Rimmerworld: 8th Best Planet Evur?

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:

8: RIMMERWORLD
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.

9 Responses to Rimmerworld: 8th Best Planet Evur?

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  1. Heh, I was going to mention this piece.

    Chris Hewitt, who wrote the planets article (and consequently the Dwarf bit) is an absolutely massive geek (comics, sci-fi, you name it), so it’s hardly a surprise that he’d like the show. Really nice guy, he is. Looks a little bit like you, John. Well, only a tiny bit. Erm, because he has dark hair and glasses. Never mind. But yeah, the reason why Dwarf is in the planets thing is probably because he likes it, and whoever wrote the starships thing doesn’t.

    Anyway, yeah. The tone of the bits you point out is hardly surprising for a mass-market magazine, but I suppose I’m a little surprised at Empire doing it, as despite their status as the biggest-selling movie magazine in the country they still often remain quite defiantly specialist. Not always, but a fair bit. And when you’ve got the likes of Kim Newman writing for you, it seems daft to have a dig at sci-fi fans, no matter how joky it might be.

  2. > But yeah, the reason why Dwarf is in the planets thing is probably because he likes it, and whoever wrote the starships thing doesn’t.

    I suspected exactly this, actually, and meant to mention it. Despite me not being entirely convinced with the actual choice of planet/episode, don’t get me wrong – I’m very pleased Dwarf made it into the list! Exactly the kind of thing I’d do in that situation…

  3. Empire seem to go out of their way to reassure their readers that they’re not ‘geeky’, despite the fact that in buying the magazine you automatically affirm your ‘geek’-like status. I don’t care for Empire anyway. Sorry if that offends anyone. Well, actually I’m not sorry. I’ve learnt never to trust magazines. I do not trust anyone reviewing a movie who isn’t seeing it under normal circumstances, i.e. for their job, or for free. Same for games. I’m sure seeing Stealth for free makes it seem like a good movie, rather than the shitfest that it truly is.

  4. Hmm. Empire this month does seem to have a lot of geek-bashing in it, and I haven’t read that suppliment yet. However there are some jokey geek bashes, so I think the whole geek bashing thing is intended to be taken lightly really. There’s some very good picture captions this month.

    They do have some odd opinions, for example they think War of the Worlds is good, but, lets be honest – a lot of these press screenings are the same 5 journalists, sat in a cinema, watching a film, day after day.

    Would you not get bored after a while?

  5. Hmm. I don’t like Colin Kennedy, he’s a bit of a twat, but I think he’s right in calling WOTW a four-star film. I thought it was really good. Probably the third-best film I’ve seen at the flicks this year, behind Batman and Charlie.

    Empire’s the one movie magazine whose opinions I generally tend to trust, although I’ll tend to look at who’s written the review before I decide whether I’m likely to agree with them. Even before I actually went there and got to know who the people were, I always got a sense with Empire that the writers’ individual personalities were allowed to come through, allowing you to engage with them and trust their reviews more. There are very few magazines you could say that about – the only comparable example I can think of that I’ve bought regularly in recent years was PC Zone between around 1998 and 2002.

  6. > Even before I actually went there and got to know who the people were, I always got a sense with Empire that the writers’ individual personalities were allowed to come through, allowing you to engage with them and trust their reviews more. There are very few magazines you could say that about – the only comparable example I can think of that I’ve bought regularly in recent years was PC Zone between around 1998 and 2002.

    You see, that’s what I like about SFX. Despite slagging it off all the time, you get a proper sense of the people behind it – it isn’t just a group opinion they’re spouting. Excellently, they even give the same film to two different people to review – one for the film, and one for the DVD release – so that different opinions about the same thing are given.

    It’s the main thing that keeps me buying SFX, even if I disagree with them quite a bit of the time.

  7. SFX has probably has made me angry more times than any other mag. Despite that I continued to buy it month in month out for a good 3 or 4 years. Thankfully lack of cash broke the circle. A number of the writers seemed dangerously up there own arses. At the same time though it was brought “as a brand leader” mainly because the likes of Dreamwatch were utter drivel. Oh and they gave Robin of Sherwood a really great review which gave them a year long stay of execution. Bring back Roy of the Rovers.

  8. >Bring back Roy of the Rovers.

    YES.

    I’ve been saying for ages that I want a ROTR animated series. How awesome would it be? You could have actual footballers doing guest voices, and everything.

  9. I’m sorry, but War of the Worlds was shit. It’s odd that a lot of people at work agree with me, but we’re still showing it 9 times a day, so it can’t be doing that badly at the box office.

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