He is only guilty of being Arnold J. Rimmer?

OK, so tell me – can anyone point towards any line of dialogue in Justice that indicates continuity has changed to Rimmer not being responsible for the death of the Dwarf crew? It’s often says that it does, but I can’t see a single shred of evidence for it.

All I can see is Kryten getting him out of it by lying. A feat, I would point out, that Kryten makes a point of now being able to do earlier in the episode…

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21 Responses to He is only guilty of being Arnold J. Rimmer?

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  1. OK… Rimmer is facing punishment for killing the crew, or at least accidentally causing their deaths through negligence, or ‘wilful negligence’ as the justice computer puts it. It’s a fact that he didn’t re-seal the drive plate and that’s what killed the crew. This isn’t questioned or changed in Justice, I don’t think.

    The justice computer finds him guilty of second degree murder of 1,167 people. The thing is, the justice computer judges people by reading the guilt they feel through committing the crime. Kryten can get Rimmer off the charges by fooling the computer into thinking that Rimmer’s so crazy that he blames himself for something that he didn’t do. The glory of Rob and Doug’s writing! It’s interesting to think that Rimmer must really feel guilt for the accident somewhere deep inside him or else the mind probe would never have sensed it in him.

    I think I know why some people might think the continuity is being changed. Kryten says in the defence case that Rimmer accepted the blame for the accident, ‘it was his ship, ergo his fault’. If you just think about this and not the guilt stuff from before, you might assume that the episode is saying that Rimmer didn’t really kill the crew. Also, some people might think that the justice computer itself is making up the guilt that Rimmer supposedly feels. After all, he hardly even seems to remember that he killed the crew. ‘Oh that’.

    Basically, you’re just a twat if you think the continuity is changed.

  2. To summarise: continuity didn’t change. Kryten was lying.

  3. It’s not the continuity…and Kryten doesn’t plead the fact that Rimmer didn’t kill the crew. All he pleads is that he was not responsible for killing the crew. There is a difference.

    And it’s the difference between guilt and culpability.

    The case hinges on Rimmer being of such little worth to Red Dwarf that nothing he could possibly do could have any impact at all…let alone the deaths of everyone aboard.

    Therefore although Rimmer repaired the drive plate poorly, the culpability is not his, because he should not have been in charge of it in the first place. Kryten proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that Rimmer was a boob…and therefore could not be held accountable for doing boobish things; the real fault was with whomever assigned the boob.

    His crime was being a boob. That is also his punishment.

  4. Kryten can’t have been lying, though – the episode was written and recorded pre-Camille.

    However, what he CAN do is very heavily IMPLY. He basically says that when you think about it reasonably, how the hell could someone of Rimmer’s ranking have been put in charge of fixing the drive plate? And he’s right.

    But, Rimmer WAS put in charge of fixing it. Kryten never denies that. He simply says that it’s an utterly crazy possibility. What he ALSO does is draws a distinction between culpability and criminality.

    But personally I don’t think Rob and Doug ever intended to actually change the fact that Rimmer was responsible for the accident. I think, however, that they sought to alleviate his personal guilt somewhat.

  5. Blame the JMC and Hollister. Yes, it is absurd that a chicken soup machine repairman would be in charge of fixing the drive plate. Especially in the newer context of a 1,169 crewmembers.

    It’s always been hard to understand how we can get to that conversation with Hollister and Rimmer standing still and Rimmer being shouted at. You’ve got to ask what’s going on with the drive plate at that moment in time. If they know they are gonna die (which seems to be implied) then the drive plate repair was surely a race-against-time situation. Why did the drive plate need repairs in the first place? What state of affairs is this ship in for this lowly employee to be the only hope to save the ship? Hollister to me seems to try and force blame on to Rimmer before they die saying ‘It was your responsibility!’, only realising as the explosion hits them that is the reason that he himself is therefore responsible. The nanobots, having learned about Hollister’s idiot decision after Justice, thus punish the Captain by making his recreated version several stones heavier. :)

  6. > The nanobots, having learned about Hollister’s idiot decision after Justice, thus punish the Captain by making his recreated version several stones heavier. :)

    True!

  7. > But personally I don’t think Rob and Doug ever intended to actually change the fact that Rimmer was responsible for the accident.

    They certainly did in the novel though.

  8. “Kryten can’t have been lying, though – the episode was written and recorded pre-Camille.”

    Kryten lies in The Last Day though, at the end of series III.

  9. I must admit, I thought more people thought this changed the continuity. Maybe I’ve just confused “most people” with “Howarth & Lyons”.

    Good point about The Last Day – which if you cared about inter-series continuity would completely fuck the whole start of Camille. Luckily, I don’t.

    I’d also point out that just because something is written, or shot (or even shown, although that doesn’t apply in this case) in a certain order, it doesn’t mean things happen in the same order for the Dwarfers. You can only go by internal references of what happens – and internal references indicate that the events of Camille happened before this ep.

  10. It can’t change the continuity. Of course Rimmer has killed the crew…it’s referenced by Andy in Back to Reality…the line about it all being part of guiding Lister to his fate as creator of the universe.

  11. > Maybe I’ve just confused “most people” with “Howarth & Lyons”.

    Yeah, well – they can’t spell ‘Otrozone’ either…

  12. *And* they hate Smeg Ups. Damn fools.

