Bodysnatcher was a partly-finished script that was written but unused for Series I of Red Dwarf. Bodysnatcher was one of the scripts to be handed around during the interview process for the main casting, although at this point it was unnamed. It was allegedly this script that caught the attention of Peter Risdale-Scott, the commissioner for BBC Manchester, and that he read on the train bound for BBC London. Alfred Molina and Alan Rickman, who were auditioning for Arnold Rimmer and Dave Lister respectively, performed their audition from this script. One of The Cat's lines:
"I've eaten five times, I've slept six times, and I've made a lot of things mine. Tomorrow, I'm gonna see if I can't have sex with something!"
...was originally in this episode's script, but was moved to "Confidence and Paranoia" when the original script was dropped.
Because this script was conceptualized and part-written at a very early stage of development, many areas of the script do not gel with the other episodes of Series I. For example, the Cat does not speak to anyone but himself. The characters underwent minor development and back story elements were changed throughout Series I, and so the unnamed script would have had to undergo major changes to fit in with the rest of the series and the canon in general.
The unnamed and unfinished script was dropped in favour of "Me²". The original series finale involved Lister resurrecting Kochanski's hologram from the projection disc he found with Confidence in "Confidence and Paranoia".
However, when the unnamed script was dropped "Me²" was written to compensate for the missing episode and the ending of "Confidence and Paranoia" was similarly changed, so the disc in Kochanski's box was in fact Rimmer's.
To headline the release of "Red Dwarf Remastered" on DVD in the Autumn (autumn of what year?), the same audio story board process used in recreating the lost episode of Series VII, "Identity Within", has been used to create the "Bodysnatcher" episode. When the script was retrieved from the vaults of Grant Naylor Productions offices, it was found to be without an ending. The writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, who went their separate ways during pre-production on the ITV series The 10%ers in 1996, collaborated on bringing the script into line with the series' continuity and giving it an end.
"Bodysnatcher" became the title feature of the DVD release, due in part to its name and the potentially misleading quality of the "remastered" moniker (as the remastering was done in 1998, not 2007). The DVD set was then entitled "Red Dwarf: The Bodysnatcher Collection".
SummaryHolly is amused watching the shenanigans of his new crew aboard Red Dwarf. The Cat is wandering around, spraying things to "make them his". Arnold Rimmer encounters him in the corridor, demanding the creature stand aside for the ship's senior officer. The Cat hisses and "looks big". After a showdown the cowardly Rimmer ends up running away, pretending that Holly needs him for something, even after Holly says that he doesn't.
Rimmer calls Dave Lister down to the Refectory, and as senior officer and wanting to do things "by the book" Rimmer begins a roll call of the 1,169 dead crew. Lister walks out on the pointless exercise, causing Rimmer to berate him for his slobbiness.
Lister asks Holly why he has brought back Rimmer as a hologram instead of Kochanski, or anybody else, and Holly explains that Rimmer is the best suited to keep Lister sane, which Lister scoffs at. After sleeping in until late afternoon, surrounded by empty Leopard Lager cans and curry boxes, Talkie toaster repeatedly attempts to wake Lister up, which causes him to smash it up again. He goes to the mirror to find that he is completely bald, his beloved dreadlocks gone. It transpires that Rimmer had ordered the skutters to take some of Lister's eyelashes whilst he slept, but they ended up removing all Lister's hair instead. Rimmer wanted the hair in an attempt to clone a new body with, which he would then put his consciousness into and create a "Rimmerworld" (an idea later explored in Series VI with the episode RD: Rimmerworld where he does just that.)Lister orders Holly to erase Rimmer and bring back Kochanski, which he cannot do since Rimmer messed around with the Hologram Simulation Suite in the ten minutes of extra run-time he emotionally begged Lister for. Instead of bringing back Kochanski, it creates a hologram duplicate of - Dave Lister.
The two Listers quickly annoy each other with their slovenly ways and snoring keeping each other awake, to the point where the original Lister breaks and fires a flare gun at his hologram doppelganger, setting the sleeping quarters on fire which then seal. Lister cannot find the extinguisher, since he hid the safety manual and replaced it to annoy Rimmer. Lister orders Holly to bring Rimmer back, which he does, and Lister finds out from him where the extinguisher is, putting out the fire and saving his life.
The incident causes Lister to, begrudgingly, leave Rimmer as ship's hologram. Rimmer responds by calling a crew meeting in the Refectory to announce an inquiry to ascertain the cause of the fire...
- The Medi-Bot and the alarm clock have bigger roles in "Bodysnatcher" during which it is revealed that they have artificial intelligence like Talkie Toaster, and also like Talkie Toaster Lister smashes them both up for being annoying. The alarm clock and the Medi-Bot (at least in Series I) are not shown to have artificial intelligence in the television series proper. A rebuilt and upgraded Medi-Bot would make an appearance in Series X with artificial intelligence.