Dwarf On Demand
Your digital Red Dwarf options - updated for 2017!
23 December, 2016
A year ago, we wrote a guide to all the various ways you can find Red Dwarf on digital video platforms - but as we said at the time, a year is a long time in the on-demand landscape. So we thought now would be a good time to bring that information bang up to date, giving you an at-your-fingertips guide to exactly where you can find your favourite Dwarf episodes to download and stream.
With the caveat that this information is correct at the time of writing (but may change without warning!), then, here's the current state of play:
It's often tricky keeping up with whether Red Dwarf is on Netflix - by its nature, and as a result of licensing agreements, the streaming platform often changes up the availability of its movies and shows. But at the time of writing you can get all of the BBC-era episodes of the show on the UK version of the service. You can sign up to Netflix for £7.49 per month (in HD) or £5.99 if you're happy with standard definition and fewer devices using the service simultaneously. Although Netflix have recently added the option to download certain TV shows, however, Red Dwarf is not one of these - you must be online on the app or website to watch.
At present, Netflix is the only subscription streaming service that offers those eight series to watch online - the last time we wrote this guide you could also get them on Amazon Prime Video, but sadly the episodes are no longer there. If and when they do make a return, however, we'll be sure to let you know!
The most recent two series, meanwhile, are available to you courtesy of the UKTV Play site and app - and what's more, you can watch them entirely free if you sign up for the service. The availability of these episodes varies depending on when they were last shown on Dave (or when UKTV have otherwise decided to make them available to view) but at the time of writing all twelve episodes of Series X and XI should be available at least until the end of February 2017.
And what's more, in addition to premiering new Red Dwarf a week before it appears on your telly, UKTV Play also sometimes has classic episodes of the show available, if they've had a recent repeat on Dave. So keep checking in!
While streaming options can vary, the "download-to-own" route is a much more reliable way of ensuring you get your hands on the show to watch on whatever device you happen to have to hand. Here's a run through the wide range of platforms that offer the show, giving you lots of choice of which storefront and app you buy and watch them through!
Still the biggest name in on-demand video, iTunes allows you to purchase all eleven series of the show directly from the Red Dwarf iTunes room. Series start at £6.99 and go up to £12.99 (for Series XI in HD), while individual episodes are £1.89 in SD and £2.49 in HD (Back to Earth, Series X and XI only). To watch video bought on iTunes you need to download it to a compatible device: either an iPhone or iPad, or a Mac or compatible PC running the iTunes software.
Also of note on iTunes is the special "Series 6-10 Plus Bonus Features" pack - which as well as giving you all 31 episodes of that run, also includes Smeg Ups, Smeg Outs, The Making of Back to Earth and We're Smegged (the making of Red Dwarf X). You can get the whole thing for £26.99, or pay £1.89 for each of the individual bonus items.
While the episodes can no longer be streamed for free with an Amazon Prime subscription, they are all available to buy through the Amazon Video service. The same episodes are available as on iTunes (except for the bonus material), and at the same price. Amazon Video can be watched either directly through your web browser, or on a huge range of devices including Kindle Fire tablets and TV sticks, supported Android and iOS mobiles and tablets, various smart TVs and set top boxes, and even certain games consoles.
One of the biggest rivals to iTunes and Amazon, and with a range of compatible devices that rivals the latter, Google Play also has all eleven series available at comparable prices - although there are a few differences, the main one being that the recent episodes are only available in SD, not HD. On the plus side, the "Series 6-10 Plus Bonus" pack costs just £18.99 on Google; although unlike on iTunes, you can't buy the constituent parts individually, and we should point out that the version of Smeg Ups featured here is the shorter, broadcast version from 1998 rather than the original VHS cut. Purchased items on Google can be downloaded for offline viewing to a mobile phone/tablet, or to a Chromebook - but not to a regular PC.
At the time of writing, a glitch on the Google Play store means that Series XI episode 6 (Can of Worms) is unavailable. This will hopefully be fixed in future, but we mention it now as a warning to anyone intending to buy the full season pass from there!
The BBC's on-demand service offers downloadable offline access to your computer in a similar fashion to iTunes, on a vast range of BBC content. And although only the first eight series of Red Dwarf were produced and broadcast by the Beeb, the show's entire run is licensed through their distribution arm - which means that everything up to and including Series XI is also available in the store. As on iTunes, full-series prices range from £6.99 to £12.99 - but the BBC offer the cheapest way to get your hands on a multi-series bundle, with a VI-X package (including the Making of Back to Earth but no other bonus features) for a hugely value-tastic £13.99.
Available to watch on PCs and Xbox (360 and One) consoles, Microsoft's service now offers you individual episodes as well as the full-series packs that were available a year ago. According to their store, you can also watch the episodes on "holographic" devices; we're not entirely sure what they mean by that, but it does sound suitably Red Dwarf-ish.
It's a year later, and although Sony have added the most recent series to their service, they still don't have Back to Earth for some reason. They also no longer have the lower-than-usual price for individual episodes - expect to pay the same £1.89 as you would anywhere else. But if you have a Sony console or are otherwise using their TV/video services, then it's a handy place to get your Dwarf fix.
The service formerly-known-as-Blinkbox is renowed for its wide level of device compatibility, and is one of the better solutions for downloading episodes to an Android device. It's also the cheapest place you can get Series X - at the time of writing, the 2012 series is priced at just £5.99, although that is only in standard definition (only Series XI is available in HD on TalkTalk).
TV Set Top Boxes
If you're a subscriber to a TV service such as Sky, Virgin Media, BT or TalkTalk, you may be able to get the show via that provider's own On Demand service, accessible through your set top box. The availability on these services can vary dependent on both time and your own subscription plan, so have a browse around and see what you can find!
Phew. So as you can see, you're pretty well covered if you want to see Red Dwarf on something other than shiny disc (or VHS) - so we hope the above helps you navigate the wide range of options out there! But please note that all prices and availability are subject to change - just hopefully not too often...
Keep up with all your Red Dwarf viewing options in the Watch section!