Having already blown a small fortune at Dimension Jump, I decided that another £16 wasn’t going to make much difference, and so I bought the Crime Traveller DVD. This was a decent price for a two-disc set, with four 50-minute episodes. (The other four episodes will be released soon, and a box set will be released in October). For the record the episode titles are: Jeff Slade and the Loop of Infinity, Death In The Family, Fashion Shoot and Revenge of the Chronology Protection Hypothesis.
In all honesty, Crime Traveller isn’t very good. You’ve got two elements – sci-fi and crime, and neither genre is executed particularly well. The main problem is that it’s far too repetitive; in each episode, the murderer is the one we see for thirty seconds at the beginning and never see again until the end, and each trip back to the time machine is made with mere seconds to spare. This in itself is a problem – if they always get to the room just in time, how come they never see themselves in there?
On the plus side, the cast is quite good. Chloë Annett shows that she can be a good sci-fi babe, and Michael French pulls off a steady, if unspectacular, performance. Plus, the actors have to deal with a script that’s full of utterly rubbish pieces of dialogue, such as:
GRISHAM: How did you figure that out, Slade?
SLADE: All it took was a little… time.
Urgh. Not only that, the fourth episode has the worst ending ever, with Slade revealing that he only ‘pretended’ to get shot. Despite all these problems, the programme can be quite entertaining, in a brainless, simple kind of way. If you want thought-provoking sci-fi, you’re better off watching Red Dwarf V, but for a bit of light entertainment, Crime Traveller isn’t bad, even though the writer probably intended it to fall in the former category.
The extras are unspectacular – episode synopses and actor biographies. The DVD is Region 0 and the running time is approx. 200 minutes. The curiosity value means that most real Red Dwarf fans will buy it, especially if they didn’t pay much attention to it when it was first broadcast. However, if you buy it, don’t expect it to be much cop.