Red Dwarf : Is Rimmer becoming more mellow?

Is Rimmer becoming more mellow?

I've seen a few people saying that in the new series, Rimmer seems a bit "off" whereas the other three are more or less the same as they've always been. The episode 'Officer Rimmer' aside - because old Rimmer was always going to be lurking somewhere inside - does it seem like his character has become more mellow this year and that it's intentional on the part of the writers rather than being an issue with the writing and acting?

I rewatched Krisis again yesterday - and enjoyed it a bit more second time around - and Rimmer is only a little bit rude towards Kryten, whereas in the past he was usually very rude. In fact, back in series X, some fans noted that he seemed a touch more relaxed with the rest of the crew than in nearly all the previous series, paerhaps as a result of having memories of Ace Rimmer etc?

If this is intentional on the part of the writers, I hope it keeps up, although it'll be a challenge to not overdo his newfound 'niceness' otherwise the character could lose what made him amusing in the first place. Certainly in series XII, we can't have another 'multipal-Rimmers' episode because that would be repeating old themes too much, like overusing Ace.

Re: Is Rimmer becoming more mellow?

To me, he's been more mellow since the start of series 6. Series 4's Dimension Jump and Meltdown had been critiques of Rimmer's psyche and it's as if this was used as a spur for the Rimmer-centric episodes of series 5.

Even in series 5, Rimmer was becoming more mellow than he'd been in series 4. He shows disappointment to the crew in Holoship that they're already choosing a rerplacement for him, he expresses to Lister that 'H' sometimes feels like halfwit and hopeless but he doesn't bare his soul as rawly and bitterly as he'd done in series 4 when he said 'I try to be liked' when they'd all been on a fishing holiday. Rimmer got most of his fears out in the open by the end of series 4, although he is still not fully comfortable with the crew in series 5, as his 'Over the years I've come to regard you as people I met' line shows, said with some disappointment in his voice. It does take series 6 for him to start to lighten up in the close knit environment of Starbug.

Series 6, by comparison, was more egalitarian to each of the crew. If anything, it was most notably 'Lister's series', albeit with injoke humour on the part of Grant Naylor who denied Lister true romance; whether being seduced by a Psiren, being pulled out of an AR game just as he was getting serious with a femme fatale, being married to a GELF, or becoming a brain in a jar. Rimmer still got his moments eg Rimmerworld, which is a little like a part 2 to series 5's Terrorform in idea, but he'd been humbled by becoming more real again - he had stress balls. He could feel pleasure but also pain with his hard light drive.

Rimmer was only fully in 4 of series 7's episodes, plus flashbacks / The Rimmer Experience in 1 or 2 others. Pomposity and 'tetchiness' now moved to Kryten's character, jealous of Kochanski's high status in Lister's eyes.

Series 8, which I've come to appreciate a lot more, has some wonderful Rimmer / Lister interaction. It's more about them against Captain Hollister and prison guards. So Rimmer might seem more mellow because he's got real authority to rebel against rather than using a sledgehammer to try to crack a nut against the normal 3 other crew as he used to.

The old non-mellow Rimmer has resurfaced in parts of series 10 and 11.

Re: Is Rimmer becoming more mellow?

I think Rimmer was most angsty in the first two series.

Re: Is Rimmer becoming more mellow?

Yes, he's more part of the gang now.

We've gone way beyond Rimmer simply being there to irritate Lister and keep him sane. It's consistent with everything they've experienced.

Re: Is Rimmer becoming more mellow?

This is why I don't really like the "oh look, Mister Rimmer's cowardice and pomposity is huge" type jokes. It implies that while Lister is supposed to have changed and become a wiser guy than the drunk whom bummed around having a laugh, Rimmer isn't allowed to change or else he won't be funny anymore. It was why they made him Ace and brought in the old Rimmer who didn't have that character growth, too.

I don't expect or want Rimmer to not be a smeghead, but after everything he's been through, I want and expect him to not be the same smeghead he was in season one. Especially given the evelation about his father last season, I like the idea he is mellowing and is able to at least wryly smirk if not laugh at his own quirks ("good thing I didn't get that cowardectimy!" whether it was intended that way or not).

It's why I found Officer Rimmer a bit out of character for him now. I totally buy him letting someone else die to save himself. I don't buy that he'd now want a crew of multiple Rimmers serving under him, especially after Me2 and Rimmerworld, and his pettiness seemed more like season 1-2 Rimmer to me.

Re: Is Rimmer becoming more mellow?

Yeah, I do agree that with Rimmer's slightly more mellow personality in series XI, that the constant smeghead jokes and the OTT way he behaved in Officer Rimmer didn't quite sit right with me and I think this is why things have felt a bit off with his character this time around. You get the feeling that whilst Doug Naylor has allowed the character to grow a touch during the last few series - learning about his father and brother and not being quite as rude with the other three as he used to be - he's too nervous to drop the smeghead stuff even more for fear of Rimmer's character not being funny anymore.