Red Dwarf-Series 7 (1997)

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Released 1-Dec-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Cast
Alternative Version-3 Extended Episodes-Tikka To Ride, Ouroboros and Duct Soup
Alternative Version-Tikka To Ride: Remastered
Storyboards-Identity Within- The 'Lost' Episode
Short Film-Fan Films
Featurette-Documentary - Back From The Dead
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Robert Llewellyn Video Diary
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-'How Do They Do That?'
Featurette-Raw FX Footage
Isolated Musical Score
Audio-Only Track-Son Of Cliché (Radio Show)
Featurette-"Technically Speaking" Music Featurette
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Gallery-Photo
Trailer-Trailer from 1997, Kryten Intros
Booklet
More…-DVD Credits, Weblinks, Easter Eggs
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 231:01 (Case: 495)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Ed Bye
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Chris Barrie
Craig Charles
Danny John-Jules
Robert Llewellyn
Chloe Annett
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $49.95 Music Howard Goodall


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

   

Cat : 'If I Was Dead, you most certainly could not swing me around in here'

    The big question is...did Red Dwarf 'jump the shark' between Series VI and this series? The argument rages back and forth between fans of the show as this series is quite different to the preceding ones. The big differences are that there was a four year gap between series, instead of just one; one of the creators Rob Grant had a falling out with the other one, Doug Naylor and refused to be involved, resulting in new writers being needed; one of the main actors, Chris Barrie declared himself unavailable on a full time basis for this series resulting in him only being a full crew member in the first two episodes; this was the first series not recorded in front of a live audience and it was shot with one camera rather than multiple; a new main character is introduced to the crew (although she had appeared in previous series) played by a different actress, Chloe Annett. And if all of that wasn't enough, this series has eight episodes instead of six.

    In this series the characters are still chasing their ship, Red Dwarf and are travelling in Starbug, a smaller support ship. The main characters are:

    The eight episodes (spread over disc 1 and 2) included here are:

  1. Tikka to Ride (28:41) - After a nonsensical explanation of why they are not dead like they were at the end of series VI, this episode involves the crew being low on supplies. Dave is especially upset because all the lager and curry supplies blew up. He wants to use the time drive to go back in time to get Indian food. This results in them being in Dallas in 1963 when Kennedy was shot and they show how the conspiracy actually occurred. Although the premise of this episode is clever, it is one of the least funny Red Dwarf episodes ever, despite a couple of good lines. This episode is available in three other versions in the extras.
  2. Stoke me a Clipper (29:14) - One of the two best episodes in this series. Ace Rimmer visits after being injured battling the Nazis and wants Arnold Rimmer to take over from his as Ace Rimmer. Lister uses the AR machine to try and get laid in the Middle Ages. Guest stars Brian Cox as a medieval king.
  3. Ouroboros (29:37) - The crew opens a link to another dimension, where another version of Red Dwarf exits. When the link collapses unexpectedly, the Kochanski from that dimension ends up stuck on Starbug. Kryten gets very jealous of her relationship with Lister. Decent episode but nothing special. A different version of this episode is available in the extras.
  4. Duct Soup (29:23) - The power generator goes down and they need to climb through the air ducts to fix it. Kochanski is having trouble coming to terms with being on Starbug. This episode is more a relationship comedy-drama than a sit-com. Decent but only a few great lines. A different version of this episode is available in the extras.
  5. Blue (27:23) - Kryten gets very jealous of Kochanski and Lister is depressed because he really misses Rimmer being around. In order to fix the problem, Kryten constructs The Rimmer Experience in the AR lab based upon Rimmer's diaries. Another decent but not special episode.
  6. Beyond A Joke (28:52) - This is the second of the best episodes from this series. Kryten cooks a special dinner but Kochanski convinces Lister and Cat to play Jane Austen World in the AR lab instead. Kryten goes berserk and ends up kidnapped by simulants. He meets another droid similar to him called Able.
  7. Epideme (28:58) - The first part of a two part episode which finished this series. They find a large astro glacier with a ship buried in it. In the ship is a frozen woman from Red Dwarf, Caroline Carmen. She awakes and attacks Lister giving him a virus called Epideme which will kill him in 48 hours. Good episode.
  8. Nanarchy (28:53) - Second part of Epideme in which many loose ends are tied together including the reappearance of Holly. Another good episode.

    Beside all the other things I mentioned above, this series has more relationship drama/comedy to it rather than straight comedy. To my mind, this does not improve it compared to other seasons.

    For what it's worth, although there are some wonderful moments here, I believe Red Dwarf did jump the shark between series VI and VII. Of all the changes mentioned above I think the departure of Rob Grant had the biggest negative effect. Many fans will agree with me and others will not. Still, better than a lot of other shows and this set is worth having if you are collecting all the series of the show, but it may not be the one you return to most often.

