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Red Dwarf - Series 2 continues the story of Dave Lister, the last human alive onboard the mining ship Red Dwarf along with a creature evolved from a domestic cat, a hologram simulation of a dead crewmember and Holly, the ship's computer with a supposed IQ of 6,000.
The six episodes in series 2 are all excellent viewing and demonstrate the steady climb in quality of this cult British comedy. The set improves through slight touches but it's enough to make the show more believable, always a potential struggle when creating a sci-fi show in the 80s with a minor budget. The stories are more varied constantly remain interesting, and most importantly the jokes are rapid and have, for the most part, aged well.
The extras are good value, with cast commentary on each episode, documentary on the making of the series and various other packages that are definitely worth watching.
In terms of visual presentation this series has dated, but it is definitely worth a look if you want a British comedy that will give plenty of laughs. Anyone already familiar with the series should own it already.
After the first series of Red Dwarf the second one was quickly on the way and it is a lot better. A lot of the series was filmed outdoors and a lot more money was spent on it, this series is a lot better written and every episode is really funny.
A quick episode overview.
The crew get a distress call from a crashed vessel called Nova-5 and head for rescue mission to rescue 3 damsels in distress. They quickly get prepared which involves Lister using black spray paint to cover a hole in his trousers, Rimmer stuffing a pair of socks in his trousers and Cat wearing a gold spacesuit with cufflinks. They arrived at the crash site to find the android Kryten, he is tending to the female crew members who have been dead for centuries. This is easily one of the funniest Red Dwarf scenes ever. Kryten becomes a crew member and after being bossed around by Rimmer he rebels and leaves the ship, he returns in the next series played by a different actor.
Better Than Life
The crew of Red Dwarf get jacked into a game called Better Than Life but unfortunately Rimmers mind rebels and gives him a wife and kids before putting his crewmates buried neck high with their faces covered in jam being pursued by fire ants.
Thanks For The Memory
The crew wake up one morning with broken legs and a completed jigsaw. Turns out Lister put an ex-girlfriend called Lisa Yates into Rimmers memory via his hologram control room and Rimmer wanted the memory removed but Cat and Lister broke their legs and with no memory how, they have to discover the truth.
The crew find a leak in stasis and head through it to find a past version of Red Dwarf where Lister is married to Kochanski, confused?, you will be by the end of this episode.
A truly memorable Holly episode, Holly is replaced by an advanced computer called Queeg-500 due to his incompetence. Queeg is a slave driver and puts the crew through their paces and Holly is put on duty as nightwatchman and after a chess match with Queeg is subsequently wiped but it all turns out as a joke 'Are we talking jape of the decade?' 'Are we talking April, May, June, July and August fool?' '......and the moral of the story is appreciate what you've got, cos basicly I'm fantastic'.
I love the start of this episode, Rimmer, Cat and Lister are singing a song called 'Tongue Tied' (this song was also released if memory serves me right). The episode involves the Holly Hop drive which supposedly involves them being teleported back to earth, it goes wrong and they wind up finding an identical version of Red Dwarf. They head on board and find a female Holly, Lister and Rimmer but when Cat heads to find his opposite, its a dog. Rimmer spends much of the episode avoiding the advances of female Rimmer who uses much of the same pulling techniques he does although Lister winds up in bed with female Lister and discovers in this parallel universe its the men that get pregnant.
This series is consistently funny, be it the revelation of the Nova-5 crew or Holly's practical joke on the crew or Cat offering to play fetch with a hand grenade. I would go so far as to say this is my favourite series.
Many fans of the BBC sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf might look back on the first series as a bit bland and colourless, and this is something the writers themselves attempted to rectify by making several changes, from adding a colourful yellow banana to Rimmer and Lister's ship to giving the crew a small ship called the Blue Midget that they could use to traverse the Universe in.
With the conventions of the series and the characters well established, this series really went full pelt. The first episode, Kryten, first introduces us to later mainstay Kryten, a mechanoid that the Dwarfers find on another ship, and who has been looking after a crew for years that he does not know are dead, resulting in a rather hilarious scene at a dinner table. The second episode, "Better Than Life", uses the much-utilised VR scenario, with the boys being able to play out their greatest fantasies, but of course in true Red Dwarf style, nothing is simple or ordinary.
The last two episodes of the series are also classics: Queeg opens with Holly displaying supreme incompetence, causing the ship to be damaged. As a result, his backup AI, called Queeg, takes a rather autocratic command of the ship, with Lister having to play him at chess to try and get Holly back. The other episode is Parallel Universe, where the Dwarfers meet an alternate version of themselves, who happen to be female and very much against our own universe's expectations of the female gender, again with highly amusing results.
Though it's far from my favourite series, there are plenty of fan favourite episodes here, and it demonstrates the show's growth as well as the robust quality of the writing.
After the success of the original series of Red Dwarf a second series was quickly commissioned, further chronicling the exploits of space-bum Lister, neurotic hologram Rimmer, senile ship-computer Holly and vain and narcissistic humanoid feline Cat as they remain trapped aboard a huge red spaceship 3 million years in the future in the uncharted wilderness of deep space.
The format remains largely unchanged from the first series, with plotand dialogue-driven stories as opposed to action-driven ones, but though the vast majority of the show remains still set on Red Dwarf there are some on-location scenes as well, and the sets and props are a little more colourful and lively this time around whilst some new models and special effects are introduced too.
The first episode, 'Kryten' introduces the eponymous mechanoid to the crew, when they find him marooned on a lonely planet moon and bring him aboard, at which point Rimmer employs him as a willing domestic slave whilst Lister sets about breaking the mechanoid's programming. Kryten is here played by David Ross rather than Robery LLywellyn, but Kryten doesn not feature in the rest of the series, only appearing again in his Llywellyn persona from series 3 onwards.
