Red Dwarf XI: Officer Rimmer Review

Now, those of you following our Dwarfcasts know that me and Series XI…well, we’ve had a bit of a tiff. Perhaps we haven’t quite seen eye to eye. Which made the prospect of me writing this review a little daunting. Imagine my relief, then, when Officer Rimmer ended up being very much my cup of Earl Grey. Well, at least most of it.

If I have to listen to Kryten starting an explanation with “Best guess…” one more time, I may scream, but Officer Rimmer’s cockpit scene had some good dirty jokes, and a decent set-up of synthesised humans. An excellent start.

First released: Friday 7th October 2016, UKTV Play

Written by: Doug Naylor

Directed by: Doug Naylor

Main Cast:
Chris Barrie (Rimmer)
Craig Charles (Lister)
Danny John-Jules (Cat)
Robert Llewellyn (Kryten)

Guest Cast:
Stephen Critchlow (Captain Herring)
Penelope Freeman (Lifts / Gosh Lady)
Daniel Barker (Croquet Commentator)

Synopsis:
After a scandalous piece of good fortune Rimmer saves the life of a bio-printed Captain and is promoted, fulfilling his life-long dream of becoming an Officer. He immediately opens an Officer’s club, which is out of bounds to the lower orders, and uses the bio-printer to fill it with versions of himself.

Set Report | Let’s Talk About | Talking Points

Doug’s tendency to let his frustrations with modern living overspill into his writing actually gives us an impressive premise here, where we see a printer jam produce a fairly disturbing bit of body horror in Captain Herring. Naturally, the Captain’s not up to much (a strong performance by Stephen Critchlow, with a good explanation of his short appearance in the episode), even if we discount his excellent aerial vision, which is why we end up, through a perfectly plausible bit of dumb luck, with Rimmer getting what he’s craved all these years; a promotion to Officer.

As I’ve had reservations about Rimmer’s role in Series XI to date, as well as Chris Barrie’s performance, it was frankly thrilling to see a Rimmer-centric episode. Chris is allowed to give Rimmer’s pomposity and stupidity time to build, and he starts in a characteristically petty manner by taking away the Cat and Lister’s sport channels. An ironic punishment for those of us watching the episode early on demand in the 21st century, of course, but, well, it works, especially when followed by Rimmer claiming a lift and a corridor for himself, with ludicrously sumptuous furnishings. Cat, Kryten and Lister, of course, have to deal with the surly service lift. I was surprised, but very happy, to discover just how well-realised the jokes were here.

Captain Herring is a little trigger-happy on the promotions when he arrives on the ship, and promptly makes Rimmer a first lieutenant, but I guess you would be if your life-span is only that of your mission. In any case, this produces a rather magnificent suggestion from Chris that Rimmer’s just come in his uniform. Herring’s demise prompts a good cliffhanger for the break; how indeed will they get Rimmer demoted now? Especially with THAT expression on his face?

This allows us to start part 2 with the real madness and tyranny of a power-crazed and uncontrolled Rimmer. It’s a wonder to behold; he’s got his dress uniform from the first series on, and has enlisted two skutters to help him with the refurbishment of the ship. It’s good to see they’ve got hard hats on, even if it’s a little premature at the blueprint stage. Safety first. It’s a real treat to see Chris’ performance ramp up a few notches here, with a ramrod-straight back and a proper bark in the voice. I had a stupid grin on my face throughout.

Rimmer’s attempt to recreate the Nautilous’ crew leads us to a rather nice character joke for Lister, who, it turns out, is a member of the crew thanks to him selling his genome for 100 dollarpounds and half a packet of fags in his youth. As a consequence of Sandex Communications buying a licence to reproduce his genome, Lister condemned himself to speaking to a version of himself everytime he rang a call centre. It’s a great joke, and in fact is almost wasted by its use here as a throwaway gag, but I’ll take it.

Undaunted by Kryten’s attempt at sabotage, not only is Rimmer willing to retrieve what’s left of his DNA and mind from the ship in order to create a crew made from himself, but he’s prepared to make them all officers. Smug, loud, entitled officers. There’s even a Rimmer barbershop quartet to entertain the insufferable lot. Kryten, having been here before (and this is nicely acknowledged by the dialogue), tries to warn him, but Rimmer is confident that it’ll be FINE this time, as he’s a rank above them. It’s all rather beautifully worked out. What on earth could go wrong?

With rather nice CGI effects, things get a whole lot more Rimmery. Pompous laughter fills the air, and Rimmer takes time to lord it over Lister and Cat. Rim, rim, rim, rim indeed. Lister and Cat inevitably walking into the officer’s club despite Rimmer’s protests leads, even more inevitably, to Rimmer’s downfall. In an attempt to produce more muscular versions of himself to throw the two miscreants out, Rimmer’s impatience results in a printer jam, resulting in a hilarious and horrific mess of half-printed Rimmers, all fused together, and more than willing to absorb the rest of the Rimmers to make themselves stronger. Despite a slightly unfortunate bumming joke, we move on quickly to the far more amusing pursuit of First Lieutenant Rimmer around the ship by his own more powerful and more ill-natured clones.

