“ Genre: Television - Red Dwarf / Suitable for 12 years and over / Actors: Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules, Robert-Llewelyn, Norman Lovett ... / DVD released 2008-11-10 at 2 Entertain Video / Features of the DVD: PAL „
I have been watching all the Red Dwarf series of late and thought I would write my own review.
This is a sitcom set in space on a mining ship called Red Dwarf which is drifting in deep space, 3 million years in the future. It has a few main characters:
Dave Lister - the only surviving human in the universe. He is a slob but he likes to do the right thing and be honourable when he can.
Arnold Judus Rimmer - a hologram of a dead crew mate of Lister's. He is there to keep him company and make sure he doesn't go crazy. He doesn't do a very good job.
The Cat - a creature who evolved from Lister's cat.
Krytan - a toilet cleaning robot
Holly - a computer who runs the mining ship.
I normally am not a big fan of sci-fi shows like Star Trek or Star Wars etc. The reason I like this show is that the sci-fi element is not the main part of the comedy. It is more about how the characters interact with each other and the put downs they come out with.
This anniversary edition contains series 1 to 8. There has been a series 9 produced since this came out and there are plans for series 10.
The comedy throughout the series 1 to 8 has varied. I found the first two series to be quite sombre and the main comedy is around Lister and Rimmer. By the end of Series 2, I think they have managed to make it work. Starting from Series 3, they introduce Krytan, and it seems like they use more special effects and try to do more with the plot lines as well.
I think Series 1 to 7 are the best ones but series 8 is a big let down. The comedy doesn't really work at all in that and there just seems to be a lot of running around for most of it.
My favourite character has to be Ace Rimmer who is an alter ego of Arnold Rimmer from an alternate universe. The way he talks is just classic. I was watching Black Adder the other day and the Lord Flashheart character seems very like Ace.
== Summary ==
I can definitely recommend this. It's one of the classic British comedy series even though Series 8 isn't great.
I got this box set for Christmas, after dropping several hints in the run up to the festive season.
I was dropping hints because I view Red Dwarf as some of the finest British comedy around, and a show that takes me back to my youth / teen years and this box set contains all the shows from the very beginning (where Dave Lister awakens to find he is the last human alive, with only a hologram of his dead room mate and a cat for company) to the last series (excluding the much heralded but not very funny add on specials).
Eight series in all.
The discs come packaged in a large binder size black box. It's probably a bit bigger than A4, and a bit like a photo album. There's a slide out folder containing the DVD's, which also has lots of nice pictures inside.
Although the size is actually a bit of a negative in that it doesn't exactly sit comfortably alongside the other DVDs on the bookcase, it is also a positive in that you do feel like you are getting a bit of a collectors edition. There aren't many extras (aside from the pictures I mentioned before) but the price - mine cost around £35 I think (It was a present so I can't be sure) means that it works out better value than buying all the series individually.
I had all the series on video and just wanted to update them, and this seemed the cheapest and best way of doing so, even though I'm not personally a fan of the shows after series 6, when Chris Barrie left his role of Rimmer and Kochanski was brought in... she's just not funny.
I realise that I've not really covered what the show is about, but I guess that most people will have heard of it. If not, it's essentially about four blokes lost in space, millions of years in the future. When I say four blokes, there's Lister (the last human), The Cat (evolved over millions of years from Lister's pet cat), Rimmer (an annoying hologram) and Kryten (an android).
The genius of the show is more in their relationship than in the situations, although being in space and in the future does give the writers opportunities to create storylines which are wildly creative.
Red Dwarf continues the fine British tradition of magnificent situation comedy, and this anniversary edition is a worthy purchase for old and new fans alike.
Red Dwarf is one of the best and most acclaimed British comedy shows to ever grace our screens, standing up there with indisputable classics like Fawlty Towers. It has likeable, memorable characters and numerous classic episodes.
