Despite the entire series being about the crew trying to get back to Earth, whenever they come into possession of something that would allow them to do so - which they do numerous times - they never use it to do so.
And presumably the Dwarf only carried enough food to feed its crew of 169 (later stated in "Justice" to be 1,169, and 11,169 in the novels) for a couple of years. How on Earth did a population of presumably tens of thousands of cats survive for three million years off it?
Holly notes in series 1 that, even after Lister's time in stasis, there's enough food to last thirty thousand years on board (though they are down to their last After Eight mint).
How come the crew remember the events of "Out of Time" in "Tikka to Ride" when they themselves state that destroying the time drive meant they never happened?
In "Confidence and Paranoia"/"Me2", producing a hologram is so power-intensive that producing a second one requires half the (utterly gigantic) ship's systems being turned off - yet in series 6 Rimmer can apparently be sustained by Starbug, and in series 7 Ace Rimmer doesn't seem to be supported by anything at all.
Ace was probably generated by his own ship.
Why is only the soap turned into powder when Lister and Cat come back through the stasis leak?
Apparently the laws of time travel through a stasis leak means you can only go in; you can't bring anything back with you, which is why Lister and Rimmer got into an arguement over whether they should convince Kohannski or past Rimmer to go into a spare stasis booth.
Why are Rimmer and Lister the lowest ranked crew members on the ship? As Technicians on a ship almost entirely dependent on technology, they should really have been considered more highly than they were— and even then, on a ship 5 miles long surely there should have been more than just the implied three technicians (Third, Second and First) to take care of repair work, even with the complement of self-repair systems and skutters?
If 'first technician' is a rank, then there could have been dozens of them. I suspect that First Technicians were accorded respect, and kept the life-saving equipment and expensive machinery in a decent state. Lister and Rimmer kept the Vending Machines working.
The books establishes there are different Technician Shifts, A-Shift gets all the important stuff, Z-Shift gets the vending machines. The television series establishes that Rimmer and Lister get all the crap jobs that they can't assign to the robots because the robots have a better union.
Third Technician is stated to be a rank for people with no educational qualifications.
What happened to the extra hologram ability seen in Me^2?
It showed up again in Holoship when the crew were interviewing potential replacements for Rimmer.
Not really ó†Rimmer was off the ship at the time, and presumably being projected by the holoship's systems. Plus, they explicitly state that they can't drive more than one hologram at a time a few episodes later, in Quarantine.
But the Holoship was running at full capacity at the time which is why Rimmer had to replace an existing crew member in the first place.
Despite being at full capacity, the Holoship was still able to generate Rimmer's hologram while he was on there, with presumably no replacement of the crew necessary; it might simply be that the ship had provisions for temporary projection or 'sharing' the projection with the home ship, which might also free up sufficient power on the home ship to enable a second hologram to be projected, again at least temporarily. Alternatively, while it might not be using full power to generate all the holograms and can theoretically have more people on board, it simply has a sufficient crew manifest to enable the ship to function within its assigned purpose and doesn't need to take on anyone else, unless they can act as a superior replacement for a pre-existing crew-member.
I always assumed that the holograms were being projected at range by their respective ships. The Holoship hologram that appeared briefly on Starbug I thought was being projected by the Holoship at range, with Rimmer being projected at range by Red Dwarf onto the Holoship. Any interactions between the Dwarf holograms and the Holoship holograms would probably involve interacting with the processors behind the hologram projections, and that seems like something the crew of the Holoship would have done as a formality for a fellow holo. The thing that throws this idea out the window of course is the Season 2 episode explicitly showing Rimmer needing a Hologram cage for projection outside of Red Dwarf, Blue Midget and Starbug (despite having no problems with this in episodes like Tikka to Ride, or that time he and Lister went golfing on the planetoid).
So how come they didn't use it to bring on another hologram? Rimmer's only real complaint about bringing on a different hologram was his (admittedly realistic) fear he might not not get turned back on.
He also didn't want another hologram because it would have been higher-ranked than him, meaning he would lose what little authority he could claim.
Yeah, but wouldn't the whole "Most important Crew member" thing come into play? Even if the mission has changed to "Keep Lister Sane", it'd make more sense to bring on another crew member.
It did. Kryten explicitly states that as a higher-ranking officer, Doctor Langstrom is the priority to keep switched on over Rimmer.
So how come no-one was turned on?
IIRC It's explicitly stated several times, at least in the earlier seasons, that Rimmer's had all the other hologram discs hidden so that the others can't use them to replace him; he's certainly had Kristine Kochanski's hidden, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that he's had the others hidden as well. Doctor Langstrom is not one of the Red Dwarf's crew, meaning Rimmer hasn't been able to hide her disc, meaning it can be recovered and used to replace him.
Maybe the hologram doesn't take twice the power if it's two copies of the same person? Maybe it's the "mind simulation" part that takes power, not the "projecting an image" part.
Can't be. Since both react to different stimuli, and both clearly know who was the first Rimmer, they are different minds. Thereby, it must take the same power to run him.
When they first did it, they had to shut down a bunch of other systems. My reading was that because in later seasons they were doing a lot more (running Starbug, science rooms, etc) that they didn't have the spare power any more.
Perhaps, but then why did none of them bring it up in "Quarantine"? Even if they had to shut down most other rooms and systems for both holograms to run, I imagine it would be preferable to the "Timeshare" option.
My guess is that, given the opportunity of turning Rimmer off to make way for a viable and potentially more useful replacement, none of them had the slightest intention of turning Rimmer back on if they could help it (especially if said viable replacement was a multi-disciplinary genius, compared to whom Rimmer would look even more useless); they just used the 'timeshare' thing as a lame attempt to mollify him when he realized this. He's an annoying, pompous, arrogant, insufferable, smug, egotistical, cowardly, useless dickhead; why would they want to turn him back on if there was a chance they didn't have to? They didn't suggest powering down these rooms because they didn't want to give him that idea, or deny themselves useful facilities (they clearly use the science labs and Starbug a lot more by this point than they did in the earlier seasons when Rimmer created his duplicate) just to facilitate keeping around a person none of them like in the first place and consider to be a largely useless waste of space at the best of times.
The hologram projection suite was hit by a meteorite in season 2. I assume that it was unable to play a second hologram after that.
Also, wouldn't they NEED the science rooms powered if they're bringing aboard a scientist hologram?
Red Dwarf is 6 miles (10 km) long and has a crew complement of over 1,000. How does it even avoid falling apart with a crew of 4 and a pair of slacking scutters?
A semi-senile Holly with an IQ of 6000, apparently. The immense lack in crew members didn't really stop him/her from piloting the ship, trying to develop a time drive, or doing anything else that could have put the ship into jeopardy many times.
It was a mining ship. Besides the miners themselves, the vast majority of the crew were there to keep the miners alive (doctors, chefs, etc.) It's entirely possible that, as far as keeping the ship together goes, the other 996 were expendable.
And there would be a lot less maintenance needed now there are only two living beings on board. The mining equipment is now never used, and only a tiny amount of the ship's life support and power capacity is needed.
The novels state that there are more than just two skutters.
"Running a ship" with the life support turned off, engines turned off, straight course set, and inbetween solar systems isn't really doing anything at all. Honestly, Holly might have just put himself on pause for centuries at a time.
It's mentioned in season 6 that Starbug has auto repair systems (with almost magical abilities) Red Dwarf would probably have them too.
When is that mentioned? It's only said that Starbug was "Built to Last".
The episode where Dave must marry one of those alien ape things (Emohawk: Polymorph II). They have to trade for the life-support part of the ship however everything else damaged the ship is capable of repairing.
Rimmer Auto-repair can take care of everything except the oxy-generation unit which is totally kaputski. Lister So what are you saying? We can take off but we can't breathe? Cat And we can't repair it? Rimmer It's a black charred mess; worse than one of Lister's drunken fry-ups.
Not to mention the fact that the crew of 4 must have been around the ship several to keep themselves from going bored and insane. And the scutters help a bit.
6 miles long, several hundred decks (a number someone?) and a crew complement that changes size depending on the episode, but never enough to fill anything like that amount of space. Two people per floor? Why do they have to share a room in the first place and where the hell was everyone else?
The novels say that there are 2000 decks, and most of them are devoted to cargo, food and water. Cargo is profit, you know.
Mining ship. The vast majority of its internal space was probably given over to ore storage. After all, the habitable portion of a supertanker is minute compared to the size of the vessel itself.
The one thing that has always bothered me is why they needed to share a room in the first place. I mean, I know technically it's justified by Rule of Drama and possibly the co-dependent tendencies they each have (Heterosexual Life-Partners anyone?) But it seems like Holly could do a better job of keeping them both sane by having them in nearby but SEPARATE rooms instead of driving each other crazy in one room. This is not an impossibility, especially since in Me^2 Rimmer actually does move out.
Before the accident it's mostly to give each crewmember some company and social interaction, once the crew is dead it's more than likely that Rimmer doesn't want to move his stuff out (the exception being in ME2 where it's to move in with someone "better") and Lister not wanting to get away from the one person keeping him sane. Of course this is thrown out of the window in series 3 with the move to the officers quarters, but thats probably because Rimmer finally got around to decontaminating them.
Let's not forget that in Me^2, living with himself drives Rimmer more mad than living with Lister ever could.
Routine; they've shared a bunkroom for what seems to have been many months or years before the accident, and just kept up that routine. Also, they probably need the company even if they don't admit it. They're two of the three (later four) last people on the ship, and one of those people is an android who considers himself a servant (i.e. not suitable to share the master's quarters) and the other is a hyper-narcissistic cat who just buggers off and does his own thing whenever he feels like it. They might not like each other, but they're the only two humans around and they'd probably go mad if they deprived themselves of the other person's company.
Lister states in Kryten that driving Rimmer nuts is what keeps him going.
In Quarantine Lister says that being forced to stay together isn't such a big deal as they spend most of their time together anyway, but Cat points out that they all knew they could walk out the door at any time.
