DwarfCast 151 - The Smegazine Rack - Issue #3 featured image
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Come, rest your tired ears on our giant rack. As sure as 2 follows 1, so it is that 3 follows 2 and Ian, Danny and Cappsy have a good read of the third Smegazine issue. Also featured: Badge talk! The End end! Danny vs Cappsy quiz! Caption competition results! Letters! Slander!

Grab your complementary free copy of the mag here.

DwarfCast 151 – The Smegazine Rack – Issue #3 (114MB)

As with issue 1, we have a few calls to action for you lot. First of all, we’re asking you transport yourself back almost exactly 30 years and get yourself into the mind of a Red Dwarf fan at the time with absolutely no concept of humour or brevity and give us your best caption for the shot below. Once you’re all caught up with the mag, we’re also accepting all letters regarding Issue #3, so break out your green pens and get scribbling.

Show notes

61 comments on “DwarfCast 151 – The Smegazine Rack – Issue #3

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  • Issue 3 thoughts.

    The End:”Library vid”. Yes, very sci-fi.
    I like how Fiji looks like the cover of some very bad fantasy novel.
    What’s Lister drinking? “Redde large”?
    This section seems to feature more changes to the script than the first two put together. Rimmer’s extended rant about being dead, smoking in the lift, Rimmer doing some weird… fall thing? The change to the cat history, Cat’s grey hair line. I wonder if this was Rob and Doug making what they saw as improvements?
    Hurray, the Cat actually looks like Danny.

    Holly Calling.
    Still feels way too stupid/ditzy, although the ongoing Kevin Keegan obsession is beginning to win me over.

    Hattie interview.
    Impossible to read this without cringing. “Would you like there to be more stories based around the character of Holly?” “No, that’s the first I’ve heard of it”.

    Cat’s Fashion Tips.
    Meh.

    Series II videos.
    I love the really picky underwhelmed tone of it. “Yeah, it’s a funny show, the first time it’s been released, but Christ that font on the spine is big. And Better Than Life isn’t that funny. The ending of Parallel Universe isn’t as good second time around. Why are we even bothering watching this big pile of a shit anyway? Bring on Captain Butler.”

    The Visitors’ Guide to Red Dwarf.
    Basically a list of random jokes and plots from various episodes put into a far less funny block of text. Bleh. As for the drawing of Kryten at the end, the less said the better.

    Better Than Life… But it Really Scr-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oohs you up!
    “Trekkers”?? A nice bit of history there, though, and a peek into a very different time. I’m always very fond of (and nostalgic for) the hands-on nature of the pre-widespread-broadband world, so this time capsule made me smile and sad at the same time.

    The Red Dwarf Fun Page.
    I’m looking forward to some sort of actual proper quiz/game page appearing one day. These really remind me of the sort of things I used to put in my own hand-drawn magazines when I was getting near the end of the issue and losing interest/patience.

    Caption Competition.
    Well, some of them are funnier than some VIII jokes, anyway.

    Holly-grams.
    The first discussion of Arthur Smith’s backwards rant here, then?
    Nutter Naime comes across like the most irritating person on the planet.
    I really enjoyed the letter saying Holly’s Fun Page and Amazing Facts were crap.

    And now to listen.

  • Reading along, I’ve just noticed that the penultimate question in the Hattie interview appears to have been asked by the Red Magazine Dwarf. 

  • ‘Did you enjoy your toast sir?’‘It was delicious Kryten. De-smegging-licious. Could go for a fourth round.’(Lister foreshadowing Emohawk)

  • Hattie expressing hope that her Holly doesn’t get gangbanged in the comics adaptation was a bit of a surprise.

  • Really enjoyed the chat about the fan club. I find this kind of thing really interesting, and I think it’s the way Facebook (and other social media to a lesser extent) is killing a lot of forums: people aren’t leaving to use Facebook instead, but there’s just a lack of new blood for a lot of places when some people decide they aren’t as bothered about fandom and leave.