Naturally, Rimmer is trapped by his own dividing fence, and has to resign his officer status in order to be allowed through the gate to safety and a plan to get rid of the troublesome Rimmers. All perfectly fine and plausible, which is why, due to me being me, I was somewhat irritated by the gate to the Officer Corridor being left open. I can only presume it was a production mistake, but it’s a doozy, given the importance of the gate to the plot.

Unfortunately, it’s also the start of where things start to fall apart in an otherwise strong episode. Although the Rimmer-as-bait plan is pretty good, especially as it relies on Rimmer’s mania for lists as a distraction to enable the original Rimmer’s escape, the decision to simply blast the Rimmer monster seems a little, well, unimaginative compared with everything else in the episode. It’s also a little callous, given that the Rimmers ARE human, albeit in an extremely unusual form. I think the Lister of past series may have had some ethical worries about simply blasting Mega-Rimmer to pieces, but perhaps the fact that this is where the episode ends, with no actual confirmation that Mega-Rimmer is dead, is also a contributor to my feeling that things aren’t particularly well wrapped up here.

Still, I feel it’s a minor issue. A central idea that’s well-introduced? A plot that is set up properly and allowed to develop at a suitable pace? Jokes that make perfect sense in character terms? Strong performances from everyone? Now THAT is entertainment.

TINY TEASER: Dirty Dave – slightly awkwardly, this refers to a line that was cut from the episode…
ACTUAL SCENE COUNT: 34 (Series total: 97)
ACTUAL SMEG COUNT: 2 (Series total: 9)

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78 Responses to Red Dwarf XI: Officer Rimmer Review

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  1. Could someone who is good at photoshop put Captain Herring’s face back together? This is my favourite episode so far followed by Twentica, Give & Take then Samsara. The ending is abrupt and needed a couple of extra lines DNA style.

  2. I wasn’t fond of the use of the word “fags” this episode as even in the earliest shows they always said cigarettes so the use here Stood out abit as odd and I think that’s because you can tell it was only used because Doug thought hey wouldn’t it be funny to hear kryten say fags? You can tell just from how Robert says it that the Wright is on the absurdity of the line coming from him and I hope that’s not a regular fixture as it’s such cheap comedy that I would have thought the show was better then that

  3. Yeah… about the gate. Couldn’t Rimmer have just switched to soft light and gotten through that way?

  4. No. The word “fags” has virtually no precedence as anything other than cigarettes over here. When they say fags, they mean fags. You’re reading something into that which isn’t there, it’s a completely organic use of slang which Lister would be more than familiar with.

    If we’re going to get forensic about word choice, “ciggies” or “cigs” would be more geographically likely for Lister to say, but the hard A of “fags” serves the beat of the gag better.

  5. I wasn’t fond of the use of the word “fags” this episode as even in the earliest shows they always said cigarettes so the use here Stood out abit as odd and I think that’s because you can tell it was only used because Doug thought hey wouldn’t it be funny to hear kryten say fags? You can tell just from how Robert says it that the Wright is on the absurdity of the line coming from him and I hope that’s not a regular fixture as it’s such cheap comedy that I would have thought the show was better then that

    Lister says “Chip Buttys” in Back to Earth. “Fags” is exactly what the character of Lister would say when talking about half a packet of the items in a way consistent to his youth days. Kryten is then using listers words to mock him because he finds the value of them to a young lister vs his gnome identity to be a shockingly foolish barter, it’s mostly Rimmer that used the term Cigarette is previous shows, which was right for his character. I think doug is writing characters personally on this, not inserting a word for comedic value that isnt in fitting with the character.

  6. So Tanya, the teaser has been deleted from the episode, but a teaser from Episode 4 recording of series XII was aired in this episode. How ironic. Well IF the deleted line ends up in another episode it will be doubly so!

  7. it’s British slang, obviously has different meaning for Americans but it’s very much British slang for lister, its definitely the first time it’s ever been used for red dwarf though.

    It’s just the way Robert said it, it was very much on Roberts shoulders to make it sound as obserd as possible, there is a word to describe how Robert said it but I can’t think of what it is…

  8. Since the picture is above, I love the look on wine waiter Rimmer’s face. All those Rimmers promoted to officer and he’s stuck giving out refreshments, can just imagine the internal monologue of ‘why do I never get any of the breaks?’

  9. Genuinely surprised that this was a split episode amongst the fandom. I closed the UKTV Play page and expected to come onto the ‘Let’s Talk About’ page and see glowing praise (and a bit of a moan about the ending, of course), as I thought this was objectively one of the best Red Dwarf episodes in ages. Clearly not! People have explained their reasons for disliking the episode, which range from “omg that ending tho!” (I don’t feel you can let a few seconds ruin nearly 30 minutes of quality) to a host of other reasons, none of which I can really buy into in the same way that I can when people explain why Twentica or Samsara weren’t their cup of tea. I’ve loved all four episodes so far but, for the first two in particular, can completely see why people maybe have not. For Officer Rimmer… I could barely fault it aside from the abrupt ending to end all abrupt endings.

    A great idea for a story, some brilliant (and disturbing) special effects, scenes with multiple Rimmers being everything you could hope for in scenes with multiple Rimmers, and some classic RD and broader gags. It really felt like Classic Dwarf to me.

    Have to agree with Tanya on the overuse of “Best guess, sirs” though. It didn’t bother me on first watch and I get there’s a lot to cram in but Kryten nailing the correct explanation every single effing time is stretching things. If he knows about bio-printers, how come this wasn’t one of his guesses when aboard the citadel in Legion and the life-signs go from zero to one? A slightly different century reference doesn’t quite explain that. The “best guess” wasn’t even necessary because once the incoming transmission came in, the Captain announced himself he had been bio-printed and it had gone wrong. Surely then could have been the time for Kryten to announce how fashionable bio-printing was in C24.

    But a minor quibble in a fantastic episode, and I think my favourite of XI. Krysis and Can of Worms are going to struggle to beat this!

  10. Since the picture is above, I love the look on wine waiter Rimmer’s face. All those Rimmers promoted to officer and he’s stuck giving out refreshments, can just imagine the internal monologue of ‘why do I never get any of the breaks?’

    I thought only the original Rimmer was promoted and that’s what kept the Rimmers not stabbing him in the back? They looked up to those higher then them.

    I’d rather they just said hey were programmable bio printed Rimmers but hey that will do.

  11. I thought only the original Rimmer was promoted and that’s what kept the Rimmers not stabbing him in the back? They looked up to those higher then them.

    Yes indeed, the original Rimmer being promoted twice by Herring, the bioprint Rimmer’s just promoted to officer by Rimmer

  12. They were all promoted to officer (thus allowing them into the Officers’ Club) since Rimmer had become Flight Lieutenant.

  13. I loved it. Wasn’t keen on the ending but definitely the funniest of the four so far for me. There’s been a lot of praise for give & take but after a strong first half I felt that suffered, especially the cat bits. For me XI started strong and has only gotten better week by week.

    What it has shown tho, is we need a series 11 poll on g&t after the series finishes whilst we wait for the pearl survey.

  14. Who was the non-Barrie head on the Rimmerbeast? Just some lucky extra?

  15. I don’t think blasting the Rimmer monster was Kryten’s intended plan, I suspect Rimmer was supposed to lure it into some kind of trap. However the moster cornered Rimmer by closing off part of the corridor behind him, so the Dwarfers has to just distract it and blast it with Bazookoids. This might have worked better if Kryten actually said his plan in the episode…but the way it played out I get the feeling that wasn’t supposed to happen.

  16. I look forward to this week’s episode ending in the middle of a li

  17. I think my biggest problem with the episode is I feel like each series has at least one episode that is designed to remind us what a bastard Rimmer is (ie, Bodyswap, Meltdown, Quarantine, Rimmerworld, Blue, etc), and I don’t care for those because they ramp up his worst qualities to do it. He could be perfectly reasonably smegheadish in the other 5 episodes – it’s just this one episode they decide to make him insanely cowardly or weaselly or whatever. While there were some great gags and concepts in this episode, I can’t get over that Rimmer became a straight up classist prick the moment he became an officer.

    In my reality, Captain Herring should’ve been in the whole thing, and maybe been a negative influence on Rimmer. He’s the one who installs all the Officer’s luxuries, and Rimmer gets all caught up in it, until Herring makes all the bio-Rimmers loyal to him, kicking Rimmer out and forcing him back down to earth to join the others in defeating him.

  18. I think my biggest problem with the episode is I feel like each series has at least one episode that is designed to remind us what a bastard Rimmer is (ie, Bodyswap, Meltdown, Quarantine, Rimmerworld, Blue, etc), and I don’t care for those because they ramp up his worst qualities to do it. He could be perfectly reasonably smegheadish in the other 5 episodes – it’s just this one episode they decide to make him insanely cowardly or weaselly or whatever. While there were some great gags and concepts in this episode, I can’t get over that Rimmer became a straight up classist prick the moment he became an officer.

    In my reality, Captain Herring should’ve been in the whole thing, and maybe been a negative influence on Rimmer. He’s the one who installs all the Officer’s luxuries, and Rimmer gets all caught up in it, until Herring makes all the bio-Rimmers loyal to him, kicking Rimmer out and forcing him back down to earth to join the others in defeating him.

    I’d say that Rimmer wasn’t *that* nasty in this episode – OK, the snooty tone was adopted early on but otherwise he really only made a few of cosmetic changes within the ship (Officer’s Club, the conveyor belt, the lift). I don’t think it was quite a descent into irredeemable cuntiness. Perhaps that would’ve come later had he been given the chance but I don’t think we saw him do anything particularly un-Rimmer like.

  19. I don’t think it was quite a descent into irredeemable cuntiness.

    Firing a mining torpedo in response to a distress call does not qualify as irredeemable cuntiness now?

  20. I don’t think it was quite a descent into irredeemable cuntiness.

    Firing a mining torpedo in response to a distress call does not qualify as irredeemable cuntiness now?

    I could actually forgive that bit as it was clearly the only sane thing to do in that scenario, and Rimmer was the only one who could’ve done it (Lister has his morals, Kryten has his programming and Cat was too far from the button). I kind of wish he’d instead presented the idea and given them a chance to get on his side instead of just going ahead and firing it, but still…

    His attitude felt more in tune with the Rimmer of III or IV – something I discussed with cazflibs a few days ago – instead of the Rimmer of XI. I loved how Rimmer was being characterized. He’s still a pompous ass hat sometimes, but he seems a lot more helpful than usual, particularly in “Give & Take”. I just don’t think XI Rimmer would’ve gotten THAT classist without an outside influence.

  21. I was under the impression that Starbug would be fine as long as they maintained their relative positions, but upon re-watch it does appear that Rimmer’s actions may have been a bit more justified given what was said about the asteroid storm and the ship’s cargo.

    Still though, I do have to agree with you that this episode was showing something of a throwback Rimmer. Gone was the working class hero who at least tried to be helpful. I had a similar negative reaction to a lot of the Cat’s Rimmer jokes this season, that they were unfortunate throwbacks to a time when they were a bit more deserved, but at least Rimmer has now given them all fairly good reasons for disliking him again.

  22. I’ve no problem with Rimmer firing the missile. It’s like one of those hypothetical moral dilemmas. Rimmer does it save to himself (and the others) at the expense of the other ship.

    Pushing Katrina in front of a car? That’s fucked up.

  23. I think though that the course of events were ones that would bring out the worst elements of Rimmer’s personality, the fact is that Rome wasn’t built in a day and Rimmer wouldn’t completely change who he is based on one revelation about his past. While there has been sone genuine character growth this series, I feel the events of this episode justified he relapse into his more weaselish behaviour. That’s not to say I don’t think this episode isn’t without some glaring problems, but I feel fine with Rimmer’s characterisation here….I was less fine with his portrayal in Trojan, but I really dislike that episode!

  24. Pushing Katrina in front of a car? That’s fucked up.

    Well she was trying to kill him, but I didn’t find it particularly in character either…

  25. Despite a slightly unfortunate bumming joke…

    This was one of the weirdest parts of the ep for me.
    With no one there to witness it and misconstrue what’s happening, why is it supposed to be funny?

  26. I loved around 95% of this episode – a strong episode with some interesting concepts (such as the bio-printing and its uses, the intentionally limited lifespan of the crewmembers it creates, etc) and good laughs to be had. But then the ending was, as has already been said, far too abrupt – even more so than “Samsara”! Even a two-to-three-second slow-mo shot of the Rimmer monster starting to explode with a big “NOOOO..” just before the hard cut to credits would have worked better, though my favourite suggestion for an alternative has to be the DNA-style one-line quip of “God, Rimmer, you’re so self-absorbed” that someone mentioned in one of the episode threads.

    So yeah, in my opinion, great episode until the ending, but the abrupt cut-off brings it down slightly – as a result it’ll take some time to figure out where it sits in my Series XI episode ranking. Everything up to that point was highly enjoyable, though – I didn’t feel like the plot was meandering or anything, which I did with the Lister/Cat scenes in “Samsara”.

    Glad to hear one commenter reassuring that the Series XII episode(s) they saw had decent endings, though – abrupt finishes seem to be a running theme this series, with only “Give & Take” feeling like it’s broken the pattern so far. Hoping for less abrupt finishes for “Krysis” and “Can of Worms”…!

  27. Pushing Katrina in front of a car? That’s fucked up.

    Doesn’t he only do that once Kryten tells him it’s not murder, though? Therefore he has nothing to be guilty about.

  28. Doesn’t he only do that once Kryten tells him it’s not murder, though? Therefore he has nothing to be guilty about

    It’s Katerina herself who tells him that, but yes, she’s just finished a monologue about how she sees killing a hologram as morally and ethically okay since the person in question is already dead in the first place. It still felt out of character for Rimmer to just off her like that, but at the very least they did try and justify it in some way by making it appear that Katerina’s unwittingly convinced him that it’s OK for him to kill her.

    Personally, for a character built up so much in the first third of the story, I think her ending was quite abrupt – wouldn’t have minded her sticking around a bit longer as a proper rival for Rimmer, and having him actually outsmart her using some of his weaselly cunning or something, rather than just casually (and callously) killing her off when her function as a plot device to get them into the “real” world was over and done with.

    Anyway, this is the “Officer Rimmer” thread rather than the “Back to Earth” thread, so I’ll stop there before I go off on too much more of a tangent – otherwise it’ll probably end up like that whole “can Cat actually read” thing I got started on in one of the “Samsara” threads… = P

  29. What are we excusing here? The writing of Rimmer murdering someone, or the bizarre in-show reasoning of justifying it?

    Either way, wasn’t the hallucination supposed to be eliciting “joy”?

