Talkie takes a trip to a Parallel Universe to meet the female Rimmer.

Name: Arlene Judith Rimmer Arlene Judith Rimmer
Occupation: Second Technician, Parallel-Universe Red Dwarf
Qualifications: Yes, okay, so I don't have the knack when it comes to exams. Don't rub it in.
Distinguishing Marks: H on forehead. Yes, I'm dead. Want to make something of it?
Captain's Comments: When danger strikes, Rimmer will always be there - cowering in a cupboard and screaming like a boy. What she lacks in intelligence, ability and charisma she more than makes up for in... a lack of those attributes. Seems to view men as an alien species, and has the sexual politics of a 20th century American president. (Though without the success.) Has she never read Jeremy Greer's 'The Male Eunuch'?

Hi Arlene, would you like some toast?

No thank you.

How about a flapjack?

No. Gimp.

What did you call me?

You heard.

I can't believe you just said that.

Listen you cheap, pointless, moronic appliance, I'm a hologram. To me solid food is like one of Lister's vindaloos - it just goes straight through. So unless you've mastered the fine art of hologrammatic cuisine, become a gourmand of the literal 'light snack', I suggest you shut your slots about this toast nonsense and move on to something more appropriate.

Arlene Rimmer

The history of the waffle?


Okay, how about this - how does life in your parallel dimension differ from ours?

Well, obviously our two universes are fundamentally the same. Our histories run essentially parallel to yours, only ours is the right way round. In our universe, men give birth to the babies and women drink lager until they either love or hate everyone in the pub.

What kind of parallel history are we talking about?

Everything. For example, one of the most famous movie stars of the 20th century was Arlene Schwartzenegger - a real icon for me, seeing as we shared the same name. Back in the 1980s, there was a lot of competition between her, Samantha Stallone and Jean Claudette Van Herren. But Arlene was the biggest of them all - a real kick-ass heroine. Did you see Terminator?

Yeah, but...

She goes back in time, as this unstoppable killing machine, to kill Simon Connor before he gets pregnant with the woman who will eventually win the war against the machines.

I think I'm getting a grille-ache. I didn't have this much trouble following our version...

If you don't want the answers, don't ask the questions.

Arlene Rimmer

Smegging hell...

Oh, I do hate men who swear. It's so smegging common. I like a man to be a real man - a husband in the living room, a chef in the kitchen and a V8 turbo-charged beast in the bedroom.


Hey, use 'em and lose 'em, that's my motto.

I thought your motto was, "When the going gets tough, the tough go and have a little cry in the corner".

Upwardly-mobile officer types like myself don't have time for relationships. We have to grab what we can. I could tell you a million stories about my conquests.

You're talking about Risk now, aren't you?

Certainly not - although I do have some awesome Risk anecdotes. Some of the most exciting dice roles in the history of tabletop warfare.

Sounds thrilling...

No, I was, of course, referring to my reputation aboard ship of being something of a stud muffin.

You mean Vaughan McGruder?

Well, yes, amongst others.

How many others?

Listen, I'm not going to get into this locker-room mentality. I'm far, far, far too much of a lady to stoop that low. I don't kiss and tell, I don't gossip. All you need to know about Vaughan McGruder is - I gave him one.

So he was the only one?

Look, I don't have time to count every single encounter I happen to have partaken of.

Arlene Rimmer

Okay, just give me a ballpark figure.

A ballpark?

Put it this way - should I be buying a stand, a row, or just a single ticket with an option to refund?

Okay. The last one.

Thought so.

Vaughan McGruder was the ship's male boxing champion. Some people say that it's an exploitative sport, just a titillating exhibition, but I can assure you that male boxing is a genuinely thrilling sport. The poise, the elegance, the sweat-sheened pectorals...

Wasn't he concussed? I heard a winch hit him on the head.

That all depends on how you classify 'concussion'. Some people think things like remembering your name, having the ability to stand without the room spinning, are important. Now if that's your narrow-minded view of medicine, I can't help you. I happen to view concussion as something a little less... straightforward. If, for example, a person can answer a simple question correctly, I see no reason to assume that they are at all unwell.

Questions like, 'fancy a quickie'?


Didn't he keep calling you Noreen?

Listen, as huge and as wide-ranging as a discussion about my sex life might be, perhaps we should move on to another topic.

Okay - would you like some toast?

Hands up anyone who didn't see that one coming.

Very well, tell me about life since Dave and Arnold left your dimension.

As you know, your Lister left his twin sons with my Lister. Jim and Bexley were only three days old, but dimensional anomalies caused them to grow to the age of 18 in that time. They hung around Red Dwarf with us for a while - sitting around the bunkroom with Lister, coming up with new drinking games.

Of course, that was a long time ago. Since then we've been joined by Kryten - a bog bot with an ironing fixation. She fell in love with Cameron, who turned out to be a pleasure GELF. Then Lister lost Red Dwarf and we came across an alternate-dimension version of Kristopher Kochanski, her old boyfriend. Of course, I missed out on all of that.

How come?

Well, by then I had been recruited.

Ah, finally headhunted by Gimps R Us?

Not funny. I happen to have an illustrious inter-dimensional lineage. Did you know that I have a heroic counterpart? An Arlene Rimmer who has become an icon for truth and justice? An Arlene Rimmer who proudly owns the nickname 'Ace'?

Arlene Rimmer

It all sounds pretty familiar, yep...

Well, Ace had been attacked by killer GELFs in another dimension and jumped to our universe before she died. I took over where she left off. Now I search the dimensions, seek out planets in trouble and straighten them out.

Kinda like Ground Force?

No. And now, you bread-obsessed buffoon, I must to return my dashing heroics. I have lives to save, villains to destroy, kittens to rescue. No more am I the incompetent Arlene Rimmer, no more do I make idiotic mistakes. No, I am Ace - a million generations of wisdom has been passed to me. There is no situation I cannot control.

You haven't got a key for this cell, have you?

Thank you Arlene. One final question - would you like some toast?