Red Dwarf
Series Three

Starring: Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn and Hattie Hayridge
BBC Worldwide Publishing

RRP: £19.99

Certificate: 12
Available now

The crew of the mining ship Red Dwarf stumble further into deep space facing an emotion-sucking polymorph, a psychotic mechanoid and a version of Earth where time runs backwards...

Series three of Red Dwarf sees a change to the established cast from seasons one and two. Out goes Norman Lovett as Holly and in comes Hattie Hayridge, and also in steps Robert Llewellyn as the series 4000 mechanoid Kryten.

This injection of fresh faces helps to up the tempo of the show somewhat, and the script writing for this season seems more polished. It also looks as though more money has been spent on the sets, but as one of extras on this collection explains, there was no additional money for sets, just a production designer who knew how to stretch his budget to get fantastic results.

The episodes do feel rather dated and a lot of the jokes are not as funny as I remembered them being. But they look good. And, on the whole, this season contains some of the best episodes of the shows entire run.

Another thought that struck me was how old the cast look now - especially Chris Barrie. So that Red Dwarf movie may look a little strange if they ever get around to filming it.

But it is the extras that let this collection down. Most of them will only appeal to Billy Fanboys. The only extras of merit are the tribute to production designer Mel Bibby and the deleted scenes. The rest are pretty poor!

We have Hattie Hayridge's video diary at a convention - proving that she isn't acting when she plays Holly - she really is that scatty in real life. There are some awful cast commentaries (imagine you and your mates making your own commentary... well it would be better.) There are very few titbits about the filming, only the cast saying things like: "Oh... this is a classic scene coming up!" and "Ha! Ha! Great gag!" It could be because there are so many of the cast involved, but I defy you to watch the commentary to all six episodes.

But, the extra that really takes the biscuit (no pun intended) is Food. Apparently this is "an amusing food featurette using clips from all eight series". What?!!? Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel. I can't wait for more in this series on future DVDs. How about Male Member: "An hilarious look at penis jokes using clips from all eight series"? Or Stationery: "An off beat look at jokes revolving around items of stationery using paper clips from all eight series". What on earth was going through their minds?

While the episodes are entertaining, the BBC could have (and should have) put them all on one disc and provided us with fewer extras and a slightly cheaper price. Not what it could have been.

Darren Rea

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