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Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (2009)

Craig Charles , Chris Barrie  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Director's Cut, Widescreen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026P3HPW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,374 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Cast commentary
  • Director commentary
  • All-new exclusive documentary The Making of Back to Earth
  • Deleted scenes
  • Smeg ups
  • Featurettes
  • Trailers
  • Web videos
  • Photo gallery
  • Easter egg

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)

Amazon.com

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 all three parts 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 10 of Red Dwarf, and the crew find themselves thrown through a portal, at which time they realize 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 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 into more familiar territory that they start to gel a little more. And when they work, 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 and entertaining send-off. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boys from the Dwarf are back! April 28, 2009
Format:DVD
I'll freely admit that the original series got a bit stagnant from series 5 through 7, however I really felt that 8 shaped up to be a return to form. Now, ten years later, we finally get more. To be honest, it is best watched in one sitting as the first episode really introduces (or re-introduces) the characters we know and love and watching them individually does break up the flow a bit. The story (and the funny) really picks up in the second ep and continues through the third. In all, Back to Earth brings back much of what made the original series great and sets the stage for a new series nicely. It left me wanting more without leaving me hanging.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back In Red June 23, 2009
Format:DVD
The DVD contains...

(Disc 1)

* Features both a Director's Cut version of Back to Earth and the original televised version: In other words, a play all as it's meant to be seen, or in the 3 parts it was shown on TV.
* Cast Commentary by Chris Barry (Rimmer), Danny John Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) & of coarse Craig Charles(Dave Lister)
* Director Commentary with Doug Naylor.

(Disc 2)

* All-New Exclusive Documentary:
* The Making of Back to Earth part 1 & 2
* Deleted Scenes
* Smeg Ups
* Featurettes
* Trailers & TV Spots
* Web Videos
* Photo Gallery
* Easter Egg of Danny getting a free drink.

SPOILER (Dont read on if you don't want to know how to access the egg)
when disc 2 starts, you will see a skutter roll by on the screen and flip you off, hit the enter button on your remote while it does this.
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49 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good to have the guys back, but. . . April 18, 2009
Format:DVD
After waiting ten years for a Red Dwarf reunion, hearing rumours of another series or even a big-screen movie, fans' anticipation level for "Back to Earth" was VERY high. I'm sure I'm not the only fan who, after viewing this 3-part episode, was left wondering if the wait was worth it.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

While it is nice to have most of the cast back (including a too-late and too-brief turn by Chloe Annett), the magic that made Red Dwarf such fun is laregly missing. It starts off promisingly enough, with Lister making Rimmer the butt of another in a series of practical jokes. But when the main plot kicks in, a sinking feeling of deja vu sets in. "Back to Earth" appropriates the plot from an earlier, better episode, "Back to Reality." I won't give it all away, but if you've seen the earlier episode, the "twist" ending of this one won't come as a shock at all.

The other, only slightly lesser problem is that very little attempt is made to maintain the series' continuity. It's been ten years (nine, according to an on-screen message) since the crew was left hanging at the end of "Only the Good. . .". When "Back to Earth" begins, Rimmer is inexplicably a hologram again, Kochanski has been written out of the show, and the ship is back in deep space with the 4 lead players in place like nothing has changed.

So, you're thinking, this guy's given it 3 stars...is there ANYTHING good about it? Well, yes. For starters, everyone looks like they've barely aged, which is just short of miraculous considering the first episode of Red Dwarf aired 21 years ago. And even though the script gives them little of note to work with, the actors slip back into their roles with ease.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The real triumph of "Red Dwarf: Back To Earth": They're BACK !!!!

Despite the 10-year hiatus since Series 8, Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), and Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) have lost none of their old comic chemistry. Congrats to all for returning in such fine comedic - and physical - form.

Individually and collectively the primary cast have grown even more skilled since we saw them last ... which they definitely needed here, because the BTE script gave them *little* to work with. (Most complaints at the Amazon.co.uk website regarding BTE as broadcast, for instance, basically boil down to story/script problems.)

I shall spare you my own protracted diatribe about the weak BTE script. Suffice it to say, my biggest frustration is how easily this script could have been better, both stronger and funnier. The audience kept being offered seeds of potential genius ... but such `seeds' were never paid off by this script. Just one example from many: new character Katerina Bartikovsky - brilliantly brought to life by the refreshing and very talented Sophie Winkleman - was so delicious in all ways she presented a fantastic opportunity for wild, fun, and original new things, but she was given no character arc and sadly little to do.

The production values were refreshingly excellent despite next-to-no budget, kudos to D.P. Andy Martin and a worldwide VFX team led by Mike Seymour. It is a pity, however, that as much attention was not paid to the story's substance, as its visual style.

So why, you may ask, am I still giving BTE a rating of 5 stars?

Reason #1 - Even with BTE's weak script, "Red Dwarf" is still funnier than anything else out there.
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