'Face it, we're deader that corduroy'

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is in some ways better than the previous season and in others worse. Overall, it's still a bit average.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio. Strangely, the credit sequence is in widescreen (non 16x9 enhanced) on each episode.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout, a little better than the previous season, probably as it was made some years later. The sharpness was 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 better than the previous season being less dull, however the colour bleeding, especially from lighter colours was still present. Cat's Orange suit was one of the worst offenders. There is also some chroma noise present on reds.

    Artefacts is where this transfer goes backwards from the previous season as aliasing is much more prevalent such as on Kryten's neck every time he appears, the space suits which appear regularly and on some shutters and grilles. There is also quite a bit of edge enhancement.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear, easy to read and summarised from the spoken word on occasion.

    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 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was reasonably clear and easy to understand, although sometimes mixed a little low 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 three discs.

Menu

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

Booklet

    An extensive 16 page booklet is included with features on all the episodes, background on the series as a whole, trivia and quotes. Excellent stuff.

Discs 1 & 2

Cast Commentary

    The four main cast members get together to record a commentary track for all 8 episodes. They are also joined when appropriate by Chloe Annett & Norman Lovett. They are obviously greatly enjoying watching the episodes again and making fun of each other and the crew. They talk about sets and costumes, 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.

Disc 1

Tikka to Ride Xtended (37:15)

    This version includes a new opening, more discussion about drinking a yard of vindaloo and a different and better ending where the Indian food is found. Overall, I preferred this version to the transmitted one, as it is funnier. Additionally, there is no laugh track. This version was released previously on video.

Tikka to Ride Remastered (28:41)

    This version has new special effects which could not be done originally due to budget constraints. Well worth a look.

Tikka to Ride Xtended & Remastered (37:15)

    This is the extended version with new special effects.

Ouroboros Xtended (32:44)

    This version contains the credits and some other minor extra dialogue scenes which were originally cut.

Identity Within (44:04)

    This is an extra episode which was written for this series but never actually produced. It is shown here by way of the conceptual drawings for the episode with a voiceover by Chris Barrie explaining what is going on and doing the dialogue. The episode involves Cat needing to have sex with a female cat or he will die. Unfortunately, although this seems like an interesting episode, the format becomes a little tedious.

Disc 2

Duct Soup Xtended (33:31)

    Extended version of the episode including the credits, a scene about someone called Squeaky Gibson and some other bits of dialogue. Nothing too much extra really.

Fan Films (18:21)

    In response to a request from Doug Naylor for fans to send in film, these two were judged to be the best. Personally, I didn't find either of them overly interesting. They are The Movie: Yeah No, Yeah No (10:10) and Red Dwarf : Attack of the... (5:07) which was all done with finger puppets.

Disc 3

Back From The Dead (88:37)

    A new documentary which covers the reasons behind the changes including the departure of Rob Grant, the Chris Barrie issues, rewrites, the new style, effects issues, audience reaction and then a detailed section covering the making of each episode. Interviews are included with all of the major cast members; Doug Naylor, Ed Bye and other crew members including the new writers. Very worthwhile.

Raw FX Footage (20:58, 4:39, 5:20)

    Three sets of raw FX footage which seem to go on forever. You can certainly have too much of this sort of stuff. One set is Model FX, one CGI done by the BBC and one CGI done by Chris Veale.

Isolated Music Queues

    Approximately 50 small pieces of soundtrack music by Howard Goodall. Some were not used in the shows. They play over the menu so I cannot tell you how long they are.

Son of Cliche

    Sketches from a Grant/Naylor radio show from 1984. There are two sketches included which will probably be of interest to fans but no-one else..

Technically Speaking Music Featurette (2:33)

    Snippets from the show with a pop song playing over them. Que?

Robert Llewellyn Video Diary (7:55)

    Half assed video diary taken by Robert Llewellyn with some amusing behind the scenes stuff and a lot of silliness.

How Do They Do That? (5:27)

    Extract from a BBC1 show on how they created the model shots for this series. Not bad.

Deleted Scenes (43:27)

    Hordes of deleted scenes from all episodes which includes some boring stuff but also some funny stuff involving Cat and the full version of the Rimmer song from Blue. Good stuff.

Smeg Ups (10:26)

    A very funny selection of goofs and stuff-ups from the shooting of this series.

Trailer (0:34)

    As shown on BBC to promote the upcoming series. Taken from the home video collection of a fan.

Kryten Intros (3:36)

    These are the intros used when the extended version was released on VHS and the ones from the Smeg-ups compilation. Why do we want them? Completists only.

Stills Galleries

    A large collection of stills broken into 3 galleries of production shots, 2 of behind the scenes shots, one of Instant Designs and one of covers.

Easter Eggs

    I found two Easter eggs on Disc 3 by (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) going left from Subtitles on the main menu then down to highlight the red ammo sign. Once you hit enter a blaster is shown which has two red buttons on the side. Each one reveals a different Easter egg. They are Chloe Annett's audition (2:44) and another trailer (1:25).

DVD Credits

Weblink

    A link to the Red Dwarf site.

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 less than stellar series of a formerly great 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?)
Thursday, March 02, 2006
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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Comments (Add)
reason for poor picture - hank