Bodysnatcher (Red Dwarf)
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"Bodysnatcher" was a partly finished script that was written but unused for the first series of the BBC sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. It was said to involve the now intangible Rimmer attempting to construct a body of his own using components of Lister's—such as dandruff and fingernail clippings—before going mad and attempting to steal entire limbs.
"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 Ridsdale-Scott, the commissioner for BBC Manchester that he read on the train bound for BBC London. Alfred Molina and Alan Rickman, who were auditioning for Lister and Rimmer respectively, performed their audition from this script. One of 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 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 conceptualised 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 original series finale involved Lister resurrecting Kochanski's hologram from the projection disc he found with Confidence. 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 that the disc in Kochanski's box was in fact Rimmer's.
To headline the release of Red Dwarf Remastered on DVD in November 2007, the same audio story board process used in recreating the lost episode of Series VII, "Identity Within", was used to create the "Bodysnatcher" episode. When the script was retrieved from the vaults of Grant Naylor 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".
- "The Bodysnatcher collection". www.reddwarf.co.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2008.