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On 23rd century earth, the best pilot of them all, Ace Rimmer (Chris
Barrie), tests a spaceship able to jump dimensions - meaning he can
enter different realities where, because of alternate decisions, things
took a different turn - & meet other versions of himself. His first
excursion takes him 3 million years into the future, where he
crashes into the shuttle of the Red Dwarf, aboard the crew - the last
human Lister (Craig Charles), the after-death hologram Rimmer (Chris
Barrie), the robot Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), the cat evolved to human
form Cat (Danny John-Jules) & the halfwit computer Holly (Hatty
Hayridge). HAving caused their accident, Ace decides to help them, &
with the help of Lister, renders the shuttle operational again. But Ace
is deeply disappointed by this dimension's Rimmer, who turns out to be
an incompetent idiot, while Rimmer grows jealous of Ace, him having
gotten all the lucky breaks he didn't. But, as it turns out, Ace was
held back in school for a year due to bad marks - that taught him to
fight his way through life - while Rimmer wasn't, which caused their
lives to take totally different turns.
In the end, Ace decides to
leave though, & would never meet another version of himself equally
sad though as the one of this dimension ...
The story of this
episode is of one piece, which is more than could be said about most of
the other season 4-episodes, this however is no excuse for the story to
be totally unfunny, & even though it is clearly centered on
characters keeps them totally one-dimensional: Ace is portrayed as an
annoying do-gooder in Top Gun-style with not a single flaw,
Rimmer is reduced to pure jealousy of his other self, Lister, who was
originally created as the sloppy careless guy is shown as an admirer of
Ace (whom he would have loathed even more than Rimmer in his original
treatment) & even does some heroic engine-repairing, while the rest
of the cast is left with little to do. Just another disappointing
episode in a disappointing season.