Here it is - the last point where absolutely EVERYONE agrees the series was still on top form. Some start to moan with series 6 (though I love it), and 7 and 8 really come in for a lot of flak. No such problems here though, there's nary a rough edge or weak moment to be seen - and there's a good reason why series 5 is considered among the majority of fandom the best series. It's the absolute peak of Red Dwarf.
It gave us some of the most iconic villians and secondary characters the series ever had - Daune Dibbley, later to be vastly overused but hilarious here in his first appearance - Psycotic glove-puppet penguin Mr Flibble - the chilling Inquisitor - while also introducing a whole ship of holograms, (where Rimmer finaly gets laid!), giving us 'Rimmer in a red gingham dress with hex vision', and Red Dwarf's best ever epsiode, Back to Reality.
The episodes are much darker and more dramatic than ever before - it's becoming borderline sci-fi drama/horror here - and it's all much more story-centric, though it remains as funny as ever. No time for the sitting around chatting from series 2 and 3, there's characters to be developed, monsters to be fought and the series' most hilarious set-pieces to be set up. The ideas and themes on display here would give any 'serious' sci-fi show a run for their money, with the writers really pushing all the boundaries of what was possible with the format and budget of the show. It's also really Rimmer's series - at least three of the six episodes revolve entirely around him - and what with him being the best and most popular character, that's no bad thing. In short, it's simply phenomonal, containing moments never to be bettered in the four previous or three following series. The DVD package itself is as top-notch as ever too - which is nothing less than the greatest Dwarf series deserves. If you only buy one series, buy this one.