Dimension Jump (Red Dwarf)

Infobox Red Dwarf episode
name = Dimension Jump

number = 5
airdate = March 14, 1991
writers = Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
director = Ed Bye
guests = Kalli Greenwood
Simon Gaffney
Hetty Baynes
series = 4

"Dimension Jump" is the fifth episode of science fiction sit-com "Red Dwarf" Series IVcite web | url =http://www.sitcom.co.uk/red_dwarf/series4.shtml | title =British Sitcom Guide - Red Dwarf - Series 4 | publisher =www.sitcom.co.uk |accessdate =2008-01-28] and the twenty third episode in the series run.cite web | url =http://www.tv.com/red-dwarf/white-hole/episode/10967/summary.html | title =TV.com - Dimension Jump summary | publisher =www.tv.com |accessdate =2008-01-25] It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 14 March 1991. Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, and directed by Ed Bye.cite web | url =http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0684153/fullcredits | title =Dimension Jump cast and crew | publisher =www.imdb.com |accessdate =2008-01-28] The episode, featuring the first appearance of Ace Rimmer, was intended to open the series but was postponed due to the Gulf War conflict.


In a parallel dimension, another Rimmer exists. Commander 'Ace' Rimmer is a test pilot in the Space Corps: he is charming, intelligent, popular, brave and modest. Being the heroic type, he jumps at the chance to test-fly a dimension-jumping prototype spacecraft and, after breaking the 'speed of reality', crosses into "Red Dwarf"'s dimension - crashing into "Starbug" in the process.Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 72.]

"Starbug" crash-lands on a water-planet, but Ace does not desert them and follows down to help. Aboard the Starbug he comes face-to-face with his counterpart Rimmer and an instant mutual dislike develops. Despite Ace's broken arm, he and Lister brave the elements to fix the craft.Howarth & Lyons (1993) p. 73.]

After this spectacular display of courage, the rest of the crew think he's quite a guy - except the original Rimmer, who is bitter and positive that in the other reality, Ace got all the breaks in life that he'd been denied. But in truth, Ace Rimmer had been the one kept down a year at school.

Meanwhile, the Cat has a broken leg, sustained during "Starbug"'s crash, and is becoming delirious. Once aboard "Red Dwarf", Ace says he can patch-up the Cat with a bit of micro-surgery, but that afterwards he must move on. He can stand his spineless counter-part no longer and there are a billion other realities to explore.


The ending scene went through numerous changes. The initial plan was to have Rimmer drop a load of kippers on Ace, but it didn't work, as shown, the fish would then fall on top of Rimmer. It was decided that this didn't work well and the text scroll was added in the post production.cite web | url =http://www.reddwarf.co.uk/deck05/series_4/Production.html | title =Red Dwarf Series IV Production | publisher =www.reddwarf.co.uk |accessdate =2008-01-10]

Several models for the episode were produced, including Ace's ship, the Io city dome and the Space Corps test space station. Filming of Ace's ship crashing into Starbug involved flying it through space on wires. The Starbug crash site was achieved using an ocean moon miniature construction.cite web | url =http://www.reddwarf.co.uk/deck05/series_4/effects.html | title =Red Dwarf Series IV Effects | publisher =www.reddwarf.co.uk |accessdate =2008-01-10]

For the first time in the series run, the end theme tune was changed. The director, Ed Bye, had requested a "naff organ sound" to end the episode with. In keeping with the Rimmer theme Howard Goodall performed an instrumental arrangement which played over the end credits.Interview: Howard Goodall, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603]

The regular cast all get to play their alternative universe roles. Chris Barrie plays Ace Rimmer, Craig Charles is Spanners, Danny John-Jules is the Chaplain, Robert Llewellyn is Bongo and Hattie Hayridge got the chance to play more than just a computer head when she appeared as Mellie.Series IV on Video, Red Dwarf Smegazine, issue 11, January 1993, Fleetway Editions Ltd, issn 0965-5603] Kalli Greenwood appeared as Mrs. Rimmer and Simon Gaffney appeared as Young Rimmer, while Hetty Baynes voiced the Cockpit Computer.

Cultural references

The spaceship scene that introduces Ace Rimmer parodies the 1986 Tom Cruise movie "Top Gun" and even features similar heroic music.cite web | url =http://www.reddwarf.co.uk/deck05/series_4/music.html | title =Red Dwarf Series IV Music | publisher =www.reddwarf.co.uk |accessdate =2008-01-10] "Jaws" is mentioned by Lister as to where they're going in the middle of the night with fishing rods. After hearing Lister's nickname given by Ace, Rimmer references "Skippy", "'Ace and Skipper?' You sound like a kids' TV series about a boy and his bush kangaroo!"cite web | url =http://www.imdb.com/rg/title-tease/movieconnections/title/tt0684153/movieconnections | title =Red Dwarf movie connections | publisher =www.imdb.com |accessdate =2008-01-08]


The episode was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 14 March 1991 in the 9:00pm evening time slot,cite web | url =http://catalogue.bbc.co.uk/catalogue/infax/programme/NMRI075P | title =BBC - BBC - Programme Catalogue - RED DWARF IV - DIMENSION JUMP | publisher =BBC |accessdate =2007-12-12] although it was initially intended to be shown first as the series opener, but the Gulf War hostilities at the time meant that the BBC held back the episode along with "Meltdown". When the hostilities ceased the show was able to be broadcast later in the run.cite book |last=Howarth |first=Chris |authorlink= |coauthors=Steve Lyons |title=Red Dwarf Programme Guide |year= |publisher=Virgin Books |location=Section 1: The History |isbn=0-86369-682-1]

Considered to be one of the best episodes by many, the episode also topped the Series IV list in a Red Dwarf magazine poll - with 7.3% of the overall votesRed Dwarf Smegazine, issue 10, December 1992, Fleetway Editions Ltd, ISSN 0965-5603] - one viewer stating that it "combines high comedy and high pathos into an experience that is at once terminally funny and emotionally wrenching."cite web | url =http://www.reviewsbygavrielle.com/dwarf4.shtml | title =Dimension Jump review | publisher =www.reviewsbygavrielle.com |accessdate =2008-01-28]

The BBC decided to use the popularity of the episode to head the second part of the Series IV video tape release, despite "White Hole" being third in the running order.cite web | url =http://www.reddwarf.co.uk/deck05/series_4/aftermath.html | title =Series IV Aftermath Aftermath | publisher =www.reddwarf.co.uk |accessdate =2008-01-07]

ee also

*"Backwards" - the fourth "Red Dwarf" novel which features the plot of "Dimension Jump" as well as other episodes.cite web | url =http://www.reddwarf.co.uk/deck05/series_6/aftermath.html | title =Series VI Aftermath | publisher =www.reddwarf.co.uk |accessdate =2008-01-28]



*cite book |last=Howarth |first=Chris |authorlink= |coauthors=Steve Lyons |title=Red Dwarf Programme Guide |year=1993 |publisher=Virgin Books |location= |isbn=0-86369-682-1

External links

* [http://www.tv.com/red-dwarf/white-hole/episode/10967/summary.html Red Dwarf: Dimension Jump - TV.com]
* [http://www.reddwarf.co.uk/deck03/season4.html Episode Guide - Series 4 at RedDwarf.co.uk]

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