Thanks to a discussion started by Charlene on the Webboard, I went out and bought Empire for the first time in my life today; for their The Story Of Sci-Fi supplement – because Dwarf is mentioned, in its Top 10 Planets piece.It’s a pretty nice little booklet, but it has some irritating errors that, well, irritate. Such as Mork apparently saying “Nano Nano”, or that “there was no internet in 1982”, or indeed the fact that they think the net and the WWW are the same thing. That’s only the ones I’ve noticed; I’ve not even read the entire thing yet. Small things, perhaps, but they nonetheless irritate.
Perhaps slightly more annoying is the tone of a couple of the pieces – the part about conventions has the subheading “If you book it they will come… The weird universe of fan conventions”, mentions people who are “socially maladjusted”, and goes on to ask “The burning question is, why?”
They do indeed go on to answer the question in a fair enough way, and point out that their popularity is on the increase, and indeed ends by imploring you to “embrace your inner geek”. It’s just that the typical stereotypes are so tedious (even more tedious than this blog entry, believe it or not), that why waste time going on about them? Why not just do a nice little piece on various conventions? These are Empire readers – they surely have enough geekiness not to need all this crap, even if they aren’t as bad as us lot.
But I digress. Here’s what they’ve got to say about Dwarf, in the Top 10 Planets article:
Red Dwarf (1993)
Long story short: the best episode in Red Dwarf Season 6 sees Rimmer (Chris Barrie) stranded on a planet with some terra-forming equipment, which he uses to clone himself. True to form, they hate him, imprison him and start a colony fuelled on incest and decadence. Picture the Roman Empire in Louisiana and you’re halfway there.
Odd that they should think Rimmerworld as the best ep in VI; I personally think it’s a candidate for one of the worst (despite the abundance of excellent jokes, as in every ep of VI), it basically being Terrorform, but not as good. In fact, I’d say the Psi-Moon is a better candidate for best Dwarf planet… or Waxworld in Meltdown. Really, a bit of an odd choice. In fact, including Dwarf in the list at all is a bit odd – much as I love the series, its strength is hardly the portrayal of different planets. I’d have included Dwarf in the Top 10 Starships rundown instead…
Oh, and Coruscant wins Best Planet Evur, incidentally.