Red Dwarf-Series 6 (1993)

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Released 7-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Cast
Audio Commentary-Fan Commentary - Gunmen Of The Apocalypse
Notes-Fan Profiles
Easter Egg
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Raw Effects Footage
Featurette-Howard Goodall: Settling The Score
Featurette-Return To Laredo
Music Highlights-Music Cues
Theatrical Trailer-3
Featurette-'Sick'
Outtakes-Smeg Ups
Audio-Only Track-Radio Sketch
Gallery
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Interviews-Crew-Andy De Emmony (Director)
Featurette-8mm Model Maker Footage (No Audio)
Featurette-The Starbuggers
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 172:11 (Case: 340)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Andy De Emmony
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Chris Barrie
Craig Charles
Danny John-Jules
Robert Llewellyn
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $49.95 Music Howard Goodall


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

'Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast'

    I have reviewed a few English comedy series lately such as The Good Life and Butterflies, but neither of those really quite makes my list of the best English comedy series ever. This one, on the other hand, does. It is one of the most consistently funny comedy series ever, with some of the absolute best dialogue of any comedy series. Personally, I rate it in the same league as Fawlty Towers, Blackadder and Monty Python. This particular series of Red Dwarf was made in 1993 for the BBC and was the sixth series made. Series 9 is supposedly on the way, as is a feature film. As far as this particular series goes it is very very funny and every episode is at least excellent and at best an absolute classic. One of the episodes in this series, Gunmen of the Apocalypse, actually won an International Emmy, so even the Americans thought it was funny.

    In this series the characters have actually lost touch with the ship, Red Dwarf, and are travelling in Starbug trying to catch up with Red Dwarf. This series also sees the main characters reduced to four, as Holly, the Red Dwarf computer has been lost along with the ship. Therefore, the main characters are:

    The six episodes (all on Disc 1) included here are:

  1. Psirens (29:06) - The crew wake up after 200 years of stasis and initially Lister has amnesia, needing to be reminded of his personal habits by Kryten. They are running out of supplies and stumble across a spaceship graveyard inhabited by psirens who try to lure space travellers so they can suck out their brains. A absolute corker of an episode with some hilarious lines. To my mind one of the two best episodes of this series.
  2. Legion (28:28) - Starbug gets sucked into a tractor beam and forced to land at a space station which initially seems to be deserted. They are met by a mad scientist called Legion. He wants them to stay with him forever. He changes Rimmer into a hard light hologram which gives him the ability to touch and be touched. How will they escape from his evil clutches? Another very funny episode.
  3. Gunmen of the Apocalypse (28:55) - Rogue simulants attack Starbug wanting to wipe out all humans. After the simulants upgrade Starbug to make for better sport, they are defeated by the crew but introduce a virus. Kryten decides to allow the virus to infect him so that he can fight it with a dove program. The rest of the crew try to help him by using an artificial reality game. This results in all of them ending up in a simulated western fighting the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Another very funny episode.
  4. Emohawk - Polymorph II (28:28) - When they are found by an enforcement probe that accuses them of looting, the crew decide to avoid it by heading into the Gelf zone, a tribe of fearfully ugly and dangerous aliens. They crash land on a Gelf planet and need to trade with them to get parts for Starbug. Lister is not too pleased when Kryten agrees to trade his hand in marriage for the part. The emohawk is a shape-shifting creature which sucks out emotions. It is a pet of the Gelfs and gives the crew quite a bit of trouble. This episode is the other one which I rate as the best of this series, particularly because it features the great alter-egos of Cat & Rimmer, Dwayne Dibley & Ace Rimmer (who both appeared in previous series).
  5. Rimmerworld (28:34) - After finding the rogue simulant ship from Gunmen of the Apocalypse, Lister talks them into boarding the ship to steal supplies only to find one of the simulants still alive. Rimmer deserts them in an escape pod, which causes him to be sucked into a wormhole. Because of time differences in his time it takes 600 years for them to rescue him. Meanwhile he populates the world he lands on with clones of himself, both male and female. Great episode.
  6. Out of Time (28:40) - The crew enter an area which contains pockets of unreality causing them to believe things which are not really true. They also find a time machine and then run into themselves 15 years in the future when things have changed quite a bit. This episode has a nice cliffhanger ending which I won't spoil by explaining too much. Nice end to the series.

    One of the highlights of this series is the running joke between Rimmer and Kryten about space corps directives which Rimmer always gets wrong to hilarious effect.

    In short, this is a great season of one of the best English comedies of recent years. It is hard to compare the various seasons of Red Dwarf but this is certainly of the highest quality.

'Face it, we're deader than corduroy'

 

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is equivalent to VHS quality the first time you play the tape. The best news is that it won't get any worse.

    The feature is presented in a 1.37:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout although you certainly would not get excited. The sharpness was badly affected by colour bleeding and some light grain. There was no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was fine but not spectacular.

    The colour was a bit dull and sometimes the faces seemed a little pale. The worst things about the colour though was the significant colour bleeding especially from lighter colours. This was present throughout but worst in Gunmen of the Apocalypse. There was also significant flaring and comet trails from things such as the steel guitar in Legion.

    Other than the colour artefacts mentioned above there was also a bit of aliasing to be seen on the floor, a knife handle and the ship itself and also some minor tape tracking artefacts here and there.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear, easy to read and very close to the spoken word. Subtitles were also burnt in for aliens.

