Constant, guilt-free SFX

As you’re probably already aware, Red Dwarf features in this month’s SFX magazine in a pretty big way. Not only is there a big feature on the forthcoming series, there are four variant covers – each featuring a shot of one of the main characters – and a free mini-booklet celebrating the show’s history. After traipsing round every magazine vendor in West London in an attempt to collect all four, I accepted defeat and actually read the magazine instead.

I was surprised to discover several previously-unseen pictures from forthcoming episodes, many of which give intriguing clues as to the content of the series. I tweeted my discoveries as I went, and those tweets are collated here. You won’t find reproductions of the magazine or any of its contents – you’ll have to actually go into a shop and pay money for that – but there is plenty of description and analysis…

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30 Responses to Constant, guilt-free SFX

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  1. I’ve been variously giddy at bits and pieces of XI imagery but that photo of Rimmer in his dress uniform reduced me to something approaching a Japanese schoolgirl.

  2. As for when it’s set, I’ve always thought it makes most sense if Lister was born in 2177 or around there. That way, as we join him on Red Dwarf, it’s approaching a new century. That makes the enlightened 23rd century guy line make sense, as it would be used in the same way as people said “21st century makeover” and shit, as in ‘adapted to 23rd century society’, not that he would have seen much of it.

    I also go on Kryten being manufactured in 2340, he’s a Divadroid Series 4000, so if you say he has say a 10 year warranty, and so did the 3000 series, take that and R&D time away from 2340 and you’re eating towards the tail end of the 23rd century. If the androids in ‘Androids’ are 2000 series (sort of look worse than Kryten but with similarities, and the 3000 series was an anomaly in its unpopular realism) you can say the 2000 series was released in 2285, and the 1000 series in 2270 or so. I say that because Kryten isn’t alien to the crew, they are aware of Mechanoids/ androids to the point that they don’t just go “Holy Shit – it’s the future” when they meet him.

    So between the radiation leak and something recognisable as Kryten’s Great Great Granddad there’s 70 years. So at the time of The End there would be bipedal mechanoids with rudimentary intelligence, service droids, and then they would get closer to sentience while Lister’s in stasis.

    In the same way a child with moderate general knowledge and intelligence would recognise that a TV from the 50’s is a TV but looking forward..

    So yeah, that’s my argument. 2177, year of the Slob. I spend far too long trying to resolve Red Dwarf’s plotholes.

  3. Lister is abandoned in 2155 (Ouroboros). Lister is 25 at the time of the accident. That makes 2180, which I suppose is how We Love Sitcom devised their quiz answer last week.
    It’s also, as it was pointed out to me at the time, the year given in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers.

  4. I am abit unsure about how i feel about one of the images, Rimmer in a certain outfit we haven’t seen him in since a couple of episodes of series 1 and 2… Chris obviously is alot older then he was back then and looks it so it just looks weird, i dunno whether that was a wise idea no matter how nostalgic it is.

    it just makes it stand out more so how much they aged because you have that image in your head of how they used to look in that same outfit and how they now look.

  5. G&T Admin

    it just makes it stand out more so how much they aged because you have that image in your head of how they used to look in that same outfit and how they now look.

    But… Lister and Rimmer from BtE onwards already have costumes almost identical to the ones they had in the early 90s.

  6. I’d love to see him back as Captain Emerald with the green tunic and little hat with the H on as well like we saw in III.

  7. it just makes it stand out more so how much they aged because you have that image in your head of how they used to look in that same outfit and how they now look.

    But… Lister and Rimmer from BtE onwards already have costumes almost identical to the ones they had in the early 90s.

    Well Craig was in his series 4 jacket in BTE but Craig looked fairly good in 2009 but then that was 8 years ago, Chris was in a blue version of the 3 to 5 outfit and it was different while being similar enough not to be odd, while Chris in that photo looks like he is in an identical costume to what he wore in 1988 and while he is still in good shape for the outfit he has visually aged a lot which is even more obvious in that outfit.

    For me i think keeping this show going from Serie X onwards it’s the integrity That is the most important thing as you want the show to have jokes but you don’t want the show to end as a joke with people thinking it was a bunch of old guys trying to live past glories

  8. I don’t think it really matters how old they look, Red Dwarf happens mostly real time. When BtE came out they weren’t trying to spin it like it was a week since the end of VIII or even a year after VIII (to accommodate IX). X didn’t try to say it was immediately after BtE either. Time passes in that universe as it does in ours.

    I think it adds to the helplessness of the impossibly long journey to a place that may not exist anymore, knowing that they are ageing and may not make it, and the acceptance of that.

    Also apart from Robert, who’ll probably beg to be turned into a voice over Red Dwarf xould probably keep going until the cast are all over 60.. Han Solo did it, why not Dave Lister?

  9. Having read the magazine, maybe the officer dress uniform looks odd because it’s completely different to the one we know. Different cut and collar, and there was no tie on the old one and more stripes. From memory, I don’t think the XI one has the medals either, just the service ribbons.

  10. I suppose the issue of Rimmer looking older than he did in 1988 is only a problem if we’re of the opinion that the aging process is an inherently bad thing. Instead of looking at an image like that and thinking ‘oh no, he looks so much older, this is terrible’, can we not see it as something to celebrate? How many other sitcoms (or even shows of any genre, with the possible exception of some of the soaps) give us the opportunity to follow their characters through 30 years of their life.

