And no one told me.
In case you didn't know (and I only found out recently by accident) there is a new Red Dwarf out on DVD --> Red Dwarf: Back to Earth
Depending on what you are looking for out of Red Dwarf will largely determine whether or not you will like this.
First of all, it's only like three "episodes" -- however, it really isn't broken up and it's much better to watch the whole thing at once. It's more like a movie.
Second of all, there is no laugh track. Which is rather different for a comedy like Red Dwarf. Red Dwarf is not quite as slapstick as a lot of movies/shows and some of the best humor helps when it's pointed to that it's funny. There were a number of times as I watched it that I found myself asking "Is that funny?" and realizing afterward that it was actually a lot funnier the more I thought about it. It just might have been nice to have been cued to laugh.
The story isn't bad. It brings in elements from previous seasons as well as some elements from the books (if you're a really big fan). I don't want to say too much about the story to prevent spoilers.
Reading the reviews on Amazon made me a bit nervous to buy it. It is quite a bit different than most of the other seasons. But what surprised me the most was that none of the reviews that I saw mentioned anything about Blade Runner. The back cover copy of the DVD says something like "the crew from Red Dwarf find themselves back on earth in the 21st century and in classic Blade Runner style..." and when I read that I said "well what does that mean?" I absolutely loved Blade Runner. The number of allusions to Blade Runner was amazing. They really did a good job making fun of this classic sci-fi movie while still giving it the respect it deserves.
If you've never seen Red Dwarf -- Then shame on you.
If you've never seen Red Dwarf -- Then don't see this one. See all the seasons first.
If you have seen (and enjoy) Red Dwarf but haven't see Blade Runner -- You probably won't "get it".
If you have seen and enjoy both Red Dwarf and Blade Runner -- You really should check out this movie.
it was made on a budget of about 50p, and only shown on cable here in the UK
Their budget generally seems to have been low. Watching their special features on their last season was interesting to say the least. Listening to them talking about running through the fields chasing people with a large trash-can lid tied to a fishing pole. Paying their special effects people in wine. I just amazes me what they can do with the budget they get.
RED DWARF actually had a reasonably large budget, about £500,000 per episode in 1992, which was higher than the likes of BABYLON 5, for example (taking currency exchange rates into consideration), although still a way short of the various STAR TREK series.
The only season that suffered from special effects budget problems was really Season 7. In earlier seasons they simply didn't do as many effects shots and in later seasons they had the money to do it properly. In Season 7 they had the money, but the BBC effects department had gone independent and they couldn't afford to use it fully any more, meaning they had to go with the first CGI team they came across, who were rubbish. The Season 7 effects were considerably worse than anything going back to before Season 3. Season 8's effects were pretty good though.
Latest news is that Dave and the Dwarf production team want to make a proper six-episode new season, but they want more money to do it just, which means getting more involvement from the BBC (who own Dave). The BBC were not interested before last year's special because they thought DWARF was done. Since then, DWARF has become the BBC's biggest-selling comedy series on DVD and the new special got the biggest-ever ratings for the Dave channel, so the hope is that the BBC will invest more money in it, and maybe show it on one of the main BBC channels as well.
Good news. Season 10 was pretty good so I hope they're continuing their return to form. Even better, Season 12 has already been filmed and will air next year!
Started fading badly circa Season 7 IMO
Nominations for best episode?
True, but even then you got episodes like Ace Rimmer or the Rimmer Experience, I actually liked 8 (?) the one with the reconstructed RD with crew and all - it was a nice change of pace that allowed them to do a number of different situations that would not be possible with only the regular crew. 10 was pretty good, more like seasons 3-4 than anything later.
Best episode ever? Crikey.
These would be in contention:
Better Than Life
Thanks for the Memory
Back to Reality
Gunmen of the Apocalypse (the one that won the Emmy!)
But pretty much all of Seasons 2-5 (and 6, to a lesser extent) are golden. Seasons 7 and 9 are absolutely awful, 1 and 8 are okay and 10 was pretty good.
Excited to see other Red Dwarf fans here. I have yet to see the new season yet.
I was pretty stoked when I found out they made an actual RPG game for it. I actually picked up the books here on Paizo's site. Sadly I can't get enough friends interested in it to actually play.