How old is Rimmer?

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  • #254848

    Dave

    When the series starts, circa The End. How old is he meant to be?

    I’d always pegged him as just a year or two older than Lister but his ’12 years long service’ medal must put him as at least in his early thirties, surely?

    #254852

    Warbodog

    Early 30s, I think. That’s the sense of the Lister-Rimmer gap I always had (not sure of Chris Barrie’s age), and works assuming he signed up at the earliest possible time, since that’s what he was groomed for.

    The first novel might give specifics when discussing his recreational stasis boothing to gradually hold back the years, but the novel also made him two ranks higher than Lister in that time, rather than the series’ more tragic second-lowest rank on the ship after 12 years.

    I don’t think we know anything about where he spent that time though. Has he only been on Red Dwarf the same time or slightly longer than Lister, if they all joined for the mission, or has he spent his whole career here, watching Todhunter climb the ziggurat?

    #254853

    Warbodog

    Correction, he’s been with the company 14 years as of Gazpacho Soup Day, a few weeks/months before the accident. So whatever age you normally sign up to the Space Corps + 14 or almost 15.

    #254854

    Dave

    Yeah, I thought about it while watching Me² again the other night, and it has to be at least 32-33 really doesn’t it?

    Which makes his complaint that his failure is all down to sharing a bunk with Lister very silly, given that they must only have been roommates for a fraction of Rimmer’s career. Still, that’s in-character for him to come up with such a spurious self-justification.

    The stasis boothing is interesting though, and a good way of squaring the circle in terms of Chris Barrie not really looking quite that old.

    #254856

    quinn_drummer

    What I really like, is that in the Backwards novel, it’s explained that because Lister had a different bunkmate because his Rimmer was Ace, he excelled and became the enginer that Ace comes to know. So the irony being that its actually Rimmer that holds Lister (and possibly other) bunkmates back.

    Back on the age thing, I think Rimmer joins the Space Corp older than 14 or 15. For starters, we see him at college in The Beginning, so it wouldn’t be until at least 18 he’d have the opportunity to sign up. If you want to look back further in Dwarf canon, having divorced his parents at 14 and getting paid maintence until employment age, suggests there’s at least a bit of time in his teens he wasn’t working/in the Space Corps. Starting at 18 that still works, 14 years long service would put him at 32 which seems right.

    And I think in the book he is supposed to be about that age, 31/32, but in the body of someone a year younger or something like that, from the stasis boothing.

    #254857

    cwickham

    Is the stasis boothing thing in IWCD a deliberate attempt to reconcile (or just an in-joke) “12 years’ long service” with the fact Chris Barrie was only 27 at the time?

    #254860

    Dave

    Yeah, I thought of The Beginning too when trying to work out the youngest age at which he could have signed up.

    #254862

    Warbodog

    By “14 or almost 15” I meant the years of service after he joined up around 18, not the age he joined up.

    That bit from Red Dwarf (call it by its name):

    In just five years he’d saved three hundred and sixty-nine full days. Over a full Earth year. In five years, he’d only lived for four. Although his birth certificate said he was thirty-one, technically he was still only thirty.

    I don’t think it was Grant Naylor accounting for Chris Barrie’s age (the nuances of a late 20s vs. early 30s appearance are lost on me), just some more cruel irony for Rimmer having wasted what little life he had trying to get more life, and that plan almost saving his life if he’d made it to the booth on time.

    #254863

    Dave

    I can’t remember if the gazpacho soup story dates are the same in the books, but if he’s only 31 then that implies he signed up at 16.

    #254870

    bloodteller

    in Holoship he says he left home to join the space corps at 16. that plus his mentioning of being with the company for 14 years in Me2 makes him 30 or 31.

    not sure how the scene with young rimmer in The Beginning fits into all that, but then continuity hasn’t always been Red Dwarf’s strong point

    #254872

    quinn_drummer

    Maybe if you join the space corps at 16 and start from the bottom you have to complete a college education first/alongside it. So you’d spend some days in the class room and some days at a training base, or something.

    Otherwise, you could do college, get a degree at uni in a specilised field, and then enter the space corps automatically at a higher rank/office a bit like the army sort of does.

    #254892

    Plastic Percy

    I figured the Space Corps was the equivalent of the Merchant Navy. You can enlist at 16, either as an officer cadet or a marine apprentice and learn on the job. So presumably, Rimmer enlisted at 16 (maybe after completing the maintenance course he did at Saturn Tech, or perhaps that was part of the basic training he mentions in Me2) as a Third Technician.

    #254908

    Flap Jack

    Yeah, I thought about it while watching Me² again the other night, and it has to be at least 32-33 really doesn’t it?

    Which makes his complaint that his failure is all down to sharing a bunk with Lister very silly, given that they must only have been roommates for a fraction of Rimmer’s career. Still, that’s in-character for him to come up with such a spurious self-justification.

    I can totally imagine Rimmer believing that he was on the verge of a breakthrough in his career progression after 12-13 years, but then Lister came along and made him go off the rails. That’s just classic Rimmerishness.

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