The main character is Dave Lister (Craig Charles), the final living man in the world, who was put into stasis when everyone else aboard the ship he was on, Red Dwarf, was killed by an undisclosed catastrophe. He is left alone with the ship's computer, Holly (Norman Lovett), who claims to have an IQ of 6000 but is surprisingly dim if that is true. However, to ensure that he maintains his sanity, Holly also resurrects a hologam of one of the ship's former crewmates, Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie), a thoroughly insufferable enemy of Lister's who would frequently rat on him and write him up for minor infractions. Thus, the two work as an odd couple, with Lister frequently insulting Rimmer.
What's more, the ship's cat, Frankenstein, has been turned into a human version, prowling the ship in a smart suit while stilll having an affinity for fish and milk like a cat would. He's not too smart but he generates a lot of laughs and has undeniable style.
In the second series, they also meet an adroid who becomes a permanent fixture on the ship, named Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), a neurotic robot who means well but often jostles for position with Rimmer.
Finally, we have Kristine Kochanski, who intermittently appears throughout the show and becomes a permanent fixture in season seven as Lister's love interest, although her character wasn't especially popular.
Although the last two seasons are generally regarded as the worst, this is still a comic gem thanks to the amazing cast, and clever writing. Well worth it now with the brilliant price you can get it for.
Red Dwarf - All the Shows.
Begins his journey as a tone deaf, idle, useless, curry loving, carefree or should that be careless, scruffy slob.
But his character develops
Arnold J Rimmer.
Arnie is the most cowardly, back stabbing, regimented, and pathetic life form to ever call itself human. But Arnie, or big man to his friends, has the biggest transformation of them all because he ends up becoming Ace Rimmer the multiverses greatest hero, what a guy!
The offspring of an idiot and a cripple, he is the most vain creature in all of the multiverses.
His character never really changes.
Cats alter ego, the geakiest, (if there is such a word) squarest being to ever exist. With Zero fashion sense and teeth which are a cross between Alan Carr and Janet st Porter.
Holly - Computer.
Once had an IQ of 6000 but after 3 million years alone has 'gone a bit funny'. Best one liner was "IQ of 6000 isn't that much; it's about the same as 6000 PE teachers".
No Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) in series 1.
Dave Lister is stuck on Mimas and he just wants to get home to Earth, so he enlists aboard the Red Dwarf little realising it will not reach earth for another 5 years.
Dave smuggles a cat aboard the ship but is found out and put into "stasis" for refusing to surrender his cat for dissection.
Whilst in stasis there is a radiation leak which kills all of the remaining crew.
The computer keeps Dave in stasis for 3 million years until the radiation levels are safe for him to emerge.
The ships computer 'Holly' creates a hologram to keep him company and sane. It is the one person in all the Universe Dave hates Arnold J Rimmer.
Dave's cat survived in a sealed hold and many many generations later the cat's species representative emerges to join the motley crew.
Not in series 1 but later on is (Kryten who is rescued from a crashed spaceship and the crazy crew is all together hopelessly flying through the universe).
1. ~The End~
Everybody's dead Dave!
Here we meet the crew, then watch them die and so end up with the terrible trio of Lister, Rimmer and Cat.
Dave wont give up his kitten, ends up in suspended animation whilst everybody else is killed by a radiation leak from a drive plate that Rimmer should have fixed, properly.
Oh and there's Holly a slightly dopey ship computer with the IQ of 6000, equivalent to 6000 PE Teachers!
2. ~Future Echoes~
The crew see 'future echoes of themselves. Rimmer sees Dave blown to bits whilst Dave sees himself with 2 babies.
Dave tries to make sure what is about to happen hasn't happened yet and will not happen if he can help it, get it? Clear as a conundrum.
'How old did I look just before I was blown to bits'?
'How old are you now'?
'35, How old did I look'?
'Erm..... Mid thirties'!
3. ~Balance of Power~
Lister wants to go on a date with navigation officer Kristine Kochanski, but with her being dead the only way is for Rimmer to go 'off line' whilst Kochanski comes 'online'.
Rimmer's refuses as the senior officer and so Lister decides to do a cooking exam so he can outrank Rimmer.
4. ~Waiting for God~
Should have been entitled, "Cloister the stupid". Lister learns that HE is the mythical god of Cat's people otherwise known as "Cloister the stupid".
