RED DWARF: The World Loves A Bastard! A Character Review of Arnold Judas “Big Man” Rimmer - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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RED DWARF: The World Loves A Bastard! A Character Review of Arnold Judas “Big Man” Rimmer

In this week's Red Dwarf column, Andrew Jero takes a look at Arnold Judas “Big Man” Rimmer.

Arnold Judas Rimmer. It’s the kind of name that makes you cringe. Arnold has gone through quite the list of nicknames: Arn, Big Man, Smeghead, Bonehead, Old Iron Balls and Ace. Being relentlessly harassed by his crew members for his personality, general lack of good taste, and above all, his lousy sex life. Something which seemed to pop up again and again throughout the series. Arnold would have his revenge in Holoship where the crew of holograms aboard the Enlightenment were forced to have sex twice daily. Rimmer attempted to cheat his way on board but ended up losing the woman he loved, he gave up his position on the ship and returned to Red Dwarf where he would endure the same boring aimless wandering through space.
Everyone aboard the Red Dwarf hated Rimmer. He even hated himself so much that when they landed on a psi-moon in the episode Terrorform, a creature made from his self loathing was created and could only be defeated when Lister and Kryten rather unconvincingly convince him that he wasn’t that bad of a guy. The laughter resumes when the Cat chimes in, “It’s true, they really do love you!” The psi-moon is a physical representative of Rimmer’s mind, so as Lister reminds us, “Remember, it's Rimmer's mind out there. Expect sickness.”

Throughout the crew’s travels Rimmer remained untouchable. As a soft light hologram, nothing could touch him. He could’t feel pain, pleasure, anything. He also couldn’t be harmed. That was until the second episode of Series VI, Legion where Rimmer is converted from soft light projection mode to hard light projection mode. He can touch, feel, taste, everything. Puncture repair kit on stand by! Legion also gives us a scene where the previous untouchable Rimmer is bombarded with food when the crew tries to impress there highly sophisticated host by using Mamosian anti-matter chopsticks. The food flies all around the room until it all collides on Rimmer when he crosses the sticks. 
Legion brings us the awesome Blue Alert scene. It also brings us what is my favorite of the Space Corps Directives. The Space Corps Directives are a set of rules put in place by the Space Corps which are often mis-quoted by Rimmer, for instance, Space Corps Directive 34124 is quoted by Rimmer, we’re not sure what he thinks it is, but it reads as such: No officer with false teeth should attempt oral sex in zero gravity. Absolutely ridiculous but something that goes on as a running gag between Rimmer and Kryten throughout Series VI.

Series VII’s second episode saw Rimmer’s departure from the series for the rest of that season as he was replaced by Kochanski. He got to leave in a blaze of glory in one of the best episodes the series has done, Stoke Me A Clipper. We see Ace, Arnold’s way cooler alter persona save a Princes in an alternate universe where the Nazi party is active in the 1990s. He sports a cool haircut and gives us what is perhaps the funniest two minutes the show would have until Series X in 2012. Rimmer leaves when he takes over from his dead alter-ego and becomes Ace Rimmer! Rimmer returns in Series VIII, we get to see him take the sexual magnetism virus, and gets really good with the women aboard Red Dwarf with the line, “The world loves a bastard”.
Series X bought the crew back for their first full length series since 1998. The first episode is fantastic! The moose scene and Rimmer’s interaction with his brother Howard in this episode are absolutely hilarious as he tries to impress him. His snideness overcomes him and he is smug even when his brother is dying. He occasionally tries to give advice and hints on what is popular and what works with the ladies. Lemons, the episode where they encounter a certain historically famous religious figure, begins with Rimmer’s lesson on Shakespeare and he gives his lesson on ‘moves’ in Dear Dave. All in all, he’s not such a bad guy, maybe a little egotistical at times and a bit of a Smeghead but not the worst guy to be stuck with for all eternity… Who am I kidding! To show you all the bad qualities of Arnold Judas Rimmer I’d tell you to watch every episode he’s in, but instead I’ll offer up just one last clip, enjoy! 

Andrew Jero is 18, lives in Iowa and has a very strong love of both Red Dwarf and Doctor Who. He enjoys acting and writing plays, television scripts, and short stories. Follow Andrew on Twitter.

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