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Red Dwarf hasn’t always had it easy despite what DAVE might tell you. Towards the end of it’s run on the BBC it was still attempting to recover from the loss of Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, the other half of the coin, was trying to keep the show afloat as best he could, and while he would have better luck many decades later, those first two series without Rob were a struggle with fans in regards to quality.
No series before or since took a greater hit than series VIII. A widely-derided series with inappropriate grossly deviant or sexually explicit humour and an unpleasant experience with very unlikable characters, both as leads and supporters. The series fizzled out in 1999 with a downbeat and hopeless finale that didn’t resolve anything and by the time the series returned ten years later, there was no appetite to pay respect to the continuity that came before.
What’s so frustrating about the finale “Only The Good…” is that it didn’t have to end the way it dd. An altogether triumphant and upbeat happy ending had already been recorded, but was ultimately abandoned. The ending, while it had it’s lions share of pacing problems and unfunny jokes, still would have ended the series’ tenure on the BBC on more wholesome grounds, even if it had clashed with the prior mean-spiritedness of the episodes prior to it.
There already exists an edit of “Only The Good” many years ago that used that ending, and I wasn’t content to just replicate. Do something new, or what’s the point?
So I decided to take the woefully structured two-parter “Pete”, disssemble it, remove the tedious bits, stitch it back together in a different order, and add the relevant plot points of “Only The Good” to it also.
In this new narrative, we begin with the Microbe infecting the ship, then Kryten, Cat and Kochanski discovering the Time Wand, then the basketbtall game leads to Lister and Rimmer being immediately sentenced to The Hole rather than later. When they’re busted out by the Scutter, they go with the rest of the Dwarfers and discover the microbe, the staff evacuate and leave the prisoners to die. The Dwarfers think they have an ace up their sleeve with the time wanda, but The ordeal with Pete the T-Rex then begins. After that’s done, the Dwarfers send Arnie into the mirror universe where he gets the antidote. We remove the stupid joke about the antidote becoming the virus and end with the alternative ending and Red Dwarf heading off to new adventures leaving Hollister behind (also removed the vending machines’ revenge since the set-up isn’t in this edit)