Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Red Dwarf Back to Earth|
Actors: Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn
Genres: Comedy, Television
The boys are back, and while they may be older, they're still none the wiser. The crew discover a dimension-hopping leviathan, but Rimmer is threatened with replacement by the new, improved holograph Katrina. She is determ... more »
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It's good to have the guys back, but. . .
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 04/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After waiting ten years for a Red Dwarf reunion, hearing rumours of another series or even a big-screen movie, fans' anticipation level for "Back to Earth" was VERY high. I'm sure I'm not the only fan who, after viewing this 3-part episode, was left wondering if the wait was worth it.
While it is nice to have most of the cast back (including a too-late and too-brief turn by Chloe Annett), the magic that made Red Dwarf such fun is laregly missing. It starts off promisingly enough, with Lister making Rimmer the butt of another in a series of practical jokes. But when the main plot kicks in, a sinking feeling of deja vu sets in. "Back to Earth" appropriates the plot from an earlier, better episode, "Back to Reality." I won't give it all away, but if you've seen the earlier episode, the "twist" ending of this one won't come as a shock at all.
The other, only slightly lesser problem is that very little attempt is made to maintain the series' continuity. It's been ten years (nine, according to an on-screen message) since the crew was left hanging at the end of "Only the Good. . .". When "Back to Earth" begins, Rimmer is inexplicably a hologram again, Kochanski has been written out of the show, and the ship is back in deep space with the 4 lead players in place like nothing has changed.
So, you're thinking, this guy's given it 3 stars...is there ANYTHING good about it? Well, yes. For starters, everyone looks like they've barely aged, which is just short of miraculous considering the first episode of Red Dwarf aired 21 years ago. And even though the script gives them little of note to work with, the actors slip back into their roles with ease. Production values are generally high, although a CGI skutter in place of the old animatronic one will make long-time fans cringe.
As a long-time fan, I'd certainly be thrilled if this led to a revival of the series. I just hope the writers can come up with some fresh and FUNNY ideas, or they should let Red Dwarf rest in peace.
The boys from the Dwarf are back!
J. P. Coates | 04/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll freely admit that the original series got a bit stagnant from series 5 through 7, however I really felt that 8 shaped up to be a return to form. Now, ten years later, we finally get more. To be honest, it is best watched in one sitting as the first episode really introduces (or re-introduces) the characters we know and love and watching them individually does break up the flow a bit. The story (and the funny) really picks up in the second ep and continues through the third. In all, Back to Earth brings back much of what made the original series great and sets the stage for a new series nicely. It left me wanting more without leaving me hanging."
Back In Red
Micheal Hunt | Hellbourne | 06/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD contains...
* Features both a Director's Cut version of Back to Earth and the original televised version: In other words, a play all as it's meant to be seen, or in the 3 parts it was shown on TV.
* Cast Commentary by Chris Barry (Rimmer), Danny John Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) & of coarse Craig Charles(Dave Lister)
* Director Commentary with Doug Naylor.
* All-New Exclusive Documentary:
* The Making of Back to Earth part 1 & 2
* Deleted Scenes
* Smeg Ups
* Trailers & TV Spots
* Web Videos
* Photo Gallery
* Easter Egg of Danny getting a free drink.
SPOILER (Dont read on if you don't want to know how to access the egg)
when disc 2 starts, you will see a skutter roll by on the screen and flip you off, hit the enter button on your remote while it does this."
Not 'Dwarf' at its best -- but still the best show out there
S. S. Hogben | Seattle, Washington | 07/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The real triumph of "Red Dwarf: Back To Earth": They're BACK !!!!
Despite the 10-year hiatus since Series 8, Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), and Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) have lost none of their old comic chemistry. Congrats to all for returning in such fine comedic - and physical - form.
Individually and collectively the primary cast have grown even more skilled since we saw them last ... which they definitely needed here, because the BTE script gave them *little* to work with. (Most complaints at the Amazon.co.uk website regarding BTE as broadcast, for instance, basically boil down to story/script problems.)
I shall spare you my own protracted diatribe about the weak BTE script. Suffice it to say, my biggest frustration is how easily this script could have been better, both stronger and funnier. The audience kept being offered seeds of potential genius ... but such `seeds' were never paid off by this script. Just one example from many: new character Katerina Bartikovsky - brilliantly brought to life by the refreshing and very talented Sophie Winkleman - was so delicious in all ways she presented a fantastic opportunity for wild, fun, and original new things, but she was given no character arc and sadly little to do.
