What the SMEG is a SMEGAZINE?

And if you don’t know what a SMEG is…

Sensible readers amongst you might guess that a smegazine is the PR exercise of the high-end Italian appliance-maker Smeg. It isn’t. The British readers amongst you will almost certainly jump to a conclusion about the mining ship “Red Dwarf” and her crew. They, or course, would be abso-smegging-lutely right!

Red Dwarf, the TV show, is about to start broadcasting its 11th series, some 28 years after its 1988 debut. For many British sci-fi fans, this is very special, as we’ve grown up with the ‘boys from the Dwarf’.

The series premise is pure comedy gold; the Mining Ship ‘Red Dwarf’ finds itself far from Earth, 3 million years into the future, with a crew consisting of Dave Lister (the last Human alive), his evolved cat (the aptly named Cat!), a Hologram of Arnold J. Rimmer (the long-dead crew member who spoke the most words to Dave, most of which were Smeg!) and Holly, a super-computer with an IQ of 6000 who has gone a little peculiar during her time alone. A later series introduced the service mechanoid Kryten.

Now, onto that Smegazine…

smegazine issue 1

In 1992, after 4 increasingly successful seasons, Red Dwarf gained its first monthly magazine. Issue 1 (above) was jut a magazine (that couldn’t be sold to SMEG HEADS). By issue 3 they’d coined a new term, and the smegazine was born. Running for 23 issues, the smegazine contained a mixture of news, reviews, interviews, comic strips and competitions and you can read them over at archive.org – you’d be a total gimboid to ignore the opportunity, the comics are a particular highlight!

Issues one to three contain a comic for the first TV episode ‘The End’ and the artwork is amazing! Other highlights in issue one include a beginners guide, an interview with Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Holly’s Amazing Facts (including her fascination with footballer Kevin Keegan!), a surprisingly in-depth Studio Report, and lots of silly competition and trivia pages. Issue two has details of America’s attempt to re-create the show, the start of a TV series guide to the episodes thus far (in the wrong order!) and the diaries of Arnold J Rimmer! Seriously, go and start reading them!

smegazine issues 2 and 3

You might have spotted that I mentioned a US pilot. You can see the first 1992 pilot over on Youtube… warning, it isn’t great!

And for reasons that are ‘too stupid to go into’, they had a second stab at another pilot IN THE SAME YEAR! Warning, this isn’t great either!

Fortunately the British original has plenty of clips on Youtube to remind you of its brilliance!