Talkie Toaster this month twiddles his browning knob in the direction of top shrink Dr Lucas McLaren.

Name: Dr Lucas McLaren Dr Lucas McLaren
Occupation: Chief Psychiatric Counsellor
Qualifications: Full graduate of psychiatry course, 'Dealing With Nutters'. (Mail order; free binder with part one.)
Distinguishing Marks: Garter belt mark around right thigh.
Captain's Comments: His analysis of Kryten recommended the droid's return to factory settings - which Kryten did not take kindly to. He held the Doctor and his assistants hostage in the public lavatories. (Note: This revealed a worrying tendency for the Doctor to wear stockings and suspenders. Perhaps I should refer him to Brannigan...)

Howdy doodly-doo!

Lovely! Hello, Talkie.

Let's get the important question out of the way first - would you like some toast?

No thank you.

Oh. Then perhaps you could tell us a little about how you got the job aboard Red Dwarf?

Oh, well, it's a sad story, actually. I was working on Titan as a... I suppose the technical term is 'Quack', when Red Dwarf docked. Captain Hollister had checked in to deal with his eating disorder - he had apparently been unable to complete the twelve course meal he'd ordered the night before. We worked through various techniques, and eventually I placed him under hypnosis. Would you like to see the video? There's a marvellous moment when he thinks he's a German shepherd -

No thanks!

Anyway, at the time Captain Hollister was looking for a replacement for Dr Brannigan, the ship's psychiatrist. He had been shopping on Miranda and his shuttle was late, so he didn't get back to Red Dwarf. The Captain thought I was a suitable replacement for him. Said we were very much alike - which I don't see myself. Still, strange about those shuttles - they're usually so good. They're so good, aren't they; they're brilliant!

So you took the job on Red Dwarf. Would you like a muffin?

No - though I would like to talk with you some time about just why you feel the need to constantly offer people grilled bread products. Perhaps it's a desire to be loved? Which is lovely.

But, yes, I took the job. I spent the first day with a prison guard named Ackerman. He was concerned that he wasn't psychotic enough. Coincidentally, that was the day I had the chairs in my office screwed to the ground.

Tell me about your assessment of Lister and his friends?

Oh, well, my patients' details are, of course, entirely confidentia... Goodness me, is that a $£20 note in your bread slot? Lovely! Very well, then - the Lister case.

Lister has unresolved issues relating to his parents. He seems to have convinced himself that he is his own father - which is obviously ridiculous. Worse yet, he views his ex-girlfriend as his mother. Now, of course, we all know what Freud would have said about all this. He'd have said, "Get that loony a straightjacket."

What about his companions?

The Rimmer case is interesting. He's absolutely convinced that he has a real contribution to make to the universe. Which is lovely, but he was such an appalling technician! Only that morning I had ordered an iced tea from one of Z shift's machines and been given roast chicken with a side order of custard.

Rimmer is labouring under the misapprehension that he is somehow a 'hero'. I mean, Arnold Rimmer, a hero, can you imagine? We have a name for his type in psychiatric circles - cowardus runawayus hidesintoilets.

The Cat is down in my records without a name, which was inconvenient for the filing, or would have been if I'd filed his report in the cabinet rather than the paper shredder. He spent his entire hour filing his fingernails, toenails and teeth. Funny - you'd think an hour talking about himself would have appealed to him...

Kryten's interview... well, you see the bandage on my right hand? Three fractures, apparently. After his interview I had restraints added to the chair - they apparently found some spares in Mr Ackerman's quarters. Lovely!

Dr McLaren

Would you like a toasted bagel?

Ah, now this is interesting. Why a bagel, I wonder? Are you perhaps implying that your life has an emptiness, a gaping hole in the centre, just like the bagel? Perhaps it's this void that you're trying to fill by proffering food to those around you...

If we could get back to the Red Dwarf crew -

I'd like you to look at some ink blots for me. What do you see in this one?

Two slices of toast.

And what about on this one?

A crumpet.

And this?

A toasted bap, with honey dripping from the sides.

I think I'm detecting a theme, here...

Doctor, let's round up here with your hostage situation...

I suppose we must talk about that. Yes, Kryten held myself and my colleagues at gunpoint in the lavatories - which was lovely. It was also quite embarrassing. He made us take down our trousers, and at the time I just... happened to be wearing white stockings and suspenders. But it's like I keep telling everyone - it was cold! I couldn't find my thermal underwear, I was in a hurry! Why does nobody believe me?!

Dr McLaren

Shocking revelations, held at gunpoint... I understand it's all been very traumatic.

It has! And the staff in the ship's hospital haven't helped. They keep treating me like I'm one of the patients! They lock me in at night, put me in restraints. They've even put me in a room reserved for someone else named Lucas McLaren - I saw the name on the door!

I don't mind it myself. I have plenty to do - I've been reviewing the ship's records, and it seems that to get out I have to weave a magic carpet in order to see the King of the Potato People. What really worries me is that there's another Lucas McLaren on the ship who should be in here instead of me. Can you imagine what kind of a nutter he must be?!

At this point, a nurse brought in Dr McLaren's medication and stopped the interview.

Thank you, Doctor McLaren. One final question - would you like some toast?