  30. Anyway, yes. This is an Officer Rimmer thread so back on topic:. I did not like Back to Earth at all. I rather liked Office Rimmer

  31. Still though, I do have to agree with you that this episode was showing something of a throwback Rimmer. Gone was the working class hero who at least tried to be helpful. I had a similar negative reaction to a lot of the Cat’s Rimmer jokes this season, that they were unfortunate throwbacks to a time when they were a bit more deserved, but at least Rimmer has now given them all fairly good reasons for disliking him again.

    I think the working class hero thing vanished after Red Dwarf X ends since Series XI still has a Rimmer that feels he is better then everyone else and is obsessed over authority .

    Oddly if you wanted to look at a more friendlier Rimmer you probably could look at an episode like Dimension Jump where he was disappointed they were trying to go fishing without him even though he “tried to be liked” and on starbug was making an effort to be the fun guy.

  32. I’ve no problem with Rimmer firing the missile. It’s like one of those hypothetical moral dilemmas. Rimmer does it save to himself (and the others) at the expense of the other ship.

    I wasn’t shocked about it either since in Rimmerworld he left in the escape pod rather then trying to save the others its the sorta thing Rimmer does.

  33. I don’t think it was quite a descent into irredeemable cuntiness.

    Firing a mining torpedo in response to a distress call does not qualify as irredeemable cuntiness now?
    I could actually forgive that bit as it was clearly the only sane thing to do in that scenario, and Rimmer was the only one who could’ve done it (Lister has his morals, Kryten has his programming and Cat was too far from the button). I kind of wish he’d instead presented the idea and given them a chance to get on his side instead of just going ahead and firing it, but still…
    His attitude felt more in tune with the Rimmer of III or IV – something I discussed with cazflibs a few days ago – instead of the Rimmer of XI. I loved how Rimmer was being characterized. He’s still a pompous ass hat sometimes, but he seems a lot more helpful than usual, particularly in “Give & Take”. I just don’t think XI Rimmer would’ve gotten THAT classist without an outside influence.

    Whats interesting about Rimmers character is how many changes the character went through in the first 6 series alone since…

    Series 1 he was a dick who was obsessed with rank.

    Series 2 had toned down on those traits and he seemed to feel sorry for himself more than anything.

    Series 3 and 4 had abit more of a friendlier and happier Rimmer, like in marooned where he was trying to help lister get through the experience even though overall his personality still bugged the others at times.

    Series 5 and 6 had a more selfish grump Rimmer, excluding holoship where Chris actually gave a very different Rimmer performance which in terms of acting it may be his best performance.

    7 and 8 don’t count.

    My only worry with XI Rimmer is that at times Doug may be milking that Series 1 Cow abit to much ;p

  34. Yes, I’m slightly confused by people being a bit upset that someone whose idols are fascist dictators has acted like a bit of a cunt.

  35. >Yes, I’m slightly confused by people being a bit upset that someone whose idols are fascist dictators has acted like a bit of a cunt.

    Attempted murder is a bit dodgy?!

  36. Yes, I’m slightly confused by people being a bit upset that someone whose idols are fascist dictators has acted like a bit of a cunt.

    Because some of us the like the idea that he has grown from there. It reminds me of the reset done in VIII with the nano-Rimmer who was in many ways a far more amoral prick than the Series I Rimmer ever was.

  37. Since watching and enjoying the episode, I’ve been – arrogantly – trying to work out how to iron out the creases, not least of which the abrupt, hamfisted ending.

    The basic plot’s sound up until the beast, where it all gets a bit rushed and fails to tell us much about the character, instead contenting itself with wrapping up the story as quickly, nay abruptly, as possible.

    After establishing the officers club and the premise that this time ‘multiple Rimmer’s will be different’, because the original outranks them, give Rimmer a taste of the resentment his underlings have for his status. While they all follow his orders none of them actually like him and he feels excluded from his own club.

    Then have a Me2-esque scene where Rimmer visits Lister, who though he is unable to admit it, he actually is more comfortable with. Have Rimmer frustrated that he’s unhappy despite getting the position he’s always yearned for, and he galled to see Lister and Cat managing to be happy despite the limits he’s foist upon them.

    Include a traditional philosophical ‘careful what you wish for’ Lister speech here about the ultimate futility of chasing power when it just makes you unhappy. Nevertheless, Rimmer refuses to give up his precious rank and, misunderstanding Lister’s words, resolves to accquire more power to force the officers club to like him.

    At this point we get the accidental creation of the Rimmerbeast, originally conceived of as a bouncer that’s been given the task of removing any officer from the club that doesn’t like Rimmer – forgetting that his own self-loathing makes him a viable target.

    The climax deals with the Rimmerbeast’s rampage, culminating in the realisation that – like Captain Herring – the beast will die once its mission is complete. Rimmer is forced to make the agonising decision to relinquish his status in order to live; as a non-officer, he therefore no longer qualifies as a target, causing the creature’s mission to be completed and its subsequent demise.

    We then have a little epilogue that reinforces the themes of status – maybe after welcoming Rimmer back into the ranks of Riffraff, Lister, Cat and Kryten force Rimmer to do an unpleasant job that only he, as senior technician, is qualified to do.

