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Red Dwarf

Season 7 Episode 2

Stoke Me A Clipper

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jan 24, 1997 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
65 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

After travelling through countless realities, Commander 'Ace' Rimmer returns to the Red Dwarf crew to ask a favor of his alternate self. It seems that the real Ace Rimmer died years ago and has been replaced many times over by his counterpart from each reality. This Ace Rimmer will soon die and asks our Rimmer to be his successor as an inter-galactic hero. After a little push from Lister, which seems to bring the two closer together, Rimmer decides to accept the offer and begins his training. When Ace dies, Rimmer dons his outfit and says his goodbye to the crew before leaving Starbug.moreless

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  • In this episode, Rimmer has to leave to become Ace Rimmer, his dimensional counterpart, with very funny incidents and a look at Rimmer's persona, with one of the greatest sequences in red Dwarf history.moreless

    This is an all-around great episode: great story which would be even greater in more of it, an absolutely perfect soundtrack, and basically some da#% fine funny scenes and storyline, which should have been expanded to a three-part episode. Nuff said. Now, since I have to fill up space to fill up the one hundred words minimum to submit this, I would like to say that the guy who wrote the previous review is not a true Dwarfer, or I can at least assume. And if the opening scene does not make you laugh or even crack a little smile, then you have no soul or a sense of humor.moreless
  • Rimmer leaves the show...for a while! He leaves the best way he can. By becoming the next ACE RIMMER

    Ok, though I like this episode, I still say that it jumps the shark here. because Rimmer is such a pivitol character. He is the butt of the jokes and was meant to keep Lister sane. Now with him gone, will the characters fall apart? That was my first question when the episode ended. Granted Chris appears in two more episodes in the series, however Rimmer was still gone.

    The way Rimmer went out was great! I loved the idea that he became the person he hated most in the world, yet everyone else loves him. I also like that they chose to let Cat and Kryten think that his Light Bee was in fact destroyed, which let Rimmer free to truely be Ace.

    You can tell in this epiosde that Rimmer and Lister have developed a friendship in the passed 7 years. This was seen when Lister was really trying to convince Rimmer to go and be Ace. Also as Rimmer is leaving and he gives Lister a hug. In previous a previous series you would not have seen this. It is obvious that Rimmer and Lister ACTUALLY like each other when Rimmer leaves.

    Good episode, though a jump the shark episode!moreless
  • Rimmer fulfils his destiny and becomes a legend

    The fact that Barrie leaves the show just confirms the Classic status of this episode megastyle.

    There are some real emotional scenes (unnaturally for RD) throughout. The episode is essentially a standard hero tale but in reverse. The middle of the tale - the (new) journey (for Rimmer) starts is at the end. The novices first step into his new journey.

    The start of the tale, where the hero life is shown and turned upside down, without knowing if he wants to take the path to being hero, is in the middle. The classic master imparts the facts of his existance and duty to the novice.

    The end of the tale (or an alternate dimensional instance of it) occurs at the beginning. Where the hero is dire straits escape his predicament, saves the girl and escapes....

    In this way, the episode bravely turns the plot method on its head and captured my imaginiation. Very cleverly done. Its a worthy plot with screenplay, dialogue and gags to warrant a series classic on its own. The story in itself is sharp and moves along very quickly, never stagnating. As you can imagine the main characters are Rimmer and Ace, both played by Barrie. The dialogue works wonderfully and you get the impression of two competing personas, but essentially belonging to the same univseral entity. Lister has a small part in helping Rimmer make the right decision, who throughout causes conflict in that he doesnt want to take up his destiny. Its one of the few times that Dave is actually nice to him and forms a poignent moment as Barrie prepares to leave.

    As Ace slowly dies, Lister convinces the rest of the crew that it was really Rimmer whose HLight failed, as he has badly taken on the appearance of Ace. Once Rimmer assumes the role there are a number of continunity errors in the execution of the screenplay as the crew appear to "know" or guessed that old Rimmer has become Ace at least in the dialogue.

    The ending however, is one of the most moving acts to have ever been conceived. With so much mediocrity heaped on the shoulders of the gormless Rimmer, no one can fail to be awestruck to find out that it was always his destiny to become an Ace sooner or later. The sheer scale and scope of graveyard dedicated to Rimmer was gut-droppingly moving.

    I was simply awestruck again - and its this sequence of revelations put into context against Rimmers past that just makes this episode a perfect 10.

    Note: I believe that if you check previous episodes where Ace appears thats why he takes a special understanding for the hapless Rimmer, because he knows that one day, that ugly duckling will become the legend! (at least in some of the episodes)!