    I remember when I first went online in the late ’90s, there were a number of fansites about my favourite band, and one of those discussion mailing lists which was incredibly active with more than a hundred members. In the 20+ years since then, every single one of those sites has gone offline, and the mailing list was supplanted by a forum and now a Facebook group. To the best of my knowledge I’m one of only five people from the mailing list still active within online fandom now, and it’s very strange to think that at one point these people were so into the band they would happily wade through 30-40 emails of chatter every day, even be in regular contact with the band’s management about news and info for a website in one guy’s case, and now they don’t partake in any online discussion of them at all.

    Where have all these people gone? Do they have any interest in the band / TV series / etc. at all? Have they lost all interest or simply don’t have the time to go online?

    edit: the formatting fucked up again.

  • Ian:
    >They don’t give away the endings.

    Red Dwarf Episode Guide, Series I – 4: Waiting For God:
    >And the Unidentified Object? “It’s a smegging garbage pod!”

  • Interrupted half way through my comic and tape pack. This issue’s a definite improvement, more out-of-universe than in.

    – “Library vid” could be addressing Lister’s illiteracy discontinuity?
    – The Cat arks are total generic Chris Foss 70s spaceships.
    – The Holly Calling pop art is Carl Flint, refined in the later Jake Bullet strips, which creeped me out a bit as a kid. He might have done the Hattie interview drawings too, based on his STC art.

  • >Where have all these people gone?

    Some interests last, others are interesting for a while. As you add more and more interests over the years, keeping up with everything forever would be a full-time job. I only think about Red Dwarf so much because of this place.

  • Re the question on number of stasis booths, isn’t it minimum 3, and in fact it is exactly 3 as per Stasis Leak.If Lister is in stasis, and one of the booths is broken, then the other booth they plan to use for Kochanski/Rimmer is the 3rd.

  • No, it’s two isn’t it? The stasis booth in the future is malfunctioning but not the one in the past. There’s room in the second booth for one more person.

  • Never would have thought that today would be the day I’d finally get to yell “it’s ‘Rameses nibblick the third kerplunk kerplunk whoops where’s my thribble!’ you fool”  at my car stereo! Can check that one off the bucket list. Some of those questions were ridiculous to be fair! 

  • That question was maybe tougher at the time given that episode had only just aired a few weeks earlier.

    I do wonder whether any of these ultra-hard questions were really meant to be gettable when originally printed though, in an era when so many episodes weren’t freely available and hadn’t been repeated. They’re a lot easier now after we’ve rewatched the show for decades.

  • No, it’s two isn’t it? The stasis booth in the future is malfunctioning but not the one in the past. There’s room in the second booth for one more person.

    But if it’s malfunctioning in the present, you can’t put someone in it in the past because it would eventually break and presumably the occupant would die. 

  • I suppose I assume that the second stasis booth only started malfunctioning after Lister came out of stasis. But I’m not sure that’s ever stated.

  • I forgot one of the Kerplunks. Hangs head in shame. Another really enjoyable listen, anyhow.I think the Hattie interview was actually pretty good considering the era. Back in the days before IMDB and Youtube, I would have been really interested to read about Hattie’s early career and about her stand-up style. Obviously, we are spoilt now when we have all of this info available any time.

  • For the caption contest (based on an idea from my spouse):
    “Sir, regarding Mr. Talkie’s assertion that he has a copy of “Big Jugs” magazine in his crumb tray… I believe it to be an act of subterfuge.”

  • In the Hattie interview, they call it “Red Dwarf Magazine” in one of the questions. I realise at the time the interview was conducted it still would have been called that but you’d think the editor could fix that for its publication in the first rebranded issue.

  • Winning caption: “My suspicions that Listi and Krytors had been kidnapped and replaced by doubles while holidaying on Planet Doppelgänger were twofold: 1. Their out-of-character grins, and 2. They actually wanted some of my smegging toast!”

  • Another very enjoyable episode of t’ Rack! I keep wondering if I should read the issues ahead of time, but on balance I think it’s better to have the contents fresh in the mind when the the podcast comes out.

    – I like how the contents feels the need to specify that the review of the Red Dwarf II videos is “subjective”. Yes, I am aware of what a review is, thanks.

    – From the Red Dwarf II review itself, I enjoy the naivete of thinking the spine formatting is super important because the videos are going to be on your shelf and the standard way you watch Red Dwarf for the rest of your life.

    – I’m continuing to enjoy the comic section visually depicting verbally expressed ideas like Lister’s planned life on Fiji. But come on, Rimmer just embracing a woman is not “interfering sexually”. If you can print the word shit, you can show Rimmer fucking, you cowards.

    – Nice touch in “Holly Calling” where she turns back to Norman for the bit where he says that humans should make their minds up about which gender they are. (Though tsk, tsk for saying humanity is 50% male and 50% female, you somehow simultaneously genderfluid and enbyphobic computer.)

    – So, did anyone here ever have and wear that “Kryten Says ‘Spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska!'” T-shirt? Such a great example of the exact opposite style of shirt to the more subtle approach that was talked about as being the best option in the last episode.

    – The A-Z feature was pretty decent, and I enjoyed A being “A-Zs” and Z being “Zebras”. Though I do feel like X being “Xpress Lift” is cheating.

    – The letters page has such chaotic energy to it, I’m genuinely not sure how much of it is genuine readers being as quirky as possible to raise their chances of being printed, and how much is the editor fabricating letters so they have an excuse to plug subscriptions and such. Like someone calling themselves “Lister’s left sock” asking for nude pictures of Kryten. (They would get their wish in Series VIII… kind of.) Has fandom really changed? Given I asked on principle for them to print sexually explicit depictions of Rimmer 4 points ago, clearly not.

    – Pretty funny to read a letter that says “Tell me the address of the Red Dwarf Fan Club so I can go and murder them all” and have them respond “Sure! Here you go:”. I know there’s no actual danger in handing out a PO Box address, but imagine if that hadn’t been a joke.

    – I too was surprised by how convoluted the winning Caption 1 entry was. I guess the idea of the penguin puppet being Lister transformed is kind of funny, but the caption was trying too hard to justify Rimmer’s outfit as well, and I genuinely don’t know what “that isn’t a dinner jacket you’re wearing, Listi” means. We already know that he’s been transformed into a penguin, so what’s the additional gag there? (Also I really don’t think the losing entry calling Rimmer a “transvestite” deserved a shout out.)

    – You mention how Caption 2 is not an image from the actual show, but Caption 1 wasn’t either, right? I couldn’t find it in the Smega-Drive, so I think it’s a promotional image that just has similar framing to the actual scenes in Quarantine.

    OK, here’s my Caption 2 submission (from the POV of a wrong opinion having 90s Red Dwarf fan):

    “During the recording of ‘White Hole’, Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn are forced to cut and reset the scene after an audience member laughs at something.”

  • “A deleted scene from White Hole saw Series IV reprise the ‘groinal attachment’ joke from Polymorph, by having Lister connect his penis to a toaster via a length of phone wire.”

  • I lost it at Cappsy’s “mm hm” in response to Danny asking if he’d have got the love letters question right. The highlight of another brilliant DwarfCast. Really like the idea of G&T doing something on promo pics. It was nice to have a good look at some classic and rare photos when TOS put together those galleries for each of the main characters last year.

    Caption competition
    TALKIE: Hey, didn’t I used to be you?
    KRYTEN: I thought you used to be a magician.
    LISTER: Guys, don’t sweat it. There’s realities out there where I’m the Sheriff of Nottingham!

    (Not sure that works as something someone could’ve come up with at the time. Was Alan Rickman’s interest in playing Lister common fan knowledge back then? I suspect probably not.)

  • No, it’s two isn’t it? The stasis booth in the future is malfunctioning but not the one in the past. There’s room in the second booth for one more person.

    But if it’s malfunctioning in the present, you can’t put someone in it in the past because it would eventually break and presumably the occupant would die.

    There’s no implication that either of the (two) Stasis Booths are malfunctioning, just that there is a leak and, as a result, the leak has preserved the room it leaked into (the bathroom on floor 16). In terms of the logistics of this, we could say that it’s not leaking from either of the booths themselves, but from the “pipe” filled with the “fuel” which powers them.  So as long as there’s ample “fuel” still reaching the booths, they continue to run without issue. My understanding is that the leak must have started six weeks before the crew get wiped out.  And it goes unnoticed for three million years (including by Holly) until Rimmer’s diary is taken seriously. 

  • Someone tweet Rob and ask him how many stasis booths there are because I need this answering. I’m remaining firmly in the 3 camp.Even if it’s not a malfunction but a leak from an exterior sauce, the booth would surely not work correctly as it wouldn’t be getting the full power or whatever it needs. 

  • Maybe during the events of Stasis Leak they could have just told Kochanski and Rimmer to get in the Deep Sleep booths in Starbug instead. 

  • Someone tweet Rob and ask him how many stasis booths there are because I need this answering.

    Stasis Buttskis.

  • Buttski Leak. In which all of the as-yet unmanifested Red Dwarf spinoffs, novels, merchandise and new TV episodes all suddenly get released on the same day.

  • Tod hunter is surprised Lister has never been in stasis to travel interstellar, but I don’t think there’s any indication that’s what they’re for on Red Dwarf. That said, there’s no clear reason as to why they’re installed at all. Maybe they were meant to have more but then the cut backs hit. 

  • Maybe stasis booths are commonly used on other ships for interstellar travel (and that’s what Todhunter is referring to as a frame of reference), but that’s not what they’re used for on Red Dwarf (which doesn’t seem like it would ever need to leave the solar system as part of its regular mining ship duties). They just keep a couple aboard for…medical emergencies? And the occasional punishment of a crew member. 

  • Between the multiple stasis booths, the ship’s hologram, and the virtual reality suite specifically made to record group hallucinations brought on by licking psychedelic glue, Red Dwarf sure has a lot of bleeding edge technology that is likely far more expensive than it is useful to the JMC. The CEO must be an Elon Musk type.

    Then again, given Todhunter’s mild surprise that Lister hasn’t travelled interstellar before, perhaps stasis booths are actually commonplace and cheap in whatever century it is. If so many people have already completed decades or centuries long space voyages in stasis, then stasis booths are probably due to be invented in 2036 or something.

  • It’s difficult not to take the novel canon into account here and consider that interstellar travel was popular for a while before realising that there was nothing worth finding and the practical aspects weren’t worth the hassle. That said, the book version seems to have multiple stasis booths, which fit that scenario better. Floor 13 sort of ruins it really, doesn’t it?

  • Just listened to the issue 2 episode, nice to hear you get Justin Moorhouse on as a guest for the entire episode!

    I know you want feedback on issue 3 here, rather than issue 4, but I peeked ahead and noticed an advert for Wrestling Ringside that probably won’t generate much discussion, but here’s a bit of general trivia about it:

    1. All the pictures are from WCW, because the WWF had their own in-house magazine, hence they considered everyone else a rival and wouldn’t give their photographers any access. As a consequence, the WWF pictures in non-WWF magazines in those days had grainy, wonky, blurry, lopsided pictures taken by some bloke in the 12th row who’d smuggled in an instamatic, and glossy, professionally-posed or up-close ringside pictures from everyone else who was grateful for the coverage.

    2. The wrestler Sting (bottom left, and still wrestling today at age 62) registered the name “Sting” as a trademark for entertainment purposes in the U.S., and by law charges Sting (Police bass-thumper) an annual fee to use the name. QUIZ #1: How much does Sting charge Sting to be Sting?

    3. QUIZ #2: One of those wrestlers appears in Red Dwarf. Who, and which episode?

    I don’t know how to do spoiler tags, so I’ll pop the answers in the next post. NO CHEATING.

  • .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Q1. $1

    Q2. There’s a distressed poster of Sting in one of the bunks of the low ship in Demons and Angels, presumably because it looks a bit something out Mad Max, despite being neon pink. 

  • Looking forward to revisiting issue 4. Not only was it the first issue of the Red Dwarf Smegazine I got, but I realised that it was the first Red Dwarf thing I ever got, too. And now look at me – 30 years, and many magazines, books, calendars, toys, videos, DVDs, blurays and Cloisterknows what else – older, balder, and skinter. 

  • The first Red Dwarf thing I ever ‘ad was either the ’97 Programme Guide or the VII Xtended video, thanks to better videos no longer being commercially available when I thought to start looking for them. I mostly borrowed Red Dwarf from the library and video shops until we eventually got the internet/eBay.

  • Now I’m trying to remember what the first Red Dwarf product I ever owned was. Probably just the Series 1 DVD set. Shame it wasn’t something more interesting than that!

    Hoping at least one person’s first Red Dwarf merch was a “Spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska” Kryten shirt.

  • My first bit of Red Dwarf merch would have been either one of the T-shirts (the Ace Rimmer one) or this, which came out around the same time as this run of Smegazines:Incidentally, given the talk of publicity shots, that cover is a particularly nice one I think. Was it ever used anywhere else or was it a dedicated image shot specifically for the book?

  • Mine was a cap, might have been a Better Smeg Than Dead one. Then it would have been a series 1 vol 2 Remastered VHS. In true Smegazine style, vol 1 was the last of the six that I bought. 

  • The first Red Dwarf things I ever bought were Bytes One and Two of series 1 on VHS.  Then it’s a bit of a blur of more VHSs, the Companion, the Programme Guide and Infinity.  Pretty sure that whatever money I had in 1994 went mostly to BBC Worldwide, Grant Naylor and various book publishers. 

  • Incidentally, given the talk of publicity shots, that cover is a particularly nice one I think. Was it ever used anywhere else or was it a dedicated image shot specifically for the book?

    Agreed, the Companion cover is great. It’s nothing too complicated but it’s very nicely spaced out, and you don’t see many publicity shots with all 5 main cast members.

    Though I’m now disappointed that Hattie wasn’t in Series XII so they could recreate that shot but with all of them being Kryten.

  • >Was it ever used anywhere else or was it a dedicated image shot specifically for the book?

    It appeared oversaturated on page 1 of [Ma/Sme]gazine #1. The Companion was supposedly published later, in October.

    The abundance and aesthetics of series IV photos contribute to that era feeling the most like ‘default’ Red Dwarf to me, as far as that’s possible.

  • Right, right, we need to get back onto the main topic of this post – how bad Series VIII is.

  • – The A-Z feature was pretty decent, and I enjoyed A being “A-Zs” and Z being “Zebras”. Though I do feel like X being “Xpress Lift” is cheating.

    OK, I’ve rewatched Stasis Leak, and I would like to retract my cheating allegation.

    Imagine if I could actually remember the little details about this show… well, things would be almost the same except I’d be better at Red Dwarf quizzes and crosswords. But still. Imagine.

  • We’re recording Issue #4 on Sunday, so if there are any further letters about Smegazine #3, get them in now! 

  • Can you guys hurry up with the next Dwarfcast please, only I’m bedridden with post-Covid fatigue and need something to keep my mind active before I go totally insane from boredom, tiredness and muscle aches.

  • Tomorrow! Prepare your Robot-ears.

    Also, if you want a recommending I’m pointing everyone who’ll listen to Strong Songs at the moment. It’s bloody brilliant.

  • Tomorrow! Prepare your Robot-ears.

    Oh goody. Looking forward to revisiting the memories. On my way home from work, as I pass the chinese takeaway that was once the newsagents I bought it thirty years ago.

  • We’ve spent nearly a month talking Smegle scores, but now we’re finally getting the DwarfCast, *kisses fingers* on Robot Wars.

    Prepare your Robot-ears.

    They’re standing by :)  

  • Oh wow, this Strong Songs podcast IS bloody brilliant. Listening to the one on Fingertips, which I never really appreciated before outside live performances. Cheers for the recommendation! Looking forward to your dedicated Robot Wars pod.

  • Oh goody. Looking forward to revisiting the memories. On my way home from work, as I pass the chinese takeaway that was once the newsagents I bought it thirty years ago.

    I obviously misinterpreted that as next Smegazine Rack ‘cast, not just ‘new DwarfCast’.Whatever, it was late. 

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