Series 3 Episode 4: Bodyswap
Rimmer and Lister (sort of) wearing each other’s clothes
i imagine both steve and bucky like to come up with different ways to poke fun at sam every time they pass him during jogging
because they are shitheads
(the first one is a print you can get here)
Regarding Andimeantittosting’s tags - if you want to elaborate, here or on LJ, please do. :)
Oh lordy, well, I’ll give it a shot. So, reasons why Rimmer should never have been assigned to repair the drive plate, and so the accident is mostly the JMC’s fault, hopefully without woobiefying Rimmer too much:
First off, I’m working on the theory that given that the employer has by far the most power in dictating working conditions, naturally the greatest part of the responsibility for health & safety also falls on their shoulders, unless an employee is blatantly disregarding safety procedures.
Secondly, the argument that I think has been made the most, think about the work technicians are supposed to do on Red Dwarf - their most important duty is making sure the vending machines are stocked and they unblock chicken soup nozzles. Okay, at one point I think they have to repair the circuits on a door that’s on the fritz, but for the most part we’re talking incredibly simple stuff, and for all of it, we’re talking really unimportant stuff, that if not done will at most cause minor inconvenience. So why on earth would they assign one of the lowest ranking technicians to repair something as critical as a drive plate? Something that, if not done properly, endangers the lives of everyone on board? It’s not in Rimmer’s job description, or even anywhere near it, as far as I can tell.
And okay, so yes, the faulty repair was directly caused by Rimmer’s incompetence, but why on earth was someone so incompetant assigned to fix something so critical and so dangerous? It’s not like Rimmer’s incompetence is a secret - it’s right there in his file that he “has more teeth than brain cells”, that he should be given the jobs that aren’t worth doing. He has been with the company his entire adult life and has managed to move up exactly one rank. Literally everyone, including anyone who might be in a position to assign him a task, knows that he is incompetant. Whether or not he should have the job if he’s so useless at it is inconsequential the moment they put everyone’s lives at risk by handing him a task they had every reason to know he wasn’t up for.
Also, if we’re assuming the accident took place within a few days of Lister going into stasis, then we have to add in the fact that Rimmer is clearly not in a great place mentally or emotionally - if I’m handing out a task that could kill everyone on board the ship, I’m not going to give it to the guy who is so riddled with anxiety he literally collapsed a few days(?) ago. If he’s coming back to work so soon after that, I’m going to make sure he’s feeling okay and able to focus properly before I go assigning him a task that critical.
Finally, technicians work in pairs. Even when they are doing something as simple as using a pipe cleaner on a chicken soup nozzle. But Rimmer’s partner is Lister, who has been put into stasis, and he has clearly not been assigned a new partner for the duration, which means he’s doing all his tasks with no help and with no second set of eyes to double-check his work, which is supposed to have even for something as simple as stocking the vending machines. So why are they picking just him, instead of an intact team to do this very important repair?
Basically, someone with probably considerably more power than Rimmer (remember he’s the second lowest ranking crewman on the ship, and technically the lowest with Lister in stasis), thought it was a good idea to assign a task that if done incorrectly would cause a radiation leak that would kill over a thousand people (I go by the number given in Justice), and that is clearly outside a technician’s usual purview to a known incompetant, who was also having a mental health crisis, and who was lacking his usual backup. And then, when something inevitably went wrong, instead of sending someone competant to try to fix the emergency, as far as we can tell, the captain used this time to berate Rimmer, who should never have been given the assignment in the first place, for doing it wrong.
And then everyone died.
Thanks very much - I mean, I’ve always thought that it’s a giant plot hole, but you really nail all the problems with it. Of course we don’t know whether the accident was a few days, weeks or even months after Lister went into stasis (I mean in the show; I have a feeling that in the book it’s not long after), but the possibility of Rimmer being even more jittery than usual in the aftermath of his latest exam collapse hadn’t really crossed my mind.
Also, thank you for clarifying some points in my head which will help me with the WIP I’m struggling with atm. (It’s called “Ghosts” and is on AO3 if people are interested.)
I left off at the point where Rimmer breaks down and confides in Lister about the circumstances of the accident and am trying to write the next chapter. When it eventually gets posted, I’ll link to this post and credit you. :)
And Cloister spake: Lo, I shall lead you to Fuchal, and there we shall open a temple of food, wherein shall be sausages and savoury doughnuts and all manner of bountiful things. Yea, even individual sachets of mustard. And those who serve shall wear hats of great majesty. Yea, though they be made of coloured cardboard and have humourous arrows through the top.
Anybody else want Tommy Larson on the cover?