Why does everyone seem to think that Rimmer is irredeemable, he has shown that he could be something better.
Do you mean characters in the show, or viewers? If it's characters in the show, well, it's easy to forget someone's positive aspects when their negative aspects are being thrown so annoyingly in your face every day. If you mean viewers, I don't really know. After all, the Rimmer of the first seven seasons essentially did redeem himself by becoming Ace Rimmer. The nanotech recreated one is still a dick, though.
Nano Rimmer isn't so bad, he joins in with the crew's zaney schemes and even helps Lister play practical jokes on Ackerman. Ok in the first few eps he's in he's a bit of a dick but as Lister said "it's you like you used to be" he loosens up pretty quickly.
"Could" does not mean "will". Rimmer himself became aware of what he "could" be when he met Ace. Was his response to attempt to become a nicer person? Study harder for his astro-navigation exam? Stop being such a coward? No, he made a bunch of jokes about Ace being gay, and resented the hell out of him for catching a break (even though he didn't). It's a few years before he mans up and takes Ace's place. Replacement Rimmer is no better, as he doesn't even have Rimmer Prime's excuse of being dead.
Rimmer rarely, if ever, actually attempts to redeem himself. He can be a better person, but he rarely bothers to actually make the effort.
Do remember that Ace Rimmer, is, well, The Ace. The usual response to being shown someone who is better than you in every way isn't "Maybe I can become him", it's "Dammit, why can't I do that?" or "Screw Him!".
True, but the point is that having the potential to be a better person doesn't actually make you a better person automatically; you have to put the effort in. And Rimmer, for the most part, doesn't.
As has been noted, Rimmer could be a better person, but for the vast majority of the series, he can't be bothered to make the effort to be one. His acts of a better nature (being concerned when Lister collapses from mutated pnuemonia, blowing up the Time Drive when fighting the Corrupt Future Dwarfers, etc) are very rare and spread fairly widely apart. His acts of being a total asshole, on the other hand, come much more frequently. Even in general interactions, Rimmer is, more often than not, a pain in the ass. However, he's also done stuff like:
Exterminate the entire population of a planet just for the chance to finally live his dreams of being an Armchair General, and then not being in the slightest bit ashamed of doing so because, A: he won (technically), and B: "they were only wax droids".
Force Kryten to help him hijack first Lister's body and then The Cat's body.
Taunt his crewmates over the fact that the hologrammatic scientist they went to rescue is actually a raving loony and then leave them to die, uncaring if they get back or not.
Having managed to sneak up behind the psychotic robot menacing them, promptly dives into the escape pod behind her, leaving them all to die as the escape pod causes the derelict ship to start collapsing around them. Keeping in mind, as a hard-light hologram, Rimmer is Nigh Invulnerable and even as a soft-light hologram, being flushed into space would be nothing more than a change in scenery to him.
Rimmer's backstory is in and of itself inherently sympathetically — however, Rimmer, in-universe, beats this into the ground as an excuse for why he is such a pathetic weasel of a man so much that the other Dwarfers are no longer capable of having compassion elicited by that. When you first hear about Rimmer's terrible past and present circumstances, he's a tragic figure. When you hear the same tired excuses repeated time after time, you stop thinking of him as tragic and start thinking of him as a petty little whiner who won't accept he could possibly be at fault for his own actions.
Rimmer probably doesn't even really believe that he CAN be a better person. It's been shown multiple times in the show and the books that, subconciously, he has an incredibly low opinion of himself. He always tries to blame other people as a sort of defense mechanism. He can't accept blame consciously because he always does subconsciously. Every time he's come across another version of or projection of himself or his psyche, it's awful for him. Being around himself is the worst thing he can do.
Why did they keep running out of food? Was it just the curry? Shouldn't that have meant, with a crew of over 1000, they only packed enough curry plates for a meal and a half, based on when this troper first recalls them running out? Or about five meals, if Lister had it every meal, every day, and a few late-night snacks?
On Red Dwarf itself, any lacking in food supplies (e.g. After Eight mints, cow's milk) are explained by them all having been eaten by the Cat race over the past 3 million years. On Starbug, it's understandable that they keep running out of food as Starbug is only intended to be a short-range ship-to-surface vessel with only emergency supplies: all the food they have on Starbug is what they can salvage from derelicts.
I don't recall "running out of food" coming up, except in a few cases: when they boarded Starbug in a rush without sufficient time to pack supplies, Season 6 where their corn is eaten by space weevils, and early in Season 7 when the cargo decks of Starbug were flooded and their food supplies were ruined. All of those were in Starbug, which is a pretty small ship. One occurs when they explicitly don't have enough time to load food, and two others involve their food supply getting ruined by an outside factor.
Quote Holly at the beginning of one of the earlier episodes— 'Supplies are plentiful. We have enough food and drink to last 30,000 years. But we are down to the last After Eight mint. And everyone's too polite to take it.' Until they lost the Dwarf supplies were rarely, if ever, an issue, aside from the Dog's Milk debacle.
You're mixing your quotes there, the punchline is 'But we have run out of Shake n' Vac' from sereis 2. The After Eight's gag was from Me^2 in series 1, but back to series one, the opening gag of Balance Of Power is Lister and Rimmer taking an inventory of supplies (the Irradiated Haggis, of course), and that stuff would last a few years at least.
It's very much Plot-Induced Stupidity, but what kind of protocol was accelerating the Red Dwarf out of the Solar System after the radiation leak? If Holly had put the ship in a parking orbit called the Jupiter Mining Corporation to decontaminate it, they wouldn't lose a doubtless very expensive ship.
This was Handwaved in the first book, where the radioactive fallout was so unstable that Holly had to drive it as far away from mankind as possible.
Which in turn begs the question as to why just sitting in a nearby uninhabited star system for the next three million years was insufficient.
This is Holly we're talking about; he got increasingly computer-senile and loopy after spending all that time on his own. There's a good chance that once he started speeding up he simply got distracted and eventually forgot to stop once he got going.
Also the novels suggested that Red Dwarf was already over one hundred years old when Lister joined up (It was built during an era of interstellar travel in the previous century , this is why it was equipped with stasis booths) meaning it was an obsolete old junker that was as slow as a lobotomized snail by the standards of its time, the Jupiter Mining Corp probably considered it not worth salvaging.
I'd always assumed that Captain Hollister had given Holly an order along the lines of "Get the ship as far away from Earth as possible" in order to mitigate the damage from the fallout and died before it occurred to him to amend the orders to permit salvage once the ship had reached a safe distance. Holly would have known he could safely stop in the outer solar system, but was presumably hard-wired to follow the Captain's orders until it was safe to let Lister out of stasis so Lister (as the highest-ranking surviving crew member) could countermand the order.
The radiation incident was almost instant. All Rimmer could say in the captain's quarters was "Gazpacho Soup". Not sure how Hollister could give much in the way of orders.
Hollister could have given the order to Holly at a time prior to the accident (to inform him what to do in the event such an accident happened aboard ship).
Why does Rimmer have such an urge to pig out in 'Bodyswap', it has been shown that Holly can just make Rimmer feel the sensation of eating anyway (in fact in the first book, Rimmer 2 was eating hologramatic mints) and some episodes have Rimmer exercising , WHY WOULD A HOLOGRAM NEED TO EXERCICE?
Perhaps the 'sensation' of eating doesn't compare to the actuality? After all, eating isn't just in the taste of the food, but looking at it, touching it, smelling it; there's a whole range of tactile sensations which contribute, however minutely, to the eating process. Whereas the 'sensation' of eating just seems to be a bit of twitching.
Rimmer can still see as a hologram; and Kryten shows he can smell, when he nearly throws up from the stench of Lister's boots. But still, the "sensation" of eating doesn't compare to actually eating.
RE: The 'exercise', that's partly because Rimmer schedules himself a timetable including 'exercise'; presumably it's not something that he has to do, but it's something he timetables for himself as part of a routine. Of course, he just does it for appearances anyway, but in the Drill Sergeant Nasty episode, the replacement just strictly keeps him to it.
Speaking of 'Bodyswap': they had the ability to project a second hologram ('Me^2'), Rimmer had the ability to take on other crewmembers' bodies and voices ('Balance of Power'), for that matter they could have just switched Rimmer off and switched a high-ranking crewmember on temporarily. Why did none of these things occur to them?
Holly says the self-destruct system checks the captain's voice and brain scan. Presumably, holograms don't have brain scans.
At that time, they were dealing with rewired electric circuits. If Lister ordering a chocolate bar and a milkshake started a self-destruct countdown, what could mucking about with the holograms do?
You know the hologram in the first episode, what happend after the radiation leak?
A dying man collapsed back onto the Eject button, which shot George's disc out of the player. Said man then fell down dead and crushed it on the floor.
Alternatively Holly simply turned him off. He knew that with Lister in hibernation, then he'd have to resurrect someone to keep him sane when he's awoken. Rimmer worked because it wouldn't be too saddening for Lister to have to hang out with one mate he can never really have the sort of fun they used to have and Rimmer could be trusted to motivate Lister to make something of himself.
George went insane after two weeks of wandering around a ship full of corpses. Holly turned him off to put him out of his misery.
Holly replaced him with Rimmer. Apparently, he calculated that being annoyed by Rimmer was the best way to keep Lister sane and mentally active.
His disk could have been damaged/erased in the accident.
Holly probably switched him off soon after the accident. Not much point keeping him switched on when everyone else is dead and the only other person around is frozen in stasis. He wasn't switched back on because George probably didn't know Lister very well so wasn't what Holly considered a suitable match to help keep Lister sane.
In "Back to Reality", they said that Rimmer could not blame his parents for his failures because he shared an upbringing with his younger, more successful half-brother. However, Rimmer already had more successful brothers that he shared an upbringing with (which they mention repeatedly as having been more successful, and the only time its mentioned how they all had mental breakdowns was in a deleted scene). A better line would have been about how Arnold Rimmer, the pathetic boil on the ass of humanity that he was, was even more successful than his alternate self.
