I was hopeful for a noteworthy comeback due to financing from Dave and improved production values since the last series. I got a sense that there was a concerted effort to get the long-running series back on it's feet with the desire to see a RD 'revival'. I read somewhere that successful re-runs of the show on the the Dave cable channel helped make it happen, showing that there was still a demand for this classic sci-fi comedy.
Sadly, what we got was something of a disappointment.
What didn't work for me:
- the crew are getting on a bit. Dave and Rimmer were showing their age (odd, since Rimmer is a hologram ... hmmm)
- a re-hash of old material (basically a reworking of the brilliant 'Back to Reality' story)
- tired jokes
- numerous references to better epidodes when RD was on BBC
- a three parter that felt like a one-parter uncomfortably sliced into thirds
- no Holly
What did work for me:
- the Blade Runner references
- Doug Naylor's cameo
- the return of the skutters
- that's it.
I think RD should be laid to rest forever. Each new episode has become more and more disjointed and disparate from the original two series from the late 80s. I have always maintained that series 1 and 2 were the best. The moment the BBC started shelling out more money, it seemed the writing took second place to shiny sets and special effects.
I don't deny there are gems in later series - Back to Reality, Dimension Jump and Gunmen of the Apocalypse, for example - but on the whole they just got sillier and sillier. Which is a shame, because the basic premise is a brilliant one. The idea that the last remaining human is a total slob, trapped on a gigantic spaceship light years from earth with the most annoying characters to keep him company is genius. For some reason, someone didn't know when to say 'enough is enough - let's do something new'.