Real Name: Arnold Judas Rimmer
Identity/Class: Hard Light Hologram (the original Ace was a Normal Human)
Affiliations: The crew of the Red Dwarf (Dave Lister, Cat, Kryten, Holly)
Enemies: Bad guys everywhere
Known Relatives: Unidentified parents, John, Howard, Frank (elder brothers), Frank (uncle)
Base of Operations: Active across the multiverse
First Appearance: Red Dwarf IV "Dimension Jump" (BBC 2, 14th March 1991)
Powers/Abilities: The original Ace had no powers, but was a truly exceptional individual. He laughed in the face of danger; he ignored "minor" injuries like broken bones; he was heroic and knowledgeable and inspired awe in all he met. The latest in the Ace Rimmer line is none of these, but he's trying his best, and he has one advantage. As a hard light hologram he is very difficult to damage, though he can still be killed.
History: Arnold Judas Rimmer is probably the sorriest excuse for a human being alive...except of course that he's not. Alive that is. Nearly the lowest ranking crew member of the Jupiter Mining Vessel Red Dwarf (he only outranks his bunk mate Dave Lister and the mice in the ship's lab), he was killed along with almost everyone else on board when a malfunctioning drive plate flooded the ship with deadly radiation. Holly, the ship's computer, immediately headed out into deep space to protect other ships from the hazard, and three million years later, when the levels had dropped to safety again, he released the sole human survivor, the aforementioned Lister, from stasis (which he had been in as a punishment for smuggling a cat on board). In order to keep Dave from going mad with isolation, Holly revived Rimmer as well; or at least he created a hologram with Rimmer's personality and memories. Holly's choice had been based on the fact that Rimmer had engaged in the most conversations with Lister (14 million words), and thus was the most compatible person on board to keep him company; Lister pointed out that half of those words were Rimmer reprimanding Lister, and the other half were Lister telling Rimmer to "Smeg off". But the two were stuck with each other.
Rimmer's problems had started with his family. He was the youngest in the family, with two massively overachieving brothers and parents that would have made anyone neurotic. Under his siblings' shadow and his parents influence, he had grown up with a massive inferiority complex combined with a drive to be someone important and influential - without putting the work in to get there.
However in another reality Rimmer had been held back a year while at school. The humiliation of being a clear foot taller than everyone else in the class made him fight back and he became a high achiever, full of confidence. This Rimmer went on to become the top pilot for the Space Corps, a hero to all and a smoldering sex god: What a guy! And he was known as Ace, the nickname this reality's Rimmer had always wanted. When the Corps decided to test its knew Dimension Jump ship on what might well be a suicide mission, there was only one man who they could possibly pick. And so Ace Rimmer took the mission, and met the crew of the Red Dwarf, including his own snivelling counterpart. Disgusted by what he saw, he soon set off to travel through the dimensions seeking adventure and wrongs to be righted.
A couple of years later a bizarre creature called an Emohawk sucked out this reality's Rimmer's bitterness, his negativity and all his snideyness. Without these holding him back, he was transformed into the great Ace Rimmer! Proof, if indeed it was needed, that all any Rimmer really needed to achieve his true potential was faith in himself and a pure heart.
In the episode "Stoke Me A Clipper" in series VII Ace Rimmer returned. Injured during a heroic rescue he quickly jumped to another dimension, which turned out to be the one inhabited by the crew of Red Dwarf. Rimmer learned that Ace Rimmer was dying and not the same Ace Rimmer he met last. The original had caught the business end of a neutron tank in Dimension 165, but had ensured his legacy by training another Rimmer from another dimension to become the next Ace Rimmer and continue to journey the dimensions, battling evil. Now the latest Ace wanted this dimension's Rimmer to don the mantle. In spite of severe misgivings, the Red Dwarf Rimmer became the next Ace Rimmer when the current one died. It was later revealed that there have been billions of Ace Rimmers... all passing the torch to the next... saving all the different dimensions from evil... The last we saw of Arnold Rimmer was him departing Starbug as Ace.
Comments: Created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and played by Chris Barrie.
Josh Hayward informs me "Rimmer was the head of Z-Shift, a scene (I can't actually remember if I saw this scene in an episode or read it in one of the books [probably the books]) shows Rimmer giving a speech and orders to about 10-15 members of Z-Shift, all of which would rank lower than Rimmer. Assuming a shift lasts 8 hours then there would be 3 Technician shifts, if each of these had say 10 members and one leader than Rimmer would rank at lowest, 105 out of (I think it was) 137 crew members." I would point out however that while this might be true of the book version of Rimmer, the TV version was definitely stated as only outranking Lister and the lab mice.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
any other Ace's
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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