Red Dwarf – Officer Rimmer (Series 11 Episode 4)
As we have now crossed the halfway point of Series XI, it is fair to say that Red Dwarf is now nestled comfortably in the Dave schedule and doing rather well. ‘Give and Take’ was for me one of the best episodes for a long long time, and this nearly did just as good of a job. ‘Officer Rimmer’ does give a great Rimmer-centric episode that provides many laughs, but falls just short in a few areas.
Starting with the crew helping a ship stuck in an asteroid field, it is through the idiocy of Rimmer that the ship is saved and their commanding officer (a bio-printed being, more on that later). The initial printing joke is something of comedy gold, and helps the real laughs begin. It is a simple premise to a degree, but with technology as it is today, it was great to see the problems we all face with printers being brought so hilariously to the screen. Anyway, with Rimmer being promoted due to his “heroic” actions, he begins to purposely annoy the rest of the gang with his new found powers of command. Rimmer decides that he deserves the luxury of his own private elevator and corridor, but isn’t it a shame he has no other officer to share this with?
Well thanks to the lovely bio-printer we see earlier, Rimmer ends up making multiple copies of himself. This for me is where some of the best laughs come, Rimmer gets to have plenty of other “Officer Rimmer’s” with him at the special officer’s club. In this club we meet multiple Arnold’s which includes the brilliant Barbershop Quartet. Hungry for power, Rimmer demands more copies to be made…and this is where we get another classic Red Dwarf moment when all things effectively change for the worse, again highlighting the mix of good and bad special effects that the show does so well.
I should note that Kryten does get a good few laughs as well in this episode, basically everyone does get to have a good joke or two…but I did feel like The Cat was fairly absent in the script, am sure he has got some great jokes to come this series still. The slight subplot about Lister selling his likeness for cloning programmes got a good laugh, and maybe we may see that come back around one day? And what about that rather abrupt ending? Where do I begin? It was so sudden I thought I had a mini blackout, the episode just finished where I was sure there must have been at least another minute to go. But, overall I did really enjoy this episode. Chris Barrie probably gives his best Rimmer performance for a long time in this episode, and for once it is good to see multiple Rimmer’s actually get along really well with each other. Doug Naylor has given us another great outing, and I look forward to seeing what Captain Bollocks and the rest of the Red Dwarf gang will do next week when Kryten has his mid-life crisis!
Final Rating: 8.5/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove