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Red Dwarf - Back To Earth [DVD] [2009]
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Red Dwarf - Back To Earth [DVD] [2009]

DVD ~ Craig Charles
3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Red Dwarf - Back To Earth [DVD] [2009] + Primeval - Series 3 [DVD] [2009] + Doctor Who - Planet Of The Dead [DVD] [2009]
Total RRP: £62.97
Price For All Three: £39.84

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Product details

  • Actors: Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Chris Barrie, Robert Llewellyn
  • Directors: Doug Naylor
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Jun 2009
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001UHO102
  • Sales Rank: 32 in DVD (See Bestsellers in DVD)

    Popular in these categories:

    #1 in  DVD > Television > Science Fiction & Fantasy
    #1 in  DVD > Television > TV Series > Red Dwarf
    #1 in  DVD > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction

Reviews Review
It was a long time coming, but finally the crew of the Red Dwarf were reunited for what could be the last time with Back To Earth. And it proved to be a bit of a mixed blessing, with the three parts of show--all of which are brought together on this DVD--throwing up moments of absolute genius, alongside parts where you couldn’t help believing that its best days are far behind it.

The idea behind the show is quite ingenious. Back To Earth takes place after the supposed season ten of Red Dwarf, and the crew find themselves thrown through a portal, whereupon they realise that they’re all just characters from a TV show. Furthermore, they’re characters from a TV show who are going to all buy it in the final episode. The only solution? To track down both the actors that play them (including a trip to the Coronation Street set!), and the creators of Red Dwarf itself.

This opens the door for plenty of postmodern gags and situations, but arguably it’s only when things get back onto a more comfortable Red Dwarf plain do things start to gel a little more. And when it works, you can’t help but enjoy the fact that the crew are back together.

Will this be the last voyage for Red Dwarf? Quite possibly, and there’s little doubt that it’s far from the show’s peak. But it’s still a fun send-off for the crew, and while a little patchy, it still manages to be both funny and entertaining. It’s also, thanks to the DVD, far better to watch it all in one advert-free block.--Jon Foster

DVD Description
Back to Earth takes place after ‘series ten’. Kochanski is dead and the crew are hurled through a portal and discover they are just characters from a TV series. Knowing they will die in the final episode the Dwarfers, in best Blade Runner traditions, decide to track down their creators to discover how long they have left to live. First the crew attempt to track down the actors who play them in the series and their metaphysical odyssey begins…

• Bonus Features
• Cast Commentary
• Director Commentary
• All-New Exclusive Documentary
• The Making of Back to Earth
• Deleted Scenes
• Smeg Ups
• Featurettes
• Trailers
Web Videos
• Photo Gallery
• Easter Egg

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Average Customer Review
3.4 out of 5 stars (61 customer reviews)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 39 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars I was worried...but..., 14 April 2009
By Moonbeam24 (London, England) - See all my reviews
I started watching Red Dwarf when I was 9 years old, way back in 1993, and have always loved it. I was more than a little dissappointed when the show disappeared after series 8 and always hoped it would return one day.

So I, like many Red Dwarf fans, worried that after 10 years the show wouldn't be able to live up to the expectations of so many over enthusiastic fans. I therefore made a point of watching Back to Earth with an open mind, trying to ignore my bias as best as I could. At first, I was worried, especially when they actually went back to earth and attempted to break down the fourth wall, but the twist and turns in the final episode made it completely worth it and harked back to the same plot devices that made series 5,6 and 7 so successful. Sure, it's different to the original 8 series (after 10 years what do you expect?) but Back to Earth showed that the boys from the Dwarf and the sparkle that made me love the show is still there.
Some will be disappointed, but this is mainly because their expectations got carried away. Watch it with an open mind and you are sure to be pleasantly surprised. I thought it was a great comeback and I will be happy to put this addition to the series with the rest of my treasured collection.

The DVD is sure to help these episodes (no ad breaks will certainly help keep the pace of the plot)and there are bound to be plenty of extras.

28 of 45 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars A slight return., 15 April 2009
By M. Hopkins "nickomcminn" (U.K.) - See all my reviews
Fans had waited ten years for new Red Dwarf but was it worth the wait?

The first episode sees Doug Naylor attempting to ease fans back in by making a fairly traditional edition complete with typical sitcom jokes. Unfortunately many of the jokes are recycled from earlier series and the lack of a studio audience affects the energy of the performances badly. The end result is that there are very few laughs and it is a slow beginning.

One scene in the first episode does impress however and this features Craig sitting at Kochanski`s grave reading her favourite novel. This is the only scene in which the balance between drama and unintrusive comedy blends effectively. Sadly elsewhere the styles of humour are far too broad to mesh with character moments.

In the second instalment, the Dwarfers arrive on Earth to discover they are merely fictional characters. Hardcore sci-fi fans may enjoy the references to the genre in this episode but the reality is that jokes about the banking crisis, modern talent shows and email accounts are toothless and disappointing.

The plot itself is directly taken from Blade Runner and several scenes from that film are actually remade shot for shot. The director`s self-indulgence makes the references far too heavy handed and also means that they don`t make sense within the story (if the hallucination is intended to bring the characters joy then why would they appear in scenes from a film they have never claimed to like or even have watched before?).

In the finale, the crew must avoid their deaths and the drama throughout is once again placed uneasily alongside unsubtle attempts at humour. Comedy voices, slapstick and, in one case, a joke stolen directly from The Simpsons (and a very poorly executed joke here) are used to try to get laughs but this style is a long way from the one used in genuinely satisfying comedy dramas.

Dramatic moments between Lister and Kochanski are again the best things in the episode but they are let down by the number of steals from Blade Runner once more and the rather anticlimatical ending. Predictably the specials turn out to be a sequel to Back to Reality but, like many sequels, they can`t come close to the original.

All in all, these new specials must be viewed as a disappointment. After ten years it was realistic to expect more from the writer than for a very famous Dwarf story to be bolted together with a very famous film. On top of that, the number of jokes and ideas that are taken from earlier Dwarf series (and other shows) make these far too derivative.

Finally, great comedy drama involves having a very strong dramatic narrative throughout. The humour then comes naturally from the plot and the characters. In Back to Earth though, dramatic scenes are preceded and followed by random attempts at comedy and by unnecessary Blade Runner homages. This makes the style of the piece incredibly unfocused and confused.

There are some nice ideas and moments in Back to Earth and it looks very impressive. Director and writer Doug Naylor clearly had too much power however, and was unable to rein himself in. If Dwarf is to return again then hopefully a strong co-writer or script editor could be hired to keep Naylor`s feet on the ground and to improve the quality of the show`s writing to somewhere close to the standard that it used to be.

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing...., 7 May 2009
By WCW Fan (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)      
I am a huge Red Dwarf fan and have been an avid viewer of the show since 1991. When I was younger I used to love watching it on BBC 2 every Friday night with my Mum and my brother.

I always thought the show was superbly scripted with both visual and "ironic" gags. Even when co-creater Rob Grant departed after series 6 (and many people criticised the show for relying more on drama and action for series 7), I still found Red Dwarf highly enjoyable (for me, some of the best moments will always be Kryten's "jealousy rages" with Kochanski in series 7) and I was disappointed when the it ended abruptly with series 8.

With "Back To Earth" coming 10 years after the last series, I was sceptical about whether the whole concept was past its sell-by date (but I then reminded myself that Red Dwarf is timeless and that is a big part of its appeal).

However, I must say that "Back To Earth" is a huge disappointment. For starters, the crew has been reduced back to the original 4 of Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and The Cat (I say "original" as it was when these 4 were together that the series really took off, no pun intended). Rimmer has died (that is, the resurrected Rimmer we saw in series 8, NOT the hologramtic Rimmer who was present from series 1-7) and is a hologram again, while Kochanski and the rest of the resurrected crew have also perished.

It's back to square one, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The first part of this 3-part special is actually quite good and has some genuine laugh-out-loud moments, just like the "Dwarf" of old. It's also slickly shot, like a film (similar to the way in which series 7 was filmed).

However, it all falls apart in part 2 and goes further downhill in part 3. I won't give the "twist" away (if you can call it that), but it involves the crew returning to Earth, visiting the set of Coronation Street and generally getting bombarded with lame visual and verbal "in-jokes" about Red Dwarf itself.

Overall, I thought this was lazily written by Doug Naylor, with little or no regard for the previous series' or for long-time Red Dwarf fans. Even the plot twist at the end has been ripped off from a previous series. It's as if Doug and his writers have spent so much time trying to make this 3-part special look like a movie, that they negated the aspects that made Red Dwarf so entertaining in the first place.

"Back To Earth" is proof that even the best of TV comedy shows/ sci-fi action dramas can be ruined beyond repair.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews

1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear...
Desperately awkward. Breathtakingly unfunny. It's all the worst bits of Red Dwarf in a 'special'. I've been a Red Dwarf fan for years and still find the first 6 series thoroughly...
Published 2 days ago by Mr. C. Wolger

5.0 out of 5 stars Times Change......and its good!!!
Loved it,Loved it, Loved it!!
I cant believe all the Negative comments!! Back to Earth really doesn't deserve half of them.
Published 3 days ago by Mrs. Dianne Gibb

1.0 out of 5 stars possibly the worst DVD ever
total waste of money to film, massivley over-hyped and utter rubbish to watch. a dissapointment on the crew, cast and franchise!
Published 6 days ago by Mr. L. C. Vile

4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliantly witty ...
If nob gags and a laugh-track are what you want, you will be rather disappointed; but if you like your humour clever and witty then this is for you.
Published 11 days ago by Stuart Emmerson

3.0 out of 5 stars Watch it as a feature length episode, not in 3 parts!
This mini series is a victim of its own publicity. Expectations were raised so high that it was bound to disappoint many fans.
Published 1 month ago by D. Levy

1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!
Honestly as a big fan of the series this really is the nail in the coffin. As for the people who seemed to like it, they went to CORONATION STREET for goodness sake!
Published 1 month ago by Harry Flashman

5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Earth
It is very difficult to bring a old(ish) sitcom back to life and still make people laugh. Red Dwarf: Back to Earth however was perfect in every way.
Published 1 month ago by Jane Godfrey

2.0 out of 5 stars Was I a Smeeeeeee Heeeeee for hoping for 3 good episodes?
So like other Dwarf fans, I was excited to hear that new episodes were being made. However, as soon as I started to watch part 1, the excitement died very quickly.
Published 1 month ago by Luke J. Halsall

1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear
Red Dwarf suffered a major blow after series 6, when the show lost half its creative talent with the departure of Rob Grant.
Published 1 month ago by A viewer

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - Bring on a New Series
Its great to see the lads back together, quality acting, jokes and a great storyline make this easily as good anything they have done in the past.

Highly recommended
Published 1 month ago by A. Macdonald

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