The production values were refreshingly excellent despite next-to-no budget, kudos to D.P. Andy Martin and a worldwide VFX team led by Mike Seymour. It is a pity, however, that as much attention was not paid to the story's substance, as its visual style.
So why, you may ask, am I still giving BTE a rating of 5 stars?
Reason #1 - Even with BTE's weak script, "Red Dwarf" is still funnier than anything else out there.
There are some bits in BTE which are absolutely "classic `Dwarf' ". Rimmer's unique solution to Katerina Bartikovsky, for instance, was so laugh-out-loud funny that our group of 40 Dwarf-ers new and old threatened to shake apart the building. Or Cat, in the diving bell scene while all hell is breaking loose behind him. Great, great stuff! I, personally, laughed right out loud more than I had since ... well ... the last time I'd watched "Red Dwarf"!
Reason #2 - The Cast. This cast play off each other with such natural genius, just stand back and let `em rip!
The endlessly versatile Chris Barrie proves yet again that he's the funniest thing on two feet, deftly able to make something out of nothing (which he had to do a lot, in BTE). Craig Charles has improved dramatic range, over years past. Danny John-Jules impressed me with new layers of comic timing and subtlety. Robert Llewellyn remains `Mr Nice Guy' personified. Newcomer to the show Sophie Winkleman fit in so perfectly and brought so much to her role it was a real pleasure to watch her work and left the audience eager for more, and Jeremy Swift delighted with a small but `cherce' bit as a mad shop clerk.
Reason #3 - If all else fails, and BTE's story shortcomings still get you down, watch it with the DVD Cast Commentary.
Chris, Craig, Danny, and Robert know each other so well, and play off each other so perfectly, that they are frequently even more funny `unscripted' on the Commentary track than they are with dialogue written for the characters they play. (I freely confess that watching with the Cast Commentary track "on" is the ONLY way - once beyond "Tikka To Ride" and the great "Stoke Me A Clipper", which gets my vote for Best Episode Ever - that I can get through Series 7 without falling asleep.)
Reason #4 - This DVD's extras/bonus features are especially varied, of general and specific interest, and well-done.
As we have come to expect from "Red Dwarf" releases, thanks to - Andrew Ellard, is it? - who assembles these consistently superior DVDs. This DVD is surprisingly affordable and a great entertainment and educational value for its price. I have so enjoyed the PAL version I bought in June upon initial UK release that I have pre-ordered the NTSC (Canada/US) version, too. Here are some BTE extras I particularly recommend:
Cast Commentary (Disc One): Episodes One, Two, and Three, exactly as broadcast, with the cast's own amusing commentary on what they did and what we see
Director's Commentary (Disc One): "Director's Cut" omits intervening credits & titles, with a more technically-oriented commentary
"The Making of ..." Documentary: Part One is a short 24-minute version broadcast on Dave, of which a favourite highlight is Robert Llewellyn's description of how to cram four fully grown adult males into a Smart-For-Two car, otherwise known as Carbug - even the two big guys in the `back'! Part Two (also on Disc Two) is 48 minutes, more good stuff on a different variety of topics.
Deleted Scenes, available with/without Director's Commentary. (Includes a nice scene, sadly cut for time, between Rimmer and Katerina wherein we finally get an explanation "why huge meteorites lying around Cargo Bays J, L, and K" throughout all these years ;-)
Featurettes on various subjects. (The "Carbug" segment among the "Behind the Scenes Web Videos" is a definite Must See!)
Smeg Ups (Outtakes) - this contains my personal favourite moment on the whole DVD set. All 4 of the `Boys From The Dwarf' are supposed to be running straight toward camera; the shot is blown on the first stride out when Kryten's leg falls off, Robert limps off to the side. But pause at about 09:55, the look of sheer shared joy and laughter between Danny, Chris, and Craig - by all accounts three of the most differing personalities imaginable - it's a captured magic moment that reaffirms one's basic hope for humanity.
Now, perhaps more than ever, the world needs hope and laughter. We need MORE DWARF!