Borrowing from the Red Dwarf book of the same name, 'Better Than Life' sees the crew get addicted to a reality-altering videogame where their wildest desires become true, but Rimmer's neurotic mind systematically sets about destroying the experience for everyone, whilst 'Queeg' sees a hard-nosed and authoritarian back-up computer take over the ship after beating Holly at chess, forcing the crew to perform backbreaking menial labout in exchange for food. 'Stasis leak' sees the crew exploit a hole in the space/time continuum that allows them to go back to before the explosion on the ship in order to bring back someone else in the spare stasis pod, but rimmer wants to bring back himself whereas Lister wants to bring back his girlfriend Kochanski.
'Thanks For The Memory' sees the crew wake up in plaster leg casts with no memory of the past 24 hours, with it turning out that they wiped their memories after Lister implanted memories of an old girlfriend into rimmer's mind as a misgueided present to cheer him up, whilst 'Parallell Universe' sees the crew meet up with female versions of themselves on an otherwise identical Red Dwarf, (with a first apparance by Hattie Hayridge as the female incarnation of Holly) only for Lister to find himself ending up pregnant with twins.
The show feels more establised than in the original series, whilst the writing and performances are just as strong, and the characters themselves continue to develop nicely, particularly Rimmer and Lister, as does the begrudging friendship they share that is so central to the show. The inventive plots are perhaps a little more ambitius this time round but overall the show still remains more dialogue and story driven than in series 3 onwards, at which point the crossover to a much more-action-led format begins to take place. Its still a joy to watch though, and the jokes, putdowns and sarcastic wit remain as good as ever.
Some people prefer the old look to Red Dwarf, the grey sets and the cheesy and cheap special effects. It does have a certain charm, but more importantly the first couple of seasons cemented the foundations of the characters and the characters are what makes Red Dwarf such a good programme. The characters that Danny John Jules, Chris Barrie and Craig Charles helped form have meant that the series is liked all over the world by millions of people.
In series 2 we also go to meet Kryten, the mechanoid that would eventually be played by Scrapheap Challenge host Robert Llewellyn. Each of the episodes in series two are very well rounded and pack so much information into every thirty minute show - as well as a huge number of classic jokes.
I have been listening to the commentary on these shows, mainly because I've seen every episode so many times I wanted a different slant on things. Each episode is commented on by Charles, Barrie, John Jules as well as Norman Lovett who played the ship's computer 'Holly', Its pretty obvious that this series is much more rounded than series one with some great episodes.
Kryten: The crew of Red Dwarf finds an android called Kryten looking after three fellow crew members who have been dead for years. This is a great opener to the series, firmly rooting each of the characters as well as introducing Kryten to the world. The only thing is - where did he go to for the rest of the series?
Better Than Life: Rimmer receives a note from his mother informing him that his father is dead. This is a great episode that uses total immersion video gaming as a starting point. It's hilarious to see how Rimmer's idea of heaven goes totally down the toilet.
Thanks For The Memory: The crew wake up with no memory of what has happened over the past four days. This one is also very clever indeed, almost like something you might see on The Next Generation - but with laughs.
Stasis Leak: The crew find a stasis leak which takes them back to the time of the original Red Dwarf. This one gives the guys a chance to retell the story of how they ended up being 3 million years in the future and everyone being dead.
Queeg: Holly, the ship's computer is replaced by Queeg 500. Classic episode this one - a new version of Holly appears and cleans the deck with the crew - great stuff.
Parallel Universe: The crew are thrown into a parallel universe where there they meet their female counterparts. Another great episode - here showing the idiosyncrasies of each of the characters relying less on special effects and rather character development and great comedy.
In all, series 2 of Red Dwarf is a great successor to series one with more laughs. It also firmly grounds the characters giving the next couple of seasons to really go to town and give the audience what they want.
The double disc set which is available from play.com for £5.99 also includes an excellent documentary looking back at the series as well as Smeg-ups, deleted scenes and trailers and soundtracks.
A radioation leak killed all the crew of the mining ship Red Dwarf, the only Human survivor left is Dave Lister. A repair man of the chicken soup vending machine. After 3 million years in stasis, it's finally safe for him to emerge. Then finding himself to be the last Human alive. These are some of his adventures.
Red Dwarf is a Sci-Fi Sit-Com. It tells the story of Dave Lister & his friends (and I use the term loosely). Arnold Rimmer a Hologram of his dead bunkmate, The Cat (a lifeform who evolved from the ship's cat), and Holly, the scenile computer running the ship.
1 Kryten: The crew stumble across a distress signal from a vessel containing three women & a Service Droid who looks after them. However, has he looked after them well enough?
2 Better Than Life: While going through the latest space post consignement Dave & Rimmer come across a copy of a Full Immersion Video Game that allows players to live out all their desires. It starts to go wrong though when Rimmer starts to lose controll of his neurosis
3 Thanks For The Memory: Everyone wakes up with no memory of the last weeks events & Lister has a pot on his leg. They all set off to find out what happened!
4 Stasis Leak: Holly detects a Stasis Leak on one of the decks that has frozen time and allows people to step through it & back in time. Can Lister win back Kochanski or will he lose out in love again?
5 Queeg: A new computer challenges Holly for control of the ship's system. If he wins, Life will be nigh unbearable for the crew. Will holly win or will Queeg conquer the boys from the Dwarf
6 Parallel Universe: The boys come across a way to enter a Parallel Universe in which Lister & Rimmer are both women? How will everyone get on with their female alternate?
This is a 2 disc set with bucket loads of extra 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. It also contains an extended version of the song Tongue Tied which shows it in full for fans of the song
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 175 mins approx
Writers: Rob Grant and Doug Tayler
Director: Ed Bye.
