Boldly going where no one in their right mind would ever go, this hilarious, cult Sci Fi spoof takes you on a joyride three million years into the future. Those ubiquitous anti-heroes of space travel - Lister, Rimmer, C... more »at and Kryten - are following up their spectacularly successful series I & II DVD's. In Red Dwarf Series III, the inept crew stumble further into deep space facing an emotion-sucking polymorph, a psychotic mechanoid and a version of Earth where time runs backwards.« less
Special effects, a character reboot, and different jokes
Michael J. Tresca | Fairfield, CT USA | 03/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've been watching the Red Dwarf series in order, which means I'm not getting quite the same effect as if I had viewed the series on television. So I saw Season Three a week after viewing Season Two. I imagine TV series hold up much better when they're not viewed back-to-back.
Season Three is a complete reboot of Red Dwarf, in the same way that Alias reshuffled its characters but kept the show's premise the same. So what happened? You can find out if you slow the DVD down to read the Star Wars-like credits.
We last left Season Two with Dave Lister (Craig Charles) discovering that he had two children. For the first Season Lister figured he met a great bird (to use Brit slang) eventually, even though he was on a massive ship (Red Dwarf) with no other companions except a humanoid cat (Danny John-Jules) and a hologram (Rimmer played by Chris Barrie). Lister was in for a big surprise when it turns out that it was he who got pregnant, by sleeping with a female version of himself in a reverse universe where women impregnate men. So the twins Lister saw in a picture in one of the earlier episodes were indeed his.
Season Three explains that they kids grow to maturity due to the difference in parallel universes and that eventually Lister drops them off in their mother's parallel universe. Poof! No more twins/Lister pregnant plot.
Holly (Normal Lovett), the monotone droning computer who runs Red Dwarf has changed his appearance. Strangely, he changes it to the female computer he encountered in the parallel universe. Why the creators chose to do this is anyone's guess, but we're led to believe it's because Holly really, really liked the other computer. The new Holly (Hattie Hayridge) isn't so much a deadpan genius as a dithering bimbo with a wide-eyed, vacuous stare. No more "is Holly insane?" plot.
The android Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) that was in one episode in Season Two crashes into a planet. The Red Dwarf crew rescues and reconstructs him, which explains why he looks different. Remember how Kryten had gotten over his subservient attitude and drove off in biker leathers? That plot's over too.
In fact, the only characters that remain the same are Rimmer, Lister, and Cat. Rimmer's still annoying, although less antagonistic than before. Lister's still a slob. And Cat's still Prince with fangs.
When Red Dwarf is funny, it's side-splittingly funny. But those moments take a longer build up. In essence, there are better jokes in Season Three, but there aren't as many. A lot of time is spent developing characters and plots.
Unfortunately, there's increasingly less attention paid to any sort of internal logic to the show. There are a myriad of problems with the Backwards episode, where everyone on Earth does everything backwards (but it only sporadically affects the crew). Rimmer, the hologram who cannot physically interact with anything, increasingly seems to be able to touch and smell, get drunk, and run away in fear from a killer android. At one point, Rimmer even points out how badly Lister smells and then claims he can't smell anything in the very next episode.
There's a very significant shift in the show's focus, from just going for laughs to going for character development and popular science fiction movie references. There are better special effects and more obvious plots. Whereas the first two seasons of Red Dwarf were trailblazing forays because the show seemed innocently unaware of the rest of the science fiction genre, the third season is painfully aware of every movie trope, from the Star Wars scrolling text introduction to an alien that looks like an Alien to a big killer android named Hudson.
The show suffers a bit as a result. Red Dwarf simply didn't have the budget to start spoofing Aliens or any other science fiction show for that matter, and I ended up longing for more low-budget comedy rather than low-budget action. Kryten is a great addition to the crew, but at the sacrifice of Holly, who doesn't seem to have much to say.
Perhaps most unbelievable is that the characters violate each other in deeply personal ways that you can't imagine they would forgive: Rimmer takes over Lister's body, abuses it, and when Rimmer takes it back, Lister kidnaps it and abuses it even more. It's nasty stuff, if you think about it, and it makes Rimmer out to be so utterly unlikable that it's difficult to imagine the two trusting each other ever again.
But chances are viewers who watched the show for the first time weren't keeping track from episode to episode. The scriptwriters certainly relied on that fact. There's a price to be paid in the DVD age and attention to detail is one of them.
Funny? Yes. But I can't help but feel that Season Three is a bit of a step down from Season Two, reboot and all."
Red Dward - Series 3
Edward F. Kutay | Louisville, Kentucky United States | 11/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Athough the Series 3 pack has yet to be released, these episodes are available on VHS.All I can say is that the show gets funnier and funnier, topped, I think, by the new "Kryten." Kryten rounds out the cast and could probably have starred in his own series! His comedic blurbs are made all the more hilarious by his sometimes misunderstanding of the human psyche.If you like or love Red Dwarf, this is a "must have!""