There's plenty of implication in the series that Rimmer (Arnold) actually has 'evil parents' who essentially didn't give him the same upbringing as his brothers. ME2 states explicitly that his brothers were sent to the academy but that they 'couldn't afford' to send Arnold.
Then why did Rimmer become suicidal in Back to Reality? He had no memory of his alledged life and the exact same thing could have applied.
Just wild speculation, but perhaps it's because Rimmer was the youngest of four brothers while his counterpart "Billy Doyle" was the elder of two half-brothers?
On that note, if Rimmer is so cowardly, how could anything he saw in his hallucinations make him commit suicide?
Some people think that suicide is selfish and cowardly. I hate those people but I have to admit, "selfish and cowardly" sums up Rimmer pretty well.
But the thing is, people kill themselves because they can't deal with life's problems. It's not life's problems that Rimmer's afraid of, it's death. I would think he'd rather go through almost anything than die.
Suicide and the tendencies that lead to it aren't really about 'bravery' in the sense of overcoming a fear of death, per say; it's more about being reduced to such a low, depressive point that death literally seems like the preferable option when placed opposite continuing on living.
This may be explained by differences in personality. The three elder brothers (and Ace Rimmer, for that matter) were probably motivated enough to succeed despite their upbringing, not because of anything their parents did. Arnold on the other hand kept writing things off as being really his parents' fault, and just coasted through life never taking responsibility for his actions, and never truly bettering himself.
That's not super likely. Ace was forced to fight back because he realized that he was on his own and had all those people and kids on his back about being held back. Rimmer not only had the parents; he was bullied in school, the only person he considered his friend almost killed him on purpose twice, and even the teachers seemed to be disappointed in him, and having to keep struggling with work clearly ahead of him only made that worse. Also, his parents very apparently preferred his brothers. They told him that he was a failure seconds after praising all of his brothers, and his mother said that she would sue the sperm that made him if she could. And to add on to that, the brothers were really awful to him. They put a landmine in his sandpit, used him as a swing, gave a swirlie for so long that he needed CPR, and staked him to the ground and poured jam and ants all over his face. Plus it's been shown in episodes that he doesn't really just brush his failure off as his parents' fault at all; his psyche is dominated by self-loathing, blaming his parents is just him trying to cope with it. To demonstrate my point, a quote from the scene in the second book where Rimmer, the toaster, the Cat, and Kryten are suddenly connected psychically: "Simultaneously...Kryten knew what it was like to be Rimmer. He understood what it was like to have had those parents, that childhood, that career, that life. It was impossible to scream, but that's what Kryten was trying to do."
Maybe it's what Kryten didn't mention about Rimmer's situation/hallucination that drove him to despair. The fact that he was on the run from the fascist police with a "murderer, a mass murderer and a man in a bright nylon shirt" certainly dashes any hopes he has of his ultimate ambition of becoming an officer.
The ink isn't just an hallucinogen it's also a depressant, I always assumed it was that that pushed him to try and commit suicide rather than than his hithertoo mild in comparison halucination. He's more of a psychologial screw up than the rest of the crew anyway.
Consider Kryten's exact words; "He shared an upbringing with you [Lister], his richer, more important half-brother." There's two things happening here:
Firstly, there's the obvious level of Rimmer's Freudian Excuse; the thing he always uses to justify his failings and uselessness is that if he'd had a different life, with different parents, and a different upbringing, he'd be a success. The hallucination gave him a different upbringing, different parents, a different brother. Result? He's still a useless fuck-up, perhaps even more so, and his brother's still more of a success. It's not necessarily the fact that his brother's still more successful than him that causes his despair, it's that he no longer has that excuse to fall back on — the hallucination is telling him that it doesn't matter where he comes from or who his parents are or what his brother does, he's inherently a useless and pathetic loser and he always will be.
As well as that, however, it's not just anyone who's positioned as more successful than him here. It's Lister. He could, as noted above, probably deal with someone else being more successful than him, since he's used to it. Lister, however, is the one person out of everyone who Rimmer's always been able to look down upon. Lister is the one person he's ever had any kind of authority over (albeit by exactly one rung on the totem pole and not-withstanding the fact that Lister doesn't care about the totem pole anyway), and who, by his standards, is even more small, insignificant and pathetic than Rimmer himself is, and who has an even worse life than him. In the world of the hallucination, however, he doesn't even have that any more; even Lister, of all people, is more successful than him in this new world. Worse still, give Lister the same upbringing as Rimmer, and while Rimmer remains a total loser, Lister takes what he's given and makes a success of his life (by Rimmer's standards anyway, and this is his part of the hallucination we're discussing). Thus reenforcing the fact that for all Rimmer's whining, it's not his upbringing or his past that's to blame for the way he is and how his life turned out; it's just him. Not only is Rimmer being confronted with the fact that his Freudian Excuse is utterly worthless, but that Lister — the one person he's ever been able to measure himself against and come out superior to by his standards — is a fundamentally better person than him. Result? Complete despair.
In the episode Timeslides, Lister goes back in time and prevents himself from going on Red Dwarf. But later in the series we see that going on Red Dwarf was what caused him to be born. Wouldn't this cause him to suddenly pop out of existence?
My theory is that he was totally incorrect, and that he got the time wrong, essentially stranding his only son in the past on false pretenses. A better question is why Rimmer's still on Red Dwarf when the others disappear.
Holly explains that, unlike Rimmer, all of the other crew members' existence depended on Lister coming aboard Red Dwarf. Without him, Frankenstein would never have been rescued from Mimas and become the mother of the cat people. Likewise, without Lister, Kryten would never have been convinced to leave the Nova 5. Only Rimmer and Holly were the only things unaffected by the time ripples.
But without Lister Holly wouldn't have needed to resurrect a member of the crew to keep Lister sane, let alone Rimmer. So Rimmer wouldn't exist either as it's dependant on Lister too.
Rimmer would still exist in that there still would have been a person called Arnold J. Rimmer, that Arnold J. Rimmer would still have joined the Space Corps and become a Second Technician on Red Dwarf, and that Rimmer would still have died in the accident that destroyed the ship. None of that would have been affected by the lack of Dave Lister on the ship, whereas the existence of Cat and the presence of Kryten would have been affected. Presumably in this altered timeline Holly would have switched on Rimmer to keep him/herself company instead for whatever reason.
Alternately, the universe that we're seeing in Red Dwarf is Universe Prime, from which all other possible universes after baby Lister is found under the pool table are offshoots. This leads us to some Fridge Brilliance in the Better Than Life novel where Holly says that Lister created the universe. Since Lister's interference with the time stream directly causes the existence of that particular universe, Holly is technically correct.
Also leads to Fridge Brilliance with Lister's claim (in the very episode where we learn he's his own father) that he's "the definitive version" of Dave Lister. And given that the whole point of Kochanski wanting Lister's sperm is that the Lister of her universe can't have kids because he's dead...
Or the Inquisitor of series 5 visits the alternative Lister (as in the one living on Earth, with the millionaire lifestyle paid for by the profits of inventing the tension sheet) and decides that he's abused and waste his life, so consequently deletes him and allows an alternative sperm to exist as David Lister, who ends up being the standard space bum Lister was anyway before he changed the past and became that millionaire, who ends up meeting Kochanski from her alternative universe, they have a baby, they go back in time and plant the baby under the pool table where Lister remembers being found, thus maintaining the circle of life, and the timeline is essentially normal again.
Although as the Inquisitor himself was wiped from existence everything he ever did would have also been undone. So he would have never wiped rich Lister from the universe but that would also mean that Slum Lister would have never destroyed the-OH no I've gone cross eyed!
At the start of Back to Earth, Rimmer mans the sonar (because he's a coward) while the rest go to fight a giant squid. Sounds fine, Rimmer is never going to put his own life in danger, especially when there is some at all legitimate reason not to. However, once the mission starts, Rimmer just blindly ignores the sonar and the crew, nearly getting them all killed. Rimmer is a total smeghead, but a man who kept taking the officers test enough times that his mother thinks he's an admiral cannot be accused of not trying.
Yes he can. The first season firmly established that pretty much every time he cheated—the first episode shows him writing answers on his body, another shows him taking memory pills. If you ask me, ignoring the sonar is out-of-character for a completely different reason: Rimmer may be a goit, but even he wouldn't stand by and do nothing while his friends suffered if there was nothing for him in it.
Yes, but compare his behavior in Back to Earth, Part 1 to the series 1 episode Confidence and Paranoia, where he is visibly panicking that Lister is hurt. He does care about the other Boys from the Dwarf, he just cares about himself more.
He's also seen doing almost exactly the same thing at the beginning of Quarantine, when the crew are radioing him for help and he's pretending like he can't hear them.
It's not like he could have helped them in Quarantine if he'd gone to them he'd just have got the virus. My reasoning for Rimmer's out of character behaviour in Back to Earth is that it's yet another version of Rimmer in that ep. Thus far we've had the original Rimmer who was killed in the accident, original hologram Rimmer who left to become Ace in series 7, nano Rimmer in series 8 and now this new holgram who has memories of nano and original hologram Rimmer. And that's without counting his copies, clones or parallel universe selves.
Also, remember that in the Quarantine example, Rimmer is majorly pissed off with the others (a lot more so than usual) for trying to recruit another hologram despite his unusually, though still not entirely, valid objections about how this would affect him (there was a very real chance [from his point of view, anyway] that he might get permenantly deactivated in favour of the new member). Note how he mocks the other by sarcastically (though they don't know that) repeating their own arguments. Still dickish, even by his standards, but justifably so.
They're in danger for their lives and he's mocking them and refusing to offer them any kind of help, however little, out of nothing more than pique. It's only 'justifiable' if you happen to be a majorly petty, self-obsessed and spiteful person.
Which pretty much perfectly describes Arnold Rimmer!
Touche, but just because he would find it justifiable doesn't mean that it actually is in any way justifiable. He's clearly not someone who should be used as a yardstick for acceptable moral conduct, after all.
