Production 7
Direction 8
Characterisation 7
Storyline 8
Acting 9
Fun/Sexy/Cool 9

This episode was terrific! (except that it was the last complete episode we saw Rimmer in Season 7). In this episode, we saw the return of Ace Rimmer and again, some fairly mind-blowing comedy sci-fi

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Red Dwarf: S07E02: Stoke me a Clipper

This episode was terrific! (except that it was the last complete episode we saw Rimmer in Season 7). We saw the return of Ace Rimmer and again, some fairly mind-blowing comedy sci-fi. The show opened with Ace in an alternate reality. He destroys a baddy (who looks like some sort of Nazi) and jumps out of a plane and air surfs his way to safety by using the Nazi’s pet alligator as a surf board. (wadda guy!)

As he lands, he saves a wonderfully attractive woman in red from a firing squad with those immortal words, “Ace Rimmer, there will be time for explanations later. And hopefully, some sex!

She smiles and jumps on his motorcycle uttering the customary response, “What a guy!” Rimmer swashbuckles his way out of danger laying waist to all his adversaries.

Two German soldiers are watching his escape, “That was Ace Rimmer, we’re lucky to be alive!” Suddenly a dead alligator lands on their heads. Yet another soldier looks at the smoke trail left by Ace Rimmer’s escaping plane, “Smoke me a kipper,” it reads, “I’ll be back for Breakfast.

What a guy!” says the German soldier rather involuntarily.

Back on Starbug, Lister is feeling the urge again. He desperately needs to have a bonk, and the only way to do it is to go into the virtual reality simulator and play a medieval game for which he has the cheats.

Lister of Smeg stands before King Arthur and Lady Guinivere “Lister of Smeg, what prize do you claim if you defeat my good knight {at a jousting contest}

“I claim, my lord, a day and a night in the bed of your good lady!” Says Lister confidently. The king repeats Lister’s words with surprise and bemusement. Suddenly the queen stands up.
We accept the challenge!” she says.
Do we?!” exclaims the king. Then speaking quietly to he adds, “I think we should discuss this in private my lady.
Do you not have faith in your knight?” Asks the queen in a lovely French accent.
“I do,” replies the king, “Sort of.”

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The contest goes ahead. Lister manages to defeat the kings’ knight and wins the queen for a night and a day of passion. Unfortunately, just as he and the lovely queen get going, Starbug suffers a power surge and the game is stopped.

Lister, worriedly unhooks his helmet and groinal VR attachment (god I wish I had one of those!) then heads up to the Control Room with Kryten. Ace Rimmer makes a detour to Starbug. He needs to speak with Arnold. As he boards Starbug he apologises for re-materialising so close, “Sorry …. My ship’s computer made a minor calculation error. The poor thing’s got a bit of a crush on me. It doesn’t know what day it is.

He reaches the living quarters and asks Rimmer if he would like to accompany him on a short walk. “Thanks for the offer,” replies Rimmer, “but I’d rather smear my genitalia with fish paste and dangle them in a pool of hungry piranha.

The rest of the crew persuade him to go. He shows Ace where his sleeping quarters are and notices that he is in some pain. Ace tells Rimmer that he is a hologram {Ace that is} and that his hard light drive is irrevocably damaged. Ace goes on to explain that the reason for his visit is because he wants him to become the next Ace Rimmer!

Rimmer is surprised almost beyond belief. Ace continues, “It’s your destiny Arn!”
“What to look like a reject from a Gay Pride Disco!?
” Says Arnold. He learns however, that the original Ace Rimmer died in Dimension number 167 and that there have been many Ace Rimmer holograms travelling the universe putting wrong to right. Arnold leaves without answer.

Ace confides in Lister and tries to get him to persuade Rimmer. This he does by laughing at the very idea of Arnold becoming Ace. “How could you be the next Ace,” says Lister, “I mean. You’re a gutless, spineless, gormless, directionless, underachieving, cowardly pile of smeg! – No offence.

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Lister’s plan works! Arnold Judas Rimmer goes to see his alter ego for a crash-course in how to become Ace Rimmer. The operative word there was crash! Rimmer is a long way from becoming Ace. They travel together in a simulator; both are on flying carpets in what looks like the Alps. “Come on Arny, bee the cougar running free. Do you see the cougar Arny? Do you see it?” But all Rimmer can manage is a hamster in its wheel.

Unfortunately, Ace runs out of time. He transfers Ace’s clothes onto Rimmer and tells Rimmer that if he can fool his mates, that he will be ready. Rimmer leaves. on his way to the Control Room he meets up with some sort of medieval knight. The knight is carrying a broadsword and attacks Rimmer. The two have a brutal exchange and eventually Rimmer manages to use a bazookoid to kill the attacker. Rimmer leaves to tell Ace. The knight was of course Lister dressed up. He quickly exchanges the blank cartridge in the bazookoid for a live one. Unfortunately, the light unit in Ace’s Hard Light Unit gives way.

(Ace is dead! Long Live Ace!)

Lister concocts a story that Rimmer dies when a knight escaped the AR machine and killed him. Later Lister and the new Ace talk, “You heard what he said,” says Lister, “It’s your destiny!

It’s my destiny to be a smug self-satisfied git!” Contradicts Ace Rimmer.”Ok so he was a bit full of himself. But you can be a new kind of Ace, it’s up to you. Look,” he said, “if you got cold feet, we should follow his coffin. He said it might make you change your mind.

At Rimmer’s funeral, Lister speaks his 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 Rachel, who I suppose, in many ways, is his widow!.….

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They launch the coffin and Lister follows it to its resting-place, a small planet surrounded by a ring (rather like Saturn’s rings) made up solely of little Ace coffins. If Rimmer had any doubts about his new destiny, this view should have persuaded otherwise!

Arnold Ace Rimmer climbs aboard his space ship, says goodbye to Cat, Lister and Kryten, “Stoke me a Clipper,” he attempts, “I’ll be back for Christmas!” Then he presses the ejector seat button instead of the ignition switch.

After regaining his composure, Ace boards his ship and flies off to meet his new destiny. The show ended there and I guess we all pondered what would now be the fate of our heroes..

I couldn’t help but shed a little tear. Although Rimmer would make the odd guest appearance, his character would be replaced with Kochanski, and lovely though she may be, we would always miss Rimmer’s sharp wit and total obnoxiousness (for a while at least).

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This episode 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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