The Jupiter Mining
Red Dwarf ventures deeper into space,
Ace Rimmer arrives from an alternative dimension, Kryten falls
in love and Lister's curry tries to kill him...
four of Red Dwarf looks and feels a lot slicker that
than series one to three. The model effects look more impressive
- with a very obvious Thunderbirds feel to them - and
the other visual effects are more convincing.
around this time the writers were trying to sell the show
to America, and in retrospect this is really obvious. There
are a lot of gags in this series that are aimed specifically
at an American audience - including references to Ripley's
Believe it or Not, American football and the insistence
on using the word "bum" instead of "tramp".
Also in the episode Meltdown the majority of the hero
wax droids still alive in Wax World are American (Abraham
Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Stan Laurel).
possibly the largest crime sees Robert Llewellyn's Kryten
being the focus of more episodes at the expense of the other
cast members - especially Danny John-Jules's Cat. Both Camille
and DNA are Kryten episodes and three of the remaining
four episodes (Justice, Dimension Jump and Meltdown)
are Rimmer heavy episodes. Sadly, this means that Holly, The
Cat and, to a lesser extent, Lister are not used fully. However,
fans of the
original Kryten (David Ross) will be pleased to see that he
makes a vocal appearance as a new Talkie Toaster.
extras are more impressive than season three's appalling offerings
- although they could have been better. Extras include: Cast
commentary for each episode; Ace Rimmer documentary
presented by Hattie Hayridge; Built To Last documentary;
Deleted scenes; Smeg ups; Trailers; Model shots; Isolated
music cues; Photo gallery; Design gallery; Can't Smeg,
Won't Smeg; Easter Eggs; Talking book chapters and Weblink.
extras warrant further explanation. Firstly, don't bother
with the audio commentary. You won't be able to stomach more
than one. What you get (as I mentioned with the season three
discs) is five actors sitting around watching episodes they
haven't seen in years saying: "Ah! Classic! That's a
classic line that." Then long moments of silence and
then more of the same dull laughing and unhelpful observations.
Occasionally, and it is usually thanks to Chris Barrie or
Robert Llewellyn, we get a little bit of background information.
But these nuggets are so few and far between as to make them
pointless. Possibly the biggest crime is during the commentary
of Meltdown when Hattie Hayridge starts to talk, stops
herself and then apologises for talking over the episode.
She then naively asks whether the viewers can turn the commentary
off and watch the episode without them talking.
I'd ignore the commentaries and go straight for the Built
to Last documentary. At just over an hour and 10 minutes,
this looks at every episode and digs out tons of interesting
information that will be of interest to Red Dwarf fans.
Also worth watching is the Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg spoof
of Can't Cook Won't Cook. I really found this amusing.
However it should have really been included on a later collection,
as ChloŽ Annett (Kochanski) is included and she doesn't appear
until series seven.
only really bad extras are the Ace Rimmer and Lurve
"documentaries". They are listed as "documentaries"
but are really just clips cobbled together from the shows
entire history. Dull doesn't even begin to describe how tedious
these are. Oh, and this time around they've tried to make
the talking book chapters sound relevant by stating that they
show the characters in a new light?!!? Er... no they don't!
And anyone who is even remotely familiar with Red Dwarf
will know that the books and the TV series constantly contradict
one another anyway.
annoying feature I'd like to point out is the lengthy menu
screens. Why do DVD producers think that we want to sit through
really long animated sequences? I just want to watch the episodes,
not explore a computer generated interior or Red Dwarf.
While this may look cool the first time, it really starts
to annoy after repeated viewing. Thankfully though the annoying,
difficult to navigate extras menu has now been altered so
that you get the option to view this as a simple text menu
- which is much easier to control.
moaned more than praised this release, this is still an essential
purchase - the episodes themselves still stand up as great
television. And you'd be a bit of smeg head to turn your nose
up at some of the shows best episodes from its entire run.
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