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Category Archives: Science fiction

Project Weeks 3 and 4: Holiday (Doubleplusgood!)

Back from my summer holiday.

I wanted to take it easy. So, basically I just watched a couple of movies such as Secret Window, Zen (a Japanese movie about Dogen, an important Zen monk), Good Bye Lenin and so on. And several episodes of the first season of Arrested Development. And some books (I’ve got several started but unfinished books): Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, as a book as well as a movie (that featured John Hurt that will also be featuring the forthcoming Doctor Who 50th anniversary special). And tried to make a lot of music (in which I partially succeeded) and write something (in which I sort of failed).

For a strange reason, I’m starting to get into the dystopia mood once again. It’s perhaps because the world is full of bad news. The economy is almost falling apart and there are more and more wars. And of course, there is PRISM, NSA and other electronic surveillance organizations and projects.

For us Finns, this week has been something we never forget. Nokia that sold its mobile phone department to Microsoft. Which, from the Finnish point of view, was a shame because for about twenty years, Nokia was (and I hope still will be) one of the cornerstones of “true Finnishness”. There’s sauna, Sibelius, sisu – and there’s Nokia. It’s funny that small and technically irrelevant things still became part of the national identity. Now what?

Video of the week: For My Demons by Shining (a cover song, originally recorded by Katatonia). Thanks Laura_Kaarina for the tip!

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Doctor Who vs. Red Dwarf

Red Dwarf

Red Dwarf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been watching Red Dwarf for some days now. RD is more than just another British science fiction television show. It is a sci-fi sitcom, a science fiction situation comedy that are actually quite rare.

Is Red Dwarf just a humour version of Doctor Who or something more? Well, let’s compare them.

1. Travelling.

In Doctor Who, the Doctor (usually) gets to decide when and where to go. Any place in time and space. The Red Dwarf just sort of drifts back to Earth at the speed of light, or just a bit faster. They do occasionally travel in time and even get back to Earth for a while. But travelling is not the point in Red Dwarf as such.

From left to right: Kryten, Lister, Cat, and R...

From left to right: Kryten, Lister, Cat, and Rimmer as they appeared in 2009’s Back to Earth. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Humour, including the laugh track.

Yes, RD is a sitcom. It’s supposed to make you laugh. In my opinion, a sci-fi sitcom is almost impossible to become successful. But Red Dwarf is an exception to this rule. Is Doctor Who funny and hilarious? At times, yes, but it can also be damn scary.

3. The number of the people on board.

In DW, it’s usually two, the Doctor and his companion. In RD, it’s five, Lister, Cat, Rimmer the Hologram, Kryten the Android and the ship’s computer, Holly.  Why more people on RD? Well, a sitcom with only two people must be harder to make and it is quite rare to do that. Bottom is one of the very few exceptions.

Hmm, Bottom and Doctor Who combined? That would be really weird, wouldn’t it.

Conclusion.

Well, these are the first three differences I could find in half an hour or so. In the end, they are very different shows. But there are a lot of similarities, too. To begin with, they’re British (obviously), which makes them, well, British. A bit wittier and less polished than North American science fiction television shows.

But in the end, if you’re a DW fan, you may like RD or not. And vice versa. But you can give it a try.

I’m still on the seventh RD series on Netflix, so I don’t know how good the brand new tenth series is. They say it’s good, though. Good.

By the way, I wish there were more Nordic/Scandinavian science fiction tv shows. Äkta människor (Real Humans), a Swedish show, is one of the very few great shows. Obviously, the British tv people are starting to make a new ÄM version. It could be good but I have my doubts.

 

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