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4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars just: it (largely) goes downhill after Rimmer leaves
The separation of Rob Grant and Doug Naylor's writing partnership along with Chris Barrie temporary departure are clearly and obviously the main factors in this inconsistent though just about good enough to be worthwhile seventh series of Red Dwarf. For too much of the time it fails to match the imperious standards set by the first six series. Rob Grant's departure was a...
Published on 15 Mar. 2012 by Mr. A. Rothnie

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A troubled season
As mentioned in the previous review, Red Dwarf abruptly went off the air following transmission of its sixth season at the end of 1993. A criminal case involving actor Craig Charles and the breakdown of the working relationship between writer-producers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor proved disastrous, and although both problems were eventually overcome (Charles was fully...
Published on 22 Nov. 2009 by A. Whitehead


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A troubled season, 22 Nov. 2009
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
As mentioned in the previous review, Red Dwarf abruptly went off the air following transmission of its sixth season at the end of 1993. A criminal case involving actor Craig Charles and the breakdown of the working relationship between writer-producers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor proved disastrous, and although both problems were eventually overcome (Charles was fully exonerated; Rob Grant departed to become a novelist leaving Naylor in charge) it took a long time to sort it all out.

Other problems also seemed to conspire against Red Dwarf's return. As of the sixth season, Red Dwarf was pretty much the sole reason for the continued existence of the BBC's special effects and miniatures department, and with the show on indefinite hiatus the department was closed down, meaning that future special effects requirements would have to be handled by private firms and thus on a far more expensive basis. Actor Chris Barrie had also gone on to enjoy even greater success as the title character in BBC-1 sitcom The Brittas Empire, which was a much simpler and faster show to shoot than Dwarf. As a result, he decided not to appear in Red Dwarf on a full-time basis in the next series. Possibly even a bigger change was the removal of the studio audience, with the show now being fully pre-recorded and only the tape being shown to a studio audience later on. This clearly throws off the rhythms of the actors in the show, with some lines obscured by audience laughter and a few out-of-place pauses for laughs that weren't as big as was hoped for.

Despite these problems, the show's ultimate return was not in doubt. It was BBC-2's single highest-rated TV programme, it was one of the biggest-selling BBC series on video (of any kind) in the 1990s and during the years it was off the air the BBC received numerous enquiries as to when the show would return.

Season VII aired on BBC-2 in early 1997 and it was immediately clear that this was a different show to what had come before. Chris Barrie's character of Rimmer departed in the second episode, though he appeared in several further episodes in brief flashbacks or cameos. Despite a higher budget, the show also struggled with its special effects requirements, with very primitive CGI and some seriously shoddy model work replacing the very accomplished miniature filming and digital effects of Seasons 5-6.

To help secure funding for the long-planned Red Dwarf movie (the prospective backers for which had asked for a major female character to be added to the roster), Naylor decided to add the character of Kristine Kochanksi to the crew on a full-time basis. Kochanski had appeared in several previous episodes in Seasons 1, 2 and 6 played by Clare Grogan, but with Grogan unavailable the role was recast with Chloe Annett. This move wasn't initially popular with the fans, as Annett's previous role had been in the quite spectacularly awful Crime Traveller, but Annett actually turned in a good performance and eventually won over many of the fanbase.

With all of these behind-the-scenes changes it is perhaps inevitable that the quality of the scripts suffered quite badly. Season VII isn't quite the unwatchable pile of cack some hardcore fans describe it as, but it clearly hasn't had the same care and attention paid to the writing as in previous seasons. The extremely rapid dismissal of the Season VI cliffhanger is a little disappointing, but the completely nonsensical technobabble reasons given to explain why Starbug is now many times its former size are very strange indeed. That said, the rest of the opener, Tikka to Ride, in which the Red Dwarf crew inadvertently change history when they travel to Dallas in November 1963, actually has quite a clever premise and a strangely affecting conclusion. It also just about manages to fall on the right side of good taste.

The second episode, Stoke Me a Clipper, is a bit of a disaster. A James Bond-style opening sequence featuring Ace Rimmer sky-surfing on the back of a crocodile is quite entertaining, but the rest of the episode is weak, illogical, badly contrived and deeply unfunny. The third episode, Ouroboros, re-introduces Kochanksi (or rather, a version of Kochanski from an alternate reality) and sees Lister's ex-wife (from Emohawk) showing up again. It's a little bit funnier, but still not up to the standards we expect from the show. Duct Soup, a 'bottle' show set in Starbug's flooded engineering decks, is probably the highlight of the season with some good dialogue and a few good laughs reminiscent of earlier seasons. Blue, in which Lister realises that he misses Rimmer, is also quite amusing as Kryten sets out to remind him precisely what Rimmer was like.

