Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum So why WAS he allowed to mend the drive-plate?

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  • #2310
    Zombie Jim Undead
    Participant

    Was watching Justice last night and something struck me.

    Kryten successfully argues the case that Rimmer would never have been given as important a job as mending the drive-plate as he was merely a Z-shit technician…better suited to mending chicken soup machines.

    Which is quite logical. So….why was he given the job in the first place? The show seems to contradict its own logic and never offers a resolution.

    #122638
    Rad
    Participant

    Didn’t Justice come after the novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers when Rimmer is not responsible for the drive plate? Could this be a change in continuity? Anyway, yeah, it is ridiculous that Rimmer would have been given the job to fix the drive plate. My answer = Captain Hollister is a rubbish Captain and a self-confessed Dennis the Donut Boy.

    #122641
    Andrew
    Participant

    > The show seems to contradict its own logic and never offers a resolution.

    Welcome to Red Dwarf… :-)

    If you’ve seen the DVDs, the original, pre-reshoot opening scenes were of Rimmer and Lister performing (and discussing) fixes more in line with drive plate responsibilities. Their profession was later reworked, but the cause of the accident stayed the same.

    I guess the theory goes that drive plates are one of those simple, regular repairs that aren’t mean to be important…but become dangerous if not properly checked or maintained. There are bits of your car that you’d happily look after yourself, but could still cause a pile-up.

    Series IV came after BOTH novels, and features continuity re-works from the books (a change to 23rd century, Lister’s dating history with Kochanski). But there’s no reason to think that Justice is one of these.

    #122642

    I always imagined it was something almost bureaucratic. I imagine a thoroughly overworked officer, wading through a forearm-high pile of paperwork (a good deal of it being complaints, reports and suggestions submitted by Arnold Rimmer himself) saying to himself, “urgh, how’m I gonna make this maintenance schedule work so the ship doesn’t start falling apart at the seams and–Fucking hell, it’s almost two in the morning. I need to be up in five hours! If it wasn’t for Arnold Fucking Rimmer, the paperwork factory, I’d be asleep right now…Screw it, I’ll just stick R and J shifts over here and these guys on the drive plate for now, and work on it in the morning over coffee.” Only by morning, he’s forgotten there’s anything wrong with it, and submits it later without a second thought. Which, I suppose, ties into Rad’s idea, insofar as someone in command–a captain, a first officer, a computer with a four-digit IQ–really should have caught this before it endangered anyone.

    #122643
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Paging Chris Howarth and Steve Lyons to the G&T Forum area. I repeat, paging Chris Howarth and Steve Lyons to the G&T Forum area. Thank-you.

    #122646
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    I’ve just always taken it as in series one, there are only 169 people on the ship, so there aren’t as many people available to do the job. By the time Justice rolls around, there are 1,169, so Rimmer is less likely to have been given the responsibility… but it all falls under “continuity change” for me…

    #122649
    Phil
    Participant

    It’s time’s like this I wish Tonguetied were here to address the question with a 700 word stream of unpunctuated nonsense.

    #122650
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    The way I see it, these days there’s a war on, right? and, ages ago, there wasn’t a war on, right? So, there must have been a moment when there not being a war on went away, right? and there being a war on came along. So, what I want to know is: How did we get from the one case of affairs to the other case of affairs?

    #122651
    TheLeen
    Participant

    I just always thought someone along the hierarchy made a mistake and had Rimmer do the mending job. So, someone cocked up. But Rimmer was only half responsible. Or something.

    #122653
    Zombie Jim Undead
    Participant

    > The way I see it, these days there?s a war on, right? and, ages ago, there wasn?t a war on, right? So, there must have been a moment when there not being a war on went away, right? and there being a war on came along. So, what I want to know is: How did we get from the one case of affairs to the other case of affairs?

    You mean…how did the war begin?

