Talking Points: Officer Rimmer

Well, what a surprise, Officer Rimmer is yet another example of an episode that has garnered somewhat split opinion since it was released online this morning, but the split may well be a lot more interesting than previous weeks by the very dint that this episode is undoubtedly unusual in many ways. Whether you like the places it goes is another matter entirely, but luckily we have our entire lives to debate to this one. In an episode crammed with points that require some talking, I’ve picked out some of the big ticket items.

Sexy Beginnings

It’s fair to say that Red Dwarf, while undoubtedly not a suitable for all ages sort of show, doesn’t often go too far when it comes to talking about sex and in hindsight this odd insight into the subconscious of Rimmer’s sex starved mind may not have had a comfortable home in this episode for some. While the symbolism used in Rimmer’s metaphor laden dreams would undoubtedly raise laughs for many, did the image of Rimmer prematurely ejaculating into his own hand just go a step too far?

Big Print Jobs

The main concept of the episode is introduced through the guest star of this week’s episode, as Captain Herring is created using a bio-printer. I think it’s fair to say Doug has had some recent printer problems (unsurprising given it wasn’t long since he delivered 12 scripts) as the process did not go smoothly, resulting in some of the most unpleasant and bizarre make-up the show’s ever seen. While we knew the bio-printer and a mysterious captain would be present this episode, I don’t think anyone was prepared for the horror of his visage, and the tone of this gag certainly sets the scene for what is to come.

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Flight Lieutenant Rimmer

For what seems like then 10,000th time in the show’s history, Rimmer gets promoted. Twice. My knowledge of military ranks is admittedly shaky at best, but I wasn’t sure ‘Officer’ was as specific as it was used here, but it needn’t matter as that was soon upgraded to the lofty position of Flight Lieutenant. The promotion paved the way for an absolute tonne of character based shenanigans for Rimmer, with that famous vindictive and officious streak allowed to roam completely unfettered. If there was any doubt that Rimmer is just a few steps away from full on fascist dictator then the extreme class war measured here puts in place in relatively short order should clear those doubts up.

2nd Technicians Rimmer

Worries about similarities to Me2 might’ve been put at ease here, as not only does the episode address said episode in a brief exchange between Rimmer and Kryten, but the duplicated Rimmers are treated very differently in this episode, with Rimmer Prime keen to ensure he out-ranks them all. Apparently, though, this does not preclude him from literally serving them in the Officers Club. It’s a great opportunity for both Chris Barrie and the effects work to showcase themselves and I feel whether this concept works for you or not depends entirely on what you make of the execution and Barrie’s performance throughout, specifically during the notable ‘Quartet of Rimmers’ piece.

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The Many Faced Rimmer

Ohhhh boy. This episode certainly went places that few would’ve guessed, and culmination of the slightly weird tone of the episode is most definitely this horrifying creation of melded, insane, Rimmers. Whatever you thought of the finished effect, seeing how they achieved this in the DVD documentary is sure to be a treat.

Cold Closing

Whether you were laughing or wincing throughout, you would’ve almost certainly been blind sided by easily the most abrupt ending the show has ever had. While to me it felt entirely deliberate, the crash into the credits just as Lister and co open fire on the Rimmerbeast is undoubtedly jarring. Technically speaking everything was wrapped up at the end but this is perhaps an extreme example of the episode ending issues Doug’s been having this year.

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Is it shit or is it good?

I feel like more than at any point this series, this is going to be a hot topic indeed. We’ve already seen wildly split opinions from the early watchers, and the previously infallible binary options of the Shit/Good scale might be insufficient here. What it will ultimately come down to is how well you thought Chris carried the episode, the quality of the effects, the strange tone throughout and how this positively or negatively affected the impact of the jokes, and just how important the abrupt closing to the episode was to the over all experience.

Let us know your thoughts on the above points, and your comment may be used in our Live DwarfCast for Officer Rimmer, at 10pm on Thursday 13th October. And look out for our in-depth written review in the coming days.

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76 Responses to Talking Points: Officer Rimmer

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  1. The BBFC deem this episode to contain “moderate sex references”. The BBFC need a more broad system. “moderate sex symbolism” would be much more apposite.

  2. The BBFC deem this episode to contain “moderate sex references”. The BBFC need a more broad system. “moderate sex symbolism” would be much more apposite.

    Unless they’re referring to Kryten dry-humping Rimmer as he tries to pull himself off the printer.

  3. So two thoughts come to mind reading this.

    First, I assumed Rimmer and Kryten’s exchange about history showing him + him not turning out well was more a reference to Rimmerworld, given that Kryten was present at then and wasn’t for Me2.

    Secondly, why does Captain Herring have the power to promote Rimmer? Different ship, seemingly different corporation … seems odd they’d all so blindly accept that he had the power to do so. Of course it wouldn’t stop it going to Rimmer’s head if he had the power or not, just weird how the rest of the crew don’t even question it.

  4. Re: the strange tone, from the set reports it seems that Officer Rimmer is a dry run for XII which sounds positively psychedelic.

  5. Red Dwarf does The Thing! That was fucking ace!

  6. Unless they’re referring to Kryten dry-humping Rimmer as he tries to pull himself off the printer.

    Was that Dougs second attempt that replicating the shrinking boxers scene from polymorph or did tha happen by accident, either way it was bad.

  7. Only just watched it so haven’t read everything yet, but if it hasn’t already been pointed out, the opening scene was shot during the recording of a different episode.

  8. G&T Admin

    I did not know that! When they shot it did they say it was for a different episode or is this some chopping and changing?

  9. Secondly, why does Captain Herring have the power to promote Rimmer? Different ship, seemingly different corporation … seems odd they’d all so blindly accept that he had the power to do so. Of course it wouldn’t stop it going to Rimmer’s head if he had the power or not, just weird how the rest of the crew don’t even question it.

    For me it was more Rimmer resigning and hitting the reset button, so much set up with such a quick get out trick that doesn’t even make that much sense.

