Back To Earth Natterings

Ratings, reviews and that elusive Easter Egg.

26 June, 2009

Did we mention the broadcast ratings for Back to Earth? We did? Did we bring you up to date with the final, total numbers? No? Well we should have.

Back To Earth Natterings

After massive overnights, and a huge hoo-ha about being the biggest thing since sliced bread went five times a week for its petrol-tanker explosion special, the final, accurate numbers also include all the home-recordings that people watched later on.

So: the final number for those who caught Back to Earth Part One over the four-day Easter weekend is just over four million.

Part Two continued with an awfully-splendid three million, while Part Three came in at an almost-identical 2.9 million (actually slightly above this number, making for a negligible difference between eps two and three). Oh, and even the Making Of - the geekiest part of the weekend - caught a healthy 1.5 million. Dave are also reporting great numbers for repeats of the shows two months on, too.

Yeah, we're pretty pleased with the way this has gone...

On the retail sites, the feedback's interestingly balanced (Red Dwarf has never been exactly the critic's darling, right from the start it's been a much-watched underdog plagued by misconceptions about being a spoof, or being full of rude jokes). Amazon.co.uk's reviews give an overall score of three and a half stars, while it's three on Play.com and four on HMV.com.

Still, we should probably take issue with a few of the user review comments. Opinion and taste notwithstanding, one chap posted this comment on both HMV and Amazon: Just one criticism: it is one continuous programme. I understand why it had to be chopped up artificially into three 'episodes' for broadcast purposes, but why couldn't it be presented as one continuous film (movie) on the DVD?

Now, to be fair 'David S' (or 'Stuart Emmerson "ekow"', depending on which site you look at) posted before the DVD was actually out. And while we question the wisdom of reviewing a thing you haven't actually seen, we're glad for his otherwise positive write-up and score. Still, Dave/Stuart, you should probably do your research: the disc includes both the broadcast episodes and a feature-length version. That's why it says 'The Director's Cut' in huge, white letters on the top of the cover art.

Meanwhile, 'L. Mazza' would like you to know that this is red dwarf at its worse and a shameless plug to plug (sic) its own dvd witch (sic) its (sic) on shocking you could by (sic) any other dvd on amazon and it would be better then (sic) this. (We're generously assuming his shift key doesn't work right now, along with the punctuation keys.)

Any DVD. Let's just get this straight - the entire two-disc set is worse than Mr Motivator's All-New DLT Workout? Than the 70s wrestler-based horror of Santo Vs The She-Wolves? Than... than Ishtar?!

We can only feel ashamed. And hope for a direct-to-DVD Ishtar sequel.

Finally, from Jabsthename: I've been waitin for the new episodes for ages and they have one fatal flaw..... CANNED LAUGHTER!!!!! Where is it???? I have a few of the older episodes without the laughter and they suck just for this reason. Why Why Why???????????!!

On the upside, Jabs can probably lend Mazza some of his spare punctuation. On the downside: When will people stop calling it canned laughter? Live audience reaction - which Dwarf has always had, even in its pre-recorded episodes - doesn't come out of a can. It's lovingly hand-picked, home-grown, organic laughter.

Which, okay, we didn't have on Back to Earth - find out why in the behind the scenes section, or even better on the new DVD's director's commentary - but still. It's not 'canned'. And it's certainly not 'CANNED!!!!!'.

And... breathe.

Finally, for those of you who picked up the Back to Earth DVD but have struggled to locate the Easter Egg (yes, there's only one), you can find it with assistance from our Help section, where you'll find directions to this and all previous DVD hidden extras.

Oh, and finally finally, no we're not yet able to comment on all the rumours flying around regarding discussion about the future of the show. But we can say this: it's very cool to be discussing the future of the show...

Share your thoughts on the future of Red Dwarf on our Forum.