Top positive review
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Excellent - British Comedy at its best
on 29 October 2004
This boxset lacks the dazzling array of special features available on the individual DVD releases but makes up for it with probably the best value laughs you can possibly buy for £25.
The first 4 series of Red Dwarf sum up everything that was right about BBC 2 during the late 80s and early 90s - ground-breaking, original comedy that was experimental with drama, comedy, genre and featuring new, young, talented actors (Chris Barrie as the acerbic Rimmer and Danny John-Jules as Cat were revelations). With this boxset you can see the evolution from a cheap, studio space sitcom into a lavish sci-fi comedy-drama featuring such brilliant characterisation that you wish TV comedy could stumble across its own stasis leak and rediscover this kind of programme. The first four series are also characterised by a tongue-in-cheek irreverence that never really takes itself too seriously - a factor sadly lacking in the later incarnations of Red Dwarf. (A good example is the Star Wars-style intro to series 3 that explains away the ending of series 2 as they obviously rewrote it as a totally new series - George Lucas could learn a thing or two!)
Laden with the best one-liners in the last 20 years and gleefully celebrating its own ingenuity with episode after episode of classy comic timing, character acting and brilliant scripting, Red Dwarf 1-4 are some of the most brash and confident comedy series ever produced by the Beeb. This gets 5 stars from me and it is thoroughly deserved;