Red Dwarf: S04E05: Dimension Jump
In this episode we are introduced to an heroic Rimmer!! And that immortal phrase, “Smoke me a Kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast”. The character is sooooo cheesy that you just can’t help warm to him.
The episode opens with a very young Rimmer suspended from a tree upside down. His elder brothers decided that they needed a swing and wanted to make one out of young Rimmer – then they went off without letting him down. The lad is quietly hanging there on his own when his mother joins him. After her initial surprise at seeing him there, she tells him that his school work is not up to standard and that he may need to be held back at the same grade (Junior D) for another year.
She tells him that the headmaster has made a decision the could be fundamental in the development of his life. She begins to open a letter from the headmaster…..
The scene then changes to an adult Rimmer piloting a spaceship. The rather sporty looking red spaceship lands at a space station and Rimmer, dressed in a gold flight uniform is clapped on board by his colleagues. Along the corridor he is met by what looks like Lister (but Ace Rimmer greets him as ‘Spanners’)
“Whoa! Welcome home Ace (meaning Rimmer!!??)” Greets Spanners (Lister). They hug each other.
“Bless you Spanners, old friend, it’s good to be home.” Says the schoolboy hero type character, Ace. Spanners then asks him how the new Light Ship behaved. “Like a frolicking Philly in a harvestime pasture. How you boys down in Engineering got that crate to break the light barrier, I’ll never know!”
“Well, some people might say it’s the devilishly brave and handsome guy in the cockpit that did it!” Says spanners – sincerely!!
“Tish per shaw (?) nonsense,” Says Ace (Rimmer), “Any old twit can hug the event horizon of a Black Hole and loop the loop round a spinning singularity at twice the speed of light the blast the engines into reverse and blast out of an imploding nebula!” Says ace (sure, my mum does it all the time!)
Further along the corridor Ace meets with the Padre (Cat!). The padre tells Ace that Little Tommy has pulled through his illness, thanks to Ace sitting holding his hand every night while he recovers. Ace dismisses the idea that he did something special, “Oh, you know me, anything to get out of dinner with the admiral.” He says. Ace then continues his journey as the Padre turns and says to himself, “What a guy.”
Ace continues to the office of his section chief ‘Bongo’ (a human version of Kryten), he enters Bongo’s outer office and is greeted by Melly, Bongo’s stunningly attractive PA (a human Holly). “So, you dog, you’re back.” She says with a very sexy husky voice.
“Didn’t you ever doubt it hen I’ve got someone like you to come back to?” says Commander Arnold (Ace) Rimmer.
“If only it were true, ” she smiles, “What are you doing lunchtime…. Because if you’re interested, I’ll be in my quarters – covered in maple syrup!” (Whoa, I’ll be there darlin!)
“I’m sorry Melly,” replies a cool Ace, “I don’t fraternise with the staff.”
“I resign!” Says Melly coolly….. expectantly.
“In that case I’ll be there at 1300.” Says the lucky git, Ace.
In Bongo’s office Rimmer oops I mean Ace, learns that the ‘lab boys’ have just produced an engine that can break the seed of reality and allow the pilot to jump into another dimension. “….. When do I launch” says Commander Ace, chief test pilot of the Space Academy.
Bongo tells Ace that it is a one way ticket, he won’t be coming back. Bongo too is very impressed with Ace and offers, slightly embarrassingly, his body covered in Torama Solata! Ace however butters his bread strictly ‘butter side up’, besides, he already has a feast planned with Melly. He refuses the normally straight Bongo despite an improved offer …erm…. a different topping!
Ace leaves the room to a faint voice saying “wadda guy.” At 1500, Ace leaves in his big red sporty spaceship. “Smoke me a kipper,” he tells his friends who have arrived to see him off, “I’ll be back for breakfast.”
Meanwhile, back on Red Dwarf. Rimmer is woken by Lister and Kryten dressed as if they were going fishing. Rimmer learns that they all intended to go to a marine planet (with no fish – basically to get away from him). Even the lovely Holly is in on it. Lister relents and allows Rimmer to come.
