mrs Barrymore who had been weeping. The evidence of tear stains were clearly visible on her face.

Sir Henry had lots of papers on his desk and so Watson left to find out more about the telegram, which had been requested by Holmes. The reply was that Barrymore was at the Hall but that his wife took the telegram on his behalf, as he was in the attic at that time.

Watson soon after left, and proceeded along the moor – where he encountered Stapleton. The naturalist explained that he knew about Watson and Sir Henry, and then said that both he and his sister were very sad because of the demise of Sir Charles. Stapleton thought the reason for the death was down to Sir Charles running away from an ordinary animal in a petrified manner. He then asked for Holmes’ opinion; startling Watson somewhat. The eventual reply to the question was that Holmes was making his own conclusions, but was still back over in London.

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Watson then took up Stapleton’s suggestion of a walk back to Merripit House. During this journey. Stapleton stopped to indicate the Great Grimpin Mire, and remarked upon its deadly nature. However he knew some special paths that allowed for a safer route. As to why he would go to the Mire in the first place, Stapleton explained how he had a keen interest in catching rare butterflies – which was par for the course for someone of his profession.

Soon a terrible choking cry was heard and the duo saw a pony fall victim to the mire. But that unpleasant surprise was overshadowed by the blood-curdling cry of a hound – or something <like
a hound. Stapleton  dismissed it as merely the sound of the bog that can be emitted by the mire. And suddenly he was distracted by one of his obsessions ; proceeding to chase a  very rare butterfly with his <net across the moor.

Watson admired Stapleton’s nimble footwork across the mire. He then had his own form of distraction in the shape of a rather pretty young lady. Watson greeted her, but the response he received was overly serious.  She told him that he must leave the Moor altogether and go back to London. It was clear to Watson that she mistook him for Sir Henry!

Soon enough Stapleton returned, but on this occasion he did  not make a successful addition to his collection. He realised Watson’s awkward situation and resolved it by telling the woman – his sister – that she had been mistaken.

After seeing Merripit House and learning more about why Stapleton lived by the moor, Watson decided to leave. His day had been quite eventful enough, even by the standards of a typical investigation with Holmes.

As he took the path back to the Hall he was then stopped by Miss Stapleton, who gave a sincere apology for her behaviour in mistaking him for someone else. She also was sure to warn him that the Moor was very dangerous for Sir Henry. Watson detected a rather superstitious aspect to the young woman, who queried him on his knowing the tale of the Hound.

It became clear that her brother was anxious that Sir Henry should stay.
Upon telling Watson these things, she then made her departure – leaving a final remark that she had ‘done her part’.

Sherlock Holmes – Hound Of Baskervilles – Chapter 6 – Baskerville Hall

The duo arrived at the railway station on the planned day, and Holmes told Watson that he should only report the facts ? to the people around the moor.

He himself had tried learning them but had failed.

Watson suggests removing the butler and his wife, but Holmes says that that would  be unwise and it would be better to keep those people on the list of potential suspects.
The other people of note needing to be found quickly were Stapleton and his sister, as well as Mr Frankland.

Holmes checked that Watson was sufficiently armed, and told him to be on alert at all times. They meet their friends who say that they had kept together as well as evading any signs of trouble. Also they say that they split up yesterday afternoon.

Holmes found the latter statement of concern, and thus advised Sir Henry to be accompanied
whenever he should set food around the area, and furthermore to stay indoors during nightime.
The three board the first-class train and Watson enjoyed a swift and comfortable journey.

Sir Henry explained that he never saw Baskerville Hall as a boy since he was in his fathers’ cottage far away so the sight would as new to him as it would be to Watson.
The first sight of the bleak moor appeared to fascinate Sir Henry and then Watson could see how true was his reputation of being a suitable descendant in the long line of his proud forefathers.

The train stopped by a small field so they could go on a wagonette to take them to the hall – they noticed two stern soldiers as they moved their luggage.

Sir Henry seemed to enjoy the countryside but Watson did not quite agree, the season of Autumn had made its downbeat mark.

Mortimer noticed another soldier on a hill and asked the driver Perkins where it was. He said warders were after an escaped prisoner, who was most likely a madman. His name was Selden , the Notting Hill murderer. People would not give details for they would be killed if the prisoner should find out.
Everyone was chilled thinking about the ..cast-out man. Through the now infertile country the driver pointed out Baskerville Hall. Judging by the lool of the building, Henry could tell why his uncle felt danger was near.

The butler stepped out and greeted Sir Henry. He then handed the bags to his wife. Mortimer turned down the offer of dinner by Sir Henry and said he needed go to his house.

Watson and Sir Henry sat down in a spacious apartment. where the fireplace crackled. Barrymore came in and told them dinner would be soon, before going on to shakily explain that his wife and he wished to leave when suitable, THe death of Sir Charles  was one reason, but also the large amount of money they had acquired meant that they could go off and establish a new business.\

The bedrooms looked bright and modern, so helping to relieve the gloominess of the Hall.
However the dining room was dark and mysterious. The black beams and the silent statues made it truly sombre.
Sir Henry reflected and stated that there woud be a more cheerful feel upon the following morning.

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At night, Watson gazed at the moor, before closing the curtains and the door and finally lying down on his bed.
Closing his eyes, the wailing and sobbing of a lady suddenly made him shift. He was kept alert for half an hour but the weeping did not continue from thence on.

The only  noises came from the ticking of the clock and the ivy rustling outside