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Showing 1-10 of 38 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on June 23, 2009
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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VINE VOICEon January 17, 2011
I miss the Red Dwarf laugh track. Having it gone was almost like having the theme song missing. I really would never have thought I'd say that about a show, but without it Red Dwarf just didn't really feel like Red Dwarf. I put off watching this show for a long while, having heard so many bad opinions about this from various people on the internet. People were so mixed about it that I kind of hesitated to have my warm fuzzy feelings of the series impacted by this, but I finally sat down & watched it.

No worries, for the most part this was pretty good. It didn't follow the last season for some reason, but it kept the whole dark & serious atmosphere that the show seemed to have developed towards the end. The absence of the laugh track really seemed to hammer this home since there was no laughter to lighten the mood.

Anyway, story-wise this miniseries was pretty interesting. Our boys escape to an alternate earth in an attempt to stay alive but discover that in this reality they're just characters on a popular TV show & that the plot has them dying by the show's end. Unhappy with this, they decide to take charge & find the writer so they can beg for more life. It's an interesting enough premise & everyone looks like they were having quite a bit of fun with it. I have to say, Chris Barrie looked to be having the most fun out of all of them & looked quite at home here.

It's just that this didn't entirely capture the feeling of the previous seasons. I didn't mind that it didn't pick up after the last episode, but something just seemed to be missing here. It's got everything I'd want but this just seemed to be missing the spirit of Red Dwarf.

I would still recommend people watching this & buying it to finish off their collections, but I have to admit that it's not going to be my favorite Red Dwarf watching.
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VINE VOICEon February 24, 2012
Had just received the boxed set of the complete Red Dwarf series I-VIII and watched the first series (for probably the eleventeenth time) when I decided to check out "Back to Earth" on Amazon Instant Video. The surprise? "Back to Earth" did not suffer at all by comparison to Series I. As for the continuity issues, I'd already been inoculated against any discombobulation by the glaring ones between the end of Series I and the beginning of Series II, not to mention those between the end of Series VI and the beginning of Series VII. (Yes, these were explained after a fashion, but in a deliberately quick and dirty way that made it quite clear that Grant/Naylor and Naylor were not about to be hamstrung by such things.) "Back to Earth" did seem like a scaled-down version of the feature film Naylor had hoped to make, and frankly I was glad to be able to see it play out in TV form. It was able to focus on the heart of the concept, the tragicomic situation of Lister, without it getting lost in a lot of cinematic froo-fraw. And Part Three gives one of Red Dwarf's main inspirations the thorough twitting it's long been asking for. If there's any downside, it's that Rimmer, Cat and Kryten are rather relegated to being Lister's spear carriers. And while an explanation is at hand for this--and proves to be the key to the whole business--the story does have Lister do something singularly shocking. (Maybe two somethings, depending on how you feel about what Lister also does to Rimmer--I mean, how much punishment does one incorrigibly smegheaded hard-light hologram deserve?)
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on September 23, 2012
I'll admit to being slightly disappointed after a first viewing. It seemed to borrow too much from the classic series and from Blade Runner. But on subsequent viewings, I really liked this return to the Red Dwarf universe. It holds together nicely as a story and, if seen more as an homage to Blade Runner and the Red Dwarf series, it's actually tightly written and fun with many references to enjoy. There are some great gags and quite touching moments, as well as the more traditional sci-fi themed zaniness. If you're a fan, this is definitely worth picking up.
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on October 11, 2009
three just don't seem to be quite enough.
Honestly I, as it seems many people, felt a little let down by Back To Earth. Not to say it's, bad, but it cerainly fell short of the high expectations I had for it.
It suffers from many problems.
First, It really just feels like one episode on steroids and never really developes over the course of what's really three. Second, someone seems to have hit the reset button on the characters and they seem like one-dimensional versions of themselves-- Lister, the heart-sick slob, Rimmer, the up-tight dweeb, Cat, the fasion-conscious narcisist, and Kryten, the festidious android. There seems to be little or no memory of the growth they've undergone over the last eight seasons.
Another problem is it doesn't actually do anything to resolve the cliffhanger at the end of season eight. It just opens with a shot of Lister walking through the ship with the caption, "9 years later." There's no Holly--either of them, and Chloe Anette only makes a brief appearance.
Finally, and the biggest problem is, if this is really ment to be the final chapter in the saga it only leaves you wanting more.
Now given what I've just said it's a wonder I didn't slap it with one star and just type "It Sucks!", but it's still Red Dwarf and there's still a great deal of the old mojo left in the ship.
Along with the laughs that are found here, the plot gets downright philosophical with the crew members meeting some of the series' fans when they go in search of their maker. The whole Bladerunner tribute that runs through out is fairly well done; I particularly like the guy who "just does noses."
And most importantly the cast is still the cast and they've got enough in the talent department to pull through even the weakest moments in this one.
Overall, Yes I was disappointed, but half a dwarf is still better then none. I think this would have worked far better if it had been developed over the course of a full 6 or 8 episode series and had been brought to a proper, satisfying end, but maybe the back door was left open for a reason and there's still more to be heard from Smeghead, Listy and the crew--at least one can hope.
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on November 15, 2013