    The layer change was not noticeable and probably occurred between episodes.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is good with no major issues to report.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this series by Howard Goodall including the great opening theme is a lot of fun and adds greatly to the amusing nature of the show.  

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are copious extras spread over the two discs.

Menu

    The menu has a great Red Dwarf themed design including many of the props and scenes from the shows themselves.

Disc 1

Cast Commentary

    The four main cast members get together to record a commentary track for all 6 episodes. They are obviously greatly enjoying watching the episodes again and making fun of each other and the crew. They talk about set and costume changes for this series, locations where the shooting took place and tell some funny stories. They also point out some jokes which they enjoy. Lots of fun and well worth a listen.

Fan Commentary for Gunmen of the Apocalypse

    Four competition winners do a commentary for one episode. Not as interesting or fun as the cast commentary but they do talk about costumes, technical advancements, continuity problems and some very anal trivia. Also included are details of the four fans who are a parts manager, a female biker, a project assistant and a doctor. It's OK but you won't miss much if you don't listen to it.

Easter Egg 1 (6:00)

    I found an Easter egg on Disc 1 by (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) highlighting the sheriff's badge on the Gunmen of the Apocalypse scene selection menu and hitting Enter. This will give you an animated interview with the writers and I would guess the producer but I can't be sure. They discuss this episode.

Easter Egg 2 (1:27)

    A second Easter egg can be accessed by (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) going left from the word commentary on the main menu, hitting Enter and then typing the code 1742 into the keypad which appears . This gives you a short excerpt from an interview with Danny John-Jules where he struggles to remember which episode was which.

Easter Egg 3 (1:08)

    I found an Easter egg on Disc 1 by (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) hitting Enter during the intro to the menu when the red light shows on the airlock. This will reveal the table map in the ship with three different selectable icons. The first one, Starbug itself, gives you a short piece of cockpit footage shot for an unused special effect which was planned to project the crew into the cockpit from outside.

Easter Egg 4 (1:00)

    I found an Easter egg on Disc 1 by (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) hitting Enter during the intro to the menu when the red light shows on the airlock. This will reveal the table map in the ship with three different selectable icons. The one marked SVC01  will give you the footage which was shown on cabin monitors during episode 1, Psirens.

Easter Egg 5 (1:00)

    I found an Easter egg on Disc 1 by (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) hitting Enter during the intro to the menu when the red light shows on the airlock. This will reveal the table map in the ship with three different selectable icons. The one marked SVC02 will give you footage used for the game screens in Gunmen of the Apocalypse.

Disc 2

The Starbuggers (74:19)

    A 2004 documentary about the making of each of the individual episodes in the series including interviews with all the main cast and crew. Each episode is covered individually as well as some overall comments. It is very informative and of great interest to fans. Topics covered include new sets and costumes, the new producer and director for this series, special effects, the cast, how things were shot and various fascinating anecdotes including the various on-set accidents. An excellent extra.

Raw Effects Footage (13:43)

    A wide variety of bits and pieces of effects footage shown raw and in draft form. Personally, I did not find it particularly interesting.

Howard Goodall - Settling the Score (29:13)

    A 2004 documentary featuring an extended interview with the composer Howard Goodall about the score, how it was developed, how he became involved in the project and how the score was changed for different series and episodes. Very interesting stuff and fans will be especially interested in the other three verses of the theme song!

Trailers (0:20, 0:38, 0:14)

    Promotional trailers for the new series as shown on the BBC. Taken from fans' VHS collections.

Return to Laredo Featurette (10:24)

    Robert Llewellyn hosts a featurette where he revisits the western town in Kent which was the setting for the western scenes in Gunmen of the Apocalypse. Worthwhile.

Deleted Scenes (43:12)

    An excellent selection of deleted scenes from all six episodes including an alternate ending for Episode 6. There are some great lines which didn't make the final shows, especially some stuff about Cat's nostrils. Definitely worth watching, especially for fans.

Music Cues

    A large collection of audio-only snatches of score which are used in the various episodes. Didn't interest me greatly.

Sick Music Featurette (2:31)

    A short collection of medical procedures and injuries from various series of Red Dwarf set to the Tom Jones tune Mama Told Me Not To Come. Amusing.

Smeg Ups (18:16)

    A very funny selection of goofs and stuff-ups from the shooting of the show. Great stuff.

Radio Sketch

    An audio-only radio sketch from a show which the creators of Red Dwarf were involved in in 1984. You can see the similarities to the Red Dwarf material. Runs for about five minutes and is quite amusing..

Behind the Scenes footage (6:18)

    Quite boring behind the scenes footage from the original shoot which was taken for a proposed making of program.

Interview with Andy De Emmony - Director (4:07)

    An interview recorded when the show won an International Emmy. Andy discusses characters, special effects, plots and how the show was shot. Worth a look.

8mm model maker footage (6:25)

    Silent footage of the model makers going about the business of creating models and miniatures. Might be worthwhile for those interested in this sort of skill.

Gallery

    Approximately 100 stills spilt into sections for Production, Behind the Scenes and Designs, Set & Covers.

Weblink

    A link to the Red Dwarf site.

Collector's Booklet

    According to the case a collector's booklet is included in the retail package , however, this was not included with the review disc so I cannot provide any details of its contents.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This set has been released in exactly the same configuration in Region 2 and I cannot find any evidence of it having been released in Region 1.May as well go for the local product.

Summary

    A great series of a brilliant English comedy program, presented with reasonable audio and video and an incredible array of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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