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Previously on G&T: Regular reader Flap Jack put us all to shame with his incredibly detailed examination of the changes between hardback, paperback, Omnibus and unabridged audiobook versions of the four Red Dwarf novels. Now he's back to finish the job, with an examination of the abridged audiobooks.

Imagine: it’s 1993, and you’re excitedly rushing home after picking up a copy of the newly released Red Dwarf Series 1 VHS. You heat yourself up a bowl of alphabetti spaghetti, grab a Leopard Lager from the fridge, and start up the tape to watch The End. But part way through, you start to realise something’s wrong. What happened to the subplot about Rimmer’s exam? Wasn’t there a scene where you see Lister with Frankenstein before he gets in trouble with the Captain? What’s going on? You double check the VHS sleeve, and realise to your horror that it doesn’t say “Series I Byte One” but “Series I Abridged”! You try to scream, but discover your mouth is sealed shut. You run to the door, but behind it is just a brick wall. You look back at the alphabetti spaghetti: all ampersands.

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In the latest example of our readers being better than us at writing articles these days, we're proud to present an extremely niche but very important missive from Flap Jack. Ever since recording the Book Club, we've wanted to catalogue all the changes made within the various releases of the Red Dwarf novels. In a beautiful piece of synchronicity, old Flappo Jacko got in touch a few weeks ago having done exactly that. This is the first of two articles investigating the amendments to those sacred texts.

Red Dwarf is no stranger to having its episodes tweaked with over time. From smaller changes like the word “week’s” being omitted from the opening of Polymorph on VHS, to the huge reworks made for the controversial Red Dwarf Remastered project, you can never be absolutely sure that your favourite moments will be unaltered whenever the show is released onto a new format.

But there’s one corner of the Dwarf canon where this phenomenon has so far only experienced surface-level scrutiny: the novels. If you’ve ever read Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers on paperback and then later re-experienced it on audiobook -  or in the Omnibus edition with its sequel, Better Than Life - you’ll probably have noticed that a few things here and there aren’t quite the same. How many details were changed from version to version, exactly, and what were they? Today, let’s find the answers, piece by piece.

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