Season 1 episode 1 of the sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf is called “The End.” The last episode of season 10 is called “The Beginning.” Unlike the previous season, a mini series called “Back to Earth,” season 10 was pure gold. It has the spirit of the first couple seasons, the right amount of corniness, always sticking to character. Only a few times did they make caricatures out of their characters. Mostly, they dove deeper into their psyches and let them develop, especially Rimmer, whose haunted past (his childhood) was the subject of both the first and last episode of the series. In the first episode, he finally comes to terms with the rivalry of his brother (learning that his brother isn’t the person he thought he was) and in the last, getting over his father’s disappointment (and also learning his father wasn’t who he thought he was).
And can I just say: Philip Labey was a brilliant young Rimmer. Not only does he look the part (pictured is a young Chris Barrie on the left and current Philip Labey on the right), but the acting was spot-on.
Here’s a question that has been plaguing some fans: Which version of Rimmer is this Rimmer? If it’s the “reincarnated” Rimmer that came back when the rest of the ship came back (because of the nanobots), he wouldn’t remember killing the whole crew. But it’s not exactly the Rimmer that went off to be Ace either, is it? Some people have theories that isn’t the first Rimmer’s memory injected into the “reincarnated” Rimmer, and so on. Honestly, I think the writers thought “Who gives a smeg. Let’s just try to make it resemble the first few series as much as possible.”
Nerd note: While continuity may not be the show’s strong point, plus one for remembering that Rimmer grew up on the Jupiter’s moon Io. (He’s always saying things like “What on Io is that?” if you listen carefully throughout the series.)
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