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Red Dwarf - Series 4

1 rating: 5.0
A movie

The BBC takes viewers three million years into the future with this science-fiction spoof chronicling intergalactic adventures of the only human to survive a radiation leak on the ship Red Dwarf. Dave Lister battles loneliness with a holographic incarnation … see full wiki

Release Date: 1991-1992
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Red Dwarf - Series 4

"Rasputin, bring hither the skin diving suit with the bottom cut out....

  • Mar 25, 2008
Pros: non-stop laughter, the show finally finds its self

Cons: Other than missing the original Holly a bit, none!

The Bottom Line: No one should have to watch Winnie the Pooh refuse the blindfold at his own execution!

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

.... and unleash the rampant wildebeest!"

"3 Million years from Earth... the mining ship, Red Dwarf... It's crew: Dave Lister, the last human being alive. Arnold Rimmer, a hologram of his dead bunk-mate, and a creature who evolved from the ship's cat..." From this simple beginning, the boys from the Dwarf tickle the imagination, tease smiles forth on the gloomiest of days, and taunt the most reluctant viewer into rollicking laughter at someone else's expense. Let the adventures begin!

Season four of BBC's delightful Red Dwarf is when the show finally found it's rhythm, stopped pulling sudden unexplained cast shifts, and got it's feet firmly planted. In the season's opener, we see Kryten working on developing his personality. Disobeying Rimmer's direct order, Kryten boards a dangerously damaged ship in order to rescue Camille. It appears as if Kryten has found "advanced mutual compatibility on the basis of a primary initial ident", or love at first sight. We quickly realize though that each of the boys sees Camille very differently.

To Kryten she is everything you could ever wish for in a female droid right down to the realistic toes and sunroof. He quickly finds himself gushing with compliments, "The way the light catches the angles in your head: it's enchanting!" Yet, to Lister she appears to be a highly compatible woman complete with leather jacket and attitude. To Rimmer, Camille is an intelligent goal-oriented hologram who, inexplicably, finds him interesting! "Well, thank you. No-one's ever said I was charming before. They've said, "Rimmer, you're a total git." But never charming, no." Cat sees her as the ultimate heart-breaker... himself! It doesn't take long for the boys to realize that something strange is going on.

Camille is a Gelf; a genetically engineered life form created to relieve the boredom of the idle rich. In this tribute to Casablanca, Kryten finds a happy medium with his programming; setting the love of his life free with a happy lie. "It's the old story: droid meets droid, droid becomes chameleon, droid loses chameleon, chameleon turns into blob, droid gets blob back again, blob meets blob, blob goes off with blob and droid loses blob, chameleon and droid. How many times have we heard that story?"

D.N.A is a highly amusing episode which highlights many of the show's best qualities. When the crew stumble across the DNA modifier, it almost destroys the crew! Lister is accidentally changed into a series of non-human forms before Kryten figures out the controls and inadvertently turns himself human while restoring Lister. Rimmer sees it as an opportunity to return to life, but hoping for safety the crew create a Chicken Vindaloo beast during testing. Lister becomes "man plus" in order to combat the rampaging critter.

In Justice the crew receive a stasis pod from Justice World. Inside is either, a law-abiding warden, or a homicidal maniac escaping his sentence. What are the odds the boys can avoid trouble just this once? Yeah, that's what they thought, which is why they headed immediately for the prison. On Justice World, no crime can be committed without the perpetrator feeling the direct repercussions. In the mood for a little arson? Look out then, because you'll be setting your self on fire! Justice World isn't all bad though. It read Rimmer's guilt the minute he got on board. Now Smeghead has to prove that he didn't murder the Red Dwarf crew through his incompetence! Kryten feels he is up to the task of successfully representing Rimmer though, "This man is not guilty of manslaughter, he is only guilty of being Arnold J. Rimmer. That is his crime; it is also his punishment."

In White Hole the crew is working on a way to restore Holly's full intelligence. Reviving Lister's old annoying Talkie Toaster to use as a guinea pig, Kryten is certain that Holly will once again regain her 6000 I.Q. Something goes wrong of course, and the brilliant Holly immediately realizes that her I.Q. has doubled... at the cost of her lifespan! Shutting down everything but the bare necessities, Holly's only hope is that the rest of the crew will figure out how to fix this latest development as they hurtle towards a White Hole which is constantly spewing time out into the universe.

