by Doug Naylor

Kryten interrupts Lister from cutting his ingrown toenail with garden clippers to give him his breakfast, only to discover that he has forgotten to actually make his master’s ‘Full Lister’. Kryten admits that he has become distracted of late, pondering the meaning of the universe instead of thinking about cleaning, and even doubting the existence of Silicon Heaven. Learning that today is the 2,976,000th anniversary of Kryten’s activation, Lister realises his mechanoid mate is having a mid-life crisis – a suspicion that is confirmed when he, Cat and Rimmer learn that Kryten has now given himself a makeover with a new high speed, Ferrari-red, DX87 shell, with rotatable head and built-in stereo system. While Kryten goes off to bungee-jump in the lift shaft, Lister resolves to show the mech how much he has achieved in his life: by using tech from the Nova 5 to locate another mech, he can show Kryten how much he has evolved. Lister, Cat and Rimmer go into stasis for the long journey, eventually emerging when Red Dwarf detects the Nova 3, which is crewed by a Mech 3000 called Butler. Flying out in Starbug to the Nova 3, which crashed on a moon while looking for a missing research station, the Dwarfers meet Butler; however, instead of a stupid lower-version mechanoid, Butler turns out to be a friendly, intelligent and sophisticated self-made connoisseur of the arts: an expert in cooking, painting, literature, novel-writing, and medical science. Kryten is devastated, but although Butler is reluctant to leave the Nova 3, Rimmer insists he come aboard Red Dwarf so they can upgrade the cleaning service. While en route to the Dwarf, Butler upgrades Starbug’s engines and then saves the lads from an attack from several Gelf ships, whose leader, Equahectay, turns out to be an old friend of his. After Butler teleports away to visit the Gelfs and provide medical assistance to Equahectay’s father, Lister tries talking to Kryten about his own mid-life crisis; but when Kryten hears it only lasted five minutes, he becomes even more depressed. When an alarm sounds Kryten realises that Butler’s upgrade will cause Starbug’s engines to explode; in desperation Lister looks for a place to crash, and finds an old space station nine hours away where they can make repairs. Arriving at the abandoned station, the lads realise they have found the place that the Nova 3 had been searching for, which was constructed so that mankind could find a way to communicate with the universe itself. Spotting a telephone with a call on hold, Rimmer takes the handset and finds himself speaking to a sentient entity calling itself ‘The Universe’. Lister hands the phone to Kryten, encouraging him to ask the meaning of life; unfortunately, the depressed mechanoid only succeeds in making the Universe question its own mortality, and it too has a mid-life crisis. When Kryten insists the Universe has purpose and succeeded in creating love, the entity feels better; in turn it tells Kryten to take off his new suit, because it sucks. Back aboard Starbug, a much happier Kryten decides to call Butler to thank him for the day, and to rub the mech’s nose in the fact that he just spoke to the Universe; to his surprise Butler is pleased – it turns out that he deliberately sent Kryten to meet his good friend ‘Uni’, in order to make him feel better about himself!

Chris Barrie (Arnold J. Rimmer), Craig Charles (Dave Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Dominic Coleman (Butler), Robert Nairne (Gelf Chief [Equahectay]), Daniel Barker (The Universe)

Directed by Doug Naylor

Produced by Richard Naylor and Kerry Waddell
Executive producers Simon Lupton, Henry Normal and Doug Naylor
Co-produced by Baby Cow Productions and Grant Naylon Productions for Dave / UKTV

TX: (Dave)
20th October 2016 @ 9:00 pm

*Featuring Dave Lister, Arnold Rimmer, Cat and Kryten

*Although this epsiode was scheduled for television broadcast on the 20th October 2016, it was released a week earlier for 'on demand' audiences via the UKTV Play platform