Stars: Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules and Norman Lovett
** WHAT IS RED DWARF..?
Red Dwarf is a sci-fi comedy which was initially created in 1983 with the first series being aired on the BBC. In that first series there was an on board radiation leak, (caused by the incompetent Rimmer) which killed everyone on board apart form Lister, who was imprisoned in 'Stasis', (suspended animation) for possessing an illegal life form, ( a cat he had found on a planet), and was held there until the radiation leak was made safe by the ships computer, Holly, which happened to take 3 million years to do so.
During those 3 million years Listers pet cat had evolved into a new species, becoming a human/cat, or feline sepias to give it its proper name.
So when Lister is released for 'stasis his only companions are the cat, aptly named 'Cat', and a hologram of Rimmer, who was Listers immediate superior, who holly believes will stop Lister from going crazy, although it actually has the opposite affect as Rimmer is probably the most arrogant and cowardly person in the entire crew.
So with Lister hoping to find his way back to earth we follow the comical adventures of the rather strange band of space flyers.
** SERIES TWO...
The second series aired on the BBC in 1988, 5 years after the first, and follows the basic idea of combining the last surviving human, a cat, a computerised image and a rather intelligent, if slightly dippy ships computer.
But in this series Grant and Nayler decided to add an extra few little bits, especially after they realised that the Red Dwarf mining ship was just too damned big to manoeuvre well enough to be able to create any 'off ship/on planet' story lines. So they brought in the idea of a smaller vassal, initially called 'Blue Midget', so as to be able to open up the idea of planetary adventures, taking the crew away from the main ship.
So as the plots began to have a wider scope the comedy expanded in each episode with the banter and shear humour continuing as before, if not improving with age.
**LIST OF CHARACTERS...
Dave Lister, (Craig Charles), is the only surviving human on the ship, although he was the lowest ranking officer before the radiation leak.
He is a liverpudliun who loves his ale and a good vindaloo, slopping most of them all over his clothes. He has a very slobby attitude to life and is sometimes so laid back that he's almost horizontal.
He has one pet hate, unfortunately, that pet hate happens to be the hologram of Rimmer, his once superior officer, which Holly chose to keep him sane, but although he comes across as hating Rimmer deep down there is a little bit of respect for the arrogant man with an H attached to his forehead.
Arnold Judas. Rimmer, Bsc, Ssc (Chris Barrie), - the Bsc and Ssc stand for bronze and silver swimming certificates- is a Hologram of Listers superior officer. He is a very arrogant and very pompous coward who plays everything by the book, quoting regulations to help him win an argument, (although he has a tendency to misquote the regulations, leading to some embarrassing moments).
Although he believes himself to be a great leader, comparing himself to the likes of Napoleon, but in honesty he couldn't lead a horse to water, his cowardice, snobbishness, arrogance, fear of failure and inability to actually get his hand dirty really do let him down.
The Cat, (Danny John-Jules) descended from Listers illegally held cat 3 million years earlier and has turned into what can only be described as a cat/man with an ego the size of a large state in the US. He loves nothing more than to preen himself, finding it hard to pass a mirror, or even a shiny object, without combing his fur/hair. He is constantly looking for a mate, (and I don't mean a friend 'mate' either), but as there are,(thankfully), no others like him around he simply tends to admire himself in everything he does.
Holly, (Norman Lovett) is a head which appears on a monitor and is the ships computer, with an IQ of over 6000, although millions of years alone, (and several months of listening to Lister and Rimmer), has seriously scrambled his hard drive.
His sense of humour becomes more dry as time goes by and his behaviour seems to be more erratic in each episode
** SERIES TWO...
Lister, Rimmer and Cat are overly eager to impress when they receive a distress call from what they believe to be a ship full of Damsels in distress. But they are soon disappointed when they discover Kryten, a robot with only one program, to serve humans.
So with the new crew member, albeit a robot, being basically a servant it is not long before Rimmer abuses Krytens trust for his own duties, whilst Lister is determined to make Kryten rebel against his 'serving' program.
2) Better than life
When Rimmer receives a letter stating his father has died he becomes a little depressed, even though the letter was posted 3 million years earlier.
So to try and cheer him up they all play a game of 'Better than Life', which manages to make everyone's wishes come true. Things are going well in the virtual world, especially for Cat, with his two lady friends, including a weird looking Marilyn Monroe and a back to front mermaid, and Lister with his virtual relaxing retirement. Unfortunately, when the games program reads Rimmers mind it begins to create a hellish nightmare, putting the men in severe virtual danger.
(featuring Debbie Ash as Marilyn Monroe, Tony Hawks as the guide)
3) Thanks for the memory
A party for the crew of Red Dwarf leads to a few drunken confessions, particularly
from Rimmer about his sexual exploits, leading Lister to try and help Rimmer with his depressing past.
But things take a mysterious turn when they wake up the next morning with no idea of what happened to them, but things take an even more mysterious twist when they realise that they were out cold for more than a night.
So, with no memories of what had happened over the last few days they go in search of the ships black box in the hope of finding the truth, only the truth isn't all what it seems.
(featuring Sabre Williams as Lise Yates)
4) Statis Leak
When Holly detects something strange inside the ship the crew soon discover that they have come across a time transporting 'stasis leak'. But when they discover that they can only time travel back to a few weeks before the massive accident which wiped out the Red Dwarf crew Lister and Rimmer have the same idea, only there ideal endings are so different indeed.
So when they travel back in time through the 'leak' Lister and Rimmer try to out wit each other so as to get there own way, but in the process they create more chaos than they can handle.
(featuring Clare Grogan as Kristine Kochanski, Mac McDonald as Captain Frank Hollister and Tony Hawks as the voice of the suitcase).
Holly seems to be losing his mind, or microchip senses when he starts to forget things, causing such troubles as making Rimmers legs walk independent from his body, almost electrocuting Lister during a botched repair procedure and a lot more. But things get even more dangerous for the crew when he forgets to warn the crew of a forthcoming meteor storm, forcing the ships back up computer, named Queeg, to take over from the depleting Holly.
