|I’m too uncreative to make a “Top X List” image, so I just stole one from “SNL/Wayne’s World”|
For the first time in this blog, I have a top X List. I call it “Not Another Top X List” for the following reasons. “Not Another” is in because, let’s face it, damn near every other internet reviewer and blog has had a list of their top 10s/5s/whatevers. The letter X is in because the variable could be different for every list. And the word List is in here for obvious reasons.
With the premiere of the first list, I may as well make the first one about the same show that provided my very first review post.
|If you play your cards right, then he might just come home for dinner.|
Ah, Second Technician Arnold Judas Rimmer. Rimsy. Arnie J. Old Iron Balls. The Smeghead. No matter what nickname you call him, he is quite possibly, the most beloved character in the history of Red Dwarf. A part of this is due to the writers (primarily the team of Grant/Naylor) making him out to be so sympathetic. His life has been constant failure after constant failure, and it makes you want to hug the man. That is, if he was real, and if he was not a hologram who has been dead for 3 million years.
However, the writers also like to emphasize that fact that, no matter what, Rimmer will always be a selfish, callous, pompous, arrogant, moronic smeghead. This is the same character that managed to ruin everybody’s fun by being all of those things that I have listed. Therefore, this list is dedicated to the moments that made you realize that Rimmer was a complete git.
Not that this is a bad thing, of course. In fact, these moments make him more of a well-written character, rounds him out, and makes the character hysterical. But still, if you were in the company of this man, you would want to punch him in the face… or terminate his hologram.
5: Rimmer badmouths Ace.
In “Dimension Jump”, we get a look at an Arnold Rimmer that is NOT egotistical, neurotic, arrogant, and idiotic. They call him Ace.
|What a guy.|
When Rimmer meets Ace due to a dimension hop on the latter’s part, Rimmer says kind things about Ace, such as calling him a snob;
Mocking his friendship with Lister by thinking of them as a romantic couple;
Mocking their nicknames given to each other;
And mocking his intelligence, especially after Ace reveals he can do surgery and goes to scrub up.
The irony of why Ace is who he is makes Rimmer’s mocking more ironic, and also a bit sad. Still, mocking somebody because they are better than you? And if it’s a central part of your character? Definitely will get you a #5 spot on this list.
4. Rimmer takes away Lister’s incredible wealth and fortune.
In “Timeslides”, Lister decides to use a time-travel photo develop fluid (just go with it) to try and make himself successful by using the Tension Sheet, previously invented by Rimmer’s old classmate, Fred “Thicky” Holden. (“It’s just that stuff they use as printing paper, painted red, with the words “Tension Sheet” printed on it.”) The end result is that Lister becomes uber-rich, able to move his house brick by brick just to avoid the neighbours, make his single, “Om”, #1 by buying 3,000,000 copies, and, best of all, does not wind up three million years in the future on a starship with a smeghead hologram, an egotistical cat, and a neurotic robot.
However, said cat and robot disappear, also, leaving Rimmer (despite the fact that he was brought back to keep Lister sane). Rimmer, not wanting to be alone, decides to go in and bring Lister back, taking him away from his happiness. Why? Rimmer even lampshades it.
It’s my duty! My duty as a complete and utter bastard!
Ultimately, Rimmer winds up trying to make himself successful by going back in time and trying to make himself the inventor of the tension sheet. It works just as well as you would imagine. However, Rimmer’s smegginess in not wanting Lister to be happy makes this a prime candidate for a #4 spot. Rimmer’s failure to accept others happiness is a central part of his character, and his jealousy leads to him wanting to ruin the lives of others just to get ahead.
3: Rimmer refuses to lay down his hologrammatic life, while doing so would give the living crew an extra few weeks of life.
In “White Hole”, Holly had her IQ increased drastically, with the expense being a whopping lifespan of…. three minutes. When Holly had to shut herself down to save the ship, Kryten analyses that, with the power otherwise given to the hologrammatic projection unit, the Cat and Lister may live for four more months, then proceeds to quote a Space Corp directive to force Rimmer to lay down his holographic life.
“Space Corps Directive 195 clearly states that, in an emergency power situation, a hologrammatic crew member must lay down his life in order that the living crew members must survive.
Rimmer responds with the following.
