Thursday, 15 September 2016


From March 1992: the first issue of Fleetway's RED DWARF MAGAZINE.

The cureent issue of SFX boasts a loosely-inserted RD "magazine"/ puff-piece to promote the show's return (today?) to UKTV with another run of new first-run episodes. I use inverted commas becuase - lets be honest - booklet (or leaflet) would be more accuate. Buyer beware: it may have already fallen out of your copy before you even pick it up off the shelf.

Anyhow, this seemed like a good hook to dredge up the first issue of the real magazine. This - and its successor the Smegazine - was an odd (and sometimes uncomfortable) mix of humour, comic strip and behind-the-scenes reportage more akin to thst found in genre mags covering drama.

Despite the show's continued presence during this period - and a boom in VHS, book and merchandising sales - Fleetway couldn't quite get this to work. The first volume (which became the RD Smegazine from the third outing) clocked up 14 issues. A reboot added a further nine issues (including an extended goodbye to ensure all commissioned inventory saw print) for a total of 23 editions. Sales were apparently healthy but the contents and the readership didn't sit well with the publisher's new priority of targeting the younger end of the market with licensed properties.

I was never a massive fan of the show (although I saw all the early episodes thanks to my friend's VHS collction and a few more when I was at Uni) so i didn't grab any issues of this at the time. I've stumbled across a few since (this battered copy set me back 20p) and picked them up to add to the STARLOGGED vault.

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