    #122654
    Zombie Jim Undead
    Participant

    “Lister?s dating history with Kochanski”

    Was wondering about this. Obviously it’s a shift in continuity…as discussed in the DVD interviews.
    But as we’re free to make up wacky theories to unify everything…

    Is it possible that the Lister of series 1 and 2 DID date Kochanski for a bit…err…stopping short of full sex, but arsed about Lisa Yates-style and got dumped by her…

    …then quickly realising that he is in love with her and without his own direction in life, joins the space corps and gets a place on her ship…and spends his days pining, planning how he’s going to get back with her….(of course he would never admit to Rimmer that this is why he’s there.)

    But he doesn’t know how to do it. He’s awkward around her and hardly speaks to her…and then she dies before he can win her back and exercise his romantic plan.

    Bollocks…but possible? Can’t think of anything that would contradict it.

    #122655
    Andrew
    Participant

    > By the time Justice rolls around, there are 1,169, so Rimmer is less likely to have been given the responsibility

    JUSTICE COMPUTER: Your wilful negligence in failing to reseal a drive plate resulted in the deaths of the entire crew of the Jupiter Mining Corporation vessel the Red Dwarf.
    RIMMER: …Oh, that.

    Established fact in the episode, then: Rimmer’s job was to reseal the drive plate. And he either didn’t do it, or just didn’t do it properly.

    The conclusion is that he couldn’t have been doing the job. But why else would he feel guilt? Let’s face it, Rimmer’s unlikely to feel enough to get him convicted unless he was directly involved. The fact that they persuade the Justice Computer that his doing the job was unlikely doesn’t change the fact that he DID do the job. (Or, y’know, failed to do it.)

    If it was a rework of the continuity, why did Rimmer never say ‘but I never went anywhere near that drive plate!’?

    Aside from anything else his being useless isn’t strictly relevant, not if Kryten can simply supply a list of Rimmer’s Z-shift duties that doesn’t include ‘drive plate re-sealing’. “It wasn’t his job” is the whole case. The show instead goes with suggesting that he’s useless, and that this uselessness means he could never have got the job he actually had. Even though he did. So it’s a nonsense case – or, at least, a tricksy lawyer way of getting around the facts.

    Let’s call it the GWB defence: “I’m too stupid to be president, so I can’t have BEEN president when we invaded.”

    #122656
    Andrew
    Participant

    > Bollocks?but possible? Can?t think of anything that would contradict it.

    HOLLY: In your entire life, your shared conversations with her totaled 173 words.

    Sorry. :-)

    #122657
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Maybe when Lister says “years ago…before the accident” when discussing his relationship with Kochanski he’s actually talking about a resolution to Stasis Leak which has happened between that episode and DNA.

    #122658
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    >HOLLY: In your entire life, your shared conversations with her totaled 173 words.

    >Sorry. :-)

    They’re too busy doing, um, other stuff (and watching It’s a Wonderful Life) to bother with conversations.

    #122659
    Baz
    Participant

    Or perhaps Kryten makes the Justice World computer think that re-sealing the drive plate wasn’t the cause of the accident, plainly so, because such a potentially dangerous job would never have been given to Rimmer. It’s made to think that Rimmer considered it vital and important and the reason the accident happened, but that’s simply because he’s Rimmer.

    And yes, he was given the job because someone else couldn’t be arsed, the senior officers missed it and Holly didn’t comment (other to inform Hollister that Rimmer had done a bad job) because it was a perfectly legitimate order to tell Rimmer to do it, something that a second technician should have been able to do.

    #122660
    TheLeen
    Participant

    Has anyone actually counted the words between Lister & Kochanski I / Lister & Kochanski II? They’re probably more than 173 already in the discussion about Frankenstein. Sadly.

    Or maybe Holly lied just lied. ;)

    #122663
    Zombie Jim Undead
    Participant

    > HOLLY: In your entire life, your shared conversations with her totaled 173 words

    Errrrrrrmmmmm……..Holly was referring to Lister’s “life aboard ship”.

    And as far as Holly is concerned, this is all that counts.

    Or something.

    #122664
    TheLeen
    Participant

    But the conversation between them SHOWN in red dwarf took place onboard the ship.