  10. Not to sure whats with THE sex jokes that have become more regular, Doug is turning into a dirty old man ;p

  11. Sexy….

    For me, this is the single weakest scene in XI, so far. As nice as it is to hear a fully warmed-up audience laughing their heads off at shite gags, that does nothing to make their smell any less potent… What’s with all the plane stuff in this series as well?? Doug been flying a lot, recently? :p

    Big Jobs…

    Captain Herring. Along with the insane makeup job (that doesn’t quite work), the character was boring as sin, and I’m slightly miffed that Rimmer wasn’t promoted by a ‘proper’ officer, despite that meaning they would have needed to kill off another human. The whole setup could have been miles better. Though, the bio-printer IS a great idea, it has to be said!

    FLR…

    IMO Officer Rimmer is the most VIII the show has been since, well, VIII (the Snacky counselling session was a bit VIII as well)…and the way Rimmer behaves once he’s been promoted has a little bit of that creeping in. Of course, it’s also a huge throwback to series 1 & 2 Rimmer, so I’ll give Doug a pass for that! Though, the question we’ve gotta ask is, would a Rimmer that’s been through everything he has over the years, still slip into that twisted persona a bit of power brings out in him? It’s not at Meltdown levels, but it’s close. Mentioning Meltdown also brings up the fact that Lister needed more of a role here. I would have liked him to have been able to pull Rimmer back from the brink with a bit of decent dialogue.

    2nd Tech Rimmer…

    Not overly fussed with the quartet…but it cannot be denied what an achievement the SEVERAL Rimmers onscreen at the same time was. Surely the best visuals, technically, the show has ever pulled off? Especially with all the faces on the Rimmer monster. Amazing stuff that must have taken aeons to get to sync up and all that. Hats off to all involved!

    Many Faced Rimmer…

    Yeah it was good, and terrifying! The scariest image on Dwarf in a LONG while.

    Cold Closing…

    I don’t mind it. Though you’re not really meant to end an episode in that way…….. Ah well! Maybe there was another scene shot/considered but it was boring/shit so Doug left it as is. Whatever, it’s by no means the worst thing about the episode.

    Shit/Good…?

    Both. Visually stunning in places, good sets and some nice ideas, but ultimately….average?

  12. Secondly, why does Captain Herring have the power to promote Rimmer? Different ship, seemingly different corporation … seems odd they’d all so blindly accept that he had the power to do so. Of course it wouldn’t stop it going to Rimmer’s head if he had the power or not, just weird how the rest of the crew don’t even question it.

    For me it was more Rimmer resigning and hitting the reset button, so much set up with such a quick get out trick that doesn’t even make that much sense.

    Meh, Red Dwarf has been using the reset button for decades. The end of Balance of Power and the start of Confidence and Paranoia, Paralell Universe to Backwards, White Hole … in fact nearly every episode has zero consequences.

    The only ones that have are the ones that introduce new characters that don’t die immediately. Dimension Jump, Ouroborus etc … the whole of series 8 was reset in a way we don’t even know yet.

    Rimmer was never going to remain “an officer” … and if he did what the hell would it matter. He has always been the highest ranking and no-one has ever listened to him. The promotion was just an easy way to give Rimmer a confidence boost to implement the absurd ship changes he so clearly wish he had and to create a story for DOug to write and us to watch and enjoy (or not in some cases)

  13. It just wasn’t a very good reset button, he just said he resigns… thats it? are there no records of his rank that need to be changed? no just him saying he resigns? well ok i guess.

    Red Dwarf has had many reset buttons but this one felt like one of the cheapest in order to move the story along.

  14. The makeup job on Captain Herring is genuinely disturbing and reminds me of Bang Bang It’s Reeves and Mortimer, and a Jeremy Beadle/ Tim Curry/ vagina face morph. I was impressed.

  15. I did not know that! When they shot it did they say it was for a different episode or is this some chopping and changing?

    Nope, they didn’t say anything. It didn’t really have much plot relevance in that episode either to be fair. Weird watching it in this episode though. Spent the first 15 seconds wondering where I’d heard those jokes before.

  16. I can’t say I liked it more on 2nd viewing, but I will say I disliked it less.

    Sexy Beginnings
    I don’t have a problem with Rimmer’s sexy dream at all, I only wish it linked back to something later on in the episode and was less of a stand alone moment. Even if somehow, later on in the episode, Rimmer finds himself trying to open a small bag of nuts.

    Big Print Jobs
    I wish the printer looked and operated a lot less like a standard computer printer and more like a 3D printer. I struggled to believe in it as a sci-fi concept. I had no problem with the captain and his makeup was utterly unique. I quite liked how different it was. I just hope it stands the test of time, and doesn’t end up being one of those awful prosthetic jobs that looks awful in a couple of years time.

    Flight Lieutenant Rimmer
    The best part of the episode was seeing Rimmer in full Officer mode, creating a clear class system. I would like to have seem much more of this. My favourite part of the episode was Rimmer’s first class elevator. I wish we had seem more of this class divide. It would have been a more satisfactory episode if Rimmer’s class divide ends up singling himself out and he starts to suffer from his loneliness, only to be rejected by the others when he tries to reintegrate himself into the lower classes. This is what I always expected from the episode.

    2nd Technicians Rimmer
    The effects of the multiple Rimmers is great, and I love the Quartet, but nothing at all is done with them. In fact, none of the Rimmers seemed very Rimmer-like at all. The Rimmers should have all started falling out and fighting in the Officers Club, making it unbearable for Rimmer Prime. True, this would be similar to Me2 but at least there would be more of a purpose to them.

    The Many Faced Rimmer
    I like that Red Dwarf did something completely unexpected and slightly unsettling, but I never really “got” what it was doing. Why was it attacking everyone? How was it “absorbing” and killing all the Rimmers? For what purpose? It just didn’t work for me.

    Cold Closing
    I think most of us will agree that the ending wasn’t very good at all. Unfortunately, the endings haven’t been great this series and this trend will probably continue into Series XII as Doug hasn’t had the opportunity to develop his scripts from audience feedback. If the ending of an episode is a bit crap, I can forgive that if the rest of the episode is strong. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case here and we’re given a disappointing episode which only leaves the ending feeling much worse.