If you dont like Red Dwarf season 3, your a smeg headed goit
Micheal Hunt | Hellbourne | 02/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Red Dwarf is a great comedy series that is a toss up between a sci fi comedy, or a comedy sci fi. For me, it's a comedy set in space, sci fi sounds to geeky to describe this hillarious and long running series.
season 3 is even funnier then season 1 & 2. and has some hillarious and all time great comedy moments. if you cant enjoy Red Dwarf, you must be a smeg head.
- EGGS -
Un-edited Polymorph clip. On disc 1; Go to the "episode selection" screen. And highlight the `drive room' text. And just wait for about a minute and 20 seconds. You will hear the music change and the polymorph monster will come out and stand in the middle of the menu for a few moments. Press down and you will highlight him. When you highlight him he will turn into a rabbit. Press ok and you will view a scene in polymorph that is en edited. You watch it in its raw form.
Disc 2. - Animated commentary - It's not exactly hidden. But, in the Extra feature's menu, Highlight the witches' cone and press down. The display box will show a "?". Click enter and you will be viewing the producers animated commentary that is hidden on each series somewhere.
these seasons keep getting funnier then the previous. "
Red Dwarf Resurrection
B. Allen-Trick | Madison, Wisconsin, USA | 06/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Show: Series 3 is one of the all-out funniest Red Dwarf series, without becoming too dumb. Every episode in this series is a classic. I remember seeing Backwards for the first time back in 1996 and not being able to stop laughing. It still cracks me up today. Marooned injects some real character development for Rimmer and Lister, and still manages to be hilarious. Polymorph needs no introduction. Timeslides is possibly my favorite though. The sets are all-new, and COLOR if you can imagine, and two of the episodes even have location shoots.
The DVD: Fan-smegging tastic. Quality has not dropped. The sound and video are just plain awesome, well, at least compared to seeing it on broadcast television. The extras just keep getting better every series. As always, commentaries are great, as are the outtakes. Watching the Backwards episode forwards...well its an interesting idea lol. If not just to hear what the pub owner says (one of the greatest RD in-jokes).
Buy this DVD!"
Red Dwarf 3 becomes daring and takes new risk that reward!
Olaf Johnson | Anchorage, AK 99505 | 06/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A previous reviewer noted that in season 3 Red Dwarf (RD) becomes more about showing and not telling humor. And that showing is done thru parodoxical references and analogies to popular science fiction of mid the 1990's. I agree, but it think this upgrade or "re-boot" as he said works in favor of the show. Had the show not been re-vamped we would've been complaining about tired settings and you could only have so much actionless-Blackadder-like witty dialogue on a sci-fi parody show before you go nuts.
In doing this "re-boot", RD3 shifts away from the BlackAdder style dialogue humor (where characters mulled around in small stage/space and traded witty sentences) to physical humor like the Polymorph episode, one of the funniest RD episodes ever.
Also the setting is upgraded from the prison gray dungeon of the engineer quarters where Lister and Rimmer previously shared to a glowing soft white (much more modern science-fiction like) setting (which I assumed had to with the eventual decontamination of the upper and more posh science officers' decks and Lister finally being able safely to move in, in RD3 you also see more parts of the ship we never seen before which I also figured had to do with the decontamination progress that was mention once by Holly in season 1, episode 1). This change of scene helps the plots which becomes more science based, it also gives more space for the physical humor to take place. The addition of Kryten (finally) adds so much to the show, he is the central voice and vehicle for what the show wants to express whenever it parodies and ridicules popular science fiction. Kryten also adds to the physical humor that is now a main part of what makes us now laugh at RD.
During RD3 we also see some more mortality to the situations. Lister almost dies in every episode, Holly is remarked as being senile after 3 million years, the rest ship is obviously getting old. And getting back home is no longer the main goal of any of these episodes. Its as if the crew has made home in space and lost all hope for returning to earth. This was a subtle digression in RD3. The show abrubtly shifts from this as a goal and now focuses on the little details that keeps our crew busy with dimensions and aliens and keeps us laughing.
A flaw with me was the over abundance of "curry/vindaloo" related jokes. Also Cat's outrageous unpredictable personality that was a very funny part of the show is tamed. Also for some reason Cat's wit and intellegence is somehow absent. During the earlier seasons Cat was ignorant (or rather innocent and oblivious-like a young child), but still cunning enough to do his own thing. Now in RD3 Cat's usual witty dialogue and carefree personality is trimmed down to compliment the physical humor. I wanted more Cat in RD3. :-(
BOTTOM LINE: Another vital DVD for any collector or anyone into sci-fi that wants superior entertainment to anything else on TV today.