DVDs in Review #50: Red Dwarf: The Entire Eighth Series

Category: , , , , , By Rev/Views

Final DVD Review of the year and it's the final series of Red Dwarf.

For the previous series reviews look here:
Series I
Series II
Series III
Series IV
Series V
Series VI
Series VII

Chris Barrie as Arnold Rimmer
Craig Charles as Dave Lister
Danny John-Jules as "The Cat"
Robert Llewellyn as Kryten
Chloë Annett as Kristine Kochanski
And Norman Lovett returning as "Holly"

The Show:

Series Eight of Red Dwarf was an attempt to get back to the basics of the show while also widening the cast to include more supporting characters. At the end of the previous series the crew located Red Dwarf after it had been shrunk down taken on a joyride by Kryten's nanobots and had the excess material formed into a small moon. Back in the Red is a three part episode which returns the crew to Red Dwarf, and I mean the entire crew, including a reconstituted Rimmer who is very much like his first season persona. The hologramatic Rimmer had grown over the years and mellowed somewhat, this rebuilt Rimmer is every bit as unpleasant and self-centered as he was at the start of the show. After the events of Back in the Red get the crew sentenced to imprisonment for various crimes Lister signs them up to be part of 'The Canaries' in Cassandra, Canaries are named after the bird and have a similar role to the ones used in mining. While on their first mission they encounter a computer who can predict the future, a computer who has forseen that Lister will cause her end and so starts to engineer Lister's own fate.

Krytie TV
has Kryten being reprogramed by 'Kill Crazy' in order to get him filming the female prisoners in the showers, Kryten was designated female due to a lack of male genitalia. He then moves onto pranking people and sets Lister up to damage Ackerman's quarters, jepordising Lister's chances in the retrial. Pete is a two parter which has Rimmer and Lister annoying Captain Hollister with an exceptional amount of mistakes and goofs while Kryten and the others discover a time wand with the ability to freeze time and even regress a living creature backwards down the evolutionary ladder. They use it on Pete, a small bird owned by a crazy Welshman. Do you remember what extinct animal birds are descended from? Last of all in Only the Good, an escape pod containing a metal eating virus arrives on Red Dwarf and begins to devour the ship, the guys are forced to create a mirror world where everything is opposite in order to find an antidote in time before Red Dwarf is destroyed...

The Other Stuff:
The Packaging:
I believe you know the drill by now, the only thing I really need to say here is the packaging is perfect and matches everything previously released in this set without a single problem.

The Extras:
"This is the BBC, we are the true voice of extras. All other manufacturers are false profits prophets who will leave you completely unsatisfied."
  • Cast commentary
  • Feature-length episodes 'Back in the Red' (which is also 'Xtended' with several new scenes) and 'Pete' presented as full-length stories
  • Comedy connections documentary
  • The Tank: original documentary
  • Deleted scenes
  • Smeg ups
  • Trailers
  • Storyboard sequences
  • Super models
  • Raw FX footage
  • Fight!: Featurette
  • Isolated music cues
  • Dave Hollins radio sketch
  • Photo gallery
  • Weblink
  • Easter eggs
The Details:
[To be inserted later on 31/01/08]

The Price:
The set is a little more expensive this time at £9.99 from play.com. That's 4.4ppm.

The Final Word:

Unfortunately with the advent of this series Red Dwarf is left feeling unfinished. The final episode ends on a genuine cliffhanger moment and we've still not seen the end of the story told there. Also the series is not good, the humour is off and there's a little too much reliance on really off the wall characters plus multiple part stories. Still it has it's moments and the return of Chris Barrie plus plenty of Chloë Annett so I do enjoy watching it.

It's worth mentioning that the UK Channel Dave has commissioned some Red Dwarf specials in 2009. So there's life in the old space dog yet.


1 comment so far.

  1. Dan 30 December 2008 at 21:12
    Better than S7, but only because there was more of an effort to focus on the Rimmer/Lister relationship in jail. But again, not content with ruining the all-male basis for the show in S7, they bring back the whole crew? That defeats the whole point of the show, really. They should have wiped them out again, if you ask me.

    Too much of S7 and S8 seemed to be made with an eye on the half-promise of a movie (which needed a female cast member to please studio bosses, and would probably have started with the resurrected RD crew being killed again.) This just about scraped some entertainment thanks to the return of Rimmer, but it's so far removed from what MADE the series so good from S1-S5.

    For me, RD is the prime example of a TV series that went way beyond its cut-off point, thanks to a greedy co-creator. For this reason, I always have more respect for the departed Rob Grant. His RD novels were also MUCH better, which just about proves he was the best writer of the two.

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