Here's my thoughts on the Boy's from the Dwarf's return to the little screen.
Ten years since their last outing, many Smeggies (as I understand we're called) have been waiting for this, but did the crew of Red Dwarf deliver?
I liked it. I missed the canned laughter and I hated the super imposovison cgi sets (nothing can beat the over cheapness of the original BBC sets - corridors made of milk crates and walls covered in old keyboards to give that "techie" feel), but I dug the overall project.
The first show was weak and left obvious loose ends from series 8 wide open, but by part three things wrapped themselves up nicely, well not the original lose ends, but the ones episode one created.
It's not the Red Dwarf of old (and without Rob Grant, never will be) but it was enjoyable. I'd watch it again.
Rob Grant left after series 6 and took the funny with him.
That's not to say I disliked 7 and 8 with Doug Naylor as the main writer, but it just lacked something without Rob. It seemed that the only funny gags were the ones recycled from earlier episodes - ( How many times did Cat complain that "None of my suits will fit" or "Wear that with this? Are you crazy?"
If you've ever read the novels, the Grant Naylor two are naturally classics as they take straight from the TV show, but the other two differ greatly as each writer writes his own. Rob Grant writes Backwards and Doug Naylor, Last Human. Now both books are VERY good, but Rob's just seems to click with me more. Is this because he is a better writer or just more in sync with my tastes? Who's to say.
The point remains though that when Rob Grant left the project in 1993, Red Dwarf lost a step for me. It's still great, I still love Doug's work, but it's just not the same.
Rob Grant's writing, along with that of Douglas Adams, was what turned me to writing in the first place. If you are to ever read my book, I'd hope that you be able to pick up traces of them in my text - not literally though, as then the books would be far to expensive to print.
So in closing, Back to Earth was a fun 90 minutes. Not your Daddy's Dwarf by a long shot, but there's still something there. I just hope we get a series 9 to figure out what it is.