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Red Dwarf Series 5

BBC Worldwide // Unrated // March 15, 2005
List Price: $31.48 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by David Blair | posted June 27, 2005 | E-mail the Author
Series 5 is loaded with classic episodes, one of which (Back To Reality) is regarded by many to be the best of the show's entire run. One of the reasons
Series 5 is so good is, like Series 3 and 4, comedy, rather than special effects, takes center stage. The entire cast does a bang up job as usual, adding some of their best performances to date. And Grant and Taylor obviously had a lot of fun writing these episodes because there wasn't a single episode where I didn't laugh out loud.

Here is a rundown of the episodes:

Holoship - Rimmer gets the opportunity to leave Red Dwarf and join a ship of super intelligent yet, arrogant holograms where meaningless sex is a daily requirement. This is a great episode with some hilarious one-liners. Chris Barrie at his best.

The Inquisitor - The crew has to justify their existence to a deranged omnipotent droid that travels through time eliminating worthless souls. Witty dialogue and great acting make this a hugely enjoyable episode.

Terrorform - The crew has to rescue Rimmer from a planetoid controlled by depths of his mind. The "typing" scene at the beginning of the episode is an absolute classic.

Quarantine - Space Core Directive's bite the crew I the rear as Rimmer uses them to drive the crew insane. Lister, Cat, and Kryton then run for their lives when Rimmer gets infected with a holo virus. We get to see Chris Barrie put on a brilliant performance in an episode considered by many to be one of the best episodes in the show's entire run.

Demons & Angels - The crew accidentally creates both an evil and angelic version of themselves. The entire cast does a tremendous job portraying their alter egos. Another classic episode.

Back to Reality - The crew wakes up to find they've been spending the past four years playing the extremely popular virtual reality game Red Dwarf. One of the best and most clever episodes ever made. Here we see the birth of Dwane Dibbly. 'Nuff said.

Series 5 is a fan favorite, and has two of the most loved episodes ever made. If you love
Red Dwarf, then this is a must-own DVD.


(Same as Red Dwarf Series 3)

Red Dwarf - Series 5 is presented in its original 4x3 full screen aspect ratio. Picture quality is significantly better than the first two seasons with pixelation noticeably improved. This is good since pixelation was the only thing that really bothered me about the first two DVD's. Also, picture looks to be little sharper as well. I can't say for sure if the improvement is a result of the transfer or the newer source material, but my hunch is that the source material for this series was in better shape than the first two seasons. But whatever the reason, I'll take it.


(Same as Red Dwarf Series 3)

As with Series 1-4, this DVD comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. The sound on the first two DVD's was excellent, and the trend continues here. Dialogue is crisp and easy to hear, and the music and special effects sound every bit as fresh as they did when they originally aired over the BBC network.


Heavy Science: This brilliant featurette is loaded with excellent interviews giving a solid feel of what it was like behind the scenes during Red Dwarf Series 5. The feature goes through each episode, so even hardcore fans will likely learn something from this.

Commentary: As with the previous DVD releases, each episode has it's own actor commentary. And like the previous DVD's, each commentary is a blast to listen too. However for this season, actor Craig Charles who plays David Lister, was ill and could not make the recording session. This however leads to hilarious impersonations done by the rest of the cast. Pay particular attention to Chris Barrie's master rendition of our favorite curry-eating slob.

New for this season was special "Fan" commentary for the episode Back To Reality, given by several contest winners, who incidentally seem to know more about the show than the actors themselves. The fans did a great job voicing in their opinions of the now famous episode, and actually add insight to some behind the scenes knowledge.

Deleted scenes: Here was have 48 minutes of deleted scenes. As usual, most of these scenes were cut do to time constraints, or pacing issues.

Smeg ups: Here you'll find seven glorious minutes of hilarious bloopers. These never get old. The only disappointment here is that it isn't longer.

"Bad Guys" music video montage: This two-minute montage of all of Red Dwarf's bad guys is a fun glimpse into all the nasty characters to grace the show's eight season run.

Dwarfing U.S.A.: Here is a 28-minute interview-style look at the rise and fall of the American pilot episode of Red Dwarf. Thankfully the show never took off, mostly because the American version just didn't have the same appeal of the British original. The actor interviews are most interesting because we learn Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) was hired for the American pilot, which instilled some jealously throughout the rest of the British cast. We also see how the different (I.E. awful) the casting was, and learn that the pilot script was (for lack of a better word) horrible and basically humorless.

Radio Sketch: Son of Cliché: Staring Christopher Barrie, Nick Maloney and Nick Wilton. Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. This scene was first broadcast on August 30th, 1983.

Final Thoughts:

Daring plots, exotic locations, and more fun than should be legally allowed; Red Dwarf Series 5 is a real winner. The DVD
is worth buying for the episodes Back To Reality and Quarantine alone. So the fact that you get four more uproarious additions is simply a much-appreciated bonus. Stellar bonus features and a fantastic set of actor and fan commentaries make this purchase a no-brainer.
Highly Recommended

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Highly Recommended

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