I have never really understood the idea of Ricky Gervais as an 'offensive' comedian, and never is this more apparent than on his latest DVD Science. As with all his stand-up work, the title is only very loosely adhered to, and the show is mostly a variety of separate topics taken to the comic extremes of analysis. The set is ostentatious, designed as the castle of a mad scientist, with a brain in a jar taking the place of a note plinth. Gervais is looking trim, and from the start. He has always been a very physical comedian, and a good impressionist. Even when the comedy slows, he always can morph into whatever he’s talking about, be it a spider or an autograph hunter, and this really keeps the pace up. Yet it takes a while for everything to get going. The first half is an exact copy in format from His DVD Fame, with jokes about Gervais’s success, followed by routines on disability and obesity. They're rather unstructured, and old ground is covered, and those who follow his work closely will find a couple of sections straight from podcasts and Pilkington. Many times he references how his jokes will leads to complaints, and how he doesn’t care. To be honest, his irony seems very clear, and opposed to to shocking, it’s just not very good. That said, the second half really ratchets it up a notch, at the exact moment of a truly foul but hilarious conclusion to an anecdote about a Ken Dodd concert. From there Gervais sticks to familiar territory, with religion getting bashed once again; but it feels much more structured and filled with gags. His analysis of a children’s Bible book on Noah is one of the comedy highlights of the year, with the line “what’s the squid ever done?" in particular being my favourite. By the end he is telling riveting stories, and has the audience in the palm of his hand. Crucially, in the final section admits that all his offensive humour is of course in context, and it is this that saves the DVD. Gervais is by his own admission a liberal, and is much funnier when intelligently analysing his true beliefs than pushing non-existent boundaries. There has always been a schoolboy element to his humour, and only when he settles down and gets on with his work, rather than just showing off, do the jokes really start flowing. So forget any notions of offensiveness, and buy the DVD for a set that although starts off slow, but works its way to greatness.