McGruder!

It’s not often G&T tries to help anyone. We’re usually too busy, erm, being snide. But McGruder, occasional poster here, has asked us to do some good for a change. Over to you, McGruder:

Hello there. I’m a undergraduate Media student writing a research paper on the internet and fanculture. I’m specifically looking at Red Dwarf fans (because I’m a fan myself. In case anyone hadn’t already noticed) and how they interpret the programme.

Firstly, to have an idea of the fans in general, please give your…

  • age group (13, 14-19, 20-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56+)
  • gender
  • country

Secondly, if you have the time, I’d also love to hear your general views on the following issues.The questions are to give some idea of what I’m interested to know, you don’t have to answer each one. Your answers may be as brief or detailed as you like, just answer as honestly as possible!

APPEAL: How and when did you first discover Red Dwarf and what, in your opinion, do you think is the one main aspect that led to you becoming a fan? Characters, storylines, special effects?

‘REAL LIFE’: What bearing does RD have on your everyday life? Do you ever quote the show out of context? Can you relate to the characters?

COMMUNITY: Have you made friends purely through an interest in RD? Have you met online fans in real life? What is your favourite place to chat about the show, and which do you consider to be more superior, fansites or the official site?

CREATIVITY: What are your views on fanfiction? Are you an author/reader ? Which do you prefer, slash or het and why?
Do you run a RD fansite? Have you ever produced fan art, music videos, or anything else inspired by RD?

FAN CULTURE: To what extent do you think you are a fan? How far does your ‘collection’ go? Do you hunt down rare merchandise?
How do you think you are percieved as an RD fan, and how do you feel about this ‘image’? What do you think of other sci-fi fandoms, such as Star Trek’s ‘Trekkies’?

Ta muchly for your time.

Ciao for now. *sicking smirk*

Either post your answers here, or contact us and we’ll pass them on. Please help out; I’ll be posting my answers later on. And good luck with the paper, McGruder. I bet you wear a peephole bra whilst studying, don’t you? Not because of the name; it’s just what most students do.

Right. Bed.

21 Responses to McGruder!

Jump to bottom

  1. > I bet you wear a peephole bra whilst studying, don’t you? Not because of the name; it’s just what most students do.

    Well, it’s what I do.

  2. > Which do you prefer, slash or het and why?

    To be honest, I’m unfamiliar with these terms. Anyone care to explain?

  3. Slash, as well as being one of the best guitar players ever, is fan-fiction in which characters of the same gender do a sex with eachother. Het is the same, but with characters of different genders. And there was nobody called Het in Guns N’ Roses.

  4. This was posted on the RD LiveJournal community, and some cunt was really mean about it. He said that it was completely inappropriate for an RD community (I’d love to know where it’s SUPPOSED to be appropriate for), and that he wasn’t a test subject, and that it should have been posted as a link, if anything. This despite the fact that it was posted as an LJ-Cut, which for the non LJ-people among you is basically a link to the whole entry (like the “Continue Reading…” on movable type). Clearly someone who doesn’t understand the “If you don’t want to read it, DON’T FUCKING READ IT” philosophy.

    Anyway, while I fucking hate Red Dwarf slash, I was happy to do the survey. Um, carry on.

  5. I have never heard of Slash, RD or otherwise. Sounds fantasic though. I now how have yet another insanely obscure, lonely hobby. Hooray!

  6. I’ve heard of the Guns & Roses Slash, obviously. So… why the hell is is it called slash?

    Anyway I’ll post my answers as I can’t be bothered with emailing.

    – I’m 20, male and in the UK.
    APPEAL – I think it was the style of comedy and the characters that first appealed to me. Now I stay with the show mainly for the well-drawn characters. I watched the show intermittently during series 6, then when eries 7 appeared (1997, I think) I watched religiously and started collecting the old episodes.

    REAL LIFE – I quote the show out of context a lot, and relate to all of the main characters quite a bit – which is what got me hooked on the show. Lines from the show have become part of my vocabulary, even when talking to non-fans, and watching the show as a growing adolescent effected my personality and mannerisms (and accent, briefly). It’s all very sad.

    COMMUNITY – I prefer the fansites to the official site mainly because I hate the design of TOS. I do like the news and the DVD details and such. I’ve never met anyone through a mutual RD interes or met any of the people I regularly talk to online in reality.

