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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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Product Description

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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 = Entertainment May 8 2003
Format:DVD
I've been watching Red Dwarf since my Grandfather brought it to my attention on PBS several years back. I didn't think much of it then, but as I grew older and more mature (probably smarter too) I caught in on PBS again........different part of the U.S. this time. I believe it was somewhere around season 6 the second time........close to the same as before I think. Upon watching it I was drawn to the witty comments and true to science fiction atmosphere.......it had me in tears. When season six ended........all Dwarfers know the long awaited end to that season.....they picked up at the beggining with season one. At first I was very dissapointed, wanting to see what happened to the crew and all. However I noticed the change in the set....or special effects.....I was drawn to the story. I wanted to see where these lunatics where spawned. I watched all the way back up to season 6 again and still the cliffhanger. Luckily not too long after that they where released on Video.....I was elated. I purchased all that where available........and eventually the long awaited season 7.....then 8. Now I'm waiting for the movie to be finnished and released.....check out the fan club for more info. To make a long story short...season one and season two may not have the effects or the financing...however with a keen wit or intellect you'll find the jokes are just as funny. Once you work your way through the complete seasons.....and I mean all of them, you'll be glad you did. I just wish they could make them as fast as I can watch them. Its awesome that they are being released on DVD, I will wait to purchase them when all of them are released as a box set......and you know they will. If you have never heard of Red Dwarf (especially in the States) and you like LEXX......or british commedy then get Red Dwarf. Your life won't be complete without it.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Red Dwarf = Entertainment May 8 2003
Format:DVD
I've been watching Red Dwarf since my Grandfather brought it to my attention on PBS several years back. I didn't think much of it then, but as I grew older and more mature (probably smarter too) I caught in on PBS again........different part of the U.S. this time. I believe it was somewhere around season 6 the second time........close to the same as before I think. Upon watching it I was drawn to the witty comments and true to science fiction atmosphere.......it had me in tears. When season six ended........all Dwarfers know the long awaited end to that season.....they picked up at the beggining with season one. At first I was very dissapointed, wanting to see what happened to the crew and all. However I noticed the change in the set....or special effects.....I was drawn to the story. I wanted to see where these lunatics where spawned. I watched all the way back up to season 6 again and still the cliffhanger. Luckily not too long after that they where released on Video.....I was elated. I purchased all that where available........and eventually the long awaited season 7.....then 8. Now I'm waiting for the movie to be finnished and released.....check out the fan club for more info. To make a long story short...season one and season two may not have the effects or the financing...however with a keen wit or intellect you'll find the jokes are just as funny. Once you work your way through the complete seasons.....and I mean all of them, you'll be glad you did. I just wish they could make them as fast as I can watch them. Its awesome that they are being released on DVD, I will wait to purchase them when all of them are released as a box set......and you know they will. If you have never heard of Red Dwarf (especially in the States) and you like LEXX......or british commedy then get Red Dwarf. Your life won't be complete without it.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of a GREAT series! April 24 2003
Format:DVD
If you like ANY british comedy, from Ab Fab to Monty Python, you will LOVE this series. Comedy like this is a real breath of fresh air amidst the likes of all of the cookie-cutter Adam Sandler/Jim Carey garbage that permeates the shelves in most comedy sections of your local store's DVD rack. Starring (before they were stars) Danny John-Jules (Blade 2, Labyrinth, Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels) as "Cat", Chris Barrie (Tomb Raider 1 & 2) as "Rimmer", and Craig Charles (Guest star on numerous episodes of East Enders and the P4X episode of Lexx) as the last (and slobbiest) human alive, Lister, along with Norman Lovette as the very likeable (although senile) Holly: "the ship's computer with an IQ of 6000, the same IQ as 6000 PE teachers."
I only give this 4 stars because of 1 BIG thing missing from the first 2 seasons of the show: Robert Llewellyn (author of books such as "The Man on Platform 5", "Thin, he was, and Filthy Haired", "Sudden Wealth", and "Punchbag")didn't join the show (as Kryten, the Andriod) until season 3. Best episode of the set, in my opinion, is the first episode of season 2, KRYTEN (with Andy Ross as Kryten, not as good of a casting job as "Bobby Llew"), featuring an exchange in one scene remeniscent of Monty Python's "Dead Parrot" skit. The extras were great, and the episodes themselves, although you can sort of tell that the actors hadn't fully gotten their roles as of yet, are cleverly written and performed. Season 1 is good, but the show didn't really begin to click until season 2, you can tell that even the studio audience is getting more into it as well.(YES, the first 5 seasons were filmed in front of a LIVE studio audience, so you aren't getting a laugh track as some reviewers (who OBVIOUSLY didn't care to pay attention to the extras) have erroneously claimed.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars red dwarf series review
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2006 by johnbucknell
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't watch just one!
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! Read more
Published on June 11 2004 by Pamela J. Sharp
5.0 out of 5 stars A good buy, I recommend it
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. Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Smeging funny
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2004 by Kilgore
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Dwarf rocks
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
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by "reddwarflover"
5.0 out of 5 stars Extras Galore
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Owww...How'm I Lookin?
Hrm, sorry kids, Cat is one of my favorites, though I tend to say that Lister is perhaps the strongest character of the lot. Read more
Published on Nov. 26 2003 by "doll8parts"
5.0 out of 5 stars All the smeg you need!
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... Read more
Published on July 29 2003 by Paul Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, even if it's a bit cheap at first
So the set design is the result of a stellar budget at first, but it does drastically improve every season. Read more
Published on July 8 2003 by William J. Fox
4.0 out of 5 stars AAAH, Rimmer!
What can I say except it's too expensive? That's the only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars. How could anybody not love the obsequious Rimmer, brilliantly played by Chris... Read more
Published on July 4 2003 by Kaleidocherry
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