Beyond a Joke starts with a great sequence in which Kryten, annoyed with the crew for missing supper due to being in a VR 'Jane Austen World' simulation, invades the simulation in a Russian T-73 tank and kills everyone (resulting in the largest explosion ever filmed for the series, due to over-eager army demolitions experts who were fans of the show trying to impress the actors). After this it nosedives into the ground with a lot of guff about 'nega-drives', more rogue simulants, more GELFs and a second 4000 series mechanoid who isn't very funny. Epideme has a good premise - a sentient virus that chats to its host whilst it tries to kill him - but the virus has a very annoying voice and the script doesn't really go anywhere after establishing the initial idea.

Nanarchy, the Season VII finale, finally has the crew locating Red Dwarf and learning what happened to the ship when it disappeared. It's a mixed bag of an explanation, being amusing and SF-oriented, dealing with the hitherto unexplored-on-the-show science of nanotechnology, but it's also reliant on the idea that Kryten, a robot whom we have been reminded many times as having being built for the express purpose of cleaning lavatories and was extremely cheap, also had inside him billions of nanobots capable of rearranging atoms. It doesn't really make any sense. Anyway, there's another cliffhanger ending, the return of Holly (the original, played by Norman Lovett) and overall it's a decent enough ending to the season.

The seventh season is a mixed bag, it has to be said. The visual effects and writing are radically inferior to what has come before, although the acting (from both the regulars and guest stars such as Brian Cox) remains strong. The addition of Kochanski to the cast also works surprisingly well, somewhat better than I think most people were expecting at the time. At the same time, this season was also made with significant background problems, and in that context it could have turned out worse. The biggest problem, and one that was unavoidable, is that the series really hurts without Rimmer as part of the mix. Luckily, Chris Barrier had such a blast filming this season that he agreed to return full-time for the eighth, which contributed to that season's somewhat higher quality.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On its way down..., 27 Feb. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Of course not the nadir of Red Dwarf, yet to come with the silly knock-off series 8 (call that Chucklebrothers in Space if you will), this is the time when people agree it all began to go a bit wrong. I think it's an interesting step though - actually I think they could have gone further (and should have done for 8 rather than stepping back the way they did); I liked the look of the sets and lighting and the cinematic filming style. I also liked that they didn't film with a studio audience - I think they could have dropped the laughter track altogether and gone for for something really thrilling and dramatic. Keeping the humour in sitcom land was a weak compromise though, with the cast seemingly responding to an audience that isn't there. This DVD comes with three extended episodes without the laughter tracks.
Anyway - people here are moaning that the episodes for series 7 and 8 are spread over 2 discs. Please be aware that three hours is really the maximum you can get on one disc before picture quality begins to suffer enormously. The eight episodes each for series 7 and 8 really make cramming them all on one disc impossible. Further to this, the extended episodes of three of the episodes, plus the "remastered" Tikka to Ride, all of which take up their own disc space as seamless branching would have been too expensive, needed to be accomodated too. I'm sure most will agree there's no other way they could have done this than by arranging the episodes as they have.
Judging this disc on the merits of all the extras on top of the series, there's really no way of rating it lower than three stars. The 90 minute documentary is fascinating as are all the usual deleted scenes, smeg ups, musical cues, raw effects footage (including CGI efforts this time) plus the so-called lost episode Identity Within. The only extra not really worth watching all the way through is the "fan films" feature, which is a bit like sitting through an embarrassing sixth form revue! You'll see what I mean...
I wouldn't say "buy to complete your collection" as that statement is reserved for the abysmal eighth series, but don't start with this series if you're new to Red Dwarf. The episodes are actually better than I remember them being in 1997 and with the commentaries plus all the different versions this is actually quite a fascinating set.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars just: it (largely) goes downhill after Rimmer leaves, 15 Mar. 2012
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Mr. A. Rothnie "arothnie" (Formby, Merseyside) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
The separation of Rob Grant and Doug Naylor's writing partnership along with Chris Barrie temporary departure are clearly and obviously the main factors in this inconsistent though just about good enough to be worthwhile seventh series of Red Dwarf. For too much of the time it fails to match the imperious standards set by the first six series. Rob Grant's departure was a mega loss and you cannot help but feel that though Doug Naylor's writing is good (great at times) the earlier six series greatness is diluted by half. In the first six every bit of dialogue and characterisation was superbly funny. The dialogue in this series is good but nowhere near as scintillating in comedy as the first six series. The one liners are not as entertaining. Another issue is that the CGI imaging rather than use of models looks rather dated now even up-scaled on a Blu-ray player. This higher budget production value simply does not suit Red Dwarf as does the absence of an audience on set.

