Dimension Jump is the fifth episode in Series IV of Red Dwarf, and twenty-third episode overall.


The boys from the Dwarf meet an alternate version of the neurotic, selfish, cowardly and terribly incompetent Arnold Rimmer from another dimension. Much to Arnold's ire and jealousy, "Ace Rimmer" is the opposite of Arnold: charismatic, selfless and heroic; a glimpse of what Arnold actually could have been given a different path in life...



"Arnold, this decision could change the course of your life..."

On Io, a young Arnold Rimmer has been tied upside-down to a tree by his brothers. His unconcerned mother explains to him that he is in danger of being held back a year at school, which could affect his whole future...

Twenty years later, Arnold "Ace" Rimmer is a Space Corps experimental test pilot on Mimas. Ace is a very brave, popular, modest and confident man who is at the top of his profession, so when he is offered the chance to test a new ship - Wildfire - that can break the speed of reality and cross dimensions, Ace jumps at the chance to meet another Arnold Rimmer. He leaves his friends - the engineer Spanners, Space Corps chaplain The Padre, secretary (and his lover) Mellie and Admiral Bongo behind, knowing that he will never be able to return. He parts from them with his catchphrase "Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast".


Starbug crashed on rocks on an ocean moon

Back in our own dimension and aboard Red Dwarf, Dave Lister, Kryten, Cat and even Holly try to leave the very much maligned Arnold Rimmer behind while they go on a fishing holiday to an ocean moon. Rimmer, however, wakes up, catches them and insists on coming along. When Starbug encounters Ace Rimmer's ship bursting through into their reality, Holly initiates a purple alert and they adopt the crash procedure which involves reading the incredibly boring in-flight magazines such as Morris Dancer Monthly and Up, Up, And Away. The Dwarfers manage to survive hitting the Wildfire, but Starbug crashes down onto some rocks on the ocean moon's surface.


Cowardly Rimmer meets his heroic alter-ego, Ace Rimmer

Cat is badly wounded, caring more about the blood clashing with his trousers than with the injury. Lister decides to try fixing the damaged engine before Starbug sinks, but he knows little about it. Ace arrives and recognises Lister as Spanners, Kryten as Bongo, Cat as Padre, and Holly as Mellie, much to everyone's confusion before Ace explains that he is from a parallel dimension. Ace immediately takes charge of the crisis, charming everyone and insisting that Rimmer will be able to help. Rimmer proves unknowledgeable, ineffective and cowardly, so Lister joins Ace in fixing the engine, with Ace calling Lister "skipper". Kryten insists at first, but Ace knows that the Series 4000 are not waterproof, and so knocks Kryten out with a punch and takes Kryten's place.

Rimmer soon learns to resent Ace's presence. Ace is a reminder that with the right breaks, Rimmer could have made a success of his life. After Ace repairs Cat's broken leg, Ace begins to sew up his own arm without anesthetic. Ace tells Lister that the only difference between his life and Rimmer's was that Ace was the one who was held back a year in school. The humiliation made Ace buckle down, forced him to fight back, and helped him later develop confidence and concentrate on being a better person. So ironically, it was actually getting a break for once that caused Rimmer to grow up into what he is.

Ace decides to leave Red Dwarf, going off to explore other dimensions partly because he cannot stand to be near his counterpart. Rimmer decides to teach him a lesson, rigging up a net full of kippers to drop on Ace's head. The net does not work and Ace flies off to new adventures, searching for a Rimmer as sad and worthless as the one on Red Dwarf... his impossible search continues.

Deleted Scenes

Available on the Series IV DVD:

  • Extended model shots of Rimmer's childhood home on Io, including the Rimmer house which was not seen in the episode. Only a wider shot of the whole colony, and the gardens of the Rimmer family home, are seen in the episode. However in the model shots on the DVD the house can be seen - which was seemingly very modular, and resembling grain silos.
  • Ace Rimmer's scene with Padre was originally longer, talking about how Ace had helped little orphan boy Tommy pull through after an operation. The extended dialogue also says that Ace donated all his money to helping the boy.