Cat was the offspring of a cripple and an idiot!
Meanwhile Arnie brings on board which he thinks is an Alien space craft but is in fact an old garbage capsule.
He calls his Aliens the "Quagaars.".
5. ~Confidence and Paranoia~
Whilst searching the ship for Kochanski's hologram disc, Lister mistakenly enters a contaminated area of Red Dwarf. After it raining fish and the mayor of Norway self combusting in the night, the crew wake up to two very unwelcome guests. Confidence and Paranoia.
The title should be read as 'Me 'squared'.
Arnie manages to get two versions of himself up and running with disastrous result.
Don't mention guspachio soup!
The writers Rob Grant & Doug Naylor invented The 'Blue Midget' Shuttle to ferry the crew too and from planets and other spaceships in order to broaden the possible comedic scenarios.
Kryten make his appearance but it is not THE Kryten that will eventually stay with the crew.
Here he is played by David Ross but later of course by Robert Llewellyn.
The Dwarfer pickup an SOS call from a crashed spaceship, Nova 5, and all put on their best togs to go and meet the ladies that need rescuing.
Unfortunately they find a 'Norman Bates' style robot serving tea to 3 skeletons.
Packed with a multitude of sexist jokes and gibes at each other.
Kryten joins the crew and for a while is Rimmers slave.
8. ~Better Than Life~
The mail arrives via a pod that has been chase the ship for millions of years. Dave's won the Lottery but it's too late now.
Included in the post in the total-immersion computer game called "Better than Life".
Highly addictive and outlawed in some universes the boys can't wait to play!
They can have all their wishes granted but Rimmer ends up ruining all for them.
9. ~Thanks for the Memory~
Its Rimmers 'Deathday' and the boys set about celebrating only to wake up 4 days later to find bizarre things have happened.
A 'who-dun-what' with clues to unravel and who broke Daves foot?
10. ~Stasis Leak~
There's a stasis leak on floor 16 allowing the crew to go back in time to 3 weeks before the radiation leak happened on the ship. They try to change history but it all goes awry with the usual consequences.
The boys keep belittling Holly and when he Holly goes off line for a bit and his back up takes over. His back up is called 'Queeg' and soon he wants to stay 'online' so he and holly battle it out for supremacy.
Better the devil you know!
12. ~Parallel Universe~
The crew test out Hollies new invention, 'the holly hop drive' which should take them back in time 3 million years. It works ! But it only takes them back 3 million years exactly where they are in space now!!!
However it slips them dimensionally into a parallel universe and here they meet female versions of themselves with hilarious results.
The funniest being cat meeting his opposite number a scruffy flea ridden dog.
Here we saw changes to the title sequence which was more upbeat and modern. Also at this time the now recognisable Red Dwarf Logo was formally introduced and the uniforms had a more futuristic feel.
The Blue Midget of series 2 was dropped and it was now known as "Starbug".
Kryten was now a main character in the show but the original actor David Ross was unavailable to continue to play him and Robert Llewellyn stepped in, permanently.
Another change was Holly changed from Norman Lovett to be replaced by Hattie Hayridge.
Norman would return for series 7 and 8.
13. ~ Backwards~
One of my personal favourite, Rimmer takes Kryten on a flying lesson in Starbug but they fall into a black hole and end up in another universe where time moves backwards.
They make a living as the Backward Brothers, with hilarious results.
14. ~ Marooned~
Holly has to navigate through 5 black holes and so the crew leave Red Dwarf. However Lister and Rimmer crash on an asteroid and Lister secretly burns all of Rimmers prized positions and has a choice of either dog food or a pot noodle. He chooses the dog food!
Hint next time perhaps someone should clean the bits (5 specs) off of Holly's screen.
15. ~ Polymorph~
The guys tangle with a shape changer called a polymorph. It's hungry and the boys don't want to be sucked so they load up and go hunting for it, watch out for the vending machine.
16. ~ Bodyswap~
Very funny one this one, basically Rimmer and Lister swap bodies so that militaristic Arnie can get Lister into shape.