  13. > Good point about The Last Day – which if you cared about inter-series continuity would completely fuck the whole start of Camille.

    Yeah, it’s funny that the last moment of series 3 is Kryten admitting that he lied and then series 4 opens with him being taught how to lie!

  14. Looking back at the Kryten lying continuity… doesn’t everyone think it’s a shame that Meltdown didn’t go out first?

  15. Good point about The Last Day – which if you cared about inter-series continuity would completely fuck the whole start of Camille.

    Yeah, it’s funny that the last moment of series 3 is Kryten admitting that he lied and then series 4 opens with him being taught how to lie!

    Hmm, yeah, I’d never really thought about this.

    On the other hand… he doesn’t lie to a human. Only to a mechanoid. And I get the impression that it’s okay for one mechanoid to lie to another – but that what Kryten has programmed and ingrained into him is that he can’t lie to a superior, i.e. a human.

  16. It is interesting that Grant Naylor chose not to *explicitly* say Rimmer was actually guilty in this episode, though.

    Maybe they wanted to leave it open.

  17. Well, they’re not likely to dwell on the fact that one of the main characters is responsible for over a thousand deaths. This is a comedy after all, and you don’t want to see Rimmer as a bad person, only in a funny way. You could also say that Lister was partly responsible for getting himself put into stasis thereby not being there to help Rimmer with sealing the drive plate. Does Lister feel any guilt for that? Probably not.

    As a side note, it’s a good job the justice computer mind probe isn’t used in real policing because most people don’t feel any guilt for the crimes they commit, so no-one would ever be charged for anything!

  18. “Kryten can’t have been lying, though – the episode was written and recorded pre-Camille.

    However, what he CAN do is very heavily IMPLY.”

    “On the other hand… he doesn’t lie to a human. Only to a mechanoid. And I get the impression that it’s okay for one mechanoid to lie to another…”

    The Justice computer isn’t human though, so he could have been lying to it, not just heavily implying, if we’re going to assume that the inter-series continuity was really important at the writing-recording stage. Personally I think Grant Naylor fucked up, but also that it doesn’t particularly matter.

    I have no idea how anybody could think the continuity of Red Dwarf is altered by the Justice Computer though. At what point does anyone specify that it’s also a time machine that changes history Inquisitor-style? The Justice Computer simply accepts its error through recognising its own limitations as a reader of psychological patterns. No making of Rimmer innocent by altering the past.

  19. Oh, my favourite reviews of Justice and The Inquisitor ever, by the way:

    ———–
    Justice – Lister starts this episode off skating around the lower desks bemoaning the presence of his space mumps again. “Woe is me,” he says, raising the back of his right wrist to his forehead and looking straight into the camera. (While this is superb acting, and features some of the most convincing perspiration I’ve ever seen in a science-fiction comedy series – top marks to everyone involved! – I’m a bit sick by this episode of Lister’s persistent melodrama. It’s more over the top than ever here.) Meanwhile, Red Dwarf has been garnering shards of escape pod (Rimmer getting agitated at the fragments wanting to find more Quufors) until finally a complete one is found. “Is it deaf or a date?” says the cat at one moment, and rubs himself all up and down the escape pod. Just in case it turns out to be one of the criminals (deaf) and not a date, the crew head to Justice World in Starbug, because they don’t know yet. BUT the Internal Justice Computer suddenly convicts Rimmer of murdering 1,167 people. WHAT?! He is so confused but it’s okay because it turns out he did. Kryten saves the day though and Rimmer is set free of some stupid boots that I didn’t tell you about earlier. They were wearing stupid boots earlier that made them do ridiculous walking and kept them from escaping. And at this moment in the story Rimmer is set free of his. Meanwhile DEAF is trying to hunt them down. Finally his own actions lead to him getting killed, watch the episode yourself if you don’t get it.

    ———–
    The Inquisitor – (working title “De-Railed by Cast-Offs” and you’ll see why!) Starbug is captured by a being called the Inquisitor and returned to Red Dwarf. “Like, dude, we were only playing,” Lister says in an hilarious deleted scene (see the DVD). The Inquisitor purports to be a self-repairing simulant destined to survive well beyond the end of time, but we learn from his death at the end of the episode that he is a liar: considerably less threatening when all things are taken into account. If you go through the episode saying to yourself “he’s lying” whenever he speaks (and I have done this), you’ll find it REALLY takes the edge off. In fact I nearly complained to the BBC about this. Anyway: In the credits of Holoship we heard the voice of the Inquisitor explaining that people/androids/cats/holograms who aren’t efficient in life “should live no longer”, and the scope of this idea is explored here as best as it can be in half an hour. Kryten and Lister are selected for death (I love the props!), but with some time-jumping manoeuvres they manage to defeat the Inquisitor and cause his erasure from time! There was going to be an episode called “The Inquisitor 2” but this was abandoned once the writers changed the title “De-Railed by Cast-Offs” to “The Inquisitor” and they realised “The Inquisitor 2” didn’t really relate to the episode now named “The Inquisitor”. The things you learn!

  20. BTW, how long do you guys think the time difference bettween Lister going into stasis and the death of the crew? In the novel it’s nearly instantaneous.

  21. Interesting point. It’s never really established in the series, is it? I’d tend to go with the novel continuity. All we specifically know from the series is that it was some time within eighteen months, otherwise Lister would have been released.

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