The scripts also suffer. The first two - "Tikka to Ride" and "Stoke Me a Clipper" - are a superb start but notice these are the stories that include Chris Barrie's Rimmer as part of the crew. "Tikka to Ride" continues where series six left off - it's dark but funny and sophisticated in its science fiction and is easily one of the best ever Red Dwarf episodes. Though even that suffers some inconsistency as suddenly the time drive can move people around. Also President Kennedy's future self assassinates his earlier self as the gunman behind the grassy knoll - so surely with what happened to the time paradox involving the Dwarfers between series six and series seven his future self should not have been able to assassinate his earlier self as his younger self would not get to be his older disgraced self. But this episode is still great as Red Dwarf has always been littered with inconsistencies even in the days of both Grant and Naylor writing. "Stoke Me a Clipper" brings back Ace Rimmer and sees Rimmer incredibly become the superhero. The artificial medieval reality scenes are entertaining as they are packed with action. Ace Rimmer's death and Rimmer's departure to become the next Ace Rimmer is well handled and well written. Paul Alexander - while not as incredible as the departed Grant though you cannot really compare - with Doug Naylor co-writing provides this great story to write Rimmer out.

However, after this sensational two episode start including Rimmer as part of the main crew it's largely downhill all the way. "Ouroboros" is in my opinion the joint weakest script along with "Beyond a Joke." I remember when I was a teenager in 1997 I thought this was a good story and was very impressed with it and thought it was one of the best but now I can see its flaws. Again and firstly the humour/dialogue is not as entertaining. Secondly, the science fiction in Red Dwarf has always been brilliant in the first six series though unbelievable to varying extents. But this takes unrealism too far - it is simply not possible to father yourself as Lister does at the end with his ex-girlfriend Kochanski as his own mother. It makes no sense at all so fails to be a convincing story.

"Duct Soup" is okay but is a poor man's version of series three's "Marooned." Some of the dialogue is funny like the reasons for Lister's claustrophobia but it does not match up to the best episodes of Red Dwarf. Also in this and the following episodes another reason for the decline of the series to merely an acceptable level is the addition of Kochanski to the crew. Chloe Annette is okay but she is not really good as Kochanski and the relationship between her and the rest of the crew comes across as annoying. As a female invading the male space, she looks down on them and while they are "space bums" this makes her look pompous and superior and as a Red Dwarf fan I find this as the source of comedy irritating. The bottom line is she fails to adequately replace Chris Barrie's Rimmer though this was always going to be improbable anyway. Chloe Annette is okay as Kochanski but her characterisation by the writers is poor. Her addition to the crew brings out the worst in Kryten as his neuroses over whether she will take Lister away from him are not comic, just downright irritating.

"Blue" is a half great script and notice that this is the last episode to feature Rimmer until series eight. The flashback scenes of Lister's memories of Rimmer are very funny while the crew's games night scene for once shows Kochanski to be funny as she is unimpressed with Lister and the Cat's puerile male entertainments. The feeling is mutual as Lister and the Cat are likewise unimpressed by Kochanski and her hologrammatic superior Lister from the other dimension and their intellectual games. Yawn. The Rimmer "munchkin" song is just great as it is so over-the-top. What prevents the episode from being a completely brilliant script is as a story it does not flow quite right and feels more like a series of scenes.

The previously mentioned "Beyond a Joke" is the joint worst script with "Ouroboros." It is okay but the "Pride and Prejudice" world scenes while a bit funny seem incongruous with the Red Dwarf universe. The story of the two brother androids (same motherboard) is intriguing but the rogue simulants and gelfs have all been seen before in more superior stories.

