Oi! Spaceman: A Podcast

Speculative Fiction, Intersectional Feminism, and Dirty Jokes

Searching For Fuchal: Your Death, and How to Cope With It (Future Echoes)

Episode 2 Background

(If I’m going to pay for a website, I really need to remember to actually post my fucking content here.)

So here it is, in case you missed it on the original Libsyn feed, the second episode of our Red Dwarf podcast (on “Future Echoes”) for your entertainment and (maybe) enlightenment. Rewatching Future Echoes made me think about just how much the episode is fundamentally about our cultural fear of death, and there are some really interesting parallels between the way that Lister and Rimmer deal with their own mortality along the way.

One gag that I forgot to mention in the episode (it was in my notes but I got distracted by my own format and missed coming back to it at the end) comes during the sequence where Lister is convincing Rimmer that there are a ton of people who died and have gone on to do great things. Lister mentions the newsreader on Channel 27, and Rimmer pooh-poohs the idea with a derisive “..groovy, funky Channel 27…”

The treatment of the hologrammatic members of the Dwarf-iverse outside the confines of the Dwarf itself is a topic barely considered by the series itself, but Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers includes a childhood memory of Rimmer’s in which there is a protest march of the dead at which Rimmer throws a rock through the head of one of the “Deadies.” It seems that in the mind of the creators the dead are a despised class, struggling for their right to survive in a hostile society. (Although one would presume that the status that comes with the wealth to afford the energy and processing requirements of hologrammatic reconstitution of personality would provide at least some comfort….)

Channel 27, then, is probably intended to be a bit of a counterculture station, television for those interested in representation, in voicing the concerns of the marginalized, in trying to confront the squares of proper society with the things they’d rather not think about. Oi! Spaceman’s spiritual bedfellows, if you will. Any station sneered at by early-series Rimmer is probably a station worth paying attention to, anyway.

Enjoy the episode. In a few weeks we’ll put out “Balance of Power,” with special guest Jack Graham. Until then, find our discussion of “Future Echoes” here. (Direct download.)

One response to “Searching For Fuchal: Your Death, and How to Cope With It (Future Echoes)

  1. Jack Graham May 7, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I think the “groovy funky Channel 27” joke is specifically a little jab at Channel 4, which is a commercially-funded but publicly-owned public service broadcaster here in the UK. It was set up in 1982 – just a few years before Red Dwarf started – with lots of fanfare about catering for alternative viewpoints, which it did with varying degrees of success for many years before becoming the shadow-of-its-former-self it is now. Back when ‘Future Echoes’ was made, lots of people would’ve though of it as the “groovy, funky” channel, very right-on and with comparatively good diversity, etc.


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