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
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... Features both a Director's Cut version of Back to Earth and the original televised version.