“Yes, but Rimmer directive 291 states just as clearly, ‘No chance, you metal bastard!'”
Rimmer’s ego essentially declares that the crew is better off dead, all because he wants to “live” for a few more months. Also, this scene also shows that the man is a complete moron. Once the power goes, Rimmer goes tootle pip. So, yeah. Rimmer is a smeghead AND a complete and utter idiot.
In fact, this scene is even more ironic, and emphasizes another aspect of his character. For somebody who wants to lead and do leader-y things, Rimmer shows all the attributes contrary to one a leader would show. His decision not to make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the crew shows just WHY he was never considered for a leadership position. Well, that and failing the astro-navigation exam 12 times.
In fact, Kryten outright tells Rimmer off for the latter’s smeghead behavior at the end.
2. Rimmer uses Lister’s body to eat obsessively and pig out, then, when kicked out by Lister, hijacks it again and holds it hostage… just to eat.
|Not too bad, right? Well…..|
This is from the laugh riot episode “Bodyswap”. After a mind-swap is tested in a crisis situation (long story, involves a rogue skutter, a milk shake, and a crunchy bar), Rimmer asks Lister if he could do a mind-swap with him in order to get Lister in shape. Lister agrees, but only for two weeks. What follows is that Rimmer uses his body for anything BUT getting fit. In fact, Lister’s body gets WORSE. Rimmer tries to justify it by declaring the body a write off from the moment before he took over. Lister wants none of his flimsy defense, and orders their bodies switched back. However, in the middle of the night, Rimmer HIJACKS Lister’s body and takes Starbug out on a space trip. He declares that, if Lister (in Rimmer’s body) gains on him, he will blow Lister’s brains out.
While #3 would have caused two of the crew members to die, #2 is one of the few (if not the only) times where Rimmer goes street rat crazy in his egomania. His selfishness makes his actions much, MUCH worse than something than even the Cat would do. (The Cat, at worst, is apathetic and lazy, but not outright insane! The Cat even considers what Rimmer does in this episode deranged.)
Now, none of these have actually led (directly or not) to the death of anybody. Except for #1. #1 is the most callous, cruel moment in Rimmer’s life/death, simply because, due to his callousness and ego, a man died. That is….
1. Rimmer “kills” his brother with his ginormous ego and desire to one-up his brother.
In “Trojan”, the first episode back after 13 years (sans a mini-series, “Back to Earth”, which aired in 2009), Rimmer gets a distress call from his brother, Harold, who is now the Trojan’s hologram. Rimmer decides to lie about his life to Howard, trying to one-up him. Rimmer makes himself captain of the Trojan, with the rest of the Boys from the Dwarf forming Rimmer’s “crew”. Rimmer thinks Harold was a successful captain in the JMC. In reality, as Rimmer learns from Howard himself, Howard was merely a cowardly vending machine repairman. A series of events involving his simulant partner and a StirMaster (makes sense in context) leads to Harold sacrificing his holo-life to save the crew, and declaring in his final moments that he feels brand new. Rimmer’s response?
“Harold, I too have a confession. You know when I told you that I was an officer in the Space Corps, this is my ship, I’ve been married three times, and I’ve got two Lambroghini Sesto Elementos? It was a lie.
I’ve only got one.”
Harold then suffers a resentment attack (pictured above), and holo-dies. To add the cream on top of the smeghead cake, back on the Dwarf Rimmer declares that Howard’s death is a wonderful thing, as it removed his OWN resentment. What a self-centered moron!
Let’s elaborate: Rimmer committed SEVERAL violations of JMC rules (although none of them involved delegates and car park spaces) in lying about his rank. Furthermore, had Rimmer not decided to impress his brother in such an egotistical fashion, Harold might not have died. And even if Harold did get shot, Howard might have not spent his last seconds in a state of resentment (depicted as like a computer freezing up). Rimmer being proud of Harold’s death is as low as possible for the character.
Therefore, causing his brother to die full of resentment, just for kicks, rockets Rimmer’s actions in “Trojan” straight to number one.
Thankfully, Rimmer is one-upped at the very, very end, as Howard is posthumously given a medal and Red Dwarf is rechristened after him.
Please suggest other examples in the comments section. Also comment if you want to contest examples in my list.