* Prices may differ from that shown
I was first introduced to the wonder of Red Dwarf when I was around 10 or 11, about 15 years after the first episode aired. That seems like an age ago, with the series now 25 years old and you can guess how old I'm getting. It was my best friend Craig who first showed me a video of the very first series. I immediately fell in love with it. More often than not, we'd be playing video games, me and Craig, but on the occasions when we watched TV it was always either Red Dwarf or the Simpsons (and my preference was for Red Dwarf). He only had the first seven series on video by that point (and eight series had been broadcast, so I was missing out on one). A couple of years ago (2009 I believe it was), they restarted the series with a three-part special on Dave entitled "Back to Earth". It was at that point I decided to purchase every series for myself. At that point I'd also become rather taken with iTunes - I am always losing or scratching my DVDs so being able to download them whenever I wanted was great for me. So, I purchased all eight series on iTunes just in time for "Back to Earth" and got them all watched. Series one has always been a firm favourite of mine. It introduces the setting, the eponymous Red Dwarf, the majority of the cast (Kryten the mechanoid being introduced in series two and starring from series three onwards) and sets up the dynamic between the characters. In future series, the team venture outside of Red Dwarf but in series one every episode takes place in the big red which is another reason I like it. So, lets have a look at each of the episodes in series one. There are six in total. As I'm reviewing the iTunes version, I don't have any of the special features that come with the DVDs so I'll try to provide as good an overview as possible of everything else.
The first ever episode, "The End", sets up the show and is one of the very few from the first several series to feature a full crew aboard the Red Dwarf. Dave Lister, the third technician on the ship, is the lowest ranking crew member and Arnold Rimmer, second technician, is his superior. Their various roles include unclogging the chicken soup nozzle of the food dispensers - exciting stuff. After being found to have brought an unquarantined pregnant cat onto the ship and refusing to give it to the captain when caught, Lister is put into suspended animation for the remainder of the voyage, which turns out to be fortuitous as Rimmer, without the aid of his subordinate, fails to repair a faulty drive plate resulting in a lethal radiation leak of Cadmium II which wipes out the entire crew. Three million years later, Holly (the ship's computer) brings Lister out of stasis once the radiation levels reach a safe background level. This is followed by a hilarious scene in which Holly repeatedly tries to tell Lister that the entire crew are dead. It is then revealed that Holly has elected to resurrect Rimmer as a hologram (and earlier in the episode it is said that Holly can only sustain one hologram at a time) as Rimmer is the crew member that Dave had the most interaction with. Later they discover the Cat (and fail to name him, so he is known simply as Cat) - a humanoid that evolved from Lister's cat who was safely sealed in the hold at the time of the disaster.
I know I've basically just ruined the plot for the first episode but I think it is necessary, as there is no way to describe the premise of the show without revealing the plot as the episode sets everything up. I rather liked this episode as I thought it was a very good premise on which to base a sci-fi program - a group of hapless twenty-somethings, one of whom is a cat, and their ship's computer travelling about three million years from home. I think the episode fulfilled it's purpose and it's definitely one of my favourites. I also like the name of the episode - "The End". It's an interesting choice for the very first episode of a show, but it's appropriate as it's the end of Lister's life as he knew it and the start of a new one. All in all, an excellent start to the series.
This is another of my favourites. The ship is travelling at light speed and, as a result, strange things start happening. The crew being to see events from the future before they happen. Now, I'm no quantum physicist (if only) but it seems to me that the premise for this episode is entirely impossible. Nevertheless, it's a good episode as not only does it set up something for a future episode in series two, it also shows for the first time the complete idiocy of Lister and Rimmer as they struggle to work out what's going on. It also gives you an idea of what day to day life is like for Lister now that he is stranded in deep space (I'll give you a hint, it aint that exciting).
==Balance of Power==
Another good one, this episode sees a struggle for power between Lister and Rimmer. Lister desperately wants to go on a date with a former crew mate, Kristine Kochanski, but as Holly can only sustain one hologram at a time, he'd have to turn Rimmer off to do so. Rimmer, still technically superior to Lister, refuses and so he comes up with a way to get what he wants. A running gag is that Rimmer has repeatedly failed the astronavigation exam countless times so when Lister announces he intends to become an officer Rimmer is rightly dubious. However, it turns out even the ship cook outranks both of them, so Lister tries to take the exam to become a chef. This leads to a rather funny scene in which Rimmer impersonates Kochanski in order to dissuade Lister from taking the exam. Again, a funny episode that gives you a little more insight into the dynamic between the characters.
==Waiting for God==
Now, this is my second least favourite after the episode which follows (don't worry, we'll get to that soon enough). It provides some back story into the Cat and his race, which to be honest we haven't learnt very much about until now. Lister is given the Cat bible, which Holly translates for him, and learns that he is their god ("Cloister the Stupid") and that they expect him to lead them to the promised land, Fuchal. This is clearly a misinterpretation of Lister's plan to move to Fiji with his pregnant cat which is mentioned in the first episode. It's still a decent episode, and I'm not sure why I don't like it. Perhaps it's the religious aspect - I really don't like religion but I respect other people's right to believe what they want and I don't like it when shows make fun of religion. Another humanoid cat is found in this episode, who soon after making his first appearance dies. A decent episode, especially for the show's first series, but again not a favourite of mine.