    #122665
    Dave
    Participant

    In memory of Tonguetied:

    >So why WAS he allowed to mend the drive-plate?

    Rimmer had been with the company almost 15 years by the time of the accident, and maybe he was the most experienced engineer available, Head of Z shift and all that. Maybe on paper he should have been able to fix it. Is the faulty porous circuit on their joblist in The End or The Original Assembly?

    >Has anyone actually counted the words between Lister & Kochanski I / Lister & Kochanski II? They?re probably more than 173 already in the discussion about Frankenstein.

    Yes.

    >But the conversation between them SHOWN in red dwarf took place onboard the ship.

    Pity me.

    In Balance of Power Holly says that Lister & Kochanski?s shared wordage was 173 words, the conversation in The End is 60 of those.

    The conversation in Stasis Leak (which presumably Holly would have no knowledge of anyway) amounts to 117 words, although at least 11 are said to Double Future Lister, which if we ignore gives us 106, added to the 60 from The End, gives us a total of 166 leaving them with only seven words for introductions.

    The conversation in Ouroborous amounts to 217 words (but then this is dialogue from an alternate reality), maybe they were more succinct in ‘our’ reality.

    So the answer is either:

    a) 383, b) 173, c) >rubber plant

    Answers on a postcard.

    #122666
    Andrew
    Participant

    Yeah, there’s no way to reconcile the change to the Kochanski relationship. Nor the switch in century.

    The appendix? No problem.

    Interesting that Justice mentions Z shift, of course, because that IS from the novels – where he was a first technician and in charge of far more staff than just Lister. Which makes the drive plate job even more likely to be his. (Though we’ve no reason to think that, say, in the TV universe ‘Z shift’ isn’t just…Rimmer and Lister.)

    #122667
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Dave is my new hero.

    #122668
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    I am both impressed and a little afraid.

    #122669
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    >leaving them with only seven words for introductions.

    LISTER: Hi, I’m Dave
    KOCHANSKI : Hello, I’m Krissie
    LISTER : Shag?

    #122670
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    Captain Hollister is a rubbish Captain and a self-confessed Dennis the Donut Boy.

    I really hated that reveal.

    The 169/1,169 thing. When i heard that, I realised that if the ship was as big as it is, i doubt it could be ran competently with only 169 people. Having said that, does it necessarily mean that ALL of the people on the ship are WORKING? What about people who are just trying to get from one place to another. it’s perfectly plausible that it would serve as a kind of budget cruise ship.

    Maybe?

    #122671
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    TODHUNTER: There are 169 people on this ship.

    Maybe Todhunter’s not counting all those prisoners on floor 13. And Birdman, obviously. All the overacting series VIII semi-regulars are probably not worth a mention from that big lig.

    How many other times is it mentioned that there’s only 169 people?

    #122675
    Phil
    Participant

    >there?s no way to reconcile the change to the Kochanski relationship.

    I had it in mind, at one point, that the Lister/Kochanski thing went pretty much as we knew it to go in series I/II–he was pining for her, getting nothing.

    Then Kryten comes aboard, and Lister tweaks his history a little bit so that he doesn’t sound like such a lonely, worthless guy to this robot who looks up for him. He pretends they’ve actually dated. Kryten accepts that.

    Series VI: Lister is defrosted in Psirens and Kryten prompts him with information about his life. One of those tidbits is that Lister dated Kochanski, which Kryten does believe to be true. Now Lister, hearing it about himself, comes to believe it as well.

    Series VII: Kochanski arrives from a parallel universe where she actually WAS dating Lister. Our Lister/Kryten has no idea that it was any different in “our” universe so nobody questions it. Cat doesn’t give a shit.

    Paradox resolved.

    #122676
    Andrew
    Participant

    > Paradox resolved.

    Countered by the Squirrel Nutkin scene – Rimmer’s right there and doesn’t correct Lister’s ‘lie’ about being dumped by Kochanski…

    #122677
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    Maybe Todhunter?s not counting all those prisoners on floor 13. And Birdman, obviously. All the overacting series VIII semi-regulars are probably not worth a mention from that big lig.

