So, Rimmer - Smeghead or maybe not?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by telegramsam, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Nunubididoo

    Nunubididoo Skutter

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    I don't think he's a smeghead, I feel a bit sorry for him. Something good happens e.g. meeting Nirvanah on the holoship and then things turn bad, e.g. her being erased for him to be on the ship. I always feel really bad for him in Terraform when they are saying all these lovely things and he's ecstatic then they reveal they were lying to him. I hope one day he catches a break lol he definitely needs one!
     
  2. ChangeOfPlan

    ChangeOfPlan Third Technician

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    I think Rimmer is a smeghead but without his bitterness (as we have all seen) he turns out to be ok. So its in there somewhere to be a half decent guy. Whats interesting about this thread though is that a couple of people earlier raised the point of "Is Rimmer the main character of Red Dwarf?" Much more attention grabbing than the original question. Personally I would say no but that's the way I like it. You can choose as you like, another great thing about the show. I think he could be if you wanted him to be, and no bad thing. For me the story is about Listers pure isolation in its grandest terms so I like to think of him as the lead. It's that feeling of stranded that makes the storyline so cool. Its all personal taste of course. I like the Idea that Lister is the last human being alive and heres where I feel it the most.. when you get a shot of the outside of the ship and the vastness of space around them, I love that. It's a brilliant touch. RD is not only funny as f**k, but dark in alot of ways. Superb.

    I write to inform you that your father is dad. Lol
     
  3. Number_58

    Number_58 Second Technician

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    Yes, yes he is.

    He's an unlikeable man you wouldn't want to be around in real life which isn't entirely his fault considering his upbringing - "My father was a half-crazed military failure, my mother was a bitch-queen from hell", Uncle Frank... and he seems to be in denial about his brothers - but he never took the chance to better himself either. Until Stoke me A Clipper.

    Which is why I'd hate for BTE Rimmer to be the one from Series I-VII. Taking that away from him (apart from that one gag in Blue) would be wrong I think.

    As an outside observer you can see the potential but would you really want to hang around a guy who is pro-fascist, capable of leaving you to die and whatever the smeg Low Rimmer says about what's going on in the bowels of Rimmer's brain on top of all the little quirks?
     
  4. SurfboardingKillerBikiniVampireGirl

    SurfboardingKillerBikiniVampireGirl Catering Officer

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    On those rare occasions when Rimmer is shown some kindness, he usually responds positively and becomes a better person. That suggests to me that he's just caught in a negative feedback loop - he had a bad upbringing and was bullied as a child, causing him to react in negative or socially inappropriate ways to things, which invited further abuse and derision. In Holoship, he gives up his dream, and in Marooned, he tells Lister to 'burn the soldiers', so he's obviously capable of self-sacrifice for others. As for his borderline fascist tendencies, they were presumably inherited from his father. If he had any friends to influence him, they'd probably diminish.
     
  5. Yule Sleigher

    Yule Sleigher Console Officer

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    All true, but then it's true for a lot of us. In the end, regardless of upbringing, and what negative behaviour we've become conditioned to responding with, we have to be considered responsible for our own behaviour and developement, simply because no-one else can be. For example, there will always be reasons why a killer or abuser kills or abuses rather than simply acting in a socially constructive way, but that person must still be dealt with as being in control of their own free will. Even though very few people are even aware of why they're doing half the things they do. Ergo, Rimmer is a smeghead! Of the highest order! In fact, he needs a greater order created for his classification.

    As for the "Marooned" thing, who's the greater smeghead? I've never been comfortable with Lister's selfish behaviour in that episode. After all, if you're a virtual lifeform, emotional well-being is pretty much the only "being" you have! Yet Lister, with all his organic existence and senses and general realness, decided his emotional attachment to his guitar was of greater importance. It was, from Lister, very much a case of believing the hype about him being more important as the last human than some dead virtual personality which could, after all, simply be switched off, and even in a critical survival situation it was quite outside of Lister's character.
     
  6. Daniel

    Daniel Console Officer

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    I've always thought that swap to be quite good actually, as it shows that both characters are capable of being what we expect of them (Lister the decent guy who would go to stasis to save a cat, Rimmer the smeghead who would borrow money despite having £24,000 in cash), but also that they are both capable of going in the opposite direction with Lister being selfish and Rimmer being noble. Dwarf in the earlier days was more character-focused than ever (before the shift into the more action-comedy era that it would move to, where despite still requiring strong characterisation there was more there to carry them through), so seeing this other side of the main pairing felt quite important to me and added an extra layer to the pair.
     
