Red Dwarf: Characters: Arnold Judas Rimmer

Rimmer is a Hologram played marvellously by Chris Barrie and is the character in the series that everyone loves to hate.  He is a cowardly, snivelling, back-stabbing, weaselly scumbag and we all love him dearly.

If you were to meet him in a pub he would be drinking Perrier water and be the butt of numerous jokes concerning impotence.  Rimmer’s defence would be a very cutting personal comment.  This would cause a fight at which point of course, he would run away.

Rimmer as he would like to beArnold (sometimes known as Arny by female Holly and other female holograms) was a service technician on Red Dwarf (and Lister’s immediate line manager).  Despite numerous attempts to gain promotion, he always remained lower in rank than even the four ships service robots (Skutters). However, he is almost fanatical about the military and has dreamed of becoming an officer. He once explained that he once underwent a hypnotist’s regression and found that he was non other than Alexandra the Great’s Chief Eunuch! “…. even to this day I can’t look at a pair of nutcrackers without wincing… and why every time I’m with a large group of woman I have this urge to bathe them in warm olive oil?

{Haha, don’t we all dude!}

Rimmer argues with ListerIn fact, as a service technician, Rimmer was pretty poor. He would give the impression of being conscientious and hardworking, but could never apply himself and his work was always substandard.  In fact it was Rimmer who accidentally killed ALL the ships crew when he failed to secure a Drive Plate properly and released a lethal dose of Cadmium II radiation into the ships atmosphere.

Rimmer has always been ineffective and dangerous; he once worked for the Samaritans for an afternoon.  He spoke to five people and they all committed suicide! one was even a wrong number. All he only phoned up for was the cricket scores!

Rimmer tells his storyArnold Rimmer was resurrected as a hologram companion to stop Dave Lister going bonkers. Holly reasoned that Rimmer was a better companion because Lister had spoken more words to Rimmer than any other crewmember. The fact that of the 14 million words, 7 million were the words ‘smeg-off’ and the other 7 million were Rimmer putting him on report for saying ‘smeg-off’ didn’t enter into Holly‘s the calculation. Rimmer equates being a hologram to, “Like being on holiday with a group of Germans.”

Kryten once described Rimmer as, “having held a position (on Red Dwarf) of little or no importance, he was a lowly grease monkey… a zero… a nothing… a piece of sputum floating in the toilet bowl of life. Yet he could never come to terms with a lifetime of under achievement, his absurdly inflated ego would never permit it. He was like the security guard on the front gate who considers himself head of the corporation…… look at this man, this man who sat and failed his astro navigation exam on no less than 13 occasions, this sad man, this pathetic man, this joke of a man….. the Space Corps never allowed this man to be in a position of authority where he might endanger the entire crew. A man so petty and small minded that he would while-away the evening sewing name-labels onto his ship issue condoms. A man of such awesome stupidity, an over zealous trumped up little squirt….. an incompetentRimmer hears Krytens description vending machine repair man with a Napoleon complex… who had as much respect from his crew-members as Long John Silver’s parrot.  Who would permit this man, this joke of a man, this man who could not outwit a used tee-bag, to be in a position where he might endanger the entire crew?  who …. only a yoghurt!  This man is only guilty of being Arnold J Rimmer. That is his crime, it is also his punishment!

That colossal statement is accurate in EVERY respect!  However it is well recognised that Rimmer’s inability to be a warm and loved member of the human race is down to his upbringing, Lister once asked if Rimmer had been close to his father. Rimmer replied, “Rimmers motherClose? I hated him, I detested his fat stupid guts, the popeyed balding git!” Rimmer went on to mention that the only thing he ever wanted from his father was the phrase, “Well done!”  Rimmer once tried to explain why he was such a pratt, “My father was a half crazed military failure, My mother a bitch queen from hell. My brothers had all the looks and talent, and what did I have. Unmanageable hair and in-growing toenails.

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An alternate RimmerOne of Rimmer’s famous catch phrases is “lickety-split!”

Although a fervent family man, his favourite book is ‘How to Pick Up Girls Through Hypnosis’ and he was the proud owner of a punctured blow up doll called Rachel (which he couldn’t use since holograms cannot touch or feel anything).  He managed to get laid twice as a hologram!  (only once in real life – to Yvonne McGruder) The first time was to Yvonne McGruder (ahhh) in a virtual reality game called ‘Better than Life’ and the second was to an officer of a HoloShip. The later was particularly revealing.  His partner, the lovely Commander Nirvana Crane described his lovemaking Rimmers wife and kids - better than life?ability as, ” …. different, (the way she said it was complementary), you (Rimmer) make love like a Japanese meal, small portions but soooo many courses!” She was so taken with Rimmer’s lovemaking ability, that she even sacrificed herself for him! Which only goes to show that holograms are indeed, very sad people!

