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October 9, 2015

Red Dwarf: Back to Earth - a mini-review

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 25th 2009 2:15PM
Red DwarfI managed to obtain a copy of Red Dwarf: Back to Earth, the first original Red Dwarf series (albeit mini-series) in nine years, and I have to say I was somewhat disappointed.

As I mentioned before, it was nice to see the crew back and their usual callow banter. The episode, however, seemed more of an attempt at a relaunch of the franchise than a conclusion to the series. Nothing seems to actually get resolved.

Spoilers follow...

The plot in summation: the crew is inked by a creature known as a "despair squid" which causes them to hallucinate going to a parallel Earth in which they are fictional characters. Mind you, the fact that they are hallucinating the experience is the big reveal. Yes, that old chestnut.

The episode seemed not terribly creative and overly narcissistic for my taste. There is even a gap in experiences between Season 8 of the show and the crew now (the resurrected crew is apparently dead and Rimmer is a hologram again). For a laugh, the special noted that there was a successful "series 9 and 10" of Red Dwarf, when these changes occurred.

Overall, I give the new mini-series a thumbs down. Sometimes it's better to let franchises die.

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I've watched 'part one' of 'Back to Earth', and the most noticable missing component IS the studio laughter, as you mentioned (otherwise, the gags/characters seemed...well to ME, anyway...the same as always, good to see them all back...and MAN, they look GREAT, considering!)...

Anyway, I was just curious as to how the whole thing would work if a laughtrack WAS added...so Im doing it for fun...(I make films/animation for a living...;)

In case you are curious as to whether or not this 'helps' make 'B2E' seem more like the RD we all knew and loved, check out this sample (sorry the edited in laughs are sortta choppy, it was a quick edit just to get the 'feel' of the possibility...;)


-Kevin Karstens

May 13 2009 at 11:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also disagree with all the naysayers! I loved "Back to Earth". It was like checking back in with an old friend after many years and rediscovering just how freaking funny they really are. I've really missed these characters, and with the open-ended developments of this mini-series, I'd love to see a new series of the show emerge.

I also enjoyed Lister's emotional development as the episodes progressed. The Remembrance Garden scene was incredibly poignant, and Lister wanting to return to reality to actually win the real Kochanski back was great.

Note: it wasn't a "despair squid" that attacked them... it was a "joy squid" that fed off of their greatest desires.

And R.H. Golem... come on and fess up: You're just Rob Grant lurking on various boards trashing anything RD that was made after you left! :-)

April 26 2009 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matthew Golem

Were you surprised? It hasn't been good since Season 4.

April 25 2009 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ummm, wasn't that the episode "Back To Reality" from season 5. That would be the episode with the despair squid.

April 25 2009 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I disagree entirely! This mini-series ROCKED! I admit, the first was a bit of a disappointment but the 2 that followed... unreal! They dared to venture into something you only think they can do... who would have predicted Steve McDonald would every make a reckoning with Lloyd about his past days on the dwarf... Brill! Total Brill! I guess being an avid corrie fan helped.

April 25 2009 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah I got to admit I was dissapointed with the three eisode series. It had it's funny moments, but I missed the laugh track the old series had.

I remember watching the whole series as kid with my dad. And I had high hopes for this.

April 25 2009 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Spoilers follow..."

You don't say, you gave away the ending in the first sentence - bravo!

April 25 2009 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was so let down by this and want to blame the channel Dave.

It should have been left as one of the greatest comedies to come out of the UK.

April 25 2009 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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