Mellie breaks the fourth wall as she says "What a guy!"

  • Mellie also had an extended scene, asking Ace to bring cherries as well as maple syrup to their tryst, and breaking the fourth wall to say "What a guy!"
  • Blue-screen work was not completed on Ace's farewell scene on Mimas, which continued a running gag as Padre smells maple syrup on Mellie, and also includes Bongo and Spanners musing on how Ace will encounter another Arnold Rimmer and become fantastic friends and an exceptional team with his counterpart.
  • A half dozen additional lines of dialogue and jokes, cut for time.

The kippers falling on Rimmer

  • The original ending to the episode whereby Rimmer with the help of the skutters tries to drop a sack of kippers on Ace, but they fall on him instead, was removed when the writers believed it didn't work on either comedic or logical levels. The kippers, which should have fallen straight through the hologram Rimmer, were intended to halt in freeze-frame. In the aired episode, Ace merely shrugs at the still-suspended kippers before walking off.


Guest Stars


  • This episode came about as Chris Barrie asked Rob Grant and Doug Naylor for the chance to play someone heroic as, having been playing both Rimmer and Gordon Brittas (the main character from The Brittas Empire who had similar personality flaws) for years, he felt he was suffering from 'git overload'.
  • For the last two episodes of Series IV the closing credits do not include the standard Red Dwarf theme song. At the end of "Dimension Jump", the theme song is played by Rimmer and the Skutters on the Hammond Organ without any lyrics. In "Meltdown", the Elvis look-alike waxdroid sings the Red Dwarf theme at the end.
  • This is the first appearance of Rimmer's heroic alter ego Ace Rimmer.
  • The Series VII episode "Stoke Me a Clipper" is a sequel to this this one in more ways than one. The Ace Rimmer in "Dimension Jump" says that he has "billions" of other Arnold Rimmers to meet, which foreshadows the events of "Stoke Me a Clipper" where it is revealed that there have already been billions of Ace Rimmers saving the Universe, one passing on the flame to another. The coffins of all the former Ace Rimmers compose the rings on a cemetery planet.
  • When we see young Arnold Rimmer hanging upside-down from a tree in the family garden on Io at the beginning of this episode, the gardens were presumably the work of Dungo aka Dennis the Gardener. Not to mention, given his mother showed very little interest, it might well have been Dungo who untied him. In the final episode of Series X, it is revealed that Dungo was actually Arnold's biological father, making this more likely.

Background Information

  • Simon Gaffney also portrayed a young Rimmer in the earlier Series III episode "Timeslides".
  • Hatty Hayridge's "alternate dimension" character also got to say "What a guy!" but this was cut from the final broadcast, possibly due to the fact she's the only one of the characters to break the fourth wall when she says it. A second reference to the maple syrup gag was also cut.
  • Possibly unintentionally, Robert Llewellyn's alternate dimension character Bongo bears a striking resemblance to Dean Stockwell's character Al Calavicci of Quantum Leap fame. (Al's character in Quantum Leap was nicknamed "Bingo" in his youth ("A Leap for Lisa") which was a shortened form of "Bingo, Bango, Bongo")

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Rimmer: I went into the gents and he went the other way (About Ace)
  • Ace Rimmer: Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
  • Spanners (Alternate Lister): What a Guy!
  • Padre (Alternate Cat): What a Guy!
  • Bongo (Alternate Kryten): What a Guy!


On the Internet Movie Database, "Dimension Jump" has a weighted average rating of 8.7 out of 10. Out of the 73 total episodes in Red Dwarf, this rating places it 7th highest rated out of the 73.[1]

In late 2017, prominent fan site Ganymede & Titan ran the Pearl Poll from among hundreds of fans. The aim of the Pearl Poll was to produce a "definitive" list of all 73 episodes of Red Dwarf in order of their popularity. In February 2018 the list was published, and "Dimension Jump" was voted 10th out of the 73 episodes.[2]



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