This week the crew end up dealing with a serious medical emergency, and the only one that can save the day is the most selfish being in the universe.
Lister (Craig Charles), Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Cat (Danny John-Jules) and Kryten (Robert Llewelyn) come across a space station that is due to be destroyed in five hours by a meteor shower. The crew decide to board it in order to salvage anything useful. The space station is home to Asclepius, an advanced medical droif – although it doesn’t look advanced when Rimmer and Kryten meet it (it only has four buttons).
This is perhaps due to the fact that the droid they think is Asclepius is actually Snacky, a snack dispensing machine. The real Asclepius is now insane, kidnaps Lister and Cat, and begins operating on them. When Rimmer and Kryten encounter the real Asclepius, they destroy it, but also destroy something else in their crossfire – Lister’s kidneys, which the robot had removed in an operation. Escaping to Red Dwarf before the meteors destroy the space station, Kryten tells Lister that the only way to save him is to find a kidney and change its DNA using Asclepius/Snacky’s “advanced” technology. However, they have one big problem. The only other individual on board Red Dwarf with any working kidneys is Cat. How is Lister going to persuade the most selfish creature ever known to give him something when he has nothing to offer in return?
It has to be said that this episode didn’t seem as funny as last week’s edition. While again it was good to see more from the Cat with him developing more as a character, this episode didn’t have as many great comic moments. There were some highlights though. The best of these is when Rimmer sees Snacky to get some psychotherapy, which sees a montage sequence of Rimmer trying to explain all the horrible incidents in his life which have made him the smeghead he is, including him in near tears when he exclaims: “Why did she get the green crayon?”
However, out of the three episodes of the series so far, this one has felt the weakest. Hopefully things will pick up again next week.
Red Dwarf XI is on Dave at 21.00 on Thursday nights.