However, the final two episodes of series seven - especially the penultimate - are a return to form. "Epideme" is easily one of three episodes which are as good as the earlier Grant-Naylor helmed series. Paul Alexander is responsible along with Doug Naylor for this script and again produces a stunner. The talking virus' characterisation is excellent and is a source of all manners of jokes and humour. The science fiction of how to cure the virus is impressive storytelling while the scene on board the Leviathan in the ice glacier is like a return to the strong settings of the first six series. On this occasion Kochanski's characterisation is better handled and this unsurprisingly occurs when Kryten and she actually combine. Her saving of Lister is heroic. The comedy is equal to the strong science fiction story. The scene in which Lister is "tongue hockeyed to death" is easily one of the funniest of this series though disgusting.

Series seven finale "Nanarchy" is almost as good as the previous episode though not quite classic Dwarf as the story of where their mother ship - the Red Dwarf - disappeared and who took it comes full circle. Again Paul Alexander, along with James Hendrie, is a co-writer and the plot is well connected to the end of series five. It must be a good episode as after all Norman Lovett's Holly returns and immediately the one-liners and dialogue are as funny and impressive as series one, like he had never been away! The scenes with Lister's rebuilt arm are funny while the anticipation for series eight is built as Starbug enters the Red Dwarf hanger only to be much too small. What prevents it from being a classic episode is that it is used to tie up the loose ends of the back story of why they are stranded on Starbug and could not find their mother ship.

Series seven is just about good enough though the departure of Rob Grant has clearly taken away half the greatness of the show. In addition to the loss of co-creator and writer Grant, the departure of Chris Barrie as Rimmer is clearly the point at which the series, for the most part, deteriorates. However, three episodes that rank amongst the best in the Red Dwarf cannon and some other good and okay ones make this sufficiently worthwhile. As long as you lower your expectations and accept that due to all these mitigating factors it will not be as good as first six series it is a fairly good watch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The weakest Red Dwarf series. The four stars are for the extras., 3 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
In my humble opinion Red Dwarf really was at its best in Series 5 and 6. Series 6 ended on a cliffhanger which left fans hungry for more. Although we had to wait four years for the next Dwarf due to various behind-the-scenes problems, I personally considered it would be worth the wait.

Series 7 starts very promisingly. It is obvious from the start the show is now bigger amd bolder. But things start to go downhill very fast. Rimmer was a pivotal part of this show, and I can't believe it's just a co-incidence that the two best episodes by far are the two before he leaves. He appears in a few flashback sequences in two other episodes, but these scenes are weak (apart from the "dream sequence", of course). In previous series, each episode felt like a self-contained story, but most of this series just seems too much like one slow on-going story arc. There are moments of inspiration (Jane Austen World and the ideas behind Ouroboros and the sentient virus, for example). But there are just too many long dull scenes, too much plundering of the series past (throwing in Gelfs, simulants, etc). It's nice to see Don Henderson as a guest star. This was one of his last appearances and you can't help feeling such a great actor deserved better than this.

One big problem overshadows this series. Red Dwarf has always been about a group of people desperate to return to Earth. With the time-drive now capable of space travel, surely they can return to Earth whenever they choose. Why stay marooned on some grotty old spaceship? Kochanski becomes one of the Dwarfers in this series, and though she improves in Series 8, in these episodes she is snooty, unlikeable, unfunny and just irritating. What on Earth did Lister ever see in her? It's pretty obvious she was intended to replace Rimmer, uttering the kind of lines he would say, and the actress who plays her has none of Chris Barrie's masterful comic delivery or acting skills.

There's an opinion that Series 7 was intended as a move towards comedy-drama. There's certainly nothing wrong with darker comedy. But it is somewhat compromised by the fact that the characters seem to have become cartoon charicatures versions of their former selves. Lister is now only interested in curry, lager and sex. The Cat is just there to be cool. Kryten has lost his characteristics and turned into a whining obnoxious buffoon. Another problem is that, without an audience, the actors have no-one to react to and are clearly uncomfortable. There are some good effects, but most of the CGI looks terrible. The silly "ring of Rimmer coffins", for example, or the dreadful asteroid belt.

