Archive for November, 2012

The internet is littered with abandoned comedy web shows, and for good reason! Most web series bore me, and the production value, acting and quality of writing is somewhat lacking in many of the shows. However a web series has come along, which has pushed my previous favourite to the side, so move over ‘The Guild’, for Space Janitors is comedy gold, set in space!

I’m not knocking ‘The Guild’ by the way, it is a pretty great web series, but ‘Space Janitors’ is more my type of show. I’ve grown up reading science fiction books, love Star Wars, as well as the Red Dwarf TV series, so when I stumbled across Space Janitors, it was love at first sight. Wait? What?

Like most web series, the cast is small, the action centered around a few locations, but what the show sets out to do, it does well. The writing pulls on the fondness many have for Star Wars, but it is also carving out its own identity as the series goes on.

So let’s get down to specifics, the two key characters are ‘Janitors’ working in ‘Space’… did you already guess that? Gold star, if you did. They are supported by three other characters: an android, a ‘squall’ trooper, and a computer psychologist.

So here is the twist, they work for the other side… you know ‘evil’. They all work on an evil space station’, basically a death star, which keeps being attacked by ‘rebels’. So this is basically ‘Star Wars’, with references to ‘Star Wars’, but not Star Wars, do you know what I mean? Mainly though it is about five friends, getting into all sorts of situations and trouble on a space station.When you watch sci-fi movies you see the troops, the officers, the androids all moving around, but who mops up the floors, tidies up the messes, and keeps the computer systems functioning? Well these guys do!

Each episode typically last between 3 – 10 minutes, and so far they’ve released eight episodes already, and I believe season two will shortly start production. They’ve recently started to re-release the episodes on the ‘Geek and Sundry’ network, and their official website is here. Being on the ‘Geek and Sundry’ network, should hopefully bring the show to the attention of more people, so it is a good move.

Space Janitors is a welcomed web series, and I recommend you check it out.

About the author: Andrew is a geek, who loves to write about a variety of topics, whilst drinking tea.

Red Dwarf is a British sci-fi comedy TV series that first aired in the eighties on BBC2 in the UK. The show is based around four main characters: Lister supposedly the last human alive. Rimmer a Hologram. Cat a humanoid descendant of Lister’s Cat. Kryten a mechanoid. Set millions of years in the future on-board the spaceship called ‘Red Dwarf’.

Those thirty minutes nuggets of comedy gold soon achieved ‘cult’ status, and at a young age I was just allowed up long enough to watch an episode with my sister, then I had to go to bed.

Later I discovered the fantastic Red Dwarf books, which was another way to get my fix, of this witty, self-deprecating low budget comedy show. I vaguely remember a radio version of the show, I think read by Chris Barrie, one of the stars. As time went by the final series which I relished each episode was season six, and then even my enthusiasm for the show diminished.

I believe there was a failed attempt to create an American version of the show, and for a while talk of a movie, but that never came to pass. Add some more seasons, and a one-off (disappointing) special and a large dollop of time, and you would of thought its time was done, the show consigned to the comedy archives, to be fondly remembered, especially for the early years.

Then DAVE a UK television station decided to pick up the gauntlet, and for some reason not to create a season 9, but a 10, and Red Dwarf X was born. I was of mixed opinions whether to watch this show, as frankly the show’s comedy had waned over the years and the special was appalling.

I didn’t like the idea of this cult comedy show having its reputation dented further, with perhaps a lacklustre offering. In the end I relented, as I couldn’t resist, just on the off chance that it had somehow re-found its form of old. So had it?

I’m glad to say Red Dwarf X is a vast improvement over recent episodes, and is full of wit and good humour. However it is a show that heavily draws upon your feelings of old for the show, rather than feeling fresh and bringing something new. Also some of the comedy felt forced, rather than flowing.

Bizarrely thinking back upon the six episode series, the stories don’t stand out. The plots just don’t have the punch they used to. Too much happening perhaps during the episodes, with too many laughs trying to be crammed in, but wasn’t that always the case? Perhaps any new incarnation of the show, can’t stand up to my younger memories, first discovering the show?

The ‘boys from the Dwarf’ are back though, but just not with as much oomph. Undoubtedly season X was superior to the special, but not as good as the first six seasons. There were missed opportunities, with plot lines that didn’t contribute to the next episode…. but that being said, I tuned in, I watched and I laughed.

Smeg! I hope they do a season 11.

About the guest author: Andrew lives in the UK, enjoys guzzling tea of such quantity, it surely can’t be good for his health.