“Skipper” is the sixth and final episode of Red Dwarf XII.
Rimmer is doing paperwork before Cat distracts him, until the latter manages to dist6ract himself with his own reflection in his pocket mirror. Then Kryten and Lister arrive; it seems they have found Captain Hollister’s crew appraisals. Rimmer says they shouldn’t read them but Lister does anyway. He is pleased that Hollister thought him ‘quite bright’ – along with a whole bunch of negatives. Rimmer wants to read his, but Cat says that he will only read out the positives. Which is largely true, and results in a lot of blah blahs – most of the positives were about Rimmer’s gamily.
When Kryten detects an anomaly, Rimmer takes offence to the use of the word anomaly, preferring the simple weird instead (weirdness later being ranked on a Michael Jackson scale). Said ‘weird’ thing is a lesion (Rimmer doesn’t mind lesion) in the space time continuum (Rimmer doesn’t like that word either) and said lesion hits the ship. At this point, things start getting a little anomalous… err, weird.
Lister and Cat decide to head to the science bay, not their quarters, but end up in the quarters not remembering how they got there. Then Cat starts doing things that Lister asked, which he had refused to do. Eventually, Kryten in the science bay works out that what’s happening is the choice they didn’t take, and references the many worlds theory. Lister starts performing his own experiments and comes to a similar conclusion. This is tricky – they have to decide not to do what they want to do so that they can actually do it.
Every decision is creating a new universe, so there must be a universe where only good things happened to a person. Rimmer gets jealous of that version of him (surely that’s Ace Rimmer?). This is all the fault of Kryten, who was playing around with some quantum technology they found, and may have… slightly miscalculated. Once fixed, they will have a way of ‘skipping’ between different universes. Rimmer wants to find a better universe or himself, and Cat suggests one where he isn’t such a giant loser. Lister says that will be tricky (still no mention of Ace Rimmer; given the number of references to earlier series in this one, including in this episode, that’s a bit strange). There are some familiar faces though, as Rimmer travels through other universes, trying to find somewhere better, and variants on the normal ones.