The four stars I've given this item are mainly for the wealth of extras on this DVD set. There are extended versions of three episodes and plenty of documentaries and other goodies. This is worth buying if you're a fan, but otherwise I'd skip this series. Like the last few series of Spitting Image, it's smug and self-satisfied despite having very little to be smug and self-satisfied about.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 star DVD- bumped up by quality extras, but essential stuff, 25 July 2005
By 
M. Davies (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Red Dwarf will always remain my favourite sitcom; because of the sheer number of laughs I have had from the first 6 series. Series 7 isn't particularly a stinker, its just clearly not on the same level as the series before it, mainly due to a 4 year gap between series 6 and 7, and the departure of co-writer/creator Rob Grant. If you wish to be introduced to Red Dwarf, do not start here, start anywhere between 1-6, there's enough laughs available anywhere there to keep you hooked.
Series 7 is admittedly the worst series of Red Dwarf, that's not to say its dire, its just short on the usual number of laughs and the standard of writing has dipped significantly.
Judging by the material of the other RD DVDs, the extra features should again be amazing, intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable, of all the DVD extras I have ever seen, the extras on the Red Dwarf DVDs are the only ones worth watching over and over again and show evidence of time and care put into them, and a true appreciation of the fans who love the show. This time around, the BBC DVD department have stretched for 3DVDs, which must mean a load of extras, but I'm taking a guess that 2 of the DVDs contain 4 of the 8 episodes each, as episode numbers increased in the last 2 Red Dwarf series. Having researched on the BBC website, fans were given the privilege to create their own Red Dwarf sketches using cartoons, clay or whatever and those good enough will feature on the DVD, which sounds very entertaining and innovative.

Series 7 is a welcome addition to the Red Dwarf DVDs so far, although heavily due to the quality of the extras, and series 8 is due just 3 months after this release, which in my opinion is a far more enjoyable experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic viewing!, 24 Jan. 2011
By 
Jingizu (South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
What an absolutely wonderful laugh! After a bit of a downturn for me in season VI, I thoroughly enjoyed season VII. It was hilarious and introducing Kochanski added a fresh new dynamic that provided many hilarious moments. Kryten and his jealously over his beloved "Mr Lister sir" and the flashbacks of Rimmer were side-splitting [the Arnold Rimmer song had me ROFLMAO!].

Great job guys [and gal]! Loved this show.

The product itself was also nicely packaged, the interactive menu very good and the special features had great outtakes and smeg-ups as well as interesting interviews.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just not good enough..., 4 Oct. 2007
By 
SHANN "SHANN" (England, London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
As my title suggests I'm not a massive fan of this series. I am a dwarfer through and through. I have tried desperately hard to give this series the benefit of the doubt but unfortunately it just doesnt deliver against the high standards of the previous six. The magic is lost, especially after one half of the dynamic duo is not involved, and Rimmer leaves half way through. Kochanski (Chloe annet) is dreadful, although as another reviewer shrewdly points out, she has some shocking lines to deliver. In fact its so bad that I'm not even sure I spelt her name correctly, such is the positive impact she made on me. There was strong rumours and even progress about a movie - I think this has now been canned - but if they are going to repeat this on the big screen then I think its best left alone. There are some moments which are half decent, Chris Barrie is very good still in what scenes he is in and I can comfortably watch the series but if asked whether its as good as its previous six series the answer is a flat no. Worth buying if its cheap and you've got time to kill.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many changes, 19 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Red Dwarf series 6 was perhaps the highlight of the 8. Ending on a a great cliff hanger series 7 had a lot to live up to.

Sadly too many changes were made, too quickly and seemingly without proper thought. The great thing about Red Dwarf was that it could just as easily have been a stage show, the audience reacted to the actors and vice versa, these guys do stand up afterall. Taking them away was a mistake.

Rimmer going half way through knocked the show again, though his leaving episode is actually excellent and handled well.

The new Kachanski plays the character very differently and is handed some poor lines. Luckily she improves in Series 8, but I fear some audience damage had been done.

I it's favour this series looked great, with the exception of the move to CGI which was just too early.

