You do not have to be a hardcore fan of Red Dwarf to enjoy the Back to Earth, the show’s 3 episode finale DVD. A basic familiarity with the show’s characters suffices. Set 9 years after Red Dwarf season 8, this show has the crew finding its way back to earth and discovering reality is weirder than they could possibly imagine. Back to Earth is available as one 70-minute show with director commentary or 3 episodes with crew commentary. The special features are all on the second DVD.
In episode 1 of Back to Earth stuff happens and the Lister, Rimmer, Cat, and Kryten find a portal to 21st century earth. This is how episode 2 opens and where the fun really starts. The transition from Red Dwarf the program to earth is quite original and sets up a bunch of self-referential gags.
The crew of the Red Dwarf discovers they are characters in a TV show and the show is approaching its final episode. They race to find the creator and talk him out of it.
This involves a few adventures in a 21st century London that is well aware of the TV show and of Coronation Street, the show Craig Charles is now on. That is where most of the fun in Red Dwarf Back to Earth resides.
The ending itself or the solve as it were is a bit slapdash. Not that it matters much. Back to Earth entertains and sometimes that is all you want. If you are a die hard Red Dwarf fan, this DVD set is a must. If you are a casual fan of this BBC science fiction comedy, it is a good rental.
Special features on the DVD for Red Dwarf Back to Earth include Cast commentary; Director commentary; All-new exclusive documentary The Making of Back to Earth; Deleted scenes; Smeg ups; Featurettes; Trailers; Web videos; Photo gallery; and Easter egg.
The director’s commentary is especially moronic. The cast and crew commentary is on the 3 episode version and is okay as these things go.