Arnold Judas Rimmer’s has an Achilles Heal – the phrase ‘Gespatcho Soup’. It has the ability to really hurt, and were the last words he spoke before his death. He explained, “It was the greatest night of my life! I’d been invited to the Captains Table. I’d only been with the company 14 years. Six officers and me, they called me Arnold! We had Gespatcho Soup for starters. I didn’t know that Gespatcho Soup was meant to be served cold. I called over the chef and told him to take it away and bring it back hot! (You can just imagine the scene can’t you)  He DID! The looks on their faces still haunt me today. I thought they were laughing at the chef, when all the time they were laughing at me! As I ate my piping hot Gespatcho Soup! I never ate at the Captains Table again. That was the end of my career.

Ace Rimmer - Wadda guy!Arnold Rimmer has an alter-ego called ‘Ace’. When Rimmer was at school he had the option of moving on a year or staying back to re-take his exams.   In real life he moved on, but in an alternate dimention the other Rimmer was kept back.   It embarrassed him into ‘buckling down’ and ‘working hard’ and in that dimention, he bacame Ace Rimmer.

Arnold Rimmer has always resented his alter-ego in the numerous episodes that he has appeared. Every time Ace performs some miracle of human strength, ingenuity or skill, Rimmer tries to make fun, usually along the lines that Ace is gay, or that Lister loves him. However, in Season 7, Ace Rimmer died and Arnold took his place. In season 8 we see the live Rimmer, BEFORE he became a hologram! (Confused? –  me too!) Ace persuaded Rimmer to fake his death and take on the persona of Ace Rimmer.  This he did and at Rimmer’s Holofuneral, Lister read out a eulogy:

Alexander the Great’s Chief Eunuch, has finally joined his master! The guy who kept his underpants on coathangers and sewed name labels into his ship issue condoms has passed on.  Life will never be the same. We have lost the finest, most dedicated vending machine repairman that the Space Corps… no the universe, has ever known.  No one pressed for Coke and got Orange Juice and Oxtail soup on his shift! …. Well actually that’s not true, we all did, but what the smeg, this is his eulogy! He didn’t have many friends, but those that he did have were with him at the end…… even Rachael, who I suppose, in many ways, is his widow!.….

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Rimmer was also know for making a complete smeg-up of just about every Space Corps Directive he spoke. The very cool James Axford sent in a list that he’d compiled for your consideration:

“The first Space Corps Directive is mentioned in Polymorph. Now although some might say it sounds as if there is only one Directive in existance at the time this is said, I believe for continuity reasons we must take the following quote as Kryten mentioning a specific space corps directive that he thinks everyone will know:

KRYTEN: What about the Space Corps Directive which states, “It is our primary overriding duty to contact other life forms, exchange information, and, wherever possible, bring them home”?

Space Corps Directive #003

By joining Star Corps. each individual tacitly consents to give up his inalienable rights to life, liberty, and adequate toilet facilities. (yes it says Star Corps.)

Space Corps Directive #147

Crew members are expressly forbidden from leaving their vessel except on production of a permit. Permits can only be issued by the Chief Navigation Officer, who is expressly forbidden from issuing them except on production of a permit.

Space Corps directive #169

It’s never said what this directive says either but it’s probably has something to do with a sacrifice a hologramatic crew member has to take for the benefit of the rest of the crew. Kryten reminds Rimmer of this directive when he’s mad about the “time-sharing” idea with Dr. Landstrom.

Space Corp Directive 312 is never exactly quoted so I have decided to include the conversation it is referenced in:

KRYTEN: What about entertainment? You are obliged to provide us with minimum leisure facilities. Games, literature, hobby activities, motion pictures.
RIMMER: And in accordance with Space Corps directive 312, you’ll find in the storage cupboard over there a chess set with 31 missing pieces, a knitting magazine with a pull-out special on crocheted hats, a puzzle magazine with all the crosswords completed and a video of the excellent cinematic treat, “Wall-papering, Painting, and Stipling — a DIY guide.”

Space Corps Directive #195

clearly states that in an emergency power situation, a hologrammatic crewmember must lay down his life in order that the living crewmembers might survive.

Space Corps Directive #349

Any officer found to have been slaughtered and replaced by a shape-changing chameleonic life form shall forfeit all pension rights.

Space Corps Directive #592

In an emergency situation involving two or more officers of equal rank, seniority will be granted to whichver officer can program a vcr.