==Confidence and Paranoia==
Now this is definitely my least favourite episode from series one. Lister contracts a mutated form of a virus and starts having hallucinations which manifest themselves as physical forms. After getting over his illness, Lister wakes to find he has created solid forms of his confidence and paranoia. This episode features a young(er) Craig Ferguson starring as Lister's confidence who just happens to be one of my favourite comedians. However, that doesn't make up for the poor premise of the show which has no basis in reality. I found the idea that someone's hallucinations could be made real completely unbelievable and therefore it just didn't appeal to me.
In this episode, Rimmer creates a perfect hologrammatic replica of himself and decides to move out of his quarters with Lister and moves in with himself. He soon begins to loathe himself which results in a number of funny scenes. Another decent episode, but again not one of my favourites. It made me despise Rimmer even more, which I hope was the objective as Rimmer is quite a detestable character.
I thought I'd rank the episodes in order of which I like most. No particular reason for this, and it really adds very little to the review but I thought I'd do it anyway. So, here we are:
1. "The End"
2. "Balance of Power"
3. "Future Echoes"
5. "Waiting for God"
6. "Confidence and Paranoia"
Red Dwarf is an excellent show and the first series is a great start to our amazing venture through space. It's a little low budget compared to some of the later series with the special effects being a little poor but it is definitely worth a watch and I'd recommend it to anyone, especially anyone who likes science fiction. It may not compare to some of the American sci fi series, or even Doctor Who, but it is an exceptional show of British humour.
Also posted on my blog, adamsreviewsblog.blogspot.co.uk, and on Ciao.
The bbc has always had a reputation for putting together the best drama and comedy from this side of the pond as it were. This continues this tradition proudly. Red dwarf is my favourite comedy and having a full series avalible in the one case is fantastic.
The case - looks great and is well made. A nice touch is that if you collect all of the different series dvds then it makes a lovely red dwarf logo between them all.
The content - the episodes are the funniest things I have ever seen. It is inteligant humor without being pompus or difficult to understand. The american humor of slapstick and straightman and idiot are left at the door. Each of the characters has their own funny moments, motivations, quirks and are relatable. I really think everyone should see this before they die or perhaps after as well. It is that good.
Bonus features - the bonus features on this disk are pretty good. I myself am not that big a fan of bonus features but it delivers what it should and is pretty interesting. It all comes with a nice little menu system which is worth it by itself almost.
Plot: The jupitor mining ship Red dwarf plays the host to the majority of the episodes. Each of the episodes usualy has a plot device to facilitate the jokes and so on. One could claim this is to its detrement but I belive that it works particulary well to keep everything fresh and interesting. This is probubly the best series out of all the red dwarf which is a feat as they are all witty and interesting. I am not going to comment on specifics of the plot beacuse that could ruin it for some people and those who would want to find out can go to idbm.
Who it is for: if you like sci fi, or comedy or sci fi comedy I would encourage you to buy this dvd.
I'm going through a bit if a Sci-Fi phase at the moment, so after rereading the four Red Dward novels I decided it was only fitting that I was the tv shows too. I'm a bit obsessed with having things in chronological order so Series 1 was a good place to start!
The story revolves round Dave Lister who is a service technician onboard a massive space ship called Red Dwarf. He's a bit of a slob and is well known for his love of curry, often finishing off last nights curry accompanied by flat lager. His bunkmate and boss is Arnold Rimmer who is power hungry and more than a little bit neurotic. Rimmer is universally disliked by the majority of the crew.
In the first episode after an accident made by Rimmer the whole crew is killed by a radiation leak. Only 2 things onboard survive; Lister who is in suspended animation after smuggling a cat onboard and his pregnant cat who is sealed in the hold of the ship.
Fast forward 3 million years and Lister is released from suspended animation (stasis) to find everyone is dead. The onboard computer, Holly, kept him in stasis until the level of radiation was safe. He awakes to find Rimmer has been revived as a hologram and his pregnant cat's descendents have evolved into a humanoid race leaving the last surviving member, known only as, 'The Cat'. The Cat is vain and narcissistic, things that he sees as his best qualities. He is often aloof and thinks only of himself, just like real cats!
The onboard computer, Holly originally started out with an IQ of 6000, but after being alone for 3 million years, he's become a bit computer senile. He appears in most rooms on the ship and only ever as a giant head.
The series was first aired in 1988 (when I was only 4!) and consisted of 6 episodes
Episode 1 - The End
We are introduced to the Red Dwarf crew and see the accident that leads Lister to be stuck 3 million years in the future.
Episode 2 - Future Echoes
After travelling at top speed for over 3 million years, Holly discovers they are about to break the speed of light. This leads the crew to see future echos of themselves, sometimes in strange situations.
Episode 3 - Balance of Power
Lister wants to try swapping Rimmer's hologram with the one of a crew member he used to have a thing for - Kristine Kochanski, but Rimmer is steadfastly refusing leaving Lister attempting to pass the chef's exam so he can outrank Rimmer.
Episode 4 - Waiting for God
After following The Cat, Lister comes across an old Cat Priest and finds out he is the stuff of legends and is infact the Cat God!
