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  • #259740
    Dave
    Participant

    In Stoke Me a Clipper, is the dimension with the planet with the ring of Ace Rimmer coffins implied to be Ace’s home dimension from Dimension Jump since theoretically he’s the “first Ace?”

    Given that in Dimension Jump he’s told he won’t ever be able to return to his own dimension, presumably it’s anywhere but.

    #259743
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    Like all the other amazing coincidences that seem to come Ace Rimmer’s way, I just presumed that even if Ace wasn’t mortally wounded, he would still somehow die in the presence of his counterpart who would be suitably galvanised into taking up the mantle by Ace’s heroic sacrifice.

    #259746
    Hamish
    Participant

    (ex: being instantly vaporized by a neutron tank in Dimension 165, which makes zero sense if there are infinite dimensions, like why even bother numbering them?)

    Numbered from the amount of hops from the dimension the Wildfire originated from. Keeps growing infinitely. Simple.

    #259747
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    (Can’t get blockquote to work, so imagine blockquote:) “Given that in Dimension Jump he’s told he won’t ever be able to return to his own dimension, presumably it’s anywhere but.“

    Very true. Although Bongo may have just been referring to how the Wildfire’s Rimmer-based navigation system works, since obviously Ace can’t seem to jump to a dimension with no Rimmer (i.e. the home dimension he left behind). He may not have taken a wormhole into account, since that’s how they reach the coffin planet.

    Another question: How is it that Rimmer is randomly affected by everything that affects the other Dwarfers? Even Kryten explicitly has organic components, but how is Rimmer just as susceptible to despair ink or a Polymorph attack?

    Yet another question: What did they ever do with D.N.A. ship after that episode? Holly or Kryten would clearly crack it eventually. Even considering Series IV-era Lister’s moral sanctimoniousness, surely they didn’t just release it into space because no one can be trusted to use it? The applications are too plentiful. With just a hint of DNA, they could have made up to five strawberries a week!

    Even Another Question: How can a machine, an adapted teleporter, create copies of an object or person with the “best” and “worst” aspects, when that’s a value judgment and not really a scientific thing? It’s not like when Kirk got split in classic Trek where there was a nice and jerk version but there were pros and cons to each implying it was a relatively even/arbitrary split. Also, how are maggots a “worst” trait since they’re not even part of the strawberry, they’re a different life form, and maggots aren’t inherently bad, it’s all in your point of view, since a maggot is just going about it’s day. Unless there were maggots in the original strawberry and super-tasty ones in the divine strawberry that we didn’t see. But otherwise, that joke just seemed rude to maggots. They’re just livin’ their life, man.

    Now that I think of it, while I can appreciate that the High Dwarfers were all similar and the Low Dwarfers were all distinct, sort of symbolizing oneness versus individualism… considering that Kryten and Lister had a whole discussion on why and how the High Dwarfers were smarter than they were, how is being so gullible and naive to let themselves be killed by the Lows indicative of them being the “best” versions? Being zen-like when killed is one thing, but their statements showed they were incapable of even acknowledging the malice of the Lows. Besides being kind of funny, what was the point of that? Is the implication that naivety is a virtue?

    #259749
    tombow
    Participant

    maybe it’s trying to make a point that we need our dark side somewhat to protect ourselves. Like the aforementioned Star Trek episode where Kirk needed his out-of-control, aggressive side to function.

    #259750
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    The Polymorph attacking Rimmer is something that always bothered me, given that he’s soft-light at that point. I figure his light bee has to be exactly at that position on his forehead at the time, so the Polymorph is making contact with the light bee, mere millimetres into Rimmer’s soft-light form, so it just looks like he’s licking his forehead. As for how he can be affected by such biological mechanisms, idk dude.

    Demons & Angels is just cartoon logic, like Backwards. “Evil transporter clone” is a very 60s idea, too. Emohawk operates on similar logic, where it can remove… “emotions” (?) such as “coolness” from a person. That doesn’t make sense either.

    #259755

    The Emohawk also manages to change the physical appearance of a person, handily into an alternate version of themselves they’ve previously encountered.

