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Red Dwarf episode
Episode no. Series 6
Episode 5
Directed by Andy de Emmony
Written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
Original air date 4 November 1993
Guest appearance(s)

Liz Hickling as Simulant Lieutenant

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Emohawk: Polymorph II"
Next →
"Out of Time"
List of all Red Dwarf episodes

"Rimmerworld" is the fifth episode of science fiction sit-com Red Dwarf Series VI[1] and the 35th in the series run.[2] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 4 November 1993,[3] was written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor and was directed by Andy de Emmony.[4]


Rimmer undergoes a medical and discovers he has a stress-related condition. Kryten prescribes several measures for him to prevent an electronic aneurysm. Meanwhile, the crew decides to replenish supplies by looting the simulant ship they shot down a few weeks prior.[5] However, one of the Simulants has survived and confronts Lister, Kryten and the Cat. Rimmer, however, sneaks into an escape pod and runs away which causes the destruction of the ship. The others escape using a hand-held matter transporter which Kryten has found. However, during their escape, they inadvertently travel in time to a week before due to Kryten making a programming error. After apologizing for the sudden intrusion, they return to the present and escape on Starbug.

Rimmer's pod, discovered to be looted and on auto-pilot, heads straight for the closest S3 planet, on the other side of a wormhole, and when it arrives Rimmer decides to use the terraforming equipment to create a paradise. He manages to clone himself, hoping for female company, but instead begins an entire new race of Rimmer-clones who eventually turn against him and imprison him in a dungeon.

When his shipmates arrive with Starbug a time dilation effect means that for Rimmer 600 years have passed. They arrive on Rimmerworld only to be promptly captured and thrown into Rimmer's dungeon by power-hungry Rimmer-clones, who consider anything un-Rimmer like—charm, bravery, intelligence, and the like—to be a crime. There they discover Rimmer, who has been locked in the dungeon for 557 years. Lister comes up with a complicated and elaborate plan to escape before Kryten suggests using the time and matter transporter. Instead of arriving in their proper time, though, they end up a few weeks in the future, where it is implied something terrible will happen to Lister.


"Rimmerworld" was filmed back to back with "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" to avoid having to rebuild the sets and models for the Simulant ship, and having to hire actress Liz Hickling twice. It was planned as a sequel to "Gunmen" but was effectively cut down from its original idea.[6]

This episode was planned to air fourth in the series run, but was eventually placed fifth, after "Emohawk: Polymorph II". This had the added bonus of tying up continuity - Lister refers to the Simulant ship they shot down "a couple of weeks back" (meaning time for the crew had passed at the same rate as it had for the audience), the equipment used in the previous episode is said to have broken down, Cat wears the same outfit twice (although he unconvincingly claims the one in this episode is slightly different) and the final scene about something terrible happening to Lister foreshadows his future self appearing in "Out of Time".

Cultural references[edit]

The process of terraforming the planet from desolation to verdant paradise over the course of six days mimics the Genesis creation narrative. The Biblical allusion continues with Rimmer comparing himself to Adam in the Garden of Eden, however he seemingly confuses that story with the adventures of Tarzan in which Jane is the love interest of the jungle-dwelling hero. The Thirty Years War and The Hundred Years War are both referenced when Kryten explains how long Rimmer will spend on the other side of the wormhole before help can arrive.


This episode has been described as "one of the strangest adventures" in Series VI.[7]

The episode was due to be broadcast as part of a repeat season on 13 March 1996. It was suspended due to the Dunblane massacre, when it was feared that the gun-toting simulant at the start of the episode, and other references to a "psychotic deranged ruthless killer", could be thought to parallel the real-life tragedy, and thus be considered offensive.[8] "Out Of Time" was shown in its place, followed by series IV episode "Dimension Jump" a week later; "Rimmerworld" itself was eventually repeated in mid-April.


  1. ^ "British Sitcom Guide - Red Dwarf - Series 6". www.sitcom.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  2. ^ "TV.com - Rimmerworld summary". www.tv.com. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  3. ^ "BBC - Programme Catalogue - RED DWARF VI - RIMMERWORLD". BBC. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  4. ^ "Rimmerworld Full cast and crew". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  5. ^ As seen in the episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse".
  6. ^ "Red Dwarf series VI Production". Red Dwarf.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  7. ^ "Series VI review at Sci-Fi Dimensions". www.scifidimensions.com. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  8. ^ "Edit News: Red Dwarf - Broadcast". www.ganymede-titan.info. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 

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