Production 8
Direction 8
Characterisation 7
Storyline 8
Acting 8
Fun/Sexy/Cool 8

The original Kryten!

Summary 7.8 great
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Red Dwarf: S02E01: Kryten

Holly introduces the show…. “Additional: As the days go by, we face the inevitability that we are alone in a godless, hostile and meaningless universe.  Still, you’ve got to laugh haven’t you?”

The first scene is of a crashed spaceship.  Inside the ship we see television show made up of mechanical characters. (The show is an android re-make of the ‘Neighbours’ Australian soap opera)  The credits for the show appear on the TV set and we see that Gary was played by non other than Android 722641V.  A real life android – what am I saying! (called Kryten) looks at the show with interest.

On Red Dwarf, Rimmer is trying to learn Esperanto.  He is failing miserably; even Lister can remember the phrases better than RimmerLister asks, “You’ve been learning Esperanto for 8 years, how come you’re so rubbish!”  Rimmer responds by telling Lister that he is uneducated.  Lister points out that he ‘attended Art College’.  He was only there for 97 minutes, the schedule was too hard.Aye-up lads - we godda ship!

Holly appears and helps Rimmer with an Esperanto phrase.  Rimmer accuses Holly and Lister of being bored, is that why they are annoying him while he’s trying to learn Esperanto?

Holly waffles on about how he has invented two extra musical notes and how he has been busy doing other such useful things. Then he adds nonchalantly, “Oh, I didn’t tell you the news.  We’re getting a signal.  It’s probably nothing, but I just thought I’d mention it.”

Rimmer gets excited, “Aliens” he exclaims.  Lister thinks differently.  They both go off to the Drive Room to investigate the signals origin. on the way, they meet Cat who is looking for a ‘mousey’ – with a big stick. “Come on,” says Lister, “we’ve got a signal!”

Cat, Lister and Rimmer join Holly in the Drive Room. Holly tells them that it is a distress signal from a ship called the Nova 5. “They’ve crash landed, I’m trying to establish contact.”

He adds that the ship is from Earth. Holly hopes that they have a few ‘odds and sods on board’. Red Dwarf is apparently running short of supplies.   Lister takes another drink of milk. For instance, “Cows milk, we ran out of that yonks ago, fresh and dehydrated!”  They are using the emergency back-up supply – dog’s milk! “Nothing wrong with dogs milk,” Holly adds, “full of goodness, full of vitamins, full of marrowbone jelly!  Lasts longer that any other type of milk.”

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“Why?” asks Lister. “Cos no other bugger would drink it!” Replied Holly. “Plus of course,” Holly continues, “the added advantage of dogs milk, is that when it goes off, it tastes just the same as when it’s fresh.”

Suddenly a signal comes on the screen.  We see a service Mechanoid tell them that there are three female crewmembers on board and that he is transmitting their medical details.  Sure enough, three drop-dead-gorgeous women appear on the screen. Well, they weren’t exactly drop-dead-gorgeous, they were certainly attractive, but to Lister, Cat and Rimmer, three blokes on a ship in the middle of no-where who’ve gone without female company for 3 million years, these were three goddesses.


The girls!

Cat is most impressed.  Rimmer answers the mechanoid’s signal telling him that they will make a detour and rescue the women ‘post haste’.  He signs off as Captain RimmerCat is very excited. “All six of my nipples are tingling,” he says on the way to the shower room.

Lister is a little cooler. “We are on a mission of mercy, we are taking emergency medical supplies. We are not on the pull!” He says. However minutes later we see him polishing his shoes, changing his clothes and ironing his trousers. Unfortunately he has burned a hole right through them. He manages to hide the hole by spray-painting the area on his leg with black paint. Rimmer enters and laughs at Lister’s efforts. But they both agree not to put each other down when introduced to the ladies.

Rimmer asks if Lister can call Rimmer by his old school nickname ‘Ace’.   ( I believe that this is the the first reference to Ace Rimmer)   “Get-out-a-town.” Replied Lister. “Your nickname was never Ace. Maybe ace-hole.”