    CREATIVITY – I’ve written a couple of fanfictions way back, and I love reading it. I also was quite active for a bit in groovetown.co.uk’s songs section. I have never heard of slash or het until now but I imagine I would prefer slash as I will take any excuse to get gay isues and characters into things I like.

    FAN CULTURE – I think I’m a pretty serious fan, but there are certainly more knowledgable and devoted fans out there. e.g. I don’t know any Space Corps Directives, but I can do credible impressions of just about every character. Ahem. My collection is the DVD’s – the Remastered vids, smeg-ups/outs and VII Xtended, a few old ebay-bought videos, 1 poster, the novels (2 autographed if that counts for anything!!) three or four other books, a prop from The Propstore (just Rimmer’s dinner invitaion from Back In The Red 2) the Starbug playset and the Corgi models. i think RD fans have something of a geeky image – but les so, as RD is often percieved as sitcom. So we’re like a lesser variant of Trekkies. I don’t care much about the image, except when Craig Charles starts spouting it. And i like obsessive fans of shows, movies, comics and such – I think it’s admirable to ‘master’ a small but underlooked subject like that!

    Hope that helps.

  7. 26-35 (Wah!)
    Female
    British

    >APPEAL: How and when did you first discover Red Dwarf and what, in your opinion, do you think is the one main aspect that led to you becoming a fan? Characters, storylines, special effects?

    I remember series 3 distinctly, although I have a couple of those on tape which I memorised, so I suspect I watched a bit of series 2. I think the characters were the main reason I got into the show. That and fancing Chris Barrie, of course. I harboured a secret desire to join the show when I was obsessed with series 3, but even at that young age (11) I knew another character would be a disaster…

    >’REAL LIFE’: What bearing does RD have on your everyday life? Do you ever quote the show out of context? Can you relate to the characters?

    Well, I live with John, so about 60% of our conversation has some relevance to Red Dwarf, whether it be discussion or quoting. I have always strongly related to Rimmer, and I would have been quite happy to sit through his lecture on 20th Century telegraph poles.

    >COMMUNITY: Have you made friends purely through an interest in RD? Have you met online fans in real life? What is your favourite place to chat about the show, and which do you consider to be more superior, fansites or the official site?

    Yes and yes. Dimension Jump last year and the filming of the Observation Dome film are counted as two of the best times I have ever had. Ganymede and Titan and Observation Dome are my favourite places to chat about the show, and of course, I prefer (certain) fan sites in general, but the official site is easily the best one of its kind.

    >CREATIVITY: What are your views on fanfiction? Are you an author/reader ? Which do you prefer, slash or het and why? Do you run a RD fansite? Have you ever produced fan art, music videos, or anything else inspired by RD?

    I’ve written one fan fiction story about RD, which was enjoyable, but I can’t say I’ve read a lot of fan fiction. The only other thing I’ve helped produce is the OD film and a review for Ganymede and Titan. As I live with one of the authors of G&T, I’ve never felt the need to do any RD site of my own!

    >FAN CULTURE: To what extent do you think you are a fan? How far does your ‘collection’ go? Do you hunt down rare merchandise? How do you think you are percieved as an RD fan, and how do you feel about this ‘image’? What do you think of other sci-fi fandoms, such as Star Trek’s ‘Trekkies’?

    I’m a reasonably keen fan, but not to the extent of hunting down merchandise. I tend to have quite a broad range of obsession, so I couldn’t imagine my life being dominated by any one show. I’m not really aware of any ‘image’, so I can’t comment on that. I don’t have any problem with any other fandoms: I think Sci-Fi in general has a bad image, so we all need to support each other.

  8. * 20-25
    * Male
    * England

    APPEAL:
    I first started liking Red Dwarf during Series 7, when the Munchkin Song caught my eye whilst it was being watched in the background at my friends house. I sat and watched the next episode, and the rest, as they say, is history!
    As to what actually lead me to becoming a fan – I tend to like character based stuff, and the Red Dwarf characters are very strong, so I imagine that’s why.

