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Recap / Red Dwarf Season VII Beyond A Joke

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When Kochanski leads the rest of the Dwarferz to forsake Kryten's long-planned surprise party celebrating the anniversary of his rescue from the Nova V, it finally pushes the mechanoid over his limits and his head literally bursts with anger. Trying to bargain with a simulant for replacement parts, Kryten winds up meeting his drug-addled brother, Abel, and learning some dark secrets about the Kryten series' origins.


This episode contains examples of:

  • Angst Nuke: Downplayed and played for laughs, but when Kryten's nega-drive is overfilled, his head literally explodes like a bomb has gone off in it whenever he tries to process it.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When he gets affected by the nega-drive energy, the Simulant laments that it's all hopeless, nobody loves him, he's so ugly, and he never gets invited to parties.
  • Berserk Button: If you blow off Kryren's dinner to play a VR game, he'll drag you out. With a tank.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • A sign of Kryten's problems with the negadrive is his unleashing weapon-grade snark on Lister.
    Kryten: Yes, sir, you're well known for your love on penetrating 18th century novels on working class women. I mean, just because you have a shirt advertising the rock band "Colostomy Explosion" doesn't mean you're not a master of erudition.
    • Lister gets in a dig on Kochanski after her terrible attempt at a pun.
    Kochanski: If I told that at a navigation conference, everyone would be in the aisles.
    Lister: Probably trying to escape before you made another joke.
    • And another at the Cat's expense.
    The Cat: Life without a head? What could he do?
    Lister: Apart from being you, nothing.
  • The Ditz: The Cat in on fine form in this episode. Not noticing or bothering to placate an obviously tetchy Kryten, moaning about his head exploding, being absolutely no help identifying the Centauri's century of origin, giving away the fact he speaks English to the Simulant...
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  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Kryten's spare heads, previously shown to have their own personalities, are destroyed off-screen trying to figure out what's wrong with Kryten.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Lister lets loose a little puff of flame after tasting Kryten's vindaloo at the end of the episode. The Bennets pronounce the dish "scrumptious," but they are AR characters.
  • Gag Penis: Invoked by Lister on Professor Mamet's fiancé John Warburton; if the 4000 series are designed to look like him, then having seen Kryten's groinal attachment, that would explain the reason she took it so bad.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the episode's opening, Lister asserts he will never eat Space Weevil, when he ate one and loved it several seasons back. In fairness, he was unaware of what he was eating at the time, mistaking it for "crunchy King Prawn" based on the taste and texture.
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  • No Sympathy: The Cat's only reaction to Kryten's head exploding? Scolding Lister that they'll have to clean it up now.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: While the Simulant hates humans as much as the rest of his kind, and clearly sees through the crew's attempt to dress up as Kinitawowi, he plays along with the ruse so as to allow his own GELF to ransack Starbug with minimal fuss.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Lister asking for ketchup with his lobster is the final straw that detonates Kryten's nega-drive.
  • Retcon: Kryten mentions off-handedly he killed the Nova 5 crew, something that's not come up before, but was a part of Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (which explained Kryten caused the ship crash by washing the computers with soapy water).
  • Tank Goodness: Kryten borrows one from the WW2 simulation in order to make it absolutely clear supper is ready.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: Kryten's "Dark Secret" turns out to be that the Series 4000 mechanoids were all made as negative caricatures of John Warburton, the man their line's creator Professor Mamet was going to marry, until he dumped her the day before their wedding. The result is that each Series 4000 model is a pompous, ridiculous-looking, mother-hen clucking, irascible buffoon", in Kryten's own words. As part of the joke, they were outfitted with nega-drives, where they would bottle up their negative emotions until they ultimately exploded, a parody of Warburton's own temper issues.
  • To Serve Man: According to the Simulant, humans are "lovely with a bit of mint sauce". (Of course, being a robot he doesn't actually have a physical need to eat, so this is probably just For the Evulz.)
  • Translator Buddy: Cat seems to think he's meant to be playing this role while they're dealing with the Simulant, even as Kochanski tries to discreetly tell him that the Kinitawowi aren't meant to be able to speak any English.
  • Understatement: Able explains what happened.
    Able: The ship I was on, it kinda crashed a bit.
    Kryten: "Crashed a bit?"
  • Virtual-Reality Warper: Kryten takes great exception to Lister turning down his home-cooked lobster dinner in favour of joining Kochanski's VR journey to Pride and Prejudice World, and tries to sabotage the experience by plugging in elements from other games. After taking out several of the Bennet sisters with blowpipes and rope snares (plus one failed attempt at a log trap), he goes so far as to import a battle tank from a WWII game, just so he can annihilate the remaining Bennets at the gazebo with a single medium-range shot.
  • Your Head Asplode: "Ketchup? With lobster? Are you..."*KABOOM!*