G&TV: Beam Me Up, Scotty! Quickies As we continue to cogitate on The Promised Land, let’s cleanse our palates with our monthly dip in to the archives of vaguely Red Dwarf related things from the past. Here’s a particularly obscure one, discovered by Jim Lynn of the always excellent VHiStory blog, the guy who dug up the original 1988 continuity for Series 1 a few years ago. On the end of a tape of Babylon 5 episodes, he found Beam Me Up, Scotty!, a one-off Channel 4 magazine programme about sci-fi, filmed at the 53rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow in August 1995, and presented by Craig Charles. In it, Craig introduces self-contained segments on a variety of connected topics, such as “filk music”, cosplay before it was called ‘cosplay’, Klingon theatre, a somewhat nauseating section on sci-fi erotica and the sexual fantasies of its proponents, an extremely low-energy discussion of the British comics scene with some very morose people who are now very famous writers and artists, and Craig interviewing Terry Pratchett, best known for his appearance on the Red Dwarf A-Z. Jim’s blog entry has the who’s who of all the interviewees, and of course the full programme itself: Do you know what, that was a lot less sneery and dismissive than I was expecting for something made before nerd culture went mainstream, and hosted by someone who hasn’t always had the best attitude towards his own fans (although that all seems to be largely in the past now, in fairness). There are a few little comments from Craig, but mostly as devil’s advocaat in his role as a mildly investigative reporter, and it was a good move to set the tone by opening with a vox pops section celebrating fandom and what a positive thing it can be. It’s an interesting time capsule from nearly 25 years ago, seeing how our little subsection of society was presented to the wider world, before the internet and an expanding media landscape blurred all the lines that divided us. Incidentally, one of the people interviewed is Roseanna Cunningham MP, discussing her life-long love for Star Trek. I looked her up and she’s still in politics, now a cabinet secretary in the Scottish Parliament for the SNP. In 2006 she led an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to prevent same-sex couples gaining the right to adopt children, so good to see the show’s messages of progressiveness and acceptance really hit home.