Unfortunately, Holly's replacement turns out to be a little strict, following the ships regulations to the letter, Lister, Rimmer and Cat decide that they want Holly back, but the only way for Holly to take back control is to challenge Queeg to a dual, where the loser will be deleted for ever.
But when the game ends there is a little surprise for everyone as the results emerge and the conclusion is made.
(featuring Charles Augins as Queeg)
6) Parallel Universe
Holly develops the 'holly hop drive', a system which he claims can get the ship back to earth in a matter of seconds.
Unfortunately, things don't go according to plan when the device is tested, landing Lister, Rimmer and Cat in a parallel world where everything is totally opposite to there world and they meet female versions of themselves, apart from Cat, who meets a rather scruffy dog with bad hygiene habits.
But during a night of partying the men find that the women are a little too much to handle, especially Lister who really does find out how it feels to be a woman after a one night stand.
(featuring Suzanne Bertish as Arlen Rimmer, Angela Bruce as Deb Lister, Matthew Devitt as the dog and Nattie Hayridge as Hilly)
** IN CONCLUSION...
A fantastic second series with as many laughs as the first series and with so many laughs you'll be giggling away right from the start.
It is a brilliantly comical sci-fi show with some excellent story lines, and in this series, now that the crew are able to leave the confines of the mining ship, via 'blue midget' thus widening the plot possibilities, the episodes become even funnier.
Each episode is so well written, with some fantastically mad ideas from the minds of Grant and Tayler to bring the ever growing fans of Red Dwarf what they want, with such ideas as parallel worlds, bored navigation computers with a weird sense of humour, mad mind blowing parties and much more, but with sci-fi you can go in many directions, and this series certainly does that, and more.
The acting is once again fantastic with each character bringing something different to the show.
The powers that be have chosen to stick with the same faces and the same attitudes, although I'm sure Rimmer is becoming more obnoxious and Lister has gained several more stains on his t-shirts, but this just adds to their characteristics. It is just a brilliant combination of individuals which have gelled together so well.
Charles, the slob Lister and Barrie the uptight wanna-be general are a joy to watch as they bicker and fight there way through each episode, playing there parts perfectly well indeed.
Then there's John-Jules who continues to play the part of the posing cat who cares for no one but himself, his comical fangs and selfish manner really fabulous.
And finally, for this series, there's the hilariously dry humoured Lovett as Holly, the computer with attitude. He really does go to town playing this part.
In fact, the combination of the four is again shear genius, with each character continuing to bless us with their individual style of showmanship.
In the first episode of this series there is an addition to the crew, albeit briefly, in the shape of Kryten, (David Ross), but as the writer didn't really want to involve robots in the show Krytens future appearances were not really cemented into the series, (although a change of mind was made in later series).
In all, yet another fantastic sci-fi series with end to end giggles, much sarcasm and brilliant banter, which will keep you entertained for three hours. So if want to purchase the two disc set, released in 2003, you can get it from www.amazon.co.uk for as little as £4.98.
Extras on the disc...
Smeg Ups (which will have you wetting your pants with laughter)
Tongue Tied Uncut
Red Dwarf A To Z Documentary
Doug Naylor Interview
Alternate Personalities Featurette
Special Effects Raw Footage
Isolated Music Cues
Talking Book Chapters
Hidden Easter Egg
** Not bad for less than a fiver.
Red Dwarf series 2.
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
8. Better Than Life
9. Thanks for the Memory
12. Parallel Universe
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 Two:
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. For another series.
Episode 1 :Kryten
The first episode from the second series introduces us to another of the main characters (although he only appears in this one episode during series two). The crew receive a distress call from a stricken ship. The mechaniod on board the marooned ship (Kryten) sends an SOS call with information about the ships crew - 3 beautiful women. You can imagine the guys joy, three million years alone in the company of other males - finally women! Only one minor problem Kryten has not noticed that there is a minor problem with the female crew of his vessel - they are dead and have been for a very long time. The crew bring Kryten back to Red Dwarf where upon Rimmer puts him to work with every petty job he can think up. Lister spends his time trying to get Kryten to rebel against his core programming. So how does Kryten react? This has got to be one of my fav episodes,, there is one line where Kryten is informed that his crew are dead and he replies "Are you sure I was only gone two minuets" Worth watching this episode for that one moment itself.
Episode 2: Better Than Life
A Mail pod finally catches up with Red Dwarf containing letters, videos,bills and computer games from earth. In amongst the mail a letter that informs Rimmer that his father is dead. Lister finds a copy of a new video game "better than life", he cant believe his luck. A video game where your brain is totally immersed in the game (a futuristic version of Virtual Reality). The guys all decided to cheer Rimmer up they will plug themselves into the game. The game brings your fantasy's to life. You want a million pounds? Just think of it and booom its there. As the guys play away The Cat & Lister are having the time of there lives. Unfortunately Rimmers brain cant handle the fact that nice things are happening to him and rebels against him. So his fantasy world soon becomes a nightmare. I Cant wait for Virtual Reality to get to this level lol.
Episode 3: Thanks For The Memory
To celebrate Rimmers "death day" the crew have a party on a planet they have come across with a breathable atmosphere. As Lister & Rimmer have drunken conversation Rimmer confesses to Lister he has only ever made love once in his life and has never been in love. Being Rimmers "Death day" Lister decides to give him a present - eight months of his own memory. All the memories of an old girlfriend. These are copied and edited into Rimmers mind so he know wakes up an thinks that he has had the greatest love ever. But upon waking Lister & Rimmer realize that four days have gone missing. The Cat & Lister have broken legs. What could have happened to the last four day? Holly tracks the ships black box recorder and the guys watch a recording of what has happened during the days that they lost. One of the weakest episodes in the series but that is not a bad thing when the rest of the episodes are so good.