  38. I think there’s a reason why they call it the cockpit…

  39. Because some of us the like the idea that he has grown from there. It reminds me of the reset done in VIII with the nano-Rimmer who was in many ways a far more amoral prick than the Series I Rimmer ever was.

    I’d argue Rimmer hasn’t grown up at all, if anything he has just reverted back to his Series 1 self since the whole obsession over rank actually was toned down alot after Series 1 and while you had the odd episode like holoship or meltdown that reminded us that it was still some what important to him they didn’t keep playing on that trait like alot of modern dwarf does.

  40. Genuinely surprised that this was a split episode amongst the fandom. I closed the UKTV Play page and expected to come onto the ‘Let’s Talk About’ page and see glowing praise (and a bit of a moan about the ending, of course), as I thought this was objectively one of the best Red Dwarf episodes in ages. Clearly not! People have explained their reasons for disliking the episode, which range from “omg that ending tho!” (I don’t feel you can let a few seconds ruin nearly 30 minutes of quality) to a host of other reasons, none of which I can really buy into…

    I think this highlights why Doug has such a difficult task on his hands. Red Dwarf has a broad fanbase, each with their own favourite type of episode.

    I’ve moaned about this episode enough (http://www.ganymede.tv/2016/10/lets-talk-about-officer-rimmer-on-uktv-play/#comment-84957 and http://www.reddwarf.co.uk/forum/messages.cfm?messageid=FB97E7AB-BD7B-4B76-86E8D5006B4776C4#FB97E7AB-BD7B-4B76-86E8D5006B4776C4) so will keep this brief by adding that I really do feel that an ending can ruin an episode.

    For me, it’s ultimately about the pay-off. Is the story resolved satisfactorily? If there’s a poor pay-off, what was the point of the previous 30 minutes?

    Give & Take‘s pay-off is hugely satisfying (the realisation that earlier scenes were plot-relevant, and an unexpected twist to add an element of surprise), whereas Officer Rimmer‘s pay-off was – let’s be fair – completely missing. It means that the rest of the episode just became a series of loosely-connected sketches, which is not (for me) what Red Dwarf is about; Red Dwarf’s strongest episodes are those with a well-rounded story (and, of course, a good laugh along the way).

    Urgh. That all sounds like a spoilt child, doesn’t it? But, given how much time and effort goes into producing an episode of Red Dwarf, I think it’s fair to be disappointed when one doesn’t match expectations (particularly after last week’s strong episode).

  41. Copied from the original UKTV Play thread as that seems to be dead…. these were my immediate reactions. Seems I quite heavily disagree with some of you!

    Awful. Just absolutely awful. This episode had SO many problems, for me…. for one, the model shots looked completely disconnected from the scenes on-board. Case in point, Starbug…. I’m not sure why (since they’ve done this lots of times), but the static shot of the cockpit really jarred. Perhaps it was because it was placed next to quite dynamic shots of Starbug flying, but even just a slight bit of camera movement would have helped.

    This is the first time I’ve had a problem with the model shots this series, but a few really stuck out and it was mostly because of the overly-dynamic motions and angles that we got. The shots contain decent ideas, and all, but they’re starting to take me out of the moment in a way that the old style shots (and the earlier XI eps) didn’t.

    Above all that, though, it just was not funny and it felt like every scene was stilted and awkward. I will say that I didn’t have any problem with the Cat, but each of the remaining three had multiple scenes that just seemed to lack the chemistry that we’re used to.

    We saw way too much of the Rimmer beast. I’ll be honest, I was hating how the cloning story was going and I thought that the mangled-up monster might save it, but they kept showing it and showing it and showing it…. and then the cunning plan to defeat it was to sneak up behind and shoot it?!

    And we’ve talked about abrupt endings in this series but, fucking hell, that one was the most anticlimactic of the bunch.

    This is probably the first time I can remember actually feeling embarrassed for the show whilst watching an episode. I would put this far below Dear Dave, personally.

  42. Good to know we have the whole cast of the Oak Furniture Land adverts in the Red Dwarf canon.

  43. I’d argue Rimmer hasn’t grown up at all, if anything he has just reverted back to his Series 1 self since the whole obsession over rank actually was toned down alot after Series 1 and while you had the odd episode like holoship or meltdown that reminded us that it was still some what important to him they didn’t keep playing on that trait like alot of modern dwarf does.

    To be fair, he never actively pursued it in this episode….it was actually kinda thrusted upon him. Something that brought his worst character traits to the forefront. Only episode where he actively tried to persued rank in modern Red Dwarf was Trojan, and I feel Doug was trying to use that episode as a reintroduction of sorts for people who’d never seen the show. Even later in I see power being like a drug to Rimmer, and I do feel he would still abuse it.

  44. Yes, he might have mellowed over time, but it can be pretty easy to slip back into old, negative ways, regardless of how far in the past they may seem. I honestly thought it was very believable.

  45. Could someone who is good at photoshop put Captain Herring’s face back together?

  46. Haven’t really commented much on what I thought of the episodes thus far, but I have to put out there that this is my favorite of the 4. Strongest performance from all 4 actors, good one liners, great story and the music really revved up the horror element (not in a cheesy sitcom way but in a genuinely scary way)… overall really impressed.