There's a reason Rimmer had to take the officer's exam so many times; he's a total incompetent. It's been part of his character since day one that if you put him in charge of something, he'll usually find some way to screw it up.
Why is being sent to stasis a punishment? From the prisoner's point of view, it's in one second, out the next. You lose pay, but there's nothing to spend that pay on. Granted it's addressed in the book (with Lister deliberately bringing a cat on board to get sent into stasis), but it still seems an odd punishment.
Maybe it's just standard procedure to prevent criminals from committing more crimes until the ship returns to earth, where they receive their real punishment. Granted it seems a bit extreme in Lister's case, but that's bureacracy for you.
Of course, we later on learn that Red Dwarf had an actual prison complex. Why not send Lister there? Perhaps his crime was not severe enough. Really, being put into stasis seems more like the equivalent of being fired than put in jail. Imagine you have an employee who has just screwed up majorly, but you are stuck with him for the next 18 months. You can't let him keep his job, but if you imprison him you still need to feed and look after him (actual prisoners presumably have their incarceration paid for with tax dollars). Putting him into stasis means that not only does he stop being paid, but you don't need to concern yourself with his well being.
It's a stretch, but remember the nanites rebuilt Red Dwarf as it's designed, not as it was previously seen (glommed on to a hunk of rock). Possibly Red Dwarf's blueprints contained plans for the prison complex, but the ship as it existed prior to season 6 didn't have one. Of course that doesn't explain why it has prisoners...
The prison is classified, it wouldn't stay that way if they threw in any offenders from the crew.
The Prison is also stated to be filled with hardened criminals - rapists, murderers, arsonists - and so jailing him with them would be inappropriate. You don't get thrown in a maximum security prison for jaywalking. Bringing a cat on board, would be a massive breach of ships protocol, rather than a civil crime. When it came to stealing - and then destroying - expensive company property however, that's a full blown offense whether you're in space or on land.
18 months is a long time. All your friends would change, relationships would change, social circles would change. You might go in to stasis with 4 best friends, come out and find that friend 1 slept with friend 3's wife and now they all hate each other, or anything. The stasis itself isn't a punishment, but trying to fit back into your old life afterwards * is* . If you go to prison for 18 months, it's weird adjusting to all the changes in your social circles when you come back out, and that's with visitors giving you constant updates. With stasis, a door closes and you've got 5 best friends, the door opens and 3 of them are dead and the other 2 have left the ship for another company.
Also, I'm pretty sure it's specifically mentioned you receive no wages for the time you were in stasis. That's 18 months without pay, which can put a bit of a dent in your plans if you're saving up for something, like Lister was.
I don't think the punishment is being put in stasis. Having to go into stasis is the by-product of the punishment. The punishment was being fired and turfed off at the next port. Being put in stasis is just to stop Lister consuming ship's resources until then and not having him lose 18 months of his life confined to quarters (the JMC would be too stingy to fork out for a special transport ship to remove one fired third technician) unable to do anything.
But wait... was Lister actually fired? Because for the rest of the series he continues to act like he's still an employee. I mean, sure, he's also the last human left alive so it doesn't really matter, but Rimmer continues to say he outranks him (until Lister takes the chef's exam) and has authority over him, which he wouldn't if Lister was fired. Lister's attitude was always "Smeg off, I don't give a crap" as opposed to "Smeg off, I'm a civilian, you can't tell me what to do".
I don't think he was fired so much as suspended. I'd imagine most people working on Red Dwarf for that length of time *are* saving rather than just working to live - after all, food & accomodation is free. In that case 18 months without pay would be quite a punishment even if you didn't have to hang out in your quarters bored for the whole time.
Novel question, after the Dwarfers escaped Better Than Life, why didn't they use the duality drive like they planned.
Because Holly was "sorta deadish" at the time and the ship wasn't running, and then they had all these other problems to deal with. They simply never had the chance.
Because Lister and Cat had to spend several weeks in traction as their bodies were re-nourished and their muscles rebuilt; they wouldn't have been ready to travel before that. Meanwhile, outside the medi-bay, Rimmer and Kryton have discovered a planet-sized ball of ice is hurtling towards them at considerable speed, and the Dwarf's engines are dead, so they're racing around trying to restart them.
So why not escape in the Nova 5?
Because the Nova 5 didn't have the medical facilities necessary for Lister and The Cat's recovery
If Psirens need to eat brains, what have they been eating for the last three million years.
Maybe they don't need to eat that often?
Maybe they've been eating Gelf brains? Who says it needs to be human brains?
Whoever said they need to eat brains? Maybe they just like the taste.
Why would Holograms need to exercise? Or is it simply a discipline thing?
Presumably holograms simulate humans as much as possible. They are shown to feel hungry, and so presumably they also get weak and/or put on virtual weight if they stop exercising.
For Rimmer? It's probably partly discipline, yeah. Rulebook states that all crewmembers should take a certain amount of exercise, so he takes that amount of exercise. Simulating him getting tired from his simulated exercise is probably for the same reason he gets simulated drunk from simulated drinks... to make him accurate to the person he's simulating. There's also probably some masochism (he doesn't enjoy exercise but does it anyway because he hates himself and wants to make himself unhappy), some snobbery (Lister doesn't exercise, the lazy sod), and other stuff mixed in there.
Since gazpacho is soup by definition, isn't referring to it as "Gazpacho Soup" a little redundant?
It's an understandable mistake to make, especially considering that Rimmer didn't seem to have heard of it before (since he didn't realise it was meant to be served cold).
Why didn't Kryten's planned obsolescence thing activate in the three million years he was on the Nova 5?
The replacement (Hudzen 10) had to arrive first? Although I've noticed that prior to setting in stone a 3rd-millennium date of creation, Rimmer estimated the deaths of the Nova 5 crew at "centuries", and I believe Kryten said Hudzen had been chasing him for "thousands of years".
How the heck can Rimmer still sleep in his old bunk? Holograms aren't supposed to be able to touch anything! It also makes one wonder how they don't just sink right through the bottom of the ship...
The hologram simulation hardware is obviously extremely sophisticated to be able to simulate a human personality in the first place. It's no doubt sophisticated enough to take the structure of the ship's fittings and fixtures into account when computing where the holographic crew member can and can't move... except for when Rule of Funny comes into play and he needs to fall through something solid.
It's quite simple. He can't manipulate objects. Him getting on his bed doesn't require the bed to move, therefore, he can accomplish it. Similarly, he can sit on a treadmill, but unless it's a holographic treadmill he can't peddle.
There's probably code programmed into the holographic software to enable holograms to simulate interacting with basic fixtures — chairs, beds, etc. It's probably easy enough to simulate with ship-issue beds and chairs (which are all of the same or similar height) and it no doubt helps them adjust to their condition and integrate into 'living' society better if they can simulate common behaviours such as sitting in a chair or lying on a bed rather than just eternally standing up. As not sinking through the floors, it would be a monumental waste of time and the equipment if you could essentially holographically bring someone back from the dead but couldn't program them them to exist within the ship environment; again, the ship's layout is no doubt programmed into them and they are projected in such a fashion to give the appearance that they are standing on the floor, again no doubt to help them and everyone else to adjust to them.
It's stated in the first novel that whenever a hologram appears to be "touching" something (walking on the floor, sitting in a chair, etc) they're actually hovering an extremely tiny distance over it.
It's implied in The End that only a person more vital to the Red Dwarf mission could be sustained as a hologram. How come the ship's Captain wasn't turned on as a hologram instead of a lowly chicken soup machine repairman? Sure, Rimmer's a great character and all, but I hardly think that making sure the vending machines were working properly was a truly vital part of the mission.
Maybe Holly chose a new mission in the three million years; keeep the last human alive and sane. For that, he would need company, and Rimmer was the only constant acquaintance of Lister that could be counted on to give structure and discipline to his life (even though he would hate it). Selby, Chen and Petersen would be completely unreliable, and Kochanski would probably drive Lister mad with his own longing.
Plus, in 'Bodyswap', they "couldn't find the Captain's disk". It may have been lost completely.
Hollys over riding mission was to preserve human life. In one episode Kryten explains that Space Corp Directives state that Rimmer could be forced to turn himself off if Lister needed the extra power to survive. Holly is (sort of) capable of piloting the ship on his own, and the scutters are (again, sort of) capable of keeping the ship running, so really all that was left was keeping Lister safe and sane, which Hollister would have been useless for.
How is it that if Lister doesn't go in stasis the cat would need to be killed and experimented on because it could damage the ship, but if he didn't go into stasis it could be left in the cargo hold? Couldn't Lister have stayed out of stasis with the cat in the hold and, if punishment was needed, had a regular punishment?
Lister is being punished because he isn't giving up the location of the cat. They're trying to find the cat in either case, it's just that Red Dwarf has a pretty small crew and the ship is a few dozen cubic miles big. They're gonna be searching for a long time, and if Lister helps them bypass that, they won't stick him into stasis.
How come the crew's future selves in Out of Time attack and attempt to kill them? Couldn't they just knock them out and steal what they need from the Time Drive, or even capture them if needed?
They'd probably still have a chance in stopping them from their luxurious lifestyle if left alive, most likely.
The future crew attacked the present crew not with the intention of destroying them, but rather disabling them in order to board and take the time drive. Future crew simply failed to take into account the upgrades they had added to Starbug during the intervening years, and had also forgotten quite how poor a condition Present Starbug was in.
As for knocking them out, the future crew are quite aged and elderly, and have spent much of the years in-between living the fine life (and consequently getting a bit soft) while the present crew, while perhaps not exemplars of human physical perfection, are still younger, fresher, tougher from living the hard life and being in all up better shape; they would probably lose a face-to-face confrontation, but have an advantage in the upgraded Starbug, which is what they're using.
In Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, the amount of supervision given to a nuclear reactor was criminally little. They were counting on a red light to turn on (which it didn't), and three warning blips on a random navigation officer's screen (which he ignored due to a coffee spill). There was absolutely nobody monitoring the cooling system when it stopped functioning, which then allowed the reactor to reach critical mass and leak radiation, killing everyone. While this makes more sense than the original explanation of giving the job to Rimmer (absurd by any definition given his repeated incompetence), it still feels like No OSHA Compliance was stretched to breaking point.
This fits in nicely with the background Running Gag of Red Dwarf, as well as Brit Com overall, that everything in their universe is utterly terrible, the crews are incompetent and the ships are held together with duct tape. It was largely a deliberate reaction to hyper stylised (mostly) US Sci-Fi shows. Nobody ever showed up to work with the sniffles or a Hangover on The Enterprise, which is was arguably the most unrealistic element of a show where people regularly broke light speed and had sex with aliens.
It's also somewhat Truth in Television. The Americans made several successful manned trips to the moon, while the British sent a glorified RC car to Mars ... and it crashed. Typing "Sellafield Breach Of Security" into Google returns almost 300,000 results.
In "SDRAWKCAB", the rules of a contracting universe only seem to apply sometimes. People's consciousnesses seem to progress as they get younger, but their perception of a sequence of events seems to sometimes go one way, sometimes the other. For example, a mugger will jump out and force $50 into your wallet in the street, and even the physical laws of eating and drinking seem to indicate a slow un-digestion of food, leading to it being spit out of your body whole. It seems like in a world like this, a lot of things would be pre-determined based on a current physical state. The main contradiction to this happens in the sequence of events where Rimmer and Kryten are fired for a fight that they haven't had yet. If we are following the logic of timeflow in this scenario, they should have initially been fired for having a fight, had that fight early on in their career, and THEN worked as performers for whatever amount of time they were there, and, lastly, been hired for doing such a good job, leaving them unemployed.
It's possible that people from the normal forwards universe corrupt the time flow of the backwards one just by being there. Kryten is still able to eat an egg and drink a glass of water in the conventional way.
IIRC the sequence of events correctly (in reverse order: Kryten and Rimmer's gig in ruined bar —> Kryten and Rimmer are fired —> Bar Unrumble), it could be that while they were fired for the bar fight, they were still contractually obliged to do the last gig, no doubt with docked or no wages to help cover the damages they had (inadvertently) caused; they seem to be a big draw, and they're there already so the bar owner could probably recoup some losses by selling tickets and getting people in to buy drinks but doesn't want them back after that.
Just what does a triple fried egg sandwich with chili sauce and chutney taste like?
I'd imagine really awful.
After numerous experiments, For Science!, actually not bad, but it depends on what type of chutney you use. Works best in a roll rather than on bread though.
Honestly, pretty good, but you have to use a chutney that is both hot (as in spicy) and sweet, otherwise it's weird with the eggs, like you're putting jam on them. I've only tried it on grain bread. Lister is right, though: you do have to eat it before the bread dissolves — although I think it has more to do with the heat of the eggs and the chili sauce being wet rather than chemical composition, as is implied in the episode.
It's really nice. I had it on white bread, with mango chutney and chilli sauce.
Where in the world did Red Dwarf get the fuel to continually accelerate away from Earth for 3 million years? Also, how can it be only 3 million years away from Earth in this case? It should take them 3 million years just to stop, never mind actually getting back to Earth.
From this, as stated in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers.
That's why the front of the ship is "net-shaped". It's also implied that the captured hydrogen was then burned in a huge internal combustion engine, complete with pistons, which doesn't make much sense. Then again, their space shuttles have gearshifts, so...
There is also a solar panel outside Lister and Rimmer's sleeping quarters. The ship just seems to take in any source of power it can.
When you're actually in space, IIRC you don't need much fuel to accelerate; just enough for the initial kick-start and then let momentum do the rest. You actually need the fuel to slow down so you don't just drift endlessly if memory serves. In three million years, a lot of momentum builds up.
Drifting on your current momentum isn't accelerating. To accelerate, you have to apply force, which in this case, means using the engines. Without that, you'll just coast along at the same velocity because of inertia†ó you'll keep your current momentum, but you won't "build up" any more momentum without some kind of energy input. The show specifically said at several points that Red Dwarf had been accelerating, not just coasting, away from Earth for three million years.
They address this in the second episode; when Lister is planning on going into stasis for the journey home, he mentions that it's going to take them some insane amount of time just to turn around to head back. As for why they don't acknowledge it further, since they're not in stasis it's probably a bit morale-draining to actually add up how much time it'll actually take them to get back to Earth, so have just settled on rounding it down to 'three million' as a way to help get their heads around it.
In Thanks for the Memory, cat is seen wearing a silver spacesuit. From just about everything else he's worn, why in smeg's name would he wear that?
Because he had to go into space (or at least a place with minimal-to-no atmosphere) in that episode; there's only so stylish you can make a standard space-suit and still have it function effectively.
The real explanation for why he doesn't wear his gold spacesuit from the episode "Kryten" is that "Thanks For the Memory" was actually the second episode recorded while "Kryten" was the fourth: the order was changed when they aired. In-universe there's really no excuse.
Or he simply doesn't want to wear the same outfit twice. Of course in later episodes he's less picky.....
I believe in Kryten he wore the special golden spacesuit since they were going on a ship that they thought had three living young, hot women on board.
Cat does change into unfashionable clothes on occasion, it just takes a lot of insistence and/or urgency.
More of a fandom thing: Can someone explain why some people seem to refer to Holly with only feminine pronouns, or male!Holly with masculine pronouns, female!Holly with femine pronouns, and Holly in general with feminine pronous? I'm used to the male-Holly series, so it's a bit disconcerting for me. It really shouldn't matter, since Holly's technically a sexless being who uses human images for avatars, and I really only think of Holly in masculine terms because "it" is dehumanizing. The only possibilities of which I can think are that the people who do this are more used to female!Holly or fall back on Holly being a typically feminine name. Is there some other reason, from someone more familiar with the later series, or who actually saw the transitional episode(s)?
There was one transitional episode, titled "Dad", and it never was even filmed. The writers scrapped the script because it was unfunny and possibly sexist.
I think it's possibly because Holly was female for a bit longer than s/he was male, at least originally; Norman Lovett was in two series, Hattie Hayridge was in three, and there was a bit of a gap before Lovett returned which just helped to cement Holly being female in people's minds. Also, as noted in the OP Holly's a traditionally female name, so it's just an easy habit to slip into.
Why doesn't the Inquisitor try to interview people at the end of their lives, when they have made all the contributions they can?
Presumably, the Inquisitor knows what will happen then, having survived until the end of time itself.
You question that, when it gets them to judge themselves: A massive egotist would pass with flying colours, but a martyr would fail horribly.
Arguably that's a problem inherent to the Inquisitor's methods regardless of when he interrogates his victims. One could make a case for the fact that the Inquisitor, as a simulant, has nothing but psychopathic contempt for mankind and doesn't care if his arbitrary means of judgement are fair, valid or sane. A timeline expunged of every human being with an inkling of personal doubt or critique, and inhabited solely by self-righteous egocentrics like The Cat sounds like an unwaking nightmare.
Inquisitor might not see this as a problem though. He might see it as the POINT. If a person is satisfied with their own lives, and happy with it, then there's no reason he should change it. No other measure of a 'well lived life' is more valid than seeing if the person themselves is happy. It might not be a nice world when he's finished doing that to everyone, but it's a plausible philosophy.
The Inquisitor at least answers the self-image problem by taking on the properties (memories, personality, etc) of the accused but remaining impartial. When Rimmer tries to defend himself, the Inquisitor instantly knows that Rimmer is lying. When Kryten refuses to defend himself, the Inquisitor brings up his lifetime of good service. The egotist is brought down, while the martyr has to reason against being brought up.
There's a similar problem with the Mind Probe: What if a sociopathnote Someone with ASP were to come under the mind probe? They wouldn't feel guilt, so they wouldn't be convicted of anything.
Although the point of the episode is that the Mind Probe is an inherently flawed way of apportioning justice, it seems to be more responsibility rather than just guilt that it picks up on. It it appears to scan and record memories IIRC — Rimmer got convicted despite being smugly convinced that he was going to get through the Probe with flying colours ("I haven't so much as returned a library book late!"), while Lister gets exonerated despite clearly feeling guilty for the delinquent acts the Probe picks up on. The Probe picked up on Rimmer's memories and conviction that he was responsible, not (just) his feelings of guilt — similarly, if dealing with a sociopath, it would presumably pick up on the sociopath's memories of having committed the offence and base it's judgement on that rather than just whether or not the person felt guilty about them.
But wasn't the reason that Lister could go through was that his crimes weren't violent and that he had served his time?
Lister does mention that there were other, similar offences that he wasn't punished for, but presumably in his case it was a combination of the non-violent nature of the offences and Lister's clear signs of remorse for them. Alternatively, the statute of limitations expired on Lister's theft charges (it's been three million years), while murder, intentional or otherwise, may not have a statue of limitations.
Lister has also been in stasis for 3 million years longer than he should have been, it's possible the Justice Computer views this as having served his time for these unknown crimes.
Consider also that in the real world, people convicted of crimes of differing levels of severity are often incarcerated in different facilities (or at least different wings of particular facilities); for example, someone convicted of petty theft is unlikely to find themselves imprisoned in the maximum security death-row wing of San Quentin State Prison. It could be (and likely is) the case that the facility the Justice Computer is monitoring is operating specifically to house people guilty of serious capital crimes such as murder, while those who are guilty of minor offences are outside of the Justice Computer's jurisdiction.
A bigger question is why the justice computer punishes hologram Rimmer for human Rimmer's mistake. Or why noone brings this up.
Despite Rimmmer's not in the first episode about "The real him" being "that pile of the floor there", it's less-or-more established that holograms are equal to the human they replace.
Why is Rimmer afraid of Alfred Hitchcock?
Because Alfred Hitchcock's been dead for three million years. What the hell would he be doing on Red Dwarf?