    Is it shit or is it good?
    I wouldn’t say it’s shit; more like a shart. It’s like having a bad tummy after a dodgy curry, you enjoy the relief a good fart can give you until that steaming pile of diarrhoea at the end.

  17. Sexy Beginnings

    Very funny, and reveal Rimmer’s hang up’s well. Dwarf’s always talked about sex, this didn’t feel any ruder.

    Flight Lieutenant Rimmer

    Loved that the promotion was bestowed on him by a serving officer – even one that was artificially created.

    2nd Technicians Rimmer

    Amazing SFX, handled well in story – the throwback to Me2 working well. Rimmer has always been a stickler for rank – so I buy his clones being subservient.

    The Many Faced Rimmer

    Amazing. As chilling to me as an adult as the Polymorph or the Chicken Curry Monster or Legion were in my childhood.

    Is it shit or is it good?

    Very, very good. Agree with the abruptness of the ending but what came before felt like vintage Dwarf to me. Like a lost ep from IV-VI. Marvellous!

  18. Sexy Beginnings

    A good start, the Capt entering scene was good and Chris Barrie was most Rimmmer I’ve since series 6.

    Flight Lieutenant Rimmer

    So starts the series 2 or more to the point Better Than Life feel. the officers club was great and the hidden audio tracks with nods to Blue we’re perfect.

    The Many Faced Rimmer

    Up til this point, best episode since 6, all were on form and nailed the characters but the ending was very abrupt.

    Overall 8/10

  19. Is it shit or is it good?
    00:01 – 27:35 – Great.
    27:35 – 27:36 – Fucking horrible.
    27:36 – 28:25 – Fine, I suppose. Still too stunned by that (lack of) ending to notice.

  20. Sexy Beginnings – I didn’t find it massively hilarious, but it was a somewhat amusing and reasonably done joke. Nothing original, but a well constructed example of amusing Freudian sexual symbolism.

    Big Print Jobs – the printer joke was definitely amusing, but I’m glad it fed into the larger plot rather than just being a one-off cheap gag. The fucked up face of the Captain was both amusing and terrifying, and it was a nice foreshadowing of the Rimmer monster later. Turning a daft exaggeration of every day tedium into something genuinely quite disturbing like this isn’t an obvious move to make, and it was done brilliantly.

    Flight Lieutenant Rimmer – for me, the return of nasty, selfish Rimmer was really, really welcome. Over the course of the show his character has mellowed somewhat, and other than occasional glimpses, he’s not really been a cunt since maybe Meltdown? I love the idea that he fits in much better now until he has the opportunity not to, then his true self shines through (I think this rings true for a lot of people too). Elements of Balance of Power and Quarantine in his behaviour, and interestingly Queeg. I absolutely love Rimmer, but it’s really good to have a reminder that if I knew him in real life I’d fucking loathe him.

    2nd Technicians Rimmer – Rimmer’s plan to outrank the other Rimmers is wonderful, as it really suggests he’s learned from the past. And it even seems to work. Performance-wise, I think Chris got some scenes right, and others he played far too broad. I think a lot of the time he’s aiming for the ‘sprout soup’ part of Quarantine, but he overshoots and just does this cartoony smug thing. He’s been doing it since VIII so I’m used to it, and as I said, I think he did get it right a lot of the time. The barbershop quartet was wonderful, and the only fault was how short it was!

    The Many Faced Rimmer – was an absolute delight. A monster that was both hilarious and creepy, something I don’t think we’ve had since the curry monster? I thought it was brilliantly imaginative and tied back into the stuff with the Captain really well. It’s definitely an ending of IV-VI. There’s an argument to be made that a more interesting ending could have come from having the other Rimmers rise up against our Rimmer in some way, although that might have shadowed Me^2 and Rimmerworld too much maybe.

    Cold Closing – fuck off.

    Is it shit or is it good? – it’s very good. Easily on par with Twentica, if not quite reaching Samsara / Give & Take level for me. On par with the best of X. Funny, great character stuff, great sci-fi stuff, lots of imagination, fucking appalling ending. 5/6 isn’t bad.

  21. Cold Closing
    I think it’s fair to say that all these odd/abrupt endings are frustrating. Saying that this ending ruined the episode would be a bit extreme, but it certainly took a hefty chunk out of it’s overall rating – from an 8, maybe even a 9, out of 10, down to about six and a half.
    Perhaps, if Doug’s reading any of these comments, he might consider some last minute re-editing for RDXII episodes..?

  22. Rimmer and the Rottentroll

  23. The ending doesn’t bother me all that much tbh let alone it ruining the whole episode for me, if anything some of the jokes in the episode might have hurt the episode abit for me.

  24. SEXY BEGINNINGS
    It was a bit of surprise to see it there as it wasn’t recorded on the night. Not keen on it at all, frankly. Strange to have 2 minutes of stuff at the beginning of the episode that’s nothing to do with the story, when we’re sorely lacking 2 minutes at the end of it.

    Ditto Lister and his genome. It didn’t do very much beyond given us a rather hackneyed observation about telesales people. It’s an interesting idea, but it’s the focus for a couple of minutes then abruptly dropped like a stone.

    BIG PRINT JOBS
    Cloning is a well-worn ground for sci-fi, 3D printing is all the rage. Well done to Doug for giving an interesting, unique spin on both. It feels very Red Dwarf and reminds me of the auto-destruct system in Bodyswap.

    Considerably less keen on the abrupt (there’s that word again) way that Herring is disposed of. It seems a little pointless him coming on board Red Dwarf, if he’s going to be “killed off” 45 seconds later.

    The effect of Herring’s print-job is very strange and original. Didn’t know what to think of it when I first saw it, simply because it’s unlike anything I’ve seen before. I think that’s a plus point.

    Same with the Rimmer-monster. It’s such an odd/horrific idea that I bet they took ages trying to work out how it would actually look. Why it actually had the characteristics of monster though? Fuck knows. At least the stem cell stuff was an attempt at an explanation.