    Cracks me up the division on here. Some loathe it, some love it.

  47. I’d argue Rimmer hasn’t grown up at all, if anything he has just reverted back to his Series 1 self since the whole obsession over rank actually was toned down alot after Series 1 and while you had the odd episode like holoship or meltdown that reminded us that it was still some what important to him they didn’t keep playing on that trait like alot of modern dwarf does.

    To be fair, he never actively pursued it in this episode….it was actually kinda thrusted upon him. Something that brought his worst character traits to the forefront. Only episode where he actively tried to persued rank in modern Red Dwarf was Trojan, and I feel Doug was trying to use that episode as a reintroduction of sorts for people who’d never seen the show. Even later in I see power being like a drug to Rimmer, and I do feel he would still abuse it.

    It just seems to be abit more of a played on Rimmer trait for these last 2 series. (including dear dave).

  48. The divide is indeed staggering! Personally I’m enjoying XI so far. The strongest opening 4 episodes of a series since VI (I’m well aware all we have left now are Kryten and Cat-centric episodes. PLEASE be bearable!)

    I regard the Dave era as the ‘Force Awakens’ of Red Dwarf – looks and sounds stunning, original cast back together in a familiar setting, some cracking concepts and a lot better than the dip in quality we had to endure after the first hiatus. However it’s sadly marred by a bit too much fan service/back references and a few baffling lines and plot points that make you cringe or think “hang on – that’s not credible”. But overall I’m having a good time watching new Dwarf, niggles aside.

  49. alot of people say the ending ruined it for them but honestly i am used to Red Dwarf having abrupt endings so i can live with it, its just some jokes in the episode that may ruin it for me and take me out of the episode.

  50. alot of people say the ending ruined it for them but honestly i am used to Red Dwarf having abrupt endings so i can live with it, its just some jokes in the episode that may ruin it for me and take me out of the episode.

    I’m not one of the people who said that, but I think this ending in particular suffers from a lousy resolution on the whole rather than just poor editing, as with some other eps. They have this big Rimmer beast that has his head sticking out on *all sides* (which was a cool concept, I thought) and they beat it simply by “sneaking up behind it”? Does it even have a behind? O.o

  51. I’d also just to like to add, for a little context with my very critical comments about this ep up above, I am personally considering XI a success up to this point. This is certainly ambitious, and it deserves plaudits for that.

  52. Pushing Katrina in front of a car? That’s fucked up.

    Well she was trying to kill him, but I didn’t find it particularly in character either…

    The joy squid intoxication had just given him permission to dispose of her from her own mouth, to increase his own sense of freedom and happyness but ridding his world of somone who threatened to nuke him, he thought. Even if thats out of character
    Its a pretty fine reason to be out of character.

  53. Yeah… about the gate. Couldn’t Rimmer have just switched to soft light and gotten through that way?

    I thought this too. My only conclusion could be that in the panic, Rimmer didn’t think about changing to soft light.

  54. As I said in a post about this episode before to me this is the finest episode storywise since Series 6. The story had a classic Red Dwarf feel and the Rimmer monster reminded me of monsters from Series 3-6. The only minor flaw was the abrupt ending but the quality of this episode overall made me overlook it.

  55. Yeah… about the gate. Couldn’t Rimmer have just switched to soft light and gotten through that way?

    I thought this too. My only conclusion could be that in the panic, Rimmer didn’t think about changing to soft light.

    its called plot convenience.

  56. its called plot convenience.

    Frankly I think it’s more than a little stupid to expect that Rimmer, while panicking, is actively judging the size of the grate to determine whether or not his light bee could fit through. This is a gate, he’s in serious danger, and there are people who can let him in. Immediate solution in a high-anxiety situation. He’s gonna ask them to open the gate.

    Rimmer does not think things through when he’s panicking, I mean that kind of cowardice is a major character trait. Panicking characters not behaving 100% logically is not a flaw in the writing. I could buy Rimmer eventually trying soft-light if they outright refused period, but they didn’t. He’s not thinking straight, a monster is coming to kill him and he’s just been given a way out, of course he’s gonna take it. He’s gonna realize later on that he could have just gone soft-light and want to punch himself for not thinking of it.

    But no, characters acting in a manner consistent with their established traits and real people in dangerous situations is just plot convenience. Doug needs to go back to writing school.

  57. But no, you’re right, it’s clearly just plot convenience that they solved part of the story by choosing to not have a solid object somehow phase seamlessly through another solid object. Doug needs go back to writing school.

    The gate issue doesn’t bother me at all, but you did see ‘Entangled’, right..?

  58. I completely rewrote my post because I thought of a much better argument. I was hoping no one would respond before I finished.

    The gate issue doesn’t bother me at all, but you did see ‘Entangled’, right..?

