Cop-out?

Now, as you all know, I love Meltdown. But there’s one bit that’s always slightly bothered me:

KRYTEN: He’s been acting strangely ever since we landed here, sir. I think it might have affected his mind when you chewed his light bee.
LISTER: I’ll do more than chew his light bee when we get out of here.

Was this added because Rob and Doug thought Rimmer was acting a bit too out-of-character? I can’t see any other reason for its inclusion – but it’s just not needed. Yeah, Rimmer is acting to extremes, but then it’s an extreme situation. I think it’s perfectly plausible how he reacts. The hints are there – his admiration for Napoleon, his Fascist Dictators Monthly, his chat about war in Marooned. Unlike Holly’s ion storm, I think it’s perfectly in-character.

As it is, it smacks of cop-out in the writing, which is a shame. Unless I’m just misinterpreting it…

3 Responses to Cop-out?

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  1. Given everything you already know about Rimmer at that point, I think it’s perfectly in character for him to start acting like a little dictator when he’s given the chance. The only bit that might be considered slightly out of character is when he tells Presley to arrest Cat and Lister, and to shoot them if they resist.

  2. I agree totally. I was actually going to write a post about this recently, comparing it to the clearly-last-minute-overdub “ion storm” line in White Hole. Why can’t the characters just be characters? Holly’s computer senile…that’s a suitable enough explanation. And nothing in Rimmer’s past makes it seem unlikely that he’d handle a battalian of his own in any different way…

  3. Remember, Meltdown was going to go out first (I still reckon they should have put the proper episode order on the IV DVD), and new viewers might have been left totally against Rimmer in this episode due to the way he acts. That’s not what you want really. Is that bollocks? Maybe. If you’d seen an episode like Bodyswap before, you’d know that Rimmer is capable of craziness (‘Chloroform him!’).

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