|Written By||Rob Grant & Doug Naylor|
|Director||Andy de Emmony|
|Guest Star(s)||Liz Hickling|
|Previous Episode: Emohawk: Polymorph II|
|Next Episode: Out of Time|
Arnold Rimmer is stranded on a deserted planet alone for 600 years after falling through a wormhole. When the rest of the crew comes to rescue him, they find the planet has been completely taken over by Rimmer clones!
After finding out that Rimmer is suffering from a stress related nervous disorder, which his family have a history of (in a deleted scene, he remarks that there's only been three blood vessels that haven't exploded at some point), he is given some Chinese worry balls from Kryten to help him cope if distressed. Meanwhile, Starbug arrives at the simulant ship they crippled a couple of months before during the events "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" to board it for supplies, which include large stocks of food and much needed fuel. Once in the ship, they are told by Lister that they can't fire their bazookoids and that they are there for psychological reasons only since a loud noise could destabilize structural integrity and destroy the ship. After some exploring they find a teleporter and use it to teleport any supplies they can find to back to Starbug, before they are then held at gunpoint by a surviving simulant, where even offers of a date by Lister fail to lower her guard. Rimmer is spotted by the group behind the simulant and Lister shouts out coded messages to him, trying to convince him to ambush the simulant. Instead he jumps into an escape pod and triggers the destruction of the ship, which does take out the simulant but forces the others to escape with the improperly calibrated teleporter. Before it sends them back to Starbug it sends them to Starbug at a time before they encountered the simulant ship. After dealing with this rude breach of temporal continuity, they proceeded to track the escape pod.
They learn that it was looted from a colonization seeding ship that was programmed to find an planet with a breathable atmosphere. Initially it could only find one that is a year and a half away but then it later finds a nearer one through a wormhole, which is only a few hours away. Unfortunately due to the time dilation effect (or reverse time dilation effect as time moves faster rather than slower), Rimmer has to wait 600 years for the others to reach him. While he waits for the others to arrive, Rimmer finds himself on a desert planet, then he fires eco-accelerator rockets from the pod to terraform the planet into something with more inhabitable and rich in plant life. Once formed after six days of storms. he names the planet "Rimmerworld" and then tries to create a fully grown female clone using his own DNA as a template, based on genetic engineering tools and manuals in the pod. Unfortunately he makes an exact clone of himself but then decides to try it again...
When Starbug lands on "Rimmerworld", The Cat, Kryten and Lister are ambushed by clones of Rimmer dressed as Roman soldiers, who refer to them as "travasties" and are shocked that they "dare to address a norm using that face." They are then taken to the "great one", who is a clone of Rimmer who wears the "H" as a symbol of power. Thereafter they are charged with "gross deviancy", as not being content with not looking like "the true image" they show behaviour freakish by the clone's standards such as charm, bravery, compassion and honour while appearing to lack any signs of normality such as cowardice, pomposity, snideness, smarm, double dealing two facedness and attempting to sell each other out for their own freedom. After asking for the original "true" Rimmer, they are sentenced to death and taken to a cell where their Rimmer rots. Over this time he has ground the Chinese worry balls into Chinese worry ball-bearings. He reveals that he has been locked in there by his clones for 557 years after they overthrew him and realize they couldn't damage his hard light drive. He then explains that the smallest physical flaw results in banishment from society and behaviour "un-Rimmer like" is punished by death, much to Kryten's shock at their lack of respect for needed genetic diversity.
Once Rimmer finishes explaining all of this, Lister comes a with a complex and multi-staged escape plan, on for Kryten to suggest using the teleporter. His more ambitious plan obviously redundant they activate the device, which appears to be a portable unit of the larger one. This time it sends them to Starbug in the future, apparently "weeks" after they visited "Rimmerworld". Here they learn that something hideous will happen to Lister, Kryten sends them back to the present before anything else can be learned.
- This episode was filmed before "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" which is ironic given that in many ways it is a direct sequel to the events of that episode. It is also a direct followup to Emohawk as the piece of equipment featured in that episode is mentioned as having now broken down.
- It is one of the only episodes in the series to give a firm indication as to how much time has elapsed between episodes, as Lister states that the destruction of the Simulant ship occurred "a couple of weeks ago", meaning the events of "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", "Emohawk: Polymorph II" and now "Rimmerworld" occurred (for Lister, the Cat and Kryten, at any rate) within a timeframe of only a few weeks. By comparison, there are episodes in earlier seasons that can be interpreted as suggesting months may have passed between episodes.
- The original ending features future Lister returning from the bathroom after the past crew leave, asking what were those voices, though this idea was scrapped when the production crew realized that it would make nice foreshadowing for the events of "Out of Time"
- The ability of the teleporter to travel in time would seem to add some interesting continuity problems with "Out of Time", particualry noting that the teleporter apparently can move through space and time. Though it is likely that its range in both cases is quite limited and thus it is not much of competitor with the time drive in terms of temporal travel (the time travel aspect is more unstable as they can return to the present easily enough, but control over when in the past or the future they travel to is the unstable part).
- In "Back to Earth", the Cat believed Coronation Street (specifically the place it is recorded) is "worse than Rimmerworld".
- In a deleted scene it is revealed that Rimmer's brothers all suffered psychotic breakdowns. So while he was the least successful he was the most stable. This is supported in the episode as broadcast by the fact Rimmer appears to almost instantly recover from his nearly 600 years of incarceration.
- This is the last episode until "Entangled" in Series X that Rimmer is shown in soft light form as he is in hard light for all of Series VII and is a human for all of Series VIII.
Cat: All in all, 100% successful trip!
Kryten: But sir, we've lost Mr Rimmer.
Cat: All in all, 100% successful trip!
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|Red Dwarf: Episode List|
|Series I|Series II|Series III|Series IV|Series V|Series VII|Series VIII|Back to Earth|Series X|