    COLD CLOSING
    So very strange. I kind of get what it’s going for; it’s an action hero quip rather than a comedy line (“Die!”). But damn, if we’re going for that, couldn’t they have overlaid even a small explosion in post? It fails as either action, comedy or just as a bloody ending. It’s a stop.

    Maybe if this had been a Series XII episode, Doug could have lightly tinkered with it off the back of the reaction to the Samsara ending. Ah well.

    IS IT SHIT OR IS IT GOOD?
    It’s not bad.

    A good Red Dwarf needs to be funny and have a good story. (VII mostly failed on the funny aspect, but had good stories. VIII failed on both counts…and so on, and so forth).

    The abuse of technology and the Dr Frankenstein stuff is a solid enough foundation for an episode. It’s not exactly art, but has a beginning, middle and almost an end. And it got a few laughs out of me, mainly due to Mr Barrie.

    I’m fond of Rimmer’s mistreatment of L,K&C. The scene in the Officer’s club is great. And the Pacman thing was a nice bit of fun.

    As I’m repeatedly reminded during Series XI, Red Dwarf circa 2016 only comes alive when it’s moving fast. Like a shark, if we’re still doing shit similes.

    As soon as the pace stops and the focus slips away from the plot, it starts getting a little wobbly. There were a couple of moments like that here (mainly the opening scene…which, er, didn’t belong there anyway), but not nearly as bad as Samsara.

    That said, an episode like this does seem all rather trope-y. Ignoring the story parallels with Me², Terrorform, Rimmerworld, DNA…etc, the dialogue also seems reminiscent of better episodes. I don’t want to be able to predict the next line just because the rhythm of the conversations between the characters has settled into a well-worn groove.For example, Rimmer is perfectly aware he has faults (it’s a pretty defining part of his character). And Kryten already gave him the list of them long ago.

    Not Give & Take standard, sadly. Marginally better than Twentica. Much better than Samsara.

    It’s the right side of silly and has some good ideas. And it looks nice. Apart from Kryten’s lips. Is Robert wearing a mask?

  25. Perhaps, if Doug’s reading any of these comments, he might consider some last minute re-editing for RDXII episodes..?

    The 3 that I saw recorded for XII all had great endings so there shouldn’t be too much cause for concern there. Very odd that it’s been such an issue in XI but at least no-one has fallen to their death from an airlock or been called a slag.

  26. > Why it actually had the characteristics of monster though? Fuck knows. At least the stem cell stuff was an attempt at an explanation

    Can’t remember quite how Kryten explained it but isn’t it basically Rimmer has monstrous personality traits and they all got “jammed” together in the printer? And I think Rimmer said they’d have to use his personality disc as well as his DNA to print him.

  27. I did not know that! When they shot it did they say it was for a different episode or is this some chopping and changing?

    They didnt say it was for another episode. As I’ve just realised I was there.

    I did have a strange deja vu moment when watching the start of this episode. But i put it down to it being the tiny teaser from on here in set reports. But yeah. It’s in fact that i was there and also Series XII episode 3’s set report Tiny Teaser has just been broadcast in this episode!!!

  28. Only just watched it so haven’t read everything yet, but if it hasn’t already been pointed out, the opening scene was shot during the recording of a different episode.

    I was at the recording for the opening scene, and my memory is a bit shit, so I didn’t think anything of it… but yes, you’re right!
    Check the Tiny Teaser: http://www.ganymede.tv/2016/02/red-dwarf-xii-episode-3-set-report/

  29. Ah, Jonsmad beat me to it, but to be fair, I was looking for the correct set report link, so…

  30. I agree with Pete Part Three on just about every point. Also, I was expecting there to be some sort of consequence to Rimmer using Lister’s name to cover his stupidity, but all that happened was Herring feeling Lister’s face and telling him he’s on to him, and then dying moments later.

    I was never bored. It was a weird episode, yes, but it’ll probably stand out in the future, maybe not as a classic, solid episode but when they run a finger over the list of episodes on the back of the DVD I predict everyone will shudder when it passes Officer Rimmer, for reasons good or bad.

    So yes, enjoyed it but baffled. It was not shit.

  31. I wouldn’t shudder over it since it’s not exactly bad but for meit’s just disappointing in some areas so I’d probably just run my finger over it in slight disappointment of how it was at reaching distance of being great.

  32. I liked it for the most part. Also liked the model shots for this episode too. I feel we are getting an over-reliance on the main theme playing.

  33. Only just watched it so haven’t read everything yet, but if it hasn’t already been pointed out, the opening scene was shot during the recording of a different episode.

    I was at the recording for the opening scene, and my memory is a bit shit, so I didn’t think anything of it… but yes, you’re right!
    Check the Tiny Teaser: http://www.ganymede.tv/2016/02/red-dwarf-xii-episode-3-set-report/

    So either series XII episode 3 features the cat wearing the same costume as in this Officer Rimmer episode, making these star bug jokes interchangable, between episodes. Or there was some re shooting involved here, as the cat is definitely speaking the lines at one point, even if the rest are in generic costumes where you might get away with intercutting between eps. By the Time Kryten starts talking about the ship it must be from stuff shot specific for this story.

  34. I imagine that the dialogue was shot for this episode and the series XII episode as there are no obvious continuity discrepancies.

  35. On a similar note, I remembered that in the set report for episode 4 of XII, Pete Martin wrote “The other episode I’ve seen recorded of this block of 12 was the 4th one of XI [this episode, right?], which was a little odd as this episode grabbed a small chunk of that one’s script and recycled it…It’s a nice bit of interplay between three of the characters which harkens back to the early years”

    Obviously that’s something that we’ll have to wait a year or so to get into details with but worth mentioning.

  36. i think from now on Red Dwarf should be nothing but anal sex jokes so that scene won’t feel so out of place to me any more.

  37. We can guess the XII episode will simply start with the scene that originally followed what is now the first scene of Officer Rimmer. After all, some of the set reports mention it feeling ‘meandering’ at the beginning, so it would make sense to cut it entirely.

