While exploring the SSS Esperanto, the Dwarfers were attacked by the Despair Squid, which sprayed Starbug with its hallucinogenic ink. Starbug crashed into a sandbank and the crew were killed upon impact. They then awoke in a Total Immersion Video Game arcade, where they were told that the past four years were actually spent in a simulation.
When they opened the suitcases that contained their "real" identities, one of them had no photograph but a name, Billy Doyle. Rimmer was convinced that this was the name of a petty criminal (whose history he spun for the others) - clearly Lister. The photograph on an ID card found inside the suitcase proved that "Billy" was actually Rimmer's true identity. Rimmer claimed that his memory was returning and that he remembered the Doyle family being rich and powerful. The clothes in his case, however, were the cheap and nasty clothes of a tramp that smelt of yak's urine, while his maternal half-brother Sebastian (Lister) was obviously much more successful.
This hit Rimmer very hard, since he had always blamed his lack of success on his family's negative influence. If he shared an upbringing with a half-brother who was a wealthy, powerful man then he had no-one to blame for his misfortune but himself. This led him to choose suicide as preferable to living as Billy Doyle and he was ready to commit group suicide with the others, until Holly managed to convince Kryten to release a mood stabiliser into the air that brought them all back to reality (RD: Back To Reality).
Behind the scenesEdit
In a deleted scene, Rimmer described how he thought the rich and powerful William Doyle was accosted by a group of poor people, who robbed and stripped him, dressed him in a tramp's outfit and dumped him in a gaming arcade. His shipmates did not buy a word of it, leading Rimmer to accept the truth of his lowly status.