There’s so much I could say here… :p
OK, let me climb back on this carousel just briefly. I love the changes you can see from 24 years earlier in how they relate. I don’t remember anytime in the early seasons you had the two of them quietly alone together at the controls, each doing his own thing - meaning, Rimmer is not giving orders, suggestions, or otherwise rubbernecking into Lister’s work. HE TRUSTS HIM TO DO WHAT HE’S DOING WITHOUT INTERFERING. This is character development. And Lister’s not deliberately poking at Rimmer with some verbal barb to piss him off or run him off - he knows Rimmer is likely working on his 1,055th revision of Health and Safety Protocols, or studying notes for his 103rd try at the officer’s exam, and lets him be, instead of harassing him like he did in their early days together in-quarters.
To wit, about the Series X sets too: I’m not saying previous sets didn’t try to do the same thing, but I feel like Michael Ralph in X designed them to exude “family” more - they’re arranged in ways to bring the characters together, rather than separate them. This drive room, the Blue Midget drive room, all encourage groupings. The bunk room isn’t just sleeping quarters with bunks - it’s a family room of sorts, with a big table dominating, as well as a little sofa, refrigerator, grill, sink, etc. (I wrote a fic in which I posited that wasn’t actually living quarters, that it was just a living area for them all with bunks for napping … of course me being me, I further posited Rimmer’s and Lister’s nicer, larger bed was in better quarters altogether, LOL.)