It's a joke about Alfred Hitchcock's cameos (sometimes in silhouette) in his creepy movies.
For three million years before Lister leaves stasis, Red Dwarf had been accelerating to light speed. It would logically make sense that it would take about as long for it to slow down to a sane velocity. So how are Starbug and Blue Midget, which can easily be outrun by an unbalanced washing machine, able to leave Red Dwarf, hop onto some nearby planet for a spell, and then return? If they tried to land on a planet, the sudden change in kinetic energy would shatter the planet and turn the ship and crew into an expanding cloud of plasma, meaning that the show would have ended at the start of Series II.
Sometime during season one the Dwarf slipped through a space-time anomoly that slowed them down by a shitload. Or perhaps the footage of Starbug and BM are show much slower than they are actually taking place and are also going at lightspeed. It'd make parking a bitch, though.
How come Rimmer didn't try to pass a different exam when Lister tried becoming a chef?
In Rimmer's own head he would only feel like an officer if he passed the engineering exam, as shown when he thought Lister taking the Chef exam would not make him a "real" officer.
He does try! That's what he's doing in the scene where he's trying to answer the question "What does the red spectrum tell us about quasars?" — he's taking the astro-navigation exam, and dictating his answers to the skutters. If his (non-)answer is indicative of his overall performance, we can expect that he failed miserably again.
No. The astro-navigation exam is the same one he keeps taking. Original poster was asking why Rimmer doesn't take inspiration from Lister's plan, by switching to a different exam.
In that case, see point one. Because Rimmer's a pompous and pedantic idiot who simply either couldn't 'lower' himself to take an exam which wouldn't make him a 'proper' officer, or, equally likely, was too stupid and blinkered to even think of it. Either, given what we know of Rimmer, is plausible.
Rimmer pretty much confirms the above in dialogue — "You wanna be a chef? A white-hatted ponce?! That's not a real officer!" — which makes it pretty clear that Rimmer wants to be a 'proper' officer, where Lister just wants to be someone who outranks Rimmer for his current purposes.
Understandably, Rimmer wanted to take an exam that would enable him to comfortably outrank Lister even if Lister passed the chef's exam. We don't know how many exams were available that would do this, as opposed to merely equaling a new chef, so perhaps Rimmer had no choice.
Not all officers are equal. A Chef is probably a Limited Officer or equivalent, he can boss people around in context of performing his duties, but will never do more than Chef and provisioning related activities; having said that, a proper Chef is an important and skilled position in its own right, being in charge of a kitchen crew, menus, and provisioning budgets. Rimmer wants to be on the command track though so he has to take an exam that gives him an unrestricted line officer rating. Lister's goal was to boss Rimmer around, so a limited officer with just enough rank to do that was all he needed. Rimer's (delusional) goal is to be a spaceship Captain, that's a completely different ball game and being a Chef does not advance that.
Several nitpicks from re-watching Ouroboros
In the alternate reality where Lister died and Kochanski was the one put in stasis, why was Lister of all people bought back as a hologram? Holly stated that the reason Rimmer was bought back as a hologram was to keep Lister sane, and because he was the one person he had exchanged the most words with. Surely Holly would have bought back one of Kochanski's friends, or 'Tim' instead of Lister?
In the AU Lister and Kochanski never broke up (by that point the Prime Universe had been retconned so their relationship was a fling that Lister never got over), so it would make sense that Holly would revive her One True Love. Alternatively, in 'our' universe Holly brought Rimmer back as winding him up was the best way to keep Lister sane. It's made pretty explicit that Kochanski enjoys controlling people (or at least seeing them unhappy), so in her universe Lister - a unrepentant slob - would provide her with the optimum amount of "improvement" to inflict to keep her sane.
Keep in mind that AU Lister is, among other things, gay. It's possible that in the AU, he was good friends with Kochanski.
Actually, AU Lister being gay was a lie Kochanski told to help Lister's claustrophobia.
In the primary (and no doubt in the secondary) timeline, Holly is clearly computer senile by that point and not really thinking things through clearly; the 'keep Lister sane' justification is (in the novels at least, although I'm sure it's implied in the TV series somewhere) is on some level a function of Holly's capabilities not being 100% — after all, word-count alone isn't exactly the best factor in determining who is the best person to spend eternity with. In the alternative timeline, he probably had some kind of warped logic for bringing back Kochanski's ex just as he had the same logic for bringing back Lister's loathed bunkmate which he justified under the same excuse. And IIRC the 'gay' story was indeed just a tale Kochanski spun to take Lister's mind off things.
How on earth did Lister work out that he was his own father just from seeing a box with 'Ouroboros' on it? I can understand that he would make a connection with that and the box he was found in, but where did the rest of it come from? And why does no-one question what he's going on about?
He may literally be "Barely Human," and thus his abnormal genetics may have been caused by him being his own father.
Where did AU Lister come from. His parents, I mean.
His parents were also Lister and Kochanski. Folowing "Dimension Jump"'s logic, Lister and AU!Lister were one and the same man until their paths diverged at some point.
If the people who found Lister's box thought it said, "Our Rob or Ros(s)", why wasn't he given one of those names?
Maybe they just didn't like the names.
Because it's reasonable enough to assume the contents of the box belong to "Our Rob or Ross" rather than containing a person called Rob or Ross.
Nope, the pub customer specifically says that whoever left the baby there couldn't even decide on a name. Note that referring to a young member of the family as "our <name>" is pretty common Oop North.
How come The Cat had to bring suits with him when he went into stasis? If they lasted 3 million years one ways, there's no reason that they shouldn't last the other way.
They didn't. Cat made all of his suits himself. (That's a good point, though — surely the fabric would deteriorate.)
When did they say that?
Then again, the food that the cat people ate managed to stay fresh enough to be palatable for 3 million years.
Couldn't it be assumed that the food had futuristic advanced canning?
Is there a name for the robot religion?
Probably something like Silicon-Evangelist or Electronism. There's no established name for it really, it could be anything.
It wouldn't really need a name. It's not much of a religion, in the normal sense. To robots, Robot Heaven's a simple fact. And to everyone else it's a nonsense. It's not a belief-system. It's just a belief.
In "Parallel Universe", female Lister said that society in her universe stopped being male-dominated after the men's right movements. Unless this is a different "60s" (which I suppose is possible, given later figures of Lister and Rimmer coming from the 23rd or 22nd century), isn't most of western society on our Earth still mostly male-orientated today, let alone when the episode was written in the eighties?
Quite a lot of people in our universe tend to overlook the still-quite-prominent issues facing women today and wonder why feminists bother, since "they won" back in the sixties; things have gotten better for women, which allows those inclined to not look any further for reasons why there might still be a lot of work to do in this area and just declare everything done. I'd imagine there's similar mindsets in the parallel universe as well.
Plus, people aren't always precise when they pick their words. She said "Not since the sixties" but probably really meant "It started getting a lot better since the sixties."
Why did no one ask the crew from Holoship what happened to Earth?
They might not have known. They've been away from Earth a few million years themselves by that point as well.
They don't care. Kryten does say that holocrews are notoriously arrogant.
So we discover in season 1 that Rimmer is capable of transforming himself into an exact physical duplicate of Kochanski (and presumably anyone else) by simply installing her holodisc. Question: Rimmer's sexual history consists of one woman he essentially raped (she had a concussion and confused him for someone else) and his continuing love affair with a blow up doll. So... why doesn't he, instead of making out with a fake plastic woman, just become Kochanski in private and have multiple private sessions with her body? It's not as if he has any concern for her honour or whatever given that he has already stared down her bra and even if he did there are plenty of other female members of the crew he could duplicate.
He'd need Holly for that, and why he may be (for the most part) without honor, he does have pride. Interaction with anyone else would be unbearable once Holly told them what Rimmer got up to.
Rimmer was only was interested in feeling up Kochanski's breast when he had half transformed from Kochanski into himself, so maybe he isn't really into the body transforming thing.
In season 8's "Pete", why didn't Kryten turn the t-rex back into a bird immediately after he'd made his mistake? And Why did he even chuck it to the Bob the Skutter in the first place? It's not like Kryten didn't know how to use the time wand. Granted he may have messed up but he was the most familiar with it and should've tried instead of chucking it. And if he didn't know the code for turning the dinosaur back into a bird, he could have freezed it (like he did with the rest of the Red Dwarf crew) until he figured it out.
You're asking why an neurotic servant robot built to clean out toilets and just recently started dealing with scientific phenomona didn't think straight when he's about to be attacked by a tyranosaurous rex that he just made out of a sparrow with a device he barely understands.
Also in season 8, why wasn't the deceased Kochanski on Red Dwarf revived along with the rest of the crew?
For the same reason they didn't revive a duplicate Lister: because she (or at least a version of her) was already there. Remember that the nanobots who resurrected the crew were created by Holly, and he wouldn't want to unnecessarily make two Kochanskis. Presumably if the original Rimmer was still around he wouldn't have been duplicated either.
Why do they no longer seem to be several million years away from Earth in season 10? Howard Rimmer mentions serving on a still-functioning ship on which the crew were attacked, which doesn't seem possible without a human element.
It doesn't help that Lister still talks about being the last surviving human being.
The only two survivors of that ship were a hologram and a simulant, remember; they could have been drifting and/or in some form of sleep or stand-by mode for a lot longer than they initially thought. The phone-in line was manned by androids, and could have been operating automatically.
Rimmer's the most senior officer, but didn't Kryten say in...I think it was "White Hole", that a living being outranks a hologram?
Rimmer is generally more inclined to throw his weight around and actually go around bossing people about, so the computer, maintenance units, etc, so the predictive computer simply acted according to what Rimmer's instructions were likely to be by default.
So wait a minute, the first novel detailed how a hologram would be switched off, if they needed to revive someone more important to the mission. So if the captain became a hologram, and thus most important person to the mission, and a living being outranked a hologram, then anyone could outrank the captain?