On the journey, in Starbug, Holly tells the crew that there is a disterbance in the Time Fabric Continuum, “there is this big wibbly wobbly swirly thing and it’s heading straight towards us.“ Kryten tries to steer away but it seems to follow them. Out of the disturbance comes a sporty looking spaceship. The two crash into each other in the same way two children’s dinky toys would. Starbug is forced to crash land on the planet. They are all ok except for Cat.
“It’s bad buddy, it’s real bad.” Says Cat looking at his bloody broken leg. “See what I mean, red with apricot. I look like a jerk, I’m bleeding an unfashionable colour!” he whimpers. “If I’d have known I was going to get my leg crushed, I’d have worn white! It goes with anything….. somebody please, get me a tailor!”
Kryten examines the break. He will have to set the leg. Lister holds Cat still and voices his concern about the possibility of gangrene setting in. “Gangrene,” says Cat hopefully, “You think my leg could get gangrene? Hey, that might work, green with apricot, I think I could pull that off.”
Holly tells the crew that the engines are out and Starbug is taking on water. If they don’t manage to fix the engine,, the ship will sink in 40 minutes! Lister offers to go out and fix it. Kryten objects, “There is a 40 Knot gale blowing outside, you’d have to be a fool or a hero to even consider it!”
Then we see Commander Arnold Ace Rimmer, Chief Test Pilot of the Space Academy, zooming to their rescue. His on board computer tells him that it would be suicide to attempt a rescue. But Ace considers it courtesy, since it was he who caused the crash in the first place. “Please Ace, don’t go….. I love you.” Says the computer.
“Stiff upper modem old girl, smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast.” He replies rather predictably.
Ace bursts into the stranded Starbug on the marine planet and introduces himself to a stunned crew. He shakes the hand of Lister, comments on the great Cuban heals of the injured Cat, gives a slap on the arm to the ‘salt of the Space Corps’ (Kryten, the series 4000) and complements a wobbly kneed Holly on her stunning beauty (clearly a good judge of character).
Rimmer on the other hand is mildly shocked to see Ace and is non-too impressed. The feeling is mutual. Ace is surprised to see that Rimmer is a coward and does not know the first thing about engineering. Lister and Ace leave to fix the engine, “Smoke me a kipper I’ll be back for breakfast.” Says you know who?
Despite having a broken arm. Ace manages to fix the engine and save Lister from falling over the edge. When the get aboard Red Dwarf, he performs microsurgery on Cat to save his leg, and then wonders off to teach Kryten how to play the piano. Lister tells Rimmer about Ace, “wadda guy“.
Rimmer has been non-too impressed with Ace since he came aboard. 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.
Lister and Rimmer argue in their quarters, “So, is it a simple registry office or a full church do for you two?” says Rimmer.
“I don’t understand your attitude Rimmer, he’s you!” Lister replies.
“No he’s not. I’m me! He’s the product of a dimension where he enjoyed all the breaks and good luck that I never got.” Says Rimmer dejectedly.
Lister is called away by Ace. They talk in private. Ace tells Lister that he can’t stay. He thinks that Rimmer is a ‘maggot’ and wants to wonder off in search of other Arnold Rimmer’s in other dimensions. “Maybe there is someone that is more of a pain in the butt than him!…. but I doubt it.” He adds.
Lister wishes Ace good luck, “But don’t be too hard on Rimmer, you got the break, he didn’t, he’s just bitter.”
“Do you know what that break was?” Says Ace. He tells Lister that he was once left back a grade in school. It embarrassed him into buckling don and working hard. He fought back and I’ve been fighting back ever since. “maybe I did get the lucky break…… I’ll grab my things and be off Dave, Smoke me a kipper…. I’ll be back for breakfast!”
Ace leaves despite a failed attempt for Rimmer to booby-trap him with a pile of smoking kippers. The show ends with the caption:
IN THE DECADES THAT FOLLOWED,
ACE RIMMER SEARCHED COUNTLESS REALITIES
AND MET THOUSANDS OF DIFFERENT ARNOLD RIMMERS.
HOWEVER HE NEVER ENCOUNTERED AN ARNOLD RIMMER
AS DEEPLY SAD AND WORTHLESS AS THE ONE
HE’D MET ABOARD RED DWARF.
HIS IMPOSSIBLE SEARCH CONTINUES
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This episode review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
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