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(reviewed 29 August 2010)


After an attempt by Lister to teach him how to lie, Kryten tracks a life signal on an unstable planet and rescues Camille, a female mechanoid who he immediately falls in love with. However, each of the crew sees and hears Camille in different ways, before she reveals she's actually a pleasure GELF - a being designed specifically to appear as everyone's perfect mate. Kryten isn't deterred and the two share many a fine evening together, before she is told to return to his husband in an homage to the ending of Casablanca.


LISTER: Concentrate, Kryten. (holds a banana) What's this?
KRYTEN: It's a banana.
LISTER: ... (holds an orange) What's this?
KRYTEN: It's an orange.
LISTER: (holds an apple) What's this?
KRYTEN: (feebly) Apple.
CAT: ... You taught him that?! That's terrific! You two should audition for "What's My Fruit"!

RIMMER: Sorry, I'm blabbering. I'm not very good at small talk.
CAMILLE: Oh, I think you're perfectly charming.
RIMMER: Do you? Well, thank you. No one's ever said I was charming before. They've said, "Rimmer, you're a total git." But never charming, no.

RIMMER: Well, I should've guessed. It was all a mighty bit too strange. I mean, actually meeting someone who didn't want to vomit all over me in complete loathing and disgust.

RIMMER: Look, if Kryten wants to take an amorphous green blob for a discreet tete-a-tentacle, I say good luck to him.
LISTER: I mean, me too. I mean, we all react differently, don't we? When Steve McQueen met The Blob, he tried to kill it. It probably never crossed his mind to try and take it out to a restaurant!


Series 3 was a certainly a change of pace for the show - humble servant mechanoid Kryten was reintroduced as a main character, adding a different dynamic to each of the characters' interactions, and the storylines were no longer strictly slice-of-life, but now geared towards an almost anamoly-of-the-week feel. However, despite the changes, the majority of the storylines still revolved around the familiar bickering between Lister and Rimmer and the intriguing dynamic between them. Series 4 unfortunately loses a lot of the slice-of-life vibe, but each of its episodes give us a better look into the three strongest characters on the show, beginning with two episodes focusing on loveable old Kryten.

The opening scene of Lister trying to teach Kryten to lie is fantastic. Both of them are truly passionate about it ("Don't you think I'd love to be deceitful, unpleasant, and offensive? Those are the human qualities I admire the most!") even if Kryten's obedience to his programming is a major hurdle, but it all rounds off beautifully when he triumphantly spews out lie after lie after lie... and then loses the gusto to do it in front of the Cat. It's an adorable sequence that shows what kind of bond Kryten and Lister have that their cooperation can help him overcome his programming, but at the same time he's still limited by his own confidence and adherence to preconfigured rules. It's a greatly entertaining scene altogether, and even the Cat's minor input is hilarious.

Of course, one could argue that in a slightly less comedic light, allowing Kryten to break his programming could result in a potentially dangerous mechanoid. Yes, his disobedience to Rimmer is for the greater good so he can rescue Camille (which admittedly does cause a bit of a hullabaloo when she's on-board, but it all pays off in the end), but when your command-driven robot slave can now do whatever the smeg he wants, that's a little frightening! Of course, it helps that Kryten is still his usual friendly ol' self; if he chose not to be amiable anymore then it would cause a fair bit of bit of strife among the crew.

It's a totally throwaway scene and adds nothing except a little more screen time for the Cat and Lister, but the two of them watching Tales Of The Riverbank: The Next Generation is great. I don't know, there must be something inherently amusing just seeing the two of them commenting on TV shows. I guess it also helps that it's one of the few slice-of-life glimpses we get at this point in the series.

For that matter, I can't remember if I mentioned it in the reviews of series 3 or not, but I can't go without saying it - the sets are really, really nice looking. The new bunk room is vivid, colourful and brimming with pizzazz; I hate to sound like the host of a home makeover show, but it's surprising how just a few decorations strewn around an otherwise lifeless command chamber can really brighten the place up.

I admit from this point in the series onward the general availability of crashed ships, sentient creatures and other signs of life almost become alarming in how casually they're treated. The finding of the Esperanto in series 2 was a really, really big deal for the crew, with everyone wanting to do their best to help out (and score some badge[1], of course), and the attacks by the Polymorph and Hudzen in series 3 are treated quite seriously.