    That means that also in ‘Justice’ they could’ve just put the simulant in the Brig, if they’d’ve known about it… but that would’ve been quite a boring episode…

    #122678
    TheLeen
    Participant

    > TODHUNTER: There are 169 people on this ship.

    I’d assumed that the fact that a minig ship was also carrying (and using) prisoners (read: slavery) was a secret and Todhunter wouldn’t have revealed it to Lister.

    The prisoners were shown only when Lister & the others were… sent to prison.

    And the Justice computer knew because, uh, it had interchanged data with the Red Dwarf, and/or Holly, and of course Rimmer’s brain. Of coruse by that point, they all could have known anyway how many people had been on board the ship because they had years and years of time to go hiking in all areas of the Red Dwarf.

    #122679
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    JUSTICE COMPUTER: Your wilful negligence in failing to reseal a drive plate resulted in the deaths of the entire crew of the Jupiter Mining Corporation vessel the Red Dwarf.
    RIMMER: ?Oh, that.

    Ah, but all that is based on having read his mind. And Kryten’s defence is based on the fact that Rimmer is lying to himself – that in all those years, he’s actually convinced himself that he was the one who fixed it, even if he didn’t.

    I’m not saying you’re necessarily wrong, that Kryten’s defence is *definitely* legit – but it IS a get-out if you want to look for it.

    #122682
    Phil
    Participant

    >Rimmer?s right there and doesn?t correct Lister?s ?lie? about being dumped by Kochanski?

    That scene occurs several years after meeting Kryten, though…surely Rimmer would have tired by then of pointing out the lie every time. Besides, Rimmer already has something larger to take issue with: the perceived inanity of the story.

    #122686
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    A wizard did it.

    #122688
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Whilst I agree with Andrew about the drive plate issue (“If it was a rework of the continuity, why did Rimmer never say ?but I never went anywhere near that drive plate!??”) – I do find it interesting that the issue is left open for debate in this way.

    Perhaps it’s because – as much as the story revolves around Rimmer’s guilt for the accident – it’s perhaps TOO horrible a thing for the programme to confront directly…

    #122689
    ChrisM
    Participant

    I found the idea that he couldn’t have done the drive plating a bit strange too (since it was a mind scan that grabbed that information), but I reasoned that they actually meant, he wasn’t qualified and therefore shouldn’t have been given that job hence it’s actually the fault of his superior officers giving him the role.

    Granted it’s not worded ‘shouldn’t’ but ‘couldn’t’ but that was how I reasoned it when I saw the episode.

    As for the disparity in Lister’s relationship with Kochanski, I remember another theory I read some while back. I think it went something along the lines, that the events of Stasis leak changed history slightly. I.e. future Lister marrying Kochanski, and present day Lister meeting them in the room, etc. I think the reasoning behind it was that Kochanski allowed herself a fling with the Lister of her time period, since she knew he was going to have a relationship with her in future anyway.

    Actually, on writing that down, that doesn’t make much sense, because didn’t the affair happen before she met up with the future versions of Lister?

    Anyhow, it’s interesting reasoning out.

    As for the change in crew number/time period, that can’t really be reasoned out satisfactorily except by transposing date and number when it’s mentioned. (Unless you want to believe the earlier 3 series happened in a parallel universe temporally out of synch, but that get’s a bit silly.) Not that big of a deal really as it’s only mentioned a couple of times anyway.

    #122690
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    (Unless you want to believe the earlier 3 series happened in a parallel universe temporally out of synch, but that get?s a bit silly.)

    Dinosaurs are not silly?

    #122693
    Dave
    Participant
    #122697
    Steve Harris
    Participant

    Clearly Rimmer was the most senior technician available at the time.

    This of course was due to every other technician being off sick with a stomach bug.

    Given another 24 hours, the cause of the sickness bug would have been pinpointed to the coffee vending machine in the technicians mess.