Episode4: Stasis Leak
Whilst reading Rimmers private diary Lister spots that Rimmer has written about a hallucination of his own head with a H on it appearing from a table. This combined with a photo of Lister getting married puts all sorts of thoughts into Listers head - how is that possible Lister never got married. Further reading of Rimmers diary show that there is a stasis leak on floor 16 of the ship. A magic door that they can use to go back to the past. A past where the crew are alive. After some experimentation they soon realise that they cant bring anybody back to the future without them being turned into dust. Lister goes of in search of his former Girlfriend believing he is going to get married. Meanwhile Rimmer opts for the plan of saving himself by perswading himself from the past to go into stasis and therefore surviving the accident. Unfortunately Rimmer (from the past) has been having a bad experience with hallucinogenic mushrooms and just put Rimmers (from the future) appearance down to the after effects.
Episode 5: Queeg
My personal favourite episode from this series.
A fault occurs in the Hologram simulation suit and Lister is required to fix it. Under holly's directions he starts to fix the problem. Holly being Holly gives Lister the wrong direction with which cable to plug into which cable. Lister almost dies in the explosion caused by the incorrect cable fitting. As a result Red Dwarfs backup computer comes into operation and takes over control of Red Dwarf. Under the new Queeg regime everyone has to work for credits to earn food and every thing is run as a precision machine. This can be painful if all you want to do is lay in bed and eat. Lister & Cat are put to work. Even Rimmer cant stand the way Queeg is running things as he is being forced to do exercise and study constantly. Holly makes a final stand against Queeg - which is a final showdown in the form of a game of chess. The whole episode for me is one giant set up for the greatest gag.
Episode 6: Parallel Universe
Holly has been busy at work creating "The Holly Hop Drive" a device that can transport the entire ship to any other point in space. So the ship can be transported back to earth instantly. Again Holly has made a slight miscalculation and the "Holly Hop Drive" has actually transported them to a parallel universe that has another version of Red Dwarf and its crew. Being a parallel universe there is a difference - the crew are female, A female Lister and Rimmer. Poor Cat his opposite is a Dog. During a drunken night Lister (male) sleeps with Lister (female). Rimmer (male) spends most of his time hiding from Rimmer (female). Lister (male & female) wake up in the morning and quickly realise that they had not used any contraception. Now in a female universe who is going to be the one who gets pregnant Lister or Lister?
The second series continues where the first left off with fresh humour, quick one liners and twisted stories. This series also had a limited budget (as with the first series) this gives the whole series a grey industrial look. The special effects are not world class by today's standards but that's the only fault, and that is soon overlooked with the gags and puns coming at such speed.
As with the first series DVD there are many many Bonus features on the two disc set including:
Cast & Writers & Directors Commentary
Smeg ups (out takes & bloopers)
"A-Z" of Red Dwarf
Tongue Tied Song (in Full)
Raw special effects
Alternative Personality's Feature
Doug Naylor Interview
and many more little bits and bobs...
Cast list : Dave Lister - Craig Charles
Arnold Judas Rimmer - Chris Barrie
Cat - Danny John Jules
Holly - Norman Lovett
The overall running time for the series is 174 mins.
Well worth a viewing just to go back down memory lane. Ever classic comedy from the BBC
Red Dwarf series 2.
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".
Loves nothing more than a good iron and a spring clean first thing in the morning and in the afternoon, erm, oh and last thing at night.
His character has developed over the series and he only yearns to clean now. Though he still does all the cooking, oh and ironing, oh and general tidying other than that he has completely changed.
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).
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 onlytroo 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~
Theres a stais leak on floor 16 alowing 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 they dimensionally into a parrell univers and here they meet female versions of themselves with hilarious results.
Thefunniest being cat meetinghis opposite number a scruffy flea ridden dog.
Red Dwarf A To Z Documentary
Doug Naylor Interview
Alternate Personalities Featurette
Tongue Tied Uncut
Special Effects Raw Footage
Isolated Music Cues
Talking Book Chapters
Hidden Easter Egg
Writers and Director Commentary
Special Effects Raw Footage
Talking Book Chapters
Language English, oh and Esperanto
Available Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital Stereo
Sub Titles: English
Hearing Impaired: English
Region: Region 2
Number of discs: 2
Amazon Price: £7.98
Run Time: 180 minutes
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.
This in my opinion is the best Red Dwarf series, with more money available to the creators then they could afford to do a bit more with it, the creators were able to do a lot more outdoor shooting so they weren't tethered so much to shooting indoors.
I think the funniest thing in this series is when they go to rescue Kryten from the wreckage of the Nova 5, the scene where they arrive to find the survivors of the crash is priceless and certainly worth watching.
The laughs come thick and fast and the Better Than Life episode is another golden moment when Rimmer's mind starts rebelling against him and turns him into a drunken bum.
Red Dwarf series 1 and 2 had Holly (the ships computer) introducing the episodes in order to explain the storyline a bit before delivering a quick joke just to ease people into the series.
Red Dwarf - Series 2 is the second series in the Emmy-award winning show, Red Dwarf! This season was first broadcast in 1988 and features the first ever appearance of Kryten, a robot who becomes an integral part of the crew.
The series continues the adventures of Lister, the last human being alive. He is joined by Holly, the ship's computer, Arnold Rimmer, a hologram of his dead bunkmate, and the cat, a lifeform that has evolved from Lister's pet cat.
Kryten's appearance was a step forward, because when he becomes a regular cast member in series 3 (and replaced by Robert Llewellyn) that was when Red Dwarf started getting better and better, until it reached it's peak in the sixth season. It was a great move to add Kryten, even if the writers didn't want to as they thought it seemed like a tired old cliche to have a robot cast member in the future.