  38. For me series XI has been brilliant! I’m loving it. I just couldn’t get into series X even though it was great to see new RD again. XI has blown it away. its always going to struggle against the classic I-VI series due to nostalgia , endless viewings and the writers being at their peak but I have been genuinely surprised how good this has been and I would say bar far the best since VI. In time I think it will rank highly. I really liked Officer Rimmer think CB has been on top for this series. Sure it’s not perfect but it’s those cute little flaws that keep a guy interested. Cant wait for next week’s. …

  39. SEXY BEGINNINGS: The problem with the plane dream bit wasn’t that it’s too lewd for Red Dwarf. It just didn’t justify the length of time it occupied. It would have worked fine perhaps as a one-line joke, but it was stretched out too much, when it’s such an obvious joke. If it was condensed into a single one-liner, it would have been fine and not too offensive (see last week’s “up-and-down their shaft” as a more efficiently executed sex joke).

    BIG PRINT JOBS: The idea of the bio-printed captain was fine. The execution was fine. I am entirely neutral on that matter.

    FLIGHT LIEUTENANT RIMMER: While a little broad, perhaps, I loved the return of Evil Rimmer, for the first time since probably Rimmerworld. This series has been excellent about increasing the conflict between the Dwarfers, who were perhaps a little too chummy in Series X. Everything with Rimmer segregating the Officer sections from the grunt sections was gold. The reveal of the fancy elevator got a big laugh from me, as did Rimmer riding the conveyor belt as the others had to climb through the pipes. The episode fluctuates in quality a bit, but the whole sequence between his promotion and before he makes the clones of himself is the real highlight of the episode. I would have watched a whole episode of just him on his own segregating everything, without the Rimmer clones. Also, bringing back the white military outfit from Series I-II was also a lovely touch, though the hat would’ve been nice for old time’s sake.

    2ND TECHNICIANS RIMMER: The Rimmer clones were fine. The shoutout to Me2 was a good touch, though it felt incomplete without a similar explicit acknowledgement of the more-analagous Rimmerworld. The Rimmer quartet, while perhaps a dodgy effect, was absolutely hilarious. It kind of bolsters the munchkin sequence in Blue; Kryten had created the Rimmer Experience, but now we have confirmation that Rimmer is indeed capable of making singing clones of himself, instead of that just being a Kryten touch. The multiple Rimmers in the same shot was very well done overall, with the possible exception of the quartet lip syncing. If there’s a complaint, it’s that a lot of clones of the Dave-era “broad” Rimmer don’t have the narrative impact that they should; they’re just echoes of an echo. I love Rimmer, and I love Chris Barrie, but “broad” Rimmer needs to be sharpened, and this episode is evidence of that. Granted, this trend could be seen as far back as Series VI; while Rimmer was still a complete, well-drawn character in V, in VI the complicated character traits of Rimmer were reduced to generic caricatures of weasely double-dealing that became the basis of Rimmerworld society. Contrast that with the Rimmer duplicate in Me2. Series I-era Rimmer was a real asshole who could fire off piercing insults while still having depth, which is why duplicating just one of THAT Rimmer created a huge problem (a bit of a tiff). So here, having a bunch of Rimmers was… fine. They weren’t the centerpiece and were more just background to Rimmer’s power trip and an extension of his ego, and to that end, I think they did succeed.

    THE MANY FACED RIMMER: A neat idea. Initially, I thought it was just inexplicably evil, but when Kryten explained that it had an amplification of Rimmer’s negative qualities, that made total sense (a la Legion). At first he risked becoming just a generic monster like the Vindaloo Beast, but the fact that he had multiple pens was an absolute fantastic touch and really saved it. I still would have liked a better explanation of how exactly it absorbs the clones, though I did appreciate the admission that the monster didn’t know what it would do once it absorbed all the Rimmers as a funny bit of lampshading. The Pac-Man gag really shouldn’t have worked as well as it did, as it’s very broad for Red Dwarf, but I think it was earned by the situation, and it definitely made me laugh. This episode has many echoes of DNA and continues the general observation that XI episodes are analagous to Series IV (also, I always felt like X’s tone echoed III, so who knows, maybe XII will be like V).

    COLD CLOSING: The ending definitely caught me off guard at first (similar to the also-jarring “this guy’s pure class” from DNA), but on rewatch the “DIE” ending kind of works. Besides, we don’t need to actually see what happens in the immediate aftermath of killing the Rimmer monster, because it’s already obvious what happens next: the Rimmer monster gets blown up and the Dwarfers immediately harvest the kidneys from the remains and use the Stasis booth to travel back to the Asclepius station and put the kidneys in the jar. Thus the ultimate irony is that Rimmer destroyed his own kidneys. Blatant, innit?

    IS IT SHIT OR IS IT GOOD: Oh… it’s most certainly a healthy serving of both. I laughed out loud multiple times this episode, but I can safely say that this is pretty handily my least favorite episode of XI. I don’t even know what the whole Lister genome bit was about; that all fell flat for me. At first I thought they were hinting at a plot point Russell T. Davies-style (like the Littlewood thing last week). This episode reminds me of Entangled in terms of the fluctuating quality: you can draw a circle around the parts that really work and the parts that don’t work as well. The tone was weird, but interestingly enough all the concepts involved felt like classic Dwarf. I don’t think this is a bad episode. This is a medium episode. It’ll take a couple rewatches to fully absorb, but when you mix the great parts with the weird parts, you get an episode that’s… fine. Where does it rank? It really depends on which parts:
    -The bit where Rimmer’s segregating everything: excellent.
    -The body horror weirdness with the 3-D printer: fine.
    -The multiple Rimmers: fine.
    -Everything else: eh.
    In an earlier article, G&T summarized the episodes of Series X as GOOD, MOSTLY GREAT, GREAT, MOSTLY GOOD, A BIT RUBBISH, and GREAT. So in that vein, I might classify Officer Rimmer as a mix of A BIT RUBBISH and MOSTLY GOOD, on par with Entangled and Dear Dave. (The other eps of XI so far for me are GREAT, GOOD, GREAT, so this one’s a bit of a letdown for breaking that streak. Based on the first 3 eps, XI was well on its way to surpassing Series I in my personal rankings. Now we’ll have to see how the last two episodes turn out.)

  40. Sorry if this has been said already, but on first viewing I noticed the fluffy dice next to cat in the opening stabug scene but it didn’t click that it was maybe due to it being a scene filmed from XII

    Unless of course they have always been there and I’m just being blind!

  41. On a similar note, I remembered that in the set report for episode 4 of XII, Pete Martin wrote “The other episode I’ve seen recorded of this block of 12 was the 4th one of XI [this episode, right?], which was a little odd as this episode grabbed a small chunk of that one’s script and recycled it…It’s a nice bit of interplay between three of the characters which harkens back to the early years”

    So they filmed the same dialogue on both nights, rather than repurposing stuff shot for XII by putting it in this episode? That would explain why there aren’t obvious continuity problems with the rest of the episode.

  42. Having seen all the episodes again, here are my current ratings:

    Twentica: 8
    Samsara: 5
    Give and Take: 9 (this episode really grows on me more and more)
    Officer Rimmer: 7

    Officer Rimmer is an odd episode for me to rank, because it probably has some of the funniest moments in series XI so far, but also has some of the most glaring problems to me. While the problems are a bit frustrating (the ending or the lower brow moments), it doesn’t take a way from the fact that it take a fun idea and really runs with it in a way that I couldn’t imagine Doug doing back in series X.

  43. On a similar note, I remembered that in the set report for episode 4 of XII, Pete Martin wrote “The other episode I’ve seen recorded of this block of 12 was the 4th one of XI [this episode, right?], which was a little odd as this episode grabbed a small chunk of that one’s script and recycled it…It’s a nice bit of interplay between three of the characters which harkens back to the early years”

    Obviously that’s something that we’ll have to wait a year or so to get into details with but worth mentioning.

    Good catch, Stephen. I was pretty sure last night that the finished episode was missing a scene I’d really liked (and thus wasn’t as good as I remembered) but I’d forgotten that it had been kidnapped for another episode. Can’t for the life of me remember what it was beyond it being set in the Science Room, so I guess I’ll just get a vague sense of de ja vu in about a year’s time!

  44. Twentica 7
    Samsara 7 1/2
    Give And Take 8
    Officer Rimmer 9

    To be honest the overall consistent standard of Series XI makes this the best Series since Series VI. Officer Rimmer to me was the best episode since Series VI. Sure the ending was the only fault cut short but the overall episode and the Rimmer mashed up monster made it feel like a classic vintage Red Dwarf monster and a classic vintage Red Dwarf episode. I think people over analyse on here and over criticise and nitpick where on other Red Dwarf related places you don’t get this as half as much. Just watch and enjoy and appreciate new Red Dwarf. It really is still brilliant

  45. In the long run its not a case of how well its received its a case of how well it holds up since even series 8 of all series wasn’t hated when it was first shown, the fanclub magazine said series 8 had the funnest moments since the shrinking boxers scene in polymorph, critics loved series 8 according to the Series 8 script book, infact some of you may have enjoyed it at the time, but for the most part i don’t see many talk about that series anymore, there are obviously some people that like Series 8 who are perhaps less critical of the show and don’t understand what the fuss is but thats fandom for ya.

    I am probably one of the more critical people on the new series and thats because i am probably less forgiving of the show getting close but occasionally struggling to hold up to early series as i think the show deserves better than that, it frustrates me to see how good the gags were in the old days and then we get obvious jokes in this new series where the joke is getting Kryten to say things that it would be funny to hear Kryten say.

    There is alot to like about the new series but for me its like Christmas tree lights, they look nice on the tree and you are enjoying looking at them but then one breaks and they all stop working lol

    I haven’t rewatched Officer Rimmer yet but i probably will either today or tomorrow.

  46. BIG PRINT JOBS – Really liked this. Series XI feels very current while still retaining everything that makes Red Dwarf, Red Dwarf. Anti-science sentiments explored in Twentica, a clever satire of corporate culture and behavioural expectations in Samsara, genetic editing in G&T and now this. It’s been said before about other episodes this series and Officer Rimmer is no different; it feels like an episode that can only be made now. I love how Doug has taken a simple contemporary concept and explored it and built upon it to the full. Brilliant, creative thinking and very funny throughout.

    2ND TECHNICIANS RIMMER – This is all great. Another multiple Rimmer episode and yet another entirely fresh spin on it. Some of the extra Rimmer performances are fantastic. I love how the best gags are often going on in the background. Top marks to Mr Barrie for an awesome performance and also to the production team for pulling it off and making this as good as it is.

    THE MANY FACED RIMMER – I am so happy with this. I loved every second of it. A fresh and inspired spin on the old Rimmer’s psyche spoiling things for him again. Horrific, unnerving and really, really funny. It could just be that I am in love with The Thing and this creature draws heavily upon that, but even if that is so, this made me very, very happy indeed. What was the creatures motivation? How does it absorb the Rimmers? Ordinarily I’m the type of person that pulls this stuff apart to death (the kidneys still bother me), but this episode is proof that when the story is good you can just be carried away with it. Perhaps my favourite Red Dwarf monster there has ever been.

    COLD CLOSING – Yeah, can’t disagree with the other comments. It isn’t good. But when the episode is this strong I’m not going to dwell on it.

    IS IT SHIT OR IS IT GOOD? – I’ve really enjoyed series XI overall so far, but this is the first episode to leave me truly excited after watching it. Krysis and Can of Worms are going to have to do something pretty special to top this for me.

  47. I was pretty sure last night that the finished episode was missing a scene I’d really liked (and thus wasn’t as good as I remembered) but I’d forgotten that it had been kidnapped for another episode.

    Apologies if you’ve already mentioned this but can you recall if the “bag of nuts” stuff was also recorded on the ‘Officer Rimmer’ night, or was that the first time you had seen that?

  48. I shudder to think how Krysis will be received when most of you don’t seem to like the Kryten based episodes

  49. In the long run its not a case of how well its received its a case of how well it holds up since even series 8 of all series wasn’t hated when it was first shown, the fanclub magazine said series 8 had the funnest moments since the shrinking boxers scene in polymorph, critics loved series 8 according to the Series 8 script book, infact some of you may have enjoyed it at the time, but for the most part i don’t see many talk about that series anymore, there are obviously some people that like Series 8 who are perhaps less critical of the show and don’t understand what the fuss is but thats fandom for ya.

    I can’t say I was very fond of series 8 at the time, truth be told I wanted to love it…particularly when I heard Rimmer was coming back. However I watched it and was less then impressed with it, I kinda liked Cassandra a bit but over time that even soured. Point being I never saw way people liked series 8 at the time because to me it just never felt like Red Dwarf, and the comedy was more embarrassing to me than anything else. While I can’t speak for how series 11 will hold up, it at least feels like I’m watching Red Dwarf, even if it’s not hitting series 5 levels of greatness. Unlike series 8 I’m actually enjoying this new series while watching it (well except Samsara), and if nothing else that’s still something important to me!

  50. Oh i remember seeing the trailer for Series 8 i was hyped but i was ultimately left confused after each episode as i really wanted to like series 8 and watched it quite abit in repeated viewing hoping it would catch on with me but it didn’t, i do remember being surprised by how people seemed to like Series 8 at the time in the fanclub magazine and critics calling it the best red dwarf yet.

    Although you wouldn’t think many loved it at the time because series 8 is acknowledged by many as being not very good today.

  51. I don’t remember VIII getting a very rough ride at the time. I cancelled my membership to the fanclub shortly after it aired, mainly because it was rather tough reading gushing reviews about it. I’d got a bit of “negative feedback” for my harsh reviews of ViI a couple of years earlier, but I could at least appreciate that series. VIII seemed to be accepted as a “return to form”, and I felt completely out of sync with the show and the fandom.

    I think I stumbled on Ganymede and Titan in about 2003 and it was the first time I actually saw negative stuff said about VIII.

  52. Apologies if you’ve already mentioned this but can you recall if the “bag of nuts” stuff was also recorded on the ‘Officer Rimmer’ night, or was that the first time you had seen that?

    I can’t recall how the episode actually started on the night, but that opening scene with Lister’s dream/Rimmer’s bag of nuts isn’t from it. Jonsmad, Jo and Curtis say above it was recorded during the shoot for XII.3

  53. Same thing happened with me PP3!

  54. While you don’t see many on the fan sites, but every now and then you run into the odd casual fan that claims that series 8 was the best. I even met someone who thought that Pete part 2 was the best episode, even sighting Archie was being the funniest thing in the entire show. However I agree there are likely fans of it in the day that hate it now. I suspect that series 11 will age better as unlike 8, there is a lot more clever and imaginative ideas….and they haven’t exactly gone down the road of things like the Blue Midget dance again, thankfully!

    Doug needs to do better with these endings though….

  55. When in a very busy training room a few years ago with people packed in I just heard somebody say on the other side of the room “the world loves a bastard, Rimmer said that in Red Dwarf”. That was a bit weird.

  56. I can’t recall how the episode actually started on the night, but that opening scene with Lister’s dream/Rimmer’s bag of nuts isn’t from it. Jonsmad, Jo and Curtis say above it was recorded during the shoot for XII.3

    Yeah I can vouch for that too as I was also at the XII.3 recording; however, it was the fact that you had said that certain dialogue in ‘Officer Rimmer’ (as we now it) was recycled for XII.4, I was wondering if the “bag of nuts” thing had been recorded twice too. By your response, it hadn’t, which does make it even more odd.

  57. Oh, I see what you mean. I’m questioning my own memory now, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen that before and the episode started with the pre-recorded stuff on the other ship, and then jumped to Kryten receiving the distress call. Someone with a better memory who was there last December may be able to confirm or deny.

    But, if that’s true, then yes, it does seem a bit odd. They cut out 2 minutes of incidental dialogue from Officer Rimmer and rerecorded if for XII.4. And then put in 2 minutes of footage recorded for XII.3 into Officer Rimmer.

    I may be completely, totally wrong.

  58. Just realised there’s more missing from Officer Rimmer. There was a scene in the Sleeping Quarters with Lister eating popcorn. Memorable because Ray Peacock/Ian Boldsworth stole quite a lot on set and gave pieces to members of the audience with instructions to flog them on eBay.

    There is no popcorn in Office Rimmer. Can’t recall if this was the same scene as the one with Lister and Cat (with popcorn replaced with hotdogs) re-recorded.

  59. Yeah, the recording for this ep started with the pre-record bits of the ship powering up and sending a distress call. Then there was a sleeping quarters bit about promotions and Lister disappointing his grandma. No sex dream stuff in Starbug. And the hot dog scene was originally done with popcorn and was much funnier in my opinion, just cos Lister was using an entire microwave oven as the popcorn bag. The ending was just as abrupt on record night…

  60. > Lister was using an entire microwave oven as the popcorn bag

    Excellent. That had better be in the deleted scenes. Any idea why it was changed?

  61. Ah yes, I’d forgotten him picking up the microwave! I wonder if this idea is going to end up somewhere else…

    Have to wonder if these will qualify as “XI deleted scenes” on the DVD if the ideas/dialogue end up in XII.

  62. One thing I find annoying is that the last 3 episodes in a row has started off with another ship being discovered to get the main story going. Couldn’t they have happened across a planetoid or something else instead of it always being another ship usually in danger that they just happen to come across.

  63. Well it’s the second episode in a row with an asteroid storm…..even though I know they weren’t made with this order in mind, In my head canon I like to think that it’s the same massive asteroid storm in both episodes.

  64. One thought off the back of the “genome” joke. It’s a shame that the telephone voice in Trojan wasn’t Craig’s.

  65. That would at least have been a pay-off. Unfortunately, it was 4 years before the set-up.

  66. One thought off the back of the “genome” joke. It’s a shame that the telephone voice in Trojan wasn’t Craig’s.

    Pretty sure that would defeat the purpose of All Droids being “All Droids”

  67. I really liked this episode. Particularly laughed at Kryten explaining to Lister how he was not going to wipe the database, and Rimmer stealing the glass and splashing it in his copy’s face while hiding in the lift. If not for Give & Take, it would be my favourite of this series so far…

    2nd Technicians Rimmer

    …but as much as I enjoyed the episode, the main drawback it seemed like so much more could have been done with the such a great concept – it was different enough from previous appearances of multiple Arnolds that it could have supported several more scenes. I like some of the suggestions that people have made in these threads (like Jonsmad’s one about bringing back the bioprinted Listers). But mainly I would have liked to have seen signs of things going wrong with Rimmer’s plan before the monster appeared. Although this Rimmer ensured that he wouldn’t become the victim as in Me2 and Rimmerworld, that doesn’t mean there couldn’t have seen infighting among his underling copies. Some of them fighting for promotion by pleasing Hologram Rimmer, others getting demoted… I can imagine him driving them crazy with an obsessively precise grading system. (That video uses the same Youtube copyright workaround as Si’s Vic & Bob link above.)

    I think that aside from the effects involved, the reason we didn’t see more of the underling Rimmers was because of how late the Officers’ Club was introduced – I skimmed through the running time again, and the bioprinting doesn’t take place until nearly 20 minutes in!

    The Many Faced Rimmer/Cold Closing

    The reveal of the Rimmer monster was excellent. My only issue was: it was absorbing all the other bioprinted Rimmers, and I think it said it wanted to absorb the last one too – but I was a bit unclear on what threat he posed against a hard-light hologram.

    Here’s my suggestion for a way of having more interaction among the Rimmer copies, leading to a more interesting way of defeating the monster:

    Have some dialogue with the many lower-rank Rimmers getting resentful of their status; backstabbing each other and trying to suck up to Flight Lieutenant Rimmer to get promoted. So when the Rimmer monster is created, it obsessively targets Hologram Rimmer, as the one crewmember who can promote it. Then instead of Rimmer giving up his officership in order to be let into the grunts’ corridor, the episode could have concluded with the monster ranting “promote me!” as it’s got him cornered. To which Rimmer yells a terrified “I resign!” The bioprinted Rimmers’ mission was to provide subordinates whom Rimmer could lord it over; without an officer on board, their mission is redundant, so they’d dissolve away like the Captain.

    (Then Lister says he’s self-absorbed because that is the perfect ending line for this episode.)

    Small Points

    1. Is Captain Herring’s name a reference to Captain Haddock from Tintin?

    2. When Rimmer takes away the TV package, Cat complains about the Hat Channel being one of the only ones left. I thought he wouldn’t mind that!

    3. Rimmer’s lift says the phrase “have a wonderful onward journey”. Very similar to the “Have a safe homeward journey” Dwarfcast sting (which for ages I misheard as “onward”)!

    4. I laughed at Rimmer spreading his legs wide (ooer!) – Doug’s given a hint at something we can expect to see on the Making Of documentary regarding that.

  68. G&T Admin

    3. Rimmer’s lift says the phrase “have a wonderful onward journey”. Very similar to the “Have a safe homeward journey” Dwarfcast sting (which for ages I misheard as “onward”)!

    It *is* onward in the DwarfCast sting! Almost certain it’s onward in the episode, unless *I’ve* misheard it, but if so, I misheard it four years ago when I gave Rebecca a script saying “onward”.

  69. Have some dialogue with the many lower-rank Rimmers getting resentful of their status; backstabbing each other and trying to suck up to Flight Lieutenant Rimmer to get promoted. So when the Rimmer monster is created, it obsessively targets Hologram Rimmer, as the one crewmember who can promote it. Then instead of Rimmer giving up his officership in order to be let into the grunts’ corridor, the episode could have concluded with the monster ranting “promote me!” as it’s got him cornered. To which Rimmer yells a terrified “I resign!” The bioprinted Rimmers’ mission was to provide subordinates whom Rimmer could lord it over; without an officer on board, their mission is redundant, so they’d dissolve away like the Captain.
    (Then Lister says he’s self-absorbed because that is the perfect ending line for this episode.)
    Small Points
    .

    Personally i feel it was probably better not to do the multiple Rimmers continue to back stab each other thing because it really would have been to similar to Me2 and Rimmerworld, and even the Me2 part of the IWCD novel which goes abit more into that whole backstabbing thing so i was fine with the idea of getting something different for a change

    I do agree though that him resigning as a way to defeat the Rimmer monster worked better then him resigning to get through a door, but then i would also have preferred abit more logic behind how he resigns then just vocally saying he resigns and that makes it official, i mean who was keeping note of this vocal resignation?

  70. The JMC Onboard Computer?

    While I think the jmc computer is a lazy plot device it’s still pretty shocking how easy it is to resign from being an officer with it somehow always listening in for anyone who just randomly decides to resign one day.

  71. I think with Rimmer being a hologram, it’s slightly different, because technically he’s kind of part of the computer.

  72. Yeah, the recording for this ep started with the pre-record bits of the ship powering up and sending a distress call. Then there was a sleeping quarters bit about promotions and Lister disappointing his grandma. No sex dream stuff in Starbug. And the hot dog scene was originally done with popcorn and was much funnier in my opinion, just cos Lister was using an entire microwave oven as the popcorn bag. The ending was just as abrupt on record night…

    So the broadcast first set of scenes order goes.

    TItles
    Sex dreams on star bug
    Half printed captain
    Starbug scanning ship
    Fully print captain
    Starbug talks to captain and fires missile
    Kryten & Rimmer in science room
    Hot Dog scene
    Grunts lift

    Was the recording night like this…

    Half printed captain
    Starbug scans (with first line about ship)
    Fully print captain
    Starbug talks captain and fires missile
    Popcorn scene (as in deleted scenes)
    (including more trimmed promotion chat not in deleted scenes)
    Kryten & Rimmer in science room
    Grunts lifts.

    Would you say that was it?

    Ian mentions on the podcast The ram scoop MOT and in the popcorn scene he asks lister
    Why he hasn’t done it. In the science room scene he crosses it
    off his to do list. Something they probably kept in to show rimmer doing
    To do lists, so that it links to the ending.

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