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Red Dwarf: Series 5 [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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It's brown alert time all over again for Red Dwarf fans with the fifth season of the much-loved sci-fi/comedy series. Episode-wise, it's business as usual for the crew of the Red Dwarf--that is, if one considers encountering an alien squid that squirts a despair-inducing hallucinogen ("Back to Reality", later voted the best episode of the series by viewers and Stephen Hawking!), evil (and not particularly bright) versions of the crew ("Demons and Angels"), a virus that causes insanity ("Quarantine"), and a trip to a moon created entirely from the mind of the insufferable hologram Rimmer ("Terrorform") business as usual.
In short, it's six hilarious episodes, highlighted by the typically terrific writing of creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor (who also direct two episodes). As with the previous deluxe DVD releases, Series V features a wealth of supplemental features, the most intriguing of which is a look at the failed attempt to recreate the show in America (with U.K. cast member Robert Llewellyn and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Terry Farrell as Cat). Also included are cast and fan commentaries, featurettes on the show's "science" and villains, special effects tests, blooper reels, and a sampling of Grant and Naylor's BBC 4 radio sketch "Dave Hollins, Space Cadet", which served as the inspiration for Red Dwarf. Dedicated DVD owners will also be rewarded by Easter eggs lurking throughout the menus. --Paul Gaita --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Also, not only do you get the shows, you also get a selection of highly enjoyable extra features, and if that weren't enough, with this special collectors edition, you even get a little model starbug to play with. What more could you want?
Buy this and I promise you won't be disappointed, especially at this price. I've seen the DVD on it's own for sale in shops for more than this. This is a fantastic item for any Red Dwarf fan, and if you haven't seen Red Dwarf, then this is one of the best series to get you hooked on it - this series is the one that got me hooked.
While the fifth series is still no quite in the level of the third series, it is still one of the best series of the entire show and shows just how great the show was for its time.
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.
Firstly, just to take up the point that 'Red Dwarf' began to lean more heavily on its sci-fi roots in the later series, there is a strong sense that Rob Grant and Doug Naylor have started exploring concept more than humour. Episodes such as 'The Inquisitor' and 'Quarantine' tend to explore sci-fi themes deeper than in previous years. However, I feel the balance is still right in 5 and 'Red Dwarf' always was something more than a straightforward sit-com. This is a very funny series, one of my favourites in fact, and you have to move forward to 7 and 8 to see where the story-lines became hopelessly tangled.
All the episodes except possibly 'Terrorform' are top notch and even that has one of the best Dwarf scenes featuring Lister's encounter with a meatball-eyed 'taranshula'. From Mr Flibble the killer penguin glove puppet in 'Quarantine', to Rimmer's fishnets in 'Demons and Angels' and just about everything in 'Back To Reality' (Duane Dibbley!) this series is a blast and will have you wearing out your DVD player in no time. The extras are good too!
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