    ‘REAL LIFE’: On my everyday life, Dwarf has some bearing, but not too much. I spend most of my time with people who watch the show, but aren’t as avid fans as me, so there’s only so far I can go.
    I do relate to the characters though, and I am always quoting the show – there’s a Red Dwarf quote for every occasion, as both DJ and the OD Filming at the weekend happily showed…

    COMMUNITY: Yes, I have made many friends just through Red Dwarf. Red Dwarf also links heavily into my other areas of interest, namely the Media and Computing, with a large overlap of people in all three groups.
    As for meeting people from online, I have been to DJ three times now, with another trip in the summer, and I had a wonderful time with the OD film team over the weekend, so I guess we must all get along rather well…
    Chatting about the show has to be on here or OD, and I’m also on ATVRD, but we don’t discuss the show anymore :)
    I think the official site is the best in the field – no-one has anything as comprehensive and written by such a fan – but fan sites are the backbone of any internet community, and many of them are very good. There are also some very bad ones, I hasten to add!

    CREATIVITY: I’m not a fan of Fan Fiction. Can’t stand the stuff. I run mrflibble.co.uk, but as that’s basically a list of links, that’s not really running a site. I’m 1/10th of Observation Dome though, and I consider that to be my home in the Red Dwarf internet world.
    The only thing I’ve made inspired by Red Dwarf is the OD Film we shot last weekend.

    FAN CULTURE: Hmm, to what extent am I a fan. Well, I’m not one of the most dedicated when it comes to merchandise, and I don’t make an effort to track rare things down. I do, however, try and buy things I can afford – I have all the books, the DVDs, some videos…
    I think we have a good image in the fan world – I know fan bases which don’t know how to handle themselves at all, and tend to ruin things for themselves by pestering those in the know. The fact that the cast turn up every year at DJ, I’m informed unpaid except expenses, has to say something for us.
    I think some Sci-Fi fans go to far. I mean I find Trekkies wierd. With the exception of the minority, Red Dwarf fans are usually pleasant people who are more interested in the advancement of the show than anything else. We seem to treat our show as a baby, not just as a TV show.

  9. Well, I’m told that my mum actually watched the first every airing of Red Dwarf with me when I was very little (I don’t think I could sleep that night), but I have no recollection of this. The first time I actually *know* I was watching Dwarf was the first airing of Series IV, when I would secretly watch it in my room when I was supposed to be sleeping. As a young-un, alot of its appeal was in the fact that I saw it as an ‘adult’ program and that I also found it very, very funny. It wasn’t until later that I started to admire the characterisations and storylines. So, the main and first appealing asp[ect of the show would have to be the out-right humour.

    >’REAL LIFE’: What bearing does RD have on your everyday life? Do you ever quote the show out of context? Can you relate to the characters?

    Good grief, yes. Red Dwarf has a very big affect on my daily life. During a busy period for my fan-site, The WHite Hole, the act of writing articles or reviews consumes most of my day. I obsess over analysis and trying to understand this show even further. I quote it constantly, but mainly when I’m around like-minded people. I quote Smeg-Ups and have been known to quote large chunks of the Red Dwarf A to Z interviews. I also frequent ever Red Dwarf site worth visiting and even some not worth visiting. Daily. It’s an addiction.

    I don’t think I relate to the characters but I *know* them all as if they were my own family.

    >COMMUNITY: Have you made friends purely through an interest in RD? Have you met online fans in real life? What is your favourite place to chat about the show, and which do you consider to be more superior, fansites or the official site?

    I have met all of my current internet friends through the shared interest of Red Dwarf. Firstly, I met people through the offical WebBoard (which has led to two excellent friendships) and later through the vibrant fan-site community, culminating in the forming of the fan collective organistion, The Observation Dome. I don’t consider either fan-sites or offical sites to be superior, but I do believe that they need each other to remain being worthwhile.

    >CREATIVITY: What are your views on fanfiction? Are you an author/reader ? Which do you prefer, slash or het and why? Do you run a RD fansite? Have you ever produced fan art, music videos, or anything else inspired by RD?

    I’m afraid I’m not a massive fan of fan-fiction. I have actually read one piece which I can honestly say was good, and that was the start of a story about how Rimmer met Miss. McGruder, by this parish’s Tanya Jones, but I don’t usually have any time for fan-fiction.

