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Let the Right One In
March 28, 2005

Red Dwarf Series VI DVD

The bickering gits continue to be lost in space—but this time, they've managed to lose their ship as well!
Red Dwarf Series VI DVD
Starring Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Dules and Robert Llewelyn
Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor
Warner Home Video
Two-disc set
MSRP: $34.98
By Adam-Troy Castro
The band of spacefaring losers continue to screw up spectacularly in a sixth series, which, for the very first time, introduces the concept of an ongoing arc.

In "Psirens," Lister awakes from a cryogenic nap of several centuries to discover that Red Dwarf has been stolen and that the crew is now confined to the Starbug in protracted, and largely hopeless, pursuit.

In "Legion," the crew visits an ancient space station to find a creature named Legion who insists on fulfilling their every need but refuses to let them leave. Permanent fallout from this episode provides the previously intangible hologram Rimmer a solid form, thus freeing the character to have a vase smashed over his head.

"Gunmen of the Apocalypse" is an excuse to transport the characters to a Wild West landscape, with results just as contrived as those on the original Star Trek but considerably funnier.

"Emohawk—Polymorph II" sees Lister obliged to marry a furry, apelike alien and sees the return of alternate character personalties, heroic Ace Rimmer and nerdy Duane Dibbley.

In "Rimmerworld," the craven hologram betrays his crewmates one more time and is rewarded with six centuries exiled on a planet entirely populated by versions of himself.

Finally, in "Out of Time," the crew meet their jaded future selves and face imminent doom—a circumstance that leads Rimmer to his first moment of personal bravery and cuts to a nasty series-ending cliffhanger.

A Red Dwarf without Red Dwarf
Though no less funny, the show looks more and more like conventional, plot-driven science fiction, with ideas prominent and the characters escaping from peril on an episode-by-episode basis. There are splendid flights of fantasy throughout, from the Mimosan Antimatter Chopsticks, to a memorable sight gag involving fake eyeballs glued to the chins of Cat and Lister, to Kryten's response to being asked to go to red alert.

With the loss of their ship, the characters must get it together to actually act like a crew, which leads to the odd sight of the originally barely sentient Cat regularly pulling his weight at one of the command stations.

The absence of computer avatar Holly leaves the show more estrogen-deprived than ever, even if Lister does make liberal use of virtual sex programs.

DVD extras include the typically excellent menu animations; the featurette "Return to Laredo," in which Llewelyn visits the Western town of "Apocalypse"; a music video called "Sick," which cuts together many of the show's medical mishaps (and which seems grossly weighted toward as-yet-unseen clips from series seven); the usual reel of smegups (a couple of which are actually funny); making-of commentary from all six episodes and a number of deleted scenes.

With the crew confined to Starbug, and with most of their possessions destroyed, the source of Cat's unlimited wardrobe is even more inexplicable than before. —Adam-Troy