Episode 5 - Confidence & Paranoia
After Rimmer hides Kochanski's hologram disc, Lister tries searching the ship to find it. He inadvertently goes into a contaminated area and contracts a virus. This leads to his Confidence and Paranoia becoming visible to all with unwelcome effects.
Episode 6 - Me²
Rimmer figures out a way to create a duplicate version of himself by copying his hologram disc. He moves out of the bunk he shares with Lister into a room with himself. Things don't go to plan though and the two Rimmers aren't exactly best friends. Lister decides one of them has to go, but which one?
I really love Red Dwarf, the humour is just up my street and the jokes are cheesy yet manage to be funny at the same time! Season 1 isn't my favourite as the crew are pretty limited in where they can go and most of the scenes are shot in a limited number of areas. That said, the only reason I look on this as a negative is because I've seen the later episodes.
The character interact very well with each other. In this series I find that Lister and Rimmer are the 2 main characters and they don't tend to interact with The Cat very often although he finds them if he wants something!
Each episode lasts around half an hour and I feel that this is just right. Any longer and it could get boring and a bit repetitive.
Dave Lister - Craig Charles
Arnold Rimmer - Chris Barrie
The Cat - Danny John Jules
Holly - Norman Lovett
DVD Special Features:
Cast commentary; Bonus writers' and director commentary on "The End"
Documentary: Launching Red Dwarf
Japanese episode: "The End"
Model effects shots
Isolated music cues
Talking book chapters
Original BBC trailer
Currently available on Amazon for £4.66 or from the marketplace at £2.44 inc delivery.
Red Dwarf is a sitcom described, as times, as Steptoe & Son in space (originating from the creators when they tried to get it commissioned). It follows David Lister, the last human being alive after being locked in suspended animation for 3 million years to avoid a radiation leak on the mining ship Red Dwarf and his companions: Arnold Rimmer, a hologram of Lister's former senior, Cat (a humanoid creature evolved from cats), and Holly, the ship's computer with a supposed IQ of 6000, as this motley crew try to survive in space and get back to Earth.
At the time of original screening, the show was considered cult. It looked cheap, but there was some excellent chemistry between the actors and the writing was very good. It gathered a loyal following which grew throughout the series with some excellent stories.
This DVD features all 6 episodes from series 1, with cast commentaries on each and various other features to enjoy including a documentary with cast and crew interviews. Each episode is paced well and thoroughly entertaining with a good gag rate. Some of the jokes feel a bit dated but on the whole each episode is enjoyable and fun.
If you haven't watched any Red Dwarf then it is highly recommended and this is of course the best place to start. The DVD is excellent value and all fans of the show should own it.
Red Dwarf tells the story of 3 people stuck on a mining ship after a radiation leak wiped out most of the crew, Dave Lister is a no-hoping slacker addicted to curries and beer, Arnold Rimmer is a technician who dreams of being an officer but fails the engineering exam constantly and Cat is a creature who has evolved from Listers cat Frankenstein.
Red Dwarf is a BBC comedy that has amazingly managed to span 8 series plus a special made last year, most series manage 2 or 3 series but the cult status this series managed to garner after it's second series has produce it's longevity.
I'll give you a quick overview of the 6 episodes in series 1.
A strange title for the first episode, this episode explains how Lister smuggled a cat onboard when he was on shore leave on Titan and he was put into stasis for it, during his stay in stasis Rimmer did shoddy work on a drive plate (bizarre job for someone who's main responsibility is mean chicken soup machines) anyway this shoddy work produced a radiation leak that wiped out the entire crew. The radiation levels reach safe levels 3 million years later and Lister is awoken by Holly the ships computer to find nothing on the ship but piles of powder which he later discovers is the remains of the crew. He finds out later that the ships computer has resurrected his roommate Rimmer as a hologram and that a creature known as Cat has evolved from his pet cat that was safely sealed in the hold.
A true science fiction episode, Holly the ships computer has started to turn the ship round in order to head back to earth but a 3 point turn at lightspeed means that the crew are seeing future echoes, brief parts of the future which reveal bizarre occurences including twin boys for Lister with no women onboard.
Balance of Power
Lister wants to turn Rimmer off and have Kochanski as ships hologram but Rimmer does not want this and being second technician as opposed to Lister being third technician. Lister decides to go one up and pass the chefs exam making him a higher ranking officer than Rimmer. The thing I like about the first and second series was Rimmer and Listers relationship because they dislike each other so much that they do end up having a peculiar relationship almost akin to friendship. The Lister - Rimmer episodes are some of the best.
Waiting For God
These few episodes are quite lacking in Cat scenes but this episode makes up for it a bit. Lister finds out that he is the god of the cat people and discovers where they all went. After a holy war they all headed off in shuttles to the paradise of Fushal using a star chart. The star chart was actually Listers laundry list and they were actually meant to go to Fiji which is Listers dream. A lot of the cat people were destroyed after crashing into a meteorite and I'd imagine the rest went the same way shortly afterwards. The cat people might be snappy dressers but their not that smart.