    My question about the whole multiple Ace thing is: why? Why does a test pilot suddenly become a superhero who has to pass on his title as superhero to another version of himself? It’s all stated as if it’s something that has to happen, but it’s SUCH an utterly daft concept. If it happened to me I’d find it hilarious.

    #259757
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Ace (and Rimmer, really) really comes off as the pretentious type, so it’s possible he’s just inventing the whole mythos to big himself up, really. That there is no real concept of “destiny”, he just likes to act like there is, and try and make it all happen that way. He’s just been extremely successful/lucky to not have broken the chain thus far.

    #259758
    tombow
    Participant

    I always thought the stuff Timothy Spall says in Back to Reality may have had a grain of truth to it, and been pulled from their subconscious. I mean, we know Lister really will find Kochanski, and Talkie Toaster says in the novels that Lister will do the universe-creating thing he mentions, so why not Rimmer have that secret stuff in the swimming certificate.

    #259760
    Dave
    Participant

    The Polymorph attacking Rimmer is something that always bothered me, given that he’s soft-light at that point. I figure his light bee has to be exactly at that position on his forehead at the time, so the Polymorph is making contact with the light bee, mere millimetres into Rimmer’s soft-light form, so it just looks like he’s licking his forehead.

    Or the Polymorph is able to turn itself into a hologram. Which isn’t much of a stretch.

    #259762
    clem
    Participant

    The Polymorph turns into a beam of light at one point in Better Than Life, so yeah you’d imagine it could take the form of a hologram, but iirc it removes Rimmer’s anger straight from his personality disk somehow.

    #259765
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Everyone’s avoiding the most obvious answer to why Ace Rimmer is a role that must be infinitely passed on to other versions of Rimmer, and why Ace is not just a charismatically charming adventurer with heroic leanings but a Superman-level hero so major that the entire multiverse actively depends on his continued service, and why every version of Rimmer inexplicably fits into this role despite Dimension Jump’s central point being that even a slight change to someone’s path in life can and will massively change how they end up as a person:

    Stoke Me A Clipper is shit.

    #259766
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    It’s a top 5 Red Dwarf episode of all time so if it’s shit then this show must be gutter trash

    #259767
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Here’s one for you: why does Cat know who Stan and Ollie are, well enough to be able to compare Rimmer and Kryten to them, and which is Stan and which is Ollie?

    #259768
    si
    Participant

    Ollie’s got a moustache.

    #259770
    Dave
    Participant

    Lister’s a bit of a film buff, I bet he showed Cat plenty of Laurel and Hardy in the Series I cinema.

    #259772
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Fair point, now you mention the Series I cinema I can absolutely see it

    #259778
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Just how did the GELF bride’s ship infiltrate non-space?

    And what WAS the reason why whatever passes for Kryten’s subconscious converted the struggle into a Western?

    Also, the talking toilet from Balance of Power… was that their go-to toilet during their whole stay in that original quarters? Like when they talked about “aliens” using the bog roll, it was really the bog roll associated with that toilet, right there in the quarters? There wasn’t a bathroom they used just down the corridor? And since holograms can have sex and have heart attacks, do they also have to use the little boys’ room? (Is there holo-pee?)

    Why does Rimmer go crazy for food in Bodyswap when he has access to holo-food like the chutney sandwich (which must taste enough like the real thing that he can describe the taste in detail and Lister gets it)? He couldn’t have just pigged out on holo-mashed potatoes?

    #259779
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    It’s a top 5 Red Dwarf episode of all time so if it’s shit then this show must be gutter trash

    A Top 5 episode of Series VII, maybe.

    To be fair, I was exaggerating… a little. Stoke has some good bits, but the absurd spike in importance of Arnold Rimmer to the universe and the extremely rushed character development of Rimmer embracing his apparent destiny as a professional hero is a misunderstanding of his character so extreme that if I didn’t know better I’d assume that Stoke Me A Clipper was written without the involvement or even the consent of Doug Naylor. It even does Lister dirty too, with his faking of Rimmer’s (second) death being as immoral and cruel as it is pointless. The episode tries to paper over its own cracks with good performances and fanservicey/heartfelt moments, but it just doesn’t work for me.