    Simply awesome. Unmissable.moreless
Ken Morley

Ken Morley

Captain Voorhese

Guest Star

Sarah Alexander

Sarah Alexander

Queen of Camelot

Guest Star

Alison Senior

Alison Senior

Princess Bonjella

Guest Star

Chris Barrie

Chris Barrie

'Ace' Rimmer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The wig that Ace Rimmer wears in this episode is a different one from the one in Dimension Jump.
      The producers suspect Chris Barrie kept it as it couldn't be found anywhere.
      (Source: series 7 documentary)

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Lister: We have lost the finest, the most dedicated vending machine repair man the Space Corps - no, no - the *universe* has ever known. No one ever pressed for a Coke, and got oxtail soup and orange juice by mistake on *his* shift - well, actually, that's not true: we all did but what the smeg, this is his eulogy.

    • Kryten: Ah, I was just wondering, sir… we've run out of bacofoil about six months ago; I don't suppose you have a spare jacket I might roast a chicken in?

    • Ace: The universe needs a chap to look up to. Someone to right wrongs, just generally be brave, handsome and all-round magnificent.

    • Lister: But Rimmer, he asked for you. He obviously feels some sort of bond.
      Rimmer: The only 'bonding' I want to do with him involves a tube of superglue and a rabid hamster!

    • Kryten: So, what have you been up to, sir?
      Ace: Nothing special. Saved a couple of universes, overthrown a few dictatorships, turned down a heapful of marriage proposals, and had my highlights done.

    • Ace: All the better for seeing you, Cat old friend. Is that a new suit you're wearing? Why, it's sharper than a page of Oscar Wilde witticisms that have been rolled up into a point, sprinkled with lemon juice and jabbed into someone's eye.
      Cat: Wow, that's sharp. Thanks buddy!

    • Lister: The red, green, and blue alert signs are all flashing! What the smeg is happening?
      Kryten: Well, either we're under attack, sir, or we're having a disco.

    • Rimmer: Stoke Me a Clipper, I'll be back for Christmas... whatever.

    • Lister: We're talking about a man who, at the first sight of danger, cowers under tables with a colander on his head.
      Ace: Skipper, you can't judge a book by its cover.
      Lister: And you can't confuse Rimmer with a book; for a start a book's got a spine.

    • Ace: Arnie, up for a stroll?
      Rimmer: Thanks for the offer, but I'd rather smear my genitalia with fish paste and dangle them in a pool of hungry piranhas.
      Ace: I'll take that as a 'no', then.

    • King: Good Knight - bring me this knave's manhood on a silver platter -
      Lister: 'Ey, steady!
      King: - then disembowel him, and feed his innards to the crows!
      Lister: This is worse than playing away at Leeds!

    • King: Is there any man, across the length and breadth of our great land, that dare challenge the King's best knight?
      Lister: I do, sir!
      King: And you are, sir?
      Lister: Lister of Smeg.

    • Ace: Princess Bonjella; Ace Rimmer. There'll be time for explanations later and, hopefully, some sex.
      Princess: What a guy!

  • NOTES (6)

    • The Ace from "Dimension Jump" was killed in a Nuclear accident. The Ace in this episode is his Hard-light hologram.

    • According to the deleted scenes featured on the Series Seven DVD, The Ace featured in "Dimension Jump" is actually a Rimmer who used the time drive to go to Renaissance era France, and who was recruited by another Ace.

    • The James Bond Scene from this episode is regarded as one of Red Dwarf's best ever.

    • This is the first episode not to have the "It's cold outside..." Red Dwarf theme song over the end credits in any form. Instead we have the "Ace Rimmer" theme playing.

    • Due to the chaotic schedule of Series VI, Chris Barrie had asked only to appear in two episodes this season, but was persuaded to film four. However, Rimmer was written out in the second episode to allow development of the new Kochanski and appeared in flashbacks or dream sequences for the other two episodes. With production of Series VII being more relaxed and not filmed before a studio audience, Chris decided to return to the show for Series VIII.

    • Chris Barrie leaves the series at this point. He returns as a regular cast member for Season 8.


    • Ace Rimmer: Princess Bonjella?

      Bonjella is a type of gum ointment, previously referenced in the season three episode Marooned.

    • Film reference: James Bond

      The opening sequence mimics the James Bond series of films where Bond always gets out of hopeless situations, kills all the bad guys and escapes with the captured woman whom he usually has sex with after. The exchange between Ace and Voorheese(Ace: Do you expect me to concede? Voorhese: No Mr. Rimmer, I expect you to die.) is taken from dialogue in 1964's Goldfinger between Bond (Sean Connery) and Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe).