Why is Meltdown considered unpopular?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by bedfordfalls, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

    Messages:
    1,665
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
     
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

    Messages:
    1,665
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Actually, this is an interesting line from that review:

    Call me sensitive, but I don’t find it particularly hilarious watching an entire population we’ve just been told is sentient being annihilated. In addition, the portrayal of Rimmer as an insane tyrant with absolutely no qualms about killing his entire army just doesn’t fit: the Rimmer we know is a bastard, but he’s not actively evil.

    Whether one finds it funny or not is up to the individual (I think the battle itself is funny, but that the characters' ultimate demise is meant more sincerely - Lister feels bad, certainly, and he's often our moral compass in the show), but 'evil'?

    Now, I don't like the term 'evil' anyway, since it's an extremist - or, at least, faith-based - judgement that fatally misunderstands how people generally do things out of a sense of justification. They believe themselves to be right, to be doing the best thing. That anyone is wholly 'evil' is something I fundamentally disagree with.

    Meanwhile, we have Rimmer. Who considers himself a general. Generals send troops into battle. That's what they do. They lose soldiers and they don't get to feel bad about it so much as treat it as a practical concern. Rimmer's emotional connection to 'other people' is flimsy at best - he cares about himself, everyone else can go hang - and when they're soldiers under his command, well, that's all they are.

    Now, of course his mission plan - daylight, minefield - was idiotic. But it didn't seem that way to him, and any losses are justified in his battle against (let us not forget) characters who themselves are described as evil. The world is a a great big game of Risk to him. That doesn't make him evil, just...a little psychotic. Which, y'know, ain't exactly news at this point.

    The reaction echoes what some felt about Rimmer in Back to Earth, when he killed Katerina. Now, I've always said that scene relates to the 'not quite normal' aspects of the hallucination. But Rimmer is, no question, always going to choose himself over anyone else (it's what makes the end of Holoship such a rare and important moment for him). If you're at risk, he'll flee to save his own skin. f you're between him and his survival, he'll push you out an airlock rather than die.

    He's crazy. There's a great moment on the Last Human novel where he gets angry at Kochanski because she's climbing up a pole...rather than ordering him to do it. He's angry that she's not yelling at him and calling him maggot like a proper officer would do. It's a genius bit of writing, and it goes to Rimmer's core. So when an officer says she'll have him destroyed, he's caught between a sense of duty and raw survival. And when she offers him the 'out', pointing out that she's not even 'alive', at least in her own estimation, he takes it. And later, he won't feel like a murderer. He'll worry that what he did was technically insubordination. :-)
     
  3. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

    Messages:
    8,313
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    The Land of Freebornia
    Sorry about double posts,problems with operamini on my mobile phone, if it happens again i will just wait for my pc to wake up again.

    I remember watching series 4 when it was first broadcast and most of my friends loved it as much as series 3. but series 4 was and still is my least fave series but as i said it has(espeshialy meltdown) grown on me in a
    big way. i wonder if it would have gone down better(or worse) had it been broadcast as the first ep of the series?,as origonaly entended.
     
  4. Freeborn

    Freeborn Flight Co-Ordinator

    Messages:
    8,313
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    The Land of Freebornia
    Its understandable that some fans may not have liked the whole war elemant and how rimmer acted, but i agree that whilst he is a compleatly selfish goit ,he did what he thought was right(hmm i think iv heard that before from a certain misguided ex prime minister)
    Rimmers morals often seem close to none existant,but he obviously has some 'emotional' problems. And besides ,its his duty as a total barstard .

    I think Listers line about rimmers 'freedom' and democracy was a nice little switch back to serious mode at the end.
     
  5. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    1,876
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    In line with what you said about Rimmer's character having bits added to it as later series progress, I wonder whether his cowardice isn't actually one of them.

    Remember him eating the photo of Captain Holister's mum? That seems extraordinarily aggressive and out of character for Rimmer as does him insinuating that another oficer was sexually in favour of sleeping with the dead "to his face" (true he then scarpered but would the Rimmer we know by series 4 even have the guts to do that?). He also attempted to attack the Cat with a Karate chop and as late as season 3 he stands his ground and shoos away the Alien incarnation of the polymorph.
     
  6. Andrew

    Andrew Executive Officer

    Messages:
    1,665
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Interesting. I disagree, though.

    What he said to McWlliams was insulting, maybe, but not automatically an act of bravery - I see that scene playing out with either clumsy naivety, or as ill-judged retaliation for something like queue jumping. (Similar to the Me2 argument in the cinema.) And, as Lister says, he immediately followed it up with his 'roadrunner act' - he didn't have the bravery to stick around after blurting it out.

    In Thanks for the Memory Rimmer's first instinct on hearing the guys cry out over the radio is to have Holly get Blue Midget's engines ticking over ready for his escape. He gets the others to go ahead of him through the stasis leak. He hides under the table during the Backwards unrumble. He wees himself when Hudzen threatens to kill him.

    The karate chop I find a bit odd, but I think it's more about 'proving, and getting a laugh, out of the hologram concept' in their opening episode. (That said, the characters were heavily revisioned for Series II. A lot of the first series is about throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks.) As with the Polymorph, he's sometimes capable of brief, adrenaline-fuelled bravado, born of self-preservation but not necessarily born of rational thought.

    Still Rimmer IS a bit nuts; albeit only as nuts as many of us. He has a streak of anger - born of personal frustration - that sometimes bubbles up into an uncontrollable outburst. He lets his temper take him into situations his rational mind would flee from - such as ripping up and eating Hollister's wife's picture. That's nothing to do with a lack of cowardice, it's the basic psychology of someone who's perpetually annoyed by the world around him.
     
  7. JKD2101

    JKD2101 First Technician

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    On my Sofa
     
  8. jacksolomonsmith

    jacksolomonsmith First Technician

    Messages:
    196
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Location:
    West Midlands, Halesowen.
    As child actors go i thought they were good, they had a sense of comedy timing which insured I didn't cringe myself into a shorter life-span for which, i am, grateful.
    But yeah that's just my opinion.
     
  9. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    1,876
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
     
  10. JKD2101

    JKD2101 First Technician

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    On my Sofa
    Your probably right Bedfordfalls even my own kid gets on my wick and I love him!
     
  11. steff85

    steff85 Second Technician

    Messages:
    86
    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    im having a total spaz, what episode is it where rimmer eats that photo?
     
  12. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

    Messages:
    1,876
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    We never actually see the incident in question but it is described in conversation between Lister and Rimmer in Stasis Leak.

    Rimmer eats the photograph in response to Captain Hollister failing to give Lister 10 years in prison for the "freaky fungus" joke he played on him.
    In his defense he claims he believed it to be a publicity shot from planet of the apes. I may be wrong but I think another act of minor violence against Hollister is also insinuated.
     
  13. onephatsmegger

    onephatsmegger Second Technician

    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Smegglesfield
    I've always loved Meltdown, even when it was first broadcast. I've never understood the argument regarding the stock footage cheesy dinosaurs and the exteriors - if anything, I always thought it added to the charm of the episode. The writing, in my opinion, is Rob and Doug at their funniest - could anyone else seriously have conjured up an image of Winnie The Pooh being led to the gallows and executed? Let's not forget that the wonderful Tony Hawks played an unforgettable Caligula.

    Regarding the Rimmer madness thing, I will say that I didn't find it altogether out of character. The whole exercise, from Rimmer's belief in himself as an infallible general to the genocide of the wax-droids, served to remind me just what a total smeghead Rimmer is. True, the wax-droids are sentient, but to Rimmer, they were cannon-fodder. He had his own agenda and was too proud or too much of a gimboid to admit he was wrong.

    Oh, and Clayton Mark completely stole the episode from under everyone's noses :-D
     
  14. steff85

    steff85 Second Technician

    Messages:
    86
    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    ohhhhhhhhhhhh, i dno why but that bit has passed me by some how, or i just cant rem,ember it even though i watched stasis leak not long ago, thanks for answering :-)

    i'll say something to do with the topic whilst I'm here, I have to admit meltdown isn't one of my fave episodes. the story is abit over my head to be honest but thats just me, and its not very red dwarfy to me although I love the bit where rimmer is outside talking to them all in the line LOL and his risk story, but yeah I dont know can't really put my finger on it.
     
  15. JKD2101

    JKD2101 First Technician

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    On my Sofa
    Ok I'm sorry I thought they were awful! They seemed to me that someone was standing behind Craig and holding up an autocue for those kids to read. They reminded me so much of the kid that played Anekin (I know that I spelt it wrong) in Phantom Menace (don't want to go there its still too painful).
     
  16. onephatsmegger

    onephatsmegger Second Technician

    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Smegglesfield
    The 'tell Rimmer he's a smeghead' line made me smile :-)
     

Share This Page