    I do get why the redeeming qualities make it an episode people are broadly fond of for sure, though (e.g. the opening Ace action sequence IS awesome).

    #259780
    Dave
    Participant

    It even does Lister dirty too, with his faking of Rimmer’s (second) death being as immoral and cruel as it is pointless.

    Can you expand on this? I’ve always seen it as part of Lister giving Rimmer the push he needs to become a better version of himself, and so the opposite of immoral and cruel.

    #259781
    Dave
    Participant

    Of course, the real question posed by that episode is: why would Bazookoids ever need blanks?

    #259782
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Why do regular old guns have blanks? I would assume for movies and stuff, but then haven’t people died from blanks on movies sets so they don’t use them anymore? Maybe the boys want to put on an amateur production of The Important of Blasting Earnest.

    I don’t buy Lister faking Rimmer’s death as immoral. Kryten and Cat don’t even like Rimmer anyway. Lister is the last human being alive so faking a promotion is meaningless to anyone except Rimmer. And like Dave said, it gives Rimmer the push he needs to become a better version of himself.

    #259783
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Can you expand on this? I’ve always seen it as part of Lister giving Rimmer the push he needs to become a better version of himself, and so the opposite of immoral and cruel.

    Sure. The reason is that he’s being emotionally manipulative of Rimmer (not necessarily cruel, but not good either) and he’s being cruel towards Cat and Kryten. Now, obviously Cat and Kryten never really liked Rimmer per se, but it’s just been the 4 of them for the past 4/6 years alone in deep space, and Lister just unilaterally decided it was OK to lie to them and put them through the trauma and grief that comes with personal loss, while also denying them the chance to say an actual, honest, regular two-way goodbye to Rimmer as he goes off to become Ace… and for what? Because he knows that Rimmer is a socially awkward but confident-acting character in a sitcom and will therefore choose to embrace a life of danger just to avoid fessing up to a lie? It’s fucked up. If Rimmer is destined to inherit the mantle of Ace and has it within him to live up to it, then he shouldn’t need to be manipulated into doing it like that, and if it turns out he isn’t and doesn’t then it’s especially bad to manipulate him into doing it like that.

    And to be clear, I don’t think Lister was wrong for encouraging Rimmer to choose a heroic life and speaking earnestly with him about it, and the gambit where he pretends to be the VR knight is fine, but the Ace/Rimmer death identity switcheroo is seriously crossing the line.

    It is arguable that Kryten and Cat know what’s up and are just playing along with the sham second funeral and such to help Lister push Rimmer into becoming Ace, but them collectively lying to Rimmer to manipulate him is just fucked up in a different way, it’s not that much better.

    #259784
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    That’s………………………………………………. certainly a take on it. You have had some thoughts. And posted them. That much is true.

    #259785
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    I appreciate the diplomatic response, Ben. XD

    I may not have realised how controversial a take “telling people that one of their only companions is dead when they actually aren’t is bad” was.

    Thinking about it, Kryten did the same thing in Backstory to Earth, didn’t he? Do people feel that Kryten was in the wrong there just because Kochanski was liked (or because she wasn’t a hologram), or do they think his lie was morally justifiable too?

    In any case it was a missed opportunity to not have Kryten snap back to Lister when the lie was revealed: “oh, pretty rich for you, sir, of all people to be angry at me for pretending that a crewmember is dead when they just chose to leave, Mr. ‘ooh, it’s the knight from the AR machine, he’s killed Rimmer’… prick.”

    #259786

    I don’t actually believe Rimmer is stupid enough to think a knight could escape from the AR suite.

    #259787
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Just a couple months at most previously, some rogue androids infected his robotic best friend with a computer virus which made him hallucinate a western town, which he and all his other friends physically went into in order to try and defeat the virus manually, rather than like, running an antivirus, or something. Shortly after that, all of his friends died at the hands of versions of themselves from the future, and he brought them back to life by commuting suicide and causing a temporal paradox. The next day, he and his mates travelled back in time, accidentally saving JFK from death, then convinced him to kill himself again. A knight escaping from the AR machine isn’t that far-fetched, given the circumstances, don’t you think? This isn’t the X-Files, Rimmer doesn’t greet every wacky new thing that happens to the crew with all that much skepticism by this point.

    #259788
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I think Kryten’s lie is pretty fucked up, given that we see how devastated Lister is by it. It seems a bit immature for Kris to just up and leave without telling anybody, though I think she has the right to leave if she wants to. Kryten lying about it could be seen as him trying to protect Lister’s feelings, but having her think she DIED is a pretty shitty way to do that.

    #259789
    Dave
    Participant

    Flap Jack, it’s an interesting reading but I don’t see it that way. There’s no real indication that ‘losing’ Rimmer has hurt Cat and Kryten in any way. If there was, that would be different, and it’s what distinguishes the Kryten/Kochanski lie – the fact that it causes so much pain to Lister.

    It is arguable that Kryten and Cat know what’s up and are just playing along with the sham second funeral and such to help Lister push Rimmer into becoming Ace, but them collectively lying to Rimmer to manipulate him is just fucked up in a different way, it’s not that much better.

    Nah, I don’t think there’s any indication that they’re in on it too.

    Of course, the big question is why they don’t just boot up a new hologram once Rimmer is gone.

    Come to think of it, what computer is generating Rimmer once he becomes Ace Rimmer? Presumably the Wildfire has that capability, I guess.

    #259790
    Dave
    Participant

    If Rimmer is destined to inherit the mantle of Ace and has it within him to live up to it, then he shouldn’t need to be manipulated into doing it like that, and if it turns out he isn’t and doesn’t then it’s especially bad to manipulate him into doing it like that.

    Maybe Rimmer is always destined to need input from Lister to become Ace, in any reality? The original Ace certainly seems to be close friends with Spanners.

    #259791
    Dave
    Participant

    Maybe they should retcon it so that Kochanski really did die and Kryten was initially telling the truth, but chose to later lie that he had lied about it, to cheer up Lister and give him something to live for.

    #259792
    Loathsome American
    Participant

    Why does Rimmer go crazy for food in Bodyswap when he has access to holo-food like the chutney sandwich (which must taste enough like the real thing that he can describe the taste in detail and Lister gets it)? He couldn’t have just pigged out on holo-mashed potatoes?

    I assume as with most things related to Rimmer, it’s psychological and he can’t allow himself to enjoy anything. He could have Holly make holo-mashed potatoes that might be as objectively good as actual mashed potatoes, but he’s probably telling himself, “It’s not really mashed potatoes, it’s just a simulation of mashed potatoes and I’m not really eating them, my senses are just being told I am eating them.”

    #259793
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Flap Jack, it’s an interesting reading but I don’t see it that way. There’s no real indication that ‘losing’ Rimmer has hurt Cat and Kryten in any way. If there was, that would be different, and it’s what distinguishes the Kryten/Kochanski lie – the fact that it causes so much pain to Lister.

    I think Kryten and Cat ultimately being chill about it makes Lister keeping the lie going not as bad as Kryten keeping up his lie about Kochanski, but it doesn’t excuse lying in the first place, because he has no reason to expect that Rimmer dying wouldn’t hurt them.

    After all, if he, Lister, is experiencing empathy towards Rimmer in the episode and sadness at the prospect of him leaving, then he should expect that Kryten and Cat might feel something too if he not only left but died, right? Lister would be pretty pissed off if the shoe was on the other foot and he found out, even if it was about Rimmer instead of Kochanski.

    This also touches on a particular thing that’s off-putting about the writing of the scenario: it feels like the only reason Cat and Kryten ultimately aren’t that affected by Rimmer’s supposed death is because Lister and the audience know that he’s fine. And for the rest of the series they treat his memory as if they all know that he’s just gone, not dead.