Well Kryten says that a living human outranks a hologram but Kryten is a service mechanoid, designed to serve man. His programming might say that living humans outrank holograms whereas the Space Corps directives could say otherwise.
IIRC several of the contexts in which "a living person outranks a dead person" comes up tend to be under situations where it's a matter of life and death for the living person. In matters of formal rank things might progress as normal (so a dead captain would be superior over a living technician) but in a circumstance where it was between preserving a living person or obeying the orders of a dead one, keeping the former alive takes precedence.
How exactly is Howard Rimmer a Hard Light hologram when Arnold's hard light drive was a prototype developed by Legion?
Who said it was a prototype. Legion invented the thing millions of years ago back when he had the combined minds of the greatest minds of his era.
Legion created the Hard Light drive. He said so himself. That's still no excuse for Howard to have one. He was left alone on his ship the entire time (he panicked and hid like his brother) so how would he have got out to get one from Legion?
Legion made the thing. Who says he hoarded it? He could have made it, it gets distributed but the Dwarfers never came across a functional one, whereas Howard did. Remember, there is a roughly 3 million year gap between Legion coming online and Lister coming out of stasis.
It's still not even explained whether the hard-light Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf X is the hard-light Rimmer that left in Series 7, or the nano Rimmer from Series 8 that became a hologram after he died himself. If it's the latter, he shouldn't be a hard-light either.
Or Red Dwarf X takes place in an alternative universe, than the other seasons, where all holograms are hard-light.
There's clearly a gap of several years between Series 8 and Back To Earth / Series X. Chances are they just found another one in that time.
What about Katalina from Back To Earth? I mean ok, technically she was an hallucination, but she was a hard-light created from Red Dwarf, and the crew didn't seem to bat two eyelids about it, which suggests that Red Dwarf could create hard-light holograms. If that's true, why didn't it before?
There was a 10-year gap between the previous season and Back To Earth. They might have found the schematics for one in those interim years on a derelict that was centuries more advanced than was on the Dwarf, and made more.
Rimmer actually does ask her how that's possible, but she dismisses his question and changes the subject very quickly.
I assumed that Legion and Earth scientists developed Hard Light in parallel to one another, much like Newton and Leibnitz with calculus.
We know that the Dad episode, that would have served as the original Series 3 opener, wasn't finished and aired because the writers deemed it unfunny and sexist (so instead, they bridge the gap between Series 2-3 with a Star Trek like message at the start Series 3 instead), but they could have reordered the Series 2 episodes around to make the transition of Kryten suddenly becoming a regular work better. Instead of having Kryten appearing as a guest star of the Series 2 opening, then absent for the rest of the season from Better than Life-Parallel Universe, they could have placed the Kryten episode as the Series 2 finale, and have Better Than Life as the Series 2 opener. Then with Parallel Universe being the fifth episode instead of the sixth, we can deal with Lister being pregnant, and the inclusion of Hatty Hayridge etc. Then, with the Kryten episode as the sixth of Series 2, it shows Kryten being with the crew in the finale. Then when we go onto Series 3, Kryten is already there. While the Dad episode would still make the Lister's pregnancy storyline being cut short, explained with the Star Trek like message, at least we wouldn't have five episodes after 'Kryten' when the mechanoid was vacant.
Umm, no? I don't think seasons of Red Dwarf are planned that far in advance. They also would never have foreseen Norman's departure to do the Hatty thing. Kryten's popularity would presumably have only been known after transmission of his eponymous episode.
Why are some fans complaining that Rimmer's aging in Series X and Back To Earth is wrong because he is a hologram, even though Rimmer's future self is even more aged in Out Of Time?
Well, about that, Word of God says Rimmer's hologram has been coded to age at the same rate Lister does, explaining why he ages for BTE and Out Of Time, but not during the 500 years in Terrorform. About the complaints, you got me.
In "Balance of Power", Lister becomes a catering officer. This is never ever ever mentioned again, even though its possible consequences were a huge plot point for that episode. Why?
Holly says in the distress message in the very next episode that Lister was lying about having passed.
Oh? Non-Brit troper here, lucky if one of every four old episodes slips through the cracks.
Lister isn't a character that would intentionally be dishonest if he didn't need to be (as he ranges from either entirely simple minded, to morally courageous). His motivation for implying to Rimmer that he had passed, was because he wanted Rimmer to believe that he was now outranked by him, so that he can have authority over Rimmer (because Rimmer is Lawful Neutral).
Lister laments about how the human race is dead. But they've been back to Earth several times by time travel. Why don't they just stay there?
Because then the show would be over. :P Story wise though, no idea, maybe the Dwarfers have gone space crazy.
In the extended cut of Tikka To Ride, they decide to forego time travel after the disaster they caused in Dallas. Even in the original episode, this is discussed, as they don't want to wind up like their future selves encountered in Out Of Time.
I think that part of it is not just wanting to get back to Earth, but to see if the Human race has survived in the present. Lister wants to reach the current Earth.
Series 7 (and subsequently Series 8) are often regarded as the least successful of the seasons in comparison to Series 1-6, due to them leaning more towards sci fi adventure, or drama-coms than the popular sit-com feel of the earlier shows. So why is it, that the same fans tend to consider and vote Back To Reality (Series 5) as the most popular and favorite Red Dwarf episode? Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic episode, and a great script, but apart from a few laughs on Dwayne Dibbly's appearance, it's not really the epitome of funny. In actual fact, the episode is actually very dramatic, with despair and suicide used as plot points. It's not really a traditional sit-com feel at all, and in many ways quite akin to Series 7. But Back To Reality is loved, and Series 7 is hated? I guess I never really understood that. If being funny and sit-com orientated was what Red Dwarf is supposed to be liked for, why is Back To Reality voted the most favorite episode? I can think of several episodes more conventionally funny throughout than Back To Reality. And if it's the dramatic undertones that give the plotline substance, then does Series 7 really deserve the stick it gets?
Also, I've written this trope out about 4 times now, some one 'non bro' is being highly un-sportsman like, and constantly deleting my input because he doesn't agree with it's realization. Please don't, it's not mature, it's not in good spirit, and it's actually quite rude. If you cannot intelligently justify your point, then that speaks volume over how validated it really is. This is a point about the fandom, I'm trying to address as a headscratcher. If you have something intelligent to say in reply to it,like an answer or a sophisticated critique please comment on it below and add substance to the headscratcher, rather than trying to purge another person's input, just because you don't like seeing one person having the guts to voice it. Thank you. Sorry for sounding angry, but whoever keeps doing this is starting to annoy me.
It's fine chief, don't worry. You should delete that second entry when you're comfortable though, as it should really belong on the forums if you are having trouble with edit etiquette...editquette if you will.
You do make a legitimate point when it comes to Back To Reality, but there is more to it than fans misappropriating their praise. One problems with a lot of season 7's more "scifi drama" oriented storylines is a lack of tact in execution. For example, 7 had scenarios like Lister having to come to terms with being mutilated and losing an arm. It could have been funny if it was some kind of temporary just desert for a cruel slight, like Rimmer being marooned for hundreds of years for abandoning his friends, but the tone of the episode made the comedy tragic and painful for a character we've learned to love, no matter how disgusting he is, and dealing with a very real and upsetting problem that some viewers face every day. Back To Reality on the other hand may deal with subjects such as suicidal depression and the use of videogames as vicarious escapism, but it's all through a speculative fiction lens that never gets too heavy with the true pathos of the suicidal mentality. Also while it might be subjective to say, Back To Reality still provides some really good laughs, such as Rimmer abusing the team as they blubber, the games techinican's banter as the boys wake up, and the chaotic mime sequence as they hallucinate the car chase. Back To Reality hit that perfect medium between suicidal carp and Baudrillardian philosophy.
It may also be because Series VII was the first new Red Dwarf material after a four-year hiatus, the longest gap there had ever been between series: people were expecting something more sitcom-ish and less dramatic, like Series VI had been. And the other changes like Rimmer leaving and needing to replace models with CGI just added to people's resentment, and they haven't gotten over it since. Personally I really like Series VII, but that may be because it was the first Red Dwarf series I saw.
On top of not being written as well (Naylor not being used to writing without Grant), I feel it's because the two seasons are rather different flavours. One is a slightly campy, more sitcomish series that places more ephasis on romantic and gender tension seen in more traditional sitcoms. The other is a rather dark and bleak sci-fi show that uses the monster-of-the-week formula to present hypothetical science fiction scenarios that explore the characters in episodes like Back to Reality, Terrorform, Holoship, Demons & Angels and The Inquisitor (in fact the only episode not to do this is Quarantine). This use of theoretical sci-fi to show what makes the characters tick was lacking in VII and entirely absent in VIII, meaning the plot felt very unimportant to the characters. Gone were the interesting science fiction scenarios like Future Echoes, Backwards or Timeslides, which in the early seasons of Red Dwarf were one of the few positive features of the show. But I did notice that of all the seasons, Seires V is the one that had the least laughs from the audience track, and I find it unessecarily dark in all episodes except Quarantine and Holoship.
This is more about Back To Reality though, and the inconsistency behind the fanbase. People say they loved Back To Reality toying with them, and the plot twists. But look how Back To Earth was received? Not very well. But essentially, it was the same thing. I often feel people just tend to praise Back To Reality for the hell of it, because series 5 is seen of as 'perfect' and they're expected to.
I'm not sure there's really an answer to this one, other than "people have different tastes". Personally, I think that that "Back to Reality" effectively juggles drama, comedy and sci-fi in a way that the others mentioned don't; just because two things do the same thing doesn't mean that one can't do it better than the other.