But Rimmer finds having a body is too much to handle and drinks and eats himself to the point where Lister gains a stone and an extra spare tyre.
17. ~ Timeslides~
Not one of their best sketches this one, Kryten is developing photos when he notices that the photos are 'alive' and the crew can get inside them to go back in time and change things. As you might expect thing don't go quite to plan.
18. ~ The Last Day~
Kryten must die!
Kryten has reached his sell by date and a super strong android has been chasing him down to ensure his destruction and replacement. The boys have a party and then decide to stand up for Kryten.
19. ~ Camille~
Camille is a pleasure gelf, genetically altered to appear to you as you perfect partner. All things to all men comes to mind.
But Kryten tells her to be herself, she turns out to actually look like something Moby Dick might have sneezed out!
Then her partner comes looking for her with a cure and Kryten must let her go if he really loves her.
This episode is has a bit of Casablanca about it.
20. ~ DNA~
This is the episode with the Curry monster.
The dwarf docks with an adrift alien spaceship and the crew go aboard. Told to "touch nothing"!, the Cat ends up turning Dave into a hamster, a chicken and then back to himself. Kryten gets made human and then a curry monster from a Vindaloo stain on Daves shirt is brought to life with hilarious results.
21. ~ Justice~
The guys come across a life pod drifting in space and fear the frozen occupant might be a deranged killer bound for Justice World, so they decide to take the pod there themselves.
When they arrive Rimmer is found guilty of the murders of the entire Red Dwarf crew.
The boys must, 'reluctantly' fight to clear Rimmers name.
Although he cat wants to go and leave him there!
22. ~ White Hole~
Holly has her I.Q restored but accidentally it doubles to 12,000 instead of the 6,000 she should have. This has the unexpected effect of shortening her life runtime!
She then gets into a hilarious explanation with Rimmer explaining what is wrong, which he finally gets and panics to switch her off.
The boys must find away to help her get back to normal, well her normal.
23. ~ Dimension Jump~
ENTER OUR HERO "ACE"
We get to meet Ace Rimmer (WHAT A GUY!) as his ship, firstly crashes into Starbug, helps repair the ship and then save the crew, all whilst having a broken arm.
His disappointment with 'our' Rimmer is something to behold.
'Our Rimmer tries to do away with him but come on this is Ace.
WHAT A GUY!
He leaves to explore other dimensions with those immortal words...
SMOKE ME A KIPPER, I'LL BE BACK FOR BREAKFAST.
24. ~ Meltdown~
The wax droid planet is one of my favourite episodes.
The crew find and repair a 'Matter paddle' and when the each hold on they get transported to the nearest planet with life on it.
Unfortunately the wax droid on the planet they land are at war and Hitler wants the paddle for himself.
Rimmer takes charge and is soon telling Mother Teresa to "give me 50 push ups, you Mother"!
Things don't end well for the droids.
25. ~ Holoship~
Rimmer gets the chance to join a 'Holo' ship, where he can touch, feel and have SEX.
Only problem is they only take on very intelligent people!
Rimmer take mind enhancing drugs but things go awry.
26. ~ The Inquisitor~
The crew come under the scrutiny of the Inquisitor who is a time-travelling android who acts as judge, jury and executioner to those he reasons have led worthless lives.
The crew have to fight him to stay alive.
27. ~ Terrorform~
When you loathe yourself as much as Rimmer loathes himself then the last place you want to find yourself is inside HIS mind.
The crew end up trapped on a moon which shapes itself to Rimmers subconscious, god help them.
28. ~ Quarantine~
Rimmer contracts a virus andgoes around the bend, not that he had that far to go in the first place. He makes the lives of the rest of the crew Hell or should that be even more hellish.
29. ~ Demons and Angels~
The crew discover a 'Triplicator' machine which makes 2 copies of an object, one good, one bad. Then red dwarf explodes and the crew must choose which of the 'created' Red Dwarfs to live on.
The angelic one or the demonic one.
30. ~ Back to Reality~
A superb episode this one where the crew get to play themselves and also alter egos as things are not always what you think.
