EP 6 - CAN OF WORMS - DISCUSSION THREAD

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Seb, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Despite the fact that Can of Worms is slightly naff in terms of plotting overall there is not really a weak episode in sight in series 11 and all the other five range from very strong to classic. Though series 10 was very good and showed the way, 11 is much more genuinely Dwarfy and vintage and I am surprised that some Dwarfers and SFX magazine thought the former was better tbh!

    While I still think it is not totally comparable to the late 1988 to 1993 peak years (then again what is?) - apart from definitely Give and Take - it is of a real quality and in the best form it has been in since 1993 ie decades. If series 12 can repeat the trick I will be a very happy Dwarfer. Can't be too long to go now hopefully!
     
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  2. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Honestly i dont think i want anymore Cat episodes because Doug plays on The Cat being an idiot in order for it to work and i think it got abit pathetic in Can of Worm.

    Part of me wonders whether that Cat episode wrote for Series 7 would have been better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  3. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

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    For me the only time things went a little too far for my liking was the afore mentioned sex stuff in this episode. Things have got a bit wacky in the past with Cat, but him genuinely believing and being taken in by the whole pipe-down-the-throat thing is pretty hard to swallow (Badum-Tshh!). Had it happened during a much earlier series I would probably be okay with it, but at this point I can't seem to justify it in my head, what with him having hung out with the other Dwarfers for so long. He and Lister in particular must surely have discussed all the ins and outs of sex on numerous occasions by now.

    That said, I still think Cat is a great character, and can't personally think of any other major examples of him coming across as being stupider now than he was in the past.
     
  4. Callisto252

    Callisto252 Supply Officer

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    I just rewatched the series and really agree with this assessment. I understand why Can of Worms has been criticised by some, but it made me laugh so much - and surely that's the most important thing when it comes to Red Dwarf? I don't think there is a weak episode either, although my least favourite is still Samsara.

    The only problem is that I'm now more impatient than ever for series XII! I wonder if we'll start getting some little teasers soon, like we did round about this time last year? Could be time for another 'countdown' thread.
     
  5. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Can of Worms - despite its slightly naff plot issue - is simply a pretty decent RD episode. Like you say the humour in RD is all important and this episode is full of it and it covers up the plot problem very well IMHO. I particularly love the Rolling Stones gag too - classic Dwarf IMHO. But for some reason one of my favourites is Rimmer saying to the Cat: "You're a moron!" and then Lister repeating the same thing because of the way it takes you by surprise obviously. It's so simple but great comedy writing from Doug IMHO. I really do think that series 11 had quite a good helping of the humour of RD in its prime and there was quite a good number of especially memorable moments. Yes, and no weak episodes!

    After the success of series 11 I am getting ever more excited in anticipation for series 12. I just remember all last autumn my excitement for each Thursday, the days I said "Happy Red Dwarf Day" and I can't wait to go through that all again. Like I said in another thread it was just such a genius decision by Dave etc. to commission 2 new series in 2015, as this time we won't be getting 6 episodes last year and then nothing for several years. In fact a series a year is similarly like the late 88 to 1993 RD peak years.

    I also did think the other day that maybe someone should start a countdown to series 12 thread soon. The broadcast is obviously not going to be during the summer months as there wouldn't be the same number of viewers (plus RD is better broadcast in the dark) so could it be September time again like series 2/11, or maybe October/November like a lot of the other classic series? We will see, but obviously can't be a massive time away now! It's getting closer.
     
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  6. UltraDevotee

    UltraDevotee Catering Officer

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    Well after feeling a bit disappointed after I last watched Can of Worms 2 years ago, I watched it last night and I actually now think Can of Worms is in fact a very good episode of Red Dwarf (last year I think I had confessed on this forum that it was the only one out of the 12 most recent that I wasn't sure about). True, there is an issue with its plotting as it is quite convoluted and the personality tuck machine has no function, but I suppose that machinery makes no difference because Lister gets trapped in the hilarious Mexican standoff along with Rimmer and Kryten. Although the personality tuck is used ultimately merely for a Psirens opening-type Rimmer characteristics gag, the plot I feel functions sufficiently. Even though it is quite an elaborate plot, for some reason - maybe because I was in the right mood - I followed it absolutely fine and it was great fun to watch on a Saturday night.

    Even though it is the least strong of series 11 IMHO still, I actually now think it has a fair amount of the classic Dwarf. Although admittedly you hear one audience member groan when it becomes a polymorph episode I personally am satisfied that there is now a trilogy about this shape shifting mutant. But it is not just the polymorph and eventually all 8 of its offspring that provide Can of Worms with its vintage feel as the start with the Dwarfers in Starbug and the Psirens episode references also hark back to even series 6. Meanwhile the scene with the Mercenoid is simply vintage Dwarfers exploring a space station/ship like those in series 4-6 and the dictaphone gags are hilarious and it is a clever pay off for defeating that droid.

    Although Doug's imagination of the polymorph impregnating the Cat and him giving birth is weird it works successfully and the script flows with incessant great gags. Although the story is like I said not impeccable, it is still really interesting and pretty smart. The end with the Cat shooting all the remaining 6 polymorphs - because he could detect his "kids" and also because his desire to nurture them had expired as they had matured - is a swift but satisfying and clever resolution to Can of Worms. The final scene with the female cats in the Cat's dream was both funny and ensured that no one could complain about an abrupt ending.

    Although I still feel Can of Worms is the least strong of series 11 and not as sensational as the first two polymorph stories, I now view it as one of the most comical scripts in the 2016 run with all its strange fun going on throughout. I think last year I might have given it a rating of 7.5 out of 10... well now it has gone up to very good 8. The weakest episode of series 10 had a rating of 7 while this least great of series 11 has one point higher so like I have said I cannot understand why some people would perceive series 10 to be better.

    If series 10 is Red Dwarf almost back to its best then series 11 is Red Dwarf very almost back to its best. True it is not completely of the quality of the late 1988 to 1993 material but it is by some way the closest, most consistent and authentic it has ever come to that level.

    Last year in January I felt series 12 was almost as excellent as 11 so I will have to see whether my opinions still match up...only 6 more episode to go now and then my Dwarf marathon watch is sadly over. We need a series 13 commission soon!

    One final thought regarding Can of Worms, it is a very decent Cat episode but in series 13 why can there not be one where some real cat people who deserted Red Dwarf are discovered? That might produce an intriguing story although it might be too ambitious and interfere too much with the concept of isolation 3 million years into deep space. But if Doug can pull it off it could be a success possibly?
     
  7. talkie3000

    talkie3000 Deck Sergeant

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    Only reason i could figure out to why it existed was to separate the 3 of them, as Kryten and Rimmer run away from Lister (and for whatever reason each other) to avoid the chance of him shooting them. although you would think that wouldn't stop lister from just doing it in the standoff.

    I don't get the feeling Doug has any issue with the populated universe stuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  8. Dave_B_Phillps

    Dave_B_Phillps First Technician

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    thanks for tuning in
     
  9. HonestTom

    HonestTom Skutter

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    I weirdly liked the return of the polymorph concept, although if I'd heard about it before seeing the episode I'd probably have groaned too. It feels to me in recent seasons like Red Dwarf universe is more established and the crew are more at home in it after however many years. So we meet a polymorph, but this time it's not as much of a threat and we learn more about the creatures.

    If they'd done a retread of the first encounter, as they did in Series 6, then it would have been disappointing.

    I'd like to see the Mercenoids explored in more detail in future episodes, that was a pretty cool concept IMO.
     
  10. Ant E

    Ant E Science Officer

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    Just a minute who are you?
     

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