    Like, if Doug actually did an episode where Rimmer for real double-died, you know that Kryten and Cat would be a bit more profoundly affected by it (compare the moment where Rimmer was thought dead at the end of The Promised Land for a taste), which makes their reactions in Stoke ring so false. That’s actually why I thought them being aware of the lie was a possibility.

    #259794
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    If Kryten and Cat took it badly he could just tell them the truth either then, or later. His lying being immoral hinges on their reaction to it and how he deals with that reaction, the act of lying is not in itself immoral. And since they don’t react badly to it, no harm is done, really. Besides, Cat was NEVER going to be upset that Rimmer had died, and had in fact been happy with the “news” of his potential death or disappearance on several occasions. With Kryten, Lister lying to him is the entire plot of the previous episode in the series, innit. But at any rate, he could just tell him the truth if he had a bad reaction to it; Kryten would be willing to go along with the sham I should think, if Lister explained himself.

    The Promised Land is at least twenty years after Stoke Me A Clipper, so I don’t buy “they were sad recently so they should have been sad twenty years ago”, really.

    There’s also no reason that Letter couldn’t just come clean at some point after the funeral. You can imagine Cat being like “you mean goalpost head ain’t dead? Way to put a crimp on my good mood!” and Kryten giving it the OHHHHH SIR! and it all being dealt with rather quickly.

    #259795
    Ben Saunders
    Participant
    #259796
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    The Polymorph attacking Rimmer is something that always bothered me, given that he’s soft-light at that point. I figure his light bee has to be exactly at that position on his forehead at the time, so the Polymorph is making contact with the light bee, mere millimetres into Rimmer’s soft-light form, so it just looks like he’s licking his forehead. As for how he can be affected by such biological mechanisms, idk dude.

    The Polymorph turned itself into a hologram.

    #259797
    Dax101
    Participant

    The knight escaping from the VR machine makes no sense. its a joke that’s forgets its not a holodeck from star trek.

    #259798
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I just covered that one – with the amount of shit that has happened in Red Dwarf up until and since that point, it’s not that far fetched, really. Some sort of virus could do it, easily. Giving hallucinations physical form in Confidence and Paranoia has always been a weird one for me, but it’s a good episode so nobody questions it.

    Polymorph turning into a hologram, I don’t like that. How can it make itself immaterial? If you say it happened in the books then it happened in the books, but i don’t like it for the show, lol. I’ll keep believing in my lightbee cope

    #259799
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    If Kryten and Cat took it badly he could just tell them the truth either then, or later. His lying being immoral hinges on their reaction to it and how he deals with that reaction

    I mean… if they take it badly then it’s too late, isn’t it? Obviously coming clean at that point is not as harmful as continuing the lie, but coming clean doesn’t magically undo the harm he already unnecessarily caused.

    Also this logic ignores the fact that lies are still immoral even if the lie is comforting and the truth is upsetting, at least as a general rule.

    the act of lying is not in itself immoral.

    Ummmmmmmmmmm????

    OK, I know that the Ganymede & Titan forums is not the best place to get into a philosophical debate, but I’m pretty sure people generally agree that lying is in itself immoral, because lying to someone – even for a non-selfish reason – is unavoidably an act of disrespect or condescension. That’s why when characters in stories tell a “noble lie” (hmm, wonder if any Red Dwarf episodes discussed this topic) there has to be a major quantifiable benefit to the lie to out-balance the inherent immorality of deception, not just an absence of direct, immediate harm.

    Of course, that weighing up of benefits to a lie is in play in Stoke Me A Clipper, I just find the calculation completely at odds with what Lister decides.

    Because (A) Lister doesn’t know that Rimmer has to be manipulated like this to make him become Ace; the previous Ace only just passed, give him a chance, jeez, (B) there’s no real stakes to Rimmer not becoming Ace, because the problems Ace solves are hypothetical “someone out there will always need a hero… somewhere” problems; there’s no guarantee that Rimmer saved or even encountered a single person after he left, and (C) even if there being an Ace is absolutely crucial for the multiverse and it’s impossible to convince Rimmer to go without this ridiculous faked death farce… why does it have to be Rimmer? There were millions of Ace Rimmers beforehand, but so what? Just become Ace Lister if this is really such a priority for you, Dave, nothing’s stopping you. Or you could push your crewmate who is worse at flying, worse at fighting, more cowardly, less charismatic and generally worse at heroism than you into the firing line after receiving little to no training, sure. What a true friend of Rimmer’s you’ve grown to be.