Tired low budget "heroes come to our world" sequel plot gets turned on its head in at times surprisingly funny ways.

And when it isn't funny, you can always watch the science officer hologram. Wosa!
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on November 2, 2010
The history around Back to Earth is perhaps more interesting than the series itself. Converted from a film script, paid for by an all new channel, recorded in HD for the first time and back from a 10 year hiatus, BTE is the return of the classic BBC comedy series Red Dwarf.

It's fair to say that series 7 & 8 had deteriorated in quality to the point of turning off many long term fans. The series 8 finale was a poor cliffhanger that promised more Dwarf, but none came. With BTE Doug Naylor has cleverly reset the series, brought it back to the screen and to people's attention and if just for that alone, BTE is a great addition to Red Dwarf. This 3 part series certainly differs from existing Red Dwarf - there's no audience, it's very cinematic and there's a more serious tone. It's the 2000's version of RD. Some hated the changes, some liked the. For me it's a special RD so I'm okay with them.

I hope that Grant/Naylor productions now go on to create an all new series, bringing back the audience, witty dialog and genius sci-fi writing. Remember Doug, story and sci-fi first, decent looking special effects second!
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VINE VOICEon November 24, 2009
I'll admit I didn't know what to expect from Red Dwarf Back To Earth after so many years of no new productions for this show. I was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining this new 77 minute show really is. It's not a return to earlier glory days when creators Grant Naylor wrote the show together and it is more of a "dramedy" as we've come to expect from Naylor writing alone, but it's solidly written with many great comedic as well as poignant moments. I'll stop there because there are many great little twists in the story and I don't want to put any spoilers here.

The commentary tracks and other extra features are terrific. The cast haven't lost a thing and provided terrific performances as they stepped back into character after so many years. As usual, The Cat (Danny John-Jules) turns every tiny line or moment he gets into comedy gold. Craig Charles turns in quite the good dramatic performance at certain moments of the film. Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and Rimmer (Chris Barrie) are hilariously zany and eccentric as ever. I actually enjoyed this more than many of the season 8 episodes of the show. Recommended!
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on January 24, 2011
People seem to miss this very crucial bit about this movie. From the back cover copy -- "...the Dwarfers, in best Blade Runner tradition, track down..." This is incredibly important. If you haven't seen Blade Runner -- probably a lot -- you will miss the vast majority of the gags in this movie. So much of the movie makes fun of an incredible amount of Blade Runner that if don't like Blade Runner or aren't terribly familiar with it, much of the movie won't make a lot of sense.

Much of what the other reviewers say about this is probably true, but I strongly feel that if you know of and enjoy Blade Runner, this will make a lot more sense and be far more enjoyable than it would be otherwise.
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on August 5, 2013
I liked it. I was impressed with the set and cgi. I would watch the series for another 5 seasons. This episode/4 part movie was great. It didn't have a laugh track, which made this episode/movie seem a bit slow and confusing. The show was never 100 percent funny. Not every joke worked. Its popularity came from the over all humor and out there creativity. So the lack of laugh track was odd at first. But the actors make it work like usual.
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