It is always tough when you go through a mid-life crisis, and even tougher when you are going through it while three million light years into deep space.
This is what has happened to Kryten (Robert Llewellyn), who has started forgetting to make breakfast for Lister (Craig Charles) and beginning to think that there is no point to life now that he has reached the half-way point of his lifespan. He’s lost his belief in Silicon Heaven. He’s even starting to lose his love of cleaning! Lister comes to realise that Kryten is having a mid-life crisis, but before he, Rimmer (Chris Barrie) and the Cat (Danny John-Jules) can stop him from doing something he will regret, Kryten paints his body Ferrari red and installed some subwoofers into his body.
Lister decides that the best way to get Kryten out of this state is to find a vessel that was link to his original, the Nova 5, find a service mechanoid on it, and show how much Kryten has evolved since he has broken free of his programming. They find the Nova 3 which has a mechanoid called Butler (Dominic Coleman), but when they meet him they discover that Butler has had a much better life than Kryten: he’s more talented, more intelligent and more artistic, thus making Kryten jealous. Is there any way at all that Lister can get Kryten out of his rut?
This is not the best episode of the series, mainly because it sacrifices too much of the comedy over more dramatic sequences, especially near the end. None of the gags really sustain themselves. While the new red body is good for starters, it begins to wear a bit thin later on. The same is true of Butler: it is funny at first to learn how better he is than Kryten, especially in a scene when both of them try to communicate with a GELF and Butler tries to improve Kryten’s pronunciation, but overall it all feels a bit forgettable.
Red Dwarf is on Dave at 21.00 on Thursday nights.