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YMMV / Red Dwarf: Back to Earth

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  • Better on DVD: The DVD release edits the three episodes together into a single "Director's Cut" with a runtime of about 60 minutes. It was originally planned to be only two episodes long, but had to be extended to three to meet contractual obligations after the loss of the planned Red Dwarf Unplugged special — the Director's Cut fixes the ensuing pacing problems by cutting out 15 minutes of chaff, and the end result flows a lot better.
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  • Broken Base: While the scenes between Lister and Kochanski were widely praised at the time the story first aired, in retrospect some fans feel it was a mistake not to permanently draw a line under Kochanski's character by confirming that she genuinely was Killed Off for Real, or Put on a Bus in a way that ensured she'd never return (such as by returning to her original universe), especially since the originally-planned arc to bring her back in Series X was abandoned. Other fans feel that getting rid of her permanently would have been a little too dark, and would rather the door be open for her to return in some form.
  • He Really Can Act: The memorial scene can be considered one for Craig Charles. In a show known for taking the piss out of sci-fi in general, his performance reading to Kochanski's tombstone is genuinely poignant. Robert Llewellyn even notes this on the documentary, stating that Craig got to do some proper acting.
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  • Improved by the Re-Cut: The 2009 miniseries was released on DVD as a "Director's Cut", which edits the three episodes together for a 60-minute run. The consensus is that this makes it better than the original version, as it cuts out several minutes of inconsequential stuff, which improves its pacing.
  • Vindicated by History: The reaction to the story when it first broadcast wasn't great, to say the least. However, fan opinions have gradually improved over the years, starting with the release of the more focused "Director's Cut" on DVD, and then further improving with the subsequent release of Series X and onwards, where the show managed to truly Win Back the Crowd. Nowadays, Back to Earth is generally seen as pretty good if you look at it as a bridge between the show's BBC (1998-1999) and Dave (2009-2020) eras rather than a normal Red Dwarf series.
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