If you've never seen Red Dwarf, then you might as well click the 'back' button now and forget it, you have no hope of understanding this article. Actually, if you've never seen Red Dwarf, what the hell are you doing surfing the Net?

If you have seen Red Dwarf, you're probably wondering something along the lines of "WHAT? Arnold J. Rimmer? The same emotionally crippled, underappreciated, above all DEAD Arnold J. Rimmer? It would kick arse to be HIM? Are we talking about the same guy?" Well yes, we are talking about the same guy (unless there's some other Arnold J. Rimmer I don't know about, which seems unlikely, as he'll have changed his name long ago to end the jokes), and yes, it would kick arse to be him. Here's why.

1. Being a hologram

OK, arguably he wasn't a hologram in series 8. Let's discount that for now. He did get a hard-light drive in series 6 which made him solid and indestructible, which kicks arse on its own, but what I want to talk about is why it would kick arse to be the pre-series 6, non-solid hologram. I mean, think about it. I don't know why it never occurred to our Arnie, but surely everyone has dreamed of having an X-files-like ability to walk through walls. You could hide in solid objects, wait for your crewmates to come by, and then leap out going BLEEERRRGH!!!! And with a little adjustment to your projection disc, you could make your face melt as you did so. Ho, ho, ho! You could also climb up into a wall and stick your head out to look like one of those stuffed and mounted animal heads to scare the shite out of anyone who brought home classy friends.

2. Being a hologram, part two (actually I have so much cool stuff on being a hologram I'm bleeding it into two reasons)

Hey, if you could rig up a device to alternate your form between hard and soft light at the touch of a button, you could become a superhero! There's a man lost in a hedge maze? A bank robber has locked himself in the time-locked vault with fifteen hostages? You've been buried alive? No problem! Bullets bounce off/go through him! He can tear down walls with a single badly-thrown blow! He's very good at Risk! (Cue seventies B-movie music) BAM BA BA! Bam bam bam bam BAM BA BA! By day, mild mannered Arnold Rimmer, space corpse! Whukka chakka whukka chakka chakka chakka whukka chakka BAM BA BA! BAM BA! But when duty calls, Arnie can leap behind a dressing screen and emerge, several minutes later, as WALK THROUGH WALLS MAN! Whukka chakka BAM BA whukka chakka BA! Whukka chakka BAM BA whukka chakka BA! Starring John Rugged as Arnold Rimmer! Whukka chakka - etc. That's a working title, obviously.

3. Getting all the girls

I have every episode of Red Dwarf on tape (I'm that sad) and, through thorough dissection, I can honestly say that he gets more sex than any of the others. I think the writers felt sorry for the actor, to be honest. "OK Chris, remember during this scene that you're totally intangible, so try not to touch anything in a way that those anally-retentive fans will spot and post up on the Internet, k? Do this for us and we'll make sure you get loads of sex". Makes sense. I mean, quite apart from that one episode of series 8 where he gets to have his way with every girl at a dinner party, there's that Crane woman from series 5, his female equivalent from the parallel universe and... er ... actually that's about it, but it's still more than everyone else. Well, Lister got it on with a few aliens, but I don't think we should count those for the sake of decency.

4. Being dead

Hey, Rimmer's dead. He's quite open about this fact. Now, there's a certain breed of male that other men envy and women swoon over who like to discuss exactly how much pain they've gone through in their lives. Nothing opens legs like braving through intolerable suffering. So if Rimmer ever found himself in that sort of grouping, this might happen:

TOUGH GUY: Well, I once woke up during a serious prostate operation. It felt like my 'nads were going through a bacon slicer.

GIRLS: Ooooh!

BURLY GUY: Well, I once actually did put my 'nads through a bacon slicer, while chewing on a mouthful of razor blades and penetrating my skull with a diamond-tipped industrial drill. AND I woke up during the subsequent lobotomy.

GIRLS: Oooooooooh! And how about you?

RIMMER: Well, I was hit in the face with a nuclear explosion. Then, in my death throes, I got broken glass in my arm. Then I died, and was reduced to white powder.

GIRLS: Oooooooooooooooooooooh! We love Rimmer best!

Of course, there's always the risk that the burly men will gang up on Rimmer later on in the gents, but on the other hand, he is WALK THROUGH WALLS MAN! He'd just go into a complicated Bruce Lee fight sequence and kick arses from here to Tanganiyka! So that's an advantage of being dead. It's a terribly impressive chat-up line.

5. Being the character mature, deep people like best

It's a little known fact that you can gauge a person's personality by which character they like best in Red Dwarf. Cat, who could well be a cartoon character, is liked only by the shallow. Kryten is popular mainly due to his silly voice. Lister is popular amongst people who relate with him. But people who like Rimmer tend to be emotional, thoughtful and extremely worthy of beautiful members of the opposite sex offering their bodies to them. Here's a handy chart.


Cat - Shallow, immature people
Kryten - Shallow, mature people
Lister - Deep, immature people
Rimmer - Deep, mature people who deserve lots of sex, even if they don't get it. Sigh.

Where do YOU fit?


... nope, can't think of anything. So stop whining, Arnie mate, you've got it made. Just stop boring everyone to death with your Risk stories and your telegraph poles, and start planning for April Fool's Day.

updates - features - essays - reviews - comics - games - novels - about - contact - forum - links


All material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw
Copyright 2002-2004 All Rights Reserved so HANDS OFF, PIKEY