Series 2

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Overall thoughtS

To say series 1 was ambitious would be an understatement. Obviously after similar shows in recent years the concept of a sci-fi comedy-drama doesn't sound as fresh as it used to, but in 1988 it was breaking new ground. Well-written character-based comedy (well, insult flinging comedy) mixed with strong drama amidst the elements of a bleak sci-fi landscape; I just love it to bits.

Of course, it wasn't all perfect; it's hard for a first series to get into a comfortable groove with the characters, and it acts as a testing ground for ideas and suggestions, some of which may not work out as well as hoped. And so, series 2 takes the great elements and takes them even further, and what didn't work was quietly pushed out of sight. And it works so, so well.

My first experience of Red Dwarf was this series. Fans rave up and down about this particular series, often claiming it to be Red Dwarf showing its true potential in a fantastic manner, and I can hardly disagree. I loved series 1, and was kinda disappointed that it didn't continue in that basic direction for much longer, but series 2 just takes the elements of series 1 and shapes it into something more whole, more full, more universally appealing (I think I'm in the minority for loving the drama of series 1). The snappy banter is much stronger, the stories are still great, and of course, the acting is still perfect. It doesn't have the vibe of continuity as much as the first series, wherein several topics shown in the first episode were then explored over the remaining episodes, and so to not have the strong personal stories of Waiting For God is a bit of a bummer, but that doesn't deny the fact that I think series 2 is just brilliant.

I'm probably a bit less biased to it as I am with series 1, though. Gotta root for the underdog, man.

Episode ratingS

[coming soon!]


Being less sombre in story content, the music is similarly upbeat, so there's not quite as much wistful twinkly piano stuff to interest me, but still a few notable highlights.

Tongue Tied (3:24 | 2.7kb)

Danny John-Jules' song, a pop love song with a catchy beat and some amusing lyrics. Admittedly the music video in Parallel Universe is part of why it's so great, but it's still a great standalone song.

High Noon (0:29 | 403kb)

Howard Goodall himself singing the song of the movie of the same name. Lovely song, lovely singing, and very fitting to the moment it's used in Queeg.

Character 8 (1:30 | 1.2mb)

The Observation Deck theme! I've gushed over it in the episode reviews and praised it before on my blog, but I just love this tune to bits. A melancholy tune with guitar, a bit of sax and what I assume is clarinet.

Background 5 (0:58 | 800kb)

A frantic pizzazz-filled tune of saxophone and some other instrument; what is it, piano, very quick guitar? Used in Kryten when Lister's preparing for the visit to the Nova 5.

Additional 2 (0:28 | 387kb)

A bizarre little ditty, emitting an alien vibe of shock and horror while also giving an air of light-hearted silliness. I've no idea where it plays in the episodes, though.

space 1 - 4 (zip / 1.7mb)

character 1 - 8 (zip / 3mb)

background 1 - 6 (zip / 6mb)

additional 1 - 8 (zip / 4.3mb)