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Red Dwarf: Back to Earth
BLU-RAY disk
11.06.2009 By: Chris Bumbray
Red Dwarf: Back to Earth order
Director:
Greg Naylor

Actors:
Chris Barrie
Craig Charles
Danny John-Jules
Robert Llewellyn

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Life on Red Dwarf is chugging along as usual, with Rimmer (lol- Rimmer) and Lister constantly at each other's throats, while Cat is his usual flamboyant self, and Kryten taking a much needed holiday on another deck. After the gang survives an attack by a giant squid growing in the water tanks, they're surprised to discover a new addition to the crew- a female hologram who builds a device to send Lister to another dimension so he can find a mate. Being RED DWARF- things don't go as planned, and soon the gang finds themselves stranded in modern-day London. Before you can say LAST ACTION HERO, the crew discovers that they're actually fictional characters from a TV series on the verge of cancellation, and they set out to find the show's creator in the hope of delaying the inevitable series finale- which would end their existence.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When I was about 10 or 11, RED DWARF was one of my favorite shows. I used to watch it every Saturday afternoon on PBS. Something about this silly show just appealed to me, so when I found out the whole gang was getting back together for a reunion show- I had to check it out.

Having not seen a single episode of the series in over ten years, I have my doubts as to whether or not the show would stand the test of time. Indeed- the first twenty minutes of this were painfully bad, and I didn't laugh once. However- once they get to London, things pick up considerably.

Now, a lot of people may not like this strange metaphysical twist, but I dug it- especially towards the end when the gang manages to track down the real Lister, Craig Charles, on the set of CORONATION STREET- complete with lots of cheeky references to his supposed drug problem from when the show was in it's prime.

The special does go a little overboard towards the end with the numerous, heavy handed BLADE RUNNER references, but I still more or less dug this new incarnation of RED DWARF, although I understand fan reaction has been somewhat mixed so far. Regardless- the show supposedly did well enough in the ratings- with a new series being planned for next year- so RED DWARF may live on!

THE EXTRAS
This is a fairly loaded blu-ray, with the seventy two minute making of being the disc's centerpiece, and presented in 1080i. We also get a pair of commentary tracks , one featuring series creator Greg Naylor, the other featuring stars Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewellyn.

Rounding out the two disc set, we get a gag reel , deleted scenes , an F/X featurette , TV promos , and some other short featurettes on the cast.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Overal, I enjoyed BACK TO EARTH- although I have my doubts as to whether or not a full on new series of RED DWARF will be able to maintain the momentum built by this special- although maybe I'm just being a smeghead. Still, I had a blast watching it (after the lame first twenty minutes)- and for fans of the show, it's a no-brainer.
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