On the Nova five, we see Kryten tidying up the three women!  Yes, they are just three skeletons. They must have died when the ship crashed.  Kryten,  in an effort to stay sane, has pretended that they were still alive after all these years – or more likely, his programming is faulty.

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On the flight over (in a small transport ship) Holly appears to be wearing a toupee.   Holly defends himself against chastisement by the Red Dwarf crewmembers by telling Lister and the Cat that Rimmer has two pairs of socks on.  One pair is on his feet and the other pair have been rolled up and put down his trousers.   Rimmer puts his hat over his crotch in embarrassment.

But they are all dead!When the three arrive. They are ushered into the ships main drive room and see the three female corpses.  They are mightily disappointed but easily resigned to the fact that the women are dead. Kryten brings in some tea and notices the silence. He asks, “Is anything the matter?”

“Is anything the matter?” Replies Rimmer; “they’re dead!”

“Whose dead,” inquires Kryten politely.

“THEY are dead.” Pointing to the skeletons, “They’re all dead!” He adds.
Kryten looks surprised. “My god!” says the android; “I was only away two minutes!”
“They’ve been dead for centuries.” Rimmer shouts impatiently.
Kryten inquires if Rimmer is a qualified doctor. “You’ve only got to look at them,” explains Rimmer, “they’ve got less meat on them than a chicken McNougat!”

They gradually persuade the android that the women are dead.Kryten Kryten sadly asks, “But what am I going to do?”

On the trip back to Red Dwarf, Kryten explains that he is a service robot. It is his duty to serve. He doesn’t have the software to cope with the situation. Lister explains that he just has to learn to think for himself and to stop being everybody’s doormat. “That’s easy for you to say.” Concludes Kryten.

On Red Dwarf, Rimmer puts Kryten to work doing a miraculous number of menial tasks. Lister enters his quarters to find it tidy and clean. Even his boxer shorts have been cleaned and pressed. Lister is mildly upset. He asks Kryten if there is anything that he wants to do for himself. Kryten sighs the ‘Androids’ tv show theme tune (in the same style as ‘Neighbours’). They talk about Kryten’s dreams of being a gardener and making things grow. Lister tries to persuade Kryten not to follow Rimmer’s orders.

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Next day, Lister and Cat are relaxing in Lister Quarters. Rimmer is having his portrait painted by Kryten. Rimmer is commenting on how ‘it’ likes to do the chores he gives it. Lister responds with, “Drop dead Rimmer.”
“Already have Lister” he replies.
“Encore.” Adds Lister.
“You’d never get a Cat to be a servant!” Cat interrupts, “Ever see a cat return a stick?”

Lister and Rimmer talk about how Kryten had been taken to see ‘The Wild ones’, ‘Easy Rider’ and ‘Rebel Without a Cause’.  It didn’t seem to have any effect.  Kryten was still as subservient. Lister gave up.

Rimmer on the LooOnce the portrait had been finished, Rimmer went over to look and found that it was a picture of him dressed in his parade uniform but sat on a lavatory!  Rimmer is annoyed, Rimmer is VERY annoyed. He asks Kryten what he is doing. “I’m erm… rebelling.” Replied Kryten.

Rimmer collects himself and doesn’t blow his top. He calmly asks, “What are you rebelling against?”

“What have you got?….. Dinosaur breath, ……. Molecule mind, ….. Smeg-for-brains?” Kryten answers in an American accent. He looks at Lister and says, “I need your bike”.

“You got it!” Replies an ecstatic Lister.

Kryten leaves with a last look at Rimmer. He sticks a finger up in the air and says, “Swivel on it punk!” and walks past a laughing Cat.

And there the show ends. This was our introduction to Kryten. The character was well played by the very cool David Ross.  In later seasons, he would be played by the much loved Robert Llewellyn.  Also, I used to think that David Ross played the Talkie Toaster in later episodes beacuse they had similar voices.  But alas, that was a different actor (John Lenahan)

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This episode review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without  the authors express permission

The Red Dwarf names, characters and everything else associated with
the series are the property of The British Broadcasting Corporation,
Rob Grant & Doug Naylor.  All rights reserved.

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