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Red Dwarf Series 1 & 2

Chris Barrie , Craig Charles , Ed Bye    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
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Notoriously, and entirely appropriately, the original outline for Doug Naylor and Rob Grant's comedy sci-fi series Red Dwarf was sketched on the back of a beer mat. When it finally appeared on British television in 1988, the show had clearly stayed true to its roots, mixing jokes about excessive curry consumption with affectionate parodies of classic sci-fi. Indeed, one of the show's most endearing and enduring features is its obvious respect for genre conventions, even as it gleefully subverts them. The scenario owes something to Douglas Adams's satirical Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, something to The Odd Couple, and a lot more to the slacker sci-fi of John Carpenter's Dark Star. Behind the crew's constant bickering there lurks an impending sense that life, the universe, and everything are all someone's idea of a terrible joke.

Later seasons broadened the show's horizons until at last its premise was so diluted as to be unrecognizable, but in the six episodes of the first season, the comedy is witty and intimate, focusing on characters and not special effects. Slob Dave Lister (Craig Charles) is the last human alive after a radiation leak wipes out the crew of the vast mining vessel Red Dwarf (episode 1, "The End"). He bums around the spaceship with the perpetually uptight and annoyed hologram of his dead bunkmate, Arnold Rimmer (Chris Barrie, the show's greatest comedy asset), and a creature evolved from a cat (dapper Danny John-Jules). They are guided rather haphazardly by Holly, the worryingly thick main computer (lugubrious Norman Lovett).

The second season showcases the show's sardonic, sarcastic humor to perfection. The cast had gelled, the drab sets were spiced up, a little more money had been assigned to models and special effects, and the crew even went on location once in a while. "Kryten" introduces us to the eponymous house robot (here played by David Ross), although after this first episode he was not to reappear until season 3, when Robert Llewellyn made the role his own. Then in "Better Than Life" the show produced one of its all-time classic episodes, as the boys from the Dwarf take part in a virtual reality game that's ruined by Rimmer's tortured psyche. Other highlights include "Queeg," in which Holly is replaced by a domineering computer personality; the baffling time-travel paradox of "Stasis Leak"; the puzzling conundrum of "Thanks for the Memory"; and the astonishingly feminine "Parallel Universe." --Mark Walker

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars red dwarf series review Jan. 12 2006
I am not a big one on to many british shows because the humor is dry and not all that funny. But this show is so much better the stle is very unique to watch. It is fresh and funny. Some those shows are so funny my sides were sore. But it can be crude but to be honest alot of british humor is anyway. I am not saying this to ne sterotyping.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You can't watch just one! June 11 2004
This series is habit forming. These opening shows were so wonderfully fresh and funny - there is nothing like them! I laughed until I couldn't laugh anymore! I watched the entire lot of episodes in one sitting, and I wanted MORE! Unbelievably funny and fascinating! You can't help but fall in love with these kooky characters!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good buy, I recommend it May 3 2004
By Henry
The series Red Dwarf is truly amazing, and if you enjoy it, you'll definately want these DVDs. They hold dozens of interesting bonus features as well as the actual episodes. Some favorties of mine are:
Series 1
-The End
-Balance Of Power
-Waiting For God
Series 2
-Better Than Life
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5.0 out of 5 stars Smeging funny Feb. 2 2004
By Kilgore
Low budget sets, low budget special effects, absolutely hilarious. Some may knock the early espisodes for it's low budget look, but to me that is part of the appeal. What stands out is the wonderful writing, while it is a sci-fi take-off the real star of this series is the hilarious dialogue between the crew, the cat and the computer. The first four series are great, the later episodes got a bigger budget, you can tell from the look, but the best episodes are definitley the earlier ones. Another series you can watch over and over and never get tired of it. For those who love Monty Python and Black Adder.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Red Dwarf rocks Jan. 22 2004
He anyone who wants to watch Red Dwarf they are going to start showing Red Dwarf on January 26 on PBS to get listings go to psb.org
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extras Galore Jan. 16 2004
By A Customer
The amount of work put into this DVD collection is incredible. Not only were they able to convince all four stars to commentate all the episodes, they also provide the fans with plenty of bonus features. Bloopers, model shots, music, videos, and the featurette RD A to Z. It's only season 1 & 2! I can't wait to see the extras on season 3 & 4!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Owww...How'm I Lookin? Nov. 26 2003
Hrm, sorry kids, Cat is one of my favorites, though I tend to say that Lister is perhaps the strongest character of the lot. Nevertheless, it is all hilarious, and I urge all RD fans to buy these DVDs. Has good commentary, and fun interactive screen (though I do wish there were more to them). I am so antsy for the others to come out. Why do they have to drag out the anticipation? I suspect for monetary reasons. Such is life. Smeg happens, yeah?
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5.0 out of 5 stars All the smeg you need! July 29 2003
Red dwarf never gets old it's just as funny to this day and with the DVD's you get a few extras, the extras just add to the smeg value of red dwarf and to be honest these DVD's couldnt be much better for content, when you look back on some of the first episodes you cant really remember some with it been that long since it was on tv but they are still just as funny as with Kryton when he was discovered looking after some dead people assuming that they where alive, you cant really help but love the robot that looks like a condoms been placed on his squareish head. So it's worth getting although if you can find it cheaper it would be better as it's pretty expensive.
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