    Given a little more time, it would have been discovered that space weevil poison looks very similar to JMC coffee mate.

    Of course, 2 days prior to the drive plate incident, Rimmer was given the task of ridding Red Dwarf of space weevils.

    Pure coincidence…

    #122704
    Ridley
    Participant

    Maybe the actual ‘mending’ itself was a pathetically simple task that anyone could have done. But didn’t.

    Oh dear, this page is fourth on a google search for drive plate.

    #122707
    Zombie Jim Undead
    Participant

    Is possible….maybe it was a non-vital part of the ship..and there was an amazingly small chance that if incorrectly repared, it could be dangerous.

    So they took the chance….Rimmer repaired it incorrectly…and against all odds it caused a Cadmium leak.

    Thusly, Rimmer blamed himself for it….though in reality it was a hugely unlucky fluke – and if anyone was to blame, it was whoever gave him the job to do.

    #122711
    Andrew
    Participant

    I’d say that was about right.

    #122725
    ChrisM
    Participant

    (Unless you want to believe the earlier 3 series happened in a parallel universe temporally out of synch, but that get?s a bit silly.)

    Dinosaurs are not silly?

    I don’t get that. I know there’s a dinosaur in series 8 but not what that’s got to do with the part of the text quoted.

    Or is that a time wand reference… oh right yeah I get it. (Penny just dropped literally as I typed that.)

    To quote Holly “I might be slow but I get there in the end.”

    Don’t ask me to work out the square root of anything though.

    #122732
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    I don?t get that. I know there?s a dinosaur in series 8 but not what that?s got to do with the part of the text quoted.

    Basically all i was saying that your example of something ‘silly’ was ten times more explainable in a sci-fi sitcom than a frigging dinosaur. That’s all :)

    #122735
    Steve Harris
    Participant

    Ok, I suppose I should have taken the whole point more seriously..

    It all boils down to the age old question of responsibility.

    If as been suggested, Rimmer was not responsible due to being given the job of repairing/maintaining the drive plate by his superiors, where exactly does the buck stop.

    From a legal point of view, had he been deemed capable of the job in question, failing to carry out the duties correctly would result in (put simply) mass death by negligeance..

    If however, the Inquisitor looked beyond that and questioned those above him, the link could go on forever. In religous terms, God created the universe and of course
    Mankind, Mankind was given the ‘tools’ to evolve as with other creatures (including the ill fated Dinasaurs), In turn, Man progressed to the point of space travel etc. As Rimmer would have been one of Gods children, ultimately, God created the situation and therefore would be responsible for everything!

    If however, you take the scientific stance and look to the big bang and the creation of life, Rimmers existence is nothing more than an act of nature.

    The point is, Kryten could have argued that Rimmer was nothing more than a pawn
    in the chess match of life and was merely acting up to the best of his abilities.
    (which is fairly similar to the way it went).

    The Inquisitor in truth was nothing more than a wuss and Kryten remained in control
    throughout…

    Rimmer is innocent by default..

    #122739
    Dave
    Participant

    >(Penny just dropped literally as I typed that.)

    She did?

    #122741
    ChrisM
    Participant

    The Inquisitor in truth was nothing more than a wuss and Kryten remained in control
    throughout?

    Inquisitor with a small i in this case, as it was the justice computer playing role of inquisitor… but good point…

    Actually it is interesting that the Justice computer found Rimmer culpable through his guilt (at least until Kryten argued the point) yet he passed The Inquisitor’s ‘life more worthwhile’ judgement.

    Of course they were judging different things, but it is interesting how view the same life from different stand-points comes up with different results.

    #122746
    Zombie Jim Undead
    Participant

    The buck stops with a person who gave him a job which was apparently beyond his abilities / responsibilities as a chicken soup repair man.

    Simple as that.

    #122772
    James
    Participant

    I don’t think it was Buck who gave him the job, maybe it was Rogers?

    #122776
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    He’s here all week. Unfortunately.

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