  7. Yule Sleigher

    Yule Sleigher Console Officer

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    You know, you are right, and I was also thinking that while I was typing my other previous reply. I think I just never found it that convincing in that particular episode. It seemed too premeditated for Lister to shaft Rimmer so coldly. Obviously, every character should have a limit to their defining characteristics, but in this case Lister's response was so thoroughly selfish, but he'd had plenty of time to put the situation into perspective and weigh the rights and wrongs. We should always see the different sides of characters in different situations, but in this case it seemed to steal from Lister the one truly laudable quality he had; his sense of fair play and self sacrifice. And not because he had no time to think, or because he had no other immediate option than to burn Rimmer's belongings.
     
  8. sanja

    sanja Supply Officer

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    Depends... for some he is, and for some isn't
    He could relax in some situations... But as I am getting older I understand his bitternes wich is the main thing that makes him a smeaghead
     
  9. Daniel

    Daniel Console Officer

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    Can any of us say what we would be like in that situation? Nobody can deny the importance of Lister's guitar to him, and as far as he was concerned the trunk was just an expensive item to Rimmer (Lister appeared to show geniune remorse for what happened when Rimmer explained it), so I don't think it was quite so selfish as it appeared at least initially. I would like to think that if the circumstances were different then Lister wouldn't have done what he did. It must also be said that Rimmer was willing to sacrifice Lister's guitar over his soldiers, and that was after knowing its importance. Something had to be burned, and for Lister it was a case of Rimmer had more stuff of less importance (so it seemed), and therefore Rimmer's possessions ranked higher.

    So I don't think it really hits at Lister's good qualities there. If he knew what that trunk meant to Rimmer and he still did it, then it would have been a foul and highly uncharacteristic act for him, but as I opened with can any of us say what we would do in that situation? Times of crisis will bring out either the best or the worst. We all like to think the best, but perhaps if we were in Lister's shoes we'd see Rimmer's possessions as expendable when compared to our own.
     
  10. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    It was also an extreme situation. I.e. They were crashed on an ice planet in a blizzard. Running out on food, without heating.

    I know it doesn't seem all much like that way since a) it's a sitcom and b) they're in a studio set... albeit a genuinely good one* but it's understandable Lister being a bit selfish. He was already in discomfort and Rimmer was physically unaffected being a hologram. And he's not willing to sacrifice his stuff either! Well, not until Lister made the first move anyway.

    I agree that Rimmer shows a better side to his character when treated well though. He is certainly the most complex character in the crew I think.

    *One could argue that's an argument for a non live audience though. Those 360 degree sets in series VII were wonderful, and really give a sense of being enclosed. Don't get me wrong, I still think that a studio audience is great for other things, and I'm not saying Series X should go without it.
     
  11. SurfboardingKillerBikiniVampireGirl

    SurfboardingKillerBikiniVampireGirl Catering Officer

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    I liked the fact that Lister was a jerk in that one. There's a tendency in a lot of shows to make the "good" character unbelievably good, whereas Marooned went with a more interesting scenario. Lister was in an extremely stressful life-or-death situation with a person he didn't like and who didn't like him. He would have been almost supernaturally good to sacrifice his guitar in that situation, and he did obviously feel guilty when bombarded with Rimmer's rare show of nobility. Rimmer had plenty of opportunities to be multifaceted throughout the series - it was nice to see Lister get the chance to show another side of himself as well.
     
  12. Yule Sleigher

    Yule Sleigher Console Officer

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    OK, it seems I'm the only one who wasn't that convinced by that behaviour from Lister.:eek:ops: For what it's worth, I totally get how important it is to show different aspects of characters in different situations, and although Rimmer gets a far broader treatment in the show, I actually think Lister's explored pretty well too. It just never felt to me as though, after the discussion with Rimmer about burning things for him (Lister, as Rimmer didn't need heat) to stay alive, and after already having burned the books, I can't believe Lister would have treated another sentient being like that rather than burn his own guitar, considering it was his hide he was saving. Had they not discussed it beforehand, I could imagine Lister convincing himself it was fair game in that situation.
     
  13. Daniel

    Daniel Console Officer

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    You've reminded me of another point in all this. Lister did talk to Rimmer about it after all, as he could very easily have just burned them. It's not like Rimmer could stop him! Mustn't forget that at this point in time Rimmer couldn't touch or interact with anything in a normal manner, so there was no way he could stop Lister from tossing it straight on the fire if Lister so wished to do so. The fact he held back from what, frankly, would probably be expected of Rimmer if the roles were reversed, has to be a positive note for Lister's actions there. There is of course also the negative of he then did it all behind Rimmer's back and used trickery, but it was still a last resort after he couldn't persuade Rimmer any other way.
     

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