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
This feature-length episode of the popular sitcom, originally shown on TV as a three-part mini series, marks the return of the Red Dwarf crew after a break of ten years. Lister (Craig Charles), Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Kryton (Robert Llewellyn) and Cat (Danny John-Jules) have aged but apparently not matured. The crew find themselves back on Lister's home planet after discovering a dimension-travelling monster in their water tank. It seems that Lister's prayers have finally been answered but things are never that simple...