The nanobots have populated the ship with its original crew. This is especially good news for Rimmer, who is now a lot less dead, but is extremely bad news for everyone else. Locked up on Red Dwarf's prison deck, the crew ... more »join the Canaries, a battle hardened convict army and not, as they first thought, the prison choir. Pity it's not with the girl of his dreams. Pity it's not with a girl. DVD Features:
DVD ROM Features:Cast Commentary "Back From The Dead" Original Documentary Deleted Scenes Smeg Ups "Identity Within" ? the lost episode Robert Llewellyn Video Diary Fan Films ? the winning shorts "Burning Rubber" Featurette "How Do They Do That?" - the effects Trailers and Kryten Introductions Raw FX Footage Isolated Music Cues "Dave Hollins" Radio Sketches Photo Gallery Weblink 16-page Collector?s Booklet PLUS Easter Eggs
Wonderful and numerous extra features make this set worthwhi
Valnastar | Deep 13, USA | 03/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Red Dwarf VIII, the last Red Dwarf series produced for television, is so far off the original premise and comedic style of the first few series of the show that in many ways it seems like a completely different show. Having an entire ship full of people with whom Lister can interact really shatters the great comedic premise on which Red Dwarf was created, that being that Lister is the last human left in the universe. Personally, I've never enjoyed the premise of bringing back the entire crew and then putting the main characters in prison for nearly the full eight episodes. While amusing, I believe this series has a lot of unwelcome changes and writing difficulties compared to earlier series of the show. The humor is less dense and less clever, often relying on gags that do not even approach the level of razor-edged wit prevalent in earlier episodes of the show.
Nevertheless, there are a few bright spots in this series. Chris Barrie is back and the full cast of regulars is present for the entire series. And there is some occasionally inspired humor that still manages to make this better than most of the other shows on television. Cassandra particularly stands out as a good, "classic" Red Dwarf episode.
Finally, the extra features, as on the other Red Dwarf DVD sets, are terrific, with Smeg Ups, deleted scenes, extended versions of two episodes, a making of documentary, commentary tracks, and much more. The extra features alone are worth the price for any "serious" Red Dwarf fan. Based on that alone, I would recommend this set. Plus, what Red Dwarf fan can resist completing their collection? Sadly, as of this writing, Series VIII is the last Red Dwarf ever produced.
Here is a synopsis of the plot of each episode in this set:
Back In The Red Part I Kryten's nanobots have recreated the ship Red Dwarf and the original crew as well, which is an especially good thing for Arnold Rimmer.
Back In The Red Part II Rimmer uses a virus that enhances sexual magnetism to assist him with attracting female crewmembers, but this gets him into trouble when he dines at the captain's table.
Back In The Red Part III Lister and his bunch face time in the brig for crimes against the Space Corps., so they escape to try and prove their innocence.
Cassandra Lister joins a special military unit comprised of convicts, only to discover it's basically a suicide squad. Things get interesting when they face the all-knowing Cassandra. This episode is the one in Series VIII that is the most like a classic Red Dwarf episode from earlier series of the show; it is cleverly written and hilarious.
Krytie TV Kryten's private TV station is most amusing to his fellow prisoners, but the jokes are at the expense of others, which gets him into a bit of trouble.
Pete Part I Rimmer and Lister are forced play against the guards in a basketball game. They sabotage the opposition's half-time juice with a virility enhancement drug.
Pete Part II The crew becomes the prey when a sparrow devolves into one of its large dinosaur ancestors.
Only The Good Rimmer passes into a parallel universe where his other self is the ship's captain."
Another great DVD from the Dwarfers
Mr. A. O'rourke | UK | 03/22/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After series 7, series co creator and writer Doug Naylor decided to take the show back to it's roots with series 8. First setting it back on Red Dwarf and reviveing the entire original crew. There are some great comedy moments in this season but most of the time i felt as though i was watching a half arsed version of the great comedy classic. You would think with Rimmer and Holly back along with the Skutters that the show would go right back to it's comedy roots but unfortunatly it all seems wrong somehow. The jokes don't feel as witty or as clever as the other series, in fact i found some of the jokes to be embarassing and painfully unfunny. All in all series 8 is a big let down. Thankfully the BBC appeared to have delivered the goods once again with the DVD extras so it's not all bad news and there are some good episodes in here such as 'Cassandra' and 'Krytie TV' which are two of my personal favourites from this season."
Not a bad way to end Red Dwarf
Jed | UK | 01/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Or is the end? Most people agree that Red Dwarf will return in some form, either a feature film or a TV show, but as it stands this is where Red Dwarf officially ended.
And I'll say it right now; I think it's good. The last two series of Red Dwarf are regarded noteably lower that previous series but I think a large part of that is the symdrome that applies to any long running thing, whether rock band, TV show etc. The earlier stuff is always considered the "classic" era, and later efforts are never regarded as highly. It's a case of looking back through rose tinted glasses, and selective recollection. I have seen all the series (bar series 4) and I rate this series as about middle of the pack. And for what it's worth Series 8 is actually the series that the actors enjoyed making the most.
Yes, the "nanobots" are a lazy plot device. To bring back characters, and ships from very early on because "teenty little robots" rebuilt them is objectively really kind of lame. Only in a sci fi comedy would this be allowed. I personally though thought it was good to see many of the characters from Series 1 back again. One of the main premises of Series 8 was to try go for a Series 1 kind of style; the bunk scenes are back, The Captains office, Red Dwarf corridors. So in that respect Red Dwarf has come full circle.