Confidence and Paranoia
Lister heads into Kochanski's quarters to look at dreams on her dream recorder. Rimmer tells her it hasn't be decontaminated after the radiation leak and Lister shortly gets ill. His symptoms are bizarre, first it rains herring onboard, then the Mayor of Warsaw appears and spotaneously combusts (It's gonna be a funny old day!) and then Lister produces 2 hallucinations. Confidence and Paranoia are physical manifestations of Listers own confidence and paranoia. Paranoia keeps putting him down but Confidence convinces him to find Kochanski's holo-disc of which he does.
Lister thinks he has found Kochanski's disc but it turns out to be another Rimmer. Rimmer moves into quarters with other Rimmer but soon after the bickering starts and it turns out that Rimmer doesn't like himself too much.
I think this first series is consistently funny and the Rimmer - Lister stuff is hilarious. The Cat has been written as self centred, egotistical and stupid and this is later given more weight when you discover the fate of his people.
I recommend you get this.
Based around their books "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers" and "Better Than Life", the BBC "sitcom in space" 'Red Dwarf' was first broadcast in 1988. As in the books, the show is based around the exploits of Dave Lister,(Craig Charles), a low-achiever who finds himself trapped on a city-sized mining ship (The Red Dwarf) in uncharted deep space 3 million years in the future, after a nucler explosion wipes out the crew, Lister only being spared because he was placed in stasis as punishment for illegally bringing a cat onboard the ship.
When the originally infallable but now almost completely senile ship computer Holly brings him out when radiation levels are low enough, Lister finds himself alone but for Holly (Norman Lovett), Arnold Rimmer- a hologrammatic recreation of his neurotic, insufferable and now long-dead roommate (Chris Barrie), and the Cat, a vain humanoid creature which evolved from Lister's pregnant cat in the 3 million years that he was in stasis (Danny John Jules).
The show has a witty, sarcastic and decidedly British sense of humour about it that is hugely endearing, whilst the dynamic between both the characters and the actors who play them is incredibly strong, as are the storylines and dialogue. Many of the episodes are themed around themes from the book, and all of them mimic the playful approach to science employed in Douglas Adams' famous book HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy.
'The End' sets up the series nicely, whilst 'Future Echoes' sees the ship breaking the light barrier, at which point the crew begin to see their future selves carrying out actions before they have actually happened. 'Balance of Power' sees Rimmer and Lister struggle for superiority, with Lister undertaking a chef's exam in order to outrank Rimmer and avoid being bossed around endlessly by him. In 'Waiting For God' Rimmer becomes excited when a UFO is brought on-board, but Lister discovers it to be jsut a Red Dwarf Garbage Pod. He doesnt tell Rimmer however, who spends all of his time examining and revering what he believes to be a majestic alien 'Quagaarr' Warrior but is in fact a discarded roast chicken. 'Confidence and Paranoia' sees the positive and negative aspects of Lister's psyche manifested in physical form with dangerous results, whilst 'Me 2' sees Rimmer create a second hollogrammatic copy of himself at which point he is forced to endure his own neurotic and unbeleivably irritating persona first-hand, with things ultimately culminating in a life and death struggle for survival between the two Rimmers.
The budget was clearly minimal, but the show makes fantastic use of models and some fairly basic video-effects all of which look charming and allow for suspension of disbelief, whilst the convincing central relationship between Rimmer and Lister holds the show together brilliantly. The show has its own signature theme tune and musical scores too, which also add to its atmosphere and character.
Series 1 is hugely entertaining, albeit more sedate than the later shows, as it represents a very different format. The strength of the writing and acting means that it can be watched over and over again however, and the added dvd extras in the form of commentaries, bloopers, photo galleries and deleted scenes all add to its longevity yet further.
Red Dwarf is a classic, one of the greatest sitcoms ever but one that has never really been accepted by the comedy elite. Ever since coming to our screens way back in 1987, the show has gone from strength to strength reaching a creative peak around series five and six. But here is where it all started in a grey set with some quite dodgy effects and an audience that didn't quite know what they were seeing.
The basic premise of the first series of Red Dwarf concerns Dave Lister (Craig Charles) a space bum who is at the bottom of the rung in the whole scheme of things about the mining ship Red Dwarf. His superior is the anal Rimmer (Chris Barrie) a man who dreams of promotion but is so weak he too is at the bottom of the pile. One day Lister is found to have a cat onboard and is put in stasis for this misdemeanour. He is released three million years later to find everyone dead apart from a hologram of Rimmer and a cat played by Danny John Jules.
As they try and find their way back to earth they encounter many weird alien lifeforms - most of them intent on killing them - if they don't kill each other first!
The fantastic thing about the first series of Red Dwarf is its reliance on great performances above special effects. Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John Jules and Norman Lovett soon became household names and became the characters they portrayed onscreen. Charles is the embodiment of the slob - Barrie is brilliant and the incredibly irritating Rimmer and John-Jules is brilliant as the flash Cat.
I chose to watch the whole series again with the cast commentary on. All four actors are very good natured even though it was pretty obvious back in the day Chris Barrie and Craig Charles hated each other. That has dissipated somewhat since and are now friends. The commentary is almost as funny as the show itself and it gives a really interesting insight into the making of the show - most of it apparently with a hangover!
