Arnold Judas Rimmer is a fictional character in the science fiction situation comedy Red Dwarf, played by Chris Barrie. He is unpopular with his crew mates, and is often the target of insults or pranks. Throughout the first seven series, his character wore an "H" symbol on his forehead, which stands for "Hologram", as in the Series I episode "The End" the character was killed in a lethal radiation leak. In Series VIII, he was brought back to life, along with the other members of the original Red Dwarf crew.
The creators of the series acknowledge that Rimmer's surname comes from a snobby prefect with whom they attended school. They claim, however, that only the boy's name was used, and not his personality.
Within the fictional universe of Red Dwarf, Rimmer was born on Io, somewhere during the 21st through 23rd centuries, where he suffered an unhappy childhood. He grew up in the shadow of his three older and more successful brothers, John, Howard and Frank, who tormented and bullied him throughout his youth and whose successes in both school and career greatly overshadowed him. His father had been rejected from the Space Corps in his youth for being an inch below regulation height, and was thus fixated on all his sons succeeding where he had failed; to which end, he refused to allow them to eat unless they could answer complicated astronavigation questions, and stretched them on a rack to make them taller. His mother was a cold woman, who had no time for fools, but was having an affair with Rimmer's uncle Frank and Porky Roebuck's father. The Series III DVD booklet goes on to conjecture that Arnold's three brothers were actually Frank's children.
Arnold was also bullied by other children at school — where he was known as "Bonehead" and his best "friend", Porky Roebuck, once spearheaded a plan to eat him during a Space Scouts survival course. Rimmer later recounts an occasion on which Roebuck threw his favourite shoes into the school septic tank whilst he was wearing them. At the age of 14, Rimmer divorced his parents. Sometime during his life, Rimmer also earned two swimming certificates: one Bronze Swimming Certificate, and one Silver Swimming Certificate — BSc and SSc respectively — which he includes in official correspondence.
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