As for the actual comedy, some have complained that it's "silly". Well, when was Red Dwarf not silly? I personally think that the first series was quite hit and miss, and also contains the worst Red Dwarf episode, Waiting For God. Tha actual humour of Series 8 is about on par with the earlier series, and I liked it more that the weaker comedy drama of Series 7. There are a couple of unfunny, forced humour parts for example, the scene where the miniature Starbug is going down an air conditioning vent gets ebedded in a rat from the posterior side and Holly says "I hope we don't get stopped by the police. The don't like it when you're rat @rsed" It might have seemed hilarious to Doug Naylor when he wrote it and there was huge laughter from the audience, but I just found it unfunny and cringeworthy. But there are some really good jokes in it, both physical and verbal. My favourite moment in any red Dwarf episode is where Rimmer travels to a mirror universe where the cat has become a frumpy chemistry professor. Doug Naylor gave him the name of a chemical formula to say which he thought was actually unpronounceable, but Danny John Jules manages not only to say it, but say it quickly and with his best serious professor look on his face.
There is some CGI in this series, which some fans lamented. The CGI is by todays standards fairly bland, but it's adequate enough. The dinosaur and Blue Midget scenes were about as good as TV CGI could get in 1998.
There are some good extras on this set. Out-takes, 1 hour documentary on the making of the series, Gallery, and even a half hour documentary on the history of red Dwarf. The cast commentary though is largely useless. With 6 cast members sharing the microphone, it sounds more like they're reminiscing on a recently discovered phot album than anything; "Oh I remember filming this", "I worked with that guy in theatre, nice bloke he is" and there are times when literally there are 4 people talking at the same time, and you can't understand what any of them are trying to say.
If you haven't seen Red Dwarf yet, then I probably wouldn't suggest this series first. But if you managed to become a fan of the show, then I think this is a series that shouldn't be overlooked, regardless of it's lukewarm reception."
It's still missing something, but it's closer to the spirit
Twiddles42 | MN, USA | 05/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Series VII was lacking in that it tried to give us 7 "epic" stories that go deeper into sci-fi and really try to put Red Dwarf on a new level.
The problem is, RD has always been a send-up of sci-fi, with the occasional poking of itself as well. And now it's using it as core material while taking itself seriously. This "internal cultureshock" is bad enough, but it's as much insulting as anything else given the sheer drop in quality of the stories themselves. Few of which came across convincingly as epic, fewer of them were funny, and even the biggest gags (Rimmer and Lister kissing) still look forced. Never mind the phony film effect applied to the video that doesn't work... ("Blue" being, by far, the best episode of Series 7...)
But why am I talking about series 7? Simple. To show how much better 8 is. Despite having a ship full of crew, the series feels more at home than its immediate predecessor. Of course, the reason for having the ship back also means we should be seeing an extra Lister and Kochanski about, and the idea of which would have prevented the wrong stories getting too much padding and unwarranted screen time.
"Back in the Red" is the 3-part opener that's a bit long (try 2-parts instead, if only I could go back in time then afford a plane ticket to the UK so I could talk with the production team :-) ), but at least it is pokes fun at itself with "the Dibbley family". Things get long once we start seeing dancing Blue Midgets and a little too long Cat physical exam... but it's reasonably good, and genuinely moving in parts. Definitely better than anything series 7 vomited up. If only they addressed the doubles for Kochanski and Lister.
"Cassandra" is an instant classic and the most "old-school" Dwarf of the bunch. And intelligent in its writing. Most refreshing from the usual "physical comedy"...
"Krytie TV" is a bit raunchy, but is great fun too.
"Pete" is about 28 minutes too long and is easily the worst story presented. It's about a dinosaur that gets really big and does big dinosaur things. As this is "Red Dwarf", you can probably guess at half the jokes and the repetition of the jokes used... Just think "'Family Guy' only 7 years earlier" then barf.
"Only the Good" is about 28 minutes too short and had the potential to be the best of this series, if not one of the top 3 stories of RD ever. The concepts used are brilliant. Unfortunately, this one is worthy as a 2-parter for the exposition and quality of jokes alone. (which might be why it was shoehorned into a standard episode length. :( ) But it ends on one helluva cliffhanger, which would otherwise beat out "Out of Time"'s cliffhanger except that story wasn't overloaded with ideas and as such could set everything up properly within its allotted time.
As usual, we have a rich plethora of extras - alone making every series of RD worth purchasing. Even RD VII. It's good seeing the cast again, and I must say Craig Charles has aged well. (of course, that cooking show knock-off that was in the series 4 release (Can't Smeg Won't Smeg) would have been more appropriate here...
But at least 8 ends it all on a good note. It's been over 7 years since the cliffhanger, and I think the show has had its day. :("
Storylines good, writing spotty
T. ONeil | N. Attleboro, MA USA | 05/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As my title says, I think the storylines were pretty good, but a lot of the gags were recycled junior high stuff. Doug Naylor wrote most of it, and there is only one other credited writer on two episodes. Maybe he could have used some help. Extras were pretty good, as they are on all the DVDs in this series. Maybe not the best Red Dwarf, but better than a lot of other stuff that gets on TV."