The episode, Dimension Jump, presents us with something so bizarre and improbable that viewers can barely wrap their minds around the concept. In an alternate dimension, Rimmer is Arnold "Ace" Rimmer, the cream of the space core and all-around great guy! Ace is test piloting a new ship capable of crossing dimensions, and runs into the Rimmer we know and loathe while on a fishing holiday! No one is really surprised to find that Rimmer can't stand this new and improved self.

The season ends with Meltdown, in which the crew travels to a leisure world peopled by wax droids of famous humans. The waxwork population has broken it's programming over the eons and war is being waged. On one side the forces of evil; Hitler, Caligula, Rasputin and the like. On the other side of the battlefield all that remains are a handful of pacificsts, celebrities and innovative thinkers. Who can turn Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Gandhi, Queen Victoria, St. Francis, Pythagorus, and Father Christmas into a ruthless military machine capable of turning the tide in their favor? Well, Arnie "Ironballs" Rimmer is pretty keen to take the job! After all, anyone who can so masterfully sweep the game of Risk by rolling double sixes is bound to be a godsend, right?

Season four of Red Dwarf is positively stuffed to the oozing point with the decadent and delightful humor that made this show an enduring favorite with fans. Priceless and unforgettable moments are found in every episode! The ominous if optimistic, words, "Look, they're only interior doors. They're only a light alloy. Maybe we could get through them if we use a battering ram. All we need is something, say, I dunno, six foot long, fairly sturdy, with a flat top" just before selecting a crew member to use as a battering ram!

The way Rimmer cheerfully continues verbally re-living his great victories from across the Risk board even though Lister is looking him in the eye and telling him, "Rimmer, what is wrong with you? Don't you realize that no one is even slightly interested in anything you're saying? You've got this major psychological defect that blinds you to the fact that you are boring people to death!" Watching Kryten drowning in his futile desire to be human even after he has miraculously achieved a human body during the D.N.A. episode are still some of the most hilarious moments of comedy I've ever enjoyed.

We were stunned right along with Lister at Kryten's first list of questions, which included a shocking double polaroid, but Kryten himself sums it up best by discussing his experiences with his spare parts! "It's indescribable, Spare Head 2. True, I'm having a few problems coping with the human emotions, there's no zoom, the nipples don't work, and I could show you a snapshot of something that would make your eyes spin like fruit machines. But that apart, it's all going well."

Each episode in season four seems to set out with the goal of topping the last episode for rampant silliness, memorable quips, and new trouble for our boys to get through. Perhaps it is the very child-like exuberance exhibited in every airing, the vibrant spirit of Play so evident, that makes this show so endlessly appealing. This disc DVD set includes a commentary, including the cast, on every episode. While any extras are always welcomed by fans, I think this particular extra would have been even more enjoyable if the crew weren't watching these episodes for the first time after 15 years. In my own life, if it happened more than three days ago, my brain has probably already recycled the info if I'm not still using it! Built To Last is a 73 minute series of interviews. Broken down by episode, cast and crew reveal more of what may have been sought by viewers in the commentary section; Behind-the -scenes glimpses, trivia, and thoughts on the show by those who created it!

Smeg Ups is a ten minute reel of the shows technical errors and general silliness from the actors. Always an enjoyable feature! A couple of lost trailers for original episodes are sure to delight hardcore fans. This season's opener, Camille, first aired on Valentine's Day. Not everyone realizes though that Robert Llewellyn's then girlfriend and current wife played Camille as the Diva droid love interest for Krtyen. Suzanne Rhatigan, who portrayed the Kochanski version of Camille, was also dating Craig Charles at the time. While interesting, these bits of trivia don't mean much though if you aren't a fan of the show.

Lurve is a three minute feature set to the tune Dizzy by Vik Reeves in which we see various crew members getting it on with other crew members. Definitely a more universal appeal than obscure trivia lol. The Gallery includes production stills, sketches, and instant snapshots taken during the filming. There are several music cues in the extras as well where you can hear the main theme sung by Elvis. And, of course, Deleted Scenes. A must for any viewer and more widely appealing than either Can't Smeg/Won't Smeg or Ace Rimmer - a Life in Lame. Viewers who have never seen the show Can't Cook/ Won't Cook are likely to be confused by that particular extra. The closer look at Ace is amusing, but just a teeny bit odd as Holly (Hattie Hayridge) is so taken with the dashing dimension jumper.

When all is said and done though, whether you are just discovering the delights of the Dwarf or you're an old school fan from the first airing, season four is well packaged to please. Reasonably priced, loaded with extras, and the first season that the show really establishes a sense of balance, continuity and entertainment. Cult comedy at it's stellar best!


Viewing Format: VHS
Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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