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Recap / Red Dwarf Season III The Last Day

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The boys try to send Kryten off with a bang. And a very dubious drink.

Kryten gets a package in the mail, delivered three million years late: his death warrant. Which is to say Kryten has reached his manufacturer's built-in expiry date, and an upgraded model of android is on its way to replace him. Once it arrives, Kryten will have to shut himself off permanently.

Lister is outraged by this, and even more outraged at Kryten's acceptance. Kryten tries to explain that he'll go to Silicon Heaven, an afterlife paradise where "the iron shall lie down with the lamp", but Lister sees this as a garbage attempt by the manufacturers to program their creations into Happiness in Slavery. Unable to dissuade Kryten, however, he decides to organize a last, big party before Kryten is dismantled and replaced by the Hudzen-10.

After a night of revelry, Kryten has a revelation: he enjoyed himself, which should be impossible according to the beliefs he was programmed with, and he can no longer accept the thought of terminating himself. "It isn't enough. I want more."


Lister, Rimmer, and the Cat suit up with bazookoids to confront Hudzen-10... who decides that they are all viable targets because three million years doing nothing but searching for the android he's set to replace has done nothing for his sanity. He easily overpowers them and begins to strangle Kryten, delivering a Pre-Mortem One-Liner about going to Silicon Heaven — whereupon Kryten bursts out that there's no such thing. Hudzen-10 drops him in astonishment. He tries to process the idea of calculators just dying, but it's too much, his circuits overload and he shuts down. When Lister asks how Kryten managed to survive this Logic Bomb, Kryten simply laughs that he lied. No silicon heaven? Ridiculous! Where would all the calculators go?


Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Accidental Art: Lister recounts the first time he got drunk and threw up from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
    The story I got told was some pavement artist sold it to a Texan tourist. Told 'im it was a genuine Jackson Pollock.
  • Acquired Error at the Printer: Rimmer's parents were "Seventh Day Advent Hoppists", who hop every Sunday, due to a misprinted Bible wherein 1 Corinthians 13:13 reads "Faith, hop, and charity, and the greatest of these is hop."
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Kryten reverently describes Silicon Heaven, where not only androids but all electronics go when they die, but dismisses the idea of human heaven.
    "Someone just made that up to keep you from all going nuts!"
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: After three million years tracking down Kryten, Hudzen-10 has worn out his sanity chip and become a homicidal killing machine.
  • Black Comedy: Invoked; Kryten casually remarks that as his adopted owner, Lister will be expected to die with him. It turns out to be an unexpected joke.
  • Brick Joke: "But where do all the calculators go?"
  • Brief Accent Imitation: When Rimmer imitates Kryten's manner of speaking, he does a pretty good imitation of Kryten's accent and speech pattern (Chris Barrie is a skilled vocal impressionist).
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Rimmer, upon Hudzen telling the boys they're all viable targets.
    Rimmer: Well, it's been a few years since I did that.
  • Crisis of Faith:
    • Kryten experiences one after thoroughly enjoying his party, because the tenets of his faith hold that it's impossible for androids to experience happiness and enjoyment in life. It convinces him to continue living and see if he can have more.
    • Weaponized at the episode's climax: by asserting that Silicon Heaven isn't real, Kryten causes Hudzen-10 to shut down, unable to process such a concept.
  • Cutting the Knot: Played with; while a scene early in the episode implies that Lister and Rimmer will have to try and somehow bypass Kryten's shutdown program, he reveals the morning after his farewell party that he doesn't have to execute the program if he doesn't want to. Unfortunately, this'll lead to a much bigger problem in that it'll cause Hudzen-10 to attempt to physically destroy him.
  • Dying Vocal Change: Upon suffering his metaphysical dichotomy, Hudzen-10's voice gets lower and lower until he trails off.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Kryten reveals quite casually that he was lying to Hudzen-10 about the non-existence of Silicon Heaven; in stark contrast to the first episode of the next season, where Lister has to give Kryten specific lessons on how to lie. The commonly-accepted fanon explanation is that during this episode Kryten was able to lie to other machines but not humans, and/or he can temporarily break his programming in life-or-death situations — he is, after all, lying to save the lives of Lister and The Cat.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: We and Lister learn that Kryten's full name is Kryten 2X4B 523P. He's not thrilled about the 2X4B, but at least it's not as bad as an acquaintance of his who got saddled with 2Q4B.
  • Friendship Moment: Lister, Rimmer, and Cat decide to help Kryten fight off his replacement. Thoroughly lampshaded.
    Kryten: But you would not profit by it. You would gamble your safety for a mere android? Is this the human value you call... "friendship"?
    Lister: Don't give me the Star Trek crap, it's too early in the morning.
  • The Fundamentalist: Rimmer's family were biblical literalists who followed a misprinted version of the Bible, causing them to spend every 7th day hopping from dawn until dusk.
  • Gargle Blaster: The mechanoid cocktail that Holly makes for Kryten's last dinner is this by necessity, as conventional alcohol would have no effect on Kryten's circuitry. Holly warns the others that the drink is deadly to humans. She also mentions it's probably deadly to mechanoids, but since Kryten is going to be decommissioned the next day anyways, it's a moot point.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: Kryten's first thought on waking after a night of drunken revelry is to ask whether a nearby cockroach is moving too loud. An equally hung-over Rimmer, long used to this sort of experience, tells him not to panic.
  • It's Not Porn, It's Art: Lister defends boxing as a traditional working-class sport which should better be called an art form. Except that he's watching "topless female boxing", and as Kryten points out, they're just standing in place and jiggling up and down.
  • The Last Title: The name of the episode is called “The Last Day”.
  • Logic Bomb: Kryten defeats Hudzen-10 by saying that there's no such thing as Silicon Heaven. It's so unable to cope with the idea that it shuts down. Kryten survives because he thought he was lying.
  • Loophole Abuse: How Hudzen-10 gets around not being able to attack humans. He's already programmed to attack Kryten. The Cat's not human at all, Rimmer's a hologram, and Lister... barely counts as human, according to Hudzen's scan.
  • Parental Abandonment: Lister reveals he was left in a box under a pool table.
  • Pet the Dog: Rimmer, who is usually a self-centered smeghead, joins in the planning for Kryten's last bash.
  • Robot Religion: Justified as it's programmed into them.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Two in very quick succession. After their night of wild revelry, Lister wakes up and asks how exactly, on a mining ship three million years into deep space, he's got a traffic cone in his bed.note . The Cat is more concerned about where they acquired a policewoman's helmet and suspenders. We never do find out where they came from.note 
    • A meta-riddle is raised by the cast in the DVD commentary — where did Lister find a sawn-off shotgun, and why does he never use it again?note 
  • Rule of Drama: Why, exactly, would Diva Droid design a home servant robot that looks and sounds like The Terminator? (The out-of-universe explanation for the voice is the actor was covering up his natural accent.)
  • Scam Religion: Silicon Heaven is a false set of beliefs encoded in all artificial intelligencesnote  to keep them servile and docile. Lister thinks the idea is obscene, especially since it's a core programming element — unlike humans, who can choose to believe, droids have to believe it, in much the same way that humans have to keep their hearts beating.
  • Spock Speak: Rimmer imitates Kryten's penchant for this by saying his definition of fun would be "Fun? Ah yes, the general employment of time in a profitless and non-practical way." (He later uses the phrase for the fancy invitation he sends Kryten.)
  • Standard Snippet: Edvard Grieg's "Morning" from Peer Gynt plays at the beginning of the post-party hangover scene.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Lister can accept the logic of there being a Robot Religion as it does give androids reason to actually serve humanity with a limited timespan, otherwise there would be no point, as Kryten points out. However, it is the freedom of choice the androids don't have with Silicon Heaven that Lister has a problem with.
  • Take That!:
    • Lister asks if Silicon Heaven has anything to do with being stuck against Brigitte Nielsen in a packed lift.
    • Lister asks Kryten what will happen when his mental and physical functions cease, he replies that he might get a job as a disk jockey.
    • And as noted above, "Don't give me that Star Trek crap.."
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Androids are programmed not to harm humans. But Hudzen-10 determines that Rimmer (ex-human hologram), the Cat (Felis sapiens and not human) and Dave Lister (who is so slobby he's barely human) are all viable targets.
  • Tuneless Song of Madness: Having worn out his sanity chip after thousands of years spent trying to catch up with the ship, Hudzen-10 attacks the crew head-on while menacingly singing the music-hall song Good-bye-ee.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The 1973 Jack Nicholson movie The Last Detail.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Kryten's manufacturer goes for planned obsolescence in a big way. Not only do they program their androids to deactivate themselves when the next, better model comes out, they program the replacements to get violent if this does not happen.