Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (The Director’s Cut) (Blu-ray)

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Chris Barrie as Rimmer
Craig Charles as Lister
Danny John-Jules as Cat
Robert Llewellyn as Kryten
Sophie Winkleman as Katerina

Special Features:
Cast Commentary
Director Commentary
All-New Exclusive Documentary
The Making Of
Deleted Scenes
Smeg Ups
Featurettes
Trailers
Web Videos
Photo Gallery
Easter Egg

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
DTS-HD 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 90 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“‘Back to Earth’ takes place after ‘Series X.’ Kochanski’s dead and the crew are hurled through a portal and discover they’re just characters from a TV series. Knowing they will die in the final episode the Dwarfers, in best Blade Runner tradition, track down their creators to plead for more life. First the crew attempt to track down the actors who play them in the series and their metaphysical odyssey begins…”

“Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (The Director’s Cut)” is not rated.

Mini-Review:
I have to confess that I knew almost nothing about “Red Dwarf” going into this Blu-ray. I knew it was sci-fi related and I knew it was from the BBC. That was about it. It didn’t take long to figure out it was also a comedy and it also didn’t take long to figure out what was going on. All in all, it was pretty accessible for newbies.

I was struck by the effects in space. They looked fantastic in HD and the space backgrounds were quite colorful and beautiful. The sets on the ship were also quite impressive. They looked better than a lot of what you see on American sci-fi series. The comedy was also very British – a lot of subtle dialogue humor mixed in with the occasional gross out humor.

But the series takes a big left turn when the characters travel to another reality… ours… where they discover that they’re nothing but TV show characters in our world. They must track down their real actors and writers in order to save themselves. This sets up a number of funny moments as they read the DVD synopsis in order to figure out what they must do. They also go to a sci-fi store in order to track down their actors. Anybody that frequents comic book shops will appreciate those scenes. “Back to Earth” also features a number of “Blade Runner” parodies. These are some funny moments, but they also seem rather forced into the story. As much as they break up the natural flow of the story, you can’t help but chuckle as they recreate the scene where the replicant Zhora runs through the glass.

If you like sci-fi comedies like “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” or “Galaxy Quest” or even “Blade Runner,” then I think you’ll get a kick out of “Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (The Director’s Cut).” It is pretty accessible for new viewers and will probably make you want to check out the rest of the series.

You’ll find your standard bonus features on the Blu-ray – commentaries, gag reels, deleted scenes, trailers, and a photo gallery. There’s also a ‘making of’ featurette and an exclusive documentary.

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