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Title: Red Dwarf
Author(s): Amy-Chinn, Dee
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Editor(s): Lavery, D
Citation: Amy-Chinn D (2010) Red Dwarf. In: Lavery D (ed.) The Essential Cult TV Reader. Essential Readers in Contemporary Media and Culture. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, pp. 208-213.
Issue Date: 2010
Date Deposited: 11-Mar-2013
Series/Report no.: Essential Readers in Contemporary Media and Culture
Abstract: First paragraph: Red Dwarf is the most successful and long-running comedy yet shown on BBC2. First broadcast on 15 February 1988, the show was celebrated ten years later by Red Dwarf night hosted by Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart, a die-hard Dwarfer. The content of that evening stands as testimony to Dwarf's achievement of cult status, demonstrating many of the features - quizzes, trivia, shared expertise - described as key features of cult TV. The evening began with a spoof version of a then-popular cookery program Can't Cook, Won't Cook (1995-1999), in which the cast was challenged to cook a chicken vindaloo (a mouth-burningly hot curry) - the favorite dish of lead character, Dave Lister. The Dwarf version was billed as Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg (smeg being a generic term of abuse within the show-as in "smeg-head") and given added resonance for fans as Can't Cook, Won't Cook's regular host - TV Chef Ainsley Harriot - had made a well disguised appearance as the Gelf Chief in the Season Six episode "Emohawk-Polymorph II" (6.4). This was followed by a version of another popular BBC show, a Dwarf-themed University Challenge (1962-present), in which members of the cast lost (not surprisingly) to a team of Dwarf fans. Another special, Red Dwarf A-Z saw famous fans including Stewart, Stephen Hawking, and Terry Pratchett focusing on different aspects of the show. The evening concluded with a screening of the Emmy award-winning episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" (6.3).
Rights: This chapter was published in The Essential Cult TV Reader, ed. by David Lavery, 2010, copyright the University Press of Kentucky:

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