Red Dwarf and Me: Artificial Reality

In a parallel universe, I know nothing about Red Dwarf XII.

Well, maybe not nothing. I probably know it exists. I may even have clocked that it was back on Dave, perhaps even that it was being broadcast in October. But I didn’t pay that much attention.

In that universe, maybe I still got into Red Dwarf when I was 13, and loved it. But I never really got into fandom, perhaps wasn’t as keen on later series… and just drifted off. Maybe I would have ended up watching XII. Maybe I wouldn’t.

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“We’ve found a stasis leak on Floor 16…”

Hanging around on a deep, dark, unloved corner of the internet is an old version of Ganymede & Titan. The reasons for this are long and complex, but essentially amount to laziness: during one of our relaunches many years ago, we didn’t move all of our stuff over to the new version of the site. We thought until we did, the least we could do would be to leave all that stuff online.

We never did get round to moving it, of course, which means you can insert a certain Mickey Mouse operation quote here at your leisure. But clicking around on that old version of the site can be fun, especially for old-time G&T visitors. And one page in particular fascinates me: our links page, last updated in mid-2004. It’s an interesting snapshot of online Red Dwarf fandom at the time; a list of the sites we thought were important back then.

12 years later, how many of them are even still online, let alone important? I thought it’d be fun to go through the list and take a look at the fate of that slice of Dwarf fandom. And dare I say that it might shed a bit of light on the development of the web over the past decade? Tune in at the end to see whether I manage to tie that one up at all convincingly.

So, let’s start with…

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Red Dwarf IX Fan Promo

Here.

Whatever any of us might think if a Series IX really did come that was like this… it’s bloody superb. The use of deleted scenes and the PBS material from the VIII DVD is incredibly well put together, and the way it builds to a climax is absolutely stunning for a fan trailer.

But the best use of DVD material has to come at exactly two minutes in…

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BTL RIP

Look, everyone, there’s no point feeling sorry about BTL. It’s a kindness. Like a blind old incontinent sheepdog, it’s had its day. Take it out to the barn with a double-barreled shot-gun and blow the mother away. And I’m only saying that because I’m so fond of it.

That’s right; after 52 issues the official Fan Club magazine, Better Than Life, is to be put out of its considerable misery and replaced with something just that little bit different.

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Winspit Quarry

Used as a location in Doctor Who and Blake’s 7, amongst other shows. And guess what I’ve just found out?

“Actually the ‘Hitchhiker’ fans have been fighting a regular water pistol fight in that quarry, against the ‘Blake’s 7’ fans, in recent summers. Usually in August, I believe.”

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Those Web log things

You may have noticed a couple of links added to our Quick Links section recently. But in case you hadn’t, we thought we’d draw your attention to a couple of new Red Dwarf blogs set up by some members of this very site that you hold in your hands.

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Get Some Perspective?

I originally started this article with a standard rant about the mainstream media’s attitude towards geeks. That it’s the playground mentality of bullying people, that why are people unpleasant about people simply because they’re interested in something, and IT’S NOT FAIR MUMMY WAH. All of which is absolutely true. But that wouldn’t actually be an […]

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