The first thing that was upsetting about the USA version of the show was that it seemed like the actors had never watched the show before, none of the truly solid things that made the characters the characters were there. There was next to nothing on the relationship of Rimmer and Lister in the USA pilot which is strange because in version one of the pilot next to everything is stolen from the real version of the show. I know why they thought it was a good idea to put Kryten into the cast right away, but the pilot seemed rushed and had next to no character development because of it. For a show that has pretty well 4-5 cast members at all time you need to establish the characters right away, where they stand and who they are what their relationships are etc.
At least in version two, they stood back and seemed to introduce all of the characters. They did three mini-episodes taken from other episodes in the original introducing the characters in different circumstances. The new cat (as a woman) was an interesting twist, yet I am not sure if the writers know what the characteristics of a cat are, they are concerned with themselves, they are curious and afraid. This cat seemed to think that it was not able to die and was completely fearless, not really attributes I would associate with a cat.
At any rate they did a better job all around in the second version.