They are in starbug when attacked by the 'Despair Squid', they wake up to find it's all been a dream but what iss a dream and what is reality?
31. ~ Psirens~
The brilliant one liner in this episode is when Lister claims "your not going to believe this but their fighting over me brains"!
The crew awake to find Red Dwarf missing and only a faint vapour trail to follow in Starbug. On the way they land on an asteroid full of Psirens, gorgeous (in your mind) brain sucking creatures.
32. ~ Legion~
A superb episode and one of my favourites.
The crew is captured on a space station where they meet 'Legion' who turns out to be a complete psyco. He only wants them 'to be happy' at any cost. His pain is their pain, watch where he sticks that fork lads.
33. ~ Gunmen of the Apocalypse~
Alternatively, not one of the best episodes.
Starbug fights off some rogue 'simulants', but the computer is infected with a virus causing it to want to crash into a planet. Kryten must go into the computer and battle the 'four Gunmen of the Apocalypse'.
Shot in a western style.
34. ~ Emohawk: Polymorph II~
The episode where lister has to marry an ugly Gelf in order to get spare parts for Starbug, 'leg it lads' was his exclamation prior to his honeymoon night.
The Emohawk is sent after them an it is more dangerous than it looks.
35. ~ Rimmerworld~
Rimmer, ever the coward, runs from a surviving 'Simulant' and his escape pod travels through a worm hole to land on an uncharted planet.
Due to time distortion the rest of the crew don't get to him until 600 years have passed and the planet is by then completely populated by millions of Rimmer who don't want rimsy to leave.
36. ~ Out of Time~
The crew meet their future selves and are not happy with what they see. Their future selves are corrupt and mean and have abused the time machine they have found.
Both Starbugs and crews battle it out, winner take all.
Some interesting changes took place in the 7th series:
Co writer Rob Grant decided to leave the series leaving Doug to carry on with some brought in writers.
Chris Barrie decided that he would only appear in four of the episodes and so Kochanski was brought in.
The dynamics of the show changed forever, not always for the best.
The show itself got more hardcore Sci-Fi, great.
37. ~ Tikka to Ride~
The crew time travel to a very well known 'Grassy Knoll' with some hilarious results.
Time travelling paradoxes are all over the place and this was a proper sci-fi episode.
38. ~ Stoke Me a Clipper~
The episode where Rimmer finally becomes 'Ace' What a guy!
The real ace is mortally wounded and before he dies he bequeaths his wig and cigar to Arnie so that he can carry on the 'Ace' legacy.
Goodbye Big man, but not for long.
39. ~ Ouroboros~
Lister finds out who his parents where, timetravel and paradoxes involved here.
Found in a box under a pool table in a Liverpool pub with 'our-rob-or-ros' but spelt 'Ouroboros' Dave has some happy time with this epoisode. And some good twists and turns.
Oh and Kochanski re-enters the crew. But it's not Clare Grogan it is now Chlöe Annett.
40. ~ Duct Soup~
Krytie gets jealous of Daves affection for Kochanski. Which gives lots of opportunities for humour. Then the power goes off and we find out that Dave is actually claustrophobic. Not a great episode this one.
41. ~ Blue~
Dave is actually missing Rimmer!
So Krytens solution is to set up a Rimmer ride, similar to a ghost train with a song at the end.
Dave endures the ride and the flash backs to finish with those immortal words, "What a Smeg Head".
42. ~ Beyond a Joke~
A convoluted episode this one with Kryten discovering he has a brother, Able.
Kryties head explodes when lister wants tomatoe ketchup with lobster!
The crew locate a new head but have to go up against rogue simulants to get it and it's here they come across Kytens brother.
Also in this episode is the discovery of a secret about Krytens creator / Father.
43. ~ Epideme~
A weird and very odd one this one. Starbug comes across a supply ship, 'The Leviathon'. on board is a former girlfriend of Daves. But she has been dead that long she is a bit nuts and infects Dave with the 'epideme Virus'. The crew must fight to save Dave.
In order to survive the virus must be tricked into a particular part of his body which must then be cut off.
