RDXI Give and Take question

Discussion in 'RED DWARF XI / XII' started by Presuming Ken, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. Presuming Ken

    Presuming Ken Deck Sergeant

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    So, what is the consensus on Lister's kidneys?

    Surely they weren't there when the droid went to cut them out. So the kidneys in the jar shouldn't have been there..

    Lister was being sewn up after the robot saw he had no kidneys... then it makes sense.

    As for the kidneys being someone else's? Nahhh.

    Yes, I know Red Dwarf has never got anything wrong in the past and it's always made perfect sense. But this I can't fathom.......
     
  2. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    For a while I was mulling over the idea that somehow the kidneys were Lister's from the original timeline. But Doug Naylor was interviewed here and said (towards the end) that the kidneys in the jar weren't Lister's. Another point I heard raised was that the kidneys were sitting in a specimen jar, suggesting they had nothing to do with the operation.

    But Aesclepius is definitely stitching/unstitching Lister. So we could say that Aesclepius was unstitching the stitches that future-Kryten made, but surely Aesclepius would have wondered why there were already stitches over his kidneys, if he thought he was taking his kidney(s) out. Aesclepius is deranged, but we have no evidence of malicious intent. He wouldn't have taken out two kidneys, he probably thought he was only taking out one kidney.
     
  3. Chris D

    Chris D Engineer

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    I'm actually surprised to hear Doug reveal that the kidneys weren't Lister's.

    When I first heard it (was actually a theory posted by Seb P not long after it went live on Dave), I felt like it was a good explanation, but it poses some other questions.

    First, Asclepius believes he is doing a kidney transplant, hence why he puts both Cat and Lister under. As far as we know, Cat wasn't operated on at all. Therefore Lister was the donor, seeing as it appeared as though he was being stitched up. And I do believe this is what is happening. If you listen carefully, Asclepius is singing: "Sew sew sew your boat, gently as you sleep".

    So, if Lister is the donor, and he is being stitched up, and Cat hasn't been operated on (yet), and there's a jar of kidneys then they are almost certainly Lister's.

    The most logical explanation I've come up with so far is that in the version of events we saw, Asclepius does indeed remove Lister's kidneys. When they go back in time to borrow the kidneys from his past self this then alters that past version of events. So, essentially, we see the unaltered version of events. This does possibly mean there's a parallel universe where Asclepius opens up Lister, finds no kidneys, and so uses Cat as a donor :lol:

    I don't know why, but that explanation somewhat tickles me so it sort of fits :-)
     
  4. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    I'm not convinced that Aesclepius would have taken out two kidneys, because that would kill the donor. Okay, he's "crazy" or whatever, but he's a medi-droid who thinks he's performing a kidney transplant. He obviously isn't trying to hurt them, after all he bothers to stitch Lister up. I take your point that Aesclepus singing "sew your boat" suggests he is stitching rather than unstitching. I don't really get it, he must have unstitched Kryten's stitches, found no kidneys inside, then stitched Lister back up without being confused.
     
  5. mtullock

    mtullock First Technician

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    To me the best explanation is the program watches the prime timeline in which Lister has his organs stolen.....The only thing which does not add this up is that why then did we start by seeing him in the middle of an unexplained hangover. Without this the program would have made a lot more sense lol
     
  6. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    I'm quite relaxed about this because he's mad. Maybe he was on to another delusion by the time he found Lister empty, or thought, 'Silly me, I must have already done it.'

    My only frustration is, why have kidneys on view? Having rescued him from surgery, it would have been more elegant if they'd simply *assumed* organ-napping, with the kidneys presumed lost in the explosion. After all, if Lister had got back from surgery and the scan had showed no kidneys, they'd've put two and two together!

    Also, not spelling this out as a comic twist is a real missed opportunity. It would have been much stronger than the lift call-back, I think.
     
  7. Chris D

    Chris D Engineer

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    In our timeline, maybe he got absolutely wasted the night before. If he wasn't knocked out early half way through the night by his future self then he could have carried on drinking for hours, or days.
     
  8. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    TBH, I think you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. I think the whole point of the story is they'd *already done it* - making a neat loop.

    It isn't just the hangover. Don't forget the opening scene with the lift!! It feels like filler when you first see it, then turns out *the lift was being slow because future people were in it*.

    The lift reveal is a big part of the episode. But, in your theory, this is still an "original" (i.e., undoctored) timeline, where Lister has his own kidneys and Asclepius will really steal them. In that case, there were no future selves in the lift at the start of the episode, because they hadn't meddled with the past yet. That sort of ruins a clever plot point. IMO, the point of the lift reveal - and "hangover" too - is to stress that the future selves had already done these things, so they just needed to go back and close the loop.

    "Random kidneys" might be frustrating, to a completist - but I prefer fan theories that don't undermine the circularity of the story - because it looks to me like Doug Naylor did some work to emphasise it. I'd say it's the central feature of the plot, in fact. The episode loses an awful lot of its appeal if we imagine they travel to the past to *change* it, and overwrite (rather than initiate) the story we've seen so far.
     
  9. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    The thing is, it makes just as much sense (i.e. none at all) for Asclepius to be sewing up Lister after removing both his kidneys as it does for him to be sewing him up after opening him up and finding no kidneys (or, rather, finding an MTK chip that he presumably threw away, hence why there wasn't one in there when Kryten patched him up later).

    It also makes no sense for him to have taken BOTH kidneys out, if he was preparing to transplant to Cat: he'd just have taken one.

    Simply put: Asclepius is a demented droid and nothing he does makes sense.

    But the simple fact is, the kidneys in the jar have nothing to do with Lister. They're deliberate misdirection on the part of the episode. I'm amazed so few people have managed to get this!
     
  10. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    Yes - concisely put!

    Asclepius randomly having someone else's kidneys in a jar, and doing surgery without a clear objective, is far and away the best of the options.

    Given that he's meant to be insane, I don't think it's worth coming up with fan theories to make his behaviour rational - if the cost of the theories is having to lose stuff that the writer really did intend (like the "hangover" being the after effects of chloroform and surgery).
     
  11. Pendo

    Pendo Supply Officer

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    Did we really need the shot of the kidneys in the jar? The episode would still work without it (and without the explanation of Rimmer destroying them with friendly fire), Kryten can still explain that Lister has no kidneys when they wake him up aboard Red Dwarf. It could have avoided all this confusion.
     
  12. Chris D

    Chris D Engineer

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    I have listened to that interview now, properly, whereas I couldn't last night and I am now satisfied that there was no paradox and that they weren't Lister's kidneys. If Doug says it, I'm happy.

    I still wish that it had been explained better in the episode itself, but I'll certainly just let it lie now we've had it confirmed by the man himself.
     
  13. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    Agree 100%.

    Me too. I *did* enjoy this ep, but it could have used a final "groan" - where they suddenly realise that Asclepius never removed the kidneys in the first place. Less for the sake of closure, and more because it would have been very funny!
     
  14. Chris D

    Chris D Engineer

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    Give and Take actually remains as my favourite of XI so far, and my favourite episode since VI or VII.

    I do agree it could have been used as a pretty good punchline.
     
  15. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    But like I say, it's deliberate misdirection! You're *supposed* to think they're Lister's kidneys at that point. Then you're supposed to realise afterwards that they weren't.
     

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