Red Dwarf

Season 7 Episode 6

Beyond a Joke

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Feb 21, 1997 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
57 votes

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Episode Summary

Kryten finds a lobster scuttling around the cargo hold and cooks an elaborate feast for the crew as it is the anniversary of when he was rescued from the Nova 5. The rest of the crew however have prepared to enter a virtual reality world of Jane Austen, where Kochanski hopes to teach them a little culture. Kryten is extremely upset that they left without touching his feast and enters the VR world, blowing up the characters of the game with a tank and ordering the crew to supper. Kryten seems to calm down as they tuck into the lobster but Lister asks for a little ketchup to 'pep it up' and Kryten blows his top. Literally. They replace his head but the rage still flows through him and they eventually run out of spare heads. They go aboard a derelict ship and find some heads but they dont have their primers installed. The crew realize that it is a simulant ship and hightail it, but they cannot leave without the heads so they dress up as GELFs and make a deal with the simulant captain. They get the heads but when they return to Starbug it has been looted and Kryten is gone. The simulant brings Kryten's body aboard his ship and tells another series 4000 mechanoid, Able, to repair him. Kochanski devises a plan to make the simulants think that they planted a bomb on the ship, which works. The simulant, along with his GELF partner, Able, and Kryten, beams aboard Starbug and demands to know where the bomb is. They refuse and the simulant tells Kryten the code to a sealed file in his memory about his creator. Able helps the crew escape and they enter an asteroid belt for cover. Kryten tells Lister that his creator was supposed to be married to another scientist but he left her at the alter. She then created a mechanoid in his image, an ugly, annoying, pompous android: the 4000 series. Lister consoles him by saying that he is different now than when he was first created. The simulant ship finds them because of Able's stupidity and Kryten scolds him. Able heads out in a pod and destroys the simulant ship, sacrificing himself in the process.moreless

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  • Take a stimulant before watching...

    Parts of this episode where painful to watch. The overiding plot is centred around Kryten. There are several events that effect him. First off he tries to re-establish his relationship with Lister by celebrating the anniversary of his liberation from the Nova 5. Typically, Kochanski and the Cat distrupt the feast after Kryten goes into meltdown because he spent loads of time cooking a rare lobster dinner. When everyone jumps into a Jane Austen World hologram, Kryten loses it big time producing some funny scenes as he tries to take out the holocharacter out, eventually importing a tank from another program to prove his point. Krytens descend into unbridled rage doesnt end there! All his heads explode as Lister and Kris look to repair him. Eventually because they run out of spares they are forced to board the Centuri ship with a dangerous humanoid hating Stim and his Gelf and Able companions.

    Cue more comical danger and a mission to trick the Sim into giving them a spare Kryten head and primer chip.

    Overall the quality of this episode is lower than from pervious series. Pretty much I remember from when I watched this season the first time round. Not only that, but its the comedy that just doesnt fly true. There is no real setup and punchlines, no real butt of joke. Perhaps its only situational comedy that has any impact which is a shame.

    The pace of this episode is fairly slow, barely raising above a plod. A fairly ordinary plot doesnt help, though the final 1/3 of the show when Kryten is placed with Able does have some nice action. The ending is quite good, if not spectacular like earlier episode finales. Though Able's sacrifice and his method of disabling the Centuri ship is almost hilarious.

    The episode is not quite beyond a joke, its worth watching, but dont expect much from the first and early part of the middle act.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In "Tikka to Ride" Lister screws Kryten's head(s) several times to put them on. But here he only does it once.

    • Kryten's spare heads are supposed to have a different personality to Kryten. Response: Kryten has a chip that governs his personality (it's the one that was recovered). Presumably, Lister used a different chip in Tikka to Ride.

    • If Able was addicted to Otrazone, and he was running out, why would he offer some of his remaining otrazone to Kryten?Response: Junkies tend not to think long term.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Kryten: Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I said supper is ready.

    • Lister: Simulants hate anything human or humanoid. In fact, anything beginning with 'hu'...
      Kochanski: Probably hate the third largest city in Vietnam, then... laughs
      Lister: How's that?
      Kochanski: Because it's called 'Hu', dummy. Well, actually, it's pronounced 'Hwah', but if I'd said 'hwah' it wouldn't have been as funny. Lister and Cat are bemused Any navigation conference *anywhere*, they would be in the *aisles* with a quip like that.
      Lister: Probably trying to get out of the building before you quipped again...

    • Kryten: carrying Able onto Starbug He ain't heavy, Sir. He's my brother!

  • NOTES (1)

    • The tank Kryten uses in the VR Simulation is the same one driven through the streets of St Petersburg by Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye.


    • Kryten: He ain't heavy, sir. He's my brother.

      The song "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" was released in 1969 by the British group The Hollies.

    • Kryten: (about his negadrive) This box contains the greatest concentration of anger, jealousy and resentment outside a BAFTA awards ceremony!

      The BAFTA awards are the annual British awards ceremony for achievements in film and television, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

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