If we treat Back to Reality as a representative pinnacle of the longest stretch of consistent situation in the entire series, rather than as an individual episode, we may have the answer. Back to Reality, like the preceding 17 episodes, contained four humanoid males and a female computer. Of the four humanoid males, only one was identifiable as Human, the others were distinctly "other" (a ghost, an anthropomorphic feline, and a congenital servant). The dynamic was slightly different in the original 12 episodes (lose the congenital servant and make the computer male), and the subsequent six (lose the computer in the second), but not significantly so. Series VII had a very different feel to it - not only was the writing team different (and the writing quality went down), the effects were done differently, there was no live audience for the cast to react to them reacting whilst recording, and halfway through the dynamic changed drastically. Instead of adding another "other" humanoid male, or changing the gender of an insubstantial Mr. Exposition, the ghost left and was replaced by a female, who was not only "not-other", but was a significant emotional attachment to the pre-existing Human. The very premise of the show was altered in Series VII, and in Series VIII it was almost completely changed. Series VIII brought back the ghost as a Human, and added a plethora of other Humans with which to interact. Add to that a noticeable nose-dive in writing quality, and you have the reason for Series VIII's deep unpopularity, only matched by Back to Earth and closely followed by Series VII.
Right, that would explain series VII and VIII, but what about Back To Earth? The dynamic was the four humanoid' males, Rimmer was a hologram again, Kochanski had returned to her 'lost' status, it contains pretty much the same premise as Back To Reality episode wise, yet... it's unpopular.
So which Rimmer is the Back to Earth/Series X Rimmer: the one from Series I-VII, or the one from Series VIII? In "The Beginning" he mentions remembering being killed by the original radiation leak (which only happened to the first), yet they also bring up that he dealt with the chameleonic microbes from the Series VIII cliffhanger (which only happened to the second).
It might be both. A hologram is simply a simulation run by the ship's computer. Holly would have the information on the original dead Rimmer, and the resurrected Rimmer. Heck, this might even be a third post-disaster Rimmer. We have original Rimmer hologram who went on to become Ace Rimmer, we have the second Rimmer who was resurrected by the nanites and he either died or was trapped in an alternate reality, and now we have Rimmer III, who has the memories of both the original Rimmer hologram and the resurrected Rimmer.
Apparently, Wordof God at Dimension Jump 2013 is that Series X Rimmer is the same as Series I-VII.
So he's the original Rimmer with some of Rimmer VIII's memories loaded into him.
In Back to Reality, why was Lister driving on the left side of the car in the Facist World, when Brits have right-wheeled cars?
In Fascist Britain we drive on the right side of the road. What are you, some kind of leftist sympathiser?
Custom import job?
Lemons. Surely, Kryten or Rimmer are powered by something that's at least 8 volts that could power the return remote.
Just a guess here, but they'd probably need Kryten powered-up in case they made a mistake, and Legion proved that only Rimmer is able to mess with his own hard-light drive. Given the events that lead to his meltdown in, er, Meltdown he's probably wary of trusting Lister and the rest with his exposed light-bee.
In Timeslides, why didn't Lister find a photo of Earth in full frame from around about the time of the radiation accident? If it's in full-frame this eliminates the "can't walk out of the picture" problem.
If you tried to enter a photo of Earth in full frame, wouldn't you materialize outside of Earth's atmosphere and then fall to Earth? The other times, people always entered the "scene" from about where the "camera" was.
Precisely this. Entering a photograph of Earth in orbit would most likely result in him either suffocating to death in the vacuum of space, frying to a crisp as he fell through the atmosphere or being reduced to a splatter as he very rapidly impacted on Earth. Either way, not very helpful.
Why not just don an environmental suit for the descent?
Because environment suits have limited oxygen and don't really help much with the burning-to-a-crisp-in-the-atmosphere or impacting-very-rapidly-with-the-ground problems. Even they have their limitations with regards to what kind of stresses they can be put through.
The episode Camille is focussed around Lister teaching Kryten how to lie, which he is unable to do. However, in the previous episode The Last Day, Kryten saved the day by lying to Hudzen 10 about there being no Silicon Heaven.
Kryten was only lying to save Lister and the others, its possibly that he understands lying as a theory but cannot imagine using it for any other purposes.
I always assumed Kryten can lie to other mechanoids.
In the episode Out of Time, it is made very clear that the time drive can only travel in time, and not in space. Yet in the next episode, Tikka to Ride, they use the time drive to travel to 1960s Earth.
Near the beginning, the complications with being destroyed by their future selves and then being not-destroyed by their future selves not only enlarge Starbug's cargo bay by a huge amount, they also open up an unstable wormhole in the expanded cargo bay, which they can theoretically manipulate with the time drive. Given the mistakes they make trying to do so, they never use it again.
In Thanks for the Memory, Rimmer tells Lister that he's only ever had sex once, with Yvonne McGruder. But in Marooned, Lister and Rimmer tell each other how they lost their respective virginities.
The novel actually explains this: Rimmer was lying through his teeth during the Marooned scene. The girl and (the car) existed, but he never actually had sex with her. Since Lister actually asked about Rimmer losing his virginity, he'd clearly forgotten the Yvonne McGruder story (past binge drinking, or maybe not thinking clearly due to hunger), and so Rimmer grabbed the opportunity to pretend his sex life had been a little more active than it actually had.
How did Bexley die in the future at the control panel in Future Echoes if he went into a different universe at the end of series 2?
With all the time travel the crew has done, they've probably changed the timeline many enough times that that particular future no longer applies. Or was an alternate future.
In Stasis Leak, how come they don't stay on Red Dwarf to see what happens? Is it because of the inevitability that the future will turn out the same way? Is it because it is a paradox to being the Cat and Kryten into this dimension because they didn't exist 3 million years before? Is it their low rank that means they can't inform people about the possibility of the radiation leak later on? Of course, Rimmer tried unsuccessfully to prevent his past self dying but this was impossible because he thought he was hallucinating and was too self-involved to take the advice.
It's established at the start of Series VIII that Red Dwarf has a prison complex so secret that only the highest-ranking officers know about it. So why are our heroes sent there? Lister endangered the ship at the start of Series I, but was only sent into stasis. To add to that, how come, having been put in this super-secret prison full of hardened criminals, they're able to get out so easily? Escape seems incredibly simple, and Rimmer's even able to get a job serving the Captain. Then there's the Canaries - how secret can you keep the prison when it's launching shuttles all the time? Traffic control at least should be aware of it. Basically, I think the question I'm really asking is, what was Doug Naylor thinking?
Holly states that all the officers knew about it. Apparently, since even chefs (Olaf Petersen's rank was Catering Officer) are commissioned officers, it's likely that the only non-commissioned personnel on board are Lister and Rimmer.
How exactly is Lister "the ultimate atheist" anyway? Leaving aside his self identification as a pantheist earlier in the series he hasn't exactly displayed any burning zeal to stamp out religion (he was perfectly willing to humour that dying Cat priest about his faith.) Or even if "ultimate" means 'last' rather than 'best' or 'most' Rimmer is an atheist as well isn't he? (I know he was called "the ultimate atheist" as part of a hallucination but even then it was meant to make some sort of sense right?)
Rimmer is a Seventh Day Advent Hop-ist and a member of the Church of Judas (episodes "The Last Day" and "Lemons"), so we can rule him out there.
Um no, Rimmer's parents are Seventh Day Advent Hop-ists and/or Church of Judas. Rimmer has only ever said that his parents are part of those religions, he never claimed he was a member of them himself. In fact Lister even asks Rimmer directly in Waiting For God whether Rimmer believes in God, and Rimmer flat out said no. Rimmer is an atheist.
Rimmer returns from some kind of uplifting Sunday-morning 'service' in Series III. Granted, he doesn't specify religion or God being involved. Though it's also possible the same retcons that gave us Lister didn't/did date Kochanski and the accident being in the 21st/23rd/22nd century gave us Rimmer doesn't/does believe in God.
Being "the ultimate atheist" doesn't necessarily mean that Lister would have any "burning zeal to stamp out religion". Having strong opinions doesn't mean you need to be an evangelist for them — and it certainly doesn't mean that you have no sense of tact, as in the case you mentioned with the dying Cat priest. And for what it's worth, the description of Lister as "the ultimate atheist" could refer to his character at the beginning of the series, before he became a pantheist as of Series III; remember that after Rimmer says he doesn't believe in God in Series I, Lister replies: "Oh, right, fine, something sensible at last."
The conversation actually goes "Do you believe in God?" "God? What a preposterous thought. I believe in aliens Lister." Then Lister says "Oh right, something sensible at last" sarcastically, because he thinks Rimmer is silly for believing in aliens. And a central theme in Red Dwarf (specifically at the creator's desire) is that there are never any aliens in the show. Just wanted to clear that up.
I honestly donít know why Red Dwarf fans adore and praise Rimmer as a character. Heís a misogynist (and technically a borderline rapist), and itís heavily implied (if not outright stated) that heís a fascist as well. He certainly has a superiority complex. Heís the manifestation of everything unlikeable in a person. In universe, heís disliked for a reason. In fact, thatís the central theme of his entire character. Heís a smeghead, heís a git. Chris Barrie himself even says this. You like him, because you like to hate him. But romanticizing him as you call yourself ĎRimmerís girlí or ĎArnieís lassí or similar things like that is extremely problematic. Admire Chris Barrie as an actor, sure (without being creepily obsessed of course), but youíve got to remember the point of the Rimmer character. Heís supposed to be a smeghead.
It's probably his backstory and his refusal to give up on his dreams that endears people to him. As he said to The Inquisitor, "Yes, I admit I'm nothing. But from what I started with, nothing is up."
Not to mention both versions of him showed considerable growth. One grew into a reluctant but genuine hero, and the reborn one managed to go into a mirror universe where his life was excellent, and didn't hesitate for a moment to leave it to go help everyone else, even though apparently they all went into the mirror universe after him.
"The Last Day" just doesn't make any sense to me. Kryten is only a few centuries "younger" than Lister and Rimmer, so there's no conceivable reason why his shutdown date would've been set for three million years in the future.
It wasn't. His shutdown date had been and gone several million years before; it just took that long for the message informing him of such to actually reach Kryten. He points out that he won't actually be shut down until his replacement arrives to take over his duties, but Kryten presumably also found himself three million years from Earth before encountering the Red Dwarf crew, otherwise it would have reached him sooner.