Day 44, No. 44. Kryten

Kryten Red DwarfHAIRCUT 100: Day 44, No. 44. In honour of Red Dwarf XI – the British Star Trek – which premiered on Dave last night: Kryten, as played by the wonderful Robert Llewellyn, Herman Munster in the form of a Series 4000 Mechanoid, Bachelor of Sanitation, Toilet University. The name is a reference to the butler in J.M. Barrie’s play The Admirable Crichton, in turn an allusion to the dashing Scots adventurer James Crichton, whose exploits at the court of Henri III of France were immortalised in the novel that W.H. Ainsworth wrote between Rookwood and Jack Sheppard which no one remembers. So now you know. Originally played by David Ross, Kryten’s first appearance in the show was intended to be a one-off, and he is depicted breaking his programming and leaving the ship dressed as Marlon Brando from The Wild One, having suggested Rimmer ‘Swivel on it.’ In their original plan for Red Dwarf, writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor had specified that there would be no aliens and no robots, but Kryten’s popularity led to his return as a regular crew member from Series III, his remains apparently retrieved from an asteroid along with his crashed spacebike. Smegging brilliant. Kryten represents the ‘Tin Man’ archetype in science fiction, like Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Sonny in I, Robot, a machine that aspires to be human; although when he finds out what this is really like in the episode ‘DNA,’ he decides not to bother. ‘Well, spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska.’

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