    #259800
    Dave
    Participant

    The knight escaping from the VR machine makes no sense. its a joke that’s forgets its not a holodeck from star trek.

    Maybe it was a figment of Mr Lister’s imagination made solid by some weird space ray.

    #259801
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    You refuted your own point about lying being immoral within seconds of making it, with reference to the show we’re currently discussing. So I don’t need to say anything, here, really.

    Also by your following logic, Doctor Who should just retire because all problems are hypothetical really

    #259802
    RunawayTrain
    Participant

    The knight escaping from the VR machine makes no sense. its a joke that’s forgets its not a holodeck from star trek.

    It was Lister dressed up, wasn’t it? To convince Rimmer he could become Ace. He was supposed to think it was an escaped knight from VR (which indeed wouldn’t have made sense, but as has been said before, stranger things have already happened so why should he not believe this?) but in reality it was Lister, who had also put the blanks in the bazookoids.

    Unless I’m misremembering. Edit: someone also commented upthread that it was Lister, so I’m not going mad after all ;)

    #259803
    Dave
    Participant

    That’s correct. The issue is over Rimmer (and the others) believing without question that a knight could escape from the AR machine, threaten Ace, and eventually kill Rimmer.

    #259807
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    The problem is NOT that stranger things have happened to the crew. The problem is that the logic of the stranger things that have happened to the crew have been rationalised to both them and us with an explanation, normally via Kryten or Holly.

    With the “escaped Knight” thing, Doug seemed to think that he didn’t need to explain the logic of this idea because it wasn’t “true” within the reality of the show. Because the audience knew it was Lister, that was seemingly enough to avoid explaining the logic of a character escaping from a video game in a way that Kryten (at the very least) wouldn’t question it.

    It’s incredibly half-arsed, especially since about 5 minutes is spent setting up the knight stuff earlier in the episode.

    #259808

    Yeah, it was one of the very few issues with VII I had even as a kid. I just don’t buy that Rimmer would believe it was real.

    Come to think of it, what computer is generating Rimmer once he becomes Ace Rimmer? Presumably the Wildfire has that capability, I guess.

    If a ship the size of Red Dwarf can only sustain one hologram – two at most by turning off a huge amount of unused systems – how does even Starbug generate him? And what’s generating the Holoship?

    It’s just another thing that became forgotten once the whole light bee idea came along. If the light bee is projecting him and can be recharged on Starbug, why would it need a massive ship to power it earlier one?

    #259809
    Dave
    Participant

    Alternate universe.

    #259810
    Dax101
    Participant

    That’s correct. The issue is over Rimmer (and the others) believing without question that a knight could escape from the AR machine, threaten Ace, and eventually kill Rimmer.

    Not only did Rimmer believe it. But Lister mentions it to Kryten and Cat and not single question Is asked. its just kinda like oh a knight escaped from the AR machine? well it happens i guess.

    #259811
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    It’s not a ship the size of Red Dwarf, it’s just Red Dwarf. Starbug is… uh. You know.

    #259812
    Hamish
    Participant

    It’s just another thing that became forgotten once the whole light bee idea came along. If the light bee is projecting him and can be recharged on Starbug, why would it need a massive ship to power it earlier one?

    I have always been of the opinion that the light bee as we know it was not native to Red Dwarf and was something that Kryten salvaged from a derelict sometime around Series IV.

    #259813
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    The light bee not being a thing until they met Kryten makes a great deal of sense. I’m officially incorporating that into my headcanon.

    Now I have to mentally go back and see if any holograms from the “past” had light bees, which still wouldn’t be a contradiction if it was just something the Dwarfers themselves didn’t have access to at the start.

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