The extras, as always are funny and interesting and worth buying over 'just the shows'. I'd say this DVD was for people already fans of the series, if this is your first Red Dwarf, start at the begining (or "The End" if you're being picky).
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37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seventh Heaven (revised), 20 Sept. 2005
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This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Despite the absence of any cowboys in this series it is still a magnificent seven. Series 7 was unfairly judged and harshly criticised when first broadcast and the dismissive prejudice continues to linger. I prefer the look and atmosphere of a live audience and choose model shots over the CGI's but there's still a large element of the earlier Dwarf still there. It would have been preferable had the creative writing/production team remained together but Doug Naylor's influence is strongly self evident.It would have been preferable if Chris Barrie hadn't decided to leave - we'd have been saved from Stoke Me a Clipper to start with. Every season has its significant changes in writing, lighting, visuals, effects, costumes and characters and 7 was no different. There was a lot of opposition to Kochanski coming on board to replace Rimmer. The fact is that she was coming on board anyway because the American networks need a female character so the show can be syndicated. So her character was initially unpleasant but anyone plucked from a very comfortable and pleasant universe to being stranded in a different and somewhat futile reality must just be a bit tetchy. The character softened up when she accepted her fate and integrated well into the team for series 8. When series 7 is re-visited and seen again in a different light with the knowledge that Chris Barrie was back in series 8 which was shot in front of a live studio audience and restored model shots,it might not be as bad as the critics remember and they maybe, just maybe will lighten up and acknowledge this is a comedy programme not reality and savour the many bitter sweet delights it has to offer. Given all the changes to cast and style, Doug Naylor had to quickly establish a new direction for the show and then build upon that. In just 8 episodes I think on the whole he succeeded admirably and should be applauded for retaining the spirit and maintaining the programme.
Tikka To Ride is by anybody's standards a very clever episode crammed full of great verbal and visual gags with an ingenious conspiracy theory plot involving the assassination of President Kennedy. It ranks highly as a superb opening episode and would have set the tone and standard for series 7 if it were not for Chris Barrie's departure which had to be dealt with. The second episode Stoke Me A Clipper is an eclectic episode opening in an unconvincing and very dated WWII scenario complete with rubber crocodile, switching to medieval England and finally moving to deep space. A mortally wounded and humourless Ace Rimmer arrives on board to convince Red Dwarf's Rimmer to take his place which he does to explain Rimmer's departure. It's a poignant,downbeat and strangely darkly lit episode which seems much longer than it actually is. The loss of a major character and the viewers favourite is a bitter pill to swallow and when coupled with the aforementioned historical settings and the new film style it's ultimately an unsatisfactory episode. Ourroboros, the third episode puts series 7 firmly back on track and introduces the new Kochanski and dynamics of the revised crew. The intimacy and immediacy of Red Dwarf in a studio was lost on film which lent it a more distant and remote look and a detached ambience but it did offer some superior cinematic visuals notably the scene in Epideme where the crew are walking through the abandoned JMC spacecraft Leviathan and a glob of ice falls down Lister's neck and in Ouroboros where Starbug is chased by the Gelf ship across a snow covered planetoid. CGI's made their debut in 7 and are universally inferior and much derided in comparison to the model shots in earlier series. The producers weren't happy with them either and has taken the opportunity to re-master the CGI sequences on Tikka To Ride especially for this DVD. The remaining episodes have many memorable stories and scenes; Lister and Rimmers kiss; Robert Llewellyn's first foray into writing a script (Beyond A Joke) and the return of Norman Lovett as Holly for starters. This series is a lot better than many remember it and has a wealth of humour that is easily missed when watched with a determination to dislike it.
There are many extras on this DVD, over four hours worth of interviews, outtakes,deleted scenes, the usual behind the scenes documentary entitled Back From the Dead, a 16 page collectors booklet, three discs instead of the usual two with the third featuring Krytens head on it. There is a genuinely exciting extra which is of an unbroadcast episode called Identity Within taken from a script centred on Cat, read and voiced/mimicked by Chris Barrie accompanied by specially commissioned storyboards. There will also be the inclusion of two competition winning short "films" made by fans. Oh and it's got a really nice purple cover with Kochanski on the spine - miaaaooo[...]
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Red Dwar VII, 31 Aug. 2008
By 
Vicky Welsby (NSW, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Dwarf : Complete BBC Series 7 [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
I'm probably one of the biggest Red Dwarf fans in the world and I have to agree with many of the other reviewers and say that this is definitely the weakest series. I think what ruins if for me is the exit of Rimmer as one of the main crew members (although he does appear in most of the episodes). It'd got to a stage where everyone was so well established in their roles that any one of them leaving would have had the same effect.

Although she clearly tries hard, Chloe Annette seems a little uncomfortable playing Kochanski, there isn't the same banter with her as with Rimmer and, for me it doesn't quite work.

The series is still funny though, even if it isn't the best.
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