    I suppose in-universe, the whole issue of him being essentially immortal comes into play here. There’s plenty of easy head-canon stuff we can do to explain his apparent aging, but I was just thinking the other day that if the whole point of Rinmer’s aging is to keep Lister sane, and allow them to grow old at the same rate, that’s all very well for Lister, but what about poor old Rimmsy? When Lister eventually dies, what will Rimmer do then, continue aging, or reset himself? It almost feels like another tragic point in Rimmer’s life that, due to his hologrammatic status, he has less value in their universe’s (or JMC’s, or perhaps Holly’s) eyes, and therefore his feelings are barely even considered. Now, I never really want to see this happen and I’m pretty sure we will never will, but wouldn’t it be quite interesting to see how Rimmer would react if and when Lister ultimately passed away? It would be a pretty fascinating and dramatic moment to see Rimmer needing to adjust to life without Lister. Maybe he’d end up bringing him back as a hologram?

  11. There’s a very defined line between the cast joking about their maturity and fans going “eurgh they’re old”, and I’m depressed to see it crossed so commonly of late. Ageism is baffingly no longer the taboo it once was it seems generally. Sigh.

  12. G&T Admin

    Ageism used to be a taboo? I’ve never noticed people being slow to resort to it!

  13. … wouldn’t it be quite interesting to see how Rimmer would react if and when Lister ultimately passed away? It would be a pretty fascinating and dramatic moment to see Rimmer needing to adjust to life without Lister. Maybe he’d end up bringing him back as a hologram?

    What about Cat? Do you think he would care enough to have him brought back as a hologram at some point as well? Would they be able to even do it if he doesn’t have a database entry on RD’s system? As a joke, he could actually have 9 lives and be able to live 9 lifetimes, so they wouldn’t have to worry about that for some time yet.

  14. Ageism used to be a taboo? I’ve never noticed people being slow to resort to it!

    I’m adamant I grew up with an ever-present mantra of ‘respect your elders’ which seems to have been completely inverted by the generation after mine. Noticed it a lot more in the shadow of the referendum. Seems to be a real slacktivist’s blind spot.

  15. There’s a very defined line between the cast joking about their maturity and fans going “eurgh they’re old”, and I’m depressed to see it crossed so commonly of late. Ageism is baffingly no longer the taboo it once was it seems generally. Sigh.

    Not everyone.

    As I said in another thread, I would love the show to end up as Last Of The Summer Wine in space. The characters ageing works for Red Dwarf because the show isn’t about Lister being young, it’s about him being the last. In the early series it was about him being young and that all the future possibilities had been ripped from him. As he grows older that’s just what happens, except for Lister it’s different. Every generation ages, and eventually dies, to make space for the next. How must that feel when there is no next.

    My ideal situation would be for a series XIII to happen, then another break of a few years. A nice block of 18 episodes III-IV style, then after a few years end the show with a series or two that is more evocative of I and II, were the show embraces the casts age as an asset instead of a curse.

  16. I don’t know where to put this as I’m scared of the Twentica thread, but I’ve just received a very excited phone call from my wife to tell me that Twentica is on Sky Catch Up in HD. From my point of view this changes everything and it may be useful information for other people.

    As for me, RED DWARF XI STARTS AT DINNERTIME TONIGHT, FOLKS!

  17. Wrinkles in Space.

    I like to see them age as it underlies the desperation of their situation. *Providing they’re still on top of their comedy game.*
    Richard Wilson in One Foot in the Grave was a tour de force.

  18. G&T Admin

    Ageism used to be a taboo? I’ve never noticed people being slow to resort to it!

    I’m adamant I grew up with an ever-present mantra of ‘respect your elders’ which seems to have been completely inverted by the generation after mine. Noticed it a lot more in the shadow of the referendum. Seems to be a real slacktivist’s blind spot.

    Well, if you’re adamant, far be it from me to dissuade you, but I can’t say I’ve ever noticed that particularly. I remember our generation being criticised for disrespecting our elders, as was the generation before us. And so forth.

  19. Adamant is the oddest word choice of mine for a good while. And I am unanimous in that.

    It could have been a familial thing, my paternal grandma was quite bossy about etiquette, bless her.

  20. I went to get a copy of this in WHSmith at lunchtime, and I don’t know if they’d been nicked by some incredibly eccentric person or been lost in transit or whatever, but all but one of them was missing the mini-mag, which appears to just be loose inside and not attached by anything. So might be worth checking before you leave the shop.

  21. The mini mag wasn’t inside the one I got at WHSmith either, it was behind the magazines for some reason.

    I also arrived a couple of minutes before nine when it opens and an upbeat pop song started playing and this older guy waiting outside started dancing and doing pelvic thrusts which was a bit weird.

  22. G&T Admin

    The mini mag wasn’t inside the one I got at WHSmith either, it was behind the magazines for some reason.

    I also arrived a couple of minutes before nine when it opens and an upbeat pop song started playing and this older guy waiting outside started dancing and doing pelvic thrusts which was a bit weird.

    I think that deserves a review on Google Maps.

  23. This is one of the greatest G&T headlines ever!

  24. Reading it and I like that Doug admits his memory is pants and that the fans help him out. He even thought Future Echoes was in series II ! Lol
    Good read though. Pleased I got all the answers right on the quiz in the back of the booklet :)

  25. Even my mum got a couple of those quiz questions right.

  26. Also noticed in the mini mag that the mobile game doesn’t have the ‘Smeg points’ on the screen.

  27. That’s a shame. I was hoping we would be able to save up all our smeg and hand it in for prizes.

  28. Comparing the magazine’s screenshots to those on the TOS article: ‘Smeg Points’ has been replaced by ‘3,000,028 years’, and the avatar has changed to a picture of Red Dwarf.

  29. Comparing the magazine’s screenshots to those on the TOS article: ‘Smeg Points’ has been replaced by ‘3,000,028 years’, and the avatar has changed to a picture of Red Dwarf.

    You’re making the assumption that SFX went to press after we published our article.

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