    I do run a fan-site and I have produced a fair amount of material over the years. Reviews, opinion pieces, interviews, all sorts. It’s massive fun, and really enhances my enjoyment of the show.

    >FAN CULTURE: To what extent do you think you are a fan? How far does your ‘collection’ go? Do you hunt down rare merchandise? How do you think you are percieved as an RD fan, and how do you feel about this ‘image’? What do you think of other sci-fi fandoms, such as Star Trek’s ‘Trekkies’?

    I do collect Red Dwarf merchendise, but I’m quite selective these days. I wont get any old tat. Apart from the Survival Guide… oh, and The Log. I actually have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about the negative image some sci-fi and comedy fans get from people. I am immensely proud to have this level of interest and knowedge about one subject and I severely object to being called ‘sad’ and someone with ‘no-life’ by people who piss all their money away by getting drunk on a weekend and fighting people. Everyone has their feild of interest, so bollocks to anyone who wants to knock that or belittle someone because of it. Craig Charles.

    I have a huge amount of respect for people who follow their fandom to the extreme and I’m happy to share my space in this life with Trekkies, Whovians and any other obessive TV fan.

  10. Shit, I missed a bit off, there.

    20-25
    Male
    UK

  11. Cappsy: “Everyone has their feild of interest, so bollocks to anyone who wants to knock that or belittle someone because of it. Craig Charles.”

    I find his attitude especially strange, as he’s clearly an obsessive about funk music, if his (excellent) show on 6Music is anything to go by. But then, music has always been more respectible than comedy / SciFi to have an unhealthy interest in. Craig isn’t any cooler than any of us for being interested in funk, and he’s an idiot if he really thinks that.

  12. Age 40-50
    Male
    Hereford, England

    Appeal:
    Having got into Dwarf from the very start, I have watched it lovingly, evolve over the years and have to say I?m a huge fan of every series. I think the writing and Characters are as good as anything that has been thrown at us since TV began. Possibly the greatest improvement was the introduction of Kryten, proper, in Series III with the worst moment in my view being the Blue Midget dance sequence.

    Real Life:
    I do tend to spout on about it quite a lot, which can cause a few cringes from friends and family. As for relating to the Characters, I feel there may be a part of all of them in me.

    Community:
    Yes, I?ve made friends off the board and am in regular contact with several Fans. I am a very active member of the Official Web Board, and visit G&T and Whitehole on a regular basis as well as TORDFC?s site. I feel for news and updates you can?t beat the official site (TOS) but I enjoy the Fan Sites and love reading the comments.

    Creativity:
    I like to think I have contributed my fair share of ?stuff? over the years, and have regularly had bits in the BTL magazine and have been quoted on the main website.
    I have for some bizarre reason also written a book of Red Dwarf related verse and was lucky enough to have my limerick printed in the Series VI Dvd booklet. I also have my MSN Group ?CRAP HQ? which has quite a few members and possibly the biggest selection of ?Fan? photos on the net.

    Fan Culture:
    Hmmmm, I strongly believe any ?Anorak? label applied to Dwarf fans as a whole is unfair, there is a huge cross section of people who love the show and the vast majority are intelligent normal people from all walks of life. Many people believe for instance, Dimension Jump is a gathering of Fruitloops, who dress up in strange costumes and spend a weekend quoting lines from the show! Which of course couldn?t be further from the truth. At the end of the day, everyone is just out to enjoy themselves and being a Red Dwarf fan is just part of their lives.
    I do have quite a bit of memorabilia and a few unique items, but I?m not a huge collector, like some.
    I think I?m viewed by some ?Real Life? friends as a bit obsessed and maybe a bit sad but I can think of a lot worse things to spend my time on, and what I spend on Dwarf pales into insignificance when compared with what some friends and family spend on clubbing and following football etc.

  13. 14, male, Australian (you can guess that from the name)

    APPEAL: I had a neighbour who’s three years older who was a rabid Dwarf fan, so I watched it to see if it was good or not. The main appeal was the comedy and the characters

    REAL LIFE: Yes, I quote the show out of context (two of my best friends are Dwarf fans too). I can’t relate to any character myself, but I can sometimes see the characters in other people.

    COMMUNITY: Never made a friend purely through Dwarf. Never met an online friend in real life. The only Dwarf fansite where I talk to other people is here. I find that fansites and TOS each have their strengths, but TOS is better.