44. ~ Nanarchy~
Dave misses his arm, his erm, well, em his favourite arm if you know what I mean., ahem...
Kryten decides to find his missing 'Nanobots,' which could regrow Daves arm.
The nanos are found to be hiding in Daves laundry basket. Kryten gets them to rebuild Daves arm and a new Red Dwarf. They build the ship to gigantic proportions.
Grant Naylor wrote this last series by himself. He brings back all the originals, Norman Lovitt as Holly and Rimmer comes back, .
He also shoots the series in front of a live audience.
45. ~ Back in the Red: Part I~
Red Dwarf has not only been entirely rebuilt but the Nanobots have even rebuilt or resurected the entire crew who have no idea that they have been dead for 3 million years.
Nobody believes Dave especaily Rimmer who thiks Lister has finally gone potty, but there is proof on a disc inside of Starbug.
46. ~ Back in the Red: Part II~
A great episode this one with the crew reunited and on trial infront of thenew captain hollister. Dave must use the previously found 'luck' and 'sexual magnetism' virus to charm and escape from the jail cell and to redeem himself.
Poor Krytie gets himself reset to his factory settings but you can't undo all of his adventuring spirit and he is soon back to normal.
47. ~ Back in the Red: Part III~
Dave becomes irresstable to all of the female crew members and with the aid of a secret file stored on Starbug Rimmer starts to climb his way to the top but its all doomed to failure.
48. ~ Cassandra~
A very funny episode this one with the crew, Rimmer, Lister, Cat, Kryten and Kochanski sentenced to two years in 'The Tank' on secretive Floor 13,
They all end up in a dangerous convict army crew who spend there time exploring new planets or ships that could be too dangerous for expensive droids to do!
The 'Canaries' as they are called explore a crashed ship and Rimmer is foretold that he is going to die.
49. ~ Krytie TV~
Kryten has been classified a women because he of course has no 'genitalia' and so he becomes a spy for the mens wing, filming the girls in the showers and charging the men money to watch.
He sets Dave up on a 'Hidden camera' type show with hilarious results.
50. ~ Pete: Part I~
Pete is the name of a sparrow.
Rimmer and Lister annoy the captain so much that they get thrown in 'the hole'. there they meet the 'Birdman', a mad welshman who has a pet sparrow.
The rest of the crew return from another sortie out with a time wand which Kryten fixes with superb results.
51. ~ Pete: Part II~
Pete is the name of a Dinosaur!
Kryten accidentally regresses the mad welshmans sparrow back in time into a dinosaur.
The Tyranosaurus Rex runs riot around red dwarf.
One of the best and iconic episodes of all the series.
52. ~ Only the Good~
A superb and cliffhanger of an episode.
A virus that eats metal is loose on the ship and the crew must act quickly to save the ship and the entire crew. They find a way into an 'opposite' universe where Rimmer is actually a captain, will he return with a cure? will the dwarf be saved.
Language English, Esperanto
Number of discs: 18 Eighteen Discs !!!
Run Time: 1560 minutes
DVD Extra, Extras:
Writers and Director Commentary
Launching Red Dwarf Documentary
Japanese Version of the End
Special Effects Raw Footage
Isolated Music Cues
Talking Book Chapters
Hidden Easter Eggs
Way way too much to go into, I'm knackered. Heres my favourite,
This is by far the best of the extras with laugh out loud mistakes and take outs.
The other extras are way to detailed to go into but for a dwarfer they are worth watching.
This collection is very watchable and worth every penny. All of the extras are superb and hilariously funny to watch.
The BBC have outdone themselves with this series and putting it to DVD is just brilliant.
The characters develop before your very eyes as the series progress and the humour just keeps on getting funnier.
Possibly Britains greatest ever Comedy Sci-Fi sitcom, blimey that's a mouthful. It stuck faithfully to they stereotype of us Brit. Snobbery, slobs, layabouts, skivers, integrity, queuing, fears and bravery. They actors all superbly fit their roles like well fitting gloves. The whole series had a feel good factor to it.
They have all for the lost part carried on in TV and had various degrees of success.
And long may they continue.