    Projection mode. To me they wouldn’t have designated it “projection mode” if it wasn’t supposed to mean he can travel away from the light bee. Yes, I know they didn’t add in the light bee as an effect, but when he walks back out to where he originally went into projection mode he does a little motion with a sound effect to signify going back to normal mode. Note he is already hard-light at this point, and that going soft-light would not make the light bee stop being solid because that makes no sense. We know the light bee is a solid object, the light bee has always been a solid object. It was introduced specifically to give Rimmer a physically existing part. So either “projection mode” is a mode where Rimmer can travel away from the light bee (presumably at a very limited range), or now the light bee can just magically phase through solid objects for no reason. And that little shake motion with a computery sound effect Rimmer does when walking back to the space they forgot to put his light bee is just a completely random thing that means nothing.

    I’m sorry, I can’t accept that we’ve just suddenly written off the light bee as a solid object despite it being one in every singe series its appeared including showing up in Twentica.

  59. Wow, I just watched it a second time and I have to say I’ve almost completely turned a corner on it. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

    I think the only thing that still irked me (besides the ending) was Chris Barrie’s performance as I think a few of the lines would have benefited from his series 5/6 type delivery.

  60. >Note he is already hard-light at this point, and that going soft-light would not make the light bee stop being solid because that makes no sense. We know the light bee is a solid object, the light bee has always been a solid object. It was introduced specifically to give Rimmer a physically existing part.

    What d’you mean, “solid”?

    I did think the light bee looked like it could have fit through the grate but I assume Rimmer, if he had the time to switch, is tethered to the bee which stays in place and would not be able to pull it with him (I’ll happily pretend we were supposed to see the bee stay on our side of the wall in Entangled).

    Presumably switching to soft light exposes the bee to damage anyway but if projection mode made it easier for Rimmer to run away he would have done it.

  61. Ok on youtube someone has posted a video with like a dozen screen shots from Krysis, basically shows alot of the episode in screen shots including guest actor.

    How someone got that who knows but its up

    So yeah very spoilers galore

  62. Also radiotimes.com has got a review for krysis, also spoilery.

  63. I’ve got a more positive outlook on Krysis, thankfully. With Officer Rimmer, I was kind of already not looking forward to it, for some reason, and that tainted my initial opinion of the episode.

    What I’m looking forward to is having the ghost of Krytie TV well and truly exorcised (with Krysis being the first proper Kryten episode since then), despite the red suit…:p

  64. Of the 6, I’ve always been concerned about these next two. The clips in the credits sequence (particularly Kryten in pink, the Cat shooting things) have not eased those worries.

  65. If Kryten screws his face up at any point and whines “you’re lying” then I’m closing the tab – but other than that I am cautiously optimistic about the Kryten episode, especially given the strength of the first four. That said, it has been dumped in the Episode 5 slot…

  66. To be fair to Kryten’s crimson hues, it’s *supposed* to be a ridiculous idea within the context of the episode, so…y’know.
    And considering I wasn’t even supposed to be watching Officer Rimmer til tonight, I’m definitely not going to watch Krysis til tomorrow.

  67. Also radiotimes.com has got a review for krysis, also spoilery.

    This has been the case for their reviews every single week, so not a huge surprise there.

  68. Apparently their review of Can of Worms COMPLETELY blows the mystery, so try to steer clear of it.

  69. FUCKING HELL I JUST REALISED IT’S FRIDAY AND I HAVEN’T PISSING WATCHED KRYSIS YET

  70. I’VE PISSING SORTED IT. SEE YOU IN THE LET’S TALK ABOUT COMMENTS…

  71. I enjoyed this episode. I had reservations about another multiple Rimmer episode, but the way it was dealt with worked well. The concept of bioprinting was great and played to decent comedy effect. (Or should that be ‘affect’?)

    I do find Rimmer is smug powertrip mode grating , but I think he is supposed to be. I’m glad that section of the episode didn’t outstay its welcome though, and it had some very amusing scenes.

    Concerning the abrupt ending, I’m not surprised many disliked it, although I feel they might have missed the point. When it happened my first reaction, was “is that it?” But then I thought about the preceding gag, and I thought, “yes, why not”.

    Think about it. (The lines below aren’t exact. My memory isn’t that good.)

    “Don’t forget to write down the last thing you’ll be doing.”
    “What’s the last thing I’ll be doing?”
    “Dying!”
    KABLAM!
    It’s cold outside.. etc.

    A perfect exclamation mark to a nice cinematic punchline. The episode was wrapped up, so why continue?

    I guess a revenge scene at the end with Rimmer being trapped in a room with a barbershop quartet of Listers singing “Smeg head, smeg head, smeg head, smeg head, smeg head, smeg head, smeeeg!” might have been amusing.

  72. Barbershop quartet version of The Om Song.

  73. A better ending would have been to utilize the already-established plot device of printed entities dissolving after their mission was completed. Since Rimmer’s only reason for existence was to keep Lister sane, all Lister had to do was say he’s completely sane (and maybe “prove” it in some funny way) and the beast would dissipate. I mean, jeez, they literally WROTE in their own solution!

  74. I think they could have gotten away with the ending they went with, personally. Stylistically, when Lister said ‘dying’ then fired the bazookoid, if they’d chosen to shoot the line front on with Lister aiming the weapon at the camera then firing, I really think it would have worked perfectly.

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