Red Dwarf-Just the Shows-Volume 2-Series 5-8 (1993)

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Released 1-Nov-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Menu Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 798:00 (Case: 795)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Ed Bye
Andy DeEmmony
Rob Grant
Juliet May
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Chris Barrie
Craig Charles
Danny John-Jules
Robert Llewellyn
Norman Lovett
Hattie Hayridge
ChloŽ Annett
Mac McDonald
Graham McTavish
Tony Hawks
Rupert Bates
Jake Wood
Clare Grogan
Case Gatefold
RPI $89.95 Music Howard Goodall
Todd Rundgren


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English 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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

†††

'Forget red, let's go all the way up to brown alert' - The Cat

††† This 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 set includes series V to VIII which were made from 1992 to 1999 with a sizable gap between Series VI and VII, mostly due to a falling out between the original creators. This meant that Rob Grant was not involved in the last two series, with Doug Naylor continuing alone with other collaborators. There have been persistent rumours about†a 9th series and/or a movie, although neither has surfaced to date. The first four series of this show were previously released in a similar set. All of these series have previously been released in separate season sets which include the episodes plus a disc of extras, flashier menus, commentaries, extended versions of some episodes and lots more. This set, as the title gives away is Just the Shows as they were shown on TV, with no extras at all. It comes down to whether you want all the extras. Those who have already bought the individual season sets need not consider this as they will gain no advantage by buying it.

††††The main characters are

††† The six episodes of Season V (all on 1 disc) included here are:

  1. Holoship†(27:57) - Rimmer gets kidnapped by a ship crewed completely by holograms who have sex twice a day based on a ship's rule. Rimmer is†desperate to join them but must challenge one of the existing crew members in an intelligence test to win a place on board. The weakest episode of this series, but still funny.
  2. The Inquisitor†(28:18) - A being called The Inquisitor is looking for those who have led worthless lives and is deleting them. Each of the crew members must justify their existence or perish. An excellent episode.
  3. Terrorform†(27:14) - Kryten & Rimmer are out on patrol and crash. The planet they crash on transforms itself using Rimmer's mind as a model which makes it a scary environment for the rest of the crew. Great stuff.
  4. Quarantine (28:24) - An absolute classic episode in which the crew find a frozen world with a research station on it. They find the station is staffed by a female doctor hologram, who they want to rescue, but it turns out that she has a very nasty virus.
  5. Demons & Angels (26:58) -†Lister & Kryten conduct an experiment which goes horribly wrong. When it looks like Red Dwarf will explode they escape in Starbug, but two extra Red Dwarfs have been created. Great stuff.
  6. Back to Reality (27:35) -†A nice end to the series guest starring Timothy Spall. They find an exploration ship which has been experimenting with speeding up evolution. All the crew have killed themselves. Then there is a big surprise...

††† The six episodes of Season VI†(all on 1 disc)†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 travelers so they can suck out their brains. An 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 especially 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. A great episode.
  6. Out of Time (28:40) -†The crew enter an area which contains pockets of unreality, causing them to believe in 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 cliff-hanger ending which I won't spoil by explaining too much. Nice end to the series.

††† The†eight episodes of Season VII†(spread over 2 discs)†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.
  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. A decent episode, but nothing special.
  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.
  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) -†This forms part of a two part episode, which finishes this series. They find a large astro-glacier with a ship buried in it. Inside 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. A 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.

††† The†eight episodes of Season VIII†(spread over 2 discs)†included here are:

  1. Back in the Red Part†1 (28:27) - The nanobots have resurrected the original crew of Red Dwarf and Starbug crashes and is destroyed. Lister & Rimmer soon find themselves sharing a cell and they are to be put on trial. Good, but not great episode.
  2. Back in the Red Part†2 (28:14) - Continuation of the previous episode which covers†the trial and an attempted escape.
  3. Back in the Red Part†3†(28:31) - The story of the trial continues. Includes a big Cat song and dance number.
  4. Cassandra (28:49) - Probably the strongest episode of the series. They are still in prison and Lister signs them all up for The Canaries, thinking it is singing group, but they are actually a suicide reconnaissance team who are sent into situations where normal soldiers†won't go. They meet a computer who can predict the future, called Cassandra.
  5. Krytie TV†(29:10) - Lister's case is being reviewed. Kryten is classified as a woman and is reprogrammed by some of the prisoners to shoot videos of the women's showers. He becomes very popular.
  6. Pete Part 1 (28:05) -†A basketball game is held between prisoners and guards. Lister & Rimmer end up in The Hole where they meet The Birdman and his little bird, Pete. Pete soon becomes something harder to deal with.
  7. Pete†Part 2†(28:58) -†Second part of previous episode. Kryten makes himself a p****. Funny stuff.
  8. Only the Good...(29:59) -†They are on probation. Lister sets Kryten up in a practical joke, but Kryten gets him back. A fitting end to the series.

††††This contains four series of a great English comedy sci-fi series. The first two are stronger than the last two but all are worth having. This is recommended if you don't want all the extras.

'We won't be apart, we just won't be together'

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Transfer Quality

Video

††††The video quality is essentially the same as the season sets, ranging from poor (season 5) to average (the rest). The last season is certainly the best of the four. These seem to be the same video transfers as the season sets.

††† The†shows are presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, non-16x9 enhanced, which is 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†some evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was fine, but not spectacular. Season 5 was particularly grainy and also included significant macro-blocking, especially in darker scenes (e.g., throughout episode 5). The opening credits in Season 5 were particularly bad and also seemed to have been stretched to widescreen (within a 4x3 screen).

††† The colour was†a bit dull and sometimes the faces seemed a little pale. The worst things about the colour were the significant colour bleeding, especially from lighter colours, and some chroma noise in brighter colours. 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, on a knife handle and on the ships. Some minor tape tracking artefacts can be seen 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†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 is by Howard Goodall. 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

††† It's Just The Shows !

Menu

††† The menus are very simple one page affairs, allowing for subtitles to be activated and choosing episodes.

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. Buyers may as well go for the local product.

Summary

††††Four series of a brilliant English comedy/sci-fi program, presented with†average audio and video.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
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
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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