Space Corps Directive #595

Allows you to keep people in Quarantine for a period of 3 months, however if the people can use Space Corps Directive 699 to demand a re-screening after five days, if no trace of diease is found they can leave Quarantine.

Space Corps Directive #597

clearly states “One berth per registered crew member”

Space Corps Directive #723

Terraformers are expressly forbidden from recreating Swindon.

Space Corps Directive #997

Work done by an officer’s doppleganger in a parallel universe cannot be claimed as overtime.

Space Corps Directive #1694

During temporal disturbances, no questions shall be raised about any crewmember whose timesheet shows him or her clocking off 187 years before he clocked on.

Space Corps Directive #1742

No member of the Corps should ever report for active duty in a ginger toupee.

Space Corps Directive #1743

No registered vessel should attempt to transverse an asteroid belt without deflectors.

Space Corps Directive #5796

No officer above the rank of mess sergeant is permitted to go into combat with pierced nipples.

Space Corps directive #5797

Rimmer tries to use this as a reason not to let Lister in when there is a chance he might be a Psiren. He never says what the directive is but I would assume it is something about the safety of the crew.

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Space Corps Directive #7214

To perserve morale during long-haul missions, all male officers above the rank of First Technician must, during panto season, be ready to put on a dress and a pair of false breasts.

Space Corps Directive #7713

The log must be kept up to date at all times with current service records, complete mission data, and a comprehensive and accurate list of all crew birthdays so that senior officers may avoid bitter and embarrassing silences when meeting in the corridor with subordinates who have not received a card.

Space Corps Directive #34124

No officer with false teeth should attempt oral sex in zero gravity.

Space Corps Directive #43872

Suntans will be worn during off-duty hours only.

Space Corps Directive #68250

is never exactly quoted so I have decided to include the conversation it was mentioned in:

RIMMER: That’s it I’m invoking space corps directive 6_8_2_5_0

KRYTEN: 6_8_2_5_0? But sir, surely thats impossible without at least one live chicken and a raabi.

RIMMER: Forget it. Forget I was ever born.

KRYTEN: But sir, I’m very happy to perform the ceremony, but I’m bewildered as to how sacrificing poultry will clear up the screen problem.

Space Corps Directive #196156

Any officer caught sniffing the saddle of the excercise bicycle in the women’s gym will be discharged without trial.

There is one Space Corps Directive about removing an irrational person from duty, Rimmer tries to invoke it against Lister in Rimmerworld. Rimmer gives the wrong number (196156) Kryten quotes the directive Rimmer named and for once Rimmer does not give the correct number afterward.

“Primordal Soup” has a Space Corps Directive that was cut from the show. Page 97 (Script of Back to Reality):

KRYTEN (Fzzt) Oh, yes, uhm, ahhh, well … No, wait … Ermmm … Yes. No. Better still … Yes. Uh, suh, sir, I am invoking Space Corps directive 1947945, which states clearly that a mechanoid may issue orders to human crew members if the lives of said crew members are directly or indirectly under threat from a hitherto unperceived source and there is inadequate time to explain the precise nature of the enormous and most imminent … yes, terribly imminent, death threat. Under those conditions I am therefore empowered to issue the order. (In the same tone) Get the hell out of here.”

Rimmer Directives:

The first Rimmer Directive is also mentioned in Polymorph.

R: The Rimmer Directive which states, “Never tangle with anything that’s got more teeth than the entire Osmond family”?

Rimmer Directive 271 states clearly, “No chance you metal bastard.”

R: Why does he only ever use them against me? Why never against Lister? Why do we never hear him quoting a Space Corps directive to clearly state “No crewmember should floss his teeth with the E-string of his guitar after spraying the entire contents of his sugar puff sandwich all over his superior’s bunk”? We never hear that one, do we?

All Nations Agreements:

RIMMER: I’ve no idea who you are, but boarding this vessel is an act of war, ergo, we surrender. And as prisoners of war I invoke the all nations agreement article number 39436175880932/B.

KRYTEN: 39436175880932/B. All nations attending the conference are only allocated one parking space. Is that entirely relevant sir. I mean here we are, in mortal danger and you’re worried about the Chinese delegates bringing two cars.

RIMMER: Can’t you let just one go, I was talking about the right of P-O-W’s to non-violent constraint.

KRYTEN: But that’s 75880932/C, sir. ”

Thanks James, yer a true SadGeezer 🙂

Discuss this in the Red Dwarf Forum

This Character review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without  the authors express permission

The Red Dwarf names, characters and everything else associated with
the series are the property of The British Broadcasting Corporation,
Rob Grant & Doug Naylor.  All rights reserved.



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