Red Dwarf-Series 8 (1997)

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Released 20-Apr-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Cast
Alternative Version-Back In The Red: Xtended And Pete: Feature Length
Featurette-Comedy Connections
Featurette-Bill Pearson-Model Maker Video
Isolated Musical Score-Music Cues-Theme, Blue Midget Dance
Featurette-Raw Effects Footage-Model FX, CGI FX
Deleted Scenes-Robert Llewellyn Video Diary
Storyboard Comparisons-'How Do They Do That?'
Audio-Only Track-Son Of Cliché (Radio Show)
Gallery-Photo-Production Shots, Snapshots, Designs And Covers, Storyboards
Outtakes-Smeg-Ups
Trailer-2, PBS Indents, Children In Need Sketch
Featurette-'Fight' Music Featurette
Featurette-Documentary: The Tank
Web Links
DVD Credits-Trailer from 1997, Kryten Intros
Booklet
Easter Egg-DVD Credits, Weblinks, Easter Eggs
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 560:36 (Case: 617)
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 Full Frame 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 No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

After the misfires of Season 6 and Season 7 which saw Lister forget where he parked Red Dwarf, Rimmer leaving to become Ace Rimmer and the return of Kristine Kochanski as a fixed crew member, Red Dwarf returned to its roots as the Red Dwarf ship is resurrected by nanobots along with its original crew, including Rimmer, Holly, Captain Frank Hollister, Kill Crazy, Warden Ackerman, Baxter and Bob the Skutter. But for Lister, Cat, Kryten and Kochanski they find themselves sentenced to two years in the brig as no-one believes them that three million years have passed. Rimmer is then bribed by Lister and of course he accepts and tries to help free them but he finds himself incarcerated as well.

Returning to the series almost a decade since it was broadcast I found it still fresh and exciting. I also enjoyed the fact we get to see those well written ‘bunk’ scenes reminiscent of the earlier series where Rimmer and Lister discuss the meaning of life. Thankfully Cat, Kryten and Kochanski are somewhat reduced to sub-characters allowing the terrible two of Rimmer and Lister to cause havoc much to the despair of Captain Frank Hollister. As this was the last series, it was motivated to incite finance for a feature length film and the show had an unusually high budget and as such there is some great CGI for its day.

Series 8 was written for and aimed especially at the fans and Doug Naylor & Paul Alexander truly let their imagination run wild with their concepts including the Three Part episode ‘Back in Red’ which features the luck and sexual magnetism viruses and the Cat dancing with the Blue Midget. Also there are the episodes 'Cassandra', in which we see the CANARIES (Convict Army, Nearly All Retarded, Inbred, Evil, Sheepshaggers) in action and 'Krytie TV' which sees Kryten try to restore his masculinity after becoming regarded as a woman with disastrous results for Kochanski. The two part episode 'Pete' is the lead up to the finale and sees a Tyrannosaurus Rex cause havoc on the ship. It looks like the Red Dwarf feature film will never see the light of day but Series 8 is a wonderful farewell for the fans - everything you love about Red Dwarf has finally come together within this series for the final ‘smegging’ scene which sees Rimmer quite marvellously deal with the ultimate fear of man.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The picture quality of the series is quite average. Presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio the overall picture quality is clear, with good colour and shadow detail but there is an overall softness to the image, perhaps a result of MPEG compression. Compared to earlier series the picture is significantly better and I did not notice any major low level noise, colour bleeding or chroma noise but some edge enhancement was notable.

Overall the picture is average but does not suffer from any major flaws. The subtitles are true to the onscreen dialogue.

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

Audio

The English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s again suffers from no major flaws and is of average quality.

Dialogue is clear and audible and as expected for a sitcom it isn’t terribly useful in the surround sound department. The soundtrack by Howard Goodall is memorable and well suited to the show.

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

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

The Red Dwarf menus are always well themed to the show and feature the locations of Red Dwarf.

Audio Commentary

The audio commentary is quite light hearted with the cast and crew recalling the trials and tribulations of filming with amusement. Often they wait in silence for the punch-lines of the jokes and seem to enjoy revisiting the series. It is a nice addition although not a particularly useful one.

Alternative Versions

Back in the Red was supposed to be a feature length episode and as such you can view it as one with additional dialogue. Pete can also be watched as a one hour episode.

Comedy Connections

Comedy Connections is a UK series and the DVD includes the Red Dwarf Special. The show documents how the show was conceived and gives background to the earlier careers of the cast and crew. I thoroughly enjoyed this feature. (29:07)

The Tank

The Tank is a fantastic documentary which details everything about the last season with candid interviews with the cast and crew. It can be watched as a whole or as segments in relation to the episodes (87:30)

Isolated Music Cues

Opening Theme (0:44), Main Theme (1:00), Blue Midget Dance (0:50), Blue Midget Alternate Dance (0:51)

Raw Effect Footage

The models (5:06) and CGI FX (8:15).

Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes can be viewed according to episode and appear as shot. (67:02)

Storyboard Comparisons

Storyboard Sequences (7:20)

Super Models

Super Models shows the tireless work of model maker Bill Pearson (4:47)

Gallery-Photo

3 Production Shot Galleries, 2 Behind the Scenes Galleries, Instant Snapshots, Designs and Covers and Storyboards

Smeg-Ups

The Smeg-Ups for this season are included. (10:43)

Trailers

Star Wars Parody Promotional trailer, Trailer 2, PBS Indents, Children in Need Sketch (1998).

Radio Sketch

Son of Cliché – original concept sketches from 1984. (3:35)

Web Links

DVD Credits

Booklet

Easter Eggs

Taken from http://www.reddwarf.co.uk.

Disc 2: From the main menu, scroll down to Subtitles and then press right to highlight the elevator buttons. Press 'down' 12 times, until you reach button number 13, then hit 'select'. You'll be taken to a briefcase on Floor 13 containing the luck and sexual magnetism viruses. Select the (blue) luck virus and - bad luck! - the test tube breaks and the fluid leaks away. You'll be returned to the main menu. Select the (red) magnetism virus and you'll be shown a video for 'Clear' by now-defunct band Intro2. The video features Craig Charles, Norman Lovett and Danny John-Jules.

Disc 3: Highlight Bonus Material on the main menu and hit 'select'. When the camera swings around to view the (closed) elevator doors, hit 'up' twice. A button will light up to the side of the door. Hit 'Select' to push it and the doors will open, revealing a skutter having some trouble with a faulty gangway. After learning the skutter's fate, you'll be shown a series of outtakes from the Series VII and VIII DVD interviews... mostly involving people's inability to switch off their mobile phones.

Please note the overall runtime does not include Easter eggs or additional commentary runtimes.

R4 vs R1

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

R1 Limited-edition packs also include a set of five character-based collector's cards.

It seems the R1 set can also be purchased as a Skutter Gift Set (This same set in R4 can be bought in ABC SHOPS)

Summary

Red Dwarf ended on a high note and the last series has been produced on DVD with care, although the picture quality is disappointingly average. The 3 disc set includes some excellent extras including the 'tank' documentary which is a must see for fans. All round an excellent set that leaves only one thing left to say - may the smeg be with you.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

Other Reviews NONE
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Skutter Gift Pack - jab.book (oh boy, oh boy, oh bio) REPLY POSTED