Even though the cast haven't hit there peak yet, there are still some good episodes, like "Thanks for the Memory", where the crew wake up with four days of their lives missing and they investigate exactly what happened, which the writers pull off quite cleverly. Another is "Queeg" where the backup computer is activated after Holly makes a blunder and quickly becomes hated by everyone, so Holly challenges him to a game of chess, where the loser gets erased permanently. You can see here that the writers have great potential, as this script is very good for a low budget sci-fi comedy, and has a great ending too!
Overall a season that suffers from the same thing the first series is victim to, that being rather round around the edges and still not quite up to the potential we know they can achieve, three stars.
The series 2 DVD of the popular cult comedy sci-fi series Red Dwarf contains another 6 great episodes. To understand what's going on, it's best that you've watched series 1 first I think. The stories don't exactly run into each other but it's easier to understand what you're watching if you've followed the character evolution process.
The episodes are as follows:
2. Better than Life
3. Thanks for the Memory
4. Stasis Leak
6. Parallel Universe
The series starts off brilliantly with 'Kryten' as the crew pick up a brand new member of the team. Kryten, played by David Ross (thanks Frankenstein), is an android who hasn't realised that his crew all died a long time ago. Instead, he's gone a bit droid-crazy and carried on feeding, clothing, entertaining and caring for them! Dave Lister feels really sorry for him, much to Rimmer's disgust, and takes him back to Red Dwarf with them as there's nothing for him to stay on his own ship for. The episode is really funny as we watch Kryten fussing around everyone (he's a service android who's programmed to be like a butler). It's even more funny as he eventually has enough of Rimmer's bossiness and breaks through his programming just to rebel against him!
The second episode on this DVD is just as good and really quite ingenious too. With their only being four members of the crew (five including Holly the computer) it makes the show more enjoyable when they bring in outside characters for episodes. In 'Better than Life', the lads play a virtual reality computer game that let's them really get involved with their chosen scenarios. It's a bit like this new Nintendo Wii I guess! Everything goes wrong when Rimmer messes it all up as usual of course though.
I think 'Parallel Universe' is the other really good episode on here. I don't want to give this one away too much away about the ending because it's so brilliant. So I'll just say that this one starts out with the crew encountering their opposite selves thanks to a dimension jumping machine that Holly has created in a bid to get the crew back to Earth quicker.
This is another Red Dwarf DVD that comes with loads of brilliant extras that make this worth the price tag of £20 (or £15 on Amazon). In one of the episodes there's a really funny song and dance the crew do to the cheesy song "Tongue Tied" and we get to see the whole uncut thing on the extras. There's an interview on here with one of the writer's, Doug Naylor, which is quite interesting plus there's cool little special effects bit as well as a few other features. I have to give this one five stars too!
EDIT: I should add that David Ross plays Kryten in this first one but he returns next series played by Robert Llewellyn!
"3 Million years from Earth... the mining ship, Red Dwarf... It's crew: Dave Lister, the last human being alive. Arnold Rimmer, a hologram of his dead bunk-mate, and a creature who evolved from the ship's cat..." The second season of this cult BBC classic is like a nostalgic and chagrined conversation between old friends. There are plenty of highlights to smile at fondly, plenty of laughs, and a few moments of youthful embarrassment to even the road.
Lister, Arnie, and Cat can barely contain their excitement when Holly receives a distress call from the seemingly lovely survivors of a shuttle crash. Kryten, the service mechanoid aboard the Nova 5, has held on above and beyond the call of duty, making sure that the humans he serves have everything they need while waiting for rescue. The season opens with a show entitled simply, Kryten, and the brief addition of a new crew member!
Other revelations? Lister finds out that the ship's supply of cow milk ran out some time ago, and he's been drinking dog's milk! "There's nothing wrong with dog's milk." Holly informs the shocked Lister, "It's full of goodness, full of vitamins, full of marrow bone jelly." And Rimmer asks for a little respect from Lister with the imminent addition of new female personnel! "For a start, don't call me Rimmer... What about my nickname from when I was in school?" "What, Bonehead?" Lister quips. "No, the other one... Ace!" Rimmer replies. "Your name was never "Ace"," Dave insists, "maybe acehole..." All of which leaves us wondering... Who would be crazy enough to want to join this crew?!
In episode two, Better Than Life, we delight with the crew over the arrival of a mail pod. The scutters receive their package for their John Wayne fan club. Lister finds two seasons of zero gravity football and a copy of the new Better Than Life game. This virtual-reality type entertainment reads your deepest desires and turns them into reality! Rimmer receives a warm epistle from Mumsy about the death of his father. While learning more about his cold parents and their dubious state of sanity does create sympathy for Rimmer, it is quickly lost when he ruins the new game for everyone!
Episode three, Thanks for the Memory, reveals a mystery aboard the Crimson Short One... following Rimmer's wild death-day celebration... four days go missing! Lister and Cat are each sporting a broken leg, a jigsaw seems to have put itself together, and Holly's black box has been buried upon a small and inconspicuous planet under a headstone reading, "To the Memory of Lisa Yates"! Will the boys let things rest, or will digging up those four days bring them the peace of mind they think they've lost?
Rimmer's pathetic life reaches new depths with the drunken revelation found in an inexplicably delicious triple fried egg, chili sauce and chutney sandwich. "Now me... all the ingredients are right. I'm disciplined. I'm organized. I'm dedicated to my career. I've always got a pen. Result? Total Smeghead despised by everyone with the exception of the ship's parrot! And that's only because we don't have one! Why is that, Lister?"
Stasis Leak, episode four, folds time and space to allow the boys access to a time, 3 million years and 3 weeks into the past... just a few weeks away from the radiation leak that killed all of the crew except Lister, who was being held in stasis without pay. Finding a wedding picture on board the ship of him and Kristine Kochanski, Dave searches for a way to either bring her forward in time or stay behind and marry the girl of his dreams. Rimmer is even more determined to use that remaining stasis pod to save himself.
