The Ace Rimmer cemetery planet was a small, nondescript reddish-purple planetoid surrounded by a large, prominent system of bright orange-coloured rings. Countless versions of Ace Rimmer from different dimensions had come here as their final resting place.
Arnold Rimmer was insanely jealous and resentful when he met his charming alter-ego Ace Rimmer for the last time. However, Ace had come aboard Starbug with a strange story to tell Arnold, and an even stranger request - he was dying, and wanted Arnold to take Wildfire and become the next Ace, saying that it was his destiny.
The original Ace Rimmer (which the Dwarfers had met in the Series IV episode "Dimension Jump") was dead, having "caught the business end of a neutron tank in Dimension 165." Ace had existed as a hologram for a time, before recruiting another Rimmer from a parallel dimension to take up the mantle of the Universe's greatest hero. As the final Ace said, all the Rimmers begin as caterpillars, yet turn into butterflies.
A small, golden coffin for the holographic Light Bee from the first Ace (or his cremated ashes) was left floating around the small purple planet. When the second Ace knew that his own time was coming up, he too recruited yet another version of himself to pass on the flame, and his identical small coffin was also left in orbit around the same planet as the first. Eventually, this process was repeated billions, if not trillions, of times, creating the planetary ring system which were made up of identical Ace Rimmer coffins.
Dave Lister took his own Rimmer - who had failed Ace's training - to see the planet himself to change his mind. They followed the tracker on the last Ace's Light Bee coffin, taking Starbug through a wormhole and to the planet. They were both astonished at what they saw as they flew in among the planetary rings.
When Lister questioned if his Rimmer would really be the one to break the chain, it convinced Arnold that he should at least try to become Ace, and he left with Wildfire. Starbug left in its mission to relocate its missing mothership, Red Dwarf. ("Stoke Me a Clipper", Series VII)
- It is unclear where exactly the Ace Rimmer cemetery planet is located. Given that the original Ace Rimmer died in Dimension 165, it is likely that the planet is located in that dimension. It also bears a resemblance to the original planet Mars.
- The existence of the Ace Rimmer cemetery planet would seem to suggest that Rimmer did indeed have a purpose in the Universe.
- Although Rimmer leaves the Dwarfers in this episode to become Ace, and is absent for the most of the remainder of Series VII, he would continue to appear in a number of flashbacks ("Ouroboros"), virtual reality, and in one case, a dream of Lister's in which he returns as Ace ("Blue")
- What occurred to the original Arnold Rimmer in his adventures as 'Ace' is never revealed.
- Rimmer (the original, Series I Rimmer) would return in Series VIII, resurrected in the flesh by the nanobots. What happened during the 1999 - 2009 Bridge is unknown, but by the time of Back to Earth, Rimmer is once again a hologram. By the time of Series X, Rimmer is apparently the original version again, although he could have just been implanted with the memories of the original. This has been never been officially resolved (although the Series VIII Rimmer did find the diary of the original), and and has remained a matter for some debate among fans.
Behind the Scenes
- Chris Barrie was wanting a lesser role in Series VII, and so was temporarily written out, resulting in the events of this episode. However, he would fully return as Rimmer in the next series.