He was an eleventh-generation AI holographic computer, a more recent and more efficient design than the tenth-generation Holly of the JMC mining vessel Red Dwarf, designed to operate a space vessel. He had an IQ of 8000... or so it was claimed. His actions and speech may have indicated computer senility
When Holly was asked to play postal chess with Gordon, he jumped at the chance, feeling he would be a fool not to. Holly was in awe of Gordon's supposed genius and were likely to be friends. The first move arrived as a video letter from Gordon, which didn't reach Holly for three million years, and arrived in a postal pod when Red Dwarf finally turned around.
Gordon spoke with a very broad London accent and treated Holly as a chess rookie, describing pawns as "the little knobbly ones down the front". He made his move and then said goodbye to Holly, but couldn't switch off the recording by himself. ("RD: Better Than Life", Series II)
The writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor had originally wrote the part for Gordon Salkilld, and even named the character after him, because they felt he would make a great, Holly-like, senile Cockney computer.
For Red Dwarf Remastered, the writers decided to chance on an alternate actor to re-shoot Salkilld's dialogue. Salkilld was replaced with actor Phil Philmar and the scene shot, but ultimately dropped. However the alternate shoot with Phil Philmar as "Gordon 8000" can be seen on the bonus features of The Bodysnatcher Collection.
This Gordon also speaks about playing Snakes and Ladders with Holly, but clearly doesn't understand the game. He also tells Holly that another computer they know, Ernie 7000, has gone senile - then forgets what he was talking about. He turns himself off by banging his head on the monitor.