"Give & Take" is the sixty-fourth Red Dwarf episode overall.
Rimmer, holding a psi-scan, calls a lift that claims to be occupied, making him so upset that he fires the lift and instructs one of the skutters to replace it with another lift from another shaft. He has been picking up several strange energy signatures on B-Deck, and is trying to figure out what they may be. After a quick establishing shot of a nearby space station, the scene changes to Lister asleep in Rimmer's bunk, with several empty lager cans and whiskey bottles strewn about the place. Lister, still feeling hungover after being in bed for two days, is awoken by Rimmer, who instructs him to get up so that they can investigate the station, which is about to be destroyed by a meteor storm in five hours time.
They are joined by Kryten and the Cat on Starbug, where Kryten reveals that he had deleted some extraneous files off of his hard drive that morning, including a folder marked as "Captain Bollocks", which contained all of his information on Rimmer. They then arrive on the station and split into two pairs in order to expedite their search. Rimmer and Kryten discover that the station is home to Asclepius, a highly advanced medi-bot, who they try convince to join them on Red Dwarf, unaware that they were actually talking to Snacky, an automated snack dispenser. Lister and the Cat meanwhile discover the skeleton of Ramiro G. Gonzalez, a stasis booth engineer who seems to have stabbed himself in the back.
After finding the body Lister and Cat are accosted by the real Asclepius, who in the intervening years has become mad, in spite of the fact that he has already given himself the all clear. He shoots two tranquilizer darts into the Cat and Lister as they attempt to escape, and prepares them for an operation, believing them to be two of his former patients. Kryten and Rimmer realize that they were too generous in their estimates, and that the asteroid storm had arrived far sooner than expected. They go off in search of Lister and the Cat and save them from Asclepius, believing him to be no more than a deranged droid patient.
As they flee Asclepius recovers from being struck by bazookoid fire and chases after them, but the Dwarfers and Snacky are able to reach Starbug and escape the station before he can catch up, and he is subsequently destroyed in the meteor storm. Back on board Red Dwarf Kryten and Rimmer discover that Lister's kidneys had been stolen; the only kidneys in evidence on the station were in a glass jar that Rimmer destroyed. Kryten devises a plan wherein the Cat would donate one of his kidneys to Lister, believing that the robot they just brought on board with them would be able to then genetically modify it to make it compatible with Lister's own organs.
Lister attempts to break the situation to the Cat, who is unscathed, but reacts badly, and refuses to give him his organ. Rimmer then corners Snacky, still believing him to be Asclepius, and forces him to listen to his life story, under the impression that Snacky has advanced psychiatric skills. Lister meanwhile convinces Kryten to lie to the Cat in order to make him under the misapprehension that he is the one that actually needs a new kidney. He reacts selfishly as they knew he would, and immediately starts sucking up to Lister, signing a consent form and making Lister swear that if their roles were reserved he would do the same for him.
Kryten then lets the Cat know that Lister is still the one that needs a new kidney, and sedates him before he has a chance to argue. Rimmer and Kryten prepare to operate, but Snacky finally finds his voice and informs them that he is not who they think he is. Their plans now scuppered, the Dwarfers attempt to find a different solution. Lister remembers the body that he and the Cat found on the station, and wonders if Romero had been stabbed by his own clone, and if so, whether or not they can use the same technology to help him. Snacky interrupts, informing them that Romero was not killed by his own clone, but was instead killed by his own past self as part of a self-inflicted temporal loop.
The Dwarfers realize that they can use the same method to go back in time to take past Lister's kidneys and insert them into present day Lister, creating their own temporal loop. After some cajoling they are able to convince Snacky that he can be more than just a snack dispenser, and get him to use his knowledge overheard from Romero when he was ordering snacks to modify one of the stasis booths. The Dwarfers arrive several days in the past, chloroform Lister, and remove his kidneys, installing an MTK chip to keep him alive until his missing organs can be discovered. They then take a lift up to the sleeping quarters, the same lift that Rimmer found to be occupied at the start of the episode.
Past Rimmer threatens to fire the lift, while future Rimmer promises to promote it once he gets back to his own time. The Dwarfers then deposit past Lister onto Rimmer's bunk in the sleeping quarters, scattering empty lager cans and whiskey bottles in order to make it appear as though he had just gotten blind drunk, and return back to their own time. We are then shown Rimmer, several weeks later, calling a lift in a grungier part of the ship. It is the same lift that Rimmer had promised to promote earlier, only to have it slip his mind. The lift tells him that Snacky has continued to practice his engineering skills, and has installed a nuclear reactor to its counterbalance, allowing it to travel close to the speed of light.
The episode ends with Rimmer panicking as the lift promises to take him on the ride of his life.
Not long after this episode was aired Propstore sold the complete Asclepius costume for £2000, and it is now owned by Emily Gadd.
- Craig Charles as Dave Lister
- Chris Barrie as Arnold Rimmer
- Danny John-Jules as The Cat
- Robert Llewellyn as Kryten
- Mark Quartley as Snacky (Voice)
- Tobias Wilson as Snacky (Body)
- Oliver Mason as Asclepius (Voice)
- Jami Reid Quarrel as Asclepius (Body)
- Daniel Barker as Lift
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- The presence of the kidneys in the jar has been the subject of much fan debate, as they could not in fact be Lister's as Kryten had already stolen them from past Lister by this time, something which was later confirmed by Doug Naylor. This has lead to much speculation as to their origins. Some feel that Asclepius really was trying to save Lister by finding or creating him new kidneys, while others feel that they were just there on display, especially since they seem to be suspended in formaldehyde.
- Rimmer references his recent discovery that his father was not his father ("RD: The Beginning") when talking with 'Asclepius' about his issues.
- This is not the first time that the Stasis Booth has resulted in time travel, although in RD: Stasis Leak, it was an accident and the transference process was comparatively more straightforward.
- While it seems Kryten will never say 'Smeg-head' properly this episode reveals that he has actually come up with his own nickname, 'Captain Bollocks', to use to insult Rimmer behind his back.
- Despite being the third episode broadcast, Give & Take was the first episode filmed of the entire XI/XII block, making it the first time the cast had reprised their characters in front of a live audience in four years, following on from the production gap after Series X.
- Asclepius: There was a time where I was was a teensy tiny teeny weeny bit... MAD!
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