The DVD is excellent for any fan of the show as it contains so much extra material to please anyone interested to watch it. The 'Launching Red Dwarf' documentary is very interesting indeed and shows the backstage shenanigans that went on in the BBC to get the show on air.
There are also featurettes, 'Smeg Ups', Deleted scenes and photo galleries on the second disc. The picture looks excellent and while not featuring any really great special effects, the show really succeeds through the fantastic writing of Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. There are some classic scenes in this series and the actors play them really well indeed. It would take a few more series for the characters to come to full fruition, but here we start to see the beginnings of something great.
I've bought all eight series as well as the new Back To Earth special. I'm going to watch all the series and listen to the commentaries on each. They really are good fun to hear about the making of the shows and their memories behind them.
Balance of Power
Waiting For God
Confidence and Paranoia
Red Dwarf Series One is available from play.com for £5.99 including postage.
After a radioation leak killed the crew of the mining ship Red Dwarf, the only remainig Human survivor is Dave Lister. A chicken soup repair man. He spent 3 million years in stasis. Then emerging to find himself the last Human alive in the universe. These are his first adventures.
Red Dwarf is a Sci-Fi Sit-Com telling the story of Dave Lister & his companions. A Holographic simulation of Arnold Rimmer, The Cat (a lifeform descended from Dave's cat), and the ships computer Holly.
This DVD contains all six episodes from the first series of Red Dwarf. The first is called THE END although it is really the begning. I also really like CONFIDENCE & PARANOIA which temporarily brings aboard two extra crew mates. It is very funny series with lots of laughs to be had. The later series however do get funnier.
This is a 2 disc set with absolutely loads of special features. These include Cast Commentry. Deleted & extended scenes. Smeg Ups (also known as out takes) and even a booklet which is both a guide to the chapters & a detailed episode guide to all six episodes.
I would definitely recommend this DVD. I think that Series 6 is possibly the best, but all the episodes on here are funny and this show was very pioneering, as up until this show, there were no Sci Fi Sit-Coms.
Running Time 174 mins approx
Writers: Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. (Spitting image writers)
Director Ed Bye.
Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules and Norman Lovett.
Firstly, a bit of history about the show and how it came about...
Initially the show was penned by Grant and Doug in 1983 and it then took three years to convince the BBC that this show would be worth airing, mainly due to the fact the BBC never thought a sci-fi sit-com would not be well received, (then it took another two years to finally get the show on the screen due to unforeseen circumstances). But once aired it didn't take long before this show was soon creating a massive stir on the comedy front and soon had its own 'cult' following.
The concept for the show combines Grant and Naylor idea of a BBC show from radio 4 called 'Son of Cliché and a few ideas from such movies as Silent running and the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.
The first series, including the Pilot episode, was first aired on the BBC in 1988 and released on DVD in 2002
** WHAT IS RED DWARF THEN..?
Red Dwarf is a mining ship about the size of a small village which is manned by several hundred crew members. Unfortunately, due to a mistake by some over enthusiastic member of the maintenance department, the Red Dwarf mining ship takes a serious fall in personnel, leaving only a crew member and a couple of oddities to run the ship under the guidance of a rather strange computerized head.
Dave Lister, (Craig Charles), the lowest ranking officer on Red Dwarf is a liverpudlian with a very snobbish attitude. He loves his curries, especially a good Chicken vindaloo, although most of it ends up on his shirt rather than in his mouth.
He comes across as hating Rimmer, his superior officer, but deep down there is a little bit of respect for the arrogant man with an H attached to his forehead.
Arnold J. Rimmer, Bsc, Ssc (Chris Barrie), - the J stands for Judas, the Bsc and Ssc stand for bronze and silver swimming certificates- is a very cowardly and ever so arrogant technician whose love of the rule book seems to annoy everyone he meets, especially Lister.
The Cat, (Danny John-Jules) is the descendent of Listers pet cat Frankenstein. Cats only has a few concerns in life and they are eating fine food, sleeping and making himself look good for the lady cats, (even if there are no lady cats around), and he has an ego which is almost as big as the ship he travels in.
Holly, (Norman Lovett) is the ships computer, with an apparent IQ of over 6000, although millions of years alone has seriously sent his hard drive into chaos. Only his head appears on the monitors around the ship and sometimes even on wrist communicators. He has a weird sense of humour, probably down to boredom, and enjoys nothing more than having a laugh at the crews expense.
** SERIES ONE...
1) The End
There's trouble on the Jupiter mining ship 'Red Dwarf' when Dave Lister, a technician-third class, with the IQ of a mutated toad in a heat wave, smuggles a feline friend aboard the ship.
For his refusal to give up the where about of the illegal feline he is placed in 'Stasis' (suspended animation) for 18 months, but when he awakens from the 'stasis' he soon realises that he has been in there for a lot longer than a year and a half.
As he searches for other crew members, with the help of the ships computer, Holly (Lovett), a head inside a television screen, he soon uncovers the truth about what happened on the ship, but things get surprisingly worse for the curry eating slob when he finds only one other crew member, Arnold Rimmer, (Barrie), although Rimmer, Listers superior technician, is not all he once was.
Other surprises soon emerge when Lister discovers the descendent of his beloved cat, (John-Jules), only this new feline is a little more than a fur ball spluttering wad of wool chaser.
With Lister feeling home sick he decides that they remaining crew, if you can call them that, should head back to Earth, even if it has been quite a few years since they left the green grass of home.
So Holly plots a course for Earth and away they go... but can they get back without any trouble on route.
2) Future echoes
As Holly pilots Red Dwarf back to earth he has to break light speed, due to the fact that the ship has been gaining speed for 3 million years, but the lightening speed causes the crew to begin seeing visions of there own future, much to Listers horror, and Rimmers humour, as he sees how he dies in horrifically circumstances.
But when more visions of the future emerge it is not long before Lister realises that all is not quite what it seems
(featuring John Lenahan and Tony Hawks as voices of the Toaster and vending machine)
3) Balance of Power
Lister is missing a certain member of the Red Dwarf crew, namely a Kristine Kochanski (Clare Grogan), but when Rimmer realise that the intensions are to switch him off in order to switch Kochanski on he is not happy.
Rimmers refusal to cooperate leaves Lister with only one option, to try and pass a chefs exam so as to become Rimmers superior, therefore forcing the arrogant hologram to obey his orders.
But Rimmer I still not keen on the idea and will do anything to foil Listers plans of a reconciliation with Kochanski.
4) Waiting for God
Rimmer is in his element when Holly brings a 'pod' on board and places it into quarantine, but when Lister discovers the true contents of the 'pod' he decides to have a bit of a giggle with the foolish hologram.
Meanwhile, Lister discovers where cat has been disappearing to for the passed few days and soon realises that the cats history surrounds more of Lister than he ever new.
(featuring Noel Coleman as Cat Priest)
5) Confidence and Paranoia
Lister falls ill and some how creates some rather strange visions on Red Dwarf, but when his visions become reality it is not long before his confidence and Paranoia are fighting between themselves
(featuring Lee Cornes as Paranoia and Craig Ferguson as Confidence).
6 Me 2
There's trouble on Red Dwarf when Rimmer creates a perfect carbon copy of himself, especially when he realise that he is quite a difficult person to live with.
But the troubles esculate when he tries to get rid of his double, forcing a duel to the death between the two holograms.
** IN CONLUSION...
In one word...Brilliant...
I remember hearing about the series when it first came out back in the late eighties, and I recall watching the first episode in anticipation, wondering whether this new type of sci-fi sit-com would get off the ground. But what I watched surprised even me as I sat laughing out loud at the many antics of the remainder of the Red Dwarf crew and a very dry witted computer head inside a monitor screen.
Right from the start there is just so much great side splitting comedy that you just want to carry on watching the show right to the death.
Once the show gets going, which is about two minutes into the pilot episode, the stories just role out with some astounding ideas, including such feisty plots as battling mind games, fighting holograms, strange and frightening news from the future and a very unlikely god, plus a lot more to boot...
As for the acting, well, what can be said about the excellently chosen main characters..? What a fantastic choice the casting couch made when selecting the fab four to pull off the comical characters for the show, and the way that they managed to bring four totally different personalities and make them all live together in the hope of surviving.
Charles as Lister, the beer swilling, curry eating, Rimmer annoying, utter slob seems to have been an easy choice, either that or Charles is one hell of an actor. His utterly scruffy attitude and the way he can annoy everyone with the scent of his socks is outstanding.
And what a choice Barrie is as Rimmer, his ability to bring out the best in the uptight, rule obeying hologram, seeming to fit perfectly in with his cowardly ways.
Then there's John-Jules who is utterly fantastic as the very smarmy and totally selfish Cat, bringing many laughs into what is already a fun filled sit-com. (although, when watching certain 'smeg-ups' I realise that John-Jules really does take his part seriously indeed, watching as he seems to get quite infuriated when he makes a mistake, which is amusing in itself as you watch his reaction).
And finally, for this series, is Lovett as Holly, the computer with more intelligence than Stephen Hawkings tutor, his dry attitude and quick comments really will crack you up.
In fact, the combination of the four is shear genius, each character having something that will entertain even the most stone faced viewer.
As I said, the story lines are outstanding, especially when the main characters, Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Holly, begin to run the show on there own, bringing a rather new kind of sit-com to the small screen, (and eventually to video and DVD).
In all, this is one of them series which will have you in stitches right form the start and no doubt throughout as you begin to understand each character.
If you want to get the first series of Red Dwarf on DVD then head off to www.amazon.co.uk and grab a copy for as little as £4.98, which will give you a two disc set containing nearly three hours of space-tastic fun and a vast array of cracking one liners.
PLUS... Extras on the DVD set include...
Smeg-ups (filming mistakes which were edited from the final cut)
Documentary on the launching of Red Dwarf.
The original BBC Trialer
Which for less than a fiver is money well spent.