Perhaps he would have been more successful if he wasn't popping back into a point in his life right after Dave had slipped him some hallucinogenics known as Titan Mushrooms or simply "freaky fungus". His then recent experience that could only be described as " a voyage to trip-out city" has Rimmer believing that these appearances of himself from the future are just really wacky flashbacks!
The next episode, Queeg, is one of my favorites and possibly the best of season two. Holly nearly causes Lister to fry himself while trying to guide repairs to the hologram simulation suite after meteor damage. Holly's constant reassurances to the crew that everything is all right don't foot the bill. "If it's not serious when your genitals can go wandering off on their own, I'd like to know what is!", Rimmer exclaims just before taking turns channeling various crew members while repairs progress!
Queeg 500, Red Dwarf's emergency back-up computer, retires Holly for gross negligence, and lays down the law. Rimmer has no choice but to follow the standard exercise program required of all holographic crew members. While Lister and Cat are both amused to watch Queeg manipulate Rimmer's body through the jumping jacks, sit-ups and remaining 3/4 of a 3 mile run after Rimmer fainted at the first mile... the situation is dire. Dave and Cat are forced to work for their food! None of them ever realized how good they had it under Holly's rule. As Holly says, "The moral of the story is... Appreciate what you've got, because basically, I'm fantastic!"
The season closes with Parallel Universe, which opens with the amusing musical number "Tongue Tied" performed by the Boys of the Dwarf... one of the many dreams you can find on the ship's Dream Recorder. Holly with his staggering intellect that is the "same as 12,000 car park attendants", has invented the Holly Hop Drive. Holly believes this will enable them to return to Earth in an instant, but actually it transports them to a parallel universe. Lister's and Rimmer's counterparts in this world are very similar to the originals with just one key difference... they're women! Cat's hopes that he will finally meet a female as lovely and style-conscious as himself are dashed when he finds that his counterpart is in fact... a dog!
Season two of Grant & Naylor's fabulous Red Dwarf is filled with laughs and amusing revelations about the tight-knit crew. While Kryten, played by David Ross, is an entertaining and humorous addition to the crew, Kryten appears and disappears within that first episode. His character, played permanently by Robert Llwellyn with occasional guest shots of Ross, reappears in the first episode of season three with next to no explanation. If you are a very quick reader or are able to pause the flying Star Wars text in the opening of Season 3 Episode 1, then you will be able to actually read the rather flimsy explanation. This is one of the roughest edges of the show that just never found a better angle, or really took the time to polish out some of the jagged bits left behind.
The charms of the show far outweigh any inconsistencies though. From Holly's amusing anecdotes during each ship's log at the beginning of each episode, to the always satisfyingly humorous close that leaves us wondering where the Dwarf will take us next... Red Dwarf entertains. It causes us to brim with laughter and the inner warmth that laughter and smiling bring to us.
Lines like, "As the days go by, we face the increasing inevitability that we are alone in a godless, uninhabited, hostile and meaningless universe. Still, you've got to laugh, haven't you?", or "Our deepest fear is going space crazy through loneliness. The only thing that helps me keep my slender grip on reality is the friendship I have with my collection of singing potatoes. " show how highly quotable these shows are. However, one cannot imagine where the simplest conversations might lead!
Lister: "And for this very special occasion, I have baked a cake!"
Holly:"What's that, then?"
Lister:"It's shaped like a spanner, Holly, because he was a technician."
Holly: "That's very apt, that is. If he'd have been a postman, you would have baked it in the shape of an envelope, I suppose?"
Holly: "Gordon Bennet! It's lucky he's not a gynecologist!"
This DVD offering from the BBC gives us some extras to thumb through as well. Smeg-Ups is your basic blooper reel. Deleted Scenes and a Photo Gallery are also pretty standard fare, and the complete performance of the Tongue Tied number is well worth viewing. The A-Z Documentary is the real prize for Dwarf fans though. It offers interviews with both Terry Pratchett and Patrick Stewart, insight into past episodes or characters as well as possible future developments, and a search for the definition of "smeg"; the Dwarf's favorite slang term. Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Norman Lovett and Danny John-Jules supply some highly amusing commentary for these episodes too!
Even though they leave us with a bit of a cliff-hanger, wondering if that photo of him with twin boys from season one's Future Echoes episode was a foreshadowing of Lister actually becoming pregnant on a parallel universe, there are really very few complaints to be found over these early formative episodes of what was to become a cult classic of serious proportions. Season two sees the show rounding out the crew's collective character as well as branching out with more space shots, better sets, and even bigger laughs. Available on Amazon for around 30 U.S. dollars, Season Two of the splendorous Red Dwarf is well worth every penny.
What I am reviewing is the two disk DVD set of Red Dwarf series II
Region 2 format
Dolby digital sound
In May 1988 the cast of the original series returned to make the second series of the show, this was made so soon as it already had been commissioned. Grant and Naylor had much more say in the matter now that the first series had been televised.
Grant and Naylor tried to make this the first time in the series that the characters were able to leave Red Dwarf and venture out onto nearby planets and shipwrecks. They introduced the Blue Midget which was a smaller ship which was easy to navigate for the crew and could land easily on planets.
This second series also introduces the mechanoid Kryten who was to be one of the main characters in the seasons yet to come.
The storylines were also much better than the first series with the crew entering artificial reality games, going back in time, and even entering a parallel universe.
There were also more space and planet shots made for this series.
Also the more information was know about the characters and they were all more likeable every time you saw them.
This was Norman Lovetts final appearance as the ships computer Holly until the end of the seventh series.