Here, Holly casually informs everyone of a crashed ship with a lifesign aboard, and Kryten very casually meets the mechanoid aboard, Camille. Okay, she saves his life from falling down a pit, but it still comes across as a little how-do-you-do rather than, holy crap, there's still other signs of life out there! Of course, if you want to get pedantic, mechanoid Camille is played by the woman who would eventually become Robert Llewellyn's wife, so the rather formal conversation is probably just a result of that. It's an interesting situation meeting Camille, especially when she refuses to leave the ship and see the others, but it happens a little too suddenly to take in fully.

I will say, though, it's actually very cute seeing Kryten admit he's actually in love with another mechanoid, regardless of the unsettling facial moulds and pyramid breasts involved. Seeing everyone meet their dream partners is very cute as a whole, even Rimmer showing just how shy and bashful he can be around women, which is an amusing contrast to when he spends the whole beginning of the episode a snarky git. It's amusing how just a change of sex can change his first impression of someone so quickly.

Lister's reaction is an amusing change of pace; he basically just skips the pleasantries and goes straight for the sexual suggestions. Given how so far we've only seen him lust after Kristine Kochanski, a woman he barely even knew (until that was retconned!) and hang out with his female opposite from a parallel dimension, it's almost a breath of fresh air to see him talk to a woman without becoming clouded with tons of angst. Of course, it all pales in comparison to the Cat meeting his ideal companion - himself. It's the greatest scene in the whole episode, and his confident swaggering afterwards combined with him winding up Lister is just fantastic. Danny John Jules, you steal the show again!

Given how every alien lifeform they've met throughout the series (which so far is... what, Hudzen and the Polymorph? it's way too early to start generalising!) they've just tried to explode it or whatever, it's actually very sweet to see Kryten going on a date with Camille in her true form. You don't really get much time for them to share together, but it makes for some cute scenes, even if it turns out she has a husband. I admit I'd be hard-pressed to say its touching, what with it just being sprung on us within two minutes of the credits, but it's sad yet noble of Kryten to give up his love of Camille so she could have the better future - and just to keep it entertaining, it's wrapped in a hilariously blatant Casablanca parody.

The episode concludes with Kryten calling Lister out on what a smeghead he is for even teaching him lying in the first place, but the two maintain their close friendship. It's very nice and just shows what a great bond the two have, despite their differences and consistent snarking towards each other for the sake of comedy.

I'd say it's a decent episode. It's got plenty of great humourous moments, and it's nice to explore the sides of Kryten you would be unlikely to see anywhere. Its rather different story means it stands out a lot from the other episodes in the series; the only one that really compares is Holoship in series 5. I will admit that since series 4 was the only DVD I actually owned of the series for three long years, I got a bit sick of it on frequent rewatchings back then, though I certainly can't deny it's well made. Not quite the sensational series-opener of the previous three series, and I do have more of a preference towards Holoship, but I can't deny that it's a decent ep.

Commentary highlightS

ROBERT: Ahhh, WD-40. Still brings back memories, every time I smell it I get romantic. I'm spraying up the kid's bike chains and I smell it and I'm like, "ahhh, I remember those days."
CHRIS: You can't beat WD-40, can you.
CRAIG: Chris makes his missus wear WD-40 so she smells like his Bentley.
CHRIS: [laughter] Craig... when was the last time you got in a Bentley, mate? They don't smell of WD-40!
CRAIG: [laughter] Never been in a Bentley, sir, never had the fortune.
HATTIE: Do you wax her as well?

HATTIE: Has he still got that groin socket in this one?
ROBERT: He doesn't get it out, it's a family show.
CRAIG: We did talk about your big scene, though, didn't we?
DANNY: Wouldn't it be the opposite of the groinal socket for Camille? What would she have?
HATTIE: Oh, blimey.
ROBERT: Well, the trouble is she's got the same socket, obviously. Same make.

CHRIS: I've worked out how Starbug manages to survive so many crashes.
ROBERT: Oh, how's that?
CHRIS: Its spherical construction.
ROBERT: Ah, that makes it very strong.
ROBERT: Good observation, Chris, thanks. If it was square it would've just got bashed--...
CRAIG: If you wanted to be an engineer, you could've been.
HATTIE: I just thought they kept building another one.

(the reactions to this image are definitely worth mentioning. "Gordon Brittas came to visit for that moment."

(it's a little long-winded to quote, but the ending comments are amusing in just how disjointed they are)

Fanbase opinionS

[coming soon!]

Top Gear joke. Sorry.