Back in 1988 we met the cast of Red Dwarf who would think that 21 years later it would still be on our screens. This is why you know you're in for a good time. The series written by Grant and Naylor succeeded for eight series, several books and just recently a 3 part tv special for the tv channel Dave, with the possibility of new series in the future. This first series tells the story of Dave Lister who joins a space mining vessel as a means to returning to his home planet earth, taking a job as a maintenance assistant to Arnold Rimmer- the 2 lowest ranking people on the ship. The story begins when Lister is summoned by the Captain for illegally bringing a cat on board the ship, refusing to give the cat up he is placed in to stasus- a booth where time is frozen for whoever is inside. When the booth is reopened by the ships computer Lister returns to find himself several thousands of years in the future, due to a radiation meltdown the whole crew were killed and the computer known as Holly sealed Lister in the stasus booth until the radiation was cleared. As a means to keep him saine Holly has brought back Rimmer as a Hologram and their only other companion is Cat who has evolved from the family of the cat that Lister had brought aboard the ship previously. They are now the only remaining people on board Red Dwarf and possibly the only people left alive anywhere, Lister has to know and Holly agrees to return the crew to earth and so the mission begins as the crew head home with hillarious adventures aplenty. Although a little tacky obviously being filmed at a time before CGI and computerised special effects the show can be acknowledged as being one of the best british sci fi comedies of its time.
Red Dwarf series 1.
This wonderfully funny and fantastically written show ran for eight series and almost had a film made, sadly not to be.
Craig Charles - Dave Lister
Arnold J Rimmer - Chris Barrie
Cat - Danny John-Jules
Kryten - Robert Llewellyn
Holy was played by two people, Norman Lovett and later Hattie Hayridge. Although Norman did return later in the series.
Kristine Kochanski was also played by two people Clare Grogan and then later by Chloë Annett.
Kryten was initially played by David Ross but thankfully he did not stay in the role.
It had a simple premise, The Red Dwarf Mining ship has a radiation leak which kills all of the crew except Dave who is in Null space put there as a punishment for bringing a cat aboard the ship and then refusing to surrender it up to the captain.
He is the only survivor, except that is for the cat which was deep in the bowls of the ship and was pregnant at the time it was brought aboard. Over the generation it in breeds and generation after generation of cats lie there until the final and only a single cat is left. CAT.
Cat is the off spring of a cripple and an idiot!
And boy does it show.
The ship, Holly, keeps Dave alive until the radiation disperses, 3 MILLION YEARS!
Holly creates Rimmer as a holograph; Rimmer was Dave's nemesis when alive. They hated each other but Holly knows that Rimmer will keep Dave sane.
Finally in series 2 Kryten is brought into the series. He is a cleaning obsessed robot. They find him tending to the needs of three dead corpses aboard a crashed spaceship
1. The End
2. Future Echoes
3. Balance of Power
4. Waiting for God
5. Confidence and Paranoia-5
The series, although base on a simple idea soon wraps that premise in all manner of madness and clever time shifts. New and old characters come and go, old loves even Holly changes sex at one point.
A wonderfully inventive series that reinvented itself with super ideas along the way, great actors, excellent plot lines and superb effects and special effects make the entire Red Dwarf series timeless and forever funny.
Red Dwarf Series One
The BBC Sci-fi Comedy on DVD.
One man, One Hologram & a Creature evolved from cats bumble around in space while trying to find earth.
Episode 1 :The End
In this episode we are shown how the characters become "lost" in space and all alone. The overall plot of this episode is that while working on the mining ship Red Dwarf, Lister smuggles a cat on board the ship and is caught. He refuses to give the cat up and is punished by being sent in Stasis (a state where time stands still). Whilst Lister is in stasis there is a huge radioactive accident (caused by Rimmer) that wipes out the entire crew. The ships computer (Holly) keeps Lister in stasis until the background radiation reaches a safe level (3 Million Years!). Lister is woken up by holly confused as to where the crew have gone. Holly explains what has happened. He also explains that he has a new holographic crew mate who will keep him sane. A holographic version of Rimmer (the most anal, irritating, small minded petty man on the ship). As the two get to grips with each other they are interrupted by a creature. Holly explains that he is a descendent of the cat that Lister brought on board Red Dwarf three million years ago. The main characters are now in place.
Episode 2: Future Echoes
As the crew prepare to go to light speed, various strange sightings start to happen, Visions of the future. Its all to do with them travelling faster than the speed of light? Rimmer claims he sees Lister die! Lister sees the cat break his tooth. He decides that he can change the future by stopping the cat breaking his tooth. As Red dwarf gets faster the future echo's start to become further and further in the future. Lister spots himself with twin baby boys. We are left with the question. How does Lister become a father with just an all male crew?
Note: The first episode where we see the ancillary character "Talkie Toaster" (Voice: John Lennahan) who features in several episodes.
Episode 3: Balance Of Power
Whilst drinking on his own in the ships bar Lister begins to realise how alone he is. He comes upon a plan to get a disc which could bring back the girl of his dreams (in holographic form). All he needs is Kotchanski`s (Listers Fantasy girl) data disc. One problem Rimmer wont give it to him.
Lister decides If he can become a higher rank he can order Rimmer to give it to him. So he takes an exam to become a higher rank than Rimmer by becoming...... a chef!
Episode4: Waiting for god
Lister starts researching the history and religion of the Cat. Rimmer is distracted by the arrival of a mysterious pod. Lister spots that the pod is in fact a garbage can from the ship, he opts not to inform Rimmer. "Aliens" Rimmers greatest fantasy and this is what he thinks the pod is.
The Cat brings Lister the Cat Bible, Lister flicks through it and realises that he HE IS THE CAT GOD. He gets Holly to convert the Cat Bible into English. The translation tells of how the entire species are wiped out following Listers instructions (laundry list). Lister looking for the Cat stumbles upon a Cat priest on his death bed and manages to restore his faith in God.
Episode 5: Confidence & Paranoia
After Lister has been exploring the Officers quarters looking through Kochanski`s dream recorder. He is informed that the Officers quarters have not been de-contaminated and are unsafe by Rimmer.
Lister soon becomes ill with a form of flu. But this flu is an evolved form of flu - evolved over three million years. The symptoms are very odd, as Lister hallucinates his fantasy's come to life. Two of his hallucinations take the form of two people - one his Paranoia who reminds him of every thing he has ever done wrong and brings him down. His Confidence a guy who build him up & boosts his self belief. Can self confidence be dangerous?
Episode 6: Me2
Following on from the end of the last episode, the two Rimmers move in together leaving Lister room on his own. He finds a copy of Rimmers death video and watches it. Only to discover that Rimmers last words were "Gazpacho Soup". Rimmer refuses to tell Lister what it means.
As the two Rimmers are now living together they soon drop out of the honey moon period. The two Rimmers soon discover how hard it is to live with the worlds most anal man. After much fighting between themselves Rimmer`s decide that one of them must go. Lister uses this opportunity to play one Rimmer off against the other Rimmer to find out what the big deal with "Gazpacho Soup" was.
The jokes and stories are still fresh and funny even today in 2009. The only minor thing is the special effects are sets are very cheap but this does give the impression of a dirty working mining ship. Its not until series three where money gets put into the production and there is a noticeable improvement of sets and effects.
There are many many Bonus features on the two disc set including:
Cast & Writers & Directors Commentary
Smeg ups (out takes & bloopers)
The Original TV trailers for BBC2
Raw footage of special effects
Japanese version of The End
and many more little bits and bobs...
The overall running time for the series is 174 mins.
Well worth a viewing just to go back down memory lane. I cant belive its over 20 years old. Ever classic comedy from the BBC
Cast list :Dave Lister - Craig Charles
Arnold Judas Rimmer - Chris Barrie
Cat - Danny John Jules
Holly - Norman Lovett
I was a bit young to remember Red Dwarf when it first aired but I have become a big fan over the years and series 1 is certainly one of my favourites. Red Dwarf tells the story of 3 no-hopers stuck in the realms of deep space after a radiation leak wipes out the rest of the crew of the JMC mining ship Red Dwarf. The story tells of how Dave Lister (a hopeless curry eating slob) who has been in stasis for 3 million years, Arnold Rimmer (a hologram of Listers dead bunk-mate) and a creature that has evolved from Listers cat.
The main draw for me on this first series was the relationship between Lister and Rimmer. They hate each other and the lengths they go to in order to annoy each other is hilarious, it's kind of like an anti-buddy movie style in some ways.
In the early days Red Dwarf was made quite cheap and this is shown in the lousy cardboard sets but to me this just added to its charm and made you focus more on the characters which is perfect for a sitcom in my opinion.
Red Dwarf did try to approach some serious sci-fi issues but it always handled these issues with a serious tongue in cheek approach.
I seriously recommend Red Dwarf to any comedy fan.
Red Dwarf is a science fiction sitcom created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. This DVD showcases the first season, consisting of six episodes first shown in 1988.
The whole series revolves around Dave Lister who, after being in suspended animation for three million years, is the last human being alive. He is accompanied by Arnold Rimmer, a hologram and also Lister's friend and bunkmate who was brought back to keep him sane, Holly, the ship's computer who is a few silicon chips short of being actually useful and the cat, who is quite literally a cat, evolving from Lister's pet.
Although the setting is very futuristic, it is, at it's heart, a character driven comedy. Lister and Rimmer can't stand each other, and Lister will often wind up Rimmer as much as he can. The cat is an incredibly vain creature whose only goal in life is to look as good as possible, and Holly can barely keep the ship running, together they explore the universe and get into lots of adventures along the way.
To me, this season doesn't stack up against some later seasons. As with most shows, the first season seems to be a little raw and rough as the whole crew try to get their feet on the ground and decide who the characters are and what they should be doing. This series suffers from that, don't get me wrong, it's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but compared to the genius in some of the other episodes, it's rather lacking.
You can't really judge the special effects as they are from a different time, yes they are poor, but in the late 80's on a low budget sitcom they are probably pretty good. I like bad effects though, I think they have a certain charm about them.
They do like to challenge people though and write scripts that are far from your usual sitcom staples, like in "Waiting for God" where Lister finds all about the cat race and discovers he is their god! Ok, the god is called 'Cloister the Stupid', but things do change over millions of years. A rather clever take on religion, and how people can put greater emphasis on things when in fact the explanation is rather mundane.
Overall not the best season, it's a little bit rough around the edges, but there are still some funny moments and worth buying if you're a fan and you haven't seen these early episodes before, three stars.
Red Dwarf series 1.
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).
Episodes on Disc 1:
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!
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'!
~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.
~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.".
~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!
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
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.
Overall the both discs are 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.
Language English, Esperanto
Region: Region 2
Number of discs: 2
£7.98 from Amazon
Run Time: 175 minutes