    CREATIVITY: I write fan fiction (only done a few, though). I prefer general fiction to slash and het, but I reckon het’s better of the two (more believable). I’ve thought about running a fansite, but decided not to bother.

    FAN CULTURE: Well, it’s weird: I’m not a rabid fan, but I seem to like the show more than most (that is, I actually like VII and VIII and the remastereds). The only Dwarf things I’ve bought are the first five DVDs and three of the novels (I would buy “Backwards” but I haven’t seen it in a shop anywhere – I did borrow it from the library, though). I’ve never been called “sad” or anything like that for liking Red Dwarf – I guess I’m just lucky.

  14. >So… why the hell is is it called slash?

    It derives from the way you name your stories. For example, if you wrote a story in which Lister and Rimmer were doing the do (and far, far too many people have done), it would be a Lister/Rimmer story. Or, a Lister-slash-Rimmer story. You see? “Het” fic, meanwhile, is simply short for heterosexual. I love the idea that “het” is the distinction, and that gay is the norm. It’s a funny reversal of modern societal trends, DO YOU SEE?!?!?

    Dave Gorman, in his Googlewhack Adventure book, provided a perfect “outsider’s view” synopsis of the different forms of fanfic. I don’t have the book to hand to quote it exactly, but it went something like this :

    If you’re writing a story where Starsky and Hutch go around having car chases and solving crimes, that’s just fic.

    If you’re writing a story where Starsky and Hutch go around having car chases, solving crimes and making out on the bonnet of their car, that’s slash.

    If you’re writing a story where Starsky and Hutch go on a double date with Cagney and Lacey, that’s het.

  15. Are slash and het meant to be genuinely arousing? Or are they just supposed to be humorous? I’m too frightened to read one and find out.

  16. Thanks guys! The paper’s done now, all the results are in. I’ll maybe post a link once I’ve recovered from the enormous-ness of it’s rubbishness.

    There was some very interesting results though. And in case anyone’s wondering, the majority of Red Dwarf fans on the internet appear to be American females in their early twenties. True.

    As for slash….well, it’s like Marmite, innit?

  17. > Are slash and het meant to be genuinely arousing? Or are they just supposed to be humorous? I’m too
    > frightened to read one and find out.

    Hmm… well, they’re not meant to be humourous, but no slash I’ve read has been arousing. Maybe it’s a girl thing?

  18. > Are slash and het meant to be genuinely arousing? Or are they just supposed to be humorous? I’m too frightened to read one and find out.

    As with all erotic fiction, it’s supposed to be arousing, but it practice it’s just amusing.

    Now would be a good time for John to post that link to the story about female ejaculation. It’s hilarious.

  19. age group: 14-19
    gender: female
    country: the UK

    APPEAL: I discovered Red Dwarf on December 21st 2003. Well, I knew about it before, but I’d been too young to appreciate it. Then one night I stayed up late and found myself watching Dimensior Jump. I was hooked. I watched the other repeats over the Christmas holiday, downloaded scripts, bought the DVDs, and have been an obsessive fan ever since.
    The appeal for me is hard to define, but probably just the fact it’s really funny.

    ‘REAL LIFE’: Red Dwarf has been a large influence on my life. I often quote it to illustrate situations, and find myself using the words ‘smeg’ and ‘goit’ without even thinking. As for relating to the characters, I sometimes get quite scared at how similar I am to Rimmer. I’m messier and a pacifist, but otherwise, it’s unnerving.

    COMMUNITY: I’ve never made friends purely through Red Dwarf. In fact, I don’t know any of the community.

    CREATIVITY: Fanfiction, as a whole, I don’t really like. I think writing things should be left to the original authors. And Red Dwarf slash is simply brimming over with wrongability. I have been known to draw Red Dwarf fanart for my own amusement, but that’s it.

    FAN CULTURE: I own all the available DVDs, have most of the wallpapers from the official site, and have transcripts of every episode on my computer, but that’s about it. I don’t have any other merchandise, unfortunately. If I had a credit card, I’d probably buy stuff from RDSUK, but I don’t, so I can’t.

Jump to top / Jump to 'Recent Comments'

Leave a Reply