I shall now take you through the disks :
The crew get a distress call from a nearby ship The Nova 5 that has crashlanded, the onboard ships android Kryten sends over details of the crew and states that they are all from earth. He says that there are three remaining females on board the ship
Better than life
The ship picks up all the post from a shuttle that has finally caught up with them from Earth. When they open it up there are letters for the crew including a huge tax bill for Rimmer, films including Friday the 13th part 1649, and the remake of Casablanca.
What they do find though is a total immersion video game "better than life" this detects all of their fantasies and desires and can make them come true .
Thanks for the memory
The crew find a nearby planet with a breathable atmosphere to celebrate Rimmers death day, they all have a party and return to Red Dwarf drunk.
In the morning they wake up to find Lister has a cast on his leg and the cat has one on his arm, the jigsaw puzzle has also been completed, and there are four pages missing from the diary and erased from Red dwarfs databanks. What has happened ? .
Lister finds a picture in Kochanskis quarters with a picture of himself and Kochanski getting married, also he reads Rimmers diary to find that he has seen himself talking to him from the future.
Holly says there is a disturbance on floor 16, the crew investigate. They see a glowing in the wall of that floor, Lister goes through to find himself in the shower room of Red Dwarf three weeks before the crew got wiped out.
Should they try and save anybody from this radiation leak ?
When Lister tries to repair the hologram deck Holly tells him what wires to put together safely, Holly though as ever tells Lister the wrong wire and he gets thrown across the room with a huge electric shock. The crew have serious doubts about Hollys IQ as they think he cannot guide them back to Earth and always gets everything wrong. Another Face appears on the screen. This is Queeg 500, and he quickly takes over command of Red Dwarf. What will things be like under Queegs reign ?..
Holly invents the Holly hop drive, a device that should take the ship and it's crew back to Earth straight away. Should the crew trust Holly on this one or will something else happen ?
Deleted scenes - This shows all the deleted scenes from the second series of the show
Smeg ups - This shows all of the outtakes from the second series of the show
Tongue tied uncut - This is Danny John Jules music video with himself singing as the character of the Cat. It did actually get into the charts in 1988.
Red Dwarf A-Z - This goes through all the letters of the alphabet with a clip from the series for each letter. For exapmple A is Arnold J Rimmer with a little bit of background given too, so it goes on throughout.
Doug Naylor interview - interview with one of the creators of Red Dwarf
Special effects footage - This has footage of the model shots of the ships of the second series
Alternate personalities featurette - This has snippets of the characters alternate personalities from every single series of the show. There is Ace Rimmer, the alternate universe holograms from series II, the good and evil crew of the Red Dwarf ships from series V, the two Hollys, the DNA restorer and much more.
Isolated music cues - This contains links to the music of the episodes from the series
Original series II trailers - This has one trailer from BBC2 from the second series of the show.
Talking book chapters - This is two clips from the audio book series of Red Dwarf "Infinity welcomes careful drivers" this is read by Chris Barrie.
Photo gallery - this has photos taken from the second series that you can scan through at your own pace
Weblink - This gives you access to the official Red Dwarf site on the internet
Hidden easter egg - this is hidden in the menus of the disk
Yet again this second series has animated menus through both disks so navigating through the menus is very easy.
All in all I found this 2 disk set to be a marvellous addition with great episodes I cannot fault with better storylines and scripts than the first series.
The acting style has improved now that everybody has settled into their characters and with the addition of Kryten that I thought was really good.
The detail on the menu screens was very well done with easy navigation throughout the ship to select an episode or all the various special features that go with it.
I loved watching all these old episodes again especially "Better than life" and "Parallel universe" I liked the way that the crew could go anywhere they wanted and meet anyone they had ever wanted to in the episode "better than life" It was very entertaining in Parallel universe to see the alternate reality of the female orientated Red Dwarf ship. This also builds up to series III very nicely
However there was one weak link that I thought wasn't that good "Thanks for the memory"
The special features were a lot yet again on the second disk which took me a few days to go through the lot, the A-Z documentary is very well set out and interesting, the smeg ups I found very amusing and it was great seeing the cats music video again.
The packaging was good again with the spines making a "Red Dwarf" along them when the series has been completed. This had violet packaging with a bit of info of the episodes on the back.
This also includes a twelve page booklet with the making of the episodes in them.
I hope this review has been of help to you all out there..
The second series of Red Dwarf is, as Danny John-Jules says in the accompanying DVD commentary, "the one where it really went good". First broadcast in the autumn of 1988, these six episodes showcase Rob Grant and Doug Naylor's sardonic, sarcastic humour to perfection. The writing has matured, no longer focussing solely on SF in-jokes and gags about bodily functions, instead allowing the humour to develop from the characters and their sometimes surprisingly poignant interactions: Lister's timeless love for Kochanksi, for example, or Rimmer's brief memory-implanted love for one of Lister's ex-girlfriends. The cast had gelled, too, and there's even more colour this year as the drab sets are spiced up, a little more money has been assigned to models and special effects, and the crew even go on location once in a while. "Kryten" introduces us to the eponymous house robot (here played by David Ross), although after this first episode he was not to reappear until Series 3, when Robert Llewellyn made the role his own. Then in "Better Than Life" the show produced one of its all-time classic episodes, as the boys from the Dwarf take part in a virtual reality game that's ruined by Rimmer's tortured psyche. Other highlights include "Queeg", in which Holly is replaced by a domineering computer personality, the baffling time travel paradox of "Stasis Leak", the puzzling conundrum of "Thanks for the Memory", and the astonishingly feminine "Parallel Universe". On the DVD: Red Dwarf, Series 2 has another chaotic and undisciplined group commentary from the cast, all clearly enjoying the opportunity to reminisce. The second disc has a host of fun extras, including an "A-Z of Red Dwarf", outtakes, deleted scenes, a Doug Naylor interview, model shots, and the full, unexpurgated "Tongue Tied" music video. As with the first set, the animated menus are great fun and the "Play All" facility is the most useful little flashing button ever created. --Mark Walker