Category Archives: TV Show of the Month

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.


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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TV Show of the Month: Sherlock

Chinatown, London. Benedict Cumberbatch during...

Chinatown, London. Benedict Cumberbatch during filming of Sherlock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been almost three months since my last “TV Shows of the Month” post, so I’ll write one now. It’s so hard to choose. There are great British tv shows: QI (Quite Interesting) and Sherlock, great American TV shows: Game of Thrones and 30 Rock and even some great Finnish TV shows: Alivaltiosihteerin tv-ohjelma and Putous.

For those who aren’t Finnish, Alivaltiosihteeri is a Finnish comedy trio who have been doing a radio comedy show for more than twenty years. Their humour is, well, you could say it’s a more political, less surreal version of what Monty Python used to do in their tv shows in the 70s. And now that I’ve started talking about radio, I must mention the best Finnish radio show ever (well, ever since the 90s): Paskalista (“Shit(ty) List”) that only plays the worst songs ever.

Sherlock Holmes

Well, back to the track. It’s so hard to choose. But I’ll have to choose Sherlock, a modernized version of Sherlock Holmes. Instead of taking place in the Victorian England, this version is full of modern gadgets: Sherlock uses the Internet, mobile phones and other modern equipment all the time. Also, the modern version of Sherlock isn’t a cocaine addict who smokes pipe but has a healthier life style. His only (?) addiction is nicotine patches.

The series has been co-created by Steven Moffat, also known for Coupling, the modern version of Doctor Who and The Adventures of Tintin.

If you enjoy detective stories, check it out! The first series was shown in Finland by Yleisradio last summer and the second series will be shown in June.


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TV Show of the Month: Torchwood

The Lost Files (Torchwood)

I’ve watched quite a lot of tv shows lately. Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Person of Interest, Desperate Housewives (!). But the show of the past month has been Torchwood, a British science fiction show.

Torchwood is a bit like the X-Files meets Doctor Who. And lately, I’ve become a huge fan of the new Doctor Who show. And Torchwood is a DW spin-off. But unlike Doctor Who, Torchwood isn’t about a semi-immortal doctor who travels all around the galaxy and the space-time continuum. No, Torchwood is a team that solves… Err, mostly extraterrestrial but also some supernatural phenomena on Earth. Well now, that doesn’t sound so exciting, doesn’t it?

There is still something “sparkling” about the show, anyway. It could be Captain Jack Harkness, played by a wonderful Scottish-American actor, John Barrowman. Or more likely, it could be the Gwen Cooper, played by lovely, lovely Eve Myles.

So, let’s just call it an adult version of Doctor Who with some elements from the X-Files, right? Take it or leave it.

Now, supper, shower and off to bed. Nighty night and have a nice week!


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