"The deciders use force
To make you do
What the deciders
You must do..."
Rage Against the Machine
BOOK REVIEW: RED DWARF PROGRAMME GUIDE
by Michael Noyce
On a recent visit to the local book shop I caught sight of a
book bearing the words "Red Dwarf". Thinking that this was the
third novel in the series I grabbed it off the shelf for closer
My initial feeling of expectation and joy disappeared faster
than a cheetah on speed, for this wasn't the third novel at all.
This book was in fact the programme guide (but you probably knew
that from the title of this article) and claims to contain
"Everything you ever wanted to know about the smash smega-
Being the fan that I am I bought it anyway.
Now, having read it, I can safely say that the book lives up to
its claim. It's 227 pages are a mass of information, a sort of
"Hitch Hiker's Guide to Red Dwarf", that any self respecting Red
Dwarf fan shouldn't be without.
The book is divided into six sections. These are as follows.
Section 1: The History
The first section tells the history of Red Dwarf's development
from Grant and Naylor's earlier creation "Dave Hollins - Space
Cadet" for the pilot episode, the battle to get it onto TV,
caused by the authors insistance that they wanted it made by the
BBC despite Channel 4's interest, the casting choices, the
development of the series up to its present form, the two novels,
and finally what we can expect in the future. At this point I
was joyed to learn that not only was the sixth series in the
pipeline but the long awaited third novel is indeed on its way,
and possibly a movie as well.
Section 2: The Characters
This section details all of the characters in some depth and is
akin to reading mini biographies of Lister, Rimmer, Cat, Holly
and Kryten. Each biography is followed by "Cast Notes" which
give information as to who played who and when.
Section 3: The Programmes
Section three lists every episode and its story line, plus other
little bits of info. (Sorry, I just can't think of anything else
to say about this bit).
Section 4: The Index
This is the biggest section of the book, at 94 pages, and is a
complete A to Z of words, terms, phrases, objects, people, etc...
that have appeared in, or are remotely connected to Red Dwarf.
So if you want to know what "Decimalised Music" is, or what
"C.L.I.T.O.R.I.S" stands for, or perhaps can't remember what the
old android saying "001100111011100011110011100111100" means,
then this is for you.
Section 5: The Creators
The penultimate section has background information and comments
from Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, Graig Charles, Chris Barrie,
Danny John-Jules, Hattie Hayridge, Robert Llewellyn, Norman
Lovett, David Ross and Ed Bye.
The rest of this section details all the other actors and
technicians who have contributed to the series.
Section 6: The Spin-offs
As with anything that reaches the level of success that Red
Dwarf has there are the inevitable spin-offs and merchandise.
This section begins with the two novels. It explains the
reasons for their creation and why they don't follow events in
the series exactly. Then the plots of the two novels are given.
Next comes the magazine and the badges. After that is a section
on the clothes available.
This bit gives a list and description of the baseball caps, 10
T-shirts and surf jams that you can buy. There is also an
address given should you want any details about the above
clothing. For those of you who would like to contact the company
who produce the above, the address you'll need is:
PO Box 10
Some special limited edition items are also mentioned but are
usually quite hard to come by.
Next there are details about the BBC videos, the music, fan
clubs, programme booklets, the programme guide (ahem!) and the
Finally, the rest of the book is dedicated to the American spin-
off. We are told of the numerous changes made to the programmes
cast and story line to make it more appealing to an American
audience (in other words, to fuck it up!) which put Grant and
Naylor off the whole idea. For example. Making Lister less of a
slob and more of a hero type, and even intending to include a
love interest in every episode!?!
Opps, I almost forgot to mention that in the middle of the book
there are four pages of pictures from various points in the
At £4.99 this book represents excellent value for money. It
will appeal to both ardent fans and newcomers alike, answering
any questions you may have as well as providing you with a
comprehensive guide through the world of Red Dwarf.
"Red Dwarf Programme Guide" by Chris Howarth and Steve Lyons.